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News

Drug Delivery Company Pegs Future On `Pegnology'
Drug Delivery Company Pegs Future On `Pegnology'
Enzon Inc. gains ground in a growing industry with its innovative approach for enhancing the efficacy and durability of medicine Abraham Abuchowski was a Rutgers University biochemistry graduate student in the 1970s when his adviser set him to work on an inert polymer called polyethylene glycol (PEG). Abe Abuchowski, 42, runs his company the way he teaches karate classes. The cofounder and CEO of Enzon Inc. in South Plainfield, N.J., Abuchowski got hooked on the martial art while an undergra
Supreme Court Ruling Could Stifle Open Debate In Journals
Supreme Court Ruling Could Stifle Open Debate In Journals
Editors fear that a recent redefinition of `protected speech' could force them to stifle controversy in order to avoid lawsuits The freedom of scientists to candidly criticize their colleagues' theories in professional journals could be sharply curtailed by a Supreme Court ruling on libel handed down this past summer. Journal editors currently defending themselves in court against charges that their publications have been a party to a malicious attack fear that the high court decision could ha
Will Escalating Oil Prices Cause Laboratory Science Costs To Soar?
Will Escalating Oil Prices Cause Laboratory Science Costs To Soar?
Suppliers of laboratory chemicals and plastics are already beginning to feel the pinch from rising crude oil prices in the wake of the worldwide embargo of Iraqi oil. But it's not clear when-or if-scientists will have to pay more for those products. Officials at some companies, like J.T. Baker Chemical Inc. of Phillipsburg, N.J., one of the country's largest suppliers of laboratory solvents and other chemicals, say they plan to pass the cost increases onto their distributors, who could try to
Gulf Crisis Rocks Worldwide Science Community
Gulf Crisis Rocks Worldwide Science Community
Iraqi invasion interrupts many international projects; Kuwaiti researchers fear warfare gas devasted their life's work As the world watches with alarm the unfolding crisis in the Middle East, the international science community is assessing losses resulting from the August 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The blow to Kuwaiti science is disastrous, and the damage of the attack extends beyond the borders of the small Persian Gulf country. Future international collaborations in the Middle East may be
Huge NSF Magnet Grant Will Test FSU's Mettle
Huge NSF Magnet Grant Will Test FSU's Mettle
Florida State's victory over MIT in gaining a new lab makes it clear that NSF is inclined to reward fresh vision and determination The National Science Foundation wants universities to know that it takes more than technical excellence and a good reputation to win a large grant. What's required are hard work, a long-range vision, a commitment to training the next generation of scientists, and a knack for obtaining outside funding to augment whatever the federal government can provide. What NSF
Scientists Rise To The Challenge Of Ridding The Globe Of CFCs
Scientists Rise To The Challenge Of Ridding The Globe Of CFCs
Inspired by the mandate to find alternatives, researchers link up to create new technologies and substitute chemicals WASHINGTON--Leslie Guth always thought her research was too technical for casual conversations. Not anymore. Now when Guth, a materials scientist for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., mentions that she's looking for new ways to finish electronic circuit boards without using chlorofluoro-carbons, people are eager to hear more about her battle against what many env
Administration Nominates Two To Fill Top Posts At NIH, NSF
Administration Nominates Two To Fill Top Posts At NIH, NSF
WASHINGTON-The Bush administration last month shaped the course of the two most important agencies for academic science within the federal bureaucracy by identifying its candidates for the directorships of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Its choices also suggest that presidential science adviser Allan Bromley has gained the upper hand in such personnel decisions over a range of competing interests within the White House. The selection of cardiologist Berna

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Contents Get Along, Li'l Duckies An Illustrious Collection Of Old Boys IIASA Takes First Steps Beyond Détente Report Chides NASA's New Safety System The idea was to enhance the environment. But when Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab employees decided to create plush surroundings for a breeding group of nonmigrating Maryland mallards, they didn't count on the problem of homeless ducks. Over the past few years seven domestic geese and six white ducks have been abandoned at the

Opinion

Mathematical Illiteracy Knows No Social Or Class Boundaries
Mathematical Illiteracy Knows No Social Or Class Boundaries
Why is innumeracy so widespread even among otherwise educated people? The reasons, to be a little simplistic, are poor education, psychological blocks, and romantic misconceptions about the nature of mathematics. My own case was the exception that proves the rule. The earliest memory I have of wanting to be a mathematician was at age 10, when I calculated that a certain relief pitcher for the then Milwaukee Braves had an earned run average (ERA) of 135. (For baseball fans: He allowed five runs

