Click to follow
The Independent Online
Yet another reason to eat up your greens: they can help fight cancer. Green vegetables have long been known to contain antioxidants that combat free radicals (highly reactive chemicals produced in reactions) in cells. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore now find that cancer cells may produce a surplus of free radicals, sending signals that promote more uncontrolled cell growth. Antioxidants could interfere with that, they report in Science. But how to explain that to fussy children?

A brain drain in reverse? It may happen: the University of Surrey, in Guildford, has attracted pledges of almost pounds 1m to attract post-doctoral research graduates from around the world. The scheme is sponsored so far by BG (British Gas), British Steel, the oil companies Fina and PetroFina, Philips Electronics UK, Unilever, and Guildford Borough Council.

A wonderful new way to worry about what you eat. A free program available on the World Wide Web from the University of Illinois, at Champaign, lets you analyse the nutrient content of your food. The program, NAT, can be found at "Nothing in it says, `Hey, you are not eating well', but it lets you see if the fat content is high, for example," said Christopher Hewes, who helped build it.

Children aged 10 to 12 take in more information from a TV screen than from printed words, says New Scientist, reporting a Dutch survey. Half the children in a group watched two-minute news items on TV once; the others read a transcript as many times as they wanted. The TV group afterwards answered 51 per cent of questions correctly, compared with 42 per cent of the reading group.

Japan is to provide at least half the funding for an experimental facility to be built by CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, to study the characteristics of antimatter. The Antiproton Decelerator, as it will be known, is expected to cost about pounds 3m. Japan is also spending roughly pounds 4m on a "major antimatter research project" using the site. Two years ago CERN produced the first atoms of antihydrogen (made of a positron and antiproton). Now physicists will be able to see whether antimatter behaves like matter. And in the future - could it be Captain Sulu not Captain Kirk running the USS Enterprise?

Yes, the climate really is warming up. Greenhouse sceptics have long used conflicting data from satellite measurements (which seemed to suggest a fall of 0.05 C in low-level temperature between 1979 and 1995) to contradict those who say climate change is going on. But work published in last week's Nature, with a re-analysis of data from the Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) aboard several different satellites shows that some of the apparent cooling was an artefact of the method used in recording. The real trend in MSU temperatures is not downwards but (slightly) upn