Latest research news

May 14, 2002

Universities boost economy
University enterprise is fuelling an "economic renaissance" that is spreading from the larger, technology-driven institutions through the UK, says a report published today by Universities UK. (Guardian)

Export ban on Henry VIII papers
Baroness Blackstone, the arts minister, has placed a temporary export ban on an unpublished manuscript relating to the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to give the nation a chance to acquire the historic treatise. (Times, Telegraph, Independent)

Bees take sting out of explosives
US defence scientists are training honey bees to abandon roses and nectar and hunt instead for tiny traces of 2,4-dinitroluene, a telltale ingredient in TNT and other explosives. (Guardian, Times, Telegraph)

Red wine can lower colds risk
"There is something in red wine that protects from colds," according to Miguel Hernan, of Harvard School of Public Health in the US. His study, conducted with Spanish scientists, found that the more red wine people drank, the greater the protection. (Times)

What children really hate is avocados
A survey of 200 families conducted by University College London dieticians has found avocados to be top of children's hate list. Scientists are dismayed because avocados are the healthiest of fruits. (Mail)

Scientist cuts down superheroes
Spiderman and Superman would have struggled to save the world, according to Jim Kakalion, professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. He shows that the powers of the superheroes, supposedly grounded in science, are not only implausible, but inaccurate. (Times)

Artificial pancreas provides automatic treatment
A prototype artificial pancreas for patients with type 1 diabetes is about to undergo its first major clinical trial. The device could put an end to regular glucose testing and insulin injections, and could prevent life-threatening irregularities in blood glucose levels, say its creators at City University, London. (New Scientist)

Odds on aliens
If there are other planets like Earth out there, at least one in three probably harbours life, say two physicists in Australia. If life can arise on planets unlike ours then its more likely even than that. (Nature)

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