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- 06/06/14--10:08: _An 89-Year-Old Brit...
- 06/08/14--06:56: _The Gatsby Delusion...
- 06/08/14--07:12: _UK: 25% Of Criminal...
- 06/10/14--03:22: _5 US Special Forces...
- 06/10/14--04:13: _A Facebook Executiv...
- 06/11/14--04:36: _Scientists Are A Ke...
- 06/11/14--06:35: _'Spornosexual' Is T...
- 06/12/14--04:24: _Scientists Create A...
- 06/13/14--04:38: _Standing In Meeting...
- 06/13/14--13:57: _This Blue Diamond M...
- 06/14/14--08:26: _Great Grandson Of J...
- 06/14/14--12:36: _Chinese Workers Are...
- 06/16/14--05:05: _The Inspiration For...
- 06/16/14--06:40: _A Bachelor Party In...
- 06/16/14--13:35: _Arsonists Allegedly...
- 06/17/14--09:12: _The World's First P...
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- 06/18/14--05:01: _An Eccentric Chines...
- 06/18/14--12:32: _Scientists Find The...
- 06/18/14--18:46: _The 10 Most Impress...
- 06/08/14--06:56: The Gatsby Delusion: The 'American Dream' Is Totally Misunderstood
- 06/11/14--04:36: Scientists Are A Key Step Closer To Curing Blind People
- 06/11/14--06:35: 'Spornosexual' Is The New Metrosexual
- 06/13/14--04:38: Standing In Meetings Makes Workers More Creative
- 06/13/14--13:57: This Blue Diamond Might Be The Most Expensive Mineral Ever Found
- 06/14/14--08:26: Great Grandson Of John D. Rockefeller Dies In Plane Crash
- 06/16/14--05:05: The Inspiration For Gordon Gekko Is Now A Billionaire
- 06/17/14--09:12: The World's First Phone-Charging Pants Are Here
- 06/18/14--12:32: Scientists Find The 'Achilles Heel' Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
- 06/18/14--18:46: The 10 Most Impressive US Military Technologies Right Now
An 89-year-old Second World War veteran told he could not attend today’s D-Day events in France went AWOL from his care home and was found 12 hours later in Normandy with comrades police have confirmed.
The unnamed veteran decided to disregard his carers’ orders, put on his medals under his raincoat and set off to join events on the beaches of Northern France for the 70th anniversary of the landings.
After the alarm was raised at the care home in Hove, Sussex, police searched the area and checked hospitals and bus and taxi companies.
But the extent of the veteran’s resolve became clear on Thursday evening when police were informed by another veteran that the missing man had joined a coach party and made his way to Ouistreham.
Ch Supt Nev Kemp, police commander for Brighton and Hove, said the man was “reported missing to us by a care home who said he can't go to Normandy for D-day remembrance. We've found him there!”
A spokesman for Sussex police said: “We were called at 7.15pm yesterday (Thursday 5 June) by staff at a nursing home in Hove who said an 89-year-old who lived there had gone out at 10.30am that morning and had not been seen since.
“The nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm who said he had met the pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.
“We have spoken to the veteran who called the home today and are satisfied that the pensioner is fine and that his friends are going to ensure he gets back to Hove safely over the next couple of days after the D-Day celebrations finish.”
F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, the emblematic novel of 'the American dream’, is as misunderstood as that clichéd phrase
If America is a land of fables, then the “American dream” is supposed to be one of our favourites. Although most would call it a consolatory idea, the phrase “American dream” was in fact created to describe not America’s success stories, but its failures: it was intended as a corrective to acquisitiveness, not a name for it.
In 1931, F Scott Fitzgerald wrote an essay, “Echoes of the Jazz Age”, in which he noted that the 1920s “leaped to a spectacular death in October, 1929.” Less remembered is that he also marked the jazz age’s birth — with a violent protest against corrupt financiers. It started “when the police rode down the demobilized country boys” just home from the Great War at the behest of “goose-livered business men,” during the May Day riots of 1919; it began to seem that “maybe we had gone to war for JP Morgan’s loans after all.” Ordinary Americans would continue to pay the price for the 1920s. By 1929, more than half the population lived below subsistence level, while the richest one percent owned 40 percent of the nation’s wealth: capital had been siphoned to the top.
Such a top-heavy system seemed bound to keel over, and the historian James Truslow Adams (among others) predicted, before 1929, that a crash would come. In the same year as Fitzgerald’s essay, Adams wrote a book entitled The American Dream. His publishers didn’t think it a catchy phrase, so they persuaded him to call it The Epic of America instead.
By 1931 it was clear that many of America’s wealthiest had escaped the Depression unscathed; men like Joseph P Kennedy emerged from it even richer. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt began implementing the sweeping New Deal reforms, including financial regulations and tax reform, as well as medical, pension and welfare entitlements. The US Banking Act of 1933, better known as the Glass-Steagall Act, limited affiliations between commercial and private banking — which is why the narrator of Fitzgerald’s last novel observes, “since 1933, the rich could only be happy together.” By no coincidence the first head of the newly formed Securities and Exchange Commission was none other than Joe Kennedy, whom Roosevelt chose on the stated basis that it takes a crook to catch a crook.
It is against this backdrop of attempts at redressing inequality that the “American dream” emerged from Adams’s history as a way to discuss national redemption. The Epic of America was an instant bestseller; over the next decade, Adams continued to write in the mainstream media about the American dream, giving a language and history to burgeoning national debates about socialized education, healthcare, housing, and inequality. For Adams, the American dream included, but extended beyond, economic opportunity: it was “the belief in the common man and the insistence upon his having, as far as possible, equal opportunity in every way with the rich one.” It was about mitigating against privilege, not promising that everyone could be rich. But when the phrase “the American dream” went viral, it mutated — eventually connoting nearly the opposite of what Adams intended.
That’s not to say that Adams was a socialist; rather, he hoped that capitalism could become ameliorative. Because businessmen were being forced “to consider the good of society” in order to salvage their businesses, he wondered whether “broader consideration of the good of the whole nation” might emerge once “business also finds that that pays better?” Enlightened self-interest meant that it was “possible that society, still acting from the profit motive in a capitalistic and largely individualistic framework, may yet evolve a more beneficent order.” To save the American dream, corporations should recognize “the close correlation of our private good with the public good,” or what we now call corporate social responsibility.
Adams’s ideas were welcome to a nation that was trying to correct an economic catastrophe by changing its rules; a renewed sense of mutual obligation and commonweal seemed the obvious answer to many, an ethos that they used “the American dream” to indicate. The phrase took off, and was used to proselytize for state-subsidized education, public healthcare, public housing, even, by 1939, the moral imperative to join the war in Europe.
