March 1990

News

Lawrence Berkeley Lab Expects Gain From Applied Research, Industry Ties
Lawrence Berkeley Lab Expects Gain From Applied Research, Industry Ties
New chief sees future of less nuclear physics, more biomedical work, and more commercial projects. BERKELEY, CALIF.--Its main thoroughfare is still called Cyclotron Road, a relic of its days as the world's premier center for high-energy physics. But the name is rapidly becoming an anachronism. In just a few years, the last of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's big particle accelerators - the billion-electron-volt Bevalac - will be shut down. That will leave only a vintage 88-inch cyclotro
Science Hopes Bush's Proposals Survive Upcoming Budget Battle
Science Hopes Bush's Proposals Survive Upcoming Budget Battle
Big increases for NSF, NASA, the genome project, and the supercollider must vie with the needs of domestic programs WASHINGTON--President Bush has asked for significant increases for science in his 1991 budget proposal to Congress. But the really good news is that he's also asked for more money for housing, veterans' affairs, and other programs that compete with science for scarce resources. Why, in a time of fiscal austerity, is more money for other domestic programs a blessing for researche
Equipment Loans Give Students Practice With Key Biotech Tools
Equipment Loans Give Students Practice With Key Biotech Tools
Science departments seek high-tech instruments, promising companies a generation of skilled researchers in return. WASHINGTON--This spring two dozen students at North Carolina State University are mastering protein chemistry in the classroom with equipment usually found only in a state-of-the-art research laboratory. And the university didn't have to buy a single instrument. The reason? The new head of the biochemistry department, Paul Agris, convinced companies to loan or donate $500,000 in
Aid Malaria Unit Acts To Regain Credibility As Probe Continues
Aid Malaria Unit Acts To Regain Credibility As Probe Continues
Ex-chief Erickson pleads guilty, and a University of Illinois scientist is ousted from his laboratory. WASHINGTON--A new team at the U.S. Agency for International Development is cleaning up the mess left by the convicted ex-chief of its malaria research program. But some scientists who are looking for a vaccine for the deadly disease say that the bad odor left by the scandal leaves them wondering where their next dollar will come from. The scarcity of funds will certainly hamper the progress
Low-Key Start For Bush's Science Panel
Low-Key Start For Bush's Science Panel
WASHINGTON--Although it's been touted as the first scientific group to report to the president in 15 years and a symbol of George Bush's commitment to science, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology was sworn in last month with little pomp and circumstance. With barely two hours' notice to the press and no written descriptions of the backgrounds of its 12 prominent members, Vice President Dan Quayle administered the oath of office and then, after a few comments, left wit
Soviet Chemist Launches Appeal Against Anti-Semitism
Soviet Chemist Launches Appeal Against Anti-Semitism
People's Deputy Vitali Goldanski, a leading scientist and politician, steps up campaign against Russian 'monarcho-Nazis'. Extending his involvement in the politics of his troubled country, Soviet chemist Vitali Goldanski has launched an international appeal warning of the rise of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. Goldanski, director of the Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics and a member of the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies, wrote in January to his foreign colleagues about a new "mo
Analytical Chemistry Faculty Shortage Haunts PittCon
Analytical Chemistry Faculty Shortage Haunts PittCon
Analytical Chemistry Faculty Shortage Haunts PittCon Amid bustle of meeting, participants worry about a growing need for professors to train the next generation. Many of the more than 35,000 analytical chemists streaming into New York this week for the 41st annual PittCon meeting know that not enough of them are teaching the next generation of researchers. They also know the problem is likely to worsen as industrial demand for their skills continues to climb. But that's not why they come to th
NIH Budget Plan Means Cutbacks For Biomedical Research
NIH Budget Plan Means Cutbacks For Biomedical Research
Bush asks for expansion in grants and minority training, but his 4.7% projected increase falls short of rising lab costs. WASHINGTON--Despite a budget that Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan says maintains an "unprecedented level of support" for biomedical research, the president's request for 1991 falls short of what's needed to sustain a flourishing biomedical enterprise. President Bush is asking for $7.9 billion next year for the National Institutes of Health, a 4.7% increa
Billion-Dollar Budget For Global Change Means Big Boosts For NASA, NOAA, NSF
Billion-Dollar Budget For Global Change Means Big Boosts For NASA, NOAA, NSF
Satellite design, data handling get most of the global change research budget; $15 million will go for training. WASHINGTON--Global change leads the way in the rate of increase for research projects in the president's 1991 budget request. From a 1990 total of $659 million, the global change research budget is scheduled to increase to $1.034 billion spread across seven federal agencies. And unlike last year, says Robert Corell, head of the National Science Foundation geosciences directorate, wh
NSF Asks For More Of What Congress Already Likes
NSF Asks For More Of What Congress Already Likes
14% increase features more for education, academic facilities, and some new projects that look into space. WASHINGTON--This year NSF decided to go with the flow. The 14% increase requested in President Bush's 1991 proposed budget, which continues the pledge first made by President Reagan in 1987 to double the agency's budget in five years, would give more money to several programs that Congress already supports. As a result, foundation officials think their $2.38 billion budget has a better ch
Canadian Bill Would Protect Designs Of Computer Chips
Canadian Bill Would Protect Designs Of Computer Chips
OTTAWA--Canada's parliament is considering legislation aimed at giving its computer industry better intellectual property protection for the designs upon which integrated circuits are based. The bill is "designed to attract research and investment in the Canadian integrated circuit industry, promote trade, and prevent piracy," says Harvie Andre, acting consumer and corporate affairs minister, who introduced the measure. "The new legislation will create a better climate for investment: When yo
Alzheimer's Disease Researcher Wins Met Life Foundation's $250,000 Award
Alzheimer's Disease Researcher Wins Met Life Foundation's $250,000 Award
Donald Price, a leading Alz-heimer's disease researcher from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has received the $250,000 Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research for 1990. Chosen by an independent committee of eminent physicians and research scientists, Price, 55, professor of pathology, neurology, and neuroscience and director of the Neuropathology Laboratory and the Alz-heimer's Disease Research Center, both at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital, was cited fo

