Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Steven Reiner has been professor of immunology and a member of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania since 1999. He received his MD from Duke University and has held research positions at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Chicago. In "Separate and unequal," he recounts how he and his colleagues answered one of the most pressing questions in immunology: How do lymphocytes replenish and diversify? "It was sur

Editorial

Cool Heads and Hothead
Cool Heads and Hothead
Model behavior on a model organism.

Mail

Mail
Mail
An iGEM of an idea? While "An iGEM of an idea" points out that it takes an average age of 42+ to win one's first NIH grant,1 Richard Gallagher goes on to describe how to engage and motivate young students in science, but misses the point: The reason most students who are able and interested in science do not go into the field is because they correctly perceive the poor quality of professional life science offers. I do not wish to disparage iGEM by any means. The problem with

Notebook

Evolution, over easy
Evolution, over easy
Credit: © Edward Kinsman / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Edward Kinsman / Photo Researchers, Inc. You might say that Charles Kerfoot, an ecologist at Michigan Technological University, can raise the dead. The crustacean eggs that Kerfoot reanimates in his laboratory technically have no perceptible metabolism, so by a strict physiologic definition, they are, essentially, not living. But Kerfoot manages to hatch living crustaceans from these eggs, some of whom have be
Needling into addiction
Needling into addiction
Credit: © istockphoto.com / Oleg Kozlov" /> Credit: © istockphoto.com / Oleg Kozlov Was Kate Moss on to something? In 2006 the BBC reported that the supermodel and sometimes drug user was getting acupuncture to combat her cravings. "People say it seems to work," says Kenneth Kwong, at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Now, Kwong and his colleagues think they might know why. Acupuncture is thought to release beta-endorphins, which have analgesic effects - something
Calling charlatans
Calling charlatans
One day last summer, a customer service representative for a company called Crystalite Salt received a phone call from Jennifer Lardge, a physicist. Lardge was curious about the science behind one of their products: lumps of salt, called lamps, that are meant to improve your health when they are heated. "I was looking at your Web site and I was just wondering about how salt lamps actually work," Lardge said. "Right," responded the Crystalite Salt customer service representativ
Tunisian trailblazer
Tunisian trailblazer
Tunisians (above) come from an interesting gene pool. Credit: wikimedia.org" />Tunisians (above) come from an interesting gene pool. Credit: wikimedia.org In the 1960s, Habiba Chaabouni was one of a handful of women enrolled in medical school in Tunisia. There, she often met families with two or three sick children. "There was a lot of chronic disease," she recalls, and she wanted to find out why. In some ways, Tunisia is a geneticist's paradise. The native population primarily d

The Agenda

The Agenda
The Agenda
Credit: © OLIVIER SCHWARTZ, INSTITUTE PASTEUR/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY" /> Credit: © OLIVIER SCHWARTZ, INSTITUTE PASTEUR/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FATE FINDING >> Steven Reiner writes about how T cells divide to follow their fates - and the experiments he did to figure it out (see "Separate and unequal"). Hear him speak on the subject February 4 in Snowbird, Utah at the Keystone conference on Lymphocyte Activation and Signaling. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/

Opinion

How to Teach Research Ethics
How to Teach Research Ethics
Two scientists - neither bioethicists - describe the best course they've ever taught.

Column

Think Like a Cockroach
Think Like a Cockroach
How I survived an extinction event in biological research.

