News

Two Companies: Microscopic Collaborations
Two Companies: Microscopic Collaborations
The Scientist 14[20]:0, Oct. 16, 2000 NEWS Two Companies: Microscopic Collaborations By Arielle Emmett Some of the more established companies seem to hedge their bets by forming complex, multiple collaborative relationships with a number of companies. Neose, for example, a Horsham, Pa.-based biotech venture specializing in complex carbohydrate development, now has five formal corporate collaborations in place, according to P. Sherrill Neff, president and CEO. "One
Cell Signaling Alliance Gets Under Way
Cell Signaling Alliance Gets Under Way
Alfred Gilman Completion of a draft of the human genome and advances in gene expression manipulation imply the potential capacity to predict altered behavior from factors such as pharmacological inputs. In an age where collaborations and joint ventures are typical, a Nobel laureate in biomedicine will lead a research alliance that ultimately should promote faster disease treatment via targeted drug remedies. Alfred Gilman, chairman of pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern at Dalla
Biotech Needs Collaborations, Joint Ventures
Biotech Needs Collaborations, Joint Ventures
The Scientist 14[20]:1, Oct. 16, 2000 NEWS Biotech Needs Collaborations, Joint Ventures Necessary for survival in today's world, partnering also has its perils By Arielle Emmett The biotech industry can no longer survive as a city of independent ventures. Collaborations, commercial alliances, joint ventures--a web of scientific, manufacturing, sales, and financial partnerships--is now the norm rather than the exception. Overwhelming benefits have resulted in terms of a f
Porcine Possibilities
Porcine Possibilities
Courtesy of PPL TherapeuticsA new generation of pigs. Headlines in late summer 2000 introduced long-awaited reports on pig cloning and retroviral transmission to mice, pig cells healing rat spinal cords, and a gaff by Dolly dad Ian Wilmut erroneously heralding halt of xenograft work at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland. So it seemed that the question of whether pigs can pass their retroviruses to humans might finally be on the road to resolution. Not quite. Pigs, as the purveyors o
hepatitis c lasker award
Six Scientists Receive Lasker Awards
Six Scientists Receive Lasker Awards
Ubiquitin-related research has made the transition from the basic to clinical arena in the past decade, and the field is now central to understanding diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders.
Of SNPs and Smells
Of SNPs and Smells
The language of a DNA sequence is more than meets the eye. A string of A, C, T, and G can indeed encode a string of amino acids. At a higher level, however, nuances of sequence may impart evolutionary information, because variants accumulate over time. Single nucleotide polymorphisms--SNPs--for example, are scattered throughout the human genome on average about one every 500 to 1,000 DNA bases. But they are not distributed evenly, and their clustering or paucity may hold clues to the past. A te
N.Y. Panel Explores Genomics Issues
N.Y. Panel Explores Genomics Issues
What can people expect from biotechnology and genomics? Ten luminaries from the biomedical arena, law, and journalism grappled with issues related to that question at the City University of New York's Graduate Center on Sept. 20. In attendance was an audience of 350 whose research, medical, and counseling careers could hinge on how such issues are resolved. Syracuse University's Gene Media Forum (www.genemedia.org) sponsored the event. The recurring theme was biological predictability. Er
News Notes
News Notes
A new strategic alliance has brought two countries separated by the Atlantic Ocean closer together, with Maryland becoming the first state to enter into a biotechnology agreement with Scotland. University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute's (UMBI) president Jennie Hunter-Cevera joined representatives from Maryland and Scotland's biotech communities at a recent ceremony where an agreement was signed designed to increase business and scientific collaborations. Hunter-Cevera was part of a 14-memb

Letter

Evaluating Productivity
Evaluating Productivity
Thomas J. Phelan states in his Oct. 2 Opinion1 that peer review has no alternatives for single research product quality evaluation, but publication and citation alternatives may exist for evaluating aggregated research quality. I have examined and developed myriad research evaluation methodologies for some time,2, 3 both for single and aggregate research units. For research evaluations that will impact real-world decisions, peer review is required at all levels of aggregation.2 Publications, pa

Commentary

Putting Ph.D.s at the Head of the Class
Putting Ph.D.s at the Head of the Class
The United States is experiencing a teacher shortage, and school systems from New York to California are feeling the pinch. Many children in kindergarten through grade 12 returned to school this fall to find overcrowded classrooms, substitute teachers, or in some cases, no teachers at all. Qualified science and math teachers are especially scarce. What's more, as the school-age population grows and a significant number of baby boomers who teach prepare for retirement, the U.S. Department of Educ

Research

Genetic Parasites and a Whole Lot More
Genetic Parasites and a Whole Lot More
Photo: Ori Fragman, Hebrew University Hordeum spontaneum, the plant studied for BARE-1 retroelements. With genome sequences arriving almost as regularly as the morning paper, the public's attention is focused on genes--new genes to protect crops against pests; rogue genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics; faulty genes that, if fixed, could cure diseases such as muscular dystrophy. What many people don't realize is that genes account for only part of an organism's DNA, and in many c
Research Notes
Research Notes
Brain Disease Research Advances with Gene Chips Though there is no cure for the millions of Americans with epilepsy, recent advances using gene chip technology may have found a key to treatment for those recovering from seizure trauma. Researchers led by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., report on using the gene chip technology that determines whether a gene is turned on or off by measuring its ability to bind to the corresponding DNA sequences on the chips. They c

