News

Efforts To Reform Indirect Costs Accounting Spawn Fear That Research Funds May Shrink
Efforts To Reform Indirect Costs Accounting Spawn Fear That Research Funds May Shrink
While Dingell panel moves to curb misuse of grant money, some observers worry that overall federal support will be reduced WASHINGTON--As Stanford University stands accused of misusing millions of dollars in federal funds meant to reimburse the school for the cost of supporting faculty research, the issue is not simply one of $7,000 bedsheets and $1,200 antique fruitwood commodes. The more important question for scientists is whether some of that money has been diverted from research. Many
Biodiversity Rides A Popular Wave
Biodiversity Rides A Popular Wave
Job opportunities expand as scientists from many disciplines join forces to preserve a multitude of plant and animal species WASHINGTON--New programs, reports, legislation, and other activities are focusing attention on the study and preservation of the world's diverse species and habitats. "There's a rising tide," says Robert Jenkins, vice president for science at the Nature Conservancy. "Biodiversity has come to be the thing that we're all concerned with." It's hard to imagine how a pie
Top Researchers In PHS Positions To Get Pay Hikes
Top Researchers In PHS Positions To Get Pay Hikes
New legislation designed to reward outstanding scientists might help to keep them in the Public Health Service ranks Attracting senior-level scientists to Public Health Service jobs in the Department of Health and Human Services and keeping them there has been tough over the past 10 years. Congressmen, policymakers, and other government officials contend that scientists have been leaving government service for better opportunities and agencies have had difficulty replacing them because thei
Healy Sees Changes Ahead For NIH; Massey Backs NSF Agenda
Healy Sees Changes Ahead For NIH; Massey Backs NSF Agenda
NIH's new director isn't shy about stating her agency's needs, while NSF's new leader likes things the way they are WASHINGTON--Bernadine Healy, the new director of the National Institutes of Health, wants to shake things up. Walter Massey, the new director of the National Science Foundation, hopes to stay the course. If both wishes are fulfilled, scientists may see NIH becoming more active on a variety of issues, such as managing research dollars and promoting women, and NSF continuing to p
Planning Grants For Diabetes Research, India Invites Scholar Exchange
Planning Grants For Diabetes Research, India Invites Scholar Exchange
p.21 The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Center for Nursing Research are offering Research Planning Grants to support the development of plans for research projects on the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of diabetes mellitus and its complications in minority populations, with the exception of Native Americans and Alaskan natives. (These populations are covered under a separate program.) The research may involv
People
People
Philadelphia's Franklin Institute AUTHOR: Barbara Spector, p.23 AUTHOR:Rebecca Andrews, P.23 Philadelphia's Franklin Institute Geochemist James Lawrence Powell, who has been president of Reed College in Portland, Oreg., since 1988, will be leaving higher education administration to become president and chief executive officer of the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. His appointment at the museum, which is heavily visited by schoolchildren, becomes effective in August. Po

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Martin Marietta Boosts Royalty Split SSC Magnets Attract Criticism PBS Series Looks At Astronomers Chips In The Edifice Of Science NSF Cleans Up Its Antarctic Act Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and four other DOE facilities operated by Martin Marietta Energy Systems in Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky will get higher royalties under a new policy adopted by the government contractor. Martin Marietta will now give inventors of licensed technology 15 percent of gross royalty recei

Opinion

After Environmental Accidents, Public Deserves Full Candor
After Environmental Accidents, Public Deserves Full Candor
When the Robert E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant near Rochester, N.Y., released radioactive steam into the atmosphere in 1982, utility representatives and government officials were quick to call it a "problem" or an "occurrence," rather than an "accident," which--in nuclear power-generation terms--is far more serious. Nor did they frame the situation as a "risk" story. Author: LEE A. KIMBALL, p. 11 Nobody disputes the importance of Antarctic research to understanding the earth's global cycles a
Quick, Before It Melts: New Rules Are Needed For Antarctic Research
Quick, Before It Melts: New Rules Are Needed For Antarctic Research
(The Scientist, Vol:5, #8, pg. 11 and 13, April 15, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- Nobody disputes the importance of Antarctic research to understanding the earth's global cycles and systems. But increasing public concern about strengthening Antarctica's environmental protection has raised fear among scientists that overregulation will impede their investigations. They point out that any adverse impacts from scientific research carried out in Antarctica are at worst quite l

