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Undergraduate Summer Research Provides Taste Of Laboratory Life
Undergraduate Summer Research Provides Taste Of Laboratory Life
HANDS-ON ENDEAVOR: Aspiring science writer Dawn Breault did summer research with cell biologist Sam Bowser at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y. Many undergraduate students are returning to their respective campuses a little wiser in the ways of science after spending their summer vacations working on research projects at various institutions across the United States. In most cases, the experience helps undergraduates determine if they really want to pursue a career in science. It provides a
Study Highlights Need For More Scientists In Classroom
Study Highlights Need For More Scientists In Classroom
Sidebar: Focus On Inquiry ECHOES: TIMMS study director Albert Beaton says the U.S. elementary curiculum is too repetitive. International comparisons of precollege science and math achievement interest anyone concerned with future technological literacy and economic competitiveness. For scientists and mathematicians, such information also foreshadows the quality of future students and researchers in their professions. A poor performance at the elementary and secondary school levels can be a wak
Biologists Try New Tacks To Teach College Students
Biologists Try New Tacks To Teach College Students
REVERSING A TREND: A textbook by Ken Miller of Brown takes an unconventional macro-micro approach. In one controversial pedagogical technique, the conventional order of instruction is reversed. Biologists who teach their subject to first-year college students face a troubling dilemma. Over the past 20 years, the amount of subject matter that they must cover has expanded severalfold. During the same time, by most accounts, incoming students' scientific background and ability to understand theo
Corporate Programs Bolster Hands-On Science In Schools
Corporate Programs Bolster Hands-On Science In Schools
In Bonnie Hallam's class at Huey Elementary School in Philadelphia, first-graders don't just read about ecology-they make an ecosystem. Every year, a corner of Hallam's classroom becomes a pond. Filling a huge wooden barrel with water, students carefully arrange topsoil, mulch, logs-even goldfish and butterflies. "The kids get so involved," Hallam says. "Everyone has a good time." It's a different scene from a few years ago, when science was scarce in Hallam's class. "I've always liked science
Focus On Inquiry
Focus On Inquiry
The TIMSS results reveal, and national education standards stress, the value of inquiry-based learning, in which students apply the scientific method. They observe, hypothesize, experiment, and discuss and interpret results. Such learning allows students to build from everyday observations. "Even as simple an idea as dropping raisins in 7-Up and watching them bob up and down teaches principles of science," notes Richard Olenick, chairman of the physics department at the University of Dallas in

Leaders of Science

Otis Brawley
Otis Brawley
The Scientist Date: September 1, 1997 "THE SCIENTIST helps me stay informed. No other journal writes so comprehensively about science and science policy." OTIS BRAWLEY, Director Office of Special Populations, National Cancer Institute Otis Brawley was given a job last June to help plan and guide the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) agenda and ensure that the questions asked by NCI-sponsored scientists are pertinent to all Americans and that questions pertinent to women, the elderly, minorit

Opinion

Are Today's Biology Faculty Ready To Shape The Future?
Are Today's Biology Faculty Ready To Shape The Future?
This is a time of great ferment in education in the life sciences. The students we educate today are the voting citizens of tomorrow. Their attitudes toward and knowledge about the life sciences will determine the basis for future support of the discipline. New technologies offer faculty and students new ways to learn. The K-12 community's adoption of the recommendations from the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards, with their renewed emphasis on process and concep

Commentary

Rediscover Teaching, Service During This Academic Year
Rediscover Teaching, Service During This Academic Year
I observe the "New Year" on the opening day of classes. Each fall since I was three I have paid homage to the occasion. I have been taken, or have taken myself, shopping for the proper attire, pencil box, notebook, slide rule-or whatever-to commemorate the year gone by and to celebrate the year to come. Every year-66 of them-has been more exciting and challenging than the preceding one. New discoveries-my own, my students', my colleagues'-to be revealed. New ideas integrated with old truths. T

