March 1998

News

Biotech Innovations Aim To Conquer Influenza Virus
Biotech Innovations Aim To Conquer Influenza Virus
Few who have suffered from influenza need to be reminded of the misery it can inflict. Recent outbreaks in Hong Kong serve as a strong reminder that influenza is a costly and often fatal disease. In December, an outbreak of a deadly strain of avian influenza in Hong Kong caused the government there to mandate the slaughter of more than 1.5 million chickens. As of January, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers have identified 16 confirmed cases of the avian flu in humans.
Mind And Body: What's The Connection?
Mind And Body: What's The Connection?
IT ALL CONNECTS: Ohio State's Janice Kiekolt-Glaser believes that the more mind-body medicine is used in general medicine, the better. Research into the effects of molecular pathways on brain and body functions is reviving old questions Backed by solid research in molecular biology and fueled by consumer interest, the role of the mind in bodily health is entering the arena of serious scientific consideration. Evidence of communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune sy
Death Raises Safety Issues For Primate Handlers
Death Raises Safety Issues For Primate Handlers
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: There is no way to tell if rhesus macaques such as these are releasing the deadly herpes B virus into body fluids, researchers warn. The death last December of a 22-year-old research assistant at Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., has cast a pall over Yerkes and its parent institution, Emory University, and reminded scientists once again that their occupation can be deadly. Elizabeth Griffin died on December 10 of complications from a herpes B
Reproductive Research Progresses Despite Restrictions
Reproductive Research Progresses Despite Restrictions
While the ethics of human cloning has dominated recent discussion of reproductive technologies, research involving human embryos has always been a political hot potato, entangled with the twin issues of abortion and the beginning of human life. Restrictive policies and negative public attitudes surrounding embryo research have made it increasingly difficult for the infertility research community to improve the success rates for assisted reproductive technologies. According to the Centers for Di

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"What I really hate is preventive medicine. They go after us before we even DO anything."

Opinion

What Scientists Can Do To Fight The Frankenstein Myth
What Scientists Can Do To Fight The Frankenstein Myth
In his comments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) two weeks ago, President Bill Clinton echoed a refrain from his State of the Union address in which he tempered his enthusiasm for scientific progress with a call to "see that science serves humanity, and not the other way around." This disquieting sentiment-that science, like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, is poised to wreak havoc on its creator-has a currency today that should alarm us as scie

Commentary

Doubling Research Means Doubling Education
Doubling Research Means Doubling Education
It is encouraging that a bipartisan congressional leadership has called for a doubling of the current level of federal investment in research within the next 10 years. And the Clinton administration's budget submission is a clear indication that the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue heard the call. But with this call and reponse comes a major responsibility to make a credible argument for such enhancement, and we scientists and engineers must do our part to make that case. True, even the call a

Letter

Meta-Analysis
Meta-Analysis
I have read the article entitled "With Increasing Use Of Meta-Analysis Come Efforts To Boost Validity" (S.P. Hoffert, The Scientist, Jan. 5, 1998, page 7) with some interest, and I would like to comment on a few points. Everybody likes to write and to publish positive results of clinical trials much more than negative results. Thus, it is the responsibility of the editors of biomedical journals to work against their own bias and ensure that results of so-called negative trials are published as
Postdoctoral Fellows
Postdoctoral Fellows
I read with considerable interest the recent article in The Scientist about the professional concerns of postdoctoral fellows (S. Bunk, The Scientist, Jan. 5, 1998, page 1). To bring postdoctoral fellows in our department into more active participation in the department outside their sponsors' laboratories, three years ago we instituted biweekly research meetings for them. These serve several purposes: Fellows present work in progress as quite informal "chalk talks" or, if they are ready to ent

Research

Chemokine Advances May Provide New HIV Therapies
Chemokine Advances May Provide New HIV Therapies
STAGED INVASION: Understanding the role of coreceptors CCR5 and CXCR4 provides a clearer picture of AIDS disease progression, says NIAID's Edward Berger. TAKING AIM: Chemokine receptors provided a fixed target for therapy, while the mutating HIV virus is a moving target, remarks NCI's Stephen J. O'Brien. Increased knowledge about the doorways HIV uses to enter cells has opened up new avenues of inquiry for AIDS researchers. Over the past several years, scientists have discovered several chemo

