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April 11, 2002

Call for £10bn investment receives Labour backing
Labour MPs today joined universities in their call for a multi-billion pound investment in higher education. While scores of backbenchers want chancellor Gordon Brown to abolish tuition fees and restore grants for hard-up students, vice-chancellors say they need £10 billion to ensure that Britain remains a world leader in research. The grants and fees campaign by the National Union of Students has so far been backed by 86 Labour MPs.

Workplace learning gets go-ahead
Over 20 new projects to boost learning at work have been given the green light from adult skills minister John Healey. The ceramic and knitwear industries are two of the groups set to benefit from more than £4 million from the Union Learning Fund. The money helps trade union members access learning and training opportunities in the workplace.

Dolly institute seeks human embryo licence
The scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep are to seek permission to carry out experiments on human embryos. The Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, will apply to the government’s fertility authority for a licence in the next couple of months. Their intention is to investigate ways of harvesting human stem cells which are found in the growing embryo.

US laureates condemn cloning ban

Forty United States Nobel laureates have issued a public statement criticising proposed senate legislation aimed at a ban on human cloning that they say would outlaw all therapeutic cloning with a "chilling effect" on scientific research.

X-rays could save 'thousands' from food poisoning
Food irradiation could prevent thousands of the 65,000 reported cases of food poisoning in the UK every year, the Edinburgh International Science Festival was being told today. Margaret Patterson, from Queen’s University in Belfast, thinks people should be offered the choice to buy food treated with X-rays.   

Israeli forces close in on Bir Zeit
Israeli tanks have moved into the town of Bir Zeit and are encircling the university, according to agency reports.

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