Today's news

July 15, 2002

Transport experts foresee grim future
Twenty-eight transport professors are so concerned about Britain’s worsening problems on all modes of transport that they have joined forces to write to transport secretary Alistair Darling. They urge him to take radical steps to force people to reconsider travelling by car. They say road space should be reallocated, with less room for cars and more room for pedestrians, buses and bicycles. (The Times, The Guardian)

Scientist find gene that could guard against HIV
A human gene that could protect the body against infection by HIV has been identified by an Anglo-American team of scientists. Researchers at King’s College London and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered the gene, named CEM15. (The Times, The Independent)

Graduates offered perks of £11,000
Leading graduates are earning “golden hellos” of up to £11,000 a year in their first jobs, despite a slump in vacancies. (The Independent, The Daily Telegraph)

Trainee teachers shun maths and science
Fewer graduates are being recruited to teach maths and science subjects and those who do sign up are poorly qualified, according to a report. Figures released by the Teacher Training Agency show that the number of graduates entering courses to teach maths fell by 7 per cent last year. The number of maths teachers has nearly halved over the past 20 years. (The Times)

Colleges to get Europe’s largest computer
Britain is to set up a £53 million supercomputer service for use by university scientists. Housed at the government’s Daresbury Laboratory, the machine will be Europe’s most powerful academic computer. (Financial Times)

Scientists admit discovery was fabricated
What was hailed as a major scientific discovery of two new heavy elements three years ago, now turns out to have been based on fabricated evidence. A team at Lawrence Berkeley laboratory in California made the claim in 1999 and results were reported in New Scientist . (The Guardian)

Schools spending will increase
Spending on schools is set to rise beyond the European average. Ministers hinted yesterday at plans to bring all essential public services up to and above what is spent on the Continent. (The Times, The Independent)

History’s critical moment to be lost
Academics are up in arms over the sale of a document relating to Henry VIII’s decision to ditch Catherine of Aragon in favour of Anne Boleyn and so make a final break with Rome. (The Guardian)

Teacher colleges recruit fewer men
A report by the Teacher Training Agency has shown that fewer men are entering the teaching profession. Analysis by academics at Liverpool University has revealed that the percentage of males recruited to secondary education training courses has slumped from 43 per cent to 36 per cent over five years. (The Guardian)

Drills and axes ravage ancient Greek site
In Greece’s haste to build a magnificent museum that it hopes will one day house the Parthenon (Elgin) marbles, the authorities have begun destroying a unique archaeological site. (The Guardian)

Gene fault ‘makes millions miscarry’
A gene defect may explain why one in six pregnancies ends in miscarriage, say scientists at Montana State University. (Daily Mail)

Straw to visit British law school in China
Foreign secretary Jack Straw will take time out from talks with government officials to visit a group of young Chinese law graduates attending a summer school promoting British legal culture. (The Times)

Return big fish to sea
A study by David Canover of the State University, New York, has shown that, contrary to popular belief, it is big fish that should be returned to the sea rather than smaller ones if fish stocks are to be best conserved. (Independent Review)

More fat, please, I’m on a diet
Dietary recommendations to eat less fat and more carbohydrates may be the cause of the obesity epidemic in the US. (The Times)The origin of flight
The missing link in the evolution of birds has been found in China. (The Times)   

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