Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
As an assistant professor in the School of Communication at American University, Matthew Nisbet studies scientific and environmental controversies. Part of his work involves examining the interactions between experts, journalists, and the public. He tracks these issues in his blog, Framing Science (http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science). In "The Future of Public Engagement", he and Dietram Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin in Madison

Editorial

Scientists on Science
Scientists on Science
Should researchers "frame" their work, or is that just spin?

Mail

Mail
Mail
How much should Gardasil cost? Re: "How much should Gardasil cost?",1 which argues that Merck could cut the price of its HPV [human papillomavirus] vaccine by 90% and still profit. Stop complaining that publicly traded, for-profit companies charge too much for their products. They were not established to maximize the social good. If you believe they are denying treatment due to pricing, you have other options beyond haranguing them about morality: Go to a stockholders' meeting,

Notebook

Scorpion tags tumors
Scorpion tags tumors
Fluorescence indicates chlorotoxin binding to medulloblastoma cells in a mouse (right). Credit: Image by Mandana Veiseh, courtesy of AACR" />Fluorescence indicates chlorotoxin binding to medulloblastoma cells in a mouse (right). Credit: Image by Mandana Veiseh, courtesy of AACR Within minutes after being stung by the scorpion known as the deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus), weakness starts to kick in. The feeling quickly spreads, paralyzing its prey (typically insects) for hours -
Poop tracking
Poop tracking
As she walks into her microbiology laboratory at Oregon State University, Kate Field hands her graduate student a Ziploc bag full of tubes of fecal samples. "These are just in from New Zealand," she says with a smile. For just being handed what essentially amounts to a bag of poop, her graduate student seems pretty excited as well. Now, the student's job is to test whether the genetic markers Field has developed can reliably identify what type of animal produced the sample. "Right no
Seafloor to bench top
Seafloor to bench top
A digital model of two of the "synaptic" proteins Kosik and his team found in a sponge's genome. Credit: Courtesy of The Public Library of Science (PLoS)" />A digital model of two of the "synaptic" proteins Kosik and his team found in a sponge's genome. Credit: Courtesy of The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Three years ago, Ken Kosik, a Harvard Medical School neurologist who studies Alzheimer disease, packed up files and equipment from his lab in Cambridge and moved 5,000 kilomete
Koalas vs. chlamydia
Koalas vs. chlamydia
Prepping a koala for a procedure Credit: Courtesy of Stephen Pincock" />Prepping a koala for a procedure Credit: Courtesy of Stephen Pincock Peering through a fringe of eucalyptus leaves, Don the koala greets visitors with an air of unmistakable curiosity. His large and sensitive nose can easily detect the scent of unfamiliar humans, but his tiny eyes seem much less useful. Swollen and half covered by inflamed eyelids, they've been reduced to slits by debilitating conjunctivitis.
Fashioning conservation
Fashioning conservation
Credit: Courtesy of Save China's Tigers" /> Credit: Courtesy of Save China's Tigers A steel cage-covered jeep barrels through the gates at the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, China, and tosses out a scrawny pheasant. A few lazily sunbathing tigers lift their heads in curiosity. In a matter of seconds, one tiger leaps toward the confused creature, which musters up enough energy to flutter away. But, the bird's small victory is short-lived: The tiger, followed by several freeloaders, ch

The Agenda

The Agenda
The Agenda
Credit: © David Goodsell" /> Credit: © David Goodsell FRAMING TALK >> Matthew Nisbet opens up a discussion on how researchers should frame science for the public. To hear more from Nisbet, attend one of his talks this month in Seattle, October 5th; Washington DC, October 18th; or New York City, October 24th. For a full list of Nisbet's talks, visit his blog at www.scienceblogs.com/framing-science/. COURSE IN BIAS >> In an opinion, Frank Douglas t

