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Arizona Center Spurs Optics Industry Boom
Arizona Center Spurs Optics Industry Boom
A university institute for the optical sciences has turned Tucson into a haven for startups and new research. TUCSON--In 1981, scientists at IBM were looking for a better way to check whether the surfaces of the company's magnetic tapes were smooth. Dragging a stylus along the tape, the conventional method, threatened to damage the surface. Then IBM optics engineer Bherat Bhushen had a bright idea. Why not look for irregularities by bouncing light off the surface? Bhushen turned for help to J
U.S. Officials Defend Animal Research
U.S. Officials Defend Animal Research
Under attack by animal rights campaigners, federal health agencies counter with a vigorous drive yo gain public support WASHINGTON - Top health officials in the Bush administration have begun an offensive on behalf of the use of animals in research. Their campaign is meant to counter the continuing efforts by animal rights activists to disrupt and condemn animal research as part of the movement's broader attack on the treatment of animals. This new, more aggressive attempt to preserve a scien
Italian Company Seeks Foothold In U.S. Science
Italian Company Seeks Foothold In U.S. Science
With a neuroscience institute in Washington and an emphasis on basic research, FIDIA aims to bolster respect worldwide WASHINGTON - Long after the vinyl and paper folders from a typical scientific conference have been tossed in the trash, a genuine imported leather portfolio with bright red decorative stitching and the inscription: "FIDIA-Georgetown Institute for the Neurosciences, November 3, 1985" is likely to remain on the shelves of many scientists. It's just too nice to throw away. That
Creation Of Linkage Map Falters, Posing Delay For Genome Project
Creation Of Linkage Map Falters, Posing Delay For Genome Project
Researchers, discouraged by mapping's drudgery, doubt that a 5-year plan to finish high-resolution image is now feasible. WASHINGTON--After three years of escalating expectations, rising financial support, and congressional accolades, the Human Genome Initiative has encountered its first major hurdle. A key element of the project has fallen several years behind schedule, in part because peer review panels at the National Institutes of Health decided that some incoming grant proposals on the to
1990 Budget Preserves Healthy Increase For Global Climate Change Research
1990 Budget Preserves Healthy Increase For Global Climate Change Research
The president's global change program looks impressive, thanks to a cooperative Congress and some sleight of hand. WASHINGTON--This year the federal government will invest $664 million to study global climate change, a fivefold increase over its 1989 efforts. But this seemingly huge increase is more a reflection of a broader definition than of a bigger pocketbook. The biggest change occurred when the National Aeronaytics and Space Administration shifted almost $500 million into its global chan
DOE Should Probe Nonradioactive Hazards, Panel Says
DOE Should Probe Nonradioactive Hazards, Panel Says
WASHINGTON--The Department of Energy's troubled epidemiology program should double its research on the effects of radiation on workers and expand that research to encompass possible nonradioactive hazards, such as magnetic fields and industrial chemicals, an independent advisory panel has concluded. The DOE program is responsible for studying the health effects of radiation on humans, both by following the medical history of the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of Worl
New Soviet Weekly Pushes For Perestroika In Science
New Soviet Weekly Pushes For Perestroika In Science
If the editors of Poisk, a lively new science newspaper published in Moscow, need historical justification for their project, they can point to Lenin, who on his deathbed in 1922 called for a newspaper that would provide a forum for scientists. Or the editors can produce the letter Soviet physicist Pyetr Kapitsa wrote to Nikita Khrushchev in 1958 on behalf of his colleagues at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Kapitsa, who would later win the Nobel Prize in physics, humbly wrote: "I would like t
Slaves No More, `Smart' Robots Invade The Lab
Slaves No More, `Smart' Robots Invade The Lab
They're fast, reliable, and tireless. Now they want a place at the bench. Can machines adopt the scientific method? PITTSBURGH--Repetitive lab work makes John Lindsey's mind wander. After a week or so of compound making - repetitive lab work at its worst - the Carnegie Mellon University chemist begins to think about automation. Robots. In particular, robots that can do his job. Lindsey has spent five years pursuing the construction of just such a machine - a compact and reliable robot that ca
NSF Deputy's Departure Forces President To Look Ahead
NSF Deputy's Departure Forces President To Look Ahead
WASHINGTON--Deputy Director John Moore has left the National Science Foundation to become professor of economics and director of the International Institute at nearby George Mason University. His decision, in addition to creating a vacancy that President Bush must fill, may force the administration to speed up its timetable for deciding who will lead the science foundation in the 1990s. Moore, 54, holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in economics. The former associ

