News

Salk Group 'Humanizes' The Mouse
Salk Group 'Humanizes' The Mouse
Eyewire ©2000Researchers have created transgenic mice capable of detecting potential toxins in the human body. Researchers under the direction of Ronald M. Evans at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., have created a "humanized" mouse capable of detecting potentially toxic substances in the body. In the process, they have uncovered what they believe to be the primary source of the xenobiotic response within a specific gene they call SXR, steroid and xenobiotic rece
Clad Against All Clades
Clad Against All Clades
Vaccinomics--the application of genomics and bioinformatics to vaccine development--is bringing a fresh approach to the Herculean problem of making vaccines against the various HIV-1 subtypes, or clades, spread around the world. With vaccinomics, says Annie De Groot, CEO of EpiVax, a young vaccine development company in Providence, R.I., a single vaccine against all HIV clades may be feasible. Her opinion is an about-face pivot from the current pursuit of HIV vaccines one clade at a time.
Making Neurons
Making Neurons
Image courtesy of Eyewire ©2000, Graphic: Cathleen Heard How do you make a neuron? Nowadays, that depends on how you like your neurons. Perhaps you're having problems expanding your neural stem cells (NSCs) to large numbers because after repeated passaging, they lose the phenotype or go into crisis. Read the June Nature Biotechnology, where National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke neurobiologist Ron McKay offers a recipe for making dopaminergic and GABAnergic neurons from rat
Politics and Scientist Bedfellows
Politics and Scientist Bedfellows
On Aug. 29, the political action committee (PAC) 80-20 announced its endorsement of democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Making that announcement at the Universal City Hilton in California was not a usual political activist, but rather former University of California (UC) at Berkeley chancellor and current UC-wide University Professor and UC-Berkeley NEC Professor of Engineering Chang-Lin Tien. Tien was chairman of the PAC's endorsement committee. His committee vice chair was molecular bio
NIH Lifts Stem Cell Funding Ban, Issues Guidelines
NIH Lifts Stem Cell Funding Ban, Issues Guidelines
Ever since the isolation and culturing of human pluripotent stem cells in 1998, the debate has intensified regarding legal, ethical, and social ramifications associated with research use of these cells that are capable of developing into many different specialized tissues.1, 2 In order for the National Institutes of Health to clarify its position on research with these cells, in January 1999, it placed a moratorium on use of human pluripotent stem cells derived from embryos and fetal tissue in f
News Notes
News Notes
Recently published positive results should help the troubled fields of stimulating angiogenesis and gene therapy move ahead. Jeffrey Isner, professor of medicine and pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine and colleagues have shown that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) delivered via a naked DNA vector directly into the heart improved blood flow to ischemic areas of the heart (P.R. Vale et al., "Left ventricular electromechanical mapping to assess efficacy of phVEGF165 gene t

Letter

Infection-Chronic Disease Link
Infection-Chronic Disease Link
In "The Infection-Chronic Disease Link Strengthens,"1 there are comments about the utility of Koch's postulates: "The first criterion remains--the microbial culprit must be present. But the requirements to culture microorganisms and demonstrate infectivity may have become obsolete." This would almost seem to go against the scientific method, since it seems to imply that testing one's hypothesis does not require exhaustive attempts at falsification, the fundamental basis of the scientific

Commentary

Safe, Affordable Pesticides Still Needed in U.S. Agriculture
Safe, Affordable Pesticides Still Needed in U.S. Agriculture
The vast majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the use of chemical pesticides. That attitude is understandable, given how pesticides have been used in the past half-century. Ill-considered applications of toxic or environmentally persistent chemicals have caused serious health problems and extensive environmental damage. But at the same time, Americans take for granted the year-round abundant supply of fresh, affordable food, including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at their loc

