Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Brooklyn-based freelance journalist and literature instructor at Brooklyn College Daniel Grushkin is used to seeing parallels between literature and science. In this month's Notebook (The istope diet), Grushkin shares the story of researchers analyzing an ancient iceman's hair for details of his diet. "The idea in literature is if you write a book, a masterpiece, you will be immortalized, but

Editorial

Finding Meaning in Politics, Science
Finding Meaning in Politics, Science
Without ideological struggles that test our values and beliefs, how can we know what is "truth"?

Mail

Mail
Mail
Are devices dying? Re: "Biotech's hidden stepsister,"1 about the current hurdles facing the device industry, I was the founder and CTO of Avocet Medical, a medical device start-up producing a hand held meter to prevent strokes by monitoring proper level of oral anticoagulants. We raised $38 million in venture capital financing between 1991 and 2001. Although we obtained FDA approval, th

Notebook

Baghdad hack
Baghdad hack
A dust cloud in Iraq." />A dust cloud in Iraq. It was over 50°C (130°F) outside when Mark Lyles slipped on his flak jacket, helmet and goggles, grabbed his N95 dust mask, and climbed aboard a Blackhawk helicopter at the US Central Command Zone in Iraq four years ago. The prop blades kicked up a fine grit that would hang in the air for days. Lyles knew that these particles, finer than talcum
The isotope diet
The isotope diet
Seventeen years ago, a pair of climbers in the Italian Alps stumbled on a leathery corpse hunched in a pool of melting ice. At first they thought the body was fresh, but the copper ax, wooden bow and quiver of 14 arrows spoke of a man from another time. The iceman, affectionately dubbed Ötzi, was the oldest frozen body (5,300 years) ever found. It would take almost
Better late than never
Better late than never
Alfred Russel Wallace" />Alfred Russel Wallace One hundred and fifty years ago, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace wrote an essay describing some of his ideas on the origin of new species and survival of the fittest species in an environment. Knowing that Charles Darwin had been kicking around some similar ideas, Wallace sent him a copy so the two might compare notes. Darwin, who indeed had for
The crabby entrepreneur
The crabby entrepreneur
John King in a diving dry suit preparing to plunge from the deck of the Viking Rover into the Unga Strait (circa 1976). Credit: Courtesy of John King" />John King in a diving dry suit preparing to plunge from the deck of the Viking Rover into the Unga Strait (circa 1976). Credit: Courtesy of John King The Bering Sea was angry that day. The Viking Rover, an Alaskan fishing boat, was pitching and yawing in violent swells. John King, an

The Agenda

The Agenda
The Agenda
DEADLINE APPROACHES » Need some extra cash for sequencing? You have until December 31st to submit a grant proposal to Applied Biosystems, which will award one first prize of 60GB or 750M tags of mappable sequence data as well as the primary analysis, and 10 second place prizes of 10 individual (2 slide runs) from the SOLiD™ 3 System, deemed the #1 innovation of the year

