News

Can A New Leader 'Heal' The AAAS?
Can A New Leader 'Heal' The AAAS?
WASHINGTON—The phone call on that January 1988 morning stunned staffers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Forensic pathologist Robert Kirschner, a member of the AAAS Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, had just been thrown into a Kenyan prison. Before heading for Kenya, Kirschner had received official government approval to attend an inquest into the death of a prisoner whose case had become a cause célèbre following allegations of gov
Oceanographers Get A Sinking Feeling
Oceanographers Get A Sinking Feeling
Columbia University oceanographer Arnold Gordon had planned to spend much of this year plumbing the Straits of Indonesia to understand how warm water from the Pacific Ocean mixes with the cooler waters of the Indian Ocean. His field work, financed by a $4.4 million grant, from the National Science Foundadon, would have been part of a five-year study to understand how differences in water temperature affect global weather patterns. But three years after Gordon first traveled to Jakarta to s
The Man Who Made Millions by Marketing Monoclonal Antibodies
The Man Who Made Millions by Marketing Monoclonal Antibodies
SAN DIEGO—When Ivor Royston founded his first biotech company in 1978, the 33-year-old assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego had no idea it would make him so rich and...infamous. Royston did know he was taking a risk. But his idea, to start the first company in the nation to sell monoclonal antibodies to other labs, was so compelling that he decided to gamble his career at UCSD. “I had only been there a year. I wasn’t even tenured,” recalls
Supercomputers Snapped Up By State Campuses
Supercomputers Snapped Up By State Campuses
Jezzy Leszczynski was living the good life: He was a visiting scientist in quantum chemistry at the University of Florida, his two children were happy, his wife was working at the university as a postdoctoral fellow in environmental science. So why did Leszczynski suddenly leave his family behind to become a research associate at the University of Alabama? No, this isn’t some sad tale about a “science marriage” on the skids. The fact is, Leszczynski hops on a bus or piles
NSF Short-Circuits Electronic Submissions Project
NSF Short-Circuits Electronic Submissions Project
WASHINGTON—Why, wondered Erich Bloch soon after he became director of the National Science Foundation in 1984, couldn’t scien tists submit their grant proposals to NSF electronically? What Bloch had in mind was a gradual shift of the entire grants process—from the development of a proposal through its review by a panel of outside experts—from brown paper envelopes to phone circuits. Spurred by that clear vision, NSF drew up plans, solicited proposals, and in October19
New Chairman At NACME
New Chairman At NACME
With the self-declared goal, of addressing “the drought of scientific and engineering talent that is drying up America’s leadership and international competitiveness,” Robert E. Mercer has accepted the position of chairman of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). Mercer, chairman of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., has long been active in the cause of science and engineering education. Stressing that by the year 2000 one in three Americans will be a m