Hot Paper

The Rickettsia prwazekii Genome Sequence
The Rickettsia prwazekii Genome Sequence
For this article, Nadia S. Halim interviewed Charles Kurland, professor of molecular biology at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age. S.G.E. Andersson, A. Zomorodipour, J.O. Andersson, T. Sicheritz-Ponten, U.C.M. Alsmark, R.M. Podowski, A.K. Naslund, A-S. Eriksson, H.H. Winkler, and C.G. Kurland, "The genome sequence of Rickettsia prowazekii
Defining the Roles of Stat5 Proteins
Defining the Roles of Stat5 Proteins
For this article, Nadia S. Halim interviewed James Ihle, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and chairman of the department of biochemistry, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age. S. Teglund, C. McKay, E. Schuetz, J.M. van Deursen, D. Stravopodis, D. Wang, M. Brown, S. Bodner, G. Grosveld, and J.N. Ihle, "Stat5a and

Technology

Trimming the Tedium
Trimming the Tedium
Zymark Corporation's automated Prelude™ Workstation reduces sample preparation time. Automated sample preparation provides numerous advantages for today's busy laboratory. Researchers currently face an increased pace of new product development, stricter quality control, and more testing requirements imposed by federal government regulations. The Prelude Personal Productivity Workstation from Zymark Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass., is designed to help researchers meet these increasingly stringen
Primer Designer
Primer Designer
In the rapidly widening arena of functional genomics, a few key players dominate the lab tools game. Perhaps the most prominent is the DNA microarray. This robust tool allows researchers to examine the expression of hundreds, even thousands, of genes at once. In these arrays, carefully organized patches of either complementary DNA (cDNA) clones or oligonucleotides are robotically deposited on a fixed surface. Researchers use labeled probes to locate areas of gene expression, tackling questions o

Bench Buys

Bench Buys
Bench Buys
Buy 3, Get 1 Free Until October 30, 2000, Stratagene is offering a special introductory price on its Human and Mouse Total RNA: Buy three and get the fourth free. Human total RNA is available from a variety of normal and diseased adult and fetal human tissues; mouse total RNA is derived from pathogen-free tissues from a BALB/c mouse strain. Both products are subjected to high quality standards and are RNase-free. To receive this promotional offer, reference Quote #PP001. Stratagene, (800) 424

Technology Profile

A Thousand Points of Light
A Thousand Points of Light
Not so long ago, researchers had somewhat limited choices for locating and following a particular piece of DNA. A probe could be labeled using radioactivity, by kinasing an end or nick-translating the whole piece. A fragment of interest could be visualized (along with all other DNA and RNA species in the preparation) using ethidium bromide. With sufficient skill and patience an investigator could obtain from these rather crude techniques fairly impressive information, such as the precise 5' end
Second Thoughts
Second Thoughts
Selected Companies Providing Used or Refurbished Lab Equipment Selected Companies Providing Used or Refurbished Lab Equipment (Continued) For scientists who are unfamiliar with the secondary market for lab equipment, the prospect of buying a used centrifuge or thermal cycler conjures up images of fast-talking salesmen and broken-down instrumentation strung together with duct tape and paper clips. Fearful of high-pressure tactics disguised in polyester and snake skin boots, many scientists in

Profession

Research in the Business World
Research in the Business World
As more universities negotiate licensing agreements with biotech firms and big Pharma, unprecedented numbers of life scientists move between the Ivory Tower and industrial labs. Are the worlds of academia and industry colliding or meshing? How does the bottom line govern what science gets done? Although answers will vary from company to company, say life science researchers based in private sector research, there are more similarities than some might think. Lee Rubin, senior vice presiden
Cashing in on the Future
Cashing in on the Future
As a university faculty member, you helped develop a technology that was licensed to industry. As part of the deal, you were given a share of the royalties from future products. The future is here, and the royalty checks may not be rolling in--or if they are coming in, they're not enough to fund your life's dream. Perhaps you should consider doing what companies, universities, and more and more individuals are doing: in the words of Walter Flamenbaum, a partner in Paul Capital Partners in New Yo
Profession Notes
Profession Notes
Making an Impression Until about 15 years ago, scientists thought that the two copies of genes from both the mother and father are expressed equally. Since then, researchers have discovered that while such holds true for about 99.9 percent of the genome, there are about 100 genes where the mother's or the father's copy is permanently silenced. The expression of a trait being dependent on which parent from which the genetic material came is known as genetic imprinting. One of those currently re

Opinion

Why Ecology Lags Behind Biology
Why Ecology Lags Behind Biology
Illustration: A. Canamucio The triumph of the mapping of the human genome is eloquent testimony to how fast the life sciences have come from the 1960s when the Nuffield Foundation found it necessary to launch a program of biological scholarships to leaven the "soft" biological sciences with expertise from the "hard" sciences of physics and chemistry. The program supported academically qualified physicists and chemists seeking careers in the life sciences, or life scientists wishing to obtain a d