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Missed Chances on a Hopeful Road

By | October 5, 1987

Looking back, my scientific career seems to have been liberally strewn with missed opportunities. In fact, right at its outset I missed an opportunity by force of circumstance. After a six-year break in my studies occasioned by service with the Jewish Brigade in the 8th Army during World War II, I began work on my Ph.D. thesis at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1947. The subject was a search for soil bacteria that would produce an antibiotic against typhoid and dysentery bacteria. At th

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NIH Asks AIDS Labs to Tighten Safety

By | October 5, 1987

WASHINGTON—Federal biosafety guidelines for laboratories handling the AIDS virus are appropriate, a team of virus safety experts has concluded after investigating labs working with large amounts of highly concentrated AIDS virus. But workers need to better understand how and why the practices should be followed. The four-member group, formed last month after NIH announced that an unidentified lab worker was infected while working with the virus, spent two weeks at the dozen or so NIH

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NIH Probing Use of Fetal Tissue

By | October 5, 1987

WASHINGTON—NIH is looking into charges that it has improperly funded research on tissues and organs that have been removed from live human fetuses. The investigation stems from allegations by Jeremy Rifkin of the Foundation on Economic Trends, that the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is not following appropriate protocols to establish death before obtaining the tissue and providing it to researchers. F. William Dommel, of NIH’s Office of Protection from Research Risk

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NSF Expands Program Of Instrument Grants

By | October 5, 1987

WASHINGTON—A small but popular NSF program to provide scientific instruments for undergraduate programs is being expanded to let in both two-year colleges and major research universities. The changes reflect pent-up demand within higher education for such teaching equipment and a feeling here that the federal government must do more to support the next generation of scientists and engineers. But the expansion may dilute the program’s value for its original audience. The College

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NSF Urged to Boost K-12 Effort

By | October 5, 1987

WASHINGTON—A $1.6 million study by an independent research firm is likely to provide ammunition for members of Congress who want the National Science Foundation to become more involved in pre-college science education. The study by SRI International of Palo Alto, Calif., requested in 1985 by Congress, was released during the August congressional recess. But it is likely to be “chewed over” next year, according to Thomas Van der Voort, staff director of the Senate Appropriat

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Pasteur at 100: Echoes of Past, Future Promise

By | October 5, 1987

PARIS—The Pasteur Institute, which over the past century has evolved into a major center of biomedical research, celebrate its centennial this week with unusual panache for such a venerable institution. It enters its second century in far better financial shape than it was a decade ago, and having recently tucked several new feathers into its cap. French President Francois Mitterand and Prime Minister Jacques Chirac will launch the anniversary events, which include a conference on the f

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Researchers practicing good science must be concerned with the well-being of their laboratory animals; health problems, pain, and stress may introduce unwanted variables that can invalidate study results. Concern for laboratory animals also reflects a fundamental principle of ethical animal research: experimental animals, regardless of species, should not undergo unnecessary distress or discomfort. Attention to the animal’s wellbeing begins with research planning. Studies should be desi

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Scientists Praise U.K. AIDS Efforts

By | October 5, 1987

LONDON—A new, open-ended program to fund AIDS research has drawn praise from British scientists who see the directed initiative as a refreshing change from the parsimonious attitude taken by the government toward most basic research efforts. Six months ago the government announced a special allocation of $23 million over three years for AIDS research. The program, overseen by the Medical Research Council, has already involved 24 laboratories at universities, hospitals and biotechnology

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So They Say

October 5, 1987

Giving Away Your Rights [N]owhere in our Constitution does it give Congress or the President the right to set science policy or determine what technology the nation should support or disregard. Rather like literature and art, that right remains with the people. Unfortunately, scientists and engineers in the U.S. have been giving this right away. The exception to an independent and critical spirit towards science and technology policies may occur when the nation is engaged in deadly combat. A

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The Ascent of Sputnik: A Reminiscence

By | October 5, 1987

Editor’s note: October 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the launching of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. In this issue of THE SCIENTIST we look back to the beginning of the space age with a reminiscence by Joshua Lederberg. Other prominent scientists and public figures recalled the ascent of Sputnik and reflected on present-day Soviet- U.S. competition in space during interviews with freelance writer Neil McA leer. Excerpts from seven interviews appear on p. 12. When Sputnik was launched

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