When neuroscientist Christof Koch found out 25 years ago that Francis Crick had been mulling over the same big questions he was on how a tangle of neurons can lead to complex thoughts, he decided it was time to get serious about consciousness. "There's always this thinking that that's something one can't do anything about, but this is becoming less and less true." On page 14 the Caltech professor explains why we're closer than ever to closing the mind-body gap.
The Scientist is pleased to introduce former intern Ishani Ganguli, who has been promoted to staff writer. Ganguli is a recent graduate of Harvard, where she performed genetic research on a malaria vaccine candidate and was an editor for The Crimson. In writing the Hot Papers (p. 22), she says she was stimulated by the process of collaboration: "Talking to those researchers who individually had important pieces of a puzzle and were able to put it together – I thought that was pretty exciting."
Case Western Reserve professor of pathology David Kaplan first wrote about reforming peer review for The Scientist in our June 6, 2005, issue. Encouraged by feedback from his colleagues, he's written again on peer review reform, this time taking aim at the NIH. He hopes members of the agency's Peer Review Advisory Committee will read his piece on page 10 before their meeting on September 26.