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Mary Treat Makes History

By | April 6, 1987

I was interested to read the book review "More Than Just Marie Curie" by Margaret Rossiter (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 18). It is really good news that Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie's biographical dictionary of women scientists is now available. Until quite recently only a single book (Mozan's Woman in Science) was available in English addressing the early history and biography of women in science, and that was originally published in 1913. Fortunately, in just the past few years we have seen

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Microbiologists Argue Threat to Future

By | April 6, 1987

ATLANTA—Are academic microbiology departments suffering from the increased attention being paid to molecular biology and related disciplines? Scientists at the recent annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology here could not agree if the issue was simply a semantic argument or a symptom of a genuine crisis. "A number of forces are converging to create a problem … and together they may deal us a blow that could be lethal" to the future of microbiology, suggested M. Michae

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NASA Chases New Supernova

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—In the scramble to point every available instrument at the recently discovered supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, NASA plans a campaign of balloon flights, rocket launches and airborne observations to begin next month. The crash program, if approved by NASA Administrator James Fletcher, will cost $15 million. It will include 16 or 17 instrumented balloon flights extending through late next year, as well as sounding rocket flights and infrared observations using NASA's Kuip

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National Science Week Is Up, Up and Away

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—At 1:30 p.m. today, around the corner from the White House, high school students plan to set loose one thousand balloons with self-addressed information cards. They will join 224,000 balloons launched simultaneously around the country by students from 600 schools, in one of the more visible displays of National Science and Technology Week '87. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and funded largely by corporate donors, Science Week is observing its third year. Its messag

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NIH Must Meet the Hughes Challenge

By | April 6, 1987

For the past 30 years the forefront of biomedical research has been synonymous with the efforts of the U.S. research community, shaped and financed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Now NIH's pre-eminence is at risk, challenged by the emergence of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as a leader in the field. Since 1985, HHMI—with assets of $45.2 billion—has spent the better part of $485.4 million at 48 academic centers. Hughes researchers, many of them former stars o

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LONDON—Researchers around the world foresee few practical repercussions from last month's Papal instruction that bans in vitro fertilization and other procreative procedures not involving sexual intercourse. An informal worldwide survey by The Scientist found some concern that politicians might seek to obey the Vatican's injunction to embody the new Catholic doctrine in civil law, but most political commentators consider this very unlikely. In Ireland, Tony Walsh, who runs the IVF and GIFT

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Sakharov and SDI

By | April 6, 1987

The comments in your January 26 issue by Medvedev and Ziman about the motives behind the release of Andrei Sakharoy are necessarily speculative, but not exhaustive. Let me add by way of an alternative speculation, based on the fact that Sakharov has expressed criticisms of the feasibility of the Strategic Defense Initiative, that his view on SDI may have contributed to the decision by Gorbachev to release Sakharov at this time. Gorbachev repeatedly has shown his eagerness to discourage our plans

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Scientists in Philippines Predict Gains

By | April 6, 1987

MANILA—A new national Constitution does more for the Philippines than endorse the political reforms of President Corazon Aquino. Scientists hope it will also stem the emigration of doctors and researchers, encourage research to improve the country's economy, and promote involvement in R&D by the private sector. More than 12,000 Filipino scientists and engineers emigrated between 1966 and 1978, according to Fernando Sanchez, past president of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges.

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"Most fortunately, Kendrew made a favorable impression on Luria: like Kalckar, he was civilized and in addition supported the Labor Party." That is how James Watson introduces us to John Kendrew, toward the beginning of The Double Helix. Later in his highly individualistic memoir, Watson recounts how he accepted what looked like "an open invitation to tuberculosis" when he arrived in England in 1951. After having difficulty finding digs in Cambridge, he recalls how "John and Elizabeth Kendrew re

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So They Say

April 6, 1987

Something looks very wrong with the management of the President's Star Wars missile defense program. Instead of clear and steady progress toward establishing its technological feasibility, the program's managers seem to shift emphasis every few months from one vaunted breakthrough to another. Last year the free-electron laser was hot stuff; now attention veers to crash development of space-based rockets. The primary goal seems political: getting production lines running before President Reagan l

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