July 1992

News

U.S. Scientists Wary Of Traveling To China
U.S. Scientists Wary Of Traveling To China
This summer, three years after the prodemocracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and the subsequent Chinese government crackdown on participants—including many scientists and students—at least two important scientific meetings, one in entomology and one in physics, have been scheduled in Beijing. Because of China's record of human rights abuses, the original siting of the meetings in China has been hotly debated within each scientific community, with some concerned United States
Fetal Tissue Research Uncertainties Foster Confusion Among Many Bioscience Workers
Fetal Tissue Research Uncertainties Foster Confusion Among Many Bioscience Workers
The United States government's four-year ban on federal financing for human fetal tissue transplantation research directly affects only those scientists who would transplant fetal tissue from induced abortions into human patients. But both the ban and the controversy and confusion surrounding it also affect the working lives of other U.S. scientists with an interest in tissue repair and transplantation, researchers say. Thousands of investigators worldwide-a large proportion of whom are from
Rio Document Spurs Debate: Is Science An Ecological Foe?
Rio Document Spurs Debate: Is Science An Ecological Foe?
CHALLENGING THE BASIC TENETS When the Heidelberg Appeal, delivered to the leaders of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, assails an "irrational ideology" that questions technology and idealizes a so-called natural state, it is attacking, among others, those who embrace these notions, namely those who have come to be known as "neo-Luddites." The label "Luddite" originates from an early 19th-century English labor movement, inspired by Ned Ludd, who, upon seeing the industrial revolution repl
Star Wars Laser Makes Its Move Into Biomedical Research
Star Wars Laser Makes Its Move Into Biomedical Research
THE VANDERBILT FREE ELECTRON LASER CENTER Vanderbilt University's Free Electron Laser Center was dedicated on April 16, 1992, with a commemorative lecture delivered by noted physicist Edward Teller, an outspoken proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative. The FEL facility is a 13,000-square-foot building, which includes a subsurface vault with seven-foot-thick concrete walls for housing the radiation-producing laser. The laser light is sent upstairs to the research laboratories through a ser

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Hands Across The Sky Bush Whacking A Hard Task Site Visits Running On Sun Hands Across The Sky Here's a sure sign that the Cold War is over: Astronomers in the United States—a community that in the 1960s was determined to make more scientific discoveries than the Russians—have collected about $45,000 to help preserve astronomy research in the former Soviet Union. "Even when there was a Cold War, we respected the work of our [Russian] colleagues, and the respect has gone both ways,"

Opinion

Research Progress Will Determine Future Of U.S. Economy
Research Progress Will Determine Future Of U.S. Economy
THE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES EMERGING TECHNOLOGY MAJOR TECHNOLOGY ELEMENTS LIFE SCIENCES  Biotechnology Bio processing, drug design, genetic enginnerring, biolelectronics Medical Devices/Diagnostics Cellular-level sensors, medical imaging, in vitro and in vivo analysis, targeted pharmaceuticals, fiber-optic probes MATERIALS Advanced Materials Structural and functional ceramics, ceramic and metal matrix composites, intermetallic and lightweight alloys, advanced polymers

Letter

The Old Boys' Club
The Old Boys' Club
W.M. Grogan's commentary (The Scientist, May 11, 1992, page 12) in reply to Radcliffe College President Linda Wilson (The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1992 , page 3; March 16, 1992, page 11) epitomizes the "old boys' club" all over again. Grogan and male scientists who share his views are going to go down kicking and screaming the whole way, afraid to try anything new, showing no respect for Wilson's achievements and authority. I sit through meetings in which no one listens to each other because all pa
Initial Reaction
Initial Reaction
This correspondence is late, but I must comment on the letter of L.E. McNeil on "What's In A Name?" (The Scientist, Jan. 6, 1992, page 12). Dr. McNeil uses her initials rather than her full name on her publications. That is, of course, her choice, but I wonder if that practice contributes to the persistent invisibility of women in science. Limited space dictates the use of initials in reference lists, but as a matter of principle I would prefer to see all authors spell out their first names. Thi
No Mere 'Mistake'
No Mere 'Mistake'
In your article concerning the investigation of Robert Gallo (The Scientist, April 13, 1992, page 3), Edward Ahrens recalls the statement of a faculty member (and appears to endorse it) who said, "After all, we have got to remember among ourselves that science is a profession where you have to put up with making mistakes all the time." Neither the case of David Baltimore nor the Gallo case is based on the kind of error one makes in the laboratory. The Baltimore case involved allegations of ou

Commentary

Confronting Acid Rain: A Model Of Science-Government Cooperation
Confronting Acid Rain: A Model Of Science-Government Cooperation
Unlike water and oil, science and government can mix together, and in doing so can bring about effective, meaningful, and fair public policy. A good example of this cooperation can be found in the results of the federal government's investigation into the causes and remedies for acid rain—an investigation yielding important rules regarding air pollution. On the first Earth Day in 1970, only a handful of North American scientists were aware of the potential threat of acid rain. But by the

