Saturday, 28 June 2014

My top 10 selection of this week’s science headlines

1. Drastic action' needed on Ebola
This week, Ebola made headlines once again as the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The current outbreak is reported to have killed 367 people and infected about 600 so far across Guinea, Sierra Leona and Liberia.
Here’s a WHO fact sheet on the virus.

2. Technology allows quadriplegic man to move hand
A micro chip implanted into the brain of a disabled man allows him to move his hand with his mind. Check it out

3. ‘Shoebox IVFhope for infertile couples
Infertility is a sore subject for couples going through the ordeal especially where the cost of IVF makes any hope of conceiving your own child bleak.  A new method has been developed which drastically reduces the cost of one IVF cycle from £399 to £159.

4. UK Clinics Import Overseas Sperm Due to Shortage of 'High-Quality' British Semen
Still on the subject of fertility, the UK highlights the need for a national sperm bank.

5. Lab Grown "Mini Hearts" Help Battle Heart Disease
I’ve always found the subject of growing organs from stem cells fascinating. Scientists at Abertay University have grown mini hearts to be used in place of animals for research into heart disease and the model looks promising.

6. Science communication degree offers 50 free places
With increasing desire for scientist to engage with the public, science communication has been a recent area of interest and has been added to the choice of university subjects at a few institutions. A German University is offering 50 free places to international students. This is a great initiative especially as the science communication wave has not caught on to many countries.

7. U.K. researchers call for more teacher power to improve education
If we are going to be encouraging more pupils to take up STEM subjects we need good STEM teachers to stimulate and maintain interest. But how do you solve the problem of a lack of STEM teachers.

8. How to win £10 million with your research
The fight against antibiotic resistance continues. The UK has announced a £10 million prize award for whomever can "create a cost-effective, accurate, rapid and easy-to-use test for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time."

9. Proof-of-concept for host-directed tuberculosis therapy established by researchers
Current treatment for TB requires taking antibiotic drugs for at least six months and sometimes up to two years. With the problem of bacteria resistance to antibiotics, host-directed TB therapy means that TB patients who develop resistance to antibiotic treatment will now have an alternative form of treatment.

10. What's eating Luis Suarez: the psychology of biting?
Saved the best for last. So after the Suarez saga during the Uruguay game with Italy, I said to a friend, “I’m sure my scientist can diagnose his condition and give it a fancy name.” Not quite a diagnosis but here you go…

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