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Group Unveils Worm's Complete Genetic Blueprint
Group Unveils Worm's Complete Genetic Blueprint
December 10 marked another "major milestone" in molecular biology. An international consortium of scientists announced that they have obtained the first complete genetic blueprint of a complex animal. C. elegans Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and the Sanger Centre in Cambridge, U.K., have sequenced the 97 million-base genome of Caenorhabditis elegans, biologists' favorite worm. The product of a nine-year effort, the C. elegans sequence joins those of E. coli and yeast in
China Confronts AIDS
China Confronts AIDS
Peter Brazutis INTERNATIONAL EFFORT: Yunzhen Cao left the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York last summer to set up an AIDS research lab in China. Her researchers will be trained at Aaron Diamond, whose David Ho is pictured on the wall. Epidemiogical Deficiencies Epidemiological studies in Yunnan Province1 indicate that in some areas there is a high rate of HIV-seroprevalence among IV drug abusers--in some places as high as 85.7 percent. Furthermore, the infected drug users a
M.D.-Ph.D.'s Succeed In Biomedical Arena, Even As Doubts Persist Over Their Role
M.D.-Ph.D.'s Succeed In Biomedical Arena, Even As Doubts Persist Over Their Role
Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., just won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his work on nitric oxide. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., heads the National Human Genome Research Institute. And 49 investigators who hold both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees are funded by the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute. What these disparate observations reflect is the rise of the M.D.-Ph.D., whose training and professional pedigree dovetail nicely with two hallmarks of the current biomedical arena: rapid
Yerkes Center, OSHA Settle Death Case
Yerkes Center, OSHA Settle Death Case
In early December, Emory University in Atlanta agreed to pay $66,400 in fines and change its operating procedures in response to the December 1997 death of Elizabeth Griffin, a 22-year-old worker at its Yerkes Regional Primate Center. Griffin contracted herpes B virus, common in Old World macaques, when she was hit in the eye with fecal material, urine, or saliva while transferring a rhesus monkey to a cage.1 Though rare in humans, B virus is often lethal unless treated early with antiviral dru
Hearing Sets Stage for Stem Cell Funding Debate
Hearing Sets Stage for Stem Cell Funding Debate
Just prior to offering the floor to Harold Varmus for the first Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee hearing in more than two months, and just after exchanging pleasantries with the National Institutes of Health director, subcommittee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) asked Varmus jokingly, "Did you like the $2 billion we gave you?" A smiling Varmus answered in the affirmative; onlookers chuckled. "It's my belief that stem cells do not fall under the ban on embryo re

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"Psst, Bob . . . you're unzipped"

Clarification

Clarification
Clarification
In the article "Universities Tailor Managment Degrees to Science" (B. Johnson The Scientist, 12[22]:16-7, Nov. 9, 1998), the incorrect Web address was given for the University of Pennsylvania section. The correct information is School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, www.seas.upenn.edu/profprog. Also, in the bottom caption on page 17, one student's name is misspelled. The correct spelling is Brian Schenk. In the article "Physicists Take on Challenge of Showing H

Letter

Placebo and Homeopathy
Placebo and Homeopathy
Thank you for your article "From Placebo to Homeopathy: The Fear of the Irrational" (D. Viza, The Scientist, 12[18]:8, Sept. 14, 1998). I can fully endorse Viza's position, from a clinical and psychological perspective. The whole placebo issue is a reflection of a paradigmatic impasse: Our therapeutic endeavors rest on the unreflected presupposition that only causally specific, hence biochemically specifiable and explainable, interventions are scientifically warranted. While this certainly is
Teaching Teachers
Teaching Teachers
The topic of preparing faculty for college teaching mentioned in the well-written "Teaching to Teach" (H. Black, The Scientist, 12[21]:12-13, Oct. 26, 1998) is not a newly recognized concern as implied in the article. Organizations such as the Society for College Science Teaching (SCST) have been addressing it for many years. SCST members have written monographs, conducted research, and presented sessions at a host of meetings on topics related to improving college science teaching. In the pas
Jobs Via the Internet
Jobs Via the Internet
The article "The Internet: A Powerful Tool in Job Hunt," (I. Schneider, The Scientist, 12[20]:12, Oct. 12, 1998) came at the right time, with the Internet in wide use by employees, recruiters, and job-seekers. The list of Web addresses for jobs in the biomedical sciences was of great help to me. However, you have missed a great site: Medzilla. The Web address of this site is www.medzilla.com. It allows you to place your resume on the Internet, and it also provides you with the information on th

Commentary

CELS Promotes Biological Literacy
CELS Promotes Biological Literacy
The Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS) is a national coalition of professional societies dedicated to improving undergraduate biology education. CELS encourages all faculty to participate through their professional societies in this remarkable alliance, whose goal is to draw the life sciences community together to address the critical issues in biology education at our colleges and universities and to improve undergraduate learning in biology for all students. While our facult

