Who are the chemists and what do they do?

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<ul><li><p>Note: Arrows point to CH2 groups that may be substituted with CD2 groups. </p><p>the State University of New York, Buffa-lo, says he "wouldn't foresee [the meth-od] being used in every clinical lab" for assays related to inherited enzyme-deficiency diseases because of the small number of requests for such assays. However, if the method "can look at multiple enzymes in the same assay, which could detect a variety of diseases," it could be suitable for routine chemical analyses, he says. Gelb suggests that mass spec assays for the rarest diseases could be made available at one or two central locations. </p><p>By including an internal standard, the team has provided "a perfect solution for making the method quantitative," Gelb says. This standard acts as a control for variations in experimental conditions that may occur during the analysis. Thus the approach can be used to measure the activity of a targeted enzyme. In that re-gard, he notes, it could be useful for monitoring enzyme activity in biochemi-cal signaling pathways. </p><p>Mairin Brennan </p><p>Who are the chemists and what do they do? Doctoral chemists are much less likely to pursue careers in academia than are oth-er Ph.D. scientists. Conversely, they are far more likely to work for industry. They are also more likely to be retired than other Ph.D. scientists. And those who are in the workforce are slightly more likely to become unemployed. </p><p>These are some unsurprising factoids about the chemistry profession quantified in selected data released last week by the National Science Foundation from its latest </p><p>survey of the demographic and employ-ment characteristics of doctoral scientists and engineers under the age of 76. NSF will publish a full, more detailed report lat-er this year. </p><p>The new study is the 13th in a biennial series started in 1973. It reports data as of the week of April 15, 1997, and is based on responses to 55,000 mailed question-naires. Total response rate, either by mail or by follow-up phone calls, was 85%. </p><p>According to the new data, 48.0% of working doctoral scientists, but only 28.8% of doctoral chemists, are em-ployed at universities and four-year col-leges. Those in the mathematical scienc-es are the most academically inclined, with 63.2%. Almost 56% of doctoral chemists are employed in the private for-profit sector. This compares with 27% of all doctoral scientists. </p><p>According to the survey, 11.2% of Ph.D. chemists are retired. This com-pares with the 8.0% of all doctoral scien-tists. Of Ph.D. chemists in the work-forcethose either with a job or unem-ployed but seeking a job2.0% were unemployed. For all doctoral scientists, the unemployment rate was 1.2%. The </p><p>highest jobless rate was for environmen-tal life sciences2.9%. </p><p>NSF also breaks down data by race and ethnicity. They indicate that 81.8% of Ph.D. chemists are white, 13.9% Asian or Pacific Islander, 2.2% Hispanic, 1.7% black, and 0.3% Native American. This breakdown is not greatly different from that for all Ph.D. scientists85.4% white, 9.6% Asian, 2.2% Hispanic, 2.3% black, and 0.4% Native American. </p><p>According to the Census Bureau, as of November 1998 the racial breakdown of the U.S. was 82.5% white, 3.9% Asian, 12.7% black, and 0.9% Native American. Including all races, 11.4% are Hispanic. </p><p>The NSF data indicate that computer/ information sciences are the most racial-ly diverse, with only 67.0% white. The least diverse are environmental life sci-ences90.6% white. </p><p>The NSF data also reveal wide variation in the progress of women in the various sciences. Of all science Ph.D.s, 26.2% are women. The range is from a high 52.2% of those in the health sciences to a low 6.5% of physicists and astronomers. For Ph.D. chemists, 15.1% are women. </p><p>Michael Heylin </p><p>Wolf Prize for sugar pioneer Lemieux The 1999 Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Ray-mond U. Lemieux, chemistry professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, Ed-monton. The foundation, based in Herz-lia, Israel, cites Lemieux's "fundamental and seminal contributions to the study and synthesis of oligosaccharides and to the elucidation of their role in molecular recognition in biological systems." </p><p>As Lemieux recounts in his 1990 auto-biography, "Explorations with Sugars: How Sweet it Was," he published the first synthesis of sucrose in 1953. He continued to develop methods for assem-bling oligosaccharides with stereochemi-cal control, later synthesizing the anti-genic carbohydrates that determine hu-man blood groups. Among other techniques and concepts that have since become "tools of the trade," he intro-duced the use of nuclear magnetic reso-nance spectroscopy to determine the ste-reochemistry of anomeric carbon atoms in sugars. His research has been key to establishing the central role carbohy-drates play in molecular recognition. </p><p>Lemieux received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1943 and a Ph.D. degree in chemistry </p><p>three years later from McGill University, Montreal. He spent a postdoctoral stint at Ohio State University, Columbus, before becoming an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. He then worked at Canada's National Re-search Council for several years before joining the University of Ottawa, in On-tario, in 1954. In 1961, he returned to the University of Alberta, serving as chairman of the division of organic chemistry before assuming emeritus sta-tus in 1985. Among his many honors is the American Chemical Society's Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry. </p><p>Winner of the 1999 Wolf Prize in Physics is Dan Shechtman, a professor in the department of materials engineering at TechnionIsrael Institute of Technol-ogy, Haifa. Shechtman is being honored for his discovery of quasicrystalline alloys with fivefold symmetry, a claim, the foundation notes, "which was initially re-ceived with disbelief." </p><p>The award winners will each receive $100,000 at a ceremony later this year in Jerusalem at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament. </p><p>Pamela Zurer </p><p>FEBRUARY 8, 1999 C&amp;EN 1 1 </p><p>Who are the chemists and what do they do?</p></li></ul>