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 object, such as a star or the recent supernova, by its astronomical designation. The scientists can access nearly all known information and a listing of papers published about a given subject since 1950. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., will register U.S. astronomers and provide them with passwords.

Asymmetric Synthesis Database

Molecular Design Limited has announced that it is developing an asymmetric synthesis database called CHIRAS for use with REACCS, the company's reaction access system. Planning to release the...

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