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Video flying through space shows how universe would look to Captain Kirk

On the day scientists in the United States announced they may have detected echoes of the Big Bang at the start of the universe, researchers in the UK showed off a unique image of the cosmos in more recent times.

The team from Durham University used data from telescopes and satellites to put together a detailed map of thousands of galaxies, which Dr Peder Norberg compared to the view Captain Kirk and his team in Star Trek would have from their flights around space:


Why scientists think seaweed could keep you slim

Scientists at Newcastle University have done research which suggests seaweed could help you stay slim.

Scientists have identified a natural seaweed fibre, called alginate, that prevents the body absorbing fat.

Dr Matthew Wilcox was part of the research team.

Seaweed could be the source of fat-busting success

Fat-busting seaweed could be the future of slimming, new research suggests.

Scientists have identified a natural seaweed fibre that prevents the body absorbing fat.

Tests show that alginate can suppress the digestion of fat in the gut.

"We have already added alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely encouraging.

"Now the next step is to carry out clinical trials to find out how effective they are when eaten as part of a normal diet."

– Professor Jeff Pearson, from the University of Newcastle's Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

The researchers found that alginates containing more of a sugar molecule called guluronate were best at blocking fat digestion.

They compiled a list of the most promising seaweeds, including a brown sea kelp known as "tangle" or "cuvie", bladderwrack, and bull kelp.

The findings, published in the journal Food Chemistry, showed that a four-fold increase in one type of tangle alginate boosted anti-fat absorption activity by 75%.

Dietary fibre avoided the side effects of conventional anti-obesity drugs that inhibit enzyme activity, said the researchers.

"The inclusion of an alginate into foods.. has the potential to reduce the intake of dietary triacylglycerol (fat) and could greatly help in weight management."


Human brains 'similar' to those of insects

Professor Kennedy with his boom and an insect friend Credit: Northumbria University

According to a Northumbria University academic, humans are attracted to plant based substances such as tea, tobacco and drugs because our brains are similar to those of insects.

Professor David Kennedy has written a book showing how human brains are just a more complex version of those of insects.

The secret to younger looking skin?

Researchers at Newcastle University have found a type of anti-oxident which totally protects against some types of skin damage and may help our skin look younger for longer.

Scientists carried out a series of tests and discovered anti-oxident 'Tiron' provided 100% protection against UVA sun damage.

"To discover that Tiron offers complete protection against UVA damage is exciting and promising, however, it is early days as Tiron is not a naturally occurring compound and has not yet been tested for toxicity in humans although there have been a few studies on rats."

– Professor Mark Birch-Machin, Newcastle University

"This finding on Tiron provides us with a platform to study an antioxidant - preferably a naturally occurring compound with a similar structure which could then be safely added to food or cosmetics."

– Dr Anne Oyewole, Newcastle University

UVB radiation causes sunburn but UVA penetrates deeper, damages our DNA which harms the skins elasticity.

Anti-oxidents are man made or natural substances that may delay or prevent some types of cell damage. Some anti-oxidents can be found in many fruits and vegetables.

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