Richard Ingham

Montreal ‘marathon’ extends Kyoto

A United Nations conference agreed on Saturday to extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and launch a dialogue between Kyoto members and the United States on long-term action for tackling the greenhouse gases that drive dangerous climate change.

Aids: The struggle for good news

Twenty-five million people have died from HIV/Aids in 24 years, more than three million of whom died this year alone, and at least 40-million people today have HIV, a rise of about five million over the past 12 months. With just a month left to go, the World Health Organisation's goal of providing anti-retroviral drugs for three million poor people by the end of 2005 is poised to fall dismally short of the mark.

How Rasputin the Rat astounded scientists

For nearly five months, he led his pursuers a merry dance, swimming nearly half a kilometre across open sea to a new home, laughing at the traps and the poisoned baits and the baying hounds bent on killing him. When the annals of rodentology are written -- as they surely must -- this rat deserves an honoured place.

Elusive giant squid caught on film at last

Japanese zoologists have made the first recording of a live giant squid, one of the strangest and most elusive creatures in the world. The size of a bus, with vast eyes and a querulous beak, <i>Architeuthis dux</i> has long nourished myth and literature, and until now, the only evidence of giant squids was extraordinarily rare.

Atlantic braces for record hurricane season

This year is set to be one of the worst on record for hurricanes, scientists say, amid spectacular new evidence about the power of these storms and fears that global warming is intensifying them. Experts are warning that the brooding western Atlantic may serve up as many as 21 severe storms and hurricanes this year.

Progress at G8 summit uncertain after bomb attacks

As Britain reeled with shock following Thursday's bomb attacks in London, campaigners feared that the Group of Eight's (G8) lofty ambitions on Africa and Earth's climate would be pushed aside amid the outpouring of grief. Campaigners fear that their causes now face being dispatched back to the wilderness.

London blasts upstage G8 summit

The world's most powerful leaders got down to talks at the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, on Thursday on aid to Africa and climate change, but the summit was brutally overshadowed by a series of explosions that hit London.

The cosy image of a potential killer

Influenza has good PR for a disease that inflicts a six-figure death toll each year and, from time to time, leaps out to become a mass killer that claims even more lives than Aids. Flu is typecast as a bad case of the snuffles -- high fever, wheezing and coughing, a few days in bed and a couple more days convalescing, and everything starts to get back to normal. But this is not the diagnosis for all.

Sun to darken on day of pope’s funeral

Those who say eclipses herald history-shaping events will find support for their superstition when, on Friday, the sun will be briefly plunged into darkness on the day of Pope John Paul II's funeral. Astronomers, though, say the eclipse is simply part of a ballet in celestial physics between the sun, Earth and moon.

Monster star burst could have fried Earth

Stunned astronomers on Friday described the greatest cosmic explosion monitored to date -- a star burst from the other side of the galaxy that was briefly brighter than the full moon and swamped satellites and telescopes. The high-radiation flash caused no harm to Earth but would have literally fried the planet had it occurred within a few light years of home.

High-tech European probe reaches moon

Europe's first mission to the moon, the unmanned exploratory probe <i>Smart-1</i>, has been safely placed in lunar orbit after a voyage of more than 13 months, the European Space Agency announced on Tuesday. <i>Smart-1</i>, a tiny test-bed of revolutionary technology, was successfully captured by the moon's gravity on Monday.

Scientists resurrect genes from 1918 flu pandemic

Scientists working in top-security labs say they have recreated pathogens from the 1918 flu pandemic, the greatest plague of the 20th century, in a bid to find out why this strain was so extraordinarily lethal. The United States team took two key genes from the 1918 virus and slotted them into human flu viruses to which lab mice were known to be immune.

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