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  November 7, 1997: Highlights

Current Events

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.    More...

Twenty NSF-Supported Young Scientists
and Engineers Receive Presidential Award

President Clinton 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.    More...

NSF Funds First
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.    More...

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.    More...

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 red pseudocolor.
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