1/2/2004:

Intermediate Word: 
marzipan  (a) almond candy  (b) baking pan with molded shapes  (c) caked grease  (d) type of hardpan
Difficult Word: - oscitancy - (a) tendency to switch positions easily  (b) orbital precession  (c) publicly supporting one candidate while privately supporting another  (d) drowsiness


Artist's impression of a Mars base, Esa Off this world: How humans will survive when they live on Mars  - BBC  Left:  No one goes outside unless they are in a suit.  We need to learn about Mars. As the most life-friendly extraterrestrial planet, Mars is the Rosetta Stone for letting us know whether the phenomenon of life is something unique to the Earth, or prevalent in the Universe. The nearest planet with all the resources required for technological civilization, Mars will also be the decisive testing ground that will determine whether humanity can expand from its globe of origin to enjoy the unlimited prospects open to a spacefaring species. Devon Island is located circa 75 degrees north in Canada's Nunavut Territory.
Researchers with the Treebot (Image: CENS) Robotic Tarzan: Linux wi-fi robot swings into action for forest research  - BBC  Left:  The Treebot is the first of its kind.  A fearless mobile robot is helping scientists monitor environmental changes in forests. The hi-tech Tarzan of the robot world, nicknamed Treebot, is the first of its kind to combine networked sensors, a webcam, and a wireless net link. It is solar-powered and moves up and down special cables to take samples and measurements for vital analysis. Treebot has been developed by scientists at the US Centre for Embedded Network Sensing in California. "One of our objectives is to make use of distributed sensors to acquire information about the environment," he said. "It is very important in the biology community to understand the interaction between the atmosphere and the forest environment." But 90% of all interaction between the environment and atmospheric conditions happens high up in the forest canopy, and it is a challenge taking detailed measurements and monitoring conditions over a period of time. The Treebot, which in scientific terms is a node in a Networked Infomechanical System (Nims), helps by being stealthy enough to travel through the forest canopy along specially-constructed cabling, night and day.

Image: Normal and misfolded proteins

Mad cow diseases still baffle scientists - MSNBC  Left: A diagram shows how a normal protein molecule, at left, can become misfolded as a prion, at right.  Mad cow disease, which officials say has been detected for the first time in the United States, still mystifies scientists because it is not caused by a virus, bacteria or other microbes, does not alert the immune system and can jump from species to species. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, had been found in a single Holstein cow in Washington state. People can get a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease known as vCJD from eating beef products infected by BSE.

 




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