Latest research news

February 4, 2004

EU may prohibit GM oilseed rape
Genetically modified oilseed rape crops may be barred throughout the EU for many years after Belgium's rejection yesterday of a union-wide application by the German company Bayer CropScience. The Belgian government will call on other EU countries to follow suit.
( The Guardian , Daily Telegraph )

HRT 'increases risk of breast cancer relapse'
Women who have had breast cancer have been shown by a study to be nearly four times more likely to have the disease again if they take hormone replacement therapy. The trial was halted because the women being studied were at such a risk.
( The Times , The Guardian )

Billion-dollar microbe quest threatens wildnerness
The United Nations warns today of the dangers posed by biotechnology companies scrambling to turn Antarctica's microscopic life forms into the raw material for a billion-dollar industry making everything from detergents to cancer treatments. It declares that a 21st-century gold rush is threatening to plunder the planet's last wilderness for its "extremophiles" - bacteria, fungi and algae - that thrive in the frozen wastes.
( The Independent )

Brain scan sheds light on speech secrets
An expert in speech neurobiology at University College London has discovered that the brain takes speech and separates it into words and "melody". The words are then shunted over to the left temporal lobe for processing, while the melody is channelled to the right side of the brain, a region more stimulated by music. Meanwhile, a Cambridge University team is investigating what it is about language that makes us prick up our ears and concentrate on listening.
( Guardian )

£5m gift to show art of Islam
A prominent Saudi Arabian family has given more than £5 million to the Victoria and Albert Museum to promote cultural understanding. The gift from the Jameels, whose interests include cars and hotels, is one of the most generous received by the V&A. It will enable the South Kensington museum to transform one of its historic galleries into a fitting home for its collection of Islamic art.
( The Times )
 
Summer heatwave matches climate predictions
A scientist at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland who analysed the characteristics of the 2003 heatwave says it is unlike anything seen in the past 100 years and closely matches what researchers think will happen with greater frequency later this century.
( Guardian )

Modern alchemists find two new elements
Evidence of two new chemical elements has been produced by a team of Russian and American scientists. Their observations indicate that we may be getting close to the fabled ‘island of stability’ in the periodic table, where heavy elements should be more stable than their neighbours. If confirmed, the discovery will bring the tally of known elements to 116.
( Nature )
 
Supporters win at mind games
Being a football fan can be good for your mental health regardless of whether your team is winning or losing, according to psychologists at the University of Northumbria. They discovered that supporting a team through thick and thin increases fans' communication skills, motivation, and gives them a sense of belonging. However, a separate study at Nottingham Trent University found that benefits could be lost when a team was relegated, with some fans developing the clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
( Times )

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