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  Science News
  January 1, 2004

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Balloonists set new solar target   - BBC  Record-breaking aviators Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard hope to harness the Sun's power to fly round the world. Shaped like a glider, the plane will be black and covered in blue photovoltaic cells. Sixty-metre wings and two tail-mounted engines will enable it to take off unassisted and carry the heavy batteries needed to store energy for night flying. Jones and Piccard are consulting the world's best glider and yacht manufacturers to help them source state-of-the-art composite materials. "The design incorporates a computerised body vest," explains Jones. "If there's stress on part of the wing, the pilot would feel pressure on that side."
Tuberculosis bacteria 'Super-TB' created by scientists  - BBC  A virulent form of tuberculosis was created in the laboratory by experts trying to alter its genetic structure. The mutant form of the bug multiplied more quickly, and was more lethal than its natural counterpart. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, US, had actually been trying to disable genes and make the bacterium less deadly. "This is one of the very few hyper-virulent organisms ever created," said scientist Dr Lisa Morici. It killed laboratory mice within seven months of exposure, while those infected with normal TB survived the experiment.

A TV representation of a Neanderthal

Late Neanderthals 'more like us'  - BBC  Neanderthals were shedding their sturdy physique and evolving in the direction of modern humans just before they disappeared from the fossil record. Newly identified remains from Vindija in Croatia, which date to between 42,000 and 28,000 years ago, are more delicate than "classic" Neanderthals. One controversial explanation is that these Neanderthals were interbreeding with modern humans in the region. "You know, the Vindija material is interesting because it is more gracile than classic Neanderthals. "It suggests some contact between Neanderthals and modern humans but we don't know yet whether there was some interbreeding." Comparisons of mitochondrial DNA from Neanderthals and modern humans have failed to reveal any signs of mixing between the two populations. "They were evolving in the same way because they were part of a larger human species." The evolution of a modern, or slight, physique by humans in Africa is thought to coincide with an emphasis on cultural and technological ways of dealing with everyday tasks that earlier people - including the Neanderthals - solved with brute force. Innovations believed to coincide with the appearance of modern human anatomy include hunting with bows and arrows and the use of harpoons for fishing.

