News

AIDS 20 Years Later...
AIDS 20 Years Later...
On June 5, 1981, a one-and-a-half page paper in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) noted cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in five gay men in Los Angeles. The men also suffered from cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections and candidal infections of the mucosa,1 and they used recreational inhalant drugs. The editorial note pointed out: "Pneumocystis pneumonia in the United States is almost exclusively limited to severely immunosuppressed patients." "I was sitting in my office in Buildi
Mind-Body Research Matures
Mind-Body Research Matures
For years, mind-body research has been conducted at the perimeters of the scientific mainstream, but that marginalization appears to have ended, as the National Institutes of Health funnels money and personnel into interdisciplinary investigations of the relationship between mental states and physical health. Oddly, the way mind-body medicine has achieved this acceptance is by establishing the very molecular and cellular evidence of the role that the mind plays in bodily health that it once esch
Personalized Prescribing
Personalized Prescribing
Research in pharmacogenomics points to a seismic shift in drug therapy, from a "one-size-fits-all" approach to a new era of personalized medicine, in which doctors will increasingly be able to prescribe the right drug at the right dose for the right person. Often used interchangeably with pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics is the study of how inherited genetic differences in humans influence individual responses to drugs. Courtesy of Genaissance PharmaceuticlsGerald F. Vovis Although a new worl
News Notes
News Notes
The American Museum of Natural History in New York, in creating what it claims is the first comprehensive museum exhibit on genomics, faced unique challenges. "The Genomic Revolution," which began May 26 and runs through January 1, 2002, explores the promise and the potential ethical perils of genomics advances. The exhibit, geared to ages 9 and up, according to exhibit curator Rob DeSalle, couldn't rely on an awe-inspiring specimen like the museum's famous blue whale to capture young imaginatio

Letter

The Scholarly Presentation
The Scholarly Presentation
T.V. Rajan's opinion article on scholarly presentations1 was an excellent summation of problems that occur during scientific conferences and journal clubs. I chuckled to myself as I read each of his points, realizing he was right on the money on all of them. Even though scientific conferences and journal clubs are a necessary venue in which to gain and exchange data, they can be improved. Another point that can be added to Dr. Rajan's list: the nicest slides don't necessarily represent the best
Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research
As I read Reginald Halaby's opinion article on undergraduate research,1 I had a sense of deja vu. All the experiments he described have been done. We do and have been doing what he promotes at Barry University, my home institution, for well over 15 years. At many institutions with high minority populations, the type of exposure to undergraduate science research he describes is routinely available for talented science students from underrepresented groups. Many of these institutions have been qu

Commentary

Putting the 'Notoriety' Cart Before the 'Prominence' Horse
Putting the 'Notoriety' Cart Before the 'Prominence' Horse
Recently, a colleague posed a seemingly simple question that took my thoughts down an unexpected path. Selected for a prestigious award, she had been asked to write something on mentoring and wanted to go beyond the personal reminiscences common to such pieces. Aware of my interest in issues related to the advancement of women in science, she wondered if I knew of any quantitative data that demonstrated the effects of mentoring on career development. The key word: quantitative. There is signif

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
www.ScienceCartoonsPlus.com

Research

Genome Economy
Genome Economy
The Human Genome Project's discovery1 that the human body runs on an instruction manual of a mere 35,000 or so genes--compared to the worm's 19,000, the fruit fly's 13,000, and the tiny mustard relative Arabidopsis thaliana's 25,000--placed humanity on an even playing field with these other, supposedly simpler, organisms. It was a humbling experience, but humility quickly gave way to awe with the realization that the human genome might encode 100,000 to 200,000 proteins. Scientists base this num
Quickening the Diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease
Quickening the Diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease
Europeans have destroyed 4.5 million cows since 1996, the height of the epidemic in the United Kingdom, because they were believed to be at risk for mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE).1 Necropsies, however, showed that only a few hundred thousand of them actually were infected.2 Had a diagnostic test for mad cow disease existed when this epidemic erupted, these numbers might have been different. But no such test did exist. The only available assay was a bioassay in which
Research Notes
Research Notes
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md. have developed a new tool for editing and repairing bacterial DNA in vivo using *-mediated homologous recombination. Originally used with chromosomal genes in yeast and Escherichia coli, this technique soon could be used with genes cloned on plasmids, which would allow scientists to study other pathogens and correct mutations or create markers in eukaryotic cells. A team led by Donald Court, head of the molecular control and genetics

