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Contributors
Contributors
Contributors GlaxoSmithKline's chief strategist of research and development Yvonne Greenstreet decided to become a doctor at age seven, after watching a physician make the rounds in her native Ghana. She moved to the "cold, somewhat drearier stiff upper lip environment" of England for boarding school and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, but soon became frustrated with the UK health care system. After earning an MBA in France, she moved to Glax
Citation Violations
Citation Violations
Citation Violations Scientists are guilty of bibliographic negligence. Here's how to police the pages of journals. By Richard Gallagher The age-old problem of attribution in science—in other words, the practice of citation—has resurfaced with a vengeance in a couple of recent fracases. What's new about these cases is that they're being played out online in full gory detail and in real time. For the first time, large sections of the co
Mail
Mail
Mail Worst Places to Work? Re: Best Places to Work: Postdocs,1 maybe it would be good to have an article pointing out the reasons some institutes did not rate highly in the survey. I don't think the institutions should be named but being able to compare the good with the bad would be a good tool for students and postdocs, to get an idea of what to watch out for when applying for jobs. Claire Seymour Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Darwin, ha ha
Darwin, ha ha
Darwin, ha ha By Graeme Stemp-Morlock "Charlie's Angels": students pose with a Darwin figure. Courtesy of Colin Purrington The evolution of every living organism on the planet—with all its social, religious, and scientific ramifications—might not seem like a laughing matter. But to many scientists, it is. One scientist who has given evolution something to sing about is Richard Milner. The author of "Darwin's Universe: Evolution
Molecular makeover
Molecular makeover
Molecular makeover By Tia Ghose Illustration of Lodamin 3-D structure When postdoc Don Ingber noticed strange fuzz contaminating one of his endothelial cell cultures in 1985, his first instinct was to hide it from his advisor, Judah Folkman. Ingber was studying the role of blood vessel cell shape in growth and survival at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital in Boston, Mass. He noticed that cells under the fungus died, while those a
Pharma on Facebook?
Pharma on Facebook?
Pharma on Facebook? By Kerry Grens Within ten minutes after placing a phone call to say I was attending a Philadelphia conference for pharmaceutical marketing professionals who want to jump on the social media bandwagon, an electronic version of the childhood game "telephone" was in full swing. Bloggers at the conference posted notes online that a reporter was on her way; word got to people who were attending the conference via Twitter; and as I picke
Apparently APP
Apparently APP
Apparently APP By Elie Dolgin Axons lose surface APP in the absence of trophic factors. Images Courtesy of A. Nikolaev and M. Tessier-Lavigne Ten years ago, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a neurobiologist then at the University of California, San Francisco, saw an image he's never forgotten. His postdoc Zhigang He (now at Harvard) showed him a picture of stained mouse embryos indicating that the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP), a known "bad acto
Sea Robocop
Sea Robocop
Sea Robocop By Daniel Grushkin Kilroy at work Courtesy of Bryan Garner / WPTV Something strange has been happening in the marine grasses that shelter over 4000 kinds of species in the Indian River Lagoon, located on the east coast of Florida. Dolphins have developed crusts of fungus on their fins (60 died this past year). Turtles have sprouted tumors, and blooms of dinoflagellates—called red tides—have cropped up, turning the w
Teaching Peer Review
Teaching Peer Review
Teaching Peer Review It helps school students distinguish between what is opinion and what is scientific. By Ellen Raphael © Pali Rao The Internet makes it difficult to assess the information sources that school students use. Web pages covering a wide range of subjects—from unproven stem-cell treatments, to creationism, to the predictions about the CERN super-collider precipitating the end of the world via a black hole—mean
Heroes and Villains
Heroes and Villains
Heroes and Villains Why we sometimes need scientists to publicly misbehave. By Steven Wiley These public instances of misbehavior give us a chance to reinforce our shared sense of morality. It's nice to see all of the recent positive press coverage on Charles Darwin. It is refreshing because it often seems that the scientific press is more interested in publicizing the bad behavior of scientists rather than our accomplishments. In part, I
Change Broker
Change Broker
Change Broker GlaxoSmithKline is overhauling the drug discovery and development process, one more time. The crucial difference: putting big decisions in the hands of our scientists. By Yvonne Greenstreet T. Walenta lenty has been said about the problems of the pharmaceutical industry and the need to reinvigorate the model. But how do you go about it? What changes can be made that will have notable improvement without risking the cor
Now Showing: RNA Activation
Now Showing: RNA Activation
