THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:11 May 31, 1993 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) Articles publi

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THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:11 May 31, 1993 (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 *** *** JUNE 7, 1993 *** *** *** ******************************************************* THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author NEXT = next article PG = page TI = title of article TY = type TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ===================================================================== NEWS SUPER COLLISION: The superconducting supercollider will have to survive a budget fight in Congress this summer, a battle not made any easier for its proponents by a General Accounting Office report criticizing the megaproject. But lobbyists from academia and industry are marshaling their forces for the fray PG : 1 BATTLE CRIES: Individual researchers and their laboratories targeted by several animal rights groups for demonstrations--and, in some cases, vandalism--during last month's World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week say they are not intimidated by the protests and vow to continue their efforts PG : 1 CORPORATE RESEARCH HUBS: Historically, the biotech industry has had close ties with the academic community, a fact that is still strongly reflected in cultural similarities between biotechs and university laboratories. Differences do emerge, however, over attitudes toward publishing: When are research findings open science and when are they proprietary secrets? PG : 1 The top industrial research centers PG : 7 SCIENTIFIC INFLUENCE: After acquiring support in the German scientific community, a group of scientists and staffers at a Berlin research institute hope their petition drive denouncing the recent wave of neo-Nazi violence in their country will prod the government to crack down on the racist activities PG : 3 OPINION CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: In the heated debate over the use of animals in research, those who espouse a middle ground--seeking scientifically acceptable alternatives to animal models--are unfairly castigated by both sides, according to Robert A. Roth, a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University's Institute for Environmental Toxicology and a member of the advisory board of the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing PG : 11 COMMENTARY: Publisher Eugene Garfield offers quantitative support for the Council on Undergraduate Research's position that low- budget, hands-on scientific investigation among undergrads at small colleges is more valuable than many people realize PG : 12 RESEARCH WHAT'S IN A NAME? An examination of the titles of journals inaugurated in 1992 reveals several trends in the goals of research and researchers last year, according to an article in the Institute for Scientific Information newsletter Science Watch pg : 14 HOT PAPERS: An atmospheric scientist discusses the atmospheric and climatological effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo PG : 16 TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY SEQUENCING SOFTWARE: DNA sequence-analysis software has evolved from a useful tool to an absolute necessity for molecular biologists, and the variety and versatility of these packages, as well as the hardware to run them, have kept pace PG : 17 PROFESSION NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: A survey has found that the median stipend paid to teaching and research assistants in university physical and biological sciences departments rose in the 1991-92 school year. But the survey also revealed that the availability of such positions dropped during the same period PG : 19 FRANK H. SHU, president-elect of the American Astronomical Society, says he'll focus his administration on incorporating astronomy into primary and secondary education when he takes office as president in 1994 PG : 21 SHORT TAKES NOTEBOOK PG : 4 CARTOON PG : 4 LETTERS PG : 12 CROSSWORD PG : 13 PEOPLE BRIEF PG : 21 OBITUARY PG : 21 SCIENTIFIC SOFTWARE DIRECTORY PG : 30 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Corporate Research: Best Labs Combine Virtues Of Both Academia And Industry Commercial productivity is the payoff when firms provide scientists with a comfortably collegiate professional environment AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 1 & 6 Recognizing the successful tradition of the university science environment, industry research directors are carrying over the academic spirit in their efforts toward building harmonious and productive labs. Their aim is to preserve the pursuit of pure discovery and the free exchange of ideas, while at the same time moving assertively toward the achievement of commercial goals. In the biotechnology industry sector, this strategy--geared to, among other things, making their companies more inviting to talented young scientists--has paid off impressively for several firms. "We've seen that we're competing with academic institutions for the kinds of scientists that we have," says Daniel Vapnek, senior vice president for research at Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif. "And it turns out that the kind of environment that we maintain is, in a lot of ways, like an academic environment." Says Doug Williams, vice president and director of biological sciences for Immunex Corp., Seattle: "We have kept our good young investigators happy by enabling them to publish their findings and go to scientific meetings and be recognized by the scientific community at large, as opposed to just being recognized within the organization. "That, I think, has helped us keep some of our very good people." However, misgivings a researcher might have about being asked to keep results secret from scientific colleagues at other companies, for example, or to focus only on profit-motivated studies, do spring, after all, from the real world of industry research: Companies have to protect their valuable intellectual property--and the bottom line must be respected in any business. At one biotech firm, Scios Nova in Mountain View, Calif., vice president and director of research John Lewicki says that his company tries to support its scientists in every way, including encouraging them to publish the results of their investigations. "But, most important, above all else," he says, "is protecting the company's trade secrets. I wouldn't want to give the impression that we rush out and publish everything, because we're far from that. We're actually rigorous in scrutinizing things." In this respect, however, the academic and industry research realms have become more alike than they once were. Increasingly, university scientists are careful to protect potentially valuable research findings; thus, the need for secrecy is no longer a distinguishing trait of private enterprise. Given these developments over recent years, the question of comparative scientific productivity remains. And by at least one measure--the average number of citations per research paper published--some biotechnology companies are, in fact, achieving success comparable to that of the best academic labs. In a recent study--conducted by the Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia--of 35 leading independent, academic, and industry institutions, four of the top 10 biotech companies (see table on page 7) by citation impact also rank among the top 10 research producers overall, sharing honors with such distinguished research centers as the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Mass., and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, N.Y. Trading Places Research in industry resembles that in academia more and more, as research directors seeking to compete with the universities for the top talent strive to create lab cultures more like those the scientists are familiar with in the academic world. As differences disappear, the flow of scientists between the two environments has picked up, and the satisfactions and accomplishments of researchers in for-profit settings has risen. "In the 1960s or earlier, for an academic to go to a pharmaceutical firm was virtually the end of their academic career," says Hugh Niall, vice president of research discovery at Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, Calif., "because they disappeared into a black box and were never heard from again. And that has changed dramatically in recent years, leading to the situation where people do move back and forth quite a bit." Laboratories in biotechnology companies are, in many ways, consciously modeled on the academic labs that originally spawned the industry, research directors say. The drive to answer fundamental biological questions remains strong among biotech researchers, and collegial interactions with the larger scientific community--through publications, collaborations with university-based scientists, and attendance at meetings--are important to sustaining that drive, they say. Being able to keep scientists' motivation and satisfaction levels high translates into high lab productivity, say the directors, and so the biotechs work hard to support research environments in which both investigator curiosity and the free exchange of information are nurtured. Young investigators, many at the postdoctoral level or just past, are often given a good deal of latitude to develop their interests and talents, and working research alliances with academic scientists are encouraged. In several companies, individual scientists are given considerable freedom to choose the projects they work on, as a way to ensure that their commitment to their work remains high--even to the point that different project leaders within a company may compete to woo the best researchers into their labs. "When scientists are recruited here, they really have a choice of the areas they're going to work in," says Vapnek. "Often, a research scientist makes the decision about which group he or she wants to join, so that they're interested in the research that's going on in that group. We tend not to assign scientists to specific projects." "The scientists have a great deal of leeway in terms of what they work on," says Niall. "So, with a large project, what one can end up with is a rather informal project team, where groups of scientists from several departments are involved." But research heads say that doing science in a for-profit setting does present some important differences from university-based investigation. Companies have a clear self-interest in protecting their intellectual property, and this dictates restraint in publishing, for instance. And not every idea can be pursued in a company lab, whatever its scientific worth, unless its contribution to the company's ultimate goals can first be demonstrated. For the most part, of course, this means developing a drug or other marketable product. "We do try to discourage scientists from working on projects that, although they may be scientifically interesting, would not add measurably to the company if they were successful," says Vapnek. Far from hurting the level of science in their companies, however, this need to create effective, marketable diagnostic and therapeutic products gives the work a sharp focus, biotech research captains say. This focus often serves to advance the discovery component of the science practiced in their labs, they say. "We will not work on programs [without] clear-cut commercial objectives, and commercial objectives that we think are readily achievable," says Lewicki. "But there have to be both applied and basic components to that science. You can't pursue [commercial goals] solely from an applied standpoint, because in any given project there are too many things we don't understand." "It turns out not to be all that difficult to excite scientists about targeted goals," says Niall. "It's really, in a way, the Bell Labs philosophy." Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., where staffers have won five Nobel Prizes, has long served as the model for top-quality scientific investigations in a private setting. "After a while, people realize that they can do just as innovative work--the aim of which is to develop a new drug--as they could when the aim is to publish a paper," Niall says. While the company's goals may be products, for many scientists it remains important that they be free to publish their research findings--or, at least, the majority of them. For better or worse, publication is central to the process of science and to building a reputation in one's field of interest. Scientific managers in the biotechs understand that their scientists need to have the opportunity to publish their results. But they also know that ideas themselves are the most valuable products resulting from their efforts and that those ideas need to be protected from appropriation. Most have some kind of internal review process prior to allowing publication, usually including filing preliminary patent applications. But differences in degree of openness toward research publication do emerge among companies. "We do worry about [publishing proprietary information]," says Jim Rasmussen, senior vice president of research at Genzyme Corp., Boston. "There's a peer review within the scientific group, a review by our legal department for proprietary purposes, and a review by somebody from corporate development, usually the project leader. And everybody's got to sign off before the paper can be submitted." "Publishing and presenting at meetings and having a presence in the scientific community in general is an important motivating factor for the company's scientists," says Scios Nova's Lewicki. "And, often, these `proprietary secrets' are really not secrets. You have a lot of other laboratories working in the same areas. They're bright people, and proprietary information you might possess is unlikely to be proprietary for long." Rather than try to keep the company science secret, Lewicki says, they strive instead to persistently advance their research, to maintain their competitive edge through constant progress. "We do what we can to make sure that our intellectual property rights are protected," says Williams at Immunex. "But we also have to recognize that for the people who are making those contributions, the ability to get out there and talk about them and publish on the work is