News

NIH Struggling To Regulate Employees' Outside Income
NIH Struggling To Regulate Employees' Outside Income
Despite their efforts to curb conflicts of interest, officials lament that some abuses will persist among scientists who consult WASHINGTON--Stung by recent episodes of improper behavior by some of its own researchers, the National Institutes of Health has begun to keep a closer eye on those employees who consult for industry. But even clearly blatant violations of the rules on reporting and limiting how much scientists earn for outside work activities are nearly impossible to detect, say NIH
Scientists Roam The Habitat As Zoos Alter Their Mission
Scientists Roam The Habitat As Zoos Alter Their Mission
With species preservation now becoming at least as important as entertainment, researchers in many fields take up zoo residence "And on your right, enveloped by a cloud of vapor billowing from a just-opened tank that stores eggs, sperm, and embryos at sub-zero temperatures, the scientists in their white lab coats seem to blend into their habitat." This may be what a Cincinnati Zoo tour guide will say this fall as she takes a group of visitors through a unique feature at the zoo--an in vitro f
Will Wall Street's Love Affair With Biotech Continue?
Will Wall Street's Love Affair With Biotech Continue?
As more companies prove themselves with products and profits, biotech stocks continue to surge Early last month, three-year-old Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. shook the business world by raising $99 million--nearly double what the company had originally planned to raise--in its initial public stock offering. The deal was remarkable for two reasons. The amount of money raised in this IPO was second in the biotech community only to that of Cetus Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., which raised $115 mi
Physicists Play A Hands-On Role In Super Facilities Construction
Physicists Play A Hands-On Role In Super Facilities Construction
Well-rounded scientists who directly oversee the building of accelerators and reactors swap glory for grander achievements High on a ridge in Berkeley, Calif., construction workers swarm over a $100 million scientific instrument, called the Advanced Light Source, that will allow scientists to peer into living cells and photograph lightning-fast chemical reactions. A continent away, at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., bulldozers have begun chewing up the dirt for the Relativistic
Implant Critic Converts Government Crusade Into Business
Implant Critic Converts Government Crusade Into Business
A chemist who was fired by the Canadian health department after criticizing the Mime breast implant now consults on the issue OTTAWA--For J.J.B. Pierre Blais, doing good science has also turned out to be good for business. Two years after the Canadian chemist was fired from his country's health department in 1989 after his repeated attempts to have the MÆme breast implant removed from the market (The Scientist, September 4, 1989, page 7; also see accompanying story), Blais is running a b
TAKING GOOD SCIENCE AND SOUND MANAGEMENT TO THE BANK
TAKING GOOD SCIENCE AND SOUND MANAGEMENT TO THE BANK
TAKING GOOD SCIENCE AND SOUND MANAGEMENT TO THE BANK (The Scientist, Vol:5, #11, pg. 9, May 27,1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- Regeneron's windfall of April 2 may have shocked a number of technology watchers and inspired dark predictions from others. But the fact remains that while Regeneron's wildly successful initial public offering may be due in part to Wall Street hype, the company's promising science, growing market potential, experienced management, and s
SOME ZOOS NEED TO DO THEIR RESEARCH OFF-SITE
SOME ZOOS NEED TO DO THEIR RESEARCH OFF-SITE
SOME ZOOS NEED TO DO THEIR RESEARCH OFF-SITE (The Scientist, Vol:5, #11, pg. 10, May 27,1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- Conservation scientist Sandy Andalman is looking for an off-site research and breeding facility away from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, where she works. She contends that such a facility is needed because of space limitations at the zoo, animal health considerations, and the fact that some animals breed better in more naturalized environment
Harvard's E.O. Wilson And B. Holldobler Share 1991 Pulitzer Prize For The Ants
Harvard's E.O. Wilson And B. Holldobler Share 1991 Pulitzer Prize For The Ants
Harvard's E.O. Wilson And B. Holldobler Share 1991 Pulitzer Prize For The Ants University Of Wyoming President Named Head Of Western Science Consortium Joseph W. Plandowski Leo W. Buss Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University's Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, and Berthold H”lldobler, formerly Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard, have won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for The Ants. The 732-page, seven-pound book was published by Harvard Univers
Funds For Cystic Fibrosis Investigators
Funds For Cystic Fibrosis Investigators
DOD Supports Multidisciplinary Studies The U.S. Department of Defense has announced the latest round of funding for its ongoing program of multidisciplinary research grants to universities. The department's University Research Initiative will fund three- to five-year projects on a variety of defense-related science and engineering topics. It hopes to award approximately $45 million in grants each year. The grants are designed to allow researchers to emphasize complex problems requiring a multi

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
No More Room At The Top Can't Come, But Send Money A Picture Worth A Thousand Hearings SSC-Backed Students Win Science Bowl An Embarrassment Of Riches The National Academy of Sciences has rejected a drive to increase the number of scientists elected each year. That figure stands at 60, but this year the chairmen of the six disciplinary classes that make up NAS petitioned for nine more slots--a 15 percent increase--arguing that the number of scientists has grown so rapidly in the past de

Clarification

CLARIFICATION
CLARIFICATION
CLARIFICATION (The Scientist, Vol:5, #11, pg. 9, May 27,1991) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- On page 4 of the April 29, 1991, issue of The Scientist, the Notebook item entitled "Tell Your Story To The World" listed an incorrect telephone number for the National Academy Press. The correct phone number is (800) 624-6242.

