News of the Week:
Nations Draft Kyoto Climate Treaty
Negotiators meeting in Japan drafted a treaty that would set binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for industrial nations.
1997. Kyoto protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. Available at http://www.cop3.de/fccc/climate/climate.html.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Beyond hot air. Science News 151(May 24):320.
______. 1997. Global temperatures spark hot debate. Science News 151(March 15):156.
______. 1997. 1996: Year of warmth and weather reversals. Science News 151(Jan. 18):38.
______. 1996. Stage set for curbing global warming gases. Science News 150(July 27):54.
Raloff, J. 1988. C02: How will we spell relief? Science News 134(Dec. 24&31):411.
Electric diode tunes in to plastic
A basic electronic component made partially of plastic can be modified to exhibit a wide range of current-carrying capacities.
Lonergan, M.C. 1997. A tunable diode based on an inorganic semiconductor conjugated polymer interface. Science 278(Dec. 19):2103.
1992. Bright, bendable light-emitting diodes. Science News 141(June 13):388.
Lipkin, R. 1993. Shine on, shine on LED, for better displays. Science News 144(Oct. 16):246.
Scott, J.C. 1997. Conducting polymers: From novel science to new technology. Science 278(Dec. 19):2071.
Wu, C. 1997. Polymer, buckyballs combat nerve damage. Science News 152(Aug. 23):119.
______. 1996. Plastic glows with bright laser light. Science News 150(Aug. 24):119.
Small comet theory faces barrage from foes
New findings erode the credibility of the hypothesis that Earth is bombarded by thousands of house-size snowballs each day.
Boslough, M.B.E., and Gladstone, G.R. 1997. An impact plume model for atmospheric holes in the FUV dayglow. Geophysical Research Letters Dec. 15.
Frank, L.A., and J.B. Sigwarth. 1997. On the seasonal variations of small comet impacts into our upper atmosphere. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco.
Grier, J.A., and A.S. McEwen. 1997. The small-comet hypothesis: An upper limit to the current impact rate on the Moon. Geophysical Research Letters Dec. 15.
Parks, G.K., et al. 1997. Does the Ultraviolet Imager on Polar detect comestesimals? Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco.
______. Does the UVI on Polar detect cosmic snowballs? Geophysical Research Letters Dec. 15.
Rizk, B., and A.J. Dessler. 1997. Small comets: Naked-eye visibility. Geophysical Research Letters Dec. 15.
Swindle, T.D., and D.A. Kring. 1997. Implications of small comets for the noble gas inventories of Earth and Mars. Geophysical Research Letters Dec. 15.
Frank, L.A. 1990. The Big Splash. Birch Lane Press: New York.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Is Earth Pelted by Space Snowballs? Science News 151(May 31):332.
______. 1988. Comet controversy caught on film. Science News 133(May 28):340.
Additional information can be found at http://smallcomets.physics.uiowa.edu/.
Even fraternal twins may share cancer risk
Having a twin with breast or testicular cancer signals an increase in a person's risk of these diseases.
Swerdlow, A.J., et al. 1997. Risks of breast and testicular cancers in young adult twins in England and Wales: Evidence on prenatal and genetic aetiology. Lancet 350(Dec. 13):1723.
Fackelmann, K. 1997. The Birth of a Breast Cancer. Science News 151(Feb. 15):108.
Trichopoulos, D. 1990. Hypothesis: Does breast cancer originate in utero. Lancet 335:939.
Deepening insight into solar outbursts
Computer simulations and data from a spacecraft illuminate the magnetic interactions that generate high-speed ejections from the sun's atmosphere.
Antiochos, S.K. 1997. Theories of coronal mass ejections. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco.
Let's repeat: Mutation gums up brain cells
Investigators have created mutant mice with an illness similar to Huntington's disease.
Ordway, J.M. . . . P.J. Detloff. 1997. Ectopically expressed CAG repeats cause intranuclear inclusions and a progressive late onset neurological phenotype in the mouse. Cell 91(Dec. 12).
Travis, J. 1997. Nuclear buildup may explain brain diseases. Science News 152(Aug. 16):102.
Fine-tuned plant response to insect attack
Chewed-up plants send out chemical signals that attract insects of the right type to combat specific pests.
De Moraes, C.M., W.J. Lewis, and J.H. Tumlinson. 1997. Parasitoids exploit herbivore-specific signals: Another level of chemical cooperation between plants and beneficial insects. Entomological Society of America annual meeting. Nashville.
Alborn, H.T., et al. 1997. An elicitor of plant volatiles from beet armyworm oral secretion. Science 276(May 9):945.
