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Budget Cuts NIH Grants Again

By | January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—The administration has proposed that the National Institutes of Health fund 700 fewer new and competing research grants this year as part of a plan to reduce the overall NIH budget in fiscal 1988. But it is unlikely that researchers will feel the pinch anytime soon. The proposal is part of a request to Congress to transfer $334 million already appropriated for this fiscal year. The present budget of $6.18 billion would drop by a corresponding amount, and the budget for next year

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But What Will He Do In Moscow?

By | January 26, 1987

STOCKHOLM—The return of 65-year-old academician Andrei Sakharov has given rise to many questions. One important question for scientists is: To what extent will the former prodigy and the youngest person to be elected a full member of the prestigious Soviet' Academy of Sciences resume his scientific activities, after seven years of isolation in Gorky? Speculation about how he might apply his scientific energies ranges over a large area. His insights might be very useful to those who have st

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Choosing the Link Product

By | January 26, 1987

This is the third and final article In the series on microcomputer to mainframe links. The first article was "Linking Micros to Mainframes" (The Scientist, October 20, 1986, p. 14); the second was "How to Develop Link Networks" (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 14). How do you develop an implementation plan for connecting micro-computers to mainframes? What are the important considerations? How do you select appropriate products? If you have only six personal computers in your organization,

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Computerized Creativity

By | January 26, 1987

Scientific Discovery: Computational Explorations of the Creative Processes. Pat Langley, Herbert A. Simon, Gary L. Bradshaw and Jan M. Zytkow. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987. 346 pp. $25 HB, $9.95 PB. One of the most commonly heard objections to artificial intelligence (Al) runs: "Well, you may be able to get a computer to play chess or diagnose illnesses, but a computer will never do anything really creative like write a good play or discover the theory of relativity." Scientific discovery

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In 1975, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) was remarkable more for its namesake, the legendary, ultra-reclusive billionaire, than for its $3 million research program. But Hughes' death in 1976, and the 1985 sale of the Hughes Aircraft Co. for $5 billion, have made the Institute remark-able to the tune of $200 million in biomedical grants last year alone. That figure is expected to climb to $300 million by 1990, making the Institute the largest private medical research organization in th

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Federal Judges v. Science

January 26, 1987

Katie Wells was born in 1981 with serious birth defects. Her parents attributed them to a contraceptive jelly and sued the maker, Ortho Pharmaceutical Judge Marvin Shoob of the U.S. District Court in Georgia ruled they had proved their case and assessed $5 million in damages against Ortho. The Court of Appeals declined to overturn the judgment and last month the Supreme Court refused to intervene. What is wrong with that? First, the facts. Scientific experts often differ and the courts generally

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Five NASA Scientists Reflect on a Year of Turmoil

By | January 26, 1987

To biochemist Nitza Cintron, a member of what she describes as "the NASA family," the Challenger accident brought with it a great sense of loss. As chief of the 75-person Biomedical Laboratories at Johnson Space Center, Cintron believes the accident has had a greater impact on operational responsibilities—supporting shuttle flights—than on basic research. But there are lots of projects that can only be done in space which have been temporarily suspended. Some of Cintron's own researc

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Gene Sequencing: No Easy Answers

By | January 26, 1987

The sequencing of the human genome was discussed by two of its proponents in the October 20, 1986 issue of The Scientist  (pp. 11-12). Their statements were sound and true, but incomplete in that there was no discussion of the social and ethical implications of this profound technological goal, and only good was seen to come from it. In the context of today's entrepreneurial science-technology adventures, this is at best simplistic. Science should learn from experience. That biology is trea

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Hopkins Official Responds To Animal Story

By | January 26, 1987

I hope that the article "Search for Animal Alternatives Faces Rough Road" by Tom Watkins (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 6) does not portend that The Scientist will face a rough road through inaccurate reporting. In the article, Watkins states that I refused to respond to comments by Earle Brauer of Revlon. In fact, I gave Watkins a rather extended telephone interview. He called me back several weeks later with a series of questions, saying "Person A said this and person B said that, what

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Joint Research Centers Part of Increase for NSF

By | January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—A request from Director Erich Bloch for $270 million in additional funds for the National Science Foundation in fiscal 1988 should get a sympathetic hearing on Capitol Hill, according to congressional committee staff. But whether that will translate into votes is not yet clear. Bloch won administration support for the 17 percent increase, from $1.62 billion to nearly $1.9 billion, by arguing that strengthening the university research base is one of the best ways to keep American

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