News

'Roster' Ranks 116 Science Prizes
'Roster' Ranks 116 Science Prizes
Not all awards are created equal. That's why the International Congress of Distinguished Awards (ICDA), a Philadelphia-based organization, published the Official Roster of Distinguished Awards, a directory of 116 prizes that the ICDA considered the best of their kind. It gave those awards its seal of approval based on uniqueness to a particular field, amount of cash prize, and professionalism of administration. (See www.icda.org.) Keeping up with awards is difficult, because most of the approxim
'Two-Hit' Hypothesis
'Two-Hit' Hypothesis
Much of what scientists know about the origins of cancer and the role of tumor suppressors can be traced back 28 years to the elegant theory of cancer researcher Alfred G. Knudson. Widely thought to be one of the most significant theories in modern biology, Knudson's "two-hit" hypothesis was recognized Nov. 19 at the John Scott Awards in Philadelphia, along with the revolutionary research of Benoit Mandelbrot, the discoverer of the powerful mathematical laws governing fractal geometry and self-s
More Rewards Could Bolster Retention of Women Scientists
More Rewards Could Bolster Retention of Women Scientists
One way to encourage women to stay in science and move up to prominent positions is to reward them for their accomplishments. A small percentage of women are being nominated for and winning prizes at the highest levels, such as Nobel or Lasker awards. However, women may be overlooked at earlier stages of their careers, and that has a negative effect on their scientific futures. Brigid Hogan, professor of cell biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and one of four women on the Lask
Living and Studying Together
Living and Studying Together
Caitilyn Allen The dearth of women in science and engineering has spawned programs on college campuses to redress the balance and encourage women to stay in science. According to the National Science Foundation,1 a little more than 22 percent of the scientists and engineers in the United States in 1995 (the date of the most recent figures) were women. Though women make up about half of the social scientists, they are noticeably underrepresented among the "hard sciences." The NSF reports that 20
Missing Links and the Origin of Biochemical Complexity
Missing Links and the Origin of Biochemical Complexity
For years, evolution's critics picked on supposed gaps in the historical record--missing links between different forms or species in biologists' evolutionary lineages. Evolutionary leaps, say from dinosaurs to birds, are inconceivable without intermediates, so the reasoning went. Finding key fossils is no easy matter, but creationists interpreted the absence of evidence as evidence of absence--no links, no evolution, only supernatural design. Paleontologists were patient, though. They predicted

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
www.ScienceCartoonsPlus.com

Commentary

Science for Diplomacy
Science for Diplomacy
European consumers are protesting the sale of U.S. food products because of concerns about genetically altered crops. In Russia, weapons-grade uranium is being stored in inadequately protected facilities, increasing the risk that a terrorist organization or rogue nation might steal the material to build nuclear weapons. A new disease has made its way from Africa to New York and is threatening to spread along the East Coast. Most of us would agree that dealing effectively with these thorny inter

Letter

GM Foods: Two Views
GM Foods: Two Views
I enjoyed reading the article "Fears or Facts? A Viewpoint on GM Crops."1 I second Peter Raven's remarks on genetically modified (GM) plants. The Europeans have obviously been misled by their media; hence, their irrational fear of GM food sources. Is it the Galileo syndrome all over again? Are we not manipulating genes when breeders make artificial crosses using gametes from a male and female plant to improve their varieties? Are we not already consuming hybrid corn, hybrid rice, and high-yieldi

Opinion

What Makes Science News Newsworthy?
What Makes Science News Newsworthy?
"Our results suggest that a genetic enhancement of mental and cognitive attributes such as intelligence and memory in mammals is feasible." This sentence, from a scientific paper published in the Sept. 2 issue of the international journal Nature by the laboratory of Joe Tsien of Princeton University,1 ignited a firestorm of publicity. The study, using genetically modified mice (I'll get to the actual scientific findings in a moment), was reported as news by major print and broadcast outlets. T

Research

Researching Heavy Metal Contamination in Arctic Whales
Researching Heavy Metal Contamination in Arctic Whales
For decades, that's been a message on bumper stickers and a cry of environmentalists. In recent months, the number of reports raising serious concerns about the health of the oceans and their inhabitants has only increased. Human dependence on the oceans has been well documented; therefore, the benefits of cleaning up these waters globally and protecting all that dwell therein seem obvious. Courtesy of James Kaysen Although the bowhead whale is an endangered species, it is recovering at a rate

