News

The Rewards Of Intellectual Bigamy
The Rewards Of Intellectual Bigamy
Carl Djerassi's two track career in academia has brought him both fame and wealth STANFORD, CALIF.--If there's any doubt that a scientist can honorably serve two masters, Carl Djerassi stands as living proof. For the last 36 years, the chemist has been a self-described "intellectual bigamist"--partaking of the freedom of academia while churning out discovery after lucrative discovery for industry. And while other scientists, particularly in the fields of biotechnology and computer science, h
Controversy Surrounds Gene Therapy Effort
Controversy Surrounds Gene Therapy Effort
A key experiment has been approved, but many researchers worry that slipping genes into humans is premature. BETHESDA, MD.--Maybe W. French Anderson wouldn't be in the center of a slow-burning controversy if it weren't for the letters. But he can't escape them. Several times a week, new correspondence lands on his desk on the seventh floor of Building 10 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. The letters come from all across the United States and from dozens of foreign countries, a
Science Steps Up War On Hazardous Waste
Science Steps Up War On Hazardous Waste
Three years ago, Dennis Darnall was comfortably and, one would have thought, firmly entrenched in the groves of academe. As professor of chemistry at New Mexico State University and director of the school's science research center, he held a position of high rank. And thanks to federal and state grants, he even had the opportunity to indulge in his scientific passion: devising ways that algae could be used to recover metal from industrial wastewaters. A scientist's paradise? Not for Darnall; he
U.S. Inc. On A Waste-Trimming Diet
U.S. Inc. On A Waste-Trimming Diet
U.S. industry produces nearly 300 million tons of hazardous waste annually, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to treat it, carry it away, bury it, or otherwise get rid of it. And as the amont of waste--and the cost of dealing with it--rises, corporate America is beginning to search for a better approach. Increasingly, industry is shifting its attention from treating and storing what comes out of the "pipe," to reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place.
More Schools Offer Waste Management Programs
More Schools Offer Waste Management Programs
In The Graduate, the character played by Dustin Hoffman was told that he should hitch his future to "Plastics!" But if the movie were being made today, the advice to college students might be a little different; the hot field is "hazardous waste." Listen to Ralph Kummler, professor and chairman of chemical and metallurgical engineering at Wayne State University. "Hazardous waste is probably the single-most booming area in new education in the U.S. today," Kummler says. "Five years ago univers
Will Bush's Record On Waste Be Better Than Reagan's?
Will Bush's Record On Waste Be Better Than Reagan's?
TI: Will Bush's Record On Waste Be Better Than Reagan's AU: JEFFREY MERVIS DT: January 23, 1989 PG: 7 TY: NEWS (The Scientist, Vol:3, #2, pg. 7-8, January 23, 1989) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WASHINGTON--Environmental problems have become so pervasive, that such complex issues as toxic wastes, global warming, and depletion of the ozone layer have become the topics of casual conversation among an otherwise scientifically illiterate public. And yet the one government agency that
Articles - Plant and Animal Sciences
Articles - Plant and Animal Sciences
Peter D. Moore Department of Biology King's College London, U.K. " Histological and chemical analyses of fossil bones of a hartebeest from the Swartkrans cave in South Africa have demonstrated that the remains had been subjected to temperatures consistent with their being cooked at a campfire. This provides the earliest record of the use of fire by a hominid, in this case either Australopithecus or Homo erectus. C.K. Brain, A. Sillen, "Evidence from the Swartkrans cave for the earliest use of
Articles - Life Sciences
Articles - Life Sciences
William F. Loomis Department of Biology University of California, San Diego La Jolla, Calif. " Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a 155 amino acid protein found in Xenopus eggs, induces mesodermal differentiation. It may be brought into play during gastrulation by the product of the Vg-1 gene that is localized at the vegetal pole. D. Kimmelman, J.A. Abraham, T. Haaparanta, T.M. Palisi, M. Kirschner, "The presence of fibroblast growth factor in the frog egg: Its role as a natural mesoder
Articles - Chemistry
Articles - Chemistry
Ron Magold Medical Products Department E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Wilmington, Del. " Modifications in cyclopropyl iminium ion rearrangements have led to the new synthetically versatile methodology. Total synthesis of (+)-Lycorine has been used to exemplify this elegant method. R.K. Boeckman, S.W. Goldstein, M.A. Walters, "Synthetic studies of the cyclopropyl iminium ion rearrangement. Part 3. Application of the cyclopropyl acyliminium ion rearrangement to a concise and highly convergent s
Articles - Computational Science
Articles - Computational Science
Bruce G. Buchanan Department of Computer Science University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. " Two methods have been developed for efficiently processing bit strings: compactly encoding the strings (for example, wing lengths of runs of 0's and 1's) and processing the strings on multiple machines in parallel. A recent article describes a combination of the two techniques and makes suggestions for generalizing this method to two-dimensional digitized pictures. A.Y. Wu, A. Rosenfield. "Parallel pr
Microwaves: Cooking Up Lab Improvements
Microwaves: Cooking Up Lab Improvements
When one of the most widely used methods in the analytical laboratory also tops the lists of least-loved jobs, there has to be room for improvement. And for many years, this has been the situation with the Kjeldahl method for nitrogen (or protein nitrogen) analysis. Now 105 years old, this mainstay technology of many chemists in food laboratories has proved its worth for several reasons. First, unlike more modern instrument-based methods, the Kjeldahl method can be used on large sample sizes
People
People
Veterinarian Honored For Work On Identifying Cattle Leukemia Virus Kay Asay Herbert Oberlander George Papavizas Robert Webster As a result of a crucial discovery in the 1970s, veterinarian Janice M. Miller has helped the United States livestock industry stay competitive in world markets today. Her finding: that a virus causes leukemia in cattle. The result: a diagnostic test to detect the virus. In recognition of the breakthrough, Miller was recently selected as the 1988 Distinguis