Letter

`New Era'
`New Era'
Regarding the July 21, 1997, issue of The Scientist: It's rather ironic that Carl Sagan is on the cover while Michael Behe is in the letters page (page 10). Our new breed of "postmodern" intellectuals such as Behe, David Berlinski, and John Mack have helped to put us squarely in Sagan's "demon-haunted world." At least from my perspective, those who disliked Sagan should quite welcome our new era of UFO abductions, mysterious intelligent designers, and Darwinist conspiracy theories. It is, after
Science And History
Science And History
Avraham Sonenthal's letter (The Scientist, July 7, 1997, page 10) repeats a common misconception that science can say nothing about history because you can't do experiments on history. Therefore, he concludes that the issue of creationism and evolutionary theory with respect to the development of contemporary life is a matter of faith. This is just wrong. The essence of testing scientific hypotheses is to evaluate the predictions that these hypotheses make about what one observes. These observa
Evolutionary Applications
Evolutionary Applications
Avraham Sonenthal (Letters, The Scientist, July 7, 1997, page 10) challenges readers to come up with "a practical application of biology that would have been impossible were it not for the hypothesis of evolution." While one can never prove that something would have been impossible, there are a number of very practical applications that would be highly unlikely were it not for evolutionary theory. The most obvious application is the use of animal testing for biological and pharmaceutical resea
Natural Selection
Natural Selection
Michael Behe (Letters, The Scientist, June 9, 1997, page 10) pulls many of the creationists' favorite tricks, albeit understated or in disguise, to sow doubt about evolution. He says that "common descent cannot be conclusively proved." By doing so, he uses the creationist ploy of misstating the way science works. Because science usually speaks in terms of probabilities and the weight of evidence rather than absolute certainties, it's an easy target. Behe also takes a glancing shot at the fossi
Evolutionary Retrodictions
Evolutionary Retrodictions
I agree with many of Avraham Sonenthal's points (The Scientist, July 7, 1997, page 10) regarding your recent article "To Effectively Discuss Evolution, First Define Theory" (R. Lewis, The Scientist, May 12, 1997, page 13). I disagree, however, that all science is experimental or that the extrapolation of evolution into the distant past is completely conjectural. Tests of theories can be observational and employ not just predictions but also retrodictions. Retrodictions are extrapolations into t

Research

Ecologist: Pattern Hunting Is Essential In Ecological Research
Ecologist: Pattern Hunting Is Essential In Ecological Research
Editor's Note: A few months ago, a group from the University of Maryland tried to put a dollar amount on the value of ecosystems (R. Costanza et al., Nature, 387:253-60, 1997). They estimated that the annual average value of the Earth's natural goods and services was about $33 trillion. This is the value of ecosystems writ large, but one somewhat less extensive area of ecological research is understanding the value of biodiversity to the health of the whole ecosystem. Are there redundant spec

Hot Paper

Cell Biology
Cell Biology
Edited by: Ricki Lewis H. Birkedal-Hansen, "Proteolytic remodeling of extracellular matrix," Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 7:728-35, 1995. (Cited in 56 publications through June 1997) Comments by Henning Birkedal-Hansen, National Institute of Dental Research TOOLS FOR REMODELING: Henning Birkedal-Hansen notes the importance of MMP enzymes in mediating changes in the extracellular environment. Few types of papers are as valuable to a scientist as a review article. For someone new to a field
Telomere Biology
Telomere Biology
Edited by: Ricki Lewis D. Broccoli, J.W. Young, T. de Lange, "Telomerase activity in normal and malignant hematopoietic cells," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 92:9082-6, 1995. (Cited in 95 publications through June 1997) Comments by Titia de Lange, Rockefeller University UNEXPECTED FINDING: Titia de Lange's lab at Rockefeller University used a sensitive assay to detect telomerase activity in noncancerous cells. A paper that reports an unexpected finding is destined to be hi

Profession

Heads Of Departments Play A Critical Role In Academic Life
Heads Of Departments Play A Critical Role In Academic Life
The position of academic department head is one of the most critical in a university, standing as it does between the faculty and upper-level administrators. It's a difficult and time-consuming job, and perhaps more challenging in the life sciences than in other academic departments. Faculty and administrators agree that a good department head can significantly enhance academic life for both students and faculty, while an incompetent one can make life miserable for everyone. CALL FOR INPUT: F