Today, the idea that the American dream has been replaced by an American nightmare has become the nation’s favourite way to discuss widespread inequality and downward social mobility. But for Adams and his readers, the nightmare was what had come before: it was in the 1920s, Adams wrote, that “the American dream was changed into a nightmare of gambling and corruption and mad spending.” Then the crash had come, but what had Americans learned? The nation had since passed through “three emotional states”: bewilderment, fear, and resentment, “directed against the bankers and other leaders who have betrayed their trust.” It surely must come as news to us today that in the 1930s most Americans were assumed to agree that the American dream was opposed to the accumulation of vast fortunes.
By 1939, the New York Times declared, “the dominant note is one of defeat. In its mildest form we have the emphasis on the American Dream, with the implication that American life up to now has been a non-fulfillment.” The American dream was not coined as a triumphalist phrase: it was always a way to talk about disillusionment. The vast debates sparked by the Depression ranged across political and moral economies, as well as financial ones. But that’s my point: when its originators discussed the “American dream”, they were recalling ideals that transcended the material. Today our invocations of the American dream focus almost exclusively on individuals’ material prospects — a usage Adams and his contemporaries would surely have viewed as symptomatic of our moral bankruptcy.
Given our impoverished understanding of the original meanings of the “American dream,” it should come as no surprise that readings of its most emblematic novel are often similarly inadequate. We project on to Fitzgerald our nostalgic, simplistic ideas about the 1920s as one big party, and assume that Gatsby glorifies the greatest parties of them all. (If you doubt that this is a common take on the novel, just watch Baz Lurhmann’s film adaptation from last year.)
A brief example: one of the popular songs that Fitzgerald quotes in Gatsby, “Ain’t We Got Fun,” sounds like a trivial, frivolous tune. It’s actually a song that satirises economic inequality, with the refrain, “One thing’s sure, and nothing’s surer / The rich get richer and the poor get … children.” It was a hit in 1921, a year of sharp recession: the American economy began surging in 1922, the year in which Gatsby is set. Gatsby is as much a post-recession novel as it is a boom novel, and it associates boom with corruption. Gatsby is linked to every fraud of a fraudulent era: bootlegging (the equivalent of drug-dealing today), financial swindles, gambling, and even the oil business, which by 1924 was a byword for government corruption in the wake of the Teapot Dome bribery scandal.
It has become a cliché that Jay Gatsby allegorizes America itself: idealistic, full of promise, easily corrupted, endlessly desiring, endlessly failing. For the novel’s narrator Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s “incorruptible dream” redeems his material corruption, but the novel leaves room for doubt. Just before Gatsby’s death, when he’s lost hope in his dream, Nick imagines him looking out at a frightening “new world, material without being real...” Without the dream to ennoble it, the merely material is “grotesque” and unrealized, not just meaningless, but poisonous.
This is the new world that Gatsby discovers, just before Nick turns his attention in the novel’s famous closing passage to the New World, which may also be material without being real, a nation that Fitzgerald has earlier described as consumed by the “business” of serving “a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty.” When Nick imagines Europeans seeing America for the first time, and finding in it “something commensurate to [man’s] capacity for wonder,” he invokes not the Puritans but the Dutch sailors — the merchants. Greeting these commercially motivated aspirants, Fitzgerald writes, the land itself “pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams.” The dreams may be great, but if they are pandered to, then they are also illusions.
Fitzgerald never uses the phrase “American dream” in the novel, but he comes close — and suggests in 1925 that it is a lie, or at least a chimera, a false promise of self-empowerment in which we are desperate to believe. “His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it,” Fitzgerald writes in closing, but “it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.” But Gatsby always believes in the green light, that entwined symbol of hope, renewal, envy, permission to go, and the colour of money. For Fitzgerald, Gatsby’s vast wealth is a sign of the failure of the American dream, not its success.
The metaphor we might consider is foreclosure: to preclude, to end possibilities; and in commercial terms, to block the possibility of redeeming a loan. Redemption becomes foreclosed, the dream is already lost behind Gatsby before he even tries to grasp it. The majesty of the dream means we cannot relinquish it, but its glory is so diminished that we are now blinded to what the dream really was, left only with dispossession — not only of very real American homes but also of the greater dreams they once symbolized, which Fitzgerald elsewhere describes as “an effort toward some commonweal, an effort difficult to estimate, so closely does it press against us still.” Fitzgerald suggests in Gatsby that we keep thinking our dreams should be bigger, when in fact they need to be better. It’s a lesson we have yet to learn, and the more we invoke what we think we mean by “the American dream,” the more the dream recedes before us, just as Fitzgerald predicted it would.
In 1940, a New York Times editorial remarked that when the Americans of the turn of the century “spoke of the American Dream, they meant the American hope, the American aspiration, the American ideal. When people wrote of the American Dream after 1930, they meant the American mirage, the American illusion… the American lie.” In less than a decade, the American dream had been so absorbed into the national imagination that America’s paper of record thought it was a phrase that dated back centuries – that only recently had the American dream been revealed as a lie. But it was a recent invention, and as Adams predicted, each generation would need to relearn the lessons of inequality and disappointment, an innocence we keep losing anew. Fitzgerald understood in the midst of the 1920s what most would only see in retrospect: that “the dead dream” will always fight on, as we try to touch the intangible, “struggling unhappily, undespairingly” towards what we keep losing.
Sarah Churchwell delivered the London Library Lecture at Hay last week and is author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby (Virago). Call 0844 871 1515 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk
Security services have lost the ability to track a quarter of the criminals previously being monitored in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations
A quarter of the criminals being tracked by British security services have fallen off the radar since the leak of spy secrets by former US contractor Edward Snowden, it has been claimed.
A senior intelligence source said hundreds of drug lords and people traffickers had gone to ground after being alerted to methods of detection used by GCHQ.
The UK’s electronic eavesdropping centre had also suffered a “sizeable reduction” in its ability to gather intelligence on terrorists over the past year, the source added.
They said GCHQ had been forced to reassess the safety of its staff and other people it works with in “hundreds of cases”.
Since Snowden stole and leaked 1.7m sensitive documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) a year ago, the source told the Sunday Times that GCHQ’s ability to monitor domestic and foreign crime syndicates “has reduced by about 25% over the past 12 months”.
They added that the disclosures had led criminals and terrorists to communicate in different ways, in a bid to avoid detection.
