About Us

Meet This Issue's Contributors
Meet This Issue's Contributors
won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his pioneering work characterizing yeast cell-cycle mutants.

Editorial

Let's Talk About This
Let's Talk About This
How do scientists communicate, with one another and with the public?

Letter

Why we invoke Darwin
Why we invoke Darwin
Philip Skell's opinion highlights the proximate vs. ultimate causation dichotomy that's so familiar to biology students.
Cells and chips: it's no contest
Cells and chips: it's no contest
In your August 1, 2005 issue, Herbert Sauro writes: "Given the statistics on modern chip design, one wonders if, in fact, cellular complexity has been surpassed [by computer technology]. For example, with the recent move to 90-nm fabrication technology, the average transistor is now less than 50 nm in diameter – only 5 times bigger than the average intracellular protein."1 However, proteins are not just static structures of atoms; they also contain dynamic circuits that convey nuclear forc

Notebook

Journals in the arms race
Journals in the arms race
of being "connected to the profits of the global arms trade."
Animal extremists get company delisted?
Animal extremists get company delisted?
On the morning of September 7, Brian Cass, chief executive of contract research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences, was standing in an anteroom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chatting to officials, waiting to go onto the floor of the exchange where Huntingdon's US parent company, Life Sciences Research (LSR) was due to be listed.
The biologist as a fuel cell
The biologist as a fuel cell
Larry Rome is a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania who studies how frogs and fish move.

Feature

Can Biomarker Initiatives Stay on Target?
Can Biomarker Initiatives Stay on Target?
Thriving tumors burn glucose and show up as bright spots on positron emission tomography screens.
Rethinking Clinical Proteomics
Rethinking Clinical Proteomics
For a while it looked as if proteomics' next frontier was the clinic, if one was to believe the hype surrounding a 2002 study from US Food and Drug Administration scientist Emanuel Petricoin III and National Cancer Institute scientist Lance Liotta.

Vision

How to Build a Cancer Sensor System
How to Build a Cancer Sensor System
A Boeing engineer tells me that a modern airplane has about 10,000 sensors constantly recording information, not only to inform pilots about the plane's performance but also to forecast mechanical problems that can be corrected during routine maintenance.

Research

Chemical Genomics Collaborations Heat Up
Chemical Genomics Collaborations Heat Up
The National Institutes of Health has placed the heft of a large academic collaboration, on par in scale with the Human Genome Project, behind a task usually performed by pharmaceutical companies.

Hot Paper

And Then There was Y
And Then There was Y
The Y chromosome gets no respect.

Briefs

Embryonic stem lines unstable
Embryonic stem lines unstable
Human embryonic stem cells appear to accrue genomic changes that could make them unusable therapeutically when cultured at length.
HCV replicates with help from microRNA
HCV replicates with help from microRNA
California researchers have found a previously unrecognized role for microRNAs: aiding and abeting hepatitis C virus in the liver.
Is telomerase moonlighting?
Is telomerase moonlighting?
The debate continues as to whether telomerase's only function is to promote telomere extension.

Technology

A Live-Animal Test for BSE?
A Live-Animal Test for BSE?
The discovery of even a single case of mad cow disease can be economically devastating.
Buyer's Guide to Gel Documentation Systems
Buyer's Guide to Gel Documentation Systems
Researcher Willy Walter of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has fairly typical gel-documentation needs: "We take pictures of ethidium bromide-stained agarose gels using a UV transilluminator and of yeast colonies under white light."

Tools and Technology

What's New in Mass Spectrometry?
What's New in Mass Spectrometry?
Last summer got off to a hot start at the June 2005 American Society for Mass Spectrometry meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Digital Chemotaxis
Digital Chemotaxis
A new, single-cell computational model developed by scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory borrows a technique used in the social sciences to digitally study how random molecular events within a cell influence its behavior.
Getting to the Root of Inventory Problems
Getting to the Root of Inventory Problems
, says he is appalled by inadequate inventory tracking in academic and government biotech labs.
An ACE in the Hole for Cellular Therapies
An ACE in the Hole for Cellular Therapies
Take some cells from a patient, grow them in a laboratory for a few weeks, and then inject them back into the same patient.

BioBusiness

The Corn Next Door
The Corn Next Door
In 2000, public officials in Boulder County, Colo., were faced with calls from organic farmers, environmentalists, and others to ban genetically modified (GM) crops.
When Bad News Strikes
When Bad News Strikes
In March, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biotech company, suffered a series of setbacks that prompted company executives to scramble to control the fallout and preserve its reputation.
Patent Changes Looming in United States
Patent Changes Looming in United States
Legislation described as "the most comprehensive change to US patent law" in more than 50 years is pitting research universities and the life sciences industry against the computer and financial services industries.

Reverse Transcript

Infection International
Infection International
As an undergraduate at St. Andrews University in Scotland, David Russell fell in love with infection.