Latest research news

November 3, 2004

Success of lung cancer vaccine brings hope of a breakthrough
A vaccine for treating lung cancer has shown very promising results in a trial, according to results presented on Monday. The trial adds to optimism that vaccines against cancer will work and that one day they will be used alongside surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy as standard tools in the cancer clinic.
The Times

MPs blame lack of cash for failure of Beagle 2
Britain's ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars failed partly because a lack of government funds left the project as an "amateurish gentlemen's agreement", a committee of MPs says in a report today. The science and technology committee criticises the European Space Agency and the UK government for failing to monitor the project and address weaknesses.
The Guardian

Warning over 'stealth' comets
Comets that are invisible to astronomers could pose a lethal threat from space, scientists said yesterday. They believe that giant "stealth" comets made up of loose material reflect so little light that they cannot be seen. If the theory is right, the chance of the Earth being hit by a comet big enough to wipe out human civilisation may be higher than experts believe.
The Independent

Blue chick hatched from a Tesco's egg
A smallholder has used one of his broody hens to hatch a rare chick from a free-range supermarket egg. Jack Bunn decided to experiment with two eggs that were not eaten by his family from a half-dozen box. One remained lifeless but the other eventually cracked open to reveal the Oakham Blue chick, which is bred from the South American Arucuna. The chick, which is called Oaky, has been accepted by its adoptive mother and stands out from the rest of the birds with its lavender feathers.
Daily Telegraph

The world's first sneeze-free GM cat (yours for £2,000)
At £2,000 a kitten, it's a cat not to be sneezed at. Not that you could even if you tried. Orders are now being taken for the world's first allergy-free feline - a British shorthair - which is being genetically modified so that even the most sensitive soul could own one. The company developing the "Franken-pet" - inevitably, perhaps, a Californian enterprise - last week began taking orders for kittens that it says will be on the market by 2007. It hopes to sell 200,000 cats in the first year.

Things grow better with Coke
Indian farmers have come up with what they think is the real thing to keep crops free of bugs. Instead of paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for patented pesticides, they are reportedly spraying their cotton and chilli fields with Coca-Cola. In the past month there have been reports of hundreds of farmers turning to Coke in Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh states. But as word gets out that soft drinks may be bad for bugs and a lot cheaper than anything that Messrs Monsanto, Shell and Dow can offer, thousands of others are expected to switch.
The Guardian

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