December 1993

News

Cell Biology Leads Way As Biological Sciences Progress, But Experts Are Wondering Where All The Jobs Have Gone
Cell Biology Leads Way As Biological Sciences Progress, But Experts Are Wondering Where All The Jobs Have Gone
As more researchers flock to the popular field, observers fear a widening gap between supply and demand When scientists convene in New Orleans next week for the 33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), nine symposia, 20 minisymposia, and countless informal gatherings are sure to focus on the recent achievements and continuing progress in this exciting and rapidly expanding scientific field. There is likely to be little excitement in the air, however, concerning the
Researchers' Assessment Of 1993: Science Gained, Politics Reigned
Researchers' Assessment Of 1993: Science Gained, Politics Reigned
Despite impressive lab achievements, the big news this year has sprung from the corridors of power in Washington Scientists, policy experts, administrators, and observers of the research community appear satisfied that 1993 has been a strong year in terms of research advances. They cite, for example, bold steps taken this year in gene therapies and a continuing frenzy of research on the 60-atom molecules of carbon known as buckminsterfullerenes, or buckyballs. Overall, they feel, researchers
Scientists Join Forces With Clergy In Addressing Environmental Issues
Scientists Join Forces With Clergy In Addressing Environmental Issues
'Concerned Scientists' organization fosters a coalition determined to promote awareness of global perils In an unusual alliance, a group of prominent scientists has teamed up with several major religious denominations to address what they see as urgent environmental problems. The group aims to educate Americans about such global concerns as deteriorating marine life, loss of important species, and food shortages. It is being led by Henry Kendall, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Ins
Dana Awards Honor Scientific Innovators
Dana Awards Honor Scientific Innovators
The Charles A. Dana Foundation presented its annual Charles A. Dana Awards for Pioneering Achievements in Health and Education at a dinner ceremony last month at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. This year, the New York-based foun- dation's health awards honored seven scientists and educators who won or shared four awards--two in health and two in education. Three neuroscientists who made significant breakthroughs in brain research and applied their findings to clinical disorders won health aw

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
A `Best-Kept' Secret Broadening Experience Women's Work Robotiquette What's In A Name?l For Returning Scholars Bigger, Better Shrimp Several attendees at--and one recipient of--the 1993 John Scott Awards, presented annually by the Board of City Trusts of the city of Philadelphia (see People, page 22), voiced concern over the lack of publicity for the award. At one point during his acceptance speech, honoree Richard E. Smalley, Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry at Rice Univers

Leaders of Science

Mario Capecchi
Mario Capecchi
Mario Capecchi, a professor of human genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is best known for his pioneering work on developing gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem (ES) cells. This technique allows the investigator to create mice with any desired mutation. "The power of this technology," says Capecchi "is that the investigator chooses both which gene to mutate and how to mutate it. The investigator has almost complete

Opinion

Luc Montagnier On Gallo And The AIDS Virus: `We Both Contributed'
Luc Montagnier On Gallo And The AIDS Virus: `We Both Contributed'
Editor's Note: "Science is the dominant metaphor of the twentieth century," says author Thomas A. Bass in the introduction to his new book, Reinventing the Future: Conversations with the World's Leading Scientists (New York, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1994). "Science is the knowledge in which we place our faith, the solution to our problems, the way out, the way up." Bass's admittedly worshipful respect for science, along with his quest to understand it more fully, has prompted him over

Letter

Animal Welfare
Animal Welfare
I am sure many of your readers join me in disagreeing with the accusations made by Marjorie Anchel in her Sept. 20, 1993, letter to The Scientist [page 12]. To say that "laboratories are exempt from the anti-cruelty laws" is to ignore the fact that the biomedical research industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) sets standards for the humane treatment of laboratory animals. This act has specific requirements for housing, feed
Fetal Tissue Research
Fetal Tissue Research
It was encouraging, in any event, that three scientists made reference, even though obliquely, to the ban's being based on moral or political, not on scientific, grounds. It would have been more encouraging if they had stated flatly that imposition of the ban was neither a moral nor a political issue, but a religious issue. It is a serious threat to freedom when, in a country whose constitution requires separation of church and state, funding for a valuable component of medical research can be

