renewal of a pact on nuclear research between the United Kingdom
and the United States could breach the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), British lawyers say. Critics argue that the two countries
have long been in violation of the NPT, the cornerstone of international
attempts to halt the spread of nuclear arms, both in spirit and
in the letter of the law. But this year's pending renewal of the
US/UK Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) prompted advocacy groups to
seek a legal opinion on the matter.
The most famous
thing Neil Armstrong left on the moon 35 years ago is a footprint,
a boot-shaped depression in the gray moondust. Millions of people
have seen pictures of it, and one day, years from now, lunar tourists
will flock to the Sea of Tranquility to see it in person. Peering
over the rails … "hey, mom, is that the first one?" Will
anyone notice, 100 feet away, something else Armstrong left behind?
A cutting-edge science experiment left behind in the Sea of Tranquility
by Apollo 11 astronauts is still running today.
portable infrared video camera developed by scientists at NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory may open new vistas for doctors, pilots,
environmental scientists and law enforcement. The more sensitive
longer-wavelength quantum-well infrared photodetectors could allow
doctors to detect tumors using thermographic (heat) analysis. The
device, with its very high spatial and thermal resolution, suits
the medical field well. The camera's abilities and potential uses
will be demonstrated in a few weeks during a surgery at San Diego's
More than a decade
ago, theoreticians predicted that nitrogen, the major constituent
of air, could assume a three-dimensional, polymeric structure.
Now, chemists have made this polymeric nitrogen, and they say it
might someday serve as a lightweight, high-energy storage material
that could outperform conventional explosives, rocket fuels, and
even automotive fuel. Not only could polymeric nitrogen store and
release large amounts of energy, but the only by-product would
be ordinary nitrogen gas, which is environmentally benign.
in a course how to extract, amplify and sequence the genetic material
known as DNA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate
students got a big surprise. So did their marine science professors.
In violation of federal law, more than 75 percent of fish tested
and sold as tasty red snapper in stores in eight states were other
species. How much of the mislabeling was unintentional or fraud
is unknown, said Dr. Peter B. Marko, assistant professor of marine
sciences at UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.
30 years of arguing that a black hole destroys everything that
falls into it, Stephen Hawking is saying he was wrong. It seems
that black holes may after all allow information within them to
escape. Hawking will present his latest finding at a conference
in Ireland next week. The about-turn might cost Hawking an encyclopaedia
because of a bet he made in 1997. More importantly, it might solve
one of the long-standing puzzles in modern physics, known as the
black hole information paradox.
blasts from unseasonable solar storms seen in late 2003 are just
now reaching the edge of the Solar System, scientists reported
on Thursday. More than a dozen coronal mass ejections - eruptions
of super-heated gas triggered by tangled magnetic fields on the
Sun's surface - shot from the star over a period of 20 days last
October and November. In the events, which pointed in different
directions because of the Sun's rotation, radiation and high-speed
particles surged ahead of gas from the blasts themselves.
A curiously naked
white dwarf star, devoid of any perceptible atmosphere, is giving
astronomers their first clear look at the nuclear engines that
keep stars burning bright. About the size of Earth, the dead star
is also the hottest white dwarf ever detected by astronomers --
some 30 times the average temperature of the Sun -- leading them
to believe it only recently shut down its nuclear reactor within
the last 100 years.
have prevented mice from developing a hereditary brain disease
by injecting their brains with fragments of genetic material designed
to switch off unhealthy genes. The research paves the way for similar
therapies in humans, including treating Alzheimer's and Huntington's
diseases. Five-week-old mice with spinocerebellar ataxia - an untreatable,
hereditary neurodegenerative condition similar to Huntington's
- were treated using a gene therapy specifically targeted to eradicate
the diseased genes.
Take a stroll
through the Boston Public Garden, the nation's oldest botanical
garden, and you'll find an array of plaques, monuments, and memorials
honoring famous people of history. Not far from a statue of George
Washington on horseback, there's a tall monument that honors not
a person, but a chemical. This tribute to ether is probably the
world's only monument to a drug. A statue representing the Good
Samaritan tops the structure, which displays the inscription, "There
shall be no more pain."