News

Sociologists Of Science Cautiously Optimistic On Jobs
Sociologists Of Science Cautiously Optimistic On Jobs
OBSTACLE COURSE: Former 4S president Sal Restivo fears downsizing more than science wars. Science and technology studies (STS), and their attempts to explain science by social constructs such as language and culture, have given sociologists of science new opportunities for teaching and research. However, STS is viewed by many natural scientists as a dangerous attack on rationality and truth, and not worthy of academic legitimacy. The "science wars" that have arisen between STS's critics and d
New Uses For Thalidomide Yielding Valuable Lessons
New Uses For Thalidomide Yielding Valuable Lessons
Sidebar: Researchers Explore Thalidomide's Therapeutic Potential Firms are focusing on getting the teratogen to market to treat serious diseases; if successful, it may inspire fresh looks at other compounds. Thirty-five years after the effects of thalidomide horrified the world, the drug is teaching researchers a whole new set of lessons. This time, though, the message is positive: Working together, companies and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can indeed pursue important new compounds
Politics Polarizing Issues In Needle-Exchange Study
Politics Polarizing Issues In Needle-Exchange Study
POINTED ASSERTION: Dennis Fisher contends that his clinical trial examining methods of obtaining clean syringes is both ethical and valid. Though a federally appointed panel of scientists and ethicists in December okayed the continuation of a controversial needle-exchange clinical trial at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, questions still linger over the ethical and scientific nature of the study. At the same time, the project offers a view of how science can be politicized. Despite survey
Suit By 23 Tenured Faculty Members Against USC Illustrates Changes In Biomedical Research Culture
Suit By 23 Tenured Faculty Members Against USC Illustrates Changes In Biomedical Research Culture
Sidebar: "The Financing of Medical Schools" - For Further Information A DEMOTION? The plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeffrey Kramer, notes that the reduction in their contract term was not accompanied by a reduction in their duties. Twenty-three tenured members of the basic science faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Medicine have sued the Los Angeles-based university for $54 million, alleging that USC has breached their contracts and is violating established princip
For Further Information
For Further Information
For Further Information and copies of "The Financing of Medical Schools" contact: Association of American Medical Colleges Division of Institutional Planning Development 2450 N St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 Phone: (202) 828-0475 Fax: (202) 828-1125 E-mail: lmilas@aamc.org
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - February 3, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - February 3, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Cholesterol level increaser 9 Circulation fluid 10 Female sex hormone 11 It gives punch its punch 13 Resisting chemical change 15 ELISA, e.g. 17 Uncomined chemically 18 "Curriculum" follower 20 Incremental change symbol 21 It grows about as third as fast as hair 22 Wound souvenir 25 Chemistry Nobelist of 1958 and 1980 26 Benign tumor of glandular origin 29 Polar amino acid 31 It's initially formed in the nephrons 32 28 Down, for example DO
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - February 3, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - February 3, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Cholesterol level increaser 9 Circulation fluid 10 Female sex hormone 11 It gives punch its punch 13 Resisting chemical change 15 ELISA, e.g. 17 Uncomined chemically 18 "Curriculum" follower 20 Incremental change symbol 21 It grows about as third as fast as hair 22 Wound souvenir 25 Chemistry Nobelist of 1958 and 1980 26 Benign tumor of glandular origin 29 Polar amino acid 31 It's initially formed in the nephrons 32 28 Down, for example DO

