Today's news

June 17, 2002

Higher education ‘enhances social rift’
Social mobility has fallen in the UK over the past 40 years, and a key cause has been the rise in higher education, according to a study from the London School of Economics. The finding that children of the less well-off have a reduced chance of climbing the social ladder than those of the previous generation comes despite the belief that wider educational opportunities benefit young people from all backgrounds. The children of better-off parents still gain more than the children of the less well-off.
( Financial Times, The Times )

Elite grade will destroy A level
A plan to offer an elite A-level grade to the brightest pupils was dealt a blow yesterday when the government’s advisers warned that it could destroy the exam’s integrity. The “super A level” plans were unveiled in February by education secretary Estelle Morris to help universities select the brightest pupils.
( The Independent )

New MMR link to autism found
Children suffering autism and a rare form of inflammatory bowel disorder have been found to have the same strain of measles in their intestines as the one in the MMR vaccine, according to research to be presented at the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland next month.
( Daily Mail )

Café fire kills at least 24 students in China
At least 24 students were killed and 13 injured when a fire swept through an internet café in a university district of Beijing yesterday. Web surfers were trapped behind a locked door and windows blocked by iron bars.
( The Independent, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian )

British Museum strike breaks tradition
The British Museum is to close its doors today for the first time in its 250-year history as staff stage a one-day strike over job cuts.
( Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian )

Museums in need of rescue
The parlous state of British museums is underlined today by a report that calls for a modernisation programme to save them. The research by the Heritage Lottery Fund found that a quarter of museums and galleries did not have labels or explanations of their collections.
( The Independent )

Bell’s reputation is cut off
Italy hailed the redress of an historic injustice yesterday after the US Congress recognised an impoverished Florentine immigrant as the inventor of the telephone rather than Alexander Graham Bell. Historians and Italian-Americans won their battle to out Bell as a perfidious Scot who won fame and fortune by stealing another man’s work.
( The Guardian )

Musicians have biggest brains
Musicians have bigger and more sensitive brains than people who do not play instruments, scientists revealed yesterday. The auditory cortex, the part of the brain concerned with hearing, contains 130 per cent more grey matter in professional musicians than in non-musicians, says a report in Nature Neuroscience .
( The Independent, The Times )

Science may put end to hay fever misery
A team of scientists from King’s College London have achieved a breakthrough in discovering the causes of hay fever. The findings could also be good news for asthmatics and people with allergies to insect stings or certain foods says the research in the journal Nature Immunology .
( The Independent, The Times )

HRT too much of a headache for most women
Two out of three women on hormone replacement therapy give it up within a year because of unpleasant side-effects such as weight gain, mood swings and headaches, according to a survey by the Women’s Nutritional Advisory Service.
( Daily Mail )

Major operations could trigger phobias
The physical trauma of a major operation, even under general anaesthetic, could trigger phobias and alter the way patients react to pain in later life, according to Rita Carter, author of Consciousness.
( The Daily Telegraph )

A champion for public policy
Interview with Sergio Raimond-Kedilhac, dean of  Mexico’s Ipade business school.
( Financial Times )






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