April 1997

News

Lawsuit Highlights Racial Problems At U. Michigan's Medical School
Lawsuit Highlights Racial Problems At U. Michigan's Medical School
FORCING THE ISSUE: Thomas Landefeld says his suit against the University of Michigan is an attempt to make it "more responsive to the treatment of minorities on their campus." Thomas Landefeld, a former associate professor of pharmacology, has sued the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, charging that he was retaliated against-and eventually fired-because of his outspoken attempts to improve the racial environment at Michigan's medical school. Landefeld is currently a professor of biology and
U.S. Agencies Focusing On Urban Remediation
U.S. Agencies Focusing On Urban Remediation
The 'environmental justice' movement presses for studies of links among poverty, exposure to toxins, and disease. A collaborative effort is under way to assess the legacy of environmental pollution that falls upon the poor. An Institute of Medicine (IoM) committee recently completed site visits as part of its 18-month study that will evaluate the research, educational, and health policy needs required to bring "environmental justice" to impoverished and minority communities. Environmental just
As ATP Fights Off Elimination, Some See Opportunities
As ATP Fights Off Elimination, Some See Opportunities
Following fiscal year 1998 congressional appropriations hearings, a budget of about $185 million has been proposed for the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program (ATP), slightly less than the Clinton administration's proposed figure of $275 million. While no one can be sure what the final budget appropriation will be, some observers see the amount as evidence of new bipartisan support for the program, which for the past two years has been dubbed "corporate welfare" and marked for
National Academy Bestows Honors On 18 Accomplished Researchers
National Academy Bestows Honors On 18 Accomplished Researchers
Eighteen accomplished researchers, including a 91-year-old endocrinologist who's known affectionately as "the George Burns of science," are being honored for their achievements at the 134th annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), scheduled for April 28 in Washington, D.C. They will be feted during an event that will include the election of new academy members and the induction of members elected last year (T.W. Durso, The Scientist, May 27, 1996, page 3). The academy's highes
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - April 28, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - April 28, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Animal with differentiated cells and distinct organs. 5 Enzyme capable of activating a zymogen. 10 Arthropoad and Chordata, e.g. 11 _____ globulin 12 Class of antibodies found on B-cell external membranes. 13 Carbon ______ 14 Psychologist Burrhus Frederic 15 It grows roughly one-third of a millimeter a day. 16 Emit coherent light. 18 Work with axes and logs, say 20 Body restorative 22 With 23 Across, nuclear fission discoverer 23 See 22 Acr
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - April 28, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - April 28, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Animal with differentiated cells and distinct organs. 5 Enzyme capable of activating a zymogen. 10 Arthropoad and Chordata, e.g. 11 _____ globulin 12 Class of antibodies found on B-cell external membranes. 13 Carbon ______ 14 Psychologist Burrhus Frederic 15 It grows roughly one-third of a millimeter a day. 16 Emit coherent light. 18 Work with axes and logs, say 20 Body restorative 22 With 23 Across, nuclear fission discoverer 23 See 22 Acr

Clarification

Clarification
Clarification
In the article "Scientists Debate RNA's Role At Beginning Of Life On Earth" (R. Lewis, The Scientist, March 31, 1997, page 11), an incorrect affiliation was given for Carl Woese. He is at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In the Hot Paper feature in the Feb. 17, 1997, issue of The Scientist (page 16), Chris Schindler, an assistant professor of medicine and physiology at Columbia University, should have been noted as a senior author of M. Azam et al., EMBO Journal, 14:1402-11, 1995.

Opinion

The So-Called Science Wars And Sociological Gravitas
The So-Called Science Wars And Sociological Gravitas
For two decades, disparagement of science has been among the products of an emerging academic multidiscipline-"science studies," or "sci-tech-studies" (STS) as it's known in the United States. Only recently has serious notice been taken, by a few scientists and other scholars, of the phenomenon. The general agreements and normal academic food-fights within STS have received little outside attention. Not all STS participants, by any means, disparage science. Good work is being done in the socia

Commentary

Should NIH Change Its Name?
Should NIH Change Its Name?
Readers of The Scientist by now should be familiar with the aims of Research!America, the Alexandria, Va.-based national nonprofit advocacy organization for biomedical research that was founded in 1989. Chairing its annual membership meeting on March 12, former Congressman Paul Rogers discussed the remarkable progress Research!America has made in advancing the cause of biomedical research. Mary Woolley, the organization's president, reported on the public's increased awareness of the need for g

Letter

Transfer Factor In AIDS Patients
Transfer Factor In AIDS Patients
Further to the letter by H.H. Fudenberg appearing in The Scientist of Feb. 17, 1997 [page 13], we would like to point out that, although we agree with his overall contention regarding the beneficial effects of transfer factor even on advanced-stage AIDS patients, our polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data, albeit limited, do not confirm his equally limited observations, suggesting a dramatic drop in the PCR counts. In our experience, only one out of three patients showed an important decrease in
Alternative HIV Therapies
Alternative HIV Therapies
We concur with the letter appearing in The Scientist, Feb. 17, 1997, by H. Hugh Fudenberg [page 13], which states that potentially effective alternative HIV therapies exist today and are attracting interest and undergoing active investigation. These alternative therapies have not been given fair consideration in comparison to the exploitation of pharmaceuticals. In the past, the proclamation that AZT would revolutionize the treatment of this life-threatening illness and provide a possible cure
Transfer Factor Clarification
Transfer Factor Clarification
In reference to my previous letter published in The Scientist (Feb. 17, 1997, page 13), the implication in my text that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results obtained by my colleagues Dimitri Viza and Giancarlo Pizza confirm mine was erroneous. My letter should have stated that Viza and Pizza also obtained promising results in AIDS. For instance, all nine AIDS patients treated with HIV-specific transfer factor (TF) who were anergic (negative) to the six common skin test antigens developed de