Research

Researchers Explore Thalidomide's Therapeutic Potential
Researchers Explore Thalidomide's Therapeutic Potential
Researchers Explore Thalidomide's Therapeutic Potential Date: February 3, 1997 Despite the thalidomide crisis in the 1960s, scientists have long appreciated the drug's important therapeutic potential. In 1965, researchers first reported that thalidomide's anti-inflammatory effect could ease erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL), a painful condition in leprosy patients. More than 2 million people suffer from leprosy worldwide. Outside the United States, thalidomide is commonly sold to
New Molecular Tools Revealing Mysteries Of The Mind
New Molecular Tools Revealing Mysteries Of The Mind
Sidebar: Society for Neuroscience NEW MESSENGERS: Caltech’s Erin Schuman and colleagues discovered that one form of nitric oxide is important to long-term potentiation. Can you recall where you were when you heard about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger? Why is it that, almost universally, people can remember with vivid and instantaneous detail this tragic event when they can't recall what they had for dinner just days before? How are some memories indelibly hard-wired into o
For Further Information
For Further Information
Society for Neuroscience - For Further Information Date: February 3, 1997 Society for Neuroscience 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20006 (202) 462-6688 World Wide Web: http://www.sfn.org 24,000 members President: Bruce S. McEwen Executive director: Nancy Beang Journal: Journal of Neuroscience Carnegie Mellon University Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/Web/Groups/CNBC/other/other-neuro.html Neurosciences on the Inte

Opinion

Scientists Must Clarify The Societal Relevance of Research
Scientists Must Clarify The Societal Relevance of Research
Illustration: John Overmeyer A quarter-century ago, Margaret Mead rose up-wooden staff in hand-at a business meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology to warn anthropologists that if they fail to put their work on the "coffee tables of America," there would soon be no anthropology. More recently, James McPherson, a professor of history at Princeton University, noted in his book Drawn with the Sword (Oxford University Press, 1996), that the lack of jobs for historians may be

Commentary

Dispelling A Few Common Myths About Journal Citation Impacts
Dispelling A Few Common Myths About Journal Citation Impacts
  Dispelling A Few Common Myths About Journal Citation Impacts Author: Eugene Garfield The Scientist,Vol.11(3),p.11, February 3, 1997           Last October I participated in a conference on research assessment in Capri, Italy. The various discussions and presentations at this meeting reminded me that there are still widespread misunderstandings-indeed, myths-about citation analysis, especially with respect to journal impact. For those readers who are not afic

Letter

Senior 'Gems'
Senior 'Gems'
I was completing my New Year's desk cleaning and came across the commentary by Murray Saffran in the Sept. 30, 1996, issue of The Scientist ["Senior Scientists' Experience Can Offer A Valuable Resource To Today's Students," page 11]. I want to affirm Saffran's comments. Through the years, I have had the pleasure of working with senior scientists. I have always referred to these individuals as gems. I started my position at Southern Illinois University in September 1995 and, for the first time
The Merits Of Tenure
The Merits Of Tenure
N.A. Halasz's summary of the tenure question (Letters, The Scientist, Jan. 6, 1997, page 13) is too simple. It may well be that those who deserve tenure don't need it, in the sense that they would be kept on by their institution even without it, but he ignores the range of psychological needs of different people. Some able people have superb self-confidence, and if they lose one job they are sure they'll find another. But others, able, even brilliant, have little self-confidence, fear for thei
Anti-Tenure Sentiment
Anti-Tenure Sentiment
In response to your article on academic job security and tenure [R. Finn, The Scientist, Nov. 11, 1996, page 1], I feel compelled to point out that it is indeed the academic institution per se that is threatened. The anti-tenure sentiment often displayed as a necessity, based on financial consideration, is merely a change in the sentiment of a new breed of flashy, superficially educated and insignificant administrators who must control and who are now conveniently giving in to public sentiment
Peer Review
Peer Review
The Dec. 9, 1996, issue of The Scientist discusses researcher disagreement with the National Institutes of Health plan to improve its peer-review processes [T.W. Durso, page 1]. My reading of the peer-review literature, supplemented by the conduct of hundreds of peer reviews, leads me to the following documented conclusions on the subject (R.N. Kostoff, "The Handbook of Research Impact Assessment," 6th ed., Summer 1996, Defense Technical Information Center Report No. ADA296021; R.N. Kostoff, "F

Leaders of Science

Zora Kramer Brown
Zora Kramer Brown
The Scientist Date: February 3, 1997 Photo: Hason Miccolo Johnson THE SCIENTIST® The Newspaper for the Life Sciences Professional (609)-786-7207 For Fast Service "THE SCIENTIST provides an important source of information on what's happening within the scientific community on breast cancer research and what kinds of information scientists need to make study determinations. THE SCIENTIST is very useful." Zora Kramer Brown Executive Director Breast Cancer Resource Committee Washington, D.

