Latest research news

August 20, 2003

New evidence links virus with breast cancer
New evidence for a link between a virus and human breast cancer has been revealed in a series of studies by Australian researchers. The virus, dubbed HHMMTV, is very similar to a version known to trigger mammary cancer in mice. The researchers stress that they have not proven that the human form causes cancer in people - but if it does, its raises the possibility of developing a vaccine against the deadly disease.
(New Scientist)

US escalates GM food row with Europe
Europe's dispute with America over genetically modified food has escalated after Washington asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to force the EU to lift its five-year-old ban on new GM food products. In a move which raises the prospect of a fresh trade war just a month before crucial world trade talks in Mexico, America requested the formation of a WTO dispute settlement panel to decide once and for all who is right on GM technology. The call was backed by Argentina and Canada.

Europe to shoot for the Moon
Europe's first mission to the Moon launches next month, the European Space Agency confirmed yesterday. SMART-1 will test technologies for deep space exploration and return data on the Moon's origins.

Smallpox immunity may last a lifetime
Vaccination may induce life-long immunity to smallpox, suggest the results of the first detailed tests of their kind. This means that any terrorist release of smallpox might not spread as catastrophically fast as feared, and fewer people might die.
(New Scientist)

Flying the nest leaves birds on top
It's better to dump than be dumped. So ornithologists have concluded after eight years camped out in a hide on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog. Oystercatchers that initiate a split - usually females - end up higher on the bird social scale, say Dik Heg of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and his colleagues. They are more likely to land a superior nesting spot next to the mudflats where they feed, and they bear up to 20 per cent more chicks.

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