May 1988

News

Kodak, The 'Great Yellow Father,' Is Innovating Like A Newborn
Kodak, The 'Great Yellow Father,' Is Innovating Like A Newborn
Kodak, The ‘Great Yellow Father,’ AUTHOR: MATT DAMSKER Date: May 30, 1988 Is Innovating Like A Newborn To young scientists, it’s yuppie paradise; to the veterans, a mixed blessing ROCHESTER, N.Y—The old Kodak is still in evidence here. Downtown, the dignified brown skyscraper lords the familiar logo over Rochester as it has for more than half a century. A few miles to the north, there’s the company’s sprawling scientific complex, Kodak Park, and, at its hu
Teaching Macho Researchers Some Respect
Teaching Macho Researchers Some Respect
Handling ‘hot’ chemicals was one thing, but now comes the AIDS virus "Traditionally, most chemists have been macho," says Shane Que Hee, an occupational medicine specialist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "In laboratories—not the tidiest places in the world—you see volatile chemicals not in fume hoods. You see people not wearing gloves. I have even known chemists who washed their hands with benzene." That sort of cowboy swagger is fast falling ou
Xenophobes Posture, The Scientists Invent
Xenophobes Posture, The Scientists Invent
But could recent U.S. and Chinese policies cripple Nobel-quality collaborations? HOUSTON--The homely laboratory is many worlds away from London’s Old Vic theater. But the two jumbled floors of the University of Houston’s Science & Research Building #1 are a stage nonetheless, the setting for one small but important scene in an international drama of Shakespearean proportions. For while two mighty governments indulge in spasms of xenophobia, citizens of those nations are quietly c
Should Scientists Budget Science?
Should Scientists Budget Science?
When NAS’s Frank Press said yes, some science leaders balked WASHINGTON--National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press took an unusually bold plunge into dangerous waters last month by calling for a new approach to funding science. Instead of forcing Congress to choose from among a bewildering array of costly projects, Press told NAS members, scientists themselves should decide what’s best. Frank Press has suggested that federal funding of science be divided into three ca
Chemist With A Conscience
Chemist With A Conscience
Matthew Meselson is catalyzed whenever he sees ‘misguided’ national policies CAMBRIDGE, MASS--At age 19, future Harvard biochemist and noted activist Matthew Meselson dropped out of college, went to live in Paris, and pondered forging a career as a Freudian analyst ot na- tions. With youthful hubris, he thought he might be able to explain the genesis of wars and other avoidable human catastrophes by scrutinizing the actions of governments past and present through the prism of mode
Physiologist Sees Bias In NIH Reviews
Physiologist Sees Bias In NIH Reviews
The review process at NIH downgrades promising interdiscplinary work in cardiovascular disease because the review system is biased toward individual disciplines, says a former president of the American Physiological Society. Howard Morgan of the Geisinger Clinic in Danville, Pa. has charged that high-quality proposals from academic physiologists are, being ignored by individual study sections because section members lack a sufficiently broad clinical perspective to appreciate the value of
Rising Indirect Costs Threaten Research
Rising Indirect Costs Threaten Research
From Yale To Stanford, Universities Are Thoubled Shortfalls in overhead, depreciation, and other indirect costs can tear apart faculties and bring strong provosts to their knees. Indirect costs aren’t glamorous. They won’t solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction or find the charm in quarks. But whisper those two simple words in the ear of virtually any president or provost of a major research university, and you may see a strong person blanch. The reason: Indirect costs are risin
Brits On The Brink Of Bankruptcy?
Brits On The Brink Of Bankruptcy?
Strong measures to save Imperial College from indirect costs have ruffled scientists’ feathers LONDON--When the tall, spare frame of David Thomas glides into their laboratories, even the crustiest dons at London University’s Imperial College quake inside their tweed coats. For Thomas is the college’s ghost of Christmas future, warning of impending ruin unless scientists mend their financial ways. His message, preached with Welsh fervor, is simple. Imperial College and other
Higher Salaries, Stock Options, And Glory: Fun And Profit In The Skin Trade
Higher Salaries, Stock Options, And Glory: Fun And Profit In The Skin Trade
Fun And Profit In The Skin Trade From deep biology to Epidermis Inc., another tale in the merchandising of science CAMBRIDGE, MASS--Jeff Morgan and Brad Guild moved into their new office on the opening day of baseball season this April. The space was small: a single room with built-in desks lining opposite walls and barely enough room to swivel their chairs. The pair stacked boxes and unpacked a few books. And Guild took up a blue magic marker and scrawled the business’s first official
Bill Would Promote Drug-Free Labs
Bill Would Promote Drug-Free Labs
Congress debates proposal that could mean loss of grant money after drug conviction WASHINGTON--University and industry researchers may soon be on the front lines of the government’s war on drugs. For the past several weeks Congress has been debating legislation that would cut off federal research funds from any institution or company where illegal drugs are being used. On April 14, Benno C. Schmidt Jr., president of Yale University testified before a Senate subcommittee about the p
We Need Stronger Regulations To Improve Animal Treatment
We Need Stronger Regulations To Improve Animal Treatment
In 1985, Congress amended the Animal Welfare Act to recognize two basic facts of life: that dogs need exercise and that primates have psychological needs in addition to physical ones. Any self-respecting ethologist would, of course, argue that all mammalian species have these needs. Yet three years later, these amendments have not been put into effect. Organized science has once again gotten in the way, raising such a storm of protest that proposed regulations have been held up. Scientists w
More Protection For Lab Animals?
More Protection For Lab Animals?
Options More Protection For Lab Animals? AUTHOR: ARTHUR C. GUYTON Date: May 30, 1988 Unnecessary Rules Are Already Strangling Medical Research In the past few years, attacks on medical research by animal "welfare" groups have become vicious, even violent. Their tactics are clearly paying off. The costs of using animals in medical research have soared. Even more chilling, allowable procedures for using animals are becoming so restrictive that research now takes far more time, energy, and int
Up Front
Up Front
When It Comes To Awards, Just Say Yes Few awards in science, outside the Nobel prizes, are as distinguished as the Crafoord Prize. Yet, until perhaps last month, many in the science community knew relatively little about it. Established in 1981 by Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord, chairman of the medical supply company Gambro AB, the Crafoord Prize is intended to reward outstanding achievement in areas of science not recognized by the Nobels. On a rotating basis, the award is given annually t
Publishing Industry Mergers: They May Be Bad For Science
Publishing Industry Mergers: They May Be Bad For Science
Scholarly and academic publishing is now in a state of unprecedented turmoil because of mergers and takeovers. Harper & Row is now linked with Collins (UK); D. Reidel in Europe has joined with Kluwer British publisher Longman has absorbed Addison-Wesley. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich fought off a raid by Robert Maxwell, but went into debt in the process and was forced to lay off staff. Such events are relatively new in the publishing world. Until World War II, science publishing was very much a
McDonnell Widens Grant Interests
McDonnell Widens Grant Interests
Foundation to fund research on cancer and cognitive neuroscience The James S. McDonnell Foundation in St. Louis is moving millions to support research in two new areas: cancer research and cognitive neuroscience. For thefirst time, the foundation is inviting proposals, due July 15, to fund research exploring both basic cancer biology and ways the knowledge gained from that research might be transferred to clinics. The foundation has budgeted up to $10 million over the next five years for the
NSF Also Plans To Process Proposals On-Line, In Five Years
NSF Also Plans To Process Proposals On-Line, In Five Years
Within five years, the National Science Foundation hopes to receive a "substantial" number of proposals electronically, according to Alvin Thaler, NSF’s point man for computerizing document transfer. By late fall, Thaler hopes to see a test proposal arrive electronically, complete with tables, equations, diagrams, and photographs. In the meantime about 40,000 proposals a year arrive at NSF, each one (with its copies) about a foot thick. Line them up on a shelf and you have "seven miles
Portrait Of The Scientist As A Renaissance Man
Portrait Of The Scientist As A Renaissance Man
THE BUSINESS OF SCIENCE: Winning And Losing In The High-Tech Age Simon Ramo Hill and Wang; New York; 289 pages; $19.95 Scientists like Simon Ramo are rare think of a utility infielder who batts .300, knocks in 100 RBI’s, and wins a Golden Glove award to boot Trained as a physicist at Cal Tech Ramo proved adept at technological innovation, with 25 patents by the time he was 30. He made major contributions to the development of microwave radar during World War II and helped develop the el
Looking At Silicon Valley Through West German Eyes
Looking At Silicon Valley Through West German Eyes
THE CONQUEST OF THE MICROCHIP Hans Queisser Harvard University Press; Cambridge; 185 pages; $24.95 Thoughtful U.S. scientists might wonder why Europe lags so far behind in microelectronics. Hans Queisser, director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, West Germany, offers a precise explanation: "The significance of silicon was underestimated, the economic miracle of post-World War II reconstruction was based on conventional industry, and public and government prior
Outliners Create Order From Chaos
Outliners Create Order From Chaos
Before I had a PC, I wouldn’t have thought of using a paper and pencil outline before writing an article or committee report. Now it’s rare that I don’t use my PC’s outliner. Not only do I compose full outlines before sitting down to write papers, but I prepare most of my course and professional lectures either partially or entirely in an outliner. What makes an outlining program (at least one of the good ones) so much more powerful than paper and pencil is the ease o
Taking The Squeal Out
Taking The Squeal Out
The device most people think of when they imagine a laser is actually a laser oscillator. A laser is actually a light amplifier. Dye laser oscillators are light sources that can be tuned to any color in the visible and near-visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (3900A-9000A). Unlike other types of lasers, the dye laser amplifies light over a large range of frequencies. In this sense, the dye laser islike apublic address system, which amplifies sound over a large range of frequencies
Clay: An Earthy Approach To Clean-Up
Clay: An Earthy Approach To Clean-Up
Two years after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the surrounding lakes and streams are finally returning to their original radiation levels. It took that long for Nature to work the nasty poison out of her system. Should a similar disaster occur today, a new material could do in two weeks what it took Nature two years to accomplish in Chernobyl, predicts Sridhar Komarneni, professor of clay mineralogy at Penn- sylvania State University’s Materials research Lab and Department of Agron
Tunable Dye Lasers Are Not Just For Physicists Anymore
Tunable Dye Lasers Are Not Just For Physicists Anymore
The tunable dye laser, once a highly specialized instrument used only by laser physicists, is proving irresistible to a wider range of physicists, chemists, and engineers, as well as to biologists, physicians, psychologists, and even art historians. Recent advances in dye laser research and three noteworthy new products are pushing time-able dye lasers into more laboratories than ever before. A colliding pulse mode-locked dye laser kit developed by Clark Instrumentation Inc. produces 100-fem
Paleontologists' Fieldwork By Phone Identifies 'The Cleveland Critter'
Paleontologists' Fieldwork By Phone Identifies 'The Cleveland Critter'
They were never in the same place at the same time, yet three renowned scientists, working in tandem, came up with a new dinosaur Gorgosaurs were close relatives to the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex, huge beasts, up to 45 feet long and weighing as much as five tons. This skull was small, supposedly the remains of a baby gorgosaur. But it just didn’t look like a gorgosaur to Bakker. He told as much to the museum’s curator, Michael Williams, but he couldn’t prove his hunch. A