Commentary

How An Understanding Of Science History Is Useful, Enriching, And Rewarding
How An Understanding Of Science History Is Useful, Enriching, And Rewarding
It was gratifying to publish Franklin Hoke's article titled "History Of Science Societies Sprout Up Nationwide, With More Researchers Studying Lessons Of The Past" (The Scientist, Nov. 15, 1993, page 1). The dramatic proliferation of these societies is a very healthy trend. Throughout my career--in fact, since my early adolescence--I have been fascinated by the history and sociology of science. Indeed, it's quite likely that a book my uncle gave to me at the end of my freshman year in high sc

Research

Failure Of Landsat 6 Leaves Many Researchers In Limbo
Failure Of Landsat 6 Leaves Many Researchers In Limbo
On its launch this past October 5, the Landsat 6 remote- sensing satellite crashed into the Indian Ocean--a sourly disappointing turn of events for researchers in several scientific fields. These scientists have grown increasingly dependent on the space device, which scans specific electromagnetic wavelengths from Earth, to supply them with unique data on the ever-changing planet. For these researchers, this latest setback is representative of the roller-coaster history of the two-decade-old

Hot Paper

Genetics
Genetics
S.H. Devoto, M. Mudryj, J. Pines, T. Hunter, J.R. Nevins, "A cyclin A-protein kinase complex possesses sequence-specific DNA binding activity: p33.MDSU/cdk2 is a component of the E2F-cyclin A complex," Cell, 68:167-76, 1992. Joseph R. Nevins (Section of Genetics, Duke University Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Durham, N.C.): "A series of experiments performed in 1991 led to the realization that the cellular transcription factor E2F, previously studied as a component of transc
Medicine
Medicine
C.P. van Schayck, E. Dompeling, C.L.A. van Herwaarden, H. Folgering, A.L.M. Verbeek, H.J.M. van der Hoogen, C. van Weel, "Bronchodilator treatment in moderate asthma or chronic bronchitis: continuous or on demand? A randomised controlled study," British Medical Journal, 303:1426-31, 1991. Constant P. van Schayck (Department of General Practice, Nijmegen University, the Netherlands): "We investigated the effects of chronic, continuous use of bronchodilators in asthma and chronic bronchitis. T
Cell Biology
Cell Biology
S. Shirodkar, M. Ewen, J.A. DeCaprio, J. Morgan, D.M. Livingston, T. Chittenden, "The transcription factor E2F interacts with the retinoblastoma product and a p107-cyclin A complex in a cell cycle-regulated manner," Cell, 68:157- 66, 1992. Thomas Chittenden (Immunogen Inc., Cambridge, Mass.): "This work was done in the lab of David M. Livingston at the Dana- Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The retinoblastoma protein (Rb) belongs to a class of growth regulatory proteins, termed tumor suppre

Technology

New Disrupters Help Cell Biologists Retrieve Products
New Disrupters Help Cell Biologists Retrieve Products
Many experiments in cell biology require researchers to break open cells and then retrieve their contents. For example, the production of recombinant proteins in biotechnology relies on cell and tissue cultures--and cell disruption is essential to retrieving sought-after cell products. The technology used must be powerful enough to disrupt cell membranes and, possibly, cell walls, yet gentle enough so that the organelles and macromolecules inside the cells are not smashed, shattered, or boiled

Profession

Retired Researchers Go Back To School
Retired Researchers Go Back To School
Microbiologist Stanley Barban introduces fifth-graders to the "invisible world of microorganisms" by swabbing a child's hand before and after washing, then growing the removed bacteria under glass for later study. He and the class also visit a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, electrical engineer Harold Sharlin uses wires, sockets, and light bulbs to demonstrate principles of electricity to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders. Then he takes the eager pupils on tours of
People: Carlo Croce, Richard Smalley Receive 1993 John Scott Awards, Presented By City Of Philadelphia To Honor Pioneering Work
People: Carlo Croce, Richard Smalley Receive 1993 John Scott Awards, Presented By City Of Philadelphia To Honor Pioneering Work
Awards, Presented By City Of Philadelphia To Honor Pioneering Work Carlo M. Croce, director of the Thomas Jefferson University Cancer Institute and Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and Richard E. Smalley, Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry at Rice University in Houston, have received the 1993 John Scott Awards, presented by the Board of City Trusts of the city of Philadelphia on November 19. The award is given annually for inventions that "contribute to the comfort, welfare, and ha