Science Fiction book about scientists that create miniature planets in a chamber.?

One of my friends told me about a book he read 20+ years ago. Scientists create miniature planets in an extremely large chamber and study them. They discover that some of the planets had living organisms on them and some of those planets turned red after some time. They concluded that the organisms had evolved to a... show more One of my friends told me about a book he read 20+ years ago. Scientists create miniature planets in an extremely large chamber and study them. They discover that some of the planets had living organisms on them and some of those planets turned red after some time. They concluded that the organisms had evolved to a technological stage and must have reached full planetary nuclear destruction. My friend doesn't remember the name. However, he may have confused the title with John Steinbeck's "The Pearl." He seems to believe that the scientists referred to those planets as "Pearls." Has anyone ever read this story? Please help!
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