Opinion

Sustaining the Investment in AIDS Research
Sustaining the Investment in AIDS Research
By any criteria, AIDS must be considered the great plague of the 20th century. The epidemic's spread around the globe has been rapid. The disease has already caused more than 11.7 million deaths worldwide since its appearance in the late 1970s. With an estimated 30.6 million current infections, and new infections occurring at the rate of more than 250,000 monthly, the potential magnitude of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is truly profound. In response, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has develo

Profession

Hazard Plan: A Necessity for Working in a Lab
Hazard Plan: A Necessity for Working in a Lab
Jordan Hewes felt lucky. She had begun a series of experiments staining cell junctions when she discovered the hazardous and toxic properties of silver nitrate, the staining agent she was using. "I was very upset when I learned about the hazardous properties of silver nitrate," Hewes explained. "Besides being toxic, it ... reacts explosively with ethanol. I could have blown myself up. I was disappointed that my supervisor failed to warn me about the hazards before I started this project." "In

Research

Getting at the Molecular Roots of Pain
Getting at the Molecular Roots of Pain
to eliminate difficult-to-control pain while leaving normal sensation intact. Pain is a part of life. Often, a few painkillers and some rest are enough to soothe the scraped knees of childhood and the aches and sprains of adulthood. But for some, pain is not as fleeting or as easily dismissed. The pain from cancer, chemotherapy, arthritis, AIDS, and other diseases can be unrelenting and incapacitating. Some individuals even experience constant, bone-crushing pain for no apparent reason. For man

Hot Paper

Developmental Biology
Developmental Biology
S. Piccolo, Y. Sasai, B. Lu, E.M. De Robertis, "Dorsoventral patterning in Xenopus: Inhibition of ventral signals by direct binding of chordin to BMP-4," Cell, 86:589-98, 1996. (Cited in more than 170 papers since publication) Comments by Eddy M. De Robertis, Investigator, Department of Biological Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Los Angeles Eddy M. De Robertis In 1924, two scientists identified a small group of embryonic cells that tell their neighbor
Developmental Biology
Developmental Biology
L.B. Zimmerman, J.M. De Jesús-Escobar, R.M. Harland, "The Spemann organizer signal noggin binds and inactivates bone morphogenetic protein 4," Cell, 86:599-606, 1996. (Cited in more than 180 papers since publication) Comments by Richard M. Harland, Choh Hao Li professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of California, Berkeley Richard M. Harland Researchers had long suspected that the protein noggin's interaction with bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) dictated devel

Technology

All For One
All For One
The work of laboratory scientists is becoming increasingly automated through advances in robotics and microprocessors. As experiments run faster and the need to work with toxic agents becomes commonplace, researchers are finding some of their normal responsibilities delegated to their electronic counterparts. Robotic systems deftly handle minute amounts of reagents and cells without spilling. They perform hundreds of operations without getting tired, and they don't even need to break for coffe
Turn Up the Lex Appeal
Turn Up the Lex Appeal
Schematic illustration of the LexA-based yeast two-hybrid interaction. Source: OriGene Technologies, Inc. 97/98 Catalog. Reprinted with permission. The DupLEX-ATM system from OriGene Technologies is a LexA-based two-hybrid assay for the detection of protein-protein interactions in vivo (J. Gyuris et al., Cell 75:791-803, 1993). The LexA system is conceptually similar to the prototypical GAL4-based two-hybrid system, both of which are based on the bipartate nature of yeast transcriptional acti

Technology Profile

One Step Beyond: Going Beyond Genomics With Proteomics And Two-Dimensional Gel Technology
One Step Beyond: Going Beyond Genomics With Proteomics And Two-Dimensional Gel Technology
Proteomes and 2D Gel Apparatus Providers Big science has moved on to proteins. With the new brand of science termed proteomics--named by the Australians Marc Wilkins and Keith Williams to mean the "set of PROTEins encoded by the genOME"--the push is on around the globe to produce a complete description of a cell/tissue/organism in terms of the proteins produced. The challenge is all the greater because the expressed protein pattern changes with time and environment--responding to developmenta
Frozen In Time: Ultra Low Freezers, Dewars, And Tubes
Frozen In Time: Ultra Low Freezers, Dewars, And Tubes
Date: January 4, 1999Mechanical Ultra-Low Freezers, Cryogenic Tubes "Time is the fire we burn in." And though we may not be able to quench its unrelenting flame, scientists have attempted to divert its path by isolating small enclosures where time slows to a crawl. Within these chambers the frenetic Brownian dance becomes a chaperoned waltz, as temperatures approach absolute zero. The internal environment of a cryogenic freezer is a world apart, a reminder of the ultimate heat-death that must

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
TIGHAR/P. Thrasher Tom King, senior project archaeologist for TIGHAR, excavates a site on Nikumaroro Island in 1997. In 1991, TIGHAR archaeologists found a shoe heel marked "Cat's Paw Rubber Co. USA" (right). They suspect that the heel and other matching shoe parts they found belonged to Amelia Earhart. STILL SEARCHING Lady Lindbergh may not have met her demise in the waters of the Pacific after all. On Dec. 4, 1998, at the annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting in P
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