News

Clinton's Science Adviser Faces Array Of Challenges
Clinton's Science Adviser Faces Array Of Challenges
During 13 years as director of the Office of Technology Assessment, the job of John H. Gibbons--President Bill Clinton's choice as White House science adviser--was largely a balancing act. He had to provide Congress with independent, authoritative analysis of technical and scientific questions while treading gingerly amid divergent political views, bureaucratic turf battles, and special-interest "stakeholders." Washington observers familiar with OTA's track record give Gibbons high marks for
Science Policy Watchers Hail New President's Early Moves
Science Policy Watchers Hail New President's Early Moves
Clinton's choice of Gibbons as science adviser and Gore's anticipated activist role bode well for consideration of research issues, they contend Leading researchers as well as science policy specialists and association officials are hopeful, of course, that President Bill Clinton's administration will pursue an energetic, activist approach in tackling major science and technology issues. And, these observers generally agree, the Clinton years in this regard are off to a good start. In inter
Opponents Set 1993 Tactics For Animal Rights Showdown
Opponents Set 1993 Tactics For Animal Rights Showdown
Organizations supporting and opposing use of lab animals will make major efforts to win the hearts of U.S. schoolchildren As a new year dawns, the fierce duel over whether animals should be used for laboratory experiments and medical education enters a new phase. Both camps--on one side, groups that defend animal rights; on the other, those who want to uphold the use of animals in biomedical researchsay they will intensify the fight for the allegiance of future generations by targeting the
Study Sees Alarming Science Undergrad Dropout Rate
Study Sees Alarming Science Undergrad Dropout Rate
Four-year investigation identifies precollege preparation, teaching styles, and peer influence as significant factors An extensive new study finds that the number of undergraduates in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors drops 40 percent between freshman and senior years. The losses vary substantially by field: In the physical sciences the decline is 20 percent, while in the biological sciences--the field with the most dramatic losses--the figure is 50 percent. The study also seeks to
DOE's Massive Cleanup May Suffer Scientist Shortage
DOE's Massive Cleanup May Suffer Scientist Shortage
Once the United States' builders of sky-riding nuclear bombs, the Department of Energy is now looking back at Earth to clean up the mess such decades-long efforts have left. Specifically, the agency is beginning to address environmental problems in the land beneath its 12 major weapons research, production, and test sites and related facilities. It is a huge effort; environmental management now commands the largest budget in the agency at $5.5 billion this year. But DOE may have problems findi
Confocal Microscopy: Viewing Cells As """"Wild Animals""""
Confocal Microscopy: Viewing Cells As """"Wild Animals""""
Bio-Rad Microscience Division 19 Blackstone St.Cambridge, Mass. 02139 (800) 444-1422 Fax: (617) 864-9328 Leica Inc. 111 Deer Lake Rd. Deerfield, Ill. 60015 (800) 248-0123 Fax: (708) 405-0147 Meridian Instruments Inc. 2310 Science Pkwy. Okemos, Mich. 48864 (800) 247-8084 Fax: (517) 349-5967 Molecular Probes Inc. 4849 Pitchford Ave. Eugene, Ore. 97402 (503) 465-8300 Fax: (503) 344-6504 Molecular Dynamics Inc. 880 E. Arques Ave. Sunnyvale, Calif. 94086 (800) 333-5703 Fax: (408) 773-8343 Ni

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
The 33 winners in the 11th annual Polaroid International Instant Photomicrography Competition were announced in early December. Prizes totaling $13,750 were awarded for images that best combined artistic beauty and useful scientific information. A panel of top microscopy experts selected the winners from nearly 600 entries from Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States. The winning image was a 400X magnification of the feathery structure o

Opinion

Generating Science : Productivity and Policy
Generating Science : Productivity and Policy
No one wants to become just another statistic, scientists least of all. We cherish our individuality, our march to a drummer whose beat most people never hear. And isn't our profession built on the unquantifiable flash of creative insight? Because statistical analysis concentrates only on average behavior, it is destined to miss outstanding individual achievement. Yet it is valuable to find the common threads that define our own special herd. What kind of analysis would help scientists understa

