Latest research news

September 22, 2004

Hope for doomed leukaemia children
A new drug could save the lives of many children with leukaemia who have not responded to other treatments. Children who were expected to have only weeks to live have shown improvements after treatment with clofarabine, a drug being developed by Bioenvision, a company with headquarters in Edinburgh.
The Times, September 24

India launches world's first education satellite
Millions of illiterate people in remote rural India could soon have access to an education, as a satellite devoted exclusively to long-distance learning was launched on Monday. It is the world's first dedicated educational satellite, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation.
New Scientist, September 20

China's rise in wealth brings fall in health
China's economic transformation is damaging the health of many of its people, with millions of urban professionals suffering from stress and the change to more fatty Western diets. A study by the Red Cross Society of China found that more than 70 per cent of the residents of the three wealthiest conurbations, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, were ill, unfit or short of energy.
The Guardian, September 21

Sound research finds our ears work in harmony, not unison
Each human ear processes different sounds, with the right ear responsible for deciphering rapid signals such as speech and the left ear in charge of tones and music, scientists in the United States have found. Infancy suggests that our two ears are structured differently to decode different sounds, challenging the decades-old belief that such a division was conducted by the brain.
The Times, September 21

Scientists size up designer drugs
The Royal Society has launched a year-long inquiry into the feasibility of developing drugs that are tailored to an individual patient's genetic makeup. Leading figures from Britain's national science academy aim to "cut through the hype" surrounding the new science of pharma-cogenetics and to examine the economic practicality of developing personalised drugs.
The Guardian, September 20

Wind carries GM pollen record distances
Pollen from a genetically modified grass has blown on the wind and pollinated other grasses up to 21 km away, says a new study. This distance is “much further than previously measured”, say the authors, and is thought to be a record for any GM pollen. The discovery comes as regulators decide whether to allow the planting of the GM creeping bentgrass on golf course putting greens across the US.
New Scientist, September 20

Bulimia is bigger threat for fat children
Children who eat too much or become overweight are more likely to develop bulimia nervosa — the bingeing and purging eating disorder — when they are adults, researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London have found.
The Times, September 24

If you want to stay trim, stay single
The key to avoiding obesity may be to live on your own, research suggests. An American study found that women living in households with four or more people were significantly more likely to be obese than those who lived by themselves.
The Times, September 24

Happiness is a WI, choir and charities
Living in a community with a thriving Women's Institute, busy charity shop and active church choir is good for the health, a major study claims. Researchers have found that neighbourhoods with the highest levels of voluntary work have less crime, better schools and happier, healthier residents than districts without community spirit.
Daily Telegraph, September 24

Swimming in syrup is as easy as in water
It's a question that has taxed generations of the finest minds in physics: do humans swim slower in syrup than in water? And since you ask, the answer's no. Scientists have filled a swimming pool with a syrupy mixture and proved it.
Nature, September 20

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