Closing Bell
Just Check It!
John Bohannon(jbohannon@the-scientist.com) | Dec 4, 2005
It's just past midnight and a Vienna rave is at full-throttle, packed with sweaty dancers pulsing to an electronic beat.
Buy your own lab
Adam Marcus(amarcus@the-scientist.com) | Nov 6, 2005
Anyone can buy naming rights to a star, but Gary and Linda Dower are hoping to pick up their very own observatory.
Scientists: Kenya Wants You!
Stephen Pincock(spincock@the-scientist.com) | Oct 23, 2005
The Institute of Primate Research, in the Ololua forest about 20 kilometers outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has been in operation since it was founded by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in 1960.
To Fight Plague, Look to Russia's Past
Janet Ginsburg(jginsburg@the-scientist.com) | Oct 9, 2005
A century before Ebola, SARS, or avian flu began making head-lines, another invisible killer was carving a swath of death and fear across the Russian Empire: the plague.
Hair, the Call of the Wild
Brendan Maher(bmaher@the-scientist.com) | Sep 11, 2005
Jack London once said that he would "rather be ashes than dust."
Stand (Swim, Wriggle, Crawl, or Fly) and Be Counted
Brendan Maher(bmaher@the-scientist.com) | Jul 17, 2005
The scientists were already massing when I arrived at Bronx River Forest on a steamy June morning.
Please Stop, You're Interfering With My Research
Ivan Oransky(ioransky@the-scientist.com) | Jun 19, 2005
Thank you, members of Congress, for the opportunity to address you at this hearing today.
Banking on Biology
Carol Milano(cmilano@the-scientist.com) | May 22, 2005
If you were a small business owner looking for a loan, you'd expect financial and perhaps accounting advice from your banker.
Spring has Sprung
Ivan Oransky(ioransky@the-scientist.com) | Apr 24, 2005
On a recent visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the witch hazel was just beginning to bloom, the magnolia trees were budding, but in the herbarium staging area, it was still spring training.
In Search of Bugs
In Search of Bugs
Karen Heyman(kheyman@the-scientist.com) | Mar 27, 2005
Premieres on PBS, April 17.
What's in a Gene Name?
Carol Reeves(creeves@the-scientist.com) | Feb 27, 2005
If you thought the hard work of sequencing the human genome was complete, think again.
Left Out
Alison McCook(amccook@the-scientist.com) | Jan 30, 2005
, a recent film about Hughes' early career.
Black Cats on the Black Sea
Karen Hopkin(khopkin@the-scientist.com) | Jan 16, 2005
One summer in the late 1980s, Yuri Lazebnik needed to sort some cells.
Stem Cell Semantics
Stem Cell Semantics
Ricki Lewis(rlewis@the-scientist.com) | Dec 19, 2004
It's been six years since human embryonic stem cells appeared on the public radar screen, and we still don't know what to call them.
The Meselson-Stahl Experiment Lives On
Ricki Lewis | Nov 21, 2004
Matthew Meselson and Franklin Stahl's 1957 demonstration of DNA replication is considered "the most beautiful experiment in biology."
In Search of the Human Genetic Code
Ricki Lewis | Oct 24, 2004
Scientific terminology is intentionally precise: One would not confuse a peptide with a peptidase, or DNA with RNA.Unfortunately, the public has been slow to embrace the word "genome" because of a continuing confusion with the term "genetic code" that is perpetuated by editors, writers, and even a few prominent scientists.The dictionary defines "code" as "a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages." Substitute "amino acids" for "letters or numbers" and you
From Science Fiction to Science Fact
Ricki Lewis | Sep 26, 2004
A few weeks ago I spotted, in someone's trash, Isaac Asimov's science fiction classic, The Foundation Trilogy. Shortly after, I found the 1954 giant-ants-in-L.A. film, Them, in a discount store video bin. Garbage to some, these tales were once treasures to me, although I prefer science fiction more subtle than the formulaic doomsday scenarios of humanity succumbing to oversized or overabundant (a) birds, (b) mind-snatching seed pods, (c) blobs, and of course (d) ants. The humans always prevail.T
Roadkill Rules
Ricki Lewis | Aug 29, 2004
Normal people collect stamps and coins, CDs and concert tees. Some biologists with a zoological bent, like myself, collect roadkill, originally dubbed "road fauna" in 1938 by James Simmons in his book Feathers and Fur on the Turnpike. Is there no one besides me who relishes stopping to explore a freshly splayed digestive tract, or marveled at the unique aroma of squished annelids driven from their underground lairs by rain?Roadkill finds often come unexpectedly. I move most away from traffic, so
Fat Tax, a Recipe for a Healthy Population?
Philip Hunter | Aug 1, 2004
Taxation of fat, an idea that has been kicked around on both sides of the Atlantic for a few years, has suddenly been elevated to the forefront of government consciousness in the United Kingdom. The premise, which is dubious at best, is that a fat tax might make the population healthier and happier, and simultaneously reduce the financial burden of healthcare. Here I examine this compulsion to legislate the populace towards health. Can it possibly be good for us?PROBLEM 1The confusion of a mixed
Fake Method for Research Impartiality (fMRI)
Sam Jaffe | Jul 18, 2004
For decades, the behavioral sciences have been at a dramatic disadvantage to the hard sciences. When a biologist hypothesizes that the addition of a particular ligand to a cell will cause a certain gene to turn on and thus produce a certain protein, all she has to do is to introduce the enzyme and then test for the protein. If it's there, she publishes a paper; if it's not, she quietly discards the work.The psychologist has a much steeper hill to climb. Let's say he's trying to prove his hypothe