Latest research news

September 15, 2004

The right formula
Skills shortages and the Government's determination to encourage cutting-edge science are exerting a major influence on how the UK's £1.3 billion research funding is spent. Any hopeful postgraduate researcher needs to be aware of these funding priorities. Whilst research councils have been given more money by the Government, there are still many more projects coming forward than can possibly be funded.
The Guardian

Howard raises wind of change on climate
Michael Howard laid out a series of measures to get Britain's climate change policy back on track yesterday and attacked the government's failure at home and Tony Blair's inability to influence George Bush on the issue. In a speech praised by the normally hostile green lobby, he made great play of improving household energy efficiency and encouraging technologies such as wave and tidal power
The Guardian

Drive to cut global TB failing, experts warn
The major World Health Organization programme to curb tuberculosis globally is failing to bring the disease under control, warns a new review. The WHO’s strategy to combat the widespread infectious disease involves stopping the spread of TB by treating people who have tested positive for it. Because patients can fail to follow the long courses of treatment needed for TB, WHO launched its "directly observed therapy, short course" where patients receive treatment under supervision.
New Scientist

Two glasses of wine a week still safe for pregnant women
Pregnant women and those hoping to conceive can safely drink up to two glasses of wine a week without harming the foetus, the Department of Health said yesterday, rejecting claims that the only safe limit is no alcohol at all.
The Guardian

Black hole in finances may mean the end for science library
One of the world’s finest science libraries, which holds original editions of works by Ptolemy, Newton and Einstein, will be broken up unless the Science Museum can fill a £200,000 hole in its budget. The Times has learnt that the museum in South Kensington, London, is considering plans to give away 95 per cent of its collection of half a million books, journals and documents, because 10 years of falling government grants mean it can no longer afford to keep them.
The Times

Damaged Weimar books are frozen for posterity
Burned, smoke-damaged and water-sodden books rescued from the Weimar Library fire are being dry-frozen to stop them being consumed by bacteria and fungi. Techniques devised after the floods in central Europe two years ago are being used at the Leipzig Centre for Book Restoration in an attempt to save volumes soaked by firemen's hoses.
Daily Telegraph

Lead paint still harms children, experts warn
Lead poisoning in children may be a bigger public health issue than previously thought, experts have warned. The Health Protection Agency said even low levels of lead exposure, such as peeling paint in dilapidated homes and school buildings, could be damaging children in the UK.
The Independent

Carry on drinking after heart surgery
Researchers in Germany followed 225 men who had their arteries opened up by blowing up a balloon inside them — balloon angioplasty — and then reinforcing the artery with a metal cage, or stent. The researchers found that those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol after surgery — more than six units a week — were less likely to need further treatment than those who drank less.
The Times

Hepatitus B vaccine 'trebles risk of MS'
People who receive the hepatitis B vaccine are up to three times more likely to develop multiple sclerosis, new research by American scientists suggests.
The Times

Scientists swoon over dinosaur's hips
It was two metres long, slender-legged and fleet of foot. It probably had a nasty set of teeth and it may have prowled the edge of a lagoon in what is now Brazil more than 100m years ago. But it certainly had a wonderful pelvis, which is why Darren Naish, of the University of Portsmouth, and his colleagues coined the name Mirischia asymetrica, which means "wonderful pelvis with subtle differences". Mirischia is a species hitherto unknown to science.
The Guardian

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