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A Threat To Monitor Science Is Quashed
A Threat To Monitor Science Is Quashed
WASHINGTON—The research establishment has beaten back Congress’s most serious attempt yet to grab control of investigations and punishment of scientific misconduct. But the victory may be shortlived unless scientists can demonstrate greater will and prowess in policing their own house. The latest threat to the autonomy of universities and other research institutions was a last-minute congressional proposal to create an independent Office of Scientific Integrity. The measure was dra
What Are Glaxo Scientists Doing Right?
What Are Glaxo Scientists Doing Right?
LONDON—Unless you’ve got a mean case of ulcers, you may barely have heard of Glaxo, maker of the top-selling digestive aid Zantac. But recent COUPS by the British pharmaceutical giant’s staff scientists have catapulted the firm to the forefront of the drug industry, giving its United States rivals a case of corporate ulcers. In the 1970s, Glaxo was consid ered an industrial laggard. But in the past eight years, the pharmaceutical company has pulled a stunning about-face. Besid
How Two Immunology Teams Made Headlines
How Two Immunology Teams Made Headlines
“Human Immune Defenses Are Transplanted in Mice” beckoned the headline on a front page of the New York Times last month. It announced a story arousing high expectations for a powerful new medical research tool Independently, two teams of researchers had shown that rodents having no immune systems of their own could be made to serve as true models of the human immune system, and this promised to open many doors in the study of human disease—offering insights into some cancers, f
Recruitment Wars: Grad Schools Battle For The Best And Brightest
Recruitment Wars: Grad Schools Battle For The Best And Brightest
In the fall of 1986, Will Talbot was just another college senior nervously applying to graduate school. He knew his credentials were good. As an ambitious high school junior in Gainesville, Fla. he had talked his way into an immunology research laboratory to begin hands-on training at the lab bench. And as a student at the University of Florida, he had compiled an outstanding academic record. But he figured that the competition for top programs in molecular biology would be stiff. “I appli
Feud Prevents NIH, HHS From Teaming Up Against Science Fraud
Feud Prevents NIH, HHS From Teaming Up Against Science Fraud
The feud can be traced to a four-year investigation by the inspector general's office into procurement practices at NIH that led to the forced removal last spring of sciencetist Edwin Becker--(see The Scientist May 10, page 20). the HHS report accused NIH of wasting millions of dollars. Wyngaarden and the NIH community believe that the report exaggerated the extent of procurement problems at NIH and that Kusserwo simply does not understand the importance of providing scientists with easy and q
Biochemist Takes Charge of Beleaguered NIH Misconduct Office
Biochemist Takes Charge of Beleaguered NIH Misconduct Office
NIH should take an active role in this process, , but I don’t think we should tell instituions what to do." The 46-year-old biochemist took up the challenge, on October 10. On that day she became the second NIH employee—and the first scientist direct NIH’s efforst on misconduct. The office she leads was created six years ago as part of effort to codify research practices by those who receive federal funds. But its work relating misconduct, which includes investigating allegati
Should Journal Editors Play Science Cops?
Should Journal Editors Play Science Cops?
The two principal Charles Bluestone and Erdem Cantekin, key members of a group, that began a major clinical trial in 1981 to measure the efficacy of drugs used to treat diseases in the middle ear in children. Bluestone, an otolaryngologist, is director of the Otitis Media Research Center and principal investigator on the $5.6 million NIH grant that supported the work at Children's Hospital. Cantekin, a biomedical engineer was the center's director of research. Cantekin, whose paper remains unp
INSIDE THE RECRUITMENT WARS: ONE BIOLOGY STUDENTS STORY
INSIDE THE RECRUITMENT WARS: ONE BIOLOGY STUDENTS STORY
By Febrauary Talbot’s travel schedule was full His first trip took him to San Francisco to visit UCSF and Stanford to visit Since neither school had yet issued him a formal acceptance he was a little nervous about how his in terviews would go. At UCSF he pressed with the friendliness of the faculty and their apparent interest in him. "They asked me what I wanted to talk about," he recalls. At Stanford Talbot liked the biochemistry departments small close-knit feeling. And he hit it off w
Aquanautics: From Briny Dream To Yeasty Reality
Aquanautics: From Briny Dream To Yeasty Reality
EMERYVILLE, CALIF.—Six-packs of Budweiser and individual bottles of Coors, Michelob, and Miller line a laboratory shelf in the Aquanautics corporate headquarters. But they’re for work, not play. Scientists at the young firm hope that the beers will prove to be Aquanautics’ savior—transforming a company founded on a pipedream to a company thriving on innovation. If they have their way, Aquanautics’ 14 scientists will guarantee us fresher-tasting beers. Why do we ca
Scientists Divorce Practitioners: Split In The American Psychological Association
Scientists Divorce Practitioners: Split In The American Psychological Association
Prescriptions. Third-party payments. Health maintenance organizations. What do these have to do with science? That’s exactly what research scientists in the American Psychological Association have been asking for the past two decades as they watched psychologists in professional practice increasingly dominate the APA. Why should they put up with debates over health insurance and hospital admitting privileges? Why should they slog through conventions devoting more time to counseling techn
Stanford Scientists: They Were Willing To Take Bets
Stanford Scientists: They Were Willing To Take Bets
STANFORD-- CALIF—Irving Weissman is a risk taker. He doesn’t mind losing bets: A bottle of wine here, a beer there. It’s a small price to pay for the progress of science. The last bet the Stanford University immunologist lost was with postdoc Mike McCune over whether a complete human immune system could be transplanted into a mouse. “I said, ‘Great idea, fantastic, but I’ll bet it doesn’t work,’ “ Weissman recalls. “Well, I was wrong
La Jolla Researchers: An Argument Inspired Them
La Jolla Researchers: An Argument Inspired Them
LA JOLLA, CALIF.—Donald Mosier and Darcy Wilson credit their latest success to what they call “interactive science,” which occurs when experienced researchers with fertile ‘minds get together and new concepts and approaches arise spontaneously. It even occurs, they add, when ideas are exchanged by scientists who do not agree. In fact, as the result of a serendipitous argument, Wilson and Mosier recently made the front page of the New York Times and dozens of other newspap

