March 1997

News

Studies Call Attention To Ethics Of Industry Support
Studies Call Attention To Ethics Of Industry Support
Sidebar: Fourteen Journals Surveyed on Financial Interest of Authors For More Information On Academic-Industrial Collaborations Two recent studies have renewed attention on the perennial controversy over industry support of academic research. Some observers maintain that conflict-of-interest issues inherent in academic-industrial collaborations compromise scientific integrity and contribute to the public's mistrust of science, while others argue that such relationships benefit society and are a
Medical Marijuana Debate Moving Toward Closure
Medical Marijuana Debate Moving Toward Closure
Sidebar : Two Efforts To Tackle Medical Marijuana Issues A MEDICINAL HERB? NIH may soon be looking into the therapeutic effects of marijuana as consensus grows among scientists that such studies are worth doing. Few areas of science policy are as politicized as the debate over the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. The federal government historically has been reluctant to acknowledge that the drug has medicinal value. Initiatives passed last November in Arizona and California legalizing mariju
Animal Research Articles Draw Fire
Animal Research Articles Draw Fire
A Scientific American forum on the controversial issue has some scientists crying foul, contending editors failed to delete misstatements. TRUST BUSTED: UC-Berkeley’s Sharon Russell says her faith in Scientific American has been shaken. Some biomedical researchers are responding with disappointment and concern to the February issue of Scientific American, contending that portions of the magazine's cover package, a forum on the benefits and ethics of animal research, were misleading and
Fourteen Journals Surveyed on Financial Interest of Authors
Fourteen Journals Surveyed on Financial Interest of Authors
Journal TitleTotal Number of original articles on biology and genetics in 1992 Number of original articles with Ma. authors in 1992 Percentage of total number of articles Percentage of database (a) Disclosure of interests required by journal in 1992 American Journal of Human Genetics 27111 4.06 1.36 no Cell 357 51 14.29 6.29 no EMBO Journal 54628 5.13 3.45 no Genes & Development 21727 12.14 3.33 no Journal of Biological Chem. 3,8542265.86 27.87 no Journal of Cell Biology 51642
For More Information On Academic-Industrial Collaborations
For More Information On Academic-Industrial Collaborations
D. Blumenthal, N.Causino, E.G. Campbell, K.S. Louis, "Relationships between academic institutions and industry in the life sciences-an industry survey," New England Journal of Medicine, 334:368-73, 1996. D. Blumenthal, E.G. Campbell, N. Causino, K.S. Louis, "Participation of life-science faculty in research relationships with industry," N. Engl. J. Med., 335:1734-9, 1996. E. Haber, "Industry and the university," Nature Biotechnology, 14:441-2, 1996. S. Krimsky, L. S. Rothenberg, P. Stott, G.
Two Efforts To Tackle Medical Marijuana Issues
Two Efforts To Tackle Medical Marijuana Issues
The National Institutes of Health's "Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana," held February 19 and 20, served as a forum for researchers to present data on the therapeutic uses of the drug to an eight-member panel of scientists. The panel's recommendations may help determine future funding of studies to assess marijuana's possible healing powers. Panel members, who represent a broad spectrum of medical researchers, are: William T. Beaver, a professor of pharmacology and anesthesia at Geo
Observers Say Fisher Case Highlights Flaws In System
Observers Say Fisher Case Highlights Flaws In System
GREAT EXPENSE: Pittsburgh’s Bernard Fisher says that the government’s misconduct investigation against him cost too much. As renowned University of Pittsburgh cancer surgeon Bernard Fisher regroups after being cleared of misconduct in a highly publicized case, many observers are viewing the affair as a warning that the scientific community and the public need better ways of monitoring research activities. Fisher, cleared earlier this month of any wrongdoing, has filed a lawsuit ag
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - March 31, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle - March 31, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Forebrain site where retinal nerves cross. 10 Centipede class 11 It has an outer cortex and a central medulla 12 _____ syndrome (monosomy X) 13 Seminal canal 15 Electrified-tungsten product 16 Vaccine type 17 Blood pigment 20 Phototopic vision mediator 21 Bacterial surface appendages 22 Thirteen feet of the small intestine 25 Element named after Scandanavia 27 Phyicist who developed the atomic theory of matter 29 Certain succulents 30 Compou
For Further Information
For Further Information
RNA's Role At Beginning of Life - For Further Information Date: March 31, 1997 The International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life Mail Stop 245-1, NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, Calif. 94035-1000 World Wide Web: http://helium.ucsc.edu/~deamer/origins.html President: Andre Brack 420 members Journal: Origin of Life The RNA Society 9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Md. 20814-3998 (301) 530-7120 Fax: (301) 530-7049 World Wide Web: http://www.cup.org/Journals/JNLS
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - March 31, 1997
The Scientist - Crossword Puzzle Answers - March 31, 1997
By Eric Albert Email: ealbert@world.std.com ACROSS 1 Forebrain site where retinal nerves cross. 10 Centipede class 11 It has an outer cortex and a central medulla 12 _____ syndrome (monosomy X) 13 Seminal canal 15 Electrified-tungsten product 16 Vaccine type 17 Blood pigment 20 Phototopic vision mediator 21 Bacterial surface appendages 22 Thirteen feet of the small intestine 25 Element named after Scandanavia 27 Phyicist who developed the atomic theory of matter 29 Certain succulents 30 Compou

