News

State Associations Promote Biotech Growth
State Associations Promote Biotech Growth
The agency's plans to fund up to 80 facilities at universities now seem doomed by harsh criticism and funding shortages In Texas, the so-called third coast of biotechnology, a new statewide association of biotechnology companies hopes to put local investors in touch with scientist entrepreneurs. Its California counterpart successfully lobbied last year against a bill restricting animal testing. A Pennsylvania association is in the process of developing a high school curriculum on biotechnology
Glory: Entrepreneurs in the 1990s
Glory: Entrepreneurs in the 1990s
Raising capital is tougher than ever, but analysts voice optimism for scientist-business people with viable products In mid-1989, George Rathmann decided to leave his post as chairman of Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., a biotechnology company he cofounded in 1980, to embark on another biotech venture. He joined Bob Nowinski (founder of Genetic Systems Corp. in Seattle) and Chris Henney (founder of Immunex Corp. also of Seattle) to form ICOS Corp., which was incorporated in late 1989. The
Woods Hole Offers its Scientists Freedom to Launch Businesses
Woods Hole Offers its Scientists Freedom to Launch Businesses
The laboratory's spinoffs earn it a reputation as the center for a thriving industry in oceanographic research and equipment WOODS HOLE, Mass. -- A Japanese oceanographer spending six months at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution a few years ago decided to track down the inventors of a half-dozen key oceanographic instruments to learn what new projects they were working on. He sought help from his WHOM colleagues in planning a cross-country journey to meet them. But, to his surprise, he found
NSF Cuts Back On Faltering Science, Technology Centers
NSF Cuts Back On Faltering Science, Technology Centers
The agency's plans to fund up to 80 facilities at universities now seem doomed by harsh criticism and funding shortages WASHINGTON -- The National Science Foundation has decided to give its controversial science and technology centers program a rest -- a move that may please longtime critics of the program but disappoint those scientists who had hoped to land centers on their own campuses. A cornerstone of the effort by former NSF director Erich Bloch to safeguard U.S. scientific eminence and
Policymakers Clash Over AAAS Report on Funding Crisis
Policymakers Clash Over AAAS Report on Funding Crisis
Leon Lederman wants U S to double academic science budget, but critics say his appeal is simplistic and ignores fiscal realitiess WASHINGTON -- Nobel laureate Leon Lederman's call for a doubling of federal spending on academic research was greeted with considerable skepticism last month at a meeting of science policymakers. And that's not his only problem Even some of his colleagues acknowledge that what Lederman calls a present-day crisis is, in fad, a more subtle phenomenon that won't be vis
Scientists Learn Tricks of Trade, Marketing In Business Incubators
Scientists Learn Tricks of Trade, Marketing In Business Incubators
These organizations help startups get assembled and launched by easing the pressures that can cause early failures Jason Lieu, an applied mathematician, had big plans for a computer system he had designed to model telecommunications and computer networks. So he quit a high-level job as a technical director at ITT Inc. in New York in 1984 and went into business for himself. The first few years were tough. Hardly anyone wanted to buy his invention. Luckily for him, Lieu had located his company

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Far Seeing, Yet Short Sighted Bush Honors 66 Top Managers Gender Gap In Manned Space Travel NSF Told To Create New Directorate Cheaper By The Dozen? ( Thanks to a special $75 million appropriation from Congress, the National Science Foundation is moving ahead quickly with an updated replacement for its radio telescope in Green Bank, W. Va., which collapsed in November 1988. Last month NSF awarded a $55 million construction contract to Radiation Systems Inc. of Sterling, Va., for a state

