Snapshot

A Week in a Scientist's Life
A Week in a Scientist's Life
Snapshot | A Week in a Scientist's Life It's about multitasking--and spending serious time at work  Click for larger version (43K) Our latest Snapshot survey reveals that 347 of our readers spend an average of 52 hours per week working. The range is large, from a sweatshop level of 95 hours to an enviable 30. Our readers spend their time on the predictable tasks, with performing experiments, writing, and reading requiring more than 50% of their time. However, some interesting juxtaposi

Frontlines

Hired Guns, Science-Style
Hired Guns, Science-Style
Frontlines | Hired Guns, Science-Style When you cannot solve a problem, why not pay someone to do it for you? That's the idea behind the worldwide, online R&D collaboration, Innocentive (www.innocentive.com). Questioners post their biology, chemistry, or biochemistry 'challenges' on the Web site and interested scientists who figure out a solution earn a reward. Normally, the answer-seekers, who pay a fee, remain anonymous, but some are known. Ali Hussein, Innocentive's vice president of
Journals Warned to Mind the Message
Journals Warned to Mind the Message
Frontlines | Journals Warned to Mind the Message UK medical researcher professor Ian Roberts has added new accusations to his earlier one, in which he said that medical journals helped spread US propaganda during the Iraq war. Roberts, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, originally launched his campaign in a January 2003 letter published in the British Medical Journal (http://bmj.com/cgi/eletters/326/7382/230#29063). "I said then there was an exaggeration of the public

Foundations

The Might of Mitochondria
The Might of Mitochondria
Foundation | The Might of Mitochondria Courtesy of Art Horwich Sometimes, science happens in a eureka moment. For Art Horwich, a molecular biologist at Yale University, the idea that the cell has foldases that assist folding of polypeptides to the native state came at 11:00 p.m. on a September night in 1987 when Horwich and his student Ming Cheng were chatting about a yeast mutant library. Horwich asked: "'What if there is a machinery inside mitochondria that actually helps imported protein

First Person

Anthony S. Fauci
Anthony S. Fauci
First Person | Anthony S. Fauci Courtesy of NIAID On normal days, he works 14 hours, jogs for lunch, eats dinner with his family after 9, and continues working until bedtime, when he sleeps for about 4 1/2 hours. But normal is long gone for Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has bioterrorism worries and SARS on his plate, along with AIDS, which put Fauci's name in the limelight years ago, when gay men demanded being heard, noticed, an

Science Seen

Drosophila Devils
Drosophila Devils
Science Seen | Drosophila Devils Courtesy of Steve Kay  DROSOPHILA DEVILS: Steve Kay, of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., added the gene that encodes for luciferase--the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow--to these Drosophila fruit flies. Now he has a glow-in-the-dark genetic marker for his studies of cellular circadian clocks. And a little illumination if the lights go out. function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false

5-Prime

T-Cell Subsets: On the Immunity Warpath
T-Cell Subsets: On the Immunity Warpath
5-Prime | T-Cell Subsets: On the Immunity Warpath How do T cells recognize their targets? The acquired immune system consists of two major cell types, T and B cells, which recognize specific antigens. They differentiate from hematopoietic precursors and from each other in the bone marrow, with T cells migrating off to mature in the thymus (hence the name). The T cell is endowed with receptors (TCRs) of unique specificity, created by somatic DNA rearrangement and random chain pairing. In the

So They Say

So They Say
So They Say
So They Say "It's like moving on from a first attempt demo music tape to a classic CD." --Jane Rogers, head of sequencing at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, on the completed, full sequence, human genome. From MSNBC. "If Heimlich is really doing this, he should be put in jail." --Mark Harrington, executive director of AIDS activist group Treatment Action Network, on the plans of 83-year-old Henry Heimlich (of Heimlich Maneuver fame) to infect African AIDS patients with malaria to kill

Data Points

Patenting DNA; Increased Recognition
Patenting DNA; Increased Recognition
Datapoints Patenting DNA In 1976, the earliest year that patent records can be easily searched, six patents contained the term DNA. Things have changed since then. Year Number of patents with DNA in their abstracts 1988 147 1998 1,464 2002 1,040 Jan-Feb 2003 148 Source: US Patent Office (www.uspto.gov)   Increased Recognition Number of LexisNexis citations on selected potential bioterrorism agents Month Smallpox Ricin Anthrax Aug. 2000 147 2 387 Sept. 2000 249 9 377 Aug. 2

