News

Drug, Biotech Firms Push Regulatory Reform
Drug, Biotech Firms Push Regulatory Reform
Regulatory Reform Author: Kathryn S. Brown Listening to the radio on his way to work each morning in Washington D.C., Stephen Bent, chairman of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical group at the law firm of Foley and Lardner, hears the same thing: advertisements calling for drastic reform of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Some of the commercials are by a Republican think tank," notes Bent, formerly a research scientist in neurophysiology at Yale University. "Some are by various inter
OAM Commences $8 Million Investigation Into Alternative Therapies
OAM Commences $8 Million Investigation Into Alternative Therapies
Alternative Therapies Author: Joy McIntyre The National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) has begun what promises to be a long and controversial process of investigating a vast array of alternative treatments-including therapies such as Chinese herbs, binaural feedback, massage, and mind-body techniques-for efficacy against a wide range of health threats. Nearly $8 million in funds previously earmarked by Congress will go out over three years to eight research center
University of California System Warily Eyes GOP Budget Cutting
University of California System Warily Eyes GOP Budget Cutting
For much of the past year, policymakers in Congress have focused on Republican plans to slash government spending and balance the federal budget. STRATEGY: UC president Richard C. Atkinson says he plans to continue to "seek the very best people". Whatever the funding levels for fiscal 1996, the Republicans have proposed deep cuts in federal spending for scientific research into the next millennium. Such spending has amounted to roughly $73 billion annually in recent years. But the "Contract W
Scientists Are Split Over Findings Of Research Integrity Commission
Scientists Are Split Over Findings Of Research Integrity Commission
Integrity Commission Author: Billy Goodman Early reaction to a long-awaited report on scientific misconduct finds members of the research community no closer to consensus on the controversial issue than they have been after previous efforts to elucidate the problem. In fact, the portion of the report eliciting the most contentious response has been the panel's definition of research misconduct itself. Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, the medical journal based in London, calls the new rep
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - January 22, 1996
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - January 22, 1996
1 Compound with a positive Ames test 5 Electromagnetic energy quantum 10 Nut case 11 Structure appearing during mitosis 12 Vitamin with an RDA 13 Taxonomic kingdom 16 Curie who won two Nobel Prizes 19 Secreting into the blood or lymph 22 AIDS screening component 23 Taxonomic kingdom 24 Physical 27 Element after iron 32 Inject to increase immunity 33 Element after beryllium 34 Canine covering 35 Simplest alkane 1 Atomic weight, roughly 2 Greek's eighth 3 Cell apparatus 4 Head-trunk connection
Leveling The Field
Leveling The Field
In 20 Disciplines Sidebars Three Highest-Ranking Canadian Universities as Ordered by Citation Impact, 1990-94 Three Highest-Ranking Canadian Universities as Ordered by Total Citations, 1990-94 Editor's Note: The newsletter Science Watch-published by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)-last turned its attention toward Canada more than three years ago. The publication examined Quebec universities' contribution to the nation's overall performance in science (3:1; Jun
The Scientist - January 22, 1996
The Scientist - January 22, 1996
BY TOTAL CITATIONS, 1990-94 (Total citations are shown in parentheses.) University of British Columbia (6,755) University of Toronto (5,963) McMaster University (3,677) University of Toronto (5,856) University of Alberta (4,142) University of British Columbia (4,002) University of Toronto (891) McGill University (586) University of Montreal (556) University of Toronto (1,681) University of Waterloo (1,295) McGill University (865) University of Toronto (1,822) McGill University (1,516) Univ
Field : Physics
Field : Physics
BY CITATION IMPACT, 1990-94 (Citation impacts are shown in parentheses.) Simon Fraser University (5.51) Carleton University (5.30) University of British Columbia (5.00) York University (5.03) University of Toronto (4.71) University of Alberta (4.49) University of Toronto (2.33) University of Montreal (2.22) McMaster University (2.03) Simon Fraser University (1.92) University of Toronto (1.75) University of Sherbrooke (1.55) York University (4.61) Queen's University (3.64) University of To
Letters
Letters
Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3600 Market St., Suite 450 Philadelphia, Pa. 19104-2645 Fax: (215) 387-7542 E-mail: 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist welcomes letters from its readers. Anonymous letters will not be published. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. If you wish to have readers of The Scientist communicate with you, please include an E-mail address and indicate that it is for publication.

Opinion

Pioneer James Wilson Reflects On Gene Therapy's Hopes, Hype
Pioneer James Wilson Reflects On Gene Therapy's Hopes, Hype
Hype Editor's Note: In late 1990, the first gene therapy was administered to a young patient with the hopes of correcting a defective gene that normally produces adenosine deaminase, a key immune-system enzyme. In the more than five years since then, gene therapy has grown in scope and notoriety. To date, in excess of 100 gene therapy trials-involving nearly 600 patients and dozens of diseases, including some types of cancer-are under way. Despite this multimillion-dollar effort and the much-hy

