From today's UK papers

April 12, 2002

Hodge puts case for poorer students
Universities were urged yesterday by the higher education minister, Margaret Hodge, to give places to bright students - even if they had worse A-level grades than those from the independent sector. Mrs Hodge gave her backing to a Bristol University scheme which looks favourably on good applicants from schools whose average A-level candidates achieve fewer than three Cs, and in many cases gives them lower offers. (Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Times)

Wellcome tries again to extend research campus
The Wellcome Trust is trying again to extend its Genome Campus at Hinxton near Cambridge. The scientific charity will today submit a planning application for a ,000 sq metre development, including academic research laboratories and space for genomic companies. (Financial Times)

Difference between man and apes is in our heads
The essence of humanity lies inside our heads, according to a study comparing the genetic differences between humans and our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Although the DNA of humans and chimps is 98.7 per cent identical, scientists have found there are extraordinary differences in how some of these genes work within the brains of the two species. (Independent

Fridays are favourite for taking sickies
An increasing number of working days are being lost by people taking sick leave, new figures showed yesterday. Almost 2.2 million days were lost every week in the autumn of 2001 compared with 1.9 million a week during the summers of 2000 and 2001, according to the Office for National Statistics. The largest number of people apparently call in sick on Fridays. (Independent)

North-South gap likely to widen
Divisions between London and the big cities of the North and the Midlands are continuing to widen because the government has set its face against any strategy to spread the wealth of the booming south to provincial England, according to new research. Outlining a continuing regional polarisation into a "two nation country", the research questions why the North-South economic gap continued to widen during the growing prosperity of the past five years, when poorer cities should have caught up with the capital rather than falling further behind. (Guardian)

Gene peps up supermarket tomatoes
Supermarket tomatoes could soon be as tasty as the home-grown variety after the discovery of a gene that controls ripening. Use of the gene, called LeMads-Rin, allows the fruit to be harvested when it is redder and more flavoursome, while still giving it a long shelf life. (Daily Telegraph)

£30 museum for the new age
A £30 million museum in Manchester aimed at the "text message generation" opened its doors yesterday to provide a foretaste of exhibits to revolutionise museum visiting. The landmark building, nicknamed the Ski Slope and the Whale by locals, is triangular with a prow rising to 100ft. It is meant to be the city's answer to the Pompidou Centre in Paris, providing a startling contrast to the historic buildings around it. (Times)

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