7/10/2004:

Intermediate Word: 
ennui
  (a) boredom  (b) suspense  (c) enthusiasm  (d) recklessness
Difficult Word: - oeuvre  (a) egg  (b) effort  (c) switch from one mode to another  (d) sum of an artist's life work

Could we defeat the menopause?  - Nature  Cells that are capable of making new eggs have been isolated from adult mouse ovaries. The finding supports an earlier suggestion that mammal ovaries could produce eggs throughout life, and may shatter the dogma that women are born with a finite supply. The researcher involved has even identified a molecule that boosts the activity of these cells and causes mice to develop twice as many egg follicles as normal. If it works in humans, such a chemical could provide a revolutionary treatment for women with a low egg-count, such as cancer survivors or those nearing menopause. He has identified a gene in the mice that appears to regulate the stem cells' activity.
Nanowires get connected  - Nature  Scientists can already make minuscule silicon wires that are just 10 nanometres wide, or 10,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper. Lieber's team covered one of these nanowires with a temporary mask that obscured alternating sections. Then they blasted the wire with nickel vapour, which transformed the uncovered sections into nickel silicide (see Diagram). The resulting structure was equivalent to a string of transistors, all pre-connected by conducting nickel silicide, the researchers report in this week's Nature1. "We're trying to make a programmable series of literally thousands of these transistors." Lieber thinks they will find niches that exploit their extreme sensitivity.

Multivitamins slow HIV  - Nature  A simple multivitamin pill may slow the advance of HIV, say US doctors. If so, patients in developing countries will be able to delay switching to more expensive drugs. The suggestion emerged from a clinical trial involving nearly 1,080 pregnant women with HIV in Tanzania. Those who swallowed a daily dose of vitamins B, C and E for up to five years were around 50% less likely to progress to full-blown AIDS than those in a comparison group, the researchers report today in the New England Journal of Medicine1. Lead author Wafaie Fawzi of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, believes that multivitamins should be given to developing-world HIV patients in the early stages of the disease. Costing around $15 a person each year, this would be a relatively cheap way to improve their quality of life, he says. The supplements could also postpone the point at which the disease worsens and patients need to be placed on antiretroviral therapy, which is more potent but costs around $300 to $400 for each patient annually. Patients are not usually placed on antiretroviral drugs until the disease worsens because of their side-effects.





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