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Vellucci Calls For Extension Of DNA Ban

By Joseph Dalton

A Cambridge citizens group investigating controversial recombinant DNA research will announce its findings in a long-awaited report Wednesday night, but Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci is expected to call for a three-month extension of the moratorium on the research at tonight's City Council meeting.

Daniel J. Hayes, chairman of the citizens group that has studied the safety research since August, said last night the report will offer the group's recommendations on whether scientists could do recombinant DNA research in labs at Harvard and MIT.

He declined to indicate whether the report will favor or censure the research.


Vellucci claimed last week the moratorium should be extended because the two days between the release of the report January 5 and the end of the present moratorium, January 7, do not leave enough time for proper evaluation of the citizens group's recommendations.

But Hayes said he disagrees with Vellucci, because he said he believes "It will take about 15 minutes to read the report, about 30 to make a decision. But three months or six years--Vellucci wouldn't care," he said.

Vellucci has frequently spoken out against the research in the past. He could not be reached last night for comment.

Everett I. Mendelsohn, professor of the History of Science, yesterday called the question of the moratorium's length a "moot point," because the P-3 containment labs needed for the research will not be ready at Harvard until later in the spring.

Mendelsohn added he considers the moratorium "a responsible move, and hope others will see it as such and act in a responsible manner."

California Freedom

Matthew S. Meselson, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, said yesterday he spent most of the last two weeks at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. where he said recom- binant DNA research goes on without interference or regulation by city authorities.

Meselson said that although the moratorium question will not be an important one for Harvard until the labs are completed, the labs at MIT are "marking time, and have been ready to go for two weeks."

City Councilor Francis H. Duehay '55 said yesterday he believes the mayor's order may be premature, but added he does not think "anyone is sitting on the edge of their chairs." Duehay said he may favor extending the moratorium for two or three weeks while the council evaluates the report, although he said he believes three months may be an excessive extension

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