Research

Researchers Ponder The Benefits Of DHEA On Many Fronts
Researchers Ponder The Benefits Of DHEA On Many Fronts
Sidebar: DHEA - More Information Snake oil or magic bullet? Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a biochemical precursor to the sex hormones androgen and estrogen, has been touted in the last few years as the next cure-all for various ailments associated with aging. Human epidemiological and pilot clinical studies suggest that elevated levels of DHEA in the blood may be beneficial in preventing heart disease, improving immune function and well-being in the elderly, and combating depression. The horm
DHEA: For More Information
DHEA: For More Information
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Date: April 28, 1997 Endocrine Society 4350 East West Highway Suite 500 Bethesda, Md. 20814-4410 Tel: (301) 941-0200 Fax: (301) 941-0259 E-mail: endostaff@endo-society.org http://www.endo-society.org 8,000 members Executive director: Scott Hunt President: P. Michael Conn Relevant journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism National Institute on Aging fact sheet (includes section on DHEA): http://www.nih.gov/nia/ The following references p

Hot Paper

Protein Degradation
Protein Degradation
Edited By: Karen Young Kreeger C.L. Ward, S. Omura, R.R. Kopito, "Degradation of CFTR by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway," Cell, 83:121-7, 1995. (Cited in nearly 50 publications as of March 1997) Comments by Ron R. Kopito and Cristina L. Ward, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University 'LIFTING OF THE VEIL': Stanford’s Ron Kopito and Cristina Ward identified a membrane protein involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. This paper is the first to identify a plasma membra
Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
Edited By: Karen Young Kreeger STRESSED OUT: Jöel Raingeaud, left, and Roger Davis found that the p38 MAP kinase is activated by inflammatory cytokines and environmental stress. J. Raingeaud, S. Gupta, J.S. Rogers, M. Dickens, J. Han, R.J. Ulevitch, R.J. Davis, "Pro-inflammatory cytokines and environmental stress cause p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation by dual phosphorylation on tyrosine and threonine," Journal of Biological Chemistry, 270:7420-6, 1995. (Cited in nearly 10

Profession

The Do's and Don'ts of Winning Dollars
The Do's and Don'ts of Winning Dollars
Here are a few grant-writing rules to remember, according to National Institutes of Health reviewers and staff: check NIH's Web site for information on grant policy; call program staff ahead of time to learn what's hot-and what's not; ask colleagues to critique your grant application before submission; keep research goals simple and clear; carefully follow reviewers' suggestions for revisions when your grant application is returned. promise the world in one lab project; stack a grant ap
A Winning Strategy For Grant Applications: Focus On Impact
A Winning Strategy For Grant Applications: Focus On Impact
Sidebar: The Dos and Don'ts of Winning Dollars Sidebar: Grant Writing - For More Information A NEW STRATEGY: UC-Irvine’s Keith Woerpel, who revised his rejected grant applications to focus on impact, now has several grants. To Keith Woerpel, 1994 will forever be the year he learned to write grants-the hard way. An assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, Woerpel wrote five grant applications that year. All were rejected. "I was getting burned really badly
For More Information
For More Information
Grant Writing - More Information Date: April 28, 1997 FOR MORE INFORMATION NIH Division of Research Grants http://www.drg.nih.gov Biomedical Grants on the Internet http://www.biomed.lib.umn.edu/grantstext.html Ellen Barrett's Hints for Writing Successful NIH Grants http://chroma.med.miami.edu/research/Ellens_how_to.html Who's Who In Federal Grants Management http://www.os.dhhs.gov/progorg/grantsnet/whoswho.html

Technology

Microbiologists' Tools Reflect The Diversity Of The Discipline
Microbiologists' Tools Reflect The Diversity Of The Discipline
NUMEROUS APPLICATIONS: Bio-Tek Instruments' FL600 automated fluorescence microplate reader tells the researcher how many living cells are in a bacterial culture. In the natural world, microorganisms wear many hats. They are agents of disease, producers of proteins, remediators of rubbage, and brewers of beer. The field of microbiology is just as diverse. A microbiologist may search for ways to inhibit bacterial growth or for methods to make bacteria grow faster. Scientists may coax bacteria to

New Products

New Products
New Products
Monoclonal Antibody Production System: The Cell-Pharm System 100 is designed for research-scale production of monoclonal antibodies, viruses, and recombinant proteins in a benchtop operation. It is intended for laboratories that screen cell lines in feasibility programs or scale up operations of biomolecules. Using hollow fiber bioreactor technology, the system is capable of producing 50 mg to 250 mg of antibodies in a month, according to the company, while eliminating concentration steps as

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Twenty-five years after the notorious Tuskegee study came to light, the United States government will formally apologize to its unwitting participants. The White House announced in early April that President Clinton soon would issue an apology to the 399 African American men whose syphilis was observed from 1932 to 1972 as part of an experiment by the U.S. Public Health Service. Despite the discovery in 1947 that penicillin cures syphilis, researchers neither treated the men nor told them they