Uncategorized

John King, Crabber: Slideshow
John King, Crabber: Slideshow
John King, Crabber: Slideshow John King braved the icy waters of the Arctic Circle as a crab and shrimp fisherman before diving into the world of biotechnology. King says that his experiences as an Alaskan fisherman prepared him for the rigors of starting and operating biotech companies during the salad days of the industry. Here are some photos of his days plying the Bering Sea from King's private collection. All images courtesy of John King John King, Crabber: Slideshow
Triggering Addiction
Triggering Addiction
Triggering Addiction All illustrations adapted from original art by George Peters Molecular biology teases out two distinct forms of alcoholism. By Markus Heilig lcohol abuse is the third leading preventable cause of death (defined as death due to lifestyle choice or modifiable behavior). In the United States alone it accounts for more than 75,000 deaths annually. To put it another way, if all cancers were miraculously cured tomorrow, those liv
They came from above
They came from above
They came from above All photos by Brendan Borrell Opportunistic infections seem to pop up out of nowhere, but new strains are appearing in new places, striking otherwise healthy animals - including humans. A few microbiologists go hunting. By Brendan Borrell n the spring of 2000, veterinarian Craig Stephen walked up to the biology department at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo for what he thought would be a routine autopsy of a dead
Deadly dust: Slideshow
Deadly dust: Slideshow
Deadly dust: Slideshow Brendan Borrell travels to British Columbia and Spain to chronicle scientists' efforts to control deadly outbreaks of mysterious airborne pathogens All images courtesy of Brendan Borrell Deadly dust: Slideshow var so = new SWFObject("http://images.the-scientist.com/content/images/slideshows/fungus/slideshow.swf", "gallery", "450", "300", "6", "#ffffff");so.addVariable("file", "http://images.the-scientist.com/content/images/slideshows/fungus/sli
Same-Sex Mating in Cryptococcus?
Same-Sex Mating in Cryptococcus?
Since Cryptococcus, like most club fungi (Basidiomycota), must mate to produce airborne spores, researchers have been faced with a mystery. "The unusual thing about C. neoformans and C. gattii is for the vast majority of the world you can only find [one sex]," says molecular geneticist James Fraser of the University of Queensland. The trouble is that, without mating, the yeast reproduces clonally, an
The Scientist Top Innovations of 2008
The Scientist Top Innovations of 2008
The Scientist Top Innovations of 2008 For the first time, we laud the ten most outstanding new products to hit the life science market. The life sciences move fast. Across the globe, companies are constantly churning out new products that they say will make your research smarter. For six years, we've ranked the vendors of life science equipment in our Life Science Industry Awards. Now, to recognize winning combinations of invention, vision and
First Sex, Then Cheating
First Sex, Then Cheating
A love of big questions led Paul Turner to investigate why simple species have sex, with surprising results. Hint: viruses, too, are faced with a prisoner's dilemma.

Column

Here's To Intelligent Innovating
Here's To Intelligent Innovating
If you build a hammer, make sure you have something to nail.

Books etc.

Navigating the Nucleosome
Navigating the Nucleosome
Uncovering genomic instructions for how DNA is packaged reveals a new dimension of the genetic code.

Hot Paper

Use the force
Use the force
Credit: Opabinia regalis / wikimedia.org" /> Credit: Opabinia regalis / wikimedia.org The paper: V. Hornak, et al., "Comparison of multiple Amber force fields and development of improved protein backbone parameters," Proteins Struc Funct Bioinfo, 65:712-25, 2006. (Cited in 58 papers) The gist: To improve a 25-year-old set of equations, called the Amber force field,
Mini Eukaryote
Mini Eukaryote
Credit: Wenche Eikrem and Jahn Throndsen / University of Oslo" /> Credit: Wenche Eikrem and Jahn Throndsen / University of Oslo The paper: E. Derelle et. al., "Genome analysis of the smallest free-living eukaryote Ostreococcus tauri unveils many unique features," Proc Natl Acad Sci, 103:11647-52, 2006. (Cited in 74 papers) The study: French, Belgian, and US scientists
LPA leaps
LPA leaps
Credit: Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 280, issue 41, 10/14/05, courtesy of Yuko Fujiwara, University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, Memphis, TN" /> Credit: Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 280, issue 41, 10/14/05, courtesy of Yuko Fujiwara, University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, Memphis, TN The paper: J. Chun et al., "GPR92 as a new G(12/13)- and G(q)-coupled lysophosphatidic acid receptor tha

Scientist To Watch

Michael Laub: The systems savant
Michael Laub: The systems savant
Credit: © Matt Kalinowski Photography" /> Credit: © Matt Kalinowski Photography When Michael Laub arrived at Stanford University in 1997, genomics was in its infancy, with many DNA technologies just being developed. So when he wanted to study cell cycle gene expression in Caulobacter crescentus, he decided to build his own DNA microarray. But the equipment he needed to make primers for the array was booked

Lab Tools

Pluripotency for the Masses
Pluripotency for the Masses
What beginners need to know as they dive into studies on pluripotent cells.

BioBusiness

Morale Mire
Morale Mire
FDA scientists are increasingly unhappy, due to in-house pressures and public criticism. How can the agency restore what it once was?

Pulse Oximeter

Mentoring Magic
Mentoring Magic
How to be an effective mentor: tips from two highly successful principal investigators.

Foundations

The discovery of DNA, circa 1869
The discovery of DNA, circa 1869
Miescher's laboratory located in an old Tübingen castle kitchen. Credit: Courtesy of Tübingen University Library" />Miescher's laboratory located in an old Tübingen castle kitchen. Credit: Courtesy of Tübingen University Library In the winter of 1869, the young Swiss doctor, Friedrich Miescher, was attempting nothing less than to uncover the biochemical nature of life using