News

Meta-Analysis Gaining Status In Science And Policymaking
Meta-Analysis Gaining Status In Science And Policymaking
Despite lingering debates, statistical method wins acceptance and exerts influence among researchers. Meta-analysis-a statistical method of quantitatively combining and synthesizing results from individual studies-has begun to exert an influence on science, its practice, and its use in policymaking, despite early opposition and skepticism. One recent example that has attracted considerable media attention concerns the use of "fen-phen" (fenfluramine/phentermine), the popularly prescribed obesi
Researchers Receiving MacArthur Fellowships Demonstrate 'Capacity To Make A Difference'
Researchers Receiving MacArthur Fellowships Demonstrate 'Capacity To Make A Difference'
PRIZE WITH A PRICE: Science historian Peter Galison has taken some ribbing from his family since being named a MacArthur fellow. One could almost pity Peter Galison. A historian of science at Harvard University, Galison is one of seven members of the scientific community among the 23 recipients of this year's John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowships. The coveted five-year awards provide unrestricted support plus health insurance to talented individuals, with no reports or proj
Miniaturization, Parallel Processing Come To Lab Devices
Miniaturization, Parallel Processing Come To Lab Devices
The laboratory is shrinking. Scientists and engineers are borrowing miniaturization, integration, and parallel-processing techniques from the computer industry to develop laboratory devices and procedures that will fit on a wafer or microchip. A growing number of companies and investors are betting that the technology will revolutionize drug development, genomics, environmental monitoring, forensics, and clinical diagnostics, in much the same way the microprocessor transformed the computer indu
Scientists Using New Tactics To Curb STD Rates In U.S.
Scientists Using New Tactics To Curb STD Rates In U.S.
'PERSONAL GOAL': NIAID's Penelope Hitchcock would like home STD tests to be as convenient as home pregnancy tests. While great attention has been focused on development of better therapies for HIV, incidence rates of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States remain alarmingly high. Yet, as pointed out in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report entitled The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1997), the Americ

Opinion

Meetings Of Scientific Societies: A Time For Changes?
Meetings Of Scientific Societies: A Time For Changes?
Ever since I learned about the birds and the bees, I asked myself: Why would a woman want to bear a second child? Over the years, I also began to wonder why anyone would want to organize the meeting of a scientific society for a second time. After all, there are similarities between the two processes: an exciting idea leading to foreplay (development of the preliminary program), joyful activity with a climax (meeting), morning sickness (retrieval of manuscripts), birth (publication of the proce

Letter

Administrative Arms Race
Administrative Arms Race
Robert Finn's informative piece in the June 23, 1997, issue of The Scientist (page 1) on the growth of university administrations ended with one of the more pervasive fallacies regarding the cost of administrators. It's easy to add up all salaries and resources of administrative personnel and conclude that "higher education's administrative budgets can account for only a very small percentage" of desperately needed savings. This calculation ignores the most important cost of administrators- nam
Competition In Publishing
Competition In Publishing
J.M. Campanario has proposed (Letters, The Scientist, May 12, 1997, page 9) establishment of a "metajournal" to support a system of "journal scouting" as a means of salvaging unappreciated papers and of alleviating the author's burden in attempting publication. The aims appear laudable, but the proposed means are very suspect. Such a system would entrench middlemen and emphasize the relative impotence of authors; whereas reliable communication normally necessitates direction by the author. (Ima
IACUC Veterinarians As Intermediaries
IACUC Veterinarians As Intermediaries
As a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine for the past 31 years, and an institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) veterinarian on the committees of two institutions, I must take serious exception to your statement that "these IACUC veterinarians have the power to approve, disapprove, or demand significant change in experimental design and conduct" (R. Finn, The Scientist, May 26, 1997, page 1). I call your attention to the Public Health Policy on Humane Car

Commentary

Friendly Web Pages, Letterheads Bridging Four Media Cultures
Friendly Web Pages, Letterheads Bridging Four Media Cultures
In 1959, C.P. Snow presented a lecture on The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, published as a landmark book (New York, Cambridge University Press, 1959). This classic expresses the tension between the cultures of the sciences and the humanities. There are clashing cultures in communication technology, as well. Since the advent of the Internet, the postal system has been aptly described as "snail mail." This traditional postal culture is rapidly dying. It is increasingly used merely

Research

NIH Multisite Network Aims To Aid Understanding Of Autism
NIH Multisite Network Aims To Aid Understanding Of Autism
The cause of autism has baffled researchers since 1943, when the late American psychiatrist Leo Kanner first described the disorder in 11 children. Once thought to be a result of poor upbringing or a psychological disorder, autism has come to be understood as a biologically based disruption in mental functioning that makes it difficult for those with the disease to process information about the world around them. Recent studies have focused on identifying brain abnormalities and the genetic def

