A chance observation of high-energy electrons emanating from a tiny region of space where the sun and Earth’s magnetic fields intertwine provides the first solid evidence that a process called magnetic reconnection accelerates electrons to near the speed of light in the Earth’s magnetosphere and perhaps throughout the universe where magnetic fields entangle.
Bad news, guys. Native male leopard frogs throughout the nation’s Corn Belt are being feminized by an herbicide, atrazine, used extensively to kill weeds on the country’s leading export crops, corn and soybeans, according to a study at the University of California at Berkeley. The Berkeley biologists also report male frogs raised in laboratory tanks contaminated with atrazine develop egg cells in their testes and essentially turn into hermaphrodites.
A cousin to the anti-anxiety drug Valium has been shown in mice to reduce some of the symptoms associated with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. “The best available therapies for lupus haven’t changed for many, many years,” says U-M’s Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., one of the lead authors on the study. “It’s a disease where the mechanisms that normally prevent the immune system from attacking components of one’s own body are defective. Because we do not yet understand what triggers lupus, it has been very difficult to develop lupus-specific therapies.”