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Japan, Stalled On Frontier Science Plan

By | June 29, 1987

Japan's effort to launch an international program in basic biological research has stalled again amid continued confusion over its specifics, according to U.S. and Japanese sources familiar with the project. The latest setback to the Human Frontier Science Program came earlier this month at the Venice economic summit, where Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone had been expected to unveil an official proposal. Instead, final details of the program remain under wraps, and the seven leaders of major in

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Kicking Joe McCarthy Out of the Lab

By | June 29, 1987

In April 1954, I was one of thousands of biomedical scientists who gathered as usual for the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). On this occasion, however, we received an unexpected shock. Rumors were circulating—with circumstantial detail that left little doubt as to their truth—that some highly regarded investigators, previously supported in their unclassified research by the U.S. Public Health Service, had found their grant appl

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Lavish Look at Islamic Technology

By | June 29, 1987

Islamic Technology: An Illustrated History. Ahmad Y. al Hassan and Donald R. Hill. UNESCO and Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987. 304 pp. $39.50. UNESCO sponsorship is a welcome event in the area of Islamic studies. This is particularly true in the case of this excellent treatise, which places Islamic science and technology in its cultural perspective. The book is lavishly furnished with more than 160 illustrations, including photographs—some of rare origin—and schematic draw

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Leo Szilard: The First Pugwash

By | June 29, 1987

The Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs turns 30 on July 7. Leo Szilard, the physicist who since 1945 had been proposing just such a meeting of Russian and Western scientists to discuss arms control, was on hand at the first Pugwash gathering, called by Bertrand Russell and financed by Cyrus Eaton. One of the key figures in the Manhattan Project, Szilard had turned his considerable talents and energy to helping the world learn how to "live with the bomb." On August 15, 1957 he drafte

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Letters

By | June 29, 1987

Ditta Bartels' view that the Victorian government's Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act of 1984 is the correct model for regulating in vitro fertilization (IVF) (The Scientist, April 6, 1987, p. 11) is not an opinion that is necessarily widely shared. Even the Attorney General of Victoria who prepared the legislation told Time Australia (March 23rd, 1987) that embryo experimentation "raises the very fundamental question that some things are better left unsaid. I'm not saying that I espouse that

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M. C. Escher: Master of Tessellation

By | June 29, 1987

M.C. ESCHER: Art and Science. H.S.M. Coxeter, M. Emmer, R. Penrose and M.L Teuber, eds. Elsevier, New York, 1986. 402 pp. $50. Who has failed to notice that exposition in the mathematical sciences is more pictorial lately? Today, it is not uncommon to find technical mathematics illustrated with drawings. And not just with elaborate symbols which, before the morning coffee, resemble an intimidating jumble. There have even appeared in august mathematical journals whole articles consisting entirel

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NATO's Strategy for Science

By | June 29, 1987

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) unites 16 nations in a military and political alliance for the defense of the West. But there is a lesser-known and nonmilitary third dimension to NATO—its activities to foster cooperation in civilian science, both basic and applied. NATO's involvement in science rests on its 30-year old agreement that a strong, dynamic alliance requires a sense of community based upon a common cultural heritage, of which science and technology form an importa

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NIH to Fund Genome Grants

By | June 29, 1987

WASHlNGTON—The National Institutes of Health has invited investigators to apply for grants in two key areas related to the mapping and sequencing of the human genome. The announcement is the latest step in the federal government's expanding efforts to mobilize the research community for this billion-dollar project. The announcement, which appeared in the May 29 issue of the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (Vol. 16. no. 18), represents a continuation of policies outlined at a meeting las

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NSF Plan to Fund Center Surprises Two 'Partners'

By | June 29, 1987

WASHINGTON—National Science Foundation officials are hoping that an arranged marriage between Duke University and the National Institutes of Health will extend NSF's engineering research centers into the life sciences and provide a model for other joint ventures by federal research agencies. But progress has been slow because, as with most such marriages, the couple was the last to know. This spring the National Science Board agreed to spend up to $32 million over the next five years to cr

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Older Centers Aided by NSF Working Well

By | June 29, 1987

Long before NSF Director Erich Bloch began beating the drums for multimilliondollar interdisciplinary research centers, foundation officials quietly embarked on a program to provide seed money for smaller cooperative research efforts between universities and industry. The program, which since 1979 has stimulated the creation of more than 40 such centers at schools around the country, offers valuable lessons in how to build industrial ties without sacrificing the quality of scientific research on

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