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Space University completes Its First Semester At MIT

By | October 3, 1988

Boldly venturing where no dean went before, graduate students open an international college to study the universe The topic was the best design for a manned lunar base, and in the small room at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the discussion was heated. Building the base in space and landing the completed structure on the moon just won’t work, argued the transportation experts. “We’re talking about a quantum leap in technology here,” warned Bill Unger, a Cana

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After 23 years at the helm of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), Verner E. Suomi has stepped down. Replacing him as the center’s director is meteorologist Francis P. Bretherton, former director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.. Space scientist and meteorologist Suomi cofounded the center in 1965 with the late Robert Parent, a University of Wisconsin electrical engineer. As an emeritus professor, Suom

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Terrascope Could Shake Up Future Earthquake Science

By | October 3, 1988

On October 1, 1987, the Los Angeles region experienced a strong and damaging earthquake of magnitude 6, followed four days later by an aftershock of magnitude 5.5 that caused further damage. The usual fears and uncertainties about earthquakes were heightened by a disturbing lack of sound, scientifically based information about the event in the minutes, hours, and days following the main shock. This lack of information was especially disturbing to seismologists, who realize that the technolo

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The Abused Foreign Postdoc: A Seamy Side Of Science

By | October 3, 1988

Not long ago I received an anonymous letter from a foreign-born scientist who has been working in the United States as a postdoctoral feilow for the past two years. He claims to have worked very hard, night and day, and has, he says, performed to the standards of his fellow postdocs. But his situation was not good. The professor in charge of the lab, he writes, abused his power and was dishonest. He is said to have routinely stolen ideas from the grant proposals of others and directed his g

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Too Many White Males

By | October 3, 1988

In your June 27 edition, you published over 25 photographs of white males. No women, no blacks, and only one Asian (H.T. Kung). In future, please try to be on your guard against such perpetuations of racism and sexism in science. A cover article lamented the "insufficient interest by students in pursuing careers in science." Active encouragement and modeling of women and minority scientists could eliminate the problem. EVE PATTON 116 W. University Pkwy #315 Baltimore, Md. 21210

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U.S. High Technology Gets A Foreign Accent

By | October 3, 1988

A sagging stock market and the lagging dollar have only served to add allure to overseas venture capital Ask any United States biotech executive about the industry’s problems and you’ll probably get a rousing speech on the dangers of offshore competition—especially from Japan. The U.S., you’ll be told, could lose out on biotechnology’s biggest payoffs. But nationalism sometimes bows to financial realism. At least, that was the case back in 1985 when Thousand O

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University Briefs

October 3, 1988

When the next Three Mile Island vents its deadly radioactive gas, when a Chernobyl threatens to melt its superheated core, who are you going to call? The Aged Team! This new group of 00 British scientists—whose average age is over 70—is now ready to tackle all future nuclear disasters. The team is the brainchild of Sir Frederick Warner, 78, visiting professor in the departments of chemistry and law at Essex University, who became alarmed by the number of young people sent into ar

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With Pricey Lab Equipment, Leasing May Be The Answer

By | 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

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ACS Product Expo To Reflect Growing Role Of Computers

By | 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

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An Issue Of Growing Import: How Insects Find Food

By | 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

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