Opinion

Richard Zare Reflects On Impact Of Mars Studies, Science Board
Richard Zare Reflects On Impact Of Mars Studies, Science Board
Editor's Note: The year 1996 was a big one for Richard Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. In May, he was elected chairman of the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation. His six-year term as a committee member and two-year stint as head of the board both end in 1998. In the 10 months since his election, Zare, 57, has become known for his forward-looking, hands-on approach to science policy. In mid-August

Commentary

Do Innovators In Science Deserve Research Support As A Royalty?
Do Innovators In Science Deserve Research Support As A Royalty?
In a recent retrospective, I mused about the similarity in role and function between inventors in the world of commerce and innovators in the realm of scientific research (J.B. Fenn, Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, 46:1-41, 1996). Noting that inventors can apply for a patent, which provides them with exclusive use of the invention for a limited time, I suggested that innovators in research should also receive something more palpable than references to their work in the publications of the

Letter

Stirring Up Awareness
Stirring Up Awareness
I want to update you on the outcome of Sea Turtle Survival League's request of the publisher of Joy of Cooking to remove green sea turtle recipes from the well-known cookbook (Notebook, The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1997, page 30). In addition to contacting the paperback publisher, we got in touch with Scribner, publisher of the hardcover edition. In mid-January, Maria Guarnaschelli, a Scribner vice president and senior editor, told us that all sea turtle recipes would be removed from the next revise
Safe Science
Safe Science
Ricki Lewis's informative article "Protective Equipment Helps Ensure Safer Lab Environments" (The Scientist, Feb. 17, 1997, page 19) is full of accurate information all presented in an upbeat style. She gives credence to the informed notion that safety is a natural and inseparable part of science; that safe science depends upon knowledge, good sense, and preparedness. These characteristics are long known to be those of successful scientists. The article also references several laboratory safet
'Untold Mischief'
'Untold Mischief'
Thank you for publishing the Opinion piece by Theodore Rockwell in your March 3, 1997 edition (page 9). Rockwell's elucidation of the (un)scientific basis for United States radiation protection regulations needs to be broadcast from the rooftops. It has caused untold mischief in the regulatory arena, while continuing to propagate the myth that we can have, and can afford, a "risk-free" society. The arguments that, as a society, we must err on the side of "conservative assumptions" have been ca

Leaders of Science

Robert Brent
Robert Brent
The Scientist Date: March 31, 1997 THE SCIENTIST® The Newspaper for the Life Sciences Professional (609)-786-7207 For Fast Service "As an academician interested primarily in basic science, teaching, and clinical care, I find THE SCIENTIST provides me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of areas that are not covered in the material that I usually read, such as the politics and economics of science, as well as expanding my vocabulary in the language of other scientific fields."

