Editorial

How to Fix Drug Ads
How to Fix Drug Ads
If you've ever had doubts about the power of advertising, take a look at a recent study appearing in the Journal of American Medical Association.1 Richard Kravitz, from the University of California, Davis, and colleagues found that when "standardized patient" actors portraying depression visited doctors and asked for Paxil, 27% of them walked out with a prescription for the drug, compared to just 3% of patients who described the same symptoms but did not ask for Paxil. That finding should be con

About Us

Meet This Issue's Contributors
Meet This Issue's Contributors
was in graduate school when he was bitten by the programming bug.

Letter

Fungi at security
Fungi at security
I certainly agree that efforts should be made to minimize fungal contamination at security checkpoints.
In defense of Ni-NTA
In defense of Ni-NTA
I feel obliged to clear up any possible misunderstandings and allay the concerns of protein researchers currently using or planning to use Ni-NTA for purification of His-tagged proteins.
No sociology please, we're scientists
No sociology please, we're scientists
please, spare us the sociological/political nonsense.
Open-source biotech
Open-source biotech
while it is true that a number of patents are involved in the technology necessary for the creation of Golden Rice, there is a general public perception that intellectual property (IP) issues have been a main reason for the delay in the introduction of Golden Rice to countries that badly need this technology.

Opinion

Prohibiting Conflicts of Interest at the NIH
Prohibiting Conflicts of Interest at the NIH
As scientists at the National Institutes of Health, we share the belief of director Elias Zerhouni and others, including Congress and the US public, that any financial conflict of interest at the agency is unacceptable and should be absolutely prohibited by regulations.

Notebook

Evolution meets Judaism
Evolution meets Judaism
It's been hard to miss the recent antagonism between elements in the religious and scientific communities over issues such as evolution and the ethics of embryonic stem cell research.
The most important thing in science is ...
The most important thing in science is ...
If you could teach the world one thing about science, what would it be?
A scientific EU-US love-fest
A scientific EU-US love-fest
A touch of acrimony is infused into many diplomatic relationships between the United States and European nations.

Feature

Neurophysiology: Dust Clearing on the Long-Term Potentiation Debate
Neurophysiology: Dust Clearing on the Long-Term Potentiation Debate
Three decades and 6,000 papers since the term was first coined, scientists are still debating the mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP).1 Defined in 1973 as an increase in synaptic strength following experimentally induced high-frequency stimulation,2 LTP has been consistently controversial. Now at last, "There is a consensus beginning to emerge," says Columbia University Nobel laureate, Eric Kandel, as years of research have begun to make sense of what once seemed irreconcilable contradict
The Patch Clamp Goes Planar
The Patch Clamp Goes Planar
The story goes like this: At a 1976 Biophysical Society meeting, Erwin Neher presented the technique that would win a Nobel Prize for him and Bert Sakmann.

Research

Turning Back the Tuberculosis Tide
Turning Back the Tuberculosis Tide
An ancient scourge, tuberculosis has made a comeback in recent years.

Hot Paper

Hot on Tolerance's Trail
Hot on Tolerance's Trail
Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn disease seem clinically diverse, but they arise from acommon problem: poor discrimination between self and nonself.

Briefs

Signs of selection in genes
Signs of selection in genes
In the estimated 5 million years since humans and chimpanzees began diverging, they've acquired major anatomical and cognitive differences.
Interdisciplinary Research
Interdisciplinary Research
These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature awareness tool http://www.facultyof1000.com.S.G. Tringe et al., "Comparative metagenomics of microbial communities," Science, 308:554–7, April 22, 2005.This important paper provides the first comparative analysis of both phylogenetic and functional diversity of entire microbial communities. The communities considered include those associated with farm soils, deep-sea whale carcasses, the S
Planarians enter the genomic era
Planarians enter the genomic era
© 2005 Center for Development BiologyResearchers at the University of Utah are among the first to use large-scale genetics to study the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which contains a genome thought to contain insight into adult stem cell pluripotency and tissue regeneration.1Because the organism does not reproduce sexually, it cannot be studied using traditional genetic techniques. But by using bacterial-fed RNA interference against 1065 planarian genes, the study "effectively makes an

Technology

Microfluidics Meets its Market
Microfluidics Meets its Market
It's been a busy year for the microfluidics industry.

Vision

What's Next for Bioinformatics?
What's Next for Bioinformatics?
I slipped into bioinformatics through the back door.

Tools and Technology

Self-help for in vivo Imaging
Self-help for in vivo Imaging
Visualizing gene expression in living animals, at high spatial resolution and in real time, has been a long-held goal in molecular research.
Sound and Vision
Sound and Vision
The same technology that reveals to expectant parents the sex of their developing fetus is now being used for noninvasive, real-time imaging of small, live animals such as mice, rats, chick embryos, and zebrafish.
Advancing SPR
Advancing SPR
Since their introduction as a life science tool 15 years ago, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) systems have offered highly sensitive, label-free, real-time detection of molecular interactions.

BioBusiness

Patient Empowerment or Pandora's Box?
Patient Empowerment or Pandora's Box?
Johnson began airing new ads for its birth control patch, and viewers may have noticed that the message was significantly more sobering than in past ads.
When the Protesters Are Shareholders
When the Protesters Are Shareholders
Johnson, Amgen, Schering-Plough, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Abbott in an attempt to get the firms to stop using five common animal tests.
Intellectual Property and the Challenge of China
Intellectual Property and the Challenge of China
In July 2004, 12 drug manufacturers in China successfully challenged Pfizer's Viagra patent, in effect gaining the ability to make sildenafil citrate-containing drugs with impunity.
Sweetening the Pot for Scientists
Sweetening the Pot for Scientists
Zhang Zhihong, a biophysicist at Fudan University in China, receives millions in grants from China's state-run science institutions for his research into the biochemistry of cell membranes and type 2 diabetes.

Update

Suit filed against German GM law
Suit filed against German GM law
One of Germany's 16 states, Sachsen-Anhalt, filed a lawsuit in April against a national regulation governing genetically modified (GM) crops.
Supreme Court case may affect research tool makers
Supreme Court case may affect research tool makers
A US Supreme Court case is dividing the life sciences industry, essentially pitting drug developers against the research tool industry.

Closing Bell

Banking on Biology
Banking on Biology
If you were a small business owner looking for a loan, you'd expect financial and perhaps accounting advice from your banker.