About Us

Meet This Issue's Contributors
Meet This Issue's Contributors
found out 25 years ago that Francis Crick had been mulling over the same big questions he was on how a tangle of neurons can lead to complex thoughts, he decided it was time to get serious about consciousness.

Editorial

Combating Malevolence
Combating Malevolence
Whatever the entertainment and artistic merits of the movie "The Constant Gardener," released at the end of last month, the pharmaceutical industry could do without it.

Letter

Nanoparticle safety
Nanoparticle safety
it occurred to me that there is a recognized disease that seems to parallel the fears of nanoparticle absorption through the skin.
Replanting
Replanting
Re: "Plant Neurobiology Sprouts Anew."1 Your readers should know that E.J. Lund and colleagues in the Department of Biophysics at Austin, Texas, published a book entitled Bioelectric Fields and Growth University of Texas Press) in 1947. Also, while Tompkins and Bird's The Secret Life of Plants (Harper & Row, 1973) did sell well and influence the thinking of the lay public, its message was effectively debunked by a subsequent article entitled "The not-so-secret life of plants."2 This article
Bisphenol A and carcinogenesis
Bisphenol A and carcinogenesis
Regarding "A Ban on Estrogenics?"1 we must be wary also about a possible cancer risk from long-term exposure to bisphenol A (BP-A) and other estrogenic endocrine disruptors as well. Steroidal/non-steroidal and postmenopausal estrogens and diethylstilbestrol (DES) as examples at low doses are long-known human carcinogens.2 In 1980, the National Toxicology Program in public session reported on the carcinogenicity of BP-A.3 With renewed emphasis on endocrine disruptors,4 we decided our bioassay fin
Where are the science heroes?
Where are the science heroes?
Re: "Wanted: Scientific Heroes."1 If you consider the way Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, not to mention Linus Pauling and Rachel Carson, were trashed by scientists, the scientific establishment, and the science academies when they stepped into the public domain as "scientific heroes" it is not at all surprising why there are no scientific heroes.It's distressing to see that scientists do not fare well in the public's ranking of the greatest Americans.1 Some deceased scientists are remarkable role

Opinion

How to Improve Peer Review at NIH
How to Improve Peer Review at NIH
Peer reviewers for the National Institutes of Health are faced with the impossible.

Notebook

The man who'd prove all studies wrong
The man who'd prove all studies wrong
On the phone, John Ioannidis comes across much more cheerfully than you might expect from a man who has made a career out of pointing out the more questionable aspects of others' research endeavors.
Dalai drama at SfN
Dalai drama at SfN
The Dalai Lama is known for supporting peace, as his 1989 Nobel Peace Prize attests.

Vision

The Inchoate Science of Consciousness
The Inchoate Science of Consciousness
A new scientific field is being born, one that seeks to understand which organisms have subjective states, what purpose theymight serve, and how distinct states of consciousness come about.

Feature

Revelations from the Unconscious
Revelations from the Unconscious
Political, ethical, and family conflicts catapulted Terri Schiavo's case to international prominence earlier this year.

Research

Integrin Signaling at a Crossroads
Integrin Signaling at a Crossroads
Integrins serve as the cell's conduit to the outside world, sensing the external environment and passing on instructions: differentiate or not, adhere or move on, live or die.

Hot Paper

Polarity Pathways Make a Connection
Polarity Pathways Make a Connection
Before a cell can do its job, it needs to get oriented.

Briefs

Models for HCV
Models for HCV
Without a sufficient cell culture system, researchers have had little success designing and testing drugs for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Interdisciplinary Research
Interdisciplinary Research
These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature awareness tool http://www.facultyof1000.com.J. Lu et al., "MicroRNA expression profiles classify human cancers," Nature, 435:834–8, June 9, 2005.This article makes the surprising discovery that microRNA-expression profiles can be better predictors of cancer outcome than mRNA profiles. This conclusion is based on the use of a novel, bead-based flow-cytometry approach to examine the expressi
Insects may have complex immunity
Insects may have complex immunity
Insect immunity may display hitherto unsuspected molecular complexity.

Technology

Your Database Is Talking; Is Anybody Listening?
Your Database Is Talking; Is Anybody Listening?
During most of the 1990s, a linguistic chasm divided the worlds of flies, worms, mice, and other model organisms.
How Does Your Virus Grow?
How Does Your Virus Grow?
Researchers at Chiron made virology history in 1987 when they discovered the hepatitis C virus (HCV), not by isolating viral particles, but by cloning and sequencing its genome.
Cloning Without Restriction
Cloning Without Restriction
Cloning DNA fragments using restriction enzymes is like flying from Seattle to New York via Phoenix.

Tools and Technology

Fluorophores Under Glass
Fluorophores Under Glass
What is 30 times brighter than fluorescent markers, impervious to photobleaching, and won't leach heavy metals and other toxins into biological samples?
e-Nose Sniffs Out Cancer, and More
e-Nose Sniffs Out Cancer, and More
Most gas sensors, such as the carbon monoxide detectors found in many homes, monitor for the presence of a single volatile compound.

BioBusiness

The Inside Scoop
The Inside Scoop
The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently launched a formal investigation into possible insider trading at the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology firm Biogen Idec.
Lemons into Lemonade
Lemons into Lemonade
Before 2001, the company now known as Biovitrum was a group of workers with roots in Pharmacia Corp.'s Swedish research division, which was deemed redundant after Pharmacia merged with Upjohn in 1995.
E-File the FDA
E-File the FDA
Not too long ago, filing a new drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration could mean sending four 48-foot trucks stuffed with 100,000 pages of documentation off to the agency's headquarters in Rockville, Md.
Fighting Back Against Terror
Fighting Back Against Terror
After two pipe bombs damaged their buildings in 2003, and after employees had been repeatedly harassed at their homes by animal rights activists wielding bullhorns and sirens, Chiron Corp. decided enough was enough.

Salary Survey

Annual Life Sciences Salary Survey
Annual Life Sciences Salary Survey
It's been a good year for salaries in the life sciences: Median salaries have gone up by 3.8% since last year, surpassing the consumer price index rise of 3.2% from July 2004.
Women Still Paid Less
Women Still Paid Less
salary survey shows that women are coming up short in terms of compensation.

Closing Bell

Hair, the Call of the Wild
Hair, the Call of the Wild
Jack London once said that he would "rather be ashes than dust."