Archive for May 20th, 2010

20
May
10

Scientists create artificial life in laboratory

NEWS
Scientists create artificial life in laboratory

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Science

••• U.S. scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome, in a breakthrough which may lead to creating bacteria to clean up environmental problems, a new study shows.
‘This is the first synthetic cell that’s been made,’ said lead researcher Craig Venter on Thursday.

‘We call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesiser, starting with information in a computer.’

Now the method could be used to design bacteria specifically to help produce biofuels or to clean up environmental hazards, said the study carried out by the J. Craig Venter Institute, and published in the journal Science.
‘This becomes a very powerful tool for trying to design what we want biology to do. We have a wide range of applications (in mind),’ said Venter, co-author of the first sequencing of the human genome in 2000.

Venter’s team announced in 2008 that it had chemically synthesised a bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium to another to recreate the complete genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium.

Thursday’s announcement builds on the team’s earlier work.

Potential applications include producing algae to clean up carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, or making new clean energy hydrocarbons for refineries.

Researchers also hope to work on techniques to speed up the production of vaccines and to make new food ingredients and chemical substances.
Related: Venter team creates first synthetic living cell
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): John Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp.
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20
May
10

British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

NEWS
British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NEWS

••• British Airways cabin crew will go on strike for five days from Tuesday after the Unite union won an appeal against a High Court injunction blocking the action.

A series of five-day walkouts had been due to start this week but last Tuesday the High Court ruled in favour of British Airways as the airline made a last-ditch bid to stop the walkouts, Sky News reported today.

Overnight, two out of three judges sitting at the Court of Appeal in London accepted the union’s challenge to the High Court ruling.

After the decision, Unite announced a five-day strike from Tuesday next week.

British Airways said it was “disappointed for its customers” that Unite’s appeal had been upheld and described the strikes as “unjustified and pointless.”

It said, “We are confident that thousands of cabin crew will ignore Unite’s strike call and help us fly more than 70 percent of the customers who were booked to fly with us in the period targeted.”

The union originally announced four five-day stoppages from May 18-22 inclusive, then from May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9, the last strike ending just two days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.

Joint Unite leader Tony Woodley repeated his claim the original dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew had been agreed in principle.

He said British Airways now had an “ideal opportunity” to settle the dispute despite the legal wrangle.

Mr. Woodley accused the airline of being “incredibly petty and vindictive” by refusing to fully restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike in March and over disciplinary action taken against more than 50 union members.
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp. and British Airways PLC
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