Today's news

August 28, 2002

Suicide warning after Cambridge student’s death
Roche, the company that makes the malaria drug Larium, has added the risk of suicide to warnings to travellers prescribed the pills. Cambridge University student Vanessa Brunt, 22, was found dead near her home in Swansea after apparently committing suicide. She had taken Larium while travelling in her gap year. (Telegraph)

Wanted: African dictators for position at university
Long-forgotten or soon-to-be-washed up dictators from Africa are being given the chance to teach and travel in the United States for a year. The fellowships were announced by Boston University. (Independent)

Star history don swipes at rival
The rivalry between Britain’s highest-paid historians David Starkey and Simon Schama continues. Speaking at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Starkey recalled one of the first lectures he gave at Cambridge, hastily prepared on the train after a week dallying with a new lover. “I’m told it’s the technique Simon uses when doing a series on British history,” said Starkey. (Times)

Oxford reject takes a gap year
Anastasia Fedotova, the deaf girl with six A-grade A levels rejected by Oxford University, has decided to take a gap year. Oxford’s rejection of the disabled student prompted claims of discrimination. (Times)

Bac to basics
The Conservatives could be on to something with their idea to replace A and AS levels with the international baccalaureate exam. (Guardian leader)

Dinosaur prints make impression on islanders
Scientists fear that unique dinosaur tracks left on a Scottish beach 165 million years ago will not survive much longer. A team from the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow believe the 16 tracks found in loose rock on the Isle of Skye were made by a megalosaurus from the Jurassic period. (Independent, Guardian, Mail, Telegraph)

DNA tests get to the root of tree disputes
A new DNA technique that can identify the tree responsible for causing subsidence damage to a property will help to resolve disputes between neighbours. Biologists at Newcastle University have adopted genetic fingerprinting to match a troublesome root with one of several nearby trees. (Times, Guardian, Telegraph)

Archaeologists find Temple Mount wall near to collapse
Part of the wall at Temple Mount, Jerusalem’s most contested holy site, is in danger of collapse, archaeologists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have discovered. (Times)

Britons stand tall but heavy in Europe
The average Briton stands head, shoulders, girth and bottoms above their continental partners, according to a study by ergonomists at the University of Nottingham. The study was commissioned by the Department for Trade and Industry to help manufacturers design products to fit people’s shape. (Guardian)

Croaking frogs enjoy a skinful
Frogs and toads can drink while they croak, scientists from the universities of Nevada and Copenhagen reported yesterday. (Telegraph)

What it takes to be a man
Geneticist Steve Jones investigates the rise and fall of masculinity in an extract from his new book. (Telegraph)

Oxford interviews couldn’t be fairer
Highly coached pupils from independent schools have an advantage at A-level but not during face-to-face encounters at Oxford interviews, says one student. (Telegraph)

European space watch on climate
Scientists at the University of Leicester are part of the team preparing to launch the latest in flying thermometers – an instrument to take the temperature of the planet. (Guardian)

Archaeologist with a passion for castles dies
University of Wales professor Nicholas Bogdan has died at the age of 55. The work of the archaeologist and architectural historian, particularly at Fetternear, a medieval palace in Scotland, has attracted European interest. (Guardian)

Innovative interpreter of Icelandic sagas dies
Hermann Palsson produced a stream of translations of Icelandic literature for English-speaking readers, frequently collaborating with Magnus Magnusson. He died at the age of  81. (Independent)









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