European Science Correspondent
Chris's Feed
Dec 21, 2012

EU starts safety review of Merck cholesterol drug

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Europe’s medicines watchdog has
launched a review of Merck & Co Inc’s cholesterol drug
Tredaptive after the medicine failed a U.S. trial assessing its
effectiveness and safety.

Although the commercial fallout from any decision to pull
the drug from the market in Europe would be limited, it would be
a blow to Merck’s reputation.

Dec 17, 2012

Mind-controlled robotic arm has skill and speed of human limb

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – A paralysed woman has been able
to feed herself chocolate and move everyday items using a
robotic arm directly controlled by thought, showing a level of
agility and control approaching that of a human limb.

Jan Scheuermann, 53, from Pittsburgh, was diagnosed with a
degenerative brain disorder 13 years ago and is paralysed from
the neck down.

Dec 17, 2012

Mind-controlled robotic arm gets closer than ever to human limb

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Researchers in the United States
have developed a robotic arm controlled directly by thought with
a level of agility closer than ever to a normal human limb.

Jan Scheuermann, a 52 year-old woman who was diagnosed with
a degenerative brain disorder 13 years ago and is paralysed from
the neck down, was able operate the robotic arm with a level of
control and fluidity not seen before in this type of advanced
prosthesis.

Dec 11, 2012

New material for stretchy electronics inspired by nature

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Scientists in Switzerland have
come up with a material mimicking the way tendons connect to
bones, which could speed the development of stretchy, wearable
electronic devices.

The stretchable electronics industry is in its infancy but
devices that are able to flex without breaking could
revolutionise devices from smartphones and solar cells to
medical implants.

Dec 11, 2012

Hawking and CERN scoop world’s richest science prize

LONDON (Reuters) – Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist who urged people to “be curious” in the Paralympics opening ceremony, has landed the richest prize in science for his work on quantum gravity and how black holes emit radiation.

Wheelchair-bound Hawking won $3 million from Russian Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who set up his prize this year to address what he regards as a lack of recognition in the modern world for leading scientists.

Dec 5, 2012

Britain finds extra money for science in austere times

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Intense lobbying by Britain’s
science community seems to be paying off as finance minister
George Osborne announced an extra 600 million pounds ($966
million) for capital investment in science over the next three
years.

The new money follows a string of recent decisions to spend
more on science, including 50 million pounds for a graphene
research centre in Manchester and a 30 percent increase in
Britain’s contribution to the European Space Agency.

Dec 5, 2012

Earliest known dinosaur discovered

LONDON (Reuters) – Researchers have found what could be the earliest known dinosaur to walk the Earth lurking in the corridors of London’s Natural History Museum.

A mysterious fossil specimen that has been in the museum’s collection for decades has now been identified as most likely coming from a dinosaur that lived about 245 million years ago – 10 to 15 million years earlier than any previously discovered examples.

Nov 28, 2012

British company claims biggest engine advance since the jet

LONDON (Reuters) – A small British company with a dream of building a re-usable space plane has won an important endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after completing key tests on its novel engine technology.

Reaction Engines Ltd believes its Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on Earth to no more than four hours away.

Nov 28, 2012

British company claims biggest engine breakthrough since the jet

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – A small British company with a
dream of building a re-usable space plane has won an important
endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after
completing key tests on its novel engine technology.

Reaction Engines Ltd believes its novel Sabre engine, which
would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket
in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform
air travel by bringing any destination on earth to no more than
four hours away.

Nov 23, 2012

Science fund cuts could hurt EU recovery, scientists warn

LONDON (Reuters) – Cutting science funding in the European Union would threaten economic recovery in the bloc, the heads of scientific organisations said on Friday after such cuts were proposed.

“We believe it would be deeply damaging to future economic growth if we were to cut funding now,” Andrew Harrison, director general of Grenoble-based neutron research centre the Institut Laue-Langevin, told Reuters.