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How Do We Deal With Our Endangered Ecosystem?

By | July 25, 1988

THE STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT: A View Toward The Nineties The Conservation Foundation staff The Conservation Foundation; Washington; 614 pages; $19.95 This comprehensive report presents an excellent outline of environmental concerns in the table of contents; it adds focus, intent, and narrative in the executive summary, and it challenges a new generation of environmentalists in the overview. While this volume is called a report, it could readily be adopted as a text for a senior interdiscipli

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To determine and compare scientific performance of nations, states, institutions, and individuals, researchers can reach for a variety of measures. One can measure number of articles or total citations or citations per paper—the latter adding a qualitative component to the analysis. There are other methods, too, such as calculating changes in percentage share of articles in a journal set. The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) has just completed such an analysis focusing on scien

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Industry Briefs

July 25, 1988

TPA could just as well stand for Target of Patent Attack. Tissue plasminogen activator, a drug that dissolves blood clots in heart attack victims, has ignited another dispute. On June 14, Monsanto was granted a narrow patent for its naturally derived version of TPA. Meanwhile, back in South San Francisco, Genentech received broad patent protection for TPA—one that covers the drug regardless of how it is derived—on June 21. The company then immediately filed suit against Wellcome Fo

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Letters

By | July 25, 1988

"Radiation Questions," by F.M. BUTTERWORTH "Achieving World Peace," by LOUIS A.P. BALAZS "Physics Collapse," by LAWRENCE CRANBERG "Publishing Alternatives," by THOMAS D. BROCK "We Hope So Too," by ANDREW N. ROWAN Rosalyn S. Yalow’s opinion essay (The Scientist, June 13, 1988, page 11) is interesting but avoids the real threat of radiation: mutation. She describes a variety of inconclusive studies about low levels of radiation and cancer but misses the main point. Radiation ca

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National Lab Briefs

July 25, 1988

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is supposed to be one of the government’s most secure weapons facilities, but when an in-house investigator wanted to test the sobriety of its support personnel, all he had to do was sign on as a truck driver for a firm that delivers supplies to the lab. He found he had instant access to much of the lab, and within a week he had made his first drug buy. The implications of his easy access to a high security facility may have been lost on the press.

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It’s hard enough for most scientists to organize their thoughts and present them logically on paper. But when a group gets together to create a document—a departmental grant application, for example, or a jointly authored research paper—the complications tend to increase geometrically. Typically, one member of a group drafts a document. Then the other participants circulate the work in progress, scribbling notes in the margins and throughout the text. By the time the annota

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Scientists may find this a better year than usual to get grants either from or through the National Science Foundation to do research in Japan, thanks to an infusion of funding support from the U.S. government and two Japanese organizations. The NSF’s U.S.-Japan Cooperative Science Program received $800,000 more than it did last year, doubling its budget, according to program manager Larry Weber. NSF will use the money for four programs. " Long-term Stays in Japan. U.S. scientists and

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(Ed. note: After a distinguished career devoted to plant biochemistry and the study of vitamin synthesis, Trevor Goodwin retired in 1983 as Johnston Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool. He was highly influential in shaping the course of British science, serving in such key science groups as the University Grants Committee and the Council of the Royal Society. He also authored widely used textbooks and recently completed a history of the U.K Biochemical Society. Here, Goodwi

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Open Software Or Open Warfare?

By | July 25, 1988

The baffling battle over Unix: Why would IBM team up with its arch rivals? Is its software consortium bluffing AT&T? Unix. After years of learning incompatible sets of commands and rewriting programs for each new computer, scientists thought they saw relief on the way. Computer workstations of all stripes run Unix. Cray-2 supercomputers run Unix. Even Apple Computer has introduced a version of the AT&T Bell Labs-developed system for its Macintosh II. Hosanna? Not yet. In the middie of May, s

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In a break with tradition, Balliol College, one of Oxford University’s 35 colleges, has named Baruch S. Blumberg of Philadelphia, Pa., as its next Master. Nobel prizewinner Blumberg is both the first United States citizen and the first scientist elected to head the college, which traditionally chooses scholars from the humanities. Succeeding medieval philosopher Anthony Kenny, Blumberg, vice president of population oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, will assume the mastership in Sept

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