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13th August 2012
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News

A gut-friendly antibiotic

Anthony King, 13/08/2012

The bacteria inhabiting the human gut take a hammering once we take an antibiotic. As well as targeting the troublesome bacteria, conventional antibiotics can often wipe out all of the friendly gut bacteria that exist alongside them

A healthy scoop...

Kathryn Roberts, 13/08/2012

Few people can resist the temptation of ice cream. Most would succumb more often to the soft creamy texture and sweet taste but for the saturated fats and calories – about 60kcal in a single scoop

Biofuels in Brief

13/08/2012

Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has inaugurated Germany’s biggest pilot plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol in Straubing, Bavaria

Chiral switching metamolecules

Emma Dorey, 13/08/2012

Researchers in the US and UK have developed a material whose chirality can be rapidly switched using a beam of light – an advance that could lead to new types of communication systems and biosensors

Digital route to make vaccines

Anthony King, 13/08/2012

Digital technology is being harnessed in the development of a more efficient method of making vaccines, according to geneticist and human genome pioneer Craig Venter

Don’t lose the Lords’ expertise

Beck Smith, 13/08/2012

In comparison with the UK’s House of Commons – which has just one research scientist in its ranks – the House of Lords is rich in expertise

Exotic synthetic meats on the menu

Anthony King, 13/08/2012

Exotic meats concocted from rare or unusual creatures could be on the menu more often in future thanks to tissue engineering technology

Framework first to measure 3Rs' impact

Maria Burke, 13/08/2012

UK government statistics on total numbers of animals used in scientific research are too ‘broad-brush’ and reveal little about progress to find alternatives

GM or not GM? That's the question

Cath O'Driscoll, 13/08/2012

A $10m funding boost announced in July 2012 will help scientists at the UK’s John Innes Centre in Norwich to transfer the valuable nitrogen fixing ability of peas and other legumes to cereal staples

GM warning for Europe

Anthony King, 13/08/2012

Research aimed at improving crops by genetic engineering is at a standstill in Europe, warned Klaus Minol, chief scientist at GENIUS speaking at ESOF in July 2012 in Dublin, Ireland

Light loops

Neil Eisberg, 13/08/2012

A new method of manipulating light to detect single molecules optically has been developed by an international research team led by Ventsislav Valev of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Long life in the balance

Cath O'Driscoll, 13/08/2012

It was always too good to be true, but hopes of living longer on red wine and chocolate have been dealt a blow by recent studies in mice

Maths classes for all

Kathryn Roberts, 13/08/2012

The UK House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has published a report calling on the government to make mathematics education compulsory for all post-16 students

Microbial boost improves energy recovery

Cynthia Challener, 13/08/2012

Microbial fuel cells, or microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), break down and ferment agricultural waste into biofuel with very modest energy recoveries

NASA seeks UK knowhow

Maria Burke, 13/08/2012

NASA is to work with UK company Cella Energy to develop hydrogen storage technology. Cella Energy has formulated a way to store hydrogen safely in tiny beads that release hydrogen when heated to 85°C

Planning for uncertain times

Paul Hodges, 13/08/2012

2012 is already proving a difficult year for many companies. On the raw material side, we have seen major volatility in crude oil prices

Plant counter-attack on viruses

Maria Burke, 13/08/2012

A component in tobacco makes crops more resistant to virus attacks, a study in Japan has found. These findings could help researchers enhance the immune systems of crops that are vulnerable to pesticide-resistant viruses

Plastic bottles preserve beer fizz for longer

Anthony King, 13/08/2012

Plastic bottles that preserve the flavour of beer for as long as six months are in the not-too-distant pipeline, researchers reported at the Euroscience Open Forum meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in July 2012

Redox reactions up in flames

Cynthia Challener, 13/08/2012

While electrolysis in the solid and liquid phases is well established, UK researchers at University College London (UCL) have reported the first control of redox chemistry in the gas phase

Scientists create virtual fish liver

Maria Burke, 13/08/2012

Numbers of fish used for toxicology tests could be slashed by a new way of preparing cells in the laboratory

Silk proteins preserve pharma drugs

Emma Dorey, 13/08/2012

Pharmaceutical drugs must normally be kept cold during shipping and storage, to maximise their therapeutic activity

Silver nano toxicity solved

Maria Burke, 13/08/2012

Silver nanoparticles are used in products from cosmetics, socks and food containers to detergents, to stop the spread of microorganisms

Solar in Brief

13/08/2012

Three research institutes in the US, Germany and Japan agreed a memorandum of understanding at the InterSolar North America meeting, in San Francisco, US, to accelerate shared solar R&D goals

Spaceflight may extend life

Cath O'Driscoll, 13/08/2012

Scientists studying the muscle-wasting effects of spaceflight in astronauts have discovered that it may have another effect in worms – in helping to extend lifespan

World’s lightest material

Cath O'Driscoll, 13/08/2012

Scientists have made the world’s lightest material – a network of porous carbon tubes that is is four times lighter than the world’s previous most lightweight material