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Methods Rule

By | June 21, 2004

In 1988, The Scientist featured the most highly cited papersin the life sciences. All were method papers, with the venerable Lowry protein measurement technique nominated as the King of Citations.1Looking at papers published in the past 10 years using ISI Essential Science Indicators, we found that method papers still rule, though the focus has changed from measuring cell constituents to conducting computer analysis of nucleic acid and protein sequences.- Alexander Grimwade


vCJD and CJD by the Numbers

By | June 7, 2004

As of Dec. 1, 2003, 153 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) were reported: 143 in the United Kingdom, 6 in France, and 1 each in Italy, Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Nearly all of the affected people had been in the UK between 1980 and 1996, during a large bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreak.Between 1997 and 2003, 731 cases of CJD – sporadic, familial and iatrogenic – were reported in the United States. The rate of deaths due to this type of CJD has rema


Many Mindsets on Bioterrorism

By | May 24, 2004

Of the 376 survey participants, 79% believe there is a moderate or greater chance of a bioterrorist attack occurring somewhere in the world in the next five years. And, 81% believe there is moderate or greater justification for the increasingly large sums spent by governments on research aimed at preventing and mitigating the effects of such an assault.But 46% feel that government spending on bioterrorism research is diverting monies from more important investigative areas, and 19% state that th


Water by the Numbers

May 10, 2004

Estimated number of people in 2003 who lacked access to sanitation:2.4 billionEstimated number of people in 2003 who depended on groundwater:2 billionProjected cost per year of providing worldwide water access by 2015:$30 billionNumber of countries that experienced serious water shortages by the mid-1990s:about 80 (comprising about 40% of the world’s population)Amount of bottled water produced in 2001:1.31 million liters, up from 1.2 million liters in 2000Group that consumed the most bottl


Aging Gracefully, Retiring Reluctantly

By | April 26, 2004

Of the 262 readers who participated in our survey, 63% have plans to retire at age 65 or later, and a hardy 10% want to stop working after 75, or not at all. Even among the 45 and younger set, 56% plan to retire at 65 or later. At the spectrum's other end, 20% of this age group expects to call it quits before reaching 60.How our readers think they will spend their retirement covers the gamut, from doing volunteer work to opening a microbrewery. Some are obviously dreaming: "Maybe my kids will su


Hazmats in the Lab

By | April 12, 2004

Should undergraduates be taught to handle these potentially hazardous materials?- Alexander Grimwade


Science Museums

By | March 29, 2004

Of the 352 readers who responded to our survey:- Alexander Grimwade


The relative survival rate represents the probability of a patient living for another five years, as compared to a random person of the same age, race, and sex.See for more information.- Christine Bahls


- Christine Bahls


Genetically Modified Crops

February 16, 2004

Under what conditions should GM crops be deployed?Readers rank the importance of their objectionsGM crops may cause environmental disruption, 63%.Developing GM crops could solidify the control that a few large corporations have on agriculture, 59%.Consuming GM crops may create unrecognized hazards to human health, 39%.Creating transgenic animals and plants is ethically wrong, 10%.Of the 302 readers who responded, nearly 100 of them commented passionately on this subject. You can see some of thei


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