Science: Bean Blast

In Chicago last week a coroner's jury made up of five industrial engineers and a chemistry professor was sworn in over six dead bodies. Then they went out to the city's northwest side to learn, if they could, why a soy-bean processing plant occupying almost a block lay in smoking ruins, with scorched and mangled human flesh still inside. ''Obviously,'' said the coroner, "such an investigation could not be conducted by laymen.''

Day before Glidden Co.'s Soya Products Division six-story building—once a bootleg brewery—was humming with routine activity. Tons of soy-bean...

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