June 1999

Hot Paper

Hot Research: Emphasis Shifts From Genetics To Cell Biology

Hot Research: Emphasis Shifts From Genetics To Cell Biology

Date: June 21, 1999Scientists Ranked by Number of Hot Papers and The Red Hot Research Papers of 1998 Editor's Note: Readers often tell us that their favorite element of The Scientist is the Hot Papers page. Here, scientists themselves get a chance to delve into what made the research paper to which they contributed significant enough to be cited in a large number of other papers over the past two years. In this issue, we have expanded the traditional Hot Papers page to four pages. We also have

Heart Disease

Heart Disease

Edited by: Nadia S. Halim B. Pitt, R. Segal, F.A. Martinez, G. Meurers, A.J. Cowley, I. Thomas, P.C. Deedwania, D.E. Ney, D.B. Snavely, P.I. Chang, "Randomised trial of losartan versus captopril in patients over 65 with heart failure (Evaluation of Losartan in the Elderly Study, ELITE)," The Lancet, 349:747-52, 1997. (Cited in more than 230 papers since publication) Comments by Bertram Pitt, professor of medicine, division of cardiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Robert Segal, dir

Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics

Edited by: Eugene Russo H. Ni, J. Engelbrecht, S. Brunak, G. von Heijne, "Identification of prokaryotic and eukaryotic signal peptides and prediction of their cleavage sites," Protein Engineering, 10:1-6, 1997. (Cited in more than 250 papers since publication) Comments by Henrik Ni, Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Biotechnology, The Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark J. Kling, "Opportunities abound in pharmacogenomics," The Scientist, 13[10]:16, May 10, 19

Endocrinology

Endocrinology

Edited by: Paul Smaglik G.G.J.M. Kuiper, B. Carlsson, K. Grandien, E. Enmark, J. Haggblad, S. Nilsson, J.A. Gustafsson, "Comparison of the ligand binding specificity and transcript tissue distribution of estrogen receptors alpha and ß ," Endocrinology, 138:863-70, March 1997. (Cited in more than 265 papers since publication) Comments by Jan-Åke Gustafsson, professor and chairman, Department of Medical Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden, and chairman, Department of Bi

Genetics

Genetics

Edited by: Paul Smaglik S.C. Chandrasekharappa, S.C. Guru, P. Manickam, S. Olufemi, F.S. Collins, M.R. Emmert-Buck, L.V. Deblenko, Z. Zhuang, I.A. Lubensky, L.A. Liotta, J.S. Crabtree, Y. Wang, B.A. Roe, J. Weisemann, M. Boguski, S.K. Agarwal, M.B. Kester, Y.S. Kim, C. Heppner, Q. Dong, A.M. Spiegel, A.L. Burns, S.J. Marx, "Positional cloning of the gene for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia-Type I," Science, 276:404-7, 1997. (Cited in more than 200 papers since publication) Francis S. Collins C

News

Secretin Trials: A drug that might help, or hurt, autistic children is widely prescribed but is just now being tested

Secretin Trials: A drug that might help, or hurt, autistic children is widely prescribed but is just now being tested

Image courtesy of Bernard Rimland "Birches" by Mark Rimland, an autistic artist. At least 15 clinical trials have begun or soon will be under way to help answer a question that has tantalized parents across the country in recent months: Can autism be effectively treated with secretin? The hormone, produced by the small intestine to incite secretion of pancreatic juice as a digestive aid, leaped to public attention in October of last year, when physicians began prescribing it off-label to treat

Observing the Ocean: Council Unfurls Federal Research Plans

Observing the Ocean: Council Unfurls Federal Research Plans

During the last 100 years of oceanographic research, scientists have discovered the critical role oceans play in human lives. Yet only a glimpse is available today of the vast, untapped resources and diverse forms of life in oceans. That is about to change, some scientists say. The first steps have been taken to establish a monitoring system in oceans and eventually develop a central "clearinghouse" to store research data culled from life and physical scientists' efforts, so that researchers t

E-commerce Offers Life Scientists Purchasing Options

E-commerce Offers Life Scientists Purchasing Options

Kim Ha uses the Internet to order buffers, enzymes, and other equipment. It's the electronic age. You communicate via E-mail. You surf the World Wide Web for everything from the local weather forecast to cheap airline tickets. Why not buy lab supplies over the Internet? With about 2,500 companies selling products to life scientists and more than 15,000 new products introduced each year, ordering lab supplies the traditional way can be a time-consuming task--maybe three to six hours a week sear

NCI Launches Second National Breast Cancer Prevention Trial

NCI Launches Second National Breast Cancer Prevention Trial

Women with an increased risk of breast cancer don't have to helplessly wait and wonder if they'll find that dreaded tumor. They have the choice to pursue a preventive course of action. The first national breast cancer prevention trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) proved the drug tamoxifen cut the risk of breast cancer in half for women at high risk.1 Following this finding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of tamoxifen as a preventive measure in October

Letter

NIH Postdoc Experience

NIH Postdoc Experience

I really enjoyed the article by Ramie Leibnitz entitled "The NIH Postdoc Experience."1 It was an entertaining and enlightening piece with a serious overtone: that women, despite similar age and number of years post-Ph.D., earn approximately $1,000 less per year than men as postdocs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although Dr. Leibnitz itemized what did NOT account for this (e.g., numbers of publications), she did not offer any explanations for this disturbing difference. If true, th

