July 1990

News

Startup Vicar Bets On Gene Therapeutics
Startup Vicar Bets On Gene Therapeutics
San Diego firm's future hinges on the success of a serendipitously wrought treatment for a variety of genetic diseases Until March of this year, no one paid much mind to Wick Goodspeed, president and CEO of Vical Inc. With a staff of 22 scientists, his three-year-old biotechnology company in San Diego was just another startup hoping to cash in on the $2 billion-plus markets for innovative drug design and drug delivery methodologies. Then serendipity stepped in. While looking for a new way to
Bromley Laments Funding Shortfall
Bromley Laments Funding Shortfall
Bush's science adviser says he'd like to see government bolster financial support, urges more consideration for individual researchers WASHINGTON--The Bush administration wants to do more for "small science," says presidential science adviser D. Allan Bromley. But the type of support Bromley has in mind appears to be more psychological than financial. "The small investigator needs to have a feeling of being paid attention to," Bromley told The Scientist. "There's a feeling that the large proj
Confocal Microscopes Widen Cell Biology Career Horizons
Confocal Microscopes Widen Cell Biology Career Horizons
Innovative instruments, often jerry-built from parts of other devices, are making a wide array of new projects possible One look through something called a confocal microscope was all it took for William Sunderland to make a drastic change in his career plans. A math student with what appeared to be a bright future in computers, he peeked one day through the lens of a microscope invented in the lab where he worked. The dazzlingly detailed pictures of living cells convinced him to switch his ma
NIH Cuts Out Soviet Lab In Grant To Emigre Geneticist
NIH Cuts Out Soviet Lab In Grant To Emigre Geneticist
WASHINGTON--NIH has balked at what would have been unprecedented funding of the Soviet component of collaborative research with a Soviet émigré now in the United States (The Scientist, April 2, 1990, page 1). But the scientist, geneticist Valery Soyfer, says that he'll be able to carry out most of the work by having his collaborator, molecular biologist Maxim Frank-Kamenet-skii, spend time in Soyfer's new laboratory at George Mason University. Persecuted and penniless in the Sovi
Restorationists Return Native Species To Damaged Lands
Restorationists Return Native Species To Damaged Lands
Is conservation enough? This new breed of scientists seeks to do more, repairing the harm done by man CHICAGO--As a boy in his native England, ecologist Stuart L. Pimm spent almost every weekend watching birds. As an adult, he abandoned the outdoors to take up such theoretical pursuits as modeling change in biological communities. But now the University of Tennessee ecologist is back on a birdwatch of a different sort, this time in the tropical underbrush of a small Pacific island near Guam.
Career Obstacles Don't Dim Girls' Hopes
Career Obstacles Don't Dim Girls' Hopes
ARGONNE, ILL.--Amy Moore, a junior at a suburban Chicago high school, wears a combination madras-and-faded-denim skirt and has zipper pulls hanging from her multipierced ears. She does well in science, is computer literate, and wants to be an astronautical engineer. She's not sure what first piqued her interest in space, but she knows what influenced her career choice. "The "Challenger accident aggravated me to no end," says Moore. "I never want to see anything like that again. I don't want to
U. Of California Debates Its Role In Managing Federal Weapons Labs
U. Of California Debates Its Role In Managing Federal Weapons Labs
Does university management foster free inquiry at national weapons labs, or does it inhibit the university's own academic freedom? That's the question University of California Regents will face in September when they vote on a proposed renewal of the university's current contract to manage Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories for the Department of Energy. Although opponents of the nuclear arms race have long fought the university's 40-year oversight of the labs, faculty oppo
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
The Scientist has asked a group of experts to comment periodically upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selections, presented here in every issue, are neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather, the list represents personal choices of articles the columnists believe the scientific community as a whole may also find interesting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article, 3501 Market St., Philadelphia,
People: Wistar Institute Director Hilary Koprowski Receives `Philadelphia's Nobel Prize'
People: Wistar Institute Director Hilary Koprowski Receives `Philadelphia's Nobel Prize'
Hilary Koprowski, director of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, recently was presented with the Philadelphia Award, also referred to as "Philadelphia's Nobel Prize." The annual $25,000 award, originated in 1921 by publisher Edward W. Bok, who died in 1930, is given by a board of trustees established in Bok's will. The honor recognizes outstanding achievement in the Philadelphia area. Previous winners include the Rev. Leon Sullivan and orchestral conductors Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokow

Briefs

Government Briefs
Government Briefs
Sununu's Clout Endows Research Fellow Last year, wealthy Lebanese- and Syrian-Americans opened their wallets at a dinner held by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., to honor White House Chief of Staff John Sununu. The result was a research fellowship. And this month the recipient of their largess, Srinivas Chunduru, a newly minted chemistry Ph.D. from the University of Akron, has begun working in the hospital's pharmacology department. The $22,000 John Sununu Endowed Fellow
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Culpeper Funds Medical Scholars The Charles E. Culpeper Foundation Scholarships in Medical Science provide financial support for the career development of young academic physicians. Any accredited U.S. medical school can apply for up to three years of funding, in the name of a desired candidate, for awards of up to $100,000 per year. Three awards are scheduled for funding this year. Parameters for research topics are wide; anything that has relevance to human health is acceptable. However, the

Uncategorized

Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
Volume 4, #15The Scientist July 23, 1990 INDUSTRY BRIEFS Date: July 23, 1990 Centocor Looks Ahead Anticipating Food and Drug Administration approval of Centoxin, potentially the first therapeutic drug based on mononoclonal antibody technology, Centocor Inc., has announced plans to triple the size of its workforce in Malvern, Pa., the 11-year-old firm's headquarters. The four-year expansion, financed in part by $10.5 million in low-interest state loans, would add 1,000 new jobs. M

Opinion

Industry-University Research Collaborations: One Scientist's Experience
Industry-University Research Collaborations: One Scientist's Experience
[Editor's note: Joint research relationships between university and industrial scientists, when successful, can lead to rapid research advances such as those described in the following essay. On the other hand, collaborative efforts have their potential problems and pitfalls. Thorny issues that arise include conflicts over ownership of research data and publishing priorities, as well as ideological differences between scientists representing commercial and academic institutions. Below, biolog

Letter

Letter: More On Race And Science
Letter: More On Race And Science
Garland Allen's insinuation that Philippe Rushton's invocation of the Ontario (not Canadian) Libel and Slander Act, to curtail the widespread (and continuing) defamatory attacks on his professional reputation, somehow confirms the invalidity of Rushton's scientific research is preposterous. If Allen knows as little of science as he does of law, then his critique of Rushton must be considered worthless. IAN A. HUNTER Faculty of Law University of Western Ontario London, Ontario
Letter: A Matter Of Language
Letter: A Matter Of Language
I receive your informative paper, and I enjoy it immensely. I'd enjoy it even more, however, if your reporters and advertisers would use inclusive language. An example is found in the article "Fossil Record Aids In Predictions Of Global Warming's Consequences" (The Scientist, May 14, page 5). Included in the text is the term "congressmen." Were any Congress members who were female consulted, or does this actually refer to only males? An ad on page 11 speaks of sending man to the stars. Do the
Letter: More On Race And Science
Letter: More On Race And Science
I disagree with Garland Allen (The Scientist, May 14, 1990, page 17) on two fundamental points. Science, especially biological sciences, is about what might be true or could be true. Science accumulates evidence that takes us closer and closer, we hope, to the truth, but it is rare to be certain in biology that we have actually arrived. Ideally, scientists do pursue what interests them. This is academic freedom. We decry those social and financial restraints that restrict it. D.F. MAGEE School
Letter: Environmental Scientists
Letter: Environmental Scientists
Your publication overemphasizes the microbiological and biotechnical aspects of biology to an almost complete disregard for organismal and environmental biology. Your May 28, 1990, issue is a typical case in point. In an issue that had a large number of articles on improving science education and lauded the work and up-and-coming researchers, the only article that at all emphasized any type of biology above the molecular level was the one about the environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Whi
Letter: Global Warming Confusion
Letter: Global Warming Confusion
In the recent article "Fossil Record Aids In Predictions Of Global Warming's Consequences" (The Scientist, May 14, page 5), it is stated that "Global change has occurred before, they warn, but not at the rate the earth's climate seems to be shifting today." I would be interested in knowing how many reputable climatologists express that point of view. In your Feb. 5, 1990, issue (page 18), William A. Nierenberg, director emeritus of Scripps Institution, wrote that the vast majority of top clima

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
L.A. Goldstein, D.F.H. Zhou, L.J. Picker, C.N. Minty, et al., "A human lymphocyte homing receptor, the Hermes antigen, is related to cartilage proteoglycan core and link proteins," Cell, 56, 1063-72, 24 March 1989. Les Goldstein (Stanford University School of Medicine, Calif.): "This article, and the concurrent study by Ivan Stamenkovic, et al. (Cell, 56:1057, 1989), reported cloning of the lymphocyte homing receptor/adhesion molecule H-CAM(CD44), previously called the Hermes antigen. The cDNA
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
M.I. Wahl, S. Nishibe, P.-G. Suh, S.G. Rhee, G. Carpenter, "Epidermal growth factor stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-II independently of receptor internalization and extracellular calcium," PNAS, 86, 1568-72, March 1989. Matthew I. Wahl (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.): "While an earlier paper from our group (Science, 241:968-70, 1988) provided preliminary evidence, this paper demonstrated directly that a particular phospholipase C (PLC) isozym
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
E. Anders, N. Grevesse, "Abundances of the elements: meteoritic and solar," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 53, 197-214, January 1989. Edward Anders (Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago): "Solar system abundances of the elements are fairly representative of the universe as a whole, and thus have two major uses in astrophysics and cosmo- chemistry: to inspire and test theories of nucleosynthesis, and to serve as a `baseline' for interpreting objects of non-standard composition, such

