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Science For Sale: Ecologists Call Colleagues 'Biostitutes'
Science For Sale: Ecologists Call Colleagues 'Biostitutes'
Erik Kiviat knows where the endangered Blanding’s turtle lives—and that has made him a popular man in Dutchess County, N.Y On the one hand, environmental groups opposed to a local housing development have offered to pay Kiviat, who is an environmental consultant, to say that the creature is threatened by the project, even though they know perfectly well that no turtles live in the area. On the other hand, the developers have suggested to Kiviat that if he somehow were to find a turt
Random Audits Of Raw Data?
Random Audits Of Raw Data?
WASHINGTON—Drummond Rennie is a self-professed “fraudy”— his term for members of the coterie of journal editors, university administrators, science lobbyists, and government officials who are called on to affer testimony, give lectures, and attend meetings on science fraud. But that doesn’t mean that Rennie, deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, enjoys the title. In fact, he doesn’t think that fraud is very common within the resear
Europeans Forge Science Common Market
Europeans Forge Science Common Market
For Europe, a new and eagerly anticipated era begins in 1992. That’s the year in which the 12 nations of the European Economic Community (EEC) will abolish the last of the internal trade barriers that have made Europe an economic and technological hodge-podge ever since the EEC was created in 1957. Among other benefits, 1992 will harmonize the standards, specifications, and regulations that have governed virtually every European product or service—from new pharmaceuticals to life-
Protests I: Citizens Hamper Science Progress At Universities
Protests I: Citizens Hamper Science Progress At Universities
When she came to the University of California, San Francisco, last year, Nina Agabian foresaw a bright future for herself and her lab. A professor of pharmaceutical chemistry with a joint appointment at UC-Berkeley, Agabian headed one of the nation’s leading groups investigating the molecular biology of parasites. And UCSF had promised her a spanking new laboratory in a recently purchased building for her work on vaccines against malaria, schistosomiasis, and other deadly diseases. But
Protests II: Astronomers Versus The Red Squirrel
Protests II: Astronomers Versus The Red Squirrel
The University of Arizona thought it had a perfect plan to pull astronomy in the United States out of its doldrums. In a single bold stroke the university would end the nation’s serious shortage of telescopes (The Scientist, August 8, 1988, page 1)—and establish itself as one of the leading observatories—by building the world’s largest instrument and six other scopes on the 10,000-foot peak of southeastern Arizona’s Mt. Graham. The university dubbed the plan the Co
EUROPE GAMBLES ON HIGH TECH
EUROPE GAMBLES ON HIGH TECH
In increasing numbers, European financiers are shrugging off their traditional conservatism and discovering the definition of venture capital that their U.S. cousins have always embraced taking a chance on an unproven idea or technology. To be sure, the spirit of risk taking varies from country to country—the U.K. is much more daring than West Germany, for example. But according to accounting firm Peat Marwick McLintock, last year—for the first time ever—there was more venture
Is ES2 Leading A New Wave Of European Startup Companies?
Is ES2 Leading A New Wave Of European Startup Companies?
LONDON—Picture a young company, incorporated in Luxembourg and headquartered in Munich, that conducts research in Britain, France, and West Germany, manufactures its high-tech product in France, has offices in six European countries, and owns a subsidiary in San Jose, Calif. Corporate Europe after 1992? sure but for at least one European startup, it’s a reality of today. European Silicon Structures (ES2) is one of the first pan-European companies: a company without a country. Or, p
Oceanographers Who Brave The Frigid Antarctic Winter
Oceanographers Who Brave The Frigid Antarctic Winter
In 1914, an ambitious trans-antarctic expedition was organized by scientist/explorer Ernest Henry Shackleton. But during the middle of winter, his ship, the Endurance, was caught and crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea. It wasn’t until 1988 that another ship ventured into that part of the ocean during the antarctic winter, this time with the goal of studying the delicate and complex food web of the region’s ice-edge zone, where the frozen and open ocean meet. Thoughts of Sh