Profession

Advice From the Pros: Stick to the Basics
Advice From the Pros: Stick to the Basics
Advice From the Pros: Stick to the Basics Author: Susan L-J Dickinson (The Scientist, Vol:5, #3, pg. 6, February 4, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) -------- While some external parameters-the economy, sources of seed financing, geographic foci of technology-based companies-may be shifting and somewhat unknown, analysis, financiers, and experienced businesspeople voice a clear and unanimous message to aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to start a company in the 1990s: Stick to
CLOSE-UP
CLOSE-UP
CLOSE-UP Author: Diana Morgan (The Scientist, Vol:5, #3, pg. 8, February 4, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) -------- Sarah Cohn and Paul Christensen might have gotten married, anyway. But it helped that the musician and the electrical engineer first went into business together. They met five years ago at a social occasion. Today they are bound together in business as well as marriage, she as marketing manager and he as president of Potomac Photonics Inc. in Lanham, Md.,
BENTHOS CAMERAS BRING THE DEEP INTO VIEW
BENTHOS CAMERAS BRING THE DEEP INTO VIEW
BENTHOS CAMERAS BRING THE DEEP INTO VIEW Author: Elizabeth Pennisi (The Scientist, Vol:5, #3, pg. 10, February 4, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) -------- Few people passing through Woods Hole, Mass., can avoid seeing the products of Sam Raymond's entrepreneurship. Looking like oversized volleyballs, his yellow buoys brighten docks behind Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Tourists who visit the WHOI exhibits are awed by images of the Titanic in its graveyard on the oc
Entrepreneur's Course: Navigating Both Calm And Choppy Seas
Entrepreneur's Course: Navigating Both Calm And Choppy Seas
Arden Kelton has developed his sea legs as an entrepreneur by riding out high and low tides. Kelton, who holds a Ph.D. in medical physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, is founder and president of Lamplighter Industries Inc. The Yanceyville, N.C., firm uses a ceramic technology invented by Kelton's partner, engineer David Emmett, to manufacture electronic display lighting for instrument light panels. During recent weeks, Kelton has been scrambling to do something that for a lot
AIC Institutes An Award To Foster Ethics Within Chemical Profession
AIC Institutes An Award To Foster Ethics Within Chemical Profession
The ethics of scientific conduct, once rarely discussed publicly, lately has merited the attention of groups as diverse as national newspapers, professional associations, and Congress. Much of this attention has been negative. With such causes c‚l`bres as the 1989 and 1990 convictions of Food and Drug Administration scientists for accepting gifts from companies whose products they were investigating and the case of psychologist Stephen E. Breuning, found in 1987 by a National Institute o
Experts Offer Their Advice On Turning Science Into Business
Experts Offer Their Advice On Turning Science Into Business
What does it take to succeed in an entrepreneurial scientific venture? Following are some pointers from scientists who have prospered as entrepreneurs and others who have helped scientists scratch their entrepreneurial itches: * "You should identify the niche you want to be in and have the scientific expertise and inside information as to how you can build the niche adequately," says Robert Zipkin, president of Biomol Research Laboratories Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Zipkin founded and inco
Indiana Molecular Plant Biologist Honored For Research On Chloroplast Evolution
Indiana Molecular Plant Biologist Honored For Research On Chloroplast Evolution
Jeffrey Palmer, an associate professor of biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, has been awarded the David Starr Jordan Prize in biology for his contributions to molecular plant evolutionary biology. The international prize, given jointly every three years by Stanford University, Calif.; Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; and Indiana University, is named after a late 19th- and early 20th-century evolutionary scientist, educator, and university president with ties to the three institutions.
Houston Cancer Researcher Elected Director Of Lasker Awards Program
Houston Cancer Researcher Elected Director Of Lasker Awards Program
Jordan U. Gutterman, chairman of the department of clinical immunology and biological therapy at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has been elected executive vice president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. Gutterman, whose appointment took effect on the first of the year, will also direct the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Program. While honoring scientists has been a primary objective since the Lasker awards were first given in 1944, their role in

Opinion

Wanted: Enterprising Scientists To Launch New Businesses
Wanted: Enterprising Scientists To Launch New Businesses
Rare is the university or government scientist who can step easily into the shoes of a private entrepreneur. The two professionals come from different cultures: one driven by a search for knowledge and understanding, the other oriented toward profit and the marketplace. Yet, there is an increasing tendency--and, some would say, need--for more scientists in the United States to become entrepreneurs. This country's economic health as well as its standing in an increasingly competitive world eco
Qualifications: Cash, More Cash, Creativity, And The Courage To Fail
Qualifications: Cash, More Cash, Creativity, And The Courage To Fail
Chemist George Rathmann is a scientist entrepreneur with not one, but two successful startups to his credit. Ten years ago, in early 1981, Rathmann and his colleagues were successful in raising $19 million to launch Amgen Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., which in 1989--the year in which its flagship product, erythropoietin (a red blood cell stimulator), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration--recorded sales of $192 million. Last July, Rathmann resigned as chairman of Amgen (he remains

Commentary

More Than Ever Before, Entrepreneurship Requires Courage, Not Recklessness
More Than Ever Before, Entrepreneurship Requires Courage, Not Recklessness
In this issue, we focus on the scientist as entrepreneur, a career path precarious even in the best of times--and certainly perilous in the United States now that the nation has gone to war. In a variety of articles and opinion pieces in this issue, we assess and describe the current entrepreneurial climate. We also present an array of observations and examples that will assist our readers in determining who among them are best equipped to succeed in the effort to translate their scientific res

Letter

Environmental Research
Environmental Research
I was quoted in "Pentagon To Increase Its Role In Environmental Research" [The Scientist, Nov. 12, 1990, page 3]. While I acknowledge the statements that were attributed to me in the article, some portions of my statements were omitted. I said that there is a large defense research community made up of strategic think-tanks around the country. As the Cold War ends, those researchers and their Conflict Management Institutes are seeking new areas of research. The next hottest issue on the politic
Hypothetical Concerns
Hypothetical Concerns
It was refreshing to read the comments of David Horrobin in "Discouraging Hypotheses Slows Progress." I have thought about this problem many times and feel that a journal--perhaps called Idea--might help. An article considered for publication would not be peer reviewed and would have to meet only the following criteria: Is it written in readable English? Is it free of nonscience motives? Is it free of perpetual motion machines? Is it new? Everything should be left to the reader. Most peculiarl
Hypothetical Concerns
Hypothetical Concerns
I was greatly heartened by David Horrobin's article "Discouraging Hypotheses Slows Progress" [The Scientist, Nov. 26, 1990, page 13]. For 10 years I have been attempting to publish what amounts to a unified hypothesis of the evolutionary development of intermediary metabolic cell growth control and, in particular, how it relates to cellular differentiation and cancer cell growth. Of course, a full testing of the hypothesis would be nothing short of a Manhattan Project-sized undertaking. However
Science and Technology
Science and Technology
It's more than hubris when Otto Theodor Benfey [The Scientist, Dec. 10, 1990, page 14] remarks in his Commentary, "After all, it is science that has brought the world materials that now cause environmental pollution and made possible the engines of modern war." It's dead wrong, and it seems to me that a historian above all should know better. It's not science that brought us anything other than knowledge any more than it's guns that kill people. People kill people, people make pollution, people

