Science & Technology

Light in low gear

It’s fascinating that scientists from time to time think the unthinkable.  Here, this MIT group have actually merged mass-less photons of light together to get … well, a new form of light, one where the photons have mass and a slower speed.  So, if gaining mass also slowed the photons down, as this paper says, […]

Painless, self-administered, dissolving – Microneedle Patches

Here’s something in an area where we’ve worked on IP – microneedle patches.   There’s been a lot of news flow on this technology but this piece is worth singling out as it’s a report on Phase I trials.  Virtually painless, capable of self-administration and the microneedles themselves dissolve whilst still penetrating the skin – fascinating, […]

Novel MRSA-killing anibiotic from newly discovered nasal bacterium

The war against antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to produce interesting new knowledge.  Antibiotic production by microbes has tended to be found in the fungus kingdom and amoungst soil bacteria which compete with each other. This group at University of Tubingen near Stuttgart report discovery of an antibiotic-producing Staphylococcus bacterium in human nasal passages, one of just […]

Helium exploration strategy developed on new reserves find to supply MRI scanners etc

Helium-free MRI scanners have been developed in the last few years. But He is still used in the earlier generation of these critically important pieces of medical equipment. It’s also used in semiconductor manufacture and other applications. Known reserves have been dwindling alarmingly – mostly due to lack of viable gas exploration strategies. This Oxford/Durham […]

Research focusses attention on how climate change can effect the soil ecosystem

The sheer scale of microorganism species diversity even in small soil samples verges on the fantastic.  This piece summarizes a complex original paper ( that illustrates how this area of microbiology is getting attention, and puts across how complex the soil ecosystem is. Through the example of how anticipated climate change may affect larger bacteria-grazing […]

Milestone in the search for a universal cancer vaccine

In a tough field, this work led from Johannes Gutenberg University might be a real milestone. RNA encoding cancer-specific antigen is carried by lipoprotein-complex nanoparticles and administered intravenously. An electrical charge targets them to immune system lymphoid dendritic cells to get immune defences going. What’s attracting attention is that almost any tumour antigen can be […]

Astonishing anti-Greenhouse effects of Tropical Cyclones in SE United States

Underlining the ecological value of forests assets, this is, in scale terms, an unexpected example of Nature’s magnificent ability to compensate for challenges mankind throws at it.  It isn’t just that tropical cyclones in the SE United States have been found substantially to increase forest photosynthesis/growth – and thus uptake of carbon. Nor is it that […]