Zoo news

A fishy story


The first fish ever to receive chemotherapy for cancer has died, probably of old age. Bubba, a large grouper, also changed gender in the mid-1990s — but that's quite common for a fish.

Number crunch

Last week four mathematicians were awarded the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel prize.

27,000 Google hits exist for Andrei Okounkov — recognized for his work on representation theory and randomness.

50,800 is the number of hits for Wendelin Werner — praised for geometric insights into statistical processes and field theory.

71,400 hits exist for Terence Tao — harmonic analysis and number theory.

516,000 hits exist for Grigory Perelman — nominated for his work on solving the Poincaré conjecture. He declined the prize because he didn't want the publicity.


Ethical stem cells

Scientists may still be debating whether a paper published in Nature last week by Robert Lanza and his colleagues at stem-cell company ACT represents an ethically acceptable source of human embryonic stem cells. But the business world seems convinced — the company's share price leapt from $0.45 to $2.30 in just 10 hours after the news became public.

Breast cancer research

“Breast cancer has become more about making money for corporate sponsors than funding innovative treatments,” according to Samantha King of Queen's University in Ontario. Strong words, but perhaps not unjustified. When she studied one high-profile firm's walk for breast cancer, she found that only 64% of the money raised went to breast cancer organizations.

Source: Pink Ribbons (Univ. Minnesota Press).