Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weekly science news round up.

Stephen Hawking: Why I support Assisted Dying
The assisted dying debate was revived this week with the bill being debated in the house of Lords..  Personally, I’m against it. Here’s why Stephen Hawking supports assisted dying

MH17 victims include former president of International Aids Society
A shadow was cast over this year’s International Aids Conference when the devastating news of the shot down Malaysian airline flight MH17 broke. The scientific community lost about six delegates who were travelling to the conference one of whom was Professor Joep Lange - a prominent and popular researcher and a former president of the International Aids Society (IAS). My condolence goes out to all who have lost loved ones in this tragic incidence.

'Four-winged' dinosaur discovery suggests prehistoric beasts could fly before birds
I read this story and had to smile.  It reminded me of one of the many media workshops on journalist and sensational headlines. I won’t spoil the story for you. Read on….

Heart Cells Transformed into "Biological Pacemaker"
Patients suffering from abnormal or slow heart rate rhythms are currently fitted with an electronic pacemaker to normalise the heartbeat. This is not without its complications and side effects. Scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles have developed a biological pacemaker by injecting a gene into heart muscle cells, which transforms these normal heart cells into special cells that can initiate a heartbeat.

New trigger for ovulation could make IVF safer
An alternative to hCG hormone stimulating injections have been discovered by Scientists at Imperial College London and the new method which involves injecting a natural hormone kisspeptin to make the eggs mature has been tested by clinicians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

UK science minister steps down
So parliament was busy this week with the cabinet reshuffle after David Willetts resigned as Science minister. Greg Clark has been named the new science minister. Expert reaction from the Science media center here

Why the immune system fails to kill HIV
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet may have found an answer to the cause of the delayed development of an HIV vaccine and cure.

Math can make the Internet 5-10 times faster
For the love of math and the internet, I had to share this.

Do women talk more than men? It's all about context
This one’s for the ladies. It’s all about context according to the experts.

Asthma drugs suppress children's growth, study suggest
The question of whether asthma drugs affect height is arguable. Previous reports have been published as far back as 1998, some disputed the claims, it was reported again in 2012 and here we are again. At this rate, I may have to conduct my own research into the effect of asthma drugs. Yep! I’m being a doubting Thomas. Read the expert reaction from the Science media centre here

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