News

State Legislators Seek To Broaden Regulation Of Biotech Products
State Legislators Seek To Broaden Regulation Of Biotech Products
Scientists fear that a patchwork of local laws more stringent than federal restrictions may hamper research and industry As state legislatures throughout the United States take steps to intensify their participation in biotechnology regulation, some states are enacting restrictions on the use of biotechnological products. In some cases, these laws go beyond limits already put in place by the federal government. While legislators say they believe that such regulation protects their states' eco
New Methods Teach Science By Observation, Hypothesis
New Methods Teach Science By Observation, Hypothesis
Those just starting out are being trained to think like scientists to keep more of them interested and unlikely to switch majors Standing before the 2,000 students enrolled in his introductory chemistry course at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., chemist George Bodner mixes two flasks of chemicals. Through the exhaustive exchange of questions and answers that follows, Bodner forces this throng of young scientists to "invent" the concept of molarity long before any of them has read in
Educators Rally To Salvage Science Dropouts
Educators Rally To Salvage Science Dropouts
Experts urge schools to leave the door open for potential researchers who fall outside the conventional talent pool WASHINGTON--Science educators, searching for ways to avert a projected shortage of scientists, have begun to question the conventional wisdom on how tomorrow's scientists are identified and trained. The prevailing view that scientists are survivors, identified early as the best and brightest of a static pool of talent that shrinks as students progress through school, isn't borne
Global Crises Could Renew Interest In Geoscience Careers
Global Crises Could Renew Interest In Geoscience Careers
Oil, the environment, and attrition may create a demand for geoscientists that will reverse a 7-year decline in the field As growing environmental problems and the search for oil outside the Persian Gulf place heavy demands on the geosciences, geologists say that education in their field is being revitalized, fueling new opportunities for undergraduate research. They now hope that their effort to attract students has arrested a precipitous seven-year decline in the number of geosciences gradua
Grad Students Join Unions For Protection, Better Conditions
Grad Students Join Unions For Protection, Better Conditions
Long hours in the lab and lack of recognition lead some to affiliate with labor unions as a way to better their lot Graduate students tend to bear a heavy burden--teaching undergrad classes and leading lab sessions as well as doing their own research in the pursuit of an advanced degree. They're inclined to keep long hours, and they receive little if any pay for their efforts. That situation has existed for decades, the result of a view that they are, first and foremost, students. Given that
RUTGERS SCIENTISTS PLANT SEEDS OF TRUST WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY
RUTGERS SCIENTISTS PLANT SEEDS OF TRUST WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY
Volume 5, #3The Scientist February 18, 1991 RUTGERS SCIENTISTS PLANT SEEDS OF TRUST WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY Author: Robin Eisner Date: February 18, 1991 Agricultural scientist Peter Day knows that if he wants to plant his genetically engineered eggplant in southern New Jersey by 1992, cultivating relationships with local planning boards, homeowners associations, and farmers is as important as nurturing the seedlings in the greenhouse. So he and his Rutgers University team of scie
Success Of National Labs' Teacher Training In Question
Success Of National Labs' Teacher Training In Question
Brookhaven, Livermore rekindle teachers' love of subjects, but no one knows if their students benefit in the long run John Short returned to his Long Island, N.Y., high school science classroom energized by the teacher enrichment course he had attended at nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory. That contact with lab scientists, he recalls, inspired him to institute more hands-on experiences and to encourage students to undertake research projects of their own. For a while. "Ultimately, it was

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Legal Victory Takes Toll On Journal MIT's Magnet Lab Keeps Trying Back In The Classroom A Stand Against Too Many Authors Minority Schools Get Help For AIDS Trials Despite a New York state court ruling last month that scientific journals enjoy special immunity against libel suits based on the expression of an opinion, the editor who was the defendant in the case (The Scientist, Oct. 1, 1990, page 1) believes that he's won a Pyrrhic victory. "The circulation has dropped by a third," says

