Today's news

September 29, 2004

Dolly creator applies to clone human embryos
Ian Wilmut, the Roslin Institute scientist who created Dolly the sheep, applied yesterday for a licence to clone human embryos to try to find a cure for motor neurone disease, the wasting condition that has afflicted Stephen Hawking, the actor David Niven and the former England football manager Don Revie. Last month the authority awarded a cloning licence for researchers at the University of Newcastle, who hope to use the technique to treat Type 1 diabetes. Professor Wilmut's proposal, submitted with Christopher Shaw of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, differs from the Newcastle group's in that it is not seeking to use cloned stem cells as replacements for diseased tissue.
Times, Scotsman, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph

Design school may keep name as move scrapped
There are calls for Heriot-Watt University's world-renowned design school to be given back its former name following a decision to abandon proposals to move students and staff from the Borders to Edinburgh. A set of leaked plans by university managers advocating the closure of the Galashiels campus, previously called the Scottish College of Textiles, provoked a widespread public outcry earlier this year. A planned £12 million custom-built design school at the university’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh will be shelved with a multi-million-pound investment plan to be considered for the Galashiels site.
Scotsman

Highlands students boost university plans
A survey of students has given a boost to plans for a university for the Highlands and Islands. Fourteen colleges and research institutions currently provide courses in the north of the country, and they aim to achieve full university status by 2007. The University of Highlands and Islands was designated a higher-education institution by the Scottish Executive in 2001. Eight out of ten students said they would recommend their courses to others, and nearly nine out of ten believed staff were enthusiastic about their subjects.
Scotsman

Clarke seeks to woo voters on education
Education secretary Charles Clarke will today set out what the government must do to convince voters its education reforms are working. As education comes under the spotlight at the Labour party conference, Mr Clarke is expected to prioritise selling the concept of "choice" for parents over their child's schooling.
Guardian

House flies 'will double in decades'
Britain's fly and maggot population will double in the next few decades, increasing the spread of disease, a study has found - a three degree rise in temperature would boost the number of house flies by 97 per cent. Southampton University biologist David Goulson based his prediction on a four-year study of house flies at a landfill site.
Daily Telegraph

Weedkiller poison could be used to treat cancer
A form of arsenic that is used as a weedkiller could be used as an alternative to chemotherapy for cancer patients, according to research published today by scientists from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Guardian

Populations moved when the Sun lost its heat
Just under 3,000 years ago, people all over the world became restless and started to move. Archaeologists still cannot agree why. Bas van Geel, a biologist from the University of Amsterdam, believes that the Earth's climate took a dramatic turn about 2,800 years ago, due to a quiet period in the Sun's activity, making the tropics drier and the mid-latitudes colder and wetter.
Independent

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