About Us

Editorial

Vaccines are Back
Vaccines are Back
The last time I wrote about vaccines was two years ago – November 17, 2003, to be precise.1 That editorial crackled with frustration about the status of the most effective health intervention that has ever been invented:"Vaccines are unattractive targets for industry, underappreciated from the public health perspective, underfunded by basic research organizations, and treated with suspicion by the public."It's a pleasure to report that, two years later, there are the beginnings of a remark

Letter

A Hirsch-type index for journals
A Hirsch-type index for journals
Source: Web of Science, accessed September 16, 2005Re: the h index.1 We suggest that a h-type index – equal to h if you have published h papers, each of which has at least h citations – would be a useful supplement to journal impact factors. First, it is robust and therefore insensitive to an accidental excess of uncited papers and also to one or several outstandingly highly cited papers. Second, it combines the effect of "quantity" (number of publications) and "quality" (citation ra
Color-blind athletes
Color-blind athletes
Re: Red, fights and blue:1 So, in building the next national team, it sounds as though the thing to do is to field a team of color-blind athletes who are pumped full of testosterone and outfit them in pink uniforms (since pink is supposed to calm the opponents).

Opinion

Making Sense of Science
Making Sense of Science
Lemon juice may help beat AIDS; genetically modified crops will create superweeds; measles vaccine may be responsible for autism; and mobile phones can cut male fertility by a third.

Notebook

Darwin's tortoise
Darwin's tortoise
Steve Irwin, a.k.a. the Crocodile Hunter, is a pretty big star these days.
Lifeus alienus
Lifeus alienus
Astrobiologists haven't yet found life among the stars.
Fake phone psychology
Fake phone psychology
Less than two weeks into college, Emily Adams got a phone call about a psychology study that could earn her $400.

Research

Profiles of Infection
Profiles of Infection
Potential perils from bioterrorism to bird flu are increasingly pushing proteomics researchers to identify molecules involved in the infection process.
Precision Extinction
Precision Extinction
from the British Isles finally ended.

Hot Paper

Malaria's Pragmatic Approach to Gene Expression
Malaria's Pragmatic Approach to Gene Expression
Amosquito alights on a human victim and pierces the skin, injecting its salivary mixture of anticoagulants to make blood flow smoothly while feeding.

Briefs

Clues to cell death in ALS
Clues to cell death in ALS
Neuronal cells clogged with a mutant protein associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) die within hours after clumps first form, researchers report.1 The finding directly links aggregation of malformed proteins with cell death characteristic of the disease, the authors claim.By watching individual cells over the course of 48 hours, Richard Morimoto at Northwestern University and colleagues demonstrated that most cultured neurons die between 6 and 24 hours after mutant superoxide dismut
Gene fusion identified in prostate cancer
Gene fusion identified in prostate cancer
Using a novel bioinformatics approach, researchers identified a gene fusion that seems to occur in a majority of prostate cancers.
A flavor for fat?
A flavor for fat?
Scientists have identified a candidate taste receptor for lipids.

Technology

Getting Started with SNPs
Getting Started with SNPs
Richard Houlston works at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, UK, where he searches for genes that confer susceptibility to disease.

Tools and Technology

Columns
Columns
Two independent groups have demonstrated a new method for purifying proteins that may offer a simpler, cheaper alternative to large-scale column purification.
on Your Screen
on Your Screen
Brian Fisher, curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences, has such enthusiasm for ants, he can make you feel guilty over spraying the little devils in your kitchen.
A cDNA Library, Literally
A cDNA Library, Literally
Geneticists subject to late-night bouts of inspiration generally have to write down their good ideas.
Crystallography for Everyone
Crystallography for Everyone
The Bruker AXS Smart Breeze X-ray crystallography system is an instrument that lives up to its name, says Bruker spokesperson Susan Byram.

BioBusiness

Reviewing Peer Review
Reviewing Peer Review
Tired of waiting for the National Institutes of Health to approve your grant proposal?
The Return of Vaccines
The Return of Vaccines
Last December, as the flu season approached, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' influenza vaccine plant in rural Lancaster County, Pa., stood abandoned.

Vision

Merging Companies Safely
Merging Companies Safely
Every life scientist practices due diligence.

Update

Korean stem cells are not for everyone
Korean stem cells are not for everyone
Scientists in countries with the most restrictive policies on research cloning may not be able to take advantage of the international consortium based in South Korea, which was hailed last month as a means to provide stem cells to researchers living in restrictive environments.
Concerns over new EU ethics panel
Concerns over new EU ethics panel
A fight has erupted over the composition of an influential European ethics panel that advises the government on science and technology, with some arguing that new nominations were based on political and religious considerations, not ability or experience.

Reverse Transcript

SARS, Malaria, and the Microarray
SARS, Malaria, and the Microarray
It was the first Saturday of Spring 2003, and Joe DeRisi and his postdoc David Wang were staked out at either end of the University of California, San Francisco's Genentech Hall waiting for the FedEx truck.