Advertisement
NeuroScientistNews
NeuroScientistNews

Notebook

LIGO Director Takes The Cosmic View Have A Heart, Johns Hopkins Data Confounded By Changing Cages Another Quantum Leap Forward See Rifkin Run NSF's big- gest new construction project--the proposed Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory--has fallen victim to Congress' 1991 budget axe. The observatory is meant to detect elusive gravity waves from the far reaches of space, and LIGO's director, Caltech physicist Rochus Vogt, says that he understands that sometimes, especially w

November 26, 1990

  • LIGO Director Takes The Cosmic View
  • Have A Heart, Johns Hopkins
  • Data Confounded By Changing Cages
  • Another Quantum Leap Forward
  • See Rifkin Run
  • NSF's big- gest new construction project--the proposed Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory--has fallen victim to Congress' 1991 budget axe. The observatory is meant to detect elusive gravity waves from the far reaches of space, and LIGO's director, Caltech physicist Rochus Vogt, says that he understands that sometimes, especially when it comes to the budget process, heaven can wait. "I'm not panicky," he says about the $47 million project. "It's rare to get it [congressional approval] the first time around. I promise you that I'll be back next year, and I'll be even more persistent this time around."

    Last month Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions staged a gala gourmet fair to increase public awareness of--and raise some money for--the new Henry Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center, named after the school's championship-winning lacrosse coach who died in 1988 at the age of 50 after his third heart attack. The center focuses on research and education to prevent as well as treat the nation's leading cause of death. Unfortunately, the dishes offered by six of Baltimore's finest restaurants--including crab bisque, steak Marissa, leg of duck, and assorted fine cheeses--were more likely to clog rather than clear the guests' cardiovascular systems. "Because we're charging $85 a person, we wanted to serve the best," says Joe Ciletti, who played under Ciccarone and planned the event in conjunction with his local wine store. Says a university spokeswoman, sighing, "I agree that it's not a heart-healthy menu, but the doctors say that it's okay to splurge once in a while."

    Cleaning the cages of laboratory animals at least weekly may curb the spread of disease, but it's not always healthy for the research. One scientist at last month's Society for Neuroscience meeting in St. Louis reported that he had been puzzled by the fact that his animals tested fine on three days but poorly on two days, until he realized the "bad" data was showing up in experiments done on Mondays and Fridays--the same days that the animals were moved between his lab and his institution's animal care facility. The stress of the move, he reasoned, was confounding his results. Scientists report that handling procedures are one of many factors that affect the level of antibodies produced in their research subjects and, thus, influence the functioning of an animal's immune system.

    The international publishing house of Springer-Verlag, based in Heidelberg, Germany, has agreed to a global distribution of Quantum, a magazine in English for high school science and math students. The magazine, modeled after a Soviet publication called Kvant, first appeared in U.S. classrooms last fall, and the new agreement will allow it to circulate throughout the developed world, according to publisher Bill Aldridge. The bimonthly magazine is published by the National Science Teachers Association--of which Aldridge is executive director--and the USSR Academy of Sciences, with financial support from the National Science Foundation.

    Scientists who have felt the sting of biotech critic Jeremy Rifkin may be relieved to know that his latest target is a group outside their community: the Big Three automakers and their gas-guzzling cars. Using public service announcements that show the image of a U.S. soldier superimposed on a gas pump and ask the question, "How High a Price?" Rifkin's year-old Center for Fuel Efficient Transportation has joined a coalition of citizens' groups demanding that federal laws require more fuel-efficient cars. "It's time to refocus the energy war from the Mideast to Detroit," Rifkin says. But Andrew Kimbrell, attorney for the group, says that Rifkin isn't planning any conservation of his own energies: "We're going to continue to be as irascible as ever on biotechnology and other issues."


    Advertisement

    Follow The Scientist

    icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
    Advertisement
    The Scientist
    The Scientist

    Stay Connected with The Scientist

    • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
    • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
    • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
    • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
    • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
    • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
    • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
    • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
    Advertisement
    The Scientist
    The Scientist
    Advertisement
    NeuroScientistNews
    NeuroScientistNews
    Life Technologies