Contributors

Contributors

Contributors

Ed Silverman has been a reporter for more than 20 years, the last 11 as a pharmaceutical business reporter at the The Star-Ledger. He worked on Wall Street before switching to journalism, and previously wrote for publications including New York Newsday and BusinessWeek. On page 40, he writes about challenges faced by university tech transfer offices. "They have a tough job," he says. "They need to make sure that they get the best deal for the university without alienating their

Editorial

How About Some Intellectual Honesty?

How About Some Intellectual Honesty?

It's time for scientists to speak up when something's not right.

Mail

Mail

Mail

"It is disingenuous, at best, to infer that the WARF patents are part of a "racket," which suggests that these patents may be illegal. They are not." Stem cell patent wars Re: "End this Stem Cell Racket"1 and "Working with Stem Cells? Pay Up"2: The novelty of claim one in Thompson's (WARF) patent is not in parts (i) through (iii), but in the final clause: "is inhibited from differentiation when cultured on a fibroblast feeder layer." Is it not possible to inhibit

Notebook

The Agenda

The Agenda

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

A ground-breaking lab

A ground-breaking lab

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

A ground-breaking lab

A ground-breaking lab

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

Are politics in your DNA?

Are politics in your DNA?

Twenty-one years ago, a young Australian geneticist named Nick Martin published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (83:4364-8, 1986) that described a curious sideline to his regular work on the epidemiology of disease in twins. The study, which Martin coauthored with his mentor Lyndon Eaves, probed the transmission of social attitudes among more than 4,500 pairs of fraternal and identical twins. The results suggested that genetic factors, rather than cultural o

A centenarian club

A centenarian club

When Russell Snell and his colleagues at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, were recently designing a study to test a candidate Alzheimer's gene, they ran up against a roadblock: How to put together a control group? "It's a problem," says Snell. "How do you identify a person who is not going to develop Alzheimer's?" Need 100-year-old research subjects? Try Medicine. The obvious answer was to find a group of healthy people who had passed the usu

Hate ticks? Save deer

Hate ticks? Save deer

Ticks feeding on a yellow necked mouse. Credit: COURTESY OF DAMIAMO ZANOCCO" />Ticks feeding on a yellow necked mouse. Credit: COURTESY OF DAMIAMO ZANOCCO If you thought it made sense to decrease disease-carrying ticks in your area by removing the deer that harbor ticks, Sarah Perkins has some news for you. Perkins, a postdoc in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, recently looked at studies in which researchers removed deer from large areas, ca

The Fountain's pen

The Fountain's pen

Ari Handel Credit:   2006 NIKO TAVERNISE" />Ari Handel Credit:   2006 NIKO TAVERNISE It's 11:30 on a Wednesday morning in November, and I'm sitting in a café in lower Manhattan with Ari Handel. About 50 blocks uptown, the first paid showing of The Fountain, the film based on a story Handel cowrote with Darren Aronofsky, has been underway for an hour. The film - which features a scientist, played by Hugh Jackman, and his wife, played by Rachel Weisz - is the first with w

Uncategorized

A Window into the Earth

A Window into the Earth

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Timeline: From Superstar to Pariah

Timeline: From Superstar to Pariah

Modeling with model organisms Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc Fruit fly genetics may help us understand how organisms can - or can't - adapt to climate change. By Andrea Gawrylewski Related Articles: 1 Hoffman's team reported that on the East Coast of Australia, the classical latitudinal genetic clines of Drosophila have shifted over the past 20 years an equivalent of 4 degrees latitude (some 400 km), which means that genetic clines are now found in f

A Fluctuating Reality

A Fluctuating Reality

A Fluctuating Reality Accused of fraud, Anders Pape Möller has traveled from superstar evolutionary biologist to pariah. By Brendan Borrell ARTICLE EXTRAS Origin of a Controversy Timeline: From Superstar to Pariah One day in the early spring of 1993, Richard Palmer received a paper by a Danish ornithologist, Anders Pape Möller. Palmer, an associate editor at Evolution, was impressed by the paper, but he was troubled by one of Möller's key st

Origin of a controversy

Origin of a controversy

Origin of a controversy By Brendan Borrell ARTICLE EXTRAS 1 it was a leap of faith to test whether females might choose males based on asymmetry between the left and right sides of the body. Such asymmetry had been known to correlate with stress and other environmental factors, but not to mate selection. M?ller is a strong proponent of the "good genes" model of sexual selection, 2,3 which holds that certain characteristics, for example, the tail feat

Felis Enigmaticus

Felis Enigmaticus

Felis Enigmaticus A company's shady past and questionable science raise doubts on their promises of a $4,000 hypoallergenic cat.By Kerry Grens ARTICLE EXTRAS 1 Fel d 1, which is unique to cats, is responsible for most people's allergic reactions to cats. 2 Still, little is known about the protein and Allerca's findings could lend insight into the unknown function

