News

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Arris Pharmaceutical Corp. and Sequana Therapeutics Inc. join up in a merger that creates a new company, Axys Pharmaceuticals, that "will be the first company integrated from gene to drug," according to a spokesman. Amersham Life Sciences and Pharmacia Biotech link up to form Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Ltd., a new company that "will be the largest biotechnology supplier in the world." Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. acquires fellow pharmaceutical company Avid Corp., thereby gaining "access to a n
The Call of Commerce: Former Academics Cite Advantages in Industry
The Call of Commerce: Former Academics Cite Advantages in Industry
The excitement of turning theory into therapeutics...The opportunity to focus on research, without the distractions of committee work...The prospect of advancing one's career without navigating the tenure process...The chance to collaborate, rather than carve an individual niche...The potential for greater remuneration--if the science proves marketable... A host of reasons prompts scientists to ponder switching from academia to industry--whether as start-up employee, biotech entrepreneur, or B
Changes Loom for Scientists Working with Antibacterials
Changes Loom for Scientists Working with Antibacterials
Moms, doctors, and researchers all agree that good hygiene practices such as washing your hands and keeping a clean household are the best guards against many diseases. Disinfectants, soap, and water remain the old standbys for keeping homes and hands clean. However, antibacterial compounds added to dishwashing detergents, lotions, and even fabric have taken the marketplace by storm. Although many scientists in industry believe these products give consumers an added edge against bacteria and ot
Stung by the Pope and Health Studies, Congress Mulls a Policy Change for Cuba
Stung by the Pope and Health Studies, Congress Mulls a Policy Change for Cuba
Long-standing public and political contention over the effects of the United States' economic embargo on the health of the Cuban people appears to be approaching a watershed. The proponents of a change in U.S. policy base their arguments on the results of scientific research over recent years that indicate the embargo has contributed to unhealthy shortages of food and medicine in Cuba. In both houses of Congress, bills are being considered that would exempt from the embargo the sale of food to

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
Sure I can run a few experiments for you baby, but it'll cost you. I get $275 per day, plus expenses, instruments software, chemicals. . . all extra . .

Letter

Animal Dissections
Animal Dissections
Zygmunt Dembek sounds a false alarm in his letter about the value of alternatives to animal dissection in the training of veterinarians, medical doctors, and other medical professionals (Letters, The Scientist, 12[1]:10, Jan. 5, 1998). He would have readers believe that students who have shunned animal dissection in favor of computer simulations and other alternative training methods are unprepared to work on real patients, while implying that students who have dissected dead or anesthetized an
Wowing a Study Section
Wowing a Study Section
The article "How To Wow A Study Section: A Grantsmanship Lesson" by Karen Hopkin in the March 2 issue of The Scientist (12[5]:11) contains a lot of good advice about writing grant applications. However, it also has a few errors that might mislead researchers not familiar with the National Institutes of Health application and review process. Hopkin writes about the study section meeting: "the reviewer who gave your proposal the highest relative score presents your application." It is my underst
Science Court
Science Court
Scientists are "not immune to the currently seductive ideologies," as Arthur Kantrowitz asserts in his Opinion piece of Feb. 2, 1998 (The Scientist, 12[3]:9). There has been a clear shift from the "idea of progress," when every new or possible technology was uncritically hailed, to the current period, in which the balance of doubt and skepticism has shifted. I mark the shift with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1962). But the wondrous quality of what most of us share a

Commentary

Bureaucrats as Venture Capitalists?
Bureaucrats as Venture Capitalists?
Corporate welfare is something we love to hate. On the political left, economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich derides it as "business subsidies that don't make sense." The consumer watchdog group Common Cause estimates that federal subsidies to U. S. businesses amount to more than $150 billion annually in various manifestations, including "direct payments to companies, provision of public goods or services at below-market value, federal purchases of goods or services at above-mark

Opinion

The Name Has to Change As Growth Drives the Game
The Name Has to Change As Growth Drives the Game
Date: May 25, 1998 Author: David P. Holveck To most people, the term biotechnology evokes the image of speculative innovation, of a research-driven, technology-based industry focused on developing novel approaches to diseases. Today, this picture is fundamentally accurate. But in the current health care environment, the biotech image is limited in scope. The term itself can create artificial boundaries between such key constituents as employees and investors, which can inhibit development and s

Research

New Approaches to Discovery Push Research at Big Biotech
New Approaches to Discovery Push Research at Big Biotech
The biotechnology industry is among the biggest employers of life science professionals, with 140,000 employees generating $17.4 billion of revenue in 1997, according to an industry report by Ernst & Young LLP of Palo Alto, Calif. Since the birth of biotechnology in the 1970s, many of the seminal companies--such as Biogen and Genentech-- have matured into profitable or near- profitable companies. As these companies arose, venture capitalists fell in love with start-up biotechs in the 1980s

