Today's news

July 18, 2002

UK project to tackle water-borne parasite
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave its second-ever UK award, worth $30 million, to Imperial College London, to fund  a drugs programme to tackle the disease  schistosomiasis, which could affect up to 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. (The Guardian)

Why students should pay fees of £7,000 a year
Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at Warwick University, argues that higher fees are essential to the future of British higher education. (The Independent)

Mayan pot shows love of chocolate
An ancient pot has provided evidence that our love affair with chocolate began 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. Archaeologists have shown that coco was cultivated in the land between the Americas – including what is today Guatemala, Mexico and Belize – for thousands of years. (The Daily Telegraph, The Times)

Science uncovers hidden Raphael
A sketch believed to be by Raphael has been found concealed beneath a work that had been attributed to his assistant. Experts from Florence’s Opificio  delle Pietre Dure institute said that beneath the layer of oils examination had revealed a drawing by a much finer hand. (The Daily Telegraph)

Alzheimer’s linked to bad diet
A diet deficient in fruit and vegetables is a prime cause of Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists from Case Western Reserve University in the US, working on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society. (The Times, The Guardian)

Stem cells may hold cure to diabetes
Insulin-producing cells that could reverse diabetes have been successfully grown from adult stem cells for the first time by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. (The Times)

Stem cell research on a shoestring
Moral objections have hampered cloning research, but lack of funds may kill it off, argues Michael West. (Financial Times)

Alarm as US woos nurses from NHS
The government’s plan to improve the NHS by recruiting 35,000 more nurses is at risk. Beverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the US authorities were preparing to enter the recruitment market and one of their targets is badly paid NHS staff. (The Guardian)

Half of new nurses are from abroad
Half of the nurses newly registered in Britain in the year to March come from overseas, the Royal College of Nursing said yesterday. (The Daily Telegraph) 

New laws urged on designer babies
Laws on embryo research and fertility treatment need an urgent overhaul to bring them up to date with advances in medical science, a report from the House of Commons science and technology committee has found. (Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian)

Back to basics
Are today’s art school graduates turning away from the conceptual art that characterised BritArt, asks Lucy Hodges. (The Independent)

What’s the best way to keep students on?
Are computers, language labs and child care enough to keep 16 year olds in education? (The Independent)

In defence of the inapplicable
More MA students are pursuing knowledge as an end in itself, despite the fad for skills-based education. (The Independent)

Obesity link to bowel cancer
Obesity doubles the risk of bowel cancer in women before the menopause, according to a study of almost 90,000 women in Canada. (The Guardian)

Model that adds up to plasticity
A mathematical model invented in the US could help scientists predict whether new materials will be brittle or ductile, say researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Financial Times)   

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