Hot Paper

Immunology
Immunology
H. Groux, A. O'Garra, M. Bigler, M. Rouleau, S. Antoneko, J.E. de Vries, M.G. Roncarolo, "A CD4+ T-cell subset inhibits antigen-specific T-cell responses and prevents colitis," Nature, 389:737-42, Oct. 16, 1997. (Cited in more than 210 papers since publication) Comments by Maria Grazia Roncarolo, codirector of the Telethon Institute of Gene Therapy, Milano, Italy Maria Grazia Roncarolo has searched for more than 10 years for a way to overcome a major complication in bone marrow transplants: graf
Crystal Structure
Crystal Structure
K. Luger, A.W. Mader, R.K. Richmond, D.F. Sargent, T.J. Richmond, "Crystal structure of the nucleosome core particle at 2.8 Å resolution," Nature, 389:251-60, 1997. (Cited in more than 250 papers since publication) Comments by Timothy J. Richmond, professor for X-ray crystallography of biological macromolecules at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich © Nature. Reprinted with permission. Pictured is the nucleosome core partic

Technology

Hydra-philic
Hydra-philic
Hydra HTS Workstation In 1992, Robbins Scientific released the Hydra-96, an innovative device that relieved researchers from repetitive, manual liquid dispensing. Further development led to the Hydra-384, capable of dispensing reagents in a 384-well format. Now, Robbins Scientific offers its latest technology, the Hydra HTS Workstation, for automated handling of source and target plates. One component of the Hydra HTS Workstation is the Hydra-PP (automated plate positioner), which consists of a
Mixed Signals
Mixed Signals
Traditionally, cytokines have been measured by radioimmunoassays (RIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Unfortunately, these techniques are limited by their detection range and an inability to simultaneously measure multiple analytes. By using immunofluorescence assays (IFA) and extremely sensitive multiparameter flow cytometers, BioErgonomics' MultiFlow-IFA Multiple Cytokine Immunoassay kits overcome both of these limitations. BioErgonomics' Multiflow-IFA Multiple Cytokine Detect
Running Hot and Cold
Running Hot and Cold
Have you ever used one of those low-temperature sample storage blocks that you remove temporarily from the freezer? Ever feel uncomfortable about how well that block maintains its temperature while on the benchtop, despite what the manufacturer claims? Have you silently cursed the puddle that forms under it as that block's frosty coating melts? Torrey Pines Scientific Inc. of Solana Beach, Calif., has redefined laboratory sample temperature control with the recent introduction of its ECHOtherm M

Technology Profile

New Lids on the Block
New Lids on the Block
Thermal Cyclers So much has changed in the last half-decade in the world of gene amplification. New breakthroughs and protocols have exceeded scientists' wildest expectations for applications of this essential technology. Is there a single life science lab in the country without a thermal cycler? From the high-end, ultrafast light-based cyclers to the tiny personal cyclers, there is a cycler to fit every need. Way back in the early years of PCR, "doing an amplification" meant simply that--
One to Grow On
One to Grow On
Dishes, Flasks and Roller Bottles. Plates Sarstedt's tissue culture dishes A cell is considered cultured once it can adhere to a substrate or remain in suspension and proliferate. A primary culture is derived either from an outgrowth of migrating cells from a tissue fragment or from mechanically or enzymatically dissociated tissue. Monolayer cells capable of proliferation will grow to confluence, and cells that are contact inhibited will stop growing at a certain cell density. Transformed cells

Profession

Eye on the Prize: The Influence of Awards on Careers
Eye on the Prize: The Influence of Awards on Careers
If the resumes of the Science Talent Search (STS) finalists over the past 60 years are any indicator, winning a scientific prize early in one's career certainly can have a positive effect. Over a six-decade time span, STS--formerly called the Westinghouse Awards and now called the Intel Science Talent Search--has given out scholarships to more than 2,200 young researchers. Two have gone on to win Lasker Awards; nine have received MacArthur Fellowships; three the National Medal of Science; two th

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Contents Pivotal pump Leptin limbo Clue to obesity Biotech Web site Helping hand Mapping malaria UCSD - Salk Program in Molecular Medicine HEART FAILURE RESCUE: A cross section of a mouse genetically engineered to develop heart failure (left) shows enlarged heart chambers and thin walls that are typical of the condition. A cross section from the same strain of mouse, but with the phospholamban gene (PLB) also missing, appears normal. PIVOTAL PUMP A biochemical calcium pump and the gene that con