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ASCB Newsletter - November 2000

  ASCB, Cold Spring Harbor Co-Publish Special Collection for Society’s 40th Anniversary

Former ASCB presidents Joe Gall and Dick McIntosh have edited Landmark Papers in Cell Biology, a hardcover collection of seminal papers in cell biology originally published between the 1950s and the 1990s. It commemorates the 40th anniversary of the American Society for Cell Biology.

The volume covers topics ranging from genome organization and replication to the cytoskeleton; it is targeted to students and researchers in cell biology.

Landmark Papers in Cell Biology will be on sale during the 40th Annual Meeting at the ASCB booth in the Exhibit Hall. The book is available to students and ASCB members for $30, a 33% discount off the list price.

The editors will be available to sign the volume at the ASCB booth on Sunday, December 10 and Tuesday, December 12, from 9:30 10:30 a.m. Copies can also be ordered by mail.


Look for Meeting Program in San Francisco

The 40th Annual Meeting Program will be distributed on-site at the 40th ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco, December 9-13. For Annual Meeting information , itenerary planner, and to search abstracts


Cell Biology Central Theme at SACNAS

The ASCB was prominently represented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, “Mentoring to Change the Face of Science,” in Atlanta last month.

Former ASCB Councilor and 2000 ASCB E.E. Just Awardee Lydia Villa-Komaroff of Northwestern University presented the opening Keynote Address, encouraging the 2000 meeting attendees to persist toward career goals, take advantage of failures as well as successes, and communicate the value of science to the community. She encouraged minority students to collaborate with majority colleagues and to be prepared to deal constructively with collaborators’ stereotypes by developing substantive relationships.

US Surgeon General David Satcher discussed “Health Goals 2010,” the Administration’s blueprint to eliminate health disparities between minority and non-minority U.S. populations and to increase healthy living habits among all U.S. citizens.

ASCB member Wilfred Denetclaw of San Francisco State University organized the ASCB-sponsored Cell Biology Symposium. Presenters were:

  • Carmen Domingo of San Francisco State University, on Signals and Cell Behaviors Involved in Muscle Development
  • Gilbert John of Oklahoma State University, on Internal Microflora Containing Cytochrome P450
  • Gilberto R. Sambrano of the University of California, San Francisco, on Proteaseactivated Receptors: Role in Coagulation and Inflammation, and
  • Elba E. Serrano of New Mexico State University, on Imaging of Xenopus Inner Ear Organogenesis with the Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy.

ASCB MAC member Dan Chavez of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine reviewed over 325 undergraduate scientific posters. Kindergarten through senior high teachers, who attended sessions targeted to them, appreciated free supplies of Exploring the Cell and other ASCB materials.

SACNAS seeks to encourage Chicano/ Latino and Native American students to pursue graduate education.


Members In The News

Eric Kandel of Columbia University, an ASCB member since 1995, will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology next month for his discoveries of how the efficiency of synapses can be modified, and which molecular mechanisms take part.

Kandel was the Keynote Speaker at the ASCB Annual Meeting in 1995, and briefed the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on How We Remember in 1997.

Michael Locke of the University of Western Ontario, an ASCB member since 1966, was awarded a Certificate of Distinction at the XXI International Congress on Entomology, in Iguassu Falls, Brazil, in August. Locke was cited for “the highest quality ultrastructural approaches, accompanied by the clearest diagrams.”


International Federation Holds Quadrennial Assembly and Congress

The International Federation for Cell Biology recently hosted the 7th International Congress on Differentiation and Cell Biology on the Gold Coast of Australia.

The Federation held its quadrennial General Assembly during the Congress. ASCB members Mina Bissell, Mary-Jane Gething, Brigid Hogan and Scott Emr represented the American Society for Cell Biology at the Assembly.

Two new scientific societies were admitted to membership in the IFCB: the Korean Society for Molecular Biology, and the Society for Cell and Molecular Biology of Taipei, China. This action brings the number of member organizations to 11, representing over 65 nations.

More than 150 students participated in the International Congress; the IFCB supported the participation of 20 of these students to attend the Congress. Members of the General Assembly devoted part of the meeting to a discussion of expanding the number of students supported to attend the next meeting in 2004. Consideration was also given to opening a Federation office in Aberdeen, Scotland to support the Federation’s journal, Cell Biology International, and to allow for the development of new projects.

A decision was made to hold the 8th International Congress in Europe during the summer of 2004, to be hosted by the European Life Sciences Organization (ELSO). The newly admitted Korean Society expressed interest in hosting the 2008 Congress; a decision on the 2008 meeting will be made during the 2004 General Assembly meeting.

