Today's news

May 8, 2002

Nottingham wins in popularity stakes
The coveted title of the most popular university in Britain this year goes Nottingham, in the second instalment of the Good University Guide.
(The Times)

York develops new embryo test
Scientists at York University have developed a test for selecting the test-tube embryos most likely to thrive in the womb, promising higher success rates for fertility treatment.
(The Times)

‘Superbacteria’ feast on man’s poisons
Bacteria living in the depths of the Baltic Sea off Sweden have developed an unlikely taste for what should be the world’s most toxic substance. They can consume mustard gas leaking from old German weapons dumped in the sea by the Soviet Union and Britain in 1945.
(The Independent)

Don Quixote best book ever, say world’s top authors
Don Quixote, the 17th-century Spanish story of an elderly but absurd knight, was yesterday voted the best book of all time in a survey of 100 of the world’s best authors.
(Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent)

Nursery may protect children from leukaemia
Children who attend nursery school might have a reduced risk of developing childhood leukaemia because their immune systems grow used to fighting infections, according to a study by US scientists published in the British Journal of Cancer.
(The Guardian, The Times)

Fortuyn killing suspect ‘is militant activist’
The man arrested over the murder of the Dutch anti-immigration politician and former professor of sociology Pim Fortuyn is a militant environmental activist, prosecutors said last night.
(Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror)

The dumbing-down myth
Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, defends modern universities’ efforts to help pupils from poorer schools win places.
(Daily Telegraph)

Post-menopause women ‘happier’
Most women say their lives improve after the onset of the menopause, according to research published today by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. Fifty-somethings are happier, healthier and have better sex lives than when they were younger, the survey says.
(The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, Daily Mail)

Career success hinges on lifelong learning, say employers
Career success for graduates depends less on their qualifications than on their eagerness to learn new skills once they have landed their first job, according to Britain’s top employers. The results of a survey by the Association of Graduate recruiters provide support for efforts to make lifelong learning a big issue for companies.
(Financial Times)

Scholar shot dead in Pakistan
A leading moderate Muslim cleric and Sunni scholar, Ghulam Mustaza Malik, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Lahore, Pakistan, yesterday. Malik was famous for his TV lectures.
(The Guardian)

The mother of all flowers
The preserved remains of a 125-million-year-old water plant have been hailed as potentially the most significant fossils of their kind yet uncovered and could solve the puzzle of floral evolution.
(Daily Telegraph)

Rubber bands solve penguins’ identity crisis
A new way to help conservationists pick out penguins could mark a major advance in efforts to protect these endangered birds. Peter Barham, a polymer physicist at Bristol University with a passion for penguins, has come up with a flipper band made of silicone rubber that is more penguin friendly than the conventional steel tag.
(Daily Telegraph)

Snacks blamed for obesity
Children and young adults are eating three times more salty snacks and pizza compared with 20 years ago, which explains much of the steady increase in obesity, say researchers at the University of North Carolina who studied the eating habits of 63,000 people.
(Daily Telegraph)

Invaders driving red squirrel and vole to extinction
Two of Britain’s best-loved mammals, the water vole and the red squirrel, are being driven towards extinction because MPs are reluctant to encourage the widespread killing of grey squirrels and American mink, according to a report by scientists at Oxford University.
(Daily Telegraph)

Breastfed babies are ‘cleverer’
Babies who are breastfed for longer may be brighter as adults, says a study by Danish and American researchers published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
(The Times, The Independent)

Picasso and Matisse together again
London’s Tate Modern is expecting to break attendance records with the first big exhibition in over half a century comparing the work of Picasso and Matisse. The two giants of 20th-century art in France were friends and rivals and were endlessly measured against one another in life.
(The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Independent)

The myth of the low-fat diet
For years we have been advised to eat a low-fat diet to help prevent heart attacks and promote weight loss but research suggests that such a diet may actually do more harm than good.
(The Independent)


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