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21st March 2011
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A clone of my own

Chris Adriaanse, 21/03/2011

Animal clones are unlikely to end up on the dinner table, but the technique will allow breeders to duplicate elite animals that sire superior offspring, Chris Adriaanse reports

A quick look at protein folding

Sarah Houlton, 21/03/2011

Scientists in San Diego, US, have developed a way of looking at folding proteins even more rapidly than before.

Aerosol formation over the Gulf

Patrick Walter, 21/03/2011

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has given scientists an unprecedented opportunity to observe how organic aerosols form in the atmosphere.

Antibiotic hint from RNA riboswitches

Sarah Houlton, 21/03/2011

A group at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, US, has found that bacterial RNA riboswitches have more complicated functions than previously thought.

BASF to grow bigger on batteries

Cath O'Driscoll, 21/03/2011

Chemical giant BASF is stepping up its activities in the area of battery research, with the aim of putting Germany on the path to becoming a leading provider for electromobility.

Cefic reports good growth in 2010


European chemical production grew 10.1% in 2010, compared with 2009, despite the effects of the normal seasonal downturn in December, according to the latest figures from the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

Colloid papers retracted

Emma Dorey, 21/03/2011

The editors-in-chief of 16 medical journals have retracted 89 research articles published by Joachim Boldt, head anaesthetist at the German hospital Klinikum Ludwigshafen, for failing to secure approval from an ethics panel for his clinical research.

Court ruling setback for EU patent

Patrick Walters, 21/03/2011

The twisted and tortuous path to a Europe-wide patent has suffered another setback with an EU court ruling that the court that would handle patent disputes is unconstitutional.

Double agent finds and kills cancer

Patrick Walter, 21/03/2011

A microcapsule that can image and then destroy cancer cells has been developed by a team of researchers in the US and China in a strategy known as ‘theranostics’ – a combination of a therapy and a diagnostic tool.

Hand-held device monitors blood clotting

Emma Dorey, 21/03/2011

A new hand-held diagnostic device could significantly improve the management of the anti-clotting drug warfarin by allowing users to check its efficacy at home.

Peptide beats baldness

Emma Dorey, 21/03/2011

US researchers have discovered an anti-stress compound that can reverse and prevent alopecia in mice.

R&D costs questioned

Emma Dorey, 21/03/2011

Two researchers claim to have debunked the claim that each new drug produced by the pharmaceutical industry costs more than $1bn – a controversial assertion that fuels the debate about the methods and data used to estimate the cost of bringing a new drug to market.

REACH threatens exports

A Nair, 21/03/2011

The Indian chemical industry is expected to be worth $200bn by 2020, but Europe’s REACH legislation could cut into this growth over the next decade.

Simulating better magnets

Neil Eisberg, 21/03/2011

With annual production at 150,000t, rare earths are not that rare; the real problem is that they are difficult to extract. In view of rapidly growing global demand, a shortage is imminent.

US grows while Europe slows


Q4 2010 generally treated US pharmaceutical firms better than their European counterparts. Exposure to generic competition, patent expiration and the drop in sales of pandemic products, all against a backdrop of austerity, meant that European firms saw revenues fall, while US firms saw increases.