Today's news

February 1, 2005

Taxpayer will help Oxford fund lab security
The Government has agreed to underwrite the costs of protecting Oxford University's planned £18 million biomedical research facility from animal rights activists. Ministers have also announced five-year jail terms for activists who try to drive animal testing centres out of business.
Financial Times, Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail

£10,000 bursaries to lure top students
Manchester University will unveil plans to introduce student bursaries worth up to £10,000 a year today to try to tempt the brightest students away from its elite rivals such as Cambridge and Oxford.

Cambridge records £10.5m deficit
Cambridge University has announced a £10.5 million budget deficit for the last academic year, up from £2.2 million in 2002-03. It blamed the rise on pension costs.
BBC, Guardian

Brown's call for gap-year volunteers
Gordon Brown has urged teenagers to use their gap year to help others as unveiled plans for a 21st-century form of "national service" yesterday. The Chancellor called for 1 million more young people to give up backpacking and commit themselves to voluntary work for the elderly or the environment.
Evening Standard

Tough at the top
National Union of Students president Kat Fletcher breezed into office determined to continue the fight against top-up fees. But, as she explains, a crisis inside the union scuppered any hopes of doing that.

Nasa's mission to the edge of the solar system
Buzz Lightyear wanted to go to infinity and beyond, now the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration wants to venture almost as far with a survey of the edge of the solar system. The mission will involve launching a space laboratory and could answer some basic questions about the nature of interstellar space, as well as laying the groundwork for the first journey of exploration beyond our solar system to the stars and their planets.
The Independent

Gene that decides when the kissing may start
Puberty starts with a kiss: scientists have discovered that the cascade of hormones that brings sexual maturity is triggered by a gene named kiss-1. The aptly named gene, which generates a protein known as kisspeptin, is suddenly switched on in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus at just the moment when puberty begins, according to research in the United States.
The Times

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