October 1992

News

NIH Conflict-Of-Interest Regs Impending
NIH Conflict-Of-Interest Regs Impending
New agency rules will require universities to ensure that grantees have no monetary stake in corporate enterprises The Department of Health and Human Services is moving ahead with final work on long-awaited regulations to deal with financial conflict-of-interest questions involving researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health and other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, NIH officials confirm. A draft of the regulations obtained by The Scientist puts nearly all responsibility f
Job Market Sluggish For Neuroscientists
Job Market Sluggish For Neuroscientists
Despite advances in brain research, career horizons remain foggy for the researchersAs the Society for Neuroscience convenes its 22nd annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., this month, researchers will share a wealth of new knowledge about the central nervous system--about, for example, the uses of monoclonal antibody technology in studying the brain and the cognitive consequences of aging. But, as in other scientific disciplines, neuroscience research gains have not translated easily into achi
More Biotech Ph.D.'s Opting To Take Postdocs In Industry
More Biotech Ph.D.'s Opting To Take Postdocs In Industry
Better pay and richer research environments in the business sector lure young science grads away from academic labs Two years ago, when Thomas Malvar was finishing his doctorate in molecular immunology, he came to a major career crossroads. Should he go the traditional route and do his postdoctoral training in a university? Or should he follow a more adventurous path and do his postdoc in industry--a road that some of his professors warned was a professional dead end? Like a small but growin
Undergraduate Enrollment Drop Threatens Nuclear Science
Undergraduate Enrollment Drop Threatens Nuclear Science
Figures recently released by the Department of Energy indicate that the once-booming field of nuclear science continues to lose its appeal among young researchers--a trend that academic and government observers consider a growing threat to the United States nuclear industry. The DOE statistics--tallies on university enrollment that the department collects annually--show a steadily declining number of young scientists enrolling in nuclear engineering departments in United States academic insti
Lasker Officials Vow To Carry On In Tradition Established By Alice Fordyce
Lasker Officials Vow To Carry On In Tradition Established By Alice Fordyce
There won't be any loss of continuity in the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards program caused by the recent death of Alice Fordyce, former executive vice president of the New York- based Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, say scientists associated with the program. Fordyce died September 9 at the age of 86, after a brief illness. Jordan U. Gutterman, who replaced Fordyce as Lasker Foundation executive vice president and director of the Lasker awards program on Dec. 31, 1990, says that the

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
NAS On The Move Patently Extraordinary Grants for Health-Related Projects My Lab Has Fleas SSC Helps Minority Businesses Sea Stories Bruce M. Alberts, a biochemist and molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, has been nominated to succeed 12-year president Frank Press as head of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Alberts was selected by special committee and approved by the academy's 17-member governing council. Other individuals may be nominated by petit

Opinion

NIH Is `Century's Finest Social Invention'
NIH Is `Century's Finest Social Invention'
Editor's Note: In his latest book, The Fragile Species (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992), scientist-author Lewis Thomas offers a collection of 14 essays, covering a wide range of personal, social, and scientific issues. Prominent among these is the relationship of basic scientific research, the achievements of modern medicine, and the future promise of an ever-healthier population. However, Thomas--who is president, emeritus, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and

Letter

Fetal Tissue Research
Fetal Tissue Research
The central issue of the Bush administration's moratorium on fetal tissue research (Marcia Clemmitt, The Scientist, July 20, 1992, page 1) is whether the use of fetal tissue from elective abortions will encourage women to have an abortion they might not otherwise undergo. Explaining his recent veto of a bill permitting the use of fetal tissue, Bush said the bill "is inconsistent with our nation's deeply held beliefs." In 1987, the National Institutes of Health spent more than $11 million on f
Misleading Image
Misleading Image
The article entitled "Researchers Embark On Effort To Improve Image Of Scientists" by A.J.S. Rayl in the June 22 issue of The Scientist (page 20) is a timely and important message to all members of the scientific community. Unfortunately, the impression that I, and a number of my colleagues, are left with after reading the article is a disturbing one. Why were the interviews conducted exclusively with white males? This perpetuates one of the most damaging stereotypes and myths about the role of
Beware `False Moderates'
Beware `False Moderates'
The article by Ron Kaufman on animal research in the May 25, 1992, issue of The Scientist (page 8) posited two extremes, and then led readers to a "middle" path. In the controversy over the use of animals in medical research, however, one of the opponents does not represent an extreme. On one side are the abolitionists, who believe that no matter how necessary to human health or painless to animals, the use of animals is unjustifiable. The true opposite would be people advocating the right to

Commentary

Financial Support of Science and Technology: A Profitable Investment For The Government
Financial Support of Science and Technology: A Profitable Investment For The Government
We are hearing a great deal these days about the United States' federal budget deficit and its recessive position in global economic competition. What we are not hearing enough about is the central role that advances in science and technology must play if these problems are to be solved. Washington keeps telling scientists that "you people are just like everyone looking for a handout" and that "if this stuff you want to do is really worth doing, private industry should fund it." I disagree--in

