News

Neuroscience: A Personal Perspective
Neuroscience: A Personal Perspective
When Paul R. Sanberg became a neuroscientist, he focused on Huntington's disease. When he realized that Parkinson's disease was related, he expanded his horizons. And when his father suffered a stroke about five years ago, he shifted his priorities. Some of the things he has learned since may help treat all three diseases, as well as a number of other neurodegenerative disorders. Following his father's stroke, Sanberg recalls months of trips between Tampa, where he worked as a researcher for t
Microgravity and Gene Expression: Early Results Point to Relationship
Microgravity and Gene Expression: Early Results Point to Relationship
It's a simple but haunting question: Can microgravity influence gene expression? Yes, according to a recent study of human cells conducted aboard NASA's space shuttle. In fact, the results are so promising that the investigators believe their continuing research could lead to better toxicology tests, key elements of tissue engineering, and new treatments for various diseases--while broadening the scope of scientific experimentation. Astronaut Katherine P. Hire works with the bioreader system
A Conversation With Peter Raven
A Conversation With Peter Raven
A scene from the Missouri Botanical Garden The saying "if you want something done, give it to a busy person" fits Peter Raven like a glove. Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden since 1971, home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and author of textbooks in biology and botany, Raven hosted about 5,000 scientists from more than 100 countries as president of the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis August 1-7. With Harvard University's Edward O. Wilson, Raven is biodi
Strep and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: What's the Link?
Strep and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: What's the Link?
For about a decade, Susan Swedo, chief of the Pediatric and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), has been investigating how an ordinary strep infection can trigger an autoimmune response leading to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She, her colleagues at NIMH, and other researchers have been exploring this link with a goal of better understanding the role of the brain in mental disorders and developing better OCD treatments. Though strep is
Symposium Explores Paradigm Shifts in Cognitive Modeling
Symposium Explores Paradigm Shifts in Cognitive Modeling
At the recent theme symposium of the 1999 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks held in Washington, D.C., neurobiologists, psychologists, and engineers presented a wide variety of research projects attempting to make sense of the human brain. But despite the variance among disciplines and approaches, the symposium, entitled "Neuronal Ensembles: Paradigm Shifts in Cognitive Modeling," had a common thread: elucidating brain function by examining the behavior of groups of neurons rathe
Neuronal Migration: Researchers Advance Understanding of Brain's Wiring
Neuronal Migration: Researchers Advance Understanding of Brain's Wiring
Brain development is an awesome feat. Over a trillion neurons make connections with thousands of target cells to create coherent circuits for vision, language, movement, and memory. Most neurons migrate from their birthplace to their permanent home in the developing brain. Once they find a home, some cells send growth cones to different parts of the brain, creating networks with their axons. Corey Goodman, professor of molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, elaborates, "Th
XVI International Botanical Congress: The Shroud of Turin Controversy Returns
XVI International Botanical Congress: The Shroud of Turin Controversy Returns
Courtesy of Alan Whanger Facial image of the Man of the Shroud surrounded by "the ghost of flowers past." The topic of the last press conference on Monday, August 2, at the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis seemed to have a nice mix of classical scientific observation, image analysis, and palynology (pollen identification), as well as great historical interest. A team led by Avinoam Danin, a professor of evolution, systematics, and ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Transplanted Neurons Migrate Widely in the Adult Brain
Transplanted Neurons Migrate Widely in the Adult Brain
Neuronal precursors from a particular region of the ventral forebrain--the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)--are capable of migrating extensively in both the embryonic and adult brain and differentiating into neurons in several brain regions, researchers at Rockefeller University reported recently. The study adds more evidence to the viability of cell transplantation as a treatment for neurogenerative disorders and brain damage.1 "We are for the first time identifying a new population of cells

