New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 27, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Thursday, June 27,1985 3AScientists very excited over animal using light for food
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The discovery of a one-celled organism that uses light for food — the first animal known to do so — could lead to understanding of how light can be converted to other energy and to new food sources, a researcher says.
“Scientists don’t often dance in the streets, but there seems to be very high interest and lots of discussion on” the discovery by Pill-Soon Song, said Paul Ixjach, president of the American Society of Photobiology.
Until Song’s discovery, only plants and bacteria were known to photosynthesize — a process in which light is
ROME (AP) — Papal assailant Mehmet Ali Agca refused to testify today at the trial of seven men he has accused of plotting to kill Pope John Paul II.
The 27-year-old Turk did not show up, as is his right, and wrote the court from his jail cell that he wanted to “think about” whether to continue testifying.
In 12 days on the stand, Agca has given erratic and contradictory testimony.
The indictments brought against three Bulgarians and four Turks for complicity in the May 13, 1981 shooting of the pope were largely based on Agca’s statements to investigators.
Agca, although he is the state’s star witness, is also a defendant. He is charged with illegally importing the pistol he used to shoot John Paul.
lifted by judge
GALVESTON (AP) - Convicted murderer Chester liee Wicker came one step closer to his execution Wednesday when a federal judge lifted a stay issued to him in February.
The February stay was granted a week before the 37-year-old inmate was scheduled to die by lethal injection for the 1980 strangulation of Suzanne Clydene Knuth, 23, of Beaumont.
Ms. Knuth’s body was found in a shallow grave on a Port Bolivar beach on April 4, 1980, two weeks after being abducted from a Beaumont shopping center parking lot.
The February- stay was granted to allow the court to consider an application of a writ of habeus corpus sought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
ACLU attorneys Charlotte Harris and Bruce Griffith contended hypnotically-enhanced testimony should not have been admissable at the trial. The attorneys also said the exclusion of a prospective juror, the failure to investigate the opinions of two expert witnesses and the admission of a written statement by Wicker were reasons for applying for the writ.
Wicker’s attorneys can appeal Gibson’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Elderly woman shoots at trucks
RANGER, Texas (AP) — Several truck drivers traveling on Interstate 20 Wednesday night had to dodge bullets allegedly fired from an elderly woman’s vehicle, authorities said.
Jessie Winkler, 72, of Fort Worth, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawfully carrying a weapon, said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Treece. She was being held in the Eastland County Jail.
Winkler apparently was angry with some truck drivers when she allegedly began firing shots at them about 8 p.m., Treece said. Several truck drivers radioed for help saying someone driving in a car was firing shots at them on the interstate.
No injuries were reported Wednesday night.
Assault charges against Winkler are pending, Treece said. A .25 automatic pistol was found empty of shells in the woman’s underwear after law enforcement officers arrested her.
Man hijacks bus
TYIJ2R (AP) — A man wielding a knife hijacked a Railways bus as it was leaving this East Texas town forcing the driver to take him to Louisiana, where he escaped in a car, authorities said.
The bus driver, Eugene Allen, 38, Tyler, said the hijacking occurred about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was driving out of the bus depot.
Allen said the hijacker came walking toward him from the back of the bus, pulled a knife out and demanded the driver to go to Mount Enterprise, Texas, and then east on U.S. Highway 84.
There were no other passengers on
changed to energy, Loach said Wednesday.
But Song found evidence of photosynthesis in a blue-green, trumpet-shaped protozoa called Stentor coeruleus — a creature about as long as a thread is wide, and looks to the naked eye like a speck of dust in water.
Song, a chemistry professor at Texas Tech, said the discovery will help understand how light can be changed into a useful form of energy in animal cells and this can be compared to the way the same thing is done by plants and bacteria.
“The other possible application is somewhat far
fetched,” he said in an interview at the society’s annual meeting here.
It may be possible to make other organisms able to use light as food — either by implanting the granules of stentorin, the pigment which absorbed the light, or through genetic engineering, he said.
The scientists found that stentorin could turn light into other energy by itself in a test tube.
Protozoa are a major step up the evolutionary chain from bacteria, which are considered neither plants nor animals.
Stentor uses a different photosynthesis than either plants or animals, said Ixiach, a professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology at Northwestern University.
Song said he and other Texas Tech scientists made the discovery 18 months ago while studying how Stentor backpedals to get away from light. “We certainly did not expect synthesis by light,” he said.
The 1*6 years between the discovery and the announcement were spent making sure the creature really does turn light to energy, he explained.
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