Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Neuroscientist Jerold Chun has studied brain development at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. since 2003. In "How the lysophospholipid got its receptor", Chun tells the story of how his research group, in the search for genes that are activated in the embryonic brain, stumbled upon a new receptor and answered questions that had lipidologists stumped for years. "We didn't come from the lipid field and didn't understand many of the nuances of this discipline," Chun say

Editorial

Tenure: What is it Good For?
Tenure: What is it Good For?
Our readers seem divided, or at least concerned, over this academic institution's future.

Mail

Mail
Mail
Junk in our genome? Re: "Junk worth keeping,"1 just because functions have been identified for some regions of genomes thought to be non-functional does not mean that all regions thought to be junk are functional. This is particularly true for bloated genomes (like the human genome) which are loaded with parasitic elements. A nearly neutral model for the evolution of eukaryotic genome structure, proposed by Michael Lynch2, suggests that mutational biases can overwhelm the cos

Notebook

CSI: My cat
CSI: My cat
A lab technician looks for blood and saliva on the sweatshirt of a child attacked by a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Gordy Slack" />A lab technician looks for blood and saliva on the sweatshirt of a child attacked by a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Gordy Slack The forensic unit of the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is housed in a small cluster of run-down, double-wide trailers surrounded by silos and fields. The day I visited, director Elizabeth Wictum and her t
Meat, in vitro?
Meat, in vitro?
Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University" />Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University In late 1998, bioengineer Morris Benjaminson and his colleagues at Touro College in New York decided to do some cooking. They dipped fillets of goldfish muscle tissue in olive oil flavored with lemon, garlic, and pepper, and fried them. It was appetizing work. "They looked and smelled ju
Sequencing the survivors
Sequencing the survivors
Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo Di Baia" />Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo
Shark Rx
Shark Rx
For biologist Jim Gelsleichter, a good day at work is one when he hooks enough bull sharks that his arms are covered in "shark burns" - rashes caused by rubbing elbows, so to speak, with the feisty rough-skinned fish. Fortunately, he and his team are catching juveniles, typically just a few weeks old, and around two feet in length. While one researcher holds down the squirming baby, another can safely collect 5mL of blood and insert a small nylon dart tag in the base of the dorsal fi
Txting 4 fsh
Txting 4 fsh
Fish wardens in Batangas. Credit: Courtesy of Jesiderio De Los Reyes" />Fish wardens in Batangas. Credit: Courtesy of Jesiderio De Los Reyes A large fishing vessel stealthily slides into protected waters off the province of Batangas, in the Philippines. Fish warden Jesiderio De Los Reyes, who lives in the local village, spots the ship and punches a text message into his cell phone. The message, roughly translated, reads: "Commercial fishing boat in Pagapas Bay. Net already in use. Boa

The Agenda

The Agenda
The Agenda
BLOOMING SCIENTISTS >> This month, The Scientist tackles a variety of issues in the life of a scientist, from tenure (see "Does tenure need to change?"), to salary (see "Life Sciences Salary Report 2007"), to becoming a teacher (see "From grad school to grade school"). Your kids (and you) can read more about career options for science lovers in Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Science, by Diane Lindsey Reeves, coming out this month from Facts on File. LIPID LOW-DO

Opinion

Can YouTube Save the Planet?
Can YouTube Save the Planet?
Pooling videos can provide instant evidence of global environmental problems.

Column

Me First!
Me First!
The system of scientific authorship is in crisis. Two new rules could help make things right.
Out of Africa
Out of Africa
A once-obscure virus spreads its wings, sickening hundreds. How did this happen?