Now Showing: RNA Activation RNA is supposed to silence genes, not boost gene expression. So why are scientists seeing just that? By Elie Dolgin Modified from original photo. © 2009, The Ann Arbor News. All Rights Reserved. reprinted with permission. fter getting the data back from the very first experiment at her new job, Rosalyn Ram, a lab technician at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, wa
LOV story
LOV story
LOV story Even nonphotosynthetic bacteria respond to light in surprising ways. Have scientists found a new ubiquitous signaling mechanism? By Alla Katsnelson Original image: © Yves Brun / artistically modified by The Scientist aulobacter crescentus isn't much to look at. When you peek through a microscope at 630-times magnification, the freshwater bacteria appear as a swarm of little gray, kidney-shaped creatures fli
Bright Ideas
Bright Ideas
Bright Ideas Keith Moffat used his background in physics to tinker with tools that light up molecules in motion. By Karen Hopkin © Matthew Gilson As an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh in the early 1960s, Keith Moffat studied physics. "Physics, physics, and more physics," he says. But when it came time to graduate, Moffat was looking to expand his horizons. Bill Cochran, a new professor who'd just arrived from Cambridge, s
Charting the Human Metabolome
Charting the Human Metabolome
Charting the Human Metabolome The success of a database of metabolites has whetted researchers' appetites for more. By Megan Scudellari Courtesy of The Human Metabolome Project After researchers coined the term "metabolomics" in 1998, it appeared in only one or two papers per year. But bolstered by decades of research in analytical chemistry, the field—which focuses on the complete set of small molecule metabolites in a cell, tissue
Chromosomal complications
Chromosomal complications
Chromosomal complications By Tia Ghose Courtesy of Beth A. Weaver The paper: B.A. Weaver et al., "Aneuploidy acts both oncogenically and as a tumor suppressor," Cancer Cell, 11:25–36. (Cited in 70 papers) The finding: Beth Ann Weaver, a cell biologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, showed that mice with lower levels of centromere protein E (CENP-E), a motor protein that sorts chromosomes during mitosis, had higher r
Quantifying quaduplexes
Quantifying quaduplexes
Quantifying quadruplexes By Tia Ghose Courtesy of Julian Huppert The paper: J.L. Huppert and S. Balasubramanian, "G-quadruplexes in promoters throughout the human genome," Nucleic Acids Res, 35:406–13. (Cited in 56 papers) The finding: University of Cambridge computational biologists Julian Huppert and Shankar Balasubramanian scanned the human genome in search of the telltale sequences of guanine-rich, four-stranded structures tha
Relocating immune receptors
Relocating immune receptors
Relocating immune receptors By Edyta Zielinska Daniel Schwen / commons.wikimedia.org The paper: Q.H. Shen et al., "Nuclear activity of MLA immune receptors links isolate-specific and basal disease–resistance responses," Science, 315:1098–1103, 2007. (Cited in 76 papers) The finding: After staining the nuclei of barley cells, Paul Schulze-Lefert and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologn
Dennis Wall: From moss to autism
Dennis Wall: From moss to autism
Dennis Wall: From moss to autism By Kelly Rae Chi © 2009 Leah Fasten In 1996 a few hundred plant scientists gathered in Baton Rouge, La., for an annual phylogenetics meeting. Biology undergraduate Dennis Wall rushed into a lecture hall to meet Brent Mishler, a University of California, Berkeley, integrative biologist, who was considering taking on Wall as a doctoral student. But when Wall, late and disheveled, tried to climb over a row of
Sequencing On Target
Sequencing On Target
By Jeffrey M. Perkel Sequencing On Target Techniques for pulling out and sequencing selected areas of the genome It's time for a genomics reality check. Despite the constant, glowing coverage of speedy, low-cost next-generation DNA sequencing, whole-genome analysis, and consumer genomics, researchers still have no idea what the vast majority of human genomic DNA does, nor the functional consequence of variations in those sequences. Thus, few researchers
When Universities Unite
When Universities Unite
When Universities Unite European academic institutions are banding together to help commercialize discoveries. But in such a high-stakes game, can all players get along? By Bob Grant © Matt Foster French biochemist Charles Pineau was an expert in proteomics at the turn of the 21st century, when the field was in its infancy. The University of Rennes 1 researcher "knew some technical tricks about proteomics," but lacked the tools to t
The Women That Stay
The Women That Stay
The Women That Stay Thinking about leaving science? Here are programs that helped keep women in research careers in the United States and abroad. By Elie Dolgin © Images.com / Corbis In February 1999, evolutionary biologist Ashleigh Griffin defended her PhD thesis at the University of Edinburgh. Then, one month later, she gave birth. For the next three years, she stayed home caring for her daughter while writing up her
Hints of a Helix, circa 1947
Hints of a Helix, circa 1947
Hints of a Helix, circa 1947 By Elie Dolgin Nondegraded DNA from calf thymus. Appearing by Permission of the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford. MHS inv. 37391 Nearly four decades after biochemist Phoebus Levene first postulated his "tetranucleotide hypothesis" in 1910, most scientists still believed that DNA was made up of equal numbers of the four nucleotide bases in a repeating tetrameric structure, with ea