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Dangling the Carrot: Stock Options
Dangling the Carrot: Stock Options
You can't confuse the dot-com revolution with biotech and its stock options," says Edward Abrahams, executive director of the Pennsylvania Biotech Association. "Biotech has much longer lead times to profitability and it's risky business--rooted in the transformation of the [National Institutes of Health] economy," he says. "Scientists shouldn't be in biotech just for the stock. The motivation has to be discovery and creating something--the process of making a contribution for the betterment of
Filling the Pipeline
Filling the Pipeline
Photo: Myrna E. WatanabeBoston University's "MobileLab," a bus outfitted with biotech lab equipment, visited the Connecticut state capitol in Hartford May 1, the day Connecticut United for Research Excellence announced plans for a like vehicle called "Connecticut's BioBus." In 1999, the U.S. biotechnology industry employed 153,000 people, up 48.5 percent from 1995, according to Ernst & Young. In the state of Connecticut alone, total bioscience (biotech and pharmaceutical) R&D expenditures equal
Monitoring Human Subjects and Clinical Trials
Monitoring Human Subjects and Clinical Trials
Institutional review boards (IRBs)--whether independent or located at hospitals, academic health centers, or universities--have an imposing charge: They must sift through and analyze a profusion of clinical research trials to ensure that participating human subjects will be treated ethically and without undue risk. But for a variety of reasons, many IRBs aren't getting the job done--this according to an April report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. Department of Health and
Under the Microscope
Under the Microscope
In the aftermath of 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger's death last September during a University of Pennsylvania gene therapy trial, intensified regulation of such studies will be a major topic at the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) annual meeting, May 31-June 4 in Denver. "I think the important thing is to really keep focus," says society president Savio L. Woo, director of the Institute for Gene Therapy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Medical research is a risky business, and we can't
News Notes
News Notes
Congress Revisits Stem Cell Issue As Congress begins a new session, the topic of stem cell research is once again on the agenda. Yet the short session and the issue's contentiousness make new legislation in 2000 unlikely. At an April 25 congressional briefing, scientists gave an update on stem cell research and applications in advance of an April 26 hearing. The briefing also reintroduced the stem cell research guidelines presented last fall by the American Association for the Advancement of Sc
Under the Microscope
Under the Microscope
In the aftermath of 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger's death last September during a University of Pennsylvania gene therapy trial, intensified regulation of such studies will be a major topic at the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) annual meeting, May 31-June 4 in Denver. "I think the important thing is to really keep focus," says society president Savio L. Woo, director of the Institute for Gene Therapy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Medical research is a risky business, and we can't

Letter

Physician Researchers
Physician Researchers
Physician Researchers As academic medical centers move toward managed patient care and away from their original academic missions, more people like myself are left to ask why we trained all of those years. As described in your recent April 3, 2000 issue,1 physician-scientists, and especially M.D.-Ph.D.-trained researchers, are leaving the bench for the bedside. Out of an MSTP class of 10, approximately 25 percent of my fellow graduates will continue in research. Why, you may ask? We hav
Time for the Journal Ombudsman?
Time for the Journal Ombudsman?
Time for the Journal Ombudsman? Stricker and Goldberg have had a truly bitter experience;1 unfortunately, many authors had suffered the same. But I think that their criticism of the peer review system is wrongly addressed: the violation of publication ethics--in this case, the maladministration--may be prevented by the journal's appointing of a mediator, the journal's ombudsman. The Lancet did it in 1996; this journal appointed an independent person "to record and, where necessary, to investig

Commentary

Click Here for Better Health Care
Click Here for Better Health Care
Consider the following scenarios: A 64-year-old woman with congestive heart failure has recently moved to a new city. She checks in with her doctor--who is hundreds of miles away--for their biweekly consultation, but she never has to leave her home. Through an interactive videoconference over the Internet, the doctor helps the woman install an electronic diary through which she will track her daily salt intake. The diary, in turn, will automatically update her electronic medical records.