Tue, 01 May 2001 00:00:00 GMT

Scientific Sins
Scientific Sins
My Top 5 | Scientific Sins 1. Around 1726, professor Johann Beringer, University of Wurtzburg, Germany, published a treatise, Lithographiae Wirceburgensis, about mysterious fossils that three boys claimed they found at nearby Mount Eivelstadt. But, they were fakes--part of a hoax conceived by junior faculty members. The hoaxers later tried to warn Beringer. When he received a fossil bearing his own name, he sued his fellow professors. But his treatise already had been published. 2. In 1835

Off The Cuff

Held in High Disregard
Held in High Disregard
Off The Cuff | Held in High Disregard Some (tongue-in-cheek) reasons for not citing important, prior work. "I figured if you're smart enough to read this paper, you already knew that!" Gary Osowick, Taunton, Mass. "The experiment is not repeatable." Eva Barton, Ames, Iowa "My work is so complete that the reference [pales] in contrast to mine." Andres Romanowski, Buenos Aries, Argentina "If it's old, foreign--or--old and foreign." David Johnson, Bethesda, Md. "They don't cite us eith

Editorial

Animal Research is for Human Welfare
Animal Research is for Human Welfare
A recent survey revealed that nine out of 10 Brits do not know that beer is made from barley, and one in 10 believe that rice is grown in the United Kingdom.1 Exactly where they think the paddy fields are located was not recorded. This ignorance illustrates the growing disconnect between the city-dwelling majority and the countryside in terms of food production. A further disconnect is revealed in the changing attitude toward animals in the United States. "I think there is an urban prism thro

Opinion

The 'Descriptive' Curse
The 'Descriptive' Curse
Getty Images "The work is basically sound but suffers from being too descriptive." Anyone who has served on grant review panels, participated in promotion and tenure decisions, or made and received editorial decisions, has heard this refrain or its equivalent and knows full well its kiss-of-death implication. As applied above, there is the unstated but intended linkage of the term "descriptive" with a nonmechanistic, non-hypothesis-driven approach to the work under evaluation. It's a comment

Letter

A 'Roz' by any Other Name
A 'Roz' by any Other Name
A 'Roz' by any Other Name Nicholas Wade's disdainful appraisal of Rosalind Franklin's contribution to solving the structure of DNA is not at all convincing.1 Her social and intellectual snobbery are no more relevant than the fact that Watson and Crick abrogated their gentlemen's agreement with King's College London to abandon DNA work. It is incontrovertible that Watson and Crick would not have come up with their structure were it not for Franklin's understanding of the hydration properties
Terrifying Terror Policy
Terrifying Terror Policy
Terrifying Terror Policy In reference to the editor's comments on bioterrorism in the United States,1 I would extend his comments and suggest that the US government is scaring the living s--- out of the US population and for little reason. Why significantly compromise your life's enjoyment by worrying about dying, especially when the risks you are scared about are small compared with real and quantifiable risks, such as auto accidents and myocardial infarctions? Scaring the public has hist
Getting It All Out
Getting It All Out
Getting It All Out A recent article published in The Scientist discusses a potential connection between Traveler's Diarrhea and the low incidence of colon cancer in developing nations.1 I wish to emphasize that this concept was first reported in Cancer Research and stems from our discovery that treatment of a mouse model of human colon cancer with the peptide hormone, uroguanylin, markedly reduces intestinal tumors.2 Uroguanylin is the natural regulator of cGMP production in the intestine
Pawing Postdocs
Pawing Postdocs
Pawing Postdocs In your "Postdocs: Pawing out of Purgatory,"1 you have inadvertently misquoted me. You state that, "They point to the NIH, which doesn't provide benefits for its more than 3000 postdocs." That is incorrect--we do indeed provide excellent health insurance for all our postdocs as well as our predocs. The statement that I made, "That's not going to change. There are too many government regulations that restrict our ability to provide benefits," referred only to retirement benef

Feature

Creature Comforts
Creature Comforts
All Illustrations: Tammy Irvine, Rear View Illustrations Researchers are bringing the wild inside their laboratories. Compelled by studies that suggest animals' bodies and minds react to even minor changes in living conditions, scientists are decorating animal cage interiors to mimic the exterior world of nature, thus challenging lab animals to think and move. A large, complex living space outfitted with objects that stimulate animals' mental and physical growth form the ideals of environmen
Constructing Chimp Haven
Constructing Chimp Haven
As thanks for their years of contributions to humankind through their use in biomedical research, some chimps will be guests of honor at a retirement party this spring. Set to break ground on May 30 is Chimp Haven (http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20021008/02/), a 200-acre chimpanzee sanctuary in Shreveport, La., which is slated to hold about 200 chimps retired from medical testing. The warm, moist climate of Louisiana is expected to provide a natural environment conducive to monkeying around

