Some forms of hormone replacement therapy can LOWER breast cancer risk, research indicates

Some forms of hormone replacement therapy can LOWER breast cancer risk, research indicates

  • Many women go without HRT drug because of fears it raises the risk of cancer  
  • Study suggests the type of treatment women use has huge impact on cancer risk
  • It found oestrogen-only form reduces breast cancer incidence by 24 per cent

Certain forms of HRT actually protect women against breast cancer, researchers have shown.

After years of back-and-forth debate on the risks of hormone replacement therapy, new analysis suggests the type of treatment women use has a huge impact on cancer risk.

Scientists have found that in women who took the combined oestrogen-progestogen form of HRT the risk was raised by about 26 per cent compared with those who took a dummy pill. The combined form is the type of HRT taken by most women.

New analysis suggests the type of treatment women use has a huge impact on cancer risk. Certain forms of HRT actually protect women against breast cancer, researchers have shown [File photo]

But the oestrogen-only form reduces breast cancer incidence by 24 per cent. 

The study, based on 27,300 women in the US who were tracked for about 19 years after they started taking the pills, alters scientists’ understanding of the link between HRT and cancer. 

Crucially, however, women are not able to pick and choose which type of HRT they select.

Oestrogen HRT is only an option for those who have had a hysterectomy – an operation to remove the womb. That is because oestrogen is known to increase the risk of womb cancer, so only women without a womb can safely take it.

The number taking HRT plummeted after studies published in the early 2000s raised fears of side effects, but in recent years research has suggested the risk may be overstated [File photo]

The number taking HRT plummeted after studies published in the early 2000s raised fears of side effects, but in recent years research has suggested the risk may be overstated [File photo]

But 60,000 undergo a hysterectomy every year in Britain and by the age of 60 one in five women have had the procedure, so tens of thousands of women could benefit from taking the oestrogen only drug. 

Researcher Dr Rowan Chlebowski, of the University of California Los Angeles: ‘In contrast to decades of observational study findings… oestrogen alone significantly reduced breast cancer incidence and significantly reduced deaths from breast cancer, with these favourable effects persisting over a decade after discontinuing use.’

Oestrogen HRT is only an option for those who have had a hysterectomy ¿ an operation to remove the womb. That is because oestrogen is known to increase the risk of womb cancer, so only women without a womb can safely take it [File photo]

Oestrogen HRT is only an option for those who have had a hysterectomy – an operation to remove the womb. That is because oestrogen is known to increase the risk of womb cancer, so only women without a womb can safely take it [File photo]

The findings were presented yesterday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.

The menopause can cause depression, hot flushes, headaches and night sweats. HRT tackles these symptoms by providing hormones as the body stops producing them. 

But many women go without the drugs because of fears it raises the risk of cancer of the breast, womb and ovaries.

The number taking HRT plummeted after studies published in the early 2000s raised fears of side effects, but in recent years research has suggested the risk may be overstated.

Dr Melanie Davies, consultant gynaecologist at University College London Hospitals, said: ‘This is high-quality research.’ 

But she added that the risk of taking the combined pill is now probably lower than that shown in the trial, because HRT has been improved to more closely match the hormones produced by the human body.

How Duke used pseudonym to set up secret firm with sports tycoon

A Curious if somewhat unedifying chapter in royal history was written in 2001, when Prince Andrew was photographed on a yacht off Thailand surrounded by what red-top newspapers dubbed ‘a bevy of topless beauties’.

He was said to be visiting the island of Phuket on a Christmas trip organised by Johan Eliasch, a Monaco-based tycoon behind the top sports brand Head.

According to reports at the time, the billionaire had generously agreed to foot at least some of the bill for Andrew’s stay at the Amanpuri Hotel, an ultra-opulent establishment where villas cost up to £25,000 a night. The provenance of the yacht is unknown.

Johan Eliasch, a Monaco-based tycoon behind the top sports brand Head, with Prince Andrew at Wimbledon in 2016 

During the stay, the playboy antics of ‘Air Miles Andy’ sparked a predictable media rumpus. In particular, pictures of the Queen’s portly second son being massaged with sun-cream by skinny young women led to speculation that — aged 40 and having just left the Navy — the father-of-two was suffering from a royal version of mid-life crisis.

His friends Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were also reported to be in Phuket at the time. We all know how that relationship eventually worked out — with Epstein dying in a New York prison cell in August after being arrested on sex-trafficking charges, and Andrew forced to quit public life because of his friendship with the paedophile.

