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Global Warming Debate Centers On Uncertainty
Global Warming Debate Centers On Uncertainty
The Kyoto Accord to reduce "greenhouse" gas emissions faces a hazy future in the United States. A host of unresolved political and scientific issues swirls around the tentative plan to curb global warming-including the degree to which greenhouse gases actually affect the environment. Kyoto sets the stage for science, politics, and public opinion to interact on the largest possible scale, and, some would say, at the highest possible stakes. Science's pivotal role is to take on a formidable chall
Act Now To Avoid Doom When The Year 2000 Comes
Act Now To Avoid Doom When The Year 2000 Comes
Computer consultants warn that the cost of adjusting programs will skyrocket if researchers wait until after their systems crash Jan. 1, 2000, is coming. While self-proclaimed prophets are out pounding pulpits to warn against impending cosmic doom, computer programmers, engineers, and information specialists are wringing their hands over a far more mundane issue-how computers will handle the switch from the year 1999 to the year 2000. Many fear that some instruments and applications won't hand
Postdocs Organize For Changes
Postdocs Organize For Changes
GRIM OUTLOOK: Postdocs need to realize that the odds of getting tenure-track academic jobs are poor, says CSPT's Catherine Gaddy. The once-predictable world of scientific postdoctoral research appears to be entering a period of transformation. Increasingly left in an employment limbo by shrinking tenure-track faculty positions at universities, science postdocs around the United States are beginning to organize and clamor for change. But for many, a nonacademic career seems unavoidable. "The c
Efforts Increase To Boost Validity Of Meta-Analyses
Efforts Increase To Boost Validity Of Meta-Analyses
Meta-analysis, which uses systematic methods to search, combine, and evaluate research literature, has been praised for making the review article more scientific and objective. But studies showing that journals are much more likely to publish the results of positive over negative clinical trials have led some to question the validity and objectivity of meta-analyses. Many in the medical community are concerned that this publication bias may skew the results of meta-analyses, which increasingly

Opinion

Deep And Global Bioethics For A Livable Third Millennium
Deep And Global Bioethics For A Livable Third Millennium
In three short years it will be Jan. 1, 2001, the first day of the 21st century and a new era. The United States will be expecting the inaugural message of a new president and the world will enter the Third Millennium. As the Second Millennium ends, we ought to think about what kind of a world we should and could realistically hope for. We certainly need a world with fewer than the often-predicted 12 billion people who may be present before the end of the 21st century. Unfortunately, in our mad

Commentary

Preparing Future Ph.D.'s For A Changing Job Market
Preparing Future Ph.D.'s For A Changing Job Market
The market for Ph.D.'s in science and engineering is a matter of perennial concern, both to employers and to those who earn these degrees and expect to make a career in the field of their choice. Predicting supply and demand of the scientific work force, however, is a tricky business fraught with uncertainties. In 1989, widely reported statistics from the National Science Foundation caused NSF to project a shortage of Ph.D. scientists by the middle to the end of this decade. Events turned out d

Letter

Alternative Medicine
Alternative Medicine
Wherever did Paul Smaglik get the idea that the boost in the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) budget to $20 million was "unexpected" (P. Smaglik, "Office of Alternative Medicine Gets Unexpected Boost," The Scientist, Nov. 10, 1997, page 7)? In my opinion it was coldly calculated. No one, not even Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), would have expected Congress to give OAM institute status and a budget of $200 million. But by demanding just that and forcing the Congress
Dissection's Role
Dissection's Role
I found Ricki Lewis's article in the Nov. 10, 1997, issue of The Scientist ("Instructors Reconsider Dissection's Role in Biology Classes," page 13) of great interest. Having attained a baccalaureate in biology in the 1970s and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences during the '80s and '90s, and taught college-level biology courses (all of which required extensive use of laboratory animal models), I have been an interested observer of the transformation that has occurred in the philosophy of th

Research

Comparative Genomics Reveals The Interrelatedness Of Life
Comparative Genomics Reveals The Interrelatedness Of Life
Photo: Karen Young Kreeger EXCITING ERA: TIGR's Craig Venter says efforts to unravel the information being gathered will last "into the next century." While the list of genome projects grows, research focus is shifting from structure to function. So even as automated DNA sequencers crank out bases and powerful software overlaps pieces of genomes (contigs) to establish gene orders, investigators are searching and comparing those sequences among species, an approach called comparative genomics.

