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Phone :(215)243-2205 // Fax: (215)387-1266 E-mail:garfield@aurora.cis.upenn THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 8, No:5 MARCH 7, 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 *** *** MARCH 21, 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 ============================================================ NEWS CONSIDERING THE ALTERNATIVES: A recent boost in funding for the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine is indicative of rising interest in and support for research into alternative methods to treat disease--such as mind/body control, ethnomedicine, structural manipulation and energetic therapies, and bioelectric applications--in many establishment biomedical settings PG : 1 HEALTHY CLIMATE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: Top colleges and universities throughout the United States are responding to the demand for environmental education programs with new undergraduate degree programs, graduate-level research opportunities, and environmental colloquia. Many of these initiatives stress the importance of addressing today's environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective PG : 1 A CASE FOR SCIENCE TEACHER EDUCATION: A new National Science Foundation grant to the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., to establish the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) will offer training classes in science education to Washington-area elementary schoolteachers PG : 1 SLOWLY RISING DIVERSITY IN SCIENCE: A new analysis of the U.S. work force by the Committee on Professionals in Science and Technology reveals that representation of women and minorities in science and engineering is rising, but quite slowly PG : 3 SCIENTISTS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: One way in which the average scientist can make a direct contribution in the area of science education reform is to participate in science education partnerships that are springing up around the United States, says Art Sussman, director of the Far West Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Science and Mathematics Education. By going into classrooms to share their expertise with children at an early age, as well as by helping to shape science curricula, researchers can make an immediate impact PG : 11 COMMENTARY: The Clinton administration is sending out mixed messages about its commitment to biomedical research and innovation, says John M. Clymer, vice president of Americans for Medical Progress. On one hand, Clymer says, the president pledged strong support for biomedical science in his State of the Union address; yet some of the suggested health-care reforms in the White House's Health Security Plan may severely limit such efforts PG : 12 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY'S TOP-CITED PAPERS: The newsletter Science Watch recently examined the most-referenced papers in organic chemistry, a subdiscipline that employs a substantial number of research chemists PG : 15 HOT PAPERS: A cell biologist discusses her paper on "switch" kinases--MAPKs PG : 16 BRIGHT FUTURE FOR BIOLUMINESCENCE ASSAYS: Scientists, who searched for sensitive, nonradioactive assays to perform tests, turned to bioluminescence assays in the mid-1980s. Now these tests--based on light emission from a biochemical reaction--have increased dramatically in number as their technology has been refined PG : 17 HELPING HAND FOR BIOTECHS: Through a new program, biotech- nology companies on Long Island, N.Y., can get help from local scientists and institutions in applying for federal research grants, part of an effort to jump-start the nascent biotech industry in the area PG : 21 CARL STORM, former chief scientist and program manager for Los Alamos National Laboratory's Explosives Technology and Application Office, has become director of the Gordon Research Conferences PG : 22 NOTEBOOK PG : 4 CARTOON PG : 4 LETTERS PG : 12 CROSSWORD PG : 13 BIOLUMINESCENCE ASSAY PRODUCTS DIRECTORY PG : 19 NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 OBITUARY PG : 22 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Alternative And Conventional Biomedical Research: A Creative Synergy AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 1 Editor's Note: This first part of a two-part series charts the shared ground between research into alternative medical therapies and basic biomedical research. Increasingly, researchers are using powerful cellular and molecular tools to uncover biochemical pathways that may, for example, explain increasingly evident mind-body connections in health and illness. The second part, to appear in the March 21 issue, will explore efforts to bring rigorous methodologies to alternative medicine and the roles being played by private foundations and medical schools in promoting new collaborations between alternative and establishment medicine. Despite tight budgeting in many sectors of biomedical research, the fledgling Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the National Institutes of Health recently learned it is slated for a big financial uplift. In each of its first two years of existence, 1992 and 1993, the office received $2 million; for fiscal year 1994, however, President Bill Clinton requested and received $3.5 million. Although just a "drop in the bucket" of NIH's $11 billion overall budget, as OAM spokesman Jim Bryant notes, it is still a significant and symbolic increase for the young, high-profile office--likely to mean more money for grants. The jump in funding at OAM is indicative of the rising interest in and support for research in alternative medicine in many established biomedical settings, according to scientists and officials. Teaching programs also are in place or planned at several top medical schools. The establishment of such programs suggests that tomorrow's biomedical professionals may be open to new categories of inquiry that fall outside of what currently is considered mainstream biomedical investigation. For example, among the exploratory grants announced by OAM for 1994 were support for a Medical College of Ohio study of massage therapy to counter HIV; a Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine investigation of music therapy for psychosocial adjustment after brain surgery; research into dance/movement therapy for cystic fibrosis at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia; a Harvard Medical School exploration of hatha yoga for illicit drug use; a University of Miami School of Medicine study of massage therapy for HIV-exposed infants; a Southern Illinois University School of Medicine examination of ayurvedic herbals for Parkinson's disease; Northwestern University research into T'ai Chi to treat mild balance disorders; and a study of prayer intervention against drug abuse at the University of New Mexico. Several private foundations are also funding innovative work in these areas. And while most of the research is clinical or outcomes-oriented investigation, a synergy is developing with a number of basic science disciplines, some brand new, as questions arise about the underlying biochemical mechanisms of, for example, demonstrable mind-body interactions. Defining The Terms The field is not easily defined. Many researchers say simply that alternative medicine comprises those medical practices that are not commonly taught or used in Western medicine. Many of the techniques now undergoing scientific scrutiny in OAM-sponsored studies come originally from ancient traditions practiced in China and India. One working definition of alternative medicine might be seen in six categories of grants currently offered by OAM: diet, nutrition, and lifestyle; mind/body control; traditional and ethnomedicine; structural manipulation and energetic therapies; bioelectric applications; and pharmacological and biological treatments. In 1993, 30 grants in these areas were awarded by OAM. The grants were small compared with other NIH awards; the top dollar amount was $30,000. Other agencies, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and National Cancer Institute (NCI), also have funded research into these nontraditional studies. A number of researchers in the field, however, say there is more to the concept of alternative medicine than its simply being unconventional; they claim that alternative medicine techniques share an integrative approach to human health that has been lost in much of Western medical practice. As such, they say, alternative medicine represents something of a corrective, whole- body view to the conventional, specialized approach of biomedical science. "It comes down to an old-fashioned word, which is physiology," says Candace Pert, a psychopharmacologist with Peptide Research, a Rockville, Md., consulting firm. Pert's research has detailed the ways in which messenger molecules, such as neuropeptides, and their receptors extensively interlink the brain, the immune system, and the endocrine system. The result is a seamless, communicating whole of the brain and body, she says, an information network with properties synonymous with the usual concept of mind. "The brain is not the mind," Pert says. "The molecules of the brain and the body are a manifestation of mind. But they're also just molecules and bands on gels." Pert, who is also a visiting professor with the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., prefers to speak of complementary--or interdisciplinary medicine--as opposed to alternative medicine. The integrative aspects of the new areas of study are crucial, in her view. "These separate disciplines make it difficult to make progress," Pert says. "I think we're moving toward a much more interdisciplinary way of looking at things." Other investigators agree that some of the new fields related to alternative medicine appear to be building bridges between fields. Researchers such as Pert say this aspect of their new disciplines mirrors the growing links they are discovering among major body systems, such as the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. These disciplines include, for instance, psychopharmacology and psychoneuroimmunology. "The field of psychoneuroimmunology, as a scientific discipline-- and I'm not talking about people who hang crystals from their rear-view mirrors, I'm talking about hard-core research--is showing that the nervous system and the immune system communicate with each other massively, extensively, and continuously," says David L. Felten, a professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York. "There is as much a basis for biological signaling between these two systems as there is within each of the systems," Felten adds. "And, therefore, while it may have appeared that it was alternative medicine to begin with, I don't view it as alternative medicine. I view it as standard physiology, pharmacology, and neurotransmission." Divergent Views Not everyone, however, sees significant connections emerging between alternative medicine and basic biomedical sciences--at least not yet. They say that the gap between the two is real and substantial, and that it will not soon be bridged. "The OAM is starting with clinical research of a very basic kind," says Barrie R. Cassileth, an adjunct professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and at Duke University, Durham, N.C. "Once some positive results emerge--if indeed there are any positive results--then people will start looking into mechanisms. But most of the regimens and therapies being investigated will be very difficult to examine in terms of underlying processes and principles." How strong the links between alternative medicine and conventional biomedicine appear to an individual depends very much on how each area is defined, and there is a distinct lack of consensus. Moreover, not all treatments in these categories are likely to interact productively with basic scientific disciplines, according to researchers, especially not in the near term. In some areas, developing a rigorous methodology to test efficacy alone will be difficult, without addressing possible explanations through better understanding of the body's biochemistry. In other areas--acupuncture, for example--alternative techniques are finding converts in conventional medicine and the underlying mechanisms are now being investigated. Cassileth, for instance, does not include such practices as biofeedback and acupuncture under the heading of alternative medicine. These, she says, are nearly mainstream, at this point. She also does not consider psychoneuroimmunology, which works to define the biochemical interactions between the nervous and immune systems, to be alternative medicine. "We now know that these various systems are interconnected," Cassileth says. "That's not really alternative medicine." "There is substantial demonstration that acupuncture is effective in certain situations, yet we don't know how acupuncture works," says Fredi Kronenberg, director of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Alternative/Complementary Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. "People are beginning to explore this, looking into whether there are endorphins involved, looking into the biochemistry. But we don't have the physiology of acupuncture well defined." Mind-body medicine is, perhaps, the area in which biological discoveries are most likely to correlate with alternative medical techniques, scientists say. For example, Rochester's Felten has carefully mapped a number of important mind-body connections. "We've been able to show," Felten says, "that noradrenergic nerves, coming from the sympathetic nervous system and hard-wired back into the central nervous system, actually have terminal endings, not just on smooth muscles and blood vessels, but also deep in the parenchyma of lymphoid organs, ending among both developing and mature cells of the immune system." He adds: "So, there is an extensive communication network, going from the central nervous system to the immune system, with real functional consequences." Among the implications, he says, is that the mind may be able to directly control aspects of the immune system. "There is the possibility that, using behavioral interventions, we can influence the signaling, the transmitters, and the hormones every bit as much as if we gave pharmacological agents," Felten says. In discussing behavioral intervention, he refers to such treatments as stress- reduction therapies or peer support and counseling. Such inquiries may have far-reaching effects on conventional biomedicine, say some researchers. "You cannot ignore mind and have anything relevant to say about health and disease," says Peptide Research's Pert. "Health and disease have everything to do with emotions. They're not just some optional thing. And that really breaks the paradigm of Western medicine." Special Interests? Because of its affiliation with the prestigious NIH, OAM has received a great deal of attention since its inception. Some scientists, however, say that OAM was thrust upon NIH by Congress and was not the result of scientific interest within the institutes. "OAM came about not because of anyone in the scientific community believing that these things had merit or that they were appropriate for NIH to involve itself in," says William Jarvis, a professor of health promotion and education at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, both based in Loma Linda, Calif. "Certainly no one at NIH thought that. "Rather, it was because of political influence." Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the subcommittee on labor, health, and human services and education of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the NIH budget, pressed strongly for the office's creation. Former Iowa congressman Berkeley Bedell, who claimed he had had success with an alternative medical intervention for his prostate cancer, lobbied Harkin on the issue, according to OAM spokesman Bryant. Harkin himself took bee pollen therapy for allergies with some success, as well, Bryant says. A number of other institutes at NIH, however, are also providing substantial funding for research that might otherwise be considered alternative medicine, according to Joseph J. Jacobs, director of OAM. This has been the case for a decade or more. NHLBI, for example, funded the work of Dean Ornish, director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., Jacobs says. Ornish developed and clinically tested a successful heart disease reversal program based on a vegetarian diet, meditation, exercise, and support groups. As a sign, perhaps, of the growing acceptance of such therapies as a part of established medicine, Ornish's program was recently approved for reimbursement by a major insurer. NHLBI is also funding a project at the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, to study the effects of transcendental meditation on hypertension, he says. NIDA has funded projects looking at the use of acupuncture in treating substance abuse, Jacobs says, and NIAID is interested in the use of acupuncture to help people with AIDS who have peripheral neuropathy. The relationship between nutrition and cancer prevention is being studied at NCI, as well. Changing Views Overall, Jacobs says, this increasing activity represents important shifts in perspective on the parts of both patients and clinicians. "There's a general awareness among clinicians that there are significant limitations in conventional medicine," Jacobs says, "especially if you're a primary-care practitioner, on the front line, dealing with chronic and debilitating diseases and the management of them." At the same time, he says, patients often have access to research findings as they are published. This results in their participating, to a degree, in the ongoing controversies in medicine. "Physicians are no longer the high priests of this mystery," Jacobs says. "Everybody has access to information now." Another factor in bringing alternative medicine to the fore at this time is doctors' inability to counter such highly publicized, intractable diseases as AIDS, according to Sue Estroff, a medical anthropologist and an associate professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. "People with AIDS, since there seems to be little hope for them [with conventional medicine], have very consistently used all kinds of other therapies," Estroff says, "and I think it's forcing neurologists and infectious disease researchers into closer contact with these alternative therapies than they've ever been in their clinical and research lives. Some of them have had conversion experiences, where they've seen a patient's T cells do better than they should have. These are the most basic of the basic science types, those who would be the most skeptical." Estroff met recently with Jacobs to discuss ways that medical anthropologists, many of whom have experience assessing non- Western healing systems and views of illness, might contribute to OAM's efforts. "There are complicated analyses of, for example, the physiological and biochemical effects of three days of dancing and drum beats," she says. Coming Together As interest in the area continues to grow, collaborations and interactions between the researchers and practitioners of alternative medicine are expected to increase, too. The two groups may be able to mutually influence each other, giving greater scientific rigor to studies of alternative therapies and illness models, while simultaneously serving as a source of fresh insights for at least some segments of the conventional research community. "One of the real benefits to come from this field [of psychoneuroimmunology] is not only the reductionist delving into mechanisms, but then the synthesis that's required, also," says Rochester's Felten. "It's no longer acceptable just to look at, for example, neurotransmitter effects on a cloned cell line. That's nice, and it will give you some clues. But then the next step is to take that back in vivo and ask what it means to the well-being of a mouse--or of a human. "We're actually able to span from a level of cellular and molecular biology on the one hand, all the way to the more holistic, in vivo, physiologic approach on the other," Felten adds. "In fact, in this field, neither of those approaches by itself is suitable and satisfactory alone." The combination of new and old medical perspectives holds great promise, Felten says: "It's an exciting new aspect of medicine that we've had our heads in the sand over for many, many years. Now, all of a sudden, we've reinvented the wheel; but we've reinvented it at a time when the cellular and molecular technology is such that we can really go places with it." ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INFLUENTIAL PUBLICATIONS Two papers published in the past several years have served to stimulate widespread interest in alternative medicine. One was a study by Stanford University researcher David Spiegel and colleagues (Lancet, 2[8668]:888-91, Oct. 14, 1989). Spiegel divided 86 women with metastasized breast cancer into two groups. Both groups received standard medical care, but one also participated in group therapy. Originally, Spiegel expected the study to show little, if any, effect from the psychosocial support. To his surprise, he found that the women receiving group therapy lived an average of almost twice as long as those in the control group, 36.6 months vs. 18.9 months. In fact, after 10 years, only three women remained alive--all from the therapy group. The other study that captured broad interest was published by David Eisenberg of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston (D. Eisenberg, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 328[4]:246-52, Jan. 28, 1993). In a survey of about 1,500 people, Eisenberg found that one in three reported using alternative therapies in the previous year, a much higher rate of use than had previously been estimated. Most respondents said they also went to conventional physicians with their medical complaints, but did not tell their physicians about their use of alternative therapies. In addition, use of such therapies correlated with higher incomes and education levels, Eisenberg found. --F.H. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Carnegie Institution's NSF Award Gives Boost To Science Education AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 1 Scientists, educators, and policymakers are giving high marks to a recently announced National Science Foundation grant aimed at improving science teaching in Washington, D.C.-area elementary schools. The five-year, $3.7 million grant awarded to the Carnegie Institution, located in Washington, will be used to create a new entity: the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE). The academy will offer a series of six-week teacher-training programs combining expertise from educators and scientists to introduce to Washington-based teachers innovative methods for getting elementary students excited about science. "I'm very pleased to see that it [CASE] is happening in Washington, D.C.... I think it's important to show what this hands-on science education can do for children in Washington, where it is visible to important leaders," says Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences and a vocal proponent of science education reform. "On one hand, [CASE] is an example of the right kind of science education we need to start with in the schools, and on the other hand it's an example of the power of a partnership as a permanent resource and political force" for change in United States science education, Alberts adds. Maxine Singer, a molecular biologist and president of the Carnegie Institution, explains that she and other scientists at the institution became involved in science education because of the larger problem of science literacy in the U.S.: "When I became president in 1988, I decided that we should take some responsibility for the sad state of science teaching in American schools." Singer notes that "the problem begins in elementary school," and this is where CASE will aim its attentions. According to Alberts, "We [the science community] have a tremendous willingness to help" in the movement to improve science education, but we "haven't created a pathway" to do so. Scientists and educators involved in the CASE program say that science education partnerships can touch the lives of scientists on two levels--by contributing to the nurturing of future generations of scientists, as well as informed citizens; and more directly by contributing knowledge in their area of expertise to educators and students. For the most part, involvement by scientists entails volunteering their time and knowledge to partnerships like CASE and others across the U.S. (see accompanying story) in the form of talking with teachers and students about their work and science in general, checking the accuracy of subject matter in lessons, and sometimes helping to write curriculum. Commenting on the role scientists will play in CASE, Chuck James, coordinator of curriculum and instruction for CASE and a Washington, D.C.-based science teacher, says that it is "clear that their role is going to be one of leadership." However, Alberts adds, scientists also have knowledge to gain--CASE and projects like it "have a very beneficial effect on how the scientists themselves teach." In a larger sense, Alberts notes that projects like CASE can also contribute to improving public appreciation of science by finding convincing answers to the question: "What has the country received from all this investment [in science]?" He hopes to create more "fans of science" by encouraging researchers to become visible proponents of science in their community through volunteering in partnerships like CASE. Guidance From First Light Organizers hope to reach 50 teachers from five elementary schools in CASE's first session, slated for this summer. Singer describes the teaching methods that will be used by CASE as those that "center on the notion of trying to teach teachers how to teach science the way scientists do it, rather than the traditional way, which is by memorizing." The idea is for CASE graduates to adapt for their own classrooms what they have learned about science subject matter and teaching methods, she says. Many of these methods were developed in another Washington-area partnership program, First Light, a hands-on Saturday science class for third- through sixth-graders who attend public schools near the institution's headquarters. Volunteer scientists and teachers work with students to perform laboratory experiments and go on field trips. Margaret Jackson, a science resources teacher at Garrison Elementary School in Washington, and a First Light volunteer, says that children benefit tremendously from the interaction with researchers. "With the direct involvement by scientists, they can get an idea of how a scientist works--identifying problems, establishing hypotheses, collecting data, interpreting data, and formulating conclusions," she says. Jackson will also train CASE participants and help to coordinate science activities in CASE graduates' schools. James, who is also director of First Light, says that CASE grew out of the successes of First Light: "We saw we had a broader base of people to work with." So, James explains, Singer decided to try to directly reach teachers with the CASE venture. Core Partnership Vital The key players--scientists, students, and teachers--at First Light and other science education partnerships all benefit from the three-way interaction, supporters say. Jackson finds her experience in First Light enriching and says she gains a lot of knowledge from the scientists who volunteer. Julie McMillan, a molecular biologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and a First Light volunteer scientist, says her involvement with the program is among the most rewarding aspects of her career. "Apart from the personal rewards, it's taught me effective ways of teaching that are universally applicable," she says, referring to the hands-on approach espoused by First Light and CASE. For example, First Light participants conduct their own simple experiments to learn about physics principles, or visit the local grocery store to learn about nutrition. McMillan adds that her experiences have "had an influence on how I think about doing my experiments in the lab." She explains that students are encouraged to always ask "Why?" This exchange of questions and answers between her and the students has made her "take less for granted the basic knowledge" and assumptions underlying her work. She has also learned how to better "communicate to nonscientists without talking down to them." Mc- Millan hopes to be a volunteer for CASE, as well. Juna Wallace, a third-grade student from a Washington, D.C.-area elementary school and First Light participant for three years, values her interaction with volunteer scientists: "It's very educational for many people because it makes science fun." She says she values the knowledge that scientists bring with them to First Light: "You can get science facts ... like if you ask them a question, they can answer it and give you a tip with it." CASE also has supporters outside of the core partnership. Margaret Cozzens, a research mathe- matician and division director for elementary, secondary, and informal education (ESI) at NSF, says that CASE "is apt to show more scientists that they can actually be of some help to teachers in the schools." Specifically, CASE was successful because it paid equal attention to subject matter and pedagogical theory and because it included scientists and mathematicians as part of the project team, Cozzens says. Cozzens adds that about half of the proposals that NSF's ESI division receives are generated directly from scientists. The division solicits proposals that bring together teacher enhancement, curriculum development, and science education taking place in organizations such as community groups, schools, and museums. "Our project [CASE] is really part of a movement in the science community," Singer notes. The goal of CASE over the next five years is to train 450 teachers and form partnerships with more than one-third of Washington's public elementary schools, about 45 schools in total. However, as Singer points out, seeing a difference in students' learning and interest in science and mathematics is the primary goal. "We hope in the first year to see a difference in the classroom [of the teachers whom CASE will train] because that's the bottom line," she says. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : NEW MANUAL EMPHASIZES EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 8 Science education in the United States is in the midst of a major reform movement, scientists and educators say; it is also, some of them warn, in crisis. "We have a tremendous national problem," says Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences. "We are so far away from where we should be with regard to the seriousness with which we take children's education and the attention it gets from the whole country that we need a major change in our whole way of thinking." The producers of a new book hope to contribute to such a change of thinking by suggesting how scientists and K-12 teachers can collaborate to improve precollege science education. Recently published by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Science Education Partnerships: Manual for Scientists and K-12 Teachers is a collection of 34 articles describing ways to form partnerships among scientists, educators, and students. Specifically, Science Education Partnerships provides information on: * effective partnerships linking scientists and teachers; * work experiences for teachers and students in laboratories; * sources of funds for collaborations between teachers and scientists; * in-service programs at universities or science centers; * methods for evaluating a collaborative program; and * how to sponsor a science contest, establish a seminar series, change a science curriculum, and conduct and learn from education research. Articles offering practical information--such as a 10-step procedure for starting a partnership program--have been written by prominent scientists and science educators. According to Alberts, there is "a tremendous amount of scientists out there who are eager to help" and create change in science education, but "they don't know how to help." He says that Science Education Partnerships gives examples of how scientists can contribute to such change. The editor of the manual, Art Sussman, director of the Far West Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Science and Mathematics Education--a federally funded program located in San Francisco that coordinates educational reform efforts in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah--and past science director of the UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership, says that there are several items in the book of interest to scientists. For instance, articles outline funding sources for researchers interested in collaborating with educators and describe local science education partnership opportunities. Science Education Partnerships was produced with part of a three- year grant from the American Honda Foundation, based in Torrance, Calif., to set up the UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership. The partnership's initial aim was to produce a how- to science education booklet of about 60 pages. However, as Sussman writes in the manual, "As we became more involved in the world of partnership activities, we became aware of the many different kinds of programs and resources that universities, science centers, and businesses share with K-12 schools, teachers, and students." The result is a 244-page book that only scratches the surface of partnership success stories, says Sussman. Science Education Partnerships is available from Science Press, P.O. Box 31188, San Francisco, Calif. 