Latest research news

July 16, 2002

Cash for scientific research will double
The science budget will increase by 10 per cent a year over the next three years. About £100 million is earmarked to pay higher research grants to postgraduates. (The Independent, Financial Times, The Guardian)

British marine life under threat
Britain’s marine life is at risk of losing some of its most beautiful species and habitats, claims a report published by The Wildlife Trust today. Pollution, oil spills and over-intensive fishing are the main culprits, the report says. (The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent)

Summer is here at last, or is it?
The longed-for British summer has arrived and in a series of sunny bulletins, forecasters promised yesterday that it was definitely here to stay. However, unorthodox methods used by Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist at Weather Action, conclude that Britons should make the most of the good weather while it last. He predicts that next week will bring “sharp thunderstorms and probably some local flooding”. (The Times)

Britain helps recreate ancient tombs of Egypt
British academics including Aiden Dobson of Bristol University are acting as consultants on a project to replicate in minute detail ancient tombs and monuments of Egypt because the originals are too remote or too delicate to cope with the hordes of tourist who descend on them each year. (The Times)

Women’s sleeping prowess key to longevity
Women may live longer than men because they tend to sleep more soundly, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, Pennsylvania, have found. (The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent)

Breathing causes chaos
Gases may mix more thoroughly in our airways than had been thought, researchers have found. The discovery could overturn ideas about how airborne particles cause respiratory diseases, and how viruses and bacteria are transmitted in air. (Nature)

'Peer-to-peer' internet identity scheme unveiled
The first specifications for a new universal internet identity scheme have been unveiled by a consortium of US companies. The scheme is aimed at making it easy to shop, do business and communicate online without having to enter personal information or even a password at every site. But the project will also make protecting users' vital information considerably more complicated. (New Scientist)
Foot-and-mouth report backs vaccination
Vaccination should be a key part of tackling any future foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the UK, says a new Royal Society report on the scientific issues underpinning the disastrous 2001 epidemic. The recommendation will please the critics who were horrified at the UK government's decision to stamp out the epidemic through slaughter alone. Six million animals were killed and an estimated £6 billion was spent on the slaughter, compensation and clean-up work. (New Scientist)

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