Latest research news

December 18, 2002

Hidden world in Antarctic is clue to life on Mars
A survey of Lake Vida, 2,000 miles south of New Zealand and long thought to be frozen solid and barren, has revealed it to be an oasis of life. Large numbers of frozen algae and bacteria were found deep within the ice cores of the sal****er lake and were successfully revived by gentle thawing. Some of the organisms are at least 2,800 years old. The results, details of which are published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , are being studied by Nasa for clues as to how best to search for life on Mars and other candidate worlds.
(Times)

Back to home base for e-University
The e-University - set up to sell British degree courses to the world - will do a sizeable part of its business teaching students at home, its chief executive John Beaumont said last week.
(Guardian)

EU announces first FP6 call for proposals
Universities, research centres and enterprises have been invited to respond to the first batch of calls for proposals for the £3.2 billion of European Commission funds. The seven priorities of the Sixth Framework programme, which include life sciences, information technology, nanotechnology, aeronautics and space, food quality and safety, sustainable development and citizens and governance, will account for 70 per cent of the sum.
(The THES)

Canada ratifies Kyoto Protocol
Canada has become the 99th country to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The move means that if, as promised, Russia now signs, the 1997 agreement will have achieved a critical mass and finally come into force.
(New Scientist)

Cancer research suffers after organ scandals
Cancer research is suffering from "confusion and fear" about human tissue donation in the aftermath of the Alder Hey organ scandal, Britain's leading cancer charity said yesterday. The number of children's tumour samples donated for research has fallen by almost half - preventing some projects from going ahead. (FT)

Microbes from edge of space revived
Microbes collected from the edge of space have been brought back to life in the lab. This enabled the high-flying organisms to be identified, almost two years after they were found in air samples collected by a weather balloon cruising at 41,000 metres over southern India.
(New Scientist)

Report charts Great Barrier Reef recovery
Australia's Great Barrier Reef has recovered from severe bleaching and is now one of the world's healthiest. Bleaching is caused when the algae that populate and build the corals die off, turning the colourful reefs white. A report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science has found 60 per cent bleaching of recent years has now subsided to around 6 per cent.
(Ananova)

Cull of island hedgehogs approved
A cull of the hedgehog population in the Outer Hebrides has been approved to combat the threat the animals pose to rare birds. Scottish Natural Heritage claims the creatures prey on eggs and are jeopardising the populations of birds such as lapwings and oystercatchers.
(Ananova)

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