Technology

Bio-Rad's New Whole Gel Eluter: The Elution Solution
Bio-Rad's New Whole Gel Eluter: The Elution Solution
Where did that protein go? You've ransacked your cell lysate in search of it, but the elusive polypeptide chain is nowhere to be found. Before you resume your search, LabConsumer would like to bring you up to speed on the latest elution technology, designed to eliminate the tedious slicing and eluting of gel sections. The new Whole Gel Eluter from Bio-Rad simultaneously elutes and collects multiple bands of proteins or nucleic acids from whole polyacrylamide gels, including SDS PAGE, native PA
Getting a Bead on PCR: Pharmacia's Ready-to-Go PCR Bead
Getting a Bead on PCR: Pharmacia's Ready-to-Go PCR Bead
Pharmacia's Ready-To-Go PCR® Bead literally has it all-pre-mixed, pre-dispensed PCR reactions wrapped up in a bead. All that's needed is template, primer and water, and you're "ready to go". A proprietary stabilizer allows the beads to be stored at room temperature, further simplifying lab life. Company literature claims that the beads work for a variety of templates-genomic, viral, plasmid and cDNA-and LabConsumer once again took to the bench to give it a try. Using a single copy gene, mo
Let A Pro Analyze Your Gels: Media Cybernetics upgrades Gel-Pro Analyzer
Let A Pro Analyze Your Gels: Media Cybernetics upgrades Gel-Pro Analyzer
Several improved features highlight the upgrade of the Media Cybernetics Gel-Pro Analyzer, of interest to those involved in gel analysis and interpretation. This software quantitatively analyzes PCR, Northern, Southern, and Western Blots, as well as Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism. The original Gel-Pro Analyzer was designed to automate gel reading functions to improve throughput, minimize ambiguity, standardize laboratory procedure, and increase repeatability. Following the same path

Technology Profile

A Close Look At Today's Analytical Balances
A Close Look At Today's Analytical Balances
Date: September 1, 1997 Comparison Chart Laboratories pressed with weighing needs can choose from several classes of balances comprised of virtually hundreds of models with unique designs, functions, and capacities. Balances have been redesigned and upgraded from year to year, and the list of available features and options keeps growing. What exactly makes an analytical balance an analytical balance? For the purposes of this profile, we will define an analytical balance as an instrument capa
Show Me The Money: Prokaryotic Expression Vectors And Purification Systems
Show Me The Money: Prokaryotic Expression Vectors And Purification Systems
Face it, you're an agent! Scientists should really consider themselves professional promoters-promoters not too different from the type portrayed in a not-to-be-mentioned recent movie (it made enough money). Our clients are not jocks looking for some franchise to pick up a multi-year contract; our clients are genes that have biologically-athletic capabilities. Consider that genes are not just average run-of-the-mill sequences playing weekend pick-up games whenever they get enough friends togeth

New Products

New Products
New Products
Double Transgenic Mice Assist Researchers In Cardiovascular Disease Studies The Taconic (Germantown, NY) CETP/ApoB100 Double Transgenic rodent model, developed by Chrysalis DNX Transgenic Sciences Inc. (Princeton, NJ) expresses both cholesteryl ester transfer protein and apolipoprotein B100, resulting in human-like high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. This model is useful for identifying and evaluating compounds to treat hypercholesterolemia or H

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Table of Contents More Newsworthy Sheep Grade Strike Earns an F Brain Drain Sexual Chemistry Cheaper Journals Michign Misconduct Matters Lucky 7 Cloning BRCA2 Credit: Graham G. Ramsay ON THE LAMB: Dario Fauza performed fetal surgery on ovine patients. While Dolly the cloned sheep has yet to disappear from the headlines, other ovines have made medical history. Dario Fauza, a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital in Boston, along with Anthony Atala, an assistant professor of
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