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News of the Week:
New Test Spots Cancer Cells in Blood
A novel experimental technique detects cancer cells shed into the blood by a fledgling tumor.
Racila, E. . . . J.W. Uhr. 1998. Detection and characterization of carcinoma cells in the blood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(April 14):4589.
Ghossein, R.A., and J. Rosai. 1996. Polymerase chain reaction in the detection of micrometastases and circulating tumor cells. Cancer 78(July):1.
Starting up quick quantum searches
Researchers for the first time experimentally demonstrated the operation of a simple quantum computer to perform an efficient search.
Chuang, I.L., N. Gershenfeld, and M. Kubinec. 1998. Experimental implementation of fast quantum searching. Physical Review Letters 80(April 13):3408.
Jones, J.A. 1998. Fast searches with nuclear magnetic resonance computers. Science 280(April 10):229.
Gershenfeld, N.A., and I.L. Chuang. 1997. Bulk spin-resonance quantum computation. Science 275(Jan. 17):350.
Grover, L.K. 1998. The advantages of superposition. Science 280(April 10):228.
Peterson, I. 1996. Quantum-quick queries. Science News 150 (Aug. 31):143.
______. 1995. Quantum bits. Science News 147(Jan. 14):30.
______. 1994. Opening a quantum door on computing. Science News 145(May 14):308.
Vergano, D. 1997. Brewing a quantum computer in a coffee cup. Science News 151(Jan. 18):37.
Tree trunks swell in synchrony with tides
The diameter of a tree stem changes with the rhythm of the tides.
Zurcher, E., et al. 1988. Tree stem diameters fluctuate with tide. Nature 392(April 16):665.
When lava and ice clashed on Mount Rainier
Geologists have solved a decades-old puzzle about lava deposits on Mount Rainier.
Lescinsky, D.T., and T.W. Sisson. 1998. Ridge-forming, ice-bounded lava flows at Mount Rainier, Washington. Geology 26(April):351.
Monastersky, R. 1994. Mount Rainier threatens with fire and ice. Science News 145(May 28):341.
Solar cell converts water into hydrogen
A new device harnesses sunlight to produce hydrogen gas by electrochemically splitting water.
Khaselev, O., and J.A. Turner. 1998. A monolithic photovoltaic-photoelectrochemical device for hydrogen production via water splitting. Science 280(April 17):425.
Lipkin, R. 1993. Firing up fuel cells. Science News 144(Nov. 13):314.
Perkins, S. 1997. Electric cars . . . fueled by gasoline? Science News 152(Nov. 1):279.
Travis, J. 1996. Enzymes may turn paper, grass into fuel. Science News 150(July 6):7.
Wu, C. 1995. Hybrid cars. Science News 148(Oct. 7):232.
Climate change measure for the common folk
Researchers have developed what they call a common-sense climate index to flag when people in a region would notice long-term changes in climate.
Hansen, J., et al. 1998. A common-sense climate index: Is climate changing noticeably? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(April 14):4113.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Pacific warmth augurs weird weather. Science News 151(May 24):316.
______. 1997. Global temperatures spark hot debate. Science News 151(March 15):156.
Additional information about the proposed climate change index can be found at: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen.04.
Internet access: A black-and-white issue
Educational achievement and income do not by themselves explain why blacks use the Internet at a lower rate than whites.
Hoffman, D.L., and T.P. Novak. 1998. Bridging the racial divide on the Internet. Science 280(April 17):390.
Dede, C. 1997. Rethinking how to invest in educational technology. Educational Leadership 55(November):12.
Lipkin, R. 1995. The library that isnt there. Science News 147(June 3):344.
Raloff, J. 1996. Minds-on science. Science News 149(Feb. 3):72.
Vergano, D. 1996. Science and math education: No easy answer. Science News 150(Nov. 30):341.
Listening to faith as depression balm
Deeply held religious faith hastens recovery from mild to moderate depression among elderly people.