Briefs

Government Briefs
Government Briefs
No Thanks, We Already Do That As part of the bill setting NSF's annual budget, the Senate last fall asked the foundation to think about setting up an office of scientific integrity similar to the one created last spring by NIH. The legislators were worried that the present system, under which universities and other grantees have the primary responsibility for rooting out fraud, might not be adequate, and they urged NSF "to play a greater role" in overseeing scientific misconduct. Well, NSF offi
National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
NCAR, French In Joint Doppler Project Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., have been saving their research pennies in hopes of building an airborne Doppler radar system to monitor large-scale storms and global atmospheric processes that would be several times more powerful than their current system. But the $11 million price tag was too high for the 29-year-old, NSF-funded center to afford by itself. So last month NCAR officials announced an agreement wi
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
From Detente To Entente East met West in a history-making way February 9, when Soviet physicist Roald Z. Sagdeyev, head of the Theory Division of the USSR's Space Research Institute, married Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of the man who served as president of the United States during the height of the cold war. The couple, who met in 1987 at the Chautauqua Institution/Eisenhower Institute Conference on U.S.-Soviet relations, say they plan to live in Washington, D.C., during the academic year a
University Briefs
University Briefs
Coming To A Theater Near You With never-before-seen realism, the horrifying image leaps from the screen, engulfing the hapless viewer. Is it a 3-D Frankenstein? 3-D vampires? No, it's more like a 3-D mitochondria. By working with computer scientists, physicists, and other biologists, Fredric S. Fay, professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, has developed a technology that lets researchers "walk inside a cell." Digital imaging micro
Association Briefs
Association Briefs
The Polish Connection For some Eastern European countries, the problem of gaining access to medical information has made it difficult to develop adequate health care systems. Poland's medical community, which has long suffered because of the high costs of printed material and insufficient foreign currency, has taken steps to acquire up-to-date research. The Polish Central Medical Library in Warsaw and the British Medical Association Library in London, coupled with the nonprofit, international h
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Get A Grant, Share An Instrument The NIH Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grant program will now fund equipment that costs up to $400,000, an increase of $100,000 from 1989. But expect stiff competition for 1990's $32.5 million (The Scientist, Oct. 2, 1989, page 18). Applications must come from institutions with at least three investigators who plan to use the equipment and who already receive peer-reviewed funds from the Public Health Service. The equipment must be used 75% o
People Brief
People Brief
Aklilu Lemma and Legesse Wolde-Yohannes, two Ethiopian researchers whose work focuses on schistosomiasis, have won the 1989 Right Livelihood Cash Award, which honors and supports research specifically geared toward improving the quality of human life. The prize is presented by the Right Livelihood Awards Foundation, a United Kingdom-based international charitable organization that has been giving four cash awards annually since 1980. The prize is the brainchild of Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-G

