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Recent science magazine covers have taken to displaying dazzling images of the surfaces of metals and semiconductors. These come from scanning tunneling microscopes, which let scientists look at images of individual atoms and even smaller features. The operating principle of the scanning tunneling microscope is radically different from other microscopes. It makes use of the fact that solids are covered with a microscopic “atmosphere” of electrons. The instrument lowers a tiny met

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Share Those Cell Lines!

By | June 13, 1988

In the interview on the following pages, John Maddox raises an issue in the ethics of science about which we need more open discussion in quest of a better articulated consensus. Exactly what is the obligation of scientists to distribute cell lines, virus strains, DNA clones, and other critical research materials? In the physical sciences, one generally expects to be able to follow a published recipe with available materials and achieve the results claimed. In biology, however, it often happe

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Study Sees Big Leap In Science Jobs By 2000

By | June 13, 1988

Profession Study Sees Big Leap In Science Jobs By 2000 Author:WENDY WALKER Date: June 13, 1988 Brisk hiring for public-and private-sector life scientists expected to set pace The number of jobs in scientific fields will increase by 27% between now and the year 2000, according to a recent forecast by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At this rate of gain, scientists will find their specialties listed among neither the fastest-growing occupations—such as paralegals, medical a

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The Agricultural Research Service's Bitter Harvest

By | June 13, 1988

ARS’s respected administrator has retired but not without blasting his successor WASHINGTON--When Terry B. Kinney Jr. decided to retire as administrator of the Agricultural Research Service, he planned an orderly transition. He announced his intentions early so that his boss would have ample time to find a replacement, and he made it clear that he would remain long enough to train his successor. In addition, he discussed with others the need to bring on a savvy Washington insider. Kinn

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The Great U.S. Supercomputer

By | June 13, 1988

Competition with fancy machines and wads of cash, state schools steal national center scientists Christmas came early in 1985 for serious number crunchers. In the spring of that year, the National Science Foundation christened five national supercomputing centers and sent them forth into the world to meet the grand challenges of science and engineering. The NSF's idea was to fund these silicon meccas so that they could maintain state-of-the-art technical facilities and provide supercomputing

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Between 1977 and 1986, the United States produced more than 42% of all articles on mapping and sequencing the human genome that appeared in 3,200 of the world’s leading scientific journals, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) reported in a study issued in late April. “The United States is the clear leader in basic research, publishing more articles on mapping and sequencing than European or Asian nations,” it concluded. The next largest contributor over t

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University Briefs

June 13, 1988

Rebuffed in February by a California lower court, four former and one current University of California professors and the American Federation of Teachers have vowed to continue their fight against the university’s tenure and promotion peer review process by filing an appeal. The professors’ suit charges that the standard practice of keeping the identity of peer reviewers secret violates each candidate’s right of due process. "This is the first time in the country that this se

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Few issues have caused more fear and confusion than the question of the hazards of low-level radiation. There has been a remarkable failure to examine closely the evidence when discussing the issue and planning future studies. As a result, the public’s radiation phobia has been needlessly reinforced, and public money is being used on studies that are bound to be inconclusive. The problem arises, in part, because the general public—and even most scientists—are not aware that

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Upstart Phylogenists Slug it Out Over Primate Data

By | June 13, 1988

Caviling, carping, and quarreling, is this any way to advance science? New HAVEN, CONN. "For a science that deals with the apparently simple question of who is related to whom, phylogeny has been positively littered with bones of contention. The root problem, explains former Yale University taxonomist Charles Sibley, is that a creatures appearance may not always bean accurate guide to its place in the pantheon of beasts. So until recently, phylogenists were left to cavil over the appropriate

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For anyone who has spent hours with pen in hand, poring over a word-processed scientific manuscript and filling in a multitude of blanks with equations and complicated graphs, the latest generation of desktop publishing software may sound like a dream come true. After all, some of these programs combine an array of capabilities that can make the operator the equivalent of a typesetter and layout artist. They allow the fluent integration of different functions— spreadsheets, word processor

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