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THE SCIENTIST (CONTENTS PAGE & FULL ISSUE FOLLOW THIS SHORT MESSAGE) ****************************************************** Dear Reader: Many of you have been accessing THE SCIENTIST, free of charge, on the Internet for over a year. We thank you for your interest. Would you please take a moment to let us have your views, suggestions, and comments about THE SCIENTIST to enable us to better meet your needs? We would particularly like to know: 1. If you are working in an academic, commercial, or government organization? 2. After you ftp each issue of THE SCIENTIST, how many others do you share it with? 3. Do you usually ftp the file or prefer searching it via Gopher or WAIS? 4. If it can be arranged, would you prefer receiving each issue, automatically, in your electronic mail box? 5. Finally, do you have any suggestions for ways of improving our file or format? Thanks and best wishes, Eugene Garfield Publisher THE SCIENTIST, 3600 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104,U.S.A. Phone :(215)243-2205 // Fax: (215)387-1266 ================= THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 8, No:9 MAY 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) =============================================================== Articles published in THE SCIENTIST reflect the views of their authors and not the official views of the publication, its editorial staff, or its ownership. =============================================================== *** THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SCIENTIST WILL APPEAR ON *** *** MAY 16, 1994 *** *** *** ******************************************************* Subscription rates for the printed edition are: In the United States: one year $58, two years $ 94 Canada : one year $82, two years $142 All other foreign : one year/air cargo $ 79 one year/ airmail $133 THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author TI = title of article TY = type PG = page NEXT = next article ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ONLINE REVOLUTION: In the first of a two-part series, The Scientist examines how use of the Internet already is changing the way research is done--through the proliferation of online communication by E-mail, file exchange, and electronic publication--and what the future holds, thanks to such concepts as tele-experimentation and networked collaboratories PG : 1 Publishing on the Internet PG : 8 SCIENCE SOCIETY EXECUTIVES: As science budgets shrink and research positions are harder to come by, the role of scientific societies' executive directors--the paid professionals who manage the day-to-day operations of these groups--has expanded beyond the already-crucial responsibility of keeping the societies up and running to bringing the organizations' positions and needs to highest levels of science policy-making PG : 1 Society administration training PG : 7 ASSESSING RISK ASSESSMENT: After a two-year delay, the congressionally mandated Risk Assessment and Management Commission is scheduled to meet for the first time this month. The commission is charged with evaluating standards and methods of assessing environmental hazards and recommending how that information should be used in regulating toxic substances; its deliberations may have far- reaching effects on research and government policy in this area PG : 3 BIOTECHNOLOGY'S FUTURE: Nobel Prize-winning researcher Phillip A. Sharp of MIT expresses the confidence that the biotech industry can survive, flourish, and yield great benefit to mankind as it moves through the 1990s--but only if the firms involved are willing to adjust with agility to scientific breakthroughs, fluctuations in the national economy, and the constantly shifting needs of the large pharmaceutical companies PG : 12 COMMENTARY: Given the scientific community's traditional reliance on print and electronic communication, and the Internet's rapid growth in facilitating such communication as well as collaborative research, it is imperative that scientists now include E-mail addresses on their letters, papers, proposals and other writings to maximize dialogue, says publisher Eugene Garfield PG : 13 SIMILAR APPROACHES: Although the "hottest" scientists of the last four years have varying research pursuits, many of them also have much in common: They conduct cross-disciplinary research, collaborate frequently, and rely on a broad mix of scientists in their labs PG : 14 HOT PAPERS: Physicist Jean-Claude Vial discusses his paper on visible-light emission from porous silicon; neuroscientist Franz Hefti expands upon his article on neurotrophin regulation; and cardiologist Marc A. Pfeffer comments on his clinical heart study PG : 15 ONLINE TOOLS: As dramatic as the expansion of the Internet global computer network has been, a host of new software and services--much of it accessible online and for free--may fuel even more explosive growth, while already making many Internet tasks easier PG : 17 STUDENT SCIENCE COMPETITIONS: The benefits of high school science competitions are many: They stimulate interest in science among the young, help predict future success in the profession, and make a good impression on college admissions boards. But a number of competitions, such as the International Science and Engineering Fair, also offer significant monetary benefits PG : 1 BRADFORD W. PARKINSON of Stanford University has been named chairman of the NASA Advisory Council PG : 23 NOTEBOOK PG : 4 LETTERS PG : 13 COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, REFERENCE WORKS, AND SOFTWARE DIRECTORY PG : 19 NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 OBITUARY PG : 23 PEOPLE BRIEFS PG : 23 CROSSWORD PG : 23 The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Lucrative Science Contests Spread Throughout The U.S. To Reward The Achievements Of Young Researchers AU : LEE KATTERMAN TY : NEWS PG : 1 In March, the 53rd annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search brought 40 high school students to Washington, D.C.--all of them finalists in the venerable annual competition. The purpose of the young people's visit was twofold: to showcase all of their research achievements and to select 10 of the finalists as winners of this year's event. Leading the elite group was Forrest Anderson of Helena High School in Helena, Mont., the grand-prize winner. Anderson, whose project demonstrated a method for converting mixed plastic waste into liquid petroleum products, says he was surprised to be chosen as the best of the best. "This is the most intelligent group of students I've ever been with in my life," he says. Although he can't be sure why he was singled out, he says he suspects that the timely environmental focus and the success of his recycling process helped set him apart. Anderson's generous reward--a $40,000 scholarship as the contest winner--is representative of a happy fate that is befalling many other young researchers these days. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of high school competitions offering lucrative prizes in an attempt to inspire and cultivate the scientists of tomorrow. In many of these contests, cash prizes are given to more than just one winner. In the Westinghouse event, for example, the 39 finalists in addition to Anderson were awarded scholarships ranging from $30,000 for the second- prize winner to $1,000 for the students finishing 11th through 40th. In all, $205,000 in scholarships was awarded. "Whether they win or not, however, students who enter the Science Talent Search get a feeling of accomplishment and an experience that's more like doing research and quite exciting compared to taking science classes," says Richard Gott, a Princeton University astrophysicist and head Talent Search judge. The Talent Search, cosponsored by Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corp. and the nonprofit Science Service Inc. of Washington, D.C., is the oldest and most prestigious of U.S. high school science competitions. The $40,000 first prize is one reason, but so are the achievements of past Talent Search winners, who have received many scientific awards; five, for example, have won the Nobel Prize. Competing Competitions In recent years, a number of other student science contests have sprung up. Many of the new competitions are vying for attention with the venerable Westinghouse contest by offering generous prizes. The NYNEX Science and Technology Awards program, whose entrants submit proposals for addressing a social or technological problem in a scientific way, is expected to announce its first winners this week. The prize package totals more than $450,000, including $210,000 in scholarships to students on winning teams. In an innovative twist, the NYNEX corporation also provides up to $250,000 in R&D funding to study the winning proposals. Universities, corporations, or other organizations will be asked to apply for the funds to study the students' ideas in a project that will involve the winning teams as interns (L. Katterman, The Scientist, Nov. 15, 1993, page 3). Other relatively new competitions include the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) ExploraVision Awards, which began last year; the four-year- old Seiko Youth Challenge; and the Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition, in its 12th year. Teams of students in grades K-12 vie for ExploraVision Awards by describing their visions of how an existing technology might evolve during the next 20 years. The ExploraVision awards, totaling up to $160,000, are funded by New York-based Toshiba America Inc. Members of first-place teams each receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond; second-place team members earn $5,000 bonds. Winners will be selected next month. The Seiko Youth Challenge offers $54,000 in scholarships and school grants to teams of high school students for proposing a solution to a local environmental problem. The Seiko Corp. of America, located in Mahwah, N.J., sponsors the competition. The Duracell competition, sponsored by the Bethel, Conn.- based battery company, provides U.S. Savings Bonds worth $90,000 to 100 high school students who invent and build a battery-powered device that is educational, useful, or entertaining. In March, the winners of the Duracell contest were announced: Tracy Phillips, an 11th-grader at Long Beach High School in New York received the $20,000 first prize for inventing an electronic wallet that reads the denominations of paper money for the blind. Phillips, 17, is the second female student to win the contest in its 12-year history. As new, big-money student competitions proliferate, the long-running International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is working hard to keep up. The ISEF, now in its 45th year, needs only a few more corporate sponsors before its organizer, Science Service, can increase the prizes tenfold. Once the increase is instituted, first-place winners in each of the fair's 14 Grand Award categories will receive a $5,000 scholarship, up from $500. In addition, first-place students will be offered four-year tuition scholarships to the University of Alabama in this year's ISEF host city of Birmingham, says Science Service president Alfred McLaren. If fund-raising goes as planned and if every category winner accepts an Alabama scholarship, then the Grand Awards prize package will come to $750,000, up from $63,500 last year. "I think of the prize money as a `grub stake' for college," says Mc-Laren. "We hope that these awards are at the level that these kids don't also need to get a job that first year in college," enabling them to concentrate on school and adjusting to their new academic environment. Predicting Future Success Organizers of all these science competitions say they want to identify students who excel in science and to reward and encourage them to pursue science careers. The Westinghouse competition, however, is the only one to survey its alumni about their accomplishments since high school. In addition to five Nobel Prizes awarded to past Talent Search finalists, two have earned Fields Medals--the Nobel equivalent in mathematics--and nine have received prestigious MacArthur Fellowships. The National Medal of Science and Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards have also gone to past finalists, as has membership in the national academies of science and engineering. "One of the reasons the Westinghouse is able to [predict future scientific success] is that it doesn't rely on a paper-and-pencil test to identify its winners," says Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan and a 1961 Talent Search finalist. He has been recognized many times for his research into the ways that individuals, groups, or nations develop cooperative relationships; in 1987, he received a MacArthur Fellowship. Basing judgments on the students' creative work is what makes the Talent Search predictive, Axelrod believes. Knowledge is important, he says, but the best scientists are able to formulate and analyze problems and develop testable hypotheses. "The record of the Westinghouse is phenomenal," says Joseph Berger, education writer for the New York Times and author of The Young Scientists (Reading, Mass., Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. Inc., 1994), an examination of Talent Search finalists and the high schools they attended. In researching his book, Berger determined that becoming a finalist is best predicted by attendance at a high school that "teaches you how to do research, not just offers courses in science." Award-Winning Schooling The high schools that have produced the most Talent Search finalists are located in New York. Years ago, these schools- -Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Forest Hills, Erasmus, Hall, Midwood, Jamaica, and Brooklyn Technical--began using the Talent Search to compete informally among one another by comparing who entered the most students and brought home the most prizes. As time passed, these schools boosted their prospects with a science curriculum that emphasized hands-on research experience. "Obviously, a number of kids win the Westinghouse without this experience," says Berger, "but I was struck by how many did go through one of these research programs." The record of Melanie Krieger's students at West Melville High School in Setauket, N.Y., bears out Berger's hypothesis. For the last seven years, Krieger has taught WestPrep (short for "Westinghouse Science Talent Search Preparation") as a three-year program in which students spend most of their time working on research projects to enter in a host of competitions. Since she started WestPrep, the program has produced 43 Talent Search semifinalists and five finalists, including Todd Eldad Hod and Job Thomas Rijssenbeek this year. "I have shaped the curriculum around these competitions," emphasizing research and lots of writing, she says. "I value the competitions, especially for the deadlines. If you're submitting [a National Institutes of Health] grant proposal, you don't get to miss the deadline and then give them some excuse to be considered anyway." Arthur Eisenkraft, a physics teacher and science coordinator at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., acknowledges that many competitions identify the students most likely to become successful scientists. "But," he adds, "I don't think that's the purpose, nor is it why I'm involved." Eisenkraft has organized the U.S. Physics Olympiad team and serves as a judge for the NYNEX Awards and the Duracell contest. For him, it is more important for these programs to let the best students know how good they are. "I certainly appreciate that it's an achievement to ski down a hill four-tenths of second faster than someone else," says Eisenkraft. "But that individual will have much less impact on this country than these kids [who win science competitions]. "They can have a large impact on the world, and we need to encourage them and let them know it." Patricia Powers remembers being one of only two young women taking calculus 10 years ago at Lyndon Johnson High School in Austin, Texas. In 1983, as Patricia Zoch, she was named a finalist in the Talent Search for her genetic study of crossover frequency in fruit flies. "While I was in Washington [for the final judging] I met other girls who were also interested in science, and it made me realize that I wasn't weird," says Powers. "Because of that, I continued in genetics." Today, Powers is a genetics researcher at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, Texas. Eric Miller got a similar confidence boost from his involvement in the Physics Olympiad, which brings together top students from some 40 countries to compete by solving a series of physics problems. Miller, a sophomore majoring in physics at Harvard University, was a member of the 1991 and 1992 U.S. teams, which traveled to Olympiads in Cuba and Finland, respectively. Prior to each, U.S. team members spent a week "training" in College Park, Md., attending lectures and taking practice exams. "From the training camp, I got a lot of confidence in my ability to face physics problems and solve them," he says. The Olympiad "significantly increased my interest in physics. It's a big part of why I'm a physics major now." True Rewards Despite the thousands of dollars in scholarships being doled out to winners of these science competitions, none of the people contacted for this story--competition organizers, teachers, or students--believes that the money is the primary motivation for participants. Certainly any scholarship is welcome, but it seems that the recognition gained from winning is valued more highly by the winners, and not just by those who get the top awards. For society, says Axelrod, an even greater effect of awards "is not in the dollar amount or number of fellowships. It's being identified that's important. It tells other people, in admissions offices, for example, that here is somebody quite prominent, that these are the people society ought to sponsor." Harry Kloor, codirector of the Physics Outreach Program at Purdue University, says that if there is a drawback to these competitions, it's that they appeal to students already interested enough in science to put in the time to undertake a project. Kloor and his colleagues at the Physics Outreach Program plan to address this with an essay competition for students in grades 7-12. The idea came from a 1990-92 survey by the Purdue program that asked students who or what makes science interesting. After parents and teachers, the study found that the entertainment industry--through science fiction movies, science "fact" TV shows, and even some comic books--helps stimulate curiosity. The planned contest will ask students to write an essay exploring some scientific topic raised by a movie, TV show, or comic book. "Each essay would be a lesson in science literacy and writing," says Kloor. "We don't plan to keep this 100 percent scholarly. "We want to add an element of fun, hoping to reach the 85 percent of kids who aren't participating in the high- intensity contests." Lee Katterman, a writer based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is editor of Research News, a publication of the University of Michigan. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI :Scientists Predict Internet Will Revolutionize Research Already, they say, data exchange and E-mail are reshaping the way science is done--and this is only the beginning AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 1 *** Editor's Note: This article, the first part of a two-part series on the emergence of the global Internet as an integral part of science, looks at the proliferation of online communication and collaboration by E-mail, file exchange, and electronic publication. The second part, to appear in the May 16 issue, will explore the powerful new online information tools already available and the expected future for scientists of remotely controlled instruments and networked laboratories. *** The vigorously expanding international computer network known as the Internet is changing the way science is done, researchers say. Sometimes dramatically, sometimes subtly, the Internet is altering the way scientists interact with their data, with their instruments, and with each other. Moreover, investigators predict, as an ever-increasing flow of Internet-related support tools go online, such futuristic-seeming concepts as "tele-experimentation" and networked "collaboratories" are likely to revolutionize the global scientific enterprise. Currently, the more ambitious efforts--such as those involving remote control of instrumentation or interactive multimedia consultation--are generally at the demonstration stage or under early development. Sophisticated online information resources, however, are already in daily use in many molecular biological research laboratories, for example, where they are considered virtually indispensable. Meanwhile, the Internet's ability to easily distribute texts is giving rise to a growing number of novel electronic-publication projects (see story on page 8). Most common by far is scientists' widespread use of the Internet to exchange electronic mail and manuscript files or to join discussions in specialized electronic newsgroups. Whatever their level of participation, scientists generally agree that the Internet has come to play an important, if not crucial, role in their research activities. "My entire operation has been transformed by Internet," says Robert Snyder, director of the Institute for Ceramic Superconductivity at Alfred University in New York state. The network allows him to keep in constant touch with his graduate students training overseas and with those at Alfred when he travels to conferences. He also uses the Internet to coauthor papers with colleagues in places as distant as Moscow and Eastern Europe. "In the past, using land mail, I had a couple of colleagues that I collaborated with internationally, but we couldn't do much," Snyder says. "Now, I have about 25 active collaborations going on around the world, because of Internet. I can't live without this thing." As useful as it has become, E-mail does not yet threaten to replace face-to-face interactions among scientists. "People do not rely on E-mail to initiate research projects, because, when they are planning their work, they tend to need and rely on more interactive and expressive forms of communication," says Jolene Galegher, an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Galegher, who also has a Ph.D. in social psychology, has been studying communication, electronic and other, among scientists. With E-mail, she says, "they also report that they make slower progress than when they bump into each other in the halls every day. And, even though they have collaborated quite successfully and compatibly with someone, when that person moves to a new institution, it's very difficult for them to start new projects together [electronically]." The electronic newsgroups--used for discussions among people with shared interests--also have their limitations. From 1989 to 1992, Bruce Lewenstein, an associate professor of communication and science and technology studies at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., analyzed the messages of such a group devoted to cold fusion research. "For the most part, the people who were active participants in that group were not the people actually doing the work," Lewenstein says. "The signal-to-noise ratio was so bad that people who were seriously interested in cold fusion didn't bother to use that kind of public forum as a place to do their work." Still, because of its decentralized nature, the Internet is allowing geographically or otherwise isolated investigators to engage in cooperative research from which they might be excluded. In addition, those who might have found themselves at the periphery of the scientific enterprise in the past are finding new access to the process of science as the network's influence expands. "There's the possibility of re-enabling the talented amateur, for example," says William Wulf, AT&T Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. "Except in astronomy, and maybe in some parts of botany, the talented amateur has just faded away, because you need all this infrastructure. But if the infrastructure is the Internet, it's a different situation." Wulf coined the term "collaboratory," when he was assistant director of the National Science Foundation in the late 1980s, to describe the interlinking through computer networks of geographically distant communications, information, and instrumentation resources. He was also a member of the National Research Council committee that produced the May 1993 report National Collaboratories: Applying Information Technology for Scientific Research (Washington, D.C., National Academy Press). "The same thing is true of faculty at four-year schools-- essentially, not players in most scientific discovery for the last four or five decades," Wulf adds. "You're going to see more of them involved." Karen Kwitter, a professor of astronomy at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., might count herself among this second group of investigators. She exchanges E-mail, data files, and manuscripts of papers with colleagues around the world daily via the Internet, she says. "One can now also apply for telescope time at Kitt Peak [National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.] using their E-mail templates," she says. "I can state unequivocally that I could not do the science I do without the Internet." Striking examples of the Internet's value in facilitating scientific communication can be seen in the increasingly vital interactions between researchers in the former Soviet Union and their colleagues in the United States and Europe. Part of the reason for this is that the telephone system in Russia remains primitive and unreliable, making it difficult to place calls or send faxes. (Finnish engineers installed the system just after World War I, and it has remained virtually unimproved since.) Despite Russian efforts to upgrade the system recently, the Internet is now considered a necessary tool for joint international scientific work involving Russian scientists. Jan F. Chlebowski, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, for example, organized a conference on Russian biotechnology advances held in Richmond in November 1993. Discussions centered on issues of technology transfer, intellectual property, and industrial relations, concepts new to many of the Russian attendees. Although scientists from both countries traveled to visit with each other several times before the meeting, the Internet was pivotal in planning the conference, according to Chlebowski. It allowed organizers to circumvent the "rather cumbersome" telephone system and to accommodate the time-zone differences between the two countries. "Electronic mail is just a godsend in terms of being able to remain in continuous touch and develop collaborative research projects in a meaningful way," Chlebowski says. "The Internet really is doing what everybody says. It doesn't take a visionary anymore to see how this stuff works." Victor Ivannikov is director of the newly founded Institute for Systems Programming of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. From his office in a 160-year-old building, academy member Ivannikov is engaged in collaborative projects with dozens of university and corporate researchers in Europe and the U.S. His only method of day-to-day communication with them is the Internet, according to Larry D. Wittie, a professor of computer science at State University of New York, Stony Brook. Wittie, whose office is across the hall from Ivannikov's, is currently spending a semester at the institute. "The Internet is what is keeping me sane and internationally productive," says Wittie. Through E-mail, he consulted with home-campus colleagues to develop a lecture he presented at Moscow State University. He is also working with a U.S.- based coauthor to prepare a paper for presentation at a conference in Poland in June. Wittie notes that, in addition to its greater convenience when compared to telephone calls, E-mail creates a permanent record of scientific communications, one that can be easily passed to others as needed. "The Internet ties the scientific world together," Wittie says. Alfred's Snyder coauthored a recent paper on superconductivity along with Leonid M. Fisher, a physicist at the Electrotechnical Institute in Moscow. The manuscript file was exchanged in a public-domain typesetting program called LaTeX, which allowed them to create and preserve equations and specialized formatting in the electronic transfer. "It involved two or three ping-pongs, back and forth," says Snyder. "When the last pong arrived here, and we were happy, we submitted it electronically." There is a touch of irony in the thriving online dialogue that has developed between Eastern and Western scientists. In the 1960s, Department of Defense scientists conceived of a command-and-control communications system that could, by using a decentralized organizational structure, survive a nuclear attack, thought most likely to originate from what was then the Soviet Union. The computer network that resulted from these Cold-War considerations grew into the Internet during the 1970s and 1980s and is now responsible for putting Russian scientists online. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : PUBLICATION BY INTERNET AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 8 The Internet's ability to quickly and inexpensively distribute texts and other information has led to a growing number of innovative electronic-publication projects. Una Smith, a graduate student in the department of biology at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., for example, wrote "A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources." The guide, which is available over the Internet, discusses networking and information archives, and provides answers to frequently asked questions, such as "Where can I find biology-related job announcements?" With most publishing enterprises, it is clear which party is the publisher and which is the consumer. With the Internet, however, this distinction becomes blurred, Smith says. "It is easy, in the electronic medium, to step over the line from being a consumer or user to being a producer, once you know how," Smith says. "But the `how' is largely unwritten lore. And with respect to the various forms of [electronic] discussion group, the users are themselves the product." In addition to their hard-copy published versions, many journals are now also being offered in a downloadable online version. In addition, a growing number are available only in an electronic format. William Frakes, director of the computer science program at the Falls Church, Va., campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, for example, edits an electronic newsletter about the reuse of software components, called ReNews. The journal, published in affiliation with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is distributed solely through the Internet. Periodicals are not the only publications being distributed over the Internet. Textbooks and other reference works are also becoming available online. Jon Rothblatt, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., is coediting a book on genes and proteins of the secretory pathway. The book is scheduled for hard-copy publication, but updates will be posted to the Internet, so that owners of the book will be able to obtain the latest information. Companies interested in reaching scientists are beginning to take advantage of the Internet, also. For example, licensed users of MATLAB, an interactive numeric computational software package from The MathWorks Inc., of Natick, Mass., can now use the Internet to receive program updates. A variety of user-support information services are available online, including a library with specialized applications contributed by users. A electronic newsgroup has also been established for discussion of MATLAB-related topics. Subscribers to Reference Update, a weekly bibliographic update service for researchers, can now receive current and recent back issues via the Internet. The service is available from Carlsbad, Calif.-based Research Information Systems. "With a growing majority of our customers connected to the Internet, it became apparent to us that this powerful, high- speed communications network provides an excellent distribution medium," company president Earl B. Beutler said in a statement. Because the value of the service to researchers is dependent on the currency of the information it disseminates, instantaneous electronic publication greatly improves the product. Internet subscribers to Reference Update will receive information on the latest publications in their fields a week or two earlier than diskette subscribers-- often within a day or two of journal publication, he said. --F.H. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Multitalented Directors Keep Societies On Course Their leadership roles are prestigious and may pay a huge salary; but they also require hard work on members' behalf AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : NEWS PG : 1 As the federal science budget shrinks and the research job market narrows, scientific societies are moving to the forefront in political activism, lobbying Congress and White House science officials to bring their members' concerns to the attention of the government. Coordinating this activity have been the societies' executive directors--paid professionals, distinct from those researchers who are elected officials--who manage the day-to-day work of the organizations. Some of these executive directors were trained as scientists; others have had productive careers in administration. As the stewards of scientific societies, they meet with and explain their concerns to those who shape United States policy--an opportunity afforded to few professionals in other walks of life. Owing in part to their frequent visits to the halls of power, many executive directors have gained national prominence and are frequently quoted in the scientific and general press. Several are well compensated in a monetary sense, also; indeed, directors of some scientific societies are paid a king's ransom compared with the salary of the average bench scientist. Yet, current and former executive directors say, the rewards of the job are counterbalanced by a heavy and unglamorous burden of responsibility, marked by long hours of administering staff, desperately trying to find enough money to enable their society to stay afloat, and doing the work that members or elected officials cannot or will not do. Robert Scala, former president of the Society for Toxicology, is among those experienced in this less publicized and more trying side of society officialdom. He points out, for example: "The executive director and staff put in, on a yearly basis, more hours than the elected officials by a considerable margin." Such challenges, these executive directors say, make it imperative for a researcher considering a career in scientific society administration to think long and hard about the position's demands before jumping in with both feet. Brian Keller was in Panama when he heard the news that the Ecological Society of America (ESA) had named him executive director, the first since the society's founding in 1915. An ecologist himself, Keller left the temperate breezes of Panama, where he had been serving as an oil-spill study project manager with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, for Washington, D.C., to begin managing the expansion of ESA's activities on April 1. It was a logical move for the 45-year old Keller. He had left research for science administration in 1984. His career had taken him to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica--where he had been acting head of the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory--as well as to Panama. Keller, who sees himself as "basically a spokesperson" for ESA, is a good example of a multitalented person playing a multifaceted role. Since he does not have the benefit of an outgoing director's advice, a