Sir David Omand, a former director of GCHQ, said the Snowden leaks had led to the shutdown of some of GCHQ’s operations.
He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that substantial damage to UK security has been caused by the Snowden revelations. I think it inevitable that many of those who have something to hide will have changed their communication methods as a result.”
However Emma Carr, acting director of the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, questioned the accuracy of the claims.
She said: “The public isn’t told the specifics of the threat and what the revelations have done to the capability.”
Five U.S. Special Operations soldiers were killed when a coalition airstrike accidentally struck their position in southern Afghanistan on Monday night,Azam Ahmed of The New York Times reports.
The incident is one of the deadliest friendly fire in more than a decade of war.
"[International Security Assistance Force] troops were returning to their bases after an operation when they were ambushed by the insurgents,"local police chief Ghulam Sakhi Roghlewai told The Telegraph."The air strike mistakenly hit their own forces and killed the soldiers."
The Times notes that there have been more than a dozen instances during the war in which airstrikes mistakenly killed American troops or allies when gunfights erupted between coalition troops unaware they were firing on one another.
About 50,000 NATO combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Nearly 10,000 U.S. troops, including Special Operations forces, are expected to remain until 2016.
Ongoing tensions over how to handle social inequality in San Francisco has sparked a rare outburst among venture capitalists.
Facebook executive-turned-venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya called for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to resign due to a "very stupid city government," spurring fellow venture capitalist Ron Conway to jump to his feet.
"How dare you!" shouted Mr Conway from the rear of the auditorium at the end of a discussion on inequality at Bloomberg's Next Big Thing conference, held at an exclusive resort just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
The city's role in bolstering technology, including giving tax breaks to Twitter and other companies, has come under fire in recent months as complaints rise about income inequality. Many city residents blame a growing wealth gap on large technology industry salaries.
On Monday, disagreements over who to hold responsible came to a head as Mr Palihapitiya told a roomful of executives that the city did not focus enough on its problems and blamed a "really, really, really broken political system."
Asked twice by moderator Emily Chang if the tech industry should take any responsibility, Mr Palihapitiya first said the industry's "spillover effect" should be weighed. One study from the University of California, Berkeley, concludes that each San Francisco technology job creates five more jobs.
"Having these expectations, it's kind of a false trade off," he then said. Mr Palihapitiya lives in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
By contrast, Mr Conway, who helped elect Mr Lee, lives in San Francisco and leads Sf.citi, a group of technology companies that is trying to tackle problems such as affordable housing and job creation.
"He is doing something," Mr Conway shouted at Mr Palihapitiya, referring to the mayor who Palihapitiya had said led a group of "ineffective or dumb" workers in city government. A spokeswoman for the mayor did not respond to a request for comment.
Until Monday, such outbursts remained the province of demonstrators, who in recent months have taken to the streets and blocked commuter buses from moving.
The buses, operated by companies such as Facebook and Google, ferry workers who live in San Francisco to jobs at companies 30 or 40 miles away in Silicon Valley.
Mr Palihapitiya, who grew up in Canada in a family of Sri Lankan immigrants, said those protests "weren't cool."
He also called for the city to take a 1 per cent equity stake in any technology company in return for city incentives such as tax breaks.
Mr Palihapitiya is a partial owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, whose plan to build a new arena on the site of two city piers was derailed earlier this year, partly because of regulatory challenges.
"If we had waited for the city, it would have been like waiting for Godot," Mr Palihapitiya said, referring to the never-arriving character in the existential novel by Samuel Beckett.
Mr Conway said the mayor was working on the city's problems, including creating more affordable housing.
"Maybe you could donate some," he suggested to Mr Palihapitiya.
Scientists have grown human retina from stem cells in an experiment which will give hope to hundreds of thousands of patients with macular degeneration.
The breakthrough, which involved growing tissue in a pertri-dish, could restore sight in people suffering from a variety of retinal diseases, according to academics from John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Researchers were able to grow a light-sensitive retina by taking adult stem cells and re-programming them back to an embryonic state.
Lead scientist Dr Valeria Canto-Soler, said: "We have basically created a miniature human retina in a dish that not only has the architectural organization of the retina but also has the ability to sense light.
"The work advances opportunities for vision-saving research and may ultimately lead to technologies that restore vision in people with retinal diseases."
The retina is the layer of photo-sensitive cells and neurons at the back of the eye that converts light signals into nerve messages transmitted to the brain.
During the experiment, Dr Canto-Soler's team were able to encourage initial growth of the retina, which then continued developing on its own.
"When we began this work, we didn't think stem cells would be able to build up a retina almost on their own," Dr Canto-Soler said. "In our system, somehow the cells knew what to do."
At a stage equivalent to 28 weeks of fetal development, the scientists tested the mini-retina by exposing it to pulses of light. They found that the lab-grown photoreceptors responded to light the same way as they do in the human eye.
Dr Canto-Soler, whose research is published in Nature Communications, said the technique opened up the possibility of generating hundreds of mini-retinas at a time from a person affected by blinding diseases.
These could be used to study the causes of retinal diseases in human tissue, rather than relying on animal models.
Drugs tailored to individual patients could also be tested on the structures. In the long term, diseased or dead retinal tissue could be replaced by laboratory-grown cells to restore vision, Dr Canto-Soler added.
Age-related macular degeneration, which is caused by a problem with the retina, is the leading cause of visual impairment in the UK, affecting up to 500,000 people, according to NHS figures.
It is most common in people over 50, with one in 10 people over the age of 65 thought to be suffering from the condition to some extent.
20 years ago, Mark Simpson coined the term 'metrosexual'. But now a new, more extreme, sex- and body-obsessed version has emerged, he explains
In a development which will probably have him running to the mirror yet again to search anxiously for lines, this year the metrosexual leaves his teens and turns 20.
How quickly your children grow up. Although it seems only yesterday, I first wrote about him in 1994 after attending an exhibition organised by GQ magazine called "It’s a Man’s World". I’d seen the future of masculinity and it was moisturised.
"Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are) is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade," I predicted.
QUIZ: Are you a spornosexual?
Two decades of increasingly out and proud – and highly lucrative – male vanity later, and the metrosexual remains the apple of consumerism’s rapacious eye. In a recent report, HSBC drooled all over his "Yummy"-ness, pointing out how mainstream metrosexuality has become.
This was of course old news to anyone with eyes to see the extremely image-conscious and product-consuming men around them – or in bed with them. Or the way that the glistening pecs and abs of men’s health and fitness magazines have been outselling the "lads' mags" for several years.
