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News of the Week:
A Shot to the Heart Shows Promise
A new drug promotes blood vessel growth in humans, a possible boon to patients with heart disease.
Schumacher, B. . . . T. Stegmann. 1998. Induction of neoangiogenesis in ischemic myocardium by human growth factors. Circulation 97(Feb. 24).
Blau, H.M., and M.L. Springer. 1995. Gene therapya novel form of drug delivery. New England Journal of Medicine 333(Nov. 2):1204.
Folkman, J. 1998. Angiogenic therapy of the human heart. Circulation 97(Feb. 24).
Folkman, J., and M. Klagsbrun. 1987. Angiogenetic factors. Science 235:442.
Hipparcos finds hint of star streams
New findings from the Hipparcos satellite lend further support to the idea that the halo of our galaxy acquired its stars by stealing them from small, nearby galaxies.
Chen, B. 1998. Kinematic substructure of halo from Hipparcos observations. Astrophysical Journal Letters 495(March 1):L1.
Cowen, R. 1997. Younger stars and an older, bigger cosmos. Science News 151(Feb. 15):101.
_____. 1994. Ill-fated Milky Way neighbor found. Science News 145(April 9):228.
Signs of eruption found off Oregon shores
Scientists find evidence of fresh lava at a submerged Pacific volcano.
Information on Axial Volcano is available at http://newport.pmel.noaa.gov/axial98.html.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Spying on a deep-sea eruption. Science News 151(Jan. 4):15.
______. 1993. Underwater eruption detected in Pacific. Science News 144(Aug. 28):132.
Working memory makes a spatial move
Brain images indicate that separate regions of the prefrontal cortex regulate working memory for objects and for spatial relationships.
Courtney, S.M., et al. 1998. An area specialized for spatial working memory in human frontal cortex. Science 279(Feb. 27):1347.
Smaglik, P. 1997. Where in the brain is working memory? Science News 151(April 26):258.
Ungerleider, L.G., S.M. Courtney, and J.V. Haxby. 1998. A neural system for human visual working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(February):883.
Mathematicians describe tendril perversion
A mathematical model of elastic rods can be used to describe coiled vine tendrils and kinky phone cords.
Goriely, A., and M. Tabor. 1998. Spontaneous helix hand reversal and tendril perversion in climbing plants. Physical Review Letters 80(Feb. 16):1564.
Peterson, I. 1997. Computers and proof. Science News 151(March 22):176.
Polymer blend takes on printed pattern
A technique that allows polymers to arrange themselves into intricate patterns could make computer chip manufacturing faster and cheaper.
Böltau, M. . . . U. Steiner. 1998. Surface-induced structure formation of polymer blends on patterned substrates. Nature 391(Feb. 26):877.
Peterson, I. 1997. Fine lines for chips. Science News 152(Nov. 8):302.
Diabetic mice cast suspicion on protein
Mice missing a protein involved in insulin signaling develop type II diabetes.
Withers, D.J. . . . M.F. White. 1998. Disruption of IRS-2 causes type 2 diabetes in mice. Nature 391(Feb. 26):900.
Avruch, J. 1998. A signal for b -cell failure. Nature 391(Feb. 26).
Cowbirds get head start with egg tricks
Several stratagems enable the cowbird to win or tie the race to be the first egg to hatch.
McMaster, D.G., and S.G. Sealy. 1998. Short incubation periods of brown-headed cowbirds: How do cowbird eggs hatch before yellow warbler eggs? Condor 100(February):102.
Kattan, G. 1997. Shiny cowbirds follow the shotgun strategy of brood parasitism. Animal Behaviour 53(March):647.
Peer, B.D., and E.K. Bollinger. 1997. Explanations for the infrequent cowbird parasitism on common grackles. Condor 99(February):151.
Numbers can confuse jurors
The ways in which juries perceive DNA evidence can vary greatly depending on how that evidence is presented.
Koehler, J.J. 1998. When are jurors impressed by DNA match probabilities? Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Bower, B. 1996. Rational mind designs. Science News 150(July 13):24.
Texas-sized molecule battles cancer
A drug called texaphyrin enhances the effectiveness of radiation treatments for metastatic brain cancer.
