From today's UK papers

June 7, 2001

Financial Times

Top universities are urging students to take the new AS-level exams to show that they are not limited to the traditional model of three A-levels in the arts, sciences or languages.

IBM has awarded a $600,000 (£430,000) grant to the University of Glasgow to investigate the construction of semiconductor devices less than a tenth the size of existing devices.

A new instrument invented at the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Italy lets scientists measure the polarisation of X-rays coming from black holes and neutron stars.

The Guardian

Online training works best when it mimics the classroom environment.

The Independent

The parrots of the world are suffering such a sustained poaching onslaught for the pet trade that many are on the road to extinction, a study from the University of Maryland suggests.

Peter Scott, vice-chancellor of Kingston University, regrets that the future of our universities was not an issue during the election campaign.

Daily Mail

Robin Southgate, a design student at Brunel University, has come up with a toaster that burns the day's weather forecast into each slice.

Scientists at the University of Illinois say they have developed a lie detector that cannot be fooled.

Daily Telegraph

Hornets are master builders who use the insect equivalent of a surveyor's spirit level to ensure that their nests are aligned correctly, scientists from Tel Aviv University, Israel, have found.

The Times

Scientists at the University of Queensland who have spent 70 years watching "solid" pitch drip through a funnel are tipped to win one of the Ig Nobel Prizes, awarded each year by scientists at Harvard University for "achievements that cannot, or should not, be reproduced".

Miscellany

Head teachers have sent a letter to David Blunkett calling for an urgent inquiry into the "unreasonable demands" being put on pupils by the new sixth-form exams. ( Independent , Daily Mail , Daily Telegraph .)

Scientists have been wrong for decades about the type of potato blight that caused the Irish famine in the 1840s, DNA analysis at North Carolina State University has revealed.  ( Daily Telegraph , Times )

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina say a 260-million-year-old reptile was the first animal to feed itself by chewing up living plants. ( Guardian , Daily Telegraph ; from Nature )

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