Koenig, H.G., L.K. George, and B.L. Peterson. 1998. Religiosity and remission of depression in medically ill older patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 144(April):536.
Kendler, K.S. 1998. Boundaries of major depression: An evaluation of DSM-IV criteria. American Journal of Psychiatry 155(February):172.
Research NotesShifting ground at nuclear waste site
The nations top choice for a nuclear waste repository is more geologically active than expected.
Wernicke, B., et al. 1998. Anomalous strain accumulation in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada. Science 279(March 27):2096.
Monastersky, R. 1997. Relying on geology to jail nuclear waste. Science News 152(Nov. 1):277.
Ancient quake sliced crusader castle
The walls of a castle in Israel display the scars of a quake from the year 1202.
Ellenblum, R., et al. 1998. Crusader castle torn apart by earthquake at dawn, 20 May 1202. Geology 26(April):303.
Little shop of horrors for protozoa
Researchers describe the first carnivorous plant known to prey on protozoa.
Barthlott, W., et al. 1998. Genlisea: A carnivorous plant acting as a trap for Protozoa. Nature 392(April 1):451.
Additional information about the novel plant can be found at: http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/biodiv.
The first of the ultraviolet lovers
Plumage differences that show up mainly at ultraviolet wavelengths visible to birds may account for why female blue tits are preferentially attracted to certain males.
Andersson, S., J. Örnborg, and M. Andersson. 1997. Ultraviolet sexual dimorphism and assortative mating in blue tits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 265(March 22):445.
Hunt, S., et al. 1997. Blue tits are ultraviolet tits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 265(March 22):451.
Getting to the guts of a dinosaur
Italian paleontologists have found fossilized intestinal remains and other soft tissue preserved inside a dinosaur.
Sasso, Cristiano D., and M. Signore. 1998. Exceptional soft-tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy. Nature 392(March 26):383.
On the line from dinosaurs to birds
Newly found fossils of ancient birds provide important evidence of the transition from dinosaurs to birds.
Forster, C.A., et al. 1998. The theropod ancestry of birds: New evidence from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. Science 279(March 20):1915.
Chiappe, L.M., M.A. Norell, and J.M. Clark. 1998. The skull of a relative of the stem-group bird Mononykus. Nature 392(March 29):275.
Monastersky, R. 1997. A fowl fight. Science News 153(Aug. 23):120.
Articles:Courting Reliable Science
As courts increasingly address science-related issues, judges are exploring ways to ensure that scientific testimony is reliable.
Sanders, J. 1998. Disorder in the court: Silicone breast implants and other scientific litigation. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Fackelmann, K. 1997. Diet drug debacle. Science News 152(Oct. 18):252.
Additional information on the expert testimony issue can be found at : http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html.
The Hydrogen Hypothesis
The merger of two microbes may explain the origin of energy-generating structures in cells.
Hirt, R.P. . . . T.M. Embley. 1997. A mitochondrial Hsp70 orthologue in Vairimorpha necatrix: Molecular evidence that microsporidia once contained mitochondria. Current Biology 7(December):995.
Martin, W., and M. Muller. 1998. The hydrogen hypothesis for the first eukaryote. Nature 392(March 5):37.
Sogin, M.L. 1998. A mitochondrial-like chaperonin 60 gene in Giardia lamblia: Evidence that diplomonads once harbored an endosymbiont related to the progenitor of mitochondria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(Jan. 6):229.
Bui, E.T., P.J. Bradley, and P.J. Johnson. 1996. A common evolutionary origin for mitochondria and hydrogenosomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 93(Sept. 3):9651.
Dolittle, W.F. 1998. A paradigm gets shifty. Nature 392(March 5):15.
Palmer, J.D. 1997. Organelle genomes: Going, going, gone! Science 275(Feb. 7):790.
Travis, J. 1996. Third branch of life bares its genes. Science News 150(Aug. 24):116.
Table of Contents - 4/18/98
copyright 1998 Science Service