11/12/2005:

Intermediate Word:  idiom (a) regional dialect or vocabulary  (b) silly remark  (c) personal item  (d) private observation or interpretation
Difficult Word: - estaminet 
(a) cash drawer  (b) small café  (c) clicker similar to a castanet  (d) postal relay station

Plant oil 'acts like cancer drug'  - BBC   LeftNearly a third of cancers carry the Her-2/neu receptor.  Scientists have pinpointed how evening primrose oil fights breast tumours. It is down to a substance in the oil called gamma-linolenic acid that acts on the same receptor in tumours as the powerful breast cancer drug Herceptin. Unlike Herceptin, which blocks the Her-2/neu receptor, GLA interferes with the gene carrying the DNA code needed to make the receptor work. Studies have shown that the drug Herceptin (traztuzumab) cuts the risk of tumours returning in women with early stage Her-2/neu-positive breast cancer by 50%. 
Glimmer of first stars spied  - Nature  "This is probably the first direct indication of their existence," says Alexander Kashlinsky, an astronomer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and a member of the team that made the discovery. These earliest stars are known as 'population III' (after young population I stars that look like our Sun, and population II stars, which are older and more rare). They are thought to have formed less than 200 million years after the Big Bang, the fireball of creation that astronomers believe heralded the beginning of our Universe some 13.7 billion years ago. Although they are too distant and old to be imaged directly, their signature should be left behind in the cosmic infrared background radiation, which Kashlinsky describes as, "the repository of emissions for all stellar populations that have ever existed in the Universe".   

 Mathematicians Get A Handle On Centuries Old Shape - Science Daily  It has been almost 230 years since French general and mathematician Jean Meusnier's study of soap films -- the same kind used by children today to blow bubbles -- led to one of the fundamental mathematical examples in geometric optimization. Meusnier showed that one of nature's simplest geometric figures -- an ordinary two-dimensional plane -- could be twisted infinitely into a helicoid, a shape that has the delicate balance everywhere of a soap film. Meusnier offered mathematical proof that the helicoid -- which resembles a parking garage ramp -- was a "minimal" surface, meaning that each part of the surface had the same shape as a curved soap film. In new findings published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of mathematicians from Rice, Stanford and Indiana universities offers the first proof since Meusnier's for a new type of minimal surface that meets the same criteria of being an infinitely twisted version of a fundamentally simple shape. Mathematicians Matthias Weber of Indiana, David Hoffman of Stanford and Michael Wolf of Rice call the new surface a "genus one helicoid." From far away, the surface looks much like Meusnier's helicoid. However, when untwisted, the new shape differs from the flat plane of Meusnier's untwisted helicoid in a key way: It has a curved handle, much like the handle one might find on the flat lid of a kitchen pot.




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