Or indeed anyone who saw the news last year that men in the UK now spend more on shoes than women .
From the perspective of today's fragranced, buffed, ripped, groomed, selfie-adoring world, it's hard to believe that the metrosexual had to struggle to be heard in the early 1990s. Most people were in "New-Lad" denial back then about what was happening to men and why they were taking so long in the bathroom.
Just as male homosexuality was still stigmatised and partly criminalised back then, the male desire to be desired – the self-regarding heart of metrosexuality – was scorned by many. Narcissism was seen as being essentially feminine, or Wildean – and look what happened to him. The trials of Oscar Wilde, the last dandy, at the end of the 19th Century helped stamp a Victorian morality over much of the 20th century. Male vanity was at best womanish – at worst, perverted.
The end of the 20th century, the abolition of the last laws discriminating against male homosexuality, and arrival of the preening dominance of celebrity culture with its Darwinian struggle to be noticed in a visual, "branded" world finally blew away the remnants of Victorianism.
To illustrate this, I only have to say two words: David Beckham, the working-class England footballer who became more globally famous for his attention-seeking haircuts, unabashed prettiness and rampant desire to be desired than for his footballing skills. Once the sari-wearing midfielder was outed in 2002 ( by me again, sorry ) as the ultimate metrosexual, everyone suddenly "got it". All that Nineties denial turned into incessant Noughties chatter about metrosexuals and "male grooming". But still people failed to understand what was really going on with men.
In fact, the momentous nature of the masculine revolution that metrosexuality represents has been largely obscured by much of the superficial coverage it got. Metrosexuality is, in a paradox that Wilde would have relished, not skin deep. It’s not about facials and manbags, guyliner and flip flops. It’s not about men becoming "girly" or "gay". It’s about men becoming everything. To themselves. Just as women have been encouraged to do for some time.
This uptake by men of products, practises and pleasures previously ring-fenced for women and gay men is so normal now – even if we still need to be reassured with the word "man" or "guy" emblazoned on the packaging, like a phallic pacifier – that it’s taken for granted by young men today who really have become everything. So much so that it can be too much for the older generation of metrosexuals.
With their painstakingly pumped and chiselled bodies, muscle-enhancing tattoos, piercings, adorable beards and plunging necklines it’s eye-catchingly clear that second-generation metrosexuality is less about clothes than it was for the first. Eagerly self-objectifying, second generation metrosexuality is totally tarty. Their own bodies (more than clobber and product) have become the ultimate accessories, fashioning them at the gym into a hot commodity – one that they share and compare in an online marketplace.
This new wave puts the "sexual" into metrosexuality. In fact, a new term is needed to describe them, these pumped-up offspring of those Ronaldo and Beckham lunch-box ads, where sport got into bed with porn while Mr Armani took pictures.
Let's call them "spornosexuals".
But unlike Beckham's metrosexual ads of old, in which his attributes were possibly artificially enhanced, today’s spornosexuals have photoshopped themselves in real life. Think Towie's Dan Osborne in a pair of glittery Speedos (and then have a lie down.)
Glossy magazines cultivated early metrosexuality. Celebrity culture then sent it into orbit. But for today’s generation, social media, selfies and porn are the major vectors of the male desire to be desired. They want to be wanted for their bodies, not their wardrobe. And certainly not their minds.
I suspect Wilde might have approved.
A pill which boosts the body’s natural defences could help fight off all cancers and stop them ever returning, scientists believe.
‘Delta-inhibitors’ were already known to help leukemia patients, but researchers were amazed to find they also work on a whole range of other cancers.
The drugs, which are taken orally as a pill, were so successful in leukaemia trials that the control group, who were taking placebos, were immediately switched to the medication on ethical grounds.
Now, scientists at UCL and Cambridge University have discovered that the same ‘delta inhibitors’ are also effective against lung, pancreatic, skin and breast cancers, and probably many more.
Cancer suppresses the immune system by producing an enzyme called ‘p100delta’ which tells it to power down, making it difficult for the body to fight the disease. The drugs ‘inhibit’ that enzyme, allowing the immune system to attack tumor cells.
The added benefit is that once the body has learned to fight off the cancer, it has in-built immunity, so that the disease can never return, unlike if it had been killed by chemotherapy.
Although the study was conducted in mice, researchers are confident it would work in humans and are hopeful that human trials will begin soon.
“This helps your own immune system fight off the cancer better. The good guys win. And it seems to work on all cancers,” said study co-leader Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck of the UCL Cancer Institute, who first discovered the p110 delta enzyme in 1997.
“It will work to a certain extent on its own, if the tumour is not too big, but it would be very effective after surgery, to prevent spreading.
“So it is very exciting. We have shown that blocking ‘p110delta’ also has the remarkable effect of boosting the body’s immune response against leukemia's as well as other cancers.”
The team showed that inhibiting the enzyme in mice significantly increased cancer survival rates across a broad range of tumour types, both solid and blood cancers.
Mice given the drug survived breast cancer for almost twice as long.
Their cancers also spread significantly less, with far fewer and smaller tumors developing. Survival after surgical removal of primary breast cancer tumours was also vastly improved, which has important clinical implications for stopping breast cancer from returning following surgery.
And they discovered that the immune system ‘remembers’ the cancer and can fight it off completely again. Mice who were given cancer a second time all survived.
“Our work shows that delta inhibitors can shift the balance from the cancer becoming immune to our body’s defences towards the body becoming immune to the cancer,” said study co-leader Dr Klaus Okkenhaug of the Babraham Institute at Cambridge University.
“This provides a rationale for using these drugs against both solid and blood cancers, possibly alongside cancer vaccines, cell therapies and other treatments that further promote tumour-specific immune responses.”
The drugs are already being used in clinical trials and have been granted Breakthrough Therapy status by the Federal Drugs Agency in the US, which means their development has been speeded up.
They could be available within just a few years if approved by European regulators and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
Professor Nic Jones, Cancer Research UK’s chief scientist and director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, said: “Treatments that train the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells are showing huge promise in several types of cancer.
“This new finding, although only at an early stage, offers the potential to develop more treatments that can do this in many more cancers, including ones that have real need for more effective treatments such as pancreatic cancer.”
The study was published in the journal Nature and funded by Cancer Research UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Wellcome Trust
Sitting for long periods of time at the office is known to cause bad backs and health problems, but it may also be stifling creativity, researchers believe.
Although chairs may seem like a good idea in lengthy meetings, they actually make people territorial and lethargic, it was found.
