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Contributors
Contributors It was while he was working in a German clinical obesity and diabetes lab that Christian Weyer realized willpower only went so far in helping patients lose weight. Motivated by his desire to understand the pathophysiology of the two diseases, Weyer left the clinical world and eventually signed on with San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals in 2001 as vice president of Medical Development. “We treat [obesity] the same way we did
Stumbling Towards Nirvana
Stumbling Towards Nirvana
By Richard Gallagher Stumbling Towards Nirvana The promises of personalized medicine have failed to materialize. That may be about to change. The $1,000 genome will be an incredible technological achievement. But not necessarily a great medical one. Several years ago, Francis Collins, current director of the National Institutes of Health, described the coming era of personalized medicine as “medical Nirvana.” It̵
Mail
Mail
Mail A Theory, Resisted I would be very skeptical of a claim that there won’t be any selection for resistance in the malaria control agents (such as a fungus that kills mosquitoes after they reproduce but before they become infectious) in “Evolution, Resisted.”1 If there is any reproductive difference between fungal-susceptible and slightly resistant mosquitoes, there will be selection, even if it is just a little bit. The heavier the challeng
No kissing here
No kissing here
By Kirsten Weir No kissing here White spruce with “witches’ brooms,” a tell-tale sign of mistletoe infection. Courtesy of Jaret Reblin For the white spruce tree (Picea glauca), mistletoe is the kiss of death. When Barry Logan, an associate professor of biology at Bowdoin College, began studying the interaction between white spruce and the parasitic eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) 10 years ago, he f
Subsidized science
Subsidized science
By Alissa Poh Subsidized science Baltimore-based company Champions Biotechnology has a business tale to tell, one reminiscent of Robin Hood. But there’s no robbing of the rich in this story. Rather, Champions uses revenue from premium services offered to wealthy clients to subsidize risky—and hard-to-fund—research. The subsidized science, a twist on standard xenografts, is based on an old concept dating back to the 1970s. Instead o
Shrimpus eBayicus
Shrimpus eBayicus
By Bob Grant Shrimpus eBayicus Lebbeus clarehanna, the new shrimp species named by NBA star Luc Longley and discovered by grad student Anna McCallum on a research cruise funded by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Courtesy of CSIRO, Australia Anna McCallum started her scientific career with the type of discovery that some biologists spend their entire careers chasing. In 2005, after earning
In science we trust
In science we trust
By Bob Grant In science we trust Camp Questers demonstrate how the different colors of baby chicks help them blend in more or less with their environment. Photo By Brian Underwood / courtesy of Camp Quest Winter is the time that many parents begin pondering whether to send their children to summer camp. In sorting through their options, they’ll see that one camp’s materials contain no descriptions of oaths, no church servic
Wolf whistle
Wolf whistle
By Margaret Guthrie Wolf whistle Ausband captures wolf “Frank Sinatra.” Courtesy of David Ausband / Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit Wolves are no respecter of boundaries, nor are they intimidated by rough terrain, which makes their population difficult to monitor. Now that they have been delisted as an endangered species under federal law, and Idaho and Montana have instituted hunts, tracking their numbers has be
A Legal Challenge to Animal Research
A Legal Challenge to Animal Research
By P. Michael Conn A Legal Challenge to Animal Research Animal rights law courses may threaten the use of animals in medical research. A. US law schools were categorized by whether they have an animal law course, are at an institution that performs animal research, or are associated directly with a medical school. Additionally, the rank of each law school according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report was included. Over half of US
Speak Your Mind
Speak Your Mind
By Steven Wiley Speak Your Mind You don’t like my ideas? Tell me to my face, please. Disagree- ments among scientists do not go away simply because people are reluctant to argue in public. I am frequently struck by the paradoxical behavior of biologists. Recently, I attended a conference on biofuel development that included a discussion of the feasibility of deriving fuels from algae. In the open meeting, only a few biologists voi
Mechanical Forces in the Kidney
Mechanical Forces in the Kidney
By Jef Akst Mechanical Forces in the Kidney Online Extra The renal tubules of the kidney function to reabsorb water, ions, and organic molecules from the filtrate destined to become urine. As it passes through the sections of the tubule, the majority of the fluid and electrolytes are transported back into the plasma, leaving the waste products behind, which pass on to the collecting duct system, the urethra, and out of the body. Importantly, the quantity of
Full Speed Ahead
Full Speed Ahead
Physical forces acting in and around cells are fast—and making waves in the world of molecular biology.