Briefs

Government Briefs
Government Briefs
The Incredible Shrinking Tax Credit Congress has once again retained tax credits to companies both for their in-house R&D and for contributions to basic research at universities and other nonprofit research institutions. But the credit is steadily shrinking. The original law for new R&D spending was a 25% credit for four years. In 1986 the credit was extended for two years and lowered to 20%, and in 1988 one more year was added. The basic research credit, created in 1986, has followed a similar
National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
UC Faculty To Weapons Labs: Begone Every decade or so, the University of California faculty has second thoughts about the school's relationship with the Department of Energy's weapons labs. So far, it hasn't made much difference - the university still manages the Los Alamos and Livermore national labs for DOE, as it has since the Korean War. But a recent rash of embarrassing environmental, legal, and ethical scandals at Livermore and other labs has added weight to a new faculty report recommend
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
The Liposome Solution The benefits of many drugs, especially those used to combat cancer, are compromised by their toxicity. Now a Berkeley, Calif., researcher believes he has developed a technology that overcomes this problem, thus making possible more successful treatments of cancer and other diseases - and changing the way pharmaceutical companies will do science. Kenneth Matsumura, director of the Alin Foundation's Immunity Research Laboratory, believes he has found a method of using liposo
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
New York Scientists Take French Partner Virogenetics, a newly opened vaccine research lab in Troy, N.Y., is an international marriage of scientific convenience - a partnership between a French vaccine manufacturer and a team of New York scientists from the state Health Department's Wadsworth Center for Laboratory and Research in Albany. Several years ago the New Yorkers, led by state research scientist Enzo Paoletti, developed a method, using recombinant DNA technology and the cowpox virus, tha
University Briefs
University Briefs
Cold, Clear Nights and Cosmic Radiation Although the future of Antarctica is still uncertain (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 2), scientists continue to brave the harsh weather conditions for the sake of research. The newest addition to the list of hardy researchers is a team of physicists from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The team, organized by Purdue physicist James A. Gaidos, will travel to Antarctica in shifts until the end of Februar
Association Briefs
Association Briefs
Optimizing A New Journal A sure sign that a realm of science or mathematics is gaining recognition is an increase in the number of journals devoted to the field. And that kind of growth is what optimization - the study of the mathematical procedures involved in making something as functional and effective as possible - is getting now, thanks to the Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. John E. Dennis, Jr., chairman of the mathematical sciences department at Rice Uni
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
GTE Sponsors Science And Society Talks "Technology and Ethics" is the theme of the 1990-91 GTE Lectureship Program, which provides grants of up to $4,000 to sponsor talks on university and college campuses about science, technology, and society. The program seeks to encourage public awareness and participation in issues related to science and technology and to stimulate universities to develop an interdisciplinary focus on these issues both inside and outside their campuses. The S&H Founda

Opinion

Science And 'The Humanities' Are Wedded, Not Divorced
Science And 'The Humanities' Are Wedded, Not Divorced
While many scientists value and are strongly interested in literature, music, and art - what are commonly called "the humanities" - they believe that the status of these disciplines is completely different from that of science. The "subjective" humanities deal with culture-bound "values" and "taste," while the "objective" sciences are concerned with "truth," which in this scenario transcends culture. In other words, even though science is a product of culture, it is completely independent of cu
Scientists Should Spend More Time Communicating With The Public
Scientists Should Spend More Time Communicating With The Public
"If it blows up, it's chemistry. If it dies, it's biology. If it doesn't work, it's physics." These immutable truths seemed to govern classroom science in my high school, and they drove me to become an English major in college. I went reluctantly. As a boy, I had collected insects, fossil seashells, and just about anything from nature that didn't emit foul odors and annoy my mother. But in classrooms, my fascination with the natural world slowly withered as my science teachers recited only th

Letter

Letter: Grant Funding Chances
Letter: Grant Funding Chances
Regarding the item entitled "Eye Institute Offers Best Odds For Success" (Funding Briefs, The Scientist, Oct. 30, 1989, page 23), I would like to bring to your attention a crucial omission. The statements regarding award rates are undoubtedly correct; however, they do not note that the award rate percentages include noncompeting continuations. It concerns me that our legislators might read this article and assume that there is a 30% chance of a new grant being funded at NIH. That is particular
Letter: Return To Brazil
Letter: Return To Brazil
In an article by Michael McRae, "Ethnobiologist Forced From Brazil After Harassment By Authorities" (The Scientist, Sept. 18, 1989, page 1), it was reported that I had been forced out of Brazil owing to my activism on behalf of native rights. It is true that I, along with two Kayap¢ Indian chiefs, Paulinho Paiakan and Kube-I, were threatened with three-year prison terms and expulsion from the country because of a trip to the World Bank to try to stop the world's largest hydroelectric proje
Letter: A Lot Of Smoke
Letter: A Lot Of Smoke
I wish to express an opinion about an article by Frank E. Resnik, "Scientists Have No Business Trying To Sway Public Policy" (The Scientist, Oct. 2, 1989, page 11), castigating a scientist, K. Michael Cummings, for speaking out against the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke. (It will be an admittedly emotional opinion, because in almost 40 years of otolaryangologic practice I can recall only one or two cases of cancer of the mouth, throat, and larynx in a nonsmoker.) First, I would have in
Letter: And More Team Players
Letter: And More Team Players
I enjoyed reading your article (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 13) regarding the recent evaluation performed on the International Research Fellowship Program of the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health. I wish to call your attention to the omission of the names of the coprincipal investigators, Stephen Fitzsimmons, of Abt Associates Inc., who performed the international survey, and Francis Narin, president of CHI Research/Computer Horizons Inc., who was responsible fo
Letter: A Team Effort
Letter: A Team Effort
George B. Kauffman's review of "The World of Chemistry" (The Scientist, Dec. 11, 1989, page 7) was much appreciated. I must mention several others who worked so hard on this project: Richard Thomas was our executive producer, Mary Elizabeth Key, Margot Schumm, and Gilbert Castellan were on the Academic Committee, and Donald Showalter was our series demonstrator. Television productions are a team effort; many others made this one possible. ROALD HOFFMANN Dept. of Chemistry Cornell University It
Letter: Crisis In The Community
Letter: Crisis In The Community
All of us are clearly aware that the funding levels for some institutes of NIH have been failing, some precipitously so, over the last several years. However, the most recent actions (fiscal 1990) that have further reduced funding levels brings the scientific community to the edge of a present, and future, catastrophe. The Bush administration says we have a crisis in science education; the crisis is in our ability to conduct science itself. There are many bright, talented young investigators wh
Letter: Fetal Tissue Research
Letter: Fetal Tissue Research
Alex Weisskopf's exposition in defense of fetal tissue research (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 15) was masterful. By applying his suggested guidelines to this "socially sensitive" issue, he assures us we can allay the fears of the public and our own conscience in engaging in fetal tissue research. Not surprisingly, Weisskopf neatly skirted the central issue. His assertion that those who vocally object to the use of abortuses obtained through elective abortion are attempting to force "their
Letter: Journal Glut
Letter: Journal Glut
In his letter to The Scientist, (Oct. 16, 1989, page 15) in response to my essay, "The Journal Glut" (The Scientist, July 10, 1989, page 11), Allan Wittman correctly recognizes that much of the original essay was written tongue-in-cheek. But humor is frequently only a funny way of being serious. Wittman says the proliferation of scientific journals represents both an increase in scientific information and the essential need for scientists to know what other scientists are doing. In fact, appro

