By Bill Berkrot NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drugmakers are renewing efforts to develop medicines to fight emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but creating new classes of drugs on the scale needed is unlikely to happen without new financial incentives to make the effort worth the investment, companies and industry experts said. "The return on investment based on the current commercial model is not really commensurate with the amount of effort you have to put into it," said David Payne, who heads GlaxoSmithKline PLC's antibiotics drug group. Other pharmaceutical companies expressed a similar sentiment.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Saturday inflated an experimental fabric module that may provide a less expensive and safer option for housing crews during long stays in space, a NASA TV broadcast showed. Designed and built by privately owned Bigelow Aerospace, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, is the first inflatable habitat to be tested with astronauts in space. Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace previously flew two unmanned prototypes.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists for the first time have directly detected key organic compounds in a comet, bolstering the notion that these celestial objects delivered such chemical building blocks for life long ago to Earth and throughout the solar system. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft made several detections of the amino acid glycine, used by living organisms to make proteins, in the cloud of gas and dust surrounding Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, scientists said on Friday. Glycine previously was indirectly detected in samples returned to Earth in 2006 from another comet, Wild 2.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An analysis of radar images that peered inside the polar ice caps of Mars shows that Earth's neighbor is coming out of an ice age that is part of an ongoing cycle of climate change, scientists said on Thursday. The Martian ice began its retreat about 370,000 years ago, marking the end of the last ice age, according to the research published in the journal Science. Using images taken by satellites orbiting Mars, the researchers determined that about 20,872 cubic miles (87,000 cubic km) of ice has accumulated at its poles since the end of the ice age, mostly in the northern polar cap.
It poses a thorny problem for European policymakers wary of new molecular manipulation in agriculture after a quarter century of conflict over genetically modified food. In a research lab in Norwich, 100 miles northeast of London, Wendy Harwood is making exact DNA tweaks in barley plants to produce better-germinating grain, with higher yield and quality. "We've never been able to go in and make such a precise change as we can now with gene editing," said the John Innes Centre scientist.