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
Fusion Controversy To Get Review Dissident physicist R Leonardo Mascheroni, who made headlines last year when he attacked the fusion research program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, may finally get the technical review, he has demanded. The National Academy of Sciences has agreed to conduct a study for the Department of Energy on inertial confinement fusion programs, with a report due by September 1990. NAS officials say that the as-yet-unnamed panel will likely ask Mascheroni, who has
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
After seeing countless sentimental ads of big-eyed puppies and kittens distributed by animal rights activists, the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Biomedical Research has responded with a few emotional ads of its own. ‘Thanks to animal research, they’ll be able to protest 20.8 years longer,” reads one ad that depicts an angry crowd demonstrating against the use of laboratory animals. Another ad shows slides of cancer cells, diseased heart tissue, and the AIDS virus benea
University Briefs
University Briefs
Francis Crick Critiques Gerald M. Edelman Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick has taken to attacking a fellow laureate in public of late. Crick recently told a University of California, San Diego audience that a two-year-old book, Neural Darwinism, The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (Basic Books, 1987) by Nobelist Gerald M. Edelman makes misleading claims for itself. Crick quoted Edelman’s description of the book as “a radically new view of the function of the brain and the nervo
Entrepreneur Briefs
Entrepreneur Briefs
A Rose By Any Other Color... We all know that biotechnology is important—it is a powerful tool that holds the key to the future of medicine and many other industries. But when—before now—has it ever been fun? Some scientists may have always suspected that the new science had its frivolous side, and now DNA Plant Technology (Cinnaminson, N.J.) intends to exploit it. DNAP, which recently merged with Advanced Genetic Sciences (Oakland, Calif.), announced recently that it had exp
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
Transferring East Bloc Technology Forget research universities. Forget national labs: This technology broker combs the scientific halls of the Soviet Union—the entire Eastern bloc—looking for new technologies that could be of value to U.S. companies. Kiser Research, started in 1980 by businessman John Kiser Ill and engineer Barney O’Meara, is currently working to find homes in the U.S. for advanced materials developed in the USSR and its neighboring nations. The company tra
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
The National Stroke Association is launching a new program called Career Development Fellowships for Young Investigators in hopes of increasing the number of clinical and basic scientists committed to stroke research for the long term. Investigators who are funded for projects concerning either the causes of stroke or the rehabilitation of stroke victims, are to pursue their research under the auspices of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Institute for Stroke Research, an NSA affiliate headquartered in
Tools Briefs
Tools Briefs
Hitting The Hot Spots Scientists attending a recent American Geophysical Union meeting reported on a new lightning detection network that helps predict storms and pinpoint “hot spots” of lightning activity. Comparing two years of human observations of thunderstorms to data collected from a network of magnetic lightning detectors, Ronald Reap of the National Weather Service’s Techniques Development Laboratory, Silver Spring, Md., found that the magnetic detectors identify thre

Opinion

From A Doughty Theorist: Strings Are Matching Their Promise
From A Doughty Theorist: Strings Are Matching Their Promise
In theoretical physics, superstring theory is presently the most lively effort to formulate a quantum theory of gravity and to provide a unified field theory that explains the fundamental forces of nature. Superstring theory, in fact, has the capacity to make important predictions that can be verified by experiment. Its formulations lead directly to the particles known to be responsible for carrying the forces, and the formulations predict the existence of new particles, such as scalar bosons
Attack On The Superstring Theorists... And A Hearty Riposte
Attack On The Superstring Theorists... And A Hearty Riposte
Last year, Nobel laureate and Harvard physicist Sheldon Glas how stirred up theoretical physicists by launching an attack on superstring theory. In an article in The Sciences (Volume 28, number 3, pages 22-2S, May/June 1988) excerpted from his autobiography (Interactions: A Journey Through the Mind of a Particle Physicist, written with Ben Bova, Warner Books, 1988), Glaskow argued that physics theories have traditioanlly been based on experimental evidence. But now, he wrote, “many of the
Top Scientists Must Fight Astrology Or All Of Us Will Face The Consequences
Top Scientists Must Fight Astrology Or All Of Us Will Face The Consequences
Pericles, the fifth-century B.C. Athenian statesman, was once given a ram that had been born with one horn instead of two. A soothsayer concluded that the single horn was an omen indicating that Pericles would triumph over his rival, Thucydides, in a coming struggle. The philosopher and scientist Anaxagoras, however, dissected the skull and was able to demonstrate that the single horn had a natural cause. People were much impressed by Anaxagoras’ debunking of the soothsayer’s cla
Says An Iconoclastic Nobelist: The String Armada Is Adrift
Says An Iconoclastic Nobelist: The String Armada Is Adrift
Our standard model of physics is triumphant in the laboratory, but it cannot explain why particles and forces are as they are. An invincible string armada set forth in 1984 to meet this grand challenge. In its halcyon days, a naive and infectious optimism prevailed: Ameory of Everything seemed imminent. “There appear to be no insuperable obstacles to derive all known laws of physics,” one admiral in this armada was heard to boast. Sadly, after five years adrift, the superstring is