also important. We're walking a fine line, to be sure." "We publish between 95 and 99 percent of the work that's done here that's worth publishing," says Genentech's Niall. "We file a patent before the paper is published to protect the company and preserve the intellectual property of Genentech. "But that can be done very quickly, on the basis of a draft of the publication being circulated among the authors. Our patent attorneys can normally turn that into a patent application within a week or two, which really doesn't hold up a publication at all." Vapnek points out that academia, too, has become more aware of patentable findings than ever before. The biotechs are not the only ones seeking to protect their intellectual property, he says. "People in the universities now realize the potential value of certain things," Vapnek says, "and, very often, will look at the possibility of patenting before publications are done. But we do want our scientists to participate in the academic community, and to do that you have to encourage publication." "The question of secrecy," says Niall, "is not, in fact, all that different from what it is in academia, where there are scientists who will jealously guard their results until they're ready to publish." The Next Generation When very specific skills are needed or an entirely new program is to be launched, older scientists with existing records of achievement will be sought and recruited, say the research heads. But, for the majority of their new hires, the top biotechs look instead to bring in the best young researchers they can attract, generally at the postdoctoral level. They then try to provide an environment for these young scientists that they hope will bring out the best efforts of the new researchers over time. Genentech, for example, sponsors between 50 and 60 postdocs for two- or three-year appointments. Nearly one in five of the company's researchers is a postdoc. The proj-ects given to these postdocs often fall into the category of curiosity-based research, says Niall. In its attention to developing the talents of younger scientists, the program helps further the effort to create an academic-like atmosphere. "The understanding is that the postdoc needs to be given a project that is publishable," says Niall. "And for the supervisor of that postdoc, this is an opportunity for them to have something going on in their lab which is exploratory." Niall says a few of the postdocs will be asked to stay on after their appointments. "It does provide an opportunity to identify some really outstanding young scientists," he says, "although most of the postdocs will go on, as they almost always do, to careers in academia or20elsewhere20in20industry." Other biotechs also rely on hiring, and then developing in-house, younger scientists to meet their research goals. "The majority of the scientists that we've hired have been ones who have completed postdoctoral work, are now looking at their first position, and are deciding whether to go to a company or a university," says Am-gen's Vapnek. "I've tended to bring in people who are just coming out of a postdoc and tried to develop them over the years," says Williams of Immunex. "We try to promote people within the organization," says Genzyme's Rasmussen, "so, unless it's a major new program, the typical hire we'd like to make is a really good young researcher coming off of a postdoc." One result of the effort the biotechs have made to create an academic-style atmosphere is that researchers are more comfortable moving between industry and the university than ever before. This means that companies occasionally lose researchers, often among their more valued scientists, to tenure-track jobs in academia. But the ease of movement between the two worlds also means that recruiting from the universities has become easier for the biotechs than it was, say, for the pharmaceutical companies in decades past. "The other side of the coin in trying to create an academic atmosphere," says Genentech's Niall, "is that, almost automatically, it creates a situation where people feel comfortable moving back and forth [between industry and academia]. And I would argue that that's a tradeoff that's a very reasonable one to make, because we can point to the fact that they've gone to very senior jobs in academia, as many of20them have. And that really helps us recruit new people in." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : TOP 10 COMPANIES: BIOTECHNOLOGY (CITATION ANALYSIS, JAN. 1981-JUNE 1992) TY : NEWS PG : 7 RANK COMPANY NUMBER TOTAL CITATIONS OF PAPERS CITATIONS PER PAPER 1 Genentech Inc. 2,181 86,258 39.55 2 Genetics Institute 553 20,759 37.54 3 Biogen Inc. 568 20,258 35.67 4 Chiron Corp. 1,691 55,493 32.82 5 Centocor Inc. 243 6,787 27.93 6 Immunex Corp. 541 14,858 27.46 7 Cambridge Biotech 140 3,660 26.14 8 Scios Nova 553 10,190 19.12 9 Amgen Inc. 570 9,983 17.51 10 Genzyme Corp. 77 831 10.79 Source: Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Aggessive Promotional Blitz Aims To Shake SSC's Pork Barrel Image As enthusiastic support for the superconducting supercollider cools off, advocates step up efforts to save the megaproject AU : SCOTT VEGGEBERG TY : NEWS PG : 1 & 4 Proponents of the superconducting supercollider are mounting a vigorous public relations campaign to win over Congress and the United States public and to head off a repeat of last summer's House vote to kill the $8.3 billion project. Funding for the Dallas-based SSC was restored last year only through the 11th-hour mobilization of dozens of physicists to converge on Congress (Scott Veggeberg, The Scientist, Sept. 28, 1992, page 1). This year, supercollider supporters from both industry and academia are getting their campaign rolling early. And the efforts are beginning to pay off, says Jerry Staub, executive director of the National Association for the Superconducting Super Collider, an SSC-promoting industry association. This organization--with financial support from SSC contractors like St. Louis-based General Dynamics Corp. and Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corp.--has "hit the floor running" with the establishment in January of an office on Capitol Hill, Staub says. "I'm feeling better and better about it all the time," he says. "We're going to win." Staub maintains: "What we're doing, I think, is the way to go. It's going around the Hill to see every member of Congress one on one." This personal approach is important, he says, because the SSC's mission and goals are difficult to sell in a broad sense and it's also a project that is "easy to throw grenades at." One grenade proponents have had to spend a lot of effort defusing was a negative report, entitled "Super Collider Is Over Budget and Behind Schedule," issued in February by the General Accounting Office. Staub says the derogatory tone of the report is not surprising, given that it was commissioned by two SSC opponents, Reps. Howard Wolpe (D-Mich.) and Sherwood Boehlert (R- N.Y.). For the report, the GAO based its trend analysis projections on the construction of a single building and extrapolated cost overruns for the SSC at $630 million. But incoming Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary defended the project in a February 24 letter to Congress. "The Superconducting Super Collider project is being managed in a very conservative manner," she wrote. And she refuted the GAO trend analysis by pointing out that the project is 16 percent complete and has used only 3.5 percent of the contingency money allocated for items that exceed the baseline budget. "Contrary to the conclusion drawn by the General Accounting Office, aside from the effects of substantial underfunding in the last several years, the project is meeting its budget and schedule goals and the cost estimate prepared several years ago is still accurate," O'Leary's letter said. Staub says that Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) has ordered a new report on SSC costs and schedule, but the damage has been done by fueling media attacks on the project. There has been considerable negative press this year, says Staub, including a scathing four- minute segment on the television show "Prime Time Live," and a particularly critical series of articles in Newsweek, which called it a "quark barrel." To help shake the SSC's porcine image, the association conducted a pro-SSC news conference on April 13 that featured seven Nobelists, including former Fermilab head Leon Lederman. The group also met that same day with Vice President Al Gore to receive his public endorsement of the project. In addition, the supercollider association has hired a Washington public relations firm, Young and Associates, which has been handling press contacts and has been putting on events such as an April 26 news conference with Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), whose district includes the SSC, along with Will Happer, the Department of Energy's director of energy research. Staub says that, thanks to these efforts, the SSC has been taken off "the pork list" at most publications. On the academic side, Michael Barnett, a theoretical physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, is once again coordinating what he calls an SSC "information campaign" targeted at members of Congress. A similar effort last year was acknowledged by opponents as playing a powerful role in ultimately restoring SSC funding. Last month, Barnett coordinated an excursion by a group of about 60 physicists and students who paid their own expenses to visit congressional staffers and tout the supercollider. During the course of this trip, Barnett says, he found that the new members of Congress, more than 100 in number, are completely unfamiliar with what the SSC's purpose is, and most claim they're open-minded. Still, the word in Congress is that the new members will vote 2-to-1 against the SSC, he says. Barnett also found the GAO report--despite rebuttals from DOE and despite Dingell's call for a new study--was an issue during these visits. In his own conversations with 25 congressional staffers, Barnett says, he found that "not one had an inkling" the report was anything but a completely correct reflection of the situation at the SSC. Barnett believes the supercollider faces a tough battle in Congress this year. "If the vote were taken today, I'm told we would lose," he says, and so he will keep the pressure up. At press time, Barnett was organizing another group of about 60 physicists to lobby Congress. Even SSC director Roy Schwitters has been drafted into the P.R. effort. He says he appeared on April 29 at State University of New York, Stony Brook, for a forum to "educate the local people to what the SSC is about." The forum itself, including Schwitters's travel expenses, was paid for by the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, created by Texas to protect and oversee its $1 billion SSC commitment. Sponsorship of future forums is under discussion, say commission officials. Schwitters, as the one responsible for the alleged cost and schedule overruns, has also found the GAO report troublesome. "It puts me in a position instantly of having to say, `I am not a crook,' " he says. As for the upcoming battle over continued SSC funding, Schwitters says, "It's going to be tough." The mood in Congress is "very critical of funding any new project," he says. The DOE budget that the House is expected to vote on in late June contains only $640 million for the collider, reflecting the Clinton administration's desire to stretch SSC construction out over an extra three years, with completion by 2002 instead of 1999. The Bush administration was recommending $850 million for fiscal year 1994, to make up for last year's shortfall and keep the project on the original schedule. Barnett says that because support in the Senate appears strong, the House vote will be extremely important. "If we win in the House, we've won," he predicts. "If it loses in the House by a lot, it's all over." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week: Protests Fail To Weaken Scientists' Resolve Biomedical researchers vow to go on using animal subjects in their labs, despite acts of personal intimidation AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : NEWS PG : 1 & 8 Researchers targeted by a wave of protests from animal rights supporters late last month vow that the hunger strikes, sit-ins, candlelight vigils, and even some acts of vandalism by the activists will not deter them from continuing their work. The demonstrations were staged as a part of a national week of protests against the use of animals in biomedical research called World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week (WLALW). Animal rights activists have sponsored the week annually for the past five years--this year from April 24 through May 1. The 1993 WLALW featured 36 separate demonstrations at universities and medical centers throughout the United States. Departing slightly from the tactics of previous years, many activists observed the 1993 WLALW by focusing their complaints not on an entire school or institution, but against a single researcher or lab. One such subject of attention was Larry Cunnick, president of BIOCON Inc., a Rockville, Md.-based contract research laboratory engaged in animal-related technical services. On his white garage door "Animal Killer!" was written in red spray paint; on his driveway was scrawled "Leave Animals Alone"; and in his front yard was affixed a 12-inch-high cross with a purple flower and a purple bow. Cunnick says he is undaunted by such actions. "This is an attempt to intimidate individuals and families, but the animal rights people are not an intimidating lot," Cunnick asserts. "In fact, they're quite comical. These attacks on the research community are causing them to lose support nationwide at a fast rate.... "The attitude I've been getting from the general public is that these folks are just plain kooks." Cunnick was one of five scientists singled out for protest by animal rights supporters in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, Md., The activists covered homes with graffiti and, in one case, broke a car windshield. A group calling itself Animal Avengers claimed responsibility for the damage and told the Associated Press: "We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We don't think those [researchers] should be allowed to hide behind doors at night. We want the neighbors to know who they are." Cunnick says he has confronted animal rights supporters many times in the state capital as legislative committee chairman for the Montgomery County High Technology Council, a group of citizens supporting the area's biomedical research firms. "Well, I've fought animal rights-sponsored legislation trying to stop the use of research animals for seven years now," he says, "and this is their payback." Though no members of the Animal Avengers have been identified, the Arlington, Va.