Transparency and the funding decision process

Prompted by recent comments by National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, ASBMB President Jeremy Berg did an analysis of the level of NIH funding for Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. Using data from NIH Reporter, he found that more than 80 percent of the 330 investigators had some NIH funding. Of these, all but a few had some R (R01, R21, R03), P01 subproject and research-focused (as opposed to resource-focused) cooperative agreements (U awards) funding.

When you’re going through hell — keep going

ASBMB Public Affairs Director Benjamin Corb writes: "As we begin 2014, we see an environment that is rich with potential. Perhaps it’s the eggnog hangover from the holidays, but we are optimistic. Here are some areas that our legislative agenda will emphasize."

Starting a science advocacy group

Scientists today have the opportunity to play a key role in science advocacy. With the current funding climate and the beginning of a new year, now is a better time than ever to start an advocacy group.

Member update

This month's issue includes a list of ASBMB members who became fellows at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, three death notices and news of an award for Yusuf Hannun of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center.

Changeux reflects on allosteric interaction, brain chemistry and theories in biology

Neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeux at the Collège de France and the Institut Pasteur in Paris begins his recent “Reflections” article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry with a thought about theory in biology. “The identification of common conceptual rules further hinges on the considerable structural and functional diversity of the biological objects,” he writes.

Poking holes in the telomere patch

In a recent study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Tom Cech’s team demonstrates that introducing mutations in the TEL patch to disrupt its activity while chemically inhibiting telomerase causes a decrease in proliferation of HeLa cancer cells correlated with a suppression of telomere elongation.

From medicine to polyamines

For those scientists who have submitted their research manuscripts to The Journal of Biological Chemistry over the past 50 years (and even those who haven’t), Herbert Tabor is nothing less than a living legend. Tabor, 95, has been on the journal’s masthead since 1961. As if that tenure is not amazing enough, you also should note that Tabor’s first JBC paper was published in 1943! And just this past fall, he marked a milestone of sorts by having a new paper accepted 70 years after his first.

Unlocking the swinging door

In a “Paper of the Week” in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Heather Pinkett at Northwestern University and her collaborators last year proposed the transport mechanism of the importer MolB2C2-A.

Mechanistic insight into the mitochondrial acetylome

Two papers published recently in The Journal of Biological Chemistry lend new insights into both enzymatic and nonenzymatic mechanisms for lysine acetylation/acylation of mitochondrial proteins.

Two new thematic reviews

The January issue of the Journal of Lipid Research features two thematic reviews. The first is “HDL and cholesterol: life after the divorce?” by Kasey C. Vickers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Alan T. Remaley the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The other, “Cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of vitamin D,” is by Glenville Jones and colleagues at Queen’s University in Canada.

What happens to muscle as women age?

“Little old lady” is a phrase we use in everyday language, but what makes women lose their muscle size and function as they age? In a paper just out in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, researchers tackled the molecular basis of this phenomenon in humans.

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