Today's news

September 5, 2002

Oxford has to look at more than A levels
More students than ever are achieving top grades, but the task of admissions tutors remains the same, writes Michael Collins. (The Independent)

No men please, we’re studying
New television documentary looks at Oxford University’s last women-only college, St Hilda’s (Sunday, 9pm, Channel 4). (The Guardian) See Why I in this week’s issue of The THES

Anthrax inquiry scientist is sacked without charges
The US scientist linked to the US anthrax investigation has been dismissed from his job as a research biologist at Louisiana State University, although he has not been charged with any crime. Steven Hatfill is one of 30 “persons of interest” in the government inquiry into who sent letters contaminated with anthrax last autumn. (The Times)

Naipaul picks unique biographer
The task of writing the biography of Nobel prizewinning author Sir Vidia Naipaul has fallen to Patrick French, author of the highly regarded account of events leading to the partition of India, Liberty or Death . (The Daily Telegraph)

Fish oil aid for fatigue syndrome
People with chronic fatigue syndrome have a chemical imbalance in the brain, according to research by doctors from Imperial College Medical School in London. The study suggests that fish oil supplements might help to cure the condition. (The Times, Daily Mail)

Smart wardrobe for flat-pack dummies
For clumsy men incapable of doing it themselves, scientists have created the ultimate flat-pack: a smart furniture kit that talks you through the assembly process. The idea was dreamt up by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. (The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent)

Hunting does nothing to keep foxes in check
Hunting with hounds has no role in controlling foxes in the countryside, according to research published today. The research, published in scientific journal Nature , was conducted by the Mammal Society, chaired by Professor Stephen Harris. (The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent)

Fluoride findings
Water fluoridation reduces dental decay and has no ill effects on health, the Medical Research Council has said, but it recommends more studies into fluoride exposure. (The Times, The Independent, Financial Times)

Hedgehogs reach crossroads as numbers fall
Britain’s hedgehogs are dying out, according to a nationwide survey. Paul Bright of Royal Holloway University, London, who analysed figures collected by volunteers, said that, with the exception of Scotland, in every region of the country numbers showed a decline or, at best, remained static. (The Times, Daily Mail)

Britain’s literary darling escapes hype for an MA at Harvard
Bestselling author Zadie Smith, whose second novel, The Autograph Man , is published in three weeks, is calling a halt to life as a full-time novelist and leaving Britain to study for an MA at Harvard University in the US. (The Daily Telegraph)

Scientists rediscover lost 40,000-year-old baby
A beautifully preserved skeleton of a Neanderthal baby, thought to have been lost to science, has been found again after 90 years. The rediscovery could lead to new insights into the evolution of modern humans. (The Daily Telegraph, The Independent)

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