7/29/2004:

Intermediate Word: 
mufti
  (a) flowing robe  (b) blind caller to prayer in a mosque  (c)   (d) civilian dress
Difficult Word: - uperose  petaining (a) medical operation  (b) wheeling and dealing  (c) control  (d) great labor

Tiny Hot Spot Found on City-Sized Star - Space.com  Astronomers have detected a hot spot about the size of a football field on a city-sized star that is 500 light-years away. It is the smallest physical structure found beyond the solar system, astronomers involved in the work said, though another recent study claimed to find beach-ball-sized structures in the picturesque Crab Pulsar. The star is called Geminga. It is a neutron star about 20 kms. in diameter, with about 1.5 times the mass of the Sun.
Silicon-Based Photodetector Is Sensitive To Ultraviolet Light  - SpaceDaily  Left:  As will be reported in the August issue of the journal Photonics Technology Letters, the technique behind silicon sensing of ultraviolet light is compatible with conventional integrated circuit technology. Conveniently, both the sensor and the computer could be incorporated on the same chip.  By depositing thin films of silicon nanoparticles on silicon substrates, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have fabricated a photodetector sensitive to ultraviolet light. Silicon-based ultraviolet sensors could prove very handy in military, security and commercial applications. Other applications include ultraviolet-based detectors for missile-warning systems, airborne biological agents, and suntan monitors..

Lab-On-a-Chip: Sampling Mars - SpaceDaily  Left:  The basic process of proposed lab-on-a-chip. Water drawn through a collected soil sample, extracts amino acids (e.g. phenylalanine), delivering them to the surface-enhanced Raman active micro-channel. Illumination by a laser beam generates scattered light, which is collected by the spectrometer. A filter removes any light that is the same color as the laser beam, letting only the light that has changed color (Raman-shifted light) pass through. The diffraction grating separates the light by color (wavelength). Interferometers can be used for the same purpose. The different wavelengths are collected by a charged couple device (CCD) camera. A computer creates a graph showing the intensity of light at each wavelength. Credit: Real-Time Analyzer.  The idea is to measure biosignatures of present or past life in extraterrestrial settings. The lab-on-a-chip will provide the means to extract these signatures from soil or water samples. AM: Would the measurement be elemental, chemical or biological analysis? SF: The signatures of life we are analyzing for are biochemicals, such as the amino or nucleic acids, as well as peptides and nucleotides. These biochemicals could be fragments of proteins or DNA representing the remnants of life, as might be found in martian soil, or building blocks of life representing formative life, as might be found in Europa's ice covered ocean. AM: How will your lab-on-a-chip perform these measurements? SF: In the case of measurements on Mars, a drop of water would be added to a collected soil sample, an actuator would then draw approximately 100 nanoliters of this solution into our lab-on-a-chip. Then it would first pass through a filter to remove particulate matter, then pass through a capillary containing a material to separate the amino acids from other organics, if they are present, and then deliver the pristine amino acids to our surface-enhanced Raman-active sol-gel, where it would be measured by a Raman spectrometer. The sol-gels serve two purposes, they immobilize the silver nanoparticles that enhance Raman scattering, and they separate the amino acids as they pass through, to simplify and enhance identification..





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