Uncategorized

Does tenure need to change?
Does tenure need to change?
Does tenure need to change? We asked, our readers answered. Here's what you would do to improve how academia evaluates scientists - and whether you think tenure should lose its own... well, tenure. By The Readers and Editors of The Scientist Related Articles Before the storm: Tenure, as seen from one year away Tenure: What is it Good For? Readers' thoughts and suggestions What will tenure look like in 2012? What some of our readers did, or have to do (if still
Before the storm
Before the storm
Before the storm Tenure, as seen from one year away By Alison McCook Related Articles Does tenure need to change? Tenure: What is it Good For? Readers' thoughts and suggestions What will tenure look like in 2012? What some of our readers did, or have to do (if still on tenure-track), to earn tenure. "Do you have a cat?" It's one of the first questions Cindy Arrigo asks during a quick tour of the New Jersey City University (N
What will tenure look like in 2012?
What will tenure look like in 2012?
What will tenure look like in 2012? By The Readers and Editors of The Scientist Take a now-junior scientist who will apply for tenure in five years. What might she include in her CV, besides publications, grants, and service? Roll over the CV to find out var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53540/tenure_cv.swf", width:"520", height:"780", majorversion:"8", build:"0", xi:"true"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the A
What some of our readers did, or have to do (if still on tenure-track), to earn tenure.
What some of our readers did, or have to do (if still on tenure-track), to earn tenure.
What some of our readers did, or have to do (if still on tenure-track), to earn tenure. By The Readers and Editors of The Scientist RESEARCHER TENURED? INSTITUTION, DEPT. PUBLICATIONS GRANTS OTHER George Plopper yes, 2006 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, biology department 35 publications, 30 peer-reviewed abstracts for national conferences 14 grants, worth more than $5 million submitted six letters of recomm
5 HIV Treatment Strategies
5 HIV Treatment Strategies
5 HIV Treatment Strategies What the common cold virus, stem cells, and phylogeny can do to save the millions of people living with HIV. The Scientist Staff In 2006, 25 years after AIDS made its first appearance in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, an estimated 2.9 million people died of the illness. That same year, more than 4 million people were infected with HIV, joining the 35.2 million living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the dozens of approved treatments for th
A Piggyback Attack
A Piggyback Attack
A Piggyback Attack Using the common cold to deliver an HIV vaccine By Kerry Grens Related Articles 5 HIV Treatment Strategies The best offense? CCR5 inhibitors, with one now on the market, suggest it may be a good defense Stem cells and gene therapy: Researchers take a second look at using stem cells to treat HIV Solving the viral spike: Can structural biology find a chink in HIV's armor? Reconstructing early HIV: The search for immun
The Best Offense?
The Best Offense?
The Best Offense? CCR5 inhibitors, moving toward market, suggest it may be a good defense By Simon Frantz Related Articles 5 HIV Treatment Strategies A piggyback attack: Using the common cold to deliver an HIV vaccine Stem cells and gene therapy: Researchers take a second look at using stem cells to treat HIV Solving the viral spike: Can structural biology find a chink in HIV's armor? Reconstructing early HIV: The search for immunogen
Stem Cells and Gene Therapy
Stem Cells and Gene Therapy
Stem Cells and Gene Therapy Researchers take a second look at using stem cells to treat HIV By Bob Grant Related Articles 5 HIV Treatment Strategies A piggyback attack: Using the common cold to deliver an HIV vaccine The best offense? CCR5 inhibitors, with one now on the market, suggest it may be a good defense Solving the viral spike: Can structural biology find a chink in HIV's armor? Reconstructing early HIV: The search for immunogens d
Solving the Viral Spike
Solving the Viral Spike
Solving the Viral Spike Can structural biology find a chink in HIV's armor? By Andrea Gawrylewski Related Articles 5 HIV Treatment Strategies A piggyback attack: Using the common cold to deliver an HIV vaccine The best offense? CCR5 inhibitors, with one now on the market, suggest it may be a good defense Stem cells and gene therapy: Researchers take a second look at using stem cells to treat HIV Reconstructing early HIV: The search for immuno
Reconstructing early HIV
Reconstructing early HIV
Reconstructing early HIV The search for immunogens delves into the virus' past By Kelly Rae Chi Related Articles 5 HIV Treatment Strategies A piggyback attack: Using the common cold to deliver an HIV vaccine The best offense? CCR5 inhibitors, with one now on the market, suggest it may be a good defense Stem cells and gene therapy: Researchers take a second look at using stem cells to treat HIV Solving the viral spike: Can structural bio
How the Lysophospholipid Got its Receptor
How the Lysophospholipid Got its Receptor