Commentary

Illuminating Scientific Facts Through Fiction
Illuminating Scientific Facts Through Fiction
The need for the popularization of science is almost as old as science itself. Like every generation with its own set of societal problems, ours thinks of today's problems as particularly acute. Current examples are the explosive growth of scientific information at a time when general scientific illiteracy is growing alarmingly; the complexity of "technological fixes" presented to a risk-aversive public suffering from chemophobia and oncophobia; the almost pathetic desire of legislators and com

Research

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
Where is today's most influential biomedical and biological research being done--at what institutions and in what countries? And in what journals are the results of this research most consistently published? Judging from an examination of the 81 life science articles featured in The Scientist's "Hot Papers" section during the past 12 months, the answers, in order, are: the National Institutes of Health; the United States; and the journal Cell. Looking back on the "Hot Papers" columns of the p
Research: Chicago Researchers Search For Genetic Key To Diabetes
Research: Chicago Researchers Search For Genetic Key To Diabetes
The quest to identify the genetic causes of diabetes makes other hereditary disease research sound almost easy by comparison. Whereas cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, and many other disorders are each the result of a single defective gene, the origins of diabetes are far more baffling. In diabetes, several genes seem to be responsible for the malady; environmental influences, such as obesity, play a role as well. None of this daunts molecular biologist Graeme I. Bell. In fact, when he ca

Profession

So You've Just Received Your Ph.D. - What Happens Next?
So You've Just Received Your Ph.D. - What Happens Next?
When aquatic toxicologist Greg Smith recalls the way he got his first job after receiving his Ph.D. in 1988, he has every reason to consider himself lucky. For one thing, unlike many other newly hatched scientists, he never had to answer a classified ad. Smith, now employed at Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit research institute in Columbus, Ohio, was spared a lot of the hassles of job-hunting because he took his degree in a specialty that happens to be in extremely high demand. Althoug
Young Faculty Angle For Funding Support
Young Faculty Angle For Funding Support
For scientists beginning their first year in their own lab, amassing sufficient startup funding can pose a tremendous challenge. This was not the case for organic chemist Eric Anslyn, however. Even before he began his first day as an assistant professor at the University of Texas in Austin last fall, he negotiated a package with the university that gave him $190,000 to equip and start up his lab. Then he won a $25,000 no-strings-attached award specifically designed for startup funding from the
Defense Department Offers New Universities $20 Million
Defense Department Offers New Universities $20 Million
As part of its University Research Initiative, the Department of Defense is awarding grants for projects in smart materials and structures, synthesis of novel materials based on biological models and chemical routes, environmental toxicology, and high speed/high density digital electronic packaging. Smart materials includes materials science, electronics, biosystems, earth sciences, and mathematical modeling. The programs are handled through the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research,
People: American Chemical Society Awards Garvan Medal To Berkeley Chemist
People: American Chemical Society Awards Garvan Medal To Berkeley Chemist
Darleane Christian Hoffman, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and faculty senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, is the winner of the American Chemical Society's Garvan Medal. Established in 1936 to recognize distinguished contributions by women chemists, the award carries with it a $4,500 cash prize, a gold medal, and a bronze replica of the medal. It was at Los Alamos, where Hoffman worked between 1953 and 1984 with the radiochemistry group and the nucle
People: Michigan Provost Vest To Take Over As New President Of MIT On October 15
People: Michigan Provost Vest To Take Over As New President Of MIT On October 15
Charles M. Vest, the provost of the University of Michigan, has been named the new president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will assume the post October 15, succeeding Paul E. Gray, who has been president since July 1980. Gray will become chairman of the MIT Corp. when Vest takes office. During his career at Michigan, Vest, 48, has served in a wide variety of academic and administrative roles. From 1986 to 1989, he was dean of engineering and helped develop a new $100 million

Technology

Special Report: Gel Electrophoresis Creates A Revolution
Special Report: Gel Electrophoresis Creates A Revolution
In 1949, a team led by chemist Linus Pauling placed hemoglobin solutions from people with a disabling form of anemia and from healthy volunteers in an electric field, and found that the two samples migrated at different rates. In this way, the technique of electrophoresis helped decipher the molecular abnormality behind sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease among blacks. Forty years and many modifications later, a variation of the same technique helped highlight the differences