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August 03, 1976 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1976-08-03

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Poge Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, August 3, 1976

Reagan snatches Ford delegates
WASHINGTON oAt--Ronald Reagan's campaign manager said
yesterday that four Pennsylvanians, influenced by selection of
their state's junior senator as Reagan's running mate, have been
plucked by Reagan from the Ford campaign's count of delegates
favoring the President.
It was the first announced move of any delegates to Reagan
in the wake of his surprise announcement one week ago designating
Sen. Richard Schweiker as his choice for vice-president.
CAMPAIGN CHIEF John Sears also announced endorsements
of Reagan by a New York state senator and a West Virginia man
who he said had been counted for Ford by the President's delegate
hunters.
Sears promised names of more converts to Reagan this week
and said that despite surprise in the South at the Schweiker an-
nouncement, no Reagan delegate had been lost to Ford.
The six delegates named yesterday had been counted as
uncommitted in The Associated Press poll of legal commitments
and stated preferences of delegates to the Republican National
Convention in Kansas City Aug. 16-19. But prior to the Schweiker
development, at least five had indeed been counted by the Ford
r talliers.
JAMES BAKER, Ford's chief delegate hunter, said after
Sears' announcement that he was trimming the Ford claims by
five delegates to a total of 1,134, still four more than needed for
nomination.
The AP tally now stands: Ford, 1,105; Reagan, 1,029; un-
committed, 125.,Nomination requires 1,130.
- Meanwhile the Democratic presidential nominee, Jimmy Carter,
met with his advisers in Plains, Ga., to plan campaign strategy.
Today he goes to New Hampshire and on Wednesday plans to
meet in Washington with the Democratic National Committee.
FORD AND his backers are expected to continue talking to
uncommitted delegates by telephone this week.
Sears said at a news conference that the selection of a running
mate by Reagan puts new pressure on Ford to s'ay whom he'It top
for vice president if nominated.
"Mr. Ford has a cavalier attitude toward the office of vice
-'president," Sears said. "He has played games with it ever since
-fhe took over the presidency."
HE SAID Ford "has played the typical old game, tossing out
names with abandon, hinting at a Southerner in the South and a
Northerner in the North, claiming to consult the delegates on one
hand while saying he will not be bound by their majority opinion
on the other."
Ford said Friday he was going to poll all convention delegates
and alternates by mail on their top five choices for the vice
presidency, a process that presumably would use up time almost
to convention eve.
Even as speculation swirled around whom Ford might pick,
Vice President Nelson Rockefeller said again in Maine that he
does not want to be nominated. Ford had implied at a recent press
conference Rockefeller might yet be considered for the job despite
his withdrawal from the contest earlier this year.
AP Photo IN CLAIMING the breakthrough in Pennsylvania, Sears said
JOHN SEARS, Ronald Reagan's campaign manager, stands in front of a portrait of his boss he believes another 20 to 25 delegates in the state do not believe
as he tells reporters yesterday his man has picked up additional delegates. they are bound to Ford.
Martian soil gases puzzle scientists

PASADENA, Calif. A-A special team
has been formed to look into a theory
that gas coming from a soil sample
tested by Viking's robot lab is the result
of a "unique" interaction between sun-
light and soil on Mars, scientists said
yesterday.
The scientists are looking for a way
to explain the puzzling data coming
from the Viking robot lab. They are
stranded between two possible explana-
tions-Martian life or a strange chemical
reaction.
"WE'RE IN BETWEEN," Dr. Gilbert
Levin said, explaining that the rate at
which gas is being produced by a Mars
soil sample resembles neither living nor
non-living processes on earth.
Dr. Pat Straat of the Viking biology
team said it may take weeks to pin
down the cause of gases released by
the soil sample dug up by the robot lab-
oratory last week.
"A chemical non-living possibility is
looming very large," she said. "But in
the sane breath I am not going to
rule out the possibility of it being a bio-
logical reaction."

Emissions may signal life

Initial results showed a startlingly
swift emission of gases, but Levin said
it had now reached a plateau.
le said a team of scientists was form-
ed to check a hypothesis that the gas
coming from the soil is the result of
"some unique photochemistry"- the ac-
tion of sunlight on Martian soil.
Scientists were startled over the week-
end by the rapid rise in gas from the
soil sample. An organic nutrient had
been added to the Martian soil in Vik-
ing's minilaboratory and gases were
given off.
THEY SAID it might be that micro-
organisms in the sample were eating the
radioactively tagged nutrient and breath-
ing out radioactive gas that is measured
!)v the laboratory.
But Levin said yesterday that in sim-
ilar tests on earth, "biological responses
that started this rapidly have generally
continued to evolve gas for a longer
period of time. . . . The curve should
have continued and should still be con-
tinuing to rise."

On the other hand, he said, "The
curve of the gas emission plotted on a
graph doesn't fit the shape of nonbiolo-
gical responses we have seen."
He added that three days from now the
sample will get another injection of
nutrient to see if it causes a new rise
in the gas production. That would in-
crease the likelihood that some form of
life is responsible, he said.
LEVIN SAID it is clear from the
results that "if this is a biological curve,
we're monitoring metabolism only, not
growth." In other words, if there are
organisms in the soil, they are not
duplicating themselves.
An extra note of caution was sounded
by the chief Viking scientist Dr. Gerald
Soffen. "It's very easy to misread this
as life signs, when actually it may be a
unique chemistry ...," he said
The Viking automated lander, which
yesterday was in its 13th day on the
surface, contains other experiments that

will help cross-check the findings of the
labeled release experiment.
One of them is a test for photo-
synthesis, the process by which plants
manufacture living matter. Results of
that experiment will be available by this
weekend.
ANOTHER expertment that was late
getting underway will be fed a new
sample of soil today by Viking's mechan-
ical 10-foot arm. A device called the
chroatograph mass spectrometer will get
the soil early this morning and may re-
port its findings tomorrow.
The purpose of that instrument is to
check the soil for organic molecules-
units of biological material smaller than
even the tiniest Earth organisms. Its
findings could put the baffling bio-
chemistry experiments on a more solid
footing, one way or the other.
Meanwhile, the Viking orbiter - the
mother ship that continues to orbit the
planet-took pictures of a northerly site
where a second spacecraft, Viking 2, is
likely to land, Viking 2 is scheduled to
begin orbit on Saturday and send its
lander to the surface Sept. 4.

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