CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) _ Taste-testing beer can be a tiring experience for college students, according to Oregon State University researchers.

The school's Sensory Science Laboratory has been trying to isolate specific compounds from hops that give beer its flavor.

Three times a week, a panel of students arrives at the lab at noon to taste and smell 18 glasses of beer.

''The first time new tasters come in, they think it's going to be great,'' Lee Ann Henderson, one of the researchers working on the project, said this week. But, the students soon find out the project is ''fatiguing.''

''Sometimes tasters spend a lot of time trying to discern between samples at lower levels of concentration of the compound, and get tired,'' she said.

The problem for scientists is that ''we can't get an exact replica of what we are after,'' said Ms. Henderson. ''It's variously described as that spicy, herbaceous, citrus character of beer. It's there, but it's hard to define.''

The project is funded by the Hops Research Council, a group of hops growers, marketing companies and brewers.

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Workers at the Marris Country Store offered special-delivery services to a woman who made an unexpected stop there this week.

A friend driving Samantha Strosnider to a hospital to deliver her baby Tuesday was forced to stop at the convenience store when the birth became imminent.

Store employees Pam Robinson and Robin Matthews delivered Strosnider's baby in the back of the car. They protected the newborn from the chilly weather with clean aprons they warmed in the store's pizza oven.

The mother and her 6-pound, 7-ounce boy were reported doing fine.

''We lived up to our reputation as a full-service convenience store,'' boasted Steve Marris, the owner.

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) - Public buildings are being forced to remove fresh-cut, decorated Christmas trees because of a new fire ordinance, and people are complaining.

''It's sort of like 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,''' said Valerie Hansen, front office manager for La Mansion del Rio hotel, which had to toss its 8-foot tree because of the ordinance. ''I'd prefer a real Christmas tree.''

The San Antonio Museum of Art is planning to throw away its $500, 22-foot tree shipped from Michigan last month. About 12 volunteers spent a week decorating the tree with Mexican folk art.

''We're gravely disappointed,'' said museum Director John Mahey. ''We've had a tree just like it for three years. We're extremely upset.''

This year for the first time here, an ordinance prohibits chopped trees from being placed indoors in most public establishments where more than 50 people gather.

The city fire marshal's office said it has been besieged by telephone calls all week, but officials said the ordinance is intended to make for a safe holiday season.

''Natural trees are hazards - they dry out as soon as they are cut,'' Fire Marshal Steve Worley said.

He said fire inspectors are not actively looking for violators, but will write citations for those who have been warned. The fine can be as high as $1,000, after several warnings, and will increase to $2,000 on Jan. 1, Worley said.