Briefs

National Lab Briefs
National Lab Briefs
A recent National Academy of Sciences study of five research reactors at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories left out far more than it actually said. The report, released in August, criticized DOE’s ‘fragmented” oversight of the reactors and concluded that aging and brittle components could be safety hazards. But the published criticisms were muted compared to what the academy told reactor officials in private. In informal sessions held before the report was
Government Briefs
Government Briefs
Perhaps the kindest thing to say about the recent report from the National Academy of Sciences on the controversial topic of laboratory animals is that it’s finished. The 73-page report, which cost $315,000 and took three years to write, breaks little new ground, coming out in support of the continued use of animals in research and urging Congress not to pass any more laws regulating their use until the current rules have been digested. The report’s most striking features are its ra
University Briefs
University Briefs
Sending Corporate Scientists To School When Robert E. Gee arrived at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Interfacial Engineering in February as director of technology transfer, he discovered four visiting researchers who were busy transferring technology. Unfortunately, they were all from Japan, and the flow of information westward across the Pacific was not exactly the type of transfer that Gee had been hired to promote. So Gee came up with a new strategy to get U.S. industry more
Private Institute Briefs
Private Institute Briefs
Who does Congress remember when it passes laws benefiting research? Caltech, Princeton, Johns Hopkins—you get the idea— but not Jackson Lab, not the Worcester Foundation, not the Medical Foundation of Buffalo. That’s how the independent labs see it. They feel uncelebrated, often overlooked not only by legislators but by foundation officials as well, and they’re fighting back. At the annual meeting of the Association of Independent Research Institutes in Buffalo, N.Y., ea
Industry Briefs
Industry Briefs
Make no mistake, the race to develop and manufacture a safe alternative to chlorofluorocarbons (CECs) is a hotly contested one. But fierce competition notwithstanding, the contenders in the race have banded together to shorten one key leg of what promises to be a marathon. Eight CFC producers from around the world—Du Pont, AKZO, Allied-Signal, Atochem, Daikin, ISC Chemicals, Pennwalt, and Solvay and Co—have agreed to share toxicity test information on HCFC-1 41 b, one CFC alternativ
Entrepreneur Briefs
Entrepreneur Briefs
You’ve seen research institutions spin off commercial companies; now the reverse is beginning to happen. Stratagene Cloning Systems, a four-year-old, 35-scientist biotechnology firm based in La Jolla, Calif., is one of the most recent entrepreneurial firms to set up its own nonprofit institute, the California Institute of Biological Research. Such an institute has certain advantages over companies when attracting scientists: It has none of the for-profit taint” to which some researc
Association Briefs
Association Briefs
Citing the intellectual stimulation of collaboration, the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society for Biochemistry arid Molecular Biology will hold their annual meetings together for the first time ever next year. After all, notes president Tom Pollard of the ASOB, the two groups share many members and a desire to understand life processes at the molecular level. The 28th annual meeting of ASCB and the 80th annual meeting of ASBMB is scheduled for January 29 through February
Science Grants
Science Grants
Medical research. Grants of $1 million each from the Baxter Foundation, Los Angeles, to Harvard University for studies of skin cancer, herpes, and AIDS and to Northwestern University to support research in biomedical engineering and immunology Lyme Disease Center. $40,000 from Grumman Aerospace Corp. to the State University of New York, Stony Brook Geriatrics. Two grants from the Charles A. Dana Foundation, Greenwich, Conn.: $500,000 to the University of Washington for the integration of gero
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Stars Wars, Inner Space Style Congress apparently is very interested in the potential medical applications of free-electron laser (FEL) technology, which heretofore has primarily been under development in connection with Strategic Defense Initiative use, but is increasingly being regarded as a possible future weapon against such viruses as those causing AIDS and herpes. The new budget for fiscal 1989 (which went into effect Oct. 1) included an extra $17 million for SDI stipulating that the all
Tools Briefs
Tools Briefs
A new photographic time machine,” when used with a high- speed camera, allows researchers to photograph events that occur before the camera’s shutter is opened. Called an image-preserving optical delay, the new device is an arrangement of optical components, including mirrors and a crystal shutter, that photographs an event “before it occurs after it happens,” says inventor Edward F. Kelley. Even though the camera is triggered after an event, its optical delay allows pho

