theoretically

Americans are fatter now than at any time since the US government began keeping track in the Sixties, thanks to TV remote controls, garage door openers, etc, according to a survey which examined 22,388 people. "There have been a lot of conveniences that essentially eliminate activity," said Richard Troiano, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found that more than one-third of adults, 12 per cent of teenagers and 14 per cent of children are overweight.

A clone? Maybe not. Belgian doctors were quick yesterday to deny a report in the Sunday Times that they had cloned humans during an in vitro fertilisation experiment. True, they obtained twins after implanting only one embryo, but Professor Robert Schoysman, head of the fertility laboratory at the Van Helmont hospital in Vilvoorde, a northern suburb of Brussels, said that the embryo can spontaneously "later divide and produce identical twins". And, he insists, "It's nothing to do with cloning."

If you're hungry for more information on sheep cloning or E coli 0157, and have an Internet connection, you could look at CAB International's Web site on http://www.cabi.org and follow the "What's New" links. These offer extracts from scientific papers.

Maybe anti-inflammatory drugs are the literal panaceas, or cure-alls. Scientists from the US National Institute on Ageing and Johns Hopkins University announced yesterday that taking ibuprofen regularly for as little as two years reduces the likelihood of getting Alzheimer's disease. Aspirin and acetaminophen did not reduce the risk, although the researchers felt further study was warranted of people taking larger doses of aspirin. The work, tracking 2,800 people over 30 years, reported in the journal Neurology, found that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) halved the risk of developing degenerative brain disease. However, full clinical trials are needed; long-term NSAIDS use can cause ulcers and kidney problems.

Gene of the week was the one tracked down by a team at the University of Glasgow. It's important for turning on and off the production of telomerase - the enzyme that keeps the telomere, the "fuse" that burns down as a cell divides, from shortening. The gene, hTR, appears to be damaged in some cancers; its normal function is to provide some of the blueprint for the enzyme. If the hTR gene is damaged, then telomerase levels are too high. Hence a cancer cell can keep dividing indefinitely. The work is reported in the latest issue of Oncology.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project