Profession

STATES WITH BIOTECH LAWS AND REGULATIONS
STATES WITH BIOTECH LAWS AND REGULATIONS
STATES WITH BIOTECH LAWS AND REGULATIONS (The Scientist, Vol:5, #4, pg.6, February 18, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- Florida: Regulation of genetically engineered plants and plant pest organisms through the Plant Industry Law. Hawaii: Statute requires applicants for federal permits or approval of field testing of genetically modified organisms to submit copies of their applications to the Hawaii Department of Health. Illinois: Law requires notification and
CLOSE-UP
CLOSE-UP
CLOSE-UP Author: Diana Morgan (The Scientist, Vol:5, #4, pg.8, February 18, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- When George Bodner was an undergraduate majoring in chemistry, the thing he resented most was the lab requirement. "Nothing I did in my lab courses seemed valuable, because people told me how to do it," remembers Bodner, now a professor of education and chemistry at Purdue University. "It was the same as watching Julia Child: all cookbook." Bodner had
FOR MORE INFORMATION... SCIENCE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
FOR MORE INFORMATION... SCIENCE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
FOR MORE INFORMATION... SCIENCE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS AND TEENS (The Scientist, Vol:5, #4, pg.20, February 18, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- * For a listing of more than 600 science programs for elementary school through high school students throughout the U.S., send $3 to: Directory of Student Science Training Programs Science Service 1719 N St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 785-2255 Thacher School Summer Science Program 5025 Thacher Rd. Ojai, Calif. 930
In Summer, Science Programs Abound For Kids And Teens
In Summer, Science Programs Abound For Kids And Teens
From Alabama to Wyoming, educators are worrying that not enough is being done to make the study of science more interesting for elementary and high school students in the United States. Indeed, those concerned about the scientist shortage that is expected to hit the U.S. in the mid-1990s believe that boosting science education is the key to getting more young people interested in taking up a science career. A wide variety of community and national organizations have risen to this challenge, com
Obituary
Obituary
Carl D. Anderson, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1936 for his discovery of the positron, died January 11 at his home in San Marino, Calif. He was 85 years old. Anderson was Board of Trustees Professor of Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. In 1923, Anderson enrolled at Caltech, where he remained for the next 50 years. He received his B.S. in 1927 and his Ph.D. in 1930, both in physics, then served as a research fellow until 1933, when he joined the fa
NOAA Atmospheric Chemist Recognized For Studies Of Antarctic Ozone Deterioration
NOAA Atmospheric Chemist Recognized For Studies Of Antarctic Ozone Deterioration
Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colo., has been presented with the American Meteorological Society's Henry G. Houghton Award for her research into ozone deterioration. Solomon received the award at the society's annual meeting in New Orleans last month. She was cited for "outstanding theoretical and observational research on atmospheric constituent structure and for significant contributions to understanding the A
Discoverer Of Buckminsterfullerene Wins American Physical Society's Langmuir Prize
Discoverer Of Buckminsterfullerene Wins American Physical Society's Langmuir Prize
Richard Smalley, professor of chemistry and physics at Rice University, Houston, and discoverer of "buckyball," has been selected by the American Physical Society to receive the 1991 Irving Langmuir Prize. The $10,000 award, which will be presented next month at the society's annual meeting, is given each year to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to chemical physics or physical chemistry within the past 10 years. APS gives the award in odd-numbered years, and the American Chemic
New Academy At U. Of Tennessee Aims To Improve Quality Of Science Teaching
New Academy At U. Of Tennessee Aims To Improve Quality Of Science Teaching
Nearly two years ago, Kenneth Monty, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and a few of his colleagues sat around a table discussing ways of improving math and science education for grade-school and secondary-school students. "We asked ourselves, `Why is education in math and science, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, not working right?'" Monty recalls. "The problem we hit on is that most teachers never get a chance to see what mathematicians and scien
Science Grants
Science Grants
SCIENCE GRANTS (The Scientist, Vol:5, #4, pg. 25, February 18, 1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- Below is a list of notable grants recently awarded in the sciences--federal grants as well as awards from private foundations. The individual cited is the project's principal investigator. BIOLOGY/BIOTECHNOLOGY To develop assay for lethal food contaminants botulinal toxin and Listeriolysin O. $140,000 from North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC), Research Triangl

Opinion

The Mims Case: Defending Science Or Persecuting Religion?
The Mims Case: Defending Science Or Persecuting Religion?
Forty-six-year-old Forrest M. Mims III of Seguin, Texas, is a veteran science writer. Over the past 20 years, his articles and letters about science and technology have appeared in more than 60 newspapers, magazines, and journals, including the American Journal of Physics, Physics Today, Science Digest, Scientific American, National Geographic World, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. Mims, an amateur scientist with a degree in government, is also an evangelical Christian who believes in th
Creationist Belief Precludes Credibility On Science Issues
Creationist Belief Precludes Credibility On Science Issues
It is tough defending the position that Scientific American was right to fire Forrest Mims as the author of "The Amateur Scientist" column. Mims meets one of the central requirements of the job--he is a competent amateur scientist. He is also an excellent writer, as anyone who has had the pleasure of reading any of his numerous popular science writings can attest. Not only does Mims have many of the requisite credentials for the job, it is no fun defending the conduct of those at Scientific Am
Intolerance Threatens Every Scientist--Amateur Or Not
Intolerance Threatens Every Scientist--Amateur Or Not
For more than 20 years I dreamed of some day becoming the writer of "The Amateur Scientist," the popular column in Scientific American that inspired me to become a science writer. After my dream came true, Scientific American revoked my assignment to write the column because of my views on evolution and abortion. The controversy over my dismissal from "The Amateur Scientist" has been characterized by irony. Were he alive today, Rufus Porter, the founding editor of Scientific American, would be

