THE SCIENTIST (CONTENTS PAGE + FULL ISSUE FOLLOW THIS SHORT MESSAGE) *********************

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

THE SCIENTIST (CONTENTS PAGE & FULL ISSUE FOLLOW THIS SHORT MESSAGE) ****************************************************** Dear Reader: Many of you have been accessing THE SCIENTIST, free of charge, on the Internet for over a year. We thank you for your interest. Would you please take a moment to let us have your views, suggestions, and comments about THE SCIENTIST to enable us to better meet your needs? We would particularly like to know: 1. If you are working in an academic, commercial, or government organization? 2. After you ftp each issue of THE SCIENTIST, how many others do you share it with? 3. Do you usually ftp the file or prefer searching it via Gopher or WAIS? 4. If it can be arranged, would you prefer receiving each issue, automatically, in your electronic mail box? 5. Finally, do you have any suggestions for ways of improving our file or format? Thanks and best wishes, Eugene Garfield Publisher THE SCIENTIST, 3600 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104,U.S.A. Phone :(215)243-2205 // Fax: (215)387-1266 E-mail:garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu ================= THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 8, No:13 JUNE 27, 1994 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) =============================================================== Articles published in THE SCIENTIST reflect the views of their authors and not the official views of the publication, its editorial staff, or its ownership. =============================================================== *** THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SCIENTIST WILL APPEAR ON *** *** JULY 11, 1994 *** *** *** ******************************************************* Subscription rates for the printed edition are: In the United States: one year $58, two years $ 94 Canada : one year $82, two years $142 All other foreign : one year/air cargo $ 79 one year/ airmail $133 THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author TI = title of article TY = type PG = page NEXT = next article ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ============================================================ NEWS BRIDGING THE GAP: The second part of a two-part series on science in the courtroom looks at several ongoing efforts aimed at establishing better communication between the scientific and legal professions. Among the projects under way is the development of a reference manual to help judges evaluate scientific evidence and an examination by a committee of scientists and lawyers of mechanisms to identify potential court-appointed scientific experts PG : 1 POMP AND CIRCUMSPECTION: Distinguished members of the scientific community have received honorary degrees from academic institutions over the past two months. Topics the honorees have touched on at commencement ceremonies include the need for social responsibility, evolving issues in health care, and new career challenges PG : 1 RISKY TIME FRAME: The members of the Risk Assessment and Management Commission convened their first meeting last month with their work cut out for them. Already delayed more than two years in its formation, the commission has until November to complete its congressional mandate. Complicating their task, according to some members, is the need to define the parameters of their charge PG : 1 LACK OF UNDERSTANDING: A recent survey by the American Museum of Natural History confirms similar studies that indicate that, despite their professed interest in science, Americans' understanding of the natural and physical world is disturbingly low. Researchers say it is imperative that this situation be reversed PG : 3 OPINION AGENDA FOR THE FUTURE: Social and ethical responsibilities of research, the public's skepticism about science, equality for women and minorities, and the increasing difficulty of building a stable career in research were some of the issues raised by leading science figures in their commencement addresses to graduates this year. Several of the speeches are excerpted here PG : 12 COMMENTARY: The serendipitous collaboration of Rutgers University and Merck & Co. Inc. that 50 years ago produced streptomycin, the first effective treatment for tuberculosis, serves as a paradigm for academia-industry cooperation leading to biomedical discovery, says molecular biologist Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute at Rutgers. Today's restrictive government regulations concerning funding and procedures are stifling such productive joint ventures, Messing declares PG : 13 RESEARCH COMPUTING BRAIN FUNCTIONS: Neuroscience research initiatives have increased dramatically over the past several years, and, ironically, computers--originally invented to duplicate brain functions--are playing a leading role in investigating neural mechanisms PG : 15 HOT PAPERS: Microbiologist Kazuo Sugamura discusses his paper on a breakthrough brought about by characterization of a gene; astrophysicist Brian P. Schmidt reports on an attempt to determine the value of the Hubble Constant; and biochemist Douglas C. Rees relates his investigation of the FeMo cofactor PG : 16 TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY BIBLIOGRAPHY BREAKTHROUGHS: Increasingly, bibliographic- database software is becoming an essential tool for researchers producing papers, and improvements facilitating direct importation of references from electronic sources are becoming equally popular PG : 18 PROFESSION DUAL-PURPOSE GRANTS: In an effort to promote teaching and research as equally important endeavors, the Research Corporation initiated the Cottrell Scholars awards, grants to third-year faculty to help them conduct research that will involve their undergraduate students PG : 21 NOBELIST DEREK H.R. BARTON, a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been named the recipient of the 1995 Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society PG : 22 SHORT TAKES NOTEBOOK PG : 4 CARTOON PG : 4 LETTERS PG : 13 BIBLIOGRAPHIC-DATABASE SOFTWARE DIRECTORY PG : 19 NEW PRODUCTS PG : 20 OBITUARIES PG : 22 PEOPLE BRIEFS PG : 22 CROSSWORD PG : 22 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Science Luminaries In Limelight At 1994 Commencement Exercises AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : NEWS PG : 1 Dozens of distinguished science figures have been among the luminaries receiving honorary degrees and offering their words of wisdom to graduating students throughout North America over the past two months. Scientists so honored include Francis S. Collins, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research; Frank Press, former president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS); and Walter Massey, past director of the National Science Foundation--as well as Nobel laureates Kary Mullis and Michael Smith. Unlike the students, who donned their caps and gowns to receive formal acknowledgment of their academic accomplishments, these individuals were feted for achievement in their chosen professional fields. Although a somewhat controversial issue (B. Spector, The Scientist, June 24, 1991, page 1), the practice of granting honorary degrees is a time-honored tradition in many schools, and the awardees have been effusive in expressing their gratitude. "It is a unique kind of honor that an institution with which I have had no connection thinks my achievements are worth recognizing," says Herman Goldstine, executive director of the Philadelphia-based American Philosophical Society and a recipient of an honorary doctor of science degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. At various points in his career, Goldstine, a mathematician who was educated at the University of Chicago, has worked at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania in Phil- adelphia, and Princeton University in New Jersey, but never at Rutgers. "It's very flattering," adds Goldstine, who was in charge of building ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the world's first electronic computer, and directed the development of the prototype for the first modern computer, the IBM 700 series. Upon accepting his honorary degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Jerome Kassirer, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, said he felt like the comedian Jack Benny, who once said, when given an honor, "I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that, either." Kassirer, a medical doctor and former teacher of some of the faculty at Jefferson, gave a brief address at the graduation ceremony, in which he exhorted the medical students to guard the trust between doctor and patient. "Take the time to listen to them.... Give a lot of yourself," he advised. Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, in his speech to the graduating medical students of Tufts University at its Waltham, Mass., campus, gave similar advice, urging them "to get off your pedestal and get your hands dirty," and to be activists for justice and tolerance. Brazelton, who was recognized for his role in addressing critical issues facing children and parents, is a professor of psychiatry and human development at Brown University in Providence, R.I. The topics of health and medicine appeared very much on the minds of other speakers, as well. Although not an honorary degree recipient, former National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy was the featured speaker at Vassar College commencement ceremonies. Addressing graduates of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., school, Healy emphasized the importance of those subjects, saying, "The lesson s from medicine are really lessons for life. "The transformation of our lives by advances in medicine over the next few decades will...challenge all of us to participate in decisions about what gifts have worth-- whether or not you are in medicine." Henry Friesen, president of the Medical Research Council of Canada, also touched on the subject in his address to graduates at Canada's University of Western Ontario in London, where he and former NAS president Press were presented with honorary doctorates in science. "Faced with the startling advances in treatment and prevention of disease and disability, and with concepts of health that may at times verge on the utopian, we do well to keep in mind that there will always be 10 leading causes of death, premature or otherwise," cautioned Friesen. Keeping with the spirit of anticipation that pervades the atmosphere at graduation ceremonies, several speakers offered the students some practical tips on facing the future. "A career is like a vacation," said Thomas Weil, general manager for research and development at Chicago-based Amoco Chemical Co., addressing the graduates of the State University of New York, Oswego, after receiving an honorary doctorate. Weil, a SUNY-Oswego alumnus, expanded on this theme, saying that both endeavors require planning. "Be sure to have fun and select a career that is exciting and stimulating," he said. "Learn to manage the stresses and frustrations. Take away and keep good memories, experiences, and stories." Among other honorary degree recipients who were returning either to their alma maters or hometowns was Jon Lien, head of the Whale Research Group at Canada's Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's. Lien revisited St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., having graduated from there in 1962. Kary Mullis, who shared the Nobel in chemistry last year for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction and is now a biotechnology consultant, was honored by the University of South Carolina, located in his hometown of Columbia. Urging graduates to be flexible in their career paths, and unafraid in the face of mistakes, Mullis said, "Admit it quickly and get into something else if you don't like where you are." 1994'S HONOR ROLL Unless otherwise mentioned, the following list includes recipients of honorary doctorates in science, awarded to those who have made significant contributions to science, irrespective of their profession. Brown University, Providence, R.I. * Masaru Ibuka, cofounder and honorary chairman, Sony Corp., Japan. * Robert MacPherson, chairman, department of pure mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; for achievements in the field of topology and work with Russian mathematicians since the 1970s. * Matthew D. Scharff, director, Albert Einstein Medical College, Bronx, N.Y.; for research in immunology that has led to antibody engineering and given insights into immune- system cancers. Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. * Jonas E. Salk, founding director, Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and developer of the first vaccine against polio. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. * Maxine Singer, president, Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C.; for contributions in biochemistry and human genetics. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y. * Wangari Maathai, coordinator, Green Belt Movement and former associate professor of anatomy, University of Nairobi, Kenya; for her contributions to global environmental movements. * Priscilla A. Schaffer, chief, division of molecular genetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School. Hood College, Frederick, Md. * Shirley M. Malcom, head of the directorate for education and human resources programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science; for efforts to improve the education of women and minorities. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore * D.A. Henderson, Department of Health and Human Services deputy assistant secretary for health, science, and the environment; former deputy director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; former dean, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. * Richard S. Ross, emeritus dean, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. * Jay M. Weiss, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Emory University School of Medicine; for achievements in experimental neurochemistry. New York University * Daniel Nathans, professor of microbiology and genetics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Howard Hughes Medical Institute senior investigator; recipient of 1978 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine; for work in the area of genetic mapping. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science * Philip Needleman, senior vice president for research and development, Monsanto Co., St. Louis; for achievements in biomedical and biotechnology research. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. * Jewel Plummer Cobb, principal investigator, ACCESS Center and Network for Minorities in Science and Engineering, California State University, Los Angeles; president, emerita, California State University, Fullerton; for work in cell physiology and advocacy for women in science. * Mary Lowe Good, Department of Commerce undersecretary for technology. Ripon College, Ripon, Wis. * Sylvia A. Earle, deep-sea explorer and ocean environmental researcher; adviser to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; for contri- butions to oceanic and environmental research. * Edward O. Wilson, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard; for work on behalf of biodiversity and endangered species. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick * Herman Heine Goldstine, executive director, American Philosophical Society; for contributions to computer sciences, mathematics, and the history of the computer and mathematics. * June E. Osborn, professor of epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health; professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, University of Michigan Medical School; for contributions as chairwoman of the United States National Commission on AIDS. St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y. * David G. Leach, director, Madison, Ohio, satellite research station of Cleveland's Holden Arboretum; for contributions to horticulture and plant genetics. St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. * Jon Lien, professor of ocean studies and psychology and head, Whale Research Group, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada * Michael Smith, professor of biochemistry, University of British Columbia; recipient of 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry (honorary doctorate of laws). Smith College, Northampton, Mass. * Mary-Claire King, geneticist, University of California, Berkeley. * Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, senior medical investigator, emerita, Veterans Administration Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.; recipient of 1977 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. State University of New York, Binghamton * John Cairns, Jr., University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; for work on environmental management. State University of New York, Oswego * Thomas A. Weil, general manager for research and development, Amoco Chemical Co., Chicago; for environmental computing research. State University of New York, Stony Brook * Akito Arima, president, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Tokyo; for research on nuclear structure. * Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General of the United States; for contributions to medicine and public welfare (honorary doctorate of humane letters). Syracuse University, N.Y. * Carl R. Woese, professor of microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; for work in microbial genetics, evolution, and taxonomy. Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia * Jerome P. Kassirer, editor-in-chief, New England Journal of Medicine. * Takashi Sugimura, adviser to Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare; president, emeritus, National Cancer Center of Japan. Tufts University, Medford, Mass. * T. Berry Brazelton, professor of psychiatry and human development, Brown University; clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, Harvard Medical School; for work addressing critical issues facing children and parents in society. University of Cincinnati * Barry C. Bishop, chairman, Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society; for research on extreme terrestrial environments. University of Connecticut, Storrs * Sylvia A. Earle (see Ripon College entry). * Edith W. Martin, vice president and chief information officer, International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT); national adviser to Secretary of Energy. * Chang-Lin Tien, A. Martin Berlin Chair in Mechanical Engineering and chancellor, University of California, Berkeley; for research in heat-transfer technology. University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington * Anthony S. Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; for clinical immunology research. University of Illinois, Chicago * Dudley Herschbach, professor of chemistry, Harvard; recipient of 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry; for investigations leading to the science of molecular- reaction dynamics. * Leon Hirsch, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, U.S. Surgical Corp., Norwalk, Conn.; for contributions to surgery. University of Massachusetts, Worcester * G. Timothy Johnson, medical editor, ABC television network. * Paul C. Zamecnik, principal scientist, Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. University of Michigan, Dearborn * Don Herbert, creator of the television science program "Watch Mr. Wizard"; for contributions to science education in the form of the program as well as books, kits, videos, and films. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill * Francis S. Collins, director, National Center for Human Genome Research, National Institutes of Health; for discoveries in human genetics. * Jane Richardson, James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry, Duke University; for research in the area of structural biology. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, * Samuel O. Thier, president, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; for achievements in the field of medicine. * Phillip Tobias, professor, emeritus, of anatomy and human biology, and director, Paleoanthropology Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; for research on the early evolution of man. University of South Carolina, Columbia * Kary Mullis, recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry, private consultant in molecular biology and biotechnology in San Diego; for development of PCR technology. University of Western Ontario, London * Henry G. Friesen, president, Medical Research Council of Canada; for contributions to medical resarch. * Frank Press, senior research fellow, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington; former president, National Academy of Sciences; for contributions to geophysics, oceanography, science, and science policy. Washington University, St. Louis * Richard E. Leakey, paleoanthropologist and conservationist; former director, Kenya Wildlife Service; for efforts in saving elephants and other African wildlife from extinction. * Ernst L. Wynder, adjunct member, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, and clinical professor of community and preventive medicine, New York Medical College; for pioneering work in cancer prevention as the first researcher to show a link between smoking and lung cancer. Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. * Satoshi Omura, president, Kitasato Institute, Tokyo; for research in microbial chemistry and work toward a cure for river blindness. Yale University, New Haven, Conn. * Robert E. Cooke, professor, emeritus, of pediatrics, State University of New York, Buffalo; for contributions in the fields of health care and child development (honorary doctorate of medical sciences). * Maxine Singer (see Harvard University entry). (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Scientists And Lawyers: Projects Aim To Bridge Gap Between The Traditionally Contentious Professions Cooperative efforts seek to develop bases for agreement and a vocabulary to be shared by two influential cultures AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 1 **** Editor's Note: This second part of a two-part series looks at several ongoing efforts aimed at establishing better communication between the scientific and legal professions. With court cases increasingly relying on sophisticated scientific evidence, the importance of such cooperative efforts is growing. The first part of this series, which appeared in the June 13 issue, explored some of the questions concerning the admissibility of scientific evidence raised in a landmark liability case heard by the Supreme Court last year. **** The cultures of science and law both seek their own versions of truth. But their purposes differ in important ways, as do their methods. Partly as a result, interactions between the two historically have been fraught with misunderstandings and, at times, mutual suspicion. Today, however, a number of projects are under way to bring the scientific and legal professions into greater alignment. These projects seek to increase the insight members of both groups have into the processes of the other and to develop something like a shared vocabulary of ideas. For example, a reference manual to help judges manage scientific evidence is being developed at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., a research, education, and planning arm of the federal judiciary, with help from the Carnegie Corporation. Also, the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a group sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Bar Association (ABA), is working to identify mechanisms whereby the scientific community can identify potential candidates to serve as court-appointed scientific experts or so-called special masters, individuals designated by a judge to help assess the validity of scientific evidence. The tasks are complex ones that attempt to bring closer the differing goals of these two groups, both of which are socially powerful. "Although both scientists and the courts say they are looking for truth, what they mean by that is very, very different," says Dan L. Burk, a molecular biologist and a visiting assistant professor of law at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. "When a scientist says that she's looking for the truth or she's looking for an understanding of how the universe works, she's working inside a very definite kind of empirical and social framework. When the law says they're after truth, they're after something completely different, which is that they're trying to help people live together in society. They're trying to resolve conflicts. "That may mean that the courts come to a decision that completely flies in the face of the scientific evidence," Burk adds. "The scientists have one particular worldview, and the lawyers really have a very different one. And each one is well adapted to what that community is trying to accomplish. But when you get on the interface between them, you're going to get some conflict of priorities." That conflict was clearly drawn in the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Daubert et al. v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, a product-liability case originally decided in Merrell Dow's favor in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in 1989. In the Daubert case, two children, Jason Daubert and Eric Schuller, and their parents contended that Bendectin, a drug marketed by Merrell Dow (now Marion Merrell Dow Inc., Kansas City, Mo.) and taken by the mothers while pregnant to avert morning sickness, had caused the children's birth defects. The twin questions of what should qualify as minimally admissible scientific evidence and who should make that decision were at the heart of the case, scientists and lawyers say. In 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco upheld the summary judgment in the case that the more stringent standards of the scientific community--in this case, reliance on peer- reviewed research--should outweigh other considerations in evaluating the admissibility of such evidence. But in the Supreme Court's June 28, 1993, decision, written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, the Court allowed for more judicial latitude and called on judges to take a more active, "gatekeeping role" in screening scientific evidence. In determining the admissibility of such evidence, the Court said, judges should use only relevance and reliability as their guides, rather than rely on the peer-reviewed status of the work, for example, as some scientists had advised. The decision has led judges to a greater appreciation of the methods of science, scientists and legal scholars say, and, perhaps ironically, findings in cases since Daubert appear to conform at least as closely with scientific consensus views as before. "The courts are very conscious of their role now," says Richard A. Meserve, a lawyer with the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling. Meserve, who holds a Ph.D. in applied physics and once served as clerk to Justice Blackmun, is also cochairman of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. "The Supreme Court has told judges that their obligation is to police scientific evidence. They're supposed to look at these matters closely, and they're doing it." "The Daubert opinion is saying to judges, `Don't let in junk science,'" says David Kaye, a professor at the Center for the Study of Law, Science, and Technology at Arizona State University, Tempe, and editor of Jurimetrics Journal, a science-and-law publication affiliated with ABA. "Be vigorous." Scientific Advice To Judges The purpose of the reference manual under development at the Federal Judicial Center is to help judges more effectively assess scientific evidence and to do so as early in the legal process as possible, according to project director Joseph A. Cecil. "It is intended to advise on the management of expert testimony and the use of extraordinary procedures--like use of court-appointed experts and special masters--in cases that pose difficult science problems," Cecil says. The manual, scheduled to be published in November 1995, will contain a series of "reference guides," or overview papers, in areas of science that have proved troublesome to the courts, according to Cecil. Information provided about such areas as epidemiology and toxicology will enable a judge to engage in a meaningful conversation with the attorneys and experts for each side about the basis of the expert opinions. Other areas to be covered in the manual are forensic analysis of DNA, survey research, inferential statistics, and multiple-regression analyses. "The guides are written not to tell judges what evidence is admissible," Cecil says, "but to explain to judges how [scientists in] these disciplines go about determining their findings. For example, in the epidemiology paper, there's an explanation of case-control research designs and cohort research designs, so that when judges hear these terms, they'll understand exactly what kind of research design was used. In the toxicology paper, there's a discussion about in vitro and in vivo studies, and the issues that arise among toxicologists when discussing extrapolation of findings of animal research to humans." Advice on what role peer review should play in deciding the admissibility of scientific evidence will be part of the handbook, too, according to Steven G. Gallagher, a senior staff associate of the task force on science and technology in judicial and regulatory decision making of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, which produced the March 1993 report Science and Technology in Judicial Decision Making. The importance of peer review is not simply a matter of asking whether or not a study has been peer reviewed, he says. A more subtle approach to the question is needed. "For example, how long has it been between the study or the other background work and its presentation to the court?" Gallagher says. "If the study was just done last year, there may not have been time for peer review. If the study was done 20 years ago and there's no peer review, then you might need to ask more questions." Also, scientific journals differ in their level of scholarly credibility, Gallagher says. "There are allegations that some people have set up journals just to publish and validate their studies," Gallagher says. According to Burk, publications in the area of clinical ecology might fit this description. "Most members of the scientific community view clinical ecologists with a great deal of suspicion," Burk says. "These are people saying the immune system [can be] irreparably damaged by almost undetectable amounts of formaldehyde coming off the carpets and drapes." The manual will strongly urge judges to make their assessments of scientific evidence at the pretrial stages of a case, according to Gallagher, a goal also emphasized by the Supreme Court in Daubert. "Why go through three or four years of discovery, empanel a jury, start the expert testimony, and then have the testimony ruled inadmissible?" Gallagher asks. "If the testimony is going to be inadmissible, why not find that out earlier and save everybody heartache? If it is inadmissible, that then gives the plaintiff the opportunity to go back and try to find better evidence." "The science community has long been critical of the kind of testimony that is presented in court," says Cecil. "And one of the consequences of the Daubert case is that federal judges, at least, are instructed to look into the scientific validity of the information. So, this manual will, to an extent, address what has been a long-standing complaint among scientists about the way information that they have developed is being used in a public-policy arena." Finding Neutral Experts Margaret A. Berger, associate dean and a professor at the Brooklyn School of Law in New York, is playing a central role in preparing materials for the Federal Judicial Center manual. Berger was also the primary author of the Carnegie Commission report. Berger says that judges are reluctant to use court-appointed nonpartisan experts, despite existing powers that allow them to do so, even in cases with complex scientific or technical issues. Among the concerns of judges, Berger says, are ensuring neutrality of the expert and maintaining judicial independence, especially in areas in which their own expertise is likely to be limited. The judicial reference manual, she says, should encourage judges and give them guidance in how to use such court-appointed experts for help in understanding the methodology used by a given scientific expert, whether proffered by the plaintiff or the defendant, rather than for findings of fact. "A court might be more willing to use an expert," Berger says, "if the expert were called upon to advise the court more on [questions such as]: How do you set up an epidemiological study correctly? Were the number of subjects adequate to reach the conclusions that were reached? Were confounding factors taken into account?" Finding ways for judges to make better use of nonpartisan experts is also one of the aims of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. The conference organized a November 1993 meeting of judges, attorneys, scientists, and others in Washington, D.C., to discuss establishing a demonstration project in which the professional scientific and engineering societies would create mechanisms to identify appropriate experts that judges could call on for help. "The attitude of the judges was that this was something that they would only apply rarely," says Meserve. "It would be an extraordinary case in which they would be prepared to consider calling their own experts, chiefly because judges are accustomed to the adversarial system and want to have each party have the responsibility to present its case. But, then, they were prepared to believe that, in extraordinary cases, it might well be useful and were very interested in seeing how their ability to identify experts could be improved." "Several of the judges said they would like their courts to be included in the demonstration project," says Deborah Runkle, associate staff officer for the conference and a senior program associate at AAAS. "We're going to try to have coordinating mechanisms that the federal judges can use when they would like to use a court-appointed expert in any of a number of capacities. We will work with, probably, the scientific and technical societies, but will not be limited to that. We might work with universities, for example, to help get experts in a timely fashion." Some attendees at the conference say that judges' concerns over the impartiality of court-appointed experts are only one set of difficulties to be overcome. "The judges were more interested than the attorneys [in introducing such experts]," says one meeting participant, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Attorneys who actually try cases are a little bit more wary, particularly--but not exclusively--the plaintiffs' [attorneys]. They don't see this working to their advantage." One reason for this is that it is often the plaintiff's side that introduces novel scientific ideas of injury or disease causation by, for example, pesticides or electromagnetic fields. "It is more often seen as being in the [defense's] interests to go with consensus or established science," this source says. "Also, who is neutral? Where do these scientists get their money? Who pays them? Where do they get their grants? Often the scientists who know the most about a particular thing work for industry. Who knows more about pesticides than the people who make them?" If the process of selecting nonpartisan experts can be done in such a way that the concerns of judges and the attorneys who try cases can be answered, some observers see expanding roles for scientists in the courtroom. "There may be more call on the scientific community, not to render ultimate opinions in the case about the issue that's being disputed, but rather to serve as experts who would advise the court about whether the opinions were reached in accordance with the scientific method," Berger says. "So, there might really be more of a role for scientists." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : INDEPENDENT SCIENCE COURTS AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 5 The debate over the role of science in the courts, although lately active, is not entirely new. Beginning in the 1960s, different groups have suggested the formation of court-like institutions to settle disputes that revolve around scientific evidence. Sometimes these are suggested as adjunct to the court system but with scientists as both advocates and adjudicators; sometimes the recommendation is that they be part of the scientific community with an advisory role to the courts. These ideas have been discussed seriously at times, but have never emerged as likely alternatives either to peer review within science or to the judicial process. "There have been proposals for special science courts from time to time," says Richard A. Meserve, a lawyer with the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling. "But that's never gone very far, nor is it likely to." "The problem," says Dan L. Burk, a molecular biologist and a visiting assistant professor of law at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., "is that it's extremely difficult to untangle the fact-finding function from the legal questions. You end up having scientists making legal determinations, which I don't think the scientists want to be doing. And there are also potential legal and even constitutional problems with having that happen." "You seldom would see a scientific issue in isolation from everything else in a case," Meserve says. "To try to isolate some component of a case [for decision] does not reflect the way decisions are made." Some observers have suggested that a group like the National Research Council could attempt to clarify the relevant science in contentious areas such as forensic DNA analysis. "That would be like an informal science court," says Burk. "It wouldn't actually be an arm of the courts; it would just be a scientific society or scientific body offering helpful suggestions in a report of some kind. The problem with that is that you get a snapshot of science at that time. Things change even within six months, especially in these very frontier-science kinds of questions." --F.H. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Risk Assessment Commission Identifies Daunting Challenges AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 1 The members of the Risk Assessment and Management Commission (RAMC), which held its first meeting last month in Washington, D.C., apparently have their work cut out for them. Hampered by a two-year delay in its formation, the commission faces a November deadline to fulfill its congressional mandate to evaluate current standards and methods of assessing environmental hazards and to recommend how that information should be used. Complicating that task and one of the first priorities for the 10-member panel, according to some of the commission members and other observers, is the need to define more specifically the parameters and goals of RAMC's charge. At stake in the commission's deliberations is more than just a blueprint for Congress and public policymakers to follow in determining and regulating such environmental hazards as air pollution and toxic wastes, says RAMC chairman Gilbert Omenn, elected by the commission members as one of the first orders of business at the meeting. Omenn, dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington, says that risk assessment and management affect broad areas of the scientific community. "Risk assessment, at its heart, depends on advances in basic sciences, in the understanding of mechanisms, and in the documentation of exposures at sites of action, such as organs and tissues," he says. "Modern molecular technology has raised expectations among public-health officials and environmental regulators that biomarkers of effect, of exposure, and of individual variation in susceptibility will be usefully applied to studies of humans." Omenn adds, "Social scientists have a large role to play, also, since conceptual approaches and practical techniques for communicating with many kinds of stakeholders are essential for effective risk reduction and protection of health and the environment." Given RAMC's far-reaching mission, the November deadline set by Congress for the commission to report its analyses and recommendations is a challenge, Omenn acknowledges. Although he has not said whether this date would be moved, Omenn does say that the commission "would need to develop a full scope of work that is realistic." "There's no deadline change right now," says Carl Mazza, liaison to RAMC from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office of air and radiation, and not a commission member, "until [the commission] figures out what they need in terms of time and until they communicate that message to [the Clinton administration] and to Congress. It's up to the commission members how they want to handle this." "I'm encouraged that we're finally meeting," says John Doull, a commission member and a professor of toxicology and pharmacology at the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, referring to the fact that the commission was originally supposed to convene in 1992 but was delayed until last month. According to government officials, several factors, including the transition between the Bush and Clinton administrations, caused delay in appointing members. The commission was created by 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1972. Composed of eminent scientists in toxicology and epidemiology and other leaders in academia, business, and government, RAMC was formed through three presidential, one National Academy of Sciences, and six congressional appointments (K.Y. Kreeger, The Scientist, May 2, 1994, page 3). Defining Its Role Ostensibly, RAMC's all-encompassing charge is to address the appropriateness and feasibility of--as well as uncertainties and policy issues surrounding--the development of a consistent methodology or standard for risk assessment. "Ours is not a strictly scientific task. It also includes social values and public-policy issues," says Omenn. According to the Clean Air Act amendments, RAMC is supposed to include in its evaluation risk assessment and management activities "in regulatory programs under various Federal laws to prevent cancer and other chronic human health effects which may result from exposure to hazardous substances." But some of the meeting participants and others express concern that the issues the panel is looking into, as well as RAMC's role, need to be better defined for the commission to be successful. Ellen Silbergeld, a senior toxicologist with the Environmental Defense Fund--a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group--and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Maryland Medical School, gave a presentation at the meeting. Silbergeld, who is not a commission member, says that RAMC "has a somewhat confused sense of purpose in that it's not completely clear what it's about, in terms of [being] yet another commission to look at risk assessment or [trying to] bridge the gap between assessment and management." Although she says the commission "has a potential to make a contribution," Silbergeld still is skeptical about the overall impact RAMC may have. "A concern I have about all these creations like the RAMC is that to some extent they reflect [either] the nave hope or a sly technique to look toward some sort of science panel to solve the problems of environmental policy-making, which in my opinion is largely political." "The mandate is pretty broad, and eventually we'll have to pick out specific areas and concentrate our recommendations to make a bigger impact. We don't want this to be just another report," says commission member Peter Chiu, a physician with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Milpitas, Calif., and an assistant clinical professor at Stanford University's School of Medicine. Doull says his impression of what the commission is supposed to do is "not to reinvent the wheel," but rather to "develop a new approach to risk assessment." Because most of the attention in risk assessment has been on cancer-causing toxins in the environment, Silbergeld says, "I tried to suggest some areas that have not been dealt with adequately. One is the continuing neglect of how we're going to assess the risks of non-carcinogens," such as lead and solvent chemicals, that can have neurotoxic effects and can cause reproductive damage. Doull says that he and the committee agreed in principle with Silbergeld that non- cancer risks should be addressed more prominently. Another non-commission member, Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, a New York-based consumer-education organization, has a cautious view of what issues RAMC will really address. "I've seen mandates like this at various agencies, for example at the EPA, but then you find out in print that it really only applies to things that are within their control," she says, referring to her doubt that RAMC will consider causes of risk to human health that are not normally considered environmental hazards, such as tobacco smoke. However, according to Omenn, "There is a clear sense throughout the agencies and the commission that our mandate calls for looking quite broadly at risk assessment and management decisions. This is not at all an EPA-bounded problem." The next RAMC hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled for June 30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington. Upcoming meetings are tentatively slated for July 29, September 9, and October 21, Mazza says. Meeting dates will be announced in the Federal Register. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Researchers Alarmed By Reports Of Public's Lack Of Scientific Knowledge AU : KAREN YOUNG KREEGER TY : NEWS PG : 3 A recent survey by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York confirms what scientists across the United States have been fearing for some time: Despite their professed interest and confidence in science, Americans' understanding of the natural and physical world remains disturbingly low. Researchers say that it is imperative to the future of the nation that this situation be reversed. "However you cut it, you become alarmed." says Bonnie Kalberer, director of the National Institutes of Health's office of science education. "Every day, people are having to deal more and more with scientific, technical, and mathematical issues. And, if they're not prepared for that, one could say your whole democratic system is in jeopardy." To counter what they perceive as a dangerous level of ignorance, scientists interviewed for this article say, they must mobilize themselves to make people smarter about science, especially young people, who will be responsible for shaping society in the next century. One of these scientists, Paul Saltman, a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, who is involved in training San Diego-area teachers in science, says: "My position is one of fighting. I can't sit still for this." "The whole notion," says Saltman, "becomes: `How do we start to create an environment for it to be cool and for it to be fun to know science?' We have to take into account this knowledge [about scientific ignorance] and do something about it." The AMNH study--entitled "Science and Nature Survey" and released in late April--consisted of telephone interviews with 1,255 adults from across the United States. Respondents were asked a series of multiple-choice and true-false questions to gauge how they feel about science and to measure the level of their understanding in disciplines, such as evolution, that coincide with the museum's mission. According to museum officials, figures for age, sex, race, education, and number of adults per household were weighted where necessary--using data from the latest U.S. Census--to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the overall population. The study points out, among other things, the following statistics, which the survey designers find particularly dismaying: * 46 percent of respondents do not believe that humans evolved from earlier species of animals; * 65 percent don't know how many planets there are in the solar system; * 87 percent cannot identify the cause of the hole in the ozone layer. Other recent surveys concur with these findings. Science & Engineering Indicators (National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators--1993, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993 [NSB 93-1]) revealed, for example, that: * 41 percent of respondents do not believe that "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals"; * 41 percent do not know that DNA regulates inherited characteristics for all plants and animals; * 92 percent cannot correctly identify the causes of acid rain. Although no observer contacted denies that such revelations are distressing, Mary Woolley, president of Alexandria, Va.-based Research!America--a nonprofit medical-research advocacy organ- ization--says capitalizing on the public's high opinion of science should be paramount. "The attitudes are positive, the interest is there," says Woolley, "but we're not exploiting it in a manner that will really pay off for us. "Scientists tend to be invisible in their neighborhoods as scientists. We need to get out there. Scientists have the opportunity to describe to the public how it is that their dollar goes to something that we already know they value." Paradoxical Findings In a statement, Ellen V. Futter museum president, said the results of the recent museum survey show that the public has "an acute recognition of the importance of science and a healthy respect for the potential negative consequences and abuse of scientific research." However, the science literacy portion of the AMNH study found that the public has an almost "paradoxical"--as Futter put it--view of some subjects, demonstrating misconceptions about some things and a relatively clear understanding of others. "We were surprised with some of the contrasts, such as how so many people knew that continents gradually move over millions of years. But more than one-third believed that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time," says David Grimaldi, curator of entomology at AMNH and codeveloper of its survey. Specifically, 35 percent said that the earliest humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs and 78 percent said they believed that the statement that continents gradually change their positions was true. Findings from the AMNH study are expected to be used primarily for designing museum programs, but researchers and educators anticipate they will also be helpful to people outside AMNH. Futter said the survey results will be used for a range of activities, "from conceiving and designing new exhibits to developing innovative educational programs for application within and without our walls, to informing the public about the results of the often cutting-edge research of our scientific staff." Grimaldi adds: "We don't see the survey as setting an agenda for our research, but it reveals what the populace expects or is concerned about in science." For example, he says, there was stronger support for and interest in environmental issues than expected (22 percent; see chart on page 1), so he anticipates more rigorous informal science education programs on such subjects as biodiversity as a result. Research!America's Woolley adds that information from the AMNH survey will be useful in fashioning her organization's fledgling educational outreach program--to be conducted in partnership with AMNH--in New York City. Linda Pifer, associate director of the International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy, says that the AMNH survey results will eventually be archived at her organization to make them available to scholars and professional societies, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Comparisons And Contrasts The AMNH study, like most public-and-science surveys, established that the public's interest level is high. For example, more than two-thirds of the respondents said they were very or somewhat interested in such subjects as "plants and trees," "peoples of the world," and "the history of life." Similarly, in NSF's 1993 Science & Engineering Indicators, 66 percent of those surveyed said they were very interested in new medical discoveries and 59 percent were very interested in environmental pollution. A 1992 study conducted by Research! America (Medical Research and Health Care Concerns: A Survey of the American Public, Research! America, Alexandria, Va., 1993)--which concentrated on assessing attitudes about medical research-- found that 66 percent ranked medical research as the most valuable type of scientific inquiry and 18 percent ranked environmental research as the most important. Although interest is high, people still feel distanced from science, say literacy experts. According to the Science Indicators, only one out of every 10 adults considered himself or herself well-informed about new scientific discoveries or the use of new inventions and technologies. The AMNH study found similar attitudes among its interviewees: 51 percent agreed with the statement "I understand less and less of what scientists are doing today." At the same time, however, 68 percent agreed with the statement "Science will solve many of the world's problems" (see chart at left). "The point of all of this is that science is perceived as remote from and inaccessible to nonscientists. Science is not for experts only," said Futter. A survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Carolina State University, and Colorado State University (T.J. Hoban, P.A. Kendall, Consumer Attitudes About Food Biotechnology, Project Report [#91-EXCA-3-0155], U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1993) found another dichotomy: 86 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement "Most problems can be solved by applying more and better technology," whereas 58 percent agreed with the statement "Science and technology have made the world a riskier place to live." Thomas J. Hoban, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and coauthor of the USDA study, characterizes this seemingly conflicting result as the public's "love-hate" relationship with science. "The public recognizes many of the benefits that science and technology have given us, but at the same time they are very fearful of environmental and health impacts of new technologies and related ethical issues," he says. Some researchers, however, say that in contrast to the relatively large body of work on people's attitudes and understanding, too little effort has been spent on ascertaining what people know about the scientific method. Bruce Fuchs, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, who is on a two-year appointment with NIH's office of science education policy, says, "One thing that does concern me--and I don't see this survey getting at this--is that I think people really need to understand the process of science rather than some of these facts." He adds that this kind of knowledge is important so people can put what they read about scientific controversies "into some perspective." Success Stories Although statistics from these surveys paint a grim picture, say some observers, many programs are taking action to make science more accessible. One successful example--based on similar programs across the U.S.