Corporate Collaborations

Corporate Collaborations

Publication constraints are not new for those who serve in certain institutions and commercial organizations, including the corporate industries.1 Whatever is said and done, federal funding or government funds are critical for the development of basic research. Basic research is the foundation on which applied research is built. If university funding dwindles, industries will dominate research. Once an industry promotes research, it becomes obligatory for the scientist to follow its regulations

Nutrition and Disease

Nutrition and Disease

I was delighted to read Paul Smaglik's recent article regarding the role of supplements in disease prevention.1 He presented the breadth of expertise that can be found among "nutritionists." The role of supplements should not be controversial, and whole foods and supplements can be used together to compose a healthy diet. Unfortunately, though, the nutrition scientific community has not been progressive, and even the National Academy of Sciences has recommended that Americans obtain their nutr

Notebook

Notebook

Notebook

WHY X Y? Cloning is not just for females anymore. The same University of Hawaii researchers that cloned 50 healthy female mice a year ago (T. Wakayama et al., "Full-term development of mice from enucleated oocytes injected with cumulus cell nuclei," Nature, 394:369-74, July 23, 1998) recently reported the first-ever cloning of an adult male mouse (T.W. Wakayama, R. Yanagimachi, "Cloning of male mice from adult tail-tip cells," Nature Genetics, 22:127-8, June 1999). Named "Fibro" after the fibro

Commentary

When Fish Disappear

When Fish Disappear

The Atlantic halibut has all but disappeared from New England waters, but once it was plentiful there. Like the now-depleted Atlantic cod and many runs of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, halibut have been nearly wiped out where they previously were thought to be countless. When fish disappear, the effects can be devastating to a fishing community's economy, to its sense of history, indeed to its very way of life. In recent years, these communities have played host to wrenching debates over wh

Opinion

New Influencers + New Rules = New Health Care

New Influencers + New Rules = New Health Care

As we move into the next century, the pace of the health care business will increase. Only organizations that can anticipate and execute their strategies accordingly will survive. We can foresee some of these changes already: the growing power of consumers to manage their own care; the role of the Internet in changing communication channels; the financial success of lifestyle drugs in the marketplace; the use of smart agents to optimize the selection, purchase, and delivery of personalized heal

Technology

What Is the Matrix? Bellco's Cellfoam Substrate

What Is the Matrix? Bellco's Cellfoam Substrate

Are you resigned to doing cell cultures the old-fashioned way, complacently swabbing cells onto collagen or gel platforms? Or have you always believed there must be a better way? The answer to your problems may lie within the matrix--the Cellfoam™ matrix, that is. But what is the matrix, you ask? Cellfoam is a three-dimensional, highly porous structure for the manipulation of adherent and nonadherent cells. Cytomatrix, a small biotech company in Woburn, Mass., has grown difficult cells s

Just What You Need: Amersham Pharmacia Biotech's GeneQuant pro Spectrophotometer

Just What You Need: Amersham Pharmacia Biotech's GeneQuant pro Spectrophotometer

Amersham Pharmacia's GeneQuant pro Why buy the farm when all you need is milk? That seems to be the thinking behind the GeneQuant pro from Amersham, a spectrophotometer designed specifically for the molecular biology laboratory. No full-range spectrophotometer with UV-vis crossover, this instrument uses just the essential wavelengths needed for molecular biology: 230, 260, 280, 320, 595, and 600 nm. Instead of reporting why each wavelength is used, it is easier to describe the GeneQuant pro b

Don't Purify that DNA! MicroLYSIS for Cell Lysis Prior to PCR Amplification

Don't Purify that DNA! MicroLYSIS for Cell Lysis Prior to PCR Amplification

Do you routinely run DNA preps for PCR amplification? This is a common procedure in many laboratories. However, it is not always necessary to perform DNA preps prior to PCR. In many circumstances, all you need is lysis of the cells and release of the DNA. Microzone in the United Kingdom has recently introduced microLYSIS, a reagent designed to lyse a wide variety of different cell types prior to PCR. MicroLYSIS is a proprietary mixture of detergents formulated to lyse cells in less than 15 minut

Technology Profile

Cell-Free And Happy: In Vitro Translation And Transcription/Translation Systems

Cell-Free And Happy: In Vitro Translation And Transcription/Translation Systems

Date: June 21, 1999Kits for In Vitro Translation and Transcription/Translation Systems Problem proteins--you know the ones. Some are rapidly degraded by endogenous proteins. Others are toxic to the very cells used to overexpress them. These types of problems can sometimes be avoided by using cell-free extracts for the in vitro expression of proteins. In vitro translation systems are also useful for other applications, including incorporating modified or unnatural amino acids for functional st

On A Roll: Keep those bottles rollin' with this year's newest hybridization ovens

On A Roll: Keep those bottles rollin' with this year's newest hybridization ovens

Date: June 21, 1999 Table of Hybridization Ovens If you've been around molecular biology labs long enough, you'll remember the days when you reached the end of a lengthy probe-labeling procedure and all that was left to do was throw your sizzling probe in with your membrane to hybridize. Sounds like you're almost finished, right? Except it was never that easy. Eliminating air bubbles from sealed plastic bags without squeezing out your precious probe and contaminating the bag sealer, the bench,