Today's news

October 21, 2004

'Human book of life' paves way for therapies
Tailored therapies to target a range of diseases, such as diabetes and breast cancer, may be a step closer after the final draft of the gene-rich part of the "human book of life" was published yesterday. The sequence provides a blueprint of the genes that make life possible and is accurate to only one error in 100,000 "letters" of code, an article in the journal Nature reveals.

'Egg surgery' gives infertile women hope
A group of infertile women have given birth to 20 children after doctors performed transplant surgery on their eggs. The technique, developed by a team from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, involves packing the eggs with mitochondria. It had a dramatic effect, boosting the pregnancy rate in a group of women, for whom in-vitro fertilisation had failed, from 6 per cent per treatment cycle to 35 per cent.

High hopes for greenhouse gas study
Research to measure the level of greenhouse gases over Scotland has been started by scientists at Edinburgh University. The three-year study is taking place at the Angus Balcalk transmitter, north of Dundee, and involves the erection of pipes on the 750ft radio mast to draw in air for analysis.

A lesson in keeping up with the Joneses
A group of Scottish Conservative students will be welcoming a unique guest to their annual Burns' Night supper after mistakenly inviting a Welsh Labour politician. Assembly member Ann Jones was a little surprised to be asked to address the University of Edinburgh Conservative and Unionist Association. But she accepted the invitation and now declares herself to be looking forward to delivering her lecture. The news was greeted with some surprise by the student association, whose members believed they were inviting Conservative Laura Anne Jones.

Students no longer welcome
A report on how universities are beginning to make amends after 10 years of undergraduates moving into areas of Britain's big cities, ripping the heart out of communities and leaving devastation in their wake.

Grandparents to the rescue
Almost a third (29 per cent) of the UK's 13 million grandparents plan to help fund their grandchildren through university, a survey for iPledge has found.

The campus question
James Tooley, Alan Ryan, Chris Grayling Peter Knight and Kat Fletcher voice their opinions on the Conservative Party's new higher education policy.

Obituary : Ian Gordon, founding father of lexicography in New Zealand whose work on the English language inspired academics and ordinary readers, died on September 26 2004, aged 96. Times

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