Today's news

March 20, 2003

Middle-class students bear burden of fee rise
Students from middle-class homes could be the only ones required to pay higher tuition fees when the government allows universities to increase them to £3,000. Charles Clarke, the education secretary, told MPs yesterday that he would consider waiving the fees of poorer students when the new charging regime is introduced in 2006. Forty per cent of students do not pay the annual £1,100 fee because their family income is below £20,480 a year. Under Mr Clarke’s White Paper reforms they would be liable to pay £1,900 a year at universities charging the full £3,000 fee, with the government paying the rest. Mr Clarke told the Commons education select committee that he could subsidise the full amount if students were deterred from applying to the most expensive universities. Some £300 million set aside to restore maintenance grants of up to £1,000 a year could be diverted to pay fees.
(Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph)

Scientists offer hope of cure for baldness
Scientists at the Rockefeller University in New York have identified the chemical triggers that turn skin into hair, offering hope of new treatments for baldness and unwanted body hair. A pair of natural proteins combine to tell cells to become hair follicles rather than skin, according to new research that explains why hair grows - and stops growing - in some parts of the body and not in others.
(Times, Daily Telegraph)

End of the mosquito?
An evolutionary biologist from Imperial College, London, claims that the latest genetic technology could wipe out four-fifths of all mosquitoes within 36 weeks. The controversial proposal, reported today in New Scientist , involves adding a gene to the mosquito that affects its breeding.
(Daily Mail)

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