12/18/2005:

Intermediate Word:  alveaolar (a) rooted in the past  (b) mellow (c) pitted, honeycombed  (d) inclined to droop
Difficult Word: -dicksissal - (a)
infant's bib  (b) sparrow-like bird  (c) frilly frock  (d) a thistle-bearing plant

Dog’s DNA deciphered in detail - MSNBC  Left:  Scientists acquired a high-quality DNA "reference sequence" covering nearly 99 percent of the dog genome from a female boxer named Tasha. Then they used that sequence to navigate the genomes of 10 different dog breeds and other related canine species, including the gray wolf and coyote.  Mankind’s best friend for thousands of years is ready to teach new tricks to science. The genetic makeup of the dog — in this case a boxer named Tasha — has been deciphered and should help identify genes that make both dogs and people vulnerable to cancers, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, blindness, deafness and even some psychiatric disorders, scientists said Wednesday. The work is the first virtually complete decoding of the species and illuminates the blueprint that shapes everything from the smallest Chihuahua to the biggest Great Dane. At the DNA level, two randomly chosen dogs differ only about as much as two randomly chosen people yet the variation in appearance, size and behavior in dogs is “just mind-boggling,”  
Huygens Finds A Hostile World On Titan - SpaceDaily  Left:  Panorama of Titan from a height of eight kilometres. The circle shows the region where the space probe "Huygens" landed. The coloured area shows what Titan would look like to an observer standing on its surface. The orange colour comes from the absorption of the short-wave blue and green sunlight in Titan's atmosphere. See larger image. Credits: MPS/ University of Arizona/ESA/NASA.  Conditions on Saturn's moon Titan, with its dense atmosphere, are similar to those on Earth early in our solar system. Pictures and spectral analysis of Titan's surface show a dried-out "river" landscape. Evaluating the data has now shown that methane on Titan exists in solid, liquid, and gas states.   

Exploring Caves With Hopping Microbots - SpaceDaily  In Phase I, we wanted to focus on robotic units that were small, very numerous (hence expendable), largely autonomous, and that had the mobility that was needed for getting into rugged terrains. Based on Dr. Dubowsky's ongoing work with artificial-muscle-activated robotic motion, we came up with the idea of many, many, tiny little spheres, about the size of tennis balls, that essentially hop, almost like Mexican jumping beans. They store up muscle energy, so to speak, and then they boink themselves off in various directions. That's how they move. We've calculated that we could probably pack about a thousand of these guys.      




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