News

Biotech Firms On Quest For Apoptotic Therapies
Biotech Firms On Quest For Apoptotic Therapies
DECOY RECEPTORS: Genentech's Avi Ashkenazi suspects that using ligands to bind to decoy receptors present in healthy cells, but not in cancer cells, could trigger apoptosis in tumors. Scientists studying signal transduction have spent the past several years piecing together the cell's apoptotic machinery-the complex signaling mechanisms that tell damaged cells to commit suicide. The discovery of more signaling proteins and their receptors has given biotechnology companies potential tools to fi
Can FDA Reform Drug Reviews?
Can FDA Reform Drug Reviews?
Date: March 16, 1998 New Drug Development A regional lab visit highlights challenges of agency-wide change At the Food and Drug Administration's Central Region office in Philadelphia, cabinetsful of documentation offer only a vague notion of the paperwork involved in getting a new drug through FDA's review and approval process. Nicholas Falcone, the district office's coordinator of new drug applications (NDAs) and abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs)-the latter for generic compounds-hefts
Congress Begins Shaping A Research Bonanza
Congress Begins Shaping A Research Bonanza
Question of the day: Why is basic research, particularly biomedical research, like highways and bridges? Answer: Because Congress loves them both, especially in this election year. 'MIRACULOUS': NIH, under the direction of Harold Varmus, would get an 8.4 percent increase in its budget under President Clinton's proposed plan. For that reason, as much as any other, the spending plan that Congress is now writing for the fiscal year that begins October 1 shapes up as one of the best research-fundin
Associations' Programs Aid Aspiring Disabled Scientists
Associations' Programs Aid Aspiring Disabled Scientists
CALLING ALL MENTORS: Washington's Steven Nourse says disabled students often are not encouraged by teachers and counselors to study science. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that United States companies comply with mandates to improve accessibility for disabled individuals. Yet U.S. Census data show that disabled people constitute more than 10 percent of the general work force and only 2.7 percent of the scientific and engineering work force. To improve opportunities for th

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"A giant killer macrophage? Doctor, this is madness!"

Opinion

Discussions Of Nuclear Power Should Be Based In Reality
Discussions Of Nuclear Power Should Be Based In Reality
The great scientist-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington wrote that his words about "the soulless dance of bloodless electrons" might be truth, but they were not reality. He urged us to get away from theoretical speculations periodically and watch a sunset. Speculation is our business, but when people ask us about a technical matter, they deserve an answer that has real-world meaning, not a hypothetical argument. For example, one day consumer activist Ralph Nader was debating radiation pioneer Ralp

Commentary

Can We Talk? Citizens Dislike Jargon
Can We Talk? Citizens Dislike Jargon
Comedienne Joan Rivers's familiar line "Can we talk?" is now featured as one of the public-service announcements heard inside New York City taxicabs encouraging riders to buckle their seat belts. Rivers's "can we talk," "we're-in-this-together," "let's-get-down-to-business" approach quickly and effectively establishes rapport with the people she is addressing. Her approach is one the scientific community should consider as we strive to be heard by our fellow citizens and our elected representat

Letter

History Lesson
History Lesson
Your article "Nobelists Beat Adversity to Advance Science" (P. Smaglik, The Scientist, Dec. 8, 1997, page 1) should be a renewed lesson in the history of science to individuals responsible for grant evaluations at the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The extant peer-review system forces scientists to fit their work and hypotheses into currently accepted paradigms and ignores the fact that scientific discoveries or technological developments during the next gran

Research

DNA Vaccines Generate Excitement As Human Trials Begin
DNA Vaccines Generate Excitement As Human Trials Begin
'ABSOLUTELY AMAZING': Yerkes' Harriet Robinson notes that research in the field has grown at an extraordinarily rapid rate. With more pathogens developing resistance to antibiotics, and with the increasing vulnerability of human populations to infectious diseases, vaccine research has taken on a new urgency. Among the technologies being developed for the vaccines of the 21st century is the novel idea of using naked DNA-a simple loop of DNA containing an antigen gene-to induce an immune respons