Letter

Genetic Counseling
Genetic Counseling
We wish to clarify several points raised in Ricki Lewis's article on the profession of genetic counseling (The Scientist, Aug. 31, 1992, page 1). Clinical genetics has always represented a prototype of the team approach to health care delivery. Providers come from a variety `of training backgrounds, including physicians with fellowship training in genetics, Ph.D.'s in human genetics, and master's- prepared genetic counselors. The field of genetic counseling as a recognized subspecialty is, a

Commentary

New Federal Legislation Can Be Effective In Fighting Terrorism Of Animal Rights Extremists
New Federal Legislation Can Be Effective In Fighting Terrorism Of Animal Rights Extremists
The frustration and fears of researchers whose labs and work have been destroyed by the Animal Liberation Front--along with those who, though yet unharmed, must work in continual dread of violence at the hands of animal rights extremists--are completely understandable. At the least, these researchers can take some comfort in new federal legislation. A recent article in The Scientist headlined "Scientists Doubtful About New Law Aiming To Protect Animal Research Facilities" (Ron Kaufman, Oct. 26

Research

Underfunded Canadian Scientists Migrating Southward
Underfunded Canadian Scientists Migrating Southward
For years, Canadian researchers have struggled with the problems of insufficient funding and inadequate career opportunities-- situations that have been responsible for a pronounced brain drain of promising young graduates to the United States. Partial relief was supposed to come in the form of a 4 percent-per-year hike in federal science funds, slated to take effect this year and carry on for two more years. But owing to Canada's serious budget shortfall, that relief will not be forthcoming.

Hot Paper

Physical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Editor's Note: On Nov. 18, 1992, AT&T Bell Laboratories physicist Michael Schluter passed away. He provided the following information to The Scientist just prior to his death at age 47. M. Schluter, M. Lannoo, M. Needels, G.A. Baraff, D. Tom nek, "Electron-phonon coupling and superconductivity in alkali- intercalated C60 solid," Physical Review Letters, 68:526-9, 1992. Michael Schluter (AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.): "The electronic structure of fcc (face-centered cubic) alkali i
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
P.J. Kraulis, "MOLSCRIPT: a program to produce both detailed and schematic plots of protein structures," Journal of Applied Crystallography, 24:946-950, 1991. Per Kraulis (University of Cambridge, UK): "When publishing a three-dimensional protein structure determined by X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance, there is a need to show overviews of the structure, as well as detailed close-ups of regions of interest, such as binding sites. There was a lack of good, easy-to-use softwa
Cell Biology
Cell Biology
S. Bagchi, R. Weinmann, P. Raychaudhuri, "The retinoblastoma protein copurifies with E2F-I, an E1A-regulated inhibitor of the transcription factor E2F," Cell, 65:1063-72, 1991. Srilata Bagchi (University of Illinois at Chicago): "The loss of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene function has been associated with the etiology of various types of tumors. The product of this tumor suppressor gene, a 105-kilodalton polypeptide called pRB, `is a cell cycle regulator. The pRB polypeptide inhibits cel

Profession

Poster Sessions Can Lead To Networking Opportunities
Poster Sessions Can Lead To Networking Opportunities
Through the process of trial and error, scientific societies and veteran poster presenters have come up with the following rules of thumb for effective poster presentations. 1. Prepare a banner in very large type containing a descriptive title, the authors, and their affiliations. This banner should be situated high up on the poster so it can be seen above people's heads from a distance of 15 to 20 feet. 2. Bracket the poster with an introduction at the beginning and a list of conclusions at
Study: Industry Demand For Chemists Rising
Study: Industry Demand For Chemists Rising
The median starting salaries for most new chemistry graduates rose slightly last year, according to a survey recently conducted by the American Chemical Society. Although the pay increases were modest, they were prompted by continued hiring by pharmaceutical companies, as well as efforts by industry and academia to keep pace with inflation, according to several recruiting experts. Bachelor's graduates received a median salary of $24,000, a 4.3 percent increase over the 1991 level. Joan Burrel
Physicist To Move From Syracuse To Penn State To Head New Center
Physicist To Move From Syracuse To Penn State To Head New Center
Center Center Abhay Ashtekar, a theoretical physicist and currently a professor at Syracuse University, has been appointed as the first holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics at Pennsylvania State University. Ashtekar intends to use the chair's $1 million endowment as start-up funding to organize a Center for Gravitational Physics at Penn State. He will begin in his new position in August. The center will be located in the Davey Lab on the University Park, Pa., campus with Ashtekar