Books etc.

Endosymbiont aids pathogenic fungi
Endosymbiont aids pathogenic fungi
Laila Partida-Martinez and Christian Hertweck of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Products Research and Infection Biology, Jena, Germany, demonstrated that rhizoxin, a plant-rotting toxin believed to come from pathogenic fungi in the genus Rhizopus is in fact synthesized by an endosymbiotic bacterium.1 They posit that the relationship confers a metabolic benefit to both to bacteria and its fungal host, giving each access to nutrients released by decaying plant material after infection.
Endocytosis in real time
Endocytosis in real time
The endocytosis pathway involves multiple protein-protein interactions and has proven difficult to investigate. Two years ago David Drubin and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley began to unravel the details of early endocytosis in yeast using live-cell imaging of six proteins involved in the pathway. The researchers recently extended the approach to examine 61 yeast-deletion mutants and determined the function of clathrin in yeast endocytosis. They also elucidated the a
Nailing the LacY mechanism
Nailing the LacY mechanism
Credit: © 2003 AAAS" /> Credit: © 2003 AAAS Researchers including H. Ronald Kaback of the University of California, Los Angeles, had been attempting for more than a decade to crystallize LacY, the lactose permease of Escherichia coli. ?After hitting my head against the wall with the wild type, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to try the mutant,? Kaback writes in an E-mail. In the early 1980s Kaback had stumbled upon a thermostable, nonaggregatin
PS II unveiled
PS II unveiled
Credit: Courtesy of Imperial College London" /> Credit: Courtesy of Imperial College London The photosynthetic enzyme Photosystem II (PSII) generates all of Earth?s atmospheric oxygen through a thermodynamically unfavorable reaction, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. ?It?s been the Holy Grail of photosynthesis research ? to obtain structural information about the catalytic center where this very remarkable reaction occurs,? says biochemist James Barber o
A Q-dot biopsy?
A Q-dot biopsy?
Credit: © 2003 Nature Publishing Group" /> Credit: © 2003 Nature Publishing Group Sentinel lymph node biopsy, in which lymph nodes that receive direct drainage from a primary tumor site are excised to determine the extent of metastasis, is routinely used to accurately stage melanomas and breast cancers. The technique is time-consuming, difficult to learn, and involves the injection of a potentially hazardous radioactive tracer and a blue detection dye with temporary side effects.
Papers to Watch
Papers to Watch
B.P. Tu et al., ?Logic of the yeast metabolic cycle: temporal compartmentalization of cellular processes,? Science, 310:1152?8, Nov. 18, 2005.Cells grown in continuous and nutrient-limited conditions exhibit periodic metabolic cycles accompanied by a synchronized expression of most of their genes in three consecutive waves. This temporal compartmentalization might optimize key metabolic and cell-cycle processes and could be the origin of circadian and ultradian oscillators.Jürg

