3/17/2005:

Intermediate Word:  disabuse (a) to free from misconception  (b) to comfort after abuse  (c) to add insult to injury  (d) to unfurl
Difficult Word:
  lac -  (a) thin, elongated shell  (b) very large number  (c) lake  (d) relatively large but thin gemstone

Genes determine coffee heart risk  - BBC  Left:  'Heavy' coffee drinkers are those who drink around four cups a day  Drinking large amounts of coffee each day could increase the risk of heart attack for people with a particular genetic profile, a study has suggested. Four thousand people in Costa Rica were monitored in the Journal of the American Medical Association study. Those who were slow at breaking down caffeine were 64% more likely to suffer a heart attack. Carriers of the 'slow' form of the gene who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 36% increased risk of heart attack, compared to those who drank less than one cup a day. 
Image: Taleyarkhan Complaints cast doubt on ‘bubble fusion’ - MSNBC  Left:  Rusi Taleyarkhan, a professor of nuclear engineering at Purdue University, has led research purporting to show evidence of nuclear fusion reactions in a tabletop experiment. Taleyarkhan is shown here with his experiment in a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he conducted the research before coming to Purdue.  Purdue University is investigating allegations that a scientist thwarted his colleagues’ efforts to test his claims of producing nuclear fusion in tabletop experiments, even going so far as to remove high-tech equipment from a shared lab In March 2002, a team at Oak Ridge led by Taleyarkhan published findings in the journal Science that excited researchers who dream of harnessing controllable nuclear fusion — the process that lights the stars — as an unlimited energy source. But the findings were controversial at the outset. Two Oak Ridge researchers took the unusual step of publishing dissenting research saying that Taleyarkhan’s work was inaccurate. In his paper, Taleyarkhan reported producing what he said appeared to be nuclear fusion by bombarding tiny dissolved bubbles in an acetone-based solution with high-intensity sound waves. He claimed that the bubbles rapidly expanded and then collapsed, producing a brief flash of light and superhigh temperatures — a phenomenon called sonoluminescence. He also made the controversial claim that his team detected atomic particles and isotopes, suggesting that nuclear fusion may have occurred. In the Nature article, Jevremovic and Lefteri Tsoukalas, who heads Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering, said Taleyarkhan has refused to provide raw data he claims to have obtained in repeated experiments confirming signs of fusion.   

Record set for hottest temperature on Earth - MSNBC  Left:  Because of the high voltage involved, the Z machine is submerged in oil and water. This image shows lightning arcs beneath the liquid surface.    One thing that puzzles scientists is that the high temperature was achieved after the plasma’s ions should have been losing energy and cooling. Also, when the high temperature was achieved, the Z machine was releasing more energy than was originally put in, something that usually occurs only in nuclear reactions. Sandia consultant Malcolm Haines theorizes that some unknown energy source is involved, which is providing the machine with an extra jolt of energy just as the plasma ions are beginning to slow down..




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