Snapshot
Methods Rule
Alexander Grimwade | Jun 20, 2004
In 1988, The Scientist featured the most highly cited papersin the life sciences. All were method papers, with the venerable Lowry protein measurement technique nominated as the King of Citations.1Looking at papers published in the past 10 years using ISI Essential Science Indicators, we found that method papers still rule, though the focus has changed from measuring cell constituents to conducting computer analysis of nucleic acid and protein sequences.- Alexander Grimwade
vCJD and CJD by the Numbers
Christine Bahls | Jun 6, 2004
As of Dec. 1, 2003, 153 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) were reported: 143 in the United Kingdom, 6 in France, and 1 each in Italy, Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Nearly all of the affected people had been in the UK between 1980 and 1996, during a large bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreak.Between 1997 and 2003, 731 cases of CJD – sporadic, familial and iatrogenic – were reported in the United States. The rate of deaths due to this type of CJD has rema
Many Mindsets on Bioterrorism
Alexander Grimwade | May 23, 2004
Of the 376 survey participants, 79% believe there is a moderate or greater chance of a bioterrorist attack occurring somewhere in the world in the next five years. And, 81% believe there is moderate or greater justification for the increasingly large sums spent by governments on research aimed at preventing and mitigating the effects of such an assault.But 46% feel that government spending on bioterrorism research is diverting monies from more important investigative areas, and 19% state that th
Water by the Numbers
The Scientist Staff | May 9, 2004
Estimated number of people in 2003 who lacked access to sanitation:2.4 billionEstimated number of people in 2003 who depended on groundwater:2 billionProjected cost per year of providing worldwide water access by 2015:$30 billionNumber of countries that experienced serious water shortages by the mid-1990s:about 80 (comprising about 40% of the world’s population)Amount of bottled water produced in 2001:1.31 million liters, up from 1.2 million liters in 2000Group that consumed the most bottl
Aging Gracefully, Retiring Reluctantly
Alexander Grimwade | Apr 25, 2004
Of the 262 readers who participated in our survey, 63% have plans to retire at age 65 or later, and a hardy 10% want to stop working after 75, or not at all. Even among the 45 and younger set, 56% plan to retire at 65 or later. At the spectrum's other end, 20% of this age group expects to call it quits before reaching 60.How our readers think they will spend their retirement covers the gamut, from doing volunteer work to opening a microbrewery. Some are obviously dreaming: "Maybe my kids will su
Hazmats in the Lab
Alexander Grimwade | Apr 11, 2004
Should undergraduates be taught to handle these potentially hazardous materials?- Alexander Grimwade
Science Museums
Alexander Grimwade | Mar 28, 2004
Of the 352 readers who responded to our survey:- Alexander Grimwade
Five-year relative survival rates of pancreatic, female breast, and small-cell lung and bronchus cancers
Christine Bahls | Mar 14, 2004
The relative survival rate represents the probability of a patient living for another five years, as compared to a random person of the same age, race, and sex.See http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2000/results_merged/topic_survival.pdf for more information.- Christine Bahls
D Expenditures as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product
Christine Bahls | Mar 1, 2004
- Christine Bahls
Genetically Modified Crops
The Scientist Staff | Feb 15, 2004
Under what conditions should GM crops be deployed?Readers rank the importance of their objectionsGM crops may cause environmental disruption, 63%.Developing GM crops could solidify the control that a few large corporations have on agriculture, 59%.Consuming GM crops may create unrecognized hazards to human health, 39%.Creating transgenic animals and plants is ethically wrong, 10%.Of the 302 readers who responded, nearly 100 of them commented passionately on this subject. You can see some of thei
HIV Therapy Pipeline
The Scientist Staff | Feb 1, 2004
So far, 80 therapeutic agents are on the market to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS.Figure 1There are 83 medicines – including 15 vaccines – currently in clinical trials or awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval.Figure 2From a survey conducted by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association http://www.phrma.org/newmedicines/resources/2003-11-23.119.pdfGo to http://www.the-scientist.com/snapshot.htm to give us your feedback in the latest survey.
Do you believe that the benefits of vaccines...