portion of Keller's energies will be spent on shaping his own position. That includes consolidating the society's business office, hiring support staff, overseeing the publishing of a journal, paying the bills, and centralizing ESA's activities from Washington. Another major challenge that Keller and other executive directors must face is the matter of accommodating the wishes and objectives of executive councils. Directors of both large and small societies say that the ability to sense the concerns of the council is equally as important as running a tight budget. Fair amounts of both administrative experience and scientific acumen are necessary to accomplish both tasks, directors say. "I find having a science background improves my ability to relate to the leadership of the organization, who are working scientists," says Michael Jackson, executive director of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), based in Bethesda, Md. "But the job calls very heavily on management skills," he adds. Jackson, who has a Ph.D. in physiology, considers his experience as a research dean at George Washington University from 1985 to 1990 valuable training for the director's position. He took on a voluntary position with FASEB's scientific meetings program committee before coming on full-time as director in 1990. The experience of Charles Chambers, director of the Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) from 1983 to 1993, is an example of how administrative ability often takes precedence over scientific knowledge. A physicist by training, Chambers was a dean at George Washington from 1972 to 1977 and served for a time as director of the independent Council on Post- Secondary Accreditation (COPA) before joining AIBS. But while he feels that a good director brings with him or her a set of "portable skills" applicable to virtually any society, he says that the more effective organizations are led by people who "can speak intelligently and with some conviction about what the associations are doing." Others have had similar high-level executive experience. Richard Nicholson, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1989, was appointed assistant director of the National Science Foundation by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Charles Hancock brought to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) administrative talents developed in a 21-year stint, much of it in command positions, in the Air Force. "The emphasis is on administration," says Hancock, who has been director of ASBMB for the past 15 years. "Committees basically take care of the science; the editor takes care of the science in the journal; the science in the annual meetings is taken care of by scientists." The Political Factor Opinions vary on the need for political savvy in a society director, although some may assume that a prerequisite for anyone running an organization with a stake in policy and legislative development is status as a "player" in Washington. But that is a label most directors are uncomfortable with. In fact, Bill G. Aldridge, director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), scoffs at the suggestion of influence-peddling. "Power-brokering is garbage," he states. "The fact is, you don't influence Washington--the idea that we can influence government is just stupid. It's far more important to know your own society members than it is to know the federal government." Others take a different view. While not seeking an active political role, directors like Chambers feel their interaction with policymakers provides inherent opportunities to maximize the impact of their executive councils. Nicholson, for one, regards the position of AAAS's science policy directorate as an "honest broker" of information and "convener" of experts relating to questions in science policy. "We always try to have a balanced representation so that the policymakers hear the full spectrum of views," he says. Jackson maintains that FASEB benefits more from a knowledgeable legislative staff so that the members can "interact effectively with that process." Indeed, Catherine Didion, executive director of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), finds Washington the perfect environment and close interaction with its science policymakers necessary to make the concerns of her organization known. "It's the ability to have access to those who can influence change," she says. "The ability to have someone take your phone call, or hear you out, is still very important in this town." >From the perspective of one society president, though, familiarity with the right channels in Washington takes a back seat to the skills that make a director an asset to both the executive council and members. Scala, president of the Society for Toxicology from 1976 to 1977, says a politically astute director is "nice to have, but I'd much rather have somebody with experience in budget development and cost control." Scala says that a nonprofit association must provide a service to its members while existing on their dues and other incidental income sources. Sound fiscal management is paramount to running an association because "there's only a certain amount of elasticity in membership dues before you begin to lose members," he stresses. AAAS's Nicholson agrees that cost control is the primary concern of the association, as with most small businesses, "so that we have some reserves to protect for exigencies." Jackson's position at FASEB can be seen as a conduit between the professional and elected segments of the society, he says: "My job is to translate the leadership vision to action by the staff." In his case, that means running an office of approximately 100 people with an operating budget of slightly more than $10 million. Typically, the director oversees the operation of the departments or directorates, which cover public affairs and policy, journal publishing, payroll and expenses, and annual meetings. To accomplish this, the director must recruit the most qualified people for key posts, as well as ensure that the general direction of the management office is consistent with the objectives of the executive council. "It's more to be sure of doing the right thing, than to be sure of always just doing things right," says Martin Apple, executive director of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) in Washington, D.C. Managing the internal affairs of an association also requires a straightforward approach to problem-solving--a method somewhat different from those used by research scientists, AWIS's Didion says. Many of the daily challenges require "a generalist who needs to feel out what's going on, look at a couple of different methods of how a problem was handled before, and try to apply it." Smaller societies that can't afford to hire a full-time administrative staff may opt to contract the services of a professional management company. A cost-effective alternative to managing financial and operational affairs, these organizations allow executive councils to concentrate on association goals by releasing them from duties that would normally occupy large portions of limited time. The Society for Toxicology, for example, has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Reston, Va.-based Association Development Group (ADG) since 1985. Joan Walsh Cassedy, managing director of ADG and executive director of the toxicology organization, feels her firm offers a "neater, simpler process for the society" and spares the society "the obligation to be the custodian of leases, furniture, and employees." Those considering a move into society administration are apt to find an engaging and well-paying career path--but should be ready for the work load, directors say. "I once had an intern who said, `I never knew that being executive director meant that you had do everything nobody else wanted to do,'" Didion says. Individuals who are not top-level executives with the type of professional credentials associations look for in a potential director might want to volunteer for associations too small to afford a permanent staff, advises Chambers. "Certainly there's many, many volunteer opportunities for people who have an interest [in society management] to step up and take on administrative responsibility," he adds. Chambers can speak from experience: He started his career in society management by volunteering for the newly established American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) in 1970, organizing the fledgling society's first annual convention in Washington. A route available to people who are entering society management from another career path is earning accreditation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The 22,000-member society offers courses that cover the mechanics of running an organization. "Since virtually nobody has a degree in association management," says R. William Taylor, president of ASAE, "almost everyone comes in from the outside." But in Aldridge's case, ascending to the top spot at NSTA in 1979 didn't require a resume festooned with first-tier government experience, society accreditation--or, for that matter, a Ph.D. A high school science teacher from Kansas, he found himself competing in a field of approximately 600 candidates. Aldridge maintains he was hired because "I had done some homework." He was the only candidate who took the extra step of looking over minutes of past work and staff meetings, and, as a result, he says, "I knew exactly what the situation was in the organization, and I told them how to fix it--bluntly." ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : COMPENSATION FOR SOCIETY EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS AND OTHER NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LEADERS AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : NEWS PG : 5 The following list, reflecting the range of salaries paid to executive directors of United States science societies, was compiled from a variety of sources, principally from Science and Government Report ("Non-Profit Paychecks: SGR's Sixth Annual Survey," 23[5]:1-4, April 1, 1994), whose figures are used here with SGR's permission. * John Crum, American Chemical Society--$258,455 * Richard Nicholson, American Association for the Advancement of Science--$210,000 * Bryant Welch, American Psychological Association--$191,908 * Kenneth Ford, American Institute of Physics--$186,680 * Michael Jackson, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology--$166,738 * Bill Aldridge, National Science Teachers Association--$125,000 * Celia Tannenbaum, National Audubon Society--$70,608 * Catherine Didion, Association for Women in Science--$45,000 Below, for comparison, are salaries of a number of other nonprofit organization leaders, as cited by SGR in its April 1 issue: * Purnell Choppin, president, Howard Hughes Medical Institute --$473,500 * Gerald Mossinghoff, president, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association--$440,000 * Barry Horowitz, president and CEO, Mitre Corp.--$295,000 * Frank Press, president (now retired), National Academy of Sciences--$276,446 * Robert White, president, National Academy of Engineering --$260,581 * Kenneth Shine, president, Institute of Medicine--$245,896 * Larry Welch, president, Institute for Defense Analysis --$218,670 * J.A. Thompson, president, RAND Corp.--$241,323 ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : RESOURCES FOR SOCIETIES AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : NEWS PG : 7 Information on Certified Association Executive (CAE) accreditation from the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) can be obtained by calling (202) 626-2727. In addition to ASAE, there are other groups offering resources for the enhancement of both societies and directors. The National Center for Nonprofit Boards (NCNB), based in Washington, D.C., seeks to "improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by strengthening their boards of directors," says president Nancy Axelrod. NCNB offers a full range of services for societies, including numerous publications, workshops, and customized board development programs. For more information on NCNB programs, call (202) 452-6262. The Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE)--not to be confused with the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP)--based in Washington, was established to provide executive directors with a forum for mutual exchange of experience, guidance, and discussion of common problems in operating the societies. CESSE's membership director, Cort Durocher, can be reached at (202) 646-7400 Martin Apple, executive director of CSSP, also in Washington, says that his organization's programs for presidents-elect--which cover member retention, revitalization of stagnant society sections, and effective communication with Congress and scientists--can help to strengthen the overall scientific society structure. For more information, call CSSP at (202) 872-4452. --C.M. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Long-Awaited Risk Assessment Commission Finally Ready To Convene AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 3 After a two-year delay, the congressionally mandated Risk Assessment and Management Commission (RAMC)--originally supposed to get down to business in 1992--is scheduled to convene its first meeting on May 16, according to commission officials. The 10-member RAMC is charged with evaluating current standards and methods of assessing environmental hazards and recommending how that information should be used in regulating toxic substances. Government officials, environmental scientists, and others associated with the field expect the commission's deliberations to have significant implications for researchers and regulators who evaluate and attempt to mediate the dangers posed by environmental hazards. Risk assessment entails characterizing and quantifying the potential harmful effects of environmental toxins on humans, environmental scientists point out. Risk management, meanwhile, adds socioeconomic factors--such as costs and potential job losses--into the process of regulating such toxins (see story on page 4). As part of its mandate, the commission will take into consideration, among other things, a recently published report from the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) addressing risk-assessment issues. Carl Mazza, a science adviser in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office of air and radiation who has been coordinating efforts to get RAMC started, says the effect of RAMC's mission on the basic research of environmental scientists in risk assessment may be indirect but important. Although the report may not turn out to be heavily scientific or technological, its significance for researchers may be substantial. "It may have an influence on how critically risk assessment is viewed as a tool in the public policy-making process," Mazza says, adding that the way the discipline is viewed affects "the overall research and development risk-assessment pie." Specifically, he predicts, RAMC will ask such questions as, "What are those areas of risk assessment that require priority development and the most information?" Whatever questions RAMC does end up tackling, says Bernard Goldstein, a committee member and director of the Piscataway, N.J.-based Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute--a joint program of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey--what he hopes to contribute is making "sure that anything we do is firmly grounded in good science." RAMC was created by 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1972, which require the panel to "make a full investigation of the policy implications and appropriate uses of risk assessment and risk management in regulatory programs under various Federal laws to prevent cancer and other chronic human health effects which may result from exposure to hazardous substances." The current 10-member commission is composed of leading scientists and other figures in academia, business, government, and public policy. Three of the members are presidential appointees, six were appointed by Congress, and one was named by NAS (see story on page 11). The commission was to have its first meeting two years ago, but because nominations for appointees came in slowly, and because of the transition in presidential administrations, the panel did not meet its deadline, say government officials. Risk-Assessment Issues While RAMC's mandate was made clear in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, observers agree that the commission's task will be complicated by controversial issues currently under scrutiny in the field of risk assessment and management that are broader than originally mandated. Risk researchers are at a crossroads in terms of reevaluating their methods and standards, their funding, and communication with policymakers and the public, say government advisers. Mazza says that the delay in RAMC's start makes the forthcoming May meeting coincide with "a time when issues of this sort are front and center on [Capitol] Hill." The release of the NRC report--as well as a significant report from the Office of Technology Assessment--is indicative of the recent flurry of activity surrounding environmental risk assessment. The NRC report--entitled "Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment," published in January and also mandated by the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments--evaluates the methods and assumptions used by EPA for estimates of risk. The OTA report--entitled "Researching Health Risks" and published last November--was requested by the House committees on Energy and Commerce and on Science, Space, and Technology to analyze the attention and resources allotted to health risk-assessment research. Involved constituencies both agree and disagree on many areas of risk assessment and management, Mazza says. For example, he explains, there is much consensus among interested parties-- politicians, scientists, industry, and special-interest groups-- on requiring industry to install and use the best available pollution-control technology; however, groups are divided on how to assess risk from residual emissions, after the best available technology is in place. The debate has reached the point "where rooms full of senators were getting lectures on risk assessment to try to figure out what should be the appropriate test for risk," Mazza says. This climate prompted the inclusion of a provision for RAMC in the 1990 amendments, he says. Regarding EPA's role, Adam Finkel, a member of the NRC committee and a fellow at Resources for the Future--a Washington, D.C.