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
The Department of Energy and the University of California have gone on the offensive to head off an effort by antinuclear activists to end a 45-year relationship between the state university and the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories. DOE, in an attempt to appease university faculty who are unhappy with the labs, has added $5 million to the system's current five-year contract to operate Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national labs, with the money going to non-nuclear research and a campu
Government Briefs
Government Briefs
NIH officials are smiling broadly because of last month's report by the Institute of Medicine. The report prescribes higher salaries and greater administrative flexibility as cures for NIH's inability to attract and retain top-quality researchers. In addition, the report not only rejects an earlier executive branch suggestion that NIH's intramural program be privatized, but it also gives the program a badly needed pat on the back. "We're very pleased," says NIH director James Wyngaarden. "It'
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson's biggest claim to scientific fame is his discovery 14 years ago of "Lucy," a three-million-year-old fossil hominid, our possible ancestor. Now, Johanson, the director of the Institute for Human Origins in Berkeley, wants to make a name for Lucy and himself in a totally different field - toys, subspecies educational. Under Johanson's direction, E.T. designer Jonathan Horton and museum exhibit designer Kevin O'Farrell have already fashioned prototype "action
University Briefs
University Briefs
Volume 3, #2The Scientist January 23, 1989 UNIVERSITY BRIEFS Scientists Take To The Silver Screen When movie director Roland Joffé set out to chronicle the dawn of the Atomic Age, he sent out an unusual casting call. Rather than use actors to portray most of the Los Alamos physicists of the 1940s, he decided that only real scientists would do. So he and his crew passed around the word at several universities, and he soon recruited 50 scientists, engineers, and physician
Entrepreneur Briefs
Entrepreneur Briefs
"One of the big problems we had in venture capitalism was that in order to check an idea, you had to start a company," says David Rammler. But no more. Rammler, an organic chemist-turned-financier who has been involved with eight startups and is a former director of research in the Institute for Molecular Biology at Syntex Corp., solved that problem a year ago by forming a venture capital firm that employs more scientists than MBAs--and which thoroughly tests ideas from potential scientist/en
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
The rules in the race to develop anti-AIDS drugs are changing, and as a result, Business Technology Research (BTR), a subsidiary of consulting firm Venture Economics, is hedging its bet as to who the winners may be. In a marketing report published last month, BTR examines the effects that upcoming changes in FDA regulations will have on firms fighting to develop the next anti-AIDS therapeutic. Only one drug, Burroughs Wellcome's AZT, has been approved against AIDS so far, leaving a host of we
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Recent figures show that of approximately 21,500 engineering professors in the U.S., only 200 are black, only 300 are Hispanic, and only 400 are female. The GE Foundation of Fairfield, Conn., is doing its best to change those demographics for the next generation of scientists by committing $35 million to two programs, one aimed at doubling the number of college-bound students from inner-city schools by the year 2000, and the other hoping to double minority faculty in science and engineering.
Tools Briefs
Tools Briefs
Several years after inventing an instrument capable of both measuring a cell's direction of motion and determining which parts of the cell are shifting forward, David Soll, University of Iowa biologist and cell motion expert, just isn't satisfied with the two-dimensional tool. He and colleague Edward Voss have embarked on a project to create a viewing system that will allow scientists to look at cells in three dimensions. Soll sees a need for such an instrument because, "A living cell placed

