Today's news

April 28, 2003

£1.5m fund aids women in science
A £1.5 million package to keep women in science, engineering and technology will be launched today by the trade and industry secretary, Patricia Hewitt. Only one graduate in six working in science, engineering or technology is a woman. The move is a response to a report last year by Baroness Greenfield, herself an Oxford professor and director of Michael Faraday's old laboratory, the Royal Institution. It is estimated that at any time there could be 50,000 women with science or related degrees who are not employed in those fields. In higher education, only about one in 20 professors of maths, science, engineering and related field is a woman.

Prince launches crusade against nanorobots
The Prince of Wales has asked the Royal Society to call a meeting of leading scientists to argue the case for and against nanotechnology. A St James’s Palace official said: "He has read a number of reports which have made him concerned. He is not anti-science, quite the contrary, but this science is about the manipulation of atoms and molecules, the building blocks of the planet. He knows he will be accused of interfering again but he feels this is a subject on which there should be more public debate."

Canine detectors to sniff out cancer
Sniffer dogs trained to detect early signs of prostate cancer by smelling urine samples are to be used in a 12-month trial by researchers from Cambridge University and Addenbrooke's hospital, if funding can be secured.

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