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HIV Vaccine Experiment Ignites Press Interest: But Scientists Ask, 'Will It Work In Humans?'
HIV Vaccine Experiment Ignites Press Interest: But Scientists Ask, 'Will It Work In Humans?'
On Jan. 14, the day before Science published an article on a formalin-fixed fused immunogen that induced neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins,1 Jack Nunberg's telephone rang endlessly. Nunberg, head of the Montana Biotechnology Center at University of Montana, Missoula, is senior author of the paper, coauthored by his former graduate student Rachel LaCasse (now at University of Alabama, Birmingham), colleagues at University of Montana, and two scientists at New York Universit
New Gene Therapy Systems: Advancement in Drug Delivery
New Gene Therapy Systems: Advancement in Drug Delivery
Courtesy of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals In the gene therapy system devised by Penn and ARIAD researchers, the adeno-associated virus is injected into the body to deliver the desired gene (top left), and a drug in pill form is given orally to activate gene expression (top right). Researchers demonstrated a strong correlation between the amount of drug administered and the resulting increase in the amount of protein produced (center). Scientists attempting to devise successful, efficient gene therapy
Broader Ph.D. Training Can Benefit Science and Society
Broader Ph.D. Training Can Benefit Science and Society
The problem and the solution seem obvious: Scientists are training many more graduate students than are needed for available academic positions, and science illiteracy in the United States is rampant. Newly trained scientists working outside academia might ease the glut, plus perhaps pass their enthusiasm and knowledge to the public. Statistics tell the story. According to the National Research Council (NRC), in 1985, 3,791 Ph.D.s were granted in life sciences, and the job market held 20,377 t
Postdocs Get a Pay Raise, but Other Issues Remain
Postdocs Get a Pay Raise, but Other Issues Remain
Postdocs supported by National Institutes of Health training grants will soon see their funding increase by about 25 percent, but even NIH officials agree that the boost alone won't fix a program that has set stagnant stipends for years. In 1996, new postdocs received $20,292 under NIH's National Research Service Awards (NRSA), an amount that increased $708 for the 1998 fiscal year. The new entry-level salary of $26,256 for the 1999 fiscal year--and the new senior level of $41,268, up from $33
Cleaving in the Sheaves
Cleaving in the Sheaves
When Katherine Osteryoung started her postdoctoral fellowship in Elizabeth Vierling's laboratory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, she wanted to work on heat shock proteins, which cells make in response to stress. Chloroplast division was the farthest thing from her mind. But science, which is no stranger to serendipity, had other plans. Plastids, including chloroplasts, are descendants of cyanobacterial endosymbionts. Like their ancestors, they divide by fission, ensuring continuity throu
Fetal Pig Shortage Hamstrings Biology Instructors
Fetal Pig Shortage Hamstrings Biology Instructors
Phrases such as "bidding war," "invest now," and "panic over short supply" evoke images of brave new drugs. An apologetic "It's on back order" is a common refrain from L.L. Bean or Land's End. But these phrases are being applied to the fetal pig, a staple of the biology teaching laboratory as a model of vertebrate anatomy. The foot-long beasts, once considered mere slaughterhouse waste, now bring in more bacon than a nice pair of pork chops. Spiraling fetal pig prices have biology instructors s
St. John's Wort Set for U.S. Clinical Trials
St. John's Wort Set for U.S. Clinical Trials
After years of clinical studies in Germany, St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is poised to undergo scientific scrutiny in the United States as a treatment for depression. Never clinically tested in this country, the yellow-blossomed, roadside weed, native to much of America's Northwest and to many other parts of the world, is now the focus of four such trials. Perhaps foremost among them is a $4.3 million study funded by the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) in the National Institutes
Short Shrift to Evolution?
Short Shrift to Evolution?
Editor's Note: In this essay, the authors--both scientists and writers--discuss recent news stories on evolution and express their opinions on how the stories were handled by the mainstream press. Evolution took center stage at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) annual meeting in Reno, Nev., Nov. 3-8, 1998. If the teachers needed a theme, evolution was a logical choice--after all, it underlies and unifies contemporary biology. But NABT had other fish to fry. Despite a spate of c

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"First the lab manager quit, then they ran out of restriction enzymes, and its just been downhill since then."

Letter

Stem Cell Research
Stem Cell Research
It seems to me that any stem cell samples derived from human tissue that were acquired prior to the current debate1,2,3 on the ethics and fundability of such work should be destroyed and not used for research. It is [possible] that such samples were not acquired with consent forms that described this type of work and its scope as fully as necessary. Or more correctly, if such consent was not properly outlined, then those samples should be destroyed, as the donors were not properly informed. Th
Protein Folding
Protein Folding
I read with interest your report on protein folding.1 You cited C. Levinthal, Journal of Chemical Physics, 65:44-5, 1968 to illustrate the difficulty in the folding problem: "[Levinthal's paradox] says, let each amino acid residue in a small, 100-residue protein have six possible conformations. To ...." There are two things terribly wrong with what you wrote. First, the journal in question is Journal de Chimie Physique et de Physico-Chimie Biologique, a French journal, not the American Journal
M.D.-Ph.D. Programs
M.D.-Ph.D. Programs
As an M.D. graduate who earned his Ph.D. degree after completing a residency and joining a medical school faculty, my perspective is somewhat different from those discussed in the article on M.D.-Ph.D. graduates.5 My observation is that new M.D.-Ph.D. graduates are more likely to return to basic science research because they are not adequately trained as clinicians. Medical school is the start of one's medical experience and does not provide the same type of learning experience one receives as

