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A new approach to calibrating quantum mechanical measurement has been developed with particular applications in optics and super-secure quantum communication.Scientists have used the approach to directly calibrate a detector that can sense the presence of multiple individual photons, it is revealed in research published today in Nature Physics.

Being able to sense the presence of individual photons is an important requirement for the development of future long-distance quantum communication devices and networks. One of the potential applications of this new detector is in devices for secret communications, which could allow information to be exchanged in total security guaranteed by the laws of physics, with no possibility of interception, or eavesdropping.
One of the most important developments in human civilization was the practice of sustainable agriculture, but we were not the first - ants have been doing it for over 50 million years. Just as farming helped humans become a dominant species, it has also helped leaf-cutter ants become dominant herbivores, and one of the most successful social insects in nature. According to an article in the November issue of Microbiology Today, leaf-cutter ants have developed a system to try and keep their gardens pest-free; an impressive feat which has evaded even human agriculturalists.
A new class of exceptionally effective catalysts that promote the powerful olefin metathesis reaction has been discovered by a team of Boston College and MIT scientists, opening up a vast new scientific platform to researchers in medicine, biology and materials.

The new catalysts can be easily prepared and possess unique features never before utilized by chemists, according to findings from a team led by Boston College Prof. Amir H. Hoveyda and MIT Prof. and Nobel laureate Richard Schrock, who shared the 2005 prize in Chemistry for early discoveries of catalytic olefin metathesis. The team's findings are reported in the current online edition of the journal Nature.
Pasteurization was invented for a good reason and raw milk is illegal in many countries because it can be contaminated with potentially harmful microbes. Contamination can also spoil the milk, making it taste bitter and turn thick and sticky. Now scientists have discovered new species of bacteria that can grow at low temperatures, spoiling raw milk even when it is refrigerated. According to research published in the November issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, the microbial population of raw milk is much more complex than previously thought.
Should we worry about a future with no humans? This question and many more will be answered in a public lecture at Keele University looking at new advances in science and technology – and their impact on humanity. 

Bioethicist Professor John Harris will give the second of Keele University’s 2008/2009 series of public lectures, “Synthetic Sunshine and Synthetic Biology – The Future of Humanity”, on Monday, November 17, at 6.30pm in the University’s Westminster Theatre. 

He will discuss the radical scientific approaches which could enhance our species – making us live longer and resist disease, for example – and which could result in new and improved successors to humankind. 
Asma Elsony led the tuberculosis programme in Sudan at the same time as she took her doctoral degree under the supervision of Professor Gunnar Bjune of the Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo in Norway. 

During her doctoral degree studies she became President of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease as the first African and the first President from south of the globe. During her presidency the Board moved with the DOTs model to other public health lung problems – one of many other achievements.

One of the problems – and this applies to very many countries – is that it takes far too long to diagnose tuberculosis.