Latest research news

October 23, 2002

Bigger is beautiful
Tomorrow, the ruling councils of Manchester University and Umist will be asked to dissolve more than 150 years of history and form the largest UK university outside London. It is the sector's latest upheaval as universities adapt to chill financial winds and jostle for research funding. It is an inevitable response to current conditions, says Steven Schwartz, vice-chancellor of Brunel University.

For better, for the best
Will wedding bells ring for a world-beating merger of Imperial and UCL?

Lung cancer loses scramble for research cash
Lung cancer is a poor relation in research spending, the first national survey of cancer research has shown. It accounts for 22 per cent of British cancer deaths but gets 3 per cent of research money, the National Cancer research Institute has found. Research into the prevention of cancer is also relatively poorly supported, receiving just 2 per cent of the money. At the other extreme, leukaemia is responsible for 3 per cent of deaths, but gets 17 per cent of research money, while breast cancer causes 8 per cent of cancer deaths but receives 18 per cent of the total.

Link between brain damage and paedophilia
Neurologists from the University of Virginia, claim to have found evidence that a brain tumour turned a school teacher into a paedophile with an uncontrollable sex drive. The 40-year-old had no paedophile urges before the tumour developed, and his behaviour returned to normal once it was removed.
(Independent, Daily Telegraph)

Nelson's sabre cuts a dash at auction
A long-lost sword belonging to Horatio Nelson confounded expectations to fetch £336,650 at auction yesterday. The Turkish sabre, which disappeared in mysterious circumstances in the 19th century, reached more than five times its estimated value. It is thought to have been bequeathed to Nelson by Sultan Selim III of Turkey in recognition of his victories on the Nile. Nelson's bloodstained purse, containing 21 gold coins placed in it by him on the morning of his last battle, raised £0,650.
(Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph)

Archbishop wanted: apply in writing
The Church of England will advertise nationally for its next Archbishop of Canterbury when Dr Rowan Williams retires in 18 years' time. Anyone will, for the first time, be able to nominate a candidate, or even themselves.

Oxford's bulldogs to be disbanded
The bowler-hatted police force that controls the behaviour of undergraduates at Oxford university is to be disbanded. The bulldogs, Britain's oldest private police force, has enforced discipline since 1215. The Home Office is expected to grant permission for disbandment following a campaign by Oxford students. The bulldogs will be replaced by a new uniformed force, although the bowlers will be used for ceremonial occasions.

Iron Age village uncovered at Whitby
Archaeologists digging land adjoining Whitby Abbey have discovered a new and unexpected dimension to the site. A part of the 150ft headland - on the brink of collapsing into the sea - has yielded evidence of a 2,000-year-old Iron Age domestic settlement, possibly dating from the first or second century BC.
(Independent, Guardian)

Box may have first mention of Jesus
A few words carved into a limestone box stolen from a cave in Jerusalem 15 years ago could be the earliest known reference to Jesus Christ, theologians said yesterday. One even hailed the find as the most important since the Dead Sea Scrolls. André Lemaire, a historian at the Paris-based Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, will announce his conclusions in next month's issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review .

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