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With Pricey Lab Equipment, Leasing May Be The Answer

By Clarke Wood | October 3, 1988

Rapid improvements in the technology that is driving scientific instrument development can make some laboratory tools obsolete in as few as five years after they are purchased. And with tight budgets, some organizations, especially high-technology startups, may not have sufficient cash to buy expensive equipment outright. In cases like these, leasing equipment could be the logical alternative. The American Association of Equipment Lessors, based in Arlington, é produces several publ


ACS Product Expo To Reflect Growing Role Of Computers

By Vicki Glaser | September 19, 1988

Tire-kicking chemists and serious buyers as well will find themselves amidst a swarm of new technologles, products, and services at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Los Angeles. Products on display at the ACS's national exposition—which will be open during the first four days (September 25 to 28) of the six-day meeting—will represent about 250 companies and organizations, and will range in complexity from books and catalogs, to filters and grinding mills, to software


An Issue Of Growing Import: How Insects Find Food

By Reginald Chapman | September 19, 1988

Living plants and animals produce volatile chemicals as a consequence of their normal metabolic activities. In addition, many plants produce odors as interspecific signals and animals often communicate intraspecifically by odors (pheromones). Decomposition results in the production of odors from dead organic materials. These different odors are used by many insects to locate their food and by others to find oviposition sites where the larvae will subsequently feed. Consequently, the range of ins


Articles Alert

By Peter Smith | September 19, 1988

The Scientist has asked a group of experts to periodically comment upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selections, presented here in every issue, are neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather, they are personal choices of articles they believe the scientific community as a whole may also find interesting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article, 3501 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104, or by tele


Candidate Dukakis Now Favors The Space Station

By G Christopher Anderson | September 19, 1988

WASHINGTON—Presidential candidates are often criticized for being vague. But Michael Dukakis has learned the hard way that it also doesn't pay to be specific. He's had to change his stand on the space station. Constantly pressed to cite areas where the Democratic standard bearer would trim the federal deficit, the Dukakis campaign used to mention the $30 billion space station as one potential target-this despite the fact that the candidate endorsed the concept of a space station. In the pa


Scientists have taken over at the Pew Charitable Trusts. A year and a half ago, Thomas Langfltt, a former University of Pennsylvania neurosurgeon assumed the presidency, replacing Robert I. Smith, whose background was in accounting. Now, Rebecca Rimel, a former nurse and medical school faculty member, has been promoted to the post of executive director. She succeeds Fred Billups, a former oil company executive who had filled Pew's second highest post for 12 years. Is this good news for scientist


These days, young chemistry faculty members might be excused for being a bit envious of colleagues in engineering and business. A salary gap big enough to buy a lifetime subscription to Current Contents has opened between the two groups, the result of bidding wars between academia and industry that have driven up starting salaries for engineering and business Ph.Ds. But all is not bleak for chemists; salaries for assistant professors hired in 1987 suggest that a similar rivalry has just begun to


Coaxing Scientists To Write Best-Sellers

By Alexander Dorozynski | September 19, 1988

"Many French intellectuals have the narcissistic tendency to expound theories without reference to reality, to fancy the well-said over the well-thought. Scientists have substance, but many don't want to write for the public. Vulgarisation [as the French call popular science writing] is seen as gross." So says Odile Jacob, a young woman who has coaxed scientists into writing best-sellers and launched an instant-success publishing company, Editions Odile Jacob. Yes, the name does ring a bell. Odi


Computer Product Briefs

September 19, 1988

Until recently, computer incompatibility and expense have hampered U.S. astronomers from easily accessing a valuable, extensively stocked French database called SIMBAD. But NASA and NSF have teamed up to pay for a permanent network hookup, circuit costs, and charges for scientists' use of the database itself. SIMBAD (Set of Identifications, Measurements, and Bibliography for Astronomical Data), maintained in Strasbourg, France, makes it possible for an astronomer to look up an astronomical objec


Congress Probes Drug Abuse At Weapons Labs

By Vincent Kiernan | September 19, 1988

LIVERMORE, CALIF—Officials at the nation's three top-secret nuclear weapons laboratories know that drug use among employees poses an extremely serious security risk. But they don't appear to be doing enough about it. That's the verdict of some members of Congress, who cite a series of seemingly erratic measures the labs have been taking to combat the problem. "If you have someone who's dependent on drugs," says Clifford Traisman, an aide to a House oversight subcommittee that is looking in


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