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Bubble machine produces a surprise

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            TODAY'S CONSUMER - Friday, October 13, 2006
                       "News You Can Use"


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        Technique boosts protein size for analysis

ITHACA, N.Y., -- U.S. scientists have increased by four-
fold the size of proteins that can be analyzed to those 
containing more than 2,000 amino acids. Called a "top-
down" approach, the extended technique developed at 
Cornell University uses a mass spectrometer, which 
measures the masses of ions or charged particles. Re-
searchers break the protein into pieces and weigh both 
the masses of the whole protein and of the individual 
pieces. By matching the weight of the whole protein and 
its pieces with those of known protein sequences in a 
database, they can identify the protein. Any differences 
in mass with known proteins can help researchers also 
find where and how proteins have been modified in cells.
"When you isolate a protein from a mixture, your first 
problem is to know which one it is," said Fred McLafferty, 
professor emeritus of chemistry and chemical biology and 
senior author of the paper. "Mass spectrometry character-
izes a protein by measuring the masses produced from it."
McLafferty says the new technique provides a far more 
efficient way to break down proteins inside the mass 
spectrometer. The study appears in the Oct. 6 issue of 
the journal Science.

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              Bubble machine produces a surprise

CHICAGO, - U.S. physicists have discovered a new class of 
behavior in air bubbles rising from an underwater nozzle.
The University of Chicago scientists say they found the 
bubbles surprisingly tear apart in sharp jerks instead of 
pinching off at a point. That, the scientist said, is help-
ing them understand the mathematical explosions they en-
counter in the equations that govern the physics of fluids.
"These are the equations of our lives," said Wendy Zhang, 
assistant professor of physics, noting the equations 
govern everything from the bubbles of carbonated beverages 
to the venting of gas from deep oceanic fissures. They 
even apply to such large-scale processes such as exploding 
stars, she said. Chicago graduate student Nathan Keim and 
his co-authors Zhang, Sidney Nagel and Peder Moller, 
documented their discovery using high-speed digital photo-
graphy. Keim's experiment built on previous work that 
Zhang, Nagel and others published in the journal Science 
in 2003. Until then, scientists believed all fluids broke 
apart in much the same way. They believed the cross-
section of the pinching neck of any drop or bubble would 
become circular until it broke, regardless of its initial 
conditions The research appears in the journal Physical 
Review Letters.

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          Too many U.S. kids lead stressful lives

PHILADELPHIA, -- The United States has strayed so far from 
the Victorian ideal of childhood that pediatricians should 
include "stress checks" in child exams, a report says. A 
new report by the Illinois-based American Academy of 
Pediatrics claims that overbooking of enrichment activities 
is impacting children's mental as well as physical health, 
USA Today reported. Lead author of the academy report, Dr. 
Kenneth Ginsburg of Philadelphia, says some U.S. children 
have no time for imaginative free play and are taken from 
one adult-organized activity to another. "A lot of pedia-
tricians are seeing stress in children with this kind of 
schedule," Ginsburg told USA Today. "It's not true for all 
kids, but it is a serious problem." The report urges par-
ents to tailor activities to their child's temperament 
rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses. Psycholo-
gist David Elkind, whose book "The Hurried Child," pro-
vided similar advice 25 years ago, applauds the new 
report. "They're late," says Elkind "but better late than 
never."

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Copyright 2006 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International.

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