In a city where bikes outnumber cars and even people, more than 900 scientists dodged bicycles as they picked their way to the conference center for the 2013 EMBO meeting in Amsterdam. Kai Simons, Director Emeritus and Research Group Leader of the Max Planck Institute-CBG in Dresden, opened the meeting last Saturday, October 21. His talk that extended his pioneering research on lipid rafts in eukaryotic cell membranes toward bacteria with a new class of proteins called hopanoids that stand in for sterols on bacterial "liquid-ordered" membranes.
Got a piece of venerable (if supposedly functional) equipment taking up bench space? Turn it into an ASCB #ThrowbackThursday winner! The ASCB Post is ramping up its weekly Twitter hashtags with a cell biology twist. #ThrowbackThursday, which features blasts from the ASCB past like old photos of ASCB members (with the opportunity to guess the identity) or a landmark paper published back in the day, is adding a new category for historic/obsolete lab equipment.
The ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter is named for the German mathematician Theodor Kaluza (1885-1954), who is the namesake of Beckman Coulter's flow cytometry software system. The posthumous reputation of Kaluza, who was not a biologist but a German mathematician, has been on the rise in recent years, and the eponymous honor of a $5,000 cash prize for scientific achievement for an ASCB graduate student is only the latest feather.
Big discoveries can turn up in unexpected places, such as neurons of the Pacific electric ray, Torpedo californica. That was the start of Richard H. Scheller's path to the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, which he received last week. Along with Thomas C. Südhof of Stanford University, Scheller won for their independent investigations into the regulatory mechanisms of neurotransmitter release.
Later this fall, a few, a precious few, ASCB members will be booking flights to Stockholm. For the rest of us, take a seat with your laptop tonight to watch live as another batch of Nobelists—the Ig Nobelists—step into the bright lights. This is one show you will be glad to miss as an honoree.
Today Richard H. Scheller, an ASCB member and Executive Vice President of Genentech, was named the winner, along with Thomas C. Südhof of Stanford University, of the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. They won for their separate work in understanding the regulatory mechanisms of neurotransmitter release.
John Sack has probably done as much as anyone to transform—or disrupt, depending on who is talking—the scholarly publishing business. As founding director in 1995 of HighWire Press, Sack was asked by Stanford University Press to see if research journals could dip a toe in the unknown but rising waters of the online world while still keeping their integrity and citable permanence dry. Sack plunged in. Today HighWire is the leading e-publishing platform, handling 1,732 scholarly journals, reference works, books, and conference proceedings, for scholarly publishers, large and very small.
Behind the acronyms ASCB + GSA = LSE stands a new editorial partnership between the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and the Genetics Society of America (GSA) to support the online journal, CBE—Life Sciences Education (LSE). The journal, which was started by ASCB in 2002 as Cell Biology Education but changed to CBE—Life Sciences Education in 2006 to reflect the breadth of its educational coverage across all life sciences, will have a joint editorial board drawn from scientists in both societies. GSA will become a full editorial partner, promoting the journal, soliciting manuscripts, and contributing to its costs of operation while ASCB will remain the actual publisher. Erin Dolan will continue as LSE Editor-In-Chief.
A matched-peer controlled study of science faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) shows that an outside mentoring support program increased the number of peer-reviewed research publications, the number of federal grants, and the variety of professional and curricular activities of those who participated versus academic peers who did not.
Writing in Science Careers, Sandra Schmid, former ASCB President, declares that the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) principles should be used in the hiring process. Over 9,000 individuals have now signed DORA, but Schmid points out that, "Our signatures are meaningless unless we change our hiring process."