Today's news

June 20, 2002

Businesses set to determine college courses
Businesses are to be given a central role in determining what courses are offered by further education colleges, the government announced yesterday. Education secretary Estelle Morris said reviews would be carried out by learning and skills councils to “put learners’ and employers’ needs first”. She said that new institutions would be set up in areas where there were none that met the needs of business.
( Financial Times )

Robot makes dash for freedom
A robot created by Noel Sharkey of Sheffield University escaped from the Magna science centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where it was on display. Left unattended for 15 minutes, the 2ft machine crept along a barrier until it found a gap, and left the centre. It was discovered by a visitor before it reached the M1. Professor Sharkey said that it would take time to work out how the robot had been so cunning.
( The Guardian, The Independent )

Mobiles may lead to brain damage
Radiation from mobile phones may cause brain tissue damage, a two-year study has found. The study by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland found that one hour of exposure to mobile phone radiation triggered potentially harmful changes in human cells.
( Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times )

Passive smoking link to cancer confirmed
The link between passive smoking and lung cancer is beyond doubt, scientists said yesterday. An international team analysed more that 3,000 studies to confirm the link. The team found that tobacco could trigger cancer in areas of the body not previously linked to smoking, such as stomach, liver and uterus cancer. The verdict was delivered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organisation.
( Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent )

Leukaemia higher for Sellafield children
Children of men exposed to radiation while working at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria have twice the normal risk of blood and lymph cancers, according to a study conducted by scientists at Newcastle University and sponsored by the nuclear industry.
( The Daily Telegraph, The Independent )

Police turn to scientists for bomb detector
Police chiefs have asked scientists to create a hand-held bomb detector to stop terrorists launching suicide attacks in British cities. Police need a highly sensitive devise that could pick up the mass of metal packed into the bomb hidden under terrorists’ clothes.
( The Times )

A word in your tooth please, Becks
A prototype tooth implant that picks up digital signals from radios and mobile phones goes on show this week at the Science Museum in London. The tooth could allow England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson to advise players without raising his voice. The devise was created by James Auger from Derby as part of the “Future Products” award.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Tomato accident has happy ending
Scientists have developed a tomato that contains three times more lycopene, a cancer-fighting substance, marking one of the first examples where genetic modification has been used to make food more nutritious. The tomato was an accidental spin-off in an effort by Purdue University and the US department of agriculture to develop late-ripening tomatoes.
( The Daily Telegraph )

French aim to keep us dry
Scientists in France have been looking at how drops of water behave when they hit hard surfaces in the hope of developing better water-repellent materials. The team used high-speed photography to examine the process, and their findings are published in the journal Nature .
( Financial Times )

Notts uses initiative
The University of Nottingham is planning to spin off up to 15 high-technology companies, financed by a £4 million fund organised with four other East Midlands universities. The fund has been set up under the government’s University Challenge initiative.
( Financial Times )

Mammal rediscovered in Tanzania
A 3ft-long mammal known only from a skin collected 70 years ago has been rediscovered by scientists in Tanzania. Lowe’s servaline genet , a relative of the mongoose, was photographed by a camera trap at Udzungwa Mountain National Park.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Women devise strategy for career ladder
Women across Europe have different ideas to their US counterparts about how to tackle falling off the career ladder, according to a study published in Women in Leadership: A European Business Imperative . US women believe career advancement depends on developing a style that men are comfortable with whereas European women believe they should develop specialised skills in the office that make them indispensable.
( The Daily Telegraph )





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