Commentary

Why Science Journals Are So Expensive
Why Science Journals Are So Expensive
In 1974, the editorial board of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, at the time and still the world's largest journal of biochemistry, gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate the journal's 25th anniversary at a lavish party hosted by ier-North Holland Biomedical Press. Attending the gathering were such legendary figures in biochemistry as Sir Hans Krebs, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, Fyodor Lynen, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of fatty acid synthetase, Alex Bangham, "inv

Opinion

'Bahramdipity' and Scientific Research
'Bahramdipity' and Scientific Research
Illustration: A. Canamucio Most readers of The Scientist probably agree that the education of scientists should be scientifically rigorous. Periodically, the nonscientific rigors of the education and training of scientists and physicians have been examined. When the exorbitant workloads imposed on interns and medical residents led to critical treatment errors, some hospitals changed their decades-old practices. Other tragedies have brought other cases of excessive or even abusive "rigor'' to l

Research

Recent Findings Lead to New Understanding of Dystonia
Recent Findings Lead to New Understanding of Dystonia
Dystonia. It sounds like a dark, debilitating alien world--and for the estimated 300,000-plus people in North America alone who suffer the wrath of associated neurological disorders, it often is. Effects of repetitive skilled finger movements on functional organization in a primate motor cortex, as measured by microelectrode stimulation. Training resulted in improved motor skill and expansion of digit representation. Randolph J. Nudo Dystonias are movement disorders in which sustained muscle

Hot Paper

Developmental Biology
Developmental Biology
Edited by: Paul Smaglik P. Carmeliet, V. Ferreira, G. Breier, S. Pollefeyt, L. Kieckens, M. Gertsenstein, M. Fahrig, A. Vandenhoeck, K. Harpal, C. Eberhardt, C. Declercq, J. Pawling, L. Moons, D. Collen, W. Risau, A. Nagy, "Abnormal blood vessel development and lethality in embryos lacking a single VEGF allele," Nature, 380:435-9, 1996. (Cited in more than 235 papers since publication) Comments by Andras Nagy, senior staff scientist, Mount Sinai Hospital, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, To

Profession

How to Manage Knowledge and ""Gold Collar"" Workers
How to Manage Knowledge and ""Gold Collar"" Workers
The principal resource of the 21st century will not be labor, or raw materials, or even capital, according to such prominent business consultants as Peter F. Drucker, professor of social science and management at Claremont Graduate University. It will be knowledge: a fundamentally different resource from the other three.1 In science, especially in biotechnology, where the pace of gathering and transferring knowledge is rapid, proper management of this central resource is already a major challen

Technology

Right On Track
Right On Track
One of the problems facing scientists is how to organize data among teams of researchers. Compiling information from an assortment of notebooks and transposing a variety of different styles of handwriting can be an arduous process fraught with problems. Occasionally, an important result may be misinterpreted or lost altogether, altering the complexion of an experiment that demanded days or weeks of intensive work. Screen shot from Avatar Consulting's LABTrack Notebook Laboratory Information Ma
Sequencing Software Redux
Sequencing Software Redux
We have learned that several software packages were omitted from our profile on DNA sequencing software published late last year1. A summary of those packages follows: GeneTool™, a product of the Canadian company BioTools offers a single environment in which to search proprietary databases, probe sequence homologies, access functional information, align multiple sequences, and predict the secondary structure of proteins. GeneTool's graphical user interface operates the same across all ma
Getting Radical
Getting Radical
HeLa lysates were oxidized by the addition of H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) for 0, 0.5 or 3.5 hours. Afterwards, cell lysates from the control or H2O2-treated samples were treated +/- dinitriphenylhydrazine, then separated by PAGE and transferred to a nitrocellulose membrane. Dinitrophenylated proteins were immunodetected using the anti-DNP antibody provided in the kit. The lanes contain: (1) dinitrophenylated molecular weight standards; (2) DNP-modified HeLa control cells; (3) DNP-modified, 0.5-hou

Technology Profile

Reductio Ad Amino Acid
Reductio Ad Amino Acid
Date: February 1, 1999Fusion/Tag Proteases TableProteolytic Enzymes TableTable 3Table 4 A proteome analysis aims to characterize all proteins expressed by an organism or tissue. The next step will be to correlate a protein profile with the appropriate genome, and beyond that researchers will want to understand the correlations between levels of proteins, co- and post-translational modifications, and cell or tissue activity. Many of the technologies that are necessary to realize this goal are de
Image Is Everything
Image Is Everything
Date: February 1, 1999Table of Confocal Microscope Manufacturers Perhaps in few other fields has the creation of an instrument been so important to the establishment of a new theory or discipline. Even the Galilean telescope, with its revelation of the Medicean moons, does not compare to the microscope because the foundation for astronomy had already been well established by naked-eye observation. Cell theory, by contrast, had no such foundation in anecdotal experience. However, it wasn't long

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
BARKING UP THE SAME TREE Ralston Purina announced Jan. 12 an initiative to unite efforts to map the dog genome, consolidating data and planning for more. Most markers accumulated so far hail from the Baker Institute at Cornell University. The linkage map, currently consisting of about 400 markers, provides signposts along the 78 chromosomes to direct sequencing efforts. At the heart of the project are blood samples from 16 multigenerational canine families. The dog genome hardly reflects natu
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