News

Controversy Mounts Over Gene Patenting Policy
Controversy Mounts Over Gene Patenting Policy
Scientists in industry and academia foresee trouble as NIH persists in claiming ownership over partial sequences Date: April 27, 1992 The reviews from the scientific community remain mostly negative over the National Institutes of Health's patent application for a total of 2,722 partial human gene sequences. Academic researchers, who say they are mostly unaffected by the patenting process, nevertheless are appalled; and while some in the commercial sector of the biotech community now believe
Researchers Decry Cutbacks In Government Grant Support
Researchers Decry Cutbacks In Government Grant Support
Many fear that the 1993 NIH allocation is likely to curtail-- if not wipe out altogether--some current and envisioned projects Date: April 27, 1992 WASHINGTON--Scientists in the United States research community are distraught over the president's 1993 budget for the National Institutes of Health, put before Congress last month. Specifically, they are troubled by funding adjustments that trim basic research grants to below what they consider adequate amounts to support their investigations. Ad
Woman Scientist Victorious In Discrimination Case
Woman Scientist Victorious In Discrimination Case
Feminist groups applaud as the beleaguered NIH employee can go back to work, vindicated, after a six-year-long battle Date: April 27, 1992 In a move that may finally resolve a suit filed three years ago, the National Institutes of Health offered to reinstate Sharon Johnson in a job earlier this month. The position of "floating scientific review administrator," Johnson says, is not exactly the same job that she fled on April 21, 1986, three years before she filed a successful lawsuit alleging
Space Science Is Expected To Gain Emphasis Under New NASA Head
Space Science Is Expected To Gain Emphasis Under New NASA Head
The end of the era of behemoth projects at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration may be at hand as Congress on March 31 confirmed a non-astronaut as the new administrator of an agency facing congressional funding cutbacks. Until his appointment, Daniel Goldin was vice president of TRW Inc.'s Space & Technology Group in Redondo Beach, Calif. TRW, a longtime NASA contractor, has been involved not in space shuttle-sized projects but in the smaller science of satellites, the Compton G
1992 Academy Awards: NAS Honors 13 Scientific Luminaries
1992 Academy Awards: NAS Honors 13 Scientific Luminaries
The National Academy of Sciences is scheduled to present 11 awards to 13 noteworthy individuals in the scientific community at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., today. "Certain awards are annual, and some cycle differently--every two years, every five years," though all are given at the spring NAS meeting, says Mary Hofbauer Brown, NAS director of membership services. "This year we have a small crop--next year we'll have something like 16 or 17." Of the recipients, Brown says, "of cou
Environmental Fears Fuel Growth In Chemical Standards
Environmental Fears Fuel Growth In Chemical Standards
The need for chemical standards is skyrocketing, as a health-conscious public clamors to learn exactly how many parts-per-billion of pesticides are in their veggies, PCBs in their fish, dioxins in their milk, antibiotics in their burgers, cholesterol in their blood, and drugs in their employees' urine. But like a diner unable to judge the quality of a French restaurant because she's never sampled the finest French cuisine, analytical chemists charged with the mounting demand to establish trace

Opinion

Assessing The Impact Of New Technologies On Science Fraud
Assessing The Impact Of New Technologies On Science Fraud
Editor's Note: In her forthcoming book, Stealing into Print: Fraud, Plagiarism, and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing, Marcel C. LaFollette, an associate research professor of science and technology policy at George Washington University, cites several challenges facing researchers whose professional lives depend to a great extent on the dissemination of their findings. For the near future, she points out, one major challenge will lie in "anticipating how advanced communications and informati

Letter

`Honorary' Authors
`Honorary' Authors
Kathryn Phillips's piece on authorship of scientific papers (The Scientist, Feb. 17, 1992, page 1) confirms that the profession is not yet willing to do what it must: assign authorship only to those who actually conduct research and write papers. Those who merely assist should be acknowledged in the traditional manner. The present system of doling out "honorary" authorships has become so accepted that the profession fails to realize the serious ethical question it poses. For what difference i
Gay Scientists
Gay Scientists
I am writing in regard to your recent article entitled "Gay And Lesbian Scientists Seek Workplace Equality" (The Scientist, March 2, 1992, page 1). Like Bruce Barrett, the University of Alabama professor opposed to the existence of committees within the American Statistical Association focusing on gay and lesbian concerns, I find it troubling that sexual preference is apparently regarded by some as a legitimate basis for a subgroup in a scientific association. I fear that when those with other,
Science Ethics
Science Ethics
Although Lawrence Cranberg's opinion piece on plagiarism in science ("The Plague Of Plagiarism Persists In Modern Science," The Scientist, Feb. 3, 1992, page 11) included several useful insights, I must take exception to Cranberg's characterization of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's handling of its 1967 survey of members on ethics in science. While the results of the survey were never published, the report by Anatol Rapoport is available from my office. On the larger

Commentary

Scientists Must Communicate To The Public In Terms That The Public Understands
Scientists Must Communicate To The Public In Terms That The Public Understands
Researchers have heard it from others, or they've said it to themselves: "It's shocking that people understand so little about science--we need a better educational system in this country, and fast." Three years ago, we took some comfort in the words of George Bush--our so-called Education President--who told us that our collective hand-wringing would give way to action, and we would reach the remarkable goal of total science literacy as a nation by the year 2000. But science literacy will re

