News

Canadians Refine The Art Of International Science
Canadians Refine The Art Of International Science
Even as Congress once again wrestles with levels of funding for the superconducting supercollider (SSC), plans for another large North American high-energy physics project are moving quietly but steadily ahead. While SSC supporters scramble to entice reluctant foreign partners to help foot an estimated $6 billion bill for what has always been promoted as a United States-led effort, the other project-a proposed $450 million Canadian accelerator-has been designed from the start with international
Scientists Turn To Acting In New Movie
Scientists Turn To Acting In New Movie
TORREON, MEXICO— On a dusty movie set in the Mexican desert, J. Robert Oppenheimer—or, more correctly, actor Dwight Schultz is writing equations on a blackboard. The setting is Los Alamos in 1944, and the actor is portraying the famous physicist as he excitedly describes a key step in the process of constructing the first atomic bomb to the general—played by Paul Newman—in charge of the new wartime laboratory. In minutes the camera stops rolling, and one of the actors str
Infighting Among Rival Theorists Imperils 'Hot' Fusion Lab Plan
Infighting Among Rival Theorists Imperils 'Hot' Fusion Lab Plan
For most of the public, the word "fusion" refers to the recent claims by University of Utah chemists of a way to produce boundless energy in a jar at room temperature. But research on "hot" fusion, the attempt to simulate within the laboratory the enormous pressures and temperatures that fuel the stars, has been under way for more than a generation. And it was only last year that the press was reporting a possible breakthrough from experiments in which scientists subjected tiny capsules of hydro
Sharing Of Scientific Data Posed As Way To Diminish Fraud
Sharing Of Scientific Data Posed As Way To Diminish Fraud
WASHINGTON-Sharing notebooks and other data with someone outside their laboratory is an idea that is anathema to many scientists. But they may need to get used to it as part of the price of performing science with public funds. The search for a better system to record, retain, and share data is emerging as a key issue in the ongoing debate over how to curb scientific misconduct. It promises to remain a significant issue long after scientists have finished arguing about whether Rep. John Dingell
International Cooperation Is Vital To Progress In Field, Say Astronomers
International Cooperation Is Vital To Progress In Field, Say Astronomers
WASHINGTON-United States astronomers are preparing to ask the National Science Foundation to build two telescopes for the price of one. Their request, to be submitted next month, is part of a larger effort to reduce the cost of new projects in ground-based astronomy by increasing international collaboration. A plan for two 8-meter telescopes, one on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and one at Cerro Tololo in Chile, has been drawn up by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO). The organization, wh
Open Search Promised For New NIH Director
Open Search Promised For New NIH Director
WASHINGTON-The search for a successor to James Wyngaarden as director of the National Institutes of Health has begun, and members of the committee given the job of sifting through the applications say that the process isn't wired. "There's no shoo-in for the job," says Joseph ("Ed") Rall, NIH deputy director for intramural research. "I expect an open and honest search. I don't see anyone on the committee with a political agenda." James Mason, the new assistant secretary for health within the Dep
Debris Cleared, Jackson Begins Recovery From Fire
Debris Cleared, Jackson Begins Recovery From Fire
When fire swept through part of a mouse-breeding building at the Jackson Laboratory on May 10, there wasn't enough time for fear. 

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
Scientists continue to feel aftershocks from the surprise shutdown in April of ETA Systems Inc., the Minneapolis-based supercomputer manufacturer (The Scientist, May 15, 1989, page 1). The latest victim is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory, the world's leading atmospheric modeling facility. The Princeton, N.J., lab had hoped that an upgrade of its current pair of aging CYBER 205 supercomputers would meet its increasing need for global warm
Government Briefs
Government Briefs
Even before it finishes up new rules on misconduct, NIH is already looking ahead to the next set of possible guidelines for grantees. These rules would cover standards of conduct to avoid real or imagined conflicts of interest by scientists who get government grants. The complex topic, believed by many observers to be a more serious problem than fraud itself, has already drawn congressional attention in light of federal pressure to strengthen ties between academic scientists and industry, and NI
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
At a time when the supply of live animals for research use has become unreliable, expensive, and controversial, a Philadelphia organization is providing experimenters with a convenient alternative: human tissue. The National Disease Research Interchange, founded by Lee Ducat and funded in part by NIH grants, links scientists into a nationwide network of organ banks and hospitals whose excess surgical, transplant, and autopsy material would otherwise go to waste. In business for the past decade,
University Briefs
University Briefs
The scientific jury may still be out on cold fusion, but some social scientists have already reached the verdict that the spectacle has been good for science. Just as a political scandal can invigorate politics by showing the public how it works, the cold fusion story has benefited science by exposing its hidden side, according to a panel of scientists, philosophers, and sociologists who met last month at the University of California, San Diego. "We saw science in the making. We learned a lot ab
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Persons trained as medical doctors have traditionally played an important role in advancing the frontiers of biomedical research. But the need to pay medical education debts and the competition for funding have pushed many potential researchers away from the laboratory and into clinical practice. Enter the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. HHMI has just launched a postdoctoral research fellowship program to encourage clinically trained M.D.'s to pursue careers in research. Each year the program w