-based Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), a privately funded pro-animal research group, is offering a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Explaining both the purpose of WLALW and the rationale for identifying and targeting individual researchers, Michael Budkie, a former animal health technician and now national director of Milford, Ohio-based Last Chance for Animals, says: "The goal of World Week is to expose vivisection as something that is scientifically invalid and wastes our tax dollars, raise public awareness, and, in some cities, try to shut down specific research projects. "And that is easier to do when you talk about specific research proj-ects than when talking in abstract terms." WLALW has often been a time of increased activism by animal rightists; for the past few years, vandalism and illegal sit-ins that block building entrances have occurred during the week. During the 1991 WLALW, the house and car of Douglas Bowden, director of the Regional Primate Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, was spraypainted in numerous places with "Animal Killer!" Bowden says he feels that "there's something more insidious or threatening about [vandalism] than just a simple protest." Animal rights activists may not always engage in vandalism to agitate individual researchers, but rather to attract some additional media coverage that a news conference cannot, says Cres Vellucci, public affairs director for Last Chance for Animals and a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an underground animal rights group that for the past decade has claimed responsibility for numerous laboratory break- ins in the United States. "The ALF and people who act like them, such as Animal Avengers, have always been nonviolent," he says. "They destroy property, but it's difficult to do violence to an inanimate object, vs. the animals who are sentient and are tortured and killed in the labs in great numbers. What they're trying to do is call attention to who these individuals are." However, despite the vandalism that occurred in Maryland, most of this year's WLALW protests ended without incident. They included a demonstration in Lexington against University of Kentucky researcher William R. Martin's use of beagles for studies in drug dependence as well as a candlelight march at the University of California, Berkeley, to protest Russell DeValois's vision research using cats. Another rally was held in Philadelphia against University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Thomas Gennarelli's use of mini-pigs in his Head Injury Research Center. The organizer was the American Anti-Vivisection Society from Jenkintown, Pa., which said in a press statement that "nearly 100 mini-pigs will have their heads placed in a head-acceleration device to produce severe brain damage and simulate traumatic coma." Aiming dissent at individual scientists worries Adrian Morrison, a veterinary school professor at the University of Pennsylvania on leave as director of the Office of Animal Research Issues at the National Institutes of Mental Health. "It's a typical terrorist tactic," he says. "Concentrate your efforts on one person as an example and thereby hope to frighten many more people. They try to intimidate and create a climate where scientists wonder, `Well, maybe my research will be attacked next.' " Activists staged a candlelight vigil April 21 outside the home of University of California, Irvine, neuroscientist Edward G. Jones. Jones studies the mechanisms of sensory perception in the thalamus and cerebral cortex using cats, monkeys, and rodents. "What they did was stand outside the house and hand out leaflets of various sorts," he explains. "What they said was a total distortion of the truth. They said things that if I were guilty of, I'd probably be in jail. "I would hesitate to call them animal rights supporters," Jones says, "because in my opinion, they're much more concerned with stopping the conduct of legitimate biological research rather than having any profound interest in the rights of animals." Orange County People for Animals in Santa Ana, Calif., organized the vigil in front of Jones's house. The pamphlets they handed out say they are against "these cruel, wasteful, and pointless experiments" in which, the pamphlets maintain, Jones and four colleagues blind and then kill animals. Ava Park, the group's director, says Jones has not responded to their main plea, which is to hold a public debate on the validity of his work. "We don't consider any animal experimentation to be legitimate biological research--period," she says. "We think true research does not depend on veterinary medicine, which is what we think Edward Jones is practicing." A sit-in was held May 1 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to protest the work in the laboratory of James Woods and Gail Win-ger, who study medicines used to treat drug addiction. Woods has a colony of more than 100 rhesus monkeys raised for experimental purposes. The general objection to Woods's lab, according to literature from Last Chance for Animals, is that not only are animal models in medical experimentation not applicable to humans, but also "the money used in these experiments to addict primates to drugs could treat approximately 700 human victims of substance abuse annually." "I don't think anyone who takes their science seriously would even consider not using animal models," Woods says. "We're providing a public health service for the United States and the world. The information I gain in studying narcotics in my rhesus monkeys is used by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It's not trivial. It's not a waste of money." A demonstration with nearly 100 participants was conducted at Emory University in Atlanta opposing the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center on April 24. The previous day, two demonstrators staged a 24-hour hunger strike at the university's main entrance. At a news conference prior to the hunger strike, Frederick A. King, director of Yerkes, said he does "not feel frustrated about being required to respond to the animal rightists... because if we do not tell them the facts and the truth about the benefits that occur from animal research, then perhaps no one will do it." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : German Scientists Take Stand Against Racism And Neo- Nazi Violence AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : NEWS PG : 3 Scientists and other employees at the Science Center for Social Research in Berlin are waiting to see if a nationwide petition drive they've initiated denouncing the recent wave of neo-Nazi violence in Germany will prod the country's lawmakers to crack down on those racist activities. Staff members at the center, called Wissenschafts-zentrum Berlin fr Sozial- forschung (WZB)--a research institution studying economics, labor market development, and environmental protection policy--began composing the petition last September, following three days of neo-Nazi rioting in the East German town of Rostock. Over the next three months, the institute sent fax and electronic mail transmissions to more than 500 scientific institutions, research universities, and political parties throughout Germany. More than half of WZB's 300 staffers and scientists participated in drafting the document. Though the petition's organizers say the politicians to this point are totally ignoring them, a large number of scientists and academicians have pledged their support. "In the media, both in and out of Germany, these right-wing, fascist groups received a lot of attention," says Christoph Albrecht, the deputy director of the labor market and employment division of WZB and a petition signer. "We distributed the petition to our colleagues at other scientific institutions and universities to encourage them to do the same. We were hoping for a snowball effect. "Though scientists have a strong voice, it is only one voice," he says. "We are a part of the whole; only when many parts of professional society open their mouths with the same message will it have influence on discussions in Bonn [the German capital]." WZB's attempt to oppose the surge of xenophobic rage against Jews, asylum seekers from Eastern Europe, and ethnic and other minorities in Germany received widespread notoriety in November, when the center had the petition printed as an advertisement in the German national daily Sddeutsche Zeitung. The WZB document states that neo-Nazi violence is contributing to the "erosion of basic democratic values.... During the Weimar Republic [the pre-Nazi government in power from 1919 to 1933] too few scientists took an active stand against rising totalitarian thinking and action. We may not allow this to happen again. "We protest against the widespread disregard for the pain and fears of many people as Germany attempts to `grow together' into a single democracy," the petition proclaims. Hans Dolezalek, an atmospheric physicist and oceanographer who left Germany for the United States in 1989, says it is appropriate that scientists speak out against extremists' violence and hatred. Dolezalek, 81, who is nearing retirement from the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va., says he believes that scientists are natural opponents of xenophobia. "Scientists should never be in danger of developing a hate against foreigners," he says. "Because they are scientists, they usually have to have very good collaborations with foreigners--especially in the hard sciences, such as engineering, mathematics, physics, and environmental science." Dolezalek says the economic conditions created by reunification have probably sparked much of the social unrest among both skilled and unskilled Germans living in the east. For example, he says, the chemical industry in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany, was obsolete when compared to that in the West, and was unable to comply with the strict West German anti-pollution laws. "So they folded. And as a consequence, thousands of chemists, sometimes with very high scientific stature, found themselves without jobs," he says. Until a certain amount of economic parity is reached throughout the country, Dolezalek suspects that extremist activities will continue. "Considering the actions in Rostock last fall, the politicians should have been more outspoken," says Dagmar Kollande, a staffer at WZB and coordinator of the petition. "Chancellor Kohl should have gone there immediately. What the politicians tried first was to deal with questions of how many foreigners the country should take--instead of condemning those who committed acts of violence. There was not a strong enough reaction against it." Kollande acknowledges that it is unlikely the WZB petition itself will cause the violence to abate. Yet, she says, having scientists speak out against the acts of hatred will ultimately trigger discussions among intellectual organizations and in university classrooms. In addition to collecting more than $6,600 in contributions to finance the petition drive, Kollande says, the institute received numerous phone calls from scientists all over Germany who "had been also outraged by the wave of violence against foreigners but felt pretty much helpless and therefore highly welcomed our initiative." Other protests against the neo-Nazi acts have also taken place. Throughout November and December 1992 and January 1993, more than 45 demonstrations against the attacks on foreigners were held in many of Germany's major cities. According to the German Information Center, the New York City-based public relations arm of the German government, these anti-racism protests drew an average of 43,000 demonstrators a day. Since the merger of the GDR and the Federal Republic on Oct. 3, 1990, the German security agency Verfassungsschutz (Office for the Protection of the Constitution) has reported an increase in murders, beatings, and firebombings committed by pro-fascist youths, often referred to as "skinheads." In 1992, the agency reported more than 2,200 acts of right-wing violence, 17 of which were murders; the previous year, 1,500 such acts were cited. The attacks have been committed against Jews--even though only around 40,000 remain in Germany--the handicapped, the homeless, foreigners, and asylum-seekers. Extremist political factions have been vocal in protesting Germany's liberal asylum laws. Article 16 of the German constitution guarantees asylum for politically persecuted individuals. Since reunification, the number of non-Germans seeking asylum has risen from around 190,000 in 1990 to nearly 250,000 in 1991 and a total of more than 438,000 in 1992. During the first two months of this year, about 75,000 applied for asylum, according to the German Information Center. The primary countries of origin of the recent arrivals are Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Exchange programs between American and German students and faculty, though initially affected by the rioting, have not suffered any long-term decline in participants or applica- tions, says Wedigo de Vivanco, director of the German Academic Exchange Service in New York City. The exchange service, with 11 offices worldwide, coordinates programs of international academic and scientific exchanges with German universities; the German-American exchange office, with a budget of $16 million, is the service's largest. Vivanco says immediately following the events in Rostock, there was a sharp decline in applications. However, since then the numbers have returned to normal, and in some programs, such as the six-month study grants, applications have increased. Vivanco says public statements against racism are needed in Germany. "One has to react to [the violence]," he says. "It's not that because [the neo-Nazis] are a minority one doesn't have to take their actions seriously. And with Germany's history, this has to be treated especially sensitively. "When I was in Germany it was on everyone's mind and people felt terribly embarrassed. Thank God the whole upsurge didn't last too long. Let's hope it will not happen again." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: NOTEBOOK TI : Ear To The Grindstone TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 While hearing aid manufacturers keep trying to make a less cumbersome and noticeable appliance, University of Virginia graduate student Jonathan Spindel has delved into the subject a little deeper. He has developed a device that transmits sound via a tiny magnet permanently implanted on the "round window" of the inner ear and an electromagnetic coil placed a short distance from the magnet. Spindel, who expects to complete his doctoral work in biomedical engineering this year, notes that his device improves on conventional hearing aids and even other implantable units for those with "nerve deafness," in which the nerve cells that convert sound into signals to the brain are damaged or defective. Nerve deafness is suffered by 80 percent of the more than 22 million Americans with significant hearing loss. Spindel says that the other implantable hearing aids for nerve deafness require surgery that disrupts the small bones of the middle ear, but that his device, because it is placed directly on the round window, would not disturb these bones. For his efforts Spindel was named one of three winners of a national collegiate inventors' contest, sponsored by B.F. Goodrich Co., Akron, Ohio, as part of its College Inventors Program. Spindel received $5,000. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : A Different Way TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Portland State University in Oregon is offering an alternative route to science education for nonscience majors through its "Science in the Liberal Arts Curriculum" project, funded by the National Science Foundation. The curriculum, consisting of 24 courses being developed this summer, will incorporate "inquiry- based" learning, cooperative educational techniques, and computer technology, rather than relying on rote memory and lecture, its faculty designers say. The entry-level course, "Natural Science Inquiry," will begin this fall. Coming later will be "Integrated Science Concepts" courses, which explore themes common across science disciplines, and "Context of Science in Society" courses, which examine the interface of science and society. The curriculum authors say they have three goals in mind: to help students become conversant with the cultural, moral, political, and economic dimensions of science; to prepare potential teachers for new directions in precollege science education; and to recruit students into the study of science. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Art For Earth's Sake TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Fifteen aspiring elementary school artists were selected as winners of the Department of Energy's Earth Day poster contest last month. More than 340,000 students and 1,400 schools participated in the competition, based on the theme "Good Planets are Hard to Find." Regional contests were held to choose the finalists, whose work was displayed at DOE headquarters in Washing- ton, D.C. The finalists were divided into three grade categories--K-2, 3-4, and 5-6--with four winners in each category. Pictured here is the winning contribution from Idaho Falls fifth-grader Peri Spencer. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Magnetic Personality TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory has opened up shop for researchers needing short pulses of magnetic fields. The high-intensity magnetic fields of up to 600,000 gauss last for one-hundredth of a second, and the pulses are akin to harnessed bolts of lightning, according to Laurence Campbell, program manager of the project's pulsed facilities at Los Alamos. High-intensity magnetic fields are of interest to scientists because they make it possible to investigate materials and organic structures that are otherwise difficult to study, such as high-temperature superconductors and complex molecules like protein. Higher pulsed fields of up to 2 million gauss have been achieved at Los Alamos, with a catch--the technique entails using conventional explosives to compress a field into a very small volume, and samples thus far have not survived the test. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Antimatter Matters TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 In other record-breaking Los Alamos news, scientists have built the world's largest trap for antimatter and have used it to capture 50,000 antiprotons in a single shot. Sometime this summer they hope to trap 1 million or more antiprotons during their experiments, a world record. A million, according to Los Alamos physicists, is the minimum number needed to provide a controlled source of low-energy antiprotons for experiments such as measuring how fast antiprotons fall in Earth's gravitational field and for uses in medical, condensed-matter, and atomic physics studies. Antiprotons are identical to protons in most respects, except for having opposite electrical charges. When they meet, they destroy each other in a flare of energy. The Los Alamos trap consists of a copper cylinder that contains antiprotons, surrounded by a powerful magnetic field that confines the antiprotons along the cylinder's axis. Electric fields at each end repel the antiprotons and keep them from bouncing from one end of the cylinder to another, while the cylinder is placed in an ultra-high vacuum container to keep the antimatter from colliding with air molecules. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : In Animal Rights Debate, A `Modulating Influence' Is Misunderstood AU : ROBERT A. ROTH, JR. TY : OPINION PG : 11 As an academic toxicologist, I have participated in the activities of the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) almost since the center's inception, first as a reviewer of grant proposals and, since 1988, as a member of the advisory board. Given the position of CAAT, expressed clearly in its mission statement (see accompanying item), it is not surprising that radical animal rights activists have not embraced the center. However, over the years, I have learned that many academicians who are biomedical researchers also have a negative view of the center, a view that is usually based on ignorance and/or misconceptions about CAAT, its mission, and its activities. When my academic colleagues learn that I am associated with CAAT, they are usually surprised, and the news is met with a chilly response. When I am asked by them, "Why are you involved with CAAT?" the implication is usually "Why do you associate with an organization working against the use of animals in research? Further discussion often reveals one or more misconceptions. Some colleagues are not familiar with how CAAT is supported and assume wrongly that animal rights activists are major contributors. In fact, the center's core activities are currently funded by a National Institutes of Health grant in addition to corporate contributions. Many do not know that CAAT's main focus in developing alternatives is directed not to academic research, but rather to industrial toxicity testing, in which the need for economical assays for rapid and accurate assessment of human risk remains acute. Many members of the scientific community are aware that CAAT offers grants of $30,000 to scientists interested in pursuing research that could result in non-whole-animal methods. However, few are familiar with efforts in areas of public education or validation of alternative methods and what these entail. Over the past decade, as the number of alternative assays has increased rapidly (by 1992, more than 50 assays had been identified for ocular irritation alone), assessing the relevance and reliability of these methods has assumed tremendous importance. The establishment of the European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) by the Commission of European Communities is one indication of the significance of validation; the presence of representatives of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration on the CAAT Advisory Board is another. Comparatively few academic researchers understand that CAAT provides forums in which those in the lay and scientific communities whose major goal is reduction of animal use may interact with those in the scientific community whose goal is understanding biology and disease. For example, a recent symposium commemorating CAAT's 10th anniversary provided for recognition of and interaction among individuals with very diverse view- points. The World Congress on Animal Use and Alternatives, to be held in Baltimore this November, will do the same. Many scientists do not know CAAT as a modulating influence in the animal rights debate, in which extreme emotionalism and lack of rational thought are too often the major players. Few realize that CAAT supports the use of alternatives to whole animals in toxicity testing only when such alternatives have been validated scientifically and are consonant with protection of public health. Most are unaware of the center's efforts, through its own publications and coverage in the national media, to inform the public about the uses and limitations of alternatives in product safety testing and why animals currently are used to answer toxicological and scientific questions that impact on public health. Few academicians conduct research with the goal of identifying replacements for animal use. Rather, their efforts focus on understanding fundamental biological processes and mechanisms of disease, including toxicoses, and on discovering ways to prevent or treat disease. As a group, academicians recognize the need for using animals in the processes of understanding and discovery. When an in vitro biological system is used by academic researchers, it is usually because it is deemed to be more appropriate experimentally than a whole-animal model to address a specific scientific question. My academic colleagues conduct their research responsibly, with concern about animal welfare, including appropriate use and care of animals. Most bristle at the suggestion that responsible use of animals in research is wrong. Because academicians do use animals in responsible ways, many resent pressures that render such use more difficult. Unfortunately, CAAT is viewed by some as an organization that contributes to such pressure. But it certainly has not. As an academician and a research investigator, I choose to associate with CAAT because its mission recognizes the present need for using animals in research and toxicity testing and because it takes a responsible approach to the development of alternatives that are scientifically valid. I agreed to serve on the advisory board because I think that CAAT helps, not hinders, those of us who use animals in our studies and because CAAT assumes a responsible position about in vitro methods in toxicity testing. As a board member, I have tried to promote the exploration of cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, to endorse the incorporation of understanding of mechanisms into toxicity evaluation, and to encourage programs to educate the public about the need for responsible use of animals in research and testing and about the advantages as well as limitations of alternatives. Some of the misunderstanding surrounding alternatives may be semantic in nature. The word "alternatives" has for some researchers an "all-or-none" implication, that is, complete replacement of animal testing with other means. In retrospect, perhaps the incorporation of this word into the title of the center may have been unfortunate, but it will likely remain. The center's definition of "alternatives," indeed, encompasses not just replacement, but also reduction of animal use and "refining existing tests by minimizing animal stress." I encourage my colleagues to read the CAAT mission statement. I suspect that most would find little in it about which to argue and much to support. Scientists should continue to engage in biological research, recognizing that there is a large public constituency concerned that science be humane and not wasteful of animals. We as scientists communicate too seldom and often awkwardly with this constituency. As an organization that has credibility with many on both sides of the animals-in-research issue, CAAT is uniquely qualified to educate and inform the public about the rationale and benefits of responsible animal use and to clearly define the "three Rs" concept of alternatives: replacement, reduction, and refinement. The support of fellow scientists is important to the success of this endeavor. Robert A. Roth is a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University's Institute for Environmental Toxicology, in East Lansing. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : CAAT: THE MISSION STATEMENT TY : OPINION PG : 11 The mission of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing is to: * Foster the development of scientifically acceptable in vitro and other alternatives for use in the development and safety evaluation of commercial and therapeutic products. * Catalyze the validation of alternative methods and encourage their use, where appropriate, while continuing to ensure the health of the public. * Disseminate scientifically correct information about alternatives, their uses, advantages, and limitations. CAAT recognizes that non-whole-animal (alternative) methods act in concert with whole animal and clinical studies to: --advance science, --develop new products and drugs, and --prevent, treat, and cure disease. Alternatives are defined as new methods that refine existing tests by minimizing animal distress, reducing animal usage, or replacing whole- animal tests. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : CAAT: AT A GLANCE TY : OPINION PG : 11 The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) was founded in 1981 with a $1 million grant from the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association. The funds were to be used to develop basic scientific knowledge necessary to create innovative non-whole-animal methods for evaluating the safety of commercial and therapeutic products. At present, CAAT--under the directorship of Johns Hopkins University toxicology professor Alan M. Goldberg--sponsors a small extramural grants program (funding 18 grants in 1993), supports intramural research in the In Vitro Toxicology Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and conducts information and education programs. Mainstream animal protection organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and others have been supportive of CAAT's activities; radical groups have not. Current CAAT grantees include investigators at such institutions as the University of California (Berkeley and San Francisco), Johns Hopkins, and Brown University. More than 100 articles resulting from CAAT-funded research have appeared in peer- reviewed publications. The center has held nine symposia and published a nine-volume textbook series and five technical reports. The organization's newsletter is distributed to more than 35,000 individuals. The CAAT advisory board is composed of 34 scientists, sponsor liaisons, and representatives of government and regulatory agencies who review applications for the CAAT grants program and are responsible for overall program planning. For more information on the center, or to receive the CAAT newsletter, call or write: Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, 615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, Md. 21205; (410) 955-3343. Fax: (410) 955- 0258. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: COMMENTARY TI : Top-Flight Research At Small Colleges Merits More Recognition, More Support AU : Eugene Garfield TY : OPINION PG : 12 Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking at a Bethesda, Md., meeting of scientists, college administrators, funding agency officials, and others on a subject that has long been of paramount interest to me: the value of undergraduate research at small liberal arts colleges. The meeting was part of a two-day program cosponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). The council's 2,000-plus membership, for the most part, is composed of science faculty and administrators at undergraduate schools throughout the United States. It had organized the event with the aim of stimulating dialogue among its own members and representatives of NIH and NSF on the subject of funding opportunities and grant administration policies as they pertain to the smaller colleges and universities. Earlier this year in The Scientist (Feb. 22, 1993, page 10), CUR's immediate past president, Laura Mays Hoopes, offered cogent, qualitative arguments in support of her recommendation that undergraduates be drawn into "high-risk but low-budget experiments that can launch whole new fields of investigation." I agree that hands-on research is immensely important as a means of encouraging young people to enter and remain in the science pipeline. Moreover, in my own studies I have found that undergraduate institution research, judging by the frequency with which it is cited in subsequent papers, is quite often of very high impact. Thus, it is important not only as a means to an end, but also as an end in itself. In my talk at the meeting, I reviewed some of my findings with the audience, and was therefore able to provide a quantitative complement to Hoopes's views. Several years ago, at the Institute for Scientific Information, we did a citation analysis of the Oberlin Group--50 small colleges that produce a significant percentage of future Ph.D.'s. (A report on this analysis was published in the Aug. 17, 1987, edition of Current Contents under the title "Research and dedicated mentors nourish science careers at undergraduate institutions.") In my talk at the recent gathering, I expanded the analysis to include many more schools--since CUR represents some 600 colleges. I demonstrated that many of these colleges have also been producing research of higher impact, both short- and long-term, than that produced in many graduate institutions. In other words, the liberal arts schools have proved successful not only in producing science graduates, but also in contributing substantially to the advancement of scientific knowledge. For example, I showed that the average impact for papers produced at the 74 CUR institutions that were consistently productive between 1981 and 1992 was well above the "world average"--that is, the average impact for all papers indexed by ISI. In fact, two schools--Haverford College and Wellesley College--doubled the world average. Clearly, these undergraduate institutions make a significant contribution to research. These data support the notion that NSF, NIH, and other funding sources would do well to increase support for undergraduate research--and that such support isn't merely a disguised welfare program for talented students. Laura Mays Hoopes believes that CUR members' "appreciation of research as an integral component of science education explains why we produce more than our share of future scientists." Of course, as a training ground for a substantial proportion of our future scientists, undergraduate colleges make a critical contribution to our research base. However, the contribution they make to published research has not been appreciated. As indicated by my analysis, that contribution is significant--especially remarkable in light of the size, facilities, and funding of these colleges compared with the more comprehensive research universities. Were NSF and NIH to support much larger numbers of undergraduate projects at all undergraduate institutions, we might really be able to see how much, as Hoopes believes, you learn to become a scientist not by "studying" science--but by "doing" science. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: LETTERS TI : Redundant Publication TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 I enjoyed the article "Vigilant Science Journal Editors Fight Redundancy" (Paul McCarthy, The Scientist, March 8, 1993, page 1). The real incentive for literature pollution, or your more polite term "literature redundancy," is the evaluation and reward system at most universities. Administrators and colleagues still decide tenure and promotion cases largely on the basis of numbers of papers in "peer- reviewed" journals. There rarely is any consideration of the significance, the citation impact, or the redundancy of those papers. If we simply asked all retention, promotion, and tenure evaluators to consider redundancy as a negative factor in the algorithm, the problem would rapidly disappear. There should also be an incentive for members of the community to call on the carpet colleagues who are guilty of publishing redundant papers. Perhaps newspapers like The Scientist could provide some PR and notoriety by, for example, selecting the "most redundant author of the year" in each of several fields or "hot topics." This would help alert editors to such curriculum vitae padding and immediately send a message through the academic community. J.D. ANDRADE Professor of Bioengineering University of Utah Salt Lake City (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Westinghouse Contestants TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 Regarding the commentary "A Pat On The Back For Westinghouse Finalists--And For The Talent Search Sponsors, As Well" (Eugene Garfield, The Scientist, March 8, 1993, page 12): Why does my heart sink when I read the titles you listed of projects by two 17-year-old high school students--"Undocumented Complex Social Relations in Captive Theropithecus gelada" and "Loop Two Amino Acids Important for Ability of P-glycoprotein to Confer Multidrug Resistance"? They have obviously been trapped in the ephemeral scientific culture of their elders and channeled at an early age into trying to make tiny contributions to vast enterprises, the nuances of which they are probably quite unaware. Would any 17-year-old who had not been instructed in the acceptable minutiae of current scientific paper nomenclature have come up with such titles? Don't the titles reek of medical and social significance, scientific "political correctness," and the big money of their future careers? And, if anyone takes a moment to think about what lies behind them (if the students really were doing something experimental), what extraordinary resources must they have had that are not available to 99 percent of teenagers? Yes, when I was in high school in the United Kingdom (1945-53) we tried out for projects--we did things like "Why the Universe Is Expanding"--and of course these efforts were quite childish. But some of us struggled through nonetheless. And I am happy that I did not lose my innocence at such an early age--and even happier that I did not lose it without realizing that fact myself. PETER NICHOLLS Department of Biological Sciences Brock University St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Muggers And Con Men TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 In his letter to The Scientist (Feb. 22, 1993, page 10), Martin L. Stephens, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), took exception to my lumping his organization in with other animal rights groups ("Animal Rights Activism: Enough is Enough," The Scientist, Nov. 23, 1992, page 12). However, Stephens's artful use of language does not alter the fact that HSUS is indeed part of the same animal rights movement as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). HSUS was converted from animal welfare to animal rights by a membership vote at the group's 1980 annual meeting. Clarifying HSUS's moral values and goals is important because many educators are unaware of its animal rights stance and educational programs, which attempt to redefine human moral value systems. Educators need to examine HSUS's own moral value system and determine whether it is brainwashing our children. Despite Stephens's protests, what separates HSUS from other animal rights groups is not its philosophy, but merely its tactics and longer timetable for abolishing the use of animals in research. It's like the difference between a mugger and a con man. They each rob you; they use different tactics, have different timetables--but the results are the same. Since the confrontational tactics practiced by the Animal Liberation Front and condoned by PETA have given all animal rights organizations a bad name, HSUS now publicly avoids the term "animal rights" and attempts to distance itself, saying that its members are "animal protectionists," a term that HSUS has yet to precisely define for the public. Recently, HSUS chief executive John Hoyt revealed his organization's calculating approach to presenting its position to the public. Speaking at the 1990 HSUS annual meeting, Hoyt said, ". . . there has evolved over the past few years a fairly radical difference in the tactics employed by various groups in seeking to achieve their goals.... Those utilized by some animal rights groups tend to be confrontational and demonstrative, sometimes resulting in the destruction of property, personal intimidation, and, on rare occasions, violence. This is not to say that the rights of animals should be either ignored or minimized as meaningful and vital philosophy.... But what needs to be said, and understood, is that those who seek to codify the rights of animals ... are but a small minority. Do we then imagine, even for one brief moment, that a government--our government-- which declines to sign a magna carta on behalf of children . . . will be moved to do our bidding to stop the use of animals for research or prohibit their use for food? ... I hardly think so." John McArdle, previous HSUS vice president for lab animals, instructed the group in 1984 to "avoid the words `animal rights' and `antivivisection.' They are too strange for the public. Never appear to be opposed to animal research. Claim that your only concern is the source of the animals." These direct quotes clearly reveal HSUS's animal rights philosophy and hidden abolitionist goal. In his letter, Stephens characterizes my evidence as mere "tidbits" and "threadbare arguments." On the contrary, there is so much material to support my point that I could not incorporate it all in my Commentary. PATRICK H. CLEVELAND President Coalition for Animals and Animal Research San Diego (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3501 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 E-mail: Bitnet: ================================ NEXT: RESEARCH TI : New Journals Reflect Growing Interest In Euro, Eco, Nano, And Neuro TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 Editor's Note: In an effort to identify research areas that appear to be capturing an increasingly large share of attention among scientists worldwide, the newsletter Science Watch undertook a detailed analysis of the titles of scientific journals that made their publishing debuts in 1992. The newsletter--published by the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia--discovered that approximately 30 percent of the new journals were addressed to a readership interested in the field of clinical medicine. And, by analyzing the terms used in the titles of the journals, Science Watch discovered a markedly high presence of the word "international." Does this mean that "international clinical medicine" is emerging as the matter of greatest interest for the largest number of scientific researchers throughout the world?. Not necessarily, says the news-letter's editor, David Pendlebury. However, he says, his publication's title analysis can be useful to readers in discerning "how research fields fractionate and emerge and, interestingly, how journal publishers are always poised to react to these shifts." Following is Science Watch's report, which appeared originally in the newsletter's October 1992 edition, and is presented here with the permission of Science Watch and ISI. The new journals of 1992 can be likened to newly formed planets in a vast universe. Each journal is formed from bits and pieces that were formerly floating freely but have now accumulated into a solid mass. Around each orbits a growing number of researchers seeking to observe, to probe, and to describe these new worlds. If we fly a little farther out, however, we can see that these new planets seem to cluster into groups, and the groups into regions, and regions into large structures, and so on. Such a wide-angle perspective can often show structures that a more narrow view would otherwise fail to reveal. By analyzing the new scientific, technical, and medical (STM) journals in 1992, Science Watch aimed to map the scope and shape of current trends in research. There is little consensus