New Five-Quarked Baryon State

Strong evidence for a new five-quark baryon state (known as a pentaquark) has been reported by a team of physicists known as the CLAS Collaboration working at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in Virginia. Link

Long-term stress appears to damage caregivers’ immune systems

Taking care of chronically ill loved ones over long periods stresses caregivers, as everyone knows, but a new study provides strong new evidence that such continuing stress boosts the risk of age-related diseases by prematurely aging caregivers’ immune systems. Levels of a damaging compound known as a proinflammatory cytokine not only increased considerably faster among those taking care of ailing spouses but also continued to increase faster for years after the spouses died.

Scientist sees evidence of 'onions' in space

Scientists may have peeled away another layer of mystery about materials floating in deep space. Tiny multilayered balls called “carbon onions,” produced in laboratory studies, appear to have the same light-absorption characteristics as dust particles in the regions between the stars. “It’s the strongest evidence yet that cosmic dust has a multilayered onionlike carbon structure,” said Manish Chhowalla, assistant professor of ceramic and materials engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Chhowalla used transmission electron microscopes to study radiation absorption of the laboratory-produced onions and found characteristics virtually identical to those reported by astrophysicists studying dust in deep space.

U.S. Carcinogens Report Lists Estrogen Therapy, Ultraviolet, Wood Dust

The federal government today published its biennial Report on Carcinogens, adding steroidal estrogens used in estrogen replacement therapy and oral contraceptives to its official list of “known” human carcinogens. This and 15 other new listings bring the total of substances in the report, “known” or “reasonably anticipated” to pose a cancer risk, to 228. Among the other new additions: wood dust and ultraviolet light.

Researchers identify decision-making area of the brain

New research has provided the first neuro-imaging evidence that the brain’s frontal lobes play a critical role in planning and choosing actions. The research team has found that a small region in the frontal lobe of the human brain is selectively activated when an individual intends to make a particular action and not another. These findings help explain why individuals with frontal lobe damage sometimes act impulsively and often have problems making decisions.