Yet unfavourable headlines generated by the Thai holiday did little to dent Andrew’s affection for the free-spending, Swedish-born Mr Eliasch. Quite the reverse.

Prince Andrew was photographed on a yacht off Thailand surrounded by what red-top newspapers dubbed ‘a bevy of topless beauties’ in 2001

Prince Andrew was photographed on a yacht off Thailand surrounded by what red-top newspapers dubbed ‘a bevy of topless beauties’ in 2001

Not only do they remain close friends, but I can reveal that the two men have secretly set up a company together.

The firm, Naples Gold Limited, was incorporated in November 2002, with both men joining as directors shortly afterwards. It has filed paperwork ever since, including a recent set of accounts (showing no trading activity) submitted to Companies House earlier this week.

In normal circumstances, the business affairs of a senior royal are widely reported. Yet Naples Gold has never once been the subject of scrutiny.

Indeed, until the Mail came across its existence this week, neither Prince Andrew nor Mr Eliasch had ever publicly spoken about it.

Furthermore, it seems that everyone involved in the creation of Naples Gold has, over the past 17 years, taken steps to keep its royal links secret.

Duchess of York with Prince Andrew and Johan Eliasch at Ascot Racecourse. In its coverage, the U.S. newspaper duly described Mr Eliasch as a ‘close friend’ of the Prince

Duchess of York with Prince Andrew and Johan Eliasch at Ascot Racecourse. In its coverage, the U.S. newspaper duly described Mr Eliasch as a ‘close friend’ of the Prince

For example, with reference to Prince Andrew, on official documents relating to his business affairs he is almost always described using his official title ‘HRH the Duke of York’. Yet when he signed up as a director of Naples Gold, he called himself ‘Andrew Inverness’.

The pseudonym — his real name is Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor — appears to be derived from one of his less well-known titles, the Earl of Inverness. It was adopted, according to a source with knowledge of Naples Gold’s formation, ‘in order to avoid media attention’ until the company was up and running.

As a result, the only way a casual observer of Naples Gold’s registration document might gather that ‘Andrew Inverness’ is, in fact, Prince Andrew, would be to realise that they both share the birth-date of February, 19, 1960, and have identical handwriting.

Intriguingly, this is not the first time Prince Andrew has used the name ‘Inverness’ while seeking to remain below the radar.

Earlier this month, the Mail on Sunday revealed that he has a 40 per cent stake in a company called Inverness Asset Management, registered in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands. It was set up by the Prince in conjunction with another wealthy benefactor called David ‘Spotty’ Rowland, apparently to run an offshore investment fund for their various super-rich contacts.

And in 2009, one ‘Andrew Inverness, care of Buckingham Palace’ was listed as a creditor of a luxury ski company called Descent International which had collapsed, owing around £27,000. A spokesman for the liquidator told reporters: ‘We understand that to be Prince Andrew.’

But back to his Naples Gold and Mr Eliasch.

The tycoon first met Andrew when he organised a charity tennis match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe at Buckingham Palace in the Nineties. Mr Eliasch is a former Tory party deputy treasurer and donor who became involved in buying tracts of Amazon rainforest to protect it.

Later, his credentials as an environmentalist impressed Gordon Brown, who commissioned him to look at ways to protect the ‘lungs of the world’.

When Naples Gold was founded various other significant (and apparently misleading) steps were taken to keep Andrew’s involvement secret.

In the section of Companies House forms where directors must by law list their ‘usual residential address’, Andrew chose not to name his then-home, Sunninghill Park in Windsor.

Instead, he claimed, erroneously, that he inhabited a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion on South Audley Street in London’s Mayfair. The vast property was not where he lived. At the time, it was the offices of sports firm Head, and today it appears to be Mr Eliasch’s London address.

According to the Land Registry, it’s currently controlled via an offshore company called Vannin (IoM) Limited, which was also incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Then, in the section of the Naples Gold registration document where Prince Andrew was asked to describe his ‘business occupation’, he chose not to state that he was a member of the Royal Family or declare his then official role as Britain’s trade envoy.

Instead, he said he was a professional ‘consultant’.

Ironically, this final statement was at least partly true. As the Mail has chronicled, Andrew has, for many years, acted as a paid commercial ‘fixer’ for wealthy acquaintances while travelling the world on official trade envoy business. A few years back, for example, leaked emails showed how he’d attempted to help a Greek sewerage company and a Swiss finance house bid for infrastructure projects in the corrupt Central Asian dictatorship of Kazakhstan, where he boasted friends in high places.

