3/30/2005:

Intermediate Word:  quirt (a) grain measure (12.8 liters)  (b) short-handled, braided riding crop  (c) vessel used to churn butter  (d) sea coelenterate
Difficult Word:
  aleph null -  (a) any empty set  (b) code used to countermand a Defcon alert  (c) the denumberably-infinite set of numbers consisting of all the integers and all the rationals  (d) the universe at the instant of the Big Bang

Tackle your cholesterol early  - Nature  Think you're too young to worry about cholesterol? Think again. Many people could drastically reduce their future risk of heart disease by lowering their cholesterol levels from as early as their 20s. That's the bottom line of a study showing that people born with low cholesterol are protected from heart problems. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a molecule that transports cholesterol in the blood, are strongly associated with heart disease. Doctors already know that reducing LDL with exercise or drugs can reduce a person's risk of heart attack. But it has been harder to find out whether heart health could be improved further by lowering LDL from a young age. A fraction of the population are genetically programmed to have low LDL levels, because they carry particular versions of a gene called PCSK9 that help the liver to eliminate LDL cholesterol. The greatest effect of the PCSK9 gene was seen in black subjects: those with a cholesterol-lowering form of the gene had LDL levels 28% below those of subjects with a normal version, and were almost 90% less likely to develop coronary heart disease over the 15 years of the study.
Report of X Prize Backer Ansari's Space Tourist Plans Not Official, Firm Says - Space.com  A Russian report claiming that U.S. entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari may become the first female space tourist to the International Space Station (ISS) is far from official, according to the only company that brokers private trips to the orbital laboratory Ansari and her family have a track record in private space ventures. The family backed the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million suborbital spaceflight contest for private teams, with a multimillion-dollar contribution in 2004.     

Ideas On Gas-Giant Planet Formation Take Shape - SpaceDaily  Rocky planets such as Earth and Mars are born when small particles particles smash together to form larger, planet-sized clusters in a planet-forming disk, but researchers are less sure about how gas-giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn form. Is core accretion--the process that creates their smaller, terrestrial cousins--responsible? Or could an alternate model known as disk instability--in which the planet-forming disk itself actually fragments into a number of planet-sized clumps--be at work? Could both be possible under different circumstances? Recent work from the Carnegie Institution explores both possibilities.




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