Commentary

Reforming Science Education: What's Wrong With The Process?
Reforming Science Education: What's Wrong With The Process?
In the years since the launching of Sputnik, Americans have been obsessed with science education reform. "Solutions" vie with "problems" for our attention. Task forces dutifully meet but do little that makes its way to the center of the educational process. What is new and different-a revolutionary curriculum such as New Math, or a process-oriented approach, such as SAPA-is cheered at lift-off but hard to locate after only a few years, The reason? In science education there are strong internal

Letter

Brain Responses
Brain Responses
I would like to bring your attention two errors in the article "High-Technology Advances Spur Progress In Study of Human Brain" about Alan Gevins and EEG Systems Laboratory [The Scientist, Nov. 26, 1990, page 1]. First, the caption to the third figure, "Be Prepared" [page 4], indicates that the patterns on the right are predictive of accurate responses when, in fact, they are predictive of inaccurate responses. Second, the Air Force pilots in our study of sustained mental work were recorded wi
Animal Rights
Animal Rights
The Commentary "Animal Rights (And Wrongs)" by Albert Kligman [The Scientist, Oct. 29, 1990, page 16] contains many misconceptions about animal testing that merit an educated response. In the last decades, we have found cures and treatments for tuberculosis, scarlet fever, influenza. pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, and smallpox. Most of the credit goes to improvement in nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation and better living conditions. With these advancements, we have been able
Outlook For Blacks
Outlook For Blacks
Your recent articles on the status of black scientists, "Blacks Assail NIH's Plantation' Mentality [The Scientist, Nov. 26, 1990, page 1] and "NIH Inches Forward To Boost Ranks of Blacks Scientists" [Dec. 10, 1990, page 1], painted a bleak picture. NIH's extramural program has a number of special programs designed for minority institutions. NIH also has initiated new programs to help underrepresented minority scientists obtain training. However, recent statistics released by NIH indicate that
Academic Careers
Academic Careers
I read Barbara Spector's marvelous and informative article, "Does Scaling The Academic Ladder Always Mean Abandoning Research?" [The Scientist, Sept. 3, 1990, page 1]. Clearly, the interviews and comments of the subjects should provide hope, satisfaction, and guidance for many who are engaged in or are planning for dual careers. I truly believe that university administrators with experience and desire to maintain research activities should do so. Time is precious, but it can be managed. The qua

