News

In Search of an HIV Vaccine: Meet the Researchers 'Standing On Each Others' Shoulders'
In Search of an HIV Vaccine: Meet the Researchers 'Standing On Each Others' Shoulders'
By In the early 1950s, when Jonas Salk produced the first inactivated polio vaccine and Albert Sabin later produced a live, attenuated, oral polio vaccine, the individual researchers' names were permanently linked to the products. But development of an HIV vaccine--a task President Bill Clinton has charged researchers to accomplish by 2007--requires the skills of so many scientists and so many laboratories worldwide that it would be impossible, and perhaps even improper, to link any vacci
Human Genome Project Deadline Moves Up Two Years, to 2003
Human Genome Project Deadline Moves Up Two Years, to 2003
GENOME SYMBOL: DNA strands form the basis of a graphic symbol of the genome project. They said it wasn't a race. When a private venture announced plans in May to produce a version of the human genome four years ahead of the international nonprofit Human Genome Project's deadline, scientists associated with the public project insisted that the private effort wasn't really a challenge to theirs. The private effort would present, at best, a "rough draft" with many holes--if it worked at all, they
Chinese Scientists Organize to Put Technology Ventures on the Map
Chinese Scientists Organize to Put Technology Ventures on the Map
As drug companies downsize and research grants in big universities dry up, Chinese scientists in the United States are taking a more aggressive stance toward their own professional and economic development. Chris Pak As though taking the cue from President Bill Clinton and Premier Jiang Zemin, whose open TV debate a few months ago shocked and surprised many Chinese and Americans, Asian scientists in the United States are going after a base of political power. A few are adopting roles ranging
Stowers Institute Lays Ambitious Plans for K.C.
Stowers Institute Lays Ambitious Plans for K.C.
Let's say you want to build the best biomedical research facility, bar none. The catch is, it will be in Kansas City. Can you still hope to lure top scientists away from their prestigious postings in world capitals to an untested center in Missouri? Philanthropists Virginia Stowers and James Stowers Jr. think so. And they have a plan to make it happen. On 10 acres across the street from the University of Missouri, the foundations already are being laid for their six-story, 594,000-square-foot
NRC Report: Cap Life Sciences Graduate School Enrollment
NRC Report: Cap Life Sciences Graduate School Enrollment
The stream of life science students entering the graduate school pipeline should be frozen to prevent researcher job applicants from flooding the market, according to a recent National Research Council (NRC) report. However, just who will control the valves regulating enrollment--government, universities, or some combination--remains to be seen. "I don't think the federal government alone can provide the answer to this," explains Shirley Tilghman, chair of NRC's Commission on Life Sciences, whi

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
"His donations to medical research really paid off!"

Letter

... But There's Hope
... But There's Hope
Editor's Note: In a subsequent letter received just prior to this issue's deadline, Andrey Savtchenko offers an update: ... Meanwhile, my case was solved, and I received my change-of-status approval [Sept. 15]. I must admit, that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (at least the Texas Service Center) is apparently doing their best to alleviate the situation. [However,] the resolution of my case is not the solution to the problem. The issue is that thousands of professional workers, and
H1-B Visas
H1-B Visas
I am probably one of those [postdocs] who can understand Deborah Andrew's postdoc best. I am a postdoctoral associate at the University of Miami. The university requires under the soft term "recommends" that all candidates to change status from F1 to H-1B hire a lawyer approved by the university. Fine. It cost me $1500. Anticipating that things with H-1Bs were going bad, I first contacted a "university approved" lawyer on Jan. 6, seven months before the expiration of my present employment auth
Re: H-1B Visas
Re: H-1B Visas
Thank you for the story "Visa Shortage Highlights Low Pay for Postdocs" by Paul Smaglik (12[15]:12, July 20, 1998). I graduated in Dec. 1997 (Ph. D. in Plant Pathology) and, as a foreign national, I haven't been able to obtain an H1-B visa yet. I am living on my partner's income. I know three other postdocs who have to drop their work in university research and leave the U.S. because they are falling out of status and cannot get an H-1B. In the department in which I graduated, a postdoc makes

Commentary

Of Sharing and Humility in Science
Of Sharing and Humility in Science
The unique knowledge and freedom of science evoke novel responsibilities for scientists to stay tuned to, and to inspire, the desires of mankind. Scientists should be candid and honest when addressing the public and should not shun the full implications of ideas, of questions, or of the capacity for science and innovation to shape the future. For example, when members of the scientific community quote polls that show the public supports allocation of more money for basic research, they must not

Opinion

The Postdoctoral Experience: An Associate Dean's Perspective
The Postdoctoral Experience: An Associate Dean's Perspective
Illustration: Anthony Canamuccio It was once said to me, "A faculty member is only as good as his or her best postdoc." Postdoctoral researchers conduct much of the nation's research; they contribute enormously to the success of the research enterprise; they perform crucial experiments for tenure-track faculty in academic settings; and the success of these faculty often depends on the performance of their postdocs. Despite their importance, postdocs are often a forgotten community with real con