Opinion

Why Women Are Discouraged From Becoming Scientists
Why Women Are Discouraged From Becoming Scientists
In recent years, concern about the underrepresentation of women in science, particularly the physical and mathematical sciences, has increased, motivated by both equity considerations and the growing shortage of United States scientists and engineers. In contrast to the traditional focus on questions of ability and discrimination, a new issue has come to the fore, namely the assertion by some gender theorists that science is inherently masculine, where masculine is understood as a cultural rath
Women Physicians Must Assume Leadership Roles In Academia
Women Physicians Must Assume Leadership Roles In Academia
What inspires some women physicians to eschew private practice in favor of a career in academic medicine? Why are they willing to make a considerable sacrifice in income while taking on the burdensome workload required by the academic life: the research, teaching, administrative tasks, and so forth? The answer has a lot to do with ideals. For most such women, academia provides a uniquely supportive and creative environment where they can share ideas, where their research may lead to the solutio

Commentary

Will Perestroika Open Soviet Science's Doors To The English Language?
Will Perestroika Open Soviet Science's Doors To The English Language?
In the previous issue of The Scientist (Feb. 19, 1990), we devoted a sizable portion of editorial space to the international science community's golden opportunities and potential pitfalls stemming from the Soviet Union's dramatic policies of perestroika and glasnost. In that issue, physicist Sidney Drell poignantly discussed his friend Andrei Sakharov, who - with his dedication to intellectual freedom and open communication among nations - must be regarded as a prime mover toward the great re

Letter

Letter: Animal Rights Strategies
Letter: Animal Rights Strategies
I was appalled to read in "U.S. Officials Defend Animal Research" (The Scientist, Jan. 8, 1990, page 1) of scientists succumbing to our age of images and dissimulation to gain support for animal research. Frederick Goodwin's advocating the use of young, attractive spokespersons is as emotively tactless as antivivisectionists parading around children with kittens. What happened to the compelling force of reason and logic - especially in the sciences? As a teaching assistant in the Applied Ethic
Letter: Senior Scientists
Letter: Senior Scientists
The Commentary "Senior Scientists Could Play A Key Role In Resolving Big Problems In Peer Review," by David Kritchevsky, and the article "Senior Scientists Face Funding Hurdles, Mandatory Retirement," by Julia King (The Scientist, Jan. 22, 1990, pages 12 and 19), deal with the very important problem of the forced retirement of senior scientists. This waste of human resources first impressed me in 1965. I was then building director of the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building at McGill University.
Letter: More Time Communicating
Letter: More Time Communicating
John Wilkes' call for scientists to communicate more with the public (The Scientist, Jan. 8, 1990, page 15) is an excellent idea, but he seems to underestimate the negative consequences. In addition to being ignored by promotion and tenure committees for their popular writing and becoming the object of ridicule by colleagues, there is often open contempt shown for scientists who write for popular audiences. The recommendation to write a letter to the local newspaper sounds great, since a scient
Letter: Job Search Sources
Letter: Job Search Sources
"Science Societies: A Source Of Leads For The Job Hunter" The Scientist, Dec. 11, 1989, page 20) includes an observation containing a quotation, both presenting an incorrect impression about the Placement Services of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the Society for Neuroscience (SN). I refer to this: ". . . they're `not very useful for people who want to work for large companies, like Abbott Labs, Merck, and Du Pont . . .' because few turn to science-so
Letter: More Time Communicating
Letter: More Time Communicating
John Wilkes' article, "Scientists Should Spend More Time Communicating With The Public," is touching but naive. He may have made it from the role of closet scientist to that of teaching scientist literacy, and I agree that there must be at least a smattering of researchers out there with both talent and interest enough to make their work attractive to the poor old layman, but is this really the point? A substantial part of my income is generated from science writing and freelance writing for a
Letter: Credit To Dentistry
Letter: Credit To Dentistry
I am most appreciative of the article "Ex-Dentist Cited For Pain Research," which you wrote about me in a recent People column (The Scientist, Dec. 11, 1989, page 22). However, citing me as an "ex-dentist" is incorrect and has caused considerable embarrassment. I have conducted research at the National Institute of Dental Research for more than 25 years and am very proud of my association with dentistry. My dental training has provided the clinical expertise for much of my research on acute and