Uncategorized

Slideshow: Saving koalas from chlamydia
Slideshow: Saving koalas from chlamydia
Slideshow: Saving koalas from chlamydia Scientists are on the hunt for a vaccine to save one of Australia's most celebrated species var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53654/koala.swf", width:"520", height:"580", majorversion:"8", build:"0"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content:
Slideshow: Is the South China Tiger worth saving?
Slideshow: Is the South China Tiger worth saving?
Slideshow: Is the South China Tiger worth saving? One former fashion executive has spent millions on what some deem a lost cause var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53657/tiger.swf", width:"520", height:"580", majorversion:"8", build:"0"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content:
Readers weigh in on framing
Readers weigh in on framing
Readers weigh in on framing The results from our online poll are in. Here's the most up-to-date information on what you think about framing in science 1. First, a bit about you. How would you describe yourself? Response Percent Response Count  A practicing scientist in the lab  41.0%   166   A former scientist in the lab or science graduate  34.1%   138   A non-scientist
The Future of Public Engagement
The Future of Public Engagement
The Future of Public Engagement The facts never speak for themselves, which is why scientists need to "frame" their messages to the public. By Matthew C. Nisbet & Dietram A. Scheufele Related Articles 1 Page is just one of several leaders who have called attention to the urgent need for new directions in science communication. Yet unfortunately, still missing from much of the general discussion is a systematic understanding of how the public uses the media to form
A Typology of Frames Specific to Science-Related Issues
A Typology of Frames Specific to Science-Related Issues
A Typology of Frames Specific to Science-Related Issues By Matthew C. Nisbet & Dietram A. Scheufele ARTICLE EXTRAS The Future of Public Engagement Here's what you think How to start? Results of Our Online Survey Our Reader's Thoughts Social progress... improving quality of life, or solution to problems. Alternative interpretation as harmony with nature instead of mastery, "sustainability." Economic development/competitiveness
Here's what you think
Here's what you think
Here's what you think More than 250 readers completed our online survey about framing science. The Readers and Editors of The Scientist ARTICLE EXTRAS The Future of Public Engagement Results of Our Online Survey A Typology of Frames Specific to Science-Related Issues How To Start? Our Reader's Thoughts On average, most of the practicing, former, and non-scientists who completed our online poll about framing agree with the principle t
How to start?
How to start?
How to start? Suggestions for framing science ARTICLE EXTRAS The Future of Public Engagement A Typology of Frames Specific to Science-Related Issues Here's what you think Results of Our Online Survey Our Reader's Thoughts Do the research. Communication is a science. Skill and personal experience should be informed by a systematic understanding of the media system and the ways in which nontraditional audiences make sense of various
Slideshow: Expanding the world's most famous canal
Slideshow: Expanding the world's most famous canal
Slideshow: Expanding the world's most famous canal var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53658/panama.swf", width:"520", height:"580", majorversion:"8", build:"0"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content:
Opening Pandora's Locks
Opening Pandora's Locks
Opening Pandora's Locks Will Panama's planned widening of the famed interocean canal spell ecologic trouble? By Andrea Gawrylewski ARTICLE EXTRAS 1 "Many EIAs are laughably superficial," writes Laurence. He cites a case involving a proposed apartment complex that would require clearing of forests. Surveyors hired by developers identified 12 bird species in the area, but when experienced bird-watchers conducted a two-hour census of the same area, they identified 121
Expanding Evolutionary History
Expanding Evolutionary History
Expanding Evolutionary History What geologists and paleontologists can learn from the canal excavation By Andrea Gawrylewski ARTICLE EXTRAS Opening Pandora's Locks Slideshow: Expanding the world's most famous canal The Plan to Expand On the hills of the Culebra Cut, a few miles north of the Miraflores Locks, bulldozers and dump trucks are carting masses of soil away from the edge of the canal. Each day geologist and paleontologist Carlos Jarami
The Plan to Expand
The Plan to Expand
The Plan to Expand Andrea Gawrylewski ARTICLE EXTRAS Opening Pandora's Locks Slideshow: Expanding the world's most famous canal Expanding Evolutionary History At present, the maximum dimensions for a ship passing through the locks is 32 m wide by 294 m long, with a 12 m draft depth. After construction, the new larger locks will be able to accommodate ships that are up to 49 m wide, 366 m long, with a 14 m draft depth. Two new sets of locks
The RNA Conductome
The RNA Conductome
The RNA Conductome What can we learn from the in-process encyclopedia of how non-protein-coding sequences exert genetic control? The Scientist Staff Over the years, scientists and drug companies seeking genetic control over biological systems have focused their attention on proteins. But that's only one part of the picture: Recently, scientists have been accumulating evidence that non-protein-coding sequences often play the role of conductor in the body's response: it'
MicroRNAs: An emerging portrait
MicroRNAs: An emerging portrait
0&&parent.frames.length) { d=parent.frames[n.substring(p+1)].document; n=n.substring(0,p);} if(!(x=d[n])&&d.all) x=d.all[n]; for (i=0;!x&&i MicroRNAs: An emerging portrait By Melissa Lee Phillips The RNA Conductome Human Genome as an RNA Machine One lab mines for microRNAs Fifteen years ago, no one had even heard of microRNAs. Not anymore: These small but abundant regulatory, non-coding RNAs - initially thought to be an oddity of nematode biology - appea
One lab mines for microRNAs
One lab mines for microRNAs
One lab mines for microRNAs By Melissa Lee Phillips Related Articles The RNA Conductome MicroRNAs: An emerging portrait The Human Genome as an RNA Machine On a wall in Thomas Tuschl's Rockefeller University lab hangs a huge painting created by a street artist. The large, bright figures wearing white lab coats and nametags are members of the Tuschl lab, circa 2004. In the background of the painting, drawings on a green chalkboard illustrate a si
The Human Genome: RNA Machine
The Human Genome: RNA Machine
The Human Genome: RNA Machine Contrary to current dogma, most of the genome may be functional. John S. Mattick Related Articles 1 The idea of "junk DNA" is also based on the assumption that most genetic information is transacted via proteins, an assumption that dates back half a century to a time when the pioneers of molecular biology were studying bacteria, wherein most genes do indeed encode proteins. By contrast, protein coding sequences occupy only ~1.2% of the
Your Drug Target Audience
Your Drug Target Audience
Your Drug Target Audience Whether drug companies like it or not, the FDA is pushing patient-reported outcomes in trials. So what are they good for? By Ed Silverman ARTICLE EXTRAS Putting It All Together Bruce Montgomery remembers the moment he came faceto-face with a quality-of-life issue. It was the summer of 2004, and he had traveled to Maryland to meet with staffers at the Food and Drug Administration to discuss an inhaled antibiotic, which his company
Putting It All Together
Putting It All Together
Putting It All Together What goes into a patient reported outcome? By Ed Silverman ARTICLE EXTRAS Your Drug Target Audience Designing a patient-reported outcome requires months of painstaking research and interaction with patients, says Alexandra Quittner, a professor of psychology and pediatrics at the University of Miami, who eight years ago began designing a questionnaire for Genentech and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that eventually spanned 18 study cite
Sequencing Surge
Sequencing Surge
How two new methods and two years have changed sequencing.

