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Developments to Watch


-- Polymer chemists usually have to be satisfied with making materials that are reactive only in a few places. In the Aug. 25 Science, however, Cornell University researchers led by Jean M.J. Frechet describe how they build polymers with dozens of reaction points. These polymers are shaped like trees, not chains. The extra reactive sites should produce plastics, coatings, and lubricants with a wider variety of properties.

-- A tomato a day keeps heart attacks away? Could be. Scientists at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa believe tomatoes may contain antioxidants similar to those in red wine. These compounds reduce cholesterol oxidation, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, by up to 70%.

-- Cooling molded aluminum parts has always been a hit-or-miss proposition. It can take weeks of experiments to find a procedure that doesn't hurt the part's performance. But now, computer simulations can determine the best quenching methods before the first part is fabricated. The new software was developed by Issam Mudawar, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University.EDITED BY OTIS PORT

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