News of the Week:
Secondary Smoke Carries High Price
Nonsmokers exposed to secondary smoke suffer 20 percent more damage to their arteries than those not exposed.
1997. Cigarette smoking among adultsUnited States, 1995. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 46(Dec. 26):1217.
Howard, G., et al. 1998. Cigarette smoking and progression of atherosclerosis. Journal of the American Medical Association 279(Jan. 14):119.
Werner, R.M., and T.A. Pearson. 1998. What's so passive about passive smoking? Journal of the American Medical Association 279(Jan. 14):157.
Bots, M.L., et al. 1997. Common carotid intima-media thickness and risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. Circulation 96:1432.
Fackelmann, K. 1997. Harbinger of a heart attack. Science News 151(June 14):374.
Glantz, S.A., and W.W. Parmley. 1995. Passive smoking and heart disease. Journal of the American Medical Association 273(April 5):1047.
Female flies pick mates with sexy eyes
Among some species of stalk-eyed flies, the male with the longer eye stems gets the female.
Hurst, L.D., and A. Pomiankowski. 1998. The eyes have it. Nature 391(Jan. 15):223.
Wilkinson, G.S., D.C. Presgraves, and L. Crymes. 1998. Male eye span in stalk-eyed flies indicates genetic quality by meiotic drive suppression. Nature 391(Jan. 15):276.
Tick, tock, enzyme rewinds cellular clock
Forcing cells to make an enzyme called telomerase apparently makes them practically immortal.
Bodnar, A.G. . . . W.E. Wright. 1998. Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells. Science 279(Jan. 16):349.
de Lange, T. 1998. Telomeres and senescence: Ending the debate. Science 279(Jan. 16):335.
Travis, J. 1998. Gene pushes cells into forced retirement. Science News 153(Jan. 3):7.
______. 1997. Missing enzyme incites cancer debate. Science News 152(Oct. 11):228.
______. 1995. End games. Science News 148(Nov. 25):362.
Unsaturated fats play yin-yang cancer role
Whereas diets rich in monounsaturated fats appear to offer protection against breast cancer, polyunsaturates may increase a woman's chance of developing the disease.
Kohlmeier, L., et al. 1997. Adipose tissue trans fatty acids and breast cancer in the European community multicenter study on antioxidants, myocardial infarction, and breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 6(September):705.
Wolk, A., et al. 1998. A prospective study of association of monounsaturated fat and other types of fat with risk of breast cancer. Archives of Internal Medicine 158(Jan. 12):41.
Cohen, L.A., and E.L. Wynder. 1990. Do dietary monounsaturated fatty acids play a protective role in carcinogenesis and cardiovascular disease? Medical Hypotheses 1:83.
Fackelmann, K. 1992. Dietary fat: No link to breast cancer. Science News 142(Oct. 24):276.
Huang, Z., et al. 1997. Dual effects of weight and weight gain on breast cancer risk. Journal of the American Medical Association 278(Nov. 5):1407.
Hunter, D.J., et al. 1996. Cohort studies of fat intake and risk of breast cancer; a pooled analysis. New England Journal of Medicine 334:356.
Raloff, J. 1997. Genetically engineering a healthier margarine. Science News Online (May 31).
______. 1994. Margarine is anything but a marginal fat. Science News 145(May 21):324.
Simonsen, N., et al. 1997. Tissue stores of individual monounsaturated fats and breast cancer. FASEB Journal 11:3344.
Simonsen, N., et al. 1996. The association between omega-6 fatty acids and breast cancer in a population of European women. FASEB Journal 10:A491.
Yaqoob, P., et al. 1998. Effect of olive oil on immune function in middle-aged men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67(January):129.
Planet posts temperature record for 1997
Globally averaged temperatures continued to rise last year, capping a string of record warm years.
1998. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration press conference. Washington, D.C. Information is available at http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Global temperatures spark hot debate. Science News 151(March 15):156.
Raloff, J. 1997. Nations draft Kyoto climate treaty. Science News 152(Dec. 20&27):388.
Engineered blood vessel is only human
A replacement blood vessel made completely of cultured human cells has the strength of a natural artery.
L'Heureux, N., et al. 1998. A completely biological tissue-engineered human blood vessel. FASEB Journal 12(January):47.
Conte, M.S. 1998. The ideal small arterial substitute: A search for the Holy Grail? FASEB Journal 12(January):43.
Ezzell, C. 1992. Pig intestine yields versatile tissue graft. Science News 141(April 18):246.
Additional information is available at http://www.loex.ulaval.ca/LAEX_A.html .
Black hole acts as cosmic 'Old Faithful'
Fluctuations in X-ray emissions from the vicinity of a suspected black hole appear linked to jets of hot matter hurled from the object every 30 minutes.
1998. "Old Faithful" black hole ejects mass equal to an asteroid. NASA press release.
1998. "Old Faithful" black hole image. NASA press release.
1998. Matter escapes gaping jaws of black hole by traveling in jets. Massachusetts Institute of Technology press release.
Cowen, R. 1997. Tracking a black hole eruption. Science News 152(Dec. 6):357.
______. 1994. Grand illusion: Moving faster than light. Science News 146(Sept. 3):150.
Self-destruction may run lethal gamut
Risk factors for suicide, such as emotional instability and conduct problems in adolescence, also play a role in accidental deaths.
Neeleman, J., S. Wessely, and M. Wadsworth. 1998. Predictors of suicide, accidental death, and premature natural death in a general-population birth cohort. The Lancet 351(Jan. 10):93.
Lewis, G. 1998. Continuum of self-destructiveness. The Lancet 350(Jan. 10):81.
