Latest research news

March 6, 2002

Drug firms face £10m claim
More than 100 women who claimed they suffered potentially lethal blood clots after taking contraceptive pills brought a £10 million compensation claim to the High Court yesterday. (Guardian, Financial Times, Times)

Historian Roy Porter dies
Roy Porter, former professor of the social history of medicine at the Wellcome Institute, died yesterday at the age of 55. The cause of his death has not yet been established. (Guardian)

Fears over mobile phone masts allayed
Health concerns over mobile phone masts were allayed yesterday with the publication of a scientific study into emission levels. (Financial Times)

Nuclear fusion breakthrough
US and Russian scientists last night claimed to have carried out controlled nuclear fusion on a laboratory bench. (Financial Times)

Sex help fails to curb teen pregnancy
Access to contraception does not reduce teenage pregnancy, accord to new research published in Journal of Health Economics . (Times)   

Arm span measures malnutrition
Malnutrition could soon be diagnosed from arm span, suggests Suraiya Ismail of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Poor nutrition is normally assessed using body mass index but ageing makes the spine compress and curve so that height can no longer be measured accurately. The measurement should help target aid to the developing world's ageing population. (Nature)

Key Alzheimer's vaccine trial abandoned
Trials of what was the most promising vaccine are dropped by Elan, after the number of patients developing brain inflammation rises to 15. (New Scientist)

One-way street planned for heat
European physicists have sketched out a blueprint for a valve that lets heat pass only one way. The proposed material conducts heat flowing in one direction, but also behaves as an insulator, stopping it going the other way. (Nature)   

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