--is NIH's Mini-Med School, a series of talks geared toward the general public that cover the basic subjects of medical school. Kalberer, one of the developers of the "school," says the Mini-Med scheme has received "an overwhelmingly positive response." In fact, interest was so keen that organizers had to turn away more than 500 people who attempted to sign up for the 250 slots. Mini-Med "students," she says, have commented favorably on the program's informativeness, level of scientific detail, and relevance to health-care issues. NIH plans to build on the achievements of its first year by promoting it as a model for other organizations planning their own lecture series. Although success stories like Mini-Med are becoming more and more prevalent, science literacy experts agree that attention still needs to be paid to what they consider the root cause of science illiteracy. They say inadequate exposure to science in high school is the primary reason for the lack of understanding of some scientific concepts among adults. UC-San Diego's Saltman characterizes this as the "benign neglect" of science in the American educational system. "You're left with a population of 11- or 12-year-olds that is turned off to the curiosity about the nature of the universe in which they live," he says. Don Herbert--also known as Mr. Wizard--who for more than 40 years has hosted hands-on science television shows for children and who was recently awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Michigan, Dearborn (see story on page 1), says, "I don't think it's a reflection of the kids at all. I think it's been the method of presenting science. In the past, there was an emphasis on rote learning. They haven't been teaching the way science is done at all." Hoban concludes: "Because scientists can influence people's impressions, they really need to take responsibility for getting out there and trying to help demystify science." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: NOTEBOOK ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Zoning In TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Forrest M. Mims III, a science writer who last year won a 50,000-Swiss-franc (about $32,500) Rolex Award for inventing a hand-held ozone-monitoring device called a total ozone portable spectroradiometer, or TOPS (Notebook, The Scientist, June 28, 1993, page 4), detected record-low ozone levels last month in South Central Texas using an instrument built with the Rolex funds, a MicroTOPS (microprocessor- controlled TOPS) ozonometer. Mims found that ozone fell about 20 percent below the mean level for the area, as measured by NASA's former ozone satellite, Nimbus-7, in 1978-82. In 1992, Mims, using TOPS, detected an error in the calibration of Nimbus-7, proving NASA's measurements wrong. His study was conducted through his Sun Photometer Atmospheric Network, or SPAN, which measures ozone, water vapor, and ultraviolet-B radiation in three states, with six more locations to be added soon. The SPAN Data Center is based at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. "I didn't go purposely to look for a Christian school" to house the center, says Mims, who in 1990 was removed from an assignment to write "The Amateur Scientist" column in Scientific American because of his belief in creation (F.M. Mims III, The Scientist, Feb. 18, 1991, page 11). "They're the only school that offered to take over my network," he says. "Just as I don't like being discriminated against because I'm a Christian, I don't discriminate against schools because they're not. I'll work with anybody--I just want to get good data." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Overcoming Bigotry--And Then Some TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 During a ceremony earlier this month at which the first Weizmann Women and Science Award was presented to biochemist Joan A. Steitz of Yale University School of Medicine (B. Spector, The Scientist, June 13, 1994, page 3), speakers referred repeatedly to the lack of recognition given women scientists and decried the chauvinistic assumption that research is incompatible with femininity. But the winner of the award told the attendees that "an overt act of prejudice against women in science turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me." When she was a graduate student at Harvard University in the 1960s, Steitz said, she approached the professor who was her first choice for a thesis adviser and was told, "You're a woman, you're going to get married and have kids--what future do you think you have in science?" In the face of this rejection, she went to her second choice--the legendary James D. Watson, codiscoverer of the DNA double helix--and became the first woman graduate student he ever sponsored. As a postdoc, Steitz said, she followed her husband to Cambridge, England, where Watson encouraged his colleague Francis Crick to make room for her in his crowded lab. "That's how I came to work with the two giants in biology in the 20th century," Steitz told the audience. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Women In Math Award TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Jing-Rebecca Li, a junior at the University of Michigan, has won the Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize, awarded to an undergraduate woman for excellence in mathematics. Sponsored by the College Park, Md.-based Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), the honor comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Li, a mechanical engineering student with a published paper on the deformation of bicrystals, switched to math only last fall and is in the math honors program at Michigan. Since then, according to AWM, "she has excelled in demanding undergraduate and graduate courses, performing on the level of the best graduate students." For information on the prize, contact Joanna Wood Schot, AWM executive director, at 4114 Computer and Space Sciences Building, University of Maryland, College Park, Md. 20742-2461; (301) 405-7892. E-mail: awm@math.umd.edu. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Oncology On The Internet TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 As the result of frustration at not being able to find current, cancer-related information for themselves and their patients, two researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center's Department of Radiation Oncology--E. Loren Buhle and Joel W. Goldwein--have started Oncolink. It is an Internet-based multimedia resource that can be accessed through World-Wide Web and gopher software. "There is no end to the types of information we can post on Oncolink: clinical trials; case-of-the-month studies, complete with moving, audible images; resident handbooks; and new research," said Goldwein in a statement. Since its inception in early March, Oncolink has averaged 2,000 responses per day. For information, contact Buhle at (215) 662-3084 or via E-mail at buhle@xrt.upenn.edu; or Goldwein at (215) 662-7147 or via E-mail at goldwein@xrt.upenn.edu. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Atlanta Team Captures Science Bowl TY : (NEWS) NOTEBOOK PG : 4 A team from Atlanta's Westminster Schools beat out a squad from Langham Creek High School in Houston in the finals of the 1994 National Science Bowl, held over two days in late April in Washington, D.C. The two teams were all that remained from 52 regional competition winners, who vied with each other in a question-and-answer format at the national championships, sponsored by the Department of Energy and Cray Research Foundation. Renee Landrum, Susan Born, Peter Chan, Si Hwang Chin, Shireen Haque--the winning Westminster team--along with their coach, Penney Sconzo, will spend July 9-16 in Geneva at the Fifth International Wild Animal Research Week. The team was sponsored by DOE's Atlanta Support Office. The runners-up from Houston, sponsored by DOE's Dallas office, will attend the 36th London International Youth Science Forum. Overall, more than 7,000 students and 1,400 high schools took part in this year's Science Bowl. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Inventive Minds TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Five scientists from Dow Chemical Co. in Freeport, Texas, have been presented with the 21st annual National Inventor of the Year Award from Intellectual Property Owners (IPO), a Washington, D.C.-based association that represents companies and inventors who own patented inventions. Researchers Pak- Wing S. Chum, George W. Knight, Shih-Yaw Lai, James C. Stevens, and John R. Wilson were honored with the award for their creation of a new family of plastics that "significantly expands plastic processing and performance options," according to IPO. In addition, the organization recognized Harvey M. Severson, an 82-year-old independent inventor from Minneapolis, with its Spirit of American Ingenuity award for inventing a machine in his home shop that converts waste wood into biodegradable packing material. Last year's Inventor of the Year honors went to a research team from Merck and Co. Inc. in Rahway, N.J., who developed Proscar, the first drug for treating benign prostate enlargement. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: OPINION ----------------------------------------------------------------- TI : Celebrated Scientists Share Their Thoughts With 1994's New Graduates TY : OPINION PG : 12 **** Editor's Note: Social and ethical responsibilities of researchers, the public's skepticism about science, the threat of tighter economic constraints on biomedical investigation, equality for women and minorities, the increasing difficulties in building a stable career in research--these were among the themes addressed by this year's commencement speakers at academic institutions throughout the United States and Canada. Following are excerpts from speeches made by several noted scientists; the selections are drawn from transcripts supplied by the institutions. **** University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, May 15 FRANCIS COLLINS Director, National Center for Human Genome Research Now I stand at the helm of the Human Genome Project, an audacious effort to determine the sequence of the entire human blueprint and the hundred thousand genes that make us what we are. We expect to have this done by year 2005. This is the most important scientific effort that humankind has ever undertaken. And yet there are times--and you will experience this, too--when I'm restless, when there seems that there must be something else that I'm called to do. And twice over the last four years, I've taken three or four weeks and gone off to Nigeria to work in a small jungle hospital. Now I went full of enthusiasm. Then I began to wonder, "What am I doing here?" I knew that although I might be able to help a particular patient, get them better over some terrible disease, they would go out again into an environment where some other scourge would quickly strike them down. As I struggled with that, realizing how insignificant my contribution was, a patient who I was taking care of, a young farmer from Nigeria who had come in with fluid around his heart, was close to death, and whom we were able to save by drawing that fluid off, said to me, "You know, I sense that something's troubling you and you're wondering why you're here. I have a message for you. You are here for one thing--for me. To save me. And that's enough." That was a profound moment for me. To touch one human being. To change one other human being's existence for the better. That's enough. Have your goals, have them be grand, but remember what really counts are those single human beings that you come in contact with. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., May 23 FRANCES CONLEY Professor of surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine In the long run, I don't care how many policies are promulgated, how many diversity watch-dogs are appointed, how many interminable committees are formed to examine issues of race, racism, gender, or sexism--nothing will change in the world of medicine for women and minorities until there is a culture shift, and I have become absolutely convinced that the only true change of culture will come through the leaders we select. A racist and/or sexist tone at the top translates into validation of racism and sexism and perpetuates bigoted ideas for yet another generation. The process by which leaders are chosen needs revamping; power cannot continue to be defined simply as "power over others." Along with the traditional evaluation of technical talent and academic acumen, leaders need to be assessed for their degree of behavioral decency. Deans, department chairs, program directors must be reprogrammed to view every student accepted, every resident selected for postgraduate training, every faculty appointed, as having the requisite intellectual promise and personal values to qualify as a potential physician for his or her own medical care. Only with leaders in place who are passionately committed to developing the careers of others based on their ability and resolve, rather than simply on the basis of gender or race, will the medical profession enter the 21st century maximally prepared for the challenges presented by such aspects as managed health-care systems, cost containment, rationing of medical resources, and ever-increasing technology. St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., April 18 JON LIEN Professor of ocean studies and psychology; head, Whale Research Group; Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada Is technology up to the challenge that environmental problems present? What answers can it provide? What can't it do? Do we need to do more than recycle pop cans and magazines? Will environmental impact studies, environmental cost/benefit analyses, mitigation programs be sufficient to guide change? Will the environment be safe? Will it be justly and fairly managed? Are present visions of the partnership between humankind and nature adequate to restore a balanced, sustainable partnership? There is lots of room for pessimism. What is needed is a fundamental reexamination of our species and humankind's relationship with nature. First, it is certainly true that my technical training has given me some tools useful for problems of ecological management and human ecology. But this technical side ignores vast areas of human experience: values, intuition, common sense. It has in fact given me only a little with which to understand and to help. Decisions about fish and their environment are not made divorced from people and their cultures. If graduates slide into the seductive security of American materialism, worry only about an environment that is safe for the American way of life, accumulate only personal satisfactions and pleasures, and do not use the wealth of the educational gifts they have been given to solve environmental problems--then, simply, there is no hope. You have acquired responsibilities. You are the solution to the environmental problems which will continue to face humankind for your entire working lives. My hope is that students will reflect on their gifts and consider their responsibilities for discovering and inventing new ways and means for restoring the necessary partnership between nature and humankind. You will be the ones that make a difference. University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, May 26 ANTHONY FAUCI Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Historically, the way society views the role of science has oscillated. Ever since Plato first placed his faith in objective truth, the anti-science tide against rational thought has come in and out, more or less at its own natural frequency. During the 1950s, '60s, and '70s the biomedical research element of science flourished in such areas as biotechnology and there were major advances in health care. However, in the 1980s came a perception that such endeavors actually added to the cost of health care; next came a heightened public awareness of fraud in science. As a result, in some sectors, an attenuation of the public faith in biomedical research now parallels a disillusionment by some with science in general. There is a growing feeling by some that there is little evidence that objective scientific knowledge leads to subjective benefits for humanity. In this regard, there lies a final, important, and rather unique challenge to you. Although history at times has tended to separate the two, it is essential that we preserve this marriage of science and humanitarianism that forms the very foundation upon which our profession is built. The solution must be anchored in principles that have guided generations of physicians, health- care professionals, and basic biomedical researchers. You must be guided by integrity, unselfishness, perseverance, inquisitiveness, and a compelling thirst for scientific knowledge with the patient as the focus and beneficiary of all that you do professionally. If you are a basic scientist, your integrity, your scholarship, and your commitment should match the importance of your task, the advancement of knowledge for the good of mankind. Ripon College, Wisconsin, May 15 E.O. WILSON Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University There have been five great extinction spasms in the past 450 million years of geological history, causing major losses of biodiversity. The latest was 65 million years ago, caused by a giant meteorite strike near present-day Mexico. Each spasm required 10 million years or more for evolution to restore. Humanity has now begun the sixth great spasm. If we allow it to go on, and our descendants realize that they must wait millions of years to recover what we carelessly threw away in two or three generations, they are going to be peeved. We are entering, I believe, the Century of the Environment. The opportunities before you, in citizenship and new employment, of finding a good life in a stable, healthy environment, will be intimately tied to the environment. This will be the idealism of the new generation. And for biodiversity, it isn't too late to make a big difference. We are going to lose a lot of species all over the world, but we can slow and eventually stop the hemorrhaging. Our goal should be to carry as much of the rest of life as we can through the bottleneck of the next 50 years, when at last population stabilizes and, we most fervently hope, the quality of life improves, to hold on to every species and race we possibly can. Along with culture itself, that inheritance will be the most precious gift we can give to future generations. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., May 29 BERNADINE HEALY Former director, National Institutes of Health We are on the brink of discovery more adventurous and promising than any explorer ever dreamed. We have already discovered the genes for cystic fibrosis and colon cancer. Next it'll be the gene or genes for breast and prostate cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease; maybe for addictive behavior and schizophrenia. The revolution in the life sciences will also go way beyond medicine into agriculture, chemical production, environmental sciences, microelectronics. Biotechnology will be creating jobs that we don't even have names for yet. But for science to flourish and all the dreams of tomorrow realized, we must acknowledge that ethics and public interest are to become companions wherever science goes. This explosion of knowledge in biology and medicine is changing not only the nature of healing, but also the society in which we live. We are seeing large shifts in demography, with an aging population living longer and longer. The meaning of life and death is being reexamined. Extending life will be easier than deciding when not to. New diseases will emerge as people survive the old ones. We will confront new problems from new perspectives. We will come face to face with a whole new realm of ethical and legal issues. Today we are confronting the economic challenge--the dollar cost- -of the extraordinary success of the wonders of biology and medicine. But tomorrow we will confront ethical, social, and moral challenges that will make the problems of economics we are facing now seem very easy. What this brave new world of tomorrow will demand is a generation of informed leadership who have the courage and the wisdom to get it right. University of South Carolina, Columbia, May 13 KARY MULLIS Biotechnology consultant, 1993 chemistry Nobelist Think back to where it was that we started, say about 20 or 30 million years ago. We were in the middle of a continent that was really heavily forested, and we were the cute little animals up in the top of the trees, eating the leaves. And we didn't go down to the ground, we were up on the top, protected from the cats by the fact that we could climb fast and jump. Change trees if necessary. So don't forget how to jump from one tree to another. You might have picked the wrong field, for instance. Maybe you are getting a degree in something that you are thinking, "Boy, this is a bad place to work." Don't be afraid to jump--you know, change trees. It takes probably, in science, about two years to learn the vocabulary in a new field and another year to learn the important people that you need to know; and then you can move from being, like, a chemist, to a biochemist, to physicist. You might have made a mistake and might admit it quickly and get into something else if you don't like where you are. Be ready to do that. Don't plod, don't try to be uncomfortable. Don't say, "Well, I chose this horrible life for myself. And I am just going to do it." University of Western Ontario, London, June 10 FRANK PRESS Former president, National Academy of Sciences Now we're witness to the information revolution--the joining of computers and communications, to create wholly new industries, to organize services electronically, to transform how we communicate and use information. Some political scientists credit the changes in Eastern Europe and the growth of democracy to the transistor and the information revolution it spawned. And we are at the edges of the biological revolution--the exploitation of our understanding of how cells are built, work, and copy themselves. That revolution already has created new industries, new ways to detect and treat terrible diseases, and to make old products in new and often better ways. What's happening, of course, holds great meaning for you. Wayne Gretzky, perhaps the greatest hockey player ever, was once asked why he was so good. He answered that he "skates to where the puck is going to be, not where it's been." The point is universal. You have spent years immersed in your studies. I'd argue that what you've been taught has less to do with getting ready for a specific career, and more with "skating to where you want to be." Why would I praise the fact that your education probably had little to do with getting ready for a specific career? Because, as Gertrude Stein once put it, there may be no there there. Any job you tried to train for may be gone by the time you get there. The economic change is happening so fast that what matters is knowledge and the will and ability to use it and to continually acquire it. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif., May 15 WALTER MASSEY Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, University of California; former director, National Science Foundation Along with [our] skills and attitudes, we also need to develop certain values. We have to know what we stand for, the limits and boundaries of our actions, the ethical and moral principles that will guide us as we try to navigate our way in a world in which signposts are not always clear and the directional signals are not always stable. Honesty--especially honesty to oneself--and integrity are among those values. We also need to develop a personal center of gravity that can keep us firmly guided on the paths that we have set for ourselves, even as the events and people around us change. It might seem presumptuous for me to say this, but as a scientist, I believe these skills, attitudes, and values are the kinds of things that one learns in pursing an education in the sciences. Analytic ability is an obvious requirement, as are curiosity and confidence. I would also argue, very strongly, that the values of honesty and integrity are not only consistent with scientific values, but are what have made the scientific enterprise so successful. I say this in spite of some very notable cases of scientific fraud and misconduct. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: COMMENTARY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Is Government Policy Stifling Breakthrough Research? AU : Joachim Messing TY : OPINION (COMMENTARY) PG : 13 It's been 50 years since microbiologists Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz discovered streptomycin, the first effective treatment for tuberculosis, in their laboratory at Rutgers University. While prestigious research groups at the Bayer Co. in Germany and Sahlgren's Hospital in Sweden had labored for years to find a cure for the deadly disease, it was the comparatively humble Rutgers team who succeeded. At first glance it seems almost miraculous that an ill- funded academic laboratory at a university without a medical school, led by a man without a medical degree, would succeed where better-funded and better-credentialed groups had failed. But the story of streptomycin's discovery is the story of university-industry cooperation at its best. It's a paradigm that federal officials and health-care reformers would do well to consider seriously in approaching such present-day scourges as AIDS. One obvious lesson from Waksman and Schatz's achievement is the potentially enormous value of basic research that moves in unconventional directions. Waksman's laboratory was in an agricultural school, and his students were concerned with soil microbiology, a subject that few legislators, journalists, or even other scientists would readily connect to a cure for tuberculosis. But the dean of Rutgers' College of Agriculture encouraged his work, and support for it came from a grant provided by Merck & Co. Inc. in nearby Rahway, N.J. Had Waksman faced today's peer review-process, which determines the distribution of precious federal funding, it is unlikely he would have received a penny, since government backing of individual-investigator projects currently tends to provide the vast bulk of its support to only a relatively few, most obviously promising projects. This approach is unwise, however, since--especially during the discovery stage--modest funding of a large variety of original projects is most likely to pay off in the long run. Moreover, drug companies must be free--as Merck was--to pursue risky projects, knowing that a single success can pay for a multitude of failures. Today, much federal funding seems to assume that an individual researcher will both make the discovery and lead the way to its application. But scale-up is rightly the role of industry, which has the know-how and infrastructure to move ideas and products into the marketplace. In the case of streptomycin, Merck, recognizing that its funding of Waksman's laboratory might never yield a marketable result, asked only for the first right to explore commercialization if a potential product did emerge. As it turned out, the investment paid off handsomely. We must remember that the cumulative costs of research tests, clinical trials, and production of new drugs are enormous--about $360 million today for a single drug. The United States pharmaceutical industry spends some $13 billion each year on research, a figure that exceeds the entire National Institutes of Health budget. And without the hope of sufficient profits, there's little reason for drug firms to take such risks. Health-care reformers should realize that by setting price limits, they may stifle an important component in the search for new cures. In the 50 years since the discovery of streptomycin--for which Waksman was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine--the nature of scientific discovery has changed little. What has changed dramatically is the role of the federal government in setting priorities and dispensing funds. Indeed, it sometimes seems that government actions are designed to hinder, not encourage, medical breakthroughs. Especially distressing is the shift in government focus from individual researchers working with their hand-picked teams to large-scale, billion-dollar proj- ects such as the Human Genome Project. While such projects are important, they shouldn't be confused with or replace scientific discovery, which must come first. Before Congress allocates billions of dollars in scale-up moneys for the fight against AIDS, cancer, or the recurrence of resistant strains of tuberculosis, it needs to fund numerous original and even risky laboratory projects in the basic sciences. By focusing on discovery, the government will make a much wiser investment of our tax dollars. The streptomycin story reminds us that cooperation between a brilliant university research team and a pharmaceutical company not stifled by threats of price controls is likely to be the shortest route to medical miracles. Joachim Messing, a molecular biologist, is the director of the Waksman Institute at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: LETTERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Educational Bioluminescence AU : J.D. ANDRADE TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 13 I enjoyed the extensive feature on bioluminescence in the Tools and Technology section of the March 7, 1994, issue of The Scientist [R. Lewis, page 17]. In addition to its growing and important applications in environmental and clinical diagnostics, bioluminescence is being increasingly used for science-education purposes. We use bioluminescent marine phytoplankton as a means to introduce elementary and junior high teachers to the scientific process and the development of critical-thinking skills, as well as experiment design and execution. A symposium on bioluminescence for science education will be held at the International Symposium on Bio and Chemiluminescence in Cambridge, U.K., Sept. 5-8, 1994. Readers may contact Philip Stanley (Fax: 44-223-461777) for further information. J.D. ANDRADE Professor and Director Center for Integrated Science Education University of Utah 2480 Merrill Engineering Building Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Alternative Medicine AU : GRAEME FRICKE TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 13 I am writing to comment on Franklin Hoke's article "Alternative Medicine Ideas Widen Horizons in Biomedical Research" in the March 21 issue of The Scientist [page 1]. I am extremely skeptical of the current attempts to merge "alternative medicine" with the mainstream. It seems to me that these techniques are generally unsupported by hard evidence and in some cases, such as homeopathy, are exercises in fantasy. Hearing so-called medical professionals claiming that it is unfeasible to test the effectiveness of a Chinese herbal remedy because the diagnostic method is different from the methods used in the West is absurd; either it works well, works to a limited degree, or doesn't work at all. If these "treatments" actually work as claimed, then they will surely stand up to serious research. Before such flights of fancy are included with medicine that has demonstrated benefits, their claims must be verified like any other course of treatment. Anecdotal evidence is a good place to start, but it is inadequate proof for something that could be fatal if misapplied. I agree with those who insist that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof; this proof has not materialized, so attempts to create courses based on "alternative medicine" are horribly premature. I agree that these "alternative treatments" should be analyzed and subjected to rigorous inspection, but until this is accomplished they should not be permitted to interfere with real medicine. We must always remember that a treatment that doesn't work can end in pain and suffering, and this is too high a price to pay to keep the purveyors of "alternative medicine" happy. GRAEME FRICKE 47 Runnymede Court London, Ontario Canada N6G 1Z7 E-Mail: gfricke@julian.uwo.ca (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : `Lucrative' Science AU : JAMES T. KELLIS, JR. TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 13 Fantasy: your article about "lucrative science contests spread[ing] through the United States to reward the achievements of young researchers" [L. Katterman, The Scientist, May 2, 1994, page 1]. Reality: the "career" opportunities (my quotes) advertised in the same issue offering jobs for Ph.D. scientists at salaries like $23,550 per year! The article says that "none of the people contacted for this story ... believes that the [contest prize] money is the primary motivation for the students." I wonder how they will feel at the age of 30, when they are earning less than clerical workers. JAMES T. KELLIS, JR. 864 Bluebird Canyon Dr. Laguna Beach, Calif. 92651 (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3501 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 E-mail: Bitnet: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com ===================================== RESEARCH ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : A Meeting Of Minds: Using Computers To Study The Brain AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : RESEARCH PG : 15 Given that computers were first invented with the intention of duplicating certain functions of the brain--notably memory and calculation--researchers say it is perhaps appropriate that today, science has evolved to the point at which the machines are being used to study that organ, employing the selfsame properties they emulate. "Except for [a computer's] great memory and speed, the brain is much more powerful," says Stephen Koslow, director of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md. "A computer is a more rigid system, but it is sort of interesting how things have come to a full circle." Scientific interest in studying the brain and nervous system has boomed in the past few decades--as evidenced, for example, by the dramatic increase in the membership of the Washington, D.C.-based Society for Neuroscience, from 500 in 1969 to 23,000 in 1994. The public's interest in neuroscience has also grown because of the rising awareness of disabling diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, stroke, and depression, which is especially reflected in the large number of private organizations--such as the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago; the Arlington, Va.