News

Cannabinoid Investigations Entering The Mainstream
Cannabinoid Investigations Entering The Mainstream
With the passage last year of Proposition 215 in California and similar measures in Arizona and other states, voters have indicated their belief that marijuana should be made available for medicinal purposes. In response, the Office of National Drug Control Policy requested that the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences undertake an 18-month study to assess the science base, the therapeutic use, and the economics of medical marijuana. The study will not be completed until th
NIDA Boss Touts Addiction Studies
NIDA Boss Touts Addiction Studies
Editor's Note: Scientists looking for a crash course in effective communication of their research findings should catch Alan Leshner in action. During recent months, the personable director of the Rockville, Md.-based National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been moderating a series of "Town Meetings" in such metropolises as Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta. In the keynote talk he gives on the myths and realities of drug abuse and addiction, he juxtaposes graphs and cartoons with a
Just Say 'Research': Antidrug Program Stresses Science
Just Say 'Research': Antidrug Program Stresses Science
SPREADING THE WORD: Materials developed by NIDA use a neuroscience approach to teach students about the dangers of drug abuse. A new program from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "Mind Over Matter," is using neuroscience research results to teach, rather than preach to, students about the dangers of addictive drugs. "People have historically seen drug abuse as purely a social problem that results from voluntary behavior and remains voluntary. But science has taught us that addictio
Family Membership Becomes Tradition At Institute Of Medicine
Family Membership Becomes Tradition At Institute Of Medicine
Membership in the Institute of Medicine (IoM) is becoming a family affair. Increasingly, members of the same family-husbands and wives, and also parents and their offspring-are being elected to the honor society. Six couples now boast membership. There also are four instances in which a parent and a son or daughter have been elected to the institute. And in one extraordinary case, there's a husband and wife and their daughter. "Perhaps both nature and nurture helped to shape the offspring," say

Opinion

The Wholesale Transformation Of Ignorance Into Fear
The Wholesale Transformation Of Ignorance Into Fear
During the Renaissance, science fought for and won a degree of independence. It then became possible to state facts (such as the fact that Earth was not the center of the universe) even when those facts were uncomfortable to the rulers of the time. Independent science flourished, and its cumulative power dispelled the traditional pessimistic view of what humanity could accomplish in this world. The rapid expansion of knowledge gave rise to the wonderful optimism of the Enlightenment, epitomized

Commentary

How Safe Are Science Careers For Scientists?
How Safe Are Science Careers For Scientists?
Although much has been written about the difficulties that a new Ph.D. will have in getting into a first job after doing a postdoc, this article is about a different and vastly underdiscussed problem. That problem deals with hazards to the career of a scientist after he or she has been in a career for some time. These hazards often force capable scientists out of science. A scientist who is either in academia or in a research institute that permits investigator-originated research must perpetua

Research

Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Journal Impact: Does It Matter?
Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Journal Impact: Does It Matter?
Date: February 2, 1998 Chart 1 Chart 2 The first published report on journal impact factors was included in E. Garfield, I.H. Sher, "New factors in the evaluation of scientific literature through citation indexing," American Documentation, 14[3]:195-201, July 1963. The late Irving H. Sher, who then was director of R&D at the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), and I created the impact factor to help evaluate and select journals for Current Contents. The current i

Letter

Funding Homeless Programs
Funding Homeless Programs
The opinion piece in the Nov. 10, 1997, issue of The Scientist [W. Breakey, "Homelessness Should Be Treated As A Major Health Issue," page 8] suggests dealing with the homeless problem by providing more health care and "adequate" housing. This sounds like a heartwarming solution, but Breakey doesn't explain where the money for these programs will come from. Considering the fact that the federal government is one of the least efficient charities, handing out only 28 cents to welfare recipients f
Shattering The Glass Ceiling
Shattering The Glass Ceiling
Your Nov. 24, 1997, issue focusing on women in science is helpful in reporting the significant barriers that still hinder the advancement of women in the sciences. My many years as a scientist administrator in the federal government have led me to believe that women must accept more responsibility for getting out of their predicament. They all too often passively put up with indignities that men would never tolerate. They must simply overcome any remaining fears about throwing stones at the gla
Specimens On The Web
Specimens On The Web
This is in response to the article "Instructors Reconsider Dissection's Role In Biology Classes" (R. Lewis, The Scientist, Nov. 10, 1997, page 13): I am a registered nurse with 35 years' experience. I am aware that most nursing programs consider the study of anatomy an essential part of the curriculum, as is the case for most medical professionals. Here at Michigan State University (MSU), a new process has been developed that will minimize the annual replacement of cadaveric material (human an

