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The 4 Most Cited Papers: Magic In These Methods

By | August 8, 1988

It will surprise few that methods papers lead the list of the most cited scientific articles ever—at least those tracked in the Institute for Scientific Information’s Science Citation Index, 1955 to 1987. “The lowry paper,” as it is known, stands head-and-shoulders above all others. This 1951 article by Oliver H. Lowry Nira J. Rosenbrough, A. Lewis Farr, and R.J. Randall, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, 193,265-75, reported an improved procedure for

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[Ed. note: Max Perutz shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in chemistiy with John Kendrew for developing the X-ray diffraction techniques that revealed the structures of macromolecules and, thereby launched the science of molecular biology. But more recently, he has been lauded for his spectacular success as a manager of scientists. In particular, the accolades single out his tenure as head of the Medical Research Council’s molecular biology laboratory in Cambridge, from 1947 to 1979. What makes

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Tools That Help Break The Computer Language Barrier

By | August 8, 1988

Twenty years ago, when I was at Princeton, I and all of my fellow graduate students in physics were required to pass two foreign-language achievement tests in order to get our degrees. Since then, apparently convinced that such skills are of diminishing importance, the Princeton physics department— and most other graduate schools as well—have dropped such a requirement. On the other hand, skill in the “foreign” language of computer programming has increasingly been re

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U.K. Breakthrough Bolsters Radio analytical Imaging

By | August 8, 1988

Methods for quantifying radioisotopes on membranes, gels, and microtiter trays are fundamental to molecular biology and related research areas. Until recently, these methods were difficult, tedious, and time-consuming, requiring the scientist to expose the plates to X- ray film for periods ranging from a few hours to a week or more. But a new method for identifying and classifying bacteria by imaging the radioisotope distribution has been developed by the Department of Reproductive Physiology

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After years of passivity, the astronomy community is protesting telescope closings, cramped quarters, and scanty maintenance Like some ill solar wind, word is radiating through the galaxy of United States astronomers that they’ll have to shut down more of their small telescopes before plans to build a new one are approved. For many, this is the final straw. Throughout the past decade, U.S. astronomers suffered in silence as the National Science Foundation retargeted money to areas of s

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University Briefs

August 8, 1988

Give Iowa State An ‘A’ For Altered Genes What can a university do when it plunges into agricultural biotechnology research in a big way—but doesn’t want the public to fear the field-testing of experimental products? Iowa State trotted out the genetics primer. This summer, the university devoted its annual teacher education program to genetic engineering, bringing high school teachers up to date on biotechnology and helping them design lesson plans for their students. Ov

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VP Candidate Lloyd Bentsen Is 'Outspoken On Science Issues'

By | August 8, 1988

WASHINGTON—While Michael Dukakis may have chosen Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate for Bentsen’s ability to win over his home state and Southern conservatives, the Democratic senator from Texas also brings to the ticket a strong interest in space research, advanced physics, and high technology. Bentsen’s record on scientific issues suggests he may be primarily motivated by economic concerns— in particular, growth for Texas. But those interests have coincided with effor

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When Language Hurts Scientists And Their Employers

By | August 8, 1988

Sajal Das started out well. A bright boy from Calcutta, he finished his undergraduate degree in India, earned a Ph.D. studying high-temperature polymers at North Carolina State University, and soon found a good R&D job at Morristown, N.J. -based Allied-Signal Corp. But then he stalled. While his United States-born colleagues went scampering up the corporate-scientific ladder, Das has stayed put, although, in his opinion, his science is every bit as good as anyone’s. The trouble, from wh

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The National Academy of Sciences’ recent report on the behavioral and social sciences reveals that federal support of this domain of science has declined over the past 16 years, even though support for other areas of science has grown substantially. The report makes a good case for the public benefits of research in behavioral and social sciences and argues for increased funding. This argument, however, is likely to fall on deafened ears, as almost every segment of the scientific communi

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Woods Hole Lab Faces Uncertain Future

By | August 8, 1988

Celebrating its centennial, the Marine Biological Laboratory adapts to a new era in which money talks as loudly as science WOODS HOLE, MASS.—When Harlyn 0. Halvorson, the new director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, blows out the candles for his institution’s 100th birthday this summer, no one will have to ask what he wished for. The laboratory needs more money, more room, and more molecular biology if it is to remain in the forefront of scientific research durin

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