News

Presidential Contenders Sharpen Their Focus On Scientific Issues As Election Approach
Presidential Contenders Sharpen Their Focus On Scientific Issues As Election Approach
Although Clinton and Bush disagree on the details, both candidates support increased efforts in R&D As the United States presidential campaign heads into its final stages, President George Bush and Democratic challenger Gov. Bill Clinton are maneuvering for the political high ground on the subject of high tech--particularly technology-driv-en approaches to bolstering the nation's economy and global competitiveness. Both candidates occasionally have addressed issues of federal support for bas
Florida Researchers Still Weighing Hurricane Losses
Florida Researchers Still Weighing Hurricane Losses
Two months after Andrew unleashed its devastating fury, scientists continue to assess the damage the storm caused to their lives and laboratory endeavors Eight weeks have passed since Hurricane Andrew cut its devastating swath across South Florida, and public officials are still in the process of assessing the damage its winds and waves wrought in terms of fatalities, property loss, and shattered human lives. Scientists working and living in Andrew's path were by no means spared, for the ra
Scientists Doubtful About New Law Aiming To Protect Animal Research Facilities
Scientists Doubtful About New Law Aiming To Protect Animal Research Facilities
The act, they contend, will not deter violence by zealots Scientists whose labs and offices have been victimized by the arson, burglary, and property damage of animal rights activists insist that a new law, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, will not end the long string of violence. The legislation, signed two months ago by President Bush, adds vandalism of animal research labs, or "animal enterprise terrorism," according to the law, to federal criminal statutes. The Department o
HHS Secretary Sullivan To Determine If NIH Gene Patent Quest Is Over
HHS Secretary Sullivan To Determine If NIH Gene Patent Quest Is Over
The decision on whether the National Institutes of Health should continue its quest for patents on partial human cDNA sequences now rests with Health and Human Services secretary Louis Sullivan. In September, NIH director Bernadine Healy revealed that the agency had received an initial rejection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for the approximately 2,700 partial gene sequences generated by former NIH researcher Craig Venter and others. Then, on October 5, an HHS spok
Bower Awards To Be Bestowed On Burkitt And Beckman
Bower Awards To Be Bestowed On Burkitt And Beckman
Denis Burkitt, who first established the link between a virus and a cancer and later helped demonstrate the importance of adding more fiber to the Western diet, has received the Bower Award and Prize in Science. The three-year-old award carries a cash prize of $373,000, and will be formally presented in January by Philadelphia's Franklin Institute to honor outstanding work in the life or physical sciences. Members of the international committee that chose the 81-year-old Burkitt to receive t
Brown University Professor Will Take Helm Of Cell Biology Society
Brown University Professor Will Take Helm Of Cell Biology Society
Susan A. Gerbi, a professor of biology at Brown University, has been elected president of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Although she does not officially take the helm of ASCB until mid-November, at the society's 32nd annual meeting in Denver, Gerbi has already identified four activities she hopes will keep the society vigorous. The first development Gerbi wants to see is increased subscriptions and advertising revenue for the society's journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell,
For First Time, Morris Animal Foundation Names Veterinarian As Executive Director
For First Time, Morris Animal Foundation Names Veterinarian As Executive Director
The 44-year-old Morris Animal Foundation is one of the few granting agencies in the United States to which researchers investigating animal medicine can turn for funding support. The group's new executive director, Robert Hilsenroth, says he hopes that under his leadership, the foundation not only will make significant gains in public awareness, but also will increase the size of its endowment. Hilsenroth, a veterinarian in Denver who sold his private practice 2 1/2 months ago, says he is th
New ANDP Chief
New ANDP Chief
The Association of Neurosciences Departments and Programs (ANDP) will have a new president, James E. Blankenship, in November. Blankenship is the associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, and a professor of anatomy and neurosciences and of physiology and biophysics in UTMB's Marine Biomedical Institute. ANDP, which as yet has no permanent location, is an organization of neuroscience departments from 130 United S

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Better Late Than Never Gruesome Child's Play Breath-Taking Advance Accelerated Science Foundation Taking A Global View Different Strokes... Just Like Grandma Used To Make Thomas Alva Edison finally got his B.S. degree yesterday--61 years after his death. Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J., which specializes in adult education, conferred upon Edison a posthumous degree in applied science and technology, with a specialization in electrical technology, at commencement ceremonies

Letter

The Publication Process
The Publication Process
Maria Rosenzweig's letter in the August 17, 1992, issue of The Scientist (page 12) draws an inaccurate picture of scientific publication, certainly as regards microbiology. She states that "Journals ...publish manuscripts of well-known scientists regardless of ...merit...." As editor of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology and of Archives of Microbiology, I have on many occasions had to reject papers by quite well-known scientists. It is rare that such scientists--or any others--have had manuscr

