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  February 20, 2005

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Speeding star will escape Milky Way  - Nature  It's a hard life being the fastest star in the galactic suburbs. One minute you're waltzing around your companion, the next you're flung outwards by a black hole so fiercely that you're all set to be the first star to leave the Milky Way. "We have never before seen a star moving fast enough to completely escape the confines of our Galaxy," says Warren Brown, part of the team at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who spotted the 700-kilometre-per-second star. The star is now in the outer reaches of the Galaxy, almost 200,000 light years from Earth, and is moving directly away from the Galactic Centre. The scientists believe that it has been on its present course for less than 80 million years; it may be 80 million more before it clears the edge of the Galaxy and hurtles into intergalactic space. The previous record-holder was seen travelling at a mere 490 kilometres per second
'Heart-renewing' cells discovered  - Nature  Left:  Until now, scientists believed that heart cells were non-renewable.  The heart contains cells that can divide and mature after birth, which might allow the organ to regenerate itself. This surprise discovery raises the possibility of transplanting these cells into hearts crippled by heart attack to mend the damage. A heart attack kills off many cells in the heart. These are replaced by scar tissue, made up of connective-tissue cells, called fibroblasts. As a result, parts of the heart become thin and fail to beat properly. "These are very rare cells, which accounts for why they have not yet been reported," explains Chien. Only a few hundred progenitor cells remain in the heart after birth, and this number decreases with age, the researchers say. In the lab, several hundred progenitor cells taken from animals after birth produced millions of cardiac-muscle cells. The progenitor cells are found mainly in the heart's pumping chambers, the team reports in Nature1. Unlike stem cells, which have a seemingly unlimited capacity for self-renewal, progenitor cells undergo a finite number of divisions. But both types of cells have potential for use in repairing heart damage.

Did stardust trigger snowball Earth?   - Nature  Our planet may have frozen over in the past as it drifted though giant dust clouds in space. A group of US and Russian researchers argue that interstellar dust might have accumulated in Earth's atmosphere and cooled the planet, tipping the climate towards a 'snowball Earth' event in which ice sheets keep growing until they cover almost the entire globe. But the idea does not persuade some geologists. It conflicts with the geological record. There seem to have been dramatic changes in the Earth's carbon cycle up to a million years before known snowball Earth events, which the dust-cloud hypothesis is at a loss to explain.
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Alzheimer's Disease:

2/20/2005: Pollution Can Convert Airborne Iron Into Food For Phytoplankton - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Novel "Canary On A Chip" Sensor Measures Tiny Changes In Cell Volume
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Do lobsters feel pain? Debate heats up - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Lobster colour has quantum cause  - Nature
2/20/2005: Fetal DNA extracted from mother's blood  - Nature
2/20/2005: Human stem cell bank doubles its lines - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Observatory- Don't Try This Trick at Home  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Museum Won't Clone Tasmanian Tiger  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Prairie Dogs Bane to Ranchers Existence  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Study- Pollution May Affect Babies' Genes  - NY Times

Climate, Environment:
2/20/2005: Did stardust trigger snowball Earth?   - Nature
2/20/2005: Bush holds the line on Kyoto as debate grows in US public
2/20/2005: Global warming: Mountains face tsunami risk
2/20/2005: Warning of the toad: Climate change to accelerate extinction threat - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Climate change and the Kyoto Protocol: A timeline - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Factfile on Kyoto Protocol - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Global warming: "Tragedy of the Commons" revisited - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Threat Of Ice Dams Returns As Himalayas Melt - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Findings By Scripps Scientists Cast New Light On Undersea Volcanoes - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Kyoto Protocol set to take effect  - BBC
2/20/2005: The heat is on: Pressure grows on President Bush to take climate change action  - BBC
2/20/2005: Climate pact takes effect: Will it matter? - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Satellites offer new gauge of ocean health - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Japan Set to Enact Global Warming Pact  - NY Times

2/20/2005: Getting touchy-feely with gamers  - C/Net
2/20/2005: A Sports Illustrated swimsuit video game?  - C/Net

2/20/2005: Cheaper chip for mobiles
  - BBC
2/20/2005: Mobile bosses' upbeat note
  - BBC
2/20/2005: Telecom: To Buy or to Build?
 - Business Week
2/20/2005: Comcast Says It Will Offer Phone Service
  - NY Times
2/20/2005: 3G Linux phone allows video calling, Web browsing
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Cell phones in Cannes
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Handicapping the FCC
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Motorola unveils new ultra-thin RAZR models
  - CNN
2/20/2005: Deals to turn phones into mobile jukeboxes
 - New Scientist


2/20/2005: Tech & You - Business Week

2/20/2005: IE breaks free from Windows  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Hide and seek on the Web
2/20/2005: MS AntiSpyware Will be Free  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Experts predict Firefox spyware will show up this year  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Move Over Internet Explorer - Make Way for New Netscape with Anti-Phishing Features  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Touch Technology Comes of Age Online  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Gone from Google
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Click fraud
  - CNN
2/20/2005: Microsoft plans new browser version
  - CNN