Opinion

Discrimination in Academia
Discrimination in Academia
A faculty member and administrator who resigned over conditions at MIT speaks out.

Column

What is Your Brain Worth?
What is Your Brain Worth?
Neurological diseases cost billions, but we shouldn't overspend on brain research.
Poisoning the Poison
Poisoning the Poison
A new biologic could save the thousands of people killed by pesticides every year.

Profile

Not Flowers, But Flies
Not Flowers, But Flies
Gerry Rubin was exposed to the leading lights of molecular biology right from the start of his career. Now he's trying to attract the next generation of leaders to Janelia Farm.

Books etc.

STIMulating Discoveries
STIMulating Discoveries
Two groups reveal an essential messenger in store-operated calcium entry.

Hot Paper

Diversity in the gut
Diversity in the gut
Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: P.B. Eckburg et al., "Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora," Science, 308:1635-8, 2005. (Cited in 158 papers) The finding: David Relman from Stanford University and colleagues sequenced more than 13,000 ribosomal RNA genes from microbial populations in the gut tissue and feces of three adult humans. "In some ways, thi
Cannabinoid receptor surprise
Cannabinoid receptor surprise
Credit: © Dr Neal Scolding / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Dr Neal Scolding / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: M. Van Sickle et al., "Identification and functional characterization of brainstem cannabinoid CB2 receptors," Science, 310: 329?32, 2005. (Cited in 80 papers) The finding: While studying the anti-emetic effects of endogenous cannabinoids in ferrets, Keith Sharkey at the University of Calgary, Canada and collea
Methylation mystery
Methylation mystery
Methylation mystery
David Allis from Rockefeller University and colleagues used a biochemical pull-down assay and found that the protein WDR5, a common part of histone methyltransferase complexes, associates specifically with dimethylated H3K4 nucleosomes.

