Today's news

December 7, 2004

High Court blocks international student employment
The High Court has upheld a Home Office ruling that international students may not work to complete their studies.
Financial Times

Women MPs bullied and abused
An academic survey of female MPs has laid bare Westminster's antediluvian attitude to women. The survey of 83 current and recent MPs, by Professor Joni Lovenduski of Birkbeck College, London, contains startlingly frank testimony about such practices as male MPs asking to "roger" colleagues, juggling imaginary breasts and crying "melons" as women try to speak in the Commons.

Ministers 'are blackmailing councils over academies'
Ministers have been accused of blackmailing councils to push through their controversial plans for 200 privately sponsored academies throughout England. Local education authorities have been told they will lose millions for school repairs and new buildings if they refuse to consider opening an academy.

Student astounds medical world
An Open University student has astonished the world of medicine with a theory that could help to cure a whole range of diseases. Gary Smith was learning about inflammation when he struck on a hypothesis so extraordinary that it could have implications for the treatment of almost every inflammatory disease - including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and HIV. The theory is potentially so ground-breaking that it has attracted attention from as far afield as America, Russia and China.

Medical research 'stifled by rules'
A "catastrophic" increase in bureaucracy from new European regulations has slowed the pace of medical research in the UK and will make academics reliant on funding from the pharmaceutical industry, researchers have warned. Small-scale clinical trials at British universities have become too expensive and the problems could eventually move research to eastern Europe and Asia, according to academics.
The Guardian

A lack of sleep weighs heavily on the body
People who sleep less are more likely to be obese, according to research published on Tuesday. Shahrad Taheri, a scientist at Bristol University, found that people who sleep for five hours a night are often hungrier, and likely to eat more than those who sleep for eight hours.
The Times
British patients in pioneering trial to repair heart attack damage
British heart patients are taking part in a trial which researchers hope will help clear the next hurdle in the race to find the best way of repairing their damaged organs. Cells from their legs are being injected into their hearts to discover whether cardiac muscle can be prompted to grow new cells.
The Guardian

Scientists develop thought-powered device
Scientists have taken a major step towards developing practical thought-powered devices for severely disabled people. In tests, four volunteers wearing a "thinking cap" showed they could move a cursor across a computer screen in complex ways using willpower alone. The findings could pave the way for new methods of controlling robot limbs simply by thinking.

Architects deplore Cambridge closure
In a letter, architects at University College London criticise the proposal to close the architecture department at Cambridge.

Two views of the RAE
Now they have noticed that universities are abandoning important subjects, ministers must rethink the way academic research is funded, says David Melville, while Tory spokesman Chris Grayling says the system keeps talented professionals out of higher education.

‘Code-talker’ dies
Samuel Billison, who has died at Window Rock, Arizona, at an age believed to be 78, took part in one of the second world war's oddest enterprises, and went on to earn a PhD. He was one of the small band of Navajo "code talkers", young men who used their complex language to send and receive messages that were indecipherable to the enemy.


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