Latest research news

October 8, 2003

Nobel prize for the man who saw through us
Sir Peter Mansfield, 69, of Nottingham University was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine yesterday for inventing the MRI scan. He shares the accolade with Paul Lauterbur, a US scientist from the University of Illinois.
(Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Financial Times, Daily Mail)

Nobel honours super-science
Three men will share the 2003 Nobel prize for physics for their pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids: Russians Alexei Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg, and the UK-American Anthony Leggett.
(BBC)

Brown backs initiative to raise funds for R&D
Britain's chancellor, Gordon Brown, will today announce a landmark agreement with France and Germany that puts spending on research and development at the heart of a strategy to boost economic growth in the European Union.
(Financial Times)

Company trumpets HIV breakthrough
A potential treatment for HIV has been shown to be highly effective in tests, according to Medical Marketing International, which has been working with scientists at London University. Data has shown that the drug destroyed 70 per cent of a chemical messenger crucial to allowing the HIV virus to gain a foothold in human cells.
(Guardian)

World 'not saving wild plants'
The world must act far more urgently to save thousands of threatened wild plants, three British botanists say. They say part of the answer is seed banks. The cost would be a tiny fraction of the amount spent on particle physics and would pay huge dividends, they say. The argument for seed banks is made in Biologist , the journal of the Institute of Biology, by three scientists from the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens, housed at Kew Gardens in west London.
(BBC)

Controlled bushfires damage wildlife
The controlled burning of vast swaths of bushland in northern Australia every year is damaging biodiversity, not protecting it, according to the results of an eight-year experiment. These fires are usually set early in the dry season, when the lands is still relatively damp. The idea is that these low-intensity fires will reduce the extent of fast-burning, high-intensity wildfires later in the season, which were thought to be more devastating to populations of plants and animals. "But we found that for many species it doesn't really matter how intense the fire is - but how frequent it is," says Alan Anderson at CSIRO, Australia's national research organisation. "This was a surprise."
(New Scientist)

Shocks may clean up aquifers
Scientists in Israel have demonstrated how the contamination of underground water sources - one of the most serious problems facing many arid regions - might be reversed. Shock waves could flush pollutants from aquifers, propose Shaul Sorek of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and colleagues. Using a column of sand saturated with salty water, the researchers have shown that pressure waves caused by a bursting membrane can push dissolved contaminants along but leave the water where it is.
(Nature)

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