Scientists Conduct First
Large-Scale Study of Lake Superior
When the ice creaks, groans, and finally breaks up
on Lake Superior next spring, a team of limnologists
and oceanographers will launch a five-year study of
a dramatic near-shore current in the lake. The current
is called the Keweenaw Current because of its proximity
to Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, and is considered
the strongest current of its kind in the world. The
$5.3 million study is funded by the National Science
Foundation (NSF), and is dubbed KITES, for Keweenaw
Interdisciplinary Transport Experiment. In KITES,
researchers from six institutions will conduct one
of the largest studies ever undertaken on Lake Superior.
"KITES marks the first time that such an array of
resources has been applied to Superior. What we learn
from a comprehensive study of Lake Superior will have
direct relevance to our understanding of many of the
physical features of the world's coastal oceans,"
explains program director Larry Clark of NSF's ocean
sciences division, which funded the project.
Twenty NSF-Supported Young Scientists
and Engineers Receive Presidential Award
recently named 20 young National Science Foundation
(NSF)-supported researchers, nine of whom are women,
and eight of whom are engineers, to receive the second
annual Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists
and Engineers. The presidential honor is the highest
bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding young
scientists and engineers who are in the early stages
of their independent research careers. The awards
were presented in a White House ceremony on November
3. Sixty awards were announced overall, spread among
eight federal agencies.
Long-Term Studies of Urban Ecology
The National Science
Foundation (NSF) has awarded grants for two long-term
studies of urban ecology, representing the first attempts
ever made to study the long-term ecology of urban
environments. Through the NSF grants, scientists may
soon have answers to such questions as: Is an urban
existence good for wildlife? What is "natural"? And
do ecological relationships operate in as complex
a manner in urban landscapes as in so-called pristine
settings? The awards will involve research on urban
environments in the cities of Phoenix, Arizona, and
Baltimore, Maryland, through NSF's Long-Term Ecological
Research (LTER) program.
New Technique Allows
Visualization of Events in Living Cells
A major hurdle in understanding
how living cells function has recently been overcome
with the discovery of a simple method that allows
visualization of events in living cells and organisms.
Scientists got their first views of the activities
of living cells through discovery of the green fluorescent
protein (GFP) from the Pacific Northwest jellyfish
Aequorea victoria. Biochemists John Murphy and Clark
Lagarias of the University of California at Berkeley
and Davis, respectively, have conducted research to
extend the range of applications currently available
using so-called fluorescent protein probes.
Photo: Phytofluor fluorescence in Arabidopsis plant seedlings.
Dark grown hy1 (a,b), wild-type (c), and hy1 phyA phyB
(d) seedlings were incubated with PEB and imaged by confocal
microscopy with 10X (a,c,d) and 40x (b) magnification
using the microscope settings as described in the text.
Fluorescence emission from 590 to 610 nm is shown in green
pseudocolor and emission from 670 to 800 nm is shown in