94131; (415) 826-1626. --K.Y.K. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Newest Environmental Science Programs Build On A Broader Definition Of `Green' Researchers at many U.S. universities are participating in curricula that now stress hard science AU : JULIA KING TY : NEWS PG : 1 Top colleges and universities throughout the United States are responding to an unprecedented demand for environmental education programs with new undergraduate degree programs, graduate-level research opportunities, and environmental colloquia. What distinguishes most of these new programs from academia's previous environmental offerings is a high level of interdisciplinary study and a clear focus on hard science. Over the last two years, Harvard and Yale universities and even Rockefeller University, which heretofore focused almost exclusively on basic research in the life sciences, have all set up formal environment programs that cut across traditional academic department boundaries. At Yale, for instance, a two-year-old undergraduate program-- entitled Earth, Environment, and Resources--is offered through the department of geology and geophysics. Additionally, Yale's Institute for Biospheric Studies, funded with a $20 million gift from Texas billionaire and businessman Edward Bass--who also funded Biosphere 2, the controversial giant Arizona greenhouse where eight researchers lived for two years-- functions as a canopy over several other environmental studies and research programs, including the Center for the Study of Global Change, Center for Earth Observation, and Center for Computational Ecology. The proliferation of environment programs "reflects an increased awareness of environmental issues, which has accelerated over the past five to 10 years," says Jesse H. Ausubel, director of Rockefeller University's nine-month-old Program for the Human Environment. "The environment has become a mega-issue. It ranks with health, violence, and international conflict." At Harvard, the new Environmental Science and Public Policy undergraduate program, which enrolled its first students last September, is just one of several environmental initiatives under way at the school, according to William Clark, director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government and vice chairman of Harvard's University Committee on the Environment. Comprising 30 senior faculty members representing every one of the university's schools and divisions, the group functions as a steering committee on environmental teaching, research, and outreach programs. All three kinds of programs have been boosted with a $2 million grant from the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, a charitable organization set up in Copenhagen in 1991 to mark the 50th anniversary of the family business. Villum Kann Rasmussen started his eponymous company, which manufactures and sells roof windows and skylights, in 1941 in Copenhagen. In 1975, its U.S. distributor, Velux-America Inc., opened facilities in Massachusetts and, later, in South Carolina. In addition to establishing the new undergraduate program, the committee's activities have included building a distinguished lecture series on environmental topics and setting up a biannual, university-wide research program on the environment. The topic of this year's collaborative research effort is energy development in China. Scholars participating in the program hope to produce a book on their work once it is completed, Clark says. Overall, more than 170 of Harvard's tenured or tenure-track faculty members are involved in major research in the environment, he notes. Many other universities, including the University of California, Santa Barbara, have added new natural sciences-oriented tracks or study concentrations to existing undergraduate environment programs housed under a school or faculty of arts and sciences. Also under development at UC-Santa Barbara is a new graduate School of Environmental Science and Management, which will begin accepting applications in the 1994-95 academic year. Once established, this will bring to 90-plus the number of graduate programs in environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, and environmental sciences in the U.S. and Canada. Interdisciplinary Focus University-based environmental studies programs are by no means new. Some got their start as early as 1970, following the signing of the National Environmental Act, which made protection of the environment a matter of national policy. Today's programs differ from most predecessors in that they extend well beyond a single discipline or handful of environmental researchers to touch base with nearly all departments and disciplines on campus. At Harvard, for example, students are permitted to pursue a particular area of environmental studies, but only after completing a broad curriculum in biology, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, economics, government, and mathematics. In explaining this requirement, Clark notes that "the current crop of environment issues aren't addressed in their entirety from disciplinary perspectives around which the university has been organized." Across the board, educators emphasize that an interdisciplinary approach is imperative if the new environment programs are to adequately prepare young scientists to deal with this era's highly complex environmental challenges. Solutions to problems such as ozone depletion or global warming may be grounded in hard science, but they also are driven by societal, political, and economic issues, all of which environmental scientists must be equipped to tackle. "Cross-cutting may be the viable way to go because there's a green dimension to everything," says Rockefeller's Ausubel. Unpublicized Funding Sources Although Ausubel won't reveal exactly how his Rockefeller program is being funded "because it's political"--a sentiment that other environment educators echo--he does say that the interdisciplinary nature of today's environment programs has worked to attract a broad funding base, including "foundation money, some government money, and funds from industry." The problem, Ausubel explains, "is that nobody's money is considered quite clean by the public. Industry looks at private foundations as liberal do-gooders. A lot of citizens view industry with suspicion. The Department of Energy and government agencies are also looked at with suspicion. So it's best to have a balance of sources of funds." Philanthropists like Bass, meanwhile, seem to view the university as an ideal place to funnel funds for environmental research and teaching. "Yale has great strength in the basic sciences," Bass noted in presenting the university with his gift of $20 million. As such, "I am convinced that Yale has extraordinary potential to take the lead in advancing understanding of the biosphere and in refining creative approaches to environmental issues," he added. Rockefeller's relatively small environment program is home to two full-time researchers in addition to director Ausubel: a physicist concentrating on materials flows in the environment, and an applied mathematician/computer scientist whose research centers on systems modeling and the use of computational tools. Ausubel says that one of the program's main research themes is the long-term interaction of technological change with ecosystems and human health. Through seminars, workshops, and research collaborations, the program aims to "knit a community of interest and to cut across the compartments into which universities inevitably divide themselves," he says. The goal of Stanford University's Global Environment Program, part of the Institute for International Studies, is similar, according to Donald Kennedy, a biologist and former Stanford president who is now Bing Professor of Environmental Science at the institute, as well as a biology professor at the university. "The institute's role is to bring people together for collaborative research on environmental topics with international implications," Kennedy says. Research topics have included the use of herbicides in rice production in Southeast Asia and the implementation of market-based--as opposed to regulatory-- approaches to achieve environmental goals. At the undergraduate level, Stanford also offers a degree in earth systems through its earth sciences department. Students in this program have the option of taking a junior-year seminar offered through the Global Environment Program. This undergraduate seminar and research program is funded in part by a grant from the San Francisco-based Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, Kennedy notes. Currently, Kennedy says, Stanford has no immediate plans to offer graduate degrees in environmental studies through the Institute for International Affairs. For now, the focus is on putting together useful collaborations. Once that has been done, he says, the university would consider setting up a formal graduate-level program and research center. `A Broad Perspective' The interdisciplinary approach is one that is being repeated throughout virtually all of the new environment programs, according to Thomas F. Malone, director of the Sigma Xi Center--a study branch of the honorary science society Sigma Xi--which sponsored a 1992 University Colloquium on Environmental Research and Education that was attended by representatives of more than 50 academic institutions. What's driving this approach is "the increasing interdependence of the world," Malone says. "We humans compartmentalize things, but the environment doesn't care about scientists or nonscientists or politics or economics," notes UC-Santa Barbara physicist and environmental studies professor Mel Manalis. "We need to produce people with a broad perspective." Still, to offset the risk of creating students who know only a little bit about everything, including science, today's interdisciplinary environment programs also are placing a much stronger emphasis than ever before on chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. "The route we've taken is that whether you're working in a technical area, [in] law, or at a nongovernmental organization, a firm grounding in the sciences matters a lot," says Harvard's Clark. "People coming out of the [new undergraduate] program could go on to a graduate program in earth and environmental sciences, and they will have had chemistry for chemists and physics for physicists, not chemistry and physics for poets," Clark says. According to UC-Santa Barbara's Manalis, it's especially critical to educate liberal arts students in environmental programs in the hard sciences "because it's these people who often turn out to be the movers and shakers in environmental policy." Grounding an environment program in a thorough course of study in the natural sciences also works to lend it more credibility, according to Karl Turekian, a geology professor and director of Yale's Center for the Study of Global Change. "The reason Yale created the Earth, Environment, and Resources program in the department of geology and geophysics was to give a hard science bias to environmental study," Turekian says. Job Opportunities About 50 percent of students currently enrolled at Yale's geology and geophysics department are pursuing a bachelor of arts degree under the Earth, Environment, and Resources program. From there, Turekian says, most will go to medical school, law school, or a professional school. "People who take the environment track do so because that's where they figure the jobs are going to be," says Turekian. "It's not because they're all altruistic. They know they're not going to find oil anymore." All in all, educators foresee a growth in job opportunities for program graduates, especially as environmental issues continue to move up higher on the national and global economic and sociopolitical agendas. Indeed, if the employment picture tracks that for environmental engineers, there could well be a shortfall of environmental scientists, some say. An estimate by Kenneth Noll, chairman of the Illinois Institute of Technology's Pritzker Department of Environmental Engineering, pegs the current annual shortfall of environmental engineers at about 3,000, for example. Moreover, Rockefeller's Ausubel notes that over the last two years, he has received many more queries from institutions looking to hire high-level environmental researchers than inquiries from candidates seeking jobs. "In a period when the job market is generally depressed, I've had an awful lot of calls from people wanting to hire," he says. "People do not call for a midlevel person to work at an [Environmental Protection Agency] lab, but for people at the high end of the market," he notes. "I'm not aware of any unemployed first-rate people or first-rate graduates." Julia King is a freelance writer based in Ridley Park, Pa. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ----------------------------------------------------------- TI : Report: Gender, Ethnic Diversity Coming Slowly To Science AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : NEWS PG : 3 The latest analysis of the composition of the United States work force by the Washington, D.C.-based Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST) shows that the number of women and minorities in science and technology is increasing, albeit slowly. The commission, a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to collect, analyze, and disseminate reliable information about human resources in the sciences and technology, released its findings in a book titled Professional Women and Minorities: A Total Human Resources Data Compendium, published in January. The statistical compendium shows that a significant number of women are getting higher educational degrees (54 percent of bachelor's and master's degrees in all fields in 1991 were obtained by women), but are still represented relatively poorly in the natural sciences and engineering, compared with their male counterparts, earning between 22 percent and 31 percent of the degrees conferred at the various levels (bachelor's, mas-ter's, and Ph.D.). In the U.S. labor force, too, women's representation among professionals is on the rise, accounting for a very high percentage among psychologists and economists employed, the report found. A majority (87 percent) of the employees in health-related fields, such as nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists, are also women. However, women constitute only about 10 percent of those employed in engineering and the physical sciences professions (see accompanying chart). In academia, women made up about 22 percent of the total science faculty. "More women are getting better prepared [educated]," says Eleanor Babco, associate director of CPST, adding that this is not necessarily reflected immediately in the overall employment picture. "Adding even 10,000 [women] to a base population of 3 million [total employees in the work force] will not change the proportion significantly." "While these tables show the success of attraction strategies," says Catherine Didion, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Association for Women in Science (AWIS), referring to efforts to draw more women toward studying science, "[employers] still need to work on retention strategies." The exit rates, excluding retirement, for women from careers in science and engineering were twice as high as those of men in the seven-year period between 1982 and 1989, according to a 1992 report prepared for the New York City-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation by Anne E. Preston, a professor of economics at the Harriman School for Management and Policy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. "Keeping the people in; that is the sticky part," says Didion. "This is where the need for systemic changes becomes obvious." A membership survey conducted by AWIS in 1992 (J. Hart, AWIS Magazine, 23:14, January/February 1994) reveals that members' most pressing concerns