Latest research news

August 6, 2002

Unions call for spread of scientific know-how
The government's £1.25 billion science strategy will fail unless know-how is spread through the regions, the Trades Union Congress warned yesterday.
(Financial Times)

Chess piece found from the 5th century
A chess figure found in Albania suggests that the game was played in Europe 600 years earlier than was previously thought. The ivory piece dating from the 5th century was found by members of the Institute of World Archaeology, affiliated to the University of East Anglia.
(Daily Telegraph)

Now it's not safe to stay out of the sun
Medical science has discovered that obeying doctors' orders and forgoing the pleasures of sun worship can be bad for your health. Too little sun can cause vitamin D deficiency, which can result in skeletal deformities in children and muscular weakness and frail bones in adults. Australian professor Caryl Newson found that nearly a quarter of women in her study were vitamin D deficient. (Daily Mail)

Smiles better
Teeth are the key facial feature that lead people to make snap judgements about each other and can strongly influence who gets a job, scientists at Guy's, Kings and St Thomas' Dental Institute and Sheffield Dental School found.

Research team unlocks secret of how cancer spreads
Scientists are a step closer to a breakthrough in the fight against cancer after discovering the molecule that allows the disease to spread. The molecule, known as Src, has been found to loosen the structure of tissues surrounding a tumour, opening the way for cancer cells to multiply. Scientists from Cancer Research UK, based at Glasgow's Beatson Institute, made the discovery in bowel cancer patients.

Wales welcomes back one of world's rarest plants
The Snowdonia Hawkweed, one of the rarest plants in the world, has been rediscovered growing on a mountain slope in Wales, decades after botanists feared it had become extinct. 'We were literally capering about for joy on the mountain ledges like lunatics when we found it,' said Tim Rich, head of vascular plants at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.

Fish nibbled not poisoned
Algae could be eating fish alive off the US coast, say researchers. Their finding challenges a long-held belief that it is toxins produced by the algae that are to blame for tumbling fish populations. (Nature)

Fusion reactor breaks duration record
A powerful plasma discharge has operated for a world record 210 seconds in an experimental French fusion reactor. The demonstration is a significant step towards the long plasma confinement times needed in a practical fusion reactor. (New Scientist)

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