How the Lysophospholipid Got its Receptor The discovery of a new family of lipid receptors provides potential targets for diseases such as multiple sclerosis and autoimmunity. By Jerold Chun Related Articles 1 By the late 1960s, researchers had become aware that this somewhat obscure class of lipids had the remarkable ability to act like an extracellular signaling molecule.2 Two prominent forms typify but do not limit lysophospholipids: lysophosphatidic acid
The Active Lives of Lipid Metabolites
The Active Lives of Lipid Metabolites
The Active Lives of Lipid Metabolites A cell's phospholipid membrane molecules can be broken down to form five classes of signaling lipid metabolites, one of which are the lysophospholipids. These lipid molecules each trigger a specific G-protein-coupled receptor located on many kinds of tissue throughout the body, causing a wide range of physiological changes. var FO = { movie:"http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53542/infographic.swf", width:"530", height
The Scientist Salary Report 2007
The Scientist Salary Report 2007
Life Sciences Salary Report 2007 Find out which fields and regions are paying best. By Edyta Zielinska Related Articles Salary by job title and years of experience Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary Median salaries by area of specialization Median salary of a scientific researcher by region and the additional funds needed to match the living standard of the average American r
Salary by job title and years of experience
Salary by job title and years of experience
Salary by job title and years of experience var FO = { movie:"/supplementary/flash/Charts/FC_2_3_StckdColumn3D.swf", width:"530", height:"500", majorversion:"8", build:"0", flashvars:"&dataURL=/supplementary/xml/53491/job_title.xml&chartWidth=530&chartHeight=500" }; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Replacement content Related Articles: Life Sciences Salary Report 2007• Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in orde
Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary
Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary
Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary var FO = { movie:"/supplementary/flash/Charts/FC_2_3_StckdColumn3D.swf", width:"530", height:"500", majorversion:"8", build:"0", flashvars:"&dataURL=/supplementary/xml/53491/spec_experience.xml&chartWidth=530&chartHeight=500" }; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Replacement content Related Articles: Life Sciences Salary Report 2007• Salary by j
Median salaries by area of specialization
Median salaries by area of specialization
Median salaries by area of specialization var FO = { movie:"/supplementary/flash/Charts/FC_2_3_StckdColumn3D.swf", width:"530", height:"500", majorversion:"8", build:"0", flashvars:"&dataURL=/supplementary/xml/53491/specialization.xml&chartWidth=530&chartHeight=500" }; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Replacement content Related Articles: Life Sciences Salary Report 2007• Salary by job title and years of experience• Salary by specialization and
Median salary of a scientific researcher by region
Median salary of a scientific researcher by region
Median salary of a scientific researcher by region var FO = { movie:"/supplementary/flash/Charts/FC_2_3_StckdColumn3D.swf", width:"530", height:"500", majorversion:"8", build:"0", flashvars:"&dataURL=/supplementary/xml/53491/region.xml&chartWidth=530&chartHeight=500" }; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Replacement content Related Articles: Life Sciences Salary Report 2007• Salary by job title and years of experience• Salary by speciali
Salaries for women still lag
Salaries for women still lag
Salaries for women still lag By Edyta Zielinska Related Articles Life Sciences Salary Report 2007 Salary by job title and years of experience Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary Median salaries by area of specialization Median salary of a scientific researcher by region and the additional funds needed to match the living standard of the average American renter Median Salary f
Median Salary for a scientific researcher by city
Median Salary for a scientific researcher by city
Median Salary for a scientific researcher by cityClick on the image to launch the mapRelated Articles: Life Sciences Salary Report 2007• Salary by job title and years of experience• Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary• Median salary of a scientific researcher by region and the additional funds needed to match the living standard of the average American renter• Salaries for women still l
How to negotiate a better salary
How to negotiate a better salary
How to negotiate a better salary By Edyta Zielinska Related Articles Life Sciences Salary Report 2007 Salary by job title and years of experience Salary by specialization and years of experience, listed in order of highest median entry level salary Median salaries by area of specialization Median salary of a scientific researcher by region and the additional funds needed to match the living standard of the average American renter Salaries for
An Expression of Interest
An Expression of Interest
Alan Hinnebusch has worked doggedly through the years to figure out how yeast genes are regulated.

