News

AAAS Speakers Pose The Question: Can We Fill The Science Pipeline?
AAAS Speakers Pose The Question: Can We Fill The Science Pipeline?
156th national meeting explores ways to attract a new generation into the field as 6,000 scientists gather in New Orleans. WASHINGTON--This year, perhaps more earnestly than ever before, participants at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will wrestle with the problem of how to ensure that there are enough scientists pursuing the quest for knowledge in the 21st century. The 156th national meeting runs from Feb. 15 through Feb. 20 in New Orleans. For th
Soviets Seek To Rebuild Labs, Renew Ties To West
Soviets Seek To Rebuild Labs, Renew Ties To West
It's party time for United States-Soviet scientific relations, as perestroika lifts the curtains of the Cold War. In recent months, so many scientists have traveled between the two countries that Soviet-watchers have lost count of the numbers. The words "joint venture" are on everyone's lips, as researchers-turned-entrepreneurs struggle to market Soviet scientific know-how to the world. But these cheerful developments are haunted by the USSR's worsening economic woes, which have made it increa
Biotech Panel Wrestles With Oversight Role
Biotech Panel Wrestles With Oversight Role
New DNA technology outpaces NIH committee's original charter as other agencies move to regulate experiments in genetics. WASHINGTON--A government panel that oversees scientific experiments involving genetically engineered organisms is grappling with an issue that could alter the way in which that science is performed. The National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (known as "the RAC"), was formed in 1974 after scientists recognized the need for guidelines to control the
Scientists Run For Office To Back Reforms, Aid Gorbachev
Scientists Run For Office To Back Reforms, Aid Gorbachev
MOSCOW--As embattled Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev struggles to keep perestroika alive, he has turned time and again to Soviet scientists for political support. In return, Soviet scientists have found themselves fixtures in the Kremlin corridors of power, as parliamentarians, advisers, and, especially, gadflies. A recent manifesto by a group of these scientists declared, "There is a revolution under way in this country. We know that a revolution is worth something only when it knows how t
Government Funds Begin To Flow For More Research On Addiction
Government Funds Begin To Flow For More Research On Addiction
Federal agencies welcome ideas for developing new medications to curb, treat, or prevent a host of drug addictions. WASHINGTON--The federal government is strengthening its commitment to research on drug addiction. And that means a greater demand for scientists. "We are in desperate need of both Ph.D. and M.D. clinical researchers," says Marvin Snyder, director of the Division of Preclinical Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "And we have the money." NIDA wants to develo
University Sues Its Own Professor In Patent Dispute
University Sues Its Own Professor In Patent Dispute
PHILADELPHIA--In a move that surprises many observers, the University of Pennsylvania has sued one of its own professors and a pharmaceutical firm over the ownership of a patent on Retin-A, an anti-acne drug also said to reduce wrinkles on the skin. The case is likely to be watched closely by administrators at other universities because it demonstrates a willingness on the part of a major research institution to seek legal recourse against a faculty member - a strategy usually reserved for case
NSF Nominee Applies Skills To Chart Policy
NSF Nominee Applies Skills To Chart Policy
WASHINGTON--As far as nuclear chemist Frederick Bernthal is concerned, democracy works. The man whom President Bush has picked to be the next deputy director of the National Science Foundation is a shining example of a scientist whose thoughts in midcareer turned to government and who has wound up playing a major role in federal science policy. "There are two kinds of political appointees," says physicist John Ahearne, the executive director of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, and, l
U.S. Slow To Ease Export Controls On High-Tech Items
U.S. Slow To Ease Export Controls On High-Tech Items
WASHINGTON--One week after the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in April 1986, Soviet contacts called Carnegie Mellon University robot researcher William ("Red") Whittaker to ask for help in saving thousands of Soviet cleanup workers from radiation exposure. Whittaker's autonomous robots were already cleaning up the disabled Three Mile Island nuclear plant, and his technology was widely acknowledged as the world's best in replacing humans in hazardous environments. But a year later, after 5,00
Refuseniks Celebrate New Triumphs, Face New Hurdles
Refuseniks Celebrate New Triumphs, Face New Hurdles
Many scientists once denied emigration have now left the USSR, but others are still unable to obtain exit visas. Yuri Magarshack is doing science again. Today, he is an assistant researcher in the chemistry department at New York University. Yet for an 11-year period that ended last spring, the theoretical physicist was struggling to endure life as a refusenik - a Soviet citizen, usually Jewish, who is denied permission to emigrate. Dismissed from his job as head of a laboratory in Leningrad's
Mongolia Opens Door To Research
Mongolia Opens Door To Research
As a boy, Philip Currie dreamed of digging for dinosaur fossils in the vast deserts of Outer Mongolia. Currie was inspired by the books of Roy Chapman Andrews, who led the American Museum of Natural History's expeditions to Central Asia in the 1920s. Years later, as head of his own dinosaur program at the Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada, Currie attempted to pursue his dreams. "In 1982, we approached the Mongolian government and ran into a bureaucratic brick wall," he recalls.
For East Europeans, Open Door To West Is A Revolving One
For East Europeans, Open Door To West Is A Revolving One
Researchers find visits increasingly necessary for career advancement, high-tech lab work, and hard currency earnings. As pluralism and democracy move to replace communist rule in Eastern Europe, researchers in the West can expect to see a steady increase in the number of scientists traveling to Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. "It seems to me that there are three key issues: one is freedom of travel, and in all of those [Eastern Europe] countries the travel barriers
The Top 50 Researchers Ranked By Citations To Their Scientific Articles During 1965-78 And 1973-84
The Top 50 Researchers Ranked By Citations To Their Scientific Articles During 1965-78 And 1973-84
RANK NAME FIELD CITATIONS 1965-78 1. GOOD R.A. Immunology 17,679 2. SCHALLY A.V.* Endocrinology 15,340 3. BRAUNWALD E. Cardiology 13,483 4. WEBER K. Biochemistry 13,427 5. FUXE K.G. Cell Biology 13,319 6. SNYDER S.H. Pharmacology 13,149 7. POPLE J.A. Chemistry 12,714 8. AXELROD J.A.* Pharmacology 12,425 9. DELUCA H.F. Biochemistry 12,090 10. KARNOVSKY M.J. Cell Biology 11,427 11. LEVY R.I. Cardiology 10,784 12. CUATRECASAS P. Biochemistry 10,543 13. OSBORN M.
Lasker Professorship Awarded To Harvard Microbiologist
Lasker Professorship Awarded To Harvard Microbiologist
Max Essex, chairman of the department of cancer biology at Harvard University's School of Public Health and of the Harvard AIDS Institute, has been appointed the first Mary Lasker Professor of Health Sciences. The school established the Mary Woodard Lasker Professorship and Research Program in December in honor of the crusader and supporter of medical research who was a primary force in the establishment of the National Heart Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Ins
Leading AIDS Researcher Chosen For New Chair At UC-San Diego
Leading AIDS Researcher Chosen For New Chair At UC-San Diego
The University of California, San Diego, has chosen molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal as the first recipient of its newly endowed Florence Seeley Riford Chair for AIDS Research. Wong-Staal will become the Florence Seeley Riford Chair Professor in the university's departments of biology and medicine. After 16 years at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., Wong-Staal officially became the Riford chair professor at UC-San Diego on January 1. She plans to set up a collaborative prog

