Latest research news

January 28, 2004

'Plans for primate research centre dropped'
Plans for a new primate research centre have been dropped by Cambridge University, partly because of the expected cost of protecting it from animal rights activists, it was reported today. The decision to scrap the development, funded by the University with the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, was made after costs grew from £24 million to more than £32 million, reported BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
( The Independent , The Guardian )

Scientists 'got millions for nuclear secrets'
Leading Pakistani scientists who sold nuclear secrets to rogue states will be punished as "enemies of the state", President Pervaiz Musharraf said yesterday. He was speaking after press reports stated that investigators had discovered millions of pounds in accounts linked to scientists. The widening scandal is causing acute concern in Washington and London, which are determined to halt the spread of nuclear technology but fear they might weaken Gen Musharraf in the process.
( Daily Telegraph )

Final 'last resort' to find Beagle 2 before work begins on successor
British scientists have begun planning a Beagle 3 mission to Mars for launch in 2007, even as they try their final "last resort" attempt to contact the missing Beagle 2 lander. A full review of what may have gone wrong with the craft will be led by Professor Colin Pillinger, the chief scientist on the Beagle 2 mission, at the beginning of February.
( The Independent , The Guardian )

Obesity pill fuels £33bn merger
Merger mania gripped the global drugs industry yesterday after Paris-based Sanofi-Synthelabo launched an audacious €48.5 billion (£33.5 billion) bid to swallow its French rival Aventis, in a deal that would create the world's third-biggest pharmaceuticals firm.
( The Guardian )

Scientists modify sperm to add new fish to the gene pool
For the first time, US and Japanese scientists have genetically modified sperm, grown it in a laboratory dish and used it to produce a transgenic creature. The technique could, in the long term, pay off in human fertility research and suggest new ways to overcome genetic disorders. So far, however, it only works for zebrafish.
( The Guardian )

Only one third of China's Great Wall still stands as tourists take their toll
The Great Wall of China, of which the Badaling section attracts 10 million visitors a year. Two-thirds of the Great Wall of China has been destroyed by sightseers, developers and erosion, Beijing's state-run media reported yesterday in a warning that the world heritage site is crumbling out of existence.
( The Guardian )

Fossil find breaks age record
An amateur fossil-hunter in Scotland has unearthed the oldest known air-breathing land animal: a tiny millipede that lived 428 million years ago. The discovery doesn't change scientists' understanding of when air-breathing creatures evolved. But it does help to fill in the fossil record, pushing back the oldest known fossil of this kind by about 20 million years.
( Nature )

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