News

Hanging On To A Research Grant For Decades: What's The Secret?
Hanging On To A Research Grant For Decades: What's The Secret?
Wisconsin geneticist Oliver Nelson: "Stick with the real problems. Stay flexible and learn new techniques." Scan the lists of grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation and you'll find that there are several hundred scientists who seem to have the knack of finding a funding source and keeping it -- not for the one or two renewals that most scientists consider the answer to a prayer, but for two or three decades. How do they manage this? Scientists w
Watson Departure Vexes Genome Experts
Watson Departure Vexes Genome Experts
They fear that funding support for their vast gene-mapping project could erode now that the Nobelist is leaving While the head of the nation's premier health agency may not be losing sleep over the resignation of James Watson as head of the Human Genome Project (HGP), many genetic researchers are distressed to see him go. Genome scientists interviewed for this article say it will be difficult for the National Institutes of Health, via its search committee, to find someone with the same drive
Academic Researchers Pursue Survival As States Slash Budget Support For Science
Academic Researchers Pursue Survival As States Slash Budget Support For Science
With recession taking its toll on campuses throughout the U.S., scientists seek ways to cope with hard times Sizable cutbacks in state funding to public and private academic institutions are taking an increasingly heavy toll on campus research, say university scientists and administrators throughout the United States. The debilitating impact, they claim, is being felt as the 1991-92 school year draws to a close. While summers past may have carried the promise to university researchers of a f
Biotech Association Presses Agenda As National Elections Near
Biotech Association Presses Agenda As National Elections Near
The next president--whoever it may be after elections this fall--must make the future of the biotechnology business a priority, according to a leading industry group. In a detailed agenda released late last month and forwarded to each major party's platform committees, the Industrial Biotechnology Association (IBA) identified the issues most important to its 130 members. "The highest-visibility issues for biotechnology this election surround health care reform and patent issues," says IBA dir
New Group Joins Animal Research Public Relations War
New Group Joins Animal Research Public Relations War
Amid the advertisements for bras, baby clothes, and low-rate mortgages cluttering the first section of the April 21 New York Times appeared a photo of a big, fat, white rat. A full-page ad featuring the rodent was headlined, "Some People Just See a Rat. We See a Cure for Cancer." Text running beneath the striking photo attacked "animal rights activists [who] use disinformation, pressure tactics and active terrorism.... "Society cannot allow itself to be manipulated by a handful of zealots w
Poll: Americans Back Research--But Selectively
Poll: Americans Back Research--But Selectively
The public strongly supports scientific research, according to a recent poll from Louis Harris and Associates Inc., but shows marked favoritism when asked to choose among fields. Of eight areas, medical research was rated as "most valuable" by almost half of those polled--49 percent--while environmental and energy investigation were so ranked by 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively. At the bottom end of the sampling, only 1 percent to 3 percent of the people questioned gave top votes to el

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Pugwash For The Pros Keeping Current - Sort Of Olympic Trials Peak Conditions Young scientists and other professionals who as students were active in Student Pugwash USA now have a means to stay involved with the Pugwash movement after they graduate. The Student Pugwash office has announced the birth of Professional Pugwash, a new arm of the movement that explores the relationship of science to society (The Scientist, April 2, 1990, page 7). While Student Pugwash is itself a spin-off o

Commentary

In Teaching Science, Let The Textbook Support The Classwork, Not Vice Versa
In Teaching Science, Let The Textbook Support The Classwork, Not Vice Versa
I was troubled by Ricki Lewis's recent article on textbook selection (The Scientist, March 30, 1992, page 20), in which she describes the somewhat arbitrary and even whimsical approach that scientist-instructors often take in choosing textbooks for the courses they teach. I was troubled not because I take issue with what Lewis wrote--but because the practices she described are all too familiar. Indeed, as a professor and, for eight years, chairman of a medical school biochemistry department,

Letter

A Call For Sensitivity
A Call For Sensitivity
Several days ago I received in the mail, among other things, my copy of the March 16, 1992, issue of The Scientist.Also in the mail was a copy of a sales catalog from a Maryland-based supplier of science-related products. What linked these two mailings was their front pages. A lead article in The Scientist noted that Native Americans are making slow, but forward, progress in joining the ranks of doctoral-level scientists. The article makes a strong point for role models for Native American stud
Systems Of Theories
Systems Of Theories
I was delighted to read the article on evolution in the March 30, 1992, issue of The Scientist ("Evolution: It's Not Just A Single Theory, It's A Lot Of Theories," page 15). Since 1980 I have been saying what was said in the headline of the article (Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 23:551-72, 1980; The American Biology Teacher, 48[6]:344-7, 1986). There are also systems of theories in ecology, in molecular biology, and in all parts of biology. But would you learn this from reading the te
Mechanistic Toxicology
Mechanistic Toxicology
The editors and readers of the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis could argue that the shift to mechanistic toxicology proposed in Marcia Clemmitt's recent article in The Scientist (Feb. 17, 1992, page 1) has already occurred. For the past five years, Molecular Carcinogenesis has been reporting the growth of, and changes in, all fields of carcinogenesis, including toxicology. The need for a journal that emphasized the causative mechanisms of cancer at the molecular level became apparent in 1987