Alexander Grimwade | Jan 18, 2004
Science Source Researcher/Photo Researchers IncSome readers' comments:"...Few human accomplishments have gone farther than vaccination programs in their ability to reduce human suffering and death.""As a global question, I believe that the benefits of vaccines IN GENERAL far outweigh the risks. But there are specific vaccines that may have high risks for certain people with only marginal benefit."This issue's Opinion (p. 8) and a recent Editorial (17 [22]:6, Nov 17) discuss vaccine development a
The Complete Picture
Alexander Grimwade | Dec 14, 2003
Ned Shaw Here at Snapshot Central, global headquarters of the Snapshot section of The Scientist, it's been a hectic year. After months of effort from the Statistics Department, the Survey Division, and the Graphics Group, we have analyzed a year's worth of results in our attempt to dissect, diagnose, and define the average scientist. And what have our efforts revealed? By combining responses of more than 10,000 scientists to 23 surveys conducted this year, we can safely conclude that the aver
Net Heads
Alexander Grimwade | Dec 1, 2003
Of the 393 readers of The Scientist who answered our recent survey, 95% spend one-half hour or more visiting Web sites every day, and 63% browse for more than an hour. Some 70% use more than half of their Web-cruising time visiting sites relating to their work. Echoing many of our respondents, one reader comments, "The Web has revolutionized how I get scientific information. I hardly ever go to the library any more!" Another warns, "I have come to realize that visiting Web sites is becoming
Political Scientists
Alexander Grimwade | Nov 16, 2003
Our 344 readers who answered our recent survey on political attitudes and involvement show that scientists are not sitting in ivory towers and turning their backs on politics. The majority of the respondents, 76%, regularly discuss politics with friends and family, and 72% keep informed through the media. More than 80% vote in national and local elections, and 21% have written a letter on a political topic to a newspaper or magazine. Of course, it is likely that these politically involved sc
Scientist by Nature ... and Nurture
Alexander Grimwade | Nov 2, 2003
Click for larger version of survey graph (22K) Some 425 readers told us about the influences that guided them to become scientists; they cited an average of three influential factors. By far the most important, according to 70% of our respondents, was innate curiosity. "I cannot help but poke things until I find out how they work," says one. Another notes, "I have known since I was a toddler that I would become a biologist." Secondary school teachers (46%), parents (46%), and college teacher
From Cell Screen to the Big Screen
Alexander Grimwade | Oct 19, 2003
Click for larger version of graph (21K) What an eclectic collection: The Pianist, Finding Nemo, Amelie, O Brother, Where Art Thou. These were just some of the titles that 316 readers listed when telling us about their movie-viewing habits. More than half, 59%, watch a movie once or more per week. More than 90% watch movies at home on TV, videotape, or DVD. Although TV is the most popular medium for home viewing, 66% also frequent cinemas. Among our respondents, comedy, drama, and science fic
The International Lab
Alexander Grimwade | Oct 5, 2003
The 420 print and web readers who responded to our survey about national origins were born in 67 different countries and currently reside in 45 countries. A remarkable 36% of respondents presently work in a place other than their native homeland, and 59% have lived in more than one country for three or more months. "I was born in England, live in Belgium, work in Germany!" says one reader. The countries with the largest percentages of non-native scientists moving in are the United States, Can
The Sporting Scientist
Alexander Grimwade | Sep 21, 2003
Snapshot | The Sporting Scientist Outside of the lab, everything's game Scientists crave that endorphin rush: 85% of the 312 respondents to our recent survey say they actively participate in sports or athletic activities more than once per month -- 53% get into a sweat more than once per week. Nearly 30% participate in team sports, with soccer the most popular pick; 29% participate in competitive sports, with tennis the game of choice; and a hearty 82% participate noncompetitively in athlet
Counting the Ways of Keeping Up With It All
Alexander Grimwade | Sep 7, 2003
Click for larger version of survey graph (27K) A survey of 314 of our readers provides a picture of their science-reading habits. The majority, 56%, spends more than three hours per week reading primary research articles in print and online, and 10% read more than 10 hours per week. We asked respondents which multidisciplinary journals they read frequently. Naturally, The Scientist came out on top - these are readers of The Scientist after all - with 80% reading or skimming more than half t