Hot Paper

Converting Human Cells to Cancerous Cells
Converting Human Cells to Cancerous Cells
For this article, Leslie Pray interviewed William C. Hahn, postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., and an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age. W.C. Hahn, C.M. Counter, A.S. Lundberg, R.L. Beijersbergen, M.W. Brooks, R.A. Weinberg, "Creation of human tumour cells with de
The Role of BRCA1 in Breast Cancer
The Role of BRCA1 in Breast Cancer
For this article, Leslie Pray interviewed Chu-Xia Deng, senior investigator, Genetics of Development and Disease Branch of the National Institutes of Health. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age. X.L. Xu, Z. Weaver, S.P. Linke, C.L. Li, J. Gotay, X.W. Wang, C.C. Harris, T. Ried, C.X. Deng, "Centrosome amplification and a defective G(2)-M cell cycle checkpoint induce genetic inst

Technology

Pretty on the Inside
Pretty on the Inside
While new technologies in the fields of proteomics and genomics appear almost daily, histotechnology has remained largely unchanged since its development in the mid-1800s. Tissues are fixed, embedded in wax, sectioned, and stained as needed--a labor-intensive process that generates two-dimensional glass slides that must be viewed one at a time. An anatomical pathologist by training, Russell Kerschmann, founder and president of Corte Madera, Calif.-based Resolution Sciences Corp., is intimately f

Bench Buys

Bench Buys
Bench Buys
Berthold Detection Systems of Pforzheim, Germany, has introduced the Luminescence TestPlate for the testing and validation of microplate luminometers. Identical in size to a standard 96-well microplate, the device tests the reproducibility, changes in sensitivity, and changes in dynamic range of luminescent detection systems. The Luminescence TestPlate is supplied with a rechargeable battery and evaluation software. Berthold Detection Systems' products are distributed in the United States by Zyl

Technology Profile

A PCR Primer
A PCR Primer
PCR Enhancement Products Courtesy of RedasoftRedasoft's Visual Cloning 2000 includes primer design tools. Courtesy of Sigma-AldrichDirect loading of PCR products onto an agarose gel using Sigma-Aldrich's REDTaq. The art of PCR isn't hard to master. An abundance of products, ranging from relatively low-cost reagents to sophisticated optimization software, exists to meet most, if not all, PCR challenges. This profile looks at commonly used additives, PCR optimization kits and protocols, softwar
X-ray Vision in Structural Genomics
X-ray Vision in Structural Genomics
Updated! Suppliers of Tools for X-ray Crystallography Courtesy of Amersham Pharmacia BiotechDetail of the electron density map of deacetoxycephalosporin C synthase from Streptomyces clavuligerus. Two important approaches can be used to determine the three-dimensional structure of macromolecules. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy yields information on the structure of proteins in solution, but it has a size limitation of approximately 150 amino acid residues (about 16,500 daltons),

Profession

Scientific, Ethical Questions Temper Pharmacogenetics
Scientific, Ethical Questions Temper Pharmacogenetics
The field of pharmacogenetics, the study of inherited differences that influence a person's response to drugs, rivals bioinformatics in claims about how it will revolutionize pharmaceutical research. To be sure, pharmacogenetics and its allied discipline, pharmacogenomics (the use of tools such as microarrays and proteomics to study drug response) has opened a wealth of research questions and job opportunities. But scientists are still working to untangle the ethical and research complications t
Chelation Advocates Get a Chance to Prove Their Mettle
Chelation Advocates Get a Chance to Prove Their Mettle
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) recently released a Request For Application for a clinical trial to investigate chelation therapy to treat coronary artery disease--a treatment that proponents herald as valid and wrongfully suppressed, while mainstream medicine slams it as snake oil and quackery. NCCAM, with the support of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has set aside $30 million over the next five years for a clinical study on EDTA ch
Have Science Training, Will Travel
Have Science Training, Will Travel
In the early 1990s, just after Operation Desert Storm, scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research traveled to the lower Amazon basin to conduct trials with a new antimalarial medication. They found an epidemic in full swing among a camp of gold miners. The scientists labored in the humidity of the tropical rain forest to set up a clinic. But rumors slowed their progress: People said the researchers planned to develop medications, not for Brazilians, but rather for U.S. forces who
Profession Notes
Profession Notes
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research recently received an additional gift of $1.1 billion in securities from Jim and Virginia Stowers, who founded the Kansas City, Mo., research facility in 1998 (S. Bunk, "Big Plans for Kansas City," The Scientist 14[23]:14, Nov. 27, 2000). Their latest contribution raises the total value of the institute's endowment above $1.6 billion. The Stowers family originally intended for this gift to pass to the institute following their deaths, but by giving it no
Funding Opportunities in the Life Sciences
Funding Opportunities in the Life Sciences
Click to view our current database of Funding Opportunites in the Life Sciences.

Opinion

Market-Driven Free Access to Journal Articles
Market-Driven Free Access to Journal Articles
Authors of journal articles want their efforts certified by peer review and made conveniently available to the widest possible readership. They do not expect royalties nor do they receive them. What they hope for is impact. More specifically, they hope for attention, especially from other researchers, and recognition, especially from those who decide which researchers should be hired or promoted. Journal articles have greater impact if they are immediately and widely accessible. In this Internet