Latest research news

July 14, 2004

R&D funding boost given a welcome
Scientists have welcomed the Government's 10-year investment framework for science and innovation, which aims to increase British spending on research and development from 1.86 per cent of gross domestic product now to 2.5 per cent in 2014. For the three years covered by the Chancellor's spending review, the Government's core science budget will grow by 5.8 per cent annually, rising from £4.2 billion in 2004-05 to £5.4 billion in 2007-08.
Financial Times, Guardian, Times
See also Times Higher , June 11: Brown set to double cash for science

AIDS vaccine years away, researchers warn
A vaccine for AIDS is still years away, warns a new report, with progress being hampered by a lack of scientific, political and economic interest. Only one vaccine candidate has been tested fully to see if it can work in humans, says Seth Berkley, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which released its progress report on Monday.
New Scientist

EU funding for GM plant vaccines
The EU has put €12 million (£8 million) into a project to produce vaccines and other treatments from plants for major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, rabies and Tuberculosis, which hopes to start clinical trials by 2009. The first product, possibly grown in maize, is likely to be an antibody that can be used to block HIV transmission.
BBC News online

US pollution may damage UK health
Polluted air from the US could be damaging the health of people in Britain, experts fear. Airborne chemicals from 5,000 miles are being dumped in the UK and western Europe and may be to blame for a rise in lung disease, say UK scientists. Alastair Lewis from York University and the Intercontinental Transport of Ozone and Precursors programme is running tests. Colleagues in the US will test the air as it leaves the eastern coast of America.
BBC News online

Handheld terahertz wand to unmask terrorists
The next generation of security screening systems will be based on so-called terahertz technology that can see weapons and explosives hidden under people's clothes. But using terahertz radiation to produce X-ray-like images of passengers is likely to be unacceptable for routine use, as it will allow security staff to see the people they are scanning as if they were naked. The answer, according to a company called TeraView in Cambridge, UK, is to use the terahertz radiation in a different way. Instead of producing images, it plans to build a detection system that picks up the telltale frequencies that explosives or metallic objects reflect and absorb when terahertz waves hit them.
New Scientist

Hi-fi failure helps to brighten beer
Brighter, clearer beer could be on the way thanks to a superfine filter that owes its existence to the failure of the decade-old Digital Compact Cassette recording technology developed by Philips of the Netherlands. While DCC failed against the might of the compact disc, a Dutch start-up company called Fluxxion has adapted the technology to make a finer class of fluid filters.
New Scientist

Ariane lift-off postponed
The launch of Europe's Ariane 5 rocket, set to carry the world's largest commercial telecoms satellite into orbit, has been postponed due to a technical problem. An anomaly appeared during final checks before take off set for 00:43 GMT on Tuesday from French Guiana. It is not yet known when a new launch attempt will take place.
BBC News online

Mouse stirs up breast cancer fears
The humble house mouse could be more dangerous than we thought, according to a study that suggests a rodent virus plays a role in the development of breast cancer. US researchers found fragments of virus DNA in up to three-quarters of biopsy samples taken from women with breast cancer. But the finding is contentious and reignites a long-standing wrangle about the potential causes of the disease.
Nature

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