November 1997

News

Women Make Their Mark As Top Executives In Biotech Industry
Women Make Their Mark As Top Executives In Biotech Industry
Being a company president-a job that entails handling day-to- day operations-or a chief executive officer (CEO)-who manages all aspects of a business-involves a unique combination of managerial skills. These roles are especially challenging for women, who are rare at corporate helms, particularly in the two-decade-old biotechnology industry. As biotech matures, the percentage of women at the top is growing. "Biotech is a relatively young industry. People are still working their way up. But we a
Policies To Stop Tenure Clock Support Family Life
Policies To Stop Tenure Clock Support Family Life
Policies permitting untenured women faculty to "stop the tenure clock," especially when they bear children, appear to be gaining ground at United States universities. Such clock- stopping allows women to step off the tenure track for an extended time, theoretically without penalty. However, the practical effects on career advancement of this relatively recent practice remain to be examined. "There has been debate, to be frank, about whether these policies can earmark you," acknowledges Catherin
Female Leaders Of Science Report Cracks In Glass Ceiling
Female Leaders Of Science Report Cracks In Glass Ceiling
More women are attaining policymaking positions, but the pipeline issue and significant barriers to advancement remain Women are becoming increasingly visible at leadership levels in science. M.R.C. Greenwood, the former associate director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, likes to point out that in recent years women have headed the two most important Cabinet departments related to science-the departments of Energy and Health and Human Services. Additionally, she notes, women h
Foundations Addressing Gender Gap In Science
Foundations Addressing Gender Gap In Science
Grade-school girls ask fewer questions of their science teachers than their boy classmates do. Young women in high school tend to favor social acceptability over scientific proficiency-even though they have the ability for both. Undergraduate women question whether they can balance a career in science with a family. Female graduate students in the hard sciences consider themselves fortunate if they have one woman in their department to serve as a role model or mentor. And postgraduate women sci
Federal Science Funding Barely Keeps Pace With Inflation
Federal Science Funding Barely Keeps Pace With Inflation
Researchers fearing that the agreement between Congress and President Clinton to balance the federal budget by 2002 would decimate science funding can rest a little easier. Each of the eight major federal departments funding research will at least keep pace with or slightly exceed the 2.6 percent inflation rate in FY1998-with the exception of the Department of Agriculture, which will receive 2 percent less research funding in real dollars. As expected, Congress met or exceeded the president's b

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"The environment people only worry about endangered species, not endangered individuals."

Opinion

The Future Is Today: Leverage Through Strategic Alliances
The Future Is Today: Leverage Through Strategic Alliances
I am of the first generation of American women scientists who dared to say out loud, "I want to soar"-that is, professionally. As a few of us clawed our way up the steep and slippery slopes, we also showed the audacity and determination not to forgo the rewards and pleasures of family and personal lives. I am so proud of us. By any standards we have done well. But it is still lonely at the top. The climate is rather chilly, and many of us are hovering rather than taking off. We would like to ha

Commentary

Women For Science For Women
Women For Science For Women
Connecting women to science is a strong catalyst to increasing support for women and science, intellectually and financially, and to encouraging more women and girls to have an interest in science. As an advocate for women in science and science for women, I am constantly thinking of ways to motivate other women to be involved in this endeavor, but I have learned one person cannot do it alone. In order to have women take ownership of science, we must all join forces, and understand and use the

Letter

Evolution Or 'Evolution'
Evolution Or 'Evolution'
I am a columnist from Sing Tao Daily, a Chinese newspaper published in Vancouver, Canada. I spent more than a year arguing against creationism in the newspaper. Recently I read Robert Moss's article, titled "The Problem With Evolution: Where Have We Gone Wrong?" (The Scientist, Oct. 13, 1997, page 7). I want to offer some comments about it. In my opinion, the article should be renamed as "The Problem With The Word 'Evolution': How Shall We Deal With The Terminology?" In other words, a meta-lin
Robert Moss Responds
Robert Moss Responds
Leung takes issue with my title and a few minor points of my article, which I'd like to address. I have little response to the comment on the title. I guess I hadn't realized that things had deteriorated so far that we'd have to worry about how the creationists use the title of an article without reading the article itself! The article wasn't written with a "creationist" audience in mind, but one of scientists and educators. I suppose I should have titled it "The Problem With Teaching Evolution
Evolution
Evolution
I read with interest the article by Robert Moss ("The Problem With Evolution: Where Did We Go Wrong?", The Scientist, Oct. 13, 1997, page 7). I am in complete agreement with his point that there should be clear distinction between evolution and the origin of life. The term "evolution" derives from "evolve," which implies nothing about "origin." I would like to present an example of evolution that does occur in a very short period, namely the development of bacterial resistance to modern-day ant

Research

New Technology Weighs In On Mammography Debate
New Technology Weighs In On Mammography Debate
Despite proven success in reducing breast cancer mortality, mammography remains one of the most controversial techniques of cancer screening. The recommendation that women aged 50 and older have regular mammograms is universally accepted. But the question over whether women aged 40-49 years should receive regular screenings has sharply divided the medical community. MAMMOGRAPHIC PLOT: Jack Sklansky has developed a method of graphically representing a mammogram, which could improve accuracy. E

