Short items

GSK trials malaria vaccine 

Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has begun a Phase III clinical trial of Mosquirex, its potential malaria vaccine, in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The trial includes 1,200 children so far, but could increase to 16,000 patients in seven African nations. The vaccine could arrive just in time, as researchers in Cambodia have begun to see resistance developing to the most modern malaria drugs, the artemesinins. The Times, 1 June 2009 

New technique detects beef and pork proteins in chicken 

A new analysis technique has allowed the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to detect beef-and pork-derived collagen used in bulking powders injected into chicken meat. The new method detects species-specific protein fragments rather than DNA, which can be degraded beyond the recognition of standard tests. The FSA says the chicken is safe to eat but raises issues of consumer misinformation. The Independent, 4 June 2009  

China lines up solar investment 

China is proposing massive investment to promote solar electricity generation. China is already the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic (PV) panels, but most of these are exported. With profits falling due to a drop in demand for PVs, the investment will boost industry and contribute to renewable energy targets. The Guardian, 27 May 2009 

Cancer drug wipes fingerprints 

A cancer patient entering the US was held for four hours because officials couldn’t find his prints. The drug he was taking to control his cancer, capecitabine, had caused a mild case of hand-foot syndrome - inflammation of his hands which had eventually eradicated his fingerprints. Patients on the drug have been advised to carry a doctor’s letter explaining their condition. The Times, 27 May 2009