The synthetic form of progesterone most commonly prescribed for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy in the United States may erase the therapy's intended heart benefits.
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A light-sensitive molecule made by a saltwater bacterium could form the basis of an optical computer.
Lewis, A., et al. 1997. Optical computation with negative light intensity with a plastic bacteriorhodopsin film. Science 275(March 7):1462.
Cowen, R. 1993. Juggling at the speed of light. Science News 143(Jan. 23):63.
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_____. 1994. Cesium atoms for optical computers. Science News 146(Oct. 1):214.
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The level of neural activity in a specific part of the cortex seems to signal whether medication will lift a depressed person's mood.
Mayberg, H., et al. 1997. Cingulate function in depression. NeuroReport 8(March 3).
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Discovery of a dust disk orbiting two stars could double the estimate of planets in the galaxy.
Kalas, P., and D. Jewitt. 1997. A candidate dust disk surrounding the binary stellar system BD+31 643. Nature 386(March 6):52.
Lissauer, J. 1997. Growing up in a two-parent family? Nature 386(March 6):18.
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Observation of an excess of high-energy positron-proton collisions in which a positron rebounds with an enormous amount of momentum suggests the existence of particles or forces outside of conventional theory.
Recent results from HERA can be found at http://info.desy.de/pr-info/desy-recent-hera-results-feb97_e.html.
A summary of the results reported by the ZEUS Collaboration is at http://zow00.desy.de:8000/~ukatz/ZEUS_PUBLIC/hqex/hqex_highx.html.
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Peterson, I. 1996. A hint of particles within quarks. Science News 149(Feb. 17):102.
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Information on the ZEUS Experiment at HERA is available at http://zow00.desy.de:8000/.
A week after the announcement that a sheep had been cloned from adult cells, Oregon scientists performed a similar feat in monkeys using cells from embryos.
Wolf, D., L. Meng, R. Stouffer, and J. Ely. 1997. Press conference at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center. Beaverton, Ore.
Travis, J. 1997. Ewe again? Cloning from adult DNA. Science News 151(March 1):132.
A newly discovered gene encodes a protein used by some cells to convert food calories to heat, an energy-consuming mechanism that some researchers speculate may be sluggish in obese people.
Fleury, C., et al. 1997. Uncoupling protein 2: A novel gene linked to obesity and hyperinsulinemia. Nature Genetics 15(March):269.
Flier, J., and B. Lowell. Obesity research springs a proton leak. Nature Genetics 15(March):223.
Inhaled steroids effectively relieve asthma, but prolonged, high-dose use markedly increases an elderly person's risk of glaucoma.
Garbe, E. . . .S. Suissa. 1997. Inhaled and nasal glucocorticoids and the risks of ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma. Journal of the American Medical Association 277(March 5):735.
Barnes, P.J. 1995. Drug therapy: Inhaled glucocorticoids for asthma. New England Journal of Medicine 332(March 30):868.
The earliest flying vertebrate broke new biological ground when it constructed wings.
Frey, E., H.-D. Sues, and W. Munk. 1997. Gliding mechanism in the late Permian reptile Coelurosauravus. Science 275(March 7):1450.
Chemists have built a tough synthetic protein based on clues provided by microorganisms thriving in near-boiling water on the ocean floor.
Jiang, X., E. Bishop, and R. Farid. 1997. A de novo protein with properties that characterize natural hyperthermophilic proteins. Journal of the American Chemical Society 119(Jan.):838.
Lipkin, R. 1995. Enzyme helps microorganism thrive in heat. Science News 147(March 11):150.
Like Frankenstein's monster, a working enzyme can be constructed by stitching together parts.
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After they become infected, immune cells of some people may be able to prevent certain strains of the HIV virus from reproducing.
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A version of a gene recently associated with the aging process may increase a person's heart attack risk.
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By March 20, Comet Hale-Bopp should become a naked-eye spectacle in the northwestern sky just after twilight.
Cowen, R. 1996. Bright comet poses puzzles. Science News 149(June 1):346.
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There are several excellent websites on Comet Hale-Bopp. A site overseen by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is particularly good, includes up-to-date photos, and has links to other sites. The address is http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/hale_bopp_info.html.
Earthquakes are nudging the North Pole toward Tokyo.
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Richards, M., et al. 1997. An explanation for Earth's long-term rotational stability. Science 275(Jan. 17):372.
Cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific has delayed global warming.
Cane, M.A. 1997. Twentieth-century sea surface temperature trends. Science 275(Feb.14):957.
Computers are helping to search texts and data now shrouded in linguistic differences
With a little help, computers can retrieve foreign texts or data and display it in another's mother tongue.
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Multilingual text retrieval website, University of Maryland: http://www.ee.umd.edu/medlab/mlir/.
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Scientists are putting postage-stamp-size DNA chips to an incredible variety of uses, including the detection of genetic mutations, the diagnosis of infectious disease, and the monitoring of activity inside cells.
Chee, M., et al. 1996. Accessing genetic information with high-density DNA arrays. Science 274(Oct. 25):610.
DeRisi, J., et al. 1996. Use of a cDNA microarray to analyse gene expression patterns in human cancer. Nature Genetics 14(December):457.
Hacia, J.. et al. 1996. Detection of heterozygous mutations in BRCA1 using high density oligonucleotide arrays and two-colour fluorescence analysis. Nature Genetics. 14(December):441.
Kozal, M. 1996. Extensive polymorphisms observed in HIV-1 clade B protease gene using high-density oligonucleotide arrays. Nature Medicine 2(July):753.
Lockhart, D., et al. 1996. Expression monitoring by hybridization to high-density oligonucleotide arrays. Nature Biotechnology 14(December):1675.
Shoemaker, D. 1996. Quantitative phenotypic analysis of yeast deletion mutants using a highly parallel molecular bar-coding strategy. Nature Genetics 14(December):450.
1996. To affinity and beyond. Nature Genetics 14(December):367.
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