Uncategorized

Slideshow: Images from the lab of Susan Lolle
Slideshow: Images from the lab of Susan Lolle
var FO = { movie:"http://images.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/54200/54200.swf", width:"520", height:"680", majorversion:"8", build:"0", xi:"true"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Slideshow: Mendel upended? For the February issue, Andrea Gawrylewski traveled to the University of Waterloo, Ontario, to check in on Arabidopsis researcher Susan Lolle's ongoing experiments. Lolle and colleagues reported in 2005 that a mutant Arabidopsis plant could revert
Mendel upended?
Mendel upended?
Mendel Upended? How the behavior of an Arabidopsis gene could overturn the classical laws of genetics. By Andrea Gawrylewski 1 She had found that a mutant Arabidopsis plant could "fix itself" back to the wild-type and take on the genetics of its grandparents. That seemed to contradict the laws of Mendelian inheritance. Since the late 1990s, Lolle, then at Harvard University, had been collaborating with Purdue University's Robert Pruitt, to study how the plant cuti
Surprising Observations
Surprising Observations
Surprising Observations By Andrea GawrylewskiMendel upended? Slideshow: Images from the lab of Susan LolleLolle and her colleagues observed an inheritance pattern in hothead plants that didn't match what classical genetic laws would predict. Instead of first generation progeny inheriting their parents' alleles, 10% had wild-type alleles.
Paying for Patients
Paying for Patients
Paying for Patients How much should researchers pay clinical trial subjects? By Alla Katsnelson Related Articles 1 The wide range of payments, from $5 to $2,000 with a median of $155, also surprised her. "Everyone is worried so much about payment," says Grady, "but the amounts were pretty modest." The wide range of payments, from $5 to $2,000 with a median of $155, is surprising to Christine Grady. "Everyone is worried so much about payment, but the amounts were pre
Paying for Patients
Paying for Patients
The international picture By Alla Katsnelson Related Articles Paying for Patients Different countries have different standards for paying clinical trial participants. In some places, says National institutes of Health's Christine Grady, a bag of rice or a bag of soap are considered more appropriate than cash. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) say they try to translate US standards for payment into amounts appropriate for the region. The Human Subjects Commit
The international picture
The international picture
The international picture How much should researchers pay clinical trial subjects? By Alla Katsnelson Related Articles Paying for Patients How do trials pay?: Play the game Different countries have different standards for paying clinical trial participants. In some places, says National institutes of Health's Christine Grady, a bag of rice or a bag of soap are considered more appropriate than cash. Institutional Review Boards (IRB s) say they try to transl
How do trials pay?
How do trials pay?
var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/54202/54202.swf", width:"500", height:"866", majorversion:"8", build:"0", xi:"true"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); How do trials pay? DIRECTIONS: Drag the game pieces to their corresponding holes, release the mouse button and then click on the piece a second time to find out how the trials pay.Click on the game below to begin Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content:
Video: Asymmetric cell division at work in the T-cell
Video: Asymmetric cell division at work in the T-cell
var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/54205/54205.swf", width:"270", height:"150", majorversion:"9", build:"0", xi:"false"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Video: Asymmetric cell division at work in the T-cell In our February issue, Steven Reiner describes how lymphocytes make use of a highly unusual type of division to create two different kinds of cells: effector and memory. Here, you can see this asymmetric cell division at work i
Separate and Unequal
Separate and Unequal
Separate and Unequal Successful immunity requires an array of cell fates, which lymphocytes accomplish through asymmetric cell division. By Steven Reiner Symmetric and Asymmetric Division Models Video: Asymmetric cell division at work in the T-cell Survival in a dirty world hinges on our capacity to eliminate hundreds of potential infections over a lifetime. To accomplish this, our bodies use a confederation of cellular and noncellular defenses. Some cells,
Symmetric and Asymmetric Division Models
Symmetric and Asymmetric Division Models
Symmetric and Asymmetric Division Models By Steven Reiner Separate and Unequal Video: Asymmetric cell division at work in the T-cellEqual and unequal division: How does the body produce the diversity in T-cell fates that are essential for immunity? The symmetric division model predicts that the fate of each naïve T-cell is determined by the cytokines the dendritic cell produces: one cell, one fate. The asymmetric division model predicts that two fates arise from a sing
Writing on the Fly
Writing on the Fly
By Karen Hopkin © Richard Corbett Born and raised in the English countryside, where he collected birds' eggs and cared for pet hedgehogs, Michael Ashburner set out to study zoology at the University of Cambridge. It was 1963, and the policy at Cambridge was that undergraduates would specialize in their third year, taking a single focused course call
Triple up and rescue
Triple up and rescue
About the image: Biotin-labeled siRNA (brown) in mouse lung tissue. Credit: Courtesy of Catherine Taylor" />About the image: Biotin-labeled siRNA (brown) in mouse lung tissue. Credit: Courtesy of Catherine Taylor User: Catherine Taylor, University of Waterloo, Canada Project: Using siRNA knockdown to identify proteins involved in apoptosis Problem: As in Ruiz-Vela's case above, SiRNAs can induce off-target effects. Controls: Tayl
Minding your $ and ?
Minding your $ and ?
By Bob Grant When Gregory Ippolito started his postdoc studying immunology and proto-oncogenes at the University of Texas at Austin, his financial outlook seemed relatively rosy. His salary came out of his advisor's NIH grant, meaning he was classified as a UT employee and able to participate in the school's retirement plan - including a match from the university -