Commentary

Commentary: A New Year -- And A Renewal Of Dedication To Our Readers
Commentary: A New Year -- And A Renewal Of Dedication To Our Readers
With this issue, The Scientist steps forward into its fourth year of publication as the trade newspaper for the science professional. In celebrating this milestone, I can say with confidence that The Scientist has indeed arrived and is here to stay. Following its startup in October 1986, our young paper - like most fledgling publishing ventures - suffered its share of uncertainties. The solid gains it has posted in subscriptions and advertising since then - particularly during the past six mon

Research

Life Science
Life Science
Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago - Through cloning and sequence analysis, researchers have identified the primary gene of the hereditary disease muscular dystrophy, thus leading to the characterizing of the primary protein product. Deletions contributing to an absence of the polypeptide dystrophin (0.002% of total muscle protein and 3,685 amino acids long) on the inner surface of the plasma membrane appear to be the primary cause for two types of muscul
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
With a new decade as well as a new year upon us, The Scientist conducted a review of the scientific literature of the past 10 years to identify the 1980s' most significant research developments. There are, of course, many ways to pinpoint important events or trends, but in this case the criterion used was the number of citations to scientific papers published since 1980, as recorded in the Science Citation Index (SCI) of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia. Using thi

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
P. Sassone-Corsi, J.C. Sisson, I.M. Verma, "Transcriptional autoregulation of the proto-oncogene fos," Nature, 334, 314-9, 28 July 1988. Inder M. Verma (The Salk Institute, San Diego): "The paper showed for the first time that the transcription of nuclear oncogenes is autoregulated. It is generally believed that many nuclear oncoproteins can cause cancer if they are transcribed in an unregulated fashion. Autoregulation is one way to regulate their transcription. We showed that fos protein can

Profession

Talking To Reporters: What To Do When `The Call' Comes
Talking To Reporters: What To Do When `The Call' Comes
So you were passed over for the Nobel Prize (again!) in 1989. Chin up. You probably weren't ready for it, anyway. I don't mean that your research wasn't worthy. And I'm not talking about the public adulation or the prize money. I mean the media attention - the onslaught of TV and radio reporters. You may understand megabytes and particle spin, but what do you know about "sound bites" or putting "spin" on a story? Well, I can help. I'm one of those broadcast news reporters who'll be calling when
Glaxo Grant Program's Future Uncertain While Staff Assesses Grantees' Success
Glaxo Grant Program's Future Uncertain While Staff Assesses Grantees' Success
Last spring, the British pharmaceutical firm Glaxo Inc. launched an ambitious $10 million Cardiovascular Discovery Grants Program. The company, whose United States office is located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., announced 20 grants, each providing a maximum of $250,000 per year for three years to a researcher or team (see accompanying table). The proclaimed purpose of the program: to support research that may lead to the discovery of therapeutic agents for treatment or prevention of cardiova
People: Harvard Biologist Receives West Germany's Leibniz Prize
People: Harvard Biologist Receives West Germany's Leibniz Prize
Berthold Holldobler, professor of biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., has been awarded the Leibniz Prize by the government of West Germany. Holldobler, 53, who also is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard, received the $1.8 million prize in recognition of his career-long research on the social biology and behavioral ecology of social insects, such as ants, termites, and bees. The Leibniz Prize, which is awarded annually by the West German government, was established in
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