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News of the Week:
Dust Disks Hint at Nearby Planets
Radio and infrared images suggest that three nearby stars have recently spawned planets and might still be in the throes of forming a solar system.
Holland, W.S. . . . B. Zuckerman. 1998. Submillimetre images of dusty debris around nearby stars. Nature 32(April 23):788.
Cowen, R. 1996. More evidence of extrasolar planets. Science News 149(Feb. 3):77.
X-ray flashes illuminate general relativity
Observations of rapid oscillations in the intensity of X rays emitted by a neutron star provide a novel test of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Lamb, F.K. 1998. Constraining the properties of neutron stars and dense matter with the Rossi Explorer. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 43(April):1160. (Also available at http://www.aps.org/BAPSAPR98/abs/S910.html.)
Zhang, W. 1998. High time resolution studies of X-ray bursts: Neutron star structure. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 43(April):1159.
A description of a theoretical model accounting for high-frequency X-ray oscillations can be found at http://www.physics.uiuc.edu/groups/tastro/movies/spm/.
Birds eggs started to thin long before DDT
A study of old museum eggs has revealed that shells started thinning in Britain at the time of the Industrial Revolution almost 50 years before the introduction of DDT.
Graveland, J., et al. 1994. Poor reproduction in forest passerines from decline of snail abundance on acidified soils. Nature 368(March 31):446.
Green, R.E. 1998. Long-term decline in the thickness of eggshells of thrushes, Turdus spp., in Britain. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 263(April 22):679.
Butterfly may use flowery stepping-stones
Contrary to conservation biology dogma, the rare Fenders blue butterfly may do better with patches of habitat than with a corridor linking potential sites.
Schultz, C.B. 1998. Dispersal behavior and its implications for reserve design in a rare Oregon butterfly. Conservation Biology 12(April):1.
Milius, S. 1998. Wild inbred butterflies risk extinction. Science News 153(April 4):214.
Ulcer bacteriums drug resistance unmasked
Researchers have deciphered the method by which an ulcer-causing bacterium becomes resistant to the antibiotic used in Flagyl, MetroGel, and Protostat.
Goodwin, A. . . . D.E. Berg. 1998. Metronidazole resistance in Helicobacter pylori is due to null mutations in a gene (rdxA) that encodes an oxygen-insensitive NADPH nitroreductase. Molecular Microbiology 28(April 15):383.
1996. The risk of stomach cancer in patients with gastric or duodenal ulcer disease. New England Journal of Medicine 335(July 25):242.
1993. Antibiotics help fight stomach cancer. Science News 144(Sept. 18):189.
Barnett, A.A. 1995. FDA reluctant about new H pylori regimens. Lancet 346(Dec. 23&30):1697.
Berg, D.E., et al. Helicobacter pylori populations in Peruvian patients. Clinical Infectious Diseases 25:996.
Fackelmann, K. 1996. Gastrointestinal blues. Science News 150(Nov. 9):302.
Goodwin, M.M. Mendall, and T.C. Northfield. 1997. Helicobacter pylori infection. Lancet 349(Jan. 25):265.
Harris, A., and J.J. Misiewicz. 1995. Hitting H pylori for four. Lancet 345(April 1):806.
Wait, R.P. 1996. Metronidazole-resistant H pyloriof questionable clinical importance. Lancet 348(Aug. 24):489.
Cold viruses enter cells without knocking
The three-dimensional structure of a receptor protein reveals how it allows cold viruses to enter cells.
Bella, J., et al. 1998. The structure of the two amino-terminal domains of human ICAM-1 suggests how it functions as a rhinovirus receptor and as an LFA-1 integrin ligand. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(April 14):4140.
Casasnovas, J.M. . . . T.A. Springer. 1998. A dimeric crystal structure for the N-terminal two domains of intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(April 14):4134.
Stress hormone may speed up brain aging
High concentrations of a major stress hormone in the elderly may contribute to atrophy of a brain structure crucial to memory and spatial navigation.
Lupien, S.J., et al. 1998. Cortisol levels during human aging predict hippocampal atrophy and memory deficits. Nature Neuroscience 1(May):69.
Porter, N.M., and P.W. Landfield. 1998. Stress hormones and brain aging: Adding injury to insult? Nature Neuroscience 1(May):3.
Bower, B. 1998. Grown-up monkey brains get growing. Science News 153(March 21):180.
______. 1995. Child sex abuse leaves mark on brain. Science News 147(June 3):340.
My mother, the clone?
Dolly, the famous cloned sheep, reportedly is pregnant.
Connor, S. 1998. Dolly the cloned sheep prepares to make history again as a mother. Times of London April 19. Available at http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/Sunday-Times/frontpage.html?1074973.
Travis, J. 1997. Ewe again? Cloning from adult DNA. Science News 151(March 1):132.
______. 1997. A fantastical experiment. Science News 151(April 5):214.
BiologyPunching up the activity of genes
A protein involved in the growth of embryonic brain cells may also play a role in blood vessel growth.
Rřrth, P., et al. 1998. Systematic gain-of-function genetics in Drosophila. Development 125(March 6):1049.
Brain and blood vessels share cues
Scientists have found a way to turn on random genes in fruit flies.
Soker, S. . . . M. Klagsbrun. 1998. Neuropilin-1 is expressed by endothelial and tumor cells as an isoform-specific receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor. Cell 92(March 20).