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
Getting Nobel Fever All Over Again A quarter-century ago, three Brookhaven National Lab physicists discovered the muon-neutrino, for which they were awarded this year’s Nobel Prize. Today plans are afoot to bring new glory to the aging accelerator that was the site of their research. The Department of Energy wants to use the 28-year-old machine, known as the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, as an injector for a much larger proposed accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ̶
Government Briefs
Government Briefs
Baseball 1, Science 0 World Series hero Orel Hershiser has pitched another shutout—this time against U.S. science and math teachers. Last month President Reagan passed up a ceremony honoring 104 of the nation’s top junior and senior high school science and math teachers, even though the White House began the program in 1983 to demonstrate its commitment to improving science education in the U.S. His excuse? The Los Angeles Dodgers were coming to town—at his invitation—a
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
We Want To Be Your Neighbor Cold Spring Harbor Lab was once the ‘best-kept secret” on Long Island, says Susan Cooper, director of public relations. But no longer. The lab is now mailing free copies of its quarterly newsletter, Harbor Transcript, to every household in the immediate vicinity, some 2,500 in all. In addition, the institute hosted 750 neighbors at the dedication of its new exhibit on modern biology, the DNA Learning Center, in September. Why the community relations effo
University Briefs
University Briefs
Space Center Citizenship Rule Relaxed When NASA solicits the next round of proposals for its university space engineering centers it is ‘highly likely” that the space agency will drop the requirement that faculty who receive direct funding from the program must be U.S. citizens, says Steven Hartman, a NASA program manager for university programs. This decision comes after the Association of American Universities and 11 individual universities complained that the citizenship require
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
New Canadian Patent Law Promotes R&D It looks like a change in Canadian patent law is achieving its goal increased R&D spending by pharmaceutical firms. Last November, the government decreed that the makers of generic drugs could no longer copy new drugs as soon as the pharmaceuticals hit the market, but instead must wait 10 years. In return for this guarantee of increased revenues, drug firms promised to double their R&D spending over the next decade. And last month the Canadian government go
Entrepreneur Briefs
Entrepreneur Briefs
The record-breaking heat of this past summer—a burden for everyone from city dwelling commuter to heartland farmer—was a boon to Lansing, Mich.-based Neogen Corp., an agricultural biotechnology firm. The scorching temperatures caused mold that produced a marked increase in aflatoxin, a carcinogen, in Midwest grain crops. Enter Neogen. The tiny company, which will see its first profit this year and has a full-time staff of 11 scientists, invented just two years ago an enzyme immunoas
Association Briefs
Association Briefs
Biotech Association To Aid Patent Office Frustrated with the Patent and Trademark Office’s multi-year delay in issuing biotechnology patents (see “Biotech Patent Bottleneck Harms Makers Of Better Mousetraps,” The Scientist, September 5, 1988, page 2), the Industrial Biotechnology Association has offered to help train patent examiners. ‘We decided not just to complain [about the backlog], but to do something about it,” IBA president Richard 0. Godown said October 2
Science Grants
Science Grants
Onchocerciasis. $99,000 from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New York, to Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, to develop a vaccine. Hearing research. Three grants each of $13,500 each under the Otological Research Fellowship Program of the Deafness Research Foundation: University of California, Davis, K. Adachi University of Michigan, M. T. Tsai; University of Washington, P. S. Bobrer Vision research. From Gannett Foundation: $40,000 and $31,390 to Baylor College of Medicine for genetic
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
The Freestone, Calif.-based C.S. Fund (the initials stand for “charitable source”) rejected about 570 proposals last year in the process of selecting recipients of $1.5 million in grants. And, out of the kindness of its institutional heart, it has some advice to offer scientists who are thinking about submitting proposais for the coming year’s round of awards. First of all, says the foundation’s executive director, Marty Teitel, applicants should take the time to learn w
Tools Briefs
Tools Briefs
Sensing Chemicals In People, Food Until now, sensors for salicylates—the active pain-killing ingredient in aspirin—and sulfites, which are commonly found in preserved foods, certain beverages, and even acid rain, have not been available. But using established electrochemical membrane-sensing technology, University of Michigan chemist Mark Meyerhoff has developed two polymeric-membrane electrodes that he says have potential for monitoring aspirin toxicity in patients taking large am

Opinion

When East Meets West: Lessons From Running A Lab Filled With Foreigners
When East Meets West: Lessons From Running A Lab Filled With Foreigners
As a rare Westerner strolling recently among Shanghai’s 12 million Chinese, I nearly caused spectacular bicycle pile-ups. Riders risked life and limb to snap their heads in my direction, underlining my novel role as a minority person. Yet when I returned to my research laboratory at Emory University in Atlanta, it seemed that little had changed. True, there were no potential bike catastrophes. But my research group of eight contains just three United States citizens. The rest are from C
A Decline In Mathematics Threatens Science--And The U.S.
A Decline In Mathematics Threatens Science--And The U.S.
A Decline In Mathematics Threatens Science—And The U.S. Earlier this year, an article in the New York Times magazine discussed the work of Yale historian Paul Kennedy, who believes that the United States is in decline. In part, the article said: “Beginning in the 1960’s, Kennedy and his colleagues explain, when Japan and West Germany were busy rebuilding their heavy industries, encouraging private savings and cultivat- ing public education around mathematics and the sciences,
Life With Selfish Genes: The Evolution Of Richard Dawkins
Life With Selfish Genes: The Evolution Of Richard Dawkins
On the other hand, Dawkins’ forays into the popularization of evolutionary processes also made the zoologist the target of creationists and even a few biologists. In particular, his critics argue that if the gene is indeed “selfish”—that is, more important than the individual or the group in determining patterns of evolution—then what happens to such cherished driving forces as “the good of the species”? In addition, Dawkins’s insistence on the

