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June 21, 2007  Science@Berkeley Lab Web Feed

S@BL Suppositions

Our recent reader survey confirms what we already knew, that we've got an audience of very bright people who are committed to first-class science communication — and want more of it!

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Beware the Indoor Air

Dust mites, mold, and tobacco smoke are known agents that exacerbate children's allergies indoors, and more may be joining the list. It's not too soon to beware of common products like composite wood materials that emit formaldehyde, flexible plastics that emit "plasticizers" — and even a fresh coat of paint.

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Remote-Control Neurons

Using only flashes of light, a scientist controls a subject's neural activity and behavior. It's not science fiction; rather it's a technique with enormous potential for studying the brain. To date, only zebrafish have been equipped with remote-control neurons, but mice, rats, and other animals may not be far behind.

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Genes and Obesity

An epidemic of obesity is sweeping developed nations; there's no question that overeating and lack of exercise are the main culprits. But that's not all: scientists have found rare gene variations that also contribute to obesity, even if the how and why — and to what extent — remain a mystery.

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Run Tiny, Run Deep

A carbon nanotube steered by an atomic force microscope is the first "nanoneedle" that can inject a substance into a cell with nanoscale accuracy and no apparent harm to the cell. The trick is the linker molecule fastening the cargo to the nanotube, which lets go inside the cell.

  A S@BL Special: Teaching Astronomy in Africa  
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Hands-On Universe (HOU) recently conducted its first internet teleconference workshop for a dozen teachers at Kenya High School, a national residency school for girls. HOU is about to help high school students in the Republic of Kenya get their hands on the stars.
  Onscreen Bioimaging  
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In Gulliverís Travels our hero visits tiny Lilliputians, huge Brobdingnagians, and all sizes in between. Bioscientists think that's a neat idea. Download video lectures on the "Gulliver Initiative: Multiscale Bioimaging from Molecules to Organisms."
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  The Particle Sprint  
The newest accelerators and free-electron lasers will have to be accurate to within billionths of a billionth of a second. Fiber optics will be essential to their master clocks.
Laser-wakefield accelerators emit powerful transition radiation at a trillion cycles per second (THz). An ingenious grad student used THz radiation to diagnose the accelerator beam.
  S@BL Selects  
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Check out the pdfs on file in S@BL Selects. If you don't see the article you need, ask us to make it for you.
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