Latest research news

January 14, 2004

Top French scientists threaten to quit
More than 5,300 leading French scientists have threatened to resign unless the government increases the country's research budget, unblocks frozen funds and reverses big cuts in jobs available to postgraduates.

Change of tactics for Beagle 2 hunt
The search for Beagle 2 was called off for ten days yesterday after the failure of the latest attempt to find the missing Mars lander. All efforts at contact have been suspended until January 22 in a change of tactics designed to force the probe to enter an emergency transmission mode.

Orang-utan faces extinction
The old man of the woods has two decades left. The orang-utan, one of the four great apes, is disappearing at such a rate that it is likely to be extinct in the wild in 20 years, the World Wide Fund for Nature reports today.

Mystery particle may hold clues to universe
University of Melbourne physicists have helped discover a new state of matter that may shed light on the fabric of the universe. The university team of 14 is part of a group of 300 physicists from 13 countries known as the 'Belle collaboration'. They have discovered a sub-atomic particle that they are having difficulty explaining and difficulty fitting with any current theory that attempts to describe matter. Their research will be published in Physical Review Letters .

Health and spirituality linked
A centre focusing on how spirituality can help health services was opened by at Aberdeen University yesterday. The Centre for the Study of Spirituality, Health and Disability will look at the spiritual dimensions for healthcare. Practitioners say that in the past decade there has been worldwide recognition that spirituality and health are closely related.
(The Times)

Vitamin D health benefit boon?
A diet rich in vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Two studies involving more than 200,000 American women have highlighted the vitamin's benefits.

Chemists identify key ingredient of natural 'superglue'
The key ingredient of the superglue that mussels use to attach themselves to rocks, boats and piers is iron, scientists say. The finding, described in the latest issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition , represents a novel biological use for the metal.
(Scientific American)

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