May 1990

News

PCAST Members Ready To Speak; President Seems Ready To Listen
PCAST Members Ready To Speak; President Seems Ready To Listen
Bush has attended each of the White House panel's meetings, raising hopes that PCAST will have an impact on science policy WASHINGTON -- On the job for barely three months, the members of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology are pleased that President Bush has attended at least a portion of each of their meetings. Powerful figures in their own right, they know that direct access to the Oval Office is one important measure of political clout in this city. But the 12 me
Biotech's Centocor Jockeys For Position In Drug Field
Biotech's Centocor Jockeys For Position In Drug Field
With several pharmaceutical products about to emerge from the pipeline, the firm sets its sights on becoming a `Merck of the year 2000' MALVERN, PA. -- When chemist Vincent Zurawski left Massachusetts General Hospital in 1979 to help found a new biotech company, Centocor Inc., he was like perhaps hundreds of other bright young scientists of his generation. He had an urge to scratch an entrepreneurial itch. "There was no doubt in my mind," recalls Zurawski, "that we were going to create a bill
Dr. Kavenoff, Is This Any Way To Do Science?
Dr. Kavenoff, Is This Any Way To Do Science?
Short of funding, a cell biologist sells her own `BlueGene' T-shirts to finance controversial research on the reovirus DEL MAR, CALIF. -- Scientists who challenge conventional wisdom sometimes must go to great lengths to get recognition for their ideas. So colleagues should not be surprised when they see Ruth Kavenoff at this week's meeting of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) in Anaheim, Calif., wearing her research on her chest. Kavenoff, a 46-year-old cell biologist, will be recog
Microbiologists Gear Up To Encourage Better Clinical Laboratory Standards
Microbiologists Gear Up To Encourage Better Clinical Laboratory Standards
New federal rules for proficiency testing, personnel, and waived tests worry scientists in clinical laboratories WASHINGTON -- When the 90th annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology convenes this week in Anaheim, Calif., the talk in the halls will almost certainly be about new federal regulations for clinical laboratories. Those proposed regulations, which implement the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, will affect tens of thousands of micro- biologists. The 1
On-Line Grant Information: Different Approaches
On-Line Grant Information: Different Approaches
WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies are opening their computer lines to provide scientists with easier and quicker access to information about grants. But even though the Bush administration generally wants its research agencies to coordinate their efforts, each agency has taken a different approach. The result is a smorgasbord of services. At least three agencies - the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy - are setting up grants-by-electronic
Database Crystallizes Protein Engineering Studies
Database Crystallizes Protein Engineering Studies
NIST now offers crystallographers a way to let their computers do the work with a database of crystal structures WASHINGTON - Ask a biologist about crystallization - the process of precipitating crystals out of solution - and you're apt to hear it described as a black art requiring patience and a special touch. But a databank that became available last month is expected to make the process more efficient, less time-consuming, and perhaps one day even less magical. The National Institute of St
Fossil Record Aids In Predictions Of Global Warming's Consequences
Fossil Record Aids In Predictions Of Global Warming's Consequences
WASHINGTON--The lessons from the past tell a chilling tale about the warming of the future, according to paleontologists and anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution. And now they too have joined in the debate about global change. Concerned that their institution, the National Museum of Natural History, has been overlooked by the nation's global change policymakers, they have exchanged lab coats for suit jackets and lab benches for podiums to let Washington know they want a larger role in
Darpa Buys Into Tiny Computer Chips Firm
Darpa Buys Into Tiny Computer Chips Firm
A new law allows Pentagon to become venture capitalist to support domestic firms deemed vital to national security SANTA CLARA, CALIF. -- When Jerry E. Crowley threw a lunch last fall for potential investors, he was looking for a few risk-taking venture capitalists to help out his company, Gazelle Microcircuits Inc., a small startup electronics firm here in Silicon Valley. But instead of someone from the private sector, Crowley managed to tap a totally unexpected source of funds: the Departme
Publisher Blocks West German Mailing Of Journal
Publisher Blocks West German Mailing Of Journal
NEW YORK -- Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, pressing its battle against comparative price surveys, has won a temporary injunction against the American Mathematical Society blocking distribution in West Germany of the November 1989 Notices of the AMS, which carried one such survey. William Strong, attorney for AMS, says he is now consulting with the society's German counsel on how to respond to the injunction. Similar comparative price surveys have prompted the publisher to sue the Ameri
People: Columbia University Chemist Is Awarded Swiss Chemical Society's Paracelsus Prize
People: Columbia University Chemist Is Awarded Swiss Chemical Society's Paracelsus Prize
Ronald Breslow, Samuel Latham Mitchill Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, has been awarded the Swiss Chemical Society's 1990 Paracelsus Prize, named in honor of the 16th-century Swiss chemist, surgeon, and philosopher. The prize, first awarded in 1941, is given biannually by the Basel, Switzerland-based society and honors leading scientists in the field of chemistry. Accompanying the prize is an award of 20,000 Swiss francs ($12,000). Breslow, 59, was cited for his contributions t
People: Monsanto Scientist John E. Franz Wins 1990 Perkin Medal For Applied Chemistry
People: Monsanto Scientist John E. Franz Wins 1990 Perkin Medal For Applied Chemistry
With the 20th anniversary of Earth Day just recently passed, the time was right to recognize a scientist for his discovery of an "environmentally friendly" product. John E. Franz, distinguished science fellow at the Monsanto Agricultural Products Co. in St. Louis, has recently received the 1990 Perkin Medal, given by the American Section of the Society of Chemical Industry. Established in 1906, the medal is named in honor of Sir William Henry Perkin, who developed the first synthetic dye in 18
People: UC-Irvine Chemist Marjorie Caserio Moves To UC-San Diego As Vice Chancellor
People: UC-Irvine Chemist Marjorie Caserio Moves To UC-San Diego As Vice Chancellor
Marjorie C. Caserio is one of only a small number of women who chair a university science department. And on July 1, she will be joining an even more elite group. Caserio, who heads the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, has been selected as vice chancellor for academic affairs at UC-San Diego. After an expected approval by the UC Board of Regents soon, Caserio will assume one of the top administrative posts at UC-San Diego. "There are few women in academic admin