Opinion

Troubled Space Scientists Ask NASA: What Price Freedom?
Troubled Space Scientists Ask NASA: What Price Freedom?
The $30 billion space station planned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is likely to be the biggest United States science project of the next two decades--employing the most scientists and engineers, drawing the most federal science funds, and commanding the most public attention of any government-supported research. Yet a growing consensus among U.S. scientists, several of whom have recently testified before Congress, is that the space station Freedom will not yield signifi
After 30 Years Of Dreams, A Wake-Up Call For NASA
After 30 Years Of Dreams, A Wake-Up Call For NASA
In March, a panel of experts, convened by the National Research Council to advise the administration on the latest redesign of the space station Freedom, concluded that the proposed $30 billion monster was unsuited for scientific research. Surprisingly, space station proponents made little attempt to refute this harsh judgment. In a letter to NASA administrator Richard Truly, Vice President Dan Quayle, head of the National Space Council, simply dismissed the concerns of the scientific communit
Space Station Is Essential To More Manned Exploration
Space Station Is Essential To More Manned Exploration
The United States has, in one forum or another, been debating whether to create a permanent human outpost in orbit several hundred miles above Earth--a space station--for more than three decades. The debate has become more intense since President Ronald Reagan, in January 1984, directed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop such a facility, and peaked in the last year as a consensus among scientists developed that the station NASA was proposing should not be built. Now,

Commentary

Scientific Advances Carry A Moral Price Tag
Scientific Advances Carry A Moral Price Tag
The history of science is full of examples of advances that seemed marvelous at first, but later turned out to have unexpected effects. Synthetic chemicals--detergents, for example--were produced and used on a large scale before anyone recognized the problems caused by their inability to biodegrade. A similarly adverse situation manifests itself today in the depletion of the ozone layer. The problem is more troubling when the effects of scientific development are legal or sociological. In such

Letter

Insulin Delivery
Insulin Delivery
Diana Morgan's piece on oral delivery of peptide drugs [The Scientist, March 4, 1991, page 1] quotes a number of pessimistic appraisals of the future development of such systems. The critics usually point to poor reproducibility, poor bioavailability, and the formidable physiological barriers to efficient absorption of large peptide molecules. However, several groups, including our own (Biochemical Society Transactions, 18:752-4, 1990), have managed to deliver sufficient insulin by mouth to pro
Online Journals
Online Journals
I read with interest the article on the birth of peer-reviewed electronic publishing in science and scholarly fields ("Publishers Work Toward Starting Reputable Online Science Journals," The Scientist, March 4, 1991, page 4). We at the American Psychological Association were disappointed that no mention was made of Psycoloquy, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that has been available electronically for more than a year. Your article indicated that no such journals yet exist in the scientific
Animal Models
Animal Models
In the Feb. 18, 1991, issue of The Scientist [page 12], there is a letter entitled "Animal Rights" by Melissa B. Goldman, raising questions about Albert M. Kligman's commentary on this subject [The Scientist, Oct. 29, 1990, page 16]. The examples she gives deserve a critical analysis. For those diseases that occur essentially only in humans, like cardiovascular disease, only epidemiology could be used to show a relationship like that between cholesterol blood levels and coronary heart disease

Research

Hot Team: Busy Boss Leads Atmospheric Chemistry Group
Hot Team: Busy Boss Leads Atmospheric Chemistry Group
F. Sherwood Rowland, president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Bren Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, leaning back in his desk chair, is about to hold forth on his favorite subject, atmospheric chemistry. But before he can begin, Donald Blake, a senior researcher and Rowland's right-hand man in the lab, pops in the door. Blake, carrying a clipboard with a checklist of discussion items, quickly apologizes for the interruption as
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Simon Silver Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago Bacteria do not leave macrofossils with the visual impact of dinosaur bones or petrified palm fronds. Thus, we do not identify with Precambrian stromatolites. Here is a report of cyanobacterial structures up to 40 meters high, forming off the bottom of a large salt lake near the Turkish-Iraqi and Turkish-Iranian borders. These calcium carbonate bacterial "bones" look similar to structures assigned dates before
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Peter J. Smith Department of Earth Sciences Open University Milton Keynes, U.K. The concept of hotspots linked to rising mantle plumes has been so successful in explaining some intraplate volcanic phenomena (such as volcanic island chains) and topographic swells that there has been a tendency to assume that it can explain all of them. However, igneous activity/uplift does not always quite fit the theory. For example, the Bermuda and Appalachian-Labrador rises have trends almost perpendicular t
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Frank A. Wilczek School of Natural Sciences Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, N.J. Subtle and beautiful quantummechanical correlations, under the rubric "Berry's phase," have attracted much attention in various parts of physics over the past few years. Ingenious experiments in nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and in optics have been performed to demonstrate the effects of these phases. However, probably the richest and potentially most fruitful applications should be to electron spectr
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Marye Anne Fox Department of Chemistry University of Texas Austin The light-absorbing antenna complex is a trimer of subunits containing seven bacteriochlorophyll-a molecules. Persistent non-photochemical hole burning experiments show that more than seven exciton levels exist, suggesting a state assignment invoking interaction between chlorophylls in different subunits. The observed decay time is compared to those observed in accessory pigments of bacterial reaction centers. S.G. Johnson, G.J
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Peter D. Moore Division of Biosphere Sciences King's College London Despite the great diversity of the earth's biota, a relatively small number of plants (some say between 7 and 30 species) are thought to account for the bulk of human nutrition. A recent analysis of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization data from 146 countries, however, reveals that the number of plant species exploited intensively by mankind is actually much larger than this. A total of 103 species were found