Research

Disciplines Converge In Probe Of Memory And Learning
Disciplines Converge In Probe Of Memory And Learning
Humans and sea snails have a lot in common when it comes to learning and memory. Indeed, neuroscientists have found that little has changed at a cellular level since we departed evolutionarily from these mollusks. And this is just one of the recent findings that has brought neuroscientists to the edge of translating the molecular biology of nerve cells into an understanding of how humans first obtain and then retain information, sound, and images throughout the 70, 80, or even 100 years of a li

Hot Paper

Cell Biology
Cell Biology
Clarification: A version of Stephen J. Elledge's comment on this paper, which appeared in the Sept. 14, 1992, issue of The Scientist, contained an editing error that significantly altered its meaning. Following is a corrected version of Elledge's remarks. S.J. Elledge and M.R. Spottswood, "A new human p34 protein kinase, CDK2, identified by complementation of a cdc28 mutation in Saccharomyces-cerevisiae, is a homolog of Xenopus Eg1," The EMBO Journal, 10:2653-9, 1991. Stephen J. Elledge (Ba
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
A. Kakizuka, W.H. Miller, K. Umesono, R.P. Warrell, et al., "Chromosomal translocation t(15;17) in human acute promyelocytic leukemia fuses RAR with a novel putative transcription factor, PML," Cell, 66:663-74, 1991. Akira Kakizuka (The Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif.): "Our paper described the genes located at each of the breakpoints of the t(15;17) translocation associated with human acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). In addition to the karyotype abnormality, the patients with APL can be i
Applied Physics
Applied Physics
A. Halimaoui, C. Oules, G. Bomchil, "Electroluminescence in the visible range during anodic oxidation of porous silicon films," Applied Physics Letters, 59:304, 1991. A. Halimaoui (France-Telecom, CNET, Meylan, France): "Although crystalline silicon is the dominant material for microelectronics, it has been regarded as unsuitable for optical applications for more than 30 years. The main reason has been its inefficiency at emitting light under either electrical or optical excitation. The recen

Technology

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Captures Brain In Action
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Captures Brain In Action
Neuroscience researchers have long wished for improved functional mapping of the brain--for the ability to create better images showing the brain in action, rather than just its structure. In the past, these researchers have depended mainly on positron emission tomography (PET), but safety concerns posed by the radioactive contrast agents involved, along with the relatively coarse resolution and slow speed of PET imaging, have limited the usefulness of their results. But now, a new, naturall

Profession

For Job-Seeking Scientists, Well-Wrought Resumes Are Key
For Job-Seeking Scientists, Well-Wrought Resumes Are Key
Researchers used to writing grant proposals, journal articles, and other materials for the scientific community may need to take on a different mind-set when preparing their resumes, human- resources experts say. For one thing, the first person who reads a scientist's resume may not know that much about science. Joe Ruis, a technical recruiter with Tad Technical Services in King of Prussia, Pa., is an example. "I took chemistry so many times in school it was ridiculous," he says. Nonetheless
Survey Finds Bench Scientists' Salaries Rose In '90 At Independent Laboratories
Survey Finds Bench Scientists' Salaries Rose In '90 At Independent Laboratories
Spurred by a shortage of qualified personnel, mean annual salaries paid to scientists working in independent laboratories rose sharply in 1990 compared with compensation levels two years earlier, a recent survey has found. Bench scientists with expertise in analyzing a wide variety of items--including food, blood, air, and water--received pay increases that outpaced inflation, according to the American Council of Independent Laboratories Inc. (ACIL). The nonprofit group, based in Washingt
People: Newly Elected Leader Of Association For Women Geoscientists Intends To Implement Innovative Science Education Programs
People: Newly Elected Leader Of Association For Women Geoscientists Intends To Implement Innovative Science Education Programs
As the newly elected president of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), Janet L. Wright hopes the implementation of aggressive new programs will help more young women become interested, and stay interested, in science. Wright, who teaches introductory classes in physical geology and environmental geology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, says that taking the helm of the 15-year-old St. Paul, Minn.- based group is an opportunity to assist other women who share her passion for s
People: Research!America Organization Elects Duke Chancellor Emeritus As Chairman
People: Research!America Organization Elects Duke Chancellor Emeritus As Chairman
The board of directors of Research!America, a nonprofit organization whose focus is on educating the public about the benefits of biomedical research, has elected William G. Anlyan chairman. Anlyan, who since 1950 has been a Duke University professor of surgery and currently is a chancellor, emeritus, at Duke, assumed the lead position of Research!America's policy- making body on September 8. Anlyan says that, as the new chairman of the Alexandria-Va.-based organization--which has 165 instit