Intermediate Word:  entente (a) aunt by marriage  (b) agreement for cooperative action  (c) pregnant  (d) political speech
Difficult Word:
  sadhu -  (a) dish prepared with rice, legumes, saffron and curry  (b) Hindu rite of self-immolation  (c) pipe bomb  (d) holy Indian ascetic

NASA Unveils FY 2007 Budget Request - SpaceDaily  NASA has unveiled a proposed budget for fiscal year 2007 that strongly promotes the Bush administration’s long-term goals for human space exploration, while requesting modest increases for or postponing the scheduled start of robotic missions. The request also redirects aeronautical research and reinforces the administration’s determination to retire the space shuttle  fleet within five years and extract U.S. involvement in the International Space Station. The agency’s FY07 request totals $16.8 billion, technically a 3.2 percent increase over last year, but that figure does not include emergency supplemental funding to deal with damage to NASA facilities from Hurricane Katrina in September 2005. Compared with last year’s total, including those funds, the increase is only 1 percent. For FY07, NASA is requesting about $3.1 billion for the space exploration initiative.  
Panspermia:- A Radiating Experience - SpaceDaily  In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Gerda Horneck of the German Aerospace Center discusses the effects of space radiation on life. She has spent her career studying the controversial concept of Panspermia – that life could be transported between different planets by meteorites. She has also looked at issues faced by human astronauts as they venture into space and explore other worlds. "Nearly 40 years ago, when I earned my Ph.D. My supervisor wrote the first German book on the origin of life. He asked me in my examination, 'If DNA could be transported from the Earth to another planet, would that be sufficient to start life?' That was the first time I was confronted with this type of question." Since then, astrobiology has become very popular, and I think I have maybe contributed a little bit to that.    

Brain Changes Significantly After Age 18, Says Dartmouth Research - Science Daily  Left: The above image illustrates where the brain matured during the study participants' freshman year. Specifically, changes were observed in the cingulate (blue, yellow), caudate (red), and insula (orange). (Image courtesy of Abigail Baird and Craig Bennett)  Two Dartmouth researchers are one step closer to defining exactly when human maturity sets in. In a study aimed at identifying how and when a person's brain reaches adulthood, the scientists have learned that, anatomically, significant changes in brain structure continue after age 18. The changes were localized to regions of the brain known to integrate emotion and cognition. "The brain of an 18-year-old college freshman is still far from resembling the brain of someone in their mid-twenties," says Bennett. "When do we reach adulthood? It might be much later than we traditionally think."    

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