Today's news

January 10, 2003

72% of academics oppose top-up fees
An exclusive poll in today's Times Higher Education Supplement reveals the overwhelming opposition of higher education staff to top-up fees. Read the full story on the THES website.

Graduate tax ends top-up fees row
Answering questions in the Commons yesterday, the education secretary, Charles Clarke, came under attack from backbench MPs determined to seek an assurance that differential fees will not be introduced. Mr Clarke refused to give the assurances, but pledged that the white paper would set out proposals to help working-class students win university places. It is reported that university students will be made to contribute up to £3,000 a year to the cost of their education but the bulk of the payments will be deferred until after graduation.

Vampire bats to help stroke victims
The vampire bat may be about to save lives and get stroke patients back on their feet. The blood-lapping predator's saliva contains Desmoteplase, or DSPA, a clot-busting substance. A drug based upon it can be used for up to three times longer than other stroke treatments without risking further brain damage, according to Stroke , the journal of the American Heart Association.
(Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail)

Toughest known bug under the microscope
The survival secrets of the most radiation resistant creature on earth have been discovered by scientists. The journal Science reports on the unique DNA of Deinococcus radiodurans , known as the red microbe. The bug's ability to shrug off radiation is apparently a side effect of a defence mechanism that evolved to help it cope with dehydration. (Daily Telegraph)

Lava lamp theory of man in the moon
A huge "burp" of hot rock rising from the lunar interior early in the moon's history could account for many of its geological mysteries, according to US scientists who have used super-computers to model the moon's evolution since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. The theoretical burp, proposed in the journal Nature by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, explains not only the mysterious magnetism of lunar samples but also the lunar mare, responsible for the pattern that some people see as the "man in the moon".
(Financial Times)

Writer finds Sassoon poem
An unpublished poem by Siegfried Sassoon has been discovered in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Jean Moorcroft Wilson stumbled across God in Battle while researching the second volume of her acclaimed study of the poet. Sassoon wrote it in 1918, after his second collection of war poems had been published and following his final return from the front, as he recovered from debilitating wounds.

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