January 2005

Volume 19 Issue 1

The Scientist January 2005 Cover



Who's Minding the Drug Store?

But remember, we don't actually sell our products.


Cryptozoology: It's Not Dead Yet

The sequestration of cryptozoology in a small Swedish enclave?

Mastering the Master's

In "Middle-aged scientists are most potent," K. Brad Wray writes that "young scientists still play a crucial role in science.

Incomplete Bibliographies

discussing incomplete bibliographies because, perhaps ironically, this editorial contained no bibliography itself.

The History of Structural Virology

about history with much interest and agreement.

Computational Neuroscience Made Simple

In her article "Can computers untangle the neural net?"


Citizen Scholars

Public research universities face enormous challenges in the 21st century, perhaps none more compelling than the obligation to serve society.


The rise - and fall? - of the NIMR

Britain's science community has never seen anything quite like it.

Vidal scores 10 in 1

Publishing 10 papers in one year is difficult for most scientists.

Have Rhodes, get quick PhD

In the mid-1970s, the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, the program that gives US recipients the chance to study at Oxford for two to three years, included just one or two future scientists per year, out of 32 awardees.


Dieting for the Genome Generation

More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates wrote: "Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food."


Did Enzymes Evolve to Capitalize on Quantum Tunneling?

In the early years of the 20th century, a new theory, quantum mechanics, revolutionized physicists' understanding of nature.

Hot Paper

HIV/Host Interaction Elucidated

Viruses are masters of disguise when it comes to slipping past host-mediated defenses.


Faculty of 1000 | Interdisciplinary Research

These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature-awareness tool http://www.facultyof1000.com.R. Ando et al., "Regulated fast nucleocytoplasmic shuttling observed by reversible protein highlighting," Science, 306:1370-3, Nov. 19, 2004.The authors describe a new fluorophore (Dronpa) that has a high quantum yield as well as being remarkably photochromic. Dronpa can be interconverted between bright (fluorescent) and dark (nonfluorescent) states by

New adipocytokine found

Adipose tissue does more than store triglycerides.

ATP-free phosphorylation

For the first time, scientists have described a way for cells to add phosphate groups to proteins that doesn't involve an ATP donor.


Twenty Years of The Magnificent Seven

To any movie buff, TM7 refers to the 1960 John Sturges movie, The Magnificent Seven, in which a 30-year-old Steve McQueen burst onto the scene fighting alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn to defend the homes of an oppressed Mexican peasant village.


Building High-speed Lanes on the Information Highway

The information highway is adding lanes.

RNA Therapeutics Enter Clinical Trials

Traditional gene therapy is built on a simple premise: If the absence of a gene product causes disease, then adding the missing gene will cure it.

Antisense and Sensibility in RNA Therapeutics

These days RNA interference seems to be everywhere.

Tools and Technology

Mass Spectrometry Goes Offsite

Scientists at Purdue University, led by Graham Cooks, professor of analytical chemistry, recently reported a novel method for processing samples for mass spectrometry (MS) analysis.

Cytogeneticists Embrace Molecular Karyotyping

For decades, cytogeneticists have pored over images of metaphase chromosomes from tumors, noting the many gross aberrations these karyotypes can reveal.

Tools and Technology

Cleaning up T-cell Expansion

has built an entire company around its Dynabeads, which are tiny paramagnetic particles that bind target cells, proteins, or nucleic acids, and can be removed in seconds with a magnet once their work is done.


When Science Has a Potential Payoff

In a recent three-hour session at a Chicago hotel room, the University of Wisconsin's technology transfer office hammered out the final details of licensing deal that granted Durham, NC-based Inspire Pharmaceuticals the right to use several patents to develop glau coma treatments.

The Outlook for European Biotech in 2005

Much like an uncertain weather forecast predicting sun and patchy clouds, industry analysts see mixed prospects for European biotechnology companies in 2005.

The Plight of the Whistleblower

Joelle BoltAfter garnering data on the harmful effects of dust from sewage sludge used as fertilizer on US and Canadian farms, David Lewis, former microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke out in Nature articles.12 The ensuing confrontation with his superiors would get him terminated from the EPA. "I never thought of myself as a whistleblower," he says. To Lewis, whistleblowers pointed fingers at people who fraudulently spent government money to buy things like private


New Frontiers in Commercialization

Two decades ago, in the high-flying 1980s, there was great hope for licensing newly described molecules, compounds, and targets as potential diagnostic and therapeutic agents.


ACS sues Google over Scholar

The American Chemical Society says Google's new academic and scientific search engine, Google Scholar, is infringing on its established search product, Scifinder Scholar.

German biopatent law at odds with EU

Germany's belated attempt to bring its biotechnology patent law into compliance with an EU directive issued in 1998 appears to contradict what the European Union mandated, meaning the issue could end up being debated in the European Court of Justice.

Asian network forming

Developmental biologists in Asia have taken steps to forge a closer scientific community in recent months.

Closing Bell

Black Cats on the Black Sea

One summer in the late 1980s, Yuri Lazebnik needed to sort some cells.

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