Scientists bid to create new GM crop

A team of scientists at Rothamsted have been working on a plant - to create a new variety of flax which contains Omega 3 fish oils

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Mobile phone game could help develop new cancer treatments

Cambridge is helping to lead the way in medical advances with the help of a new app for your phone or tablet launched by a leading cancer charity.

It comes on the day the World Health Organisation has predicted the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035 - but says half could be prevented.

The phone app comes in the form of a game which will help scientists in Cambridge to analyse gene data - and ultimately help to develop new treatments.

David Wood reports on the latest craze.

Super-fast broadband goes live

The first stage of an £11 million project to bring super-fast broadband to Northamptonshire will be completed this morning.

The Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, will be in Towcester as the new fibre-powered cabinets go live. They, along with other cabinets in Weedon and Paulerspury, will provide fast internet to 4,000 homes and businesses in the local area.

The new service is due to be rolled out across the county by next month.


Hawking: We will prove existence of multiple universes

5,500 galaxies seen through the Hubble telescope Credit: NASA

In a talk at the National Science Museum to mark the start of a new exhibition Prof Hawking also says the Large Hadron Collider may prove the existence of multiple universes.

Known as M-theory Hawking says multiple universes would occur naturally.

"These multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law. Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states at later times, that is, at times like the present, long after their creation.

Most of these states will be quite unlike the universe we observe, and quite unsuitable for the existence of any form of life. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist."

Ending his talk, he tells his audience: "So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and hold on to that child-like wonder about what makes the universe exist."

Hawking: I only studied for an hour a day at Oxford

Professor Stephen Hawking during a talk at the Science Museum Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Hawking has admitted he was a slacker at university.

As a student of natural science at Oxford University, he once calculated that he did about 1,000 hours of work during his three years at Oxford - an average of an hour a day.

"I'm not proud of this, I'm just describing my attitude at the time, shared by most of my fellow students," Prof Hawking told an event to celebrate the launch of the Science Museum's new "Collider" exhibition.

"Because of my lack of work, I had planned to get through the final exam by doing problems in theoretical physics and avoiding questions that required factual knowledge.

"But I didn't sleep the night before the exam, because of nervous tension, and so I didn't do very well. I was on the borderline between a first and second class degree."

Nonetheless, Hawking was awarded a first and went on to pursue a glittering career in mathematics and cosmology at Cambridge University, where he is now Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Hawking reveals he lost $100 bet on the God Particle


Hawking disappointed at God Particle discovery

Hawking: Disappointed Credit: PA

Cambridge scientist Professor Stephen Hawking has admitted he was disappointed at the discovery of the Higgs Boson - known as the God Particle.

Hawking is due to give a speech at the National Science Museum today and will say that: "Physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found."

The Higgs boson is theorised to give other particles mass. Had it not been detected last year at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the giant atom-smashing machine near Geneva, physicists would have had to reach for a more exotic solution to the mass problem.

Prof Hawking also said the discovery had come at a more personal cost - he lost a $100 bet.

"I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found," he says. "The Nobel Prize cost me 100 dollars."

Scientists map DNA to discover genes underlying rare genetic diseases

Scientists in Cambridge have launched a new project that will revolutionise the way they understand and treat rare genetic diseases.

Over the next three years they plan to map the DNA codes of 10,000 patients with genetic conditions. The findings will then be used to help speed up diagnosis and go on to create better care for patients.

Click below to see Tanya Mercer's report:


BT 'disturbed' by MPs' critical rural broadband report

A BT spokeswoman said the company was "disturbed" by an MPs' report that claimed the government's rural broadband scheme was mismanaged and left the internet provider with a near monopoly.

We are disturbed by today's report, which we believe is simply wrong and fails to take on board a point-by-point correction we sent to the committee several weeks ago.

We have been transparent from the start and willing to invest when others have not.

It is therefore mystifying that we are being criticised for accepting onerous terms in exchange for public subsidy - terms which drove others away.

The taxpayer is undoubtedly getting value for money.

BT faces a payback period of around 15 years on its rural broadband investments in spite of the subsidies available.

The DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) has imposed a rigorous auditing process that ensures every penny is accounted for.

– BT spokeswoman

Read: BT's 'near monopoly' of rural broadband attacked by MPs

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