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Contributors
Contributors
Contributors By the time Guillermina Girardi earned her PhD from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in Argentina in 1994, she never got the opportunity to study abroad. So when the chance came up to do a two-year training program at the Hospital for Special Surgery, an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, in December of 2000, she jumped on it. She ultimately worked as an assistant professor of pharmac
Aid for Poverty - and Pudding
Aid for Poverty - and Pudding
By Richard Gallagher Aid for Poverty—and Pudding New technology for curbing nutrient deficiency is being cruelly held up. Not for nothing is micronutrient malnutrition known as the “hidden hunger.” At my school dining hall in 1970s Scotland, tapioca was sometimes served as pudding. It has since fallen out of favor as a culinary treat, and I can’t say I’m surprised. This, along with a recent (a
Mail
Mail
Mail After Fraud: Life vs. Life Sentence While certainly not defending those who willingly engage in scientific fraud, those who are punished, such as the anonymous scientists who accepted findings of misconduct presented in “Life After Fraud”1, deserve a chance to start over. If only internet memory would fade like human memory, we could forgive, forget, and move on. Phil Davis Cornell UniversityIthaca, NYpmd8@cornell.edu
Wild-type work
Wild-type work
By Cassandra Willyard Wild-type work Manuel Patarroyo holding an owl monkey. courtesy of Mauricio Ángel On an overcast day this spring, a blue-canopied motorboat slowly navigates the 110-kilometer stretch of the Amazon that divides Colombia and Peru. At the fore stands Manuel Elkin Patarroyo. The aft contains his research subjects—30 individually bagged owl monkeys, each no bigger than a small housecat. The captain guides the boat toward the
Next top model
Next top model
By Elie Dolgin Next top model A mouse lung riddled with tumors after inhaling Cre recombinase. Courtesy of David Dankort David Dankort was 4 years into his postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, without a single paper to show for his work since his PhD. His first two major projects had failed, and if his third experiment didn’t pan out, he was ready to kiss his academic career goodbye. In a last-ditch effort, Dankort had constructed tra
Military minds
Military minds
By Jef Akst Military minds With his hands tied behind his back and his feet bound together, Charles Alexander Morgan III splashed into the water of the Olympic-size pool at the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla. with no equipment—except, that is, a dive mask that hung uselessly by its strap from between his clenched teeth. As the water engulfed his body, air bubbles shot towards the surface and he sank quickly to the pool̵
Science, rah rah
Science, rah rah
By Bob Grant Science, rah rah Cavalier enlisted magic duo Penn and Teller to spread her message of science advocacy. Courtesy of sciencecheerleader.com Darlene Cavalier isn’t your typical cheerleader. The petite, blond ex-Philadelphia 76ers dancer is driven by a single-minded goal—to reestablish a new-and-improved Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a Congressional science advisory body that was shuttered by Newt Gingrich and fellow Republicans
Mini-mass spec
Mini-mass spec
By Margaret Guthrie Mini-mass spec Analyzing chemicals underwater with the mass spectrometer. The sampling port is at the end of the robotic arm. Courtesy of Scott Wankel There’s a lot going on 2500 meters below sea level. It’s dark, temperatures can climb to 300 degrees Celsius near thermal vents, and the pressure is about 250 atmospheres. If humans could swim at that depth, the pressure exerted on the body would be equivalent to the weight of ab
NIH R01s: No Longer the Best Science
NIH R01s: No Longer the Best Science
By Les Costello NIH R01s: No Longer the Best Science Funding preferences penalize senior investigators, lower the quality of science. © DAN PAGE For 60 years, the US National Institutes of Health R01 research grant mechanism has aimed at funding the highest-quality science to address the important contemporary issues. That began to change in 2008, after NIH Director Elias Zerhouni issued the goal to “Fund the best science, by the best scienti
Bring Back Reprint Requests
Bring Back Reprint Requests
By Steven Wiley Bring Back Reprint Requests I miss the instant feedback from the larger scientific community on my papers. I remember my delight at receiving hundreds of reprint requests for individual papers that I fought long and hard with reviewers to get published. The Internet has changed scientific publishing in many ways, some good and some bad. No one would deny that it is easier to find papers on a particular subject than ever before. Looking
Where's the Super Food?
Where's the Super Food?
By Bob Grant Where's the Super Food? Scientists have genetically engineered several biofortified food plants to tackle a scourge of developing countries—micronutrient malnutrition. The crops have yet to be planted on a wide scale, but that may be about to change. © Lynn Johnson / National Geographic Image Collection ight now, one billion people are starving. That’s one in every six people on this planet.
