Editorial

Science and Politics: Don't Give Up
Science and Politics: Don't Give Up
Many scientists in the United States who staunchly opposed a second presidential term for George W. Bush were probably in a somewhat less-than-festive mood during the inauguration in Washington earlier this month.

About Us

Meet This Issue's Writers
Meet This Issue's Writers
, observing his own quirky memory serves both as entertainment and as a wonderful source of ideas about research projects.

Letter

Gene Studies are not Created Equal
Gene Studies are not Created Equal
In your Dec. 20 issue, Jack Lucentini tars all gene association studies with the same brush.1 He correctly points out that comparing mutation frequencies between populations may lead to inconsistent results; the limitations and pitfalls of this approach have been thoroughly documented in numerous scientific papers.Fortunately, there is an alternative, reliable approach. The index-test method (ITM) determines whether mutations in a specific gene predispose to a disease, relying only on simple inc
Does Your Dog Understand You?
Does Your Dog Understand You?
brought to mind a question that, as a dog lover, I have wondered about: Do dogs have any kind of sense of the future?

Opinion

The Biosafety Mess
The Biosafety Mess
For 20 years, I was the curator of the world's largest bacteriophage collection: the Felix d'Herelle Reference Center for Bacterial Viruses (HER 607).

Notebook

Europe's CDC
Europe's CDC
By May of this year, the European Union is aiming to have a new Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in operation to help combat communicable diseases among its 25 member states.
Women's health and the tsunami
Women's health and the tsunami
As infectious disease experts around the world assess the impact of last month's tsunami on the current and future health of the people in the devastated region, the lessons of the past, particularly those involving women, are front and center.
Doubts about allergy-free cats
Doubts about allergy-free cats
Geneticas, a Los Angeles-based animal cloning-related company, has made some big claims since its founding in 2002.

Research

RNAi Screens Seek Cancer Genes
RNAi Screens Seek Cancer Genes
RNA interference (RNAi) is fast becoming an essential tool for academic and industrial labs searching for genes that promote or inhibit cancer.
Retroelements Guide Adaptation
Retroelements Guide Adaptation
With inquisitive minds and tools as simple as a Waring blender, the work of early phage researchers such as Max Delbruck, Seymour Benzer, and Alfred Hershey generated much of the knowledge underlying contemporary molecular biology.

Hot Paper

Genetic Cartography
Genetic Cartography
has hardly put an end to mapping studies.

Vision

Vu for the First Time
Vu for the First Time
As a culture, we have difficulty letting go of the outdated notion that memory is a reliable tape recorder.
Proteomics Power to the People!
Proteomics Power to the People!
In the postgenomic era, there are the haves and the have-nots.

Briefs

Statins reduce amyloid-induced inflammation
Statins reduce amyloid-induced inflammation
Statin drugs appear to reduce inflammation associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) in a cholesterol-independent manner, say researchers from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.
Nuclear interference
Nuclear interference
RNA interference (RNAi) takes place in the nuclei of human cells, according to a group from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Interdisciplinary Research
Interdisciplinary Research
These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature awareness tool http://www.facultyof1000.com.S.E. Williams et al., "Hemoxygenase-2 is an oxygen sensor for a calcium-sensitive potassium channel," Science, 306:2093-7, Dec. 17, 2004.It was known that [Big K+] channels are sensitive to oxygen, but the mechanism of sensing oxygen has remained elusive. It appears now that hemoxygenase-2 is in a complex with BK channels, and that carbon monoxide, a p

Technology

Proteins In Parallel
Proteins In Parallel
As yesterday's genomics breakthroughs become today's common laboratory techniques, the cutting edge of biology is increasingly found at the level of the proteome.

How It Works

Improving Lab-on-a-Chip
Improving Lab-on-a-Chip
has upped the ante in microfluidics-based gel electrophoresis.

Tools and Technology

The Immune System as a Tool for Directed Evolution
The Immune System as a Tool for Directed Evolution
The Immune System as a Tool for Directed Evolution
A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, has harnessed the body's ability to tweak antibody genes to drive protein evolution in the lab.
Deciphering Drug Mechanisms
Deciphering Drug Mechanisms
© 2004 AAASThese sample data illustrate how phenotypic profiles can be used to tease out novel drug mechanisms.A team of Harvard scientists has found a high-throughput way to tie drugs with the cellular functions they affect.1 Comparing the profiles of uncharacterized compounds with those of well-studied ones, the group also predicted modes of action. The study employed a combination of fluorescent probes, high-throughput microscopy, automated image analysis, and advanced statistics."We hav
Plates
Plates
offers a new tool for researchers who want the flexibility of ELISA, without the increased error rate involved with running a separate test for each sample.

BioBusiness

The Politics of Science
The Politics of Science
By many measures, 2004 was a tumultuous and high-profile year for science around the world.
Cloning for Profit
Cloning for Profit
When San Francisco-based Genetic Savings and Clone announced in December it had sold a cloned kitten to a Texas woman, the public seemed caught between feelings of revulsion and excitement over the idea of cloning the family pet.
Birth of a Baby Biotech
Birth of a Baby Biotech
Frank Eeckman, cofounder and chief scientific officer of Centient Consulting, a San Diego firm that advises biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, once heard a venture capitalist describe a biotech startup company as a "boat on fire," meaning that everyone on the boat needs to paddle as hard as they can lest all be lost.

Update

Connecticut may fund stem-cell research
Connecticut may fund stem-cell research
Following in the footsteps of California and New Jersey as well as other states, the Connecticut legislature may consider a bill allowing both adult and embryonic stem cell research.
Missouri stem-cell ban possible
Missouri stem-cell ban possible
When Missouri's elected representatives arrived for the 2005 legislative session, they had their hands full of material about the ethics and implications of a proposed statewide ban on somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).
German university plan thwarted
German university plan thwarted
der's government to win approval for a $2.56 billion (US) plan to create a system of elite universities in Germany has failed after opposition from at least one state government.

Closing Bell

Left Out
Left Out
, a recent film about Hughes' early career.