Today's news

July 22, 2005

Armed police enter University College Hospital
Police cordoned off University College Hospital in London and armed police entered the building yesterday. It followed reports that someone had been seen "running away" from Warren Street station in the wake of the incident there. Three armed police officers were seen going into the major incident unit at University College Hospital, just minutes before someone was carried from an ambulance into the unit on a stretcher. The hospital is so near Warren Street tube it has been included in the area cordoned off following the incident.
The Evening Standard, The Financial Times

First class St John's heads Oxford list
St John's college, the alma mater of Tony Blair, has knocked Merton off its perch as the top college of Oxford University. Oxford’s wealthiest college comes top of the unofficial Norrington table of examination results for the first time since 1999. More than four out of ten finalists achieved a first-class degree this year, helping St John’s to end Merton’s run of three years at the top. Dons and students who feel like celebrating can raise a glass in St John’s own pub, the Lamb & Flag. The college invests profits from the pub into Lamb & Flag scholarships for postgraduate study.
The Times

Science investment on track, says Treasury
Scientists have been reassured by the first assessment of the government's 10-year plan for science indicating that improved investment is still on track. But the self-congratulatory tone of yesterday's first annual report into the plan failed to address the problem of closing university science departments, said Peter Cotgreave, the director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. The framework plan for science was making good progress and total public spending would be £1 billion higher in 2007-08 than in 2004-05, said the Treasury.
The Guardian

College lecturers to strike over pay
College lecturers rejected a 2.8 per cent pay offer and announced plans to strike in November. Natfhe, the organisation that represents staff in colleges, had asked for a 7 per cent increase to start to bring them into line with the earnings of schoolteachers. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association, which represents the employers, offered a maximum of 2.8 per cent. Schoolteachers were offered 3.25 per cent this year and lecturers are furious that nothing is being done about the seven to 10 per cent pay gap between college and sixth-form teachers.
The Guardian

Team puts its strength into muscle study
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have launched a study into the effect of age on the response of muscles to strength training. The year-long project aims to shed light on the best ways of helping elderly people to maintain their physical independence and recover after operations. The study will draw in 40 volunteers from Edinburgh, who will attend the Royal Infirmary. The volunteers will also have a muscle biopsy performed, where a small sample of muscle will be taken from the thigh.
The Scotsman

Nasa may have isolated shuttle glitch
Nasa officials think they have found the source of the problem that delayed the launch of space shuttle Discovery , and if they can fix the glitch in time, they could launch on Tuesday, 26 July. A launch attempt on 13 July was called off when one of the four hydrogen fuel sensors at the bottom of the external tank failed a pre-launch test. These sensors read “wet” or “dry” to indicate whether there is fuel near the bottom of the tank, and trigger engine cut-off when the tank is empty. Since then, hundreds of engineers around the US have tried to hunt down the exact cause. Nasa is now looking at a slight electrical grounding problem within the fuel sensor system that could allow it to be affected by electromagnetic interference during the launch countdown.
New Scientist

Sorry, we just can't help overhearing your phone calls
Convention may warn that eavesdroppers will hear no good about themselves, but a new study has found that people just can't help listening in to others' conversations. Researchers have discovered that even people who deliberately tried to avoid eavesdropping were still able to recall in detail information they had overheard. The study also identified key body language signs that reveal when a person is listening to a conversation they know they should not be hearing. Academics at Brunel University secretly observed the reactions of volunteers who were put into a waiting room without being told why they were there.
The Scotsman

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