Letter

Woods Hole Spin-Offs
Woods Hole Spin-Offs
The story of the spin-offs of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ["Woods Hole Offers Its Scientists Freedom To Launch Businesses," The Scientist, Feb. 4, 1991, page 1] is one that has never been published as far as I know, even though the spin-off process at Woods Hole has been going on for about 30 years. Congratulations on a well-organized, thoughtful, and interesting piece of journalism. SAMUEL O. RAYMOND Founder and Chairman Benthos Inc. North Falmouth, Mass.  
Need For Centers
Need For Centers
The negative tone of your article "NSF Cuts Back On Faltering Science, Technology Centers" [The Scientist, Feb. 4, 1991, page 1] does not address the excitement and enthusiasm of the faculty and scientists at Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Akron, who form the Science and Technology Center (STC) on Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM). The article does not mention consortia of universities, a major positive feature of the NSF STC p
Mast Cells
Mast Cells
Regarding Renee Twombly's article "Couple Lead Quest For New Allergy Drug" [The Scientist, Jan. 7, 1991, page 1], I was glad to read a piece that described the rapid progress currently being made in our understanding of the processes underlying allergic disease. This progress holds out the promise of new treatments for allergy sufferers. However, I would like to point out two errors. First, histamines (sic) do not come in twos or threes. Histamine is a single molecular entity (C5 H9 N3), and,

Commentary

Analyzing R01 Anxiety: There Is Room For Optimism
Analyzing R01 Anxiety: There Is Room For Optimism
United States biomedical research is the envy of all other nations. Its success and explosive growth are due to an efficient partnership between public funding and academic research. But this doesn't mean that the partnership is in every respect beyond improvement. Take, for instance, individual investigator-initiated grants (or R01s, in NIH vernacular). The R01 is the instrument by which new ideas can best be tried and developed. Appropriately, these grants have commanded an increasing share

Research

Researchers Work To Give Biodiversity A Scientific Identity
Researchers Work To Give Biodiversity A Scientific Identity
Researchers Work To Give Biodiversity A Scientific Identity Author: ELIZABETH PENNISI, p.14 Ask biologists about biodiversity and they're likely to agree that the subject commands an increasing amount of their attention. But they may be at a loss to cite the key research in the field. Although biodiversity--the study of the planet's varied species, genes, and habitats, and the effort to preserve them--is building as a scientific endeavor and an environmental buzz-word, there is no consensus on
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Self-assembled films represent a method of preparing two-dimensionally ordered structures. Synthetic methods have advanced to provide reactions suitable for film formation on metals such as gold and platinum, as well as oxidized silicon and glass. A. Ulman, "Self-assembled monolayers of alkyltrichlorosilanes: building blocks for future organic materials," Advanced Materials, 2, 573-82, December 1990. (Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y.) The discovery of large, discrete molecules containing on
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Retinal ganglion cells project to the thalamus and superior colliculus, where their axonal terminals form orderly topographic maps. There is converging evidence that, during development, correlated impulse activity and competition between axonal inputs for postsynaptic targets are essential for establishing orderly sets of connections. In simultaneous recordings from 100 ganglion cells in the neonatal cat retina, slow waves of correlated impulses are found even before photoreceptors are present
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
C2-symmetric tetrahydrobis(oxazoles) are related to a class of chiral semicorrin ligands and show great promise as ligands for formation of chiral catalysts. Copper complexes of methylene-bridged bis(oxazoles) are highly efficient catalysts for enantioselective cyclopropanations, iridium complexes of directly linked bis(oxazoles) are enantioselective catalysts for transfer hydrogenations, and palladium complexes of the directly linked ligands catalyze asymmetric allylic alkylations. D. Muller,
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Author: SIMON SILVER Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago, p.19 Why do trypanosomes have mitochondrial genes that are only partial and need the insertion of dozens of uridine residues (copied from small guide RNAs)? Now a slime mold has a gene for the major ATP synthase a subunit that needs 54 insertions of cytidine to correct frame shifts from the missing bases. The mitochondrial genes of eucaryotic microbes are strange. R. Mahendran, M.R. Spottswood, D.L.
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Multi-arm robotic systems are more difficult to control than single-arm systems. An example is the coordination of two arms picking up a long beam from a conveyor and carrying it to another location. The kinematics of this task are discussed. A. Hemami, F. Ranjbaran, R.M.H. Cheng, "A case study of two-robot-arm workcell material handling," Journal of Robotic Systems, 8, 21-37, February 1991. (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec) Computing for the next generation will involve writing and dr

