Today's news

May 1, 2003

Scientists grow penis in laboratory
US laboratory research has shown that it is possible to grow rabbit penises with a network of nerves, a development that increases the likelihood of effective penis enlargement surgery in human beings. The results, from a study at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, suggest that it should one day be possible to use tissue engineering to treat men born with ambiguous genitalia, or those who need penis reconstruction after an accident or cancer surgery. In the longer term it could be used for cosmetic purposes.
(Times)

Anthrax gene sequence decoded
US scientists today publish the complete genetic sequence of the anthrax bacterium in the journal Nature. Their knowledge will help researchers develop better vaccines and drugs against anthrax. It also provides a fascinating glimpse into the evolutionary origins of "a soil bug gone bad", as the project leader at the Institute of Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland, calls Bacillus anthracis.
(Financial Times)

Great physicists might have had Asperger's
The eccentric behaviour of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton could have been caused by a mild form of autism, a leading expert on the condition suggests. Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, reports in New Scientist magazine today that the two men might have had Asperger's syndrome, the least severe form of autism, which does not cause learning difficulties.
(Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Science's golden partnership ends
Britain's most prominent female scientist, Lady Greenfield, director of the Royal Institution, has separated from her husband of 12 years, Peter Atkins, a professor of chemistry at Oxford University. The collapse of their marriage ends what was regarded as science's golden partnership.
(Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail)

Deadline day for responses to HE white paper
The deadline for people to air their views on the government's higher education funding white paper is today. The following express their opinions: Michael Sterling, vice-chancellor, University of Birmingham; Geoff Hitchins, deputy vice-chancellor, Leeds Metropolitan University; Sen Ganesh, president, Imperial College Union; Peter Dangerfield, deputy chairman of the BMA's medical academic staff committee; Hannah Charnock, president, the University of Liverpool guild of students; Michael Worton, vice-provost, University College London; Michael Goldstein, vice-chancellor, Coventry University; Professor John Archer, principal of Heriot-Watt University and Professor John Fisher, pro-vice-chancellor for research at Leeds University.
(Guardian)

Bookshop for intellectuals opens in London
A new concept in retailing hits the streets of London today - the intellectual's bookshop. The shop in Bloomsbury is owned by and co-run by the London Review of Books, the literary-political bi-monthly journal, in whose pages the books under review are more likely to be The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mannor Menzel's Realism: Art and Embodiment in 19th-century Berlin than the novels of Tony Parsons or recipes of Jamie Oliver.
(Independent)

Lectures at the NPG mark Burlington centenary
To celebrate the centenary of The Burlington Magazine, a series of lectures is being held at the Ondaatje Wing Theatre at the National Portrait Gallery from today. This evening at 7pm, Richard Cork, art critic, historian and broadcaster, will present The Audacity of Roger Fry. On July 3, Richard Shone, the recently appointed editor of magazine, outlines the career of Benedict Nicolson, who was editor from 1947 to 1978. All lectures begin at 7pm. Tickets £5 (£3 concessions) are available from the National Portrait Gallery on 020 7306 0055.
(Times)

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