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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Norman H. Horowitz

Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Design


September 22, 1960 ‘-7 Dr. Norm& Horowitz , Division &W&&u~y” California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California Dear Norm: Thanks for your letter of the 19th. I hope the present proposal for a ssssion on Octobar 29th wil 1 be more conven lent for you. I think that Stanley Miller would be a very good 1 dea cPnd I SI asking if he would at ieest like to sit in on this next m88ting. I appreciate what you have to say about decontamination and I pm a little appaiied at the w-k position that I understand wars held by some of our biological colleegucs. The physicists on the Planetary Steering Committee do not S86nl to lack courage in this respect, but they may become suspicious if they hear too much confusion fran us. In any case, I feel that there would be such overwhelming pub1 lc pressure at this point, that, at lcarst for Mars, it is difficult for me to see haw NASA could make a too obvious blunder. But I agree th8r8 is J continuing probieRl hcrc. Perhaps one answer to your qucs tion would be the CDSPAR meeting next spring. Thare has been same more r%cent work R on the growth of microorganisms in heavy water - for example, a paper by R berg and 8Or8k i n a recent number of the PIUS; Hcl Calvin has also been interested In this. I do not think this is iikciy to be too serious a problem judging from the cxperimcntal rcsui ts that are presented. However, the necessity of looking for the dcterium rat10 in pianetary atmospheres is B good suggestion - I b81 i8Vc it has been brought up in other quarters. As to the problem of en upright landing, there are any number of other reasons why this is ncccssary - for cxempie, the efflcicnt orientation of the telcfnctering antenna. The landing capsule that is being designed for the lunar landing has it self-righting design and s-thing like this should be absoiuteiy necessary for the Hartian cxpcriment too. The blast problem is potentially 4 serious one and again somc thought has to be given to the moans

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