Officers elected to Federation positions at the General Assembly meeting were Ivan Cameron of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for President, and former ASCB Treasurer Merton Bernfield of Harvard for Secretary General. Each will serve a fouryear term, 2001-2004.


ASCB Members Elected to IOM

Four ASCB members were elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences this year; three of the four have served as ASCB President (Blackburn in 1998; Blobel in 1990, and Sabatini in 1979).

  • Elizabeth Blackburn University of California, San Francisco ASCB member since 1978
  • Günter Blobel Rockefeller University ASCB member since 1973
  • David Sabatini New York University School of Medicine ASCB member since 1967
  • Robert Weinberg Massachusetts Institute of Technology ASCB member since 1993


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to Web sites of educational interest to the cell biology community. The Committee does not endorse nor guarantee the accuracy of the information at any of the listed sites. If you wish to comment on the selections or suggest future inclusions please send a message to Robert Blystone.

  1. Carrefour Biodidac Home Page
    This site, maintained at the University of Ottawa, serves as a “bank of digital resources for teaching biology.” The stated objective of this Web site is to “create a media bank of text, images, sounds and video in a digital format that can be used and adapted for teaching Biology in French.” Whether you intend to teach in French or some other language, this site is an extensive collection of photomicrographs and line drawings of biological subjects.

    The main page provides two pathways to the GIF formatted images: 1) organismal biology and histology and 2) CoopBIODIDAC. The organismal section is broken into five parts: protista, fungi, animal, plant, and histology. The most comprehensive section is animal, with 37 groups of images available. The mammal section has over 500 images. The general section has line drawings of cell organelles, neural tube closure, followed by anatomical orientation of sharks. If one enters the blood section of histology, photomicrographs for 17 different species of chordates representing 251 images are available. The images are indexed by thumbnail or straight text titles. Most of the photomicrographs are eight bit color at 512 by 512 pixels and are around 150K in size. The line drawings are of quite variable size and are sometimes difficult to download. A search engine helps to identify image topics and natural clusters of images. The site gives permission to use the images for educational purposes.

    The CoopBIODIDAC choice is quite interesting. Serving mostly Canadian educators, the Coop site represents a repository of teaching materials. One needs to register to access and contribute materials. The Biostatistics section is of particular interest. If an instructor is looking for biological art work to add to a lab manual, this site may well have what is needed.

  2. Bio 268 Vertebrate Embryology
    This site is an exemplar for organizing Web-based materials for teaching an undergraduate course in developmental biology. I would ask the ASCB membership to examine the site and make suggestions of similar sites that support undergraduate courses in cell biology of which you may be aware. Suggestions will be compiled and reported in a future edition of WWW. cell biology education.

    The site listed has been developed by Gabriel O. Aisemberg of City University of New York. As is the case for many instructors, he has organized his syllabus and Web resources based on the course textbook, which in this case is Gilbert’s fifth edition of Developmental Biology. He has intermixed hand drawings with text illustrations within an outline of each chapter. There are 36 pages of course notes which amplify text course text material. An outline of Aisemberg’s lab course is also included. Although traditional in scope, this web site is clearly articulate and represents what any motivated instructor could do for his or her course.

  3. Embryology Tutorial Main Menu http://worms.zoology.wisc.edu/embryology_main.html This column has reviewed Jeff Hardin’s developmental biology site previously. Hardin who is at the University of Wisconsin, has made many additions and improvements to the site, which suggests an update. Hardin has taken his WEB-based undergraduate course materials a step further than Aisemberg (see above), creating educational materials for embryology that extend beyond his own course. This URL will open with three choices: Zebrafish, Amphibian, and Echinoderms. The latter two choices offer a wealth of additional information supporting developmental biology course work. The two QuickTime movies of amphibian neurulation are extremely helpful to the student trying to visualize a complex process. The mesenchyme patterning section for echinoderms provides excellent photomicrographs of various embryological events.

    Again, I encourage the ASCB membership to submit URLs of similar undergraduate teaching materials on cell biology topics.

  4. Furby Autopsy
    Dissection of an organism requires a plan, skill, and keen observation. Most students rarely bring these abilities to their first critical dissection. I suggest to my students that they review Furby Autopsy before beginning a dissection. Although this URL is perhaps an irrelevant and irreverent site, it does illustrate the principles involved in a serious dissection. Albeit humorous, the descriptions of skinning, ear and carapace removal clearly call attention to how to take apart an unfamiliar organism. The FAQ section indicates that the sum of the parts is greater than the organism.

These sites were checked October 8, 2000. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational WEB sites with the links to the sites may be found online

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