Daily news

May 17, 2002

Libraries told to turn over new leaf to survive
The traditional role of British libraries as bastions of free reading and quiet study could end within 20 years unless they adapt to modern users’ needs, says a report by the Audit Commission. (Times, Independent, Guardian, Telegraph)

Inquiry ordered into pesticide links to Parkinson’s disease
A study into links between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease is to be commissioned by the government to examine fears that chemicals used by gardeners and farmers can bring on the degenerative neurological illness. (Independent)

Ecology science may soon be extinct
A field of British science that is vital to international efforts is itself in danger of extinction, an inquiry by the Lords science and technology select committee has found. Systematic biology, the science of identifying species and the links between them, is undergoing a funding crisis. (Times)

Professor who beat wife jailed on appeal
A university professor, who was sentenced to community service after beating his wife so badly that she spent four days in hospital, was jailed for six months by the Court of Appeal yesterday. The professor cannot be named to protect the identity of his wife. (Times, Telegraph)

Higher education should be expanded for people of all ages
Academics have written to say that the government’s commitment to expanding higher education may have the effect of narrowing rather than widening participation. (Independent - lead letter)

Top universities are being made more elitist
The government is making top British universities more elitist than ever by forcing them to recruit more widely, says Lynne Segal. (Guardian)

Lung cells grown
Scientists at Imperial College London have turned stem cells from mice into lung cells. It  is the first step towards being able to create artificial lungs. (Times)

Drowned student found
A body thought to be that of Leeds University student Joseph Fotheringham, who went missing two weeks ago, has been found in a morgue in southern Russia. Mr Fotheringham drowned in a river accident. (Times)

Comet caused rise of dinosaurs
The rise of dinosaurs, as well as their downfall, may have been prompted by the catastrophic impact of an asteroid or comet, scientists believe. The new geological evidence is published in the journal Science. (Times, Guardian)

College heads call for inquiry on latest exam error
College principals have called for an inquiry after the government’s exam watchdog, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, admitted responsibility for an error in a Key Skills Level 3 communications paper, which resulted in three pictures being labelled incorrectly. (Independent)

Study finds too much reading may ruin children’s eyes
Evidence is increasingly showing that children who read obsessively are damaging their eyes, according to the British Medical Journal. (Guardian, Independent)

Football manager’s course planned
Academic Andy Hardwick has been signed by the Professional Footballers’ Association to coach a squad of students hoping to win the UK’s first-ever business qualification for football managers. The PFA has set up the course at Warwick Business School. (Financial Times)

Drinks limit on long haul could cut DVT risk
Doctors are calling for alcohol controls on flights after a new study into the potentially fatal condition deep vein thrombosis. Birmingham University researchers say a limit on in-flight drinking could save lives. (Mail)


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