October 1990

News

Science's Future: Do Women Hold The Key?
Science's Future: Do Women Hold The Key?
A move is on in academia and government to shatter barriers that traditionally have stymied U.S. females' pursuit of science careers The warning cry sounds loud and clear throughout the science community and well beyond--in the halls of Congress and in the financial community: The United States is suffering from severe and worsening shortage of scientists, one that threatens the nation's ability to compete internationally Everyone, from the president to academicians to industry leaders, is wor
Young Chemist Couple Parlayed Dye Sideline Into Big Business
Young Chemist Couple Parlayed Dye Sideline Into Big Business
The Hauglands cultivated their booming enterprise by anticipating the demand for new fluorescent probes It was 1975, and husband-and-wife chemists Dick and Rosaria Haugland were short on cash. Rosaria had taken time out from academic research in biochemistry to raise the couple's two children, and Dick regretted having no time for research in his first teaching job at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. As a way to make extra money and as an excuse to spend more time in the laboratory Dick
Flexibility, Balance Draw Women To The University Of Oregon
Flexibility, Balance Draw Women To The University Of Oregon
EUGENE, Oreg.--Janis Weeks looks up and smiles as the sounds of young voices drift through an open window on the University of Oregon campus. The neurobiologist points out her young son, one of a half-dozen youngsters walking hand-in-hand across the quad to the day care center. Her belly bulging, Weeks is expecting her second child sometime this month. Weeks is a proud mother and she is also the proud recipient of a 1989 Presidential Young Investigator (PYI) award, a prestigious honor bestowed
Bioreactor Startup Comes Together Using Soviet Technology And U.S. Financing
Bioreactor Startup Comes Together Using Soviet Technology And U.S. Financing
In an unprecedented deal, RiboGene Inc. is putting a Soviet team's advanced research into production with American money MENLO PARK, Calif.A year and a half ago, venture capitalist Petri Vainio was considering buying into a proposal from protein chemist and would-be entrepreneur Kin-Ping Wong. So Vainio began an investigation commonly performed by patent attorneys to see whether any other inventor, anywhere in the world, had come up with a similar idea. Vainio discovered that a group of Sovie
Toughest Federal Science Jobs Elude Women
Toughest Federal Science Jobs Elude Women
WASHINGTON When top federal jobs are handed out in Washington, few plums the most desirable and highest-profile positions go to women. And a new survey shows that they don't get the prunes the less visible but most demanding jobs either. And this goes for science jobs, as well as other kinds of jobs. Indeed, last year a private think-tank here, the Council for Excellence in Government, identified 100 prune jobs throughout the government. This year the council has narrowed its focus to select t
A Rough, Long Struggle In Science History
A Rough, Long Struggle In Science History
Before Margaret Rossiter wrote her book Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940 (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1982), science historians had not paid much attention to women scientists. There was the occasional bibliography, but no survey of what Rossiter found were large numbers of underrecognized and underemployed women who had managed to work in the lab. Rossiter transformed dusty records archived letters, manuscripts and obituaries of women's past scientif

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
If you say something often enough, maybe people will listen. For the fifth time in the past four years, the National Institutes of Health is telling scientists conducting clinical research to include women in their study populations. This latest exhortation comes after Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and other members of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, following up on a recent General Accounting Office report that pointed out NIH's dismal performance to date in this area, blasted NIH

Opinion

Inspiring Women To Pursue Science: A Job That Should Begin At Home
Inspiring Women To Pursue Science: A Job That Should Begin At Home
An April 1989 report from the National Science Foundation's Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering tells us that, in 1983, when women represented more than 50 percent of all undergraduates in United States colleges and universities, they earned only 30 percent or 116,000 of all the science and engineering bachelor's degrees awarded. The report also tells us that in 1985 women received only 198 or 6.7 percent of the 2,967 engineering doctorates handed out in the U.S. Such st
Long Live The Differences Between Men And Women Scientists
Long Live The Differences Between Men And Women Scientists
Author: Julia King Evelyn Fox Keller received her Ph.D. in theoretical physics, with a dissertation in molecular biology, in 1963. For 12 years, she pursued a research career in mathematical physics and biology. Over the past 15 years, Keller shifted to the history and philosophy of science. She is well known for her investigations into the role of gender ideology in the development of science. In 1985, she published Reflections on Gender and Science (Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.),

