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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Sensenbrenner's Hot Ticket
5 January 1998 7:00 pm
The chair of the House Science Committee could probably live without the $250,000 he won in the D.C. Lottery last week. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is the 22nd richest member of Congress, with a net worth of about $8 million. After taxes, the take-home pot is a mere $150,000. But if he were feeling very generous, Sensenbrenner--who this week is in India visiting R&D facilities--could play Santa to researchers who are short on grant money.
For the physicist who had been good all year, the spendthrift lawmaker could purchase three state-of-the-art digital oscilloscopes or 1071 handheld Global Positioning System satellite receivers. For the deserving biomedical researcher, Sensenbrenner could spring for a dozen digital thermometers, a blood chemistry analyzer, and a couple of centrifuges and still have money left over for 348,000 test tubes. Alternatively, the windfall would buy 90 kilometers of fiber-optic cable, more than enough to wire the House and Senate for the terabyte future. But don't count on a privately financed flight in orbit: A space suit alone runs $10 million.
Ultimately, Sensenbrenner might conclude that bestowing gifts on any single researcher or discipline might provoke more squabbling than thanks. Instead, he might have the highest precision countdown to the impending Year 2000 computer crisis by trading the lucky ticket for three state-of-the-art cesium clocks to tick away the final picoseconds of the millennium.