The deal eventually collapsed. But had it come off, he would have been paid a consultancy fee of almost £4 million.

Such work, in the often secretive world that Andrew’s royal status allows him to operate, helps partly to explain how he’s managed in recent years to become spectacularly rich.

Despite an official income limited to an allowance from the Queen — said to be around £250,000 annually — plus a small Navy pension thought to provide income of roughly £20,000, he leads a super-rich lifestyle.

He has a collection of expensive wristwatches — including several Rolexes and Cartiers, a £12,000 gold Apple Watch and a £150,000 Patek Philippe — and a small fleet of luxury cars, including a new green Bentley.

The Duke also appears to have managed in recent years to help clear £5 million worth of debts accumulated by his ex-wife, the Duchess of York.

In addition, his property portfolio encompasses Royal Lodge, his home in Windsor Great Park, which benefited from a £7.5 million refurbishment, and a £13 million pile in Switzerland.

Called Chalet Helora, the seven-bedroom luxury lodge in the exclusive ski resort of Verbier previously boasted six full-time staff and was rented out for more than £22,000 a week.

The property is decorated with chic antiques, the master bedroom is draped in animal furs, there is a 650sq ft indoor swimming pool, sauna, sun terrace, boot-room, bar and lavish entertaining area.

So where does Naples Gold fit into this odd mix? Well, here’s where things get confusing. Naples Gold’s company secretary was for many years Clare Vincent, the investor relations manager of Mr Eliasch’s sports company Head.

Its registered office has, over the ensuing 17 years, changed address five times, between a variety of Mayfair and Central London offices. At present, its registered HQ is the site of a mail handling service on Old Gloucester Street in London’s Bloomsbury.

The only directors, since soon after incorporation, have been Mr Eliasch and Prince Andrew, save for an odd interlude in 2016, when Mr Eliasch resigned and was replaced in the role by a company called Eddore Limited, which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Eddore than switched its address to another tax haven — the Isle of Man — before resigning as a director of Naples Gold in December 2016, whereupon it was replaced by Mr Eliasch.

The reason for these manoeuvres is unclear. Naples Gold has consistently filed annual accounts and company returns signed by the serving directors.

However, it does not appear to have ever generated income or spent money, or pursued other visible activity.

Its only shareholder is Mr Eliasch and its official status has always been listed as ‘dormant’.

In some circumstances, dormant non-trading companies can be used to hold assets (such as property, brand names, assets or trademarks) on behalf their owners, until such time as they are needed. Could this be the case with Naples Gold?

It seems not: instead, a spokesman for Naples Gold insists that the secretive firm was a ‘shelf’ company created for a very different purpose: to ‘facilitate a charitable initiative to con- serve rainforest’.

The rainforest project, which apparently would have been a collaboration between Prince Andrew and Mr Eliasch, was first pursued in 2003, at around the time the firm was formed, the spokesman said.

However, it was later scrapped because Andrew seemingly decided that being involved would represent a ‘potential conflict’ with the work of his brother Prince Charles, who ‘spearheads’ rainforest conservation for the Royal Family.

As for his decision to use the name Andrew Inverness on company documents, the spokesman said that this was at the suggestion of Mr Eliasch to ‘avoid media attention until such time as the charitable rainforest conservation initiative was ready to be launched’.

After the idea was abandoned, ‘Naples Gold should have been dissolved in 2005 as it no longer served a purpose’.

We must, of course, take this statement at its word. However it remains unclear why a firm which ‘should have been dissolved’ in 2005 has, instead, continued to file accounts at Companies House on an annual basis ever since, switching offices four times in the process. Neither is it clear why a senior member of the Royal Family should have chosen to remain as a director throughout that period, occasionally signing off those annual accounts.

Nor what persuaded Mr Eliasch to briefly resign his directorship in 2016 (a decade after Naples Gold had supposedly ceased having any purpose) in favour of the tax haven-based firm Eddore Limited.

Also, there is a question over why a conservation initiative should be called Naples Gold.

Indeed, when Mr Eliasch did eventually start a rainforest charity, he gave it a more utilitarian name: Cool Earth.

Asked about this, a source with knowledge of Naples Gold said: ‘It was a shelf company and the name would have changed to appropriately reflect the purpose of the initiative.’

What is incontrovertibly true is that even after the rainforest scheme was abandoned, Mr Eliasch has remained a loyal and valued chum of Prince Andrew.

That friendship has stayed particularly firm as the stench around Andrew’s dealings with Jeffrey Epstein has grown.