Hot Paper

Nutrition / Genetics
Nutrition / Genetics
QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT: A meta-analysis by Arno Motulsky's lab illustrated the relationship between homocysteine levels and folic acid intake. C.J. Boushey, S.A.A. Beresford, G.S. Omenn, A.G. Motulsky, "A quantitative assessment of plasma homocysteine as a risk factor for vascular disease," JAMA-Journal of the American Medical Association, 274:1049-57,1995. (Cited in 127 papers through August 1997) Comments by Arno G. Motulsky, Department of Medicine, University of Washington Researchers ha
Genetics
Genetics
DETERMINING CAUSES: Louis Kunkel believes that researching sarcoglycans will provide a better understanding of muscular dystrophy. C.G. Bonnemann, R. Modi, S. Noguchi, Y. Mizuno, M. Yoshida, E. Gussoni, E.M. McNally, D.J. Duggan, C. Angelini, E.P. Hoffman, E. Ozawa, L. Kunkel, "b-sarcoglycan (A3b) mutations cause autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy with loss of the sarcoglycan complex," Nature Genetics, 11:266-73, 1995. (Cited in 76 papers through August 1997) Comments by Louis M. Kunkel, D

Profession

Editors' Advice To Rejected Authors: Just Try, Try Again
Editors' Advice To Rejected Authors: Just Try, Try Again
Nearly everyone must learn to deal with rejection, and authors of research papers are no exception. Many reviewers and other knowledgeable individuals say the key is not to take rejection of one's manuscript personally, and they point out that papers turned down by one publication often have gone on to enjoy success in others. In fact, according to one observer, several papers that were initially rejected went on to earn their authors the Nobel Prize. The topic is of particular interest to new

Technology

The Mutation Sensation: Cleavase Fragment Length Polymorphism from Third Wave Technologies
The Mutation Sensation: Cleavase Fragment Length Polymorphism from Third Wave Technologies
p53 GENE MUTTION: Exons 5 and 6 of the p53 gene of five individuals were amplified and examined by Cleavase® Fragment Length Polymorphism (CFLP®) Analysis. The pattern marked "WT" is from an individual known to have a normal p53 gene. For those of you reluctant to put a down payment on an automated sequencing apparatus, pay heed to an alternative that may fit your applications. Third Wave Technologies (Madison, Wis.) recently introduced a procedure for identifying generic sequences and
Seeing is Believing: BioRad's Stingray 5000 Introduces a New Infrared Technology
Seeing is Believing: BioRad's Stingray 5000 Introduces a New Infrared Technology
Star Wars technology has been urned to peaceful endeavors by E. Neil Lewis of the NIH. Coupling multi-channel IR focal plane rray detectors, originally developed for military and surveillance applications, with IR microscopy, a new dimension has been added to chemical analyses. This instrument, marketed by Bio-Rad under the name StingRay, provides high fidelity chemically specific images, literally making chemical gradients visible to the eye. Infrared spectroscopic image taken with Bio-Rad's
A Cat With Fourteen Lives
A Cat With Fourteen Lives
With the possibility of generating millions of biologically active compounds from information arising from modeling protein structure, genetic sequence data or combinatorial chemistry strategies, how does one rapidly and thoroughly screen the activities, whether good or bad, of these compounds? One approach, developed by Xenometrix (Boulder, Colo.), is to engineer cells with a series of promoters and response elements regulating a reporter gene, chloroamphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT), which

Technology Profile

Don't Clone Alone
Don't Clone Alone
Date: September 15, 1997 cDNA Library Kit Table and Species Chart Pre-made cDNA libraries and kits abound in the market to help you probe the secrets of gene regulation while minimizing the drudgery of cDNA library construction. The ability to analyze a cell's genetic read-out-to determine which of the 100,000 possible genes are actually being expressed in a cell or tissue-is to know what makes a cell what it is. This is a central issue in molecular biology. For decades, cDNA libraries-colle
Small - It Isn't One Size Fits All
Small - It Isn't One Size Fits All
Date: September 15, 1997 Comparison Chart HPLC is an essential work-horse for most bio-laboratories. Without a functioning system, the days of gravity columns-once a not-so-fond, distant memory-can return with a vengeance. And a system that no longer fits your research needs can collect dust like so much scrap metal. In choosing an instrument, consider the demands your research will place on it. For example, determine what type of solvents you will most often use. Solvent compatibility of th

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Table of Contents Fisher Case Is Settled Loaded Questions Malaria Immunity Scientific Immigration Slips Terminating Telomerase Getting Tough With E.Coli Hospitable Merger `No Confidence' Vote For Confide Mendel's Mighty Midgets Bullish on Cloning Research 'A VICTORY': Bernard Fisher accepted a favorable settlement in a long-running dispute with the government and the University of Pittsburgh. Showered with praise, apology, and a financial settlement, cancer surgeon Bernard Fisher has triump