September 14, 2014 |
It's getting harder to find the line between science and science fiction. One of the hot research techniques these days, "optogenetics," uses gene therapy to deliver light-sensitive proteins to specific cells. Then researchers use light to control the cells. The field got its start in the brain, where scientists have demonstrated the technique by making contented mice fly into a rage - a remarkable, if slightly creepy, achievement. Brian Chow, a University of Pennsylvania bioengineer, has bigger ambitions than that.
January 27, 1992 |
In the latest urgent call for improvements in primary and secondary schools a panel of experts and politicians has recommended national curriculum standards and tests. The message of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, like that of an Education Department report in September, is that inadequate education, particularly in mathematics and science, threatens our economic well-being, national identity and democratic institutions. Conspicuously absent from the debate has been any mention of a political issue integral to the problem: Students' poor performance mirrors their parents' alienation from those who decide about the risks and benefits of science and technology.
March 15, 2004 |
In a research program getting under way this summer, shipboard scientists will punch thousands of holes in the ocean bottom and take samples from greater depths than ever before. They will be investigating the biology, chemistry and physics of "inner space," the vast world hidden beneath the seas. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, led by American and Japanese scientists, begins in June with a 10-month expedition to plumb the crust beneath the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The layers of rock below the seafloor are an archive of global change, tens of millions of years old, that scientists say can help them understand what's happening to our world today.
May 24, 1990 |
Standing before a group of professional scientists, most of whom had their chins in their hands and were murmuring the obligatory "umm . . . interesting," Michael LaLena worked his way through a computer program that creates mazes and their solutions. He must have explained it pretty well, because within the hour the senior at La Salle College High School was given first prize at the Naval Air Development Center's first science fair. The fair was part of an open house Saturday at the facility in Warminster.
August 17, 1988 |
There she stood, this would-be open-heart surgeon, untangling cat intestines as she spoke of how she once had wanted to be a hairdresser. Chanel Reed, 14, had wanted to be a hair stylist because she liked being creative with her hands. But since she became part of Camden's pipeline to the sciences last year, her hands aim for higher pursuits. Now, she said, "I want to explore the body, explore what it can do, what goes on inside yourself, makes you tick. " Reed, who is entering her sophomore year at Camden High School, has participated for the last two summers in the Camden Science Pipeline, a three- year program designed to stir enthusiasm for math and science, to increase the students' chances at succeeding in those subjects in high school and college, and to help them make science a career.
November 27, 1988 |
An international team of scientists, alarmed by the threat to the Earth's ozone layer, is gathering in California today to prepare for the largest study ever done of the Arctic atmosphere. During the next two weeks, they will fine-tune scientific instruments in preparation for a $30 million expedition involving 200 scientists from seven nations that will be centered in Stavanger, Norway, from late December through mid-February. The scientific team - which includes William Brune of the Pennsylvania State University - will use high-altitude aircraft, balloons, satellites and sophisticated computers to seek to understand how the ozone layer is being eroded by manmade chemical pollutants in the Northern Hemisphere.
July 19, 1991 |
While scientists have known for some time how the AIDS virus destroys the immune system, they have not understood how it enters the brain and central nervous system. Today, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania report the discovery of a possible way that the AIDS virus infects nerve cells - through a certain "docking point" on a cell. "Until now this has been a big puzzle," said Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, associate professor of neurology and microbiology at Penn. "We now believe we have discovered the mechanism by which this infection occurs.
May 22, 1990 |
Hilary Koprowski, an internationally known scientist who helped develop vaccines against rabies and polio, was awarded the prestigious Philadelphia Award last night. The $25,000 award, which is given annually to a Philadelphian who has set an example by serving the "best and largest interests of the community," was presented to Koprowski during ceremonies at the College of Physicians at 19 S. 22d St. Koprowski, 73, is giving the award to the Wistar Institute, which he has directed since 1957.
December 7, 1986 |
For the initiated, the license plate says it all. GENOME is the moniker on Beatrice Mintz's light-blue Chevrolet in the staff parking lot at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Lay folk who can't rattle off a definition of that word might prefer others to describe Mintz - words such as biologist, researcher, pioneer, member of the National Academy of Sciences and, as of last month, member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. But her vanity plate expresses in only six PennDOT-approved letters the subject of the life's work that has brought the Fox Chase scientist so many honors.
July 23, 2005
Most members of Congress who want to unravel a scientific controversy call a hearing. There, witnesses with opposing views make their best case. Or they call the National Academies of Science or another independent panel for expert advice. Not Texas Republican Joe Barton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has opted for a witch hunt. Last month, Barton launched an investigation into the research and backgrounds of three prominent climate scientists.