Briefs

Government Briefs
Government Briefs
For the second time in three years, the Presidential Young investigator Awards program has been scaled back. Because of NSF’s tight budget only 148 scientists of the planned 200 were selected. In 1986 only half of the scheduled 200 were funded. The five-year-old federal effort is designed to keep new Ph.D.s from leaving academia for industry by providing them with up to $37,500 annually, for five years, as well as an annual $25,000 Stipend. The catch is that these are matching funds, and
National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
Scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory have picked up a strong—and unwelcome—signal from a source close to home. NSF has slashed the observatory’s research equipment budget in half, cut staff by 10 percent, and sharply reduced funding for postdocs. This is the fourth straight year of shrinking budgets for the program, which includes three observatories and 10 very long baseline array antennas being constructed around the country. Recruiters at Los Alamos Na
University Briefs
University Briefs
Retin-A, the acne drug that is prescribed for wrinkles, has also smoothed the future for the University of Pennsylvania’s dermatology department. The drug’s inventor and patent holder, longtime Penn dermatologist Albert Kligman, 71, has been donating his royalties to the department. The money, $4 million so far and climbing fast, frees the department from the hypocrisy” of grant-getting, says Kligman, and has been used to recruit faculty, buy equipment, and fund research. Un
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
Three Japanese behemoths led the list of companies receiving the most U.S. patents in 1987. Canon K.K., Hitachi Ltd., and Toshiba together received more patents (2,515) than General Electric Co., IBM Corp., and RCA Corp. (1,874), according to a study by Intellectual Property Owners. The Japanese also raced to a commanding lead in the auto industry, where Mitsubishi, Honda, and Toyota each chalked up more patents than the U.S. leader, General Motors. All told, 29 Japanese companies appear amon
Entrepreneur Briefs
Entrepreneur Briefs
Are the special sparks of creativity and do-it-yourself vigor that are the hallmarks of entrepreneurship something that can be learned in a classroom? Increasingly, scientists are teaching scientists the art and business of new commercial ventures. At Northwestern, for example, students with science and engineering backgrounds compose one-third of the classes taught by physicist and business professor Stuart Meyer in the Kellogg School of Management. And at Cornell, former physicist and Genera
Association Briefs
Association Briefs
Engineers seem to believe that the work of scientists will drastically alter their lives by the year 2000, according to preliminary results of a study that is being conducted for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. When members of SME were asked to look into the future, they predicted revolutionary advances in biotechnology, laser applications, sensor technology, expert systems, and manufacturing in space. A startling 40% of the 7,560 early respondents didn’t even believe their prese
Independent Lab Briefs
Independent Lab Briefs
Deep Sea Vents Overshadow manic John H. Steele, director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for the past 10 years, has announced that he will resign next year. Steele presided over the venerable institution during a headline-grabbing era, in which Woods Hole scientists ventured into the ocean depths to discover strange forms of life and spy on the remains of the Titanic. But the most important find during his tenure, Steele says, "was the discovery of hydrothermal vents in the Pacific.