- based environmental advocacy organization--says, "EPA is, in our opinion, striking a very thoughtful approach to using scientifically reasonable assumptions and improving them as time goes on. But some of our recommendations were aimed at improving the gaps in EPA's process" of assessing risk. Determining how those gaps in information might be filled, say environmental scientists, may consume much of RAMC's attention. Warner North, an environmental scientist and senior vice president of Decision Focus Inc., a consulting firm located in Mountain View, Calif., says RAMC has an opportunity--with information from both reports--to write recommendations on how risk assessment could be improved by providing a better basis in science. In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Technology, Environment, and Aviation in March, Ellen K. Silbergeld, a senior toxicologist with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)--another Washington-based environmental group--and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, agreed with the findings of the NRC and OTA reports that current risk methods were inadequate. Silbergeld, also a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, said in regard to the reassessment of dioxin risks, the board "found a need for a broader range of risk-assessment approaches, rather than codification of current methods, with all their limits." According to Silbergeld, these approaches also should include two methods not currently used in risk assessment: (1) monitoring--as opposed to modeling--direct sampling of such ecosystem components as wildlife, food, drinking water, and human tissues, and (2) surveillance--gathering such data on affected populations as disease and death rates of human populations and reproductive success in wildlife populations. Finkel says both the NRC and OTA reports imply that questions brought up by the review of risk assessment will not be wholly "answered by traditional [risk] disciplines of toxicology and epidemiology, but also by [fields such as] molecular biology and molecular biochemistry." For example, he says, risk assessors are hoping for "specific information that would allow them to predict risk on the basis of the actual biological mechanism rather than the linearity assumption," a model for extrapolating effects of toxins from high doses to low doses. However, North points out that there could be "technological hindrances" for basic life scientists working with toxic chemicals, such as arsenic and benzene, because these chemicals cause different responses in animals compared to humans. He speculates that with tools such as transgenic mice being developed, more useful models to combine basic and risk- assessment research are imminent. The research underlying risk assessment is not the only issue under the microscope; funding for risk assessment is also being scrutinized. For example, Dalton Paxman, a toxicologist and project director for the OTA report, says his agency found "an inverse correlation between resources and mandates" involving risk assessment. Specifically, from 1981 to 1991, the proportion of federal funds devoted to environmental health R&D relative to health R&D (based on data from the National Institutes of Health) decreased from 6.8 percent to 4.9 percent, while in that same period the number of environment-related mandates that Congress passed increased. In addition, according to the OTA report, the entire area of methodological research in risk assessment --developing models for testing factors such as toxicity and exposure levels of toxins--is underfunded. This area, one that is likely to have the farthest-reaching effect on policy, received about $65 million in 1993, about 11 percent of the $600 million spent by the government on health risk-assessment research. NRC committee vice chairman Arthur Upton agrees, saying, "It would make good sense to spend a little money, relative to the billions, to buttress the data to make risk assessment less uncertain." ASSESSING THE TERMS OF RISK The National Research Council's Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process (Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1983), defines risk assessment as "the characterization of the potential adverse effects of human exposures to environmental hazards." By contrast, the report says, risk management is "the process of weighing policy alternatives and selecting the most appropriate regulatory action, integrating the results of risk assessment with engineering data and with social, economic, and political concerns to reach a decision." In environmental studies, risk essentially means a broad statistical calculation of probability of harm, after accounting for many factors such as age and sex. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) historically has used a lifetime risk--the probability that an individual will develop cancer sometime between birth and death--of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1 million in its equations for determining the highest acceptable risk for a toxin. One of the Risk Assessment and Management Commission mandates is to review the appropriateness of EPA's traditional approach for calculating acceptable risk for air toxins. --K.Y.K. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : THE RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT COMMISSION AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 4 The Risk Assessment Management Commission is composed of three presidential appointees, one National Academy of Sciences (NAS) appointee, and six congressional appointees. Two of three members appointed by President Bush have been replaced by appointees of President Clinton. Under the legislation establishing the commission, the congressional appointments were made by the following legislative leaders: two members by the speaker of the House, one member by the minority leader of the House, two members by the majority leader of the Senate, and one member by the minority leader of the Senate. The commission members are: * Norman Anderson, American Lung Association of Maine, appointed by Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine); * Barbara A. Bankoff, president of Bankoff Associates, a policy consulting firm in Washington, D.C., appointed by President Bush; * Peter Y. Chiu, a physician based in Palo Alto, Calif., appointed by President Clinton; * John Doull, a professor of toxicology and pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas City, appointed by Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kans.); * Bernard D. Goldstein, director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, N.J., appointed by Frank Press, former NAS president; * Allan C. Kessler, an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll, a law firm in Philadelphia, appointed by Clinton; * Joshua Lederberg, University Professor, Rockefeller University, New York, appointed by Rep. Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.); * Gilbert S. Omenn, dean of the University of Washington's School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, appointed by Foley; * David P. Rall, former head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, appointed by Mitchell; and * Virginia V. Weldon, vice president of public policy, Monsanto Co., St. Louis, appointed by Rep. Robert Michel (R-Ill.). ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: NOTEBOOK ----------------------------------------------------------- TI : Franklin Institute Honorees TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Philadelphia's Franklin Institute combined its Bower Award ceremonies with its traditional "Medal Day" last month, honoring six scientists and a businessman at a gala ceremony. Individual medals, which do not carry a cash prize but are a time-honored tradition at the institute--some dating back more than 100 years--were awarded to Marvin H. Caruthers of the University of Colorado's department of chemistry and biochemistry, for his contribution to the synthesis of DNA oligonucleotides; Joseph Braat of Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, for his work on optical data recording, making possible compact discs; Harold J. Kushner of Brown University's division of applied mathematics, for research on stochastic systems; Stirling A. Colgate of Los Alamos National Laboratory, for his studies of stellar collapse and supernova explosions; and Barbara V. Howard of George Washington University's department of medicine, for her studies of diet and coronary heart disease. The Bower Award for Business Leadership, also carrying no cash prize, was presented to Robert W. Galvin, chairman of the executive committee of Motorola Inc. in Schaumburg, Ill. The major award of the evening, the $250,000 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, went to Isabella L. Karle, senior scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. (E.R. Silverman, The Scientist, Jan. 10, 1994, page 4), for her work in determining the structure of molecules. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Global Warming Clues TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Pine needles hoarded by pack rats tens of thousands of years ago may contribute to answering questions about global climate change, researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) expect. Measurements from nearly 1,200 needles preserved from rat dunghills found in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona indicate that limber pine tree physiology changed in response to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide at the end of the last ice age. Specifically, they found that the number of stomata--leaf pores through which carbon is taken in for photosynthesis--decreased as carbon dioxide increased during the last deglaciation between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. USGS's Julio Betancourt anticipates that this information will be used to corroborate other measures of variation in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Betancourt says that the discovery provides evidence for one of the main assumptions underlying global warming research--that large changes in Earth's climate have been associated with equally large changes in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Let The Games Begin TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 On May 20-21, the University of Arizona, Tucson, will host the 10th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament--an academic competition with rival teams representing 100 high schools from 48 states. More than 2,500 student participants and 1,500 family members will converge on the Arizona campus. The tournament consists of 32 individual and team events following the format of popular board games, TV shows, and athletic games. Events cover the disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers, and technology. For more information, contact Arizona's Gil McLaughlin at (602) 621-4515. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Toward Healthier Potatoes TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 A team of researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., has created a genetically engineered potato that is resistant to late blight disease. The infection, attributable to the fungus Phytophthora infestans, was the cause of the Irish potato famine of 1845 and is still the No. 1 affliction of potato plants, Purdue scientists say. The engineered spuds are made resistant by the introduction of a gene that produces an antifungal protein called osmotin, which specifically recognizes the fungi and kills them by drilling holes in their membranes. By overexpressing the gene in the plants, the investigators have been able to delay the onset of the disease, which could greatly decrease the damage done to the crops. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Dermatology Funding TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Applications are now available for research awards sponsored by the Dermatology Foundation of Evanston, Ill. The new Clinical Career Development Award in the Area of Health Care/Policies provides funding for patient outcome research. The Leader Society Clinical Career Development Award supports the work of young, clinically oriented academic investigators. Career Development Awards in Skin Research are designed to assist junior academic investigators in the transition from fellow to established investigator. Each of the three awards provides a $40,000-per- year stipend. In addition, the foundation offers $25,000 fellowships for postdocs to support research training in dermatology and cutaneous biology. The foundation also awards $10,000 grants to initiate studies in dermatology and cutaneous biology, as well as skin cancer, dermatologic surgery and oncology, and epidermolysis bullosa. The deadline for all of the awards is October 1. For information, contact the Medical and Scientific Committee, Dermatology Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Ill. 60201; (708) 328-2256. Fax: (708) 328-0509. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Tanager Alert TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 As part of a research project to examine the impact of forest fragmentation on bird populations, the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology is conducting a census of tanager populations this spring and summer. The program, supported by the National Science Foundation, is looking for at least 1,000 volunteers in the United States and Canada to watch for and count the birds. According to some conservation biologists, forest fragmentation may be the reason for the decline of several bird populations, such as rose-breasted grosbeaks and wood thrushes of the East, and the rufous hummingbirds and Wilson's warblers in the West. The bird census will use the data on the abundant, widespread tanagers as an index for trends among less common bird species. Volunteers may join by writing to Project Tanager, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, N.Y. 14850; (607) 254-2446. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Monkeys At Work TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 A team led by William Newsome, a professor of neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, found that when rhesus monkeys performed a repeated task, their neuronal sensitivity temporarily increased between 15 percent and 20 percent. The monkeys' task was to indicate, with a movement of their eyes, the direction of moving dots on a video screen. To make the job harder, researchers would occasionally decrease the percentage of coherently moving dots. Throughout the trials, they found that the accuracy of monkeys' performance and the electrical activity of brain cells that specialize in detecting movement increased by a proportionally similar amount. The fact that the improvement is only temporary raises the question, the scientists say, of whether they have observed the neural processes responsible for acquiring long-term skills for motion perception. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CLARIFICATION PG : 7 The article "Two Alzheimer's Disease Researchers Are Awarded Met Life Foundation Prize" (K. Young Kreeger, The Scientist, April 4, 1994, page 23), misstated the type of gene and protein that Blas Frangione of New York University Medical Center suggested are related to Alzheimer's disease. Frangione identified a point mutation in the amyloid precursor protein gene and proposed that the apolipoprotein apoE acts as a pathological chaperone, affecting amyloid formation in the brain. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Biotech In The 1990s: What's In Store? AU : PHILLIP A. SHARP TY : OPINION PG : 12 As scientist and educator, I think about the future of biomedical science and the people we train for careers in this area. Biotechnology is a very important part of that future. It is the child of a generation of scientists and businesspeople, and I am deeply interested in how this industry goes about fulfilling its promise in the coming years. The first biotech company--Genentech Inc.--was casually conceived in 1976 by Herbert Boyer, a University of California, San Francisco, biologist, and Robert Swanson, a member of a West Coast venture capital firm, while they were discussing, over a beer, the uses of recombinant DNA technology. Boyer presumably was excited by the prospect that this science could be used to improve the condition of mankind and provide meaningful employment to people. In 1976, it was not clear how to translate the new technology into its useful roles. But Genentech provided the model for attracting venture capital, reaching agreements with pharmaceutical companies, and securing Wall Street funding. Over the past two decades, this has remained the paradigm for transferring biotechnology advances from university labs to the commercial world. However, while the Genentech model is still valid overall, the success of biotech companies as we move through the 1990s will depend on how astutely they monitor and adjust their activities in light of such factors as the role of discovery research, shifting economic conditions, and the changing needs of large pharmaceutical firms. It was widely debated in the late 1970s whether biotechnology's value to the pharmaceutical industry would be sustained primarily by breakthroughs in its own private-sector labs or in universities with federally funded research facilities. The answer is now clear: Important science is not spawned primarily in biotechnology companies; it emanates from academic labs. There are several reasons for this, foremost among them the fact that the creation of a pharmaceutical company's wealth stems from the generation of proprietary compounds that are already protected by patents. Making a drug cheaper or better is not usually the critical issue; making a new drug that cures a new disease is the issue. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry is discovery-driven--not technology-driven-- and the value of biotech firms will be determined by their ability to parlay insights in medicine and biology, which stem from discovery- driven investigation, the province of academic research. This year, the National Institutes of Health will spend $10 billion supporting basic research. This total will be almost matched by funds from states, institutions, and foundations. The total funding for biomedical research that is released into the public domain, therefore, totals almost $20 billion. This is four times the amount that all biotechnology companies combined will invest in discovery research. At the same time, although the total investment in R&D by the pharmaceutical industry totals approximately $10 billion--the same as the NIH budget--much of this is spent on development rather than research. Thus, the basic discoveries in biomedical research that drive biotechnology remain primarily focused in public-sector institutions. What are the implications of the fact that discovery research in academia will continue to drive the biotechnology industry and that this research will primarily be funded by the public sector? It suggests that technology transfer between public institutions and privately held biotech firms will remain an important issue. If that is the case, the biotech companies that are good at finding the critical advances and securing the rights to new discoveries will succeed; so biotechnology companies must be receptive to new discoveries and must have the scientific expertise to develop them. Justifying Investment Currently, there are several hundred significantly sized biotechnology companies in the United States. A few of these are profitable, and among them are only a few that are not controlled by larger corporations. We can expect this trend to continue, although a few biotech firms could possibly emerge from the current era as independent, vertically integrated pharmaceutical companies with access to the capital required to adequately finance dramatic growth. But what if the capital markets are not available for the future development of any new, independent, free-standing companies? In that case, the technology and science in biotechnology companies must be evaluated on the basis of their competitive value relevant to pharmaceutical companies' investments in R&D. Can current R&D investments by the biotech firms be justified in terms of their value to the pharmaceutical industry? In pursuing an answer to this question, it is useful to compare the current biotechnology industry with a single giant pharmaceutical firm-- Merck & Co. Inc., for instance--which alone has approximately the same annual revenue as all of the biotech companies combined. The most interesting difference between Merck and the biotechnology group is the difference in their relative investment in research and development. Merck invests approximately $1 billion each year in R&D, while biotechnology industry firms collectively invest approximately $5 billion, with a large part of this focused on research. Now, if Merck can support a fully mature $40 billion company with $1 billion of R&D, and if biotechnology companies collectively are as efficient as Merck in converting R&D into valuable products, then--when the current set of biotech products are mature--the organizations supplying products to the pharmaceuticals should have an increase in value corresponding at least to that of Merck. Potential Hazards An alternative scenario is that the R&D base of the current set of biotechnology companies does not yield the scientific advances that will produce the future major pharmaceutical drugs within a reasonable time. If the biotechnology organizations have significantly underestimated the technical difficulty of, for example, developing their new candidate drugs, then the R&D resources are not being validly invested and they will be lost in the competition. Similarly, if organizations have misjudged the need or effectiveness of their new candidate drugs--that is, whether their use is cost-effective and beneficial in a societal sense--then the R&D investment will be lost in the competition. Thus, many questions arise. Is it premature to focus on approaches considered as "rational drug design"? Is the science and technology ready to move with some degree of certainty from, for example, a potential molecular target involved in a disease state to a small orally available and nontoxic drug that interacts with this target? A number of biotech companies have been established on the premise that this transition can be managed in a reasonable time. If this is the case, then our molecular understanding of diseases such as cancer, in terms of the activities of oncogenes and antioncogenes and the role of cell death and cell cycle control, offer exciting targets for pharmaceutical development. But if it is not possible to directly use rational approaches to move from target to drug, then the biotechnology investments in R&D in this area may not be more cost-effective than those of conventional pharmaceutical companies. Given the business expertise of large organizations, the competition will favor the more established companies if both small biotechnology companies and large pharmaceutical companies are equally effective in research. Small biotech firms can have particular problems with changes in direction given finite expertise and finances. For example, because financing is commonly dependent upon a specific drug target, a company may find it difficult to respond when a new discovery changes the possibilities for new drugs in its therapeutic area. Furthermore, the death of drug candidates is a serious issue for biotechnology companies. Clinical trials are experiments at the level of tens of millions of dollars, and even well-planned experiments sometimes do not work. When this happens, then organizations may find it difficult from a public relations perspective to close the trial and move on to the next opportunity. And if an organization cannot do this and it perpetually stays in phase II trials, then it will be doomed. Prospects There is little doubt that during the decade of the 1980s, the R&D investment in the biotechnology sector performed well in comparison with the R&D investment in the traditional pharmaceutical industry. Many valuable new products, such as erythropoietin, interferons, G-CSF, thrombotics, diagnostic methods for HIV, human growth hormone, and insulin, have emerged from the biotechnology sector. But what about the future? I am optimistic about the effectiveness of research to date in biotechnology, and I expect the industry will foster major products in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. There also are big opportunities for drugs for diseases common to aging, such as osteoporosis and senility. In fact, it would not surprise me if research in neuroscience would not hold the most hope for innovative therapies, as it is commonly observed that 50 percent of all health costs are related to problems of the mind. I envision at the end of this decade a small group of freestanding biotechnology companies and a reinvigorated set of large pharmaceutical companies developing the discoveries of new biomedical science. And I envision the success of these companies to be primarily driven by research done beyond the boundaries of the companies--in laboratories of research institutions, medical schools, and hospitals. I anticipate that there may be an increase in formal arrangements between universities and hospitals, on one hand, and established companies, on the other, to transfer and develop technology. In the future, this transfer might involve "incubator" organizations, that is, private, research-oriented institutions that do not aspire to become vertically integrated, independent firms. As has been the case for the past 20 years, the biotech community must continue to evolve and change. The good news, as I have learned, is that people currently in the biotechnology community are committed to making this new science a meaningful part of mankind's future. Phillip A. Sharp, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine, is a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Cancer Research. He also is Salvador E. Luria Professor and head of the biology department at the Cambridge, Mass., university. This essay was adapted from a keynote lecture Sharp delivered in mid-March at an annual meeting of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: COMMENTARY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Progress Demands That Scientists Now Put Internet Addresses On All Communications AU : EUGENE GARFIELD TY : OPINION PG : 13 A short item in the New York Times Magazine of April 17 (page 19) humorously addresses the problem of "Address Proliferation." The writer cynically observes that "stationery is becoming top- heavy." The item laments the passing of the good old days, when "all you needed was an address." Thanks to "E-mail mania," letterheads now are so cluttered with information that there is little room left for a message. The writer refers to the appearance of E-mail addresses--following that of long ZIP codes and fax numbers--as "the final insult." Well, given the international science community's traditional reliance on print and telecommunications, and the rapid growth of the Internet to facilitate collaborative research, current realities make the Times complaint misguided. Until there are universally acceptable ID codes for each of us, we need all of these numbers. Throughout my career as a science communicator, I've consistently urged that all authors--no matter the communications medium--provide as much address information as possible in their letters, scholarly papers, proposals, and so forth in order to foster maximum dialogue. About 35 years ago, as publisher of Current Contents, I decided to include author reprint addresses, since the flow of reprints is fundamental to the research process. My decision turned out to be a wise one. The number of reprint exchanges prompted by Current Contents annually is estimated to be in the millions. At first, of course, the addresses were used primarily for surface and air mail. But with significant increases in postage costs, combined with the emergence of copying machines and fax technology, more contact information became necessary. Despite the obvious desirability of providing full addresses, it seems to take people a while before they habitually supply them. Indeed, when Current Contents first began to include addresses, a major stumbling block was the failure of publishers to include authors' complete postal addresses in their journals. At the time, less than half supplied them, and few included ZIP codes. Now, probably 80 percent to 90 percent of scholarly articles include complete addresses--but it took almost two decades for that to happen. Today, as witness the articles on page 1 and page 17 of this issue, we are well into the Internet era. But while the principal mode of communication may be changing, the essential processes of scientific endeavor remain much the same. Despite the full-text capabilities afforded electronically, for example, the hard-copy reprint remains ubiquitous. Although they may request reprints over an information network, scientists still seem to prefer the printed versions. (Most users currently can accept only ASCII versions, anyhow. So this pattern is likely to hold for the foreseeable future.) But addresses facilitate much more than the exchange of reprints; they also promote direct personal communication. In fact, reprints often serve as a prelude to in-person contact, the exchange of ideas, and, frequently, the birth of productive collaborations. The international character of the scientific enterprise adds to the importance of correspondence, since colleagues separated by expanses of time and distance may never meet in person over a lifetime. Each of us eventually will have a unique Internet address. We owe it to ourselves and the science community to use it--as well as our mailing addresses, ZIP codes, fax numbers, and phone numbers- -on all correspondence, whether print or electronic. As far as "clutter" is concerned, most Internet addresses are brief enough- -not much longer than an international telephone number. (You can reach me, by the way, by "dialing" or, via the Internet through CompuServe, at 71764,2561.) I hope to return to this topic next year with the good news that a significant percentage of journals, as well as individuals, are routinely including their fax numbers and Internet addresses on all communications. For starters, you can buy a rubber stamp or stickers to update your letterheads to include your street addresses, your phone and fax numbers, and your E-mail addresses. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: LETTERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Corporate Boards AU : IRVING S. JOHNSON TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 13 Regarding your story on scientists on corporate boards (R. Finn, The Scientist, Jan. 10, 1994, page 21): Sheldon Krimsky appears to take the view that if a scientist serves on a board, he or she is guilty until proved innocent. What is the scientist guilty of? The litany includes: (1) not being interested in seeking the truth, as academic purists are, and (2) having a clear conflict of interest if evaluating research, whether the company's or others', in any peer review related to the company's interest. Krimsky goes on to claim that if a scientist feels compelled to join a board, he or she must agree "never to take any government- funded research projects that are directly related to any work in the company." In fact, some National Institutes of Health research is funded in small companies. Krimsky's concerns seem embedded in the belief that once in contact with a commercial firm, all scientists become dishonest and incapable of any impartial action. I believe it is precisely because of researchers' objectivity and ability to evaluate science in an increasingly complex and technologically driven world that their expertise not only is required on boards, but also is almost a necessity to protect the investment required to bring the benefits of discovery from the laboratory to the public. As with any other human endeavor, it is not a perfect world. Nobel laureates are sometimes used as "window dressing," and some individuals have not kept their knowledge and skills as well honed as they might. Chemists and physicists have long had commercial ties; only in recent years have the biologists or biomedical scientists been in similar demand. I am not aware of any evidence that either research or teaching of chemistry and physics has suffered because of these relationships; indeed, I believe they have flowered. Obviously, anyone should avoid the appearance of any conflict--for example, you should leave the room when the committee is voting on your grant. In the article, Allen Misher and Alan Schriesheim both present a more balanced view of the real situation in board participation. In my own case, the real reward is in the thrill of helping bring new therapeutics to sick people and the opportunity to still participate in cutting-edge science. If you do good science, good things will happen to you as an individual and as a corporation. The pity is that there are not more scientists on boards rather than merely token ones. IRVING S. JOHNSON 4601 Rue Belle Mer Sanibel Island, Fla. 33957 ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Literary Agents AU : FRANK ULRICH TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 13 As a semiretired cell biologist finishing a first novel, I was interested in the article about literary agents helping scientists who write for the public (R. Lewis, The Scientist, Feb. 7, 1994, page 21). I wouldn't dream of submitting my novel to a publisher without going through an agent. Any scientist wanting to see his or her manuscript published without using one is either naive, arrogant, or both. As to an author's nightmare about being "remaindered," it happens to virtually all authors; it's as inevitable as the proverbial death and taxes. In the last few years, I've bought hardback remainders by John Updike (Rabbit at Rest), Saul Bellow (Him with His Foot in His Mouth), and V.S. Naipul (The Enigma of Arrival). Far from being a nightmare, it gives authors a second exposure. Would a writer rather have any unsold books trashed by a publisher? I very much doubt it. FRANK ULRICH Institute for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease New England Deaconess Hospital Harvard Medical School One Autumn St. Fifth Floor Boston, Mass. 02215 ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3600 Market Street, Suite 450 Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 E-mail: Bitnet: ===================================== NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Hot Scientists Have Philosophies In Common AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 In Dennis Selkoe's lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the research focus is on neuroscience, while Stuart Schreiber's team of investigators at Harvard University concentrates on chemical cell biology. Meanwhile, Kenneth Kinzler's group at Johns Hopkins University investigates molecular biology questions. Although the three labs have widely varying research pursuits, they also have much in common: They all rely on a broad mix of people and scientific talent in their labs. They all place a great deal of value on the enriching nature of cross-disciplinary research. And they are all notably productive and influential, according to citation records maintained by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Indeed, Selkoe, Schrieber, and