June 2005

Volume 19 Issue 11

The Scientist June 2005 Cover


About Us

Which Cover Did You Get?

Careful! What you're looking at is a collector's item, the first ever split run cover of The Scientist. Our Art Director, Marlene Viola, created two versions of the artwork, black on white and white on black. And, to emphasize the binary nature of digital biology, we decided to make equal numbers of each. Ask a colleague which version he or she received!


Science is Not Relative

In a recent essay bemoaning the loss of psychology in favor of what he considers an overly biologically deterministic psychiatry, Richard C. Morias, a senior editor at Forbes, confesses a "vague suspicion" that "21st century America is ... suffering from an unhealthy obsession with science and technology."1 Certainly, it's difficult to escape from coverage of these issues. Morias' is an intriguing and provocative thesis, but sadly, his claimed obsession is just a loud idle burbling rather than a


More on women in science

because neither addresses the root cause of the problem: Women want to mother their children, not simply give birth.

Metabolomics comes of age?

According to a recent article in your magazine, "Metabolomics is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind.


How to Fix Peer Review

Despite its importance as the ultimate gatekeeper of scientific publication and funding, peer review is known to engender bias, incompetence, excessive expense, ineffectiveness, and corruption.



, a new magazine from the Nature Publishing Group.

Swimming with the mycobacteria

The patients were working out in a hospital's warm therapeutic pool in Boulder, Colorado, when Mark Hernandez walked in and dipped sterile bottles in the water.

Red in tooth and claw, and football shirts

If you want to win at combative sports, emulate the most aggressive and dominant animals: wear red.


What Is Digital Biology?

It's more than simple databasing, mining, or in silico experimentation.

The Hum and the Genome

The air at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, near Cambridge, fairly hums with electricity.


Minds Must Unite

Recently, in the halls of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, Calif., a revelation was taking shape.


Making Biological Computing Smarter

Experimental biologists today sit at the edge of enormous bodies of information.


Secondary Endosymbiosis Exposed

Photo: Nils Kroger, Regensburg UniversityLast summer's publication of the first diatom genome provided insight into the workings of a tiny organism with huge potential for environmental, industrial, and research applications.1 A growing appreciation of the sequence, however, has begun to divulge one of nature's wilder and most productive experiments.Diatoms, a diverse division of one-celled ocean algae with gemlike silica casings, are thought to collectively absorb as much carbon dioxide through

"Industrial" Pollutants Reveal a Surprising Origin

chemicals synthesized for use as industrial flame retardants and regarded as persistent environmental pollutants.

Hot Paper

Comparative Genomics on the Rise

Simple, fast-growing, and sexually reproducing, yeast have been a stalwart model for generations of geneticists.


Catalase extends mouse lifespan

Mice engineered to produce high levels of the antioxidant catalase live longer than their wild-type counterparts.

HIV-1 induces RNA silencing

HIV-1 elicits RNA silencing in human cells, but it also contains a sequence that suppresses the process, according to researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Molecular navigation for monarchs

© Mike Quinn, Texas Parks & WildlifeResearchers have identified a molecular pathway possibly linking the Monarch butterfly's central circadian clock to photoreceptors involved in its "sun compass," which is used to orient its flight during migration.1 Steven Reppert and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School performed three experiments focusing on polarized light inputs.They first characterized a specialized dorsal rim area of the Monarch eye that is monochromatic


New Thermocyclers Hit the Street

In less than three decades, the polymerase chain reaction has evolved from a slow, labor-intensive practice that was initially performed manually and only by the initiated few, to a fast, powerful, easy-to-use tool found in life science laboratories everywhere.

Finding Heterogeneous Loci with Human-Mouse Cell Hybrids

Bert Vogelstein has an unusual complaint about the humans whose genetic defects he studies: "We're diploid."

Tools and Technology

Large-Scale Protein Purification Down Under

KTAxpress system from Amersham Biosciences of Piscat-away, NJ, a subsidiary of GE Healthcare.

New Amines on the Block

Scientists searching for protein-protein interactions generally must look for them in vitro.

Tools and Technology

Shake-and-Make Proteins

Arthur Olson is shaking up the molecular world.

A Personal Confocal Imager

Bioimaging Systems of Rockville, Md., has released a second-generation version of its CARV confocal imager.


Good-Bye Licensing Deal, Hello Partner!

Medarex, a Princeton, NJ, biotech focused on monoclonal antibodies, has done dozens of straight licensing deals in the past, including an agreement signed last year with Pfizer to produce 50 antibody products over 10 years.

Perlegen Sciences' Recipe for Success

Few people would envision a former Florida shrimp processor leading a multimillion-dollar Silicon Valley biotechnology company.


Taking Aim at Neglected Diseases

In Singapore, we have found the best of both worlds.


UK groups want to create archive to mimic PubMed Central

Several British funding organizations say they are seeking proposals from groups interested in running a new free-access archive of papers arising from research they have supported.

Canadian court orders review of whistleblower case

Three Health Canada scientists, who say they were fired for raising questions about the way the agency approves veterinary drugs, have won another round in their years-long battle for reinstatement.

US report recommends new visa category for graduate students, postdocs

A National Academies committee issued a report in May that calls for the creation of a new category of visa to make it easier for international graduate students and postdocs to study in the United States.

Best Places to Work

Best Places To Work In Industry, 2005

place to work.

Finding the Right Fit

Paul Carter was a professor at the University of Wisconsin before jumping to his current position as director of global agronomy sciences at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, in Johnston, Iowa.

Reverse Transcript

Bring Me Your Genomes

In 1991, Ewan Birney, a lad of 19, left England with his high-school diploma and went to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) to "fool around" for a year before going to college.

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