Hot Paper

Cardiology
Cardiology
Edited by: James Kling M. Packer, M.R. Bristow, J.N. Cohn, W.S. Colucci, M.B. Fowler, E.M. Gilbert, N.H. Shusterman, "The effect of carvedilol on morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure," New England Journal of Medicine, 334:1349-55, 1996. (Cited in more than 160 publications to date) Comments by Edward M. Gilbert, division of cardiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City STANDARD OF CARE: Research by Utah's Edward Gilbert suggests that blocking nore
Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
Edited by: James Kling P.A. Hoodless, T. Haerry, S. Abdollah, M. Stapleton, M.B. O'Connor, L. Attisano, J.L. Wrana, "MADR1, a MAD-related protein that functions in BMP2 signaling pathways," Cell, 85:489-500, 1996. (Cited in more than 115 publications to date) Comments by Jeffrey L. Wrana, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and department of medical genetics and microbiology, University of Toronto CHAIN REACTION: A team led by Jeffrey Wrana of the Hospital for Sick Children

Profession

Balancing Lab And Life: Could Science Ever Be 9-To-5?
Balancing Lab And Life: Could Science Ever Be 9-To-5?
It's 8 P.M. on a Sunday and you've just loaded your samples onto a gel and switched on the power. You have an hour to kill, so you settle down to search the Web for sangria recipes for next week's departmental wing-ding. Is this (a) an efficient use of time or (b) a sad way to spend a weekend? If you chose (a), you might benefit from some time-management tips from scientists who've learned how to squeeze the most out of their work weeks. Sure, science takes time. "It's like a sponge," acknowled

Technology

Compression Woes Begone
Compression Woes Begone
Companies produce DNA sequencing kits with the expectation that their kits will outperform their competitors' kits. While the majority of available kits boast better performance and superior results and have pictures to prove it, it is not always possible to reproduce the promised results of some kits. It has been my experience that you can't tell how good a kit is until you try the protocol yourself and see if the outcome is as advertised. Most importantly, though, does the kit you selected pe
Adios to Agarose
Adios to Agarose
Resolution of OligoPrep (left) versus standard agarose (right). OligoPrepTM Synthetic Meltable Gel Matrix From National Diagnostics Imagine that purification of DNA or protein fragments was unnecessary. Imagine an agarose gel that remains liquefied at room temperature after melting. Well, imagine no more. National Diagnostics (Atlanta, Ga.) has developed OligoPrepTM, a synthetic meltable gel matrix intended as an agarose replacement for the separation, purification, and recovery of DNA, PCR p
Great Buys
Great Buys
Good cash management is a fact of any researcher's life and is particularly important to most academic labs and companies where operating on a tight budget is the rule. LabConsumer has established Great Buys as a forum for communicating particularly goods deals which have come to our attention.Listed below are sale items that may be of interest to your laboratory. If your company has sales or promotions to announce, contact LabConsumer. ISC BioExpress Catalog Specials (www.bioexpress.com) Gen

Technology Profile

Liquid Chromatography: Products in the Protein Chemist's Tool Chest
Liquid Chromatography: Products in the Protein Chemist's Tool Chest
Liquid chrom-atography is to the protein re-searcher what the hammer is to the carpenter. Liquid chromatographic techniques comprise a major portion of the repertoire of protocols the protein researcher can call upon to purify and analyze proteins. Modern liquid chromatography has come a long way since its infancy-when early matrices were capable of providing only crude separations-to modern matrices and technologies that can accomplish the purification of a protein to homogeneity in a single
Bottle Top Filtration: Products of Today are Built to Last-and Throw Away
Bottle Top Filtration: Products of Today are Built to Last-and Throw Away
More and more, products are developed "to make our lives easier". From self-cleaning ovens to fast-food drive-throughs to filing taxes by phone or computer (April 15 is rapidly approaching), more efficient and painless ways to go about our chores are developed daily, and biotechnology is no exception to this process. Preassembled, prepackaged bottle top filters are a prime example of a product designed to save scientists precious time in the laboratory. MSI Internally Supported Filter. Image c

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
POWER EXCHANGE: Molecular biologist James Battey has become the second person to head NIDCD. SECOND GENERATION AT NIDCD Molecular biologist James F. Battey, 45, has been named the new director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health. Battey, who had been serving as acting director of NIDCD, succeeds the recently retired James B. Snow, Jr. Snow, a former University of Pennsylvania professor of otorhinolaryngology and h