From today's UK papers

March 20, 2002

Antarctic sheds giant ice sheet
An ice shelf half the size of Cyprus has disintegrated off the coast of the Antarctic in less than a month, following decades of unusually warm weather. Satellite pictures released yesterday showed that the Larsen B shelf, a floating ice sheet 200m thick and covering over 3,000 square kilometres, has broken up into billions of tonnes of icebergs. The speed of the collapse has astonished scientists, who believe it is yet more evidence of man-made global warming. (Daily Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Independent)

Thousands of hysterectomies unnecessary
Thousands of women are having unnecessary hysterectomies because doctors are too ready to perform the surgery, according to government-funded research published today. The study concludes that a third of women who had the operation could have been spared having their womb removed and being left infertile if doctors had offered them a widely available alternative treatment. (Daily Telegraph, Independent)

CJD protein may be hidden in beef muscles
Muscle tissue may be able to harbour the protein that causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, University of California scientists have discovered. The findings throw into question the safety of beef because it is the muscle that makes up the bulk of the meat we eat. (Times)

Millions falsely believe food allergies
Britain's status as a nation of hypochondriacs was confirmed yesterday by a survey showing that although more than 30 per cent of people believe they have a food allergy, fewer than 2 per cent genuinely do. The epidemic of heightened psychological sensitivity to foods is revealed in a survey by Datamonitor, a market research agency. (Independent)   

Scientists sniff out aphrodisiac
Women who wear a scent that contains synthetic versions of the female pheromones thought to send subtle sexual signals become more sexually active as their charms become more apparent, scientists from San Francisco State University have found. (Times)

Enlarged EU will speak English
English will sweep past French and German to become the indisputable common language of an enlarged European Union, an official EU survey showed yesterday. Asked what languages they can converse in other than their mother tongue, 16 per cent of the respondents in the 13 countries negotiating EU membership said English, 10 per cent German and 4 per cent French. (Times)

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