Hot Paper

Women's Health Research / Breast Cancer
Women's Health Research / Breast Cancer
Edited by: Karen Young Kreeger REAL RISKS: Harvard’s Graham Colditz found a higher risk of breast cancer in women who took estrogen and progestin. G.A. Colditz, S.E. Hankinson, D.J. Hunter, W.C. Willett, J.E. Manson, M.J. Stampfer, C. Hennekens, B. Rosner, F.E. Speizer, "The use of estrogens and progestins and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women," New England Journal of Medicine, 332:1589-93, 1995. (Cited in nearly 140 publications as of December 1996) Comments by Graham
Heat Shock Proteins
Heat Shock Proteins
Edited by: Karen Young Kreeger M.S. Marber, R. Mestril, S.-H. Chi, M.R. Sayen, D.M. Yellen, W.H. Dillman, "Overexpression of the rat inducible 70-kD heat stress protein in a transgenic mouse increases the resistance of the heart to ischemic injury," Journal of Clinical Investigation, 95:1446-56, 1995. (Cited in nearly 50 publications as of December 1996) Comments by Wolfgang H. Dillman, University of California, San Diego CARDIAC PROTECTION: UC-San Diego’s Wolfgang Dillman, right, and

Profession

Programs Abound As Schools Make T.A. Training A Priority
Programs Abound As Schools Make T.A. Training A Priority
Sidebar: A Trio of Innovative T.A. Training Programs Teaching assistants (T.A.'s) were once regarded as second-class citizens by science graduate students with research assistantships. But things have changed over the past decade. Several factors-including recognition of the value of teaching skills, a tight job market, and public demand for quality in undergraduate instruction-have converged to stimulate academic departments to invest more in T.A.'s. As a result, many colleges and universitie
A Trio Of Innovative T.A. Training Programs
A Trio Of Innovative T.A. Training Programs
A Trio Of Innovative T.A. Training Programs Date: February 3, 1997 The Principal Investigator Program, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: At Bates college, the laboratory component of four core life science courses is conducted in the manner of a real research lab. Instead of cookbook-like instructions, students design experiments. In lieu of seeking answers to age-old lab exercise questions in fraternity house archives, students hand in formal write-ups as if they were principal i

Technology

Electrophoresis Apparatus, Gels Aid In Specialized Studies
Electrophoresis Apparatus, Gels Aid In Specialized Studies
FOR MULTIPLE RUNS: ISS’s Mini-6 Gel Device can run up to six gels simultaneously. In 1897, Russian physicist Ferdinand Ruess watched as clay colloidal particles moved within clay attached to electrodes, in what may have been the first application of what is today termed electrophoresis. In the 1930s, Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius developed methods to measure the amounts on an abnormal protein in the urine of multiple myeloma patients. That work earned him a Nobel Prize in 1948, and the

New Products

New Products
New Products
The ABI PRISM 877 Integrated Thermal Cycler complements Perkin-Elmer Applied Biosystems' offerings for DNA sequencing and analysis, which include instrumentation, reagents, and data-management products. The 384-well thermal cycler is integrated with a robot capable of pipetting extremely low volumes necessary for both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing reactions, enabling these operations to be carried out on a single platform. Users may choose to run preprogrammed protocols or c

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
CHANGES INSTITUTED: With the status change complete, director Francis Collins says he’s now working on setting new goals. Rumors that had been flying around the National Institutes of Health in early January about a status change for the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) (S. Benowitz, The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1997, page 1) turned out to be true. On January 14, NCHGR officially became the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Except for some added flexibility in