Letter

Letter: Molecular Arrogance
Letter: Molecular Arrogance
The article "New Gene Technologies Could Reap Rich Floral Harvest" [The Scientist, Aug. 20, 1990, page 8] tells us that "A discipline that flourished for 30 years after plant hormones were first discovered in the 1920s, plant biology languished for a generation (my emphasis) until the late 1970s, when molecular techniques were first applied to plant systems." To me, this statement reflects either na9ve ignorance of recent history or a type of "molecular arrogance" based on the premise that the
Letter: Unreasonable Odds
Letter: Unreasonable Odds
I was quite taken by the juxtaposition in "Ominous Statistics Foretell Drastic Shortage Of Scientists" and "But The Figures Can Exaggerate Our Anxiety" [The Scientist, June 25, 1990, page 11]. I would like to suggest a way to allay this disastrous shortage before it occurs. Why don't we try funding the Ph.D.'s we are producing now? One of my key concerns about getting on the Ph.D. track has been the wages, both now and in the future. Before I came to graduate school in molecular biology, I was
Letter: Strategic Planning
Letter: Strategic Planning
While attending two conferences in the U.S., I read your interview with presidential science adviser Allan Bromley [The Scientist, July 23, 1990, page 1]. I wonder if Bromley makes a distinction between teaching and research at universities the way German politicians do. Research at German universities is "teaching- research" and an important part of study. However, universities should teach mainly creativity and less book knowledge. Knowledge could be learned from books, too, but creativity a

Commentary

Commentary: Forecasting The Nobel Prize Winners: Some Caveats Are In Order
Commentary: Forecasting The Nobel Prize Winners: Some Caveats Are In Order
At this time of year, guessing who will win the Nobel Prize is a popular parlor game for scientists. The fact is, of course, no one except members of the Nobel awards committees can possibly predict the fields or discoveries that will be selected, much less the actual winners. Like the weather, however, fields and individual winners can be intelligently forecast. And one of the strongest indicators of Nobel-class science is citation frequency. That's the major criterion--along with whether a re

Research

Which Scientists Might Be Honored With The Nobel Prize?
Which Scientists Might Be Honored With The Nobel Prize?
Forecasting who will walk away with the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology is hardly a precise science. Yet there are at least two indicators that have consistently pointed to prize-winning potential. One is a scientist's citation ranking; there is an unusually high correlation between citation frequency and Nobel recognition. The second indicator is the winning of one of the so-called predictor prizes that traditionally anticipate Nobel committee selections. As Columbia University sociolog
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Author: SIMON SILVER Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago Discovering six new vitamins in a single metabolic pathway is unprecedented, but then, neither methanogenesis nor Ralph Wolfe is standard. The metabolic pathway for converting CO2 to CH2, which is unique to the methanogenic archaebacteria, has shown that there is novel microbiology and metabolic biochemistry work yet to do. A.A. DiMarco, T.A. Bobik, R.S. Wolfe, "Unusual coenzymes of methanogenesis,"

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
D.A. Cheresh, J.W. Smith, H.M. Cooper, V. Quaranta, "A novel vitronectin receptor integrin (Aváx) is responsible for distinct adhesive properties of carcinoma cells," Cell, 57, 59-69, 7 April 1989. David A. Cheresh (Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, Calif.): "Cellular adhesion events are required for normal embryonic development, wound healing, thrombosis, and immune function. However, during disease processes (such as cancer, microbial infection, and inflammation), some of

Profession

When Should Scientists Talk To The Press `Off The Record'?
When Should Scientists Talk To The Press `Off The Record'?
"Goddammit! When is somebody gonna go on the record in this story?"--Jason Robards as Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee in the movie All the President's Men. Psst! Wanna get a reporter's attention? Just say those three little words "off the record." They're three of the most overused and misunderstood words in the business. They conjure up images of "Deep Throat" secretly meeting in a parking garage with Bob Woodward (or Robert Redford, depending on whether you read the book or saw
Researchers Seek Out Local Foundations When NIH Rejects Their Grant Proposals
Researchers Seek Out Local Foundations When NIH Rejects Their Grant Proposals
For countless scientists, it's a vicious cycle. They need funds to turn their exploratory research into more viable projects, yet the National Institutes of Health tends to reject grant applications for investigations that are still in the early stages. So what's a researcher to do? The answer may be to turn away from the large, national agencies and toward small, local ones, a prime example of which is the Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based W.W. Smith Charitable Trust. George Preti, organic chemist and sen
People: Transplant Researchers Miller, Gowans Receive First Peter Medawar Prize
People: Transplant Researchers Miller, Gowans Receive First Peter Medawar Prize
The International Transplantation Society has awarded its first Peter Medawar Prize to two researchers in immunology. Jacques Miller and Sir James L. Gowans received the award last month at the society's 13th congress in San Francisco. The prize honors the late Medawar, winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine and a pioneer in transplantation biology. The award emphasizes the society's commitment to research and clinical achievement and notes the importance of past organ transp
Obituaries
Obituaries
James Allen Scott, 92, a parasitologist and retired National Institutes of Health official, died August 18 of kidney failure at his home in Bethesda, Md. Scott was an authority on helminthology, the study of diseases caused by parasitic worms. Scott received his Ph.D. in 1927 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He performed his early research in Egypt between 1929 and 1936, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a helminthologist at the Inst

Technology

Special Report: The Peptide-Oligonucleotide Partnership
Special Report: The Peptide-Oligonucleotide Partnership
Molecular biology has come a long way in the nearly 40 years since James Watson and Francis Crick published their classic paper on the three-dimensional structure of DNA (Nature, 171:737-738, 1953). Since then, the intimate relationship between nucleic acids and proteins has not only been deciphered, but also harnessed and manipulated to fuel a whole new industry. Armed with sophisticated equipment, today's molecular biologists can easily extract, purify, and sequence DNA, RNA, and proteins, a
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