On the record

“That excommunication goes for the woman, the doctors and the scientists who eliminate the embryo.”

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, explains how he'd like to see all those involved in embryonic stem-cell research excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

“I prayed to find a mummy, but when I saw this, I said it's better, it's really beautiful.”

Nadia Lokma, chief curator of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, says she couldn't be happier about finding embalming materials and flowers in a coffin opened in Egypt's Valley of the Kings on 28 June.

Sources: Catholic Online, Washington Post


Giant beetles

Furniture makers in Wales are shocked by a huge bug in their timber. It turns out to be a rare Capricorn beetle, not seen in the country for centuries.

Stem-cell therapy

StemCells of Palo Alto announces success in treating a mouse model of Batten's disease, in which neurons lack the enzymes to break down a toxic chemical. Treatment with human fetal stem cells prolongs the lifespan of mice with this rare and fatal illness.

Number Crunch

Good news for Britain's biomedical researchers: the finances of the Wellcome Trust are looking very healthy indeed. The trust, a medical charity that has funding clout on a par with the UK government, said on 3 July that it will raise even more money by issuing its own bonds.

£12.3 billion is the amount in the charity's endowment, up from £8.1 billion (US$14.9 billion) in 1996.

10% is the average annual return earnt by the trust's fund managers over the past ten years.

£500 million in one-off payments is the sum the charity hopes to earn by issuing bonds.