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Memorandum from the Space Science Board [announcing an upcoming briefing on high altitude photography]

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  • Biology


WESTEX 5- 1 MelllO: To Westex January 26, 1g60 From: 3. Lederberg 1. Report on COSPAR Symposium at Nice. The biological interest of this meeting was very limited but it was an excellent and necessary forum for the presentation of a constructive program i n exob i ol ogy. The presentations relating to biology included the following: 5.3 H.C. Urey 5.4 3. Lederberg 5.6 A. Dol lfus 5.5 R. W. Davies M. Gumpel Read by 5.7 M. Calvin O.H. Schmitt S. K. Vaughn 5.8 0. H. Schmitt Lines of evidence regarding the composition of the moon. Exobiology -- A new experimental science. Rhsultats d’observations indiquant la vie sur la planbte Mars. An infra-red Mars probe experiment for gathering evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Extra-terrestrial life: some organic constituents of meteorites and their significance for posjible extra-terrestrial biological evolution. Experimental problems in space biology. 8 Dollfus reviewed his studies of the changes of ti markings and the polarization evidence for seasonal changes in surface granular i ty. Calvin’s paper reported on the detection of heterocyclic compounds of aromatic character -- some of the materials had spectra similar to cytosine but cannot yet be conclusively identified. Urey remarked that the main evidence on lunar composition is its low density. This might be attributed to a deficiency of iron or to substantial amounts of water or carbon. There was some corridor discussion of contamination hazards. As far as I could judge, there was a unanimous feeling that stringent measures were necessary and should be adopted. The Russ ian delegates (A. A. Blaganravov and three others) were quite cordial but had no knowledge of technical details of biological experiments. Efforts are continuing to arrange an international, informal conference perhaps in London, to review biological programs. The enciosed copy 0.f my paper is a draft version composed in some haste. it will be revise

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