Today's news

May 13, 2005

London Met lecturers to strike
Lecturers at London Metropolitan University have vowed to disrupt an inspection by the government's higher education watchdog by going on strike for the whole of next week. The action, by member of the lecturers' union Natfhe, in pursuit of contract negotiations will begin on Monday when the Quality Assurance Agency is due to visit the institution. A university spokeswoman accused the union of being "reckless" and "completely out of control" for threatening student exams as well as the QAA audit.
The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement (May 13)

Anger over plans to close women-only hall
Muslim students at the University of London are outraged over plans to close the campus's only single-sex hall of residence. College Hall, the university's women-only hall, is to close in July, leaving hundreds of students whose beliefs prevent them from living in mixed halls with no alternative but the seek private accommodation or to live in the university's less desirable flats. Having just undergone a two-year refurbishment costing £20 million, the building will reopen in September as a mixed hall.
The Guardian

Professor opens medicine's eyes to 'blind spot'
Modern medicine needs to pay more attention to patients’ symptoms, not just their diseases, according to an Edinburgh University professor. Professor Michael Sharpe highlights medicine’s "blind spot" in dealing with symptoms that are not just expressions of disease. These include the many cancer patients who also suffer from depression, the one-third of medical outpatients whose symptoms are not to be explained by disease, and patients with controversial syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME.
The Scotsman

Coventry pilots 'm-learning' scheme
Lecturers at Coventry University have developed a teaching technique called “m-learning”, which allows students to download course material and listen to lectures via their mobile phones. By taking the concept of e-learning a step further, media lecturers at the university now regularly send video clips, still images and sound clips to students' mobile phones.
The Guardian

Students at risk from epidemic of mumps
An epidemic of mumps has broken out across the UK, health officials warned yesterday, prompting calls for a mass immunisation of students. Almost all the cases are among the 13 to 25 age group, with those in their late teens most affected as they missed out on the MMR vaccine, which was first introduced in 1988, and grew up at a time when the disease was uncommon.
The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph

Why global warming puts bib on the menu
Nearly two-thirds of fish species in the North Sea have moved further north in search of colder waters because global warming is driving sea temperatures higher. Scientists have compiled the first unequivocal evidence linking a major northward shift of North Sea fish species with rising ocean temperatures. Exotic warmer-water species such as the bib, scaldfish and lesser weever have extended their range by moving into the North Sea from the south, said Alison Perry, a marine biologist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
The Independent, The Guardian

Walking 'could help smokers give up'
Going for a walk could help smokers break the habit, it emerged today. Exeter University researchers examined the effects of a one-mile walk on 15 smokers, who had not had a puff for 15 hours. The study found that during walking, and for at least 20 minutes after, cravings for a cigarette were much lower than when the same person did nothing. The smokers found that their desire for a cigarette to relieve negative withdrawal symptoms and to feel good were both reduced.
The Scotsman, The Daily Mail

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