Today's news

October 6, 2003

Scientists take on publishers with free journal
The Public Library of Science (PLoS), backed by top scientists including British Nobel prizewinners Paul Nurse and Sir John Sulston, is to distribute its journals free of charge. "The publishers are making a lot of money out of our research and it's not fair that lots of good, basic science isn't available to everyone," said Julie Ahringer, a biologist at Cambridge University who is on the editorial board of PLoS Biology. The group's first journal that is due to be launched on October 13. ( Guardian )
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British academia stifling original research  
Heinrich Harke of Reading University's department of archaeology writes, in a letter, that if Albert Einstein were alive today he should be so lucky to be ignored. "Einstein would not be ignored today, he would be ground down, like the rest of us in British academia."
( Daily Telegraph )

Graduate hopes dashed by slick recruiters
Slick graduate recruitment drives by leading employers are highly effective at attracting new talent to the company, but some are in danger of promising too much, according to Your Graduates and You , a report to be published this week by the Institute for Employment Studies.
(Financial Times)

Diet and exercise 'do not affect' cholesterol
Exercise and a healthy diet are almost a waste of time for people with high cholesterol, a leading cardiologist claimed yesterday. Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said lifestyle changes were not enough to tackle the problem. Cholesterol-reducing drugs should be used more regularly and more effectively, he said. 
( Independent )

Scientists vie to break junk DNA's secret code
In the latest issue of the journal Science , Greek and US researchers report that huge tracts of human DNA, previously written off as meaningless junk, have been found to contain a "genetic grammar", making the language of our genes much more complex than previously thought.
( Daily Telegraph )

Chinese government sets sights on the moon
Days before it attempts to become the third country to put an astronaut in space, China yesterday revealed ambitious plans to land on the moon. The target date for the moonwalk is 2010.
( Guardian , Daily Telegraph )

Male contraceptive pill successfully tested
A male hormone implant that switches off sperm production and has no unpleasant side-effects has been successfully tested by a team of Australian scientists.
( Daily Telegraph )

Memory man defends his title
Andi Bell, 36, from Bushey, Herts, defended his title at the World Memory Championships in Kuala Lumpur yesterday by remembering a single deck of cards in 57 seconds, beating 53 other competitors. He also memorised 21 decks of cards in an hour.
( Daily Telegraph )

Round-up of weekend higher education items
The fees rebel ruling Cambridge ( Sunday Times ) · A look at IP2IPO, the academic intellectual property company ( Sunday Times ) · Former aide to Cherie Blair wants universities to give preference to state pupils ( Observer ) · Sixty per cent of students forced to do term-time jobs ( Independent on Sunday ) · Letter from Steven Schwartz on university access ( Independent on Sunday ) · The Oxford Union debating society has reduced its fee for poorer students ( Independent October 4) · Guide to some of the UK's top seats of post-graduate learning ( Guardian October 4) · More parents than ever before studying for degrees ( Daily Telegraph October 4) * Kate Fulbrook, outspoken English don, has died of cancer ( Daily Telegraph October 4)

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