Briefs

Government Briefs
Government Briefs
Thinking Small Presidential science adviser Allan Bromley says that the president's 1992 budget will provide succor--at least on paper--for those who believe that money to support small academic science is being diverted to megaprojects and large centers linked to industry. Bromley made that promise during a speech last month at the annual R&D symposium sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Referring to his meetings with Richard Darman, director of the Office
Laboratory Briefs
Laboratory Briefs
Shut Reactor Scatters Radioactivity Officials at Brookhaven National Laboratory found themselves locking the barn after the horse had escaped when debris from routine maintenance on the lab's High Flux Beam Reactor scattered radioactive flecks in the lab and in some employees' homes last month. Bits of stainless steel containing radioactive cobalt-60 were found on maintenance workers as they left the building through a recently installed portal monitor system. Because that system was not yet fo
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
Death Rays Into Plowshares The Strategic Defense Initiative may never shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile, but the laser technology it developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., is about to be put to work performing eye surgery. The San Francisco-based Phoenix Laser Systems Inc., founded by physicists Alfred Sklar, Allen Frank, and other members of Livermore's Theoretical Physics Group in 1987, has developed a low-energy neodymium YAG laser to per
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Join The NIH Fold NIH will give out 112 Academic Research Enhancement Awards this year in a program that helps U.S. colleges and universities that are not typically funded by NIH. The awards are for projects of up to three years and $75,000 in direct costs; no more than $35,000 can be spent in any one year. The project must be relevant to NIH programs and can be for feasibility or pilot studies, or for small-scale, health-related research. The college or university must not have received a biom