Opinion

William Graham And John Sununu Reveal Bush's Science Priorities
William Graham And John Sununu Reveal Bush's Science Priorities
Sununu There are priorities in science, and then there are priorities that are important because they impact science. And they are somewhat intermingled. First of all, the vice president recognizes that excellence in education and scientific literacy are keys to our long-range progress and economic development. They are also the keys to the quality of our continued scientific research. So his commitment to education is a high priority that impacts science. In areas more directly associated with
Where Do The Presidential Candidates Stand On Science?
Where Do The Presidential Candidates Stand On Science?
Next week, the country goes to the polls to pick a new president. In some respects the choices are clearcut. Under the relentless spotlight of the campaign trail, Michael Dukakis has emerged as a cool technocrat committed to such new social policies as universal health insurance and tighter cohtrols on military spending, while making no secret of his belief that current abortion law is correct. Bush, on the other hand, comes across as a friendly relative walking in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan
Lewis Branscomb Explains How Dukakis Will Bolster Research
Lewis Branscomb Explains How Dukakis Will Bolster Research
Branscomb The first problem is simply for the administration to organize itself to deal with issues of science and technology in a professional and effective manner. That is something that in my opinion the last several administrations have progressively been doing less and less well. Q How might this be accomplished? Will Dukakis be able to do it? Branscomb The president has to set the tone with his cabinet when he fills those jobs, but one thing that Dukakis has committed himself to is to u

Letter

Importance Of Theory
Importance Of Theory
Importance Of Theory Your article on Bell Labs (The Scientist, Sept. 5, page 1) brought to mind these words of Pasteur “Without theory, practice is but routine born of habit. Theory alone can bring forth and develop the spirit of invention ... Progress with routine is possible, but desperately slow.” (The Life of Pasteur, by R. Vallery-Radot, pages 76 and 146). Except for AT&T with its Bell Labs, and two or three others, American businesses have never understood Pasteur’s wo
Strange Reviewing
Strange Reviewing
Strange Reviewing In the July 11, 1988, issue of The Scientist, Rex Dalton discusses whether reviewers should sign their critiques. I have had several disappointing experiences, and suspect that the unknown reviewers of the Anglo-American medical journals either do not know the English language or are all licted with “sleeping sickness” or are gifted with Mach-2 speed. Four examples illustrate this: 1. A paper dealing with congenital disorders associated with sensorineural deafness
Glut Of Scientists?
Glut Of Scientists?
Glut Of Scientists? Nam Suh’s comment in your issue of July 25 that “Uncle Sam Needs More Good Scientists” is hogwash. It was Suh himself who claimed (while he was with the NSF Engineering Directorate) that “American engineers are overpaid.” The fact is that this nation has a glut of engineers and scientists. Newly graduated technical professionals are unable to find jobs. Older engineers who have been laid off are told that they are “overqualified.”