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
www.ScienceCartoonsPlus.com

Research

A Cancer Drug with Fan Mail
A Cancer Drug with Fan Mail
Copyright (c)2000 by the American Society for Clinical Investigation The crystal structure of AMP-PNP bound to Lck was used to make a model of the Abl kinase domain. Left, the general architecture of the Abl kinase domain; top right, topology of the ATP-binding cleft of the Abl protein kinase; bottom right, amino acid side chains lining the APT-binding cleft. "I feel so good that sometimes I forget I have leukemia," writes Gay Bratton of her experience with STI571, Novartis Pharma's experimenta
Research Notes
Research Notes
Introducing RNA Polymerase The long-sought crystal structure of RNA polymerase II, aka PolII, reveals a complex and tenacious machine. As the linchpin in gene expression, that machine "is arguably the most important protein in biology," says Roger Kornberg, professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, who led the two-decade-long effort (P. Cramer et al., "Architecture of RNA polymerase II and implications for the transcription mechanism," Science, 288:640-9, April

Hot Paper

Bone Sculptor
Bone Sculptor
For this article, Steve Bunk interviewed William J. Boyle, associate director, department of cell biology, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Tatsuo Suda, emeritus professor and dean, Showa University School of Dentistry, Tokyo, Japan. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that these papers have been cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age.   D.L. Lacey, E. Timms, H.-L. Tan, M.J. Kelley, C.R. Dunstan, T. Burgess, R. Elliott, A. Colom

Technology

Check It Out
Check It Out
HatCheck Graph Expensive custom peptide synthesis, hard-to-find reagents, messy filter-binding assays, and liters of radioactive waste: These are what researchers can expect when assaying novel proteins for histone acetyl-transferase (HAT) activity. And yet a growing understanding of the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation has made it necessary for more and more scientists to perform these tedious assays. To help alleviate some of these woes, Pierce Chemical Compan
See the Light
See the Light
IGEN's ORIGEN Analyzer For diagnostics, drug discovery, and basic research, nothing beats the right assay. IGEN International of Gaithersburg, Md., has developed a new electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection process, termed ORIGEN Technology, that can be applied to many different types of binding assays. IGEN's M-SERIES Analyzer uses ECL to speed immunoassays, quantitation of nucleic acids, receptor-ligand binding assays, and measurement of viruses and bacteria. IGEN's ORIGEN Technology

Bench Buys

Bench Buys
Bench Buys
Pool Your Resources Stratagene is offering a 13-30 percent discount on master membranes for its HUCL (Human Universal cDNA Library) Array Cloning System until July 31, 2000. The HUCL Array Cloning System is a two-step gene identification system: The first screen is performed on multiple master membranes, each containing pooled clones. Then, the clone of interest is identified from a secondary membrane or microplate containing the individual clones from a particular pool. When ordering the HUCL

Technology Profile

Glove Me Tender
Glove Me Tender
Nitrile Glove Comparison Chart Survey Results Summary Photo: Larry HandAACR participants donned nitrile gloves for a LabConsumer survey. It started with an itch. Dan Suich had been working in the lab for about a year when it struck. His itchy hands eventually became painful and started to bleed. Suich suffers from an allergy to latex in the gloves meant to protect him. According to numerous studies, approximately 10 percent of health care workers experience negative reactions to latex gloves.
Capillary Action
Capillary Action
Capillaries Automated Capillary Electrophoresis Systems Agilent's CE-MS System Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a fast-growing area of separation technology. CE techniques enable the high-resolution separation of an impressive variety of sample types, from ions and small molecules to macromolecules and from virus particles to whole cells. Online detectors speedily record sample component concentrations during these time efficient separations. "CE separations typically take 10-20 minutes," not

Profession

The 'Where' Factor, Part I
The 'Where' Factor, Part I
Editor's Note: "Location, Location, Location" is usually the mantra of the real estate industry. We decided to take the cue and look at the "where" of the job search for life scientists. For the next five issues Profession will explore how geography might affect your job hunt. We'll look at such factors as cost of living and also point out the main attractions in the private and public sectors of each region. In this article, we'll cover the Northeast. Our boundaries might not be a true geograph

Opinion

A Faustian Bargain?
A Faustian Bargain?
Illustration: A.Canamucio When I look back on my life and attempt to understand the factors that influenced my decision to become a scientist, two stories inevitably come to mind. The first, which I remember reading when I was in grade school, is the famous story of Archimedes figuring out, while he was immersed in a bathtub, a method by which he could determine whether or not the king's crown was truly made of gold. The image that stays vividly in my mind is that of Archimedes jumping out of hi
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