What We’re Reading: Jellyfish Stars, Big Hailstorms, Morphing Tumor Cells

BY Jenny Marder  November 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM EST

Brain Tumors Grow Their Own Blood Supply

sciencenow.jpgDrugs designed to choke off blood to brain tumors often fail, and two new studies published online in the journal Nature help explain why. Tumor cells may be bypassing the drugs by morphing into blood vessels, thus creating their own blood supply. This ScienceNOW article gives us a window into the lab experiments that confirmed this, along with a possible solution for preventing these cells from maturing. (Jocelyn Kaiser, ScienceNOW)

WISE Image Reveals Strange Specimen in Starry Sea: Dying Star Surrounded by Fluorescing Gas, Unusual Rings

sciedaily.jpgScience Daily reports on new images of an oddball dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas and rings. It’s described here as “a glowing jellyfish floating at the bottom of a dark, speckled sea,” and has been captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. (Science Daily)

Cool Rainforests Store More Carbon, Book Finds

washp.jpgJuliet Eilperin writes here about a new book on preserving the world’s cool rainforests, which host scores of species and serve as carbon sinks. The news hook is the run-up to the U.N. Climate Talks in Cancun, Mexico, later this month. The book, Eilperin says, “documents that in 2007, the 250 million acres of temperate and high-latitude forests stored 196 gigatons of carbon — the equivalent of six times the amount of carbon dioxide humans emit each year by burning fossil fuels.” (Juliet Eilperin, Post Carbon blog, The Washington Post)

Storm Upon Storm for South Dakota

nyties.jpgThis story starts with a piece of hail the size of cantaloupe. The article goes on to detail South Dakota’s long run of extreme weather this year — hail storms, tornadoes, blizzards, floods — and likens the string of natural disasters to a plague of grasshoppers. Climate change is indirectly raised as a possible culprit, but no answers here on how it fits in. (A.G. Sulzberger, The New York Times)