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A Noted Biologist Traces His Own Evolution

By | August 8, 1988

TOWARD A NEW PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY: Observations Of An Evolutionist Ernst Mayr Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; Cambridge; 564 pages; $35 At 84, Ernst Mayr is as active, intellectually engaged, and committed to the vitality of evolutionary biology as he was in 1942, when he helped launch modern evolutionary theory with the publication of Systematics and the Origin of Species. In a near half-century of writing essays since then, he has both reaffirmed his belief in current theory&

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A Tiny Biotech Startup Wages War Against AIDS

By | August 8, 1988

One of the most promising attacks on the dread disease was produced far from the meccas of biotechnology The message transmitted from the fourth International Conference on AIDS in Stockholm this June was bleak. Seven thousand of the world’s leading scientists had gathered to hear more than 3,100 presentations and to discuss what has been learned about the virus. “Not enough” was the answer. An estimated five million to 10 million people have been infected with the HIV virus,

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Also Notable

August 8, 1988

OLIVER HEAVISIDE: Sage In Solitude Paul J. Nahin; IEEE Press; New York 320 pages; $57.95 ($43.45 for IEEE members) Victorian engineer and scientist Oliver Heaviside “with no formal education after the age of sixteen, eventually came to be accepted as the intellectual equal of the finest scientific minds of the day,” writes engineering professor Paul Nahin in Betting the parameters for this biography. Heaviside resigned from his one and only job at age twenty-four. ... [He] knew th

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Articles Alert

August 8, 1988

The Scientist has asked a group of experts to periodically comment upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selections, presented here in every issue, we neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather, they are personal choices of articles they believe the scientific community as a whole may also find interesting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article 3501 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104, or by telep

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Association Briefs

August 8, 1988

The American Association of University Professors in Washington, D.C., has watched in alarm as Britain prepares to eliminate tenure from higher education as part of the government’s Education Reform Bill (The Scientist, June 27,1988, page 21). The organization has passed the following resolution: “AAUP notes with great concern the intention of the British government to abolish the system of academic tenure in all United Kingdom universities. We deplore the governments’ dis

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Bankruptcy Law Loophole Worries New Firms

By | August 8, 1988

How will startups get needed capital if the licenses they grant can be voided during court proceedings? WASHINGTON—Steven Mendell says he isn’t worried about the future of his company, Xoma Corp. The seven-year-old Berkeley, California, biotechnology startup firmed up its funding by going public in 1986 and has an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to help it develop a line of monoclonal antibody-based products to treat septic shock infections. But Mendell, Xoma&

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Surgeons know that some of the most painful, costly, deadly diseases could be prevented or reversed if only medical science understood the molecular structure of phosphated proteins and their interaction with calcium. No surprise then that Melvin Glimcher—who has been responsible for a number of extraordinary research breakthroughs in this area—would become the first person to receive the Bristol-Myers/Zimmer Award for Distinguished Achievement in Orthopaedic Research. Glimcher dir

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Computer Product Briefs

August 8, 1988

International Data Acquisition & Control Inc. (IDAC) recently released a chromatography system that includes a data acquisition peripheral, data acquisition software, and chromatography software, all of which work with Apple Macintosh computers. Called IDAC-Chrome, the system provides five methods of analyzing integrated data. Points can be withdrawn and refitted to find the optimum calibration, which can be performed using both internal and external standards. Based in Amherst, N.H., IDAC sel

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In early 1987, when research team around the world began reporting higher and higher superconductivity temperatures, several scientists at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co in Wilmington, Del., were touched by the fervor spreading throughout the scientific community. It was the spontaneous outpouring of enthusiasm by this group of bench scientists—rather than a sudden profit-motivated decision on the part of DuPont senior management—that resulted shortly thereafter in the company’

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Entrepreneur Briefs

August 8, 1988

The dispute itself isn’t unique: three scientists are accused of stealing trade secrets after they left a research institute for positions in industry. But this dispute is taking place in China, where the outcome may have an important impact on the future of entrepreneurship in a state-controlled economy. The China Research Institute for Printing Science and Technology has accused three senior researchers of taking with them their work on advanced typesetting software when they accepted

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