The Scientist Staff | Sep 1, 2006
A Nasty Mother The reverence for nature that Richard Gallagher1 and Lee Silver2 attribute to many scientists and nonscientists isn?t necessarily related to a view that mother nature is "benevolent," "kind," or "caring." An ecosystem can be both "in harmony" and still be deadly to individuals (even humans) and species. Many of us are very nervous about genetic engineering and other issues within bioethics because we humans just aren?t smart enough to take those functions away from
The Scientist Staff | Aug 1, 2006
Restoring natural capital As scientists and practitioners committed to ecological restoration, we found the analogy you made in your April issue1 between restoring natural capital (RNC)2 and new forms of cancer treatment3 to be an extremely powerful one. To a certain degree, RNC and ecological restoration in general, are indeed related to ecosystem degradation in the way that tumor ecology-based treatments are related to traditional cancer therapies, e.g., combined
The Scientist Staff | Jul 1, 2006
The future of scientific meetings One of the very wonderful meeting formats, not mentioned in your story on the future of scientific meetings,1 was that of Kroc conferences, sponsored by the Kroc Foundation. The meetings allowed only 24 participants and met in the Double Arches Ranch near Solvang, California. There was a free-flowing bar, and ideal arrangements for continuing discussion between participants. The overall director of the meetings was Bob Kroc, Ray's brother
The Scientist Staff | Jun 1, 2006
A new type of cancer cell growthRe: cancer stem cells.1,2 Recently we have reported a novel type of cell division involved in the origin and growth of cancers.3,4 Termed neosis, this type of cell division occurs only in senescent polyploid giant cells and never in normal diploid cells. Up to 10% of tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo are polyploid, and so far there is no explanation of their role in cancer. These resemble senescent cells, which are thought to be part of the tumor
The Scientist Staff | May 1, 2006
What went horribly wrong in a London clinical trial?The recent report by the MHRA on its investigation into the adverse effects in the TGN1412 trial1 concluded that an unpredicted biological action of the drug in humans is the most likely cause of the cytokine release syndrome seen in the trial participants.2 So do we have any idea on how could TGN1412 have induced a cytokine storm? TGN1412 is a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD28 co-signaling molecule that is present
The Scientist Staff | Apr 1, 2006
More on peer reviewYour recent article on peer review1 omitted the fact that far too many journals do not report back to their reviewers. Only if a reviewer gets the decision letter plus the other reviews will he be able to learn and improve. Learning about the decision only when the paper makes it - or doesn't - to Medline is not sufficient.Manfred Gessler Theodor Boveri Institute for Life SciencesWuerzburg, Germanygessler@biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.deYour
The Scientist Staff | Mar 1, 2006
The trouble with peer reviewIn response to the challenge offered at the end of the article entitled, "Is Peer Review Broken?"1 I offer the following: Thirty years ago, I submitted a paper for publication that was rejected by one reviewer because the data contradicted other data. I was unaware of the other data and, in fact, that data had never been published. However, only one other person in the world could have produced such data. To overcome this impasse, a colleague su
Retraining in Moscow
Tobi Nagel | Jan 1, 2006
The peace dividend pays off in the challenges of teaching English to former bioterrorism researchers
The autism gene problem
Thomas Caruso(tcaruso@vt.edu) | Dec 4, 2005
I wonder why we are still asking questions like "How do you find genes for a disorder that eludes definition?"1 You even suggest the solution when you quote Steve Scherer saying that "while...neurolignin could be a candidate in some rare cases, other researchers have countered that the family where the gene was found may have mental retardation rather than autism." The answer is to look at candidate genes and find out what symptoms are phenotypically unique to people who have a particular varian
Synchronous oscillations
WR (Bill) Klemm(WKLEMM@cvm.tamu.edu) | Dec 4, 2005
Re: Neural oscillations.1 Our work on synchronous oscillations involves analysis of ambiguous figures and the results indicating that multiple coherences were observed across a wide range of frequencies (not just gamma).2 This work raises the possibility that coherent oscillations are involved in memory retrieval (the realization of an alternative image in an ambiguous figure requires one to remember what the alternative image represents).