In contrast, standing up was shown to stimulate employees both physically and mentally, keeping them alert and focused, according to Washington University academics.
"Organisations should design office spaces that facilitate non-sedentary work," said Assistant Professor Andrew Knight of the Olin Business School at Washington University.
“Removing chairs could be a low-cost way to redesign an office space while also tackling the health effects of sitting in one place for too long,
"Our study shows that even a small tweak to a physical space can alter how people work with one another."
The team asked volunteers to work together in teams for 30 minutes and record a university recruitment video.
Groups worked in rooms that either had chairs arranged around a table or with no chairs at all.
After making the videos, research assistants rated how well they worked together and the quality of the videos.
The participants wore small sensors around their wrists to measure "physiological arousal"– the way people's bodies react when they get excited.
Prof Knight found that the teams who stood had greater physiological arousal and more willing to share their ideas.
"Seeing that the physical space in which a group works can alter how people think about their work and how they relate with one another was very exciting," Knight says.
Prof Knight said business should experiment with their office spaces by removing chairs and adding whiteboards to encourage brainstorming and collaboration.
In his own office he uses an adjustable-height desk so he can sit or stand and tries to minim ise time spent seated in meetings. He is now experimenting with walking meetings too.
"We've really just scratched the surface on linking group dynamics research with the physical space," Knight says. He and colleagues hope to help organizations experiment with different room designs out of the lab and in the real world. "Working in the field, with real organizations, will help us to examine the longer-term effects of physical space manipulations."
The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science,
An “exceptional” 122.5 carat blue diamond which could be the most valuable ever found has been unearthed at a South African mine owned by a London-based company.
The diamond is the largest found since 2008 in the Cullinan mine, just outside of Pretoria – the site where part of the Crown Jewels was discovered.
It is expected to sell for more than £20 million but will be worth a lot more when it is cut and could break current records. Recently The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat pink stone, fetched $83,145,650 million (£49 million) at auction.
"So far, the highest price on record paid for a rough diamond was £20 million ($35.3 million), in February 2010 for a 507 carat white stone, also recovered from Cullinan," said Martin Potts, an analyst at Finn Capp.
“We think that this stone may break that record."
Blue stones are more valuable than their white counterparts, and when diamonds are cut they are worth considerably more. The 120 carat Peacock Brooch, made up of a number of coloured diamonds was priced at £58 million ($100 million) by Graff Diamonds last year.
The mine is the site of the world’s largest certified diamond find – the 3,106-carat Cullinan – which was found in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.
Petra, the London-listed firm which acquired the mine in 2008, said tests were still needed on the “exceptional stone” to determine its value. The company confirmed it would not be sold before June 30.
A spokesman for Petra said: “The rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find.”
Petra sold a 29.6-carat blue diamond for almost £15 million ($25.6m) in February and a 25.5-carat one for £10 million ($16.9m) last year. The Star of Josephine diamond, found in 2008, sold for £5.6 million ($9.5 m) after it was found in 2008.
Petra rose 5.3 per cent to 176 in early trade following the find, the highest intraday (within a day) level for more than two years.
Last year The Pink Star, a 59.6-carat oval cut pink diamond set a world record for the highest price paid at auction for a diamond after it sold for 76.3 million Swiss francs (£49 million).
But auction house Sotheby’s was forced to buy back the flawless diamond earlier this year after the buyer defaulted on the payment.
The Pink Star was cut and polished from a 132.5 carat rough diamond mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999.
Sotheby’s still holds the world record price for a diamond sale after another pink diamond – the 24.78-carat Graff Pink – sold for £27 million ($46m) at auction.
A son of the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family has died after the small plane he was piloting crashed just outside New York.
Dr Richard Rockefeller, 65, was flying solo in his single-engine plane back to his home in Maine on the morning after celebrating the 99th birthday of his father, the philanthropist David Rockefeller.
The plane, a Piper Meridian, took off from Westchester County Airport just after 8 am on Friday and struck a line of trees just south-west of the White Plains airport minutes later in foggy conditions.
Dr Rockefeller, a father of two, had been working on a way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in wounded war veterans, family spokesman Fraser Seitel said.
"It's a terrible tragedy," Mr Seitel said. "Richard was a wonderful cherished son, brother, father and grandfather."
Dr Rockefeller's father David, the former chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, now JPMorgan Chase, and a prominent philanthropist, and a nephew of former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, who also was governor of New York from 1959 to 1973. On Thursday, Dr Rockefeller ate dinner with his father in Westchester to celebrate the family patriarch's 99th birthday, Seitel said.
Mr Seitel described him as an experienced pilot whose death left the family in shock.
The plane crashed in the hamlet of Purchase, a New York City bedroom community of about 10,000 residents that houses a State University of New York campus.
The airport was closed for a short time after the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating, and the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive later Friday.
An FAA control tower notified that the aircraft was missing from their radar" and an emergency response was initiated.
At the time of the crash, the weather was foggy and visibility was about a quarter-mile (400 meters), police and airport officials said at a news conference. Pilots of private planes make the decision about whether to fly in such conditions, officials said.
After narrowly missing the house, the plane hit some pine trees and crashed in a yard. The aircraft broke up into many pieces, which were strewn about the property, with some parts lodged in the trees.
Officials said there was no indication of a mayday or problem.
Dr Rockefeller chaired the United States Advisory Board for Doctors Without Borders for more than 20 years, ending in 2010.
He was involved in numerous other nonprofit activities.
"Every aspect of his life was to advance the well-being of the world," said Tim Glidden, president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, where Rockefeller served as board chairman from 2000 to 2006.
Dr Rockefeller is survived by his wife, Nancy, and their children, Clayton and Rebecca.
Chinese fraudsters are doing a roaring trade in fake sick notes designed to help football fans skip work during this month’s World Cup.
The 11-hour time difference between China and host nation Brazil means that only early risers will be able to follow the action here, with many games kicking off at 3am local time.
Unwilling to miss the pre-dawn matches, football-mad Chinese are reportedly turned to an underground network of counterfeiters, splashing out up to 300 yuan ($39.oo) for doctor’s notes allowing them to miss work after a long morning in the pub.
“White collar soccer fans looking to score a day off to watch the upcoming World Cup in Brazil can get an assist with fake online doctor’s notes,” the state-run Global Times said in a recent story about how Taobao, China’s answer to eBay, was awash with the fabricated documents.
For 100 yuan The Telegraph acquired a sick note allowing this correspondent to skip his Sunday shift after watching England’s opening match against Italy on Saturday June 14.