Letter

Letter: Profit Percentages
Letter: Profit Percentages
I wish to correct some misinformation in the article Lawsuits Threaten ACS' Nonprofit Status, Financial Health [The Scientist, Aug. 20, 1990, page 3]. It is stated that last year our Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) generated a profit of more than $4 million on revenues of approximately $45 million. That is not correct. Last year, CAS generated $105.9 million in revenues, and after expenses, made a net contribution to the ACS of $4.2 million. Therefore, the return is approximately 4 percent, ra
Letter: Hands Across The Sea
Letter: Hands Across The Sea
In The Scientist [Feb. 19, 1990, page 5] I read about the Association of Engineers and Scientists for New Americans. I am a Soviet (Jewish) scientist; I have received the refugee status and I hope to emigrate this autumn. I belong to the category of Soviet emigrants mentioned in the article, of those who know nothing about the procedure of an interview, the techniques of finding a job, and so forth. Several of my friends are in a similar position. So, we will be very grateful for any informati
Letter: Nobel Contenders
Letter: Nobel Contenders
As a physicist, I very much enjoyed reading the very speculative article Twelve Prolific Physicists: Likely 1990 Nobel Contenders [The Scientist, Sept. 3, 1990, page 16]. However, if the Nobel Prize Selection Committee uses citation indices as its primary gauge of excellence, then it seems to me they have cheapened the prize by resorting to such cold and shallow criteria. Moreover, they will have overlooked (again) the seminal contributions of the most profound and original physicist in the wo
Letter: In The Name Of Science
Letter: In The Name Of Science
The latest twist in the ongoing debate about the use of animals in biomedical research is Leland C. Clark's charge that, according to the headline over his article, The Animal Rights Movement Threatens To Make Scientists An Endangered Species (The Scientist, Sept. 3, 1990, page 11). Surely, Clark was referring to animal research-oriented scientists only. Physicians and patients are increasingly aware that procedures and treatments developed through animal research the artificial heart comes to

Commentary

Commentary: Researchers Must Join Forces To Bolster Public Confidence And Funding Support
Commentary: Researchers Must Join Forces To Bolster Public Confidence And Funding Support
An old sailor's proverb offers some good advice for medical researchers in the current funding crisis: In a storm, pray to God but row to shore. That philosophy of self-help is the premise on which Research!America was founded just over a year ago. The idea was to get everyone in the boat to put their oars in the water and pull together. The organizers of our alliance saw the need for a broad-based advocacy effort to argue the case for medical research and champion its cause in the court of p

Research

Research: Top 10 Women Scientists Of The '80s: Making A Difference
Research: Top 10 Women Scientists Of The '80s: Making A Difference
In spite of traditional gender biases women scientists may have encountered as students and as working researchers, they are tackling tough research problems and handling them well.
Research: Chemical Engineer Leads Multidisciplinary Cancer Studies
Research: Chemical Engineer Leads Multidisciplinary Cancer Studies
Contrary to popular belief, tumors are not merely a collection of cancerous cells they are a whole system of malignant cells, vasculature, and interstitial space. Chemical engineer Rakesh Jain has discovered three barriers to the delivery of therapeutic agents to their targets. First, the blood supply is nonuniform. Some cells have adequate blood supply while others do not. Second, the pressure of the interstitial space is elevated throughout the tumor, causing drugs to be pushed back into the
Articles Alert
Articles Alert
Author: SIMON SILVER Department of Microbiology & Immunology University of Illinois Chicago The Luddites have mostly won during the 15 years of recombinant DNA research and debates. An FDA report concludes that bovine growth hormone presents no increased health risk. Yet the combination of building political bases and mounting irrational fear of genetic engineering means that we will probably continue to be protected from this unreal danger. Our students have questioning minds, so this compilat