In 2011, amid mounting controversy over the Duke’s decision to visit the convicted child sex offender in New York, Mr Eliasch was one of several business leaders to sign a letter to the Sunday Times newspaper praising ‘the good work he [Andrew] undertakes’.

Two years later, he was reported to be among guests who joined Andrew at Ghislaine Maxwell’s birthday dinner at the Dorchester hotel in London.

And in August, two weeks after Epstein’s death, Mr Eliasch issued a statement defending Andrew to the New York Times, saying: ‘Anybody who knows the Duke well knows that he is intensely loyal to his friends and sometimes that loyalty is not in his best interest, and that is what happened here.’

In its coverage, the U.S. newspaper duly described Mr Eliasch as a ‘close friend’ of the Prince.

Such close friends that, as we now know, they started a company together with the Prince calling himself Andrew Inverness, signing official documents with a false residential address, and claiming to be a professional consultant.

Just how much ‘consulting’ this fallen royal has done during his years on the public payroll is, of course, anyone’s guess.

NASA probe spots massive storm the size of Texas swirling near Jupiter’s south pole

NASA probe spots massive storm the size of Texas swirling near Jupiter’s south pole that joins a family of six other cyclones in the region

  • NASA’s Juno capture the image of a new storm raging in Jupiter’s south pole on the craft’s 22nd flyby 
  • The cyclone joins six other storms in the region, which scientists say are a new weather phenomena
  • Data sent back to NASA revealed the new cyclone had average wind speeds of 225 miles per hour 

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NASA‘s Juno spacecraft captured a storm the size of Texas swirling near Jupiter’s south pole.

The newfound ‘maelstrom’ joins a family of six other raging cyclones that ‘are a new weather phenomena’.

The craft spotted the storm during its 22nd flyby of the planet while soaring only 2,175 miles above thick layer of clouds.

Juno made the discovered on November 3, which also ‘marked a victory for the mission.’

Scroll down for video 

With each flyby, the data reinforced the idea that five windstorms were swirling in a pentagonal pattern around a central storm at the south pole and that the system seemed stable. None of the six storms showed signs of yielding to allow other cyclones to join in. Then on the next flyby, a new storm had joined the gang

Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said: ‘The combination of creativity and analytical thinking has once again paid off big time for NASA.’

‘We realized that the orbit was going to carry Juno into Jupiter’s shadow, which could have grave consequences because we’re solar powered.’

‘No sunlight means no power, so there was real risk we might freeze to death.’

‘While the team was trying to figure out how to conserve energy and keep our core heated, the engineers came up with a completely new way out of the problem: Jump Jupiter’s shadow. It was nothing less than a navigation stroke of genius.’

‘Lo and behold, first thing out of the gate on the other side, we make another fundamental discovery.’

NASA 's Juno spacecraft captured a storm the size of Texas swirling near Jupiter's south pole. The newfound 'maelstrom' joins a family of six other raging cyclones that 'are a new weather phenomena'. The craft spotted the storm during its 22nd flyby of the planet while soaring only 2,175 miles above thick layer of clouds

NASA ‘s Juno spacecraft captured a storm the size of Texas swirling near Jupiter’s south pole. The newfound ‘maelstrom’ joins a family of six other raging cyclones that ‘are a new weather phenomena’. The craft spotted the storm during its 22nd flyby of the planet while soaring only 2,175 miles above thick layer of clouds

With each flyby, the data reinforced the idea that five windstorms were swirling in a pentagonal pattern around a central storm at the south pole and that the system seemed stable.

None of the six storms showed signs of yielding to allow other cyclones to join in.

Then on the next flyby, a new storm had joined the gang.

‘It almost appeared like the polar cyclones were part of a private club that seemed to resist new members,’ said Bolton.

Juno infiltrated the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles below Jupiter’s cloud tops and captured infrared light emerging from deep inside the planet.

Juno infiltrated the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles below Jupiter's cloud tops (pictured) and captured infrared light emerging from deep inside the planet

Juno infiltrated the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles below Jupiter’s cloud tops (pictured) and captured infrared light emerging from deep inside the planet

Data sent back to NASA revealed the new cyclone had average wind speeds of 225 miles per hour.

The spacecraft’s JunoCam also obtained visible-light imagery of the new cyclone.

The two datasets shed light on atmospheric processes of not just Jupiter but also fellow gas giants Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as well as those of giant exoplanets now being discovered.

Cheng Li, a Juno scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, said: ‘These cyclones are new weather phenomena that have not been seen or predicted before.’

