Latest research news

April 23, 2002

University selection postcodes 'a secret'
The Higher Education Funding Council has refused to identify the postcode areas in which universities are being paid to recruit students as part of the government's drive to "widen participation". (The Daily Telegraph)

Tom Paulin criticised by judge in race case
Tom Paulin, the Oxford lecturer who was reported as saying the American-born Jewish settlers in Israel should be shot dead, was criticised by a judge yesterday for making unfounded claims of racism against a fellow don. (The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent)

UK universities 'spread too thinly'
Universities in England are in a precarious position, vice-chancellors have warned, faced with funding deficits and government demands to take additional students. Roderick Floud, president of Universities UK, said the budget increase in national insurance had exacerbated the financial difficulties faced by universities and colleges over the funding settlement for the coming year. (The Guardian)

Scientists see signs of culture in Palaeolithic punch-up
Scientists have reconstructed evidence of a murderous attack on a young adult male 36,000 years ago. The young man, who was a member of the vanished Neanderthal species, was clearly struck in the head by a bladed object such as a stone axe. (The Guardian)

Alzheimer's 28-day trial using plant extracts
Phytopharm, which is developing medicines based on plant extracts, said yesterday that its Alzheimers's disease drug was going into a 28-day clinical trial. (The Daily Telegraph)

From Russia with gloves
Russian remedies could take out hardy US bacteria. Long-abandoned by western medicine, viruses that naturally kill microbes are being imported from Russia as a potential substitute for antibiotics. (Nature)

Sheep stress affects unborn lambs
Sheep stressed in early pregnancy bear lambs with stunted kidneys that predispose them to high blood pressure, Australian researchers have shown. The finding adds to growing evidence that early foetal life influences adult health. (Nature)

Cosmic ray mystery solved
The mysterious source of the highest energy cosmic rays has been found, claim astronomers. They say the rays are probably flung out by retired quasars. (New Scientist)

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