Research

Citation Records Reflect Broad Influence Of NAS Members
Citation Records Reflect Broad Influence Of NAS Members
In the nearly 128 years since the National Academy of Sciences was founded, its members generally have been regarded as constituting the elite of American science. The society, which at its inception numbered only 50 scientists, now includes 1,589 members, 83 members emeritus, and 271 foreign associates. Election to the academy is a confidential process. Each year, a central nominating committee receives a ranked list of candidates from each of the academy's 25 sections. From these, a combined
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Dennis P. Curran Department of Chemistry University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Functionally tethered oligodeoxynucleotides are critical precursors for the preparation of new hybrid DNA molecules. The installation of a "convertible nucleoside" into a synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide now permits the synthesis of a whole series of functionally tethered oligodeoxynucleotides from a single precursor. A.M. MacMillan, G.L. Verdine, "Synthesis of functionally tethered oligodeoxynucleotides by the convert
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Theodore Davidson Institute of Materials Science University of Connecticut Storrs "Photonics," as written in a recent article, "is the technology in which a photon instead of an electron is used to acquire, store, process, and transmit information." Important photonic effects, such as non-linear optical (NLO) response, need materials that simultaneously have the required molecular structure, afford a non-centrosymmetric environment, and are processible as films or coatings. The synthetic flex
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Peter D. Moore Division of Biosphere Sciences King's College London Parasitic wasps, which use nectar as a supply of energy, can detect sources by using odor cues. They are also able to locate their hosts by smells associated with them. Under experimental conditions, wasps have proved capable of learning complex associations between various odors and sources of either hosts or foods. They were then able to make choices based upon their relative hunger or motivation to lay eggs in their host o
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Bruce G. Buchanan Department of Computer Science University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Path planning for a robot in a cluttered environment involves detecting collisions on paths under consideration. Several methods of representing the parts of space already occupied are currently in use, but they either depend on a stable environment or do not produce satisfactorily "direct" paths. A new hierarchical representation based on a series of approximate shapes of each object is proposed to solve the

Hot Paper

Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
T. Hai, F. Liu, W.J. Coukos, M.R. Green, "Transcription factor ATF cDNA clones: an extensive family of leucine zipper proteins able to selectively form DNA-binding heterodimers," Genes and Development, 3, 2083-90, December 1989. Michael R. Green (University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Mass.): "I suspect that this paper may have attracted more than the usual attention because it is relevant to several research areas, and some of the results were unexpected. We and others had bee
Spectroscopy
Spectroscopy
D. Marion, M. Ikura, R. Tschudin, A. Bax, "Rapid recording of 2D NMR spectra without phase cycling. Application to the study of hydrogen exchange in proteins," Journal of Magnetic Resonance, 85, 393-9, November 1989. Ad Bax (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.): "In the past decade, two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has proved to be an extremely powerful tool for obtaining detailed informati
Immunology
Immunology
J.J. Siekierka, S.H.Y. Hung, M. Poe, C.S. Lin, N.H. Sigal, "A cytosolic binding protein for the immunosuppressant FK-506 has peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity but is distinct from cyclophilin," Nature, 341, 755-7, 26 October 1989. John J. Siekierka (Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Rahway, N.J.): "Two clinically important immunosuppressant drugs, cyclosporin A (CsA) and FK-506, are valuable probes for studying the molecular mechanisms of T cell activation. Although chemically uniqu
Immunology
Immunology
P.A. Volberding, S.W. Lagakos, M.A. Koch, C. Pettinelli, et al., "Zidovudine in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infection: a controlled trial in persons with fewer than 500 CD4-positive cells per cubic millimeter," The New England Journal of Medicine, 322, 941-9, 5 April 1990. Paul A. Volberding (AIDS Program, San Francisco General Hospital, Calif.): "Establishing a medical intervention for patients with HIV infection who remain asymptomatic has changed our basic concept of this lar

Technology

Thrifty Scientists Explore Alternatives To Buying New Tools
Thrifty Scientists Explore Alternatives To Buying New Tools
In 1984, the department of earth sciences at St. Cloud State University, Minn., was lacking an electron microprobe. At the time, the instrument, used to analyze the com- position of rock samples, was selling for about $200,000. Gary Anderson, a professor in the department, knew that there was no way to justify the expense. "A small department like ours, in a public school such as St. Cloud State, can't afford [to spend that much money] on a single piece of equipment," he says. By being at the