Today's news

July 1, 2003

Computer marking may end summer exam results wait
Edexcel, which was taken over by the publishing company Pearson last month, plans to introduce on-screen marking for a quarter of its 5 million GCSE and A-level entries next summer. Examiners are preparing to mark millions of papers by computer in trials that promise to halve the time it takes to send results to schools. By delivering results in mid-July instead of mid-August, students would be able to apply to university after receiving their A-level grades, ending the annual scramble for places through clearing and the summer agony faced by hundreds of thousands of teenagers.

Babies can be created from unborn mothers
The prospect of creating children whose biological mothers have never been born has been raised for the first time by scientists from Israel and the Netherlands who have taken tissue from the ovaries of aborted foetuses and grown it in the laboratory for a month. They have reported to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Madrid that immature egg follicles, which would not normally become active until puberty, started to develop when bathed in a cocktail of female hormones.
(Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail)

Lesbians more prone to ovary disease
Scientists from the Hallam Medical Centre in London have discovered that lesbians have a significantly increased risk of contracting polycystic ovarian syndrome, the commonest cause of ovary problems, affecting about 10 per cent of women. Their findings also suggest that a biochemical imbalance linked to the disorder may contribute to the development of lesbian sexuality.

Nobel poet Heaney hails Eminem
Seamus Heaney, one of the leading figures in modern poetry, praised the lyrical talents of the rapper Eminem yesterday. Heaney said the American singer, whose references to guns, gang rape and homosexuality have attracted fierce criticism, "sent a voltage round a generation". The former professor of poetry at Oxford University was speaking in Norwich before the start of the Prince of Wales's Educational Summer School.
(Daily Telegraph)

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