Today's news

April 12, 2005

Kelly pegs university tuition fees to inflation
University tuition top-up fees will be pegged to inflation for the next four years if Labour wins the election, Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, said yesterday. She pre-empted the publication of Labour's election manifesto tomorrow to promise a real-term freeze in one of the most controversial policies introduced during the last Parliament. The £3,000 annual cap would stay, though it would rise in line with inflation. "We have set that out explicitly in the manifesto," she said.
The Daily Telegraph

£110 million promise for research and technology
Labour will promise a £110 million "innovation" fund for higher education that would enable universities to spin off research and technology in order to help local businesses. The extra money would pay for product development and researchers' salaries. The newer universities would be targeted.
The Financial Times

Experts probe nation's CO2 emissions
A £3.1 million Government-backed project to help the UK do its bit to slow climate change was announced today. Experts from five universities will spearhead Carbon Reduction in Buildings, which aims to find out how much carbon dioxide the nation’s homes, factories and offices are producing. The data will be used by the Government and business community to choose which energy-efficiency initiatives and renewable-energy technologies to introduce. Kevin Lomas, director of De Montfort University’s Institute for Energy and Sustainable Development, is principal investigator for the project, which is being undertaken by a consortium of universities, government and commercial partners.
The Scotsman, The Independent

Cell elasticity system could revolutionise cancer diagnosis
A new technique that measures the elasticity of cells could revolutionise cancer detection and remove most of the guesswork in predicting if tumours are likely to spread, it has been claimed. The system, which uses a machine as small as a laptop, can provide a cancer diagnosis from as few as 50 cells, avoiding the need to cut out tissue for testing. The machine’s relatively low cost means it could become standard equipment in consultants’ surgeries. The technique is said to be 1,000 times more accurate than the most sensitive traditional tests for cancer. But its biggest advantage is that it can identify cancers that are about to spread.
The Scotsman, The Daily Mail

Hopes that oily fish cuts Alzheimer's risk
Scientists are investigating whether a diet of oily fish could be a means of slowing down Alzheimer's disease. They will feed omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines, to laboratory mice bred to develop an Alzheimer's-like condition to see whether it slows the accumulation of protein deposits known as amyloid plaques in their brains. The researchers at Cardiff University will then examine whether this has any effect on the behaviour and symptoms displayed by the mice. The Alzheimer's Research Trust, which is funding the £300,000 project, hopes that the work could lead to new ways of tackling the progressive disease that affects 500,000 Britons.
The Guardian, The Daily Mail

The myth of female intuition exploded by fake smile test
Female intuition is a myth, according to a scientific study. An internet test into the truthfulness of a person's face has revealed that if anything men are better than women when it comes to spotting when something is wrong. More than 15,000 members of the public have taken part in the online experiment since it began nearly two weeks ago. Researchers wanted to test how easy it was to tell whether a person's smiling face was genuine or fake and whether some people were better than others at detecting a phoney.
The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman

Cloned cow milk 'safe'
Milk and meat from cloned cows and bulls appears to be safe for human consumption, scientists said today. A pilot study found that both met industry standards, marking a first step towards the introduction of meat and dairy products from cloned animals. Scientists in the United States and Japan cloned a bull and a cow using the "Dolly" technique of transferring genetic material from an adult cell to an egg. Meat and milk from the clones was compared with that from normal animals of similar age and breed. Two beef and four dairy clones were used in the study.
The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph, Nature

Regarding Scottish university tuition charges.
The Times

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