U. team goes to Russia

This fall, a group of University of Utah researchers will be studying radiation releases at the Mayak Production Association in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia's southern Ural Mountains.

It was the first nuclear weapons production facility in Russia and is the most badly contaminated such plant in the country.

The team will be led by Dr. Scott Miller of the university's Department of Radiology and Dr. David M. Slaughter, director of the U.'s Center for Excellence in Nuclear Technology, Engineering and Re-search.

The study is designed to determine the types and doses of radiation that hit about 20,000 nuclear workers at the facility between 1948 and the mid-1970s, said university spokesman Mark Saal. Scientists and students will be given access to both the facility and the city, Ozersk, that was built to support it.

The Mayak Production Association has a history of environmental disasters and the Chelyabinsk region is thought to be one of the most polluted places on Earth, Saal said.

Technology radio report

The Utah Information Technologies Association and 570 K-News have teamed to produce a technology report scheduled to air weekdays at 7:20 a.m. The report will cover information technology trends, news and opportunities in Utah's information technology industry.

Koop initiative

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop has launched a health-care information and services Web site, (www.drkoop.com), with interactive community features.

The health resources section covers more than 50 health and wellness topics with content from a number of sources. Another feature is information about thousands of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including drug reactions and interactions.

The interactive community features section allows visitors to interact with others online to discuss health-related topics and develop online mutual support groups.

Frequent guest speakers and medical experts will come online, beginning with Koop and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, medical correspondent for ABC, who will speak on consumer empowerment and health care.

The site also includes a directory of more than 1,000 other health-care sites.

Firestorm of creation

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a photograph of young, ultra-bright stars in a star nebula within the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small irregular satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. They are probably the youngest massive stars ever seen in the "cloud," said Don Savage of NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"The nebula offers a unique opportunity for a close-up glimpse of the `firestorm' accompanying the birth of extremely massive stars, each blazing with the brilliance of 300,000 of our suns," he said. "Such galactic fireworks were much more common bil-lions of years ago in the early universe, when most star formation took place."

Dramatic shapes are sculpted in the nebula's wall of glowing gases by violent stellar winds and shock waves, according to NASA. Mo-ham-mad Heydari-Malayeri of the Paris Observatory, head of the international team of astronomers who made the discovery, said the photo shows a turbulent environment typical of young star formation.

Correction

A distance was typed incorrectly in last week's article about globular star clusters. The spectacular cluster M13 is 23,000 light-years away, not 23 light-years.