From today's UK papers

April 9, 2002

Ucas chief favours exam board merger
The three school examination boards in England should be merged into a single body to make way for reforms that would allow students to apply to university with actual, not predicted, A-level grades, Tony Higgins, the university admissions chief, has said. (Guardian)

Praised education chief to bow out 
The educationist who transformed standards in Birmingham schools is to retire, it has emerged, just as Ofsted is to praise its education authority as one of the most successful in the UK. Tim Brighouse, 62, chief education officer, is likely to step down in the autumn, after a successor is found. (Guardian)

World Bank doubles goals for boosting education
The World Bank has doubled targets for boosting education in poor countries following criticism from development charities and pressure from the bank's own governing board. The number of countries selected for fast-track treatment to achieve the education millennium development goals, including universal primary education, by 2015 has doubled from five to ten, according to a revised strategy document seen by the FT . (Financial Times)

Eminent biologist hits back at creationists
Stephen Jay Gould, one of the great evolutionary biologists of our time, will publish his "magnum opus", this month. In it he lambasts creationists for deliberately distorting his theories to undermine the teaching of Darwinism in schools. (Independent)

'Creationist' school invites Dawkins to evolution debate
The school at the centre of the row over creationism in education is inviting one of its chief critics to speak to its students about evolution, it has emerged. Sir Peter Vardy, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who donated £2 million to found Emanuel city technology college in Gateshead and who remains director of its board, wants Richard Dawkins to take part in a debate. (Guardian)

Opera school breathes new life into castle
A romantic Welsh castle (Craig-ynos), where the celebrated 19th-century Italian soprano Adelina Patti ended her days, will echo to the sound of arias once more with the launch today of an opera school. (Independent)

Scientists pinpoint Alzheimer's trigger
The underlying reason why Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cause dementia may have been uncovered by a British team. It is known that these diseases are caused by proteins that fold up into abnormal forms, creating insoluble deposits in the brain. Research from scientists in Cambridge and Florence dismisses attempts to treat the diseases by attacking the deposits and indicates that scientists must try to prevent the proteins misfolding in the first place. (Daily Telegraph)

Heart study shows benefit of fish oil
Heart attack victims can halve the risk of a further cardiac arrest by embarking on a regular diet of mackerel and tuna, research from Negri Sud research institute shows. A study of more than 11,000 heart attack survivors in Italy found that omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish greatly increased their chances of staying alive. (Independent)

Tea drinkers have a lower risk of cancer
Green tea might help to prevent cancers of the stomach and gullet. A study by the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China shows that tea drinkers are about half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or oesophagus as people who were not regular consumers. (Independent, Times)

Scientists break barrier to nerve regrowth
A set of chemicals that breaks down an important barrier to the regrowth of damaged nerves has been discovered by scientists from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Research reveals that the compounds can stimulate severed rat nerves to regenerate in the laboratory, suggesting that they might also prompt human nerves to mend themselves. (Times)

Stand up and be counted, administrators told
University administrators should stand up and be counted as a profession to be proud of, the annual conference of the Association of University Administrators will be told later today. (Guardian)

The end of books?
Could the advent of electronic texts mark the death of books, for so long the staple fare of university libraries and college students? This will be one of the key discussions at a major conference on the future of textbooks at London's City University tomorrow. (Guardian)

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