From today's UK papers

November 22, 2001

Pressure mounts on schools
Seventy six schools in England and Wales failed to reach the government target of 15 per cent of pupils attaining five GCSE C-grades or higher, according to official league tables published today. They have two years to improve their GCSE results or face pressure from the government to close. ( Times , Guardian , Daily Telegraph , Independent )

Antler proves age of Silbury Hill
A scrap of antler has proved that Silbury Hill, the largest man-made mound in Europe, was completed about 4,500 years ago. The fragments are the broken tips of the picks with which the monument was built. The dating by the Oxford University radiocarbon unit yields a late Neolithic date of about 2490-2340BC. ( Guardian )

Cancer cells tricked into suicide
A team from Glasgow University has performed a "con trick" on cancer by persuading tumour cells to self-destruct after treatment with a new form of gene therapy. ( Independent )

Doubt over rat's role in plague
A study at Liverpool University suggests the Black Death was caused not by rats passing bubonic plague bacteria but by an ebola-like virus transmitted from person to person. ( Daily Telegraph )

Ultrasound halts internal bleeding
Researchers at the University of Washington's applied physics laboratory are working on a device that could mimic the one used by Star Trek doctors. It uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to stop internal bleeding. The ultrasound generates heat quickly and can cauterise tissue. ( Financial Times )

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