Opinion

What Can We Learn From The Investigation Of Misconduct?
What Can We Learn From The Investigation Of Misconduct?
[Editor's note: Discussions of research misconduct are becoming more and more prevalent, in the halls of academic and research institutions as well as on the front pages of newspapers. But few in the scientific community have experienced the issue as personally as the six authors of the now infamous Cell paper, among them MIT's David Baltimore and Tufts' Thereza ImanishiKari. Since May 1986, when Margot O'Toole, a postdoc working in Imanishi-Kari's lab at MIT, first raised doubts about some of t

Letter

Cetus And PCR
Cetus And PCR
I would like to compliment Rex Dalton on his summary of the broad range of applications of GeneAmp polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology (The Scientist, April 17, 1989, page 1). However, I most strongly disagree with the article's implication that Cetus Corp. has prevented scientists from conducting research using PCR technology or interfered with "freedom of scientific thought." Academic scientists the world over have rapidly adopted PCR as a tool in their research efforts. Scientists at C
On Anthropomorphism
On Anthropomorphism
According to NIH's Tom Wolfe- quoted in "Improving The Lot Of The Laboratory Animals" (The Scientist, January 9, 1989, page 1)—it now seems to be acceptable for scientists to adopt an anthropomorphizing attitude in their research with animals. Why, then, did the Department of Agriculture receive 142 comments from the research community criticizing the department for defining pain in terms of human standards as "too anthropomorphic" in its proposed Animal Welfare Regulations? Bioethicist Ar
Ohio High-Tech
Ohio High-Tech
Daniel Charles's article, "States Wrestle Over Measuring The Value Of High-Tech Development" (The Scientist, March 20, 1989, page 6) touches on some important questions for those sponsoring technology development initiatives. Unfortunately, the article misrepresented Ohio's approach to program assessment, and some of the statements I made on the matter were taken out of context. It is true that measurement of results from technology development programs is an important issue for many states and
Nuclear Winter
Nuclear Winter
Bruce Fellman's article "Nuclear Winter Comes In From The Cold" (The Scientist, May 1, 1989, page 1) was well done but failed to point out that the scientific issue of "nuclear winter" was actually resolved in 1985 with the publication of Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War (Physical and Atmosphere Effects, Vol. I and Ecological and Agricultural Effects, Vol. II). These books, published by John Wiley & Sons, were the culmination of a three-year study by 300 scientists from more than 30 cou
Anti-'Fascist'
Anti-'Fascist'
I suggest that the word fascist not be used in articles unless the term is actually appropriate, that is, when describing a political system or philosophy that is indeed "fascist." The most recent egregious use of the term is in the article by Chris F. Reynolds (The Scientist, May 15, 1989, page 13), where he writes of "clerical procedures with an almost fascist precision." More generally, I suggest that The Scientist adopt a policy of eschewing political code words of all types and to promote t
A Bold Suggestion
A Bold Suggestion
I enjoyed your recent Commentary "Ignorance May Be A Virtue In The Age Of Information Overload" (The Scientist, April 17, 1989, page 10). The column reminds me of my own pet idea for helping the world better cope with information overload, a mechanism that would be provided by the publishers of nonfiction books, magazines, journals, newsletters, and newspapers. Simply present the most important ideas, sentences, and paragraphs in an article or book in boldface print! This single innovation, wide

