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CAN’T AFFORD IT The proper priorities for NSF remain people, equipment and facilities, in that order. Thus, any new program must be viewed in the context of all established programs and evaluated in competition with other high-priority activities. To do otherwise does not accept the reality of the overall budget situation, and at the risk of compromising the standards of excellence we have worked so hard to maintain. Thus, while we support much of the intent and spirit of H.R. 1905, we m

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Happenings

August 10, 1987

Robert Hoffmann, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, has been named Assistant Secretary for Research, effective January 1, 1988. Prior to joining the Smithsonian staff, Hoffmann was Summerfield Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and curator of mammals at the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History. As assistant secretary, Hoffmann will serve as the principal adviser to the secretary and undersecretary on the Smit

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Happy 100th Birthday, NIH

By | August 10, 1987

In 1887 the U.S. federal government established a little one-room laboratory on Staten Island, N.Y., and called it the Laboratory of Hygiene. Today, that lab is called the National Institutes of Health. All year long NIH has been bombarding the media with press releases on its centennial events, including a July 1 Capitol Hill “photo opportunity” with some of the nation’s 25,000 centenarians. But they’ve failed to mention many of the more interesting stories. For ex

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In 1954 Conway Zirkie reviewed the fascinating history of the patterns and context of citations to the falsified scientiflc experiments published by Vien- nese zoologist Paul Kammerer. Using two types of salamanders and the male of the midwife toad, Kammerer claimed in the 1920s to have shown that acquired characteristics were inherited. But, as Zirkle recounts, “the acquired chareacters... turned out to be india ink.” (Science Vol. 120, 1954. p. 189). The truth about Kammerer

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How to Study Arms Control

By | August 10, 1987

SAN FRANCISCO—Scientists have long been prominent in the debate on arms control and international security. Yet until recently, they had few mid-career opportunities to learn the technical and political issues that shape that debate. The 3-year-old science fellowship program at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control was created to meet that need. The program, which physicist/astronaut Sally K. Ride will join in October after she leaves NASA this

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Human Genome Bill Sponsor Pulls Back, Shifts Tactics

By | August 10, 1987

WASHINGTON—One of the most frequent complaints about Congress is how long it takes to get something done. Last month Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) found out that trying to move too fast may be an even bigger problem. On July 10 Domenici introduced a bill (S. 1480) to create a federal advisory board and governmentuniversity-industry consortium to map and sequence the human genome. The bill, which would have set up cooperative research efforts on semiconductors and superconducting materials

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Irish Depend on Framework Projects

By | August 10, 1987

DUBLIN—Approval of the EEC’s Framework program is important news for Irish scientists, whose country relies heavily on the joint projects to augment the low level of support from their own government. “Basically, it means that people like me are working here rather than abroad,” said Edel Stephens, technical manager for software development at a small firm doing EEC-backed work. With support at levels far below the rest of the EEC (Ireland spends 0.8 percent of its

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Issues Clear in the U.K. Genentech Decisions

By | August 10, 1987

Although the recent decision of the British High Court to revoke Genentech’s U.K. patent covering human tissue plasminogen activator is open to appeal, the legal issues have been clearly drawn in a lengthy judgment by Mr. Justice Whitford (THE SCIENTIST, July 27,1987, p. 4). The basic question is whether the first group to produce a particular known protein by genetic engineering methods is entitled to broad product protection that, in effect, covers all such ways of making the same pro

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WASHINGTON—More than four months after researchers in the United States and France agreed to share credit for the discovery of the AIDS virus, the international foundation, they proposed to help fight the disease has yet to emerge from the necessary paperwork. The Department of Health and Human Services recently received the signatures of 15 scientists from HHS and the Pasteur Institute that are needed to set up the foundation, said Robert Charrow, HHS deputy general counsel. A request

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Let's Get Pluto Out of the Dog House

By | August 10, 1987

Poor Pluto. Poor misunderstood, maligned, underrated, way-out-there Pluto. Poor eccentric little rubber ball. Is it a planet? A comet? An asteroid? Fifty-seven years old and no one—not even its closest friends and admirers—knows if it’s a grown-up. The debate over Pluto’s status rages on, largely in the popular press. For example, within a 2-month period, The New York Times reported that Pluto is such a runt that it may be getting kicked out of the planetary litter (

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