European Science Correspondent
Chris's Feed
Oct 11, 2012

Astronomers discover unimaginably large diamond in space

LONDON (Reuters) – Astronomers have discovered a planet twice the size of Earth made largely out of diamond which is orbiting a star that is visible with the naked eye.

The rocky planet, called ’55 Cancri e’, orbits a sun-like star 40 light years away in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours.

Oct 9, 2012

Portable device points to better lung transplants

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have successfully tested a portable device to prepare lungs for transplant, potentially boosting the number of organs available and reducing the risk the operation will fail.

The Organ Care System, which has been tested on 12 patients in Germany and Spain, allows donor lungs to be prepared and preserved for transplant at body temperature, keeping them in better condition than the usual practice of cooling them down, according to results of a study published in the Lancet.

Oct 9, 2012

EMBARGOED Portable device points to better lung transplants

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Scientists have successfully
tested a portable device to prepare lungs for transplant,
potentially boosting the number of organs available and reducing
the risk the operation will fail.

The Organ Care System, which has been tested on 12 patients
in Germany and Spain, allows donor lungs to be prepared and
preserved for transplant at body temperature, keeping them in
better condition than the usual practise of cooling them down,
according to results of a study published in the Lancet.

Oct 9, 2012

A Nobel prize for being in two places at once

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. physicist David Wineland and France’s Serge Haroche share the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics for doing what Wineland once described as a scientific parlour trick.

What they did was apply one of the most successful theories in physics – quantum mechanics, which for a century has governed the micro-world where even an atom looms large – to objects in the lab.

Oct 3, 2012

Lost in migration: Earth’s magnetic field overdue a flip

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The discovery by NASA rover
Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars – the most
Earth-like planet in the solar system – should intensify
interest in what the future could hold for mankind.

The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment
like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly
solar radiation and helps some animals migrate, and it may be a
lot more fragile and febrile than one might think.

Sep 19, 2012

Quantum teleportation tipped for Nobel Prize – Thomson Reuters

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Researchers who wrote the
rulebook for quantum teleportation, described as “spooky” by an
exasperated Einstein, are among the 2012 Thomson Reuters
tips to win Nobel prizes for science.

Nobel prediction expert David Pendlebury’s annual forecasts
are based on the company’s “Web of Knowledge” data on how often
a scientist’s published papers are cited as a basis for further
investigation by other researchers.

Sep 13, 2012

British engineers develop ultra-cheap ultrasound

LONDON (Reuters) – Engineers in Britain have developed an ultrasound scanner that costs under 40 pounds to make and could improve prenatal care in parts of the developing world where this technology is out of reach.

The device, if it gets commercial backing, would enter a market where hospital-based ultrasound scanners cost anything between 20,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds ($32,100 to $160,600) and low-cost, portable devices sell for around 4,500 pounds each.

Sep 12, 2012

Dark energy is real, Anglo-German researchers argue

LONDON (Reuters) – Dark energy, the mysterious cosmic force thought to be the fuel behind the accelerating expansion of the universe, is real, according to an Anglo-German team of astronomers.

After a two-year study, scientists at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and LMU University Munich in Germany have concluded that the likelihood of dark energy’s existence stands at 99.996 percent.

Sep 10, 2012

Cheap and cheerful: scientists find colour that never fades

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Scientists have found nature’s
way of creating colour that never fades, a technique they say
could replace pigments used in industry with natural plant
extracts in products from food colouring to security features in
banknotes.

Layers of cellulose that reflect specific wavelengths of
light – ‘structural colour’ found in peacock feathers, scarab
beetles and butterflies – make a particularly intense blue in
the Pollia condensata plant, scientists say.

Aug 2, 2012

Size not the prize in bank stress testing, researchers say

LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – As banking regulators around the
world scramble for tools to avert the next financial crisis,
Swiss researchers have devised a method that could allow
real-time monitoring of stresses in the financial system.

The tool, which a team at Zurich university Eidgenössische
Technische Hochschule are calling DebtRank, challenges the idea
that the biggest banks are the ones that need closest
supervision.