Research

`Smart' Materials Research Expands Beyond Defense Arena
`Smart' Materials Research Expands Beyond Defense Arena
Volume 6, #9The Scientist April 27, 1992 `Smart' Materials Research Expands Beyond Defense Arena Author: FRANKLIN HOKE Date: April 27, 1992 Excited by a new group of substances known as "smart" materials, a growing group of polymer chemists, solid state physicists, materials engineers, and other scientists are dreaming up such futuristic projects as bridges that heal themselves when cracks develop, submarines whose surfaces soak up obtrusive sonar waves, and airplane wings that s
`SMART' READING
`SMART' READING
`SMART' READING Author: FRANKLIN HOKE Richard O. Claus, a fiber optics researcher at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, notes that because of the highly interdisciplinary nature of smart materials research, the seminal papers in the field, from one point of view, would include those in each of the several contributing areas, such as piezoelectric ceramics, optical fiber sensing systems, shape memory alloys, and electrorheological fluids. From another viewpoint,

Hot Paper

Theoretical Physics
Theoretical Physics
J. Polchinski, "Critical behavior of random surfaces in one dimension," Nuclear Physics B, 346:253-63, 1990. Joseph Polchinski (University of Texas, Austin): "In 1989, several groups found that certain solvable matrix systems were equivalent to zero- and one-dimensional string theories. A period of rapid mathematical development followed, but a physical picture was lacking. "This paper provided such a picture by showing that anomalous scaling in the one-dimensional theory is best understood i
Biochemistry
Biochemistry
T.A. Rooney, E.J. Sass, A.P. Thomas, "Agonist-induced cytosolic calcium oscillations originate from a specific locus in single hepatocytes," Journal of BiologicalChemistry, 265:10792-96, 1990. Andrew Thomas (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia): "Recent improvements in digital imaging microscopy have resulted in revolutionary advances in our understanding of intracellular calcium homeostasis. These techniques have demonstrated that activation of receptors that act via the second messenger
Biochemistry
Biochemistry
B.E. Kemp, R.B. Pearson, "Protein kinase recognition sequence motifs," Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 15:342-46, 1990. Bruce Kemp (St. Vincent's Institute, Melbourne, Australia): "It is now clear that protein phosphorylation is the most widespread mechanism for modulation of protein function known and that it regulates all physiological processes within living cells. Protein kinases constitute one of the largest families of regulatory proteins and include many hormone receptors, calcium-regul
Cell Biology
Cell Biology
J.B. Lowe, L.M. Stoolman, R.P. Nair, R.D. Larsen, et al., "ELAM-1-dependent cell adhesion to vascular endothelium determined by a transfected human fucosyltransferase cDNA," Cell, 63:475-84, 1990. John Lowe (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor): "The surfaces of mammalian cells are covered with structurally diverse oligosaccharide molecules. Functional correlates for this structural diversity have been difficult to precisely define, and such correla

Profession

PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES
PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES
PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES Author: LINDA MARSA Sociologists of science and scientists who are parents agree that there are many misconceptions about combining parenthood with careers in science. These myths, they say, stand in the way of making progress on work/family issues because they reinforce the mistaken notion that a satisfying family life is incompatible with a meaningful science career. The most prevailing myths--and the actual conditions
Blending Science And Parenting: Tiring, But Very Possible
Blending Science And Parenting: Tiring, But Very Possible
"I've been tired for six years," says Judith C. Gasson, a molecular biologist and an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine. She's only half joking. Since the 40-year-old scientist became a mother six years ago, time has become her most precious commodity. Says Gasson, "I have to be extremely organized." Her days are a blur of activity, bracketed by breakfast and dinner with her husband, an attorney who shares parenting chores, and their two child
Arthur Cronquist
Arthur Cronquist
Arthur Cronquist, a senior scientist at the New York Botanical Garden who developed an evolutionary classification system for flowering plants that has become a standard in the field, died March 22. Cronquist died of a heart attack at the Brigham Young University Herbarium in Provo, Utah, while working on a compendium of flora of the intermountain United States. He was 73 years old. Cronquist's classification method, known as the "Cronquist system," incorporates information on plant chemistry,
People: NOAA Ozone Researcher Susan Solomon Is Recipient Of Common Wealth Award
People: NOAA Ozone Researcher Susan Solomon Is Recipient Of Common Wealth Award
Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aeronomy Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., has received the 1992 Common Wealth Award for science and invention. The 13-year-old awards program, administered by the Bank of Delaware, was established by Ralph Hayes, a director of Coca-Cola International, through a bequest in his will. Solomon was selected to receive the honor by the scientific research society Sigma Xi. The awards were presented April 25 in W
People: University Of New Mexico Biologist Gosz Takes Leave To Direct Biosphere Office
People: University Of New Mexico Biologist Gosz Takes Leave To Direct Biosphere Office
James R. Gosz, a professor of biology at the University of New Mexico, has taken a leave to become the executive director of the Ecological Society of America's newly established Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (SBI) Project Office in Washington, D.C. The goal of the initiative is to integrate the expertise of scientists, educators, and decision-makers on environmental issues. Gosz, 51, says that one way to ensure that this objective is met is by "making significant attempts to bring in othe

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Do It Yourself Bookshelf Alert From Tires To Tumors Sythetic Chemists, Take Heart Chinese Initiative To Russia With Petri Dishes Archi and Odysseus will be getting together in San Jose July 12-16, but they won't be cruising around in that beat-up old jalopy. They'll be attending the first AI Robotics Competition and Exhibition, organized by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and chaired by Tom Dean of the Brown University department of computer sciences. Archi is a t