Students opt for easy life abroad
British students studying abroad would rather go somewhere hot where the locals speak English than struggle with a foreign language in Europe, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills. It found that the number of Britons studying in Europe has slumped by a third over ten years, closely mirroring a decline in the take-up of foreign languages at school and university. The number of Europeans studying in British universities is twice that of Britons studying at European universities.
( The Daily Telegraph , The Times Higher )
Al-Qaeda computer expert attended City University
The al-Qaeda computer expert whose capture sparked a worldwide terrorist alert and led to the arrest of 12 al-Qaeda suspects in Britain attended a university course in London last year. Information from the computer of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, who is being held in Pakistan, is said to have revealed plans for attacks in the US and the UK. He enrolled on an evening class in human resources management at City University in January 2003, but he attended only four lectures before dropping out.
( The Daily Telegraph , The Independent )
Sea bed reveals new monsters from the deep
Tens of thousands of species of marine life, including previously unknown types of fish and squid, have been discovered in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by one of the most extensive underwater surveys conducted. The Norwegian-led Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecology expedition observed one animal that may belong to a new phylum.
( The Times , The Guardian )
Another patient gets vCJD from transfusion
A second case of variant CJD, the human form of mad cow disease, contracted through a blood transfusion has increased concerns of a new wave of infections. Details of the case are published in The Lancet this week.
( The Times )
Peril for girls on 'pop star' diets
Girls as young as 12 are yo-yo dieting because of their obsessions with slim pop stars such as Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham, possibly endangering their long-term health by developing bad eating habits, say researchers from Ulster University.
( The Daily Mail , The Times Higher )
Mars rovers fade after marathon
The pair of rovers exploring opposite sides of Mars have developed potentially serious faults - but only after surviving for well over twice as long as their designers intended. They are still sending useful results to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
( The Times )
Cloned cats may lead to replica pet industry
Two cloned kittens have been born using a new procedure that could lead to the production of replica pets, an American company announced yesterday. Genetic Savings and Clone used a technique known as chromatin transfer. The results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal or scrutinised by independent experts.
( The Times )
Lottery throws ancient skills a £4m lifeline
A crisis in ancient skills such as flint knapping, pargeting and dry stone walling has prompted the Heritage Lottery Fund to set up a £4 million emergency fund to train apprentices.
( The Daily Telegraph )