Today's news

November 21, 2003


Rolls-Royce threat to move research out of UK


Sir John Rose, chief executive of the jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, is threatening to move the company's remaining research and technology facilities abroad unless the government overhauls science spending to put industrial applications before pure research. Rolls Royce is already one of the largest recipients of government industrial aid, having received a £17.3 million research grant only last month. Later this month the Treasury is expected to publish a report calling on industry to play a greater part in forging links with universities.
( Financial Times )

Academic suspended for animal research
The University of Washington has suspended an assistant professor for failing to obtain mandatory approval to use animals in research. Chen Dong, allegedly cut the tips of mouse tails without anaesthesia. He said: "There was no intention to subvert procedures or to compromise animal welfare."
( Independent )

Academic awarded £62,000 for broken promise
A criminologist has won £62,000 in damages from a university that forced him to abandon research into assisted suicides by Aids sufferers. Russell Ogden spent two years working on the PhD research project at Exeter University before he was forced to give up his research in 1997 when the university withdrew a written promise to give him legal backing should a court order him to disclose the names of his research project subjects.
( Times )
· THES subscribers can read Russell Ogden's comments  in the November 7 edition of  The THES . 

Secret of the slim scoffers
Some people's genetic make-up helps them to stay slim, researchers at Leeds University have found. John Blundell, head of the department of psychology at Leeds, said: "Not all humans are the same when it comes to weight loss. We don't have all the answers yet, but the early signs are that there are some who naturally have an advantage because of their metabolism." A study of 200 volunteers found that some could consume 3,000 calories a day and not put on weight while others piled on the pounds. The findings were presented in London yesterday to the Association for the Study of Obesity.
( Daily Mail )

Sun screen increases risk of skin cancer
Staying out of the sun and covering the body with sun-screen lotions might increase the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer, doctor Cedric Garland from the University of California School of Medicine, La Jolla, will say today. He recommends that British people should aim to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day in the summer sun, without sunscreen, to allow enough vitamin D to be synthesised in their bodies. In a letter to the British Medical Journal , Dr Garland says that sun exposure is the main source of vitamin D. In Britain and other northern European countries people do not synthesise vitamin D between November and March.
( Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times )

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