Uncategorized

Contributors
Contributors
Currently a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Victor McElheny has been writing and editing for publications including Science, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe for more than 50 years. On page 42 he takes a look, five years later, at the human genome project, also the subject of his upcoming third book. ?Many genomics predictions will take many years to fulfill,? McElheny says, ?yet the project has grown larger, more widespread, and more exciting than anyone predicted
Mail
Mail
Write: The Scientist, 400 Market Street, Suite 1250, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Email: letters@the-scientist.com Fax: (215)351-1143 Will cancer immunotherapy fail? Ira Mellman1 paints rosy prospects for cancer immunotherapy, if only the field receives more support. We?ve repeatedly heard such promises over the past 40 years. Yet despite continuing strong support, progress has been minimal and I expect it will be so in the future. To be effectiv
The Agenda
The Agenda
DARWIN TURNS 197» Charles Darwin's birthday is February 12. Shrewsbury, UK, his birthplace, will be celebrating the entire month, while universities around the world, including Duquesne University, a Catholic university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be holding "Darwin Days" Duquesne reminds those who ask why a Catholic university would hold a Darwin Day, that "the Catholic Church is not at odds with science, even evolutionary biology" See http://tinyurl.com/bww7y BOOK T
Is Peer Review Broken?
Is Peer Review Broken?
FEATUREIs Peer Review Broken? Submissions are up, reviewers are overtaxed, and authors are lodging complaint after complaint about the process at top-tier journals. What's wrong with peer review? BY ALISON MCCOOK Peter Lawrence, a developmental biologist who is also an editor at the journal Development and former editorial board member at Cell, has been publishing papers in academic journals for 40 years. His f
Truth or Myth?
Truth or Myth?
FEATUREIs Peer Review Broken?Truth or Myth? © GETTY IMAGESWe presented three common complaints about peer review at top-tier journals to editors at some of those journals. Here are their responses:ARTICLE EXTRASRelated Articles: Is Peer Review Broken?Submissions are up, reviewers are overtaxed, and authors are lodging complaint after complaint about the process at top-tier journal
What about Fast-track?
What about Fast-track?
FEATUREIs Peer Review Broken?What about Fast-track?Despite a high profile incident, preliminary evidence suggests the practice does not change peer-review quality or rejection ratesBY JOHN DUDLEY MILLER Many biomedical journals offer fast-track peer reviews of scientific articles. Woo-Suk Huang's now- discredited 2005 Science paper about human cloning was accepted 58 days after submission, faster than the
Whither Gene Therapy?
Whither Gene Therapy?
FEATUREWhither Gene Therapy? BY ALAIN FISCHER AND MARINA CAVAZZANA-CALVO A few successes notwithstanding, gene therapy remains highly experimental. Only a limited number of rare genetic diseases are candidates for gene therapy, and a few recipients have experienced severe adverse reactions from the treatment. Critics have argued that the technique has fallen short of its expectations.
The Human Genome Project +5
The Human Genome Project +5
FEATUREThe Human Genome Project +5 © CHRISTIAN DARKIN BY VICTOR K. McELHENY Five years after publication of two drafts of the human genome, Maynard Olson of the University of Washington finds himself longing for another "lurch." To be sure, genomic scientists across the world have chalked up many achievements since 2001, but, like many of his colleagues, Olson is feeling more impatient than celebratory.
Where Are We Now?
Where Are We Now?
FEATUREThe Human Genome Project +5Where Are We Now? Publication of the draft sequences of the human genome in 2001 was greeted with considerable hyperbole, being compared to the invention of the printing press, landing a man on the moon, the development of the atomic bomb, and more. We asked several researchers how, five years later, the genome has lived up to its billing, and what the next five years of th
Delivering on the Dream:Biomedical Research in the Genomic Era
Delivering on the Dream:Biomedical Research in the Genomic Era
FEATUREThe Human Genome Project +5Delivering on the Dream: Biomedical Research in the Genomic Era BY FRANCIS S. COLLINS Francis S. Collins is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of HealthWith the sequencing of the genomes of Homo sapiens and a wide array of other organisms, biology has emerged as a truly quantitative science. Researchers from all realms of biology - from botany to zool
Teaching a New Language
Teaching a New Language
FEATUREThe Human Genome Project +5Teaching a New Language © FRANK WOJCIECHOWSKIAdvances in genomics are beginning to force changes in education. An example is the new Princeton University undergraduate science curriculum, which David Botstein helps lead (pictured left). After working at MIT, Genentech, and Stanford University, he became director in 2003 of Princeton's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrati
Battling Bad Behavior
Battling Bad Behavior
FEATUREBattling Bad Behavior COURTESY YURI MATROSOVICHAnti-alcohol propaganda such as this poster titled "Bartered" was distributed in the Soviet Union during the 1980s Many of society's most vexing problems - the rise of antibiotic resistance, the current epidemic of obesity, armed conflicts that leave both sides worse off - have their roots in the suboptimal and often puzzling actions of individuals. At times
Barriers to Adoption
Barriers to Adoption
FEATUREBattling Bad BehaviorBarriers to AdoptionHow can we improve the pace at which best practices are implemented? BY MICHAEL D. CABANA ARTICLE EXTRASRelated Articles: Battling Bad BehaviorHow do you convince people to do what's in their best interest? College Drinking: Norms vs. Perceptions Through medical history, improved practices are often accepted at a glacial pace. The British N
College Drinking: Norms vs. Perceptions
College Drinking: Norms vs. Perceptions
FEATUREBattling Bad BehaviorCollege Drinking: Norms vs. PerceptionsBY RICHARD RICE COURTESY RICHARD RICEPoster for a public health program aimed at reducing misperceptions about drinking at Virginia Commonwealth UniversityThough well meaning perhaps, shocking headlines in the media and related scare tactics may inadvertently serve to further inflate students' misperception that their peers are largely out of

Editorial

Taking on peer review
Taking on peer review
Authors may need to take some of the blame for what ails the system

