Today's news

July 2, 2003

Scientist shortage harming British economy
Britain's economic prosperity would be improved if the numbers of people leaving universities with scientific and technical qualifications were to increase greatly in the next decade, according to the director of the Engineering and Technology Board. The UK's main organisation for professional engineers has produced a report, Tomorrow's World, Today's Reality - looking at the problems faced by school teachers in conveying to pupils the full depth of technical subjects in the face of a crowded educational timetable.
(Financial Times)

Cannabis timebomb ticking
Cannabis users are seven times more likely to develop mental illness, a report from the Institute of Psychiatry in London warns. Scientists say that the drug affects the brain so seriously it is already one of the leading causes of psychosis in the UK. There are fears that widespread use among youngsters could result in an epidemic of schizophrenia.
(Daily Mail)

Study reveals less need for lab monkeys
Science has advanced so much that some drugs can be tested in micro-doses on humans rather than continuing to use monkeys for experiments, the government's official advisory body has decided. The recommendation is one of many in two long-awaited reports by the animal procedures committee into whether experiments on primates can be justified on ethical grounds and whether there are better and cheaper alternatives.

Dehydrated sperm could last for years
Men concerned about their fertility could soon store their own semen at home following the invention of a revolutionary technique in preserving sperm by drying it out in air, scientists at the Erfan and Gagedo Hospitals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said yesterday.

Junk food diet bad for the birds
Scientists from Glasgow University say that an early diet of junk food makes it harder to combat the ravages of old age. Their discovery applies to zebra finches, but it could apply to humans too, the team said. Birds that had a low-quality diet of seed for the first two weeks of life grew into adults with low levels of anti-oxidants in their blood.
(Daily Telegraph)

Man's cheeky sex appeal
Women can tell whether a man is attractive and has "good" genes just from a glimpse of his cheek, a study of male sex appeal at the University of Newcastle says.
(Daily Telegraph)

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