Letter

Oral Treatment for MS
Oral Treatment for MS
A.J.S. Rayl's article on the possibility of an oral treatment for multiple sclerosis1 (MS) once again points out the need for new thinking about the causes and treatments for MS. For over 50 years, the public has been inundated with incomplete and misleading information about the nature of MS, its origins, and potential treatments. The "MS industry" has been touting either the infectious (bacterial or viral) or immunological etiology of the disease along with the experimental autoimmune encepha
AIDS and Chimpanzees
AIDS and Chimpanzees
My understanding of the science and politics surrounding the use of chimpanzees in AIDS research was greatly enhanced by your recent article.1 However, the column erroneously reported that there is no small-animal AIDS model. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection of domestic cats causes disease that is clinically indistinguishable from HIV-1 infection in humans. Cats are relatively inexpensive to maintain, have a short breeding cycle, and pose less of a zoonotic-disease threat to their
Super Bowl of Science
Super Bowl of Science
In the opinion piece entitled "Why is there no Super Bowl of science?"1 T.V. Rajan laments that "prizes such as Nobels elicit little if any attention and certainly do not call for participation from the common man and woman." There is a Super Bowl for science, but unlike football, it does not have a 20-week season ending in a finale, which creates a frenzy for fans, advertisers, and television ratings. To rebut Dr. Rajan's assertion that little attention is given to engaging the public in scie

Commentary

A Serious Misstep in the Education of Our Youth
A Serious Misstep in the Education of Our Youth
"In science, theory does not mean guess or hunch." It's remarkable that the controversy over teaching evolution continues to be so rancorous, given that the central issues have been resolved in the courts and by much of the American public. All of the major religious denominations have concluded that the concept of evolution is not at odds with their concepts of creation and human origins. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 and a number of lower courts have ruled that creationism is religion, not

Opinion

Scientists in the Classroom: An Experiment that Works
Scientists in the Classroom: An Experiment that Works
A splendid opportunity exists for scientists who want to bring the excitement and joy of science discovery to today's students and, at the same time, profoundly improve the quality of science education. So say the nation's precollege science teachers. As a scientist I've long been aware of the value of scientist-volunteers in the classroom. It seems science teachers concur. In a new survey commissioned by Bayer Corp. and the National Science Teachers Association, U.S. K-12 science teachers sa

Research

Researchers Pry into Schizophrenia's Stubborn Secrets
Researchers Pry into Schizophrenia's Stubborn Secrets
Adapted from image courtesy of Lynn D. Selemon Stereologic cell counting of prefrontal cortical area 9. Nissl-stained neurons (shown as triangles and dots) were counted directly in a stack of three-dimensional boxes extending throughout all layers of the cortex. Could any major illness be more difficult to study than schizophrenia? Despite unprecedented advances in research over recent years, largely aided by improved neuroimaging technologies, little is known for sure about either its origins

Hot Paper

Huntington's Disease
Huntington's Disease
Edited by: Paul Smaglik M. DiFiglia, E. Sapp, K.O. Chase, S.W. Davies, G.P. Bates, J.P. Vonsattel, N. Aronin, "Aggregation of huntingtin in neuronal intranuclear inclusions and dystrophic neurites in brain," Science, 277:1990-3, 1997. (Cited in more than 200 papers since publication) Neil Aronin Comments by Neil Aronin, professor of medicine and cell biology, Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Mass. The pathogenic connection between huntingtin the protein and Huntington's the disease
Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease
Edited by: Paul Smaglik M. Citron, D. Westaway, W.M. Xia, G. Carlson, T. Diehl, G. Levesque, K. Johnson-Wood, M. Lee, P. Seubert, A. Davis, D. Kholodenko, R. Motter, R. Sherrington, B. Perry, H. Yao, R. Strome, I. Lieberburg, J. Rommens, S. Kim, D. Schenk, P. Fraser, P.S. Hyslop, D.J. Selkoe, "Mutant presenilins of Alzheimer's disease increase production of 42-residue amyloid ß protein in both transfected cells and transgenic mice, Nature Medicine, 3:67-72, January 1997. (Cited in more th