Letter

More Abuse
More Abuse
It is extremely difficult for a foreign scientist to obtain tenure-track positions. I know at least 50 so-called foreign scientists who have been in this country for more than 10 years and none of them have a tenure-track position. Many of them (including myself) has written grants independently but were required to put someone s name as a principal investigator in order to continue the employment. Almost all of these scientists have excellent track records. I have published several papers (
Einstein's Human Side
Einstein's Human Side
I think your readers will be interested in a story that illustrates the humanitarian side of Albert Einstein. In 1937,1 was an 11-year-old boy living in Nazi Germany. My father had emigrated to the United States two years earlier, and my mother and brother followed in 1936. But I was left behind because the U.S. consulate in Germany had denied me a visa, claiming that I suffered from tuberculosis. Since German physicians assured us that I did not have and never did have the disease, my family s

Commentary

A Curious Character, A True Genius: Richard Feynman
A Curious Character, A True Genius: Richard Feynman
What makes for genius in science? One day we may be able to link it to particularly advantageous patterns of neurons and axons in specific locations of the brain. But even if that day should come, I suspect that a genius for science will always defy our attempts to describe it fully. It’s much easier to acknowledge an example, like that of the late Richard Feynman. Just as the physics community was beginning to get used to a world without the vibrant presence of Feynman, who passed away

Research

Pursuing Growth Factors For Speedier Wound Healing
Pursuing Growth Factors For Speedier Wound Healing
The fundamental role of polypeptide growth factors in stimulating the proliferation of cells and in regulating cell growth (both positively and negatively) has been increasingly appreciated in the last several years (see The Scientist, October 31, page 13). The first growth factor to be discovered—nerve growth factor, in 1951—was initially thought to be an isolated phenomenon. But over the last decade, several other growth factors have been characterized. The study of growth factors
From Discovery To Recognition: Two Roads To A Nobel
From Discovery To Recognition: Two Roads To A Nobel
The number of years that a physicist or chemist waits between the completion of breakthrough research and recognition for that work by the Nobel Committee has been averaging about a dozen years since 1945. This year’s physics prize, however, was awarded for an experiment performed some 26 years ago, while the chemistry prize came for discoveries attained rather recently—between 1982 and 1985. The physics prize was jointly awarded to three Americans: Leon M. Lederman, 66, Fermi N
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
LIFE SCIENCES WILLIAM F. LOOMISIS Department of Biology University of California, SAN Diego La Jolla, Calif. " The gene coding for the chemoattractant receptor of Diet Dictyostellium amoebae has been isolated, characterized, and inactivated by antisense RNA The predicted protein product is similar to adrenergic and acetylcholine receptors as well as bovine rhodopsin suggesting that G protein-linked receptors evolved from a common progenitor before the appearance of metazoans. P.S. Klein, L
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
CHEMISTRY BY RON MAGOLDA Medical Products Department E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Wilmington, Del. " Strategies to control H1V-1 replication are being intensively investigated. A promising approach has been described using oligonucleoside phosphoramidates and phosphorothioates as antivitral agents. S. Argawal, J. Goodchild, M.P. Civeira, A.H. Thornton, P.S. Sam, P.C. Zamecnik, "Oligonucleoside phosphoramidates and phosphorothiostes as inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus," Proceeding
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCES BY BRUCE G. BUCHANANBR> Department of Computer Science University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. " Are computer-based text editors more efficient for reading and writing than conventional paper documents? Many factors influence the answer, seven of which were reported in a recent study. Advanced workstations offer enough advantages over personal computers, partly because there is more flexibilty in the user interface. Neither is superior to paper for reading (or proofre
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PHYSICS FRANK A. WILCZEK Institute for Theoretical Physics University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif. " A fundamental issue in high-energy physics, with important implications for cosmology, is the nature and origin of violations of microscopic time reversal symmetry. Until now, such violations have only been observed in accelerator experiments, and indeed only in a very special class of experiments involving neutral K mesons. However, there are ingenious ideas for new kin
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PLANT AND ANIMAL SCIENCES PETER D. MOORE Department of Biology Kings College London, U.K. " Few birds have been of greater economic importance to humanity than the chicken, yet there is still disagreement about its origin and the geographic pattern of its domestication and spread. New evidence suggests that it was first domesticated in southeast Asia and taken into China about 8,000 years ago, whence it spread to India and Europe. B. West, B.-X. Zhou, "Did chickens go north? New evidence fo
Among Leading Medical Journals, It's NEJM That Sets The Citation Pace
Among Leading Medical Journals, It's NEJM That Sets The Citation Pace
Among the numerous medical journals published worldwide, it is The New England Journal of Medicine that can lay claim to having the greatest impact, at least in terms of citations. The annual impact factors for The New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The British Medical Journal and thousands of other medical and scientific journals are calculated each year by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
P. Angel, EA. Allegretto, S.T. Okino, K. Hattori, et al., “Oncogene Jun encodes a sequence-specific transactivator similar to AP-1,” Nature, 332 (6160), 166-71, 10 March 1988. V. Giguere, E.S. Ong, R. Segui, R.M. Evans, “Identification of a receptor for the morphogen retinoic acid,” Nature, 330 (6149), 624-9, 17 Dec. 1987. H. Gronemeyer, M.T. Bocquel, B. Turcotte, C. Quirin-Stricker, et al., “The chicken progesterone receptor Sequence, expression, and functional

