Latest research news

February 19, 2002

New UK laws to suppress academic research
Laws being introduced by the UK government would allow it to see academic papers before they are published and give it the power to suppress them. It could also prevent the use of emails between foreign colleagues. (Independent)

Nuclear waste decision provokes storm of protest
US President George W. Bush's decision to turn Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, into one of the world's biggest underground radioactive waste dumps has provoked a storm of protest from politicians and environmentalists. (New Scientist)

Food supplements found to reverse ageing process
Substances found in many food supplements could reverse the ageing process. Two common additives to dietary supplements gave rats a new lease of life, improved their memory and added an energetic spark that was previously missing, said Bruce Ames, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. (Independent, Guardian, Times)

Economists predict Winter Olympics medals table
The Winter Olympics are underway, but is it possible to predict the results? Two Harvard economists think they can, by basing their forecasts entirely on a country's GDP, political situation, population, latitude and climate. This might sound far-fetched, but in 2000 they were around 96 per cent accurate in their predictions for the Sydney Olympics medal table. (New Scientist)

Experts piece together dinosaur with a big grin
A dinosaur with a permanent smile and jaws packed with 1,000 teeth has been unearthed in an African desert by scientists who describe it as one of the most bizarre animals ever to walk on four legs.  (Independent, Guardian, Times)

Pollution dries up rain
Fumes and soot are withering forests and drying up tropical rains. Air pollution's impact on local weather could outstrip that of greenhouse gases, atmospheric scientists have warned. (Nature)

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