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July 3, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 27

DNA-encoded libraries

I was disappointed in how the article by Bethany Halford “Breakthroughs with bar codes” (C&EN, June 19, page 28) portrayed the inventors of the concept of DNA-encoded libraries. While published in PNAS in 1992 with just Lerner and Brenner as authors, the concept/idea brought to practice involved myself as well. You will find my name listed as an inventor on the patent with both Brenner and Lerner (US Patent No. 5573905) detailing the concept/idea behind using DNA for bar coding. I bring this further to light as we (Scripps Research Institute) are involved in a lawsuit on this very subject (

Kim D. Janda Director, Worm Institute of Research & Medicine, Scripps Research Institute La Jolla, Calif.


Science communication

Your editorial (C&EN, May 1, page 2) highlighted the value of curiosity in science communication. That role is reinforced by recent research, “Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing” (Political Psychology 2017, DOI: 10.1111/pops.12396), which supports the hopeful finding that science curiosity may counteract political bias in processing information about polarizing topics.

In the same issue (page 34), Dr. Campbell encouraged chemists to communicate science with the public, offering helpful tips. Readers interested in following her advice will benefit from a National Academies publication that draws from research in informal learning, science communication, and chemistry education: “Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science: A Practical Evidence-Based Guide” (

David A. Ucko, Washington, D.C.

Editorial note: Ucko cochaired the National Academies committee that generated the cited guide and the full report, “Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments.”


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