Today's news

June 21, 2002

Earth has close shave from large asteroid
An asteroid the size of a football pitch and large enough to raze a major city missed the Earth by just 75,000 miles last Friday, a distance considered to be a close shave. The space rock passed well within the orbit of the Moon at a speed of 23,000mph.
( The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Times )

Stem-cell studies may bring end to embryo research
Cells from adult bone marrow could provide an alternative to embryo cells to make brain, heart, muscle and other type of cell for new treatments, according to a study published in the journal Nature . The breakthrough was reported by a team from the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute, US. The stem cells offer the potential to grow tissue to repair a damaged or ailing body.( The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Financial Times )

Blair tries to head off strike threat
Report on the possibility of widespread disputes this summer in the public sector and what prime minister Tony Blair is doing to prevent disruption.
( The Guardian )

Oxford head warns of pharmaceutical loss
The head of chemistry at Oxford University will today attack pharmaceutical and chemical companies for failing to contribute to what will be the world’s largest academic chemistry laboratory. Graham Rickards will use the topping out ceremony for the £60 million lab to thank the government, financial institutions, charities and individual donors for their contributions. But he fears that the lack of support from industry may be a sign that the pharmaceutical industry is slipping overseas.
( Financial Times )

Henry VIII stamped out industrial revolution
Scientists will today aim to prove that monks at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, were about to produce cast iron on a large scale when they were evicted by Henry VIII. Archaeologists have found evidence that the Cistercian monks were developing a prototype blast furnace for large-scale production. Researchers from Bradford University will attempt to produce iron at the abbey today and tomorrow.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Smoking vaccine in pipeline
A vaccine that takes some of the pleasure out of smoking while making nicotine less addictive is being developed by scientists. It could be used to prevent teenagers and children taking up the habit. Two drug companies, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals of Florida and Xenove in Britain, are competing to get the anti-nicotine vaccine on the market.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Ethnic segregation needs radical solution
The only member of Asian origin on Bradford’s policy-forming education committee said yesterday that the city expected a “radical solution” to ethnic segregation. Hamayan Arshad was speaking during a discussion on a draft strategy for improved post-16 education that highlighted the poor performance of those of Pakistani origin.
( The Independent )

World sickens as heat rises
Climate change is favouring pests and parasites and triggering widespread outbreaks of disease in wildlife, according to a team of US scientists led by Drew Harvell of Cornell University. Warmer summers and milder winters are encouraging disease-bearing infections that blight coral reefs, kill shellfish colonies and threaten lions, cranes, vultures and ferrets, the team says in the journal Science .
( The Guardian, Financial Times )

Baby-walkers delay first steps
Baby-walkers delay developmental crawling, standing and walking, according to a study of 190 families by Mary Garrett, director of University College Dublin’s School of Physiotherapy. In the British Medical Journal , Dr Garrett says that every 24 hours spent in a baby-walker delays walking and standing alone by up to four days.
( The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, Financial Times )

Chicken flu fear in East Asia
Strains of flu similar to the deadly virus that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997 are circulating among poultry in East Asia, raising concern that a new epidemic of the disease could be brewing, a study led by Malik Peiris of the University of Hong Kong has found.
( The Times )

DNA could name suspects
DNA will soon give police a surname for crime suspects, Britain’s forensic science chief predicted yesterday. Home Office scientists hope to develop research that links males of the same bloodline stretching back into history. Research has found that even those with no apparent family ties often have distinctively similar sections of DNA.
( The Times )

Girls at risk of eating disorders
A study by psychologists at Surrey University and Melbourne University, Australia, has found that girls as young as seven are at risk of developing eating disorders because they think they are too fat. The study found that half of girls aged between seven and 12 wanted to be thinner.
( Daily Mail )

Middle East: an expert view
Interview with Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, who says that the increase in suicide bombings in the Middle East is due to the intervention of Iran and Iraq.
( The Daily Telegraph )




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