Latest research news

March 14, 2007

Research jobs cut 'to meet the cost of government failure'
Scientists claim that about 1,000 research jobs will be lost this year because the Government is cutting science funding to compensate for loss-making enterprises elsewhere. To drive home its concerns, the Royal Society of Chemistry will display today a mass of unused laboratory coats and mannequins on the South Bank in London opposite the Houses of Parliament. "We see this gesture as a way to demonstrate the harsh fact that the UK will be 1,000 scientists poorer as a result of the decision to axe part of science funding this year," said Dr Richard Pike, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The Daily Telegraph

Scientists give cautious welcome to environmental initiatives
Scientists reacted cautiously to the green agendas unveiled yesterday. Peter Cox, a leading climate modeller at Exeter University, said: "It's good that they're talking about it at last. Most of the policies seem to have the same impact: if you can pay you can pollute. I don't think you can get round that. We have to get a downward pressure on overall emissions. It has to become more relatively expensive to pollute. You have to get penalised for it in some way. And then you have to give people alternatives."
The Guardian

Stem-cell breakthrough boosts war on Alzheimer's
Scientists have used human stem cells to treat a degenerative brain condition in mice in a breakthrough which offers hope to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients. The researchers used human embryonic stem cells - master cells with the ability to turn into different types of tissue - to delay the progress of a fatal brain disease. Their success has boosted the hope of developing stem cell treatments for humans. The first human trials could start in two to three years.
Daily Mail

Ocean expedition unearths new genes
More than six million new genes have been found by an ocean expedition that is part of a broader effort to enlist some of the smallest creatures on the planet to renew the atmosphere to combat climate change. American scientists are studying ways to curb climate change by giving the Earth a new set of “lungs”, vast colonies of bacteria and other microbes that are able to scrub the atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane and perhaps even convert the pollutants to ethanol, which can be used as a fuel.
Daily Telegraph

Why shorter men were walking tall 4m years ago
Short men were irresistible to women until mankind's ancestors learnt how to use tools as weapons, research suggests. Being short made modern man's predecessors more adept at fighting - with a lower centre of gravity and better balance - and guaranteed them huge sex appeal, according to the study by David Carrier, of the University of Utah.
The Times

Full-colour glow-in-the-dark materials unveiled
Glow-in-the-dark materials that shine with the whole range of visible colours, and can even produce white light, have been developed by Japanese researchers. The team from Ryukoku University, Kyoto, say they can be used to provide lighting and clearly readable signs in emergencies without the need for electricity. Using glow-in-the-dark – or phosphorescent – materials in this way is rare. But the International Commission on Illumination, the international authority on lighting, has suggested buildings be fitted with emergency lighting and signs that work without power as standard.
New Scientist

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