What the data say

What the data say

What the data say By Kerry Grens ARTICLE EXTRAS Feature Article 3,7 The gel does not indicate the subunit gene for which the primers were designed, although the gene for chain 1 of Fel d 1 is 1.7 kb (GenBank accession number X62477). Chain 2 is 2.4 kb (GenBank accession number X62478). Microbac's genetic analysis concludes, however, that mutations found in chain 1 "are

More data: Genetic analysis of hypoallergenic cats

More data: Genetic analysis of hypoallergenic cats

More data: Genetic analysis of hypoallergenic catsIn June of 2006 Allerca announced it would start selling the "world?s first scientifically-proven" hypoallergenic cats. Allerca's scientific evidence regarding its hypoallergenic cats consists of a press release of a clinical trial, and a DNA gel and a Western blot on its website. On November 30 Simon Brodie emailed The Scientist's staff writer Kerry Grens an additional piece of data: the abstract of a genetic analysis conducted on cheek

Timeline: The Hypoallergenic Cat

Timeline: The Hypoallergenic Cat

The Hypoallergenic Cat: A Timeline Feb. 4, 2004 The beginnings of the allergy-free cat. Simon Brodie and David Avner agree on a business plan for using RNAi to knock out the gene for the major cat allergen fel d 1. Sept. 24, 2004 Brodie and Avner agree to form a company called Allerca. Oct. 12, 2004 Brodie backs out of his partnership with Avner. Oct. 26, 2004 Brodie incorporates Allerca without Avner. Oct. 28, 200

Brodie's Other Pet Projects

Brodie's Other Pet Projects

Brodie's Other Pet Projects By Kerry Grens ARTICLE EXTRAS Feature Article Felis Enigmaticus Timeline: The Hypoallergenic Cat What the Data Say Slideshow: Reporter's Log on Allerca Time

The Trouble With Tech Transfer

The Trouble With Tech Transfer

THE TROUBLE WITH TECH TRANSFER Criticism from academics and industry, and fewer deals being made: What's going on? By Ed Silverman © GETTY IMAGES / JUMPSTART STUDIOS ARTICLE EXTRAS Fighting Tech Transfer and Winning Barry Merriman says he wants nothing to do with his university's technology transfer office. About three years ago, the researcher in the human

Fighting tech transfer - and winning

Fighting tech transfer - and winning

Fighting tech transfer - and winning By Ed Silverman ARTICLE EXTRAS The Trouble with Tech Transfer COURTESY OF LANCE CLAYTON I fought the Law: Chris Johnson Chris Johnson fought his tech transfer office and lived to tell the story. The computer science professor at the University o

Deciphering Immunology's Dirty Secret

Deciphering Immunology's Dirty Secret

Deciphering Immunology's Dirty Secret Can innate immune adjuvants save vaccinology? By Kate Travis ARTICLE EXTRAS 1 Why, he wondered, did scientists have to include bits of bacteria or aluminum hydroxide with a vaccine to get an immune response? Janeway hypothesized and later proved that so-called pattern recognition receptors identify invading pathogens and trigger an immediate reaction against the i

Table: Selected TLR Ligands in Clinical Trials

Table: Selected TLR Ligands in Clinical Trials

Table: Selected TLR Ligands in Clinical Trials Product Target Manufacturer Condition Phase Intervention Status CPG7909 TLR9 Coley Pharmaceutical Group Lymphoma I/II CpG injections and radiotherapy http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00185965 Ongoing Coley/Pfizer Metastatic breast cancer, renal cell cancer, T-cell lymphoma, non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma I or II CpG injection with or without chemotherapy http://www.cli

Slideshow: Reporter's log on Allerca

Slideshow: Reporter's log on Allerca

Slideshow: Reporter's log on Allerca Read the full feature about the shady business and questionable science behind hypoallergenic cats. var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/39695/allerca_slideshow.swf", width:"600", height:"600", majorversion:"8", build:"0", xi:"true"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content:

Timeline: Tracking Simon Brodie?s Criminal History

Timeline: Tracking Simon Brodie?s Criminal History

Read the full feature about the shady business and questionable science behind hypoallergenic cats.

White Paper

Promoting Integrity in Science Journals

Promoting Integrity in Science Journals

Integrity begins with a standard, something that's currently lacking, says the Council of Science Editors.

Column

Hot and Cold Running Genius

Hot and Cold Running Genius

Why MacArthur genius grant winner Eva Harris should be considered a bioethicist.

When There Is No Vaccine

When There Is No Vaccine

Passive immunization is the answer.

Studies You Can Use

Studies You Can Use

Kits for three of the gene-expression techniques published in 2006 are coming soon.

Profile

Watching Bacteria Eat

Watching Bacteria Eat

Watching Bacteria Eat

Hans Kornberg has spent his career figuring out bacterial metabolism - and has had a very good time doing it.

Books etc.

Cholesterol's ABCs

Cholesterol's ABCs

Two studies highlight targets for raising HDL.

Hot Paper

Mitochondrial immunity

Mitochondrial immunity

Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS" /> Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS The paper: R.B. Seth et al., "Identification and characterization of MAVS, a mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein that activates NF-κB and IRF3." Cell, 122:669-82, 2005. (Cited in 77 papers.) The finding: The innate immune system recognizes viral infections inside cells with RIG-I and triggers type I in

SIV attacks memory cells

SIV attacks memory cells

Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS" /> Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS The paper: J.J. Mattapallil et al., "Massive infection and loss of memory CD4+ T cells in multiple tissues during acute SIV infection," Nature, 434:1093-7, 2005. (Cited in 98 papers) The finding: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and HIV are known to reduce CD4+ T cells dramati

History in a grain of rice

History in a grain of rice

Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS" /> Credit: PROFESSORS PIETRO M. MOTTA © TOMONORI NAGURO / PHOTO RESEARCHERS The paper: J. Yu et al., "The genomes of Oryza sativa: a history of duplications," PLoS Biol, 3: e38, 2005. (Cited in 74 papers) The finding: Using computational programs developed at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Jun Yu led a team that improved the genome assemblies of both indica and jap

Papers To Watch

Questioning the function of neuroligin

Questioning the function of neuroligin

By making knockout mice, Frederique Varoqueaux at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Germany and his colleagues revealed that neuroligin, a cell adhesion molecule, may not be essential for synaptogenesis.1 "It hints that our current understanding is probably incorrect or at the very least incomplete," says Faculty of 1000 member Venkatesh Murthy at Harvard University. "Neuroligins have been proposed to be important to initiate synapses in the mammalian brain. All t

Wild bees make honey bees busier

Wild bees make honey bees busier

Credit: © SARAH GREENLEAF" /> Credit: © SARAH GREENLEAF Sarah Greenleaf, while a graduate student at Princeton University, led a study that showed wild bees help honey bees become more effective pollinators in central California farms where 90% of US hybrid sunflower seeds are produced.1 It's "a fascinating example of how species interactions enhance a vital ecosystem service," comments Valerie Eviner at the University of California, Davis, on the Faculty of 1000 W

Papers to watch

Papers to watch

L.A. Banaszynski et al., "A rapid, reversible, and tunable method to regulate protein function in living cells using synthetic small molecules," Cell, 126: 995-1004, Sept. 8, 2006. Destabilized mutants of the cytosolic protein FKBP12 are rapidly and constitutively degraded when expressed in mammalian cells but these unstable mutants can be rescued by addition of a synthetic FKBP12 ligand. When fused to other proteins, then ligand-induced rescue from degrad

Scientist To Watch

Nathan Wolfe: From Bench to Bush

Nathan Wolfe: From Bench to Bush

Credit: JASON VARNEY/VARNEYPHOTO.COM" /> Credit: JASON VARNEY/VARNEYPHOTO.COM With his curly locks, beard, and swarthy complexion, epidemiologist Nathan Wolfe seems to fit right in with the hunters he works with in Cameroon. Sometimes, he even wears one of their traditional robes, blue with gold embroidery, just in case. "He's quite well-accepted," says Don Burke of Pittsburgh University, his former postdoctoral adviser who met Wolfe at a conference on emerging diseases. They sha

Lab Tools

Robotics for the Small Scale

Robotics for the Small Scale

Five questions to see if you're ready to automate.

BioBusiness

Communicating Success

Communicating Success

Cepheid CEO John Bishop, a biotech veteran of nearly 40 years, guides his company into the next wave of clinical diagnostics.

Pulse Oximeter

Ten Ways to Write a Better Grant

Ten Ways to Write a Better Grant

Sure, you need a good idea. But it's more than that.

Submitting smoothly online

Submitting smoothly online

Related Articles Ten Ways to Write a Better Grant SUBMIT EARLY. The Internet may seem instantaneous, but considering that the NIH expects around 5,000 grant applications this year, bottlenecks will likely occur, says Christian Harker, president of Cayuse. Grant proposals submitted at the last minute may be delayed, possibly past the deadline. The delay may be in the system, but you can save yourself the worry about whether it was received on time and the headache of having to go through

Foundations

The First Black 6: C57BL/6J

The First Black 6: C57BL/6J

The black 6 mouse, above, was developed around 1920 by Clarence Cook Little (1881-1971), below. Credit: COURTESY OF THE JACKSON LABORATORY ARCHIVES" />The black 6 mouse, above, was developed around 1920 by Clarence Cook Little (1881-1971), below. Credit: COURTESY OF THE JACKSON LABORATORY ARCHIVES As a boy, Clarence Cook Little kept mice as pets, but his hobby became serious inquiry when he began studying Mendelian inheritance of mouse coat color under William Castle at Harvard Univer