‘Nature is revealing new physics regarding fluid motions and how giant planet atmospheres work.’

‘We are beginning to grasp it through observations and computer simulations.’

‘Future Juno flybys will help us further refine our understanding by revealing how the cyclones evolve over time.’

WHAT IS JUPITER’S GREAT RED SPOT?

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a giant oval of crimson-coloured clouds in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere that race counterclockwise around the oval’s perimeter.

The biggest storm in the solar system, it appears as a deep red orb surrounded by layers of pale yellow, orange and white.

Trapped between two jet streams, the Great Red Spot is an anticyclone swirling around a centre of high atmospheric pressure that makes it rotate in the opposite direction to hurricanes on Earth.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a giant oval of crimson-coloured clouds in Jupiter's southern hemisphere that race counterclockwise around the oval's perimeter

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a giant oval of crimson-coloured clouds in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere that race counterclockwise around the oval’s perimeter

Winds inside the storm have been measured at several hundreds of miles per hour, with wind storms greater than any storm on Earth, Nasa astronomers have said. 

In the late 1800s it was estimated to be about 35,000 miles (about 56,000 km) in diameter – wide enough for four Earths to fit side by side.  

Measuring 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) wide as of April 3, 2017, the Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth and is gradually shrinking over time.

 

ALEX BRUMMER: How British firms are set to spend £500billion now the Brexit brakes are off 

Despite Labour’s crackpot nationalisation and share-grab policies, there was a shaming silence from many in the business community about this existential threat to the functioning of the capitalist system which has served this country so well.

One notable exception was Paul Walsh, chairman of global catering giant Compass, who warned that millions of people would have their pension savings hammered by a Corbyn government. Estimates stated such a result could wipe an average of £11,200 from pension pots and delay savers’ retirement by more than three years.

Finally, now, with a Tory win, those nervous ninnies too pathetically timid to speak out beforehand are ready to unleash investment plans that had been frozen amid fear of business-bashing Corbyn in No 10.

Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce received £20million from the UK government to support development of its small modular nuclear reactors which are seen as one of the answers to future energy needs and the climate change emergency

It’s estimated that £500billion has been sitting in the bank accounts of the biggest FTSE 100 firms waiting to be invested. Release of that money ought to put an end to the recent period of economic stagnation and help Britain lead other countries out of the current global slowdown.

The fact is that the lifting of the anvil of uncertainty about a path to Brexit has been greeted with immeasurable relief by traders, analysts and in the boardroom of large corporations.

The pound, which plummeted then seesawed following the EU referendum, climbed to $1.35 against the dollar and could go higher, with Donald Trump pledging a comprehensive trade deal with Britain. Thankfully, sterling’s rise should brush away all fears of the Bank of England having to raise interest rates. The stock market FTSE 100, comprising the biggest UK and international companies, climbed by more than 100 points.

Business leaders are urging Boris Johnson to make a concerted effort to back the Industrial Strategy Council. Pictured: Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a statement outside Downing Street

Business leaders are urging Boris Johnson to make a concerted effort to back the Industrial Strategy Council. Pictured: Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a statement outside Downing Street 

And shares among the next layer of UK-focused FTSE 250 firms shot up stratospherically. It cannot be stressed forcefully enough that removing uncertainty and mapping out a clear and swift path to Brexit is what Britain plc needs.

That said, though, there remain fundamental weaknesses and slow growth.

Primary among the causes are low productivity, a tax system which fails to support innovation adequately, government ministers as ever not doing enough to support Research & Development, some outdated infrastructure dating back to the 19th century and a shockingly lax attitude in government to take-overs by foreign firms of jewels in our industrial crown.

Paul Walsh, chairman of global catering giant Compass, warned that millions of people would have their pension savings hammered by a Corbyn government

Paul Walsh, chairman of global catering giant Compass, warned that millions of people would have their pension savings hammered by a Corbyn government

Foreign raiders must not be allowed to pick off any more British companies in the way that we have recently seen satellite pioneer Inmarsat snapped up, while aerospace innovator Cobham and delivery firm Just Eat are in the throes of being sold. As it strives to regenerate the economy, the new Tory government must quickly learn that not all overseas investment is in our national interest.

Surprisingly, the Tories’ election manifesto was modest in its ambition for entrepreneurship and enterprise. It pulled back from plans already set in motion to lower taxes on companies from 19 per cent to 17 per cent in an effort to maintain the UK’s global competitive advantage. But the priority is to invest heavily in innovation. Britain is world leader in a host of areas: financial technology, new drug treatments such as immunology, vaccines, genetic research and artificial intelligence.

