Latest research news

June 1, 2005

Anglo-German Foundation is to spend £3m to encourage research
The Anglo-German Foundation has launched a £3 million funding initiative for researchers based at British or German universities for applied research to give policymakers a clue as to how to tackle key challenges facing modern Europe. In essence it means finding evidence for how to ensure healthy economic growth in the face of challenges such as the ageing workforce, flagging innovation and environmental concerns.
The Guardian

Guinea pig family to move into house of the future
A family is preparing to move into a high-tech house where they will spend the next six months being monitored in a Big Brother-style project. The Parnell family will have their every move followed by researchers from the University of Nottingham, who are studying how modern families use and live in homes.
The Scotsman

Childhood autism 'may be linked to fatty acids deficiency'
Childhood autism may be linked to a deficiency of fatty acids, researchers said today. The exact causes of autism remain unknown, although it is thought genetic factors or a variety of conditions affecting brain development may play a role. The researchers, from the universities of Stirling and Edinburgh, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust, have been awarded £125,335 by the Chief Scientist Office to carry out further research to back up their findings.
The Scotsman

£300 identity cards could be Labour's poll tax, say Tories
The introduction of identity cards could become Labour's poll tax, the Government was told after an academic study put a £300-a-card price tag on the controversial scheme. Research by the London School of Economics concluded that the project could cost the country up to £18 billion over a decade, more than three times the Home Office's estimate. Ministers strongly rejected the LSE's findings, which accused the Government of making a series of basic errors in calculating the price of the scheme.
The Independent

Gardening is valuable therapy
Gardening and the arts may help people with mental health problems, new research revealed yesterday. The Dundee University study found that gardening and arts projects could provide a useful form of therapy for people with mental illness. Researchers also found that such pastimes helped people to integrate more successfully into their communities.
The Times

Research has little impact
Here’s a fact: fewer than half of all local authorities can identify a piece of research that has impacted on policy or practice over the past year. So if there is only one thing that research-free councils heed, perhaps it should be Knowledge is Power, a Local Government Association study on the need for effective research in local authorities. Research is defined by the report as “the systematic collection, collation, analysis and interpretation of data of relevance to policy or practice, or to increase understanding about future trends, local needs and good practice”. And not all councils are good at it.
The Times

Man 'not to blame' for extinction of giant wombat
Humans may have been unjustly accused of wiping out the giant kangaroos, wombats and other massive marsupials that roamed Australia 40,000 years ago, new research suggests. One study by British and Australian scientists reveals today that humans co-existed with megafauna - large native animals such as the Diprotodon, a three-ton, wombat-like creature, a ferocious, marsupial "lion" and the world's all-time biggest lizard - for at least 15,000 years.
The Daily Telegraph

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