Latest research news

January 3, 2007

Wikipedia links used to build smart reading lists
Software that generates a list of reading material tailored to a person's individual interests has been developed by a PhD student in the US. Alexander Wissner-Gross, a physics student at Harvard University, teaches a course to undergraduates student at his university. While preparing the reading list for his course, he began to wonder about ways to automate the process. Mr Wissner-Gross says he saw similarities between the structure of his course and the way information is connected via links in Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia written and edited by volunteers.
New Scientist

Scientists find way to slash cost of drugs
Two UK-based academics have devised a way to invent new medicines and get them to market at a fraction of the cost charged by big drug companies, enabling millions in poor countries to be cured of infectious diseases and potentially slashing the drugs bill of the National Health Service. Sunil Shaunak, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College, London, calls the revolutionary new model "ethical pharmaceuticals".
The Guardian

Little gadget that could banish insomnia
A pocket-sized device that is used for 15 minutes before bed has been developed to treat insomnia. The gadget, which enables users to lower their own heartbeat by regulated deep breathing, has started clinical trials at Duke University in America. Results with patients treated for stress suggest it can be highly effective, and its developers say the effects kick in within two weeks for most patients.
Daily Mail

Store you own blood cells to fight off disease
Scientists have developed the ultimate health insurance policy - a way of banking cells from your body's immune system to use as treatment for serious infection and disease in the future. Parents can already have stem cells from their baby's umbilical cord stored for use in case of future illness. Now, the world's first 'immune system' bank has been set up in Wales, offering people the chance to store white blood cells, a key component in the body's defence system.
Daily Mail

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