News

With A Little Bit Of Luck, Synergen Advances
With A Little Bit Of Luck, Synergen Advances
A Rocky Mountain biotech firm proves that success requires something more than strong management and top-notch research For 10-year-old biotech company Synergen, 1991 was a banner year indeed. The Boulder, Colo.-based firm raised $52.5 million in an R&D limited partnership and $95 million in a stock offering. Stock zoomed from $12 per share in January to $69 in November, and seven of its protein-based pharmaceuticals entered or advanced further in clinical testing. Moreover, the company broke g
Federal Science Support Keeps On Rising, But So Do Complaints About Underfunding
Federal Science Support Keeps On Rising, But So Do Complaints About Underfunding
Sidebar: NIH's Nealy to Play the Numbers Game Sidebar: NSF's Ambitious Plans Outpace Budget Hikes Despite big budget hikes for NIH and NSF, many researchers and officials claim that government backing is inadequate WASHINGTON--The budgets of most federal research agencies rose this year, some by double digits, as Congress once again was generous to science. The primary sources of money for academic research had good years: the National Institutes of Health's budget increased by 9 percent, t
Academic Book Publishers Pursue Survival In Recessionary Times
Academic Book Publishers Pursue Survival In Recessionary Times
"We're a state school that depends on the kindness of the board of regents and the state government," says Charlotte Tilson, marketing manager at the University of Arizona Press. "But if the point is getting regular funding, we might be better off having ties with the Mafia. Nobody seems to care very much. "When the latest [state] funding cuts went through and the [university] marching band lost $75,000 to $100,000, you never heard such an uproar in your life. There were bake sales and mar
The Science Of Publishing Science Books
The Science Of Publishing Science Books
Publishing books on or about science presents unique challenges, academic press directors say. First among these challenges, says Susan Abrams, executive editor for the natural sciences at the University of Chicago Press, is the fact "that some scientists just won't write them--it's not their style. And, of course, [finding the] time is a problem. With the state of grant support being what it is, people are spending more and more time just trying to get their work funded." Unlike scholars
NIH's Healy Has To Play The Numbers Game
NIH's Healy Has To Play The Numbers Game
National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy says she is trying to shift the debate over adequate funding for biomedical research away from scientists and toward health as she sells the idea of a larger NIH budget to Congress and the public. But sometimes it's hard to separate the needs of her colleagues and the needs of the country. "I'm not talking about a full-employment program for scientists," she told a recent meeting of the director's advisory committee that was focusing on
NSF's Ambitious Plans Outpace Budget Hikes
NSF's Ambitious Plans Outpace Budget Hikes
David Sanchez presides over a $600 million budget as assistant National Science Foundation director for the mathematical and physical sciences. But even with steady growth each year in that budget, he says he's hard-pressed to find the money next year to continue work on, among other projects, a $211 million laser interferometer gravity wave observatory (LIGO), a $192 million eight-meter telescope, and a $120 million high magnetic field laboratory. "If we put in much less than what the proje

Letter

What's In A Name?
What's In A Name?
In the November 11, 1991, issue of The Scientist [page 13], you published an opinion piece by Ken Croswell entitled "Dealing With Problems On A First-Name Basis." I would like to respond to the opinions he expressed about the use of initials rather than first names on scientific publications. Croswell wonders if authors who use their initials rather than their first names on publications are "reclusive" or are attempting to "appear more scientific," and then notes that in such cases he
My Mentor, My Self
My Mentor, My Self
In regard to the article on mentoring in the Oct. 28, 1991, issue of The Scientist [page 19], I find the comment that "it has become crucial for older, white, male scientists to become comfortable mentoring people who are not carbon copies of themselves" to be an inaccurate reflection of the way things are. I am one of those "older, white, male scientists." In my 23 years of being a professor of mathematics, I have had about as many female graduate students as males. My first doctoral student wa

Opinion

The Science Community Is Starved For Ethical Standards
The Science Community Is Starved For Ethical Standards
Two years ago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the largest organizations of practicing researchers in the world, circulated a questionnaire among its members in an effort to identify what they thought should be the highest priority for the science profession. Among 57 possible choices offered by the questionnaire, the membership cited the development and articulation of ethical principles as the most urgent requirement of today's science profession. The res

Commentary

Science In 1992: What Can We Do To Resolve The Uncertainties?
Science In 1992: What Can We Do To Resolve The Uncertainties?
As The Scientist enters its sixth year of publication, it faces a task that its staffers and I engage with energy and optimism. We are determined to further the publication's success to date by continuing to provide a unique news and career information vehicle for all members of the science profession. Our optimism and energy stem, to a great extent, from our healthy 1991 performance as measured against two important periodical publishing benchmarks: circulation and advertising. During the p

Research

Neural Prosthetics: Applied Research To Help The Disabled
Neural Prosthetics: Applied Research To Help The Disabled
Every autumn for the past 22 years, a group has gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss efforts toward helping the deaf to hear, the paralyzed to walk, and the blind to see. No, they aren't an assembly of televangelists. Rather, they are a group of scientists trying to implant machines into humans to compensate for a variety of disabilities of the nervous system. These congregants from more than 20 disciplines--including materials scientists, neurologists, histopathologists, electrochemists

