Intermediate Word:  allay -  (a) superimposed layer  (b) to ease  (c) to seal  (d) soft cotton shift
Difficult Word: - cuncal    (a) wedge-shaped  (b) tending toward procrastination  (c) persistent  (d) gentle

Dropping Nano-Anchor - SpaceDaily  Touch the tines of a tuning fork and it goes silent. Scientists have faced a similar problem trying to harness the strength and conductivity of carbon nanotubes, regarded as material of choice for the next generation of everything from biosensors to pollution-trapping sponges. Leonard Fifield, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, and colleagues at PNNL and the University of Washington say they can now control the deposition of anchors on a carbon nanotube, 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, without muting the nanotube's promising physical properties.    
Water Shortages Are Potential Threat To China's Growth, Stability - SpaceDaily  Left:  Scientists say the water table under some of China's main wheat-growing regions has been dropping by one-and-a-half meters each year. The more the water table drops, the more expensive it becomes for farmers to obtain it, because they have to dig deeper wells.  "I think the worst case scenario is already transpiring in parts of China, where you're getting people who no longer can live in the villages and the towns where they grew up, but are being forced to migrate because of lack of water, or lack of arable land," she said. She says studies predict that, by 2020, there could be 30 million so-called environmental refugees in China 

Robots By Land, Sea, Air - SpaceDaily  Left:  The autonomous Antarctic meteor finder, Nomad, uses artificial intelligence to recognize and classify promising rocks. Credit: Carnegie Mellon.  iRobot produces Roomba, a disc-shaped robotic vacuum cleaner for home use, and PackBot, a small, tank-like battlefield robot that can climb stairs and right itself when it flips over. iRobot has also partnered with John Deere to develop r-Gator, an unmanned jeep that can shuttle supplies to and from combat zones. "In 20 years, we've gone from robots that can hardly maneuver around objects to ones that can navigate in unstructured environments," said Rodney Brooks, director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

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