Kinzler are among the scientists who have produced the greatest number of highly cited papers over the last three years, as identified by ISI's newsletter Science Watch (4[10]:1-2, December 1993), based on a ranking from ISI's Hot Papers Database. Others on the list who have produced five or more of these papers--research articles with a substantially greater number of citations than other papers in similar disciplines during that time--are molecular neurologist Stanley Hamilton, molecular biologist Bert Vogelstein, and neuroscientists Solomon Snyder and David Bredt of Johns Hopkins; molecular biologists Benjamin Margolis and Joseph Schlessinger of New York University Medical Center; molecular biologist Tony Pawson of the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto; and molecular neurologist George Yancopoulus of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Tarrytown, N.Y. All of the scientists on this list share, in their own ways, the collaborative, integrative approach of Selkoe, Schrieber, and Kinzler. In fact, many on the list collaborate with each other. For example, Schlessinger sometimes coauthors papers with Margolis and Pawson. That all of these researchers are life scientists, ISI analysts explain, is largely attributable to the fact that life scientists far outnumber physical scientists; therefore, this larger population produces a far greater number of papers in which their colleagues' work might be cited than other disciplines. Furthermore, they cite a greater average number of references within those papers compared with physical scientists. These "hot papers" remained heavily cited over several bimonthly periods from November 1990 to November/December 1993. For example, Vogelstein, at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, had 16 papers on which he was an author stay highly cited during this period. His most cited article (M. Hollstein, et al., "p53 mutations in human cancers," Science, 253:49-53, 1991) was cited in 700 papers by the end of 1993. Kinzler, a coauthor with Vogel-stein on nine of these papers, also at the Hopkins Oncology Center, says their main research interest is in understanding the genetic changes that cause cancer, specifically colon and brain cancers. (For a recent example, see N. Papadopoulos, et al., "Mutation of a mutL homolog in hereditary colon cancer," Science, 263:1625-29, 1994.) Hopkins researchers Snyder and Bredt also wrote several papers together that put them on this list. Crossing Boundaries Taking an integrative approach in answering research questions and participating in interdisciplinary collaborations are keys to their success, say these highly cited authors. For example, even though these scientists categorize their work into subdisciplines--such as signal transduction or immunosuppressant biochemistry--they all agree that the strength of their labs' work is in the diversity of their staffs' backgrounds and their ability to cross boundaries in terms of subject matter, methodologies, and communication with colleagues. For example, Schlessinger, chairman of the New York University Medical Center's pharmacology department, says he collaborates with crystallographers, geneticists, and biophysicists, both within and outside his own institution. A prime illustration of this integrative approach is the Schreiber lab--a group that takes a chemical approach to cell biology. Schreiber, who holds a joint appointment as a professor in Harvard's chemistry and cellular and molecular biology departments, studies the use of immunosuppressants in understanding signal transduction. "Most of the people who come to my lab are interested in knowing how that field can integrate with neighboring disciplines," he says. Schreiber explains that the major role that chemistry has played in his interdisciplinary lab is in using synthetic compounds as tools for elucidating the function of important molecules in cell types such as T cells. (For a recent example, see D.M. Spencer, et al., "Controlling signal transduction with synthetic ligands," Science, 262:1019-24, 1993.) The Human Element Another characteristic to which the researchers attribute the success of their lab--in their collective words--is their intelligent, energetic, dedicated, and creative staff of doctoral and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians. Kinzler explains that he looks not for people who have specific skills, but for people who are bright and enthusiastic, explaining that "they will learn whatever they need to do" once they are on the job. Because of his confidence in his research team's expertise, Vogelstein exercises a relatively free rein in running his lab. "I just let them do their thing," he says. Schreiber says that attracting highly interactive students to his lab stimulates his own work: "I find it a very exciting way to do science, as opposed to trying to do interesting things in a vacuum." Timely Research In addition to the collaborative and talent aspects of research staff, the type and timeliness--with respect to solving current human health problems--of the research itself plays a significant role in the accomplishments of the research programs, say the scientists. For example, Selkoe, whose lab (along with other colleagues) discovered that abnormal amyloid protein deposits in brain tissue can cause certain types of Alzheimer's disease, says, "The reason there's been so much interest in the biology of Alzheimer's disease is because it's a tremendous public health problem and an enormous number of people are affected." Selkoe holds a joint appointment as professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and as director of the center for neurologic diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Specifically, he says, his lab's research has been referenced by colleagues so often because, by using a simple cell-culture system for analyzing soluble amyloid protein, they have found a possible diagnostic tool for testing predisposition to Alzheimer's disease and screening for possible therapeutic drugs. (See C. Haass, et al., "Amyloid beta-peptide is produced by cultured cells during normal metabolism," Nature, 359:322-25, 1993, which is also a hot paper.) Schlessinger, who studies the role of molecular receptors in the signal transduction pathway of normal and diseased cells, attributes part of his lab's achievements to the fact that he studies the underlying workings of fundamental life processes. "One of the most urgent subjects in biology is understanding basic mechanisms which relate to growth and differentiation, and if you're able to figure out such mechanisms, the rewards will be very high," he explains. "For the last 15 years we've been trying to understand how receptor tyrosine kinases are activated [in the signal transduction pathway of cells], and by knowing what they do we can also figure out what goes wrong in cancerous cells," he says. (For example, see J. Schlessinger, A. Ullrich, "Growth factor signaling by receptor tyrosine kinases," Neuron, 9:383-91, 1992.) Kinzler describes his lab's research as question-driven rather than capability-driven. "We define the question first and worry about how to do it later." As a result, the lab's research "has crossed a lot of borders," Kinzler adds, referring to his lab's practice of learning whatever methods are necessary to fully answer their questions, such as using several types of models-- from yeast to mice. Communication Is Key Researchers say that another distinguishing feature of their labs is their commitment to open communication. This exchange has many elements, they say, such as discussing research in progress; including all levels of staff--from students to principal investigators--in the dialogue; holding both formal and informal meetings; and, again, adopting an integrative approach. On the formal side, Kinzler's and Vogelstein's staffs attend weekly joint meetings--whose format is roughly similar to the lab meetings described by the other researchers. "We discuss the literature and get feedback on ideas and interpretation of results. Half of the meeting is devoted to a critical survey of the literature and the other half is devoted to a presentation of new data by one person," says Vogelstein. Schreiber stresses that participants in his joint chemistry- biology lab meetings make a special effort to communicate their work to others outside their area of research. On the informal side, Bredt, previously a doctoral and medical student in Snyder's lab and since January an assistant professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School, says of Snyder's lab, "The vast majority of learning happens at the benchside where people just informally discuss their daily progress." Kinzler also tries to maintain close contact with the people in his lab. "Whatever level you're at--even at the principal investigator level--it's helpful to talk to people about your experiments, so you don't forget something." However, he adds, "As a result, I don't travel very much." More generally, Schlessinger mentions that all modes of scientific communication--listening to speakers at meetings, reading journal articles, talking with colleagues in the lab, for example--"somehow synergizes other thoughts" and inspires him intellectually. Keeping An Open Mind Promoting a creative environment that doesn't discourage new interpretations or approaches is also part of a healthy, productive lab, say the researchers. The open climate of Snyder's lab at Johns Hopkins, where Bredt used to work, is one example. "We [took] on people who aren't so structured in the way they think about science, but are rather more open to new ideas," says Bredt, who studies how the gas nitric oxide functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. (See D.S. Bredt, et al., "Cloned and expressed nitric oxide synthase structurally resembles cytochrome P-450 reductase," Nature, 351:714-8, 1991, also a hot paper.) He traces this practice back to Snyder's Nobel Prize- winning adviser, Julius Axelrod. Bredt explains that researchers were originally resistant to the idea that nitric oxide could actually be made and used by the body. However, spurred by the fact that nitric oxide had been discovered in the bloodstream as a regulator of blood pressure, his group investigated whether nitric oxide is used as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Likening the brain to a computer with precisely defined connections between circuits, he says, "nitric oxide is the wrong thing that you'd imagine being used in the computer because it doesn't go between the wires--it affects all the wires in a given area--and there's no computer element like that." Because nitric oxide is a gas "it doesn't go specifically from one cell to another like all other known neurotransmitters," Bredt says. "Instead, it diffuses out in a sphere in brain tissue so it affects all cells in a defined area." Explaining nitric oxide's possible role in learning, he adds "when [a person's] experience goes through a circuit in the brain, that circuit becomes strengthened and it is thought that nitric oxide mediates this process." Related to the idea of fostering a creative, uninhibited lab environment is the custom of promoting healthy debate and independent thinking among team members. "I expect people to argue with me when they don't like an idea," Kinzler says. "It's funny, we don't have very much [personal] feuding in the lab, but people will argue about scientific points and it's enjoyable," he says, "once you get used to it." NYU's Schlessinger encourages new trainees in his lab to find their own related research project by spending their first few weeks talking with their new colleagues: "When a new person comes to the lab, I really do not make this person work on what I think is important. I want them to choose." ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : SCIENTISTS RANKED BY NUMBER OF HOT PAPERS TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 Rank Name Institution Field Number of Papers 1 Bert Vogelstein Johns Hopkins Molecular Biology 16 University 2 Kenneth W. Kinzler Johns Hopkins Molecular Biology 9 University Joseph Schlessinger New York Univ. Signal Transduction 9 Medical Center 3 Solomon H. Snyder Johns Hopkins Neuroscience 8 University 4 Stuart L.Schreiber Harvard Univ. Chemical Cell Biology 7 5 David S. Bredt Johns Hopkins Neuroscience 6 University* Dennis J. Selkoe Harvard Univ. Neuroscience 6 Brigham & Women's Hospital Stanley R.Hamilton Johns Hopkins Univ. Pathology 5 Benjamin Margolis New York Univ. Signal Transduction 5 Medical Center Tony Pawson Univ.of Toronto Signal Transduction 5 Mount Sinai Hosp. 6 George D.Yancopoulos Regeneron Molecular Neurology 5 Pharmaceuticals Inc. * Currently at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine Source: ISI's Hot Papers Database, November/December 1990- November/December 1993 ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: HOT PAPERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : PHYSICS TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 J.-C. Vial, A. Bsiesy, F. Gaspard, R. Herino, M. Ligeon, F. Muller, R. Romestain, R.M. Macfarlane, "Mechanisms of visible- light emission from electro-oxidized porous silicon," Physical Review B, 45:14171-6, 1992. Jean-Claude Vial (Laboratoire de Spectromtrie Physique, Universit Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, Saint Martin d'Hres, France): "A great deal of research has recently been devoted to understanding the efficient visible-light emission from porous silicon. Initially it was supposed that confinement of carriers inside nanometric crystallities was sufficient to break the selection rules of bulk silicon and to give a direct band gap nature to the optical transition. The interest in this paper rose from the fact that it showed that, rather, the high efficiency of the luminescence is mainly due to the reduction of nonradiative processes. Time-resolved photoluminescence technique has been extensively used to show that nonradiative rates are long and have an interesting dependence on confinement energy. An analysis of the dependence of the nonradiative decay rates on carrier confinement in terms of tunneling escape of carriers from the nanocrystallite accounts well for experimental results. This tunneling model has been used by us and others to explain successfully various important phenomena, such as the increase (or reduction) in quantum efficiency with passivation (or degradation), the time evolution of electroluminescence during anodic oxidation, or the origin of photoluminescence voltage switching." ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : NEUROSCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 M.M. Dugich-Djordjevic, G. Tocco, D.A. Willoughby, I. Najm, G. Pasinetti, R.F. Thompson, M. Baudry, P.A. Lapchak, F. Hefti, "BDNF mRNA expression in the developing rat brain following kainic acid-induced seizure activity," Neuron, 8:1127-38, 1992. Franz Hefti (Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles): "The discovery of the neurotrophin growth factor family, which includes nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophine-4/5 (NT-4/5), and the realization that BDNF and NT3 and their receptors are expressed at high levels in the brain, led us to hypothesize that these factors play a role in plasticity of the adult brain. Four years ago, we entered this field pooling our expertise in neurotrophic factors with that in plasticity and learning of the labs of Richard Thompson and Michel Baudry at USC. As did other groups, we found that the expression of BDNF and NT-3 are regulated in vivo by intense neuronal activity. Pharmacologically induced seizures in rats and seizure activity associated with epilepsy in humans result in structural changes within certain forebrain structures. Thus, our findings suggested that pathological and, perhaps, physiological neuronal activation leads to structural plasticity mediated by neurotrophins. Indeed, S.L. Patterson and associates later showed that neuronal activity associated with LTP also results in increased levels of neurotrophin mRNAs (Neuron, 9:1081-8, 1992). "Our findings and data obtained by other investigators supported the widely held belief that neurotrophin expression is directly regulated by neuronal activity and is governed by a precise balance between excitatory glutaminergic and inhibitory GABAergic mechanisms. Intrigued by this hypothesis, we extended our studies to brain development, to stages of maximal developmental plasticity. Contrary to our expectations and the general belief, we found a clear dissociation of BDNF mRNA induction and neuronal activity. During development, even massive seizure activity did not induce BDNF mRNA expression. The importance of these findings is the implication that early postnatal developmental processes and learning-associated plasticity involve a more intricate interaction with neurotrophins than had been previously believed. Our findings prompted more research into the question of neurotrophin regulation in the brain. These subsequent studies paint a much more complex picture of the regulation of neurotrophin expression in the brain than previously thought. Many transmitter systems besides glutamatergic and GABAergic systems are not known to be involved in the regulation of neurotrophins and, thus, most probably in the regulation of neuronal plasticity." ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CARDIOLOGY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 M.A. Pfeffer, E. Braun-wald, L.A. Moye, L. Basta, E.J. Brown, Jr., T.E. Cuddy, B.R. Davis, E.M. Geltman, S. Goldman, G.C. Flaker, M. Klein, G.A. Lamas, M. Packer, J. Rouleau, J.L. Rouleau, J. Rutherford, J.H. Wertheimer, C.M. Hawkins, for the SAVE investigators, "Effect of captopril on mortality and morbidity in patients with left ventricular dysfunction after myocardial infarction," New England Journal of Medicine, 327:669- 77, 1992. Marc A. Pfeffer (Harvard Medical School, Boston): "The Survival and Ventricular Enlargement (SAVE) study demonstrated that long- term administration of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor captopril to survivors of myocardial infarction (MI) with ventricular dysfunction prolonged survival. This effect was attributable to reductions both in cardiovascular deaths and in the incidence of heart failure and recurrent MI. "Rationale for this novel use of ACE inhibitor therapy came from Janice M. Pfeffer's animal studies showing that this treatment attenuated the progressive left ventricular enlargement and dysfunction associated with decreased survival after MI (J.M. Pfeffer, et al., Circulation Research, 57:84-95, 1985). The SAVE study extended this application to humans, confirming a preventive action of ACE inhibitor therapy. Although ACE inhibitors are widely used for hypertension and symptomatic congestive heart failure, because of the salutory effects observed in SAVE many government regulatory agencies across the globe now approve this new prophylactic use of captopril following MI in patients with ventricular dysfunction. "The hypothesis that captopril therapy would favorably influence ventricular enlargement and thereby reduce cardiovascular events was confirmed by a mechanistic substudy utilizing serial echocardio-graphic determinations (M. St. John Sutton, et al., Circulation, 89:68-75, 1994). However, it is now clear that other favorable mechanisms must also contribute to the full benefit of this use of ACE inhibitor therapy. The lower rates of MI found in both SAVE and in the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) (S. Yusuf, et al., Lancet, 340:1173-8, 1992), which administered the ACE inhibitor enalapril to patients with imparied cardiac function, suggest that these agents favorably modify the coronary atherosclerotic process. "These observations have stimulated a great deal of interest among both biologists and clinical investigators seeking to understand the interface between the renin-angiotensin system and the atherosclerotic process. Much of the interest in this evolving field undoubtedly lies in the belief that the full potential of this therapy for reducing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity remains to be determined." ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : New Software And Services Ease Access To The Internet AU : LARRY KRUMENAKER TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 The global Internet--the international computer network with thousands of smaller constituent networks and millions of researchers reliant on its capabilities--continues to grow dramatically each year. As impressive as the expansion rate has been, however, a steady stream of new software tools may soon fuel an even more explosive stage in its growth. Most of these tools reside on the Internet, either free for online use or available for downloading at little or no cost. They are greatly easing such common Internet tasks as finding and manipulating information, managing E-mail, and searching online bulletin boards. Also, while access to the Internet has been largely limited in the past to those in academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and the government, an increasing number of commercial service providers are now offering affordable links to the network for individuals. Companies, too, can lease high-data- capacity lines to put their researchers online. Moreover, a growing selection of relatively nontechnical reference works, some available online, is providing detailed support for both beginning and experienced users of the Internet. Scientific Internet users can now communicate with colleagues and find information resources more easily and quickly than ever before, whatever their affiliation. The private-sector molecular biologist with a connection from a commercial Internet-access provider can enjoy the same privileges as the university geneticist or the government chemist, with their subsidized Internet links. Conveniently, most of the software aids available at this point fall into the categories of either shareware or freeware. Shareware is software, usually inexpensive, that a user can download and try before purchasing. If the user finds the program useful, he or she then pays the developer, on a kind of honor system that seems to work for all parties. Freeware programs are available at no cost at all. Duane Bindschadler, a postdoctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles, says the value of such cheap or no-cost programs for scientists cannot be overstated. "It is very difficult to get funding for computer hardware and software, even harder than getting [research] funding in the first place," Bindschadler says. Mosaic Arrives One of the new software tools making the greatest impact is an easy-to-use, point-and-click graphical interface called Mosaic, developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Released last year, Mosaic is proving extremely popular and is changing the face of the Internet. Most users have been, and are still, working on computer systems with command-line prompts at which they are required to type their wishes in cryptic, arcane Unix commands--telnet, ftp, gopher, archie, and veronica, for example. Though some users claim not to find the command line difficult, the graphical, more intuitive approach of Mosaic is expected to be the wave of the future, whether on Unix workstations, Macintoshes, personal computers running Windows, or other platforms. The Mosaic interface can be obtained easily at no cost from many sites around the world. (See accompanying story for details on downloading this and other programs discussed in this article.) Mosaic is an example of a "browser" program, meaning that it allows the user to move through on-line resources linked through what is known as hypertext. Hypertext is a way to present information so that selected displayed terms lead to other related resources. If, for example, "polymer" is the hypertext term, selecting it may result in the displaying of a molecular model graphic, which may then link to a citation, which may lead to a polymer database. Each hypertext record is thus connected to documents, references, or resources at other Internet sites or databases. They can include links to graphic images, animation, or sound. When displayed as a text screen, these linked words show up with numbers or in bold highlighting. When presented graphically with Mosaic, they may be underlined or may change the mouse pointer arrow to a pointing hand as it overlays the word. The Mosaic interface provides a graphical display of incoming data from any server of the World-Wide Web, a hypertext Internet tool created at the CERN high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva. The World-Wide Web is also known as WWW, W3, or simply the Web. Keith Robison, a computational genetics graduate student at Harvard University, uses Mosaic in his research. After deriving genetic sequences from a bacterium, he performs sequence comparisons to learn more about his sample. "Suppose we've obtained a kilobase of material," says Robison. "We use BLAST [a sequence comparator program from the National Center for Biological Information (NCBI), Bethesda, Md.] to identify the proteins." There are two ways he can do this, both using the Internet. He can either E-mail his experimental results to NCBI and wait for a list of matching sequences to be returned via E-mail or connect directly to the NCBI server system and immediately obtain the list, including terse descriptions and citations. Robison is also compiling biological information resources and making them available to others over the Internet. He designed and wrote a program called Blastview that automatically retrieves literature referenced in BLAST output. A commercially available point-and-click graphical interface for use with the Internet is WinGopher Complete, priced at $129 from NOTIS Systems in Evanston, Ill. The package runs under the Windows operating system and supports telnet, ftp, gopher, archie, and veronica functions, as well as binary and character- file transfers. Earthquake By Internet Many, if not most, scientists are avid E-mail users today, and, overall, E-mail represents the Internet's largest traffic. As a result, reading and managing the messages arriving at a busy electronic address can be a tedious chore. A useful freeware program available over the Internet to ease this task is the Eudora program for reading and managing E-mail. Running Eudora on his Macintosh IIcx, geologist Art Lerner-Lam at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Pallisades, N.Y., scrolls backward through his E-mail messages to the morning of Jan. 17, 1994, the day of the Northridge, Calif., earthquake. As the messages from his colleagues pass on the screen, Lerner-Lam explains the vital role that the Internet now plays for researchers in his field. "In the not-so-distant past," Lerner-Lam says, "scientists collected their seismic data through exchange of paper. Later, we exchanged magnetic tapes. Over the last four to five years we've had near real-time collection due to [dedicated] phone lines or telemetry." The first unofficial word to reach him of the 4:30 A.M. Pacific Standard Time (PST) earthquake came at 4:42 A.M.--"I think we just had a major quake in Southern California"--broadcast nationally on an Internet geological mailing list. Official notification to researchers arrived at 5:10 A.M. PST, from the National Earthquake Information Service of the United States Geological Survey. Included were initial seismic time-of-arrival data used to plot epicenters. Within the next few hours, University of California, Berkeley, seismologist Doug Dreger was able to use data collected over the Internet to produce an estimate of the earthquake's focal mechanism, displayed through use of a diagram nicknamed the "beach ball." The beach ball indicated the quake was a thrust fault, with one relatively local patch of earth riding over another. That meant that it wasn't the so-called Big One expected at the San Andreas fault, which would have been a slip-strike quake--two tectonic plates sliding past each other. This information arrived at Lerner-Lam's mailbox at 8:15 A.M., not quite four hours after the earthquake. "Five years ago it would have taken 30 days to do this," says Lerner-Lam, pointing to the beach ball display. "Now, quakes trigger automatic retrieval of digital data worldwide into a program to calculate earthquake locations. Even five years ago, during the [October 1989] Loma Prieta [Calif.] quake, all this was in its infancy." Another popular freeware program is Newswatcher for scanning newsgroups--online topical message-posting areas. Newswatcher automatically retrieves messages from selected newsgroups--for example, all new messages since the user's last access. It also allows the user to post one or more messages to multiple newsgroups. Reaching Beyond Academia Like most academics, Robison and Lerner-Lam have the advantage of being able to use their institutional computer systems to access the Internet without cost. Historically, most scientific users of the Internet have been university or government researchers like them, with subsidized Internet links. As the Internet continues to expand, however, more and more members of the private sector scientific community are clamoring for access. For the most part, these researchers must buy, rent, or lease their connections. And, as this group of scientific users grows, commercial Internet-access providers have sprung up to offer services. Geologist David Feineman with BP Exploration, a subsidiary of the London-based BP Group, works with software vendors that develop exploration and mapping tools for the oil and gas company. It's important for him to keep aware of geological news as well as computational developments. His Macintosh is connected to a corporate network with dedicated Internet access, so he can communicate via Internet E-mail, check newsgroups, and find various information resources. Colorado SuperNet, at the Colorado School of Mines computer center in Golden, provides the T1 Internet link for approximately $10,000 a year. A T1 line is an improvement over an ordinary telephone line, transferring data at tremendous rates of more than 1.5 million bits per second. To locate resources, Feineman, who calls himself a relatively new "Net surfer," turns first to a collection of Internet guides published recently. Among these are The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog, by Ed Krol (Sebastopol, Calif., O'Reilly & Associates Inc., 1992 [second edition published April 1994]) and Zen and the Art of the Internet, by Brendan Kehoe (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice Hall, 1993). Feineman might also go online with Mosaic to access a resource from O'Reilly & Associates called "Global Network Navigator," or he might consult the "Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet" found there. Another book from O'Reilly & Associates, Connecting to the Internet (1993), by Susan Estrada, lists many commercial providers of Internet connections. One of Estrada's main resources is a list of such providers, called PDIAL, which can be found on virtually every service, including the commercial service CompuServe. Commercial providers are going into business daily, and PDIAL is updated frequently by Peter Kaminski of Netcom Online Communication Services Inc. in San Jose, Calif., to keep up with these new providers. According to Estrada, the current list is available via E-mail by sending the message "Send PDIAL" to the address Another commercial Internet service is NEARnet, provided by BBN Technology Services Inc., Cambridge, Mass. Miles Laboratories in West Haven, Conn., is linked to the Internet via a leased T1 line from NEARnet. According to Tenna Sakai, Miles' manager of networks, five to 10 new users request Internet access every week. This adds to an established base of about 200 users out of more than 500 scientists and other personnel at the company. Here, again, most scientists are E-mail users, but many also use the Internet to access and search protein and other databases. The cost of a T1 line depends on the distance to the provider's nearest POP--point of presence--of the Internet. Until recently the nearest link to NEARnet for Miles was more than 60 miles away in Hartford, Conn. The cost was around $30,000 a year. A newer POP at New Haven, less than 10 miles away, has cut the dedicated- line cost to under $7,000 a year. The T1 is connected to an Ethernet local area network and to a small fiber-optic network coming into Sakai's office, creating a Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) connection. SLIP connections make the user's personal computer appear to be a full-scale Internet node. "They are harder to set up," says Thomas Howell, formerly of CERF-net, an Internet-access provider based in San Diego, "but they are easier to use once installed." Individuals and small companies needing services on a less expensive or more intermittent basis can go to any of several dozen companies around the U.S. for dial-up services. For example, Netcom provides access for a $20 set-up charge and $19.50 a month for unlimited online time. All the user needs is general-purpose telecommunications software--Procomm Plus from Datastorm Technologies, Columbia, Mo., and Crosstalk from Digital Communications Associates Inc. in Roswell, Ga., are two popular programs--and a personal computer with a modem hookup. Naturally, the speeds will be slower than with T1 access lines. The maximum data rate is usually 14,400 bits per second (bps), although it can be as high as 57,000 bps. Also, users may not be able to connect to the Internet on the first try, because they are hitching a ride on the provider's Internet link rather than being linked themselves to the Internet. Larry Krumenaker is a freelance science writer based in Hillsdale, N.J. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : DOWNLOADING MOSAIC, EUDORA, AND NEWSWATCHER AU : LARRY KRUMENAKER TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 Mosaic for Windows, Macintosh, or Unix environments may be acquired via ftp (the "file transfer protocol" command) at no cost from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where it was developed, and other sites. Certain hardware and associated software are necessary to be able to run Mosaic. For example, Mosaic for Windows requires an 80386SX-based machine with 4 megabytes of RAM or better. The recommended configuration is a 33-MHz 80486, or faster, with at least 8 megabytes of RAM. Mosaic for Windows 3.1 is available via anonymous ftp (meaning that the user need not have an account on the host system) from NCSA's server. The user should type the following commands at his or her local ftp prompt: open login: anonymous password: [user's Internet electronic address] get README.FIRST cd PC/Mosaic ls [to list the available files and directories] bin [to change to binary mode for the file transfer] get Also needed is a utility program called "Winsock.DLL," available from software dealers or in a shareware version called "Trumpet winsock" available by following these commands: open login: anonymous password: [user's Internet electronic address] cd pub/micro/pc-stuff/ms-windows/winsock get Each file is compressed with the Windows utility PKZIP and must be decompressed with another utility called PKUNZIP. Eudora and Newswatcher can be found at hundreds of sites around the world. The following ftp commands can be used to access the programs at example sites: open login: anonymous password: [user's Internet electronic address] cd pub/mac/comm get eudora open login: anonymous password: [user's Internet electronic address] cd /pub get newswatcher --L.K. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : SUPPLIERS OF COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, REFERENCE WORKS, AND SOFTWARE The following companies offer commercial access to the Internet, reference works to guide users of the Internet, or communications software. Please contact the companies directly for more information concerning specific products or services. BBN Software Products Corp. 150 Cambridge Park Dr. Cambridge, Mass. 02140 (617) 873-5000 Fax: (617) 873-4020 * Access Services CERFnet 3482 Dunhill San Diego, Calif. 