Books etc.

Demystifying Histone Demethylases
Demystifying Histone Demethylases
Identification of a demethylation protein domain brings on a flood of enzyme discoveries.

Hot Paper

Broken break repair
Broken break repair
Credit: James King-Holmes / Photo Researchers, Inc" /> Credit: James King-Holmes / Photo Researchers, Inc The paper: P. Ahnesorg et al., "XLF interacts with the XRCC4-DNA ligase IV complex to promote DNA nonhomologous end-joining," Cell, 124:301-13, 2006. (Cited in 76 papers) The finding: When Stephen Jackson at Cambridge University read a 2003 PNAS paper describing a patient's defective DNA repair that didn't involve any known repair proteins, he
Inflammasome activator
Inflammasome activator
Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons" /> Credit: Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons The paper: S. Mariathasan et al., "Cryopyrin activates the inflammasome in response to toxins and ATP," Nature, 440:228-32, 2006. (Cited in 121 papers) The finding: By observing mice deficient in the adaptor protein cryopyrin, Vishva Dixit of Genentech and his colleagues discovered cryopyrin's role in activating the inflammasome, a complex of proteins essential for the innate
A diabetes variant
A diabetes variant
Credit: Rade Pavlovic" /> Credit: Rade Pavlovic The paper: S.F. Grant et al., "Variant of transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene confers risk of type 2 diabetes," Nat Gen, 38:320-3, 2006. (Cited in 177 papers) The finding: As part of a genome-wide association study, Kári Stefánsson of deCODE Genetics and colleagues associated variants of the gene transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) with type 2 diabetes. TCF7L2 plays a role in Wnt

Citation Classic

Scientist To Watch

Eran Segal: Computing expression
Eran Segal: Computing expression
Credit: Photo: Ahikam Seri" /> Credit: Photo: Ahikam Seri Eran Segal followed a meandering route to the field of computational biology. He began by earning a bachelor's degree in computer science from Tel-Aviv University in 1998, and went on to study in Stanford University's computer science department under Daphne Koller. He also studied genetics at Stanford, where he began to explore how probabilistic models can answer biologic questions. As a graduate student Segal focused on

Lab Tools

Fine control
Fine control
With siRNA experiments, you need the right combination of controls before you can trust your results. Here's how to make sure your siRNA ducks are in a row.
Order in the house
Order in the house
About the image: The nuclear protein LAP2alpha (left panels) expresses a cell proliferation marker (K167, middle panels) when measured with a positive RNAi control (top row) but not upon LAP2a siRNA knockdown (bottom row). Right panels: merged images with DAPI cellular stain. Credit: Courtesy of Vanja Pekovic" />About the image: The nuclear protein LAP2alpha (left panels) expresses a cell proliferation marker (K167, middle panels) when measured with a positive RNAi control (top row) but not upon
Negative controls
Negative controls
About the image: A colored scanning electron micrograph of a normal human myeloid leucocyte cell (right) and a leucocyte cell undergoing apoptosis (left). Credit: © Gopal Murti / Photo Researchers, Inc." />About the image: A colored scanning electron micrograph of a normal human myeloid leucocyte cell (right) and a leucocyte cell undergoing apoptosis (left). Credit: © Gopal Murti / Photo Researchers, Inc. User: Antonio Ruiz-Vela, Spanish National Cancer Center, Mad
mRNA versus protein
mRNA versus protein
About the image: Neuro2A cells transfected with a control siRNA (A) or a siRNA against the protein AP-3Δ (B), and stained 48 hours later with an AP-3Δ antibody (green). The transfection leads to a marked decrease in AP-3Δ levels. Credit: Courtesy of Raphael Rozenfeld" />About the image: Neuro2A cells transfected with a control siRNA (A) or a siRNA against the protein AP-3Δ (B), and stained 48 hours later with an AP-3Δ antibody (green). The transfection leads to
Tips for perfect siRNA controls
Tips for perfect siRNA controls
Related Articles Fine control: How to make sure your siRNA ducks are in a row Triple up and rescue Negative controls Order in the house mRNA versus protein Titrate siRNAs. Using the lowest possible concentration of siRNA may help avoid unwanted side effects, says Taylor. "Off-target effects can be dose-dependent." Before you start your study, run experiments with different siRNA concentrations to determine the level of knockdown you need to see a change in phenotype, Behlke say