on what constitutes a journal, and there is no single comprehensive source on the serial literature. So, Science Watch used its own judgment in defining a journal and turned to several different sources to compile a list of the new titles in 1992. The in-house files of ISI were consulted: a listing of the journals that were sent to ISI to be evaluated for coverage in one of its products; the fall 1992 edition of R.R. Bowker's Ullrich's Plus CD; and the Oct. 1, 1992, issue of Nature--the "new journals" issue--which features abundant advertisements by journal publishers for their new offerings. Science Watch identified a total of 364 STM journals that published a Vol. 1 in 1992. One of the accompanying tables lists the fields of research represented by these 364 new titles. Since no title was counted more than once, some difficult decisions were required to assign a journal to one area rather than another. The most populated areas in research are biological and medical, so it is of little surprise to see that, among the 1992 group, clinical medicine and biology ranked first and second, respectively. But the fields that are ranked third, fourth, and fifth--agricultural and environmental sciences; technology and applied sciences; and computer sciences--provide something of a revelation. These three seem to exhibit more growth and innovation at present than the traditional areas of the physical sciences--in particular, mathematics and physics--which appear ranked seventh and eighth. This finding recalls the results of an earlier study (Science Watch, 2[9]:1-2, October 1991), which detected a slow-to-moderate growth in the number of articles published during the last decade in mathematics and general physics. To view these data in another way, Science Watch indexed the key words and word-stems in the titles of the new journals and then ranked these terms by their frequency within the set. Some of the words that appeared five times or more seem to reflect publishers' efforts at marketing or positioning their new products ("international," "European," "Russian," for example). Others indicate trends in the substance of scientific research itself (such as "comput-," "eco/ecol-/environment-," "micro- /nano-," and "-image-"). There is certainly a "green" look to the journals that were new in 1992. Frequent key terms in their titles include "eco-/ecol- /environment-" and "agri-/agro-/hort-." Titles represented in this group include: Molecular Ecology, Environmental Testing and Analysis, Ecotoxicology, Restoration Ecology, the Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health, European Journal of Agronomy, and Horttechnology. The area of computer sciences is reflected in the frequently appearing key terms "comput-," "system-," "intelligent-," and "programming-." Computer modeling and simulation is clearly a hot topic currently (for example, Computer Simulation and Modeling and ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation). The very small seems a subject of growing interest as well, reflected in new journals with "micro-" or "nano-" in their titles. These include Microlithography World, Nanobiology, the Journal of Microelectro-mechanical Systems, and Nano- structured Materials. Imaging made a clear mark in 1992, as well. New titles in this realm of research include Image Systems, Neuro-Image, the Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, Journal of Electronic Imaging, and the Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision. Materials research figured prominently in the new group (Smart Materials and Structures, Optical Materials, and the Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance), and some of the new titles exhibit more than one of the frequently occurring key terms identified here (Computational Materials Science and Nanostructured Materials, mentioned previously). Medicine accounted for the greatest number of new titles in 1992. Among the frequently occurring key terms with a medical slant are "clinic-," "cancer/on-co-," "health," "medic-," and "surg-," which, taken together, represent nearly 40 journals. Themes prominent among the medical and clinical group are health care quality and economics, laparoscopic surgery, cancer care and prevention, and women's health, the last reflected in such titles as the Journal of Women's Health, Breast, and Mammary Gland. It is worth noting the frequency of the term "applied" and the absence of the words "basic" or "fundamental" in the accompanying word-stem table. Perhaps this is a reflection of a new pragmatism in research and of the demand, increasingly heard, for research that can contribute to national needs. Recent geopolitical events certainly seem to be reflected in the use of the terms "European" and "Russian" (in place of "Soviet") in so many titles. Presumably, publishers believe that the European Community movement and the newly independent Russian state have created new and distinct markets for their journals. In our more global world market, "international" seems to be a favorite designation, as well. Whether science segments itself along geopolitical lines seems doubtful, but the market for journals with a geographic perspective or flavor may indeed prove viable. Among the new journals in contention for the prize for most unusual or amusing title are: European Spine Journal, which begs the question of whether Asian or North American spines deserve their own journals; the arcane Transactions of the Metal Finishers Association of India; and the International Journal of Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance, and Management, which bank customers around the world will recognize as oxymoronic. Science Watch's award, however, goes to Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. This journal is sure to be a success, since an overwhelming demand for this title can be simulated by its publisher. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : FIELDS RANKED BY NUMBER OF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, AND MEDICAL JOURNALS INTRODUCED IN 1992 TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 RANK FIELD # JOURNALS PERCENT 1 Clinical Medicine 104 28.6 2 Biology 68 18.7 3 Agricultural and Environmental Sciences 63 17.3 4 Technology and Applied Sciences 39 10.7 5 Computer Sciences 33 9.1 6 Chemistry 16 4.4 6 Engineering 16 4.4 7 Mathematics 14 3.8 8 Physics 11 3.0 Science Watch / Institute for Scientific Information (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : WORD AND WORD-STEM FREQUENCIES OF KEY TERMS IN TITLES OF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, AND MEDICAL JOURNALS INTRODUCED IN 1992 TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 RANK WORD OR FREQUENCY WORD-STEM 1 international 25 2 bio-/biol- 21 3 comput- 17 4 eco-/ecol-/ environment- 16 5 European 15 6 system- 13 7 applied 12 clinic- 12 8 cancer/onco- 11 9 material- 10 micro-/nano- 10 10 agri-/agro-/hort- 9 drug-/pharm- 9 food-/nutrition 9 molecular 9 11 development- 8 health 8 -image- 8 information 8 Russian 8 12 medic- 7 13 neuro- 6 14 -electro- 5 evolution- 5 intelligen- 5 natural 5 programming 5 psycho- 5 surg- 5 toxi- 5 Source: Science Watch / Institute for Scientific Information (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: HOT PAPERS TI : MATERIALS SCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 E.A. Fitzgerald, Y.-H. Xie, M.L. Green, D. Brasen, A.R. Kortan, et al., "Totally relaxed GeSi layers with low threading dislocation densities grown on Si substrates," Applied Physics Letters, 59:811, 1991. Eugene Fitzgerald (AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.): "Nearly all the microelectronic circuitry (very-large-scale integration [VLSI]) today is manufactured from silicon. For decades, scientists have been trying to estimate when Si would mature and another materials system would dominate. However, Si circuitry continues to improve by reducing the device size--that is, faster circuits are produced by making smaller Si transistors so that electrons travel shorter distances. Thus, it now appears that Si VLSI will still dominate, although certain bottlenecks will appear. For instance, when the Si devices shrink below 0.1 micron in size, the metal interconnections among transistors, circuits, and assemblies may become the bottleneck. Because Si will still be an important material for much of the microelectronic tasks, scientists are considering not the replacement of Si VLSI with a new material, but instead combining other semiconductor materials with Si VLSI. Therefore, the issue of how to integrate different materials on a Si substrate is becoming a key issue. "This paper describes a procedure for producing a relaxed germanium-silicon alloy film on Si with very few dislocations threading up to the top of the deposited layer. This result generated interest because of the possibility that field effect transistors (FETs) based in the GeSi/Si system could be integrated with Si, and light-emitting elements from groups III to V may be integrated as well. "Our work has had a large impact, since it has renewed the possibility that ultrafast complementary field effect transistor circuits could be made from GeSi/Si heterostructures, and these circuits could be integrated with Si VLSI. However, the ability to combine materials with different lattice constants also has renewed the possibility that optoelectronic components such as lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could be integrated with Si as well. We were first to demonstrate that red-emitting LEDs could be fabricated on the graded, relaxed GeSi structures (E.A. Fitzgerald, et al., Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, B 10:1807, 1992). The ability to integrate LEDs and lasers with Si may be a solution to some of the interconnect problems that Si VLSI will encounter. "In addition, a much more speculative application of the relaxed buffers is to create alternating layers of different compositions of GeSi on the relaxed buffers. It has been suggested that such structures were created on the uniform GeSi layers, and their properties were difficult to analyze because of high threading dislocation density. Thus, researchers interested in these superlattice structures can now probe the properties of the superlattice without interference from a high density of defects if the structure is grown on graded GeSi/Si." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 M.P. McCormick, R.E. Veiga, "SAGE II measurements of early Pinatubo aerosols," Geophysical Research Letters, 19:155-8, 1992. M. Patrick McCormick (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.): "Since 1979, the global view of aerosols in the stratosphere and upper troposphere has been provided almost exclusively by the Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement II (SAM II) and the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE I and II) series of satellite instruments. The resulting data sets have shown that naturally occurring atmospheric aerosols (sub-micron-sized particles composed mainly of aqueous sulfuric acid) are not uniformly distributed, but rather undergo large changes resulting from volcanic eruptions and in response to atmospheric dynamics, microphysical growth, and gravitational sedimentation. A specialized type of `aerosol' also appears in the form of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) inside the Antarctic vortex during the cold polar night. These clouds provide catalytic surfaces upon which heterogeneous reactions free reactive chlorine atoms that destroy ozone and create the Antarctic `ozone hole.' "If their global abundance is great enough, as has been the case since the June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, the aerosols can cool the Earth's surface by reflecting incoming solar radiation and heat the local stratosphere by absorbing upwelling infrared radiation. Changes in the atmospheric temperature structure can, in turn, affect atmospheric dynamical processes. In addition, heterogeneous chemistry similar to that which creates the ozone hole may occur at all latitudes. "Our paper describes the initial perturbation to stratospheric aerosols caused by the eruption of Pinatubo. We show SAGE II- derived maps of its global dispersal at various altitudes and estimate the mass of new aerosols produced. These data show that the Pinatubo perturbation was the largest of the century, perhaps the largest since the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. "Besides producing beautiful and prolonged sunrises and sunsets, the Pinatubo aerosols are having a significant effect on climate, ozone chemistry, atmospheric dynamics, remote sensor performance, and polar-route aircraft flying through the layer. The enormous amount of aerosol produced--greater than 30 million tons--is predicted by climate modelers to produce a global mean cooling near the surface of about 0.5<198> C. This amount of cooling is about three times larger than the standard deviation of global mean temperature and, therefore, provides an `acid test' for global climate models. Such cooling will mask for a few years the warming caused by the greenhouse effect. "Similarly, this amount of aerosol increases the global aerosol surface area density by an order of magnitude or more over pre- eruption stratospheric values and, therefore, greatly increases the probability of perturbations to `normal' homogeneous ozone photochemistry. Perhaps more important, it provides this enhanced aerosol surface area not just in the polar regions, but globally, with increased potential for widespread stratospheric ozone depletion. The aerosol level also produces artifacts or reduced accuracy in the data retrieved by satellite-based and ground- based remote sensors, which must be taken into account in interpreting the measurements. "Finally, since the cruise altitude for aircraft flying on polar routes is in the lower stratosphere, the surfaces of these aircraft come in contact with this new sulfuric-acid aerosol. One damaging effect is a phenomenon called crazing, where-by microscopic cracks are produced in the outer layer of the passenger windows made of acrylic, making it difficult or impossible to view out of them. "This paper and subsequent data since publication are providing these important global data to researchers in each of the fields mentioned previously and, in addition, have contributed to an understanding of the gas-to-particle conversion processes, the particle condensation and growth processes, and various atmospheric dynamical processes." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY TI : DNA Sequencing Software Teases Meaning From Genes AU : RICKI LEWIS TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 As molecular biology becomes increasingly informational, computer software to manipulate and analyze nucleic acid sequences has evolved from a useful tool to an absolute necessity, researchers say. The first generation of DNA software accelerated sequencing by analyzing images of DNA fragments on electrophoresis gels. Today's programs perform dozens of functions on strings of nucleotides, including cutting, comparing, and detecting information. There is much to choose from. A primary consideration in selecting software is one's hardware. IntelliGenetics Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., for example, offers flexibility: Its GeneWorks sequence-analysis software operates on a Macintosh, while its PC/GENE package runs on IBM- compatible personal computers. The Genetics Computer Group Inc. (GCG) of Madison, Wis., offers the Wisconsin Package, which operates on a VAX/VMS system, from the Maynard, Mass.-based Digital Equipment Corp., and several UNIX systems, from AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J. Software from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., is also UNIX-compatible. Identifying Need Some DNA software packages offer an impressive list of functions to prepare the user for nearly any research contingency, while others are more targeted and specific in the tasks they support. IntelliGenetics' PC/GENE and GeneWorks; MacDNASIS from Hitachi Software Engineering America Ltd. in San Bruno, Calif.; GCG's Wisconsin Package; and others offer an array of functions, including basic editing; overlapping sequences to form contig maps, a method of approaching a gene by aligning overlapping sequences; generating restriction maps; comparing sequences and calculating the percentage of divergence; searching databases; transcribing DNA to RNA and displaying its secondary structure; converting nucleic acid sequences to amino acid sequences; and recognizing patterns, such as protein encoding regions and repeated short sequences. Millipore Corp. of Bedford, Mass., by contrast, offers five more specific software packages used for genome research and mapping, says marketing communications manager Greg Hoff. Each package provides several related functions. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) databasing software, for example, allows the user to build databases of RFLP films, and to compare and analyze information in the databases. (An RFLP is a DNA sequence that varies among individuals and is detectable because it alters a restriction enzyme cutting site, changing the sizes of fragments that result from applying the enzyme to DNA.) Software packages targeted to a specific technique can also be comprehensive. OLIGO 4.0 from National Biosciences Inc. of Plymouth, Minn., selects oligonucleotide primers for use in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from a researcher's DNA or RNA sequence or from a database. In selecting primers, the program considers such parameters as secondary structure, specificity, and degeneracy, and calculates annealing and melting temperatures. The program also can edit a sequence and translate a single-stranded DNA sequence in all three reading frames (starting with the first, second, or third base). DNASTAR of Madison, Wis., offers " la carte" modules such as MegAlign (for sequence alignment), MapDraw (for restriction analysis), and GeneMan (to access databases). Additionally, the firm offers the comprehensive software package Lasergene, which also is available in a form that supports five simultaneous users. Francis Barany, an associate professor of microbiology at Cornell University Medical College, says that with Lasergene, at the press of a button, he displays maps of the cancer genes with which he is working, altering the maps in seconds by punching in new DNA cutting enzymes. Some programs are friendlier than others. Potential users often shy away from the software available from the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information, says Warren Gish, a researcher at the facility, because of the effort necessary to master a UNIX workstation, which the software runs on. The center's programs--BLASTN to compare nucleic acid sequences and BLASTX to detect protein encoding gene regions--are "accessed over Internet, a worldwide network that is very popular in academia, and is growing in popularity in the commercial sector. Using a file transfer protocol [FTP], a user can connect to a server [computer] here at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and copy the software onto a local computer," Gish says. But a biologist who is not a computer aficionado might be better off purchasing software from a commercial vendor, Gish says. "It costs to use company software, but the users have a right to expect that the system be more turnkey, that they have access to someone to call with a problem. Companies offer more hand- holding," Gish says, referring to the training sessions, hotlines, and newsletters that typically accompany purchase of DNA sequence-analysis software. Lorenzo's Oil And GRAIL Easily accessible is the GRAIL program from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "It is simple and friendly, designed for non-computer people," says Edward C. Uberbacher, a member of the computer sequence-analysis group in Oak Ridge's engineering physics and math division, who describes himself as half biologist, half computer scientist. "People send in a [DNA] sequence, and the system sends back a message describing where in the sequence are the coding parts of a gene," he adds, referring to a subcomponent of GRAIL called CRM, which stands for "coding recognition module." Earlier this year, as moviegoers learned about the fatty acid buildup behind adrenoleukodystrophy in the film Lorenzo's Oil, an international team of researchers was using the GRAIL/CRM program to identify the gene that causes this inherited neurological deterioration of late childhood. Following clues provided by affected boys missing genetic material in parts of their X chromosomes, the researchers used the software to identify a likely protein-encoding portion of the candidate gene region. The program then compared the predicted protein's amino acid sequence to those in standard protein databases--and found something unexpected, yet logical (Jean Mosser, et al., Nature, 361:726, 1993). Rather than implicate the very long chain fatty acid CoA (VLCFA-CoA) synthetase gene thought to be the culprit, the computer search identified a peptide transporter protein that ferries VLCFA-CoA synthetase into the peroxisome, the cellular site of fatty acid breakdown. DNA sequence-analysis software must readily adapt to the unknown genetic complexities that are certain to arise from the ongoing genome projects, including surprises in gene structure and function, as well as emerging mapping strategies. Consider the recent discovery of the gene that causes Huntington's disease (Huntington's Disease Collaborative Research Group, Cell, 72:971, 1993). Part of the reason why a decade passed between the discovery of a marker and the final identification of the gene was that its protein product resembles no other. But the gene does have one distinguishing feature--the trinu-cleotide CAG repeated many more times in those who are affected by this dominantly inherited, adult-onset neurological disorder than in others. Huntington's disease joins three other nucleotide repeat disorders recently identified--fragile X syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Most, if not all, sequence-analysis software would not require revamping to handle this unexpected, new form of mutation. "You can put in a specific sequence, and search for it. [The program] stops everywhere it locates the sequence," says Cordell Brown, manager of sales and marketing at Hitachi, explaining how MacDNASIS would detect a nucleotide repeat. A sensitive computer is better at detecting short repeats than a human is. Mapping Microsatellites The first maps of the human genome were assembled in the 1980s using RFLP markers. This approach was sketchy, roughly equivalent to filling in the outlines of states on a blank map of the United States. Newer mapping strategies are more like localizing the cities on such a map. One faster and easier mapping route uses as signposts short, repeated DNA sequences (one to five bases). These are called short or simple sequence tandem repeat polymorphisms or, more succinctly, microsatellites. Up to half a billion microsatellite sequences are scattered across the human genome. Mapping genes using microsatellites as guides entails determining the exact number of bases between repeats. This number can differ by as few as one or two bases in different individuals, resulting in very similarly sized electrophoresis gel bands. A computer is much better at discriminating these bands than is the human eye. Millipore's Bio Image Short Tandem Repeat Polymorphism Software, which runs on the company's Bio Image gel/film reader system and SUN Microsystems workstations, increases throughput in detecting genes by five-fold. On a Macintosh, GENESCAN analysis software from Applied Biosystems Inc., Foster City, Calif., eases this new form of mapping. GENESCAN uses fluorescent labels to mark DNA from different individuals (Janet S. Ziegle, et al., Genomics, 14:1026, 1992). The program presents the data either as a simulated gel pattern or as an "electrophoretogram," clearly displaying which alleles are found in which members of a family. In clinical studies, color-coding allows "multiplexing"--looking at more than one gene per family member at a time. "We have determined that a single project with at least 500 individuals would take years to analyze by radioactive methods. But with the GENESCAN software and the ability to multiplex, we can do the same project in a matter of three to four months," said Elizabeth Nanthakumer, director of the DNA analysis facility at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in an interview that appeared in the Applied Biosystems company newsletter, Biosystems Reporter (November 1991). Looking Ahead The DNA sequence-analysis software of the future, say many molecular biologists, will concentrate on identifying more and more motifs (common sequence regions encoding protein with a distinctive three-dimensional structure) to decipher the meaning of gene sequences. And genes in need of analysis are rapidly piling up. At the European Community Symposium on Strategies in cDNA Programs, held in Paris Oct. 12-13, 1992, 70 researchers reported a total of 25,000 partial complementary DNAs (cDNAs). These are DNA sequences that are reverse-transcribed from messenger RNA (mRNA) obtained from specific tissues. The cDNAs therefore reflect genes that are active in a specific cell type. The 25,000 partial cDNAs are thought to represent 10,000 human genes, or about 10 percent of the protein-encoding portion of the human genome. But the need for DNA sequence-analysis software will be compelling even after the genome journey has ended. Concludes Cornell's Francis Barany, "Once the human genome has been sequenced, we're going to be in a position to do many interesting experiments. There will be a time when we have the information and can then answer fundamental questions." Ricki Lewis is a freelance science writer based in Scotia, N.Y. She is the author of a biology text and has just completed a human genetics text. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : A SAMPLING OF DNA SEQUENCE-ANALYSIS SOFTWARE TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 18 Applied Biosystems Inc. (Division of Perkin-Elmer Corp.) 850 Lincoln Centre Dr. Foster City, Calif. 94404 (800) 345-5ABI Fax: (415) 572-2743 Products: GENESCAN 672 for microsatellite markers on Macintosh: call for price. DNASTAR Inc. 1228 S. Park St. Madison, Wis. 53715 (608) 258-7420 Fax: (608) 258-7439 Products: Lasergene comprehensive package: $3,995; Lasergene options, including BIO-CORE 1, Map-Draw, and GeneFont (basic molecular analysis system) and MegAlign, Protean, GeneMan, or SeqMan: $945. Genetics Computer Group Inc. (GCG) University Research Park 575 Science Dr., Suite B Madison, Wis. 53711 (608) 231-5200 Fax: (608) 231-5202 Product: GCG Sequence Analysis Software Package: $4,000 (nonprofit organizations) or $12,000 (for-profit organizations) Hitachi Software Engineering America Ltd. 1111 Bayhill Dr., Suite 395 San Bruno, Calif. 94066 (800) 624-6176 Fax: (415) 615-7699 Products: DNASIS 7.0 for PC: $1,700; Hitachi MacDNASIS 2.0 for Macintosh: $1,950 IntelliGenetics Inc. 700 E. El Camino Real Mountain View, Calif. 94040 (415) 962-7300 Fax: (415) 962-7302 Products: GeneWorks sequence-analysis software (Macintosh): $2,000-$3,000, depending on customization; PC/GENE: $2,700-$3,800 Millipore Corp. 80 Ashby Rd. Bedford, Mass. 01730-9125 (617) 275-9200 Fax: (617) 275-5550 Products: Bio Image Short Tandem Repeat Polymorphism Software for microsatellite mapping: call for price; DNA Sequence Assembly Manager Software, assembles contigs: call for price. National Biosciences Inc. 3650 Annapolis La. Plymouth, Minn. 55447-5434 (800) 747-4362 Fax: (800) 369-5118 Products: OLIGO 4.1 Primer Analysis Software for PC or Macintosh: $800 National Center for Biotechnology Information National Library of Medicine 8600 Rockville Pike Building 38A, Room 8N806 Bethesda, Md. 20894-0001 (301) 496-2475 Fax: (301) 480-9241 Products: BLASTX, BLASTN: free; call for information. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Computer Sequence Analysis Group Engineering, Physics and Math Division Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37831 (615) 574-6134 Products: GRAIL/CRM: free; call for information. (See also Scientific Software directory on page 30.) (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Survey: Grad Student Stipends Rising, New Appointments Dropping AU : EDWARD R. SILVERMAN TY : PROFESSION PG : 19 Prospective graduate students eagerly awaiting word from schools about the size of their stipends for the next academic year will undoubtedly be pleased to learn that the median stipend paid to teaching and research assistants in university biological and physical sciences departments rose during the 1991-92 school year as compared with 1989-90, according to a recent study. The survey was conducted by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The good news, however, is tempered by another finding of the study--that the number of first-year teaching and research appointments declined in physical and biological sciences departments, as did these departments' share of the overall number of assistantships. A total of 80 United States universities provided assistantship stipend data for first-year grad students in 2,892 science and nonscience departments. The study was conducted in cooperation with, and was partially supported by, the Council of Graduate Schools. The data were compared with figures from a previous study conducted by the University of Nebraska for the 1989-90 academic year. Fifty of the institutions participating in the 1991-92 study also took part in the earlier survey. Among the findings was that the median stipend for graduate teaching assistants rose 10.3 percent, to $8,712, during the 1991-92 school year. In the physical sciences, the median stipend increased 10.7 percent, to $8,753, making this the highest-paid category. However, the survey found that there were fewer first-year appointments in 1991-92 than in 1989-90. Biological sciences departments named only 1,359 teaching assistants, compared with 1,449 in 1989-90, a 6.2 percent drop. In physical sciences departments, first-year teaching assistant appointments fell 25.5 percent, to 2,978. "It would be a reasonable hypothesis to state that the poor economic conditions led to a decrease in teaching assistants being hired," says Merlin Lawson, dean of graduate studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. "Often, the teaching assistant budget is the first to go," he says. "But departments still need to be competitive on a national basis and protect their stipend levels." So although the stipend allocation may be a discretionary item in a de-partment's budget, "if you get any increase in money at all, you put it back into stipends." Looking toward the future, others caution that the uncertain economy will continue to dampen the outlook for increased funding and new positions. "Graduate enrollment nationwide is rising about 2 percent a year," says Harvey Knull, dean of the graduate school at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. "And over the last two to three years, the number of graduate applications is increasing across the country. "But many institutions of higher education, especially state institutions, are having some difficulties because they're not being supported by their legislators. "Over time, if this continues, I do expect there to be an erosion of teaching assistant dollars. We're in a state of flux at the moment," he adds. "The physical and life science departments are jealously guarding their positions." On a weighted average basis, which takes into account differing numbers of stipends at various levels of pay, the median stipend paid by biological sciences departments to teaching assistants rose $932, or 12.17 percent, to $8,592, in the 1991-92 school year from two years earlier. Physical sciences departments paid an extra 9.67 percent, to $8,706. Among biological sciences departments, 55.37 percent of those responding said that stipend levels are determined by the student's academic rank--such as whether he or she has a bachelor's or master's degree--during the appointment. Such rankings mattered in only 38.1 percent of the physical sciences departments. The survey also found that first-year teaching assistants in agriculture departments put in the highest mean number of hours per week, at 19. Both biological and physical sciences first-year teaching assistants logged 18 hours per week. The median value of net stipends--which factor out paid tuition for a graduate teaching assistant--was up 10.75 percent, or $801, to $8,251 in biological sciences departments. Net median stipends were up 11.5 percent, or $840, to $8,137 in physical sciences departments. Among research assistants, the median stipend was $9,279, up 10 percent, in biological sciences departments, while the stipends rose 12.5 percent, to $9,000, in physical sciences departments. Again, though, the number of first-year appointments in biological sciences departments was down 33.3 percent, to 797, while in physical sciences departments, first-year appointments declined 40.3 percent, to 694. As with teaching assistantships, research positions were limited by economic variables, which also constrained the availability of funding from outside organizations, such as grants from foundations, a source of stipend financing at some schools. "Most graduate students are supported by assistantships," notes Gordhan Patel, dean of the graduate school at the University of Georgia, Athens, and a zoology and biochemistry professor. "The kind we have are where students get money from outside funding." Patel, however, is more optimistic than some other academics about future prospects for grad students. "Fortunately, my administration has been supportive," he says. "We have a good chance of being stable, with some increase in the level of stipends--maybe 2 percent in the 1993-94 year." The median value of net stipends, subtracting such items as tuition, was $8,649 in biological sciences, a 14.57 percent increase. In physical sciences, the median net stipend was up 16.05 percent, to $8,400. The survey also found that research assistants in biological sciences departments logged 19 hours per week, while their counterparts in physical sciences departments put in 18 hours per week. Edward R. Silverman is a freelance writer based in Millburn, N.J. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS: STIPEND LEVELS BY AREA OF INTEREST, 1991-92 TY : PROFESSION PG : 19 Area of Interest Minimum Median Maximum Value Value Value Agriculture $1,643 $8,712 $16,500 Arts & Humanities 1,000 6,606 14,406 Biological Sciences 2,200 8,712 14,406 Business & Management 1,600 6,500 14,406 Education 639 6,552 14,406 Engineering 849 8,100 16,050 Health Sciences 1,000 6,552 23,130 Physical Sciences 894 8,753 15,000 Social Sciences 1,000 7,000 14,406 Source: Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIPS: STIPEND LEVELS BY AREA OF INTEREST, 1991-92 TY : PROFESSION PG : 19 Area of Interest Minimum Median Maximum Value Value Value Agriculture $1,200 $8,712 $16,854 Arts & Humanities 300 6,000 16,854 Biological Sciences 1,200 9,279 22,000 Business & Management 792 5,500 16,854 Education 639 6,660 20,000 Engineering 1,200 8,400 20,103 Health Sciences 1,000 7,568 23,026 Physical Sciences 1,500 9,000 16,854 Social Sciences 1,350 6,750 16,854 Source: Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE TI : President-Elect Of Astronomical Society Pledges To Focus On Science Education AU : Ron Kaufman TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 21 Concerning the role of astronomy in early science education, Frank H. Shu, a professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and president-elect of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), says his field does not get enough respect. Shu, who will take over the 6,000-member AAS in June 1994, says astronomy can be a useful tool in capturing the interest of students in science at the elementary and secondary levels. "Many teachers have the wrong perception that astronomy is a fairly esoteric subject because it doesn't lead to the development of a better toaster," says Shu, who officially becomes president-elect on June 9. "I would argue that . . . this field has something valuable to offer the nation." Shu says that, unlike many other scientific disciplines, astronomy's facts and concepts can be explained in easily understood ways. "I cannot name a better subject than astronomy to inspire young people to become interested in science," he says. As president of AAS, Shu says, he hopes to inspire teachers to use astronomy in the classrooms. "I don't think professional astronomers would best use their time to teach at the elementary levels," he states, "but we can have a strong influence in the way teachers of science and engineering are trained. And to start that, we have to change our own attitudes." He says part of this change will involve astronomers demanding a higher quality in their own teaching, so that those who will end up as elementary science teachers will be better suited to convey their discipline. Shu says astronomers need to be encouraged to focus on teaching through "a better balance of awards and motivations between excellent teaching and research." He hopes that, along with promoting science education, AAS will begin to have more of an influence on setting national research priorities in the field. "In the past, the American Astronomical Society has primarily regarded its function as running the meetings, publishing the journals, and establishing committees that look into various specialized problems," he says. "It has not attempted to define priorities." Currently, decisions about which research projects get funded are made by panels at the National Academy of Sciences or a similar agency in government. Though he says he has made no specific plans, Shu hopes to enable astronomers to air their views on research priorities through the voice of AAS. Shu, 49, was born in Kunming, China. He received his B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1968. He has been a member of the faculty of UC-Berkeley since 1973. His interest in science education is evidenced by the authorship of an undergraduate textbook, The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy (University Science Books, Mill Valley, Calif., 1982) and a two-volume graduate textbook, The Physics of Astrophysics (University Science Books, 1992). He also recently finished writing the "Cosmos" section of the 1994 Encyclopaedia Britannica. In addition to his work in the United States astronomical community, Shu is spearheading the formation of a national Institute of Astron- omy and Astrophysics in Taiwan. Three years ago, the Academia Sinica of Taiwan invited Shu to give advice in starting an institute to both fund and house researchers in the field. Shu says he travels to Taiwan three or four times a year and is anticipating the launch of the institute next year. "This effort," he says, "has attracted support from overseas Chinese astronomers, who all feel this desire to help and push in this direction so Taiwan and China can enter the community of modern nations in a subject that has tremendous cultural and historical importance." --Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Scientist-Turned-Congressman Pushes For Increased Support Of Basic Research AU : Ron Kaufman TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 21 Scientists engaged in basic research have a strong ally in Congress: Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.). As one of the 124 freshmen in the 103rd Congress, Bartlett, a former researcher in respiratory physiology, says he hopes to be able to increase the funding for undirected basic research. "If Clinton and Gore really respected science and technology, they'd stop trying to direct basic research," he says. "I keep trying to make the point that if it's directed, it's not basic. They want to direct basic research to areas where we're going to have a societal payoff. I understand a layman doing that, but it's not going to work from a scientific viewpoint." As a scientist, "you look for knowledge and go wherever truth leads you," Bartlett says. "You never can tell where the next great idea will come from. And I think that's very true in basic research and early R&D. "We need less government manipulation and control, less bureaucracy, and more money going directly towards basic research." Throughout his career, Bartlett, 66, has been involved in respiratory, metabolic, and stress physiology studies. He received his B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Md., in 1947 and his Ph.D. in physiology with a minor in biochemistry from the University of Maryland in 1952. >From 1962 to 1967, he headed the space life sciences group at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he helped develop an automated anesthesia machine and a breathing metabolic stimulator. From 1967 to 1974 he worked at IBM Corp.'s scientific division in Bethesda, Md. From 1974 until his retirement in 1986, Bartlett taught at Frederick Community College in Frederick, Md. Bartlett is a member of the Armed Services and Science, Space, and Technology committees, yet has not sponsored any legislation specifically concerning science and technology. He says the half- dozen bills he has personally submitted have all related to reforming Congress or the economy, two issues he feels are most important to the average voter. He was one of only four House freshmen to sign a pledge to cut the federal budget deficit in half by 1996 or not seek reelection. "I signed the pledge. If they can find any vote I made which was not focused on reducing the deficit and balancing the budget, I will not run again," Bartlett says. "It's got to be possible to cut it. If it's not possible, we're doomed." In the November election, Bartlett, who represents Maryland's 6th District, on the western border of the state, won 54 percent of the vote, beating the 46 percent garnered by Democrat Thomas H. Hattery. --Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : OBITUARY TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 21 Michael E. Stanley, a Columbia University neuroscientist who studied the biochemistry of suicide and other self-injurious behavior, died of a heart attack April 26 in Short Hills, N.J. He was 49 years old. Stanley, who came to Columbia in 1989, held two positions there: one as clinical professor of psychopharmacology in the departments of psychiatry and pharmacology in the university's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the other as director of the department of neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, part of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Stanley received his B.S. in psychology from Montclair State College in New Jersey in 1972 and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, in 1979. Before arriving at Columbia, Stanley was a professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #11, May 31, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================


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