Hot Paper

String Theory
String Theory
p.15 M.R. Douglas, S.H. Shenker, "Strings in less than one dimension," Nuclear Physics B, 335:635-54, 1990. Michael R. Douglas (Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.): "Superstring theory remains the prime candidate for describing quantum gravity and the other interactions, so it is all the more frustrating that we still do not have a complete formulation of the theory. Even the drastic simplification of reducing the space-time dimension to two or less seemed hard, but work done in 1987-89, i
Particle Physics
Particle Physics
p.15 E. Braaten, C.S. Li, T.C. Yuan, "The evolution of Weinberg's gluonic CP-Violation operator," Physical Review Letters, 64:1709-12, 1990. Eric Braaten (Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.): "A great mystery in elementary particle physics is the existence of an extremely weak force that is not invariant under reversing the direction of time. In 1989, Steven Weinberg proposed a new mechanism for producing violations of time reversal (or CP) symmetry [Physical Review Letters, 63:2333-6].
Biochemistry
Biochemistry
p.15 C.J. Molloy, D.P. Bottaro, T.P. Fleming, M.S. Marshall, et al., "PDGF induction of tyrosine phosphorylation of GTPase activating protein," Nature, 342:711-14, 1989. Chris Molloy (Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Princeton, N.J.): "One of the greatest challenges in cell growth research is to unravel the complex intracellular biochemical pathways, initiated by growth factor binding at the cell surface, that lead to mitogenesis and cell division. For many growth fact

Profession

Nurturing Science's Young Elite: Westinghouse Talent Search
Nurturing Science's Young Elite: Westinghouse Talent Search
AUTHOR: SCOTT HULER, p.20 First-place winner ($40,000 college scholarship): Ashley Reiter, 17, of Charlotte, N.C., a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. For her project, she determined the dimensions of fractals generated by Pascal's Triangle and its higher-dimensional analogs. Second-place winner ($30,000): Denis Lazarev, 17, of Fair Lawn, N.J. Lazarev, who came to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1989, attends Elmwood Park Memorial High School. He c
Foundation Funds Environmental Research With Policy Focus
Foundation Funds Environmental Research With Policy Focus
Author: BARBARA SPECTOR, p.21 Many of the best-known scientists in the field of conservation biology receive funding from the Sustainable Society program of the W. Alton Jones Foundation, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va. Such highly respected environmental researchers as Thomas Lovejoy, assistant secretary for external affairs at the Smithsonian Institution; Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University's biological sciences department; and Peter Raven, direct

Technology

Disappearing Disposal Sites Threaten Radioisotope Use
Disappearing Disposal Sites Threaten Radioisotope Use
AUTHOR: REBECCA ANDREWS, p.24 Walk into any biological research lab and you'll probably see the telltale, three-triangled symbol somewhere--on a storage cabinet, a trash can, a refrigerator--indicating that radioactive materials are present. Radioactive isotopes of common elements, most often used to quantify or track minute amounts of substances, are invaluable for research, and they will no doubt continue to be so in the foreseeable future. The benefits of this research notwithstanding, the