Opinion

Canadian Psychologist Challenges Taboo Against Race Comparisons
Canadian Psychologist Challenges Taboo Against Race Comparisons
For more than 12 months now, I have been embroiled in a fire storm of controversy, with my academic life completely dislocated. The premier of Ontario went on television to state that my views were "morally offensive to the way Ontario thinks" and to say that he had phoned the president of my university to ask for my dismissal. "I would fire him if I could," the premier told TV reporters. Fortunately for me, it was not within the premier's power - but the premier launched a police investigation
Genetic Indexing Of Race Groups Is Irresponsible And Unscientific
Genetic Indexing Of Race Groups Is Irresponsible And Unscientific
There is an irony in the fact that Philippe Rushton has had to invoke the Canadian Libel and Slander Act to silence reaction to his research. The defining criteria of libel and slander are that the statements made are untrue, that is, cannot be substantiated by any concrete evidence, and that they are harmful. The irony is that the law ought to be invoked against Rushton rather than his critics. Using a variety of "measurements," from penis size to cranial capacity and I.Q. scores, Rushton has

Commentary

A Month To Celebrate Extraordinary Scientific Achievements
A Month To Celebrate Extraordinary Scientific Achievements
There were at least three reasons for scientists and nonscientists alike to celebrate the month of April: One was the 20th annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22. Another was the 100th birthday of Marjory Stoneman Douglas on April 7. The third was the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 25. While all three events certainly are associated with significant activity of particular relevance to the science community, all serve as reminders that one does not necessarily need forma

Letter

Letter: The Climate Of Fraud
Letter: The Climate Of Fraud
Candace Pert begins her recent Commentary (The Scientist, April 2, 1990, page 18) with the hypotheses that it is "the one-in-a-million scientist who fabricates data" and that "the overwhelming majority of outright deceptions . . . is quickly revealed." From this she continues that overattention to the possibility of fraud generates a "witch-hunting climate," which may make reviewers ruthlessly skeptical of "the new, unexpected discoveries that make for real scientific progress." There is, howe
Letter: Crisis Or Trivia?
Letter: Crisis Or Trivia?
Judging from his letter to The Scientist (April 2, 1990, page 18), Daniel L. Diaz misconstrued what I was trying to say in my article, "Suggestions For Saving Your Time - And Keeping Your Cool" (The Scientist, Feb. 19, 1990, page 24). I think it goes without saying that if a student has a serious problem or is facing a crisis situation - illness, a death in the family - the human element takes precedence and an administrator should indeed take the time to discuss the situation. Such events are

Research

Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago Cosy, Noesy, and HoHaHa! Respectively, these are abbreviations for two-dimensional scalar correlated spectroscopy, two-dimensional nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy, and Homonuclear Hartmann Hahn transfer experiment - three of the techniques used to study Megasphaera elsdenii. Apparently, we need to learn well the general rules for two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) determination of atomic conne
Carl Woese In Forefront Of Bacterial Evolution Revolution
Carl Woese In Forefront Of Bacterial Evolution Revolution
For the better part of this century, microbiologists have largely ignored evolutionary relationships among bacteria. But a revolution has occurred in microbiology with the advent of nucleic sequencing: Today, new phylogenetic relationships can be determined in far more detail and depth than was ever thought possible. Carl R. Woese, 62, of the department of microbiology at the University of Illinois in Urbana, is widely considered the leader of this revolution. His 1987 review, "Bacterial evolu
Most-Cited Scientists: Researchers Ranked 151-200 For The Periods 1965-78 And 1973-84
Most-Cited Scientists: Researchers Ranked 151-200 For The Periods 1965-78 And 1973-84
  NAME FIELD CITATIONS 1965-78 151. BACH F.H. Immunology 4,975 152. MANDEL P. Cell Biology 4,966 153. HOFMANN A.F. Gastroenterology 4,963 154. CARBONE P.P. Oncology 4,962 155. ROSEN F.S. Immunology 4,939 156. BLOOM F.E. Neuropharmacology 4,938 157. AMES B.N. Biochemistry 4,937 158. PERUTZ M.F.* Molecular Biology 4,921 159. BUSCH H. Pharmacology 4,920 160. HAMBERG M. Biochemistry 4,915 161. GILLETTE J.R. Pharmacology 4,907 162. SORM F. Organic Chemistry 4,890 163.