Technology

Bench Buys
Bench Buys
C.B.S. Scientific's new high-visibility mini horizontal gel system simplifies the separation and identification of DNA and RNA fragments, PCR products, and synthetic oligonucleotides. The mini gel system has a special red bottom stage that increases the contrast of wells formed in agarose, enhancing visibility and loading accuracy. The system also offers features such as a UV-transparent gel tray, two double-sided combs, a safety cover with interlocking power leads, and tapered baffles for easy
Picture This: Leica Microsystems' DC 200 Digital Imaging System
Picture This: Leica Microsystems' DC 200 Digital Imaging System
Modern digital images are composed of nearly a million individual points of light that create the illusion of continuity. On a macroscopic scale, this effect is seamless. However, for demanding micro-scopy applications, the digiscape reveals pixelations--tiny distortions that may interfere with the interpretation of the scanned image. Leica Microsystems' DC 100 Imaging System Leica Microsystems' DC 200 Imaging System The effect of digitization can be roughly compared to lying on a bed of nail
Main Squeeze: Whatman's Mini-UniPrep
Main Squeeze: Whatman's Mini-UniPrep
Whatman's Mini-UniPrep Companies are always on the lookout for that next product that will become the equivalent of the TV dinner for the lab. It usually begins with an observation: "If only I could ..." or "Wouldn't it be neat if they had ...." The prevailing psychology is that most of the simple devices have already been invented. Then along comes a product that rivals the paper clip in its simplicity and sends scientists into paroxysms of envy that they didn't think of it first. "Too trivi

Technology Profile

A Weighty Matter: Neuropeptides Involved In Appetite And Energy Homeostasis
A Weighty Matter: Neuropeptides Involved In Appetite And Energy Homeostasis
Date: September 13, 1999Table of Neurochemical Manufacturers The hypothalamus has long been known as a control center for feeding and weight control behaviors. Complex regulatory feedback loops enable this portion of the brain to determine satiety and metabolic activity. Not surprisingly, the control mechanisms are complex and involve different biochemical pathways.1,2,3 Image courtesy of Jeffrey M. Friedman An ob/ob mouse stacking up against its lean counterparts A series of pioneering expe
Going Their Separate Ways: A Profile of Products for Cell Separation
Going Their Separate Ways: A Profile of Products for Cell Separation
Date: September 13, 1999Cell Separation Products Magnetic Cell Separation Technologies that isolate rare cell types to high purity are essential to the cell biology researcher. Understanding cell developmental pathways becomes increasingly significant as diagnosis and treatment of disease turns more to the molecular level.1 This diagnosis of cell-related diseases requires methods for detection, isolation, and analysis of individual cells regardless of their frequency.2 The hematopoietic system

Profession

Georgia Gets New Neuroscience Center
Georgia Gets New Neuroscience Center
if (n == null) The Scientist - Georgia Gets New Neuroscience Center The Scientist 13[18]:26, Sep. 13, 1999 Profession Georgia Gets New Neuroscience Center By Steve Bunk Reductionist science is overemphasized, declares zoologist Pat Marsteller, director of the Hughes Undergraduate Program at Emory University. "As my grandfather would say, they're learning more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing." What's needed now, she thi
Neurosciences Offer Researchers Diverse Opportunities
Neurosciences Offer Researchers Diverse Opportunities
if (n == null) The Scientist - Neurosciences Offer Researchers Diverse Opportunities The Scientist 13[18]:26, Sep. 13, 1999 Profession Neurosciences Offer Researchers Diverse Opportunities By James Kling Great promise for advances in neuroscience existed at the beginning of the Decade of the Brain. Like most life science disciplines, neuroscience had benefited from huge strides in molecular biology, and many expected neuromuscular diseases such as multipl

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
HARDWIRED HUNGER Two distinct but adjacent sets of cells in the same part of the brain respond in opposite ways to the same hormone: leptin, which, when lacking in the bloodstream, results in a voracious appetite. A group led by Joel K. Elmquist, neuroendocrinology researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor of neurology and medicine at Harvard Medical School, set out to understand the leptin pathway by injecting the hormone into rats and following its progress to