Editorial

The Straight Dope on Gene Doping
The Straight Dope on Gene Doping
Professional sports are at the peak of their power.

About Us

Meet This Issue's Writers
Meet This Issue's Writers
covered the SARS outbreak as a journalist and experienced it personally as she shopped in a surgical mask.

Letter

Republican scientists speak out
Republican scientists speak out
proves that scientists, or at least those who claim to speak for them, can be just as biased and opinionated as any politician.
A score of 25 in 1
A score of 25 in 1
It is the total scientific output and its quality that really matters, but still it can be fun to discuss how many papers it is possible for one author to publish in a single journal issue.
Online punching bags
Online punching bags
Unfortunately, Professor Wolniak's experiences as an online punching-bag are not extreme or unusual.1 Since 1995, I have been the subject of similar attacks on message boards and Usenet groups devoted to infectious diseases. To date, my name has been mentioned 1,720 times in posted messages containing false information and wild accusations. Some of my colleagues have fared even worse on these same boards and groups; one favorite target has racked up an impressive 6,870 hate-filled messages.Remar
The corruption of money
The corruption of money
rightly lays blame for our current crisis in pharmaceuticals in the lap of the FDA.
Making sense of antisense
Making sense of antisense
and for letting us know that the subject is very much alive.

Opinion

US Scientists Dominate as Journal Gatekeepers
US Scientists Dominate as Journal Gatekeepers
exert a special influence on the orchestration of international research activity

Notebook

A 44-year-old grant
A 44-year-old grant
Step into David Kritchevsky's irregularly shaped basement office at the University of Pennsylvania's Wistar Institute, and you'll immediately be able to tell that he's been there for a while.
Faking it in Frankfurt
Faking it in Frankfurt
When Frankfurt University said last month that anthropologist Reiner Protsch von Zieten had engaged in repeated scientific fraud for much of the past 30 years, the question naturally arose of how on earth he'd gotten away with it for so long.
Postdocs, please go away
Postdocs, please go away
Back in 1973, when Julia Goodfellow finished her PhD at Britain's Open University, like many of her peers, she jumped on a plane to California to take up the de rigueur three-year overseas postdoc.

Research

Looking at Variation in Numbers
Looking at Variation in Numbers
The massive efforts to systematically find and catalog single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) bear witness to the conviction that small genomic changes may provide clues to the origins of such things as heart problems, obesity, and pharmacologic responses.
Artificial Intelligence Marches Forward
Artificial Intelligence Marches Forward
Rodney Brooks has what seems like modest career goals: to achieve the manual dexterity of a 6-year-old and the object-recognition skills of a toddler.

Vision

Biotechnology Reenergized
Biotechnology Reenergized
The completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) symbolizes the entry of biology into the "big science" arena.
Barriers on the Road to New Antibiotics
Barriers on the Road to New Antibiotics
Antibiotics have been around since the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s, but the fight against bacterial infections is far from over.

Hot Paper

A Parkinson Disease Gene Discovered, an Oncogene Remembered
A Parkinson Disease Gene Discovered, an Oncogene Remembered
The discovery of several genes linked to Parkinson disease (PD) in recent years has spawned extensive research efforts to elucidate the underlying mechanism of this prevalent neurological disorder.

Briefs

To be young again
To be young again
To be young again
Old cells may regain a youthful phenotype when exposed to a young cell environment, say researchers from Stanford University and VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California.
Timing xenotransplantation
Timing xenotransplantation
© 2005 National Academy of SciencesIsraeli researchers report that embryonic pig tissues used for liver, pancreas, and lung transplants need to come from very specific windows of time in embryonic development.1 The findings offer new insights into organogenesis and might help explain past failures in xenotransplantation, says coauthor Yair Reisner of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.Reisner and his colleagues transplanted pig tissue precursors from embryonic day (E)21 to
Synaptic transmission tenets challenged
Synaptic transmission tenets challenged
Two distinct pools of synaptic vesicles appear to be involved in the spontaneous release of neurotransmitters and in neurotransmission triggered by a stimulus, according to Ege T. Kavalali and colleagues from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Court weighs in on embryos
Court weighs in on embryos
An Illinois judge cleared the way for a couple to sue a Chicago fertility clinic for wrongful death after clinic workers accidentally disposed of a healthy embryo.
Asia taking the stem cell lead
Asia taking the stem cell lead
Researchers in China, South Korea, and Singapore are testing the lead taken by Western countries in the field of stem cell research, according to members of a UK government mission.
US firm and antivivisectionists in cat fight
US firm and antivivisectionists in cat fight
Genetic Savings and Clone, a leading pet-cloning company in Sausalito, Calif., announced the sale of its second cloned cat in February and dropped its price for the service from $50,000 to $32,000.

Technology

The Nine Lives of Lab Equipment
The Nine Lives of Lab Equipment
Last month Ron Smock, owner of Drug Detection Services, a forensic and criminalistic testing facility in Albuquerque, NM, posted this auction on eBay
Keeping Tabs on Cultured Cells
Keeping Tabs on Cultured Cells
THE CULTURE WITHIN:Photo courtesy of Drs. C.C. Uphoff and H.G. Drexler, DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganism and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig, GermanyHeLa cell line infected with Mycoplasma hyorhinis. Scanning electron micrograph of critical point-dried cell culture grown on cover slips. Note the loop- and rod-like mycoplasmas attached to the host cell membrane. Smaller web-like structures on the cell surface represent microvilli of the cell. Original magnification 3,000×.Mycoplasmas have
Whither the Ideal RNA Amplification Kit?
Whither the Ideal RNA Amplification Kit?
Audrey Player is searching for the ideal RNA amplification protocol.

Tools and Technology

The Proteome in Pictures
The Proteome in Pictures
In the largest project of its kind, Swedish scientists are studying normal and cancerous tissues to discover not only the location and abundance of all human proteins, but also how these are affected by disease states.
Bac(ulovirus) in a Flash
Bac(ulovirus) in a Flash
has released a baculovirus expression system that reduces the timeline of recombinant virus production by up to 10 days, according to company literature.
Functional Genomics Annotation: It's Logical!
Functional Genomics Annotation: It's Logical!
Researchers are now using symbolic logic as a proteomics tool.

BioBusiness

From SARS to Avian Flu: Vaccines on the Scene
From SARS to Avian Flu: Vaccines on the Scene
When SARS struck more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in the spring of 2003, the world clamored to know when a vaccine against the deadly virus would come to the rescue.
Taking Stock
Taking Stock
When Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Md., recruits top scientists, the biotechnology company usually offers them a stake in its future success in the form of stock options.
The Chiron Case: Good Manufacturing Practice Gone Bad
The Chiron Case: Good Manufacturing Practice Gone Bad
When British regulators suspended the license of Chiron's manufacturing plant in Liverpool, England, in October 2004, the move caught the US Food and Drug Administration by surprise and triggered an international vaccine crisis.

Reverse Transcript

Pranks and Pumps
Pranks and Pumps
"We have your dog," read the cut-and-paste ransom note taped to Chris Miller's office door one day in the late 1990s.