Latest research news

January 8, 2003

Cloning researchers fear that sect's claims will sap support
Scientists wasted little time deploring the announcement by a religious sect that it had created the first human clone. They say cloning has two meanings, and worry that the public and US Congress do not understand the distinctions.
(International Herald Tribune)

Eating fish 'cuts artery damage in smokers'
Eating fish can help reverse the artery damage caused by smoking which leads to heart attacks and strokes, scientists revealed yesterday. Irish scientists gave 15 smokers daily supplements of taurine, an amino acid, which exists in fish. Taurine lessened a harmful effect caused by smoking which causes blood vessels to lose their flexibility.
(Guardian)

Ring around the galaxy
A vast ring of stars wreathes our galaxy, say two teams of astronomers. How the ring got there is a mystery. It may be the remains of another galaxy, spun apart by the gravity of the Milky Way. Or it might have formed with our galaxy.
(New Scientist, Nature)

Man's early hunting role in doubt
Hunting skills may not after all have triggered the tremendous burst of human evolution at the beginning of the ice ages nearly 2 million years ago. Instead of man the hunter, the driving force behind this evolutionary surge may have been woman the gatherer. An anthropologist at the University of Utah is lead author of a critique of the hunting hypothesis published in The Journal of Human Evolution .
(New Scientist)

Amazon forest fires 'belated killers'
Fires in the Amazon forest are killing more trees than anyone had realised, according to UK scientists. They say the fires have a delayed effect, with trees often dying two or three years after they were damaged. This, they say, could double present estimates of the amount of vegetation lost and carbon dioxide released.
(BBC)

29 hours is a year on OGLE-TR-56b
Astronomers have found the most distant planet orbiting another star. It is also the fastest yet found - its year lasts a mere 29 hours. The planet, called OGLE-TR-56b, is fourteen times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun, its discoverers told this week's American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.
(Nature)

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