Manatees win some and lose some
The population of manatees in remote regions of Florida appears to be increasing, but populations on Floridas populous southern Atlantic coast may be decreasing.
Langtimm, C.A., T.J. OShea, et al. 1998. Estimates of annual survival probabilities for adult Florida manatees (Trichechus Manatus Latirostris). Ecology 79(April):981.
Mlot, C. 1997. Florida manatees future: Grim or golden? Science News 151(March 29):191.
Where have all the flowers gone?
The World Conservation Union has issued the first worldwide list of threatened plants.
Bayon, R., J. Petterson, and J. Miller. 1998. 34,000 Species of plants in 200 countries threatened with extinction. The Red List of Threatened Plants. April 8.
BiomedicineSynthetic hormone spurs girls' growth
When given daily between the ages of 8 and 14, somatropin increases growth but not psychological outlook, in short girls.
McCaughey, E.S., J. Mulligan, et al. 1998. Randomised trial of growth hormone in short normal girls. Lancet 351(March 28):940.
Darendeliler F., et al. 1990. Growth hormone increases rate of pubertal maturation. Acta Endocrinologica 122:414.
Hindmarsh, P.C., and C.G.D. Brook. 1996. Final height of short normal children treated with growth hormone. Lancet 348:13.
Genetic flaw linked to breast cancer
A genetic variation that limits production of key detoxifying enzymes increases womens risk of developing breast cancer.
Helzlsouer, K.J. . . . P.T. Strickland. Association between glutathione S-transferase M1, P1, and T1 genetic polymorphisms and development of breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 90(April 1):512.
Ambrosone C.B., et al. 1996. Cigarette smoking, N-acetyltansferase 2 genetic polymorphisms, and breast cancer risk. Journal of the American Medical Association 276:1494.
Kelsey, K.T., and J.K. Wiencke. 1998. Growing pains for the environmental genetics of breast cancer: Observations on a study of the glutathione S-transferase. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 90(April 1):484.
Kelsey, K.T., et al. 1997. Glutathione S-transferase class mu deletion polymorphism and breast cancer: Results from prevalent versus incident cases. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Preview 6:511.
Seidegard, J.P., et al. Isoenzyme(s) of glutathione transferase (class Mu) as a marker for the susceptibility to lung cancer: A follow-up study. Carcinogenesis 11:33.
PhysicsLast of the normal mesons
Fermilab physicists have discovered a long-sought meson consisting of a charm quark and an antibottom quark.
Jackson, J. 1998. CDF corrals the last of the mesons. Fermi News 21(March 20):1. (Available at http://www.fnal.gov/directorate/public_affairs/ferminews/ferminews_list.html.)
Peterson, I. 1997. Exotic needle found in particle haystack. Science News 152(Sept. 6):148.
______. 1995. Beyond the top. Science News 148(July 1):10.
A half-life for titanium
The most accurate set of measurements to date established the half-life of titanium-44 as 59.2 years.
Microdrops of superfluid
Ahmad, I., et al. 1998. Three-laboratory measurement of the 44Ti half-life. Physical Review Letters 80(March 23):2550.
Görres, J., et al. 1998. Half-life of 44Ti as a probe for supernova models. Physical Review Letters 80(March 23):2554.
Superfluidity can occur in a cluster consisting of as few as 60 helium-4 atoms.
Grebenev, S., J.P. Toennies, and A.F. Vilesov. 1998. Superfluidity within a small helium-4 cluster: The microscopic Andronikashvili experiment. Science 279(March 27):2083.
Lehmann, K.K., and G. Scoles. 1998. The ultimate spectroscopic matrix? Science 279(March 27):2065.
Articles:Scooping Up a Chunk of Mars
Fresh samples from the Red Planet
Relying on a trio of small missions, NASA expects by 2008 to have gathered, stored, and carried to Earth bits of rock and soil from Mars.
Race, M.S. 1998. Mars sample return and planetary protection in a public context. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Rummel, J.D. 1998. Planning for Mars sample return missions: Scientific, technical, and social challenges. Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Philadelphia.
Cowen, R. 1998. Reports raise questions about Martian rock. Science News 153(Jan. 24):54.
The Name Game
Young kids grasp new words with intriguing dexterity
The apparent ease with which 2-year-olds learn new words may reflect their budding social insights about adults' intentions.
Akhtar, N., M. Carpenter, and M. Tomasello. 1996. The role of discourse novelty in early word learning. Child Development 67(June):635.
Samuelson, L.K., and L.B. Smith. 1998. Memory and attention make smart word learning: An alternative account of Akhtar, Carpenter, and Tomasello. Child Development 69(February):94.
Bower, B. 1997. Everybodys talkin. Science News 151(May 3):276.
______. 1993. A childs theory of mind. Science News 144(July 17):40.
Smith, Linda B., and L.K. Samuelson. 1997. Perceiving and remembering: category stability, variability and development. In Knowledge, Concepts, and Categories, K. Lamberts and D. Shanks, eds. East Sussex, United Kingdom: Psychology Press.
Smith, L.B., S.S. Jones, and B. Landau. 1996. Naming in young children: A dumb attentional mechanism. Cognition 60:143.
Table of Contents - 4/25/98
copyright 1998 Science Service