French and British launch neuroscience venture
A group of British and French academics have signed an agreement with potentially far-reaching consequences for brain research. The academic entente cordiale has been signed by University College London with the Ecole Normale Supérieure, one of the prestigious French grands écoles, and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, known as Paris VI, also among the top 30 research universities in the world. Their ambition is to create a tri-polar centre of world excellence in neuroscience, to rival the dominance of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Caution remains over stem cells despite breakthrough
News that a South Korean group has for the first time created human embryonic stem cells tailored to individual patients should be increasing pressure on pharmaceutical companies to scale up its involvement in this ethically problematic field. But firms are remaining resistant to the promises of stem cells. "From a scientific perspective, this is tremendously exciting to the stem-cell community," says John McNeish, Head of Genetic Technologies at Pfizer Global Research and Development. "Yet many advances will be needed to make this more widely accepted in industrial settings," he says.
Women have lower pain barrier, study shows
A woman’s ability to get in touch with her emotions is a severe handicap when it comes to dealing with pain. Research suggests that women complain loudest and longest when they are in pain. But a study at the
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Watching TV harms kids’ academic success
Too much time in front of the TV reduces children’s learning abilities, academic achievement, and even the likelihood of their graduating from university, suggest three new studies. But it may be the quality, not quantity, of the programmes that really matters. Decades of studies have linked childhood hours in front of the TV with aggressive behaviour, earlier sexual activity, smoking, obesity, and poor school performance. The research has lead the American Academy of Pediatrics to suggest children watch no more than two hours of TV per day and that children under two years old watch none at all.
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Footprints challenge theories
British scientists claimed they have unearthed 40,000 year-old human footprints in central
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Breast may not be best after all, says professor
For decades women have been encouraged to breast-feed their babies and told that formula milk is not as healthy. But now this orthodoxy is being challenged by a study that claims “breast is best” campaigns risk doing more harm than good. In a report published today, Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the
Bend, dig, rake...
Getting out into the garden is a favourite occupation of the British during the summer. But did you know that gardening is so good for you that it can be a substitute for going to the gym? Researchers at the
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Dolphins name each other so they can 'shout' for help
Dolphins have developed "names" for each other so they can keep in touch in case they get into trouble while swimming in deep water, according to new research. Academics at St Andrews University's sea mammal unit used sophisticated listening devices to record sounds made by dolphins and then tested these out by playing them back to the animals. They discovered that dolphins use "recognition signals" which are "almost as versatile as human names", according to biologist Dr Vincent Janik, a lecturer at the university.