Taxpayer will help Oxford fund lab security
The Government has agreed to underwrite the costs of protecting Oxford University's planned £18 million biomedical research facility from animal rights activists. Ministers have also announced five-year jail terms for activists who try to drive animal testing centres out of business.
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Nasa's mission to the edge of the solar system
Buzz Lightyear wanted to go to infinity and beyond, now the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration wants to venture almost as far with a survey of the edge of the solar system. The mission will involve launching a space laboratory and could answer some basic questions about the nature of interstellar space, as well as laying the groundwork for the first journey of exploration beyond our solar system to the stars and their planets.
Gene that decides when the kissing may start
Puberty starts with a kiss: scientists have discovered that the cascade of hormones that brings sexual maturity is triggered by a gene named kiss-1. The aptly named gene, which generates a protein known as kisspeptin, is suddenly switched on in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus at just the moment when puberty begins, according to research in the United States.
New roads can cause congestion
Traffic should flow best in cities when only a limited number of roads lead to the centre. This counter-intuitive finding could allow planners to prevent gridlock by closing roads rather than building new ones. It comes from a new way of thinking about complex networks developed by Neil Johnson, Douglas Ashton and Timothy Jarrett at Oxford University.
Record low Arctic temperatures a threat to European health
Record low temperatures over the North Pole are thinning the protective ozone layer, a condition which could affect human health in northern countries and even central European nations, the EU warned on Monday. “Large ozone losses are expected to occur if the cold conditions persist,” said European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik.