Today's news

August 2, 2002

Top universities taking more state pupils
Leading universities have started admitting an increasing proportion of students from state schools since chancellor Gordon Brown complained of their “elitist” policies, figures suggest. More than 67 per cent of entrants to the top 13 universities came from the maintained sector last year, up from 63 per cent in 1999. The figures were compiled by the Sutton Trust.
( The Times )

Young brains of Britain
First taste of university at summer school for the “super-kid” elite of state schools.
( The Times, The Guardian )

Academics' fury at Cambridge claim to patents
Cambridge University is on a collision course with its academics over plans to strip them of their rights to patent or sell their inventions. Academics are furious that from next year the university will assume full rights on its staff’s work.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Palace coup rocks UCL
The resignation of University College London vice-chancellor Chris Llewellyn Smith, who was forced out in a palace coup by a group of senior academics, has left the university reeling.
( The Guardian )

Bishop attacks Warnock over cloned children
Mary Warnock, the architect of Britain’s fertility laws, has been criticised by a senior bishop for her stance on cloning. In her new book Making Babies , Lady Warnock says she favours human cloning in cases of male infertility. Her position has been described as “ethically flawed” by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, chairman of the ethics committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
( The Daily Telegraph )

HFEA refuses appeal for designer baby
A couple who want a “designer baby” to save the life of their son, who has a rare blood disorder, have been told by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority that they will not be allowed to have the process carried out in Britain.
( The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Guardian )

Gene links abused children to violence
The reason some mistreated children become anti-social adults, and why men are more violent than women, could be down to variation in a gene that regulates messenger chemicals in the brain, according to a study by the Medical Research Council’s Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre at King’s College London.
( The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Guardian )

Thief walks off with marble head
The British Museum suffered a blow yesterday when it was disclosed that a 2,500-year-old marble head has been stolen from its Greek archaic gallery. The 8in head was not behind glass, or protected by an alarm.
( The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, The Guardian)

Earth gets fatter
The Earth is getting fatter, according to two US scientists. In four years, its girth has got wider after 19 years of getting thinner, says Christopher Cox, of Raytheon Information and Scientific Services, and Nasa scientist Benjamin Chao.
( The Times )

7m species struggle as humans grab resources
Humans now capture more than 40 per cent of the world’s plant and marine growth – leaving an estimated 7 million wild species to compete for the remainder, according to the World Atlas of Biodiversity , published yesterday by the United Nations.
( The Independent, The Guardian)

Doctors find clue to cause of stammering
Doctors believe they may have found out why people stammer. Researchers from the universities of Hamburg and Göttingen say that stammering can result from an abnormality in the left side of the brain. Their findings are reported in The Lancet .
( The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Times, The Independent )

White-coat effect triggers high blood pressure
Thousands of patients may be being treated unnecessarily because their blood pressure shoots up as soon as they see a doctor, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal . Researchers at the Clinical Sciences Division at Southampton University say that the “white coat” effect means that blood pressures recorded by doctors tend to be higher than those tested by nurses or at home.
( The Times )


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