Research Front Page

Saving Tabby; C35 Expression as a Cancer Marker?; Interdisciplinary Research
Saving Tabby; C35 Expression as a Cancer Marker?; Interdisciplinary Research
Front Page Saving Tabby; C35 Expression as a Cancer Marker?; Interdisciplinary Research Saving Tabby Reprinted with permission from Nature © online April 7, 2003 Researchers in Switzerland reversed a genetic developmental defect in mice by injecting their pregnant mothers with a recombinant protein. These smaller-than-normal patients, so-called Tabby mice, lack specialized hairs, teeth, and sweat glands. Both Tabby and its human counterpart of this disease, an X-linked form

Research

Dissecting the Immunological Synapse
Dissecting the Immunological Synapse
Courtesy of Michael Dustin PASS IT ON: A T cell (blue) interacts with a dendritic cell (yellow) through a molecular pattern described as an immunological synapse (red = adhesion, green = foreign antigen). This is a composite image of a scanning electron micrograph and a fluorescence image. We can do things that haven't been done before, I think, ever in cell biology," exclaims Mark Davis of Stanford University. His 3-D, fluorescence video-microscopy system allows him to count the number
A New Approach to Autoimmune Diseases
A New Approach to Autoimmune Diseases
D.F. Dowd Nearly one hundred years ago, two German scientists introduced the concept of autoimmune disease;1 it didn't catch on. Indeed, even the investigators themselves were skeptical. To most immunologists, the notion that people might develop immune reactions to their own bodies seemed counterintuitive, even preposterous. "People were very, very reluctant to accept the idea," says Noel Rose, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Autoimmune Disease Research and a long-time ex
UV Radiation, Autoimmunity, and Questions Galore
UV Radiation, Autoimmunity, and Questions Galore
John Choate, Chizzy Graphics It's an interesting conundrum: The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun exposure can induce the onset of, or exacerbate, the symptoms of certain autoimmune diseases. Now flip the coin: UV also can prevent, or reduce, the symptoms of others. Current research focuses on lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, dermatomyositis, and atopic eczema. What is going on? "These irradiations may alter the d

Hot Paper

Taking Toll of Toll-Like Receptors
Taking Toll of Toll-Like Receptors
Courtesy of Alan Aderem  BAR-CODED BACTERIA: Combined activation of Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) produces different specific responses. In this example, Microbe 1 activates TLRs 4 and 5, and is therefore likely to be a Gram-negative, flagellated bacterium. Microbe 2 activates TLR 5 and TLR 2/6, and is therefore likely to be Gram-positive and flagellated. Because of slightly different specificities, Microbe 3 would elicit a different response. Twas a head-scratcher: Twelve years ago, resear

Technology Front Page

Capillary Electrophoresis, Meet Lab-on-a-Chip; Virtual NMR; Researchers Map Worm ORFeome
Capillary Electrophoresis, Meet Lab-on-a-Chip; Virtual NMR; Researchers Map Worm ORFeome
TECH BRIEF | Researchers Map Worm ORFeome Courtesy of Marc Vidal Citing the need to verify genome annotations and to provide a resource for functional genomics, Marc Vidal of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an international team of researchers have tackled what they call the "ORFeome," the complete set of protein-encoding open-reading frames (ORFs) in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome (Nat Genet, advance online publication, DOI:10.1038/ng1140, April 7, 2003). Using annotation data, the

Technology Profile

Microbiology Vigil: Probing What's Out There
Microbiology Vigil: Probing What's Out There
Courtesy of Mary Ann Moran  THE MICROBE HUNTER: University of Georgia graduate student Justine Lyons uses new molecular approaches to study the diversity of bacteria and fungi in a coastal salt marsh on Georgia's Sapelo Island. An outbreak of Salmonellosis erupted in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, and Alabama during the winter of 1981. Frustrated epidemiologists could find no common link, until they finally realized what all the victims had in common: marijuana.1 Samples of pot used by some pa
Flow Cytometry
Flow Cytometry
Courtesy of DakoCytomation Conventional wisdom holds that flow cytometers are expensive, massive, high-maintenance instruments that require trained operators. They are plumbed into centralized facilities of large institutions, where investigators can pay to have their cells sorted, or perform the analyses themselves (provided they have the requisite skills) under the watchful eye of the center's personnel. But as so often happens, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Nowadays, flow cytometers ar

