Today's news

August 29, 2003

Recovering drug addicts offered degree shortcut
Glasgow Caledonian University is offering recovering drug addicts the chance to offset formal study in the preliminary stages of a social science degree. Under the new Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning scheme universities will be able to waive up to two-thirds of courses if students can offer relevant life experience. Anglia Polytechnic University has also indicated that students may be able to count holiday work as a lifeguard towards a degree in sports science.
(THES, Daily Mail, Times)

Mo Mowlam: 'We don't need so many to go to university'
Former cabinet minister Mo Mowlam writes that the current government policy on higher education is ripping the  party apart, and not helping our young.

Dame Judi lifts curtain on Shakespeare society
Film stars and directors will join some of the biggest names in academia today to set up Britain's first organisation dedicated to the work of William Shakespeare. Actress Dame Judi Dench has agreed to lend her name as patron and raise the curtain at the three-day conference at De Montfort University in Leicester. The British Shakespeare Association aims to have a conference every two years with other meetings around the country in between. A constitution will be agreed tomorrow, after which people can become members for £15 a year. Details:

Code-breaker reveals a diarist to rival Pepys
A remarkable million-word account of life in late 17th-century England that is as vivid as Samuel Pepys's diary has been transcribed after lying largely forgotten for more than three centuries. About 40,000 words of the Entring Book, which covers the years 1677 to 1691, were in code and the research team led by the Cambridge academic Mark Goldie had to bring in 17th-century shorthand expert Frances Henderson to reveal what Roger Morrice, a Puritan minister turned political journalist, had written.
(Daily Telegraph)

Yeast DNA tweaked to produce human protein
A research team in New Hampshire report in the journal Science today that they tweaked the DNA of the yeast Pichia pastoris so that it secreted a complex human glycoprotein. The technique could open a path for new ways to brew sophisticated medicines in huge quantities.

Sage could really help you know your onions
Researchers from the Medicinal Plant Research Centre based at the universities of Newcastle and Northumbria report in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour that the herb sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) can enhance memory. Early trials indicate that volunteers who took sage oil recalled 8 per cent more in word tests.
(Daily Mail, Times, Guardian)

Youngest in class face mental health problems
Children who are among the youngest in their school year are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than their older friends, according to research published today by two researchers at the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London.
(Guardian, Times)

Outer Hebrides stone circle older than Stonehenge
An ancient stone circle built 50 years before Stonehenge in 3,000BC, has been uncovered after lying buried in peat for thousands of years on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. Colin Richards, a senior lecturer at Manchester University's school of art history and archaeology, and his team began excavating the Na Dromannan site three weeks ago.

New lizard species uncovered in Dorset
A colony of lizards native to continental Europe has been found for the first time in Britain. The presence of the western green lizards (Lacerta bilineata) on a Dorset clifftop was unknown until a reptile expert chanced across them this week. It remains a mystery, how the species, usually found in southern countries such as Spain and Italy, came to the Bournemouth area.
(Independent, Daily Mail)

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