Hot Paper

Neuroscience
Neuroscience
Edited by: Steve Bunk M. Ankarcrona, J.M. Dypbukt, E. Bonfoco, B. Zhivotovsky, S. Orrenius, S.A. Lipton, P. Nicotera, "Glutamate-induced neuronal death: A succession of necrosis or apoptosis depending on mitochondrial function," Neuron, 15:961-73, 1995. (Cited in 120 papers through October 1997) Comments by Stuart A. Lipton, Cerebrovascular and NeuroScience Research Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School; and Pierluigi Nicotera, Molecular To
Infectious Disease
Infectious Disease
Edited by: Steve Bunk J.L. Eron, S.L. Benoit, J. Jemsek, R.D. MacArthur, J. Santana, J.B. Quinn, D.R. Kuritzkes, M.A. Fallon, M. Rubin, "Treatment with lamivudine, zidovudine, or both in HIV-positive patients with 200 to 500 CD4+ cells per cubic millimeter," New England Journal of Medicine, 333:1662-9, 1995. (Cited in 120 publications through October 1997) Comments by Joseph Jemsek, Nalle Clinic, Charlotte, N.C. Among viruses that cause infectious disease, HIV is particularly adept at mutating

Profession

Women Scientists Stress Need For Visibility At Conferences
Women Scientists Stress Need For Visibility At Conferences
It's hard to overestimate the importance of professional meetings to any scientist's career. But it is particularly crucial for women to attend, organize, and present their work at conferences, according to successful female scientists. OBSTACLES: "Women have lower visibility, less mentorship, [and] fewer female colleagues per department," observes Lawrence Berkeley Lab's Mina Bissell. "Women have lower visibility, less mentorship, [and] fewer female colleagues per department," observes cell

Technology

RNA Meditations
RNA Meditations
Promega Imagine a world without 35S methionine. It's easy with Promega's TranscendTM Non-Radioactive Translation Detection Systems. Utilizing Promega's novel biotinylated lysine tRNA, these systems can be used to detect in vitro translation products after blotting with a variety of detectors, including Promega's own TranscenTM chemiluminescent substrates. No more wipe tests, no more radioactive waste disposal headaches. And results can be obtained in half the time. One microliter of TNR transl
Real Time PCR
Real Time PCR
Quantitative PCR with no gel? Impossible! Now with the ABI PRISM 7700 Sequence Detection System, real time PCR has become a reality. Combining a novel chemistry with a fully integrated PCR amplification and detection system, the 7700 System is a unique, closed-tube system that allows for real time quantitative PCR without sample processing or electrophoresis. At the core of the system is a 5' nuclease assay conducted with the TaqMan¨ PCR Reagent Kit utilizing a fluorogenic probe that has b
Through A Glass Brightly
Through A Glass Brightly
Have you ever wanted to find a rare signal in a large field? How about a weak signal in a field with bright spots? Or what if you didn't know what to expect but simply wanted to see what was in a sample? LightForm's unique Prism and Mirror Imaging Spectroscopy System (PARISS) can do all these things and do them at a fraction of the cost of conventional imaging spectrometers. PARISS is a patented imaging spectrometer that acquires emitted light from a specimen on any microscope and sends it to a

Technology Profile

Fresh Frozen Competent Cells
Fresh Frozen Competent Cells
For routine subcloning, nearly every manufacturer has a repertoire of standard laboratory strains. Many companies have expanded their range of products with special-function host strains that overcome many of the critical problems encountered during cloning and maintaining non-E. coli sequences in bacteria. Stratagene has a sizable entry in the special-use bacterial strain segment. Among some of the high-efficiency strains are those for maximizing or exploiting aspects of protein expression. Th
Luminometers and Fluorometers
Luminometers and Fluorometers
Date: November 24, 1997 Chart To most people, a luminometer is something that probably measures "luminos," while a fluorometer measures "fluoros," As simple as that sounds, these analyzers have been occupying valuable bench space in laboratories for decades. Though maybe not considered new and hot techniques in the biotechnology arena, luminometry and fluorometry continue to provide scientists with reliable answers to molecular questions. LabConsumer set out to explore options available to sc
Midi, Maxis, Megas, and Monsters Oh My!!!
Midi, Maxis, Megas, and Monsters Oh My!!!
Comparison Chart N.A. Horn et al., Cancer Gene Therapy Using Plasmid DNA- Purification of DNA for Human Clinical Trials, Human Gene Therapy, 6: 565-573, 1995. R.M. Conry, A Carcinoembryonic Antigen Polynucleotide Vaccine for Human Clinical Use, Cancer Gene Therapy, 2: 33-38, 1995. Z. J. Ren et al., Cloning Of Linear DNAs In Vivo By Over- expressed T4 DNA Ligase Construction Of A T4 Phage Hoc Gene Display Vector. GENE, 195:303-311, 1997. M.V. Chudaev, S.A. Usanov, Expression Of Functionally Ac

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
A National Institutes of Health panel on November 5 issued a consensus statement declaring there is clear evidence that acupuncture helps alleviate nausea from chemotherapy and anesthesia. The statement indicated the need for more and better research into how acupuncture works and acknowledged that some studies show the practice helps alleviate pain, while other studies show no conclusive effects. "There is a paucity of high-quality research assessing efficacy of acupuncture compared with place