Intermediate Word:  flume (a) water chute  (b) type of grain harvesting flail  (c) noxious vapor  (d) waterborne flotsam and jetsam 
Difficult Word:
  silymarin -  (a) milk thistle extract  (b) court jester  (c) class of organosilicates analogous to proteints  (d) self-cleaning, high-throughput chemical strainer

Planetary Protection Study Group Mulls Life On Venus - Space.com  A special study group has advised NASA that Venus is far too hellish of a world for life to exist on or below the planet’s surface. Furthermore, while the potential for life in the clouds of Venus can’t be ruled out, the expert panel gauged this possibility as extremely low. The assessment concluded that “no significant risks” exist in contaminating Venus with Earth organisms on any future landers or atmospheric probes, including balloons.     
29.9 nanometre-wide lines etched on a circuit compared to 90 nanometre-wide lines (IBM) IBM packs more into microchips  - BBC  Researchers at IBMsay they have been able to etch circuits on silicon wafers that are a third of the width of those produced using existing technology. The methods used by the scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, uses a method called deep-ultraviolet optical lithography. This is essentially the method used to etch circuits on chips. The IBM team said they were able to "print" circuits that are 29.9 nanometres wide. "This result is the strongest evidence to date that the industry may have at least seven years of breathing room before any radical changes in chip-making techniques would be needed." 

Solar future Israeli scientist pursues his vision to generate energy  - BBC  Using solar power energy, zinc oxide was heated to 1,200 C. The temperature splits the ore, releasing oxygen and creating gaseous zinc, which is then condensed into powder. When the zinc powder reacts with water, it produces hydrogen that could power a car. The chemical reaction produces no greenhouse gases and the zinc oxide can be recycled into zincand the process starts all over again.. Prof Karni says that the research demonstrated that the process is achievable, but problems remain. For every kilogram of hydrogen gas produced, you would need 60 kg of zinc, which is not feasible on a large scale, he insists.  

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