5/4/2005:

Intermediate Word:  terrazo (a) roofed terrace supported by columns  (b) linguini, with tuna fish, in a cream sauce  (c) polished, marble-chip tile flooring  (d) Italian plaza 
Difficult Word:
  macula lutea  (a) spot on the corpus luteus  (b) ceremony in the Ludi Magister  (c) lentigo  (d) center of fovea

Fish Healthy fats 'halve risk of Motor Neuron Disease'  - BBC  Motor Neuron Disease (MND) affects about 5,000 people in the UK and is most common among people aged 50 to 70. The highest daily intake of fats - more than 32 g a day - was associated with a 60% lower risk of developing ALS compared with the lowest daily intake of less than 25 g. In addition, a daily vitamin E intake of between 18 and 22 mg was associated with a 60% lower risk of developing ALS compared with the lowest daily intake of less than 18 mg. The results were true even after taking account of other influential factors. No strong associations were found for any of the other nutrients.   
NASA Sees Hidden Structure Of Neutron Star In Starquake - Space.com   Scientists using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer have estimated the depth of the crust on a neutron star, the densest object known in the universe. The crust, they say, is close to a mile deep and so tightly packed that a teaspoon of this material would weigh about 10 million tons on Earth. The measurement, the first of its kind, came courtesy of a massive explosion on a neutron star in December 2004. Vibrations from the explosion revealed details about the star's composition. The technique is analogous to seismology, the study of seismic waves from earthquakes and explosions that reveal the structure of the Earth's crust and interior.    

Evolution gets busy in the urban lab - New Scientist  "IT'S the wild west of evolution and ecology," says Joel Brown, an ecologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Evolution is operating with a vengeance in the urban environment as animals struggle to adapt to novel conditions and cope with "evolutionary illusions". An animal is said to be in an evolutionary illusion or trap when it does something it has evolved to do, but at the wrong time or in the wrong place. The concept may help explain why so many squirrels get squashed on city streets, says Brown. For millions of years, squirrels have evolved to cross open spaces as quickly as possible, without wasting time watching for predators that they would not be able to escape anyway. "Ordinarily, that was a very sensible thing to do," he says. "But as an urban squirrel crossing four lanes of traffic, that's a bad idea." Though ecologists used to dismiss urban areas as unworthy of study, they have recently begun to realise that cities provide an ideal theatre in which to see behaviour evolving at a pace rarely seen in the wild. City environments tend to be less variable than the countryside. Urban heat islands mean that insects can be active longer or throughout the year, and human activity provides urban wildlife with more stable, predictable sources of food and water.




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