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
S.J. Tapscott, R.L. Davis, M.J. Thayer, P.-F. Cheng, et al., "MyoD1: a nuclear phosphoprotein requiring a Myc homology region to convert fibroblasts to myoblasts," Science, 242, 405-11, 21 October 1988. Stephen Tapscott (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle): "This article reported our initial effort to characterize the MyoD protein. The two major points of the article are: (1) MyoD is a phosphorylated nuclear protein present in myoblasts and myotubes; and (2) The previously recogniz
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
S.A. Rosenberg, B.S. Packard, P.M. Aebersold, D. Solomon, et al., "Use of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and interleukin-2 in the immunotherapy of patients with metastatic melanoma," New England Journal of Medicine, 319, 1676-80, 22 December 1988. Steve Rosenberg (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.): "The three standard treatments for patients with cancer are surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. These treatments can cure about one half of all individuals who develop the disease. Thos
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
M.A. Subramanian, C.C. Torardi, J. Gopalakrishnan, P.L. Gai, et al., "Bulk superconductivity up to 122øK in the Tl-Pb-Sr-Ca-Cu-O system," Science, 242, 249-52, 14 October 1988. Mas Subramanian (E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del.): "This is the first paper to report superconductivity in the system Tl-Pb-Sr-Ca-Cu-O with transition temperatures up to 122øK. It also reported the precise structural and compositional information of the 122øK superconductor derived from
Hot Papers
Hot Papers
D.W. Choi, "Glutamate neurotoxicity and diseases of the nervous system," Neuron, 1, 623-34, October 1988. Dennis Choi (Stanford University, Calif.): "I think that citation of this review article reflects the high level of interest and research activity now extant in the area of excitatory amino acid-induced neuronal injury. It is not so much that the paper is a `hot paper' as that glutamate neurotoxicity is a `hot field.' Although it was more than 20 years ago that John Olney [The Scientist, F

Profession

For Today's Scientist, Skill In Public Speaking Is Essential
For Today's Scientist, Skill In Public Speaking Is Essential
A scientist's ability to get up in front of an audience and give a good talk is no longer just an incidentally useful skill. Indeed, for today's investigator, the art of engaging a group of listeners is apt to be integral to success in the research world. Many scientists find, for example, that if they don't give talks at professional meetings, their peers are less likely to find out what they're doing, since, these days, publishing one's work is not enough. With the abundance of science journa
Newly Established Jason Foundation Spurs Schoolchildren To Study Science
Newly Established Jason Foundation Spurs Schoolchildren To Study Science
Last year, deep-sea researcher Robert Ballard attracted media attention with his inauguration of the Jason Project, an expedition to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea that was telecast live to museums throughout North America. Assembled at these viewing posts were approximately 250,000 elementary- and secondary-school students, who were able to communicate via a satellite hookup with researchers on the expedition. The project, an unprecedented endeavor, was named after the underwater robot us

Technology

Mix Of Operating Systems Complicates Scientists' Choices
Mix Of Operating Systems Complicates Scientists' Choices
No researcher worth his or her salt would draw conclusions first and do the experimenting later. Likewise, no scientist, no matter what the manufacturers say in their ads, should make a commitment to any particular brand of personal computer - and the operating system that goes with it - before considering the application needs of his or her laboratory. People tend not to think first of the operating system because it is, so to speak, invisible - sitting quietly inside the machine but all the