Notebook

Patently Special To Russia With A Rebuke More Messages For Coloradans New Molecule On The Block Stairway To The Stars Skin Care Two Merck & Co. Inc. researchers have been named cowinners of the Inventor of the Year award, given by Intellectual Property Owners, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association that represents owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Gary H. Rasmusson and Glenn F. Reynolds will share the $5,000 award, presented at an April 15 ceremony in Wa

April 19, 1993

  • Patently Special
  • To Russia With A Rebuke
  • More Messages For Coloradans
  • New Molecule On The Block
  • Stairway To The Stars
  • Skin Care
  • Two Merck & Co. Inc. researchers have been named cowinners of the Inventor of the Year award, given by Intellectual Property Owners, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association that represents owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Gary H. Rasmusson and Glenn F. Reynolds will share the $5,000 award, presented at an April 15 ceremony in Washington, for Proscar, a new drug used to treat benign prostate enlargement. Also honored, with Distinguished Inventor Awards, were a team of seven engineers, designers, and chemists from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Akron, Ohio, for their Aquatred tire, which improves braking on wet surfaces, as well as four researchers for Affymax Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., who developed a tool for synthesizing and screening large numbers of different compounds on a microchip. All of the winning inventions were patented.

    The scientific community continues to react to Russian mathematician Igor Shafarevich's book Russophobia, which has been interpreted by many readers as an anti-Semitic treatise (see Opinion, page 11, and Letters, page 12). C.K. Gunsalus, who chairs the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, sent Shafarevich an April 1 letter saying: "We wish to express repugnance at and condemnation of your anti-Semitic writings as conveyed in `Russophobia.' Your prestige as an eminent mathematician gives credence and special weight to your singling out one group for special opprobrium. . . . The Committee finds it regrettable that a mathematician of your stature has disseminated such unfounded and vile characterizations in your writings."

    Another issue that still deeply concerns many activists in the scientific community is Colorado's Amendment 2, which outlaws local antidiscrimination laws protecting homosexuals. At the American Physical Society meeting on March 21, APS's Committee on International Freedom of Scientists passed a resolution stating: ". . . We deplore the action of the majority of voters in Colorado. . . . We recommend that the Council of the APS not approve APS sponsorship of any further meetings in Colorado while language similar to that of the Amendment . . . remains in the Constitution of Colorado...." Committee chairman Joseph Birman, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the City College of New York, says the matter is especially relevant to physicists because the 14th International Conference on High-Pressure Science and Technology, to which APS has lent its imprimatur, is slated to take place in Denver June 28-July 2. While the committee does not plan to call for cancellation or moving of the conference, Birman says, "We want the organizers of the meeting to be aware of this resolution, and for some way to be found to bring it to the attention of persons planning to attend this meeting."

    Move over, buckyballs. Researchers at the University of Michigan have synthesized the world's largest pure hydrocarbon molecule, composed of 1,134 carbon atoms and 1,146 hydrogen atoms--100 times the volume of buckminsterfullerene, the molecule made up of 60 carbon atoms. According to Jeffrey S. Moore, an assistant professor of chemistry and macromolecular science and engineering, these giant molecules might be combined to form a device, similar to a solar cell, that can focus energy from sunlight and transform it into chemical energy. He also believes the molecule has potential applications as a drug delivery system. The chemical structure of the molecule has been verified with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, according to Moore. Moore and postdoc Zhifu Xu described the molecule during a presentation at the recent American Chemical Society meeting in Denver. A complete description of the molecule will be published in the Journal of the German Chemical Society (Angewandte Chemie).

    The Astronomical Society of the Pacific offers a set of 40 slides, plus an accompanying booklet, as a teaching aid for lessons about the most prominent constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. For more information, contact the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Constellation Slide Set Orders, 390 Ashton Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94112; (415) 337-1100. Fax: (415) 337-5205.

    Applications are now being accepted for the four categories of academic research awards offered by the Dermatology Foundation. The Leader Society Clinical Career Development Award is a $40,000-per-year stipend (renewable for two years) intended to advance the research of a dermatology faculty member pursuing a clinical investigation intended to approve clinical dermatology. The Career Development Award in Skin Research is designed to assist junior investigators in the early stages of their careers. Available to dermatology faculty members, the stipend is also $40,000 per year. One fellowship is also awarded in the area of skin photobiology. One-year fellowships of $25,000 are available to support research training in dermatology and cutaneous biology. One-year grants of $10,000 to initiate research into dermatology, cutaneous biology, skin cancer, dermatologic surgery, and other skin-related areas are also being awarded. The deadline for all applications is August 1. For details and applications, contact: Medical and Scientific Committee, Dermatology Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave., Suite 302, Evanston, Ill. 60201; (708) 328-2256, Fax: (708) 328-0509.


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