Today's news

August 7, 2003

Cambridge to extend rights to academic research
Cambridge University will extend its rights to ownership of intellectual property generated by researchers under proposals published yesterday. If accepted by the university's ruling Regent House, the blueprint could underpin the generation of billions of pounds worth of commercially exploitable intellectual rights in coming decades. The new agreement specifically leaves the ownership of copyright with the academic, covering books, teaching materials, databases and even software. While the university would have the ownership of patents the proceeds from them would be shared with academics, and other partners, on a formula basis or through specific negotiations.
(Financial Times)

Italian scientists win race to clone horse
Researchers at the Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona, Italy, announce today in the journal Nature that a cloned workhorse was born in late May. Unlike other animal clones, the horse, named Prometea, was cloned using adult skin cells. In the past, as in the case of the recent mule clone, researchers used the DNA of growing foetuses. The latest birth challenges speculation that a mother would abort a clone from her womb. Prometea's twin, the horse that provided the skin cell, was also her birth mother.
(Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail)

Scientists issue new warning on gas emissions
The world may need to make even more drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought, one of the UK's leading climate scientists warns today. New research by the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Research has found that the capacity of soil and vegetation to absorb carbon dioxide could become saturated over the next few decades, according to a paper published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
(Financial Times, Guardian)

Austria indignant as Mozart makes top German shortlist
Voting for the "best German of all time" got off to a shaky start yesterday after the Austrian ambassador to Germany complained that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose name appears on a list of eligible candidates, is Austrian. The ambassador was indignant after he saw Mozart's name on the list of 300 potential candidates as the competition organised by the German television station ZDF got started.

University says students find God is boring
The University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham is planning to end its undergraduate religious studies and theology courses because, it says, modern students find God boring. Local church leaders criticised the move, which is to be debated by the University Council on September 19.

Oldest spider's silk discovered
The world's oldest known spider silk has been found preserved in amber 130 million years old near Jezzine in Lebanon. The silk strand is 4mm in length and has glue droplets spaced along it, according to Nature. The thread matches those in webs made by modern orb-weaver or comb-footed spiders.

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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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