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Biosciences:
1/1/2004: Scientists Discover Way To Streamline Analysis Of Maize Genome... - Science Daily
1/1/2004: Regenerative Chemical Turns Muscle Cells Into Stem Cells
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1/1/2004: Scientists Discover Way To Streamline Analysis Of Maize Genome - Science Daily
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Climate, Environment:
1/1/2004: NZ seabird returns 150 years on  - BBC
1/1/2004: Scientists measuring levels of pollution in human bodies... - Seattle Times
1/1/2004: * The chilly health impact of global warming... - Seattle Times
1/1/2004: Pollution researchers find chemicals in public... - FirstScience
1/1/2004: Some Bush Clean Air Act Changes Blocked... - FirstScience
1/1/2004: The Endangered Species Act... - Washington Post
1/1/2004: Court Blocks U.S. Effort to Relax Pollution Rule  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Soot Is Cited as Big Factor in Global Warming  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Capturing The ‘Big One’: Computer Modeling Of Interacting Faults Near Los Angeles - Science Daily
1/1/2004: Tropical Oceans Were Overheated During Prehistoric Greenhouse Effect - Science Daily
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Computers:
Devices
1/1/2004: Game oddities shine in 2003  - BBC
1/1/2004: Apple may soon sell lower-cost iPods  - CNN
1/1/2004: Snowboarding trio lets gamers take to slopes  - CNN
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Communications
1/1/2004: Broadband so near yet so far  - BBC
1/1/2004: Rush to VoIP turns into slow going - Business Week
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Technology
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PC's
1/1/2004: 'Get me rewrite!' Now, computers can play along  - C/Net
1/1/2004: Smaller, Lighter Power Adaptors Take The Weight Off Laptops - Science Daily
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Internet
1/1/2004: Stamping on spam: Junk e-mail senders targeted by Microsoft's Penny Black project  - BBC
1/1/2004: Why Big Shopping Sites Are Surging - Business Week
1/1/2004: Domain name sells for $1.3 million  - CNN
1/1/2004: The Web's fantasy island  - CNN
1/1/2004: Gloriad rings in researchers  - El. Engr. Times
1/1/2004: Keeping Found Things Found- Web Tools Don't Always Mesh With How People Work - Science Daily
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Miscellaneous
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Energy:
1/1/2004: The fusion energy 'way' hits a roadblock... - FirstScience
1/1/2004: U.S.-Russian Team Removes Uranium From Bulgarian Reactor  - NY Times
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Health:
Cardiovascular
1/1/2004: A peculiar feeling...A look at the mysterious workings of the heart  - BBC
1/1/2004: Potential Genetic Links Discovered Between Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease - Science Daily
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Cancer  
1/1/2004: Chemo-Stem Cell Combo Fights Bone Cancer - ABC
1/1/2004: Newly Approved Therapy Successfully Targets Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - Science Daily
1/1/2004: Candy Canes, Sugarplums Or Licorice For Christmas- Only One Might Stop Cancer - Science Daily
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Infectious
1/1/2004: U.K. Lab Confirms Mad Cow Case in U.S. - ABC
1/1/2004: 'Flu Shots' Sold to Georgia Didn't Exist - ABC
1/1/2004: CDC: Flu Activity Widespread in 45 States - ABC
1/1/2004: 'Super-TB' created by scientists   - BBC
1/1/2004: Expert Warned That Mad Cow Was Imminent  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Mad Cow Case May Bring More Meat Testing  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Invalid Vaccine Doses Would Cost Millions To Fix
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1/1/2004: Preliminary Report Suggests Combination Therapy May Help Treat SARS
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Non-Infectious
1/1/2004: Take Our Latest Quiz - ABC
1/1/2004: Focus on Allergies - ABC
1/1/2004: U Of MN Study First To Detect Tobacco-specific Carcinogens In Non-smokers In Public Setting - Science Daily
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Miscellaneous
1/1/2004: Long Winter's Nap
1/1/2004: Shielding Your Family from Carbon Monoxide - ABC
1/1/2004: Study: Sugar Can Ease McArdle's Disease - ABC
1/1/2004: Research Team Uncovers New Compound In Human Stomach - Science Daily
1/1/2004: New Device To Help Premature Babies - Science Daily
1/1/2004: UK Scientitsts Create Medical And Food Safety Tool From Virus - Science Daily
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History, Anthropology:
1/1/2004: Late Neanderthals 'more like us'   - BBC
1/1/2004: Cosmic Log: Holy history revisited - MSNBC
1/1/2004: Renaissance glitterati to be unearthed - MSNBC
1/1/2004: Medical Exams Set for Medicis of Old  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Paleontologists Discover Pterosaur Fossils In Sahara - Science Daily
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Miscellaneous:
1/1/2004: Season of Miracles - ABC
1/1/2004: More and more tech jobs head overseas  - C/Net
1/1/2004: Michael Jackson Web site ignites debate  - CNN
1/1/2004: Saudis seize bomb-making CDs  - CNN
1/1/2004: Cyber cafes connect soldiers with home this holiday  - CNN
1/1/2004: Organic-beef producers expecting demand to soar - Seattle Times
1/1/2004: Vatican clothiers have lean, hungry look - Seattle Times
1/1/2004: China to curb growth in select sectors
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Neurosciences:
1/1/2004: University launches course for people to psychoanalyse pets  - BBC
1/1/2004: Feeling blue:The causes and symptoms of depression  - BBC
1/1/2004: Research With Sea Slugs and Yeast May Explain How Long-Term Memories Are Stored  - NY Times
1/1/2004: Study Expands Understanding Of Alcoholic Memory Disorder - Science Daily
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Physics and Astronomy:
1/1/2004: Balloonists set new solar target  - BBC
1/1/2004: Joint sun mission set for launch
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1/1/2004: 2003: The year in space and astronomy - New Scientist
1/1/2004: Mission Captures Galaxies Galore
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1/1/2004: Einstein Makes Extra Dimensions Toe The Line
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1/1/2004: NASA Releases Dazzling Images From New Space Telescope
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1/1/2004: 50-Year-Old Magnetic Mystery Solved
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1/1/2004: Three Dusty Beauties: New Portraits Of Spiral Galaxies NGC 613, NGC 1792 And NGC 3627
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Prolongevity
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Robotics:
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Space:
1/1/2004: Second setback for British mission to Mars... - FirstScience
1/1/2004: The top space images of 2003
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1/1/2004: 2003: The year in space - MSNBC
1/1/2004: Hopes fade as Beagle 2 stays silent - New Scientist
1/1/2004: No Signal From Mars; British Disappointed, but Won't Give Up  - NY Times
1/1/2004: You Can't Tell A Rock By Its Rind: How A Tiny Abrasion Tool Will Help Reveal Geology Of Mars - Science Daily
1/1/2004: Ion Engine Design Passes Key NASA Test - Science Daily
1/1/2004: Emergency Responders To Benefit From New Bio-Containment Systems - Science Daily
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Technology:
1/1/2004: Plan to Track Diseased Cattle Intensifies - ABC
1/1/2004: Saving Lives With High-Tech Record Keeping - ABC
1/1/2004: Paper cut leads to pipeline clue  - BBC
1/1/2004: Tech trends get realistic  - C/Net
1/1/2004: Experts Solve Christmas Turkey Teaser - Science Daily
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