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
Detecting Interest In The SSC Scientists at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory are determined to play a role in the $7 billion Superconducting Supercollider project through a joint collaboration with MIT scientists on the supercollider's huge detectors. The 54-mile-long, proton-proton accelerator being built in Texas is scheduled to contain four $400 million detectors, each weighing 40,000 tons and standing 50 feet high, 50 feet wide, and 150 feet long. Hundreds of high-energy physicists fro
University Briefs
University Briefs
Decade Of The Desert "We as scientists do not understand the deserts, so how can we best know how to use them?" asks Farouk El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. That basic lack of understanding that El-Baz perceives prompted him and fellow scientists from more than 20 countries to meet in Trieste, Italy, at a conference sponsored by the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Canadian International Development Agency. The attendees declared the 1990s the Decade o
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Wanted: M.D.'s For Basic Research Physicians can do up to three years' research in basic biological processes with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Applicants must have completed at least two years of clinical training but must not have more than three years of research training. As fellows, they must devote 90% of their efforts to research, and their clinical work must be related to that research. This year HHMI plans to sponsor 25 fellows, a number that will eventually grow t
People Briefs
People Briefs
Olle Bjorkman of Carnegie Institution's department of plant biology, Stanford, Calif., has been elected to membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Born in Sweden, Bjorkman earned the equivalent of the Ph.D. at the University of Uppsala in 1960. At Carnegie Institution, with which he has been associated since 1964, he has worked with the experimental taxonomy group and collaborated with the biochemistry group in investigations of the basic mechanisms of photosynthesis. He and his c

