Latest research news

October 15, 2002

London super-university on the cards
Imperial College, London, and University College London, two of the "jewels in the crown" of the British academic world, announced that they were in merger talks yesterday, in a move that would create a new "super-university" and potentially the richest research institution in the UK. (The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times)

Scientists call for list of life
The world urgently needs a comprehensive inventory of all living things, comparable to the astronomers' catalogue of the stars, to help halt biodiversity loss, said Lord May, president of the Royal Society, and John Lawton, chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council. (The Financial Times, The Independent)

Biological clock ticks for men, too
The biological clock is ticking not just for women in their 30s. Men of a similar age also need to worry about declining fertility, say researchers from the University of Washington, US. The scientists have discovered that genetic damage to sperm starts to cause infertility in men as young as 35. The findings are to be presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's annual conference in Seattle, Washington. (The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times)

Dolly creator dismisses human cloning fears
Ian Wilmut, the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep and who hopes to produce the first cloned human embryos in Britain, denied yesterday that his research would make it easier for unscrupulous doctors to clone babies. (The Daily Telegraph)

Degree loses kudos
The payoff from having a degree is declining, with more and more graduates overqualified for the jobs they do. Malcolm Brynin of Essex University, writing in the Institute for Social and Economic Research Journal , says the demand for graduates is related to the quest to reduce labour costs as much as it is to high-tech productivity. (The Guardian)

Chasing the cutters and pasters
An advisory service has been launched under the auspices of the Joint Information Systems Committee to track academic cheats amid reports that plagiarism is engulfing the UK. (The Guardian)

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