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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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Science Nominees Wait For OK to Begin Work

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—Almost five months after President Reagan announced the intention to nominate him, plasma physicist Robert Hunter waits in San Diego for word of his confirmation hearing to become director of the Office of Energy Research at the Department of Energy. The office, overseen since April by acting director James Decker after the departure of Alvin Trivelpiece, is the focal point for several of the hottest issues on the nation’s science agenda, including the Superconducting

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LONDON—An unusual alliance of scientific luminaries and the radical British Society for Social Responsibility in Science is campaigning for the adoption of an Oath for Scientists. Modeled after medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, it is a revised version of an earlier statement that recognizes the social impact of scientific developments. The 19 initial signatories of the oath include three Nobel laureates—Sir John Kendrew, president of the International Council of Scientific Unions

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So They Say

November 16, 1987

Reagan’s Non-Response to AIDS AIDS is the most serious threat to public health in decades. Historians will look back in astonishment at the Reagan Administration’s flaccid response during the first eight years of the epidemics has spread. They will ask how any President could fail to implement the most obvious public health measures, or tardily assign the making of national strategy to a quarreling commission with no recognizable expertise. They will wonder how his cabinet members

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Solitary Fusion Effort Too Costly, U.S. Told

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—The U.S. fusion program must accept “an unprecedented degree of collaboration” with Western Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union if it is to achieve its current goals, according to government officials and the authors of a new report to Congress. Going it alone is too expensive and, besides, the money isn’t available. That was the clear message from the Department of Energy and the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) at a hearing last month b

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