Profession

EPSCoR: Turning Underfunded States Into Science Winners
EPSCoR: Turning Underfunded States Into Science Winners
Ecologist Arthur Brown at the University of Arkansas, Fayette-vile, longed to do field research in the cold, fast streams of the surrounding Ozark countryside. But his school couldn’t afford the equipment; a heavy teaching load tied him to the campus; and the university didn’t seem to care all that much about research anyway when it came to promoting its faculty members. Then came a special NSF program called EPSCoR, thanks to which Brown suddenly had both a mobile laboratory and
McDonnell: Out Shopping For Neuroscience Bargains
McDonnell: Out Shopping For Neuroscience Bargains
During the past several years, the James S. McDormell Foundation’s support of scientific research has grown significantly—and so has its determination to spend its grant money where it will create the greatest possible impact on scientific research. The foundation’s recent thrust into the realm of cognitive neuroscience dramatically shows the new attitude that, if it’s going to be a bigger spender, it must also be, so to speak, a better shopper. Launched in 1950 on t
Golden State Gets Biggest Slice Of Federal Funding Pie
Golden State Gets Biggest Slice Of Federal Funding Pie
Considering California’s lavish status as a recipient of federal science funding, its nickname—the Golden State—is especially appropriate. As most people in the science community are by now well aware, it is the king of the 50 states as far as getting research money from the Department of Defense’s University Research Initiative is concerned; that fact has been well publicized during the last two years, thanks to a congressional effort to limit California’s share o
Geophysics Breakthrough Credited 'Entirely' To CD-ROM
Geophysics Breakthrough Credited 'Entirely' To CD-ROM
Just one week after receiving a compact disk containing a definitive database of worldwide geomagnetic and solar activity readings, a project team led by UCLA geo- arid space-physics professor Robert L. McPherron recently made an important find. They discovered a previously unreported correlation between magnetic field variations at the geomagnetic pole and the strength of the ring current produced by drifting particles in the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts. This information will all

Technology

New Spectrometers: A Panacea For Elemental Analysis?
New Spectrometers: A Panacea For Elemental Analysis?
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS), identified by The Scientist as one of the ‘hottest’ fields of science in 1987 (June 13, 1988, page 20), is offering chemists unrivaled capabilities for determining elemental sample constituents. Conceived of less than 10 years ago, ICP/MS promises to increase the use of trace element chemistry in fields as diverse as geochronology and geochemistry, human metabolism and nutrition, pollutant speciation and transport, and even nu

New Products

Advances In Antibody Development Benefit Bio Research
Advances In Antibody Development Benefit Bio Research
In the not-too-distant past, scientists in biological research found themselves burdened with the time-consuming tasks of developing, purifying, and characterizing the antibodies they worked with in the lab. But today monoclonal antibody technology has eased this burden by facilitating the production and enhancing the quality of antibodies currently in use. Development of the advanced technology is especially welcome, since during the last decade the use of antibodies as a tool in basic and
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