McConnell sacks ministers in Cabinet purge
Within minutes of being finally sworn in as Scotland's first minister yesterday, Jack McConnell purged his cabinet of five senior ministers and replaced then with his own nominees. Mr McConnell, 41, formerly education minister, had given assurances that there would be "no night of the long knives" in his cabinet reshuffle. (Independent, Guardian, Times)
Cambridge casts off tradition after £10m fiasco
The 800-year-old management system at Cambridge University faces a radical overhaul after the botched introduction of a new computer system cost £10 million of public money. (Times, Financial Times)
Pre-budget report: research incentive 'will boost economy'
Scientists welcomed the decision to introduce a tax credit to encourage large companies to carry out more research and development. (Daily Telegraph, Financial Times)
Scientists create microbe that eats tumours
A microbe that normally lives in the soil has been genetically engineered to destroy cancerous tumours and leave healthy tissue untouched. Scientists at John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, found the microbe, a bacterium called Clostridium novyi , can invade and kill the multiplying cells of large, solid tumours, eventually causing the cancer to shrink and disappear. (Independent)
New planet sparks hopes for alien life
Astronomers have used the Hubble space telescope to detect the atmosphere of a planet circling a star 150 light years away. The discovery awakens the dream of detecting extraterrestial life in other star systems. (Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times)
People with high self-esteem 'pose a greater risk to society'
People with very high opinions of themselves could pose a greater menace to society than those wracked by insecurities, according to research published today by the London School of Economics and the Joseph Rowntree Trust. (Independent, Guardian)
English football a bore, say scientists
Warwick University astrophysicists studying black holes have identified a parallel world strikingly short on drama - English football. Analysis of 135,000 games in 169 countries shows the frequency of drama following followed a random pattern similar to the collapse of matter into a black hole; and that English football was 30 times as boring in terms of very high-scoring games as in the rest of the world. (Guardian, Financial Times, Times)