Hot Paper

Hot Papers
Hot Papers
M.J. Birnbaum, Identification of a novel gene encoding an insulin-responsive glucose transporter protein, Cell, 57:305-15, 21 April 1989. Morris J. Birnbaum (Harvard Medical School, Boston): Almost 10 years prior to the publication of this paper, other researchers formulated a model to explain the rapid and reversible insulin-stimulated increase in glucose uptake in responsive target tissues: the hormone effects the redistribution of hexose transporter proteins from a latent intracellular comp

Profession

Career Shifts: From Academia To Industry, And Vice Versa
Career Shifts: From Academia To Industry, And Vice Versa
In 1986, after 30 years with Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, chemist T.Y. Shen took an early retirement. But he wasn't settling down to a life of leisure. After a successful career in industry, Shen wanted to take a stab at becoming an academic scientist. I enjoyed my career at Merck very much, first in research and later in administration, he says. But I wanted to do more research and enjoy an academic life in a second career. As Shen's experience shows, just because a scientis
U.S. Patent And Trademark Office Study Finds More Inventions Credited To Women
U.S. Patent And Trademark Office Study Finds More Inventions Credited To Women
Anyone taking a glance around the audience at a large scientific conference can see that there are significantly more women in science than there were just 15 years ago. But just how big a role are these women playing? Are they getting the opportunities to work on important projects or to create new products? The answers to these questions are elusive. But a recently released study by the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveals some interesting data that provide some clues. The repo
State, Land Grant Schools Raise Life Science Faculty Pay
State, Land Grant Schools Raise Life Science Faculty Pay
[Editor's Note: This is the first installment in a two-part series, to be continued in the Nov. 12, 1990, issue of The Scientist. This article deals with the salaries of state university and land grant college faculty in the life sciences; next's month's article will discuss the salaries of faculty in the physical sciences at these institutions.] Most of the institutions belonging to the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges boosted annual pay for their life scienc
People: Jackson Lab Mouse Geneticist To Chair International Nomenclature Committee
People: Jackson Lab Mouse Geneticist To Chair International Nomenclature Committee
Muriel Davisson, staff scientist at Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, was recently appointed chairwoman of the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice. This committee, formed in 1939 to ensure that names for mouse genes and linkage groups are standardized worldwide, also determines genetic criteria for the establishment of inbred and congenic strains of mice. When the committee was created, only 31 mouse gene loci were identified; today, that number is closer
People: Math `Nobel' Awarded In Kyoto, Japan; Knots And Strings Net Fields Medals
People: Math `Nobel' Awarded In Kyoto, Japan; Knots And Strings Net Fields Medals
The 1990 Fields Medals, mathematics' most prestigious international awards, were announced on August 21 in Kyoto, Japan, at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Four mathematicians received the award, which is accompanied by $15,000 Canadian. The Fields Medal, regarded as the Nobel Prize in mathematics and given every four years, was conceived by Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields. Vaughan F.R. Jones, professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, was reco
People: NAS's Beijing Office Reopens Its Doors; Arizona Archaeologist Appointed Director
People: NAS's Beijing Office Reopens Its Doors; Arizona Archaeologist Appointed Director
The primary channel of communication between scholars from the United States and their counterparts from China will resume this fall when the National Academy of Sciences reopens its Beijing office, closed for 14 months following last year's massacre at Tiananmen Square (The Scientist, July 10, 1989, page 1). John W. Olsen, a University of Arizona archaeologist, left for Beijing last month to serve a one-year appointment as the office's director. Reopening the office is going to be a real chal
Obituaries
Obituaries
Charles F. Reichelderfer, 53, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, died August 24 in Adelaide, Australia, of injuries resulting from being struck by a car. He was in Adelaide attending the international meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. Reichelderfer was known for his research involving microbial diseases of insects. In recent years, he worked with scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center isolat

Technology

Special Report: Biotechnology's Growth And Divergence
Special Report: Biotechnology's Growth And Divergence
Modern biotechnology stems from the recombinant DNA technology of the 1970s, but the discipline has grown far beyond that core. The people, products, and potentials of biotechnology have mushroomed from a handful of companies focused on a select few pharmaceuticals to hundreds of firms developing products for such diverse fields as forensics, food science, and environmental cleanup. Today, biotech consumers range from megacorporations to a couple at home confirming that a child is on the way.