2/20/2005: DVD copy protection strengthened  - BBC
2/20/2005: Millions buy MP3 players in US  - BBC
2/20/2005: Apple attacked over sources row  - BBC
2/20/2005: Keeping tabs on Linux  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Desktop Linux cracks 'freak mainstream'  - C/Net
2/20/2005: "Novell Linux Desktop 9: Grabbing a Part of the Enterprise"  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Gates and other communists  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Users find loophole in subscription service  - CNN
2/20/2005: Big business of Internet gambling  - CNN


2/20/2005: 'Heart-renewing' cells discovered  - Nature
2/20/2005: Sexism 'damaging heart care'  - BBC
2/20/2005: Dental Health: Flossing Can Be a String to the Heart  - NY Times

2/20/2005: Hope of saliva tests for cancers  - BBC

2/20/2005: Grant will help research flu bug  - BBC
2/20/2005: Targeting TB: Are the Tories right to propose health checks for immigrants?  - BBC
2/20/2005: Grant will help research flu bug  - BBC
2/20/2005: How scientists have turned the humble potato into a vaccine  - BBC
2/20/2005: Hospital patients given TB alert  - BBC
2/20/2005: Potatoes pack a punch against hepatitis B  - Nature
2/20/2005: Potato-based vaccine success comes too late
 - New Scientist

2/20/2005: Fresh fears over arthritis drugs  - BBC

2/20/2005: Asbestos ruling supports payouts  - BBC
2/20/2005: Asbestos lottery: 'It's like carrying around a time-bomb in my lungs'  - BBC
2/20/2005: US to strengthen drug regulation  - BBC
2/20/2005: Wine 'can protect women's hearts'  - BBC
2/20/2005: Making babies: Do you know how many days a month a woman's fertile?  - BBC
2/20/2005: Fitness 1930s-style: Pilates, dancercise, aerobics... how the work-out began  - BBC
2/20/2005: The Claim- Drinking Alcohol With a Meal Prevents Food Poisoning  - NY Times
2/20/2005: When It Comes to Severe Pain, Doctors Still Have Much to Learn  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Vital Signs: Disparities: Short Shrift for Little Girls
  - NY Times

History, Anthropology:
2/20/2005: Royal Roman ruins go back to age of myth - MSNBC
2/20/2005: 12, 000 - Year - Old Bones Found in Kansas  - NY Times

2/20/2005: Carnegie Mellon, United Defense To Provide TUGV's for US Marine Corps - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: US Spy Agencies Review Iran Data - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Analysis: A Third Option For Iran - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Analysis: Big Brother Or Virtual Shield - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Engineers Develop Biowarfare Sensing Device Tailored For Mass Production - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Key to intelligence questioned  - BBC
2/20/2005: Position Vacant: A Savior for HP - Business Week
2/20/2005: CEO Recruiting Advice for HP - Business Week
2/20/2005: Missile defense system flunks test  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Digital cable adds 'Dating on Demand'  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Europe Falls in Love with E-Dating - Business Week
2/20/2005: Game of love  - BBC
2/20/2005: Mobile fingers UK's thickest armed robber  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Could techie brains match firefighter brawn-
2/20/2005: Web Exclusive: Crunching Monster's Numbers  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Day Jobs and Sticking to Them  - C/Net
2/20/2005: How to Be Prepared for a Layoff  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Clues point to da Vinci - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Cosmic Log: The science of love - MSNBC
2/20/2005: U.S. eases visa rules for science students - MSNBC
2/20/2005: US missile defence test flounders again
 - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Turning On the Lights Where Electricity Is Rare
  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Letters
  - NY Times

2/20/2005: Maths skills survive linguistic damage  - Nature

Physics and Astronomy:
2/20/2005: Speeding star will escape Milky Way  - Nature
2/20/2005: Scientists Find Flaw In Quantum Dot Construction
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Black holes bend light the 'wrong' way
  - Nature

2/20/2005: Inventor preserves self to witness immortality  - CNN
2/20/2005: Never Say Die: Live Forever
  - Wired News
2/20/2005: Working to Avoid Eternal Rest
 - Business Week
2/20/2005: Just How Old Can He Go?
 - Business Week
2/20/2005: Inventor preserves self to witness immortality
  - CNN


2/20/2005: Safe On Mars: Part II - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Space tether to send satellites soaring
 - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Scientists Find Deeper Meaning for Moon Rumblings
  - NY Times
2/20/2005: Life on Mars? Maybe not.
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Shuttle Flight Set for May 15, Even as 8 Hurdles Remain
  - NY Times

2/20/2005: Digital Water Marks Thieves  - C/Net


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