-based National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; and the Tourette Syndrome Association in Bayside, N.Y.--that support research in specific areas of neuroscience. Expounding on the applications of research to treating brain disorders, in 1988 the late Rep. Silvio Conte (R-Mass.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to promote neuroscience. This resulted in an official proclamation, signed by President George Bush in July 1989, declaring the 1990s as the "Decade of the Brain." It calls upon all public officials and people to observe the decade with programs and activities appropriate to the theme. One of the initiatives to arise from the Decade of the Brain has been the Human Brain Project, a broad-based federal effort, supported by several agencies (see accompanying story), to use computers in mapping the human brain. "What we are attempting to do is take advantage of the advances in computer and communications technologies to develop tools to study [the brain and nervous system] at different levels and to allow various researchers to share information with each other," says Koslow. "Neuroscience is such a vast field," says Frank Eeckman, a neuroscientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif. "There are several groups working in different aspects of neuroscience research-- genes, neural circuits, gross anatomy, and psychology--and there is such an enormous scale of difference in their work that they can't talk to each other." Databasing The Brain While the Human Brain Project was formalized only last year, various neuroscientists are already using computers to facilitate their research. "A vast array of computer-based tools is needed to complement the diverse varieties of data obtained about the brain," says Peter Fox, director of the Research Imaging Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. "There are categories of software depending on what you want to do," he says. "There are devices and sensors which monitor brain activity by various criteria--blood flow, volume, or oxygen levels--and we need different types of software to get the different types of data. These [programs] are acquisition software which tell the machines how to acquire the data. Once we have the data we need additional, post-processing software to use the information for statistical and other analyses." Using these various tools, Fox and his colleagues developed one of the first functional online databases--called Brain Map--to correlate structure and function of the brain. Set up in an interactive, multimedia format, BrainMap contains numerical and statistical data from peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as pictorial information digitized from the Atlas of Stereotaxic Anatomy of the Telencephalon (J. Talairach et al., Paris, Masson & Cie, 1967). "We've incorporated fairly elaborate indices for accessing the information," says Fox. "Search categories include anatomy, behavior [function], citations, and methodologies used." "If a scientist were interested in a particular aspect of vision research, he or she could search the database under that term," explains Jack Lancaster, a physicist at San Antonio who worked with Fox in setting up BrainMap. "The computer would then come back with the number of entries-- articles, experiments, and locations--in the database corresponding to the search criteria. The researcher would thus know the nature of the experiments, who did them, and what the findings were." The embedded atlas provides a pictorial guide whereby the researcher can call up images and look up where the research findings are located within these images, explains Lancaster. "When a user calls up an image, the computer screen provides three images--a large diagram representing a slice of the brain in one plane, and two smaller transparent views of the brain in the two perpendicular directions to help pinpoint the locations of various points in the main diagram," he adds. "The database would have an entry capability, as well, to enable scientists to enter new data and use previous publications to interpret their new observations," says Fox. Currently BrainMap's software is in beta test-phase, which means that a limited number of users are evaluating its capabilities and limitations. Fox and his team hope to have it widely accessible sometime next year. Brain Warps Because no two brains are alike, a key element for the success of the database, say BrainMap's creators, is ensuring that structural data from different sources be set to a standard scale and that each point in the brain be made identifiable by a coordinate system. "When comparing two images, we have to make sure the two brains are in register and that the corresponding parts are in the same place," LLNL's Eeckman says. "For example, an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] and PET [positron emission tomography] scan from the same brain need to be in register to correlate the information from the two experiments, otherwise the comparisons are meaningless." David Van Essen, a neurobiologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has developed tools such as warping algorithms to "fit" one brain to another so as to enable meaningful comparisons. These algorithms endow researchers with powerful tools: Physicians, for example, could compare the brain of an ill patient to that of a normal person, say researchers. Tools like the warping algorithms also have applications in brain modeling, says Van Essen, who has done extensive work on mapping the visual cortex of the macaque brain. Researchers can thus apply the insights gleaned from the brain in one system to model the working of the brain in another system. At the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., Floyd Bloom's team has already digitized atlases of the brains from other animals such as cats, rats, mice, and monkeys. While the existing databases are prototypes, Koslow anticipates that the final product of the Human Brain Project will be a much larger and a far more powerful system. "Calling it a map or even a database is a misnomer--the terms are too limiting," says Eeckman. "A data-management system would be a more appropriate description." "At this point we haven't determined the final configuration, and it will probably be half-a-dozen years before we have some inkling of what it will become," says Koslow, taking into account the ongoing developments in computer science (for example, three-dimensional virtual reality technology) that would influence the project. "Once [the database] is up, scientists should be able to access it from their terminals, either to retrieve or feed information, and use it for modeling work. We anticipate it will have multiple uses--not only in research but in education, therapy, and intervention, as well." ----- NETWORKING FOR NEUROSCIENTISTS For more information on neuroscience and brain research, contact: Society for Neuroscience 11 Dupont Circle, Suite 500 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: (202) 462-6688 * Nancy Beang, executive director * Larry Squire, president * 23,000 members American Academy of Neurology 2221 University Ave., S.E. Suite 335 Minneapolis, Minn. 55414 Phone: (612) 623-8115 Fax: (612) 623-3504 * Jan Kolehmainen, executive director * Jack Whisnant, president * 12,800 members (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : THE BRAIN: BYTE BY BYTE AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : RESEARCH PG : 15 The Human Brain Project is a multi-institutional federal effort to facilitate neuroscience research and coordination of data and information among various researchers. It was conceived as part of the Decade of the Brain, a congressionally mandated initiative to promote neuroscience and brain research in the 1990s. The 12 federal agencies that are contributing varying amounts of money or resources to the project are: * National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) * National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) * National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) * National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) * National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) * National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) * National Institute on Aging (NIA) * National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) * National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) * National Library of Medicine (NLM) * National Science Foundation * Office of Naval Research (ONR) The program came into being formally with the April 1993 release of a report--titled "The Human Brain Project: Phase I Feasibility Studies"--on the practicality of the undertaking. This was prepared by the 10 original funding bodies (NHLBI, NIAAA, and NIDR joined in the project after the report was released, and the National Center for Research Resources withdrew). The first eight research grants, totaling about $4.5 million, were awarded last September. Currently, a second round of research proposals is being reviewed for relevance to the objectives of the project. Rather than set aside money for the Human Brain Project per se, individual agencies fund projects that simultaneously address their own interests and are applicable to the project. The eight projects are: Neuronal Vulnerability and Informatics in Human Disease * Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif. * Floyd Bloom, principal investigator * Funded by NIMH, NIDA, and NASA * Proposes to develop software to acquire and analyze quantitative microscopic data and construct a database of digitized (computerized) atlases of brains from several species of animals. Extended Thin-Plate Splines for Brain Variation in Three Dimensions * University of Michigan, Ann Arbor * Fred Bookstein, principal investigator * Funded by NIDA, NIMH, and NIA * Proposes to develop mathematical and statistical tools to standardize gross brain shape from image data. A Simulator-Based Neuronal Database * California Institute of Technology, Pasadena * James Bower, principal investigator * Funded by NIMH and NIDA * Proposes to apply new tools such as virtual reality to augment an existing brain modeling/simulation software tool. Structural Information Framework for Brain Mapping * University of Washington, Seattle * James Brinkley, principal investigator * Funded by NIDCD and NLM * Proposes to develop a three-dimensional multimedia database and modeling system focusing on the organization of language in the brain. Goal-Directed Magnetic Resonance Brain Micro-Imaging * California Institute of Technology * Russell Jacobs, principal investigator * Funded by NIDA and NIMH * Proposes to link data collection by computers with image processing for application in developmental neurosciences. A Probabilistic Reference for the Human Brain * University of California, Los Angeles * John Mazziotta, principal investigator * Funded by NIMH and NIDA * Proposes to develop a three-dimensional model relating structure and function of the brain, based on probabilistic data from population studies that facilitate sophisticated statistical analysis of new incoming data. Imaging Software and Methods for Mapping Brain Development * Kennedy Krieger Research Institute Inc., Baltimore * Allan Reiss, principal investigator * Funded by NICHD * Plans to develop software relating to image processing and analysis. Integration of Multidisciplinary Sensory Data * Yale University, New Haven, Conn. * Gordon Shepherd, principal investigator * Funded by NASA and NIMH * Proposes to develop software to integrate different types of data and operations specifically to model the olfactory system. For information on the Human Brain Project, contact Stephen Koslow or Michael Huerta, E-mail: hmi@cu.nih.gov. --N.S. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: HOT PAPERS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : BIOCHEMISTRY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 T. Takeshita, H. Asao, K. Ohtani, N. Ishii, S. Kumaki, N. Tanaka, H. Munakata, M. Nakamura, K. Sugamura, "Cloning of the g chain of the human IL-2 receptor," Science, 257:379- 82, 1992. Kazuo Sugamura (Department of Microbiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan): "Prior to this study, we had established monoclonal antibodies specific for the b chain of the receptor for interleukin 2 (IL-2), also known as a T cell growth factor. A series of experiments with these monoclonal antibodies provided evidence that the functional IL-2 receptor includes a third novel component, the g chain, in addition to the a and a chains. In this study, a complete cDNA clone of the g chain gene was isolated and characterized as a new member of the cytokine receptor family. The g chain, like the a chain, was shown to be an indispensable subunit for the functional IL-2 receptor. Interestingly, the g chain gene was mapped to a locus on the X chromosome (Xq13) where the putative gene for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) is located. Furthermore, mutations of the g chain gene were demonstrated in patients with XSCID (M. Noguchi et al., Cell, 73:147-57, 1993). XSCID is characterized by markedly reduced levels or complete absence of T cells that play pivotal roles in the immune system. Therefore, it is evident that abnormality of the g chain causes an impairment of early T cell development, resulting in XSCID. "The g chain was originally identified as an essential component of the receptor complex for IL-2. However, since patients and mice lacking IL-2 production generate mature T cells, it could be speculated that the g chain may be a component of receptors for other cytokines. In this context, we have already demonstrated that the g chain participates in the formation of functional receptors for IL-4 and IL-7, as well as IL-2 (M. Kondo et al., Science, 262:1874-77, 1993 and 263:1453-4, 1994). The study of such cytokines interacting with the common g chain accentuates the urgent need to resolve the mechanism of early T cell development. "Currently, only bone marrow transplantation has lent dividends in curing patients with XSCID. Since XSCID is caused by mutation of a single gene, the g chain gene, introduction of the normal g chain gene into bone marrow cells of patients with XSCID could probably lead to gene therapy of patients with XSCID--as in the case of adenosine deaminase deficiency, which has been successfully corrected by gene therapy. "Thus, the discovery and molecular characterization of the g chain gene has brought us a breakthrough in studying the rather intricate patterns involved in T cell development, and has provided a practical tool for gene therapy for XSCID." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ASTROPHYSICS TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 B.P. Schmidt, R.P. Kirshner, "Expanding photospheres of Type II supernovae and the extragalactic distance scale," Astrophysical Journal, 395:366-86, 1992. Brian P. Schmidt (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.): "Deter- mining the value of the Hubble Constant, Ho, has been an area of considerable interest since Edwin Hubble first realized that the universe was expanding in the late 1920s. Ho is the constant of proportionality between the recession velocities of galaxies and their distances. It gives the current rate of expansion of the universe, and is inversely proportional to the age of the universe. Measuring Ho is difficult because there are no direct geometric measures of distance that can be applied to objects beyond our own galaxy. Because the universe does not expand smoothly on scales corresponding to the distances to the nearest galaxies, it is necessary to measure accurate distances to galaxies far beyond the local group to ascertain the true value of Ho. Starting with parallax distances to the nearest stars, astronomers have erected cosmic distance ladders to galaxies by bootstrapping several different methods. Unfortunately, the results are inconclusive--several methods give Ho = 80 km s-1 Mpc-1 (kilometers per second per mega parsec), while others give Ho = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1, with the difference well outside the quoted errors. "Our work refined the Expanding Photosphere Method, a technique for measuring distances to Type II supernovae (the life-ending explosions of massive stars) based on our physical understanding of their expanding atmospheres. The method requires no external calibration, and can be applied to nearby supernovae as well as extremely distant objects in a consistent manner. In this work we applied our method to 10 supernovae, and found Ho = 60x10 km s-1 Mpc-1. In the past two years we have added further refinements to our understanding of Type II supernova atmospheres, and have gathered data for eight more Type II supernovae. Our latest value of Ho has nudged up to 73x9 km s-1 Mpc-1 (B.P. Schmidt et al., Astrophys. J., in press). "Progress has been made with the more traditional methods, as well. The absolute brightness of Type Ia supernovae has been calibrated using the Hubble Space Telescope (A. Sandage et al., Astrophys. J., 413:L23, 1994), and a comparison of the distances derived using Type Ia supernovae, the luminosity line-width relation for galaxies, planetary nebula luminosity functions, and surface brightness fluctuations has shown that the relative distances derived by these methods are consistent with each other (G. Jacoby et al., Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 104:599, 1992). However, the absolute calibration of the Type Ia supernovae distance ladder disagrees with these three other methods, giving Ho = 55 km s-1 Mpc-1, as opposed to Ho = 80 km s-1 Mpc -1. More controversy is in store as a Hubble Constant larger than Ho = 65 km s-1 Mpc-1 gives an age for a marginally bound universe (one that will stop expanding eventually) of less than 10 billion years, a time shorter than the ages of the oldest stars." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 J. Kim, D.C. Rees, "Structural models for the metal centers in the nitrogenase molybdenum-iron protein," Science, 257:1677-82, 1992. Douglas C. Rees (Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena): "The isolation by V.K. Shah and W. Brill (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 74:3248, 1977) of a low- molecular-weight iron- and molybdenum-containing component from nitrogen- ase, the FeMo cofactor, catalyzed extensive efforts to structurally characterize the active center of the enzyme responsible for biological nitrogen fixation. Interest in the nitrogenase mechanism was already heightened by the contrast between the mild conditions associated with biological conversion of dinitrogen to ammonia and the high temperature and pressure conditions required for the industrial Haber- Basch process; the report by Shah and Brill provided a convenient approach to directly study the enzyme's active center. Spectroscopic, synthetic, and analytical studies defined many pieces of the structural jigsaw puzzle of the FeMo cofactor, but final assembly of these pieces into the completed structure proved elusive. "Our involvement in this puzzle resulted from two fortunate events. While I was a graduate student with W.N. Lipscomb at Harvard University, J.B. Howard spent a sabbatical in the group, thus triggering my interest in nitrogenase and initiating a continuing collaboration, and more recently, a remarkable graduate student, Jongsun Kim, joined my group at Caltech. For his thesis work, Jongsun used X-ray crystallography to solve the structure of the entire nitrogenase protein that contains the FeMo cofactor, and was consequently able to define the structure of this component. The cofactor structure incorporated many of the previously defined features, but included a few unexpected twists, especially for the coordination environment of many of the iron atoms. "Interest in this paper may reflect the solution of a long- standing and well-formulated problem in bioinorganic chemistry. This work also illustrates the fundamental importance of structural information in understanding chemical and biological systems. Although the structure is now available, the nitrogenase story is far from complete." (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Making The Online Connection With Bibliographic- Database Software AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 18 Researchers increasingly are discovering the virtues of personal bibliographic-database software pack- ages-- programs that can help them cut long, tedious hours from the process of preparing the often-extensive bibliographies accompanying their scientific manuscripts. Introduced in the early 1980s, these programs allow an investigator to maintain a sophisticated reference database specific to his or her studies. Once assembled, such a database can be turned to many different research purposes. Among the most useful of these, scientists say, is automatically generating properly formatted manuscript bibliographies. The task of building a thorough bibliographic database in the first place, however, can be quite time-consuming in itself, especially if each reference must initially be keyed in. The answer to this problem, for a growing number of scientists, is improved bibliographic-database software designed to import references from electronic sources-- including online databases, CD-ROM data-bases, and subscriptions to reference research services--directly into their personal databases. "That's how lots of people are using [this] software--and those that aren't, should be," says library automation consultant Pamela R. Cibbarelli, who heads her own firm, Cibbarelli's, in Huntington Beach, Calif. She is also editor of the Directory of Library Automation Software, Systems, and Services (Medford, N.J., Learned Information Inc., 1994). Ideally, importing references should be as automatic a process as printing out a bibliography. Historically, however, attempts to import references from electronic databases have met with varied levels of success and frustration, because the databases use widely differing entry formats that can cause the computerized process to stumble. Producers of bibliographic-database software have worked hard on the problem, and today the process of electronic reference importation--although still not infallible--is much smoother. The new ease with which references can be brought into personal databases dovetails well with the continuing growth in use of the Internet among scientists and the increasing presence of CD-ROM and electronic databases in libraries and on campus networks, information professionals say. "There's an enormous amount of interest in importing references, especially with the advent of free and low-cost searching," says Sue Stigleman, a former librarian at the Health Sciences Library of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of a recent review of bibliography- formatting software (Database, 16:24-38, February 1993). "As people can do more and more of that right from their own personal computers--just capture references and dump them into their database--importing is going to become even more important than it is now." Once bibliographic references are imported and integrated into the database, the leading programs then allow a scientist to search individual database fields, such as author, title, and user-selected key words. Some programs include the ability to create or import fully searchable abstracts. Such a personal database can serve as an extremely valuable research tool, pulling together, in a moment, a sharply focused group of references relevant to whatever question the researcher may be currently at work on. Perhaps the most sought-after feature of these programs, however, is their ability to help a prospective author automatically generate bibliographies of virtually any length, in the required formats of leading scientific publications. And if the paper is rejected by one journal, a few keystrokes at the computer will generate a new version of the paper with the bibliography properly formatted for the next journal. Among such programs are: Bookends Pro from Westing Software, Tiburon, Calif.; EndNote from Niles and Associates Inc., Berkeley, Calif.; Library Master from Balboa Software, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada; Papyrus from Research Software Design, Portland, Ore.; Pro-Cite from Personal Bibliographic Software Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Reference Manager, from Research Information Systems Inc., Carlsbad, Calif. Citation from Oberon Resources, Columbus, Ohio, is another, similar program that runs exclusively as a utility program within WordPerfect for Windows, a popular word-processing program from WordPerfect Corp., Orem, Utah. Prices range from $99 for the total Papyrus package to $590 for the Pro-Cite system, including importation software. Translation Tactics Producers of personal bibliographic-database programs take two main approaches to the task of importing references. The most common is to provide users with specific file- conversion modules, or filters, designed to translate references from a given set of widely used databases into the format used by the personal-database program. The other is to allow the user to design or customize file-conversion routines to import from whatever database he or she is using. The second approach, although more complex and demanding of the user, is growing in popularity. Some programs offer a combination of these approaches. "The general trend is toward more customizability by the user," says Stigleman. "The major programs are taking a much broader view and recognizing that people go out and get information from all sorts of places and want to bring it in [to their databases] without having to retype it." Stigleman adds, however, that users should think twice before abandoning the set of file conversions provided by the software producer. Customizing a conversion "is picky, tedious work for the user," she says. Some of the programs using the pre-formatted conversions require the user to buy the filters bundled separately from the main bibliographic-database program. For example, EndNote offers EndLink, Pro-Cite has Biblio-Link II, and Reference Manager markets Capture. Papyrus, on the other hand, includes its conversion software in its main program, as does Bookends Pro. Among the commercial vendors of databases from which references can be imported using these conversion packages are: BIOSIS, based in Philadelphia; BRS Information Technologies of McLean, Va.; CD-Plus Inc. of New York; Chemical Abstracts Service/STN International in Columbus; Dialog Information Services Inc., located in Palo Alto, Calif.; the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia; and SilverPlatter Information Inc. of Norwood, Mass. Several databases of particular importance to biomedical researchers--Medline, most prominently--are produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda, Md., and are available directly from NLM via the Internet or CD-ROM. But they are also offered by many major commercial database suppliers, and each supplier's version requires its own file-conversion routine. "We support 31 different Med-line versions," says Alison Cevolani, a product marketing representative for Reference Manager. "The data is all the same. It's just how it looks that's different." The list of Medline versions supported by Reference Manager even includes the one available on the University of Southern California campus network, Cevolani says. Counting the Medline versions, Reference Manager supports more than 100 database sources. A new version of EndNote's EndLink module, scheduled for release for the Macintosh in the fall, provides an extensive selection of filters for major databases but also allows users to customize file filters when necessary, says Emanuel Rosen, Niles and Associates' vice president for marketing. Other programs that allow their users to customize importation routines, according to Stigleman, include Library Master and Pro-Cite. Papyrus has long allowed users to customize their importation routines. Papyrus also provides a large library of database filters--more than 100 at last count. "When there is a change by an online service, some of our more savvy users can just change the format on their own," says Dave Goldman, president of Research Software Design and the author of Papyrus. "Others will just call us and we give them instructions as to what to type in Papyrus to update their format." A nearly foolproof way to import electronic references, for those who can afford the expense, is to subscribe to one of the diskette reference services specifically coordinated with a database program. These services search the literature relevant to a researcher's discipline and provide sets of new bibliographic references on diskettes weekly. One of these services, Current Contents on Diskette from ISI, for example, permits records to be directly imported into EndNote, Pro-Cite, and Reference Manager data-bases. Reference Up- date, from Research Information Systems, is a similar service, and its records can be painlessly integrated into Reference Manager. In addition, Reference Update is now available via the Internet, so that subscribers can receive new references in their fields in an even more timely way. Plain text, or ASCII, files also can be transferred from electronic sources to a personal database, although difficulties with Greek and other special characters may emerge. Eric A. Jaffe, a professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical College in New York, says his Reference Update subscription, which includes abstracts, costs about $500 per year. To help defray the costs, he and several other faculty members with related interests share a subscription. Jaffe researches endothelial cells, and colleagues work with platelets, adhesion factors, and lipid biochemistry, he says. However one chooses to build his or her bibliographic- reference database, its value, once compiled, is great, Jaffe says. To be freed of laboriously producing the bibliographies to accompany manuscripts and other papers makes it worth the trouble, even if one has to enter the records individually, he says. "To write a paper with 10 citations is not a big deal," Jaffe says. "To write a paper with 20 citations is no longer so easy. To write a paper with 30 citations--let's say, you want to reverse the order of the citations in the introduction, or add a three-line paragraph in the methods section with a citation--suddenly, you've got to renumber all your citations. Who wants to do that? Why should anybody waste their time? And imagine if you do a thesis, where there are 80, 150, or 200 references. It becomes totally out of hand. "Nobody should do that kind of work without one of these products. I happen to like Reference Manager, but if somebody said to me, `Should I do it by hand or should I use the competition?' I would say `Use something, but, God, don't do it by hand.'" (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : SUPPLIERS OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC-REFERENCE DATABASES AND SOFTWARE TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 19 The following companies produce online and CD-ROM bibliographic- reference databases or software products to create and manage personal bibliographic databases of references obtained from such sources. Please contact the companies directly for more information concerning specific products. Balboa Software 61 Lorraine Dr. Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 2E3 Canada (416) 730-8980 Fax: (416) 730-9715 Circle No. 226 on Reader Service Card BIOSIS 2100 Arch St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 (215) 587-4800 Fax: (215) 587-2041 Circle No. 228 on Reader Service Card Biosoft P.O. Box 10938 Ferguson, Mo. 63135 (314) 524-8029 Fax: (314) 524-8129 Circle No. 229 on Reader Service Card CD-Plus Inc. 333 Seventh Ave. Fourth Floor New York, N.Y. 10001 (800) 950-2035 Fax: (212) 563-3784 Circle No. 230 on Reader Service Card Chemical Abstracts Service STN International 2540 Olentangy River Rd. Columbus, Ohio 43210 (614) 447-3600 Fax: (614) 447-3713 Circle No. 001 on Reader Service Card Compact Cambridge Division of Cambridge Scientific Abstracts 7200 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda, Md. 20814 (800) 843-7751 Fax: (301) 961-6720 Circle No. 002 on Reader Service Card DataChip Corp. 11736 Raleigh Dr. Omaha, Neb. 68164 (402) 496-9662 Fax: (402) 496-9662 Circle No. 003 on Reader Service Card Dialog Information Services Inc. 3460 Hillview Ave. Palo Alto, Calif. 94304 (415) 858-2700 Fax: (415) 858-7069 Circle No. 004 on Reader Service Card Institute for Scientific Information 3501 Market St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 (800) 523-1850 Fax: (215) 386-6362 Circle No. 227 on Reader Service Card Niles & Associates Inc. 800 Jones St. Berkeley, Calif. 94710 (510) 559-8592 Fax: (510) 559-8683 Circle No. 005 on Reader Service Card Oberon Resources 147 E. Oakland Ave. Columbus, Ohio 43201 (614) 294-7762 Fax: (614) 294-7980 Circle No. 006 on Reader Service Card Personal Bibliographic Software Inc. 525 Avis Dr., Suite 10 Ann Arbor, Mich. 48108 (313) 996-1580 Fax: (313) 996-4672 Circle No. 007 on Reader Service Card Pro Tem Software Inc. 3790 El Camino Real Suite 389 Palo Alto, Calif. 94306 (800) 533-6922 Fax: (415) 323-0611 Circle No. 008 on Reader Service Card REFMENU 940 Contra Costa Dr. El Cerrito, Calif. 94530 (510) 642-2286 Fax: (510) 643-6264 Circle No. 009 on Reader Service Card Research Information Systems Inc. Camino Corporate Center 2355 Camino Vida Roble Carlsbad, Calif. 92009-1572 (619) 438-5526 Fax: (619) 438-5573 Circle No. 010 on Reader Service Card Research Software Design 2718 S.W. Kelly St. Suite 181 Portland, Ore. 97201 (503) 796-1368 Fax: (503) 241-4260 Circle No. 011 on Reader Service Card Sidereal Technologies Inc. P.O. Box 30 263 Center Ave. Westwood, N.J. 07675 (201) 666-6262 Fax: (201) 666-8119 Circle No. 012 on Reader Service Card SilverPlatter Information Inc. 100 River Ridge Dr. Norwood, Mass. 02062-5043 (800) 343-0064 Fax: (617) 769-8763 Circle No. 013 on Reader Service Card Trinity Software P.O. Box 960 Main Street Campton, N.H. 03223 (603) 726-4641 Fax: (603) 726-3781 Circle No. 014 on Reader Service Card Westing Software 2960 Paradise Dr. Tiburon, Calif. 94920 (415) 435-9343 Fax: (415) 435-6286 Circle No. 015 on Reader Service Card (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: NEW PRODUCTS ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Dialog Information Services Issues Nuclear Science Abstracts On CD-ROM TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Dialog Information Services Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., has released DIALOG OnDisc Nuclear Science Abstracts (NSA), a CD-ROM database containing nearly 1 million records from the 1948-76 volumes of Nuclear Science Abstracts. The database provides bibliographic references for books, journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, patents, dissertations, engineering drawings, and other documents of interest to professionals in nuclear research, development, and production. Abstracts are included for approximately 25 percent of the references. NSA provides background data for current research in nuclear science areas: reactor technology; particle accelerators; nuclear materials and waste management; radiation effects; isotope and radiation source technology; metals, ceramics, and other materials; and fusion energy. The NSA database precedes Dialog's OnDisc DOE (Department of Energy) Energy Science and Technology, which covers 1974 to the present. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Geno Technology Launches GeneCAPSULE For DNA Extraction TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Geno Technology Inc. of St. Louis announces the release of GeneCAPSULE, a new, single-use device for rapid DNA extraction from gels. Using electroelution and requiring no additional equipment, the new product takes as little as 90 seconds to recover DNA in amounts ranging from 10 to 30 ml, and less than 60 seconds to recover 1,000 bp, according to the company. The recovered DNA is ready for ligation, restriction-enzyme digestion, sequencing, amplification, random priming, nick translation, and other enzymatic reactions. GeneCAPSULE is supplied as a 54-unit kit. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Biotecx Laboratories Introduces IMMULAN Purification Kits TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Houston-based Biotecx Laboratories Inc. has introduced IMMULAN immune column separation kits for T cells and T-cell subpopulations. The kits facilitate affinity chromatography separation and selection of rat, mouse, human, cat, dog, and monkey T cells derived from peripheral blood, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and other tissues. Through selective chemical elimination, users can separate CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in high yield. The purity of isolated T cells is said to range from 90 percent to 99 percent; that of subpopulations is said to be from 93 percent to 98 percent, with virtually all of the B-cell population and macrophages removed. The kits allow for 30 T-cell purifications and 20 T-cell subpopulation separations. They use immunoselective microparticles coated with polyclonal IgG (H and L chains) and include plastic, adjustment-free columns accommodating standard 50 ml centrifuge tubes as well as pretested, ready- to-use reagents. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Phycoerythrin-Cy5 Conjugated Antibodies For Flow Cytometry From AMAC TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 AMAC Inc., headquartered in Westbrook, Maine, has added PE- Cy5 conjugated antibodies to its line of products for flow cytometry: CD3, CD4, CD19, CD34, and CD45, as well as IgG1 phycoerythrin-Cy5, all available in liquid form, in vials that will last for 100 tests. This fluoro-chrome allows for multiparameter analysis of lymphocyte populations with other fluorochromes and a single-laser flow cytometer. AMAC's fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), phycoerythrin, and phycoerythrin-Cy5 are all excited at 488 nm, with FITC emitting at 525 nm, phycoerythrin at 575 nm, and phycoerythrin-Cy5 at 670 nm. The majority of photons emitted by phycoerythrin in the tandem fluorochrome PE-Cy5 (greater than 95 percent) are captured by Cy5, which avoids light contamination in the phycoerythrin detector by the PE-Cy5 dye spectrum. The phycoerythrin-Cy5 molecule is designed to yield a very high level of fluorescence intensity. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Elkay Products Inc. Releases New Autotubes TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Elkay Products Inc. of Shrewsbury, Mass., offers autotubes for use in HTLV-III testing, polymerase chain reaction cell- harvesting procedures, cell-uptake studies, receptor-binding assays, radioimmunoassays, and enzyme immunoassays. They can also be used for freezer storage of blood bank samples, as well as laboratory transport and storage of specimens and reagents. The autotubes provide convenient, extra-volume capacity for sample predilution prior to transfer into a microplate for analysis. They are packaged in a 96-position, stackable 8 o 12 rack. Standard 9 mm on-center spacing of tubes is used for the Autotube 1.2 ml rack, making it compatible with leading multichannel pipettors and autosampling devices. Each rack of tubes contains a removable, 96-place identification card for recording tube locations for each sample. The tubes, rack, and cover are made from 100 percent virgin polypropylene, are fully autoclavable, and can be stored to -85oC. Sterile or nonsterile polyethylene plug caps are supplied on strips (eight caps per strip), which are not autoclavable; the caps help prevent sample contamination during mixing and storage. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Labsystems Unveils Microplate Luminometers TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Labsystems, located in Needham Heights, Mass., has announced the release of three new micro-plate luminometers, all robot-compatible and computer- controllable. The Luminoskan EL is designed for use with enhanced luminescence, or "glow," reagents. The basic system--without injectors, temperature control, or a mixer--offers a choice of eight measurement modes and computer controls. The Luminoskan RT has two injectors and an orbital mixer as standard features. It is suited for applications requiring reagent addition without the need for temperature control. The Luminoskan RS includes bilevel temperature control ranging from 20o to 43oC, orbital mixing, and two injectors; two other injectors may be added as an option. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Nalge Announces A PES Membrane For Tissue-Culture Applications TY : RESEARCH (NEW PRODUCTS) PG : 20 Nalge Co. of Rochester, N.Y., has introduced a line of filtration products featuring a new polyethersulfone (PES) membrane for a variety of tissue-culture applications. PES, an inherently hydrophilic membrane, offers faster flow rates and fluid throughputs than other sterilizing-grade filtration membranes, according to the company. This is said to reduce the number of filter changes, thereby cutting filtration time and costs. In addition, the company says that PES results in lower extractables and protein binding and better chemical resistance than occur with acetates, nitrate, or nylon membranes. The PES membrane is available on NALGENE 50 mm and 90 mm filter units, bottle cap filters, and syringe filters, which are radiation sterilized and certified sterile, noncytotoxic, and nonpyrogenic. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : New Grants Promote Research, Teaching As Equally Important Duties AU : EDWARD R. SILVERMAN TY : PROFESSION PG : 21 Seeking to promote teaching and research as equally important endeavors among university science faculty, the Research Corporation, a Tucson, Ariz.-based nonprofit foundation, recently named the recipients of its first-ever Cottrell Scholars awards. A total of 17 young academics in chemistry, physics, and astronomy (see accompanying list) were each granted $50,000, which they are expected to use to fund a research project while also involving their undergraduate students in scientific investigation. The awards program is designed to help third-year faculty at Ph.D.-granting institutions carry out their commitments to both teaching and research and bridge the gap that often exists between the two responsibilities. The grant recipients are not required to prepare budgets and have a great deal of flexibility in how they use their awards. "In the last half-dozen years, we've grown increasingly concerned that universities have underemphasized teaching," says Brian Andreen, vice president of the Research Corporation. "And there weren't many sources of support for broad scholarship. But there's a need for people who do both research and teaching. This is an attempt to identify people like that and give them the capital to preserve their work. "One of the problems has been that indirect support is so attractive to universities that research overwhelms everything else," Andreen says. "This seemed to be a program where we could get more leverage for our dollars. "We feel that it's important for undergraduates, our future scientists, to be exposed to the best and brightest people and not be relegated to wait until they get into graduate school for this kind of benefit." The awards are named for Frederick Gardner Cottrell, who founded the Research Corporation in 1912, chartered "to make inventions more available and effective in the useful arts and manufactures" and "to provide means for scholarly research and experimentation." Recipients were chosen from among 123 applicants, who were judged by a panel of six outside academics and Research Corporation president John Schaefer. The recipients included 10 chemists, six physicists, and one astronomer from 16 different universities in 14 states; the program is limited to faculty in these three disciplines. Charting New Ground Of overriding importance to the review panel was not only an applicant's mix of teaching and research ideas, but also a desire to explore new ground in such a way that their work influences students. "There are several [criteria]: creativity, evidence that their ideas can be implemented, impact, and the scope of innovation," says Arthur Ellis, a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a member of the committee that chose the Cottrell Scholars. Adds another committee member, Robert Hallock, a physics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst: "What we look for are people who present proposals for high- quality research and a high quality of teaching. One of the things you look for is an innovative approach to a scientific problem. But the bottom line is this: Will these people make a difference to their field and their students? They're judged as researchers and teachers." Hallock says: "I think these awards will help outsiders to recognize that high-quality teaching does take place. Certainly, the monetary award is large enough that people will take notice. Most scientists have one or two years of start-up money, but little by the third year. The Research Corporation is putting its money where its mouth is." Herbert Fertig couldn't agree more. The 32-year-old assistant professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, was among the first round of recipients of the Cottrell grants. "In my field, the teaching aspect has been missing--[the] emphasis is on research, and other awards place it there, too," he says. "It's part of the culture. Historically, teaching hasn't been emphasized all that much." With the award, he hopes to use computer simulation to examine electron systems. He expects his students to benefit from the new, sophisticated computer gear he plans to purchase. "And now, I'll be in a position to support a student," he adds. "It's a necessary thing." For those interested in next year's Cottrell Scholars awards, information and application forms are now available; the deadline for applying is September 1. Applicants must be qualified faculty members in chemistry, physics, and astronomy who accepted tenure-track positions in 1992. According to the Research Corporation, there is no fixed limit on the number of Cottrell Scholars awards. For more information, contact the Research Corporation, 101 N. Wilmot Rd., Suite 250, Tucson, Ariz. 85711-3332; (602) 571-1111. Fax: (602) 571-1119. E-mail: research@ccit.ariz.edu. Edward R. Silverman is a freelance writer based in Millburn, N.J. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : 1994 COTTRELL SCHOLARS TY : PROFESSION PG : 21 * Warren Findlay Beck, assistant professor, chemistry department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. * David Scott Bohle, assistant professor, chemistry department, University of Wyoming, Laramie * Robert M. Bowman, assistant professor, chemistry department, University of Kansas, Lawrence * David Mark Collard, assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry department, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta * Peter K. Dorhout, assistant professor, chemistry department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins * Herbert A. Fertig, assistant professor, physics and astronomy department, University of Kentucky, Lexington * L. Michael Hayden, assistant professor, physics department, University of Maryland, Baltimore County * Heinrich Martin Jaeger, assistant professor, physics department, James Franck Institute, University of Chicago * Nancy Makri, assistant professor, School of Chemical Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana * Ann McDermott, assistant professor, chemistry department, Columbia University, New York City * Sanjib Ratan Mishra, associate professor, physics department, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. * Lyman Alexander Page, Jr., assistant professor, physics department, Princeton University, New Jersey * Lynmarie Agnes Posey, assistant professor, chemistry department, Van-derbilt University, Nashville * Roger W. Romani, assistant professor, physics department, Stanford University, California * Bradley Dennis Smith, assistant professor, chemistry department, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. * Lynmarie Kim Thompson, assistant professor, chemistry department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst * Reinrus (Rene) A.M. Walterbos, assistant professor, astronomy department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: PEOPLE ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : Balanced Reactions: Organic Chemist Named Winner Of Priestley Medal ... AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 Derek H.R. Barton, a winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in chemistry and a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, College Station, has been selected to receive the 1995 Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society's (ACS) highest honor. Designed to commemorate the work of Joseph Priestley, an 18th-century chemist from Great Britain, the gold medal will be presented to Barton at ACS's national meeting scheduled for next April in Anaheim, Calif. Barton's special interest has been in the area of conformational analysis: forming theories on the three- dimensional shapes of molecules, and inventing new chemical reactions. "You think about them in your head and then try them out in the laboratory," says the 75-year-old organic chemist, who in 1959 devised reactions that made functional the unactivated methyl groups in steroids. This reaction enabled other scientists to synthesize aldosterone--an essential hormone controlling electrolyte balance in the body. Nowadays, Barton is working on the selective functionalization of saturated hydrocarbons, which he says has applications in the production of adipic acid, a major component in the production of nylons. In 1942, Barton received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, a part of the University of London in the United Kingdom. He subsequently spent several years in the U.K. and France, moving to Texas A&M in 1986. Three years after his receipt of the Nobel Prize, along with Norwegian chemist Odd Hassel, he was knighted by Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. --Neeraja Sankaran (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ...And Two Inorganic Investigators Get The 1994 Welch Award In Chemistry AU : NEERAJA SANKARAN TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 F. Albert Cotton, Doherty-Welch Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, College Station, and Jack Halpern, Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, have been named winners of the 1994 Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. The two researchers will be honored at a formal ceremony scheduled for October 24, at which they will each receive a certificate and gold medallion and share a $300,000 cash prize. Presented annually by the Houston-based Welch Foundation, the prize seeks to recognize chemists whose basic research has had a positive influence on humankind. Although Cotton, 64, and Halpern, 69, have never collaborated, they share this award owing to the complementary nature of their work in the field of inorganic chemistry. Halpern has spent most of his career studying how chemical reactions work and why. "It is always challenging to find out about the short-lived intermediary compounds--they lead to all sorts of interesting revelations," says Halpern, whose recent work on the mechanisms of Vitamin B12 in biological reactions resulted in the first demonstration of a free-radical carrier role for the vitamin. The Polish-born chemist received his Ph.D. in 1949 from McGill University in Montreal; he came to the University of Chicago in 1962. Cotton's research has focused on the structure and bonding of molecules, with particular emphasis on metal atoms. He originated the concept of cluster chemistry and is also known for his X-ray crystallographic blueprint of a bacterial enzyme. A native of Philadelphia, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1955 and came to Texas A&M in 1972. --Neeraja Sankaran (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- WE WELCOME YOUR OPINION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES: garfield@aurora.cis.upenn.edu 71764.2561@compuserve.com The Scientist, 3600 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. -------- NEXT: OBITUARIES ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : ROY J. PLUNKETT TY : PROFESSION (OBITUARY) PG : 22 Roy J. Plunkett, the Du Pont Co. chemist who discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin--better known by its trade name, Teflon--died May 12 in Corpus Christi, Texas, after a brief illness. He was 83 years old. Plunkett's discovery in 1938, at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.'s Jackson Laboratory in Deep Water, N.J., came about by accident, according to Du Pont. In the course of investigating the results of a failed experiment on a potential refrigerant, he tested the substance he had produced and found it was inert to almost all chemicals, and proved to be the most slippery material known. Besides his work with Teflon, Plunkett, who retired in 1975, is the inventor or coinventor named on a dozen U.S. patents. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1990. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ---------- NEXT: ------------------------------------------------------------ TI : JAMES A. SHANNON TY : PROFESSION (OBITUARY) PG : 22 James A. Shannon, former director of the National Institutes of Health, died in Baltimore on May 20. He was 89 years old. Shannon, whose research focused on pharmacology, chemotherapy, and kidney physiology and clinical nephrology, headed NIH from 1955 until he retired in 1968. After leaving NIH, Shannon became a professor of biomedical sciences at Rockefeller University in 1970 and an emeritus professor in 1980. Shannon was awarded a Presidential Medal of Merit for his leadership in developing antimalarial drugs during World War II. (The Scientist, Vol:8, #13, pg.1, June 27, 1994) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ----------

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank