Today's news

July 30, 2002

Government has bought wrong smallpox vaccine, say scientists
The government has bought the wrong vaccine to protect the UK population from smallpox, according to US research. Steve Prior, a senior scientist as the Potomac Institute in America, said in an interview with The Times that the Lister strain of vaccine ordered by the government at a cost of £28 million had not been proven to work against endemic smallpox.
( The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent )

Lewis promises post-16 revolution
Employers will get tailor-made training schemes to meet their skills shortages, the government promised yesterday. Ivan Lewis, the skills minister, promised an overhaul of post-16 training and education to match industry’s needs.
( Financial Times )

Strike closes British Library
The British Library has been closed by strike action for the first time. The 24-hour closure was over the library’s refusal to raise a 4 per cent pay award to staff.
( The Guardian )

Foetal therapy advances
Scientists at Imperial College, London, yesterday strengthened the prospects of treating genetic disorders in foetuses as early as ten weeks old after isolating and treating stem cells from foetal blood. The findings are reported in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology .
( The Guardian )

Children of working mothers lag behind
The children of women who return to work shortly after giving birth are more likely to be slow developers, according to researchers at Columbia University in New York. Three-year-olds whose mothers went back to their full-time jobs in the first nine months had poorer verbal skills than those whose mothers stayed at home.
( Daily Mail )

UCL v-c resigns
University College London, which is facing a £10 million deficit, has been hit with a new problem after the sudden resignation of its vice-chancellor, Chris Llewellyn Smith. An emergency university council meeting held on Thursday received Sir Chris’s resignation in his absence. UCL denied there had been a vote of no confidence at the meeting.
( Financial Times )

Scientists see red over lobsters
British scientists have solved one of the world’s great mysteries – why lobsters turn red when cooked. A team from Imperial College, London, and Royal Holloway, London, has identified changes in molecules in the lobster shell when it gets into hot water. Their findings are reported in US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
( The Guardian, The Independent, The Times )

End is not nigh
The Earth is not going to be hit by a huge asteroid in 2019, as was widely predicted last week. But the risk from 2002 NT7 is not completely over. Nasa scientists said there was a remote chance of a collision in 2060.
( The Times, The Daily Telegraph )

Student wins Classic FM show
A music student who wrote to Classic FM complaining that the radio station was not doing enough to attract young listeners has been given her own show. Lisa Duncombe, 22, has just graduated from Trinity College of Music in London. She will host a twice-weekly show featuring recordings of young musicians hoping to launch a career in the industry.
( The Times, The Daily Telegraph )

R u ready 2 cheat?

Report on how Indonesian high-school students are cheating their way into universities.
( The Guardian , education)

Get up and take it easy
Early morning exercise can be bad for your health, according to researchers. A team at Brunel University’s sports science department says that the body’s immune system is not ready to cope with intense exercise first thing in the morning.
( Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph )

Perfume chemical may protect crops
A chemical found in some of the world’s most expensive perfumes could soon be protecting crops against aphid attack, scientists said yesterday. John Pickett, head of biological chemistry at Rothamsted laboratory, said that cis-jasmone interfered directly with the development and fertility of aphids.
( The Guardian )

Superbugs threaten favourite veg
Some of Britain’s favourite vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, could soon be impossible to grow commercially because of insecticide resistant “superbugs”, according to a research at Rothamsted, in Hertfordshire, and the John Innes Centre in Norwich.
( The Times, The Daily Telegraph )


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