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Government Briefs

June 13, 1988

Requests to fund university research facilities, also known as "academic pork," that have become a growing and controversial part of the congressional budget-making process have been trimmed in the 1989 appropriations for the Department of Energy. Only two such projects, totaling $16.6 million, appear in the bill passed May 17 by the House, in contrast to nine projects, worth $73.7 million, that the House approved last year. Loma Linda University’s Proton Beam Cancer Treatment Center ($1

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A graphics supercomputer that for the first time combines high-speed computation, three-dimensional graphics, and molecular modeling and simulation software in a single interactive system was introduced last week at the American Chemical Society’s 3rd Chemical Congress in Toronto. The Molecular Simulator, targeted at biochemists, was jointly developed by hardware supplier Ardent Computer Corp. and software developer RioDesign, Inc. It can model and analyze the chemical structures of prot

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Hot Papers

June 13, 1988

The articles listed below—all less than a year old—have received a substantially greater number of citations than those in the same subject area and of the same vintage. A citation-tracking algorithm of the Institute for Scientific Information has identified these articles. M.A. Beno, L. Soderhoim, D.W Capone, D.G. Hinks, J.D. Jorgensen, et al., “Structure of the single-phase high-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3-O7-delta, Applied Physics Letters, 51, 57-9, 6 July 1987.

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Industry Briefs

June 13, 1988

When the news is this good, it’s hard to keep it to yourself. It might even be illegal. That’s why Chiron Corp. violated a basic tenet of the science profession by announcing in a press conference, rather than in a scientific journal following peer review, that it had isolated the virus for hepatitis non-A, non-B. States Ginger Rosenberg, associate director of business development of the seven-year-old Emeryville, Calif., medical research company, to have done otherwise may have v

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John Maddox Offers Surprising Insights Into His

By | June 13, 1988

In 1955, a puckish, 30-year-old Weishman resigned as lecturer in theoretical physics at the University of Manchester to become science correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. Unwittingly, the energetically eclectic John Maddox thus took his first step toward the editorial chair of Nature, which he has occupied with distinction on two occasions—between 1966 and 1973, and from 1980 until the present. A robust defender of what he calls “the scientific enterprise,” Maddox has

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Knitting And Braiding Aren't Just For Grandmothers

By | June 13, 1988

Knitting, weaving, and braiding are generally reserved for yarn thread1 and hair. Scientific researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia, however, are experimenting with applying these techniques to fibers of metals, ceramics, and polymers—and they’re making everything from cars to finger joints. In the corner of a room in Drexel’s Fibrous Materials Research Laboratory—the only academic lab of its kind in the country—sits a 100-year-old machine originally de

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Letters

June 13, 1988

In his comment (April 4, 1988, page 8) to my opinion (November 30, 1987, page 11), Howard Temin either missed or misinterpreted the point had tried to make. I was concerned with the fact that the ubiquitous spread of CD-HeLa cells might expand the habitat of HIV not the host range. In addition to the increased use of such modified HeLa cells for large scale production of HIV or for virus research, accidental spread of such cells could contaminate other cells cultures without the researchers k

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Looking For The Patterns Behind Human Violence

By | June 13, 1988

HOMICIDE Martin Daly and Margo Wilson Aldine de Gruyter; New York, 328 pages; $42.95 (hardback), $18.95 (paperback) A characteristic common to good science and good literary criticism is that both are alert to subtext. Both can reveal that what you see is not what you get. Both can offer the excitement of discovering an unexpected pattern in a phenomenon of nature or in the behavior of a protagonist in a play. For a number of years, the authors of Homicide have been studying human behavior b

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Nailing Down Iron Assimilation

By | June 13, 1988

Iron is both a nutritious and potentially noxious element. Its precise regulation in cells is necessary to assure synthesis of several proteins of which the metal is an integral part. At the same time, the cell must avoid generation of tissue-damaging oxygen radicals, which are known to arise from certain transition metals, such as iron. Environmental iron is mostly in a form (the 3+ oxidation state) that is characterized by extreme insolubility at biological pH. In order to dissolve iron, ma

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National Lab Briefs

June 13, 1988

Scientists, beware! The West German hacker who invaded scores of U.S. military computer systems last year could easily strike again. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory who finally tracked the electronic wizard down have been studying his M.O. Their conclusion: His tactics were often ridiculously simple. Many of the systems he entered used account names and passwords so obvious as to be worthless. And many current systems continue to use similar passwords. The best defense? Difficult p

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