Mechanical Forces in the Ear
Mechanical Forces in the Ear
By Jef Akst Mechanical Forces in the Ear Online Extra Sound comes in the form of waves of compressed air, and detecting that sound is wholly dependent on the ear's ability to convert variations in air pressure to chemical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. When sound enters the ear, it deflects the eardrum that lies at the junction of the outer and middle ears. This deflection is then transmitted through the middle ear to a small membrane at the o
Hormones in Concert
Hormones in Concert
By Christian Weyer Hormones in Concert Multiple hormones act in concert to regulate blood sugar and food intake. The idea has already led to a new diabetes therapy; will it also yield new strategies for obesity? Illustrations by Greg Betza tepping on the scale each day and diligently recording their caloric intake and body weight in a little booklet, my patients marked the progress and failures of their dieting efforts. It was
2009 Top 10 Innovations
2009 Top 10 Innovations
#featureArticleHeadWrapper img { border:none; float:none; margin:5px 0; }#featureArticleContent p.comment { font-weight: bold; color: #333333; font-size: 11px; line-height: 15px; }span.judge_1 { color: #E93593; } span.judge_2 { color: #20BCED; } span.judge_3 { color: #C1CD2F; } span.judge_4 { color: #F69723; } The Scientist Top 10 Innovations: 2009 The ten most exciting tools to hit the life sciences this year. It’s b
Divide, Conquer
Divide, Conquer
By Karen Hopkin Divide, Conquer Michael Glotzer’s built-from-scratch biochemistry, and do-it-yourself genetics and microscopy, have revealed some of the secrets of cell division. © Matthew Gilson Had it not been for that Saturday morning conversation, Michael Glotzer’s career would have taken a markedly different turn. Like all graduate students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Glotzer rotated thro
Translation Revelation
Translation Revelation
By Jef Akst Translation Revelation More findings confirm that small RNAs work in mysterious ways. Fluorescent FT protein in the phloem of an Arabidopsis plant. © Jean-Francois Podevin / Photo Researchers, Inc. Nearly 20 years after its discovery, RNA interference (RNAi) is part of biology’s orthodoxy. Small RNA molecules can disrupt gene expression by degrading messenger RNAs (mRNAs) on their way to becoming proteins, or
Tempering T cells
Tempering T cells
By Bob Grant Tempering T cells Courtesy of Dave Dorward and Kim J Hasenkrug The paper: L. Collison et al., “The inhibitory cytokine IL-35 contributes to regulatory T-cell function,” Nature, 450:566–71, 2007. (Cited in 113 papers) The finding: A research team centered at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., plucked a novel cytokine from the constellation of molecules that play a role in re
Die, diabetes
Die, diabetes
By Victoria Stern Die, diabetes Courtesy of Haim Cohen and David Sinclair / Harvard Medical School The paper: J. Milne et al., “Small molecule activators of SIRT1 as therapeutics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” Nature, 450: 712–16, 2007. (Cited in 145 papers) The finding: Scientists at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Harvard University developed approximately 3,000 small molecules that mimic resveratrol, which
Troubled waters
Troubled waters
By Katherine Bagley Troubled waters The paper: KA Kidd et al., “Collapse of a fish population after exposure to a synthetic estrogen,” Proc Natl Acad Sci, 104(21):8897–901, 2007. (Cited in 86 papers) The finding: Researchers have linked feminized male fish downstream of municipal wastewater outlets with elevated levels of estrogen and other chemicals, but knew little about the impact on fish population sustainability. During a 7-yea
Beth Shapiro: Creatures Great and Small
Beth Shapiro: Creatures Great and Small
By Victoria Stern Beth Shapiro: Creatures Great and Small Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation In 2001, while scanning a river bank in northern Alaska for fossils, Oxford PhD student Beth Shapiro saw her advisor Alan Cooper, a pioneer in the field of ancient DNA, tugging on something big embedded in the frozen earth. When Shapiro got closer, she saw that Cooper had uncovered a late Pleistocene-era woolly mammoth
Guiding light
Guiding light
