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Objects possibly water



Published: Mon, July 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Objects possibly water

Scientists have discovered what appears to be a swarm of icy comets orbiting a dying star.

The research, reported in the current issue of Nature, is the first evidence that the environment around other stars may contain water, an essential ingredient for known forms of life.

NASA's Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite observed a cloud of water vapor around an aging giant star known as CW Leonis. Scientists led by Gary Melnick of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics believe the water vapor is the result of icy comets being evaporated as the star grows larger and hotter.

Rat withdrawal worsens

Cocaine cravings in addicted rats may get worse rather than better as the period of withdrawal lengthens.

Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore trained rats to push levers to receive an injection of cocaine, and then withdrew the drug. They observed the rats' response to cues associated with the cocaine, such as the lever -- even though it no longer provided the cocaine reward.

Rats were deprived of the drug for a period of between one and 60 days, and those that had been off the drug the longest tried the hardest to get more cocaine by pushing the lever more times.




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