Notebook

Luge and the Lab
Luge and the Lab
As director of the Human Performance Lab at Boise State University and the author of nine fitness and wellness books, kinesiologist Werner Hoeger understands body movement. This month in Torino, Italy, the 52-year-old professor will put his theories to the test: He?ll be competing in luge at the 2006 Olympic Games.? Like gymnastics, Hoeger says, ?The sport of luge takes a tremendous amount of body awareness. You have to be able to feel the gravity forc
Nature has Wikipedia in its cites
Nature has Wikipedia in its cites
Nature has long been linking to Wikipedia ? ?the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit? ? from its online news stories. On Aug. 25, 2005, Nature cited the Web site in a print editorial. So there was perhaps a collective sigh of relief in the journal?s offices when an in-house investigation, published on December 15, found that the site?s scientific content is not much less trustworthy than that found in tried-and-tested print encyclopedias. Since its launch in 2001, Wik
Omega-3s sans fish
Omega-3s sans fish
For most of us, the phrase ?omega-3 fatty acids? conjures images of fish, whose oils are rich in those panaceas of modern nutrition. But our scaly friends don?t make omega-3s on their own. They need to eat something that ate something that ate microalgae, the unicellular plants which serve as the starting point for the ocean?s food chain and provide half of Earth?s atmospheric oxygen. In recent times, researchers have begun working on new ways to cut out the piscin
Growing Pot for science
Growing Pot for science
Lyle Craker has never seen a live marijuana plant. But the medicinal plant and herb scientist, who has been a professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for more than 35 years, has found himself in a haze of legal battles with the government for the chance to grow cannabis for US researchers. Craker was first approached by cannabis advocate Rick Doblin in 2001 about helping to change the fact that for 37 years, the government has had a contract with just a
Electron microscopy on the runway
Electron microscopy on the runway
?Excuse me, but I have to ask, is that a Golgi body on your scarf?? That was the question from the biology student of a teacher who attended the most recent meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco. And because the teacher was wearing a scarf fashioned by electron microscopist Eve Reaven, the answer was yes. Reaven has been making scarves and ties based on subcellular structures such as mitochondria, Golgi bodies, the endoplasmic reticulum, hormo

Opinion

How regulation hamstrings animal research
How regulation hamstrings animal research
US agencies change previously effective rules, give oversight to people unfamiliar with the benefits of animal research, and place unreasonable demands on researchers
Time to Abandon the Three Rs
Time to Abandon the Three Rs
Submitting to ?refinement, reduction, and replacement? risks the future of animal research

Column

The Hidden Dangers of Fundamentalism
The Hidden Dangers of Fundamentalism
A connection exists between disease outbreaks and extreme religious practice

Profile

The Age of Senescence
The Age of Senescence
Judy Campisi's work on cancer may reveal the secrets of (not) getting older

Hot Paper

Genomics Goes to the Dogs
Genomics Goes to the Dogs
How first-generation pooch genomes presaged things to come

Scientist To Watch

Sangeeta Bhatia Looks at Life's Architecture
Sangeeta Bhatia Looks at Life's Architecture
Credit: Photo: Jason Varney/varneyphoto.com" /> Credit: Photo: Jason Varney/varneyphoto.com Although her research interests run the gamut from cell and molecular biology to nanotechnology and biomedical engineering, one organ attracts the bulk of Sangeeta Bhatia?s attention: the liver. Her mother, who grew up in Bombay, told her that the philosophers of ancient Greece and India considered the liver the ?center of everything.? Now the director of the Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerati

Lab Tools

My Own Private Genome
My Own Private Genome
So you want your own genome sequenced. What's that going to cost?
A Practical Guide to the HapMap
A Practical Guide to the HapMap
Here are five tips to getting the most out of your next gene-association study

How It Works

Genotyping Microarrays
Genotyping Microarrays
For most researchers DNA microarrays are synonymous with high-throughput gene expression analysis. But they also are invaluable genotyping tools. Now that the International HapMap Project (see article, p.68) is complete companies are putting ?these tools into researchers hands, including the HumanHap300 BeadChip from San Diego-based Illumina, whose construction is illustrated here.Unlike other microarray platforms, in which specific oligonucleotide probes are either synthesized

BioBusiness

Marrying Drugs to Diagnostics
Marrying Drugs to Diagnostics
Companies and regulators see codevelopment as the best medicine
Meeting Halfway?
Meeting Halfway?
FDA and industry prepare to revisit the costs and benefits of interaction during the drug approval process

Pulse Oximeter

Reading Between the Lines
Reading Between the Lines
How to judge people by their resumes
Funding a Start-up? Friends Lead the Way
Funding a Start-up? Friends Lead the Way
University scientists seeking to commercialize their research results most often turn to friends and family for startup funding. Nearly 21% of companies started by professors in fiscal year 2004 received initial funding from friends and family, compared to 10.7% tapped from angels and 5.7% from angel networks, according to the latest survey from the Northbrook, Ill-based Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).1 Forty-nine percent of funding came from individuals vs. a
XX Marks the Spot
XX Marks the Spot
Credit: © Getty Images" /> Credit: © Getty Images The European Life Scientist Organization (ELSO) is hoping to raise the visibility of European-based female scientists with a new public online database of ?expert women.? Recently launched, the organizers of the Database of Expert Woman in the Molecular Sciences hope it will promote qualified women as candidates for professorships, advisory groups, and committees; as speakers at conferences; and as manuscript reviewers and members of

Foundations

The First Automated DNA Sequencer
The First Automated DNA Sequencer
Credit: Courtesy of Lloyd M. Smith" /> Credit: Courtesy of Lloyd M. Smith Lloyd M. Smith joined Lee Hood?s CalTech laboratory in 1982 with the idea that he would finally get to do ?real biology.? Having come from a chemistry background, people suggested that he learn DNA sequencing to get a handle on molecular biology. ?Although it was really interesting to learn because there were so many new techniques that one had to master ? it turns out once you get those techniques down it was a