BioBusiness

Tradition Mixes with Technology
Tradition Mixes with Technology
At Taiwan's TCM Biotech, Ya-Chun Wang converts ancient Chinese secrets into modern pharmaceuticals - and gets the FDA to pay attention.

Pulse Oximeter

1. FIRST-YEAR POSTDOC AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY
1. FIRST-YEAR POSTDOC AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY
Related Articles Minding your $ and ¢ 2. MID-LEVEL RESEARCHER AT A SMALL BIOTECH 3. DIRECTOR OF TOXICOLOGY AT A LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY 4. RESEARCHER AT THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION Economic Status: This 29-year-old postdoc has saved only $2,000 in a checking account and makes about $37,000 a year from his National institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship. He also carries tens of thousands of dollars in debt for undergraduate school loans. Financia
2. MID-LEVEL RESEARCHER AT A SMALL BIOTECH
2. MID-LEVEL RESEARCHER AT A SMALL BIOTECH
Related Articles Minding your $ and ¢ 1. FIRST-YEAR POSTDOC AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY 3. DIRECTOR OF TOXICOLOGY AT A LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY 4. RESEARCHER AT THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION Economic Status: This 34-year-old woman has been at her company for five years, makes $90,000 a year, and has saved $40,000 in a 401(k). Her husband makes $60,000 a year and has saved about $20,000 in his 401(k). They have one four-year-old child and are planning to have another wit
3. DIRECTOR OF TOXICOLOGY AT A LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
3. DIRECTOR OF TOXICOLOGY AT A LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
Related Articles Minding your $ and ¢ 1. FIRST-YEAR POSTDOC AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY 2. MID-LEVEL RESEARCHER AT A SMALL BIOTECH 4. RESEARCHER AT THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION Economic Status: This 56-year-old woman has been at her company for 12 years. She has $500,000 in her 401(k) plan and makes $165,000 plus $25,000 in bonuses per year. She shares custody of her three children - 21, 17, and 9 - with her ex-husband. She aims to retire in 10 years. Financial C
4. RESEARCHER AT THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
4. RESEARCHER AT THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Related Articles Minding your $ and ¢ 1. FIRST-YEAR POSTDOC AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY 2. MID-LEVEL RESEARCHER AT A SMALL BIOTECH 3. DIRECTOR OF TOXICOLOGY AT A LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY Economic Status: This 43-year-old man has worked at the FDA for 15 years. He makes $82,000 a year, has saved $130,000 in a government retirement plan and has more than $3,000 in checking and savings accounts. His wife is a stay-at-home mother to their two children - ages seven and three.

Foundations

E.R. Squibb, 1854
E.R. Squibb, 1854
1854 journal belonging to E.R. Squibb, which includes his development of an ether-distilling process, as well as daily entries with descriptions of his laboratory work. A fire in 1858 in Squibb's laboratory damaged the journal.Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com Before Edward R. Squibb (1819-1900) founded the drug company that bore his n