Commentary

Dingell Hearings On Science Fraud: More Overkill Than Oversight
Dingell Hearings On Science Fraud: More Overkill Than Oversight
As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the NIH, and its subcommittee on oversight and investigations, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) has been investigating scientific fraud for over a year. No one questions the subcommittee's legitimate role of investigating fraud and ensuring that public funds are wisely spent. But many object to Dingell's unfair conduct and heavy-handed tactics. The subcommittee seems to have overstepped its mission as a watchdog of public funds. T

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
R.J. Birgeneau, D..R,Gabbe, H.P. Jenssen, M.A. Kastner, P.J. Picone, T.R. Thurston, G. Shirane, Y. Endoh M. Sato, K. Yarnada, Y. Hidaka, M. Oda, Y. Enomoto, M. Suzuki, T. Murakami, "Antiferromagnetic spin correlations in insulating metallic and superconducting La2-xSrxCuO4," Physical Review B- Condensed Matter, 38(10), 6614-23, 1 October 1988. Marc A. Kastner (Department of Physics, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.): "This paper gave the first clear evidence that magnetic effects persist into the supercon
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
P.W.H. Bolland, B.L.M. Hogan, "Expression of homeo box genes during mouse development," Genes & Development, 2(7), 773-82, July 1988. Brigid L.M. Hogan (Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, Tenn.): "The subdivision of Drosophiia into distinct body segments is regulated by development genes, many of which have a highly conserved DNA sequence known as a homeobox In 1984, Bill . McGinnis and his colleagues published the unexpected observation that homeobox s

Profession

Federal Program Aims To Snip Grant Process Red Tape
Federal Program Aims To Snip Grant Process Red Tape
About a year ago, James O'Brien filed a grant renewal application to support this year's summer program to put five minority undergraduates to work in his scientific labs. A professor in oceanography and meteorology at Honda State University in Tallahassee, O'Brien had received the annual $50,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for several years and expected its renewal to be routine. But a snafu at the federal agency slowed the renewal, so that by May 1, as the students began arri
Science Grants
Science Grants
Below is a list of notable grants recently awarded in the sciences— large federal grants as well as awards of all sizes from private foundations. The individual cited with each entry is the project's principal investigator. BIOMEDICINE Stirring undergraduate interest in research and teaching careers in the medical and biological sciences. $61 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to 51 U.S. universities. (Grants range from $1 million to $2 million each: top awardees were the Uni
People
People
William T. Golden, a corporate executive and a longtime advocate of progress in science and technology, was named chairman of the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History last month. The 79-year-old Golden, who serves in an advisory capacity at several corporations, including General American. Investors Co. and Block Drug Co., says his aim is to provide "leadership without domination" in representing the board to the museum's president. The new chairman has been a museum trust
Books, Programs Unlock Mysteries Of DOS And Windows
Books, Programs Unlock Mysteries Of DOS And Windows
If you are an inveterate tinkerer—and a lot of scientists can certainly be classified as such—it's likely that you'll eventually develop a yen for customizing your PC once the pleasure of mastering off-the-shelf applications packages wears off. To satisfy that yearning, you will, of course, have to take a plunge into the workings of the operating system- DOS, in the case of IBM family machines and you'll also have to get deeper into the inner workings of user interfaces, such as Micr
New Monoclonal Antibody Detects Multidrug Resistance
New Monoclonal Antibody Detects Multidrug Resistance
A central area of investigation in cancer research and therapeutic treatment is the role of multidrug resistance (MDR) in neoplastic cells to a variety of chemotherapeutic compounds. Elevated levels of Pglycoprotein, an integral membrane protein that acts as a drug efflux pump, have been associated with the phenomena of MDR. High levels of P-glycoprotein expression have been identified in a variety of cell lines selected for resistance to various chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, elevated lev

New Products

New Products
New Products
Developed to meet the needs of analytical chemists, biochemists, and researchers in virtually any field, Sartorious Instruments, based in McGaw Park, Ill., has introduced the world's first toploading microbalance. The M3P Toploading Micro-balance is sensitive to 1 ug (with a maximum capacity of 3 g) and has three sensitivity ranges. The compact balance saves laboratory space and, unlike conventional microbalances, eliminates the need for a large weighing chamber. Since no mechanical devices for