Today's news

August 5, 2002

Gene tests threaten to destroy private health
The entire system of private medical and life insurance is likely to be forced to shut down by the middle of the century because of advances in genetics, according to Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse. The scientist, who is joint head of charity Cancer Research UK, said private insurers would not be able to deal with the predictive power of genetics and that an expanded version of the NHS was the only way forward.
( Guardian )

I feel like a leper, says Israel row lecturer
Tom Paulin, the poet and lecturer, has complained that the controversy over his remarks that American-born settlers in Israel should be shot dead has left him feeling 'like a leper'. In a newsletter for the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, Mr Paulin hinted at the scale of the opprobrium he has attracted. However, so far he has failed to apologise publicly for his remarks.
( Daily Telegraph )

Uncovering the shared links of mice and men
A consortium of British, US and Canadian laboratories announced yesterday that it had mapped 98 per cent of the genes of the mouse. The laboratory mouse, which researchers routinely use to study a whole host of human ailments, is the first mammal aside from man to have had all of its DNA sequenced.
( Independent, Guardian )

Japan was close to having atom bomb
A scientific institute in Tokyo has been given a 23-page dossier on the Japanese army's atomic plans by the widow of the man who smuggled it out of Japan after the second world war. It is well known that Japan was developing its own nuclear weapons, but the documents show for the first time how close the country came to creating them. The dossier was in the hands of Kazuo Kuroda, a young chemist who went to work in the US after the war and who was professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas until his death last year.
( Times, Independent )

British Museum cash rescue in sight
Neil McGregor, the new director of the British Museum, is confident that he will wring enough cash out of the Treasury to stave off financial crisis: up to £15 million has been mentioned.
( Guardian )

Painful progress in cancer war
The number of deaths a year from cancer in Britain has fallen from 447,000 in 1971 to 394,000 in 1999, but why has the second half of the 20th century not seen the radical breakthroughs in cancer treatment the public was too often promised?
( Guardian )

Historian signs £3m deal
The cult of the celebrity academic was confirmed yesterday with the revelation of a multi-media deal worth £3 million for the television historian Simon Schama.
( Guardian )

BBC to screen drama on Cambridge spies
The story of the Cambridge spy ring, the most embarrassing eprisode in British secret service history, is to be made into a BBC drama series. Producers hope to capture the depth of the idealism that led four students to agree to infiltrate the heart of the British intelligence service for the Soviet Union.
( Guardian )

Excellent in parts but less than Utopian
Tom Stoppard's nine-hour marathon trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, about the fraught experience of Russian intellectuals in the mid-19th century, has opened to mixed reviews at the National Theatre.
( Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent, Guardian, Times, Financial Times )

Politician to lead business school
John Hewson, the former Australian prime ministerial candidate, has been appointed the new director of Sydney's Macquarie University's Graduate School of Management.
(Financial Times)

Nobel laureate dies
Archer Martin, the Nobel laureate biochemist whose invention of partition chromatography revolutionised analytical research techniques, has died aged 92.
( Guardian )



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