Opinion

Andrei Sakharov: Spokesman For The Conscience of Mankind
Andrei Sakharov: Spokesman For The Conscience of Mankind
The death of my friend Andrei Sakharov on Dec. 14, 1989, silenced the voice of "the spokesman for the conscience of mankind," as he was called by the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Sakharov was most widely known as the father of the Soviet H-bomb and was admired for his courageous leadership in defense of human rights, and in the quest for peace. As important as these efforts were to the course of world history, his physics colleagues like myself also recognized a great scientist whose brill
Soviet Scientists Face Perestroika's Challenge
Soviet Scientists Face Perestroika's Challenge
[Editor's note: When the democratically elected Second Congress of People's Deputies met in Moscow in December, delegates expressed frustration with the slow pace of reform. Among these frustrated delegates were scientists and academics, many of whom had been chosen by their colleagues in special elections at their institutions. Under the leadership of Vitali Goldanski, the vice director of the Institute of Chemical Physics in Moscow, they formed a reform bloc and issued a public declaration o

Letter

Letter: Latin American Science
Letter: Latin American Science
As you so correctly state in the Commentary entitled "The U.S. Should Strengthen Its Science and Technology Links With Latin America" (The Scientist, Oct. 2, 1989, page 12), Latin America is indeed experiencing a prolonged economic crisis. However, we were not always so financially fragile; during the years when food production was one of the important sources of wealth, Argentina was rich. We certainly don't share in that bounty now. Years of neglect in planning for our country's future have l
Letter: Sources Alert
Letter: Sources Alert
As an extension to Stephen Pendlebury's article, "Talking To Reporters: What To Do When 'The Call' Comes" (The Scientist, Jan. 8, 1990, page 22), I'd like to share a source of information exchange your readers could benefit from. Fame (and the fortune that may accompany it) have beyond a doubt become "Nobel" aspirations in this Age of Acquisition. But scientists have another reason for making themselves available to the mass media. That has to do with helping to create a better informed society

Commentary

Commentary: Reflections On Glasnost, Perestroika, and the Role of Scientists
Commentary: Reflections On Glasnost, Perestroika, and the Role of Scientists
One's first emotions about the cultural upheaval in Eastern Europe are joy and relief. Joy for freedom; relief for dramatic changes in the fundamentals of a superpower conflict that has always carried with it the possibility of nuclear war. These first emotions, of course, must be tempered by certain harsh realities, including the ethnic conflicts that have raised grave concerns about the future of perestroika. Nevertheless, great progress appears to have been made, and the role that scientists

Research

Physics Stands Out As Foremost Field In Soviet Science
Physics Stands Out As Foremost Field In Soviet Science
It is all too easy to focus on the deficiencies of Soviet science. Ask Soviet scientists themselves and they will readily recite a laundry list of their research system's failings. Perhaps the greatest impediment, they say, is a lack of lab equipment and computers. Now that Soviet scientists can more easily travel to the West, if only temporarily, many are jumping at the opportunity. In fact, among eight of the most-cited living Soviet scientists (see below), at least four are visiting professo
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
The Scientist has asked a group of experts to comment periodically upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selections, presented herein every issue, are neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather, the list represents personal choices of articles the columnists believe the scientific community as a whole may also find interesting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article, 3501 Market St., Philadelphia,
Mobility Will Boost East European Science
Mobility Will Boost East European Science
The political and social tidal wave that recently swept over Eastern Europe is sure to change the lives of its scientists. Restructuring the centralized economies will probably make conditions worse before they get better, and that means government support for science may shrink. On the other hand, if investment from joint ventures with science-based companies in the West begins to flow in, scientists may find their laboratories filled with equipment they could never before afford, owing to the

