Science: Defining DNA/Retracting science/Womb cancer gene/Bomb or earthquake?/HIV lives
Tuesday 07 October 1997
"Occasional retraction of published data is a normal part of the scientific process." So notes the journal Science - where, you'll recall, a study about pesticides, later found to be faulty, was published. Science is now issuing notice not only of breakthroughs, but also their converse - retractions - in its publicity material. The latest are some chemistry papers from 1994 and 1995 on a new spectroscopic technique to identify the bonding arrangement of atoms in an enzyme. Hope your PhD doesn't rely on it.
Gene of the week is one that may be linked to cancer of the womb. A team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan, reported in Nature Genetics that they found a mutation of the PTEN gene, on chromosome 10, in 55 per cent of the women they studied who had cancers of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Initial speculation is that PTEN may be a tumour suppressor gene - like its more famous cousin p53 - whose failure can allow cancer. Endometrial cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among American women, with about 35,000 diagnoses annually.
Was it a bomb? Was it an earthquake? The latter, say American seismologists, who say that US intelligence sources are ignoring publicly available data which would show that there was a small "seismic event" about 130km off the coast of northern Russia. However, the Department of Defense said that the event, on August 16, had "explosive characteristics" - indicating that Russia might be carrying out underground nuclear testing. That would undermine the Clinton-backed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the Republican party in the US opposes, as do some DoD sources.
A live HIV vaccine test - where 50 volunteers agreed to be injected with a "weakened" virus - could still cause Aids, says Boston scientist Ruth Ruprecht. She told New Scientist: "Weakening the virus's ability to replicate is not a safe vaccine strategy."
The German molecular biologist who admitted faking data in research papers has been dismissed from her job. Marion Brach, a professor at the University of Lubeck, admitted in May to falsifying data. Colleague Friedhelm Herrmann, has also been charged but has denied wrongdoing.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Downton Abbey fans unimpressed by Kindle sponsorship adverts
Thomas Heatherwick creates gin palace with a fantastical Willy Wonka vibe
Idris Elba 'absolutely' wants to play James Bond
Cilla, episode 2, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith continues to shine
Kendrick Lamar: New song 'i' released on Soundcloud sampling Isley Brothers - listen here
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books