Opinion

Letter

Letters
Letters
LETTERS Date: May 30, 1988 Too Many Papers I would like to express my enthusiastic agreement with the letter from Jeanne F. Loring (May 2, 1988, p. 9). All my colleagues and I are troubled by the rapidly increasing number of articles we’d like to read. As Loring points out, simply scanning the titles of potentially interesting articles in potentially interesting journals can no longer be done in a satisfactory way. Like Loring, I know scientists who publish 50 or more (in some cases over

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
The articles listed below—all less than a year old, have received a substantially greater number of citations than those in the same subject area and of the same vintage. A citation-tracking algorithm of the Institute for Scientific Information has identified these articles. U. Amaldi, A. Böhm L.S. Durkin, P. Langacker, A.K. Mann, et al., "Comprehensive analysis of data pertaining to the weak neutral current and the intermediate-vector-boson masses," Physical Review D -Particles a

Research

Are Soviet Scientists Publishing Abroad? Nyet Yet
Are Soviet Scientists Publishing Abroad? Nyet Yet
With General Secretary Gorbachev and President Reagan scheduled to meet in Moscow this week, bets are on that the two leaders will be singing the praises of glasnost. But the policy of more openness (less censorship) has affected "only domestic media such as magazines and newspapers," says Thores Medvedev, an-exiled Soviet scientist, now at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Indeed, despite the recent appearance of a number of prominent Soviet scientists at foreign meetings,
Fusion Progress Report: A Milestone Achieved
Fusion Progress Report: A Milestone Achieved
If only we could produce fusion power in a controlled way, we would possess a virtually limitless supply of relatively clean and safe energy. Fusion represents the best hope humanity possesses to solve the problems of feeding, housing, and caring for the billions of additional people expected to populate our world in the next century. The problem for fusion researchers has been how to tame this most basic form of energy in the universe. Our sun and all other stars are fueled by fusion reactions
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
BY BRUCE G. BUCHANAN Knowledge Systems Laboratory Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. " History keeps us honest. Consider, for example, Charles Babbage. Babbage was a genius who anticipated many design features of modem computers, but his ideas had to be reinvented many decades after his death in 1870. A.G. Bromley, "The evolution of Babbage’s computing engines," Annals of the History of Computing, 9 (2), 113-36, 1987. " When organizations introduce electronic mail systems, they oft
Marine Animals: Clear Models For Medical Science
Marine Animals: Clear Models For Medical Science
The icefish totally lacks red blood cells or hemoglobin. Is it possible that this fish has a secret to share with human anemics? The male anglerfish grafts itself to the female in order to reproduce. What if scientists could learn how better to overcome transplantation incompatibility from the angler couple? Sharks rarely develop cancerous tumors. Do they benefit from an as yet undetected protective mechanism against malignant neoplasms that could prove useful in treating human cancer victims?

Profession

NIH Sees Computerization As Remedy For Paper Flood
NIH Sees Computerization As Remedy For Paper Flood
Automated grant system could cut months off the proposal process. By 1990, the paper weight could lighten, those grant applications filling the mailrooms at the National Institutes of Health at the rate of 40 or so pages times seven copies times 25,000 proposals a year. The retyping at NIH could ease, too. Probably few grantees are aware that much of the administrative information on grant appli- cations is rekeyed in its travels through the agency. The abstract is retyped twice. To defe