Latest research news

September 10, 2002

Fears of elite split grow
Elite universities will be warned at this week’s meeting of vice-chancellors not to go it alone with top-up fees and “pull up the ladder” behind them. Fears of a binary split were fuelled by reports showing a growing gulf between new and old universities, particularly over research. (The Guardian)

Parents may outlive obese children
Obesity is growing among the young at such a rate that parents could outlive their children, according to Andrew Prentice of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. (The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times)

Sea change threatens Antarctic life
Sensitive Antarctic species could perish as Southern Ocean waters warm by 2C-3C in the next century, according to Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey and other scientists. (The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times)

New bush meat dangers
Five new strains of simian immune deficiency virus have been found in Cameroon bush meat - primates killed for protein - Richard Wise of City Hospital, Birmingham, told the conference. (The Guardian)

Bite a banana
Green bananas and aspirin could play a role in reducing hereditary bowel cancer in high-risk patients, John Burn of Newcastle University said. (The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times)

Anti-terror efforts boost disease study
The recent research and surveillance effort mobilised against bioterrorism is producing important new evidence about natural diseases, Charles Penn, research director of the UK Centre for Applied Microbiology Research at Porton Down told the conference. (The Financial Times)

National stem-cell bank on the way
The first national stem-cell bank is to be built in Hertfordshire and could be open within a year. The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control will run the £2.6 million bank for the Medical Research Council. (The Guardian, The Independent)

Is the great navigator resting in pieces?
Spanish historians in Seville and their counterparts in Santo Domingo plan to dig up the remains of Christopher Columbus for the tenth time in the hope of finally settling the question of where he is buried. (The Guardian)

Looters wreck Afghan seed-bank
Looters have destroyed scientific seed stores in Afghanistan that held genetic information vital for rebuilding the country's agriculture. International seed-banks and aid money are helping to rebuild the collection, but some plant varieties may have been lost for good. (Nature)

Two new Neanderthals turn up
You wait the best part of a century for a lost Neanderthal skeleton to be rediscovered, and then two come along in a week. Palaeontologists working in the German valley that gave Neanderthals their name have found the remains of human skeletons, their tools and the animals that lived alongside them. (Nature)

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