Latest research news

June 18, 2002

Scientists beam up laser beam
Teleportation – the disembodied transfer of an object from one place to another – has taken a significant step from Star Trek fiction to reality. An international research team based at the Australian National Laboratory in Canberra announced yesterday that it had teleported information between two laser beams. Ping Koy Lam, the project leader, said they had in effect “disassembled a laser and recreated an exact replica a metre away”.
( Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily
Telegraph, Daily Mail )

Medical schools face staff crisis
Medical schools are facing a crisis just as the government is increasing by half the number of students, the Academy of Medical Sciences has warned. The academy said one in five lecturer posts was unfilled.
( Financial Times, The Times )

Shortage of resources for high-risk pregnancies
Hundreds of women with high-risk pregnancies are transferred between hospitals each year because of an acute shortage of intensive-care cots for premature and sick babies, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. During one three-month period, 258 pregnant women had to be moved to another hospital because specialist centres did not have adequate resources to treat them.
( The Independent, The Times )

Breast cancer gene identified
Japanese researchers have identified a gene that may prevent breast cancer, a discovery that could lead to tablets or injections to ward off the disease.
( The Independent )

Young smokers’ cardiac risk
Young people who smoke start to suffer significant damage to their hearts and blood vessels at a much earlier age than previously thought, according to Japanese research. A new scanning technique shows that smokers aged 18 to 35 showed signs of damage associated with coronary heart disease even though they appeared healthy on standard cardiac diagnosis tests.
( The Times )

Sex doesn’t sell
Sex and violence on television are bad news for advertisers, according to researchers at Iowa State University, US. Viewers are less likely to concentrate during commercial breaks when they are watching shows with adult content.
( Daily Mail )

Killer flu genes survived 'eradication'
Genetic building-blocks of a strain of avian influenza that jumped the species to infect people in 1997 are still circulating in chickens in Hong Kong, new research shows. The discovery will boost fears of a future outbreak in humans.  (New Scientist)

Sewage casts pox on reefs
Human sewage is behind a devastating coral disease, say US researchers.  Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) was once the commonest in the Caribbean. Over the past decade more than 90% has died. The finding supports calls to tighten water-quality regulations in the Caribbean. (Nature)

New molecule detects lead
A molecule that glows turquoise when it sticks to lead could be a new detector for the poisonous metal pollutant. It could help monitor lead levels in water supplies, or track the molecule's effects on the body. (Nature)

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