In China, the match kicks off at 6am on June 15.
The apparently legitimate note and accompanying medical record purport to be from the respiratory department at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital, one of the city’s best.
“Diagnosis: upper respiratory tract infection. Suggestion: one day of sick leave,” reads a dark blue scrawl on the document, alongside no less than four official-looking stamps.
Dated June 15, the note was actually produced more than a week earlier by fraudsters from a company called Shanghai Sick Notes.
A Ruijin Hospital official said: “We have heard of the sick note before but never seen one.”
Employers were welcome to bring suspect paperwork to the hospital for investigation, the official added.
“In the past, we have verified sick notes for employers who doubt the authenticity of the notes presented by their workers.”
Fraudsters in at least two other major cities, Nanjing and Beijing, are reportedly offering similar services although the South China Morning Post warned that those caught selling blank or fake notes could be jailed for up to five years.
Not all buyers were impressed with their purchases.
“A fake. My company discovered and now I’ve been sacked,” one vented, in a furious online review. “Liars! Absolutely not to be trusted!”
The boss of Blackstone’s hedge fund business, who was supposedly the inspiration for Gordon Gekko in the iconic film Wall Street, has become a billionaire on the back of a surge in the private equity group’s share price.
James Tomilson Hill, known as Tom, owns 17.4m shares in Blackstone, according to a recent regulatory filing, which are now valued at around $580m. The group’s shares have jumped almost 60pc in 12 months on the back of soaring profits in its private equity, property and hedge fund businesses.
The New York-based Mr Hill, who shot to fame as an advisor on some of the biggest takeovers in the 1980s, has also benefited from a steep rise in the value of his extensive art collection. The collection, which includes paintings by Rubens, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol as well as a raft of Renaissance bronzes, is thought to be worth around $500m, according to analysis by Bloomberg.
Mr Hill, 66, who is mentioned in Barbarians at the Gate for his role on the leveraged buy-out of RJR Nabisco, now heads Blackstone Alternative Asset Management which finances and invests in hedge funds. His division’s hedge fund assets have more than doubled since 2008 to $58bn. The firm listed in New York in 2007.
The former banker is the fifth Blackstone boss to join the ranks of global billionaires, including Steve Schwarzman and Peter Peterson who founded the firm in 1985. Tony James, president of Blackstone, has a $1.1bn stake in the company while Jonathan Gray, head of real estate, became a billionaire last year.
Mr Hill owns four Bacon paintings, thought to be worth $140m, according to Bloomberg. The financier also owns Warhol’s1962 Campbells Soup Can which he bought for $340,000 in 1996. In 2010 a similar sized painting from Warhol’s soup can series sold for $9m. His collection of bronzes have included Hubert Le Sueur’s “Venus” which belonged to Louis XIV. “I am ferociously competitive as a collector, just like I am in my business,” Hill once said.
A group of friends on a stag do made an unlikely discovery while out walking on a beach in New Mexico - a perfectly preserved three-million-year-old elephant skull.
The party was on a hike in Elephant Butte Lake State Park near Albuquerque when they spotted what looked like a bone emerging from the sand.
The friends began digging until the skull surfaced.
Antonia Gradillas, 33, who was out with the group celebrating a friend’s upcoming wedding when they made the find earlier this month, said: “As we were walking we saw a bone sticking out about one or two inches from the ground.”
They thought they had found a woolly mammoth and sent photographs they took of it to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
As it turned out, they were not too far off. The skull was found to belong to a stegomastodon – a prehistoric ancestor of today’s elephants and one much older than the woolly mammoth, which dates back to the Ice Age.
An archaeology group went down to the beach and packaged the skull, which weighs more than 1,000 pounds, in a cast before transporting it to the museum, where it will be studied and eventually put on display.
Mastodons – relatives of the elephant – stood 10 feet tall and migrated to North America around 15 million years ago, before becoming extinct about 10,000 years ago.
Experts believe receding water exposed the skull, which they say is the most complete of its kind and could shed more light on the mammal.
Gary Morgan, a paleontologist at the museum, estimated that the creature uncovered by Mr Gradillas and his friends likely stood about 9ft tall, weighed more than six tons and was about 50 years old when it died.
"This mastodon find is older than the woolly mammoth that tread the Earth in the Ice Age. It probably died on a sandbar of the ancient Rio Grande River," he said.
“It was living, drinking, feeding alongside the ancient Rio Grande three million years ago,” he said.
“This is far and away the best one we’ve ever found.”
Mr Gradillas said of the find: “This is the coolest thing ever. Some people with PhDs in this field might not even have this kind of opportunity. We were so lucky.”
A self-styled "rich kid of Instagram" who boasted on social media about driving expensive cars has seen four vehicles he used, worth more than £500,000 ($850,000), destroyed in arson attacks in just one week.
Aleem Iqbal, who calls himself “Lord Aleem”, works for his father’s luxury car hire firm and shows off about his access to the upmarket motors on Instagram, the photo sharing site.
The 19-year-old leased a new £340,000 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster for a wedding on June 6 but it was torched a few hours later outside a house in Luton, Beds.
Three hooded men pulled up to the house around 1am in a Mercedes 4x4 and doused the Lamborghini in petrol, CCTV images revealed.
The following week three more of his luxury cars, worth £200,000, were destroyed in a second attack close to his father’s Platinum Executive Travel firm in Yardley, Birmingham.
Two Audi R8 Spyder supercars and a Bentley Flying Spur were burned out and the attack was again caught on CCTV.
The clip shows two people walking up to the three cars before they were apparently set alight.
Mr Iqbal, who regularly posts updates about his life on Twitter and Facebook, said: "I'm not really in a great state of mind at the moment, I've had half a million pounds worth of cars destroyed in the last few days.
"I'm not sure if it’s an attack on my family because they would have come directly after me or my family if that was the case.
"However, I do believe it could be a vile act of jealously towards my business or it could just be mindless vandals on an arson spree.
"Either way, one thing is for sure they will be caught and when they do I suggest you sit back and enjoy the show because they will be going down for a long time."
After the first attack, Aleem from Solihull, West Mids, said: "Fortunately the driver was in the house at the time but this could have endangered lives, there could have been dead bodies.
"These arsonists really don't know what they could have caused.
"When I was told about what happened I felt the ground beneath me move.
"It has taken a lot of hard work and effort to get where we are and we cannot take a loss of £340,000.
"I thought it would be toast but the passenger seat and dashboard is damaged so hopefully we should be able to get it back onto the road within four weeks."
