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House Science Panel Pledges Review of Research Priorities

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress debating funding for the Superconducting Supercollider have elicited a promise from the chairman of the House science committee for “a full review” of the cost of various large-scale science projects being contemplated by federal officials. Rep. Robert Roe (D-N.J.) made that pledge during debate last month on his bill to authorize $1.1 billion in the next three years for construction of the SSC. But anticipated across-the-board spending cuts

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Ideal Resource for Ready Use

By | November 16, 1987

HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS DESK REFERENCE N. Irving Sax and Richard J. Lewis Sr. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1987.1,096 pp. $69.95. Hazardous materials reference works generally fall into two categories—limited or intricately detailed, say the authors of the new Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference. They claim to have alleviated the problem by producing a moderately sized resource that is ideal for ready use by those working with or evaluating the hazards of chemicals. After close ex

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International Team Plans Fusion Test

By | November 16, 1987

LONDON—A team of 40 scientists from the United States, Western Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union plans to begin work next spring on a three-year, $180 million effort to design the next large thermonuclear fusion experiment. If the participants accept the design, construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) could begin as early as 1993. Meeting last month in Vienna, officials from each of the participants also agreed on a European site for the project. It

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Invaluable Tool That's Fun to Use

By | November 16, 1987

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL BOOKS AND SERIALS IN PRINT 1987. R.R. Bowker Co., New York, 1987. 3 vols., 4,203 pp. $159.94. I started this assignment with misgivings and uncertainty; how does one review an endless list of book titles? But I quickly became fascinated and couldn’t put the volumes down. I could hardly pick them up either they weigh in at some 5 pounds each. Books are listed by author, title and subject. The diversity is intriguing. The subject index goes from “Abacus&#

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Letters

By | November 16, 1987

I read with great interest the review of my play "Sarcophagus" (August 10, p. 24). Twentieth-century science has every right to be proud of its achievements. Just have a look around and you will find a million proofs of this. However, we cannot ignore the other side of science because scientists have devised quite a number of advanced means of exterminating human beings and destroying the planet. Quite naturally, the average person poses a question: are the achievements of contemporary scienc

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More Than Just a Top Textbook

By | November 16, 1987

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE GENE Fourth edition. Vol. 1. James D. Watson, Nancy H. Hopkins, Jeffrey W. Roberts, Joan A. Steitz and Alan M. Weiner. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1987. 816 pp. $39.95. Instructors of introductory courses in molecular biology probably will not find a better textbook than the fourth edition of Molecular Biology of the Gene. As a reference source, the book is a formidable accomplishment that presents the extraordinary achievements in molecular bio

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WASHINGTON—NIH may lose a program to train researchers in primary medical care because of congressional concern that the money is going to researchers in other fields. The General Accounting Office has concluded that all 16 of the National Research Service Awards that NIH earmarked for work in primary health care in 1986, totaling $2.1 million, are instead supporting “biomedical research on specific diseases and in specialty areas of medicine rather than primary care.” Awar

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One for the Library, One for the Lab

By | November 16, 1987

INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Sidney Landau, ed. John Wiley .& Sons, New York, 1986. 3 vols., 3,200 pp. $395. SAUNDERS ENCYCLOPEDIA & DICTIONARY OF LABORATORY MEDICINE AND TECHNOLOGY James L Bennington, ed W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1984. 1,674 pp. $65. Quick access to a major medical dictionary is a must for biomedical scientists. Most of us have purchased at least-one in our careers. The two leading Amer ican unabridged medical dictionaries are Sted man’s a

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Reference Books: Essential--and Profitable

By | November 16, 1987

As a schoolboy in England in the 1950s and ‘60s, I was first introduced to reference publishing by Kaye and Loby’s Tables. Here you could find all the “right” answers to experimental demonstrations in physics and chemistry, such as the viscosity of various mineral oils and Young’s modulus for steel, which then seemed rather remote from everyday life. And we used four-figure logarithm tables all the time. What a gold mine they were for publishers: in public examin

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Resuscitating Superstring Theory

By | November 16, 1987

The goal of elementary particle physics is to achieve a unified understanding of fundamental forces (gravitational, electromagnetic and nuclear) and elementary particlesin terms of concise and beautiful mathematical principles. This program was pioneered by Einstein, who lacked sufficient experimental information to achieve a unified field theory. Building on the lessons of the last 25 years we may now be on the verge of realizing Einstein’s dream. Curiously, superstring theory, the pri

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