Hot Paper

Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
Edited by: Paul Smaglik Z. Liu, H. Hsu, D.V. Goeddel, M. Karin, "Dissection of TNF receptor 1 effector functions: JNK activation is not linked to apoptosis, while NF-[kappa]B activation prevents cell death," Cell, 87:565-76, 1996. (Cited more than 70 times through November 1997) Comments by Michael Karin, Department of Pharmacology, Program in Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego SIGNAL DISSECTION: Michael Karin and colleagues picked apart the steps in
Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
Edited by: Paul Smaglik DEATH DUEL: One TNF receptor 1 pathway activates apoptosis, another triggers gene expression-roles in seeming opposition, says David Goeddel. H. Hsu, H Shu, M. Pan, D.V. Goeddel, "TRADD-TRAF2 and TRADD-FADD interactions define two distinct TNF receptor 1 signal transduction pathways," Cell, 84:299-308, 1996. (Cited in more than 130 publications through November 1997) Comments by David V. Goeddel, Tularik Inc., San Francisco Two of the most important activities of the

Profession

Committee Service: An Unpleasant Necessity Of Academic Life
Committee Service: An Unpleasant Necessity Of Academic Life
Committee service is one of those time-consuming chores that are part of virtually every academic scientist's life. While many researchers regard committee work as distasteful drudgery, others relish their service. Experienced scientists say that service on internal and external committees, when performed with a strategic eye, can help advance one's career. They also note that there are ways to make serving less onerous and to make committee deliberations more efficient. Of course, not every

Clarification

CLARIFICATION
CLARIFICATION
CLARIFICATION Author: Date: January 5, 1998 A photo caption accompanying a Notebook item headlined "Genetic Down Syndrome Test" (The Scientist, Nov. 24 1997, page 31) contained incorrect information. The left photo shows a single pink signal, indicating one copy of chromosome Y, which is considered normal. A double copy of that chromosome would indicate Jacob syndrome, not Down syndrome, as the caption indicated. Down syndrome is characterized by three (trisomy 21) copies of ch

Technology

Card Tricks! DAKO's GenPoint(TM) Can Detect Single Copy Sequences Without PCR or Radioactivity
Card Tricks! DAKO's GenPoint(TM) Can Detect Single Copy Sequences Without PCR or Radioactivity
Visualization by DAKO GenPointTM of in situ hybridization of a biotinylated probe to the cyclin-D homolog gene of Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpes Virus/Human Herpes Virus 8 to a cutaneous lesion of Kaposi's sarcoma. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Jon A. Reed, M.D., Department of Pathology, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, N.Y. If you've ever struggled with in situ PCR, read on. DAKO has introduced a new product for amplifying in situ hybridization signals that uses neither radioactivity nor P
Making Light Work of Differential Display: Genomyx Corporation Introduces fluoroDD Kit
Making Light Work of Differential Display: Genomyx Corporation Introduces fluoroDD Kit
Faster, cheaper, cleaner. All of these words describe Genomyx's latest addition to its line of products for differential display analysis of gene expression. The new Fluorescent Differential Display Adaptor Kit (fluoroDD Kit) provides fluorescently labeled primers that can be used with Genomyx's HIEROGLYPHTM mRNA Profile Kits to allow for a rapid and nontoxic alternative to radioactive labeling of differential display products. Fluorescent Differential Display with fluoroDDTM mRNA Profile Syst
Pure and Simple: Milli-Q Ultrapure Water Systems From Millipore
Pure and Simple: Milli-Q Ultrapure Water Systems From Millipore
Milli-Q Ultrapure Water Systems From Millipore The latest generation of Milli-Q systems from Millipore Corporation (Bedford, Mass.) has been subjected to some unique innovations designed to enhance user-friendliness and provide consistent performance. Primed For Polishing: The Milli-Q System From Millipore. The Milli-Q system is considered a "polishing" system, designed to further purify pretreated water to ultrapure levels. Although these systems are relatively small (12 x 17 x 20 inches), ide

Technology Profile

High Fidelity PCR: Enhancing the Accuracy of DNA Amplification
High Fidelity PCR: Enhancing the Accuracy of DNA Amplification
Date: January 5, 1998 Chart 1, Chart 2 n the beginning there was Taq. Actually, there were others before Taq. There were precursory polymerases, such as that from E. coli, that lost their enzymatic activities at elevated temperatures. This shortfall made thermal cycling a time-consuming chore, with the necessity of adding new polymerase after each cycle. Then came the thermostable polymerases such as Taq DNA polymerase, which was isolated from the thermophilic, aerobic bacterium Thermus aquat
Serum-Free Cell Culture: From Art to Science in 25 Years
Serum-Free Cell Culture: From Art to Science in 25 Years
Date: January 5, 1998 Chart 1, Chart 2, Chart 3 With the prospect of huge profits from pharmaceuticals, serum-free tissue culture has been catapulted from a cottage industry to high technology Think of serum-free media and an image comes to mind of a scientist sitting in front of a stack of tissue culture plates, painstakingly adding a little of this or a little of that to each plate in search of just the right combination. The motivation behind this activity varies-some scientists want to

New Products

New Products
New Products
New Products Date: January 5, 1998 -- coming soon, awaiting copy --

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Worse Than Expected Under New Management How They're Hooked On Target Royal Tribute To Science FDA Approves Obesity Drug Gene Lawsuit On January 1, Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), a nonprofit partnership of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Research Institute, assumed operation of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. The yearly management fee for the five-year, $2 billion contract will be $5
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