Latest research news

June 21, 2006

New universities 'get best funding results'
New universities give better value for money for research funding than prestigious elite institutions, argues a report published today. Members of the CMU group of universities, which represents the former polytechnics, receive far less government research funding than the research-intensive institutions of the Russell group, which includes Oxford and Cambridge, or other old universities. But they are three times more successful in leveraging their basic funding to attract research contracts from industry or government departments. The former education secretary Baroness Morris, who is chancellor of Sunderland University, said it was time to stop concentrating research funding so much on the old universities.
The Guardian

Why a son can raise miscarriage risk for some women
Women who have a son and go on to have multiple miscarriages are substantially less likely to be able to have a second child, according to new research. Scientists who carried out a study of more than 300 mothers who later suffered repeated miscarriages found that those who had previously had a baby girl were almost three times more likely to be able to give birth again. They believe that male immune system cells - which can remain in a woman's body for more than 20 years after she gives birth to a son - can trigger a reaction that makes having another baby more difficult.
The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman

Monkeys use weather clues to find food
Humans have been known to check the weather forecast before shopping for food – think ice cream and barbecues. Now it seems some monkeys also use weather clues to decide when and where to forage. The new research finding may support the idea that primates evolved bigger brains to find food more successfully. Scientists already know primates that forage for fruits rather than simply eating leaves have more complex brains. Now researchers have learned that some fruit-loving primates appear smart enough to intensify their search for figs after a run of warm days has ripened the fruit.
New Scientist

Disgraced cloning scientist goes on trial
Disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk went on trial today on charges of fraud and embezzlement in a scandal over faked stem cell research that undermined global hopes of dramatic new treatments for incurable diseases. Hwang was indicted last month for allegedly accepting $2.1 million in private donations based on the outcome of the falsified research and embezzling about $831,000 in private and government research funds. Hwang also was accused of buying human eggs for research, a violation of the country's bioethics law. If convicted, the 52-year-old scientist faces at least three years in prison.
The Guardian

Cracking news! Eggs are the new superfood
Eggs have long been demonised as being bad for the heart. Yet new research suggests that this is not only untrue, but that eggs could even be considered a 'superfood'. Eggs could actually protect against heart disease, breast cancer and eye problems and even help you to lose weight. For years people assumed eggs were bad for cholesterol levels. But a review just published in the British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin found they ‘have no clinically significant impact’ on heart disease or cholesterol levels.
The Daily Mail

Fish oil 'calms children better than Ritalin'
A daily dose of fish oil is better at treating hyperactivity than Ritalin - the 'chemical cosh' linked to the deaths of children, stunning research has revealed. Just six capsules a day of the naturally-occurring oil can vastly improve children's behaviour without any of the side-effects of Ritalin and related drugs. The controversial drugs can cause heart problems, dizziness and insomnia and have been blamed for the deaths of nine children in the UK and dozens more in the US.
The Daily Mail

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