include inequity in pay and tenure for women vs. men (according to the CPST data compendium, only half of women faculty are tenured, compared with 73 percent of the men), as well as child-care and family-leave issues. "A lot of these issues are marginalized as `women's' issues," says Didion, "but we are kidding ourselves if we think everyone does not have to deal with them. It is in the interest of the employers to address them." The CPST compendium notes that the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the United States is Hispanics, constituting about 9.5 percent of the total population, according to census data. However, statistics for 1991 show that they made up only about 3 percent of total 1991 college graduates, with roughly similar graduation rates in the sciences and engineering. "This is a very low representation," says Orlando Gutierrez, national president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), a member society of CPST. "On the positive side, though, we have seen an increase from 2.5 percent to 3 percent--that is, a 20 percent increase--in the past five years among engineering graduates." Gutierrez, a retired engineer who worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C., for three decades, says that the key to better representation is to provide better motivation and training from the pre-collegiate level on. "SHPE has several programs in place to prepare students early on by providing them with mentors and role models to prevent early college dropout," he says. "College dropout rates are highest in the freshman and sophomore years. Networking is proving to have good results. Student members of the college chapters of SHPE show a much higher graduation rate--70 percent in the past five years--than [Hispanic] students who are not members." Raul Alvarado, Jr., an aerospace engineer with McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corp. in Huntington Beach, Calif., and chairman of the Los Angeles-based SHPE Foundation, whose function is to raise funds for supporting student members via scholarships, feels that the 3 percent graduation figure "... may be a little conservative." "Quality is the real key," says Alvarado, stating that the working Hispanic population demonstrates a high level of competence. "Our goal is to motivate more students to get their Ph.D.'s," says Gutierrez, adding that Hispanic representation is particularly low in academia. The compendium shows, however, that more Hispanic Americans are getting doctoral degrees, reaching a total of 755 in 1992; 147 of these were in science subjects and 58 were engineering Ph.D.'s. Statistics also show that increasing numbers of Ph.D.'s in the sciences are awarded to foreign nationals, from 31 percent of the total in 1991 to 39 percent in 1992. These statistics are compiled in more than 300 charts and tables in Professional Women and Minorities. "The big thing is that we have been able to use all the census data from 1990, which gives us a better idea of what the population is looking like," says Babco. For information on how to obtain the compendium, contact CPST, 1500 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 831, Washington D.C. 20005; (202) 223-6995. Fax: (202)-223-6444. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: NOTEBOOK ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Probe Of Stewart And Feder Transfer TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) announced February 14 that the General Accounting Office had agreed to undertake an investigation of the April 1993 forced reassignments of Walter Stewart and Ned Feder at the National Institutes of Health. The internal personnel transfer effectively ended the pair's long- standing but controversial scientific misconduct investigations at NIH. Their offices, containing confidential files on many cases of potential misconduct, have been sealed since the transfer. In September 1993, Grassley and Sen. William Cohen (R- Maine) asked for a GAO investigation of the action against Stewart and Feder as a possible violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, of which the two senators were cosponsors. "I believe it is vital that those who reveal waste and fraud of taxpayer money be protected from reprisal," Grassley said in a statement. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Going To The Source TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 As readers of The Scientist's Jan. 24, 1994, issue learned, National Science Foundation director Neal Lane recognizes that women are "underrepresented" in science. He expressed his feelings on page 12 of that issue in a commentary titled "Women In Science: Much Has Been Accomplished, But Much Remains To Be Done." Lane called on members of the science, math, and engineering community "to accelerate progress to provide women the same opportunities as men," and invited readers to share with him any ideas on this issue by writing to him at: NSF, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22230. Now, Lane has established an ad hoc E-mail address dedicated to receiving suggestions on improving the status of women in science. Readers are invited to submit their ideas to Lane at the following address: eowomen@nsf.gov. This direct link will be in effect until mid-August. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : NIH AIDS Office Head Named TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 On February 16, National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus named a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) immunologist, William E. Paul, to head the Office of AIDS Research (OAR). Paul was a member of the search committee for the position until other committee members prevailed upon him to consider the post himself. He will oversee an OAR newly consolidated by the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993. Under that law, OAR will directly control the $1.3 billion in AIDS funding for all of the NIH institutes, including a $100 million discretionary research fund. The 1993 legislation also removed OAR from the jurisdiction of Paul's former boss, NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci, who had originally created a less- powerful version of OAR in 1988. AIDS activists say they are pleased with the appointment, but will be watching closely to see how the Paul-Fauci relationship develops. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Does It Pay To Advertise? TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Launched last November and running through this coming May, a celebratory series of lectures, seminars, and symposia at New York City's Rockefeller University honors three scientists-- Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty. As noted in the Feb. 21, 1994, issue of The Scientist (J. Lederberg, page 11), this year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication by this trio of a research report that, essentially, showed that genes are made of DNA ("Studies on the chemical nature of the substance inducing transformation of pneumococcal types," Journal of Experimental Medicine, 79:137-58, Feb. 1, 1944). According to many scientists intimately acquainted with the team's achievements, it is a disappointing footnote to the history of 20th-century genetics that Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty were never awarded the Nobel Prize--despite their reputation for having provided the gateway to modern biomedical research. At one of the celebratory events last month, Nobel Prize-winning molecular virologist Alfred Hershey posed a relatively simple explanation for the team's regrettable underrecognition; in so doing, Hershey may have delivered a subtle message to those of today's scientists who consider self-promotion a vice: "If their work did not have a more immediate impact," Hershey said of the Avery team, "it was due to their modesty. They refused to advertise." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Scents And Sensibility TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Researchers at the University of Washington's Center for Process Analytical Chemistry (CPAC) have fashioned a device to detect odors--especially bad ones, indicating spoilage--in foods during their processing. The artificial "nose" consists of four quartz crystals, each coated with a polymer film sensor to selectively bind molecules belonging to four distinct aroma groups. The molecules cause changes in the surface properties (temperature or mass) of the crystals, which in turn affect the frequency and speed of sound waves vibrating in the crystal. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Information Freebie TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Searching for information on the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) AIDS-related databases is now free. This change in policy is a direct result of recommendations made at the National Institutes of Health HIV/AIDS Information Services Conference last June, where attendees said that fees were inhibiting their access to information. Four databases are affected: AIDSLINE, with 90,000 references in journals, books, audiovisuals, and conference abstracts; AIDSTRIALS, containing information on 500 clinical trials of drugs and vaccines; AIDSDRUGS, which lists 190 agents tested in clinical trials; and DIRLINE, with information on 15,000 organizations and information services that provide HIV/AIDS and health-related information to the public. For more information, contact Robert Mehnert, Office of Public Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 20894; (301) 496-6308. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Law Enforcement's Other `Bug' TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Forensic experts may be able to use insects in determining the geographic location of a murder. Alexis Byrne, a biochemistry major in her senior year at the University of Georgia, Athens, has shown that the biochemical composition of an insect's cuticle--the creatures' hard-shell outer covering--can give valuable information regarding the type of area it normally inhabits. As insects are among the first living things to discover and infiltrate a dead body, Byrne and Karl Espelie, a professor of entomology at Georgia, speculate that it would be possible to determine whether a dead body was moved from the original scene of the crime by investigating the insects associated with it. Byrne, who conducted this research as part of her senior project under Espelie's guidance, was awarded the President's Prize at a research presentation competition sponsored by the Entomological Society of America. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: OPINION ---------------------------------------------------------- TI : Education Partnerships Foster Students' Science Literacy AU : ART SUSSMAN TY : OPINION PG : 11 Scholarly reports and headlines in the popular press continue sounding the alarm: United States students, compared with students of other nations, perform at mediocre to abysmal levels in science and mathematics. We see evidence of this deficiency in our classrooms, work settings, and social interactions. Today's high school graduates, generally speaking, do not understand basic science concepts, have no interest in pursuing scientific careers, and have numerous misconceptions about and mistrust toward scientists and scientific institutions. To help remedy this situation, many scientists these days are taking time to share their world--and themselves--with teachers and students from kindergarten through high school. These scientists have a variety of motives: Some simply want to provide assistance in response to a pressing need; they are expressing a concern for providing the next generation of scientists and technicians. Others are seeking a way to reciprocate for the mentoring and programs that inspired them as students. Still others have a professional motivation; they want to help create an educated citizenry that understands the need for funding basic research, expanding laboratory facilities, and taking well-informed positions on such volatile issues as the use of animals in research. Meanwhile, government policy- makers, in calling for reforms in science education, often cite national economic interests--the need for a scientifically literate and mathematically empowered work force to compete in the global marketplace. I prefer to emphasize that all members of our society need to be scientifically literate for their own well-being and for the health of our society. Our democracy depends on the ability of citizens to solve problems, address technical issues, and make wise choices for themselves, their country, and the planet. Maximizing The Benefits How can scientists provide the most valuable services to the precollege education community? The simplest way is to personally participate in these partnerships--to volunteer in a school, perhaps one that their children attend or one that is close to home or work. Another effective way is for scientists to help form ongoing partnerships between the local school systems and their colleges, universities, or companies. As increasing numbers of scientists, universities, and businesses have become involved in such partnerships, questions have been raised about how to maximize the benefits they provide. A hopeful sign in this regard is the current emergence of a national consensus concerning the kinds of reforms that are needed in precollege science education. Publications from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), preliminary science education standards from the National Academy of Sciences, and state guides such as the California Science Framework for Public Schools all describe mutually supportive guiding principles for reforming science education. To be most effective, science education partnerships should align themselves with this consensus; the scientists, universities, and businesses involved will thus be addressing the same issues in similar ways, and the resulting partnerships will be far better able to provide the kinds of services that schools need. The pertinent issues have to do with new models of curriculum content and pedagogy; different ways of finding out what students know and have learned; and realistic appraisals of the additional training and support that teachers need. Changing Roles The science education reform movement has several key features. Perhaps most important, it aims to reach all students. Science is not a subject that is reserved for an elite group of white males. Everybody should be able to enjoy and succeed in science. Thus, the need to reach all citizens is particularly important when it comes to those groups that are underrepresented in science. In this respect, reform particularly must seek to correct current gross inequities suffered by ethnic minorities and females-- inequities that reflect deficiencies in our educational system as well as our society. The reform framework also calls for a radical change in the roles of the student and the teacher. The term "constructivism" is often used to describe the new approach. The students construct their own meaning as they individually integrate new learning experiences with their prior conceptions. The teacher, meanwhile, does not lecture, merely pouring information into an empty vessel; rather, the teacher provides an environment in which students directly experience rich situations and then, often working in cooperative groups, utilize higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills to relate problems directly to their own lives--and thus, make sense of the real world. Excellence and equity go hand in hand. Many of the reform changes--such as replacing lessons that emphasize lecture and vocabulary with active student exploration--increase the success rate for underrepresented groups. Radical reform in science education also necessitates radical change in the nature of schools and the teaching profession. As things now stand, teachers have low status in the community; are often poorly trained to do the job that the modern world requires; lack essential equipment, supplies, and preparation time; do not have the power to make the changes that are needed in their workplace; and are isolated from each other and from the adult world. Science education partnerships can be of great help here. Scientists can provide expertise in content knowledge, helping teachers to focus lessons on the important concepts and increasing teachers' knowledge base. They can also help relate the classroom experiences to today's world of research and make the direct connections between the lessons and students' lives. They