Hot Paper

Chemistry
Chemistry
A.M. Klibanov, Asymmetric transformations cataluzed by enzymes in organic solvents, Accounts of Chemical Research, 23:114-120, 1990. Alexander M. Kilbanov (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge): Recent studies have firmly established that, in contrast to the conventional wisdom, enzymes can work as catalysts in organic solvents containing little or no water. Not only do enzymes retain their catalytic integrity in such media, but also, when placed in this unnatural milieu, they exhi
Chemistry
Chemistry
J. Rebek, Jr.,Molecular recognition with model systems, Angewandte Chemie, 29:245-55, 1990. Julius Rebek, Jr. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge): This paper is in the form of a review of my recent work, and part of its high frequency of citation can be attributed to the convenience of finding current references there. It is a retrospective, and some readers may have responded to its personal style: interpretations of trends and targets in molecular recognition, along with the f
Superconductivity
Superconductivity
P.H. Kes, J. Aarts, V.M. Vinokur, C.J. van der Beek, "Dissipation in highly anisotropic superconductors," Physical Review Letters, 64: 1063-66, 1990. P.H. Kes (Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory, Leiden University, The Netherlands): "In this article we wanted three things: to offer an explanation for the puzzling dependence of the electric dissipation in highly textured Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 films on the field orientation; to stress the special features of flux lines in extremely anisotropic layered supercon
Superconductivity
Superconductivity
P. Lederer, D. Poilblanc, T.M. Rice, "Superconductivity from commensurate flux phases," Physical Review Letters, 63:1519-22, 1989. Pascal Lederer (Physique des Solides, Universit‚ Paris-Sud, Orsay, France): "This paper appeared at a time when various experiments were showing that the order parameter anisotropy in high Tc superconductors was much less than that predicted by the d-wave type order parameter. The latter was predicted by the strong correlation theories originating from the RV
Chemistry
Chemistry
A.G. Orpen, L. Brammer, F.H. Allen, O. Kennard, D.G. Watson,"Tables of bond lengths determined by X-ray and neutron diffraction. Part 2. Organometallic compounds and Co-ordination complexes of the d- and f-block metals, " Dalton Transactions, S1- S83, 1989. Guy Orpen (University of Brictol, England): "Many chemists and physicists want to know something about the atomic-scale structure in the systems they study. Often they will use computational models, either to analyze the experimental data t

Profession

What Are The Goals And Priorities Of The Average Scientist?
What Are The Goals And Priorities Of The Average Scientist?
A 17-year-old high school student on the threshold of pursuing a scientific career worries about the public's perception of science and of what research brings to the world. A 72-year-old academic chemist is concerned that young scientists are looking to industry, rather than academia, for fulfilling work. These two people, at opposite ends of a professional lifetime, are different in many ways. But they, and three other researchers of different ages interviewed for this article, agree on many
Survey Finds Executives' Salaries Falling At U.S. Biotechnology Firms
Survey Finds Executives' Salaries Falling At U.S. Biotechnology Firms
Editor's Note: This article, which discusses the salaries of executives at biotechnology companies, is the second in a two-part series. The first part, which appeared in the April 29, 1991, issue of The Scientist, dealt with the salaries of middle managers and scientific staff at biotech firms. The average total cash compensation for most biotechnology executives fell this year, according to an annual survey by J. Robert Scott, a Boston-based executive search firm specializing in technology, a

Technology

Special Report: Glassware, Plasticware Compete In Labs
Special Report: Glassware, Plasticware Compete In Labs
Beakers and bottles, dispensers and droppers, pipettes and petri dishes. Labware such as this used to be available in a single material--glass. A glass beaker may last indefinitely, so long as it isn't dropped or heated too fast or filled with certain highly reactive chemicals. But what if a chemist needs to boil some chemical brew? Enter Pyrex, a borosilicate glass that can be taken from hot to cold extremes without breaking. And what about the researcher who needs hundreds of small vials, a