Papers To Watch

Model variation
Model variation
Credit: © Dr. Jeremy Burgess / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Dr. Jeremy Burgess / Photo Researchers, Inc. To better understand how evolutionary pressures have helped shape genetic variation in Arabidopsis thaliana, Detlef Weigel from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues used high-density oligonucleotide arrays to look at single nucleotide polymorphisms of 20 diverse strains of the plant.1 The group found that, since 2000, abo
Papers to Watch
Papers to Watch
N. Stern-Ginossar, et al., "Host immune system gene targeting by a viral miRNA." Science, 317:376-81, July 20, 2007. Upon infection of its host, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) expresses a miRNA that directly down-regulates expression of an immunorelated gene, MICB. Thus, it appears that HCMV has developed two distinct mechanisms to down-regulate expression of the same immunorelated gene, with the RNA-based strategy presumably being more ancient. -
Group migration
Group migration
While the internal mechanisms that guide cell migration have been described for individual cells, Pernille Rørth at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and colleagues examined signaling activation in Drosophila border cells to uncover how groups of cells migrate collectively. They found that in the later phase of migration, leading cells have more mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation than trailing cells.1 "What's setting direction

Scientist To Watch

Dee Denver: Shaking up mutation
Dee Denver: Shaking up mutation
Credit: © Lincoln Barbour PHOTOGRAPHY" /> Credit: © Lincoln Barbour PHOTOGRAPHY Though it's been decades since he was a kid turning over rocks in St. Joseph, Missouri, Dee Denver, now assistant professor in the zoology department at Oregon State University, still enjoys looking at nematodes. "It's beautiful," he says, watching through a microscope in his laboratory as a tiny worm makes sinusoidal tracks through a plate of Escherichia coli. It's no coincidence that the a

Lab Tools

Genomic Alterations 2.0
Genomic Alterations 2.0
How to make the most of the evolving technology for detecting copy number variants.
Tips for CNV Detection
Tips for CNV Detection
Related Articles How It Works: CGH Arrays Genomic Alterations 2.0 Bac in time Aneuploid problems Old dog, new tricks Multiplex for control Needle in the haystack Keep it clean - Do everything you can to remove proteins and keep the DNA from degrading, Scherer says. "Sample preparation is critical. All problems, in some way, can be tracked back to the quality of the DNA." Double up - If your lab can afford it, run samples with two types of arrays. Lo was able to confir
How It Works: CGH Arrays
How It Works: CGH Arrays
Related Articles Genomic Alterations 2.0 Tips for CNV Detection Bac in time Aneuploid problems Old dog, new tricks Multiplex for control Needle in the haystack Comparative genomic hybridization (CHG) provides the densest coverage of probes for CNV detection, but the traditional technique using bacterial artificial chromosome arrays is time consuming and not always reproducible. Two companies, Agilent and NimbleGen, have released dedicated CGH platforms that instead use oligonucleotid

BioBusiness

An Antibiotic to the Rescue
An Antibiotic to the Rescue
How Cubist's Jeff Alder turned a devastating Phase III failure into an approval.

Pulse Oximeter

For the Hottest Jobs, Go Regulatory
For the Hottest Jobs, Go Regulatory
The most in-demand jobs in science, and how to get a piece of the action
So you want to be a regulatory affairs professional - here's how to get started:
So you want to be a regulatory affairs professional - here's how to get started:
Joan Kwong Credit: Courtesy of Pat Dougherty" />Joan Kwong Credit: Courtesy of Pat Dougherty The academic two-step. For a PhD coming straight out of academia, the switch to regulatory affairs can be tough, but not impossible. "It's very doable," but it takes two transitions, David Jensen says. You'll have to start by moving from the academic bench to the industry bench, keeping in mind that the company is interested in hiring you for the research experience you have right now. O

Foundations

RSV: The First Specimens
RSV: The First Specimens
A hen's leg with osteochondrosarcoma, circa 1912 Credit: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com" />A hen's leg with osteochondrosarcoma, circa 1912 Credit: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com It was not odd that an upstate New York farmer would bring a sick Plymouth Rock hen to Peyton Rous at the Rockefeller Institute in 1909, nor that Rous would be interested in the case. Two years earlier, Hungarian veterinarian Joseph Marek had identified the costly, highly transmissible visceral