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
R.J. Cava, B. Batlogg, K.M. Rabe, E.A. Rietman, et al., "Structural anomalies at the disappearance of superconductivity in Ba2YCu3O7-ë: evidence for charge transfer from chains to planes," Physica C, 156, 523-7, 1 November 1988. R.J. Cava (AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.): "The superconductor Ba2YCu3O7-x was a revolutionary material, as it was the first of the now handful of chemical compounds to be superconducting above the temperature of liquid nitrogen. It continues to sur
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
T.D. Halazonetis, K. Georgopoulos, M.E. Greenberg, P. Leder, "c-Jun dimerizes with itself and with c-Fos, forming complexes of different DNA binding affinities," Cell, 55, 917-24, 2 December 1988. Thanos Halazonetis (Harvard Medical School, Boston): "A number of cancer-causing genes (oncogenes) have been shown to code for factors regulating gene expression. The protein products of two such oncogenes, c-jun and c-fos, had been shown to be part of a protein complex that regulates the transcripti

Profession

Suggestions For Saving Your Time And Keeping Your Cool
Suggestions For Saving Your Time And Keeping Your Cool
When I think about how to manage my time better, I remember the intense sense of embarrassment I felt during a conversation with a faculty member when I was a first-year chemistry graduate student. I had run into the professor after leaving my lab at about six o'clock on a warm California evening. We began to chat about an experiment I was doing, and I told him that I was planning to start a certain reaction the next morning. In a slightly caustic tone, the professor pointed out to me that if
Amelia Earhart Fellowships Encourage Women To Study Aerospace Science
Amelia Earhart Fellowships Encourage Women To Study Aerospace Science
As the science professions face a future marked by a widely predicted personnel shortage, attention has focused on the relative scarcity of women who choose technical fields as a vocation. An example of the recent upsurge of interest in this problem is the scheduling of a plenary talk on the subject at this week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see story on page 1). One area of science that has been particularly slow in attracting women is aerospace, a field
People: Two Biochemists Share Columbia's 1989 Horwitz Prize
People: Two Biochemists Share Columbia's 1989 Horwitz Prize
Columbia University's Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for 1989 has been awarded to Edwin G. Krebs and Alfred G. Gilman, two biochemists whose lifelong research has traced and explained the intricate communication network that regulates critical processes in living cells. The prize, given by a committee of Columbia medical and science professors, is one of the awards that observers cite as a forerunner to the winning of the Nobel Prize. Twenty-three of the award's winners have gone on to become Nobel
Developer Of Chemical Shorthand Dies At 75
Developer Of Chemical Shorthand Dies At 75
William J. Wiswesser, 75, internationally known for his Wiswesser Line-Notation System for chemical structures, died December 17 in Wyomissing, Pa. He was working as a chemist with the Department of Agriculture in the weed science research laboratory in Frederick, Md., until becoming ill. Wiswesser developed a chemical shorthand based on valence line diagrams after becoming interested in simplifying chemical structure descriptions at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He earned his B.S. in 19

Technology

Hollow Fiber Bioreactor Systems Increase Cell Culture Yield
Hollow Fiber Bioreactor Systems Increase Cell Culture Yield
One of the most important advances in the field of cell biology came in the early 20th century, with the discovery that plant and animal cells could survive - and even replicate - outside the living organism. In 1907, R.G. Harrison, a neurobiologist trying to prove that nerve fibers were actually outgrowths of single cells, chopped up spinal cord tissue and added it to clotted plasma in a humidified growth chamber. The nerve cells from this crude explant not only grew and divided in this enviro