Hot Paper

Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
Date: January 6, 1992, pp.16 S.C. Hyde, P. Emsley, M.J. Hartshorn, M.M. Mimmack, et al., "Structural model of ATP-binding proteins associated with cystic fibrosis, multidrug resistance, and bacterial transport," Nature, 346:362-65, 1990. (MOLECULAR BIOLOGY) Christopher F. Higgins (Microbial Genetics Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, University of Oxford, England): "The ATP- binding cassette superfamily of transporters includes many biologically and clinically important proteins, such
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
Date: January 6, 1992, pp.16 C.A. Smith, T. Davis, D. Anderson, L. Solam, et al., "A receptor for tumor necrosis factor defines an unusual family of cellular and viral proteins," Science, 248:1019- 23, 1990. (MOLECULAR BIOLOGY) Craig Smith (Immunex Corp., Seattle): "There are three reasons why the molecular cloning of this tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor has turned out to be a reasonable milestone. "First, there is the intrinsic scientific interest. TNF is an outstanding mediator of ho
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
Date: January 6, 1992, pp.16 H.-M. Jantzen, A. Admon, S.P. Bell, R. Tjian, "Nucleolar transcription factor hUBF contains a DNA-binding motif with homology to HMG proteins," Nature, 344:830-36, 1990. (MOLECULAR BIOLOGY) H.-Michael Jantzen (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley): "During the past few years there has been tremendous progress in the identification of transcription factors that bind to specific promoter sequences of eukaryotic genes. However, little is
Immunology
Immunology
Date: January 6, 1992, pp.16 S.H.E. Kaufmann, "Heat shock proteins and the immune response," Immunology Today, 11:129-36, 1990. (IMMUNOLOGY) Stefan H.E. Kaufmann (University of Ulm, Germany): "I assume that until recently most of my colleagues working in immunology associated the term `stress' with the feelings one has when an experiment does not work well or when a paper has been rejected. "Cell biologists earlier had found that cells show a stress response that very much resembles our own

Profession

Better College Courses Are Key To Raising Science Literacy
Better College Courses Are Key To Raising Science Literacy
In the summer of 1988, more than 2,000 American adults answered a short list of questions designed to test their basic knowledge of common science terms and concepts, in a study sponsored by the Public Opinion Laboratory at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb. The results were shocking--only 6 percent were judged to be scientifically literate. One of the most interesting findings of the study was that among those who scored well on the test, the "predominant, single most important predictor
Six Steps To More Effective Science Teaching
Six Steps To More Effective Science Teaching
Trim the curriculum Ronald Gillespie, a professor of chemistry at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, is one of many teachers who noticed about 10 years ago that the 1960s trend of stressing physical chemistry concepts in introductory courses omitted inorganic, descriptive chem- istry. As a result, his students knew little about common chemicals. The solution in the United States and Canada was to put the missing topics back in--but the average chemistry textbook swelled to more than a ki
People: Developer Of Recombinant BCG Vaccine Wins Infectious Disease Research Award
People: Developer Of Recombinant BCG Vaccine Wins Infectious Disease Research Award
Barry R. Bloom, an immunologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, last month received the first annual Bristol- Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research. The $50,000 cash prize was given in recognition of Bloom's contributions to immunology, including the development of an experimental recombinant multiple vaccine and investigations of leprosy and tuberculosis. Throughout

Briefs

Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Udall Fellowships Support Federal Service The congressional board of the Office of Technology Assessment has renamed its fellowship program to honor Morris K. Udall, the Arizona Democrat and longtime OTA board member who recently retired from Congress. The Udall Fellowships support up to six technical experts annually in one-year appointments to the OTA staff. Those who have completed doctoral-level research in some technical field related to OTA's mission are eligible to apply. Relevant discipl
People Briefs
People Briefs
John Guckenheimer, a professor of mathematics and of theoretical and applied mathematics at Cornell University and director of Cornell's Center for Applied Mathematics since 1989, has been named the first director of research programs at the Cornell Theory Center. The Theory Center is one of four National Science Foundation-funded supercomputer centers. It provides advanced computational tools to approximately 2,000 scientists. Guckenheimer, 46, received his B.A. in 1966 from Harvard University

Technology

Scanning Microscopes Bring Imaging To The Atomic Scale
Scanning Microscopes Bring Imaging To The Atomic Scale
In 1990, scientists at IBM Corp.'s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., used the minute tungsten probe of a scanning tunneling microscope to move atoms of xenon around on a nickel surface, ultimately spelling out the letters I-B-M (Nature, 344:524-6, 1990). This remarkable feat of engineering opened up an entirely new realm of applications for this microscope, which was designed to image atomic-sized specimens, not push them around. Since the first transmission electron microscope wa

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Mikulski Supports Change at NIH Nuclear Engineering Program Gets Boost Industry Expects to Spend Less on R & D Finding Room for Innovative Research Speaking in an NIH auditorium as both a legislator concerned about science and an incumbent seeking reelection, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) told a crowd of more than 500 scientists that federal laws must be changed to meet the needs of the agency's 10,000 intramural scientists and support staff. Mikulski promised her audience, many of wh