Safeguarding the Foreigner Within
Safeguarding the Foreigner Within
By Guillermina Girardi Safeguarding the Foreigner Within A newly found cause of miscarriage raises hopes for treatment, using a drug already on the market for other indications. But when will clinical trials take place? t’s almost amusing how much genuine joy a little plastic stick can bring; the daydreams that spring to mind, the plans you start making from that first hint you might be pregnant. Despite the best advice to w
2009 Life Sciences Salary Survey
2009 Life Sciences Salary Survey
By Jef Akst Life Sciences Salary Survey 2009 To keep salaries static despite the depressed economy, institutions are cutting jobs, forcing furloughs, and making changes to infrastructure. Salaries in the scientific community aren’t dipping with the economy, as might be expected from the massive budget cuts and subsequent layoffs being observed around the country. In fact, in The Scientist ’s 2009 salary survey, we’re seein
Survey Methodology
Survey Methodology
Survey Methodology The Scientist 2009 Survey of Compensation of Life Scientists in the US Related Articles Finding New Money Stimulus Application? Not Me Retiring from Science Scoring on Sabbaticals Charts and Tables Comparison Charts and Data State-by-State Salaries Downloadable PDF's The survey was conducted via a web-based survey which was open from March 5 to May 31, 2009. Participation in the survey was promoted by e-mail and advertising
Crossing Over
Crossing Over
By Karen Hopkin Crossing Over Following his instinct, Douglas Bishop has tracked the mechanisms behind mismatch repair and homologous recombination. © Matthew Gilson Talk about a rite of passage: In his first job out of Amherst College in 1980, Douglas Bishop worked as a tech for a scientist who had neither an alarm clock nor a circadian rhythm. David Kurtz at Cold Spring Harbor had a habit of staying awake for 24 hours, sleeping awhile, and then repe
Transcription Surprise
Transcription Surprise
By Alla Katsnelson Transcription Surprise A strange finding sparks a closer look at this fundamental process. An enzyme separating two strands of DNA © Nucleus Medical Art, Inc / Phototake / Images.com According to the textbook model of gene transcription, the process is sparked by the recruitment of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to a gene’s promoter. But a 2007 Cell paper from Richard Young’s lab at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass.,
Sequencing soil
Sequencing soil
By Elie Dolgin Sequencing soil The paper: L.F.W. Roesch et al., “Pyrosequencing enumerates and contrasts soil microbial diversity,” ISME J , 1:283–90, 2007. (Cited in 57 papers) The finding: A team led by Eric Triplett of the University of Florida pyrosequenced four soil samples from across the Western Hemisphere, three from agricultural sites and one from forest soil, finding that each had more than 25,000 bacterial speci
When the Levy break
When the Levy break
By Elie Dolgin When the Lévy breaks Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha” / Flickr Creative Commons The paper: A.E. Edwards et al., “Revisiting Lévy flight search patterns of wandering albatrosses, bumblebees and deer,” Nature , 449:1044–48, 2007. (Cited in 53 papers) The finding: Andrew Edwards, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, found that earlier reports had mistakenly attributed an optimal search patter
Directing degradation
Directing degradation
By Edyta Zielinska Directing degradation Serhiy Pankiv The paper: S. Pankiv et al., “p62/SQSTM1 binds directly to Atg8/LC3 to facilitate degradation of ubiquitinated protein aggregates by autophagy,” J Biol Chem , 282:24131–45, 2007. (Cited in 113 papers) The finding: Terje Johansen and his colleagues at the University of Tromsø, Norway, discovered the specific molecule involved in targeting cellular waste for d
J. Christopher Love
J. Christopher Love
By Elie Dolgin J. Christopher Love: The Nanoimmunologist © 2009 LEAH FASTEN Growing up, J. Christopher Love never imagined that he’d be exploring the intricacies of the immune system as a career. In high school, he developed theoretical designs for molecules that could act as electrical devices at the MITRE Corporation, a government-sponsored defense technology company in Fairfax County, Va. Love says the project helped him “realize that mol
Surpassing the Law of Averages
Surpassing the Law of Averages
By Jeffrey M. Perkel Surpassing the Law of Averages How to expose the behaviors of genes, RNA, proteins, and metabolites in single cells. By necessity or convenience, almost everything we know about biochemistry and molecular biology derives from bulk behavior: From gene regulation to Michaelis-Menten kinetics, we understand biology in terms of what the “average” cell in a population does. But, as Jonathan Weissman of the University of Califo
Dimmer-switch Drugs
Dimmer-switch Drugs
By Megan Scudellari Dimmer-switch Drugs A growing number of companies are exploring molecules that modulate targets, rather than just switching them on or off. It started with an obsession. In 2002, Vincent Mutel began to talk about allosteric modulators, think about allosteric modulators, even dream about them. Few drug companies were pursuing allosteric modulators—small molecules that regulate a receptor or enzyme by binding to a site disti
Talking Yourself Up
Talking Yourself Up
By Jef Akst Talking Yourself Up How to score points during an interview and what to do after it's over. © images.com / Corbis Anthony Brown has always been good at pharmaceutical medicine, but recently he's become a pro at being interviewed as well. Just 1 month and two interviews after graduating from St. John's University in Queens, New York with a bachelor's degree in toxicology and chemistry in May 2005, Brown landed a job in the phar
C. elegans Physical Map, circa 1989
C. elegans Physical Map, circa 1989
By Elie Dolgin C. elegans Physical Map, circa 1989 © Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library By the 1980s, Sydney Brenner’s “worm project” was in full swing. Brenner and his crack team of researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK, had already constructed a detailed genetic map of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and described the worm’s embryonic and nervous system development i