Technology

Putting a New Spin on FT-MS
Putting a New Spin on FT-MS
Courtesy of Thermo Finnigan Mass spectrometers that combine the high resolution and mass accuracy of Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FT-MS) with the ion storage and separation capabilities of quadrupole-quadrupole (Q-q) and linear ion trap mass spectrometry were recently introduced by Bruker Daltonics of Billerica, Mass., and Thermo Finnigan of San Jose, Calif. These instruments could accelerate the pace of protein identification in the rapidly expanding field of proteomics. FT-MS is bas
Affymetrix Updates Genomes-on-a-Chip
Affymetrix Updates Genomes-on-a-Chip
Courtesy of Affymetrix Microarray giant Affymetrix has updated two of its more popular expression sets. With the release of the GeneChip® Mouse Expression Set 430 and Rat Expression Set 230, the company now provides "the most comprehensive, reliable, and up-to-date versions of public domain rat and mouse genome information available on a microarray platform," according to a company press release. "It's an evolution of the product line," explains Elizabeth Kerr, senior director of marketing
Preparing Proteins For 2-D Gel Analysis
Preparing Proteins For 2-D Gel Analysis
Courtesy of Pierce Biotechnology Though well traveled, the road to two-dimensional gel analysis can be slow going. Pierce Biotechnology in Rockford, Ill., has looked to the past in developing four new sample preparation kits for nuclear, membrane, soluble, and insoluble proteins. According to the company, these kits reduce preparation time and improve gel-to-gel reproducibility. All four kits remove salts from extracted proteins and concentrate them to produce a sample suitable for electropho

Profession Front Page

Cells Seen; How to Tell, What to Tell; New UC Campus Hiring Scientists
Cells Seen; How to Tell, What to Tell; New UC Campus Hiring Scientists
TRAINING @ | Cells Seen WHAT: Immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization & live cell imaging WHERE: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY WHY: Course teaches and emphasizes the use of specialized techniques in microscopy, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry ADVANTAGES: Several protocols are presented for students to assess their merits in relation to their own research WHEN: October 18-31, 2003 DEADLINE: July 15, 2003 COST: $2385 (US) CONTACT: An

Profession

Science in the Intifada
Science in the Intifada
Courtesy of Jamai Aruri No direct road leads from the Mount of Olives to Bethlehem, but even with a few detours, the drive should take about 15 minutes. Yet Moein Kanaan, a geneticist at the University of Bethlehem, leaves his home on the Western slope of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem by 5:30 in the morning. He usually gets to his lab at Bethlehem University by 9:00. It takes Kanaan such a long time because, like 8 million other people in Israel and the Palestinian territories, he lives un
Consumer Fear Cancels European GM Research
Consumer Fear Cancels European GM Research
Erica P. Johnson A new Eurobarometer, surveying attitudes about science among citizens of the ten countries that recently entered the European Union, suggests that genetically modified (GM) organisms are only slightly more tolerable to these "new Europeans" than to their peers on the rest of the continent. Seventy-nine percent of the 12,247 people surveyed in 13 countries by the Gallup Organization in Hungary say GM foods should be introduced only if proven safe, compared with 86% of the 16,02
Indiana Wants You
Indiana Wants You
 Biotechs have expanded along spokes of an imaginary wheel from Indianapolis When Keith Dunker, a professor of biochemistry at Washington State University, got an offer to head a new bioinformatics department at Indiana University's School of Medicine, he hesitated. "It took me more than three months to decide," he says. "I love the mountains and the ocean and this is, after all, Indiana." Like Rodney Dangerfield, Indiana gets no respect. Known mostly for corn, college basketball, and ca

Fine Tuning

Enduring the Downturn
Enduring the Downturn
This was intended to be a "good news/bad news" report on the current state of biotechnology hiring. As it turns out, the bad news is that I can't find anything for the "good" piece of that equation. With the war adding to the general insecurity that many feel, the job market isn't a real pleasure to be a part of right now. As a biotechnology headhunter, I've staffed young companies and helped them manage the development of new medicines. Now these same firms are in need of a fix themselves, a

How I Got This Job

The Rewards of Respect
The Rewards of Respect
Courtesy of David MacLennan Early indications: I became interested in the genetics of cereal grains when I was 11 years old. My father was a registered seed grower in Manitoba and I was able to compare varieties that were rust-susceptible and rust-resistant. That interest led me into research in the Rust Research Laboratory of Agriculture Canada in Winnipeg when I was a second-year undergraduate student. I expected to work in a very practical area of applied research when I started out. I soon

Closing Bell

Science Goes Madison Avenue
Science Goes Madison Avenue
Given the daily onslaught of advice--sagacious and otherwise--on seemingly every topic delivered by anyone within earshot of a soapbox, it's pleasant to consider what societies might be like if lateral thinkers, such as scientists, led the way. What if even just a few prominent voices, clearly heard above the ruckus of opinion-giving and decision-making, were more idealistic than pragmatic, pensive rather than reactive, and beholden to no special interests but life and peace? Okay, that isn't