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Sidelines

On the Record

“Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day.”

Did an over-enthusiastic spell-check cause a Reuters story on the honeybee genome, published in Nature last week, to go somewhat beyond the scientists' findings?

“Everything from making a fighter more fuel-efficient to looking at the materials that munitions are made of.”

Spokeswoman Deborah Allen explains how arms-maker British Aerospace is investing in more environmentally friendly weapons.

“Money was spent on the Russian mafia as we tried to clone mammoths. You can't say that so we expensed it as money for cows.”

Woo Suk Hwang finally takes the stand in his defence (see page 12).

Zoo News

Hot hedgehogs

Credit: WWW.BRITISHHEDGEHOGS .ORG.UK

As the British get ready for 5 November celebrations of bonfires and fireworks, the Hedgehog Preservation Society is pleading for people to check bonfires before lighting them. “Piles of bonfire material look like five-star hotels to a hedgehog,” it warns.

Overhyped

It is dogma in the public-health community that the stigma of being HIV positive fuels the epidemic. The theory goes that people are afraid to use condoms, say, or seek testing, for fear that others might suspect their HIV status. But in a provocative essay in PLoS Medicine, Daniel Reidpath and Kit Yee Chan say there's no evidence for this. Establishing the link requires longitudinal data on levels of stigma and rates of infection, or at least a correlation between them in different areas.

Sources: BBC, Reuters

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Sidelines. Nature 444, 8 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/444008a

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