Research

Scientists Debate RNA's Role At Beginning Of Life On Earth
Scientists Debate RNA's Role At Beginning Of Life On Earth
Sidebar: RNA's Role at Beginning of Life - For Further Information Before there was life, there were chemicals. The idea that ribonucleic acid (RNA), because of its catalytic capability and multiple roles in protein synthesis, was the chemical that led directly to life is termed the RNA world hypothesis. Although the phrase "RNA world" is generally attributed to Walter Gilbert, Harvard University's Carl M. Loeb University Professor, in a short 1986 paper, the idea of RNA's importance at the beg

Hot Paper

DNA Repair
DNA Repair
Edited by: Thomas W. Durso and Karen Young Kreeger C.U. Kirchgessner, C.K. Patil, J.W. Evans, C.A. Cuomo, L.M. Fried, T. Carter, M.A. Oettinger, J.M. Brown, "DNA-dependent kinase (p350) as a candidate gene for the murine SCID defect," Science, 267:1178-83, 1995. (Cited in more than 140 publications as of February 1997) Comments by Cordula U. Kirchgessner and J. Martin Brown, department of radiation oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine A 1995 paper in Cell (T. Blunt et al., Cell, 80
Protein Degradation
Protein Degradation
Edited by: Thomas W. Durso and Karen Young Kreeger M. Hochstrasser, "Ubiquitin, proteasomes, and the regulation of intracellular protein degradation," Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 7:215-23, 1995. (Cited in nearly 120 publications as of February 1997) Comments by Mark Hochstrasser, department of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of Chicago. IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR: This review summarized the state of the field when many people were just starting to get interested in the ubiquit

Profession

Online Access Is Profoundly Changing Scientific Publishing
Online Access Is Profoundly Changing Scientific Publishing
See rebuttal to this article. Scientific publishing is undergoing a profound change. Large and small, commercial and nonprofit publishers are beginning to shift journal delivery from paper to electronic and from library shelves to users' desktops. Without question, the electronic age is speeding up information access. For example, from a computer desktop in his or her office, a subscriber to the online edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) can browse the latest issue shortly af

Technology

Kits Take The Trickiness Out Of RNA Isolation, Purification
Kits Take The Trickiness Out Of RNA Isolation, Purification
Kits Take the Trickiness Out of RNA Isolation, Purification MINIMIZES CONTAMINATION: Ambion’s Rnase Zap destroys Rnase on laboratory surfaces. RNA is the most versatile biological molecule. It carries genetic information from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, then actively participates in protein synthesis; it also can function catalytically. All cells of a multicellular organism have similar collections of transfer and ribosomal RNAs, but it is the repertoire of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that
Selected Suppliers Of Products For RNA Isolation And Purification
Selected Suppliers Of Products For RNA Isolation And Purification
Ambion Inc. Amersham Life Science Inc. AMRESCO Inc. Bio 101 Inc. Boehringer Mannheim Biochemical Corp. Clontech Laboratories Inc. CPG Inc. Epicentre Technologies Corp. 5 Prime -> 3 Prime Inc. Gentra Corp. Hybaid Ltd. Invitrogen Corp. Life Technologies Corp. Novagen Inc. PerSeptive Biosystems Inc. Pharmacia Biotech Inc. Promega Corp. Qiagen Inc. Sigma BioSciences Corp. Stratagene Corp.

New Products

New Products
New Products
The Hach DRELs (direct-reading environmental laboratories) constitute a line of 12 new portable laboratories. They are equipped with the Portable Datalogging DR/2010 Spectrophotometer and other features needed to run water-quality tests. Users can choose from 12 application-oriented configurations or customize a DREL based on individual testing requirements. The spectrophotometer is powered by batteries or line power. It includes preprogrammed calibrations for more than 120 common water-qual

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
The American Medical Association (AMA), not to be outdone by the recent controversies surrounding sheep cloning, wrestled with a few ethical issues of its own earlier this month in Philadelphia. At a conference entitled "Ethics and American Medicine: History, Change, and Challenge," speakers tackled subjects such as end-of-life care and the problems of managed care and health-care rationing. The meeting’s concluding session, a roundtable discussion on medicine’s future ethical chall