Hot Paper

The Shape of Pathogenic Proteins
The Shape of Pathogenic Proteins
New details about structure and size of prion proteins reveal insights into infectivity.
T-cell revival
T-cell revival
Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: D.L. Barber et al., "Restoring function in exhausted CD8 T cells during chronic viral infection," Nature, 439:682-7, 2006. (Cited in 97 papers) The finding: Rafi Ahmed at Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta and colleagues examined microarrays from T cells that lose function during chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis, a viral
Eukaryotic classification
Eukaryotic classification
Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: S. Adl et al., "The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists," J Eukaryotic Microbiol, 52:399-451, 2005. (Cited in 79 papers) The need: "The last classification endorsed by the [International Society of Protozoologists] was published in 1980," says Dennis Lynn at University of
Pass the disruption
Pass the disruption
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Skinner" /> Credit: Courtesy of Michael Skinner The paper: M.D. Anway et al., "Epigenetic transgenerational actions of endocrine disruptors and male fertility," Science, 308:1466-9, 2005. (Cited in 112 papers) The finding: A group led by Michael Skinner from Washington State University briefly exposed pregnant female rats to endocrine disruptors and found sperm defects in the F1 generation of male rats, which were passe

Papers To Watch

Papers to Watch
Papers to Watch
S. Ge et al.,"A critical period for enhanced synaptic plasticity in newly generated neurons of the adult brain," Neuron, 54:559-66, May 24, 2007. "By following GFP-labeled newly-born adult dentate granule cells, a critical period of 1-1.5 months was identified, and the increased plasticity depended on developmentally regulated synaptic expression of NR2B-containing NMDA [N-methyl d-aspartate] receptors. This critical period may be important for mediating e
Lifespan Controls Fail
Lifespan Controls Fail
Credit: Courtesy of wikimedia" /> Credit: Courtesy of wikimedia Scientists had previously found that mutations in the Indy (I'm not dead yet) gene in male Drosophila from a particular genetic background result in flies with doubled lifespan. Linda Partridge at University College London and her colleagues aimed to use Indy mutant flies as positive controls for studies on how single genes affect longevity, but instead, they found that the mutants didn't live as long as previous work ha
Transvascular siRNA Delivery
Transvascular siRNA Delivery
The tight network of endothelial cells of brain capillaries have, until now, kept therapeutic molecules, such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), from crossing from the blood into the brain. Such molecules could potentially silence targeted genes expressed in neurologic disorders. N. Manjunath Swamy from Harvard University Medical School and colleagues synthesized a peptide derived from rabies virus glycoprotein (RVG) and showed that the 29-amino-acid peptide bound specifically to acety

Scientist To Watch

Henrik Kaessmann: Grand-scale genetics
Henrik Kaessmann: Grand-scale genetics
Credit: © SEAN MACLEOD PHOTOGRAPHY" /> Credit: © SEAN MACLEOD PHOTOGRAPHY Henrik Kaessmann is not a trained bioinformaticist. He acquired his computational skills after his PhD, on the road to uncovering the subtleties of gene origin and function, with many of his projects operating on a grand scale. Over the short evolution of his career, however, he has become one of the world's foremost bioinformatics researchers. Kaessmann's first large-scale project was during his

Lab Tools

Bad vibrations
Bad vibrations
How to keep the effects of environmental bounce out of your data
How It Works: Passive vibrational isolation
How It Works: Passive vibrational isolation
Related Articles Lab Tools: Bad virbation Passive vibrational isolation tables offer the most vibrational noise reduction for the price. They work on the same basic principle as the suspension of a car - though the wheels move up and down rapidly as you drive over a bumpy road, the spring supporting the mass of the cab keeps passengers from feeling the vertical bounce. Unlike air tables, in which air pumped into the system acts as the spring, and active tables, which use sensors and a

BioBusiness

A Receptive Leader
A Receptive Leader
Some executives would have left a company after being demoted. Graham Allaway didn't do that at the HIV therapeutics company Panacos, and it's better because of it.

Pulse Oximeter

From Grad School to Grade School
From Grad School to Grade School
So you want to be a science teacher? Here's how to get started.

Foundations

The First Combinatorial Library
The First Combinatorial Library
Mario Geysen's combinatorial library, circa 1984. Credit: Courtesy of Terry Sharrer" />Mario Geysen's combinatorial library, circa 1984. Credit: Courtesy of Terry Sharrer In the early 1980s, Mario Geysen, working for Australia's Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, hoped to mimic an antigenic epitope for foot and mouth virus that could become the basis for a vaccine. Without knowing the natural epitope's chemical composition, however, he had to consider a very large number of possible pep