Today's news

February 10, 2005

Birth of merged union 'will be painful'
Plans for a single union representing all lecturers and academic support staff in higher and further education took a step closer today as officials announced they have started the difficult step of planning what it will look like. There was an admission that negotiations had been "intensive" and at times strained.
The Guardian, Times Higher Education Supplement

Every species of animal and plant to be given a 'barcode'
An ambitious project to take a genetic "barcode" of every animal and plant begins today in an attempt to identify and label the 10 million species on Earth. Biologists said yesterday that the plan to give every species its own barcode - made from a stretch of DNA unique to each life form - will help them to understand the bewildering diversity of life.
The Independent, The Guardian, The Scotsman

Naming authority faces extinction
Scientists in a race against time to complete an inventory of all life on Earth face an irony: the body that decides on scientific names is itself facing extinction. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature is the high court of appeal in all disputes about the Linnean system of species identification, which covers the range from 150 million-year-old fossils to creatures caught yesterday in an entomologist's net.
The Guardian, The Financial Times

My word, babies are just brilliant
You are never too young to learn, according to Graham Schafer at the University of Reading. Babies can - and do - learn words and their meanings before their first birthday.
The Guardian

Corporate universities v business schools
Article discussing the benefits of corporate universities versus business schools.
The Times

Sky-diving ants save themselves a long climb
An ant species that lives high in the canopies of tropical forests has learned the art of sky-diving, say scientists. The Cephalotes atratus workers typically live on tree trunks more than 90ft above the forest floor. It is a long fall for any ant dislodged from its perch by a gust of wind or passing bird - and a long climb back up to the nest.
The Scotsman

Why Oxbridge doesn’t use American model of funding.
The Times

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