Yet, except for the very biggest pharma companies, bringing new products to market and building enterprises for the long term is very difficult.

Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce received £20million from the UK government to support development of its small modular nuclear reactors which are seen as one of the answers to future energy needs and the climate change emergency.

But this was a risible sum compared with the £500million its subsidiary got from the German government to develop power units.

Business leaders are urging Boris Johnson to make a concerted effort to back the Industrial Strategy Council, the body led by Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, which has been charged with boosting wages and improving productivity across British businesses.

Haldane is peerless in advocating the need to address shortcomings in productivity and restore growth to struggling communities. Principally, he wants big improvements to our transport and digital infrastructure and better quality education.

Above all, Britain desperately needs a vision for the future that reaches beyond Brexit.

It’s the duty of those businesses which sat in silence, terrified of a Corbyn government, to embrace the mood of optimism now and not allow it to be dissipated.

Mysterious gamma rays emanating from the center of our galaxy could be dark matter, scientists say

Mysterious gamma rays emanating from the center of our galaxy could be dark matter, scientists say

  • Gamma rays coming from the center of the galaxy may be dark matter
  • A new study has placed dark matter back in the discussion
  • Previous research posited that gamma rays were caused by a pulsar 
  • Scientists say those calculations may have critical flaws 

Elusive dark matter could be the key to unexplained gamma rays observed coming from the center of our galaxy.  

In a new paper published by physicists from MIT, researchers say that previous models ruling dark matter as the source of gamma rays may have a critical flaw.

‘If it turns out that the signal is dark matter, that’s huge for our understanding of the universe,’ Rebecca Leane, postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, told Gizmodo

‘We know that dark matter makes up most of the universe, but we don’t have much of an idea of what it is… if there’s a dark matter signal, that would have a massive impact, and getting to the bottom of it would be very interesting.’ 

Dark matter is back in the running as the source of mysterious gamma rays found coming from the center of the galaxy

Since 2009 researchers have observed the gamma rays coming from the center of the Milky Way and eventually landed on a cause seven years later in 2016.

A tandem of papers suggested that a rapidly spinning neutron star called a pulsar was to blame for the strange rays, despite speculation that colliding dark matter may also be a candidate.

Since then, a pulsar has become the going hypothesis among scientists. 

The newest research, however, suggests that previous calculations may have a critical flaw that brings dark matter back into the equation.

According to them, a previous mode called the non-Poissonian template fitting which is used to pinpoint points of light in the sky may have confused light sources as coming from a pulsar. 

They did this by simulating gamma rays emitted from dark matter using the model which turned up as a pulsar or star-like object.

‘This suggests that the data are mis-modeled in some way, and that dark matter may be the dominant contribution to the galactic center excess after all—though this does not constitute positive evidence for dark matter, and the [excess] could still be composed mainly of point sources,’ the authors wrote in a their paper.

Researchers who have pointed to pulsars being behind the gamma rays say that recent findings are worth pursuing

Researchers who have pointed to pulsars being behind the gamma rays say that recent findings are worth pursuing

As reported by Gizmodo, authors of the 2016 study suggesting a pulsar was the likeliest cause have even admitted that the flaws identified by recent studies warrant further study.

‘It is very important to carefully assess the uncertainties involved in any search for dark matter, especially one focusing on gamma rays from the Milky Way’s galactic center,’  Mariangela Lisanti, a Princeton professor who worked on the 2016 paper told Gizmodo in an email.

Though Lisanti says the newest findings aren’t enough to rule out pulsars, researchers say dark matter has been entered back into the running.

WHAT IS DARK MATTER?

Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe.

The enigmatic material is invisible because it does not reflect light, and has never been directly observed by scientists.

Astronomers know it to be out there because of its gravitational effects on known matter.

The European Space Agency says: ‘Shine a torch in a completely dark room, and you will see only what the torch illuminates.

Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe. It is thought to be the gravitational 'glue' that holds the galaxies together (artist's impression)

Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe. It is thought to be the gravitational ‘glue’ that holds the galaxies together (artist’s impression)

‘That does not mean that the room around you does not exist.

‘Similarly we know dark matter exists but have never observed it directly.’

The material is thought to be the gravitational ‘glue’ that holds the galaxies together.

Calculations show that many galaxies would be torn apart instead of rotating if they weren’t held together by a large amount of dark matter.

Just five per cent the observable universe consists of known matter such as atoms and subatomic particles.