Latest research news

February 18, 2004

Time to replace HRT, says cancer expert
A leading breast cancer surgeon and researcher says the time has finally come to look for alternatives to hormone replacement therapy. Prof Michael Baum, the visiting professor of medical humanities at University College Hospital, London, said that many women had been put off taking HRT unnecessarily, because of the risks. But he added that many questions remained unanswered by the various research trials that were halted early and these questions might never be resolved now through clinical tests.
( Daily Telegraph )

AAAS: Ocean robots to reveal secrets of the deep
US and Canadian scientists are preparing to launch a £110 million study of the oceans using submarine robot laboratories linked by a 2,000-mile network of fibre optic cables. It means scientists and students on land will be able to monitor storms, observe plankton blooms, and track fish migrations as they happen.
( The Guardian )

Suspected Viking burial fills a hole in English history
One of the great missing pieces of Britain's archaeological jigsaw may finally have fallen into place with the discovery of swords, ship nails and a silver Baghdad coin in a Yorkshire field. Tight security has been put on the site since metal detecting enthusiasts came upon what is thought to be the first known Viking ship burial south of Hadrian's Wall.
( The Guardian )

AAAS: Gene therapy could help athletes cheat
Sportsmen and women could soon be using undetectable genetic enhancement techniques to bypass the increasingly strict doping rules in world sport, it was claimed yesterday. Lee Sweeney from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has demonstrated that the use of the injections in mice can improve muscle strength by up to 30 per cent without any additional exercise.
( The Independent , Daily Telegraph , The Times )

Half of world's languages to disappear this century
The world’s languages are disappearing at an unprecedented rate that could lead to half of them dying out over the next hundred years, experts said yesterday. The estimated tally of 6,800 human languages is declining every month, as the last speakers of rare and sometimes unrecorded tongues abandon them for dominant languages such as English, Russian and Chinese, or die without passing on their cultural knowledge.
( The Times )

Mental exercise, low-fat diet and vitamins can delay Alzheimer's
Diet and exercising the brain with mental puzzles can reverse the effects of ageing, says a series of studies that are beginning to explain the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Separate teams of scientists have found that vitamin supplements, a low-fat diet and mental games can play a critical role in delaying the onset of senile dementia, and that dietary fats in particular are intricately involved in triggering Alzheimer's.
( The Independent )

AAAS: Scientists observe a faraway galaxy
A team of international scientists has observed a distant galaxy that has never been glimpsed before. The galaxy is so remote that its light takes billions of light-years to reach the earth, according to researchers. Images of the far-off galaxy were spied through the Hubble space telescope and confirmed by the Keck observatory in Hawaii.
( International Herald Tribune )

Hi-tech vest could cool heat of battle
A new, lightweight cooling vest, using ammonia and powered by hydrocarbon fuel, could soon be helping US soldiers cope with the heat of battle. Some wearable cooling systems already exist and are used by astronauts, for example. But these systems require substantial power, making them too heavy to be carried. Now, funded by the US Army, engineers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon State University are developing a cooling vest that promises to be just a tenth of the weight.
( New Scientist )

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