Cartoon

Cartoon
Cartoon
www.ScienceCartoonsPlus.com

Research

Movement Disorders: Less of a Black Box
Movement Disorders: Less of a Black Box
Shake the family tree of a patient with a movement disorder, and more and more genes are apt to tumble out. Parkinson's disease and many less well-known movement disorders are now considered to be more familial than scientists had previously thought. "When it comes to Parkinson's disease, the important role of genetics as a decisive factor in the appearance and evolution of the disease is gaining more and more ground," says Eduard Tolosa, chairman of the department of neurology at the University
Cognition and Aging
Cognition and Aging
Rhesus macaques in the outdoor corrals at the California Regional Primate Research Center It's "enrichment" time in a long room at the California Regional Primate Research Center (CRPRC) on the University of California's Davis campus. When we peer through a little window in the door, most of the rhesus macaques in wall-mounted cages are looking away from us, toward the television. A nature show is airing. Jeffrey A. Roberts, assistant director, primate services, comments that whenever monkeys ar
Debating the Meaning of fMRI
Debating the Meaning of fMRI
A three-dimensional magnetic resonance image of a macaque monkey head. Inset: A schematic of the combination of cortical field maps of tactile stimulation obtained using fMRI (red and green squares) and electrophysiological recording techniques (cross-hatched regions). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments are, no doubt, incredibly intriguing: Researchers put volunteers inside a huge, harmless magnet that takes detailed pictures of the brain, expose those people to some sort o
Research Notes
Research Notes
Brain Cells Transplant May Prove Useful as Stroke Treatment About 4 million Americans are survivors of a stroke, the leading cause of adult disability, according to the American Heart Association. Historically, stroke medicine has focused on prevention, immediate treatment, and years of rehabilitation. Now, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) researchers have initiated clinical trials that may ultimately lead to restoration of affected abilities even years after stroke occurrence (D.

Hot Paper

Genetics of a Dementia Disorder
Genetics of a Dementia Disorder
For this article Karen Young Kreeger interviewed Michael Hutton, senior associate consultant, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.; Gerard D. Schellenberg, associate director for research, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle; and Maria Grazia Spillantini, the William Scholl lecturer in neurology, Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge University, United Kingdom. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 10

Technology

Into the Darkness
Into the Darkness
PCR has fundamentally changed molecular biology, offering a rapid means to amplify minute quantities of DNA. Real-time quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) techniques are designed to facilitate accurate measurement of target sequences by correlating amplification with the fluorescence of specially labeled probes in the reaction. Q-PCR methodologies using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) employ an oligonucleotide probe designed to hybridize to the center of the desired PCR product. This probe is
Linking Up
Linking Up
Biological interactions form the basis for many assays; polyvalent interactions between biomolecules have been used for specific binding, immobilization, and detection. But biological affinity methods can have several drawbacks, including limited reproducibility, high background, low binding capacity, and poor stability. Prolinx Inc. of Bothell, Wash., has introduced Versalinx Chemical Affinity Tools, a synthetic affinity binding pair based on the interaction between phenylboronic acid (PBA) or

Bench Buys

Bench Buys
Bench Buys
Do a Good Turn Millipore's Steriflip Filter Unit Steriflip® Filter Units from Millipore of Bedford, Mass., eliminate loss of liquid sample from centrifuge tubes during filtration. The units are designed to work with standard 50 ml double-lead threaded centrifuge tubes and include a 0.22 µm Millipore Express™ membrane. Filtration involves simply attaching the unit to a sample-containing tube, flipping the tube/filtration unit over, and applying a vacuum. The unit can be used for

Technology Profile

Science in a New Light
Science in a New Light
Microscopy Image Analysis Software Actin (red), mitochrondria (green), and nucleus (blue) signals merged by Scanalytics' IPLab Software The science of microscopy, especially how microscopic observations are made and data are collected and displayed, has come a long way since the days of Carl Zeiss. The last decade has seen a resurgence in the use of optical microscopy in basic research, due in part to advances in instrumentation. Confocal technology, high resolution solid state cameras such as
Origin of Species
Origin of Species
D3 embryonic stem cells cultured in Life Technologies' KNOCKOUT D-MEM Just last year Science hailed stem cell isolation and culture as the "breakthrough of the year."1 Much of the excitement over stem cells derives from their potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body. A fertilized egg, for example, is a single cell that is capable of eventually creating all the different cells that make up the mature organism. As such, a fertilized egg and the daughter cells of the first few divi

Profession

Scientist As Teacher
Scientist As Teacher
So you love to teach. Now that the school year is in full swing, are you wondering how you can contribute more to the next generation, keep your interest in teaching alive and well, or enhance the pedagogical portion of your resume? "Scientists need to share the wealth of their knowledge and their perspective of the way the world works," says Bassam Shakhashiri, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a member of the editorial advisory board of The Scientist.
Profession Notes
Profession Notes
Florida Receives NIH Grant for Aphasia Treatment University of Florida researchers recently were awarded a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to test several treatments for stroke-induced communication problems, collectively known as aphasia. The concept of neural plasticity--the brain being adaptable and able to create new pathways to regain lost function--is the basis for this research that focuses on a combination of drugs and rehabilitation in the form of mental and phy

Opinion

Environmental Protection, in Name Only
Environmental Protection, in Name Only
A proposal to create a senior scientist position at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is winning support from Congress. In June, a National Academy of Sciences panel recommended creating the position to bolster EPA's use of science, and at a House subcommittee hearing this summer, U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) announced that he was preparing legislation to create the deputy-level (agency head) science position. "Scientists need more clout," he said. But EPA needs more than Ehlers' r