Nanogirl News

Gina Miller (
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 18:56:39 -0700

Nanogirl news~

*New nanocomposite material combines virtues of cellulose, paper and
plastics Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a one-step process for creating thermoplastic nanocomposites from cellulose fibers.

*Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy Linked To Lower IQ For Child
Children born to mothers with untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy score lower on IQ tests than children of healthy mothers, according to a study conducted by Dr. James Haddow and partially funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

the latest issue of Science magazine, released Aug. 20, Kansas State University chemist David Wetzel and co-author Steven LeVine of the University of Kansas Medical Center describe advances in the rapidly emerging technology, infrared microspectroscopy, and its increasing applications for biological and other research.

*Wired's website was cracked

Original site: Cracked site:

ABC T.V.'s official site was cracked
Original site:
What the hackers left behind:

*Slashdot, the "News For Nerds. Stuff That Matters." website has been
acquired by


Parents of newborns rejoice! Thereís a new fabric under development that kills odors by itself. Researchers are experimenting with a long-lasting compound that kills pathogenic and odor-causing bacteria, not to mention a few viruses to boot. The development was announced this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. And if the smart fabric begins to wear out of its smell-killing properties, you can recharge it by rinsing it in bleach and water. Clothing manufacturers are eyeing it carefully, especially since the process to put it in fabric isnít much different than the permanent press finish that leaves clothes wrinkle free. This means clothing manufacturers wouldnít have to change anything significant on their assembly line. You might see this special fabric as early as six months from now, although the heavy-duty applications such as for use in hospitals, need more time.


When the first images from the world's most powerful X-ray telescope are released this week, no one will await them with greater anticipation than the scientist who's spent 22 years helping make those images possible. Dr. Martin Weisskopf of NASA has spent every day of his life for the last two decades working on the Chandra X-ray Observatory project. And he didnít go in blindly Ė when he joined the project in 1977, he took out a piece of paper and wrote his estimate when the telescope would launch: the year 2000. The Observatory is a satellite in orbit that will, for the first time, let scientists see x-ray images of Earth and space. Itís expected in the future, these new images might help us discover the structure and evolution of the universe. (T Moffit)

*NASA launched a 60-story-high balloon to the upper fringes of Earth's
atmosphere to collect precious particles of some of the rarest stuff in the universe, antimatter.

*Federal funds should be used to speed research and development of human
embryonic stem cells for a variety of potential treatments and cures, says a preliminary report from the nation's largest scientific group on the controversial issue. rch+.shtml

*Fluorescent monkeys may shed a valuable scientific light (can you believe
green, glowing monekys!),2107,84968-134265-934871-0,00.html

*Genomica, organizes gene data. Software for biologists and geneticists.
Genomica was founded in 1996 by Thomas G. Marr, who holds doctorates in biology and computer science, and who has been involved since 1985 in the Human Genome Project.

*The World Wide Web, widely thought of as an endless cornucopia of choice,
appears to be shrinking. It is not shrinking in the total number of Websites being published - that is rising faster than ever - but in the number of Websites surfers visit and how long they spend there.

*Scotland scientists search for laziness in our genes.

*A race to the edge of the solar system and into interstellar space could
come out of a contract awarded recently by NASA for the University of Washington to develop an innovative space propulsion concept. The Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion - M2P2 - would use the solar wind to push on a small imitation of the Earth's magnetosphere and accelerate the spacecraft to overtake the Pioneers and Voyagers and become the first manmade object to leave the solar system.

*A little stretch of DNA can turn promiscuous, antisocial animals into
friendly and faithful mates, scientists said on Wednesday.

*MSNBC's story called "Surviving the greenhouse" (carbon emissions warming
the planet)

*Scientists have taken pictures that show the smelling part of the brain in

*(Article in New Scientist Planet) A dissident group of astronomers is
claiming that the Universe is not the smooth, homogeneous place that Einstein envisaged. If they're right, says Marcus Chown, the foundations of cosmology could crumble to dust.

*Cells' damage control results in multiple mutations
Scientists have long known that ultraviolet radiation in large enough doses is not a good thing. Among other things, it can cause genetic mutations, the altering of cells in ways that are injurious to an organism. But researchers have never quite understood how this process worked exactly, not even at the level of a common, and much-studied, bacterium: Escherichia coli. Zap E. coli with a sufficient amount of UV radiation (found in the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible violet light and X rays) and the exposed bacteria begins to produce cellular mutations at an alarming rate. The natural presumption has always been that UV rays were the culprit, but new research by molecular biologists at the [ University of Southern California ] suggests the villain may lie within. While radiation is still the stimulus, studies by Myron F. Goodman and colleagues indicate that most of the mutations resulting in exposed E. coli are self-inflicted wounds created by a highly error- prone system of emergency DNA copying. It's not that E. coli doesn't know what to do when exposed to UV radiation. When placed in such situations, the bacteria's response is to launch a highly developed emergency defense mechanism that repairs damage almost immediately, often within an hour of exposure. "The cell has an extraordinary ability to repair and restore damaged DNA," said Goodman. "So the mystery was, if these repair systems were so efficient, why did ultraviolet light do so much damage? Why did we see so many mutations?" Part of Goodman's breakthrough was revealing that the bacteria's cellular DNA-replication mechanism became inaccurate only when a complex of unusual proteins called umuC and umuD were present. These proteins, generally locked up tight within DNA, are released only under certain stresses, such as excessive UV radiation. Goodman described it as the bacteria's "SOS response." "What everyone assumed," said Goodman "was that these umu proteins somehow inhibited, or interfered with, the DNA copying enzymes." In other words, they behaved like microscopic monkey wrenches. But after months of painstaking lab work, Goodman and colleagues discovered that the umu protein complex was actually a new type of DNA polymerase, an enzyme that combines various nucleotides (basically sugar compounds) to form nucleic acid, the stuff of life. The umu protein compounds were highly efficient copiers of DNA, producing new versions 100 times more effectively than other, better- known DNA polymerases. But while they boosted quantity, they lacked in quality. Goodman's polymerase, dubbed "pol V," makes DNA copying mistakes about 100 times more often than other polymerases. Not only does it reproduce errors caused by ultraviolet light in existing DNA, it introduces mistakes of its own. "What this seems to be is a last-ditch cell defense," said Goodman. "Faced with a choice between possible mutation and death, the cell chooses possible mutation." The evolutionary consequences of such an act are obvious. Exposure to a new stress like ultraviolet light forces the bacteria to adapt through mutation. Some mutations may prove bad, even deadly, to individual organisms, but the species on the whole benefits by becoming better suited to a new environment. Goodman's research may seem a bit esoteric, but it has real-world applications in better understanding of the processes of aging and cancer. More specifically, it might help explain why human B-cells, part of the body's immune system, are notoriously mutation prone. Of course, it will probably be a while before such lab work is translated into new treatments or therapies. In the meantime, wear sunscreen.

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
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"Nanotechnology: solutions for the future."