Today's news

August 5, 2004

Oxford row girl home to study medicine

Laura Spence, the comprehensive school student whose rejection by Oxford triggered a political storm over university "elitism", is returning to Britain to study medicine, as reported in The Times Higher .
( Times , Guardian , Daily Mail )

Henri Cartier-Bresson, a life in black and white, 1908-2004
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the photographer who transformed the black-and-white image into a fully fledged art form, has died at the age of 95.
( Times , Guardian , Independent , Financial Times , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail )

Death of a disease
By the end of this year, health experts believe they could have eradicated polio.
( Independent )

Health screening ‘can do harm’
Private health screening is poor value for money and could do more harm than good, according to Consumers Association magazine Which?
( Times , Daily Mail )

University to spend £50,000 on PR star
Staffordshire University is hunting for a £50,000-a-year marketing boss - weeks after announcing almost 50 academic jobs are to go because of falling student numbers.
( Stoke Sentinel )

Medical schools ‘dumb down’
Medical schools are being encouraged to admit students with sub-standard A-levels in a controversial new Labour scheme to widen access.
( Daily Mail )

Gypsy MEP: end the misery of my people
A London University student who has become the first Gypsy member of the European Parliament, has urged the EU to set up a special unit to end the miserable living conditions of her people.
( Times )

Anti-doping expert calls for monthly drug tests for sports stars
Britain’s leading expert on doping in sport, David Cowan of the drug control centre at King’s College London, says designer steroids and the prospect of athletes abusing genetic techniques means the current system cannot be relied on to catch cheats.
( Guardian )

Music + chase = new formula for fear
In the latest attempt by the scientific community to offer algebraic explanations for the seemingly inexplicable, mathematicians have come up with a formula for the best kind of scary movie.
( Guardian , Daily Mail )

Gunshot tape that could solve JFK mystery
One of the most vexing mysteries in US history may finally be solved: did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have begun work on digital scanning apparatus that they believe will be able to reproduce sounds from the only known audio recording of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
( Guardian , Independent )

Winged dinosaur a really early bird
British scientists have proved that archaeopteryx, the most ancient known bird, could fly. The discovery suggests that birds took to the air millions of years earlier than is generally thought.
( Times , Guardian , Independent , Daily Telegraph )

Wanted: state jester
The first state jester to be employed in England since 1649 is being sought by English Heritage to entertain the crowds once again.
( Times )

Storm sewage poisons thousands of fish
More than 60,000 tons of raw sewage poured into the Thames during this week’s storms, killing thousands of fish, because the capital’s drainage network could not cope, the Environment Agency said yesterday.
( Independent , Times , Guardian , Financial Times , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail )

Salmon gives birth to trout in scientific leap that gives hope to endangered fish
Scientists from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology have altered the reproductive organs of salmon so they produce trout offspring, according to a study published in Nature today.
( Independent , Daily Telegraph )

Unique record of Victorian England’s urban poor is found
A unique collection of 19th-century watercolours that offer insight into England’s forgotten street sweepers, pedlars and beggars has been found in a drawer at the Tasmanian Museum.
( Independent )

Youth poll gives Gandalf real role in history
Historical fact is being diluted by Hollywood fiction, with some young people believing that Gandalf masterminded the defeat of the Spanish Armada, a BBC poll of 16-34 year olds has shown.
( Independent , Daily Mail )

Alcolock slams the breaks on one for the road
The Government hopes that dashboard breathalysers will help reverse the rising number of people killed in drink-driving crashes.
( Times , Guardian , Independent , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail )

Bakers beat farmers by 12,000 years
Our ancestors were baking bread before the birth of agriculture, according to a study by archaeologists reported today in Nature .
( Daily Telegraph )

Independent: Education
If chemistry goes, who will notice?
Editorial by Peter Knight, vice-chancellor of the University of Central England.

Landscape of dreams
Feature on the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.

The campus question
Is it a problem that parents are more involved in the children’s university careers?

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