Editorial

Top 5 Grouches of 2005
Top 5 Grouches of 2005
we discuss the issues that have had an impact on infrastructure and business in the life sciences. As ever, science marches on.
Meet This Issue's Contributors
Meet This Issue's Contributors
was born in Tel Aviv and came to the United States in 1975.

Letter

Synchronous oscillations
Synchronous oscillations
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).
Bacteria and magnets
Bacteria and magnets
Re: Helping bacteria use magnets.1 Magnetotactic bacteria do not navigate by using the earth's magnetic field. They only move – pushed by their magnetosoms from the inside – in the direction of the lines of that field. This is not navigation. To navigate means to be able to move in any desired direction in relation to the direction of the earth's magnetic field.
The autism gene problem
The autism gene problem
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

Opinion

Nanotechnology's Dilemmas
Nanotechnology's Dilemmas
Nanotechnology can learn much from history.

Notebook

Citations make the president
Citations make the president
Amanda Goodall, a doctoral student in strategic management at Warwick Business School, UK, had a hunch, based on her experience working for college officials in both the United States and the United Kingdom: The world's elite research universities put a premium on naming elite researchers as their presidents.
and in a museum
and in a museum
If you didn't know better, you'd have been forgiven for being suspicious of the timing of the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) exhibit on Darwin in the middle of last month.

Feature

The Biggest Stories in Bioscience 2005
The Biggest Stories in Bioscience 2005
Life scientists have been challenged more than ever this year not just to critically analyze data, but to better interpret those data for an increasingly critical public.
The Year That Was
The Year That Was
news in funding, policy, and strategy, from government agencies to biotechs, suggests that the industry is still as robust as ever.

Research

A New View of Translational Control
A New View of Translational Control
The bank note that Dominique Weil used to buy ice cream for her family at the beach this past summer may have traveled a long way.

Vision

Cancer Research in Flames
Cancer Research in Flames
One problem with the current war on cancer is that much of it focuses on destroying the malignant cell itself while paying little attention to some of cancer's allies that are more prone to attack.
Protein Solution Structure in Three Days or Less?
Protein Solution Structure in Three Days or Less?
More efficient protein structure determination is a major goal of the US structural genomics projects.
Mining the Ubiquitin Pathway
Mining the Ubiquitin Pathway
In October 2004, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hersko, and Irwin Rose "for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation."

Hot Paper

Briefs

Hormonal sibling rivalry
Hormonal sibling rivalry
Proteins that stimulate and repress appetite appear to be cut from the same cloth.
Worms sniff out harm
Worms sniff out harm
Worms learn: If something makes you sick, don't eat it again.
Interdisciplinary Research
Interdisciplinary Research
These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature awareness tool http://www.facultyof1000.com.N. Touret et al., "Quantitative and dynamic assessment of the contribution of the ER to phagosome formation," Cell, 123:157–170, Oct. 7, 2005.Aligning an impressive array of methods, this study provides strong evidence against the recently proposed model of a significant contribution of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes during early phagosome

Technology

AFM: Not Just for Materials Science Anymore
AFM: Not Just for Materials Science Anymore
The atomic-force microscope (AFM) was developed 20 years ago, but only recently has it become a significant tool for biologists.
A Buyers' Guide to Transposon Kits
A Buyers' Guide to Transposon Kits
If you thought transposons were mere genetic curiosities, think again.

Tools and Technology

Reconstructing Mammalian Cell Lineages
Reconstructing Mammalian Cell Lineages
Adult nematode worms contain 959 somatic cells, and thanks to Nobel laureate John Sulston and colleagues, scientists know the lineage of every one of them.
Measuring Protein Concentrations in Live Cells
Measuring Protein Concentrations in Live Cells
data that's essential for mathematical modeling of biological pathways.
GFT NMR Proves Its Structural Genomics Mettle
GFT NMR Proves Its Structural Genomics Mettle
G-matrix Fourier transform (GFT) NMR, a technique developed several years ago for rapid collection of nuclear magnetic resonance data, has been used to determine the structures of eight proteins in less than a month.1 "People usually work for many months for one structure. And even a year is not unusual," says coauthor Thomas Szyperski of the University of Buffalo. [see related story, page 36]The work demonstrates for the first time that GFT NMR works on a "real world" scale, meaning a protein c
Agilent Launches ChIP-on-Chip
Agilent Launches ChIP-on-Chip
Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), or location analysis, is an antibody-based method for identifying the segments of DNA recognized by a particular transcription factor in a native chromatin environment.

Update

Ethiopian biotech institute planned
Ethiopian biotech institute planned
Ethiopia plans to open its first Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute (ABRI) by next year.
Aussie job cuts worry scientists
Aussie job cuts worry scientists
Australia's major government science body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), plans to cut up to 25% of its research support staff during the next three years to save about $30 million (Australian) per year.
US animal lab limit dropped
US animal lab limit dropped
The US Senate recently dropped a proposed amendment from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill to restrict research institutions from purchasing laboratory animals from Class B dealers.
Acrylamide study sparks German debate
Acrylamide study sparks German debate
that implied levels of the carcinogen acrylamide in the body might not be as strongly influenced by consumption of acrylamide-containing food as is currently believed.
US weighs biodefense measures
US weighs biodefense measures
The US Senate plans to offer new incentives to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to develop more vaccines, drugs, and countermeasures against a range of pathogens.
Italian academics protest reforms
Italian academics protest reforms
Last month, the Italian Parliament approved a debated reform proposed by University and Research Minister Letizia Moratti that eliminates permanent contracts for all but professors and establishes a national exam for those who wish to qualify as a professor.

Closing Bell

Just Check It!
Just Check It!
It's just past midnight and a Vienna rave is at full-throttle, packed with sweaty dancers pulsing to an electronic beat.