Commentary

Can The Office Of Technology Assessment Be Privatized?
Can The Office Of Technology Assessment Be Privatized?
As The Scientist has already noted (S. Sternberg, July 24, 1995, page 1), at the end of the fiscal year the 104th Congress eliminated the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an agency that provided Congress and the attentive public with comprehensive analyses of issues related to science and technology. Since its creation in 1972, OTA had produced nearly 800 reports covering broad topics in energy, materials, bioengineering, medicine, telecommunications and computers, space, agriculture, e

Letter

Study Section Problems
Study Section Problems
The commentaries on the problems of National Institutes of Health study sections by both Charles W. McCutchen [page 12] and Arthur E. Sowers [page 13] in the Oct. 16, 1995, issue of The Scientist were very insightful. The "kangaroo Politburos" problem is a major one and difficult to correct. I suggest an improvement. NIH should publicize study section openings. Then nominations for these positions should be held at a national meeting appropriate to each study section and voted on after discussi
Gallo Affair: Deja Vu All Over Again
Gallo Affair: Deja Vu All Over Again
The case of Robert Gallo seems to have a life of its own and has dragged on with the perverse complexity of the O.J. Simpson story or the Dreyfus affair. The recent intervention of hitherto uninvolved individuals who seem compelled to create a reputation for integrity for National Institutes of Health scientists (J. Boa and D. Birch, Baltimore Sun, Nov. 4, 1995, page 1A) is just the latest chapter in a decade of accusation. It seems to me that the blame (if any) has been misplaced. When the fi
His Existence Questioned
His Existence Questioned
The Jan. 8, 1996, issue of The Scientist contains a letter that seems to say, if I understand it correctly, that I do not exist [G.H. Scherr, page 12]. The letter concerns the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and the publication I used to edit, the Journal of Irreproducible Results (JIR). I was especially surprised and delighted to read that "neither Abrahams nor the AIR were ever associated with the Ig Nobel Prize." In 1991, I created and hosted the (now) annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies,
Traditional Remedies, Modern Medicine
Traditional Remedies, Modern Medicine
The article titled "Scientists See Broad Attack Against Research And Reason" (F. Hoke, The Scientist, July 10, 1995, page 1) devoted a section to discussion of "opposing alternative medicine," which in the United States includes traditional and herbal remedies. Although I agree that there are many nonscientific elements in traditional and herbal remedies, we also have to realize the fact that they have contributed, in one way or another, to modern Western medicine. For example, modern research

Hot Paper

Neuroscience/Apoptosis
Neuroscience/Apoptosis
Edited by Neeraja Sankaran R.R. Ratan, T.H. Murphy, J.M. Baraban, "Oxidative stress induces apoptosis in embryonic cortical neurons," Journal of Neurochemistry, 62:376-9, 1994. (Cited in more than 40 publications through November 1995) Comments by Rajiv Ratan, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore According to Rajiv Ratan, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the significance of this paper is that it begins to address the mechan
Immunology
Immunology
Edited by Neeraja Sankaran K.L. Rock, C. Gramm, L. Rothstein, K. Clark, R. Stein, L. Dick, D. Hwang, A.L. Goldberg, "Inhibitors of the proteasome block the degradation of most cell proteins and the generation of peptides presented on MHC class I molecules," Cell, 78:761-71, 1994. (Cited in nearly 70 publications through November 1995) Comments by Kenneth Rock, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston This paper discusses the biochemistry of the cellular processes that allow the immune system to re

Profession

Science's Rich Review Literature Charts The Evolution Of Disciplines
Science's Rich Review Literature Charts The Evolution Of Disciplines
Of Disciplines Author: Ricki Lewis Sometimes in science, the best way to move forward is to take a long look backward. For discoveries and data to be put into context and used as springboards for future inquiry, investigators must periodically synthesize and reflect on what has been accomplished, and determine what remains to be learned. A review article is one way to chart the evolution of a scientific discipline. Science has a rich review literature. Of 3,383 journals surveyed in the 1994 Sc

Leaders of Science

Ann Kennedy
Ann Kennedy
ANN KENNEDY -- Richard Chamberlain Professor of Research Oncology and professor, department of radiation oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia "THE SCIENTIST supplies us with crucial information that affects our daily lives as scientists-the sort of information that's not available in the peer-reviewed scientific literature." -- Ann Kennedy Ann Kennedy has received numerous honors for research as a radiation/cancer biologist, including the prestigious Research

Technology

Light Microscopy Enables Scientists to Peer Inside Cells In Real Time
Light Microscopy Enables Scientists to Peer Inside Cells In Real Time
Although the laws of physics dictate how much an object can be magnified and still clearly seen, scientists continue to expand their view of the microscopic world beyond the cellular level. New light microscopy methods and technology have made it possible for scientists to view previously undetectable tiny structures inside of cells, and to examine such objects in real time as cells carry out their activities. "New microscopy techniques, particularly those involving fluorescence microscopy and

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
The 1995-96 Wolf Prizes, given annually by the Israel-based Wolf Foundation, will be presented March 24 by the president of Israel, Ezer Weizman, at the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem. Each award of $100,000 will be given for outstanding achievements in mathematics, medicine, chemistry, agriculture, and the arts. According to a statement by the Wolf Foundation, chemists Gilbert Stork of Columbia University and Samuel J. Danishefsky of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Columbi