Opinion

Using Scientists As Courtroom Witnesses: System Needs Improvement
Using Scientists As Courtroom Witnesses: System Needs Improvement
Scientific issues now permeate a multitude of legal matters--the presentation of criminal evidence, cases involving intellectual property, environmental disputes, and so on. And, by all accounts, the courts are handling this surge of scientific adjudication poorly: Mishandling of scientific matters in court has been blamed for outrageous tort awards, improper criminal convictions, and even the erosion of the United States' competitiveness. In my view, the legal system's inability to properly

Commentary

Science And The Presidency: 1993
Science And The Presidency: 1993
Each four-year presidential election cycle frames an era of United States politics, including science in high politics. The greenhouse effect, the Valdez oil spill, and biodiversity; AIDS, tuberculosis, and other emerging diseases; fetal tissue research, genome mapping, DNA patents, and DNA fingerprinting; chemical weapons and unemployed Soviet bomb scientists; the space station and the supercollider: The past term has been a busy one for science in the White House. The next term will be b

Hot Paper

Cell Biology
Cell Biology
J. Martin, T. Langer, R. Boteva, A. Schramel, A.L. Horwich, F.-U. Hartl, "Chaperonin-mediated protein folding at the surface of groEL through a `molten globule'-like intermediate," Nature, 352:36-42, 1991. F.-Ulrich Hartl (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York): "Molecular chaperones, proteins that help other proteins to fold, have emerged over recent years as an important topic of research in biology. While their physiological significance has been established through a combination
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
A. Simeone, D. Acampora, V. Nigro, A. Faiella, M. D'Esposito, A. Stornainolo, et al., "Differential regulation by retinoic acid of the homeobox genes of the four HOX loci in human embryonal carcinoma cells," Mechanisms of Development, 33:215-228, 1991. Edoardo Bonicelli (H. S. Raffaele, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Milan, Italy): "This paper put some order into the zoo of vertebrate homeobox genes controlling positional information necessary for the appropriate body s
Chemical Physics
Chemical Physics
S. Saito, A. Oshiyama, "Cohesive mechanism and energy bands of solid C60," Physical Review Letters, 66:2637-40, 1991. Susumu Saito (NEC Corp., Ibaraki, Japan): "In 1990, I was delighted to hear that an icosahedral geometry of the C60 cluster was confirmed and that these molecules actually crystallized like ordinary atoms. I had already obtained the electronic structure of C60 and C60K (where K is trapped inside the C60 cage) clusters. So, we immediately studied the electronic structure of so

Research

Origins-Of-Life Research Rescued From Scientific Fringe
Origins-Of-Life Research Rescued From Scientific Fringe
Bolstered by new scientific evidence, research into how self- replicating organisms emerged from basic organic molecules present on the early Earth is moving away from the scientific fringe and into the mainstream. Although there are only a handful of people who would call themselves origins-of-life researchers, the field is undergoing a renaissance, with a wide array of disciplines, such as radio astronomy, planetary science, molecular biology, and biochemistry, converging to make advances.

Technology

Building Bridges Between Islands Of Data Acquisition
Building Bridges Between Islands Of Data Acquisition
In the sophisticated research laboratory of today, scientists have become increasingly dependent on computers as a means of enhancing and accelerating their investigations. A growing number of lab instruments now rely on a computer for their efficient operation; and the modern lab commonly has numerous other computers scattered about to handle such day-to-day chores as data analysis and report writing. While the benefits of computers in the lab are clear, incompatibility among devices from a

Profession

Scientific Society Presidencies: Full-Time, No Pay
Scientific Society Presidencies: Full-Time, No Pay
George Bush and Bill Clinton may be clogging the airwaves with television commercials promoting their candidacy, but among those vying for the presidency of a scientific society, such a voluble brand of campaigning is considered bad form. In further contrast to the president of the United States, presidents of scientific societies are volunteers, working for free at what is sometimes a full-time job. They usually serve a single, one-year term, and rarely run for a second. They don't have to
Johnson Grants Let Scientists Take Risks
Johnson Grants Let Scientists Take Risks
In 1989, when Harvard University geneticist Rachael Neve sought funding to test her controversial hypothesis on Alzheimer's disease, her requests fell on deaf ears. "I had been writing a proposal to [the National Institutes of Health] for a year and a half, and it kept getting rejected," recalls Neve, who challenged the conventional wisdom in neuroscience with data indicating that the toxic protein responsible for Alzheimer's was some 60 amino acids longer than previously thought. "I applied to