92121 (800) 876-2373 Fax: (619) 455-3990 * Access Services Colorado SuperNet 1500 Illinois Ave. Golden, Colo. 80401 (303) 273-3471 Fax: (303) 273-3475 * Access Services DATASTORM Technologies 3212 Lemone Blvd. Columbia, Md. 65201-8244 (314) 443-3282 Fax: (314) 875-0595 * Communications Software Digital Communications 1000 Alderman St. Alpheretta, Ga. 30202 (404) 442-4000 Fax: (404) 442-4399 * Communications Software ForeFront Group Inc. 1360 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1660 Houston, Texas 77056 (800) VNS-1101 Fax: (713) 961-1149 * Virtual Notebook System Software New Technologies Inc. 1 E. Chase St., Suite 903 Baltimore, Md. 21202 (410) 659-0959 Fax: (410) 788-5473 * Reference Works NOTIS Systems 1007 Church St. Evanston, Ill. 60201 (708) 866-0150 Fax: (708) 866-4893 * Interface Software O'Reilly & Associates 103 Morris St., Suite A Sebastopol, Calif. 95472 (707) 829-0515 Fax: (707) 829-0104 * Reference Works Prentice Hall Publishing Prentice Hall Business and Professional Building 440 Sylvan Ave. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632 (201) 816-4151 Fax: (201) 816-4146 * Reference Works ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: NEW PRODUCTS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : New HPLC Radioactivity Detector From Bioscan TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Bioscan, located in Washington, D.C., has introduced its Flow-Count line of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) radioactivity detectors for 125I-, gamma-, and beta- labeled proteins; monoclonal antibodies; and DNA. Applications include research analysis of protein mixtures, development of labeled monoclonal antibody tumor detection and therapy agents, and monitoring of iodine labeling procedures. Flow-Count offers a range of detectors that can be matched to a desired application. An NaI (T1) scintillation detector provides high sensitivity and low background for 125I and gamma emitter detection. According to the company, levels as low as 100 DPM can be seen with use of the shielded well detector, which has 80 percent counting efficiency for 125I. In addition, a novel PIN diode, solid-state detector provides linear output for high-activity samples found in radiochemical and radiopharmaceutical synthesis labs. The miniature, remote detector can be shielded inside the hood or hot-cell, and can be used for quantitative monitoring of HPLC with activities as high as 1 Curie. A special beta radiation detector is also available for 32P, 90Y, and other beta emitters used to label DNA and monoclonal antibody therapeutic agents. Users can also monitor positron emission tomography isotopes--18F, 11C, 13N, and 15O. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Gilson 234 Autoinjector For HPLC Applications TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Gilson Inc. of Middleton, Wis., has released the 234 Autoinjector, designed to automate a wide range of routine sample-handling procedures and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) injections. Gilson's autoinjector can be used to dilute samples or standards; mix internal standards with samples; and aspirate, dispense, and inject samples, standards, and reagents. The product features five injection methods, including simple injection, external standard with or without dilution, and internal standards with or without dilution. The 234 Autoinjector has an injection volume range of 1 to 500 ml, depending on the size of the injection loop. Total, partial, or sample-saving centered loop filling techniques can be used with the device. The product features an integral numeric keypad with a two- line, 80-character display and five multifunction soft keys for interactive response during protocol setup. A help key provides online assistance. The 234 can be interfaced for automatic coordination with other devices in one of two ways: through the input/output contacts on the instrument's rear panel or via the Gilson Serial Input/Output Channel (GSIOC) and Gilson HPLC System Controller Software. In addition, built-in counters track instrument function to facilitate compliance with maintenance schedule guidelines. Users can choose from 10 different rack options, such as racks for 124 0.8 ml vials, 20 ml reagent vials, and temperature-controlled racks. Four vial sizes are available- -including 800 ml microvials, Waters WISP vials, and 2 ml autoinjector vials. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Du Pont Introduces Inflammation Products TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Du Pont Co. of Wilmington, Del., offers four iodinated chemoat-tractant cytokines--MCAF/ MCP-1, MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta, and RANTES--for studies of inflammation and immune regulation. The human, recombinant cytokines, which, according to the company, are notable for their high specific activity and purity, can be used with receptor binding assays, radioimmunoassays, and autoradiography. MCAF/MCP-1 is expressed by a wide variety of cell types, including monocytes, but is not highly expressed by T cells. According to DuPont, MCAF/ MCP-1 has been shown to play a role in inflammation; initial findings show that it may also be active with leukocytes in tumor growth and with atherosclerosis. MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta, the company claims, are the first endogenous pyrogens that work through a prostaglandin-independent pathway and activate T cells to sites of inflammation. In addition, MIP-1 alpha attracts B and cytotoxic T cells. RANTES attracts peripheral blood monocytes, and, in vitro, attracts CD4+/CD45R0+ T cells but not other T cell phenotypes. It is thought to be involved in disease states predominated by T cells, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Expression of RANTES mRNA is rapidly induced in fibroblasts cultured from rheumatoid joints after stimulation with TNF-alpha or IL-1, according to the company. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : DAKO Corp.'s Mouse Anti-CD50, ICAM-3 TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Carpinteria, Calif.-based DAKO Corp. has released the anti- CD50, ICAM-3 for use in identifying cells expressing high levels of ICAM-3 in cryostat sections or cell smears. The product reacts with a 110-kilodalton cell-surface adhesion molecule expressed on lymphocytes present in lymphoid tissue. It also reacts with monocytes, granulocytes, and the majority of lymphocytes in peripheral blood. DAKO also offers antibodies to CD54 (ICAM-1), CD11a (LFA-1, a-chains), and CD18 (LFA-1, b-chains). Other cell surface antibodies available from DAKO include antineural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM), as well as integrins a2b1, a3b1, a4b1, and a5b1. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Red-Out From Robbins Scientific Corp. TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Robbins Scientific Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., has introduced Red-Out, a human red blood cell agglutination reagent. The product is designed to eliminate red cell contamination that frequently occurs in purification of lymphocytes on density-gradient media in such applications as HLA tissue typing tests, microscopic analysis, and fluorescence-activated cell sort- ing. Human blood is incubated at room temperature for five minutes with Red-Out, then centrifuged in ficoll-isopaque type media. The resulting red cell aggregates settle easily to the bottom of the tube. According to the company, the high specificity of Red-Out is based on a murine monoclonal antibody that binds to a universally present antigen on erythrocyte membranes. Two sizes are available: 25 ml (250 tests) or 100 ml (1,000 tests) per bottle. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Arm And Elbow Support From Able Ergonomics TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Able Ergonomics Corp., located in San Diego, has designed an articulating arm/elbow support system for use by researchers. The ABLE ARM articulating forearm support provides continual support of the arm during data entry or intense microscopic tasks. According to the manufacturer, the product reduces neck, shoulder, and back strain, thus decreasing the possibility that repetitive stress injuries will develop. The company also offers other ergonomic products designed for the research environment. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : BIO 101 Releases TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Preformulated Media For Growing Yeast And Bacteria BIO 101, based in Vista, Calif., offers a line of preformulated media for the growth of yeast and bacteria. The products are available as either premixed powder or capsules. BIO 101's capsules eliminate dust contamination in the lab, according to the company. Biological buffers make pH adjustment unnecessary, the company says. The media is specifically designed for molecular biology applications, including optimum plasmid and phage yield and production of highly competent cells for transformation. The media are certified for molecular biology/recombinant DNA applications. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : AWIS Chooses Wisconsin Botany Professor As President- Elect AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 23 Jaleh Daie, a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has been voted president-elect of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). Daie, a member of the Wisconsin faculty since 1993, will assume the position in 1996. Currently, Daie is senior science adviser to the senior vice president for academic affairs of the University of Wisconsin system, and is involved in improving science education programs. From 1985 until last year, she was a faculty member at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. There, she was founding director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Turfgrass Science and director of the school's plant biology graduate program. She also was chairwoman of Rutgers' crop science department and the George H. Cook undergraduate honors program. Chief among Daie's stated goals for the society is the formation of an AWIS-led Women in Science Consortium that will be made up of societies, federal agencies, and private foundations. She also plans to increase cooperative efforts with other national scientific and education organizations that have missions similar to AWIS's. She says her idea for a consortium is modeled after the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Women in Politics. "I saw their success in terms of having real impact with the current administration--submitting names of women and seeing quite a lot of these people appointed to positions," she says. Daie, 45, received her Ph.D. in plant physiology from Utah State University in 1980, and her M.S. in horticulture from the University of California, Davis, in 1975. From 1983 to 1985, she was an assistant professor of biology at Utah State University. From 1980 to 1982, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. --Craig Montesano ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Stanford's Bradford Parkinson Named New Head Of NASA Advisory Council AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 23 Bradford W. Parkinson, 59, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University, has been named chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Council. The council, made up of 21 members selected by NASA administrator Daniel Goldin, provides management and strategic advice to the administrator. Overall, Parkinson sees the council's role as helping Goldin to "sort out priorities, in particular strategic priorities." As far as research recommendations are concerned, he says, "I believe that one of the major missions of NASA has always been to move into the frontiers of science." The council will also give advice on some of the housekeeping functions at NASA. There are "some management processes that could stand some scrutiny and overhaul," such as procurement policies that "drag out for months," says Parkinson. Parkinson, a retired United States Air Force colonel, is active in two primary areas of research. He is program manager and co-principal investigator of the NASA-sponsored Gravity Probe B project, a space shuttle mission under development to test aspects of Einstein's theory of general relativity. As Parkinson puts it, most people think that it is an accepted theory, but "it turns out that Einstein himself knew that it was a little wrong" and spent the last 40 years of his life trying to refine it. This project aims to test some of the more uncertain elements of the theory, says Parkinson. He is also involved in research that deals with the Global Positioning System (GPS), the largest system of satellites-- 24 in all--orbiting the Earth. GPS is used by a variety of disciplines, from petrology to geography, for pinpointing positions on the Earth's surface. Throughout his career, Parkinson has held a number of positions in academia, business, and the military. Prior to coming to Stanford in 1984, he was vice president and manager of Intermetrics Inc., a software and systems engineering firm based in Cambridge, Mass. At Stanford he holds a joint appointment with the aeronautics and astronautics department and the W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. Among numerous honors, Parkinson was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1990 and in 1991 received the Johannes Kepler Award for Leadership in satellite-based navigation. He received his M.S. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961 and his Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics (guidance and control) from Stanford in 1966. Commenting on what's in store for NASA, Parkinson says, "I'm very optimistic about the future of NASA ... and fundamentally believe in what they're trying to do." --Karen Young Kreeger ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : JAN HOLMGREN TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 23 Jan Holmgren, a microbiologist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has been awarded the Louis Jeantet Prix de Medecine for his work in vaccine development. He received the prize, accompanied by a cash award of 611,000 Swiss francs (U.S. $417,000), during ceremonies in Geneva last month. The prize, which is awarded by the Louis Jeantet Foundation, based at the University of Geneva, helps fund completion of important current research, rather than honor past accomplishments. Holmgren is being recognized for his work in developing vaccines against infections--namely cholera--that invade through mucosal linings, such as those in the respiratory and digestive tracts. The World Health Organization has tested a vaccine based on his cholera research and so far has immunized 200,000 people worldwide, according to a statement from Syntello Inc., a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company working with Holmgren. Holmgren, who is head of the department of medical microbiology and immunology at Gothenburg, serves on numerous international boards of directors and has been an invited speaker or chairman at more than 100 international conferences. He received his Ph.D. (1969) and M.D. (1973) from the University of Gothenburg. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : JAMES WOMACK TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 23 James Womack, a geneticist from Texas A&M University in College Station, has received the 1993/1994 Ciba Prize for Research in Animal Health, given every two years for significant contributions in animal heath or husbandry. He was recognized by Ciba-Geigy Corp. at ceremonies in Basel, Switzerland, for his work in mapping the genome of domestic cattle. The research of Womack, the W.P. Luse Endowed Professor in Veterinary Pathobiology, has shown the extent of genetic similarity between cattle and both mice and humans. He also directs the Texas A&M Institute for Biosciences and Technology's Center for Animal Genetics and is a Human Genome Project researcher. He received the Carrington Award for research in cell biology in 1990 and the Faculty of Genetics research award in 1993, both honors from Texas A&M. Womack earned his B.S. in mathematics from Abilene Christian College in 1964 and his Ph.D. in genetics from Oregon State University in 1968. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: OBITUARY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : BRUCE R. VOELLER TY : OBITUARY PG : 23 Bruce R. Voeller, 59, an AIDS researcher and founder of the Mariposa Education and Research Foundation, died of AIDS on February 13 at his home in Topanga, Calif. Voeller, a biologist, was perhaps best known for coining the acronym AIDS, for "acquired immune deficiency syndrome," a term he used in objection to the disease's earlier label, GRID, which stood for "gay-related immune disorder." A prominent gay rights activist, Voeller cofounded the National Gay Task Force (NGTF) with former New York City Health Commissioner Harold Brown in 1973. He served as NGTF's executive director from 1973 to 1978. In 1980, Voeller established the Mariposa Foundation, based in Topanga, to conduct human sexuality research, placing special emphasis on reducing the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (B. Spector, The Scientist, March 2, 1992, page 1). From 1961 to 1972, he held various positions on the faculty of Rockefeller University. At the time of his death, Voeller's research with the Mariposa Foundation centered on the reliability of various brands of condoms in preventing the spread of diseases. A result of this research was a study, funded in part by the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the National Institutes of Health, that ranked 31 brands of condoms under various conditions. Voeller was also conducting viral leakage studies for the recently approved "female" condom. ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #9, May 2, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================


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