Flower power

A chemical that stops spring flowers from being eaten before they sprout may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in New Scientist. Galanthamine, a substance found in the bulbs of daffodils and snowdrops, which induces nausea in animals, has in early trials been found to stabilise the symptoms of Alzheimer's sufferers for up to a year. A trial with 600 patients in hospitals in five European countries is ex-pected to start this summer.

Child obesity

British children are fatter than their French counterparts and are at greater risk of heart disease in later life, research by doctors at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, suggests. Measurements of 34,500 children aged three to 14 found them to be fatter than their French counterparts, says a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Needle sharing

The Acupuncture Research Resource Centre (ARRC) has opened in York to provide information on research and registered practitioners. More details from the ARRC, 122a Acomb Road, York Y02 4EY.