Commentary

How First World Scientists Can Reach Out To Third World Colleagues
How First World Scientists Can Reach Out To Third World Colleagues
Turn to the “Tools” or “New Products” pages of The Scientist and you will discover splendid state-of-the-art instruments, many of which carry rather hefty price tags. It’s hard not to notice that the cost of doing science has been rising precipitously. The reason? For one, scientific investigations are increasingly more detailed or far-reaching, requiring more complex and powerful instruments. Many universities and companies in the U.S. can afford the latest equip

Research

Growth Factor Research Experiences A Boom
Growth Factor Research Experiences A Boom
Growth factors—hormone-like, biologically active polypeptides that control cell growth and differentiation—have become one of the most actively investigated areas of the life sciences in the 1980s. “They offer great potential,” says researcher Richard A. Roth of the Stanford University School of Medicine, “both for wound healing and for better understanding of unregulated growth of cancers.” The increasing interest in growth factors is reflected by the numbe
Gallium Arsenide: Key To Faster, Better Computing
Gallium Arsenide: Key To Faster, Better Computing
Since the early 1970s, scientists have been promoting gallium arsenide as a faster, more efficient substrate material than silicon for making integrated-circuit chips. However, the vast majority of chips are still made from silicon, which is abundant and cheap. The most important advantage of gallium arsenide is speed. Electrons travel about five times faster in gallium arsenide than they do in silicon. Gallium arsenide also has a high resistance to electrical current before it is doped with a
Tiny Israel: A Big Player In Select Science Areas
Tiny Israel: A Big Player In Select Science Areas
A recent study shows that Israeli scientists produce approximately 1.0% of the scientific literature, which ranks their country 14th among the world’s nations in terms of scientific output. In return their articles receive about 20% fewer citations than expected, based upon the average citation rates to the journals in which those articles appear that places Israel 25th in terms of scientific impact (see T. Braun, W. Glinzel, and A. Schubert, Scientometrics, Vol. 13, May 1988, pages 181-
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PLANT AND ANIMAL SCIENCES BY PETER D. MOORE Department of Biology Kings College London, U.K. " Field experiments using catchments in Norway are providing a new approach to the understanding of acid rain. By the experimental addition of acids to a pristine catobment, soil changes can be monitored, and by protecting an acid site from further rain, the reversion of the process can be observed. R.F. Wright, E. Lotee, A. Serab, “Reversibility of acidification shown by whole-catchment experim
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
BY WILLIAM F. LOOMIS Department of Biology University of California, San Diego La Jolla, Calif. " GAL4, a yeast transcriptional activator, stimulates transcription of genes if it binds nearby, but it squelches genes to which it cannot bind. It appears that high levels of GALA sequester another common transcription factor. G. Gill, M. Ptashne, “Negative effect of the transcriptional activator GAL4,” Nature, 334 (6184), 721-4,25 August 1988. " Dominant mutations that result in loss
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
PHYSICS BY FRANK A. WILCZEK Institute for Theoretical Physics University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif. "Multigrid algorithms have traditionally been used in hydrodynamics, where it is often impbrtant to keep track of phenomena occurring on vastly different length scales. Roughly speaking, the idea is to have “average” variables defined on a coarse grid, and separate “local” variables on a fine grid. Lately there has been exciting progress in adaptin
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
CHEMISTRY BY RON MAGOLDA Medical Products Department E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Wilmington, Del. " Understanding enzyme mechanisms is of critical importance to the design of enzyme inhibitors. Conveniently located in the same journal issue, two new articles offer detailed and complementary approaches to this fundamental problem in bioorganic chemistry. B.W. Matthews, “Structural basis of the action of thermolysin and related zinc peptidases,” Accounts of Chemical Research, 21 (
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCES BY BRUCE G. BUCHANAN Department of Computer Science University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. "Group decision making has not benefited as much from computer-based tools as individuals have. A recent article suggests how groups can benefit more. K.L. Kraemer, J.L. King, “Computer-based systems for cooperative work and group decision making,” ACM Computing, Surveys, 20 (2), 115-46, June 1988. " When learning from examples, computer programs start with a bins&#

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
D.W. Leung, SA. Spencer, G. Cachianes, R.G. Hammonds, C. Collins, WJ. Henzel, R. Barnard, M.J. Waters, W.I. Wood, “Growth hormone receptor and serum binding protein: Purification, cloning, and expression,” Nature, 330 (6148), 537-43, 10 December 1987. R. Rothenberg, M. Woelfel, R. Stoneburner, J. Milberg, R. Parker, B. Truman, “Survival with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: Experience with 5,833 cases in New York City,” New England Journal of Medicine, 317 (21),

