Monday 23 December 1996
The Museum of Improbable Research is now open if you're dropping by Harvard University. It's devoted to collecting "irrelevant objects" from research efforts that are "unlikely to receive funding through normal channels", says curator Marc Abrahams, who is also editor of the Annals of Improbable Research - devoted to research which "could not, or should not, be repeated". Among exhibits is an unclaimed 1996 Ig-Nobel prize, a decapitated Barbie and a "Studmuffins of Science" calendar - as featured on this page a year ago.
Could some breast cancer be caused by underlying genetic abnormalities in apparently normal tissue? That's the suggestion of a team from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco who analysed breast tissue from a small number of patients after mastectomies. Some patients showed genetic changes in otherwise normal tissue next to the cancer.
The conclusion: some breast cancers may arise because the normal tissue near the tumour acts as localised, predisposed regions. They say, however, that larger studies are needed to confirm the work.
Hi-tech industry in the UK has a bright future, thanks to the quality of research being done in universities, said a survey published last week. As part of a rating exercise of every university department in the country, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, computer science was found to be healthier than ever. Relative newcomers to the top table included Bath, Bristol, Lancaster and Southampton universities. Top scorers were Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, Warwick, York and Glasgow universities.
Radiation doses received by people living near Greenham Common and Newbury, where a US airbase stored nuclear weapons, are no different from those received elsewhere in the country, according to the National Radiological Protection Board. It studied 29 locations outside the base and 18 inside it. None of the measurements was higher than would be expected for natural radiation in the area, it says in a report published last week.
Not a breakthrough, but a break: the Science page is taking a seasonal week's break, and will be back in the New Year. We hope readers experience a happy Christmas - within experimental limits, of course.
- 1 Stem cells that can kill cancer have been engineered by scientists
- 2 Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench back campaign to stop Thailand dog meat trade
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
Stem cells that can kill cancer have been engineered by scientists
Ottawa shooting: 'Sergeant-at-arms shot suspect at point-blank range after diving around pillar'
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Jack Bruce dead: Cream bass player dies of liver disease aged 71
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
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