Chen, I. 1990. Pest-eating allies: Calling up the reserves. Science News 138(Dec. 22&29):410.
Teens show sex-linked pull to cigarettes
Teenage girls who have a strong need for social contact and peer acceptance are most likely to begin smoking cigarettes.
Killen, J.D., et al. 1997. Prospective study of risk factors for the initiation of cigarette smoking. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 65(December):1011.
Miller, D.S., and T.Q. Miller. 1997. A test of socioeconomic status as a predictor of initial marijuana use. Addictive Behaviors 22(September):L479.
Pollution surge from new Chinese cars
Adding 400 million cars to China's roads would increase pollution across much of the Pacific.
Elliott, S., et al. 1997. Motorization of China implies changes in Pacific air chemistry and primary production. Geophysical Research Letters 24(Nov. 1):2671.
California volcano starts to stir
Earthquakes rattle a volcanic site in eastern California near Mammoth Lakes.
Monastersky, R. 1991. Perils of prediction. Science News 139(June 15):376.
Hanford tanks: Leaks reach groundwater
Radioactive liquids leaking from storage tanks have joined deliberately released wastes in contaminating groundwater at the Hanford Reservation.
1997. Draft reports confirm Hanford tank farm contributing source of groundwater contamination. Department of Energy press release.
1991. Long-lived legacy: Managing high-level and transuranic waste at the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Office of Technology Assessment Report # OTA-BP-O-83. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Aherne, J. F. 1997. Radioactive waste: The size of the problem. Physics Today 50(June):24.
Gephart, G.E., and R.E. Lundgren. 1996. Hanford tank clean up: A guide to understanding the technical issues. Pacific Northwest Laboratory Report: PNL-10773. Richland, Wash.
Hileman, Bette. 1997. Cleaning up after nuclear weapons. Chemical & Engineering News 75(Feb. 10):21.
Renner, R. 1997. U.S. nuclear cleanup shows signs of progress. Environmental Science & Technology 31(March):134A.
Fishy PCBs shorten menstrual cycle
Scientists find signs of a pollutant's subtle hormonelike influence on human reproductive cycles.
Mendola, P., et al. 1997. Consumption of PCB-contaminated freshwater fish and shortened menstrual cycle length. American Journal of Epidemiology 146(Dec. 1).
Jacobson, J.L., and S.W. Jacobson. 1996. Intellectual impairment in children exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls in utero. New England Journal of Medicine 335(Sept. 12):783.
Raloff, J. 1997. Jury is still out on PCBs' aging effects. Science News Online (June 21).
_____. 1996. Because we eat PCBs. Science News Online (Sept. 14).
______. 1996. Banned pollutant's legacy: Lower IQs. Science News 150(Sept. 14):165.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 1996. The effects of Great Lakes contaminants on human health: A report to Congress. Available at http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/health/atsdr.htm.
The Art of Scientific Photography
Bringing an artist's eye to the realm of imaging
Enhancing the role of visualization in scientific research provides a powerful approach to learning, teaching, and communicating science.
Frankel, F., and G.M. Whitesides. 1997. On the Surface of Things: Images of the Extraordinary in Science. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Stafford, B.M. 1997. Think again: The intellectual side of images. Chronicle of Higher Education June 20:B6.
Cowen, R. 1996. Coloring the cosmos. Science News 150(Dec. 21&28):392.
Ingalls, Z. 1996. Behind the camera, an eye for the beauty of science. Chronicle of Higher Education Sept. 27:B8.
Lipkin, R. 1994. Images of inner space. Science News 145(May 21):328.
Miller, J.A. 1997. A fresh look at vintage photos. Science News 151(March 15):165.
Peterson, I. 1993. Going for glitz. Science News 144(Oct. 9):232.
Stafford, B.M. 1996. Good Looking: Essays on the Virtue of Images. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Whitesides, G.M., and F. Frankel. 1996. Truth and beauty in scientific photography. Technology Review May-June:56. Available at http://www.nanothinc.com/NanoWorld/NanoGallery/Frankel/truth.html.
An introduction to an exhibition of Felice Frankel's science photographs can be found at http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibits/frankel1.html. A calendar listing where and when her photographs will be on display is available at http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibits/traveling.html.
Science Safari in Cyberspace
The Internet offers scientific facts and fun
Join the Science News guided tour of the World Wide Web.
The Deep Blue Sleep
A tale noir of science writing and artificial evil
A fictional mystery story explores what happens when a science writer tangles with a power-hungry computer.
Table of Contents - 12/20/97