Opinion

GE's Walter Robb: Reviving Corporate Research In the U.S.
GE's Walter Robb: Reviving Corporate Research In the U.S.
A year ago, Walter Robb became the first vice president of corporate R&D for General Electric to hold credentials in both science and business. A chemical engineer by training, Robb worked as a research scientist at GE for 11 years before being promoted to management. For the next 18 years, he ran a series of GE businesses, including medical systems and CT scanning, building the latter from scratch into a $400 million annual business for the company. His range of experience equips him for the c

Commentary

In Tribute To Linus Pauling: A Citation Laureate
In Tribute To Linus Pauling: A Citation Laureate
This year marks the golden anniversary of The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry, published by Linus Pauling in 1939. This classic book certainly ranks as one of the greatest chemistry texts of this century. In 1984, Pauling wrote an autobiographical commentary on The Nature of the Chemical Bond for the "Citation Classic" section of the Institute for Scientific Information's Current Contents. He noted that "fr

Letter

Letter - Reject Nazi Data
Letter - Reject Nazi Data
I am astonished that in this day and age, an eminent scientist such as Alan C. Nixon should resort to barbarism. For it is barbarism when he writes that it is alright to use data obtained from experiments on human subjects, obtained without their knowledge or consent. Whether it is prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates in Nazi Germany, blacks in the southern U.S.A. (a syphilis study), an unsuspecting public in New York City and San Francisco (bacterial vector studies by U.S. Army), an
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
I have been reading The Scientist for more than a year and have been impressed with its format and standards as a newspaper for the science professional. I was therefore shocked to read the article by Alan C. Nixon. I find Nixon "intellectually dishonest and muddled in his thinking." How can your paper allow an individual like Nixon to refer to Nazi murderers as scientists, and Nazi data as scientific data? Nixon sounds like an unsavory individual who would like to see such data duplicated.
Letter - Reject Nazi Data
Letter - Reject Nazi Data
Don't reject valuable data just because their source was unsavory. So says Alan C. Nixon (The Scientist, November 18, page 9), and adds that rejection smacks of intellectual dishonesty and muddled thinking. A different view, which I hold, is that when society willfully uses such data, it tacitly endorses the means by which they were obtained. The suffering of prisoners experimented on without their fully informed consent should be in vain, precisely because some investigators as honest and unm
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
I have just finished reading Alan C. Nixon's article "If The Data's Good, Use It - Regardless Of The Source," in the November 14 issue of The Scientist, page 9. (In the run-in title, data is correctly treated as plural.) I do not wish to argue that the data generated from experiments performed in concentration camps must not be used, but I do wish to argue strongly that Dr. Nixon's argumentation totally conflates the issue. Nixon starts with statements that such data should be used because t
Letter - Teaching Science
Letter - Teaching Science
We noted with delight your October 17 story (page 5) by Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser about university scientists' efforts to help their local schools with science teaching. Our appreciation of the fact that The Scientist had demonstrated an avid interest in seeing university scientists work with public school students is colored by the fact that Caltech is very proud of a similar program that began here in Pasadena. At Caltech, there is a program that was rooted in two professors' frustrat
Letter - Funding? What Funding?
Letter - Funding? What Funding?
Contrary to your recent article, "Neural Network Startups Proliferate Across The U.S." (The Scientist, October 17, page 1), in which you state that these companies are "the latest darlings of venture capitalists," I have found venture capitalists to be remarkably unenthusiastic about funding neural network startup companies - and am having a fiendishly hard time finding anyone who will back my company. As a result, my wife and I are continuing to dig deeper into our own pockets to stay in the
Letter - Being Respectful
Letter - Being Respectful
I read the article "When East Meets West" by Dr. S. Perkowitz (The Scientist>, November 28, 1988, page 9). I like the presentation of his experiences with his foreign scholars. I, with no surprise, agree with his comment that "some of the internationals are far more respectful to me than their U.S. counterparts." But I do not see that this hampers open exchange of views and free discussion of problems. For example, I come from a country (India) where the first thing a child learns is a Sanskri
Letter - Best Secretary
Letter - Best Secretary
I received your October 31 issue somewhat late, but found the comments of supporters of the presidential candidates (page 9) interesting anyway, especially in light of the key position Dr. Sununu will hold in the new administration. It was unfortunate, however, that Dr. Branscomb resorted to an ad hominem attack on the former Education Secretary, William Bennett. Dr. Bennett is no laughing stock around here. He was the best Education Secretary we've had, the first one to be a scholar rather th
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
Letter - Don't Use Nazi Data
Alan Nixon's misguided essay supporting the use of scientific data taken from experiments conducted on tortured humans by the Nazis demands a vigorous rebuttal. To my mind, Mr. Nixon's argument is spurious, offensive, and further underscores the need to emphasize the study of ethics in professional life, including the sciences. Using the Nazi data would be abhorrent. Mr. Nixon's mistaken impression that Nazi scientists were forced into their research conveniently overlooks the cruelty and un