Hot Paper

Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
M. Muzio, A.M. Chinnaiyan, F.C. Kischkel, K. O'Rourke, A. Shevchenko, J. Ni, C. Scaffidi, J.D. Bretz, M. Zhang, R. Gentz, M. Mann, P. H. Krammer, M. E. Peter, V.M. Dixit, "FLICE, a novel FADD-homologous ICE/CED-3-like protease, is recruited to the CD95 (Fas/APO-1) death-inducing signaling complex," Cell, 85:817-27, 1996. (Cited more than 420 times since publication) Comments by Vishva M. Dixit, Director of Molecular Oncology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, Calif. OPENING DOORS: A tech
Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
S. Gupta, T. Barrett, A.J. Whitmarsh, J. Cavanagh, H.K. Sluss, B. Dérijard, R.J. Davis, "Selective interaction of JNK protein isoforms with transcription factors," EMBO Journal , 15(11):2760-70, 1996. (Cited about 90 times since publication) Comments by Roger J. Davis, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. HANDY JNK: Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Roger Davis and colleagues lea

Profession

Starting a Company Requires Time, Timing, and Temperament
Starting a Company Requires Time, Timing, and Temperament
With the explosion of biotechnology and an ever-increasing emphasis on technology transfer from the basic-research laboratory to industry, more and more life scientists are examining the potential economic benefits of their work. Some choose merely to license their patents, but others decide to establish for-profit ventures. Scientists who are also entrepreneurs warn that starting a company is a serious undertaking. It takes a dedicated person with the right temperament who's willing to put in

Technology

Well Washer: Skatron's New EMBLA 384 Plate Washer
Well Washer: Skatron's New EMBLA 384 Plate Washer
Designed to increase throughput and decrease the cost per assay, the 384-well plate can do the job of four 96-well plates, and with Skatron's new EMBLA 384 Plate Washer, all 384 wells can be washed in a flash. Skatron's new EMBLA 384 is designed for the high throughput screening arena and specifically for integration with laboratory automation systems. At the heart of the EMBLA 384 are two separate heads equipped with 192 probes each (arranged in an 8 x 24 grid); one head for aspirating and on
Robbins Scientific Hydra(TM)-384 Microdispenser
Robbins Scientific Hydra(TM)-384 Microdispenser
HydraTM-96 Microdispenser--now five years old--are a common item in many laboratories. Anyone continually burdened with handling multiple 96-well plates probably would throw down the pipetter and smile if they saw one these blue beauties unpacked in their laboratory. In 1997, Robbins Scientific (Sunnyvale, Calif.) introduced the Hydra-384, the latest in their line of precision microdispensers. The Hydra-384 Microdispenser The Hydra-384 features 384 glass syringes with stainless steel, Teflon
Well, Well, Well... Greiner's 1536 Micro Assay Plates
Well, Well, Well... Greiner's 1536 Micro Assay Plates
The introduction of the 384-well plate in 1994 marked a milestone in the biotechnology and high throughput screening arenas. Likewise, 1997 will be considered a milestone year with the debut of the 1536-well plate. Greiner America (Lake Mary, Fla.) introduced the 1536 Micro Assay Plates last year. The continuing struggle of reducing cost per assay has led to the concurrent explosion in development of high-density products, including microplates. This new plate from Greiner can reportedly save u

Technology Profile

Histology Kits: Avidin and Biotin Team Up to Tackle the Tissue
Histology Kits: Avidin and Biotin Team Up to Tackle the Tissue
Date: May 25, 1998 Author: Shane Beck Charts For those researchers who wish to delve into cells and tissues, there are several immunohistochemical and immunocytochemical detection methods to choose from. From the antibody-enzyme conjugation and peroxidase antiperoxidase (PAP) methods pioneered in the late 1960s came the development of avidin-biotin affinity techniques. Taking advantage of avidin's high affinity for biotin, scientists were, and still are able to look at tissues in new ways. Ear
Ode to Oligo(dT): Oligo(dT) Takes on a Variety of Faces in Kits for the Purification of mRNA
Ode to Oligo(dT): Oligo(dT) Takes on a Variety of Faces in Kits for the Purification of mRNA
Date: May 25, 1998 Author: Laura DeFrancesco Charts How many different ways are there to isolate messenger RNA (mRNA)? You can bind it to oligo(dT) cellulose in a slurry, bind it to oligo(dT) on columns, bind it to oligo(dT) attached to latex beads, or bind it to oligo(dT) on magnetic particles. Get the picture? Oligo(dT) is clearly the key to mRNA isolations. And why is that? Considering that mRNA is only one to two percent of the total RNA of a cell, and to make matters worse, is heterogeneo

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
OLD NEWS REBORN TRANS-ATLANTIC MEDITATION AIDS HONORS FROM THE FRYING PAN TO THE PHARMACY CHEMIST HONORED BRAIN-PROTECTING DRUGS OLD NEWS REBORN The wild spike in the stock price earlier this month of Rockville, Md.-based biotechnology company EntreMed Inc. was sparked by a few remarks over dinner, says the company's chairman, John Holaday. The comments came from Nobel laureate James Watson, director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y. He was praising the work of M. Judah