Latest research news

December 11, 2002

University funding inequality rules
A study of higher education finance throughout the UK conducted by David Stiles of Cardiff Business School says that the funding system continues to discriminate against new universities. His claims, which are strongly contested by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, are due to be published in the journal Public Administration .

Nobel chemistry prizewinner disputed
When Koichi Tanaka said that he did not deserve the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, it was assumed in Japan that this was a case of false modesty. A lowly research scientist for a commercial company, without a doctoral degree and unknown to many in his field, his unfeigned amazement and pleasure at winning the prize made him an overnight national hero. But it seemed yesterday that Mr Tanaka may have been right after all. As he prepared to accept his prize at today's ceremony in Stockholm, an argument rages among scientists who claim that the Nobel has gone to the wrong man. At least one distinguished chemist will boycott the banquet, insisting that Mr Tanaka's victory has robbed two German scientists of their rightful glory.

Smoking 'harder to give up than sex'
Most smokers in Europe, particularly in Britain, would find it easier to give up sex for a month than cigarettes. Many view even bungee jumping or parachuting as less difficult than kicking the habit. A survey of more than 2,000 smokers showed just how addictive nicotine is when 62 per cent of smokers in six countries said they felt the New Year was a good time to quit, but only 3 per cent used it as a trigger to stop.
(Daily Telegraph)

Anorexia 'caused by immune defect'
A defect of the immune system may be to blame for some cases of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Scientists have found evidence that the conditions may be the result of autoimmune disorders similar to those that are thought to cause multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
(BBC, Nature)

Watery end for stranded satellite
The world's largest communications satellite has been ditched into the sea, two weeks after a Russian rocket failed to put it into the correct orbit. Satellite controllers used the Astra-1K's engines to plunge it into the southern Pacific Ocean, says Russian space forces spokesman Vyacheslav Davidyenko.

Bolivian glaciers shrinking fast
Glaciers in the Bolivian Andes are shrinking at an alarming rate, say scientists. Data collected from tropical ice fields near the world's highest capital, La Paz, show mass loss in the 1990s at rates ten times greater than previous decades.

Vanishing anti-neutrinos good news for physicists
Only two-thirds of the electron anti-neutrinos they were expecting showed up, but for the physicists at the Kamland detector in Japan announcing their latest results, that was good news. The deficit suggests that anti-neutrinos behave just like their real matter counterparts, neutrinos, which have been found to go missing enroute from the Sun.
(New Scientist)

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