From today's UK papers

November 21, 2001

Students paying too high a price
Universities must be given tax breaks to build up funds to finance higher education, says Kenneth Baker, former education secretary, in an article extracted from a lecture given at a Nottingham University conference. (Daily Telegraph)

GCSE success gap gets wider
Half of pupils passed five good GCSE examinations this summer, official figures revealed. But the gap between best and worst results widened. Schools still face a struggle to meet the government's target to cut the proportion of pupils not gaining a single G grade pass to 5 per cent by 2002. (Daily Mail)    

Britain forecast to buck world recession
The world has plunged into recession for the first time in two decades since the September 11 attacks that delivered a "severe shock" to the global economy. But Britain is on track to make a swift recovery, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said yesterday. (Independent, The Times)

Offenders 'have little chance of education'
A report by the Youth Justice Board says many teenagers in young offenders' institutions have a reading age of below seven and stand little chance of its being improved. A separate report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons revealed that young offenders were taught by inexperienced staff and offered little vocational training. (Independent)

Winter floods forecast as rainfall rises
Winter floods are likely to become increasingly frequent according to Tim Osborn, senior research associate at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Unit. He will present his results to a meeting on climate change at the Royal Society today. (Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Insomnia hazard for astronauts
A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine shows that a "clock" in the brain that controls the body's sleep and wakefulness can only maintain its 24-hour rhythm for 90 days after leaving the Earth. After that time, the quantity and quality of sleep drops. (Daily Telegraph)

An immaculate misconception
Recent research shows that every human birth is the result of a genetic battle between the mother and father. We inherit two copies of each gene, one from each parent, but for some genes we use the copy from only one parent. The process of blocking one of the genes is known as imprinting. Azim Surani of the Wellcome and Cancer Research Campaign Institute of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research in Cambridge has been studying the effects of imprinting, noting that a virgin birth in mammals is impossible. (Daily Telegraph)

Behind the smoke screen
Scientists are closer than ever to finding an effective treatment for lung cancer. But their work is mired in controversy as tobacco giants muscle in on the act, writes Clare Rudebeck. (Independent)

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