ul li { font-family:"Trebuchet MS",arial,helvetica; font-size:10.5pt; line-height:14pt; } By Amber Dance Guiding light How to manipulate cellular events with the right light sensing molecule and a flash of light. Using light-producing molecules to observe cellular events is standard fare in many a lab, but it’s only recently that scientists have begun to harness the power of light to manipulate biological systems experimen
Pharma CPR
Pharma CPR
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Addressing Cultural Caveats
Addressing Cultural Caveats
By Katherine Bagley Addressing Cultural Caveats Tips for mentoring underrepresented groups © Matt Foster As an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico, Esa La Beau was on her way to a promising research career. She joined a lab, presented her work at three national conferences, and contributed a significant amount of data to the project’s findings. But when it came time to publish, there was an issue over the
Life Science Blossoms
Life Science Blossoms
color = "#DF1F26"; Life Science Blossoms China is conducting a huge experiment with biotechnology. Can the returning “sea turtles” use the massive domestic market and competitive cost base to make it a life sciences world power? Even the world power? By Zhu Shen The past 30 years have witnessed an economic miracle in China. Global market demand, vast arbitrage opportunities in labor and manufacturing and shrewd government polic
About Life Technologies
About Life Technologies
color = "#939598";table { background: #939598; color: #FEF8F6; font-family: "Trebuchet MS", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; }table tr td { padding: 5px 20px 5px 5px; } SPONSOR PROFILE: About LIFE TECHNOLOGIES Company Highlights: Life Technologies brands are found in more than 90% of research laboratories in the U.S. Life Technologies is the leading supplier of stem cell research consumables and products.
About MSD
About MSD
color = "#939598";.pullquote_left1, .pullquote_right1, .pullquote_left, .pullquote_right { color: #FEF8F6; background: #939598 } SPONSOR PROFILE: About MSD Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, MSD discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and drugs to address unmet medical needs. MSD China was formed in 1994 in partnership with
Striking a Balance
Striking a Balance
color = "#DF1F26"; Striking a Balance Combining local market needs with global competitiveness, cutting-edge innovation with product affordability and Eastern with Western culture, leadership of a life science company in China takes flexibility and dynamism. By Victor Shi, Ph.D. I recently attended the “Summer Davos” World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Dalian, China, where the global economic crisis was a central theme. When disc
Healthcare For All
Healthcare For All
color = "#DF1F26"; Healthcare For All China’s plan to cover all 1.3 billion people with basic health insurance brings challenges, benefits, problems, and opportunities in equal measure. By Zhu Shen raditionally, Chinese seniors have relied on their adult children to care for them when they become too old or too sick to look after themselves. Now, the government is planning to augment family-based care with a social safety net
Building the Life Sciences
Building the Life Sciences
color = "#DF1F26"; Building the life sciences Poised for truly global influence, China’s life sciences industry demands and deserves the best possible service from global suppliers. By Peter Waterman China’s life science market has thrived over the last five years. Annual growth has consistently been in double digits, and it will continue to be one of the most rapidly developing markets in the world. The Life Technologies brand
About QIAGEN
About QIAGEN
color = "#939598";.pullquote_left1, .pullquote_right1, .pullquote_left, .pullquote_right { color: #FEF8F6; background: #939598 } .breakhead { color: #000000; border-bottom: 1px solid #000000; } SPONSOR PROFILE About QIAGEN It all starts with the sample. Genetic material must be extracted from a biological sample and specifically processed before scientists from academia and industry can actually work with it. QIAGEN has made the hand
Merrifield Peptide Synthesizer, circa 1964
Merrifield Peptide Synthesizer, circa 1964
By Andrew Mangravite and Elie Dolgin Merrifield Peptide Synthesizer, circa 1964 Gift of Elizabeth Merrifield, Chemical Heritage Foundation Collections. Photograph by Gregory Tobias In 1901, the German chemist Emil Fischer synthesized the first pure dipeptide molecule; more than half a century later, most chemists were still using the same technique of adding and removing chemical accessories called “protecting groups” to the rea