Today's news

June 19, 2002

Scientists grow “spare-part” organ
Scientists have succeeded in growing a “spare-part” organ for the first time, leading to hope for new cancer treatments. A research team at Monash University in Melbourne grew a functioning thymus – a small organ in the neck that is vital to the immune system. The organ was grown in mice from stem cells.
( Daily Mail )

Lecturer accidentally emails exam questions to students
Staffordshire University is investigating allegations that a lecturer accidentally emailed exam questions to students weeks before they sat the paper. It is claimed that more than half the questions on the paper were sent to students who had missed a tutorial.
( The Times )

New diploma for 14 to 19-year-olds
Report on the government’s plans to introduce a “matriculation diploma” to encourage pupils to broaden their studies beyond formal education.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Churchill correspondence released
Some of Winston Churchill’s most acerbic wartime correspondence, including secret telegrams detailing his contempt for General de Gaulle, is to be made available when it is published next month on the internet. Details: www.pro-online.pro.gov.uk
( The Times )

Beastly burden for brave Romans
Roman army soldiers and civilian hunters were employed to track down and capture exotic beasts from Africa and Asia ready for slaughter in the Colosseum in Rome in a daring role largely unreported by historians, according to research by Roger Wilson, professor of archaeology at the University of Nottingham.
( The Guardian )

Blake treasures uncovered
A series of 19 watercolours by William Blake that were believed lost have been found after lying unidentified in an attic for decades.
( The Times )

Botox cuts headaches
Botox, the anti-wrinkle treatment derived from one of the deadliest poisons known to mankind, can help debilitating headaches, according to Tood Troost, from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina.
( The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )

No cancer risk to vasectomy
Having a vasectomy does not increase the risk of prostate cancer later in life, according to a study of 2,200 men in New Zealand, half of whom were newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients. The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association .
( The Daily Telegraph )

Alarming gaps in junior doctors’ know-how
A study of 200 junior doctors has revealed alarming gaps in their basic knowledge of treating unconscious or seriously ill patients. Gary Smith of Portsmouth University posed a series of questions including 12 on signs of critical illness. Nearly a third did not know how to deal with unconscious patients.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Ecstasy link to memory loss
Even occasional use of the drug Ecstasy injures brain cells so badly that users suffer serious memory problems, researchers at Cambridge University have found.
( Daily Mail )

Credit to the man
Proof that credit card bills are almost impossible to work out came yesterday from Robert Hunt, deputy director of Cambridge University’s Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, when he took on the challenge of trying to calculate a very basic Barclaycard bill. He said: “Doing even a standard calculation took me for ever.”
( Financial Times )

Exile returns to Kabul
Qasim Hashimzai, an Afghan lawyer from Reading with an a PhD from Sheffield University, explains why he has joined an international “reverse brain drain” by returning to Kabul.
( The Guardian )

Literary critic dies
Yale literary critic R. W. B. Lewis has died. He was born in 1917, and his biography of Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer prize after its publication in 1976.
( The Independent )    

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