Research

Articles Alert
Articles Alert
The Scientist has asked a group of experts to comment periodically upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selections, presented herein every issue, are neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather, the list represents personal choices of articles the columnists believe the scientific community as a whole may also find interesting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article, 3501 Market St., Philadelphia,
Among Review Journals, Biochemistry Serial Tops The List
Among Review Journals, Biochemistry Serial Tops The List
For seven of the past 10 years, the Annual Review of Biochemistry has exhibited the highest impact of any review journal (or nonreview journal, for that matter) in the life sciences. In 1988, its impact rating stood at a towering 48.3, a figure well above the second ranking journal Pharmacological Reviews, which had a rating of 29.4. The accompanying table lists the top 10 review journals, according to their 1988 impact ratings. Impact figures are measures of how often the average article in a
Cold Spring Harbor Team: Setting Sail For New Waters
Cold Spring Harbor Team: Setting Sail For New Waters
In 1985, David Beach, yeast geneticist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, N.Y., assembled a strong team of young researchers who proceeded to produce a remarkable series of highly cited papers. From their lab, located along a secluded, peaceful inlet 35 miles from Manhattan, the investigators, led by Beach, made important breakthroughs in understanding the biochemical pathway controlling cell division and engaged in several extremely successful collaborations with other researc

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
M. Beato, "Gene regulation by steroid hormones," Cell, 56, 335-44, 10 February 1989. Migeul Beato (Institut für Molekularbiologie und Tumorforschung, Marburg, W.Ger.): "This article is cited frequently because it is a review on a very timely topic in a field that has made tremendous progress in the last few years. Steroid receptors are the most thoroughly analyzed eukaryotic regulatory proteins. For most people outside the field it is virtually impossible to follow the avalanche of primary
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
J. Mannhart, P. Chaudhari, D. Dimos, C.C. Tsuei, T.R. McGuire, "Critical currents in [001] grains and across their tilt boundaries in YBa2Cu3O7 films," Physical Review Letters, 61, 2476-79, 21 November 1988. J. Mannhart (IBM Research Division, Zurich Research Laboratory, Rüschlikon, Switzerland): "A detailed understanding of the electronic properties of the grain boundaries in YBaCuO is important both for fundamental reasons and for possible applications of this superconductor. The fact th

Profession

New Policies Offer Pension Choices To Academic Scientists
New Policies Offer Pension Choices To Academic Scientists
Rare is the scientist who embarks on a career in academia purely for the money. On the other hand, money can surely be a key factor in deciding when to leave that career, especially in light of revised pension policies and retirement laws. Consider the following: By working one year beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, a university researcher with 30 years of service conceivably can add as much as $50,000 to his or her pension fund, in addition to collecting a regular annual salary.
Science Museum Institutes Franklin Prize To Honor Humanitarian Researchers
Science Museum Institutes Franklin Prize To Honor Humanitarian Researchers
If the Franklin Institute Science Museum has its way, the prestige of its new Bower Award for Achievement in Science will someday rival that of the coveted Nobel Prize. The award, which carries with it an unrestricted minimum grant of $250,000, commemorates Benjamin Franklin, who viewed science and technology as a means to solve almost any societal problem. The grant accompanying the award is funded by the late Henry Bower (1896-1988), a Philadelphia chemical manufacturer and philanthropist wh
Caltech Selects Chemist Ahmed Zewail For First Linus Pauling Professorship
Caltech Selects Chemist Ahmed Zewail For First Linus Pauling Professorship
The California Institute of Technology has selected chemist Ahmed Zewail to be the school's first Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics. The recently established professorship honors the career and achievements of the two-time Nobel laureate. Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954 for his research on the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances. In 1963, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Zewail, 44, s

Technology

Software Packages Can Make April 15 Deadline Less Taxing
Software Packages Can Make April 15 Deadline Less Taxing
For years, the bold entrepreneurs who built the personal computer industry have envisaged - even promised - a day when we'd see a PC on every desk in every workplace, every home. It hasn't happened yet, of course; the general population of the United States is far from being on-line. Scientists can't be blamed for this, however. Indeed, given its density of PCs, the science community probably ranks right up there with banking and a few other commercial sectors as contributing most to the fulfi