can provide these services by running workshops for teachers, participating in classroom lessons and laboratory activities, judging student science contests, and working with curriculum developers. When successful scientists regard and treat classroom educators as equals, their efforts combat teacher isolation and help promote the teacher's standing within the community. Many science education partnerships bring the richness of the scientific world directly into the classroom for students to experience scientists as normal human beings and scientific issues as relevant to them and within their grasp. An additional advantage is gained when female and ethnic minority role models take part and thereby serve as living proof that the technical and scientific professions can be open to all. Systemic Reform Today's science education partnerships are beginning to effectively weave together the different strands of the science reform movement. Earlier reform efforts tended to emphasize just one aspect of the problem--inadequate textbooks, for example, or inappropriate examination formats--and believed that correcting that single aspect would remedy science education in general. The better partnerships today, however, recognize the many dimensions of the current situation that need to be addressed simultaneously. Teachers need instruction in new content and skills, lessons and materials that embody the new philosophy, samples of and training in alternative assessment tools, and support in the school and the community--or else the vast inertia of the existing school culture will doom all efforts toward improvement. "Systemic reform" or "systemic change" is the currently used term for this kind of integrated, comprehensive, and radical change. In addition to projects at the local level, the systemic change movement has a national and a state policy component. One articulation of the systemic reform model emphasizes the description of a vision of excellence in the form of standards. Three panels under the aegis of the National Research Council (NRC) are currently developing national science education standards in the areas of curriculum, assessment, and teaching. The science curriculum standards will define what students should know and be able to do in science at different grade levels. These standards will provide a broad view of the content and processes that students should master. Scientific skills in observing, reasoning, investigating, and problem-solving will be at least as important as the content knowledge base. The standards will also call for students to have the skills and desire to apply their knowledge outside the classroom. Measuring Up Assessment is the tool that is supposed to inform us if we are going in the right direction, if we are achieving the outcomes that we desire. Assessment plays important roles at the daily classroom level by teachers as well as at the school, state, and national levels. In addition to being a diagnostic tool, assessment very directly tells students, teachers, and parents what the education system thinks is important. All too often, teachers and students alike focus their efforts on "the test." But if we truly want the entire educational community to place a high value on hands-on experiences and higher-order thinking skills, we sabotage our efforts if we grade students on multiple-choice exams that primarily reward them for memorizing vocabulary and isolated facts. The new science assessment standards will define protocols for gauging stu-dents' accomplishments in ways that are valid and that reinforce the learning outcomes that we desire. The teacher is the key to effective science reform. All the other pieces can be in place, but the reform movement will fail if classroom instructors do not have satisfactory training, knowledge, and support systems. Science teaching standards will define the skills and knowledge that teachers will need as well as the necessary components of professional training programs for certifying beginning teachers and providing essential staff development for existing teachers. The new teaching standards will also define the support systems and resources that need to be in place at a school. How can these national standards help effect dramatic change at the local level? Informally, they can provide powerful support that reform advocates can use with school boards and education administrators at state, county, and individual- site levels. On a more formalized state level, most states traditionally adopt science curriculum frameworks that describe the parameters for science education. These documents vary in their scope and authority, but they can have great influence on classroom teaching. Many states are already revising existing science curriculum frameworks so they embody new standards such as those emerging from NRC or AAAS's Project 2601 education program. Two-Way Streets Partnerships can play a vital role in translating these standards, frameworks, and assessments from the realm of abstract principles to the world of actual classroom practice. Science education partnerships are a very flexible tool for bringing rich scientific resources into the hands and minds of teachers and students. In addition, the scientists who participate in these programs can then contribute much more meaningfully to the continuing efforts to define and implement a truly effective science education system. The committees developing the standards, frameworks, and assessment methods include scientists who have some real knowledge of elementary and secondary schools because they have actually worked inside classrooms and side by side with teachers as a result of partnership programs (see story on page 8). A true partnership is a two-way street--not a unidirectional flow of services from a science-rich institution to needy schools. In the most successful partnerships, colleges and universities also benefit greatly from interactions with their precollege partners. For example, professors who volunteer in schools often report that the experience markedly changes their approaches to undergraduate education, challenging them to move away from lecture formats to more effective interactive approaches. They also can learn from their experiences with precollege reform to make their own assessment instruments more authentic. We still have a long way to go in helping our K-12 students attain world-class standards of achievement. There are many systemic barriers in all of our institutions. Just getting the different departments within a university or within a school system to collaborate often can be a daunting task. Yet, when we experience the enthusiasm of teachers, scientists, and students who have participated in science partnership activities, we feel justified and well rewarded for our efforts. Art Sussman is the director of the Far West Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Science and Mathematics Education, serving Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. He also is the editor of Science Education Partnerships: Manual for Scientists and K-12 Teachers, published by Science Press, P.O. Box 31188, San Francisco, Calif. 94131. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: COMMENTARY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : The Clinton Administration's Mixed Messages On Biomedical Research And Innovation AU : JOHN CLYMER TY : OPINION (COMMENTARY) PG : 12 Do Bill Clinton and the leaders of his health-care reform task force share the same goals? Compare the rhetoric in the president's State of the Union address in January with the Health Security Plan produced by the White House and you'll see big discrepancies on the subject of medical innovation. In his eloquent speech, the president said reform should "strengthen what is good about our health-care system--the world's best health-care professionals, cutting edge research, and wonderful research institutions." I agree. The United States is the world leader in biomedical research and innovation. At a breathtaking pace, our scientists and laboratories produce new drugs, medical devices, and surgical techniques that prolong and improve human life and reduce the cost of health care. When these new drugs, devices, and techniques enable people to remain productive instead of becoming disabled, our country's economic well- being improves; and when these same innovations replace older, more costly treatments, quality health care becomes more affordable for all. Unfortunately, many suggested health-care "reforms" would diminish medical innovation. Some policymakers, including the White House health-care task force, have recommended de facto price controls on breakthrough drugs. However, economists--liberals and conservatives alike--agree that price controls don't work. When government limits prices by fiat, producers supply less of the affected goods and services. Remember the gas shortage and blocks-long lines of cars leading to gas stations in the late 1970s? That illustrates how price controls work; it was decontrol of gas prices that eventually eased the shortage. Despite quantum leaps in technology, the search for new cures and therapies is still a risky, trial-and-error process. Development of just one new drug may require the testing of 5,000 compounds, and all these tests cost a lot of money: According to Congress' Office of Technology Assessment, developing a new drug costs a company, on average, about $359 million before taxes--about $194 million after the company takes advantage of tax breaks associated with its R&D. And it takes years to move a drug from the drawing board, through clinical tests, then government approval, to market. The companies--pharmaceuticals, biotechs, equipment manufacturers--that produce medical innovations pour billions of dollars into research and development annually. To induce investors to risk so much capital requires the possibility of reasonable profits. Price controls sharply limit profit potential and scare investors away from the "cutting-edge research" President Clinton praised in his speech. Kirk Raab, chief executive of Genentech Inc., says that, if the government imposes price controls, "my board of directors is not going to be very enthusiastic about my spending a lot of money on research on an AIDS vaccine." That investors are sensitive to regulatory changes is clear from the fact that the mere mention of drug price controls has cut the market valuation of pharmaceutical and biotechnology stocks by $120 billion. If you don't think private investment in biomedical research matters, consider this. In 1993, America's pharmaceutical companies invested $12.6 billion on R&D. That's 41 percent more than the entire budget of the National Institutes of Health. Biotechnology companies spent an additional $5 billion on R&D. Medical and surgical instrument makers and other innovators invested billions more. New, improved medical technologies enable people to live longer, healthier lives. New surgical techniques reduce pain, shorten patients' hospital stays, and speed their recovery. Fewer, shorter hospitalizations, less need for surgery, and other benefits of medical innovation reduce the cost of health care. The president is right to want "to strengthen what is good about our health-care system," namely, research. I hope the rest of his team paid attention to his declaration. So far, the evidence suggests they didn't. John M. Clymer is vice president of Americans for Medical Progress, an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public, the media, and policymakers about biomedical research. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: LETTERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Animals In Research AU : ODETTE GROSZ TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 In reference to your Nov. 15, 1993, article "Animal Rights Movement Threatens Progress Of U.S. Medical Research" (D. Hubel, page 11): I take issue with the statement that "The use of animals in research is closely regulated by local, state, and federal committees...." This is not a fact. The Animal Welfare Act is seldom enforced and at best only when forced by the animal rights movement. Anesthesia and analgesia are not the rule; in fact, in most forms of research they are the exception. If the experimenter chooses not to use painkillers, they are not required. Most experimenters choose not to use the anesthesia and analgesia to cut expenses. Hubel states: "A student in a few hours at the library can come up with a long list of medical successes resulting from animal research ...." A student in a few hours at the library can come up with just as long a list of medical mistakes resulting from animal research. ODETTE GROSZ New Orleans, La. 70124-4029 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ANIMALS IN RESEARCH AU : SUE LUNSON FARINATO TY : OPINION (LETTERS PG : 12 Regarding David Hubel's article on animal experimentation, it is not true that "most states make the use of pound animals for research and teaching purposes illegal." Only 14 states have outlawed pound seizure, with the remaining states leaving it to local authorities to determine the fate of animals in public pounds. Five states actually require that public pound animals be turned over to experimenters: Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah. The use of animals in experiments is not closely regulated by local, state, and federal committees. The Animal Welfare Act pertains mainly to space, shelter, food, water, and cleanliness in laboratories. It does not protect animals in experiments. In fact, the administration of painkillers can be waived if an experimenter feels it might conflict with the experiment. In 1985, the United States General Accounting Office reported that many laboratories were not inspected at all, including 51.7 percent of the labs in California and 48.7 percent of the labs in New York state, homes to the highest number of research facilities. As for local and state anticruelty regulations, I am not aware of even one example when these laws restricted an experimenter in the treatment of an animal in a laboratory. Some of the best medical schools in the U.S. today offer no animal experimentation laboratories at all. Medical schools at Yale, George Washington, Georgetown, Michigan State, Northwestern, and New York universities have all found it cheaper and more efficient to teach basic physiological concepts using entirely nonanimal methods. SUE LUNSON FARINATO Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : SSC Shutdown AU : STEPHEN B. CHRISTENSEN TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 Leon Lederman (The Scientist, Nov. 29, 1993, page 12) apparently feels that anyone who didn't support the superconducting supercollider (SSC) lacked the "reasonable science savvy" to "vote correctly" on the matter. This sounds like the tired old argument: "You must not understand the issue or you would agree with me." No one is going to argue that the knowledge the SSC could provide is not worth obtaining. But just because something is worth doing does not mean that it is worth doing at any cost. Why isn't it reasonable to consider what else could be done with those billions of public dolars? Yes, it would be nice to support particle physics, but what about cancer research, or the fight against crime? Just because I apply a cost-benefit analysis to the question of how to spend our limited tax dollars and come up with a different answer from Lederman's should not brand me as scientifically illiterate. Perhaps the fact that he feels it does shows that it may be the scientists who are out of touch--not the politicians. STEPHEN B. CHRISTENSEN Dow North America Midland, Mich. 48667 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 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: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com THE SCIENTIST welcomes letters from its readers. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. If you wish to have raders of THE SCIENTIST communicate with you electronically, please include an e-mail address and indicate that it is for publication. ===================================== NEXT: RESEARCH --------------------------------------------------------- TI : Citation Analysis Reveals Organic Chemistry's Most Active Research Editor's Note: In its July-August 1993 issue (4[7]:7-8, 1993), the newsletter Science Watch, published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia, reported on its most recent examination of publishing productivity in the field of organic chemistry. Using information from ISI's Science Indicators database, Science Watch listed the most- referenced papers in organic chemistry--a subdiscipline of chemistry that employs a substantial number of research chemists--for the years 1988 to 1991. Following is Science Watch's report, written for the newsletter by John Emsley, who is a science writer in residence at the department of chemistry, Imperial College, London. The article is reprinted here with permission of Science Watch and ISI. TY : RESEARCH PG : 15 In alternating issues, Science Watch reviews the top 10 most-cited papers in chemistry. For more than two years the lists have been dominated by fullerene papers, sometimes exclusively so, with only an occasional paper on organic chemistry making the grade. This is rather odd, because most chemists who are engaged in chemical research are using organic chemistry. Rather than wait for the flood tide of fullerene citations to ebb, Science Watch decided to look beneath the waves and see what pearls of organic chemistry are lying unnoticed. We have combed the ISI lists of highly cited papers for the years 1988 through 1991, specifically seeking those that cover organic topics. The three top-cited papers for each year are listed in the accompanying table. In drawing up the list, I considered only primary research papers and not reviews, which by their very nature collect many citations. Having carried out the citations exercise in organic chemistry, we then needed to check if the topics being cited most really were the hot areas of organic chemistry. I consulted one of Britain's leading organic chemists, Steve Ley of the University of Cambridge, and asked what he regarded as the active areas of organic chemistry at present. His reply was immediate and reassuring: asymmetric synthesis methods, catalytic antibodies, enediynes, taxol, and immunosuppressants, such as rapamycin. The subjects in the table cover three of these current hot topics. Jumping JACS The papers featured in the list are from well-known organic chemists: K.B. Sharpless, C.-H. Wong, D.A. Evans, E.J. Corey, D.P. Curran, E. Negishi, P.B. Dervan, R. Noyori, and S.L. Schreiber. Their publications are, for the most part, short communications in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, which attests to the continuing dominance of this primary journal. Asymmetric synthesis accounts for more than half of the subjects in the table, and drug-related research most of the remainder. Two names appear twice: K. Barry Sharpless, formerly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and David A. Evans of Harvard University, the former in the top three for 1988 and 1989, the latter in 1988 and 1991. Not all the articles are short communications; witness the 1988 paper on asymmetric synthesis by Evans and colleagues. This runs to 19 pages, of which 10 are devoted to experimental details. His 1991 paper, on the other hand, is less than two pages long. The first of the Evans papers deals with a variant of the Diels-Alder reaction, which was discovered more than 60 years ago as a useful method of synthesis starting with a diene and ending with a cyclic compound. Evans reports that unsaturated N-oxazolidinones make very versatile Diels-Alder reagents. (The oxazolidine ring is five-membered, with a nitrogen and oxygen atom separated by carbon.) These chiral compounds, with various substituents attached to the nitrogen, have several advantages: They are easy to make and are often crystalline; they are highly reactive; and, most important of all, they are diastereoselective, in many cases giving yields of more than 99 percent of the endo isomer. Clearly the significance of Evans's discovery was not lost on others in the field, hence the frequency of citations. His 1991 paper is also devoted to asymmetric synthesis using bis(oxazolines) in which two of these five-membered rings are directly linked, or joined through an intervening carbon. These compounds are used in the form of Cu(I) complexes to catalyze the conversion of styrene to a mixture of cis and trans cyclopropane molecules, again with a marked preference for one of the forms. And what of the future? What topics might we see heading a list of the most-cited papers in organic chemistry in four years' time? For a glimpse into the crystal ball I turned to 41-year-old Tony Barrett, holder of the newly created Glaxo Chair of Chemistry at Imperial College, London. The three topics he thought might be found on such a list were catalytic asymmetric synthesis; non-linear optical materials; and "smart" polymers. Would-be chemistry stars, please note. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : MOST-CITED PAPERS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 1988-91 TY : RESEARCH PG : 15 Rank 1988 Total Citations 1 E.N. Jacobsen, I. Marko, W.S. Mungall, G. 154 Schroder, K.B. Sharpless, "Asymmetric dihydroxylation via ligand-accelerated catalysis," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 110:1968-70, 1988. 2 Y.-F. Wang, J.J. Lalonde. M. Momongan, D.E. 131 Bergbreiter, C.-H. Wong, "Lipase-catalyzed irreversible transesterifications using enol esters as acylating reagents: Preparative enantio- and regioselective syntheses of alcohols, glycerol derivatives, sugars, and Organometallics," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 110:7200-5, 1988. 3 D.A. Evans, K.T. Chapman, J. Bisaha, 113 "Asymmetric 113 Diels-Alder cycloaddition reactions with chiral a, b-unsaturated N- acyloxazolidinones," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 110:1238-56, 1988. 1989 1 E.J. Corey, R. Imwinkelried, S. Pikul, Y.B. 118 Xiang, "Practical 118 enantioselective Diels-Alder and aldol reactions using a new chiral controller system," J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 111:5493-5, 1989. 2 J.S.M. Wai, I. Mark", J.S. Svendsen, M.G. 89 Finn, E.N. Jacobsen, K.B. Sharpless, "A mechanistic insight leads to a greatly improved osmium-catalyzed asymmetric dihydroxylation process," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 111:1123-5, 1989. 3 D.P. Curran, C.-T. Chang, "Atom transfer 88 cyclization reactions of a-iodo esters, ketones, and malonates: Examples of selective 5-Exo, 6-Endo, 6-Exo, and 7-Endo ring closures," Journal of Organic Chemistry, 54:3140-57, 1989. 1990 1 E. Negishi, S.J. Holmes, J.M. Tour, J.A. Miller, 72 F.E. Cederbaum, D.R. Swanson, T. Takahashi, "Metal-promoted cyclization. 19. Novel bicyclization of enynes and diynes promoted by zirconocene derivatives and conversion of zirconabicycles into bicyclic enones via carbonylation," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 111:3336-46, 1989.* 2 M. Konishi, H. Ohkuma, T. Tsuno, T. Oki, G.D. 53 VanDuyne, J. Clardy, "Crystal and molecular structure of dynemicin-A: a novel 1,5-Diyn-3- ene antitumor antibiotic," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 112:3715-6, 1990. 3 D.A. Horne, P.B. Dervan, "Recognition of 53 mixed-sequence duplex DNA by alternate-strand triple-helix formation," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 112:2435-7, 1990. 1991 1 D.A. Evans, K.A. Woerpel, M.M. Hinman, M.M. 51 Faul, "Bis(oxazolines) as chiral ligands in metal-catalyzed asymmetric reactions: Catalytic, asymmetric cyclopropanation of olefins," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 113:726-8, 1991. 2 R. Noyori, M. Kitamura, "Enantioselective 50 addition of organometallic reagents to carbonyl compounds: Chirality transfer, multiplication, a and amplification," Angewandte Chemie- International Edition in English, 30:46-9, 1991. 3 H. Fretz, M.W. Albers, A. Galat, R.F. 43 Standaert, W.S. Lane, S.J. Burakoff, B.E. Bierer, S.L. Schreiber, "Rapamycin and FK506 binding proteins (immunophilins)," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 113:1409-11, 1991. *Article appeared late in 1989 and was not cited until 1990. ~Source: ISI's Science Indicators Database, 1988-92. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: HOT PAPERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : IMMUNOLOGY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 J.G. Bodmer, S.G.E. Marsh, E.D. Albert, W.F. Bodmer, B. Dupont, H.A. Erlich, B. Mach, W.R. Mayr, P. Parham, T. Sasazuki, G.M.Th. Schreuder, J.L. Strominger, A. Svej-gaard, P.I. Terasaki, "Nomenclature for factors of the HLA system, 1991," Tissue Antigens, 39:161-73, 1992. Julia G. Bodmer (Tissue Antigen Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London): "`The dull catalogue of common things.' These words of the 19th-century English poet John Keats would sound like an apt description of a nomenclature report. Yet for the second time in three years an HLA nomenclature report has been selected as a hot paper (see Hot Papers, The Scientist, March 18, 1991, page 15). To draw an analogy, the columns of figures in a company report look utterly boring to the uninitiated, but to the cognoscenti they tell the story of the company as enthrallingly as any thriller. Thus it is with nomenclature reports. In the dry tables and lists of names of new genes and alleles we can trace the progress of the field. "The acceleration of progress can be measured by the number of new genes and alleles identified since the last report-- 35 genes and 275 alleles, compared with 23 genes and 188 alleles between the previous two reports. This, of course, reflects the technological advances that have occurred in this period, making it easier to sequence genes and attracting many more laboratories. There are now 119 laboratories that have submitted sequences for naming. "However, when the genes so far recognized and named are placed on the map of the p region of chromosome 6 (J. Trowsdale and R.D. Campbell, Immunology Today, 14:349-52, 1993), we see that there are still gaps in which it is reasonable to presume there will be many more genes to be identified and, of course, named. Furthermore, for many of the well-established genes, increasing numbers of alleles are being recognized. If theories that relatively rapid evolution of polymorphism is still taking place--as, for example, in the American Indians--are correct, we may not in the foreseeable future get to the end of identifying and naming genes and alleles in the HLA region. It follows that the more rapidly new genes and alleles are identified, the more essential it is to keep the nomenclature up to date. Thus we must--and apparently from the number of quotations of the report we do--treat nomenclature reports not just as necessary paperwork but as life-saving marine charts, without which we would all be on the rocks." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CELL BIOLOGY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 S.M. Thomas, M. DeMarco, G. D'Arcangelo, S. Halegoua, J.S. Brugge, "Ras is essential for nerve growth factor- and phorbol ester-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP kinases," Cell, 68:1031-40, 1992. Joan S. Brugge (Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cambridge, Mass.): "Growth factor activation of receptor protein tyrosine kinases induces tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP kinases (MAPKs). MAPKs have been referred to as `switch' kinases, since they are activated by tyrosine phosphorylation but function as serine/threonine kinases. Our studies demonstrated that phosphorylation of MAPKs could be distinguished from other nerve growth factor (NGF)- induced tyrosine phosphorylation events by its dependence on Ras (smGTP binding protein). "Tyrosine phosphorylation of MAPKs was inhibited in NGF- treated PC12 cells expressing a dominant-interfering vari- ant of Ras and stimulated in cells expressing oncogenic Ras. These results indicated that the tyrosine kinase re- sponsible for MAPK phosphorylation acts downstream from Ras, placing Ras between the NGF receptor and MAPK (see A below). During the last year, a concerted effort by many laboratories has resulted in the identification of the cellular proteins that couple growth factor receptors and MAPKs through Ras (see B below). "Activated receptors bind to Shc, a PTK substrate, and/or Grb-2. Grb-2 interacts with SOS, which activates Ras by exchanging GDP for GTP. Activated Ras then binds Raf. After activation, Raf then phosphorylates MEK, a serine/threonine/tyrosine kinase that phosphorylates MAPKs. "Thus, a linear pathway can now be drawn between the receptor and MAPKs; however, MAPK activation is not quite as straightforward as depicted. Clearly, branches exist that lead to and from individual components of the pathway. For instance, activation of protein kinase C by phorbol esters or activation of G-protein coupled receptors can lead to MAPK activation, and kinases other than Raf and MEK can also regulate MAPK activation. In addition, the regulation of Raf and the precise function of MAPKs in the growth and differentiation process remain ambiguous. Given the rapidity with which molecules involved in MAPK activation were identified, these issues should be resolved quickly." A. ? ? Receptor-->>-->>-->>RAS-->>-->>-->>MAPK PTK B. Receptor->>-SHC->>GRB-2->>SOS->>RAS->>RAF->>MEK->>MAPK PTK (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Refinements In Bioluminescence Assays Expand Technique's Applications AU : RICKI LEWIS TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 Chemists, biologists, and medical researchers are continually looking for sensitive, nonradioactive assays. In the mid-1980s, many scientists turned to newly developed bioluminescence assays for their needs. Now, in just the past few years, the uses for these tests--based on the phenomenon of light emission from a biochemical reaction-- have increased dramatically in number, as the underlying technology has been refined and extended. Bioluminescence occurs in certain jellyfish, bacteria, mushrooms, fungi, crustaceans, fishes, worms, and beetles, including the familiar Photinus pyralis, a type of firefly. Harnessed for use in the laboratory, bioluminescence can be used to detect bacterial contamination in soft drink bottles; to predict the effect of chemotherapies on cancer cells; and as a reporter molecule to highlight gene expression in molecular biology experiments. More broadly, using recombinant technologies, researchers are incorporating bioluminescence into immunoassays and DNA probes. "There is a tremendous range of applications of bioluminescence," says Larry Kricka, a professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A bioluminescence experiment basically requires a paired set of biochemicals: an enzyme, variously called a luciferase or a photoprotein, and a substrate, which is a molecule that emits light upon interacting with the enzyme or photoprotein. Each bioluminescent system requires unique co- factors and buffers. "There are a lot of natural, biological, light-producing systems, and the enzymes in all of them are called luciferases," says Julie Molloy, business manager of Analytical Luminescence Laboratory, San Diego, which specializes in kits using firefly luciferase. The substrates for luciferases are called luciferins. Both terms were coined by German physiologist Emil Heinrich DuBois-Reymond near the end of the 19th century, in connection with his work on the glowing clam Pholas dactylus. Luciferases and luciferins are not interchangeable between bioluminescent species, where they may be involved in totally different reactions. For example, luciferase from Photobacterium fischeri, often just called bacterial luciferase, catalyzes reactions involving the molecules FMNH2 and NADH, and is used to trace certain metabolic reactions. The more commonly used firefly luciferase, by contrast, detects the biological energy molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Bioluminescent proteins from sea organisms take part in yet a third type of reaction. Firefly Luciferase Harnessing bioluminescence began in the 1940s, when Baltimore schoolchildren brought jars of fireflies to the Johns Hopkins University laboratory of William McElroy and Marlene DeLuca. Over the next three decades, this team isolated and described the reactants and enzymes of the bioluminescence reaction. They found that light emission occurs when firefly luciferin, which is an organic acid, reacts with ATP to form an intermediate compound, luciferyl adenylate. In the presence of oxygen and magnesium or manganese ions, luciferase catalyzes oxidation of the intermediate, producing a compound called oxyluciferin--and a flash of light. The rationale for using firefly bioluminescence in many of today's assays is simply that where there is life, there is ATP. Measuring the light produced in the bioluminescent reaction with ATP is, therefore, also a measure of metabolic activity. "But it wasn't until the late 1970s and early 1980s that there were active applications," says Molloy. "One of the first areas