Research

Seismologists Grumble About `Quack' Quake Predictions
Seismologists Grumble About `Quack' Quake Predictions
The residents of New Madrid, Mo., were ready. They bought their emergency supplies and reinforced their windows. But no great earthquake violently rocked the area on December 3, as New Mexico business consultant Iben Browning had predicted. The ground didn't even quiver. Maybe the earth didn't tremble, but Browning's prediction did set off some rumblings in the scientific community. "We [seismologists] are very angry with the news media," says Max Wyss, a geology professor at the University
Biochemist Catalyzes Multidisciplinary Biomaterials Research
Biochemist Catalyzes Multidisciplinary Biomaterials Research
It's odd to find a biochemist holding a high-ranking management position in the materials sciences division of a major national laboratory. And the team that Mark Alper has assembled at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.--consisting of organic chemists, enzymologists, chemical engineers, and even a journal editor--may seem even stranger. But in the four years since Alper founded the Enzymatic Synthesis of Materials Program at the Berkeley lab, this eclectic collection of investiga
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PETER D. MOORE Division of Biosphere Sciences King's College London The warming of the earth's climate following the last glaciation was interrupted in the North Atlantic region by a severe spell of cold conditions that lasted from about 10,800 to 10,000 years ago (called the "Younger Dryas" event). The cause of this setback to global warming is thought to be the diversion of ice meltwater from the North American ice sheet into the St. Lawrence River and, hence, into the North Atlantic. But
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
SIMON SILVER Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles accounted for nearly half the new AIDS cases in early 1985. But the number of new cases in these cities has leveled off, and new cases here now represent 75 percent of the total. New AIDS cases among homosexuals are increasing slowly, but AIDS among intravenous drug users and AIDS associated with perinatal infection are increasing more rapidly. J.M. Karon, T.J. Donde
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PETER J. SMITH Department of Earth Sciences Open University Milton Keynes, U.K. The three largest earthquakes over the past 150 years in the San Francisco Bay area (1868, 1906, 1989) were all preceded by several decades of high activity in moderate (magnitude 5.0 to 5.9) earthquakes on surrounding faults, and followed by low levels of such activity. If the level of moderate earthquake activity is low over the next few years, another large shock is unlikely to occur for at least a decade. If
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
MARYE ANNE FOX Department of Chemistry University of Texas Austin The design of short monomeric peptides with stable helical secondary structure can be achieved by complexation with ap- propriate metal ions. The unusual stability of the resulting helix may relate to the enhanced entropy of the cross-linked peptide. F.Q. Ruan, Y.Q. Chen, P.B. Hopkins, "Metal ion enhanced helicity in synthetic peptides containing unnatural, metal-ligating residues," Journal of the American Chemical Society (J
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
FRANK A. WILCZEK School of Natural Sciences Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, N.J. A technical, but still easily accessible, introduction and overview of knot theory is published in a journal that often contains material from modern mathematics that is potentially of great interest to physicists and natural scientists, in an unusually digestible form. J. Birman, "Recent developments in braid and link theory," Mathematical Intelligencer, 13, 52-60, Winter 1990. (Columbia University, N

Hot Paper

Chemistry
Chemistry
W. Weltner, Jr., R.J. Van Zee, "Carbon molecules, ions, and clusters," Chemical Reviews, 89, 1713-47, December 1989. William Weltner, Jr. (University of Florida, Gainesville): "Carbon molecules are of particular interest to a number of researchers, from those in hydrocarbon combustion studying soot formation to astrophysicists studying the atmospheres of cool stars. Furthermore, cluster research is a `hot' field. And what could be of more basic interest than carbon! Pure carbon species, Cn (w
Immunology
Immunology
B.R. Cullen, W.C. Greene, "Regulatory pathways governing HIV-1 replication," Cell, 58, 423-6, 11 August 1989. Bryan R. Cullen (Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.): "Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is the major viral pathogen of the present era. As such, the regulation of HIV-1 replication is of interest to a broad audience, from clinicians to molecular biologists. This is particularly true when one considers that gene regulation in HIV-1 is remarkably complex when compare
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
R.J. Bandziulis, M.S. Swanson, G. Dreyfuss, "RNA-binding proteins as developmental regulators," Genes and Development, 3, 431-7, April 1989. Gideon Dreyfuss (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia): "Protein structural comparisons led to the discovery of identifying and unifying features shared by RNA-binding proteins of the nucleus and cytoplasm. Many of these ribonucleoproteins contain an RNA-binding domain (RBD) of approximately 90 amino acids. This amino acid sequence
Cell Biology
Cell Biology
A.B. Pardee, "G1 events and regulation of cell proliferation," Science, 246, 603-8, 3 November 1989. Arthur Pardee (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston): "This review summarizes background concepts and facts that led to the recent explosive interest in the mechanisms of cell proliferation [The Scientist, Dec. 10, 1990, page 15]. Maturation of this subject was recognized by publication of six articles in Science, of which this was one. Decades of cell biology had established principles; now,

Briefs

Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
NIGMS Expands Biotechnology Program Thanks to a $2 million increase, the three-year-old biotechnology training and fellowship program offered through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences will support 122 more fellows and trainees in 1991. The program has a total of $6.4 million to spend this year. So far, about 18 institutions have received five-year training grants, each to support from four to 20 graduate students. The rest of the funds have gone to support postdoctoral fellows

Technology

Chemical Lab Safety Problems Spawn New Laws, Practices
Chemical Lab Safety Problems Spawn New Laws, Practices
In July 1973, while driving home from his job as a chemist at Dow Chemical Co.'s Wayland, Mass., research facility, James Kaufman heard on the radio that there had been a serious explosion at nearby Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Kaufman, who had been working at Dow for only a few weeks, had recently completed postdoctoral work at Worcester Polytechnic, and had earned his Ph.D. there a few years before. Upon hearing the news of the accident, he bypassed his house, driving straight to the Worc