Research

Aging Research Gains Respect Via Molecular Biology Studies
Aging Research Gains Respect Via Molecular Biology Studies
The study of aging has had a long reputation of quackery and wild speculative theories. Francis Bacon took note of this problem in 1645 in his Historia Vitae et Mortis: "With regard to the length and shortness of life in animals, the information to be had is small, observation careless, and tradition fabulous." But by applying the tools of molecular biology to the question of the causes of aging and death, researchers have lately been pulling the field into mainstream respectability and potenti

Hot Paper

Cell Biology
Cell Biology
D. Hockenbery, G. Nunez, Curt Milliman, R.D. Schreiber, S.J. Korsmeyer, "Bcl-2 is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein that blocks programmed cell death," Nature, 348:334-36, 1990. David Hockenbery (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis): "Bcl-2 is the oncogene located at the breakpoint of the chromosomal translocation t(14;18) found in follicular lymphomas. This paper demonstrated two unique features of the Bcl-2 oncogene. The first is its cel
Virology
Virology
G.J. LaRosa, J.P. Davide, K. Weinhold, J.A. Waterbury, et al., "Conserved sequence and structural elements in the HIV-1 principal neutralizing determinant," Science, 249:932-35, 1990. Gregory LaRosa (Repligen Corp., Cambridge, Mass.): "The third variable region--known as the V3 loop--of the HIV-1 envelope protein has been the most attractive target for an HIV-1 vaccine preparation because antibodies capable of neutralizing the viral infectivity, either from infected patients' serum or from an
Immunology
Immunology
E.J. Ziegler, C.J. Fisher, C.L. Sprung, R.C. Straube, et al., "Treatment of gram-negative bacteremia and septic shock with HA-1A human monoclonal antibody against endotoxin," New England Journal of Medicine, 324:429-36, 1991. Charles J. Fisher (Center for Critical Care Research, University Hospitals of Cleveland): "Sepsis syndrome is a complex clinical problem resulting from overwhelming infection leading to septic shock and death. The incidence of sepsis syndrome increased 139 percent in the

Technology

Today's Microbiologists Put Microbes To Work In Cleanup
Today's Microbiologists Put Microbes To Work In Cleanup
When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in March 1989, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, it precipitated one of the largest bioremediation projects ever undertaken. A team of scientists from Exxon Corp., the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state of Alaska infused the contaminated beaches with nutrients to speed the growth of native oil-eating microbes, accelerating their metabolism of oil. Exxon and EPA cleaned miles of beaches, and they generated

Profession

Manufacturer Of Confocal Laser Systems Helps Potential Clients Obtain Funding
Manufacturer Of Confocal Laser Systems Helps Potential Clients Obtain Funding
Biologist Stephen Stricker needs a confocal laser imaging system to do his research, a need shared by about 20 of his colleagues at the University of New Mexico. Fortunately for them, a new program offered by a major manufacturer of confocal systems aims to better the chances that such scientists will be able to assemble sufficient funding to obtain these devices by helping them identify potential sources of equipment grants. Last September, Cambridge, Mass.-based Bio-Rad Laboratories Microsc
People: Yale Research Psychologist Judith Rodin Appointed First Woman Ivy League Provost
People: Yale Research Psychologist Judith Rodin Appointed First Woman Ivy League Provost
Judith S. Rodin, Phillip R. Allen Professor of Psychology at Yale University and dean of Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Yale provost. Rodin, who also is a professor of medicine and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, will take office July 1, succeeding Frank M. Turner, who will return to full-time teaching and research in Yale's department of history. When she assumes her new position, Rodin will become the highest-ranking woman administrator in the Ivy Lea
People: John Bahcall Receives Award From NASA For His Work On Hubble Space Telescope
People: John Bahcall Receives Award From NASA For His Work On Hubble Space Telescope
For someone who searches the vast frontiers of the universe trying to discover its boundaries, receiving an award here on Earth could seem almost mundane. But John Bahcall, a professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who received the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Distinguished Public Service Medal on March 17, says he views the award as an exciting precursor to more astronomical discoveries. Bahcall says he is elated
The Path To Productivity
The Path To Productivity
Lynn Riddiford, a professor of zoology of the University of Washington, exemplifies how to keep your spirit alive and your research fresh--and, perhaps, your funding rolling in. Delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the hormone ecdysone, which controls the molting process of the tobacco hornworm, Riddiford has progressed from whole-insect work, through work with cell cultures, all the way to the molecular biology level. One of the ways she learned these new skills was in sabbatical

Briefs

People: W. Paul Havens, Jr.
People: W. Paul Havens, Jr.
W. Paul Havens, Jr., a professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College and a prominent researcher into viral hepatitis, died April 6 at his home in Haverford, Pa., at the age of 80. Havens began his medical career in 1932 as a graduate of Harvard Medical School, when the amount of clinical information available in the United States was, of course, not nearly as voluminous as it is today. During the time Havens served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps in World War II, little was known about
People Briefs: Henry Hurwitz, Jr.
People Briefs: Henry Hurwitz, Jr.
Henry Hurwitz, Jr., a physicist at General Electric Co. who pioneered the theory and design of nuclear power plants and most recently helped engineer the reactor for the Seawolf nuclear submarine, died April 14 in Schenectady, N.Y., at the age of 73. In 1955, a year after Fortune magazine named him as one of the top 10 scientists in U.S. industry, Hurwitz contributed to establishing the first atomic containment sphere for GE. The development advanced industry-wide safety protocols for enclosin