Hot Paper

Neurochemistry
Neurochemistry
Edited by: Steve Bunk THERE THEY ARE: Harvard's Wilma Wasco and colleagues found the subcellular locales of the presenilins, in the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi complex. D.M. Kovacs, H.J. Fausett, K.J. Page, T.W. Kim, R.D. Moir, D.E. Merriam, R.D. Hollister, O.G. Hallmark, R. Mancini, K.M. Fstein, B.T. Hyman, R.E. Tanzi, W. Wasco, "Alzheimer-associated presenilins 1 and 2: Neuronal expression in brain and localization to intracellular membranes in mammalian cells," Nature Medicine, 2:2
Biochemistry
Biochemistry
Edited by: Steve Bunk M.P. Boldin, T.M. Goncharov, Y.V. Goltsev, D. Wallach, "Involvement of MACH, a novel MORT1/FADD-interacting protease, in Fas/APO-1- and TNF receptor-induced cell death," Cell, 85:803-15, 1996. (Cited in more than 250 publications as of January 1998) Comments by David Wallach, Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel Photo: Mike Goldberg DIRECT ROUTE: David Wallach of the Weizmann Institute wrote a paper that he says provided the f

Profession

Laboratory Notebooks Chronicle A Scientist's Progress
Laboratory Notebooks Chronicle A Scientist's Progress
WHAT'S WHAT: Old Dominion's Kerry Kilburn found a notebook to be useful in explaining to a grad student how to analyze data she collected. Confirming experimental evidence is much like re-creating a prizewinning cheesecake: Both are much easier when a written record of the process is followed. While laboratory notebooks often contain detailed "recipes" for experiments, these diaries have several other functions, as well. "Scientists maintain notebooks to refer to previous experimental pr

Technology

A Thousand Points Of Light: PNA Technology From Perseptive Biosystems
A Thousand Points Of Light: PNA Technology From Perseptive Biosystems
In the few years since the introduction of peptide nucleic acid, or PNA (P.E. Ni et al., Science 254:1497-1500, 1991)-a nucleic acid analog with a peptide rather than sugar-phosphate backbone-no less than 200 papers detailing some 25 different applications of the technology have been published. Antisense inhibition, strand invasion, PCR clamping, all manner of hybridizations, and even the routine detection of single base changes in DNA are but a few of the proven uses of PNA. PerSeptive Biosyst
The Ultra-Sensitive Type: SuperSignal ULTRA from Pierce Chemical Company
The Ultra-Sensitive Type: SuperSignal ULTRA from Pierce Chemical Company
Sensitivity, ease of use, and shelf life are all considerations in choosing detection systems for Western blots and dot blots. Chemiluminescent substrates allow the sensitive detection of targeted proteins in immunoblotting protocols with stable, hard-copy results on film-all without the hazards and other problems associated with the use of radioactive probes. Numerous chemiluminescent substrates are commercially available. They generally consist of luminol and H2O2 with undisclosed chemical e

Technology Profile

Creative Expression: Mammalian Expression Vectors and Systems
Creative Expression: Mammalian Expression Vectors and Systems
Date: February 2, 1998 Chart 1 Chart 2 Prokaryotic expression systems, reviewed in the September 1, 1997, issue of The Scientist were part of the early repertoire of research tools in molecular biology. Although the expression of recombinant protein in prokaryotes provided a means to develop other research tools (antibodies, for example ) and study basic aspects of biological function, the scope and depth of this research were limited, especially with regard to eukaryotic proteins. The de novo
Across the Spectrum: Instrumentation for UV/Vis Spectrophotometry
Across the Spectrum: Instrumentation for UV/Vis Spectrophotometry
Date: February 2, 1998 Chart 1 Spectrophotometry is a technique most scientists have used at some point in their careers. Whether for confirmation of a compound's identity or for quantitation of a protein, spectrophotometry in the ultraviolet and visible spectrum has rapidly found increasing applications in numerous fields within the last few years. To help meet this demand, manufacturers of instrumentation for UV/Vis spectrophotometry now provide machines with a wide spectrum of features and

New Products

New Products
New Products
Bio ImageTM announces the introduction to the US of the Micro Imager®, a beta detection system developed by Biospace Mesures in France. The Micro Imager detects tritium in tissue sections andin hybridization experiments in situ up to 50 times faster than film. "The Micro Imager is the ultimate tool for quick, easy and accurate detection of tritium and other beta emitting isotopes," according to Lotte Downey, product manager at Bio Image. "The system achieves a spatial resolution of 15 micr

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
BASIC ADVOCATE: Maryland's Rita Colwell plans to advocate more basic science funding as the next NSF deputy director. On January 8, President Clinton announced his intent to nominate Rita R. Colwell as deputy director of the National Science Foundation. Colwell, currently the president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, says that if her nomination is confirmed, she will use the position to push for more research dollars for basic science. She remains unfazed by the limits t