Latest research news

March 9, 2005

Labour turns spotlight on science investment
Labour put its plans for a £10 billion investment in science at the heart of its pre-election campaign, wheeling out a former Conservative higher education minister to warn that a Tory victory would put at risk the high-tech research on which Britain's future prosperity depends. Later today, Alan Milburn, Labour's main election campaign organiser, is due to be joined by Robert Jackson, the Tory minister who defected to back the government in January. Mr Jackson has praised the government's 10-year plan for investment in science and technology and has warned that his former party would inflict "deep cuts" on innovative research projects.
The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Telegraph

Towards a simpler prevention of Alzheimer's
Regular exercise and a healthy diet could go a long way to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the latest research from Sweden suggests. A study by Miia Kivipelto, a neurologist at the Gerontology Research Centre in Stockholm, showed that middle-aged people taking regular exercise at least twice a week could reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 per cent in old age. "An active lifestyle, both physical, mental and social, is preventive," Kivipelto told an Amsterdam conference organised by the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists. "It’s never too early to start to prevent Alzheimer’s disease."
The Scotsman

Save the planet (and £80,000 of your cash)
Research by an Edinburgh University professor is the basis for a new book claiming green living could save people £80,000 each. Dr David Reay compared two contrasting lifestyles over an average lifetime to prove environmentally friendly living could save thousands of pounds. The book, published by Friends of the Earth and publisher Harper Collins, claims saving measures just within the home can cut energy bills for a typical family in a three-bedroom semi by £200 a year. Save Cash and Save the Planet, written by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird, is out today and provides dozens of tips on living a greener lifestyle.
The Scotsman

Fatal accident risk is 'high for poor children', say experts
Poorer children are also more likely to die in a house fire or as a pedestrian, according to the Health Development Agency. Researchers found that between 1979 and 1983, the accidental injury death rate was three and a half times higher for poor children compared to affluent. Between 1989 and 1992, the same comparison revealed poorer children were five times more likely to die from unintentional injury. The research generally found that the poorest children were more likely to suffer injuries requiring hospital admission and upon admission their injuries are likely to be more serious, than those experienced by children from affluent families.
The Daily Mail

MMR jab scare research dealt a 'killer blow'
Scientists at two government centres have cast fresh doubt on the research at the centre of the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccination scare. Their failure to reproduce the research results in identical experiments is said to be the last piece in the jigsaw of evidence that refutes claims made by Andrew Wakefield, the gastroenterologist. Wakefield’s theory that the MMR jab was linked to autism caused widespread anxiety and led many parents to refuse to immunise their children.
The Times, The Scotsman, The Daily Mail

Necrophilia among ducks ruffles research feathers
The strange case of the homosexual necrophiliac duck pushed out the boundaries of knowledge in a rather improbable way when it was recorded by Dutch researcher Kees Moeliker. It may have ruffled a few feathers, but it earned him the coveted Ig Nobel prize for biology awarded for improbable research.
The Guardian

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