12/25/2004:

Intermediate Word:  penurious -  (a) having excellent handwriting  (b) confining  (c) thin  (d) needy
Difficult Word: - ecru   (a)
to apply a weather-protective coating   (b) to recognize for courageous performance  (c) governmental control of commodity prices  (d) to adjust for optimum performance

Research Points To New Theory Driving Evolutionary Changes - SpaceDaily  The researchers found that in a dog gene involved in determining muzzle length, the number of times specific tandem repeat units were repeated could be used as a predictor of what the dog looked like - long muzzle or short. Mutations in tandem repeat sequences occur much more frequently than single point mutations - up to 100,000 times as often - and are much more likely to result in significant morphological changes, or changes in physical appearance, in an organism, said Dr. Fondon, an evolutionary biologist. Mutations in these repeat sequences are responsible for such incremental changes."  
Tired woman Infection link to heart attacks  - BBC  Infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia and cystitis raised the risk of a heart attack fivefold, and of a stroke threefold, for the period a patient was ill. The likelihood of having either then decreased gradually over the following weeks. He told the BBC News website: "After the age of 50, we all have some degree of furring up of the arteries, but most of the time it sits there fairly harmlessly. However, during infection stable deposits become unstable and may break off, causing the blockages that may lead to a heart attack or a stroke." "I would stress this is only a slight increase."  

Honda's Asimo robot

Humanoid robot learns how to run  - BBC  Left:  Asimo is now taller, fatter and faster.  The Japanese firm is a leader in developing two-legged robots and the new, improved Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) can now run, find his way around obstacles as well as interact with people. "The aim is to develop a robot that can help people in their daily lives," said a Honda spokesman. The "run" he is now capable of is perhaps not quite up to Olympic star Kelly Holmes' standard. At 3km/h, it is closer to a leisurely jog. Its makers claim that it is almost four times as fast as Sony's Qrio, which became the first robot to run last year. Asimo has improved in other ways too, increasing his walking speed, from 1.6km/h to 2.5km, growing 10cm to 130cm and putting on 2kg in weight. While he may not quite be ready for yoga, he does have more freedom of movement, being able to twist his hips and bend his wrists, thumbs and neck. Asimo can:  Recognize moving objects; Follow movements; Greet people;  Recognize and respond to 50 Japanese phrases;  Come when beckoned; and  Walk up and down stairs.  Robots can fulfil serious functions in society and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe predicts that the worldwide market for industrial robots will swell from 81,000 units in 2003 to 106,000 in 2007. Technology developed for Asimo could be used in the automobile industry as electronics increasingly take over.





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