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
R.J. Cava, B. Batlogg, J.J. Krajewski, R. Farrow, et al., "Superconductivity near 30 K without copper: the Ba0.6K0.4BiO3 perovskite," Nature, 332 (6167), 814-6, 28 April 1988. M.S. Hybertsen, L.F. Mattheiss, "Electronic band structure of CaBi2Sr2Cu2O8," Physical Review Letters, 60 (16), 1661-4, 18 April 1988. J.R. Schrieffer, X.-G. Wen, S.-C. Zhang, "Spin-bag mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity," Physical Review Letters, 60 (10), 944-7, 7 March 1988.
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
The articles listed below - all less than a year old - have received a substantially greater number of citations than others of the same type and vintage. A citation-tracking algorithm of the Institute for Scientific Information has identified these articles. T. Boehm, R. Baer, I. Lavenir, A. Forster, et al., "The mechanism of chromosomal translocation t(11;14) involving the T-cell receptor Cdelta locus on human chromosome 14q11 and a transcribed region of chromosome 11p15," EMBO Journal, 7 (

Research

DNA Typing: A Unique Weapon Against Crime
DNA Typing: A Unique Weapon Against Crime
Just as the swirls and patterns of fingerprints are unique markers of specific individuals, DNA typing produces unique patterns that are also individual-specific. And today, the application of DNA typing technology to criminal investigations is perhaps the most significant forensic breakthrough of the century. When properly used, it has the potential for identifying the violent criminal sooner than previously possible and for clearing innocent persons who may have been regarded as suspects in a

Profession

Noyes Foundation: A Major Commitment To The Environment
Noyes Foundation: A Major Commitment To The Environment
A strong, though understated, hint of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation's philosophy appears on page two of its annual report: "This report is printed on 100 percent recycled paper." In a world where philanthropic organizations tend to retain the trappings of wealth--with their lavish brochures printed on thick, creamy paper, their marble foyers, their luxurious carpets--the Noyes Foundation is something of an anomaly. As one fund-raising executive said after visiting the spartan offices on E
Funding Rises For Waste Management Projects
Funding Rises For Waste Management Projects
Chemical physicist Katy Wolf is taking a hard look at 14 of the major industries in California that use chlorinated solvents. Her mission? To estimate how much their use can be cut, thus reducing their chance to pollute. The $830,000 for Wolf's project comes from government sponsors plus private donors such as the Switzer Foundation in Ohio. It's one of the growing number of waste reduction and waste management projects attracting money from nongovernment grant-making organizations such as EDF.