To dream, perchance to scan
A brain-scan investigation of sleeping men offers clues as to how various aspects of the neural system make dreaming possible.
Braun, A.R., et al. 1998. Dissociated pattern of activity in visual cortices and their projections during human rapid eye movement sleep. Science 279(Jan. 2):91.
1996. Wake up, sleepy brain. Science News 150(Sept. 21):184.
El Nino shifts Earth's momentum
The El Nino warming has speeded up atmospheric winds and slowed down Earth's rotation.
Gipson, J.M., C. Ma, and T. Clark. 1997. Signatures of the ENSO in VLBI measurements of EOP. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Spying on El Nino. Science News 152(Oct. 25):268.
Did humans scorch Australia's outback?
Fires set by people tens of thousands of years ago may have altered the Australian climate.
Miller, G.H., et al. 1997. Sensitivity of the Australian monsoon to vegetation type: Did aboriginal burning lead to failure of the early Holocene monsoon? Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco.
Science & Society
Year of the troubled oceans
As the United Nations launches a 12-month focus on oceans, 1,600 biologists call for immediate action to address growing harm to life in the seas.
Norse, E.A., et al. 1998. Troubled waters: A call for action.
Raloff, J. 1997. Overfishing imperils cod reproduction. Science News 151(Feb. 22):124.
_____. 1996. Fishing for answers. Science News 150(Oct. 26):268.
_____. 1995. Fishing: What we don't keep. Science News 148(Dec. 16):415.
_____. 1995. U.N. treaty to aid 'international' fish. Science News 148(Dec. 9):389.
Millennium bug bites?
A Web site tries to sort fact from fancy among rumors of impending disasters because computers may not recognize that a year given as 00 refers to 2000, not 1900.
The Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility Web site devoted to the year 2000 problem is at http://www.cpsr.org/program/y2k/.
Peterson, I. 1996. Fatal Defect: Chasing Killer Computer Bugs. New York: Vintage.
______. 1993. Reviving software dinosaurs. Science News 144(Aug. 7):88.
Raloff, J. 1997. DOD's year 2000 vulnerabilities. Science News 152(Sept. 13):172.
Other Web sites devoted to the year 2000 problem, which serve as useful starting points, include: http://www.year2000.com, http://www.erols.com/steve451/impact.htm, and http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/yr2000/y201toc1.htm.
Achieving quantum teleportation in the laboratory
Researchers successfully transfer a photon's polarization state to another, remote photon.
Boschi, D., et al. In press. Experimental realization of teleporting an unknown pure quantum state via dual classical and Einstein-Podolosky-Rosen channels. Physical Review Letters.
Bouwmeester, D., et al. 1997. Experimental quantum teleportation. Nature 390(Dec. 11):575.
Bennett, C.H., et al. 1993. Teleporting an unknown quantum state via dual classical and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen channels. Physical Review Letters 70(March 29):1895.
Peterson, I. 1995. Quantum bits. Science News 147(Jan. 14):30.
______. 1993. Inspecting teleported quantum information. Science News 143(April 10):229.
Sudbery, T. 1997. The fastest way from A to B. Nature 390(Dec. 11):551.
The theoretical basis of quantum teleportation is described at http://www.research.ibm.com/quantuminfo/teleportation.
Scientists track down a slew of mutated genes that cause deafness
Genetic studies provide insight into how the human ear works.
Denoyelle, F. . . . C. Petit. 1997. Prelingual deafness: High prevalence of a 30delG mutation in the connexin 26 gene. Human Molecular Genetics 6:2173.
Everett, L.A. . . . E.D. Green. 1997. Pendred syndrome is caused by mutations in a putative sulphate transporter gene (PDS). Nature Genetics 17(December).
Kelsell, D.P. . . . R.F. Mueller, and I.M. Leigh. 1997. Connexin 26 mutations in hereditary non-syndromic sensorineural deafness. Nature 387(May 1):80.
Lawani, A.K. 1997. Gene therapy for hearing disorders. Association for Research Otolaryngology meeting. St. Pete Beach.
Lynch, E.D., et al. 1997. Nonsyndromic deafness DFNA1 associated with mutation of a human homolog of the Drosophila gene diaphanous. Science 278(Nov. 14):1315.
Weil, D. . . . K.P. Steel, et al. 1995. Defective myosin VIIA gene responsible for Usher syndrome type 1B. Nature 374(March 2):60.
Winata, S. . . . J.T. Hinnant, et al. 1995. Congenital non-syndromal autosomal recessive deafness in Bengkala, an isolated Balinese village. Journal of Medical Genetics 32:336.
The Z Machine
Powering up a miniature accelerator to target nuclear fusion
The world's most powerful generator of X rays provides a unique environment for studying interactions of radiation and matter.
Spielman, R.B. 1997. Z: A precision 200-TW, 2-MJ Z-pinch X-ray source. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 42(November):1947.
Porter, J.L. 1997. Z-pinch driven hohlraums as a radiation source for high energy density physics experiments. Bulletin of the American Physical Society. 42(November):1948.
Brownell, J.H. 1997. Radiation environments generated by plasma Z-pinch stagnation on central targets. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 42(November):1947.
Peterson, I. 1997. Record fusion power. Science News 152(Dec. 6):366.
______. 1997. Computing nuclear crash and burn scenarios. Science News 152(July 5):5.
______. 1996. Sparking fusion. Science News 150(Oct. 19):254.
Additional information about Sandia's Z machine is available at http://zpinch.sandia.gov, http://www.ppo.sandia.gov, and http://www.sandia.gov/pulspowr/hedicf/hedicf.html.
Table of Contents - 1/17/98