Research

Search Continues for Biochemical Pathway That Leads to Onset of Alzheimer's Disease
Search Continues for Biochemical Pathway That Leads to Onset of Alzheimer's Disease
Like explorers searching for the source of a long, expansive river, Alzheimer's disease (AD) researchers are seeking the origins of an exceedingly complex biochemical pathway, one that culminates in the onset of a debilitating condition that afflicts more than 4 million people in the United States alone. Along the way, investigators run into numerous tributaries, factors that, although proven to somehow contribute to disease pathogenesis, may or may not be connected or causally related to one a

Hot Paper

Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease
D. Scheuner, C. Eckman, M. Jensen, X. Song, M. Citron, N. Suzuki, T.D. Bird, J. Hardy, M. Hutton, W. Kukull, E. Larson, E. Levy-Lahad, M. Viitanen, E. Peskind, P. Poorkaj, G. Schellenberg, R. Tanzi, W. Wasco, L. Lannfelt, D. Selkoe, S. Younkin, "Secreted amyloid beta-protein similar to that in the senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease is increased in vivo by the presenilin 1 and 2 and APP mutations linked to familial Alzheimer's disease," Nature Medicine, 2:864-70, 1996. (Cited in more than 270
Signal Transduction
Signal Transduction
Y. Kamei, L. Xu, T. Heinzel, J. Torchia, R. Kurokawa, B. Gloss, S.C. Lin, R.A. Heyman, D.W. Rose, C.K. Glass. "A CBP integrator complex mediates transcriptional activation and AP-1 inhibition by nuclear receptors," Cell, 85:403-14, 1996. (Cited in more than 400 papers since publication) Chris Glass Comments Chris Glass, associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego There's a whole lot going on in the nucleus of the cell. Genes are transcribed into complement

Profession

Grappling With Laboratory Budgets: NIH, a Workshop, and Software Offer Help
Grappling With Laboratory Budgets: NIH, a Workshop, and Software Offer Help
Pity the academic researcher. Doing good science is hard enough, but getting grants and spending them wisely may be even more daunting. By instinct and training, most scientists aren't cut out to be money managers or accountants. Yet, researchers are being thrust ever more into the fiscal realm. "PIs [principal investigators] are carrying more responsibility for the administration of their awards than they have in the past," observes Julie Norris, director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at

Technology

A Picture Worth A Million Pixels, Polaroid's Digital Microscope Camera
A Picture Worth A Million Pixels, Polaroid's Digital Microscope Camera
The Polaroid camera has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a party novelty. Its simple, one-step function made Polaroid photography an instant success. Although the quality of the image suffered and neither duplication nor enlargement was practical, the immediate satisfaction of having the "evidence" in hand moments later was a gimmick that expanded the boundaries of human social interaction. However, for the serious business of scientific photography, the standard 35 mm format was s
Complete Absorption: No Problem With World Precision Instruments
Complete Absorption: No Problem With World Precision Instruments
It's a very common problem: You need to determine the concentration of a molecule of interest spectrophotometrically but have only a few microliters of sample. Until now, there were not a lot of options. In the last year, World Precision Instruments has developed three instruments for just these sorts of microscale absorbence measurements. Dr. Su-Yi Liu, R&D scientist at World Precision Instruments, said that the company was originally formed "to develop instruments for electrophysiology bu

Technology Profile

A Cut Above
A Cut Above
enzymes by appealing to the obsession over purity Date: September 28, 1998 Specialty Enzymes Every once in a great while a discovery is made that not only sheds light on the true genius of nature but leaves one completely amazed that it could possibly work that way. The discovery of restriction enzymes in the mid 1970s and the explication of their role in nature was one of those discoveries. For biologists attempting to apprehend the way in which organic life reproduces itself, the finding ca
Filtration Fundamentals: Is Knowledge Of Filter Technology Something You Let Fall Through The Cracks?
Filtration Fundamentals: Is Knowledge Of Filter Technology Something You Let Fall Through The Cracks?
Date: September 28, 1998 Filtration Table An article on filters? Nah, filters are too simple. You put a small paper cone in the filter holder, add coffee, and pour on hot water. Drip, drip, drip, and the coffee's ready. That's all there is to it. But hold on a minute. There are thirty grades of Whatman standard filter paper alone, and even if we restrict ourselves to a biological laboratory, we have depth filters and screen filters; filters with different pore sizes that are tightly or loosely

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
BIOLOGY RULES ... Biology is becoming so popular, it may overtake the humanities as the foundation of American undergraduate education, claims Joseph G. Perpich, vice president for grants and special programs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Chevy Chase, Md. The institute, America's largest philanthropy, recently announced the allocation of a record $91.1 million in four-year grants to help 58 research and doctoral universities to strengthen their undergraduate programs in biological