- Cosmic maser: In the first direct observation of the process, astronomers have discovered that the light from a pulsar stimulates the emission of microwave photons in a hydroxyl cloud.
Science, July 1
- Drugs meant to starve tumors of blood have been disappointing, perhaps because stress from lack of blood stimulates the cancer cell to produce a survival protein called GRP78, which blocks cell death.
Cancer Research, July 1
- Space shuttle blastoffs can seed the creation over Antarctica of polar mesospheric clouds, which form above the stratosphere. The formation provides clues about the global transport processes in the atmosphere.
Geophysical Research Letters, July 6
- The region of the macaque’s brain that controls jaw movements is a direct homologue of Broca’s area, the brain part for speech in people. The finding contradicts the theory that speech evolved from novel neural structures specific to humans.
Nature, June 30
This article was originally published with the title "Brief Points" in Scientific American 293, 3, 36 (September 2005)