looked at was a rapid urine screen for urinary tract infections. The technique was also carried aboard the Viking spacecraft as one of the methods to detect potential life on Mars." DeLuca and McElroy eventually relocated to the University of California, San Diego, and founded the nearby Analytical Luminescence Laboratory in 1981. "Today people use firefly luciferase to test for ATP in all sorts of different applications," says Kricka. "It is a rapid microbiological test for bacterial contamination. For example, Coca Cola uses it to test beverages before they are bottled." In 1986, bioluminescence entered the age of molecular biology in an arresting figure of a glowing tobacco plant published by researchers in the departments of biology and chemistry at UC-San Diego (David W. Ow, et. al., Science, 234[4778]:856-9, 1986). They linked a complementary DNA (cDNA) product corresponding to the gene for firefly luciferase to a plant virus promoter (control sequence), then inserted this into a bacterial plasmid (a ring of DNA) and infected tobacco leaf cells in culture. Transgenic tobacco plants were regenerated from cultures that glowed when exposed to oxygen and luciferin. A wide variety of researchers now use the firefly luciferase gene as a reporter molecule by linking it to different genes of interest. An investigator is then able to follow gene expression by detecting bioluminescence in different cells and tissues at different stages of development in a transgenic organism. "The gene for firefly luciferase has become a powerful tool in genetic engineering and molecular biology, used instead of the [bacterial] CAT [chloramphenicol acetyltrans-ferase] gene as a reporter," says Kricka. "It is nonradioisotopic and very, very sensitive." Analytical Luminescence Laboratory offers firefly luciferin, luciferase, buffers, and standards in a variety of combinations, plus protocols for applications in genetic engineering and for detecting bacteria and yeast. Firefly luciferin and luciferase are also offered by Accurate Chemical and Scientific Corp., Westbury, N.Y.; Boehringer Mannheim Biochemicals Inc., Indianapolis; Calbiochem- Novabiochem Corp., San Diego; ICN Biomedicals, Costa Mesa, Calif.; Promega Corp., Madison, Wis.; R&D Systems Corp., Minneapolis; Sigma Chemical Corp., St. Louis; Worthington Biochemical Corp., Freehold, N.J.; and others. While Analytical Luminescence Laboratory gets its luciferin and luciferase from freeze-dried firefly abdomens shipped from an East Coast company, many of the other vendors obtain luciferase from a firefly luci-ferase cDNA cloned in E. coli bacteria. This source, as with most proteins derived from recombinant DNA technology, is purer than the direct biological source. And for teachers interested in a glowing lesson, the Carolina Biological Supply Co. of Burlington, N.C., sells freeze-dried firefly tails in kits with all materials needed for students to extract luciferin and luciferase and then conduct a bioluminescence reaction. BATLE Luminetrics Enterprises Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is developing a very specific use of firefly bioluminescence. An in vitro TCA-100 Tumor Chemosensitivity Assay uses firefly luciferase to assess whether tumor cells respond to specific drugs in vitro, before testing the drugs on the patient. "You culture tumor cells, expose the cells to combinations of drugs, and estimate the numbers of cells by bioluminescence with firefly luciferase," says Kricka. Declining luminescence indicates falling ATP production, which means that the cells are being killed. Company literature suggests that a physician can use TCA-100 along with other information to choose among recommended standard chemotherapeutic protocols for a particular tumor type, to try drugs on drug-resistant tumors, or to evaluate chemotherapies for cancers so rare that standard protocols don't exist. Several vendors also sell the key instrumentation for bioluminescence systems. Luminometers to detect bioluminescence can be purchased from Analytical Luminescence Laboratory, San Diego; Dynatech Laboratories Inc., Chantilly, Va.; Labsystems Inc., Shrewsbury, Mass.; MGM Instruments Inc., Hamden, Conn.; and others. Bioluminescence From The Sea Tapping the sea for bioluminescent organisms has ancient roots--Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) wrote of a glowing slime that he would rub on a variety of objects, which was actually a jellyfish that lived in the Bay of Naples. Today, SeaLite Sciences Inc. of Bogart, Ga., is the sole company developing and commercializing recombinant bioluminescent proteins from sea life, based on discoveries made at the University of Georgia, Athens. SeaLite's AquaLite system uses a gene from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victori, produced in recombinant E. coli bacteria. It is quite different from the firefly luciferase system. The equivalent of luciferase is not an enzyme, but a photoprotein called aequorin. When a jellyfish version of luciferin binds oxygen and a precursor form of aequorin, called apoaequorin, the mature aequorin forms. Adding calcium ions alters the shape of the aequorin, triggering release of a flash of blue light. "Aequorin is different from conventional luciferases," says Lee Herron, president of SeaLite. "Most luciferases glow; the photoprotein is more of a very rapid flash." Aqua- Lite, the glowing product itself, consists of aequorin bound to its luciferin. The basis of the assay is that the conjugate flashes in the presence of calcium. The AquaLite system can be adapted to two major biotechnolo- gies--immunoassay and DNA probes--by covalently linking recombinant aequorin to antibodies or streptavidin, respectively. AquaLite offers advantages over enzyme-based immunoassays and fluorescence-based DNA probes in that it can detect analytes in small amounts and over a wide range of concentrations, making serial dilutions unnecessary. A bioluminescence immunoassay has two components-- polystyrene tubes coated with antibodies to an analyte, and recombinant aequorin covalently linked to antibodies to the analyte. When a body fluid sample is added to the tube, the aequorin-tagged antibody and the antibody coated on the tube form a sandwich around the analyte. The user washes unbound antibody from the tube, places the tube in a luminometer, and injects a calcium solution. As aequorin contorts, the characteristic flash appears--if the aequorin has been retained by the analyte. The light intensity is directly proportional to the amount of the analyte (and, therefore, bound aequorin) present, so a calibration curve can be set up to determine the concentration of the analyte in the sample. SeaLite offers a bioluminescence immunoassay kit to detect interleukin-6 (IL-6) in human serum, and plans to introduce kits for other cytokines soon. The company also uses the sandwich approach to detect and quantitate the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Bioluminescent DNA probes are also in development, with at least one currently available. Most DNA probes are now used in in vitro diagnostics (R. Lewis, The Scientist, Jan. 10, 1994, page 17). In many of these probes, the nucleic acid is linked to the vitamin biotin. It is the attraction of biotin to streptavidin, which is bound to an antibody or fluorescent molecule, providing a signal that permits detection of the probe. Used in such a probe, AquaLite binds to streptavidin. A flash of blue announces the attached probe's presence, such as in a body fluid harboring infectious bacteria or viruses. SeaLite sells aequorin bound to streptavidin or biotin. Generally speaking, bioluminescence is a type of chemiluminescence. In most labs, researchers have tended to more often use the strictly chemical systems, such as those based on alkaline phosphatase. "This was because bioluminescent reagents until recently were extracted [only] from biological sources," says Kricka. "There were questions of purity, quality, and reliability, whereas chemiluminescence, based on an organic compound with a well-defined stability, didn't have the same problems." Bioluminescence is now filling its own niches as well as competing with chemiluminescence. ATP detection via firefly luciferase, for example, has no chemiluminescent counterpart, Kricka says. And aequorin, used in bioimmunoassay and DNA probes, directly competes with well- established chemiluminescent approaches. Ricki Lewis, a freelance writer based in Scotia, N.Y., is the author of several biology textbooks. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : SUPPLIERS OF BIOLUMINESCENCE ASSAY KITS, PRODUCTS, AND INSTRUMENTATION TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 19 The following vendors develop and/or market bioluminescence assay kits, products, and instrumentation for a variety of research and clinical laboratory uses. For more information about products, services, and prices, please contact these companies directly. Accurate Chemical and Scientific Corp. 300 Shames Dr. Westbury, N.Y. 11590 (800) 645-6264 Fax: (516) 997-4948 Analytical Luminescence Laboratory 11760 Sorrento Valley Rd. Suite E San Diego, Calif. 92121 (619) 455-9283 BATLE Luminetrics Enterprises Inc. 5601 N. Dixie Highway Suite 215 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33334 (800) 423-2402 Fax: (305) 491-0869 Boehringer Mannheim Biochemicals Inc. 9115 Hague Rd. Indianapolis, Ind. 46250 (800) 428-5433 Fax: (317) 845-2000 Calbiochem-Novabiochem Corp. 10394 Pacific Center Court San Diego, Calif. 92121 (619) 450-9600 Fax: (619) 453-3552 Carolina Biological Supply Co. 2700 York Rd. Burlington, N.C. 27215 (800) 334-5551 Fax: (919) 584-3399 Charm Bioengineering Inc. 36 Franklin St. Malden, Mass. 02148 (617) 322-1523 Fax: (617) 322-3141 Coulter Corp. MC 32-A038 P.O. Box 169015 Miami, Fla. 33116-9015 (800) 526-6932 Fax: (305) 380-5990 Dynatech Laboratories Inc. 14340 Sullyfield Circle Chantilly, Va. 22021 (703) 631-7800 Fax: (703) 631-7816 Fine Science Tools Inc. 373 G Vintage Park Dr. Foster City,, Calif. 94404 (800) 521-2109 Fax: (415) 349-3729 ICN Biomedicals ICN Plaza 3300 Hyland Ave. Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626 (714) 545-0113 Fax: (714) 641-7275 Integrated Biosolutions Inc. 4270 U.S. Route 1 Monmouth Junction, N.J. 08852 (908) 274-1778 Fax: (908) 274-1733 IN/US Systems Inc. 5809 N. 50th St. Tampa, Fla. 33610-4809 (800) 875-4687 Fax: (813) 620-3708 Jasco Inc. 8649 Commerce Dr. Easton, Md. 21601 (410) 822-1220 Fax: (410) 822-7526 JM Science Inc. 5820 Main St. Suite 300 Buffalo, N.Y. 14221-5734 (800) 387-7187 Fax: (716) 634-1970 Labsystems Inc. 300 Second Ave. Needham Heights, Mass. 02194-2818 (800) 522-7763 Fax: (508) 480-9999 LJL Biosystems 404 Tasman Dr. Sunnyvale,, Calif. 94089 (408) 541-8755 Fax: (408) 541-8786 MGM Instruments Inc. 925 Sherman Ave. Hamden, Conn. 06514 (203) 248-4008 Fax: (203) 288-2621 National Diagnostics Inc. 305 Patton Dr. Atlanta, Ga. 30336 (404) 699-2121 Fax: (404) 699-2077 New England Biolabs Inc. 32 Tozer Rd. Beverly, Mass. 01915 (508) 927-5054 Fax: (508) 921-1350 Perkin Elmer Corp. 761 Main St. Norwalk, Conn. 06859-0105 (203) 762-4681 Fax: (203) 762-4997 Promega Corp. 2800 Woods Hollow Rd. Madison, Wis. 53711 (608) 274-4330 Fax: (608) 273-6967 R&D Systems Corp. 614 McKinley Place, N.E. Minneapolis, Minn. 55413 (612) 379-2956 Fax: (612) 379-6580 SeaLite Sciences Inc. 187 Ben Burton Circle Bogart, Ga. 30622 (800) 874-4471 Fax: (404) 546-4962 Sigma Chemical Co. Catalog Department 3050 Spruce St. St. Louis, Mo. 63103 (800) 325-3010 Fax: (314) 771-5750 Tropix Inc. 47 Wiggins Ave. Bedford, Mass. 01730 (617) 271-0045 Fax: (617) 275-8581 Wallac Inc. (An EG&G Co.) 9238 Gaither Rd. Gaithersburg, Md. 20877 (800) 638-6692 Fax: (301) 963-7780 Worthington Biochemical Corp. Halls Mills Rd. Freehold, N.J. 07728 (908) 462-3838 Fax: (908) 308-4453 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: NEW PRODUCTS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Medical Systems' New Stepper System TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 Medical Systems Corp. of Greenvale, N.Y., offers its newest SIGNIFICANT SCAT-01 Ultra-Stepper, a computer-controlled microelectrode stepper system for use in neurophysiological experiments. The SCAT-01 provides movement fast enough to avoid "dimpling" in brain tissue and to penetrate many small cells. Electrical interference from the stepping motor is neg- ligible; simultaneous recording from the advancing electrode can therefore stop the electrode at an appropriate position. Common step patterns are available with included software; alternative patterns can be developed by the user with the supplied BASIC computer language. An ultrasonically coupled keypad provides remote control. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Two New Series Of Multirange Spectrometers From Bio-Rad TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 Bio-Rad of Cambridge, Mass., has released the FTS 175 and FTS 185 series of multirange FT-IR spectrometers. The series offers dual-source capability, interchangeable beamsplit- ters, automatic beamsplitter alignment, rapid scanning, continuous dynamic alignment, and dual-detector capability. Prices start at around $3,000. Researchers may buy what they need with the ability to add to the spectrometer as sampling needs grow. Users may add hyphenated technique accessories or an external sample compartment. Each spectrometer is ready to run with Bio-Rad's Win-IR Software. This Windows- based package includes many data-manipulation routines that are normally options. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Vector Laboratories' Monoclonal Antibody TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 Vector Laboratories of Burlingame, Calif., has made available a new anti-estrogen receptor monoclonal antibody that is effective in paraffin-embedded tissue with a microwave antigen retrieval technique. Developed by Novocastra Laboratories using fusion protein technology called SIMAT, this antibody has been raised to recombinant estrogen receptor protein and provides intense labeling of tumor cell nuclei. When the product is used in conjunction with the company's VECTA-STAIN Elite ABC Kit for Mouse IgG and DAB Substrate Kit, immunohistochemical localization of estrogen receptor in frozen paraffin sections is achieved without background staining. Vector Laboratories is the exclusive representative for Novocastra products in the United States. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Brochure Offers Intelligenetics' Sequencing Line TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 Intelligenetics Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., has put out a new brochure describing its line of sequencing products. The brochure details instrumentation for DNA film scanning and image analysis; best-selling software for DNA and protein sequence analysis on Macintosh, PC, Sun, and VAX computers; online services; specialized data-bases; technical support services; and programs for the fastest and most sensitive database searching. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : MicroCal Introduces Graphics And Data-Analysis Software Package TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 Origin, from Micro- Cal Software Inc. of Northampton, Mass., is a Windows-based technical graphics and data-analysis application. Origin has the ability to process large data sets and has a variety of publication-quality graphic output options. It also offers multiple-plot windows and can produce multiple graphs on a single page; additionally, it can perform sophisticated scientific calculations, statistics, and curve fitting. Origin's scripting language, LabTalk, which requires simple programming, provides a wide range of functionality for collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. Origin has been designed as an open-ended application to support add-on modules for more advanced functions, including data acquisition, statistics, peak fitting, kinetic analysis, binding analysis, and chromatography. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : One-Step Immunoassay From AMAC TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 The soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) assay from AMAC Inc. of Westbrook, Maine, is a one-step sandwich enzyme ligand immunoassay. This test may be used to measure sIL-6R in serum, plasma, and culture media. Only biologically active sIL-6R is measured. The microtiter plate wells are coated with anti-IL6 antibody. The standards, samples, and conjugate (containing IL-6 and anti-sIL-6R antibody conjugated to alkaline phosphatase) are added to the microtiter plate and incubated for 16-20 hours at room temperature on a shaker. The sIL-6R in the sample is bound to the wall of the well via its ligand, IL-6. This property permits measurement of biologically active sIL-6R. After the microtiter plate is washed, a chromogenic substrate is added and incubated at room temperature for 30 minutes on a shaker. The plate can be read on a spectrophotometer at 405 to 415 nm. AMAC supplies the sIL-6R assay in a 96-test kit format containing all the reagents necessary to perform the assay. The microtiter plate has break-away wells to avoid wasting coated wells. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ICN Biomedicals Releases Mycoplasma Removal Agent TY : NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 ICN Biomedicals Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif., offers Mycoplasma Removal Agent (MRA), a water-soluble oxo- quinoline-carboxylic acid derivative. MRA kills mycoplasma effectively, and in a shorter treatment time, rather than just inhibiting its growth. It is effective against both cultured and "wild-type" mycoplasma and can be used by following the simple protocol that comes with every shipment. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PROFESSION ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : New Program Helps Long Island Biotechnology Firms Obtain Funding AU : EDWARD R. SILVERMAN TY : PROFESSION PG : 21 Biotechnology companies based on Long Island, N.Y., can now get help applying for federal research grants, thanks to a new program dedicated to forging links between scientists and industry. Called the Technical Evaluation and Partnering Program, or TEP, the five-month-old effort was launched by a pair of institutions in the area--the Long Island Research Institute and the Center for Biotechnology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. The program is designed to match local technology businesses with experienced researchers who can assist the companies in preparing their grant applications. Ultimately, its organizers are aiming for TEP to be a springboard for promoting Long Island's nascent biotechnology industry, which is increasingly being viewed by analysts as crucial to the region's future now that the area's once-thriving defense business has shrunk. "We're trying to interest those companies whose defense contracts are drying up to develop devices for solving medical problems," says Carol Dempster, manager of technology commercialization at the Long Island Research Institute, an independent, nonprofit organization dealing with technology transfer. "We need to get more interaction going to accelerate commercialization," Dempster says. Initially, TEP's annual budget will be between $50,000 and $100,000, with funding being provided by the New York State Science and Technology Foundation, a nonprofit organization, and the New York Biotechnology Association, a local trade group. How It Works Interested companies seeking TEP's help will receive assessments of their projects' commercial feasibility from the Long Island Research Institute. Then, SUNY-Stony Brook's Center for Biotechnology will tap its 150-member science faculty to consult on the application and the overall grant process. Any biotech company from Long Island and nearby communities is eligible to apply for help in seeking federal Small Business Innovative Research Grants (SBIRs), Small Business Technology Transfer Research Grants (STTRs), or Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). Of course, applicants must meet the government's mandatory criteria. In seeking an SBIR grant, for instance, a company must be domestically owned and employ fewer than 500 people, and the principal investigator must work at least 50 percent of the time for the company. In addition, the SBIR program, which provides a total of $850,000 over two phases, requires that at least half the work be done on company premises. By comparison, the STTR program requires only that the principal investigator have a formal relationship with the applying company; he or she doesn't have to be an employee. Outside research can account for as much as 60 percent of a project, which can receive a total of $600,000 in funding over three years, including development. `Getting It To The Right Place' "We know there's a need for help in pursuing these grants, but getting it to the right place is hard," says Glenn Prestwich, an organic chemist who is the director of the Center for Biotechnology and is overseeing SUNY-Stony Brook's involvement in TEP. "Our expertise is in doing evaluations," Prestwich says. "Companies often don't have the resources to put someone on this for two months to write a proposal." Prestwich says he is unaware of the existence of similar programs elsewhere. "We kind of dreamt it up," he says. "It's not modeled on somebody else's program . . . [but] I'd be surprised if something in a similar form doesn't exist in other places." Peer Review Prestwich and the Stony Brook science faculty will essentially serve as a peer review committee by doing two things. First, they'll critique a proposal as if they were reviewing it for the relevant federal granting agency, emphasizing style and substance. For those companies seeking more intensive consulting, the center will provide what Prestwich calls intellectual input. "If a one-hour critique isn't sufficient, the applicant pays a consulting fee and maybe develops a bona fide research relationship," he says. "But it will take a while before this happens. It's really wide open. Maybe we'll provide bridge loans. We're not exactly sure what to expect. Word is still just getting out there, because our solicitations just went out." For more information, contact the Long Island Research Institute at (516) 689-6300 or SUNY-Stony Brook's Center for Biotechnology at (516) 632-8521. Edward R. Silverman is a freelance writer based in Millburn, N.J. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Former Los Alamos Lab Chief Scientist Named Gordon Conferences' New Director AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 Carl Storm, former chief scientist and program manager for technology development at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Explosives Technology and Application Division Office, has assumed the position of director of the Gordon Research Conferences. Storm, 59, succeeded Alexander Cruickshank, who had held the position since 1968. Storm began his new job on December 1. Founded in 1931, the Gordon Research Conferences is a Rhode Island-based organization that sponsors meetings exploring topics at the frontiers of chemistry, physics, and the biological sciences. Convened in New England, California, Hawaii, and Europe, the conferences attract approximately 15,000 scientists worldwide and are characterized by a casual, off-the-record environment. Attendance at the individual Gordon conferences is limited to small groups of 100 to 130 scientists (J. Seiken, The Scientist, April 29, 1991, page 19). Storm, himself a regular participant in past Gordon Research Conferences, says his first priority is to sustain "the traditional high quality of the conference. Ever since I took this job, people have communicated to me how much of an impact the conference has had on them." He also plans to work with the conferences' board of trustees to develop a "globalizing" of future gatherings. Storm envisions a situation in which conference sites would alternate between the United States and Europe in successive years, creating, he says, "a more international participation of scientists." Storm earned a doctorate in organic and biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1965. From 1968 to 1985, he served on the faculty at Howard University, where he taught and conducted research under the sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as the Office of Naval Research. --Craig Montesano (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : AAAS Honors Public Health Advocates AU : CRAIG MONTESANO TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 June Osborn, a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at the University of Michigan, and Mathilde Krim, founding co- chairwoman of the board of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), have received the 1994 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The awards were presented February 21, in conjunction with AAAS's annual meeting in San Francisco. Osborn was dean of Michigan's School of Public Health from 1984 to 1993 and served as associate dean of the Graduate School for Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1975 to 1984. She was recognized by AAAS for her efforts in the areas of scientific research, medical practice, public health, and health-care policy issues. During the early 1980s, Osborn was one of the first scientists in the United States to publicly decry hatred and discrimination against people with AIDS. Her role as chairwoman of the National Commission on AIDS and her past leadership of a National Institutes of Health advisory board on policies regarding HIV are credited with setting a new standard in AIDS advocacy and public health policy. Commenting on receiving the award, Osborn says she is "pleased that AAAS has recognized the AIDS epidemic as a very important area of scientific responsibility." Krim, an adjunct professor of public health at Columbia University since 1990, was cited for her efforts to change the public's perceptions about AIDS and generating private support for AIDS research and prevention. In 1983, she established the AIDS Medical Foundation, the first private organization to foster and support AIDS research. The organization, which changed its name to AmFAR in 1985, has given $65 million to 1,300 projects in basic AIDS-related scientific and psychosocial research, community- based clinical research programs, and AIDS prevention projects. Krim says she finds the honor "particularly meaningful" because it comes from the scientific community. "I hope it encourages scientists to become involved in the field, because it has great humanitarian value," she says. --Craig Montesano (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE BRIEFS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Shing-Tung Yau TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 23 Shing-Tung Yau, a professor of mathematics at Harvard University, and Simon Donaldson, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, were named winners of the 1993 Crafoord Prize. The prize, accompanied by a cash award of $300,000, is presented by the Royal Swedish Academy in disciplines considered ineligible for Nobel Prize contention. Yau was honored for contributions in the investigation of black holes through differential geometry, the study of curved lines, surfaces, and their properties. Donaldson was cited for his work in four-dimensional geometry. Yau, who received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971, has been on the Harvard faculty since 1987. Previously, he had been a professor of mathematics at the University of California, San Diego, from 1984 to 1987, as well as at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., from 1979 to 1984. Donaldson, who has been Wallis Professor of Mathematics at Oxford since 1985, was a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1983 and 1984. From 1983 to 1985, he was a junior research fellow at All Souls College in Oxford. He received his M.A. from Oxford in 1984. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CAROL HALL and SUSAN KEMNITZER TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 23 Carol Hall, a professor of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University, and Susan Kemnitzer, deputy director of the division of engineering education and centers at the National Science Foundation, are recipients of Tulane University's 1994 Newcomb Lectureships for Renowned Women in Chemical Engineering. The lectureships, presented annually by Tulane since 1991, acknowledge women who have made notable contributions in chemical engineering and related fields, and are given at the university. Kemnitzer presented her lecture, entitled "Changing America: The New Face of Science and Technology," last fall. Hall's lecture, to be given on April 7, is entitled "Toward a New Equation State for Hydrocarbons and Polymers." Kim O'Connor, an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering at Tulane and founder of the lectureships, says that, in addition to their contributions to the betterment of conditions for women in science, Hall and Kemnitzer "have professional credentials that stand on their own in taking leadership roles in chemical engineering and related topics." Hall, cited for her "innovative research in statistical thermodynamics," received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1973. She was an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Princeton University from 1977 to 1985, as well as a staff member in the corporate economics department of AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., from 1976 to 1977. Kemnitzer served as executive director of the Congressional Task Force on Women, Minorities, and the Handicapped in Science and Technology from 1987 to 1990, as director of the legislative policy group at NSF from 1981 to 1987, and as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior from 1987 to 1981. She was honored for her work "to improve the quality of engineering education in the nation." O'Connor says that Kemnitzer has also been instrumental in efforts to "enlarge minority and handicapped populations in the fields of science and technology." Past recipients of the lectureship include Martha Farmer, manager of product development at Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Deerfield, Ill.; Alice Gast, associate professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University; Mary Good, undersecretary of technology at the Department of Commerce; and Linda Wang, a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : JAN VISSER TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 23 Jan Visser, former head of the department of medical pathology at the Medical Biology Laboratory TNO, the Netherlands, has been named to direct the newly established Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center. Visser will direct the laboratory's basic research into the nature and functions of hematopoietic stem cells--the "master cells" that give rise to all other blood cells--and will investigate the clinical uses and potential gene therapy applications of stem cells in cancer treatment. A stem cell biologist for 17 years, Visser is the European editor of the journal Cytometry and a member of the editorial boards of Experimental Hematology and the Journal of Immunological Methods. He is also the secretary of the European Stem Cell Club and the incoming president of the International Society of Experimental Hematology. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1975. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: OBITUARY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ARTHUR C. GIESE TY : PROFESSION (OBITUARY) PG : 23 Arthur C. Giese, a professor, emeritus, of biological sciences at Stanford University, died January 1 at Stanford Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 89 years old. Giese was an authority on marine invertebrate biology, cell physiology, and protozoology. At the time of his death, Giese was completing the seventh edition of his textbook Cell Physiology (Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Co.), first published in 1959. Although Giese retired from the Stanford faculty in 1970, he maintained a full-time, active career until his death. Giese managed to continue working despite having his leg and pelvis broken in 13 places after being struck by a car in 1981. A native of Chicago, Giese earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago in 1927. He came to Stanford in 1929 to complete doctoral work and joined the faculty in 1933. Giese was noted for the depth of his concern for both graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford. Former Stanford president Donald Kennedy, in a written statement read at a memorial service, recounted how Giese would photograph, interview, and evaluate each of his 160 students over the course of a year in a cell physiology class. Wrote Kennedy, "I doubt if many Stanford faculty members have written, over the years, as many recommendations to medical and graduate schools as he." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #5, March 7, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================

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