Research

Cosmic Wormholes: Where Science Meets Science Fiction
Cosmic Wormholes: Where Science Meets Science Fiction
In a book to be published this October, physicist Paul Halpern will explain how to build and use a cosmic wormhole as an interstellar shortcut to distant parts of the universe, or to travel backward in time. As fanciful as this sounds, many physicists say Halpern's book is not necessarily science fiction. There is indeed serious science at work here—at least on a theoretical level—they say. Halpern, who doesn't think such devices could be found or constructed anytime soon, noneth

Hot Paper

CHEMICAL PHYSICS
CHEMICAL PHYSICS
Dennis Lichtenberger (University of Arizona, Tucson): "Prior to this work, the intriguing truncated icosahedral 'soccer ball' structure of the C60 molecule had been surmised from detection of microscopic amounts of the molecule and from numerous theoretical calculations of the electronic structure and bonding. "Following the synthesis of milligram quantities of C60 at the University of Arizona by Donald Huffman, we set out to measure its full valence and core ionization spectrum. The ionization
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Michel Philippe (Universite de Rennes, Rennes Cédex, France): "In yeast, two critical points of the cell cycle (Start and G1/S) are regulated by the same protein. This protein, called p34cdc2, is coded by the genes cdc2 in Schizzosaccharomyces pombe and CDC28 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By complementation of yeast mutants, proteins from higher eucaryotes homologous to cdc2 have been cloned. Moreover, p34cdc2 has been shown to be one of the main components of the well-known M-phase promotin
HUMAN GENETICS
HUMAN GENETICS
Robert Richards (Adelaide Children's Hospital, Australia): "This paper was the first of a series describing the finding of heritable unstable elements in human genetic disease, from our laboratory and those of J.-L. Mandel (Strasbourg, France), C.T. Caskey (Houston), K.H. Fischbeck (Philadelphia), P.S. Harper (Cardiff, England), D.E. Housman (Boston), P. de Jong (Liver- more, Calif.), B. Wieringa (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), and others. Those elements characterized to date are trinucleotide repe

Technology

DNA Libraries: Offering Researchers A Genome At A Glance
DNA Libraries: Offering Researchers A Genome At A Glance
LIBRARY SHOPPING To obtain a DNA library is like getting your hands on a bagel or a pizza: It's easier to buy one than it is to assemble the ingredients to make your own. "Libraries are difficult to make: Most scientists only make a library once or twice in their careers," and perfecting library-making detracts from other activities, says Lani San Mateo, technical service representative at Clontech Laboratories Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif. Clontech's extensive collection of libraries includes a g

Profession

Promoting Yourself Is Key To Climbing Academic Ladder
Promoting Yourself Is Key To Climbing Academic Ladder
Many people naively think they will get what they deserve if they just dutifully do what is expected of them. But this is a vain thought and is particularly ill-adapted to the lifestyle of overworked American scientists. It assumes that other people focus, at least to some extent, on us and our needs. In actuality, most people focus primarily on themselves, and it is our obligation to call their attention to our scientific expertise and abilities if these needs are to be met. My own experience
Morris Animal Foundation Fills A Void By Funding Companion Animal Research
Morris Animal Foundation Fills A Void By Funding Companion Animal Research
Morris Animal Foundation of Englewood, Colo., which since 1948 has spent nearly $9 million to fund studies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and disease in companion animals; has begun to provide matching grants for training programs in animal behavior, as well. Behavior that is unacceptable to owners is one of the leading reasons that millions of pets are left at animal shelters each year, according to the foundation. This spring the foundation awarded its first matching gran
Obituaries
Obituaries
Harry Eagle, a pioneer in medical research, died June 12 in Port Chester, N.Y., at the age of 86. Eagle, who received the National Medal of Science in 1987, developed one of the first methods for creating Eagle growth medium, the compounds needed for the growth of human and animal tissue in a laboratory (Science, 129:252-4, 1959). He also contributed to the discovery that blood clotting is an enzyme process; advanced cancer chemotherapy; engineered a diagnostic test for syphilis; and identified
People: Pittsburgh Professor Named President Of American Society Of Clinical Oncology
People: Pittsburgh Professor Named President Of American Society Of Clinical Oncology
Bernard Fisher says his life's work has been emphasizing the importance of biological testing in clinical trials. As the newly elected president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), he says he hopes to influence oncologists worldwide to explore the benefits of these trials as testing mechanisms. Testing scientific hypotheses in a clinical setting is, according to Fisher, a superior way to search for new medical therapies as well as fortifying old biological principles. "T
People: Former SmithKline Beecham Executive Moves To Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals
People: Former SmithKline Beecham Executive Moves To Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals
Ralph E. (Chris) Christoffersen has left a position as senior vice president and director of research at SmithKline Beecham PLC in Philadelphia, one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the United States, to become president and CEO of one that is tiny by comparison, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RPI). Christoffersen says, however, that despite the company's relatively small size, RPI offers no dearth of opportunities. "I am really looking forward to being the leader of a research tea