From today's UK papers

November 6, 2001

Warning of smallpox terror risk
The Russian scientist in charge of one of the last known deposits of the smallpox virus called yesterday for the reintroduction of mass vaccination, saying terrorists could easily lure underpaid former Soviet researchers to turn it into a weapon. Dr Lev Sandakhchiyev, director of the Vektor Institute in Siberia, said the rise of global terrorism meant worldwide vaccination should be reintroduced. (Telegraph, Times, Financial Times)

Hospital develops spray to destroy anthrax spores

Doctors in Austria claim to have developed a spray that can kill anthrax in seconds with no harmful side-effects. Apostolos Georgopoulos, a member of the research team at Graz University, said the spray was a modified polymer developed as a disinfectant for the oil industry. (Guardian)

Sound of silencing
An academic uprising is brewing to defend the right to speak out against US government policy, amid growing concerns that officials are disciplining lecturers who question the response to the September 11 attacks. (Guardian)

Minister pleads for school links to be spared
Industry was urged yesterday by the education secretary Estelle Morris to do more to support government in raising school standards and improving adult skills. Ms Morris was addressing the annual CBI conference in Birmingham. (Guardian)

Behaving rather badly
Last week's crackdown on drinking by a Cambridge dean has highlighted alcohol abuse across UK campuses. (Guardian)

RAE ratings rumbles
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is calling for an extra £170 million from the government to fund university departments gaining top research ratings in the 2001 research assessment exercise. (Guardian)

Elitism never made a nation rich
Education minister Margaret Hodge argues that government plans to educate many more people to degree level is an economic necessity. (Guardian)

Call for voluntary racial segregation
Geoffrey Alderman, vice president of Touro College, New York, and professor at Middlesex University, London, asks whether if black-only schools really do help pupils, we should welcome voluntary segregation. Guardian)

New HIV strain
A new strain of HIV that can resist AZT, one of the main drugs used to fight it, is emerging in the United States. One in 30 American HIV patients may be infected with the variant of the virus. (Times, Guardian, Independent)

Britain starts internet log off 
The number of homes connected to the internet in Britain has fallen according to the telecoms watchdog Oftel. The fall, by 1 per cent, could confirm the belief of many industry experts that home use of the internet may have reached saturation point. (Telegraph)

Gene revealed as cause of disease
Research involving over 450 British and American families has isolated the first gene linked to asthma. Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council professor of immunopharmacology at Southampton University. will make the finding public at a Royal Institution lecture in London tomorrow. (Telegraph)

Student of Year wants a beer
19-year-old Amy Carr, named Student of the Year by the examining body the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, joked that she would spend her £250 prize money on a celebration beer. Amy, who is on a gap year in Bavaria, will study French and German at Oriel College, Oxford next year. (Times)

Viking skeleton shows Anglo-Saxons' thirst for blood
A pathologist who studied the skeleton of a 9th century Viking leader found in a churchyard in Derbyshire, discovered that his body had been systematically mutilated and his genitalia hacked off with an axe. Research by Bob Stoddart of Manchester University provides the first forensically validated evidence of the way the Saxons behaved towards the invaders. (Telegraph)

Tortoise anorexia
Winter hibernation can put underweight tortoises at risk of developing anorexia, vets at Edinburgh University's animal hospital said. (Times)

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