Commentary

A Modest Proposal To Our Partners: Show Your Support By Subscribing
A Modest Proposal To Our Partners: Show Your Support By Subscribing
A truly healthy publication must maintain the attitude that its readers are its partners. That’s the way we run The Scientist, and that’s the way we will continue to run it. The Scientist was started with you, the working scientist, in mind. Every two weeks we bring you stories about your colleagues, your working environment, funding, trends in research, and career and professional opportunities—stories that you just won’t find anywhere else. We also are very responsi

Research

Articles Alert
Articles Alert
LIFE SCIENCES BY BERNARD DIXON European Editorial Offices The Scientist Uxbrldge, U.K. " Positron emission tomography studies in 20 Swedish army officer cadets have revealed metabolic changes in the same regions of the brain during both tactile learning and tactile recognition. This exciting glimpse of brain metabolism accompanying conscious activity appears in a new journal launched by the European Neurosciences Association and designed to interest the entire universe of neuroscientists, fro
Super Growth In Superstring Research
Super Growth In Superstring Research
Few fields of scientific endeavor are “hotter” than superstring theory. Despite a debate that has broken out between theoretical physicists over the substantiality of the field (see “Opinion,” page 9), published papers on superstrings have increased so rapidly over the last few years that the Institute for Scientific Information’s on-line database, SciSearch, counts the field as 1987’s fifth most prolific. This is particu- larly remarkable in that as recently

Profession

Kellogg: Science 'Prizes' In Cereal King's Funding Box
Kellogg: Science 'Prizes' In Cereal King's Funding Box
Perhaps the biggest splash of all in the science philanthropy stream last year was made not by one of the high-profile science endowments such as Rockefeller or MacArthur, but by an immensely well-heeled midwestern organization known mainly for its community action programs. In this case, the beneficent snap, crackle, and pop was supplied by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., an offshoot of a company long-associated with Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes. In a dramatic departure
A Move To Fund The NIH's 'Also-Rans'
A Move To Fund The NIH's 'Also-Rans'
Tucked in among the multipage, multicolored ads touting medications for baldness, hypertension, and assorted infections in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 17, 1988, was a one-column notice in plain, black and white describing an innovative research grant program. The ad, placed by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) of Bethesda, Md., called for proposals from investigators whose grant applications to the National Institutes of Health had received the NIH’s dreaded verdi

New Products

Scientists Who Can Operate PCs, Programs Make Taxpaying Less Taxing
Scientists Who Can Operate PCs, Programs Make Taxpaying Less Taxing
To some of you, April 15 may still seem like a vague date in the distant future; in reality, the ominous IRS deadline for submitting tax returns is only six weeks away. The Scientist ran reviews of a few tax preparation programs last year, but changes in tax forms and tax laws have forced revisions on existing packages and even encouraged at least one new notable program to enter the market. Since scientists are more likely than the average tax filer to have access to a personal computerR
Radial Flow Technology Promises Chromatography Improvements
Radial Flow Technology Promises Chromatography Improvements
Non-isotopic immunoassays, for all their increasing specificity and sensitivity, remain for biochemists some of the most labor-intensive operations in the clinical/diagnostic lab. The repetitive pipetting of sampies, dilutents, and reagents to and from microtiter plates not only ties up highly qualified staff in tedious procedures but also opens the door to mistakes—a situation ready made for automation. A degree of automation has already been achieved with systems such as the Biomek 10
Radial Flow Technology Promises Chromatography Improvements
Radial Flow Technology Promises Chromatography Improvements
Scientists working in genetic engineering and pharmaceutical research often find it necessary to obtain highly purified molecules from complex biochemical mixtures. Column chromatography. most often the method of choice, is a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive process. Now, a new method has emerged that is superior to column chromotagraphy in all of these respects. Called radial flow chromotography, this alternative chromatographic method, was recently introduced by Sepragen Corp.,