Today's news

September 22, 2003

Greenfield acuses male colleagues of 'sniping'
Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institution, has accused members of the male-dominated scientific establishment of conducting a whispering campaign directed at undermining her academic credibility. Lady Greenfield, 52, is used to carping about her dress sense - notably her love of mini-skirts - but has been infuriated by what she calls the "lies and snipings" of anonymous colleagues. She is worried that publicity given to the slanderous comments will damage the image of science because they send out signals to the public that researchers are "spiteful, petty-minded people".
(Daily Telegraph)

Shake-up of college places planned
Plans for a shake-up of university admissions that could lead to youngsters from under-performing schools being offered places based on lower grades than their peers at better schools will be presented to the government tomorrow. The drive to encourage youngsters from a broader range of social backgrounds comes as the education secretary, Charles Clarke, yesterday signalled strongly that controversial top-up tuition fees of up to £3,000 a year are likely be waived for the poor as a concession to Labour backbenchers and student groups threatening the bill.
(Guardian)

Students' baby risk revealed
One in six female students in Britain has had a pregnancy scare, it was revealed yesterday. Forty per cent of those women had unprotected sex because they were drunk or got carried away with passion, according to a survey of 500 undergraduates by the Evriwoman website. Details: www.evriwoman.co.uk 
(Sun)

Mice cured in Parkinson's tests
Scientists have used cloned stem cells to cure mice with a version of Parkinson's disease in the first experiment to prove that the technology can be used to treat living organisms. The research, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, is the first to demonstrate that the therapeutic cloning technique has a clinical benefit in an animal model. The study was funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Details of the research are published today in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
(Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph)

Smoking a clue in cleft palates
A professor leading a World Health Organisation project looking at the causes of cleft palates and lips has said smoking appears to be a significant risk factor in the condition. Peter Mossey, from Dundee University's Dental School, said that in Scotland, nearly 70 per cent of mothers in the 16 to 19 age group with cleft palate children were smokers.
(Daily Telegraph)

Galileo's Jupiter mission ends with fiery dive
The Galileo spacecraft ended its 14-year mission of planetary exploration last night in a fiery suicide dive into Jupiter's crushing atmosphere. Nasa scientists sent Galileo to its doom to prevent the unmanned probe contaminating one of Jupiter's moons with "stowaway" bacteria from Earth. The probe found the Solar System's hottest volcanos on Io, explained the formation of Jupiter's rings and revealed a salty, slushy ocean beneath the ice crust of Europa.
(Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Other higher education items
Today's vice-chancellors need to have a sound business sense (Financial Times) • Academia needs to recruit expensive private-sector talent if it is to link up with industry (Financial Times).

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