Today's news

October 28, 2004

Students excluded after university scam
Several overseas students were excluded from Oxford Brookes University this week after an investigation by The Times Higher into the use of fake qualifications to secure places at a number of UK institutions. An agent for Chinese students told an undercover researcher last week that he had fixed university places for "hundreds" of unqualified students, for fees of several thousand pounds each, over the past three years. Fears about admissions fraud are growing in a competitive international student market.
Times Higher . Read the full story in this week's edition, available on newsstands from today and online tomorrow.

Archaeologists discover home of the human hobbit
The remains of a diminutive cousin of modern Man, nicknamed "the hobbit", wholived only 12,000 years ago have been unearthed by scientists, in a spectacular find that rewrites the story of human evolution. The discovery by Australian researchers on a remote Indonesian island shows that Homo sapiens shared the Earth with more primitive relatives not long before the dawn of recorded history, and suggests a tantalising explanation for the myths of elves, dwarves and "wild men of the woods" that are popular all over the world. The journal Nature publishes details of the discovery today.
Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Scotsman, Daily Mail

Saturn mission beams back first images of Titan
Cassini-Huygens, a joint US-European mission to Saturn, has had its closest encounter yet with Titan, one of Saturn's moons. It flew to within 745 miles and beamed back the first images of the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere. Cassini is a spacecraft the size of a small bus and has already spent seven years on the journey to Saturn. It will spend four years exploring the planet, its ring system and its moons.
Guardian, Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph

English elm is an asexual Italian clone
The English elm is a 2,000-year-old clone of a single tree brought to Britain by the Romans, scientists have discovered. Genetic research in Spain has traced the origin of the species Ulmus , to the Atinian elm, a variety from central Italy that reproduces asexually.
Times, Daily Telegraph

Allergies can begin in womb
Women who smoke, inhale pollen, dust mites and dog dander and eat the wrong kind of food in pregnancy might be putting their children at greater risk of getting allergies or asthma. Researchers at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, suggest that exposure to allergens in the womb might be a more significant factor than exposure after birth, according a study published in Thorax magazine.

Read Austen's teenage satire online
Jane Austen's attempt to write a satirical account of English history at the age of 15 has been made available to the public for the first time. The illustrated handwritten manuscript for History of England , has been published on the internet as part of the British Library's Turning the Pages project.

Student's 999 painkiller call
A Cambridge University student dialled 999 for an ambulance because she needed some painkillers, it emerged yesterday. Paramedics were staggered to discover that the student, who was suffering from period pains, had made the call because she had run out of pain relief tablets. An ambulance service spokesman said he was shocked that someone of such intelligence could exercise so little common sense.
Daily Telegraph

Hands across the sea
A report on whether students are taking the opportunity of studying for a joint degree in England and France at the University of the Transmanche.

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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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