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Killer Cells: An Offensive Defense

By | May 16, 1988

When scientists realized that the immune system could discriminate self from non-self, they began to study whether the body could recognize tumor cells as foreign and then eliminate them. An immune response against foreign antigens (for example, viruses or bacteria) typically requires immunization and also that the foreign antigen binds to the body's own major-histocompatibiity [MHC] antigens (for example, HLA or H-2). Using in vitro assays to measure the killing of tumor cells, researchers

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Letters

May 16, 1988

LETTERS Date: May 16, 1988 Double Ties That Bind We were most interested by the article, "Academic Couples Stymied By Attitudes in Workplace," (March 21, 1988) since it bears on a topic we are currently studying. Data on the incidence among women of what we call the "double tie," to a field, by professional degree and by marriage to a man in the same field, are scarce. Our 1985 survey of women physicists disclosed that, of 479 female physicists, 49% were the wives, ex-wives, or widows of physic

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National Lab Briefs

May 16, 1988

Eager to encourage government-industry collaboration on the potential uses of high-temperature superconducting materials, the Reagan administration has rushed to announce an initiative that may be more snap than substance. The April 21 designation of Los Alamos, Argonne, and Oak Ridge national laboratories as superconductivity pilot centers went unaccompanied by additional funding or staff. Furthermore, acknowledged an Energy Department press spokesman, the department has no current plans to e

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Removing nucleic acid and protein samples from electrophoresis gels can take five to 48 hours-when the process succeeds at all. Standard recovery methods often lose much of the sample, contaminate it, or recover a small, amount in a large volume of buffer. Now Sample Saver, a new product from Accurate Chemical & Scientific Corp., allows the user to leach out the sample in one to two hours. The apparatus is based on an electrode bath. Between the positive and negative electrodes is a rotating

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NIH Ousts Key Director

By | May 16, 1988

WASHINGTON--The National Institutes of Health has removed the head of the office that buys supplies and equipment for its intramural research program following a stinging government report that found widespread mismanagement of the federal fund being spent on supplies and equipment. A five-year battle between NIH and its parent, the Department of Health and Human Services, culminated last month in the replacement of Edwin ("Ted") Becker as director of NIH’s Office of Research Services

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On The Crest Of A Superconductivity Tsunami

By | May 16, 1988

Research On The Crest Of A Superconductivity Tsunami AUTHOR:DAVID PENDLEBURY Date: May 16, 1988 For a world awash in preprints, published papers, and press releases on superconductivity, we have IBM researchers J.G. Bednorz and KA. Miller to thank. Their 1986 article reporting superconductivity in a copper oxide compound at 35 K, opened the floodgates to several hundred superconductivity publications in the early months of 1987. The accompanying graph, based on data from the Institute for Scien

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Physicists Fear Civil War

By | May 16, 1988

Particle physicists battle solid-state physicists over slice of a shrinking pie BALTIMORE--Inside the gleaming vaults of the Baltimore Convention Center last month, 1,900 researchers were giving 1,200 talks, seminars, and press conferences, all part of the usually festive spring meeting of the American Physical Society. But in the corridors, much of the talk was anything but festive. The APS is torn by a bitter internal squabble pitting the society’s largest constituency, 9,000 solid-s

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Proton Decay Experiment On The Brink Of Extinction

By | May 16, 1988

The Proton Refuses To Decay, But Physicists’Funds Are Fading Fast Two thousand feet under the shores of Lake Erie, in a six-story salt cavern, one of the most sophisticated light detectors ever constructed is waiting. Every second, several particles speed through the instrument’s enormous pool of water and collide with atoms in it, setting off flashes of light to be detected and recorded. But these events are merely physics’ flotsam and jetsam—things to be identified, c

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Pseudomedicine Is A Multibillion Dollar Business In The U.S. On weekends, medical researcher Waflace I. Sampson often leaves his suburban home and drives up the peninsula into San. Francisco. He sees himself as an investigator "his quarry, an epidemic that’s ravaging the City by the Bay." But it’s not the AIDS virus he’s after. Although a hematologist by training, Sampson is hunting tainted medicine, not tainted blood He’s a quackbuster. In recent months, Sampson un

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When research is mobilized around combating a virulent infectious agent, risk-taking is inevitable. That has been true in the pursuit of a polio vaccine and a cure for smallpox, in the study of cancer-causing viruses, and most recently, in AIDS research. While the responsible course of action is to limit as much as possible the risks to investigators and laboratory technicians, those goals can only be accomplished within certain limits. Infectious organisms are opportunistic, always seeking n

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