Latest research news

August 20, 2002

Cyber heroine set to push science for girls
Digital entertainment company XPT has won £90,000 to create a “funky cyber heroine” studying physics at university to get more girls interested in science. The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts funded the online project as part of the government’s science year.

Harvard retains ‘most selective’ title
Harvard has retained its place as the most selective of the Ivy League institutions in the US this year. It took only 10.5 per cent of applicants for its four-year undergraduate courses starting in September, the lowest amount in its history.

Celebrity chairs
Is the title of professor as prestigious as it was, or are universities awarding it inappropriately to big names in order to attract students?

GP shortage despite high number in training
Thousands of GPs are refusing to take on new patients because of the shortage of family doctors and the growing workload, despite government claims that there are more GPs in the National Health Service and in training than ever before.
(Daily Telegraph)

Aids vaccine claim
Researchers at Maryland University’s Institute of Virology claim to have a vaccine against Aids that has produced encouraging results in tests on monkeys.

Honey is bee’s knees for your heart
Honey may be as good at fighting heart disease as some fruits and vegetables, researchers from the University of Illinois have found.
(Daily Telegraph, Times, Independent)

Mushrooms may fight cancer
Exotic fungi such as shiitake and oyster mushrooms could provide a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer, according to analysis of research in the Far East.
(Daily Telegraph, Guardian)

Kilometre-tall power tower approved
Plans for a one-kilometre tall "Solar Tower" that would provide clean energy for up to 200,000 homes have been approved by the Australian government. But some environmental campaigners are questioning the practical benefits of the scheme. (New Scientist)

Urban sprawl creates unwilling neighbours
Cities are a sprawling mess because the benefits of tapping into existing infrastructure compete with the drawbacks of high land costs in built-up areas. So suggests a new model that could help predict future urban expansion. (Nature)

New uses for a dead lobster
Crab, lobster and prawn shells usually end up in the dustbin. Now scientists have converted this waste into a useful, biodegradable industrial product. Enzymes can convert a substance derived from crustacean shells, called chitosan, into a thickening agent, say Gregory Payne and his colleagues at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. This substance could find uses in paint manufacture, food and cosmetics. (Nature)

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