The company run by Mr Iqbal’s father Saleem, 43, leases Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bentley cars.
A Platinum Executive Travel spokesman said: "We're sure that the people who did this will be caught and that justice will be done.
"We're the market leaders in the premium car hire industry and this is bad for us."
West Midlands Police said: "An investigation is underway into a suspected arson attack at the Holiday Inn Express Car Park on Coventry Road.
"The three vehicles were well alight when officers arrived and are estimated to be worth more than £200,000.
"Officers have recovered CCTV that shows two offenders setting the vehicles alight at around 12.20am.
"We would urge anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously late on Wednesday or in the early hours of Thursday morning to contact the investigation team in Stechford."
The world’s first pair of wireless mobile-charging trousers will be unveiled on Tuesday as part of a new collaboration between British fashion designer Adrien Sauvage and Microsoft.
The project started six months ago when Mr Sauvage, 31, began experimenting with wearable technology.
“My phone is always dying so I was super interested in the idea,” he said.
The prototypes have now been developed and will be modelled tonight in Bloomsbury as part of the A. Sauvage spring/summer show at London Collections: Men.
The designer’s eponymous fashion label was established in 2010. Celebrity clients include actor Jude Law, director Terry Gilliam, and rapper Mos Def.
The trousers, described as a “wearable chino” by Mr Sauvage, have been fitted with a wireless charging plate from the Nokia DC-50, dismantled and reassembled within one of the front pockets of the trousers.
Mr Sauvage was keen to create a product that blended technology with high fashion, moving away from the “function over form” approach that has been taken by wearable technology designers to date. “This is one of the reasons for the collaboration,” he said. “We’re so far away from that kind of design.”
Engineering the trousers involved a lot of “trial and error”, he added. “Having something that you could wear without the technology feeling cumbersome was a challenge. It was also difficult to distribute the heat so that the wearer wouldn’t feel like they were in a sauna.”
Although these difficulties were successfully overcome, Mr Sauvage failed to make the trousers machine washable.
The A. Sauvage charging trousers will now be available to buy for the next three months through Amazon’s fashion store. The online giant recently launched a dedicated wearable technology store to tap into the market for hi-tech clothing, selling smart watches, fitness trackers and wearable cameras.
The price point has yet to be set, but Mr Sauvage predicts that the trousers will cost, “over $340”.
“We don’t see a mass-market opportunity for wireless-charging trousers,” admitted Adam Johnson, head of marketing for Nokia Devices, which supported the project. “We’re just having a bit of a hack, trying to move the wearable technology concept beyond smart watches. This is a world first.”
Fashion designers will incorporate technology into their products with greater frequency, Mr Sauvage predicted. “It’s already happening with sportswear and people use their phones so much that technology like this will be increasingly integrated into clothing,” he said.
Wireless-charging technology utilizes inductive charging using an electromagnetic field to transfer electricity between two objects. The charging pocket uses energy, sent through an inductive coupling to the phone, which then uses the energy to charge the phone battery.
The admirals of the Soviet Union declared North Korea’s prize submarine to be obsolete back in 1961, and Western experts stubbornly point out its inability to sink enemy vessels.
But Kim Jong-un, the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea, offered navigation tips and issued stern battle orders during a proud tour of a Romeo class submarine of the People’s Navy.
Designed in the 1950s, the vessel was in production for the Soviet Union for only 48 months until being succeeded by nuclear-powered submarines 53 years ago.
Every other navy in the world then gave up on the Romeo, with its noisy and easily detectable diesel engine – apart, that is, from North Korea’s.Today, the country has 20 Romeo class boats, comprising almost a third of its submarine fleet.
During his visit, pictures of which were released on Monday, Mr Kim mounted the vessel’s conning tower and went on a short voyage, during which the official news agency reported that the multi-talented leader “taught” the submarine’s captain a “good method of navigation”.
Mr Kim also urged his commanders to think “only” of “battles” and “spur combat preparations”.
Any captain of a Romeo class submarine might, however, view hostilities with trepidation.
The boats carry Yu-4 torpedoes, a Chinese-made weapon dating from the 1960s with a range of four miles.
The Los Angeles Class nuclear-powered attack submarines of the US Navy, meanwhile, carry Harpoon missiles that can sink a ship 150 miles away.
The North Korean vessel is a “basic” model with “virtually no anti-submarine performance”, says IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships.
This means the Romeo might try damaging a ship – provided it happens to be less than four miles away – but it would be helpless against an enemy submarine trying to send it to the bottom.
At least one North Korean submarine has gone to the bottom without any help from the country’s enemies.
A Romeo class boat sank in an apparent accident in 1985.
Of North Korea’s 20 submarines in this category, seven were supplied by China between 1973 and 1975 and the rest built in the country’s own shipyards between 1976 and 1995.
More than three decades after the Soviet Union had stopped making the vessel – and after it had been phased out by the navies of Syria, Algeria and China – North Korea was still producing its own version of the Romeo.
Mr Kim’s decision to pay a high profile visit seems at odds with the official doctrine of the so-called People’s Navy, which stresses the importance of camouflage and concealment.
So seriously were these tasks taken that 2004 was officially declared the “Year of Camouflage”.
On the 10th anniversary of that occasion, however, Mr Kim allowed photographs of the unlikely pride of his fleet to be released to the world.
Cdre Stephen Saunders, the editor of IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, summed up: “The fact that the Dear Successor is spending time on what, in any other navy, would be an obsolete submarine tells its own story.”
An eccentric Chinese billionaire has announced plans to invite 1,000 impoverished Americans for a slap-up meal in Central Park in a bid to show fellow tycoons there is more to life than “luxury goods, gambling and prostitution”.
Chen Guangbiao, a recycling magnate from the eastern province of Jiangsu, issued the invitation to his “charity luncheon for 1,000 poor and destitute Americans” through two prominent adverts placed in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal this week.
Guests will be given $300 (£177) to spend on “occupational training” as well as lunch at the Loeb Boathouse restaurant in Manhattan’s Central Park.
The restaurant, which featured in the 1989 comedy When Harry Met Sally, describes itself as “the ultimate urban oasis” and “a haven for romantics and nature lovers”.
Mr Chen said he hoped the lunch, which he expects to cost around $1 million (£590,000), would boost relations between China and the United States and change people’s perceptions of wealthy Chinese.
“I want to spread the message in the US that there are good philanthropists in China and not all are crazy spenders on luxury goods,” he told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on Wednesday.
