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August 5, 2005
Absent-minded, nutty, humorless, and mad — scientists put up with a lot of typecasting. No matter what the motivation, however, the stories in this issue of Science@Berkeley Lab are evidence that the spirit of inquiry continually creates the world anew.
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It's a Gas (That's the Problem)

Before petroleum-sputtering vehicles go the way of the horse and buggy, cars will have to carry enough hydrogen to travel hundreds of miles — and still leave enough room for luggage. The Department of Energy is backing a research dream team to find new materials for storing hydrogen safely and compactly.
  In Series  
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Continuing a series on the status of breast cancer research at Berkeley Lab, drawing on presentations made at DOD's Era of Hope research conference in Philadelphia. This installment: what makes a cancer cell immortal.
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  Stellar Blowout  
Gamma-ray bursts have been called the "largest bangs in the universe since the big one," and new evidence suggests — even if it can't quite prove — that the collapsar model is right at least some of the time: seen from just the right angle, the collapse of a giant naked star results in a blast of gamma rays.
To catch exploding stars, the Nearby Supernova Factory processes and compares telescope images of the night sky at the rate of 25,000 every 24 hours. When software glitches clogged the data pipeline, a new tool named NetLogger identified the problem and made the fix.
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Greasing the Wind

Turbulence disrupts the flow of air and should put a brake on accelerating tropical storm winds. Yet a hurricane's winds reach speeds up to eight times faster than turbulence should allow. The secret: spray swept from cresting waves is a lubricant, reducing friction between air and water a thousand times.
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The Stardust of Yesterday

STARDUST is heading for Earth bearing a load of comet pieces and pristine interstellar dust. To investigate these first-ever samples from the primitive solar system, scientists will use a unique beamline at the Advanced Light Source that's already compiling a database of carbonaceous meteorites to chart the solar system's chemical history.