Today's news

August 19, 2002

Universities offer places to A-level failures
Two universities are letting in students who flunked A levels to fill up degree courses. Investigators, posing as students without a single pass, were offered places at East London and Greenwich universities.
( Daily Mirror , Independent )

State pupils with lower grades offered places
Leading universities are offering places to state-school pupils with lower A-level results than students from the independent sector. Positive discrimination has been introduced by at least 16 universities including Cambridge and Bristol.
(Daily Mail)

Medical schools conduct secret tests to sift A-level pupils
Medical schools are conducting secret trials of psychometric tests to choose future doctors because of the growing doubts about the value of A-level grades. Hundreds of applicants took voluntary aptitude tests at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Durham universities.
( Times )

Imperial school seeks new dean
Imperial College Management School is seeking a new dean to replace David Norburn, the longest serving in any business school in Europe. Professor Norburn has been in his post for 16 years and will leave in January 2004.
( Daily Telegraph )

Scientists ticked off for killing mice with drugs and The Prodigy
Scientists at Cambridge University who drugged mice and then blasted them to death with loud music by The Prodigy have received an official reprimand from the Home Office.
( Guardian , Daily Mirror , Independent , Times , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail )

Children more in danger from people they know
Paedophiles have approached more than one in five children while they were away from their homes, according to a study to be released this month. The report, by researchers at Huddersfield University, questioned 2,420 children aged nine to 16 from the Northwest. It also found that the children were more at risk from someone they knew than strangers.
( Guardian )

BCJ jabs studied as ministers consider revaccination
Government scientists are examining more batches of a faulty BCG vaccine, which inoculates against tuberculosis,  supplied by PowerJect Pharmaceuticals to see whether Britain needs to consider revaccinating those given the jab.
( Financial Times )

Rise in Caesareans is ‘harming midwifery’
The trend towards Caesareans births in place of natural delivery has led to a “deskilling” of the profession of midwifery, according to Carol Bates of the Royal College of Midwives.
( Independent )

UK team develops malaria vaccine
Researchers in the Gambia have begun injecting hundreds of people with a new vaccine against malaria that was developed by a team led by Adrian Hill at Oxford University.
( Guardian )

Citizens’ council to make health decisions
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is to set up a citizens’ council of 30 members of the public who will help the National Health Service make controversial decisions about patient care.
( Financial Times , Times , Daily Telegraph )

Nasa to build mind sensor
Nasa scientists are developing “mind-reading” sensors to be used at airport security gates to detect electrical signals from passengers that could indicate if they were set on criminal activity.
( Daily Telegraph )

Mammoth hopes rest on icy DNA
Japanese scientists hope to use parts of a mammoth preserved in the Siberian permafrost to impregnate an Indian elephant with its sperm and clone the extinct animal for display at an Ice Age wildlife park.
( Times )

Cancer pill made from broccoli
A drug derived from broccoli could help the fight against breast cancer in seven years. Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have made a compound based on the potent anti-cancer agent sulphoraphane found in the vegetable.
( Daily Mirror )

In the eye of the beerholder
Alcohol really does cause members of the opposite sex to look more attractive. In a Glasgow University study, 80 students were shown pictures of 120 faces. Forty drank four units of alcohol and 40 were sober. The drinkers rated the faces 25 per cent more attractive.
( Daily Mirror )

Scientists discover what puts you in the mood for dancing
Scientists have discovered why we feel moved to dance when we see a brilliant ballet performance or watch others swing their hips. Scientists at Oxford University found that an area next to the motor cortex, which makes the limbs move, was being used when a person watched dance and imagined dancing.
( Daily Telegraph )

Breathalyser inventor dies
Professor Robert Borkenstein, the inventor of the breathalyser, has died age 89.
( Independent , Daily Mirror )

Agricultural scientist dies
Professor Hugh Bunting, an outspoken agricultural scientist, has died age 84.
( Independent )   

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