Sessler, J.L. 1998. Texaphyrin: A new approach to anticancer drug treatment. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Wickelgren, I. 1989. Shedding light on cancer. Science News 135(Jan. 14):26.
Science pokes loopholes in cloning bans
Twenty states have considered legislation to ban human cloning, but the proposed wording may leave loopholes.
Andrews, L.B. 1998. Cloning: The policy issues. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Bacteria may hide in hunks of gunk
Traditional microbiological tests may not reveal all of the pathogens hiding in the processed sludge used as fertilizer.
Lewis, D.L. 1998. Microbes in the environment: Challenges to exposure assessment. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Peterson, I. 1995. Lightning treatment of waste. Science News 147(May 6):282.
Raloff, J., and R. Lipkin. 1995. Cleansing water with natural slimes . . . Science News 147(March 4):138.
______. 1995. . . . and with heat, pressure, and oxygen. Science News 147(March 4):138.
New faces to fill top science posts
President Clinton nominated two scientists for directorships at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation.
1998. Remarks by the President to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
The good news: Protease inhibitors
Deaths due to AIDS have dropped sharply in the 3 years since new drugs called protease inhibitors came on the market.
Chiasson, M.A. 1998. Accelerating decline in New York City AIDS mortality. 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Chicago.
De Cock, K. 1998. Monitoring the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States: Current status and future prospects. 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Chicago.
The bad news: Protease inhibitors
Some people taking protease inhibitors to fight AIDS are experiencing a strange buildup of fat on the belly and on the back of the neck.
Hengel, R.L. 1998. Multiple symmetrical lipomatosis associated with protease inhibitor therapy. 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Chicago.
Antiviral gel clears safety test
An intravaginal gel that kills HIV has proved safe in a small-scale test in women.
Profy, A.T. 1998. 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Chicago.
Flooding light through tiny holes
A regular array of microscopic holes in a thin metal layer lets through a surprisingly large amount of light.
Ebbesen, T.W., et al. 1998. Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays. Nature 391(Feb. 12):667.
Sambles, R. 1998. More than transparent. Nature 391(Feb. 12):641.
Tunneling to a speedy transistor
The development of an improved quantum tunneling transistor potentially opens up the way for mass production of such devices.
Simmons, J.A., et al. In press. Bistable memories at 77 K using a planar double electron layer tunneling transistor (DELTT). Applied Physics Letters.
Additional information about Sandia's "double electron layer tunneling transistor" can be found at http://www.sandia.gov/media/quantran.htm.
Cosmologists in Flatland
Searching for the missing energy
Many cosmologists arent about to give up the idea that the universe has a flat geometry.
Spergel, D., and U. Pen. 1997. Cosmology in a string-dominated universe. Astrophysical Journal Letters 491(Dec. 20):L67.
Cowen, R. 1997. From soup to us. Science News 151(June 7):354.
Peterson, I. 1998. Circles in the sky. Science News 153(Feb. 21):123.
______. 1992. Timely questions. Science News 141(March 28):202.
Researchers uncover the healthful side of hedonism
New research suggests that alcohol, sex, and high-fat food may provide health benefits.
Doll, R. 1997. One for the heart. British Medical Journal 315(Dec. 20&27).
Gillman, M.W., et al. 1997. Inverse association of dietary fat with development of ischemic stroke in men. Journal of the American Medical Association 278(Dec. 24&31):2145.
Obisesan, T.O., et al. 1998. Moderate wine consumption is associated with decreased odds of developing age-related macular degeneration in NHANES-1. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 46(January):1.
Sherwin, R., and T.R. Price. 1997. Fat chance: Diet and ischemic stroke. Journal of the American Medical Association 278(Dec. 24&31):2185.
Smith, G.D., S. Frankel, and J. Yarnell. 1997. Sex and death: Are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study. British Medical Journal 315(Dec. 20&27).
Thun, M.J., et al. 1997. Alcohol consumption and mortality among middle-aged and elderly U.S. adults. New England Journal of Medicine 337(Dec. 11):1705.
Table of Contents - 2/28/98
copyright 1998 Science Service