The tycoon, whose past stunts include selling canned air to raise awareness of pollution and smashing a Mercedes Benz to draw attention to global warming, also hoped to serve as a role model for Chinese billionaires with a penchant for squandering their fortunes on “luxury goods, gambling and prostitution”.
“There are many wealthy Chinese billionaires but most of them gained their wealth from market speculation and colluding with government officials while destroying the environment,” he said.
“I can’t bear the sight of it, because all they do is splurge on luxury goods, gambling and prostitution and very few of them sincerely live up their social responsibility.”
It was not immediately clear whether Mr Chen’s guests would be offered a set menu at the Central Park feast or be allowed to choose from the restaurant’s à la carte lunch menu which features dishes such as Lemon-Oregano Crusted Salmon and Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi with Tobiko Caviar and Jalapeno Wasabi Vinaigrette.
In a 2010 interview with The Telegraph Mr Chen said he hoped to build a “charity army” of wealthy Chinese business people who would pump large chunks of their profits back into society.
The global threat of antibiotic resistance could finally be tackled after British scientists discovered a chink in the armour of deadly bacteria.
Health experts have warned that within 20 years even routine operations like hip replacements and organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection.
But now scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered how the bug responsible for E-coli and salmonella builds an impenetrable wall to keep out antibiotics.
They believe that within a few years they could develop a drug which switches off the wall-building mechanism, making the bacteria vulnerable.
“It is a very significant breakthrough,” said Professor Changjiang Dong, from the University of East Anglia's (UAE) Norwich Medical School.
“This is really important because drug-resistant bacteria is a global health problem. Many current antibiotics are becoming useless, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.
“Many bacteria build up an outer defence which is important for their survival and drug resistance. We have found away to stop that happening.
"The number of superbugs are increasing at an unexpected rate. This research provides the platform for urgently-needed new generation drugs."
The discovery, reported in Nature journal, could pave the way to a new generation of antibiotic drugs that work by bringing down the defensive wall.
Bugs such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are becoming increasingly immune to "last resort" antibiotics.
If the trend continues the world may see a return to the pre-antibiotic era when even a trivial scratch could prove fatal.
At the heart of the breakthrough is the way "gram negative" bacterial cells transport the barrier's molecular "bricks" to the surface of the cell and form a wall.
"Gram-negative" bacteria, which include Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the bugs that cause gonorrhea, cholera and Legionnaire's disease, are especially resistant to antibiotics.
They can evolve a number of mechanisms to make them immune to drugs, including reducing the permeability of their outer membrane.
But if the membrane barrier falls, the bacteria die - whatever other defensive ploys they may have developed.
Haohao Dong, another member of the UAE team, said: "The really exciting thing about this research is that new drugs will specifically target the protective barrier around the bacteria, rather than the bacteria itself.
"Because new drugs will not need to enter the bacteria itself, we hope that the bacteria will not be able to develop drug resistance in future."
The science community and the government said the research was a ‘welcome piece of news’
“We are facing a difficult era in terms of antibiotic resistance; the need for new efficacious drugs to treat infectious disease is clearly an important issue,” said Mark Fielder, Professor of Medical Microbiology at Kingston University and Hon Gen Sec of the Society for Applied Microbiology.
“The publication of data from the two groups is a welcome piece of news. Their findings give science an insight into some of the structures that are important in the development of a bacterial membrane.
“This could be of great importance as if we fully understand the workings and construction of structures that help bacteria function as effective entities we can hopefully then exploit weaknesses therein and kill the organism.”
Prof Brendan Wren, Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, added: “The studies open new avenues to the design a novel class of antibiotics to disarm and kill pathogenic bacteria."
Deputy Chief Medical Officer John Watson said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a hugely important issue facing the world today.
“We welcome all efforts in this area and we will follow any further developments with interest.”
As a laser weapon capable of shooting down enemy drones is developed by the US military, we look at other weird gizmos and gadgets soon to be rolled out by the US army
A laser weapon capable of shooting down enemy drones is being developed for the US military, defence department officials have announced, but it is not the only weapon in the military's plans for the future. Here are 10 other gadgets and weapons the US military is preparing to roll out.
1. Transformer TX Real Off-Road
The Transformer TX can be driven as a military ground vehicle then converted to fly as a helicopter and back again. These vehicles can be operated by humans or fly-drive by themselves. Due for delivery in 2015.
2. Magpul Folding Machine-Gun-9
Developed for the US Secret Service, the Folding Machine-Gun can be disguised as a laptop battery before being unfolded into a fully functioning weapon capable of emptying a 9mm 30-round clip. It fits into the back pocket of most civilian trousers. Still in prototype phase.
3. Wildcat robot
Moving uncannily like a live creature, the Wildcat can run at 16mph on flat surfaces, bounding and galloping like a real animal. It is designed to support combat troops on the ground and will eventually be able to run even more quickly over all types of terrain.
4. Armatix Digital Revolver
Digital handgun with an electronic safety which can automatically be disabled via a wristwatch. The watch can be configured to require fingerprint authorisation, which is then analysed through the device's internal database and becomes activated for a restricted time period or until it's manually deactivated.
After registering the wireless signal sent from the watch, the revolver's LED light on the back flashes green (unlocked) or red (locked) to inform the user of the gun's initial setting.
5. M32 Multiple Grenade Launcher
As well as firing 40mm grenades at a rate of 18 a minute, the M32 can shoot off rounds which float to the ground via a parachute and capture aerial video footage.
6. Corner Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher
With a hinged frame that extends the barrel of this grenade launcher horizontally at a 60 degree angle, a digital camera on the barrel and video screen, the Corner Shot allows sharpshooters to fire around corners.
Capable of firing 60mm rounds and tear gas, the grenade launcher has a target range of 150 metres.
7. AH-64 Apache attack helicopters
New technology just rolled out by the US military allows Apache helicopter pilots to see targeting and surveillance data in full, high-resolution colour, rather than black and white, giving them a huge advantage in spotting enemy positions.
8. Navy's Google Glass
The Navy is developing technology similar to that employed for Google Glass which would allow superimposed computer-generated information to appear in front of a sailor’s eyes.
9. Reliant Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
The Reliant is a robot that operates underwater to protect Navy vessels and American waters from enemy mines. Capable of acting without human input, it recently set a record by successfully completing a 315-mile mission.
10. Satellite traffic cops
Scientists are developing satellites which will work like traffic police to protect military drones and other airborne equipment.
The Space-Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris (STARE) system is being designed in response to the more than 500,000 pieces of “space junk” thought to be orbiting the Earth.