Profession

Fermilab: A Leader In Child Care As Well As In Physics
Fermilab: A Leader In Child Care As Well As In Physics
When physicist Wyatt Merritt shows up for work each morning on the campus of Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., she’s accompanied by Frank, her three-year-old son. After dropping him off at a little blue house surrounded by a white picket fence, Merritt goes to her office and begins her work day, comfortable in the knowledge that while she concentrates on the high-energy physics of the lab’s D/O project, her toddler is safe and happy just five minutes away, listening to stories about pilgrim
Advice To Scientist-Writers: Beware Old 'Fallacies'
Advice To Scientist-Writers: Beware Old 'Fallacies'
[Ed. note: H.J. Tichy, professor emerita in English at the City University of New York and a special- ist in technical and scientific writing, pities the poor scientist who, from time to time, must turn reluctantly away from his or her experiments in order to write—and who finds the task of writing well to be painful and unrewarding. Why don’t scientists take more pleasure from writing up their lab reports, their grant proposals, their journal articles? And why aren’t they bett
Big Rise Is Predicted In Biotech Job Market
Big Rise Is Predicted In Biotech Job Market
The results of the employment survey come from Mark Dibner, director of the North Carolina Bio- technology Center in Research Triangle Park. Dibner’s study confirmed that most of the companies surveyed had started small— averaging only 13 employees by the end of their first year. Most, however, showed significant growth, with one firm mushrooming to 160 employees by the end of its first year. On average, the companies surveyed had 86 employees after six years. The center’s
Private Labs: Who Gets The Most Federal Support?
Private Labs: Who Gets The Most Federal Support?
The NSF tally, which ranked 226 U.S. nonprofit research institutes according to degree of federal R&D funding, tabulated financial support supplied by 15 agencies, including NSF, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. The figures in the accompanying chart are for fiscal 1986, the latest period for which NSF has comprehensive data. The top five labs on NSF’s list— Draper, Battelle, SRI, IIT and Sloan
Macintosh Word Processors Are Powerful But Flawed
Macintosh Word Processors Are Powerful But Flawed
Choosing a word processor for the Macintosh, once a simple decision, recently became far more complicated with the introduction of several powerful programs, including one designed especially for academic and scientific use. The good news is that several software producers seem to be heading in the right direction; the bad news is that no one has reached the finish line with the ideal program for academics and scientists in hand. But several companies ap- pear to be close. Before the spring of
Device Helps Find DNA 'Needles' In Genetic 'Haystack'
Device Helps Find DNA 'Needles' In Genetic 'Haystack'
In recent years, the clinical diagnosis of genetic and infectious dis- eases has relied on the analysis of specific DNA nucleotide sequences. And for molecular biolo gists, the task of finding a particular target strand, only a minute fraction of the total DNA, has been a burdensome challenge—like searching for a needle in a haystack. Now, however, GeneAmp PCR, a product based on proprietary technology of Cetus Corp., Emeryville, Calif., not only helps scientists find that one needle in

New Products

Image Processing: A Big Step Forward
Image Processing: A Big Step Forward
During the past few years, light microscopy has achieved new levels in sensitivity and resolution with the advent of video-enhancement techniques. Microscopists and cell biologists can now observe minute features in cells, for example microtubules in the cytoskeleton, that previously were undetectable with conventional microscopy. An essential component in video-enhanced microscopy is the image processor, which greatly increases the signal-to-noise ratio, improving the quality of the microscop

Books etc.

One Foot In A Science Lab, The Other In Big Business
One Foot In A Science Lab, The Other In Big Business
ENTREPRENEURIAL SCIENCE: New Links Between Corporations, Universities, And Government Robert F. Johnston and Christopher G. Edwards; Greenwood Press; Westport, Conn.; 157 pages; $37.95 Government policy makers often argue that the reason for United States industries’ failure to sustain their top standing in the world marketplace lies not in the absence of exciting new technologies developed in our research laboratories, but rather in the sluggish rate of technology transfer from those
Also Notable
Also Notable
Nathan C. Goldman; Iowa State University Press; Ames, Iowa, 374 pages; $34.95 Houston attorney Nathan Goldman intends this book as a reference for what he calls the new era in space law—an era when major treaties have atrophied and private enterprise is beginning to enter space, answering chiefly to the laws of a venture’s home nation. Goldman, who is in private practice, teaches space law at the University of Houston and Rice University. WORSE THAN THE DISEASE: Pitfalls Of Medica
Metabolic Pathways Chart: An All-Time Best-Seller
Metabolic Pathways Chart: An All-Time Best-Seller
As an assist to his students back in 1960, microbiologist Donald Nicholson sketched out a big chart of metabolic pathways; he thought it would help them to have it pinned up on a wall for ready reference. Nicholson didn’t realize it at the time, but he was creating the first draft of what would eventually become an international best-seller— the most popular published work ever in biochemistry. The casually contrived wall chart—later whipped into formal presentability and g
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