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Looking For The Patterns Behind Human Violence

By | June 13, 1988

HOMICIDE Martin Daly and Margo Wilson Aldine de Gruyter; New York, 328 pages; $42.95 (hardback), $18.95 (paperback) A characteristic common to good science and good literary criticism is that both are alert to subtext. Both can reveal that what you see is not what you get. Both can offer the excitement of discovering an unexpected pattern in a phenomenon of nature or in the behavior of a protagonist in a play. For a number of years, the authors of Homicide have been studying human behavior b

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Nailing Down Iron Assimilation

By | June 13, 1988

Iron is both a nutritious and potentially noxious element. Its precise regulation in cells is necessary to assure synthesis of several proteins of which the metal is an integral part. At the same time, the cell must avoid generation of tissue-damaging oxygen radicals, which are known to arise from certain transition metals, such as iron. Environmental iron is mostly in a form (the 3+ oxidation state) that is characterized by extreme insolubility at biological pH. In order to dissolve iron, ma

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National Lab Briefs

June 13, 1988

Scientists, beware! The West German hacker who invaded scores of U.S. military computer systems last year could easily strike again. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory who finally tracked the electronic wizard down have been studying his M.O. Their conclusion: His tactics were often ridiculously simple. Many of the systems he entered used account names and passwords so obvious as to be worthless. And many current systems continue to use similar passwords. The best defense? Difficult p

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The ramshackle state of some of the nation’s science labs has prompted the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Mich., to step beyond its regular pattern of giving and add a special program for upgrading scientific equipment. The foundation, with assets of more than $1 billion, traditionally restricts its funding to construction and building-renovation projects. Now, says Kresge program officer Gene Moss, the foundation expects to give away between $10 million and $20 million for scientific equip

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Notable Books

June 13, 1988

E.O. WiLson, editor, NationalAcademy Press; Washington, D.C.; 496 pages, $19.50 (paperback); $32.50 (hardback) People have far fewer genes than do salamanders or many flowering plants, says Wilson as he piles up statistics to demon- strate the abundance of genetic information stored in living things. This richness—and its fragility—are examined from different angles by this volume’s 55 contributors. PATTERNING IN SEED PLANT SPECIES Jonathan D. Sauer, University of Californi

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NSF Struggles To Pay A Fair Wage

By | June 13, 1988

The foundation battles to get the best and the brightest WASHINGTON--William WuIf is the kind of person who believes that when you’ve been supported by a system, you have an obligation to give something back someday. So the University of Virginia computer scientist was sorely tempted when the National Science Foundation asked him to come to Washington for two or three years to run its computer and information science and engineering directorate. As a young professor, Wulf had benefited f

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Opinion

By | June 13, 1988

Opinion Don’t Link U.S.-Soviet Exchanges To Human Rights Author:HERBERT ABRAMS Date: June 13, 1988 One of the major controversies surrounding exchanges between U.S. and Soviet scientists is whether action on human rights should be a prerequisite for communication. A number of scientists have argued that it should. A few years ago, for example, the National Academy of Sciences canceled formal exchanges with the Soviet Union because of the plight of a number of Soviet scientists, particular

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Private Institute Briefs

June 13, 1988

Want to take a cruise in the Black Sea? Short of defecting to the Soviet Union, the best way may be to join up with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The institution’s research vessel Know the first U.S. ship to enter the Black Sea in 13 years, is in the middle of a planned series of six trips to the Soviet body of water. Its scientists are using the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl disaster to study circulation patterns and chemical processes in the sea. Meanwhile, back in

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Robert Gale's Inside Story Of His Chemobyl Days

By | June 13, 1988

FINAL WARNING: The Legacy of Chemobyl Robert P Gale and Thomas Hauser Warner Books; New York 230 pages; $18.95 The second anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in April was marked by the publication of several books, each trying to tell the story from a different angle, each attempting to serve a different political purpose. One of them, Richard Mould’s Chernobyl The Real Story (Pergamon Press), got the full endorsement and cooperation of Soviet authorities. The book contains 160 photog

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Science Grants

June 13, 1988

Following Is a selection of notable grants that have been awarded recently by public and private funding sources. PHYSIOLOGY: Auditory Cortex. $1,894,000 over three years from NIH to University of California, Irvine; L. Kitzes NEUROSCIENCE: Growth factors or other trophic factors in brain injury. $25,000 from Toyota USA Foundation to University of California, San Francisco; F.M. Longo, WC. Mobley Molecular and developmental neuroscience and computational neuroscience. $375,000 from Del E. We

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