February 1996

News

Dismissal Of False Claims Suit Shows Scientific Sophistication, Experts Say
Dismissal Of False Claims Suit Shows Scientific Sophistication, Experts Say
Sophistication, Experts Say Author: Thomas W. Durso An October dismissal of a lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act-which allows whistleblowers to sue institutions defrauding the government and to recover up to three times the funds involved, plus additional penalties-shows that the courts are becoming more sophisticated in judging science-related cases brought under the law, according to several observers. Kathryn M. Milam, a former postdoctoral researcher at the Brain Tumor Resea
Biotech Firms Spot Opportunity As Baby-Boomer Generation Ages
Biotech Firms Spot Opportunity As Baby-Boomer Generation Ages
Generation Ages Author: Karen Young Kreeger Date: February 19, 1996 As the baby-boomer generation gets older, biotech companies are stepping up their research efforts with the goal of capitalizing on the huge potential market for anti-aging products. The number of drugs and therapies in development for diseases of the elderly increased from 125 in 1993 to 132 in July 1995. The number of companies developing those remedies climbed from 60 to 71 in the same time frame, according to New Medicines
Does NIA Spend Too Much On Alzheimer's?
Does NIA Spend Too Much On Alzheimer's?
Too Much On Alzheimer's? Author: Steven Benowitz Date: February 19, 1996 The National Institute on Aging (NIA) spent approximately $216 million last year-practically one-half of its 1995 total budget of $433 million-on research related to Alzheimer's disease. Overall, the National Institutes of Health funded some $311 million in Alzheimer's-associated work. Concerned: Richard Adelman worries about a lack of money for basic aging science. Is that too much? Is spending that much on Alzheimer'
Industry Researchers Decry Tone Of NIH Gene Therapy Panel Report
Industry Researchers Decry Tone Of NIH Gene Therapy Panel Report
In what some industry observers liken to biotechnology's early days of scientific hope mixed with public pessimism, gene therapy has come under the scope of scrutiny at the National Institutes of Health. A much-publicized December panel report commissioned by NIH director Harold Varmus lambastes companies' use of clinical trials to lure investors; urges stringent peer review of gene therapy protocols; calls for more basic research; and warns that "overselling of the industry" could cause a back
Zooming Through Review: RAC Steps Out Of The Way
Zooming Through Review: RAC Steps Out Of The Way
While scientists debate how the National Institutes of Health should allocate gene therapy dollars, the agency is quietly moving out of routine clinical-protocol review. In December, an ad hoc committee of biomedical experts appointed by NIH director Harold Varmus gave a formal stamp of approval to the changes. NIH's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) is a panel of 14 independent scientists and nine public representatives. For years, RAC has reviewed gene therapy protocols by any research
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - February 19, 1996
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - February 19, 1996
1 It gets a reaction 5 Soporific 10 Sex-birth link 11 Bodily fluid 12 Ecto's opposite 13 Many, at the start 14 Vitro alternative 16 Sex 18 Keratin component 21 Esophagus-duodenum link 23 Respiratory disorder 25 It goes down the tube 26 Sex 27 1,000,000,000,000,000: pref. 31 Type of acid 32 Extinct marine arthropod 33 Type of gland 34 DNA replication enzyme that untwists 1 Brass component 2 Data analysis find 3 Blood oxygenater 4 Nerce-cell interstice 6 Partum preceder 7 Transuranic element 8
Telomere Biology Resources
Telomere Biology Resources
American Association for Cancer Research Public Ledger Building, Suite 816 150 S. Independence Mall West Philadelphia, Pa. 19106-3483 (215) 440-9300 Fax: (215) 440-9313 E-mail: aacr@aol.com 11,200 members Executive director: Margaret Foti President: Joseph R. Bertino Journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cell Growth and Differentiation; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention American Society for Cell Biology 9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Md. 20814 (301) 530-7153 Fax: (
Companies Serving The Image-Analysis Market
Companies Serving The Image-Analysis Market
Date: February 19, 1996 Bioscan Inc. Boeckeler Instruments Inc. Data Translation Inc. Imaging Research Inc. Intracellular Imaging Inc. Jandel Scientific Software Noesis Vision Inc. Oncor Inc. Optimas Corp. Princeton Instruments Inc. Scanalytics Universal Imaging Corp.

Opinion

Exploring Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Foster Discovery Of Better Drugs
Exploring Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Foster Discovery Of Better Drugs
Of Better Drugs Author: Tianhan Xue The scientific merits of traditional and herbal remedies have been a topic of great controversy. Critics, including many scientists, have questioned whether claimed effects of such alternative therapies can stand up to rigorous tests that apply to conventional medicine, and even whether they are science at all. Yet, as is evidenced by an examination of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), the therapeutic effects of some herbal remedies have been scientifically pr

Commentary

Cannibals At The Gates Of Congress: A Call For Activism, Not Complacency
Cannibals At The Gates Of Congress: A Call For Activism, Not Complacency
"Cannibals" At The Gates Of Congress: A Call For Activism, Not Complacency The Scientist, Vol:10, #4, pg.10 , February 19, 1996. Author: Eugene Garfield       There was an audible sigh of relief in the life sciences community in early January when Congress approved-and President Clinton signed-authorization bill H.R. 1358. The bill set the fiscal year 1996 budget of the National Institutes of Health at $11.9 billion, an increase of 5.7 percent. With the Republicans in Congre

Letter

Alternative Medicine
Alternative Medicine
That consequence is the fact that the very nature of these treatments will require a "testing process" that could go on for as much as 10 years. Meanwhile, patients will continue to be "had." When rigorous scientific trials on laetrile, vitamin C, hydrazine sulfate, chelation therapy, chiropractic, and homeopathy proved them worthless, did the alternativists accept the results and quit foisting them on medical consumers? No way! They are still prompting them today. So what will all of OAM's te
Fundamentalism Vs. Science
Fundamentalism Vs. Science
As a scientist, I too am concerned about some aspects of fundamentalism. However, fundamentalists are not responsible for the most serious problems in our society (abuse and neglect of children, violent crime, collapse of family and other personal commitments). At the base of these problems are the moral principles and world view of those who perpetrate them. Science does not and cannot address these issues. Secular philosophy also provides no framework that explains the unique value and intrin
Xenotransplantation
Xenotransplantation
The 1994 End Stage Renal Disease Survey indicated a total of 186,822 dialysis patients. UNOS estimates that the 27,498 patients on the kidney waiting list represent less than 50 percent of dialysis patients under the age of 50. If organ shortage were not a problem, the number of patients on the waiting lists might increase significantly, and Roger W. Evans of the Mayo Clinic's estimate of the need for 100,000 organs, reported in Hoke's article, could be realistic. H.M. Kauffman, Jr. Otis P. Da

Research

Telomere Findings May Yield Tips For Treating Cancer, Geriatric Disorders
Telomere Findings May Yield Tips For Treating Cancer, Geriatric Disorders
Geriatric Disorders Author: Ricki Lewis SIDEBAR : TELOMERE BIOLOGY RESOURCES Chromosome tips, called telomeres, have long fascinated geneticists because they protect chromosomes from degradation. And recent research has revealed another vital role for telomeres: As they shrink with each cell division, they keep a biochemical tally of the number of divisions remaining in a cell's lifetime. If this precise control goes awry, the biochemical consequences could be dire, such as uncontrolled growt

Hot Paper

Gene Therapy
Gene Therapy
Gene Genies: One of the most important implications is that we showed the [adenovirus-vector] approach was feasible," asserts Cornell's Ron Crystal. Experiments described in this paper represent two firsts in the burgeoning and fledgling field of gene therapy: the first human trial using a virus-specifically an adenovirus, a microbe isolated from human adenoid tissue-to transport a gene, and the first human trial for cystic fibrosis (CF). CF attacks many organs, but the pulmonary disease that
Neuroscience/ Alzheimer's Disease Research
Neuroscience/ Alzheimer's Disease Research
Comments by Virginia M.-Y. Lee and John Q. Trojanowski, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine New Twist On Tangles: Research conducted by Penn's John Trojanowski and Virginia Lee suggests that phosphatases may be "lazy," or inactive, in Alzheimer's tangles. This paper offers a new way of looking at the formation of tangles-a twisted neuronal knot of paired helical filaments (PHFs). PHFs are one of the two primary diagnostic features found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pat

Profession

Researchers' Home Pages Serve Scientific, Educational, Personal Goals
Researchers' Home Pages Serve Scientific, Educational, Personal Goals
Personal Goals Author: Robert Finn With the explosion of the World Wide Web-Wired magazine estimates that new home pages are being added to the Web at a rate of one every four seconds (N. Negroponte, February 1996, page 188)-there are many informative home pages scientists can turn to. Researchers, for example, often check out Web sites that have been established by manufacturers of scientific equipment, professional societies, funding agencies, and universities, among others. But it's not ju

Clarification

Clarification
Clarification
In the article "Scientists Benefit As Life Sciences Companies Stream To The Web" (R. Finn, The Scientist, Jan. 8, 1996, page 17), an incorrect location was given for Perkin-Elmer Corp. The company is based in Norwalk, Conn. The division of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. that manufactures Taq polymerase for distribution by Perkin-Elmer is located in Branchburg, N.J. A letter to the editor from Marc Abrahams on page 12 of the Jan. 22, 1996, issue of The Scientist was accompanied by an incorrect address.

Technology

Image Analysis Software Advances Biomedical Research Applications
Image Analysis Software Advances Biomedical Research Applications
Applications Author: Robert Finn SIDEBAR : COMPANIES SERVING THE IMAGE-ANALYSIS MARKET Improvements in computer-based image analysis are making the technique a routine tool of the biomedical laboratory. The hardware for obtaining digital images is getting more sophisticated (L. Krumenaker, The Scientist, Oct. 3, 1994, page 17), the software for processing and analyzing the images is getting easier to use, and scientists are finding ever more creative ways to use them. Surveys indicate that fu

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Another Vote To Nix The Pox Four Scientists Get Met-It Pay Help For Insomniacs? Cleaning Up The Cleanup Mullis On HIV: Where's The Beef? Hope For The Heavy Date: February 19, 1996 CONDEMNED: One of the two remaining smallpox stores Like a death-row inmate running out of chances to appeal, the last two remaining stores of smallpox virus have again been condemned to destruction. Late last month the governing board of the World Heath Organization (WHO) in Geneva recommended that the smallpo