Hot Paper

Immunology
Immunology
Edited by: Eugene Russo T CELL STARTER: Harvard's Michael Grusby believes that research on Stat pathways will lead to a better understanding of T cell differentiation. M.H. Kaplan, U. Schindler, S.T. Smiley, M.J. Grusby, "Stat6 is required for mediating responses to IL-4 and for the development of Th2 cells," Immunity, 4:313-9, 1996. (Cited in more than 75 publications as of February 1998) Comments by Michael J. Grusby, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public
Cancer Genetics
Cancer Genetics
Edited by: Eugene Russo Photo: Robert Neroni Photo: Michael Price PERFECT FHIT: Kay Huebner and Carlo Croce of the Kimmel Cancer Center discovered a correlation between the deletion of the FHIT gene and the onset of lung cancer. G. Sozzi, M. L. Veronese, M. Negrini, R. Baffa, M.G. Cotticelli, H. Inoue, S. Tornielli, S. Pilotti, L. De Gregorio, U. Pastorino, M. A. Pierotti, M. Ohta, K. Huebner, C. Croce, "The FHIT gene at 3p14.2 is abnormal in lung cancer," Cell, 85:17-26, 1996. (Cited in mor

Profession

How To Wow A Study Section: A Grantsmanship Lesson
How To Wow A Study Section: A Grantsmanship Lesson
Morning in Bethesda: The jet-lagged reviewers drag themselves to the hotel conference room for another day of bad coffee and endless grants. The wife of the study section chairman phoned at dawn to announce that she's leaving him for some hotshot postdoc. "Harvard," he reads from your application on top of the stack. "That's where her boyfriend works!" And you can kiss your R01 good-bye. If this is how you picture a study section, you're in for quite a surprise-a more pleasant one than our fic

Technology

P Scientific's Tumble Stirrer
P Scientific's Tumble Stirrer
LabConsumer ventured to LabAutomation '98 (January 19) in San Diego, California, with the intent of finding a truly unique piece of laboratory equipment. After hours of searching, we stumbled upon V&P's Alligator Microplate Magnetic Tumble Stirrer. V&P Scientific has developed the Alligator Tumble Stirrer (patent pending) as a simple and efficient method for stirring microplates. As opposed to using a spinning magnetic stirring bar, the Alligator Tumble Stirrer causes stirrers to tumble
S2001 Sequencing Apparatus From Life Technologies
S2001 Sequencing Apparatus From Life Technologies
GIBCO BRLTM Model S2001 Sequencing Gel Electrophresis Apparatus From Life Technologies When many of us started to sequence DNA, the technology was very primitive. The Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase-I was the only enzyme available, 7dG and dITP were almost unheard of, and the equipment was often mismatched and kludgy. In-house (or even, at times, in-lab) manufactured gel apparatuses led to a host of quirks and incompatibilities, many of which were propagated through numerous generations of t
AquaLite(R) Technology from SeaLite Sciences, Inc.
AquaLite(R) Technology from SeaLite Sciences, Inc.
Researchers are always on the lookout for more sensitive conjugates for use in bioassays. The bioluminescent photoprotein aequorin is proving to be a useful alternative to traditional enzyme tags in ELISA-type immunoassays. SeaLite Sciences, Inc., of Bogart, Ga., manufactures a fully active, recombinant form of aequorin under the trademark AquaLite and sells a number of different useful derivatives and conjugates, including AquaLite® Biotin and AquaLite® Streptavidin. Aequorin is a 22

Technology Profile

Its Cold In There!: A Profile of Refrigerated Tabletop Centrifuges
Its Cold In There!: A Profile of Refrigerated Tabletop Centrifuges
Date: March 2, 1998 Chart 1 efrigeration is wonderful, especially when applied to centrifuges. Not only does refrigeration help maintain the stability of biological compounds whirling along at several thousand revolutions per minute, it also enables the use of higher speeds and g-forces. The friction encountered by a rotor spinning through the air in its chamber is enough to raise its temperature several degrees. Refrigeration counteracts this effect and thus expands the usefulness of centrifug
Antibodies To Grow: Growing Demand For Cytokine And Growth Factor Assays
Antibodies To Grow: Growing Demand For Cytokine And Growth Factor Assays
Cytokine and Growth Factor Suppliers A-E Cytokine and Growth Factor Suppliers E-W Cytokine Guide t is difficult to name a class of molecules that has had more impact on biomedical research than cytokines and growth factors. As the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries train their sights on cancer, AIDS, and various autoimmune diseases, the machinations of the immune response are slowly being revealed, and it is clear that cytokines and growth factors play key roles in orchestrating def

New Products

New Products
New Products
Get more information from good and poor culture images with image enhancement from AlphaEase¨ 3.3 software. Expanded easy-to-use functions detect colonies that are hard to see visually. Complete digital control of black, white and gamma increase image contrast for easy counting. Included in the software are manual and automatic colony counting functions, and overlay ability for subtraction of replicate images. Two different color colonies can be counted simultaneously in seconds. These en

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
NICOTINE FOE: Richard Johnson, right, professor and director of neurology at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, welcomes former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to the podium for his talk on the tobacco agreements. While President Bill Clinton praised research and denounced tobacco in one breath during his February 13 speech at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, his exhalations failed to mention that his plans for stoking one depend on snuffing