Stem cell hopes distorted by 'arrogance and spin'
A leading scientist who pushed for the controversial research into embryo stem cells will warn today that the challenges are so huge that any cures for disease lie a long way in the future. Lord Winston, who pioneered fertility research in the UK, is to tell the British Association for the Advancement of Science, meeting in Dublin, that during the political campaign to push through legislation in 2001, some parliamentarians were led to believe that clinical treatments were "just around the corner". Some of the lobbying came from patients' groups, but it was stimulated by scientific observations.
The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times
Sky's the limit for new university campus
Students are often dismissed as having their heads in the clouds - but at a new £20 million university campus that practice will be almost a necessity. Based in a restored Grade II listed building in Buxton, Derbyshire, the facility is 1,000ft above sea level and will claim to be the highest seat of learning in the country. The 18th-century, two-storey site, shaped like an octagon, is in the heart of the Peak District has been painstakingly redeveloped in conjunction with English Heritage to house University of Derby schools.
Crooks steal a march on identity protection technology
New technologies such as chip-and-pin credit cards and biometric identity cards are more likely to exacerbate identity theft and fraud, a criminologist said yesterday. Emily Finch, reader in law at the University of East Anglia, told the British Association science festival in Dublin that her research showed that criminals were adapting successfully to the arrival of chip and pin. With the previous generation of credit and debit cards, criminals would get hold of a card and then forge the holder's signature. "The focus has changed to getting the pin first and then getting the card," Dr Finch said.
The Financial Times, The Times
Asthma hope may lie with a flatworm that feeds on blood cells
Parasitic worms could provide the key to finding cures for asthma and other allergies, according to new research to be unveiled today. Researchers have used Schistosoma mansoni , flatworms responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in developing countries, to develop resistance to life-threatening allergic conditions. Many scientists believe there is a link between the disappearance of parasitic worms from modern, developed societies and dramatic increases in common allergies to foods such as peanuts and to dust mites, insect stings and cats in those countries.
The Daily Telegraph, The Times
Modern gentlemen prefer redheads and brunettes to the charms of blondes
A study by researchers at City University in London found that men responded more positively to pictures of brunette and red-headed women than they did to those with blond hair. Experts said that as relations between men and women have evolved, the male of the species has become more attracted by brains, represented in their psyche by brunettes, than the more physical charms of blond hair. But stereotypes seem to persist in the male mind, with redheads seen as "fiery", brunettes as "stable" and blondes as "approachable". The researchers showed 1,500 men three pictures of the same woman, digitally enhanced as a blonde, brunette or redhead.
New tartan for Dutch whisky lovers
A researcher from the University of St Andrews has designed a new tartan for the people of Holland. Dr David Wishart was commissioned to design the "Tartan of Holland" for use at events such as the annual Dutch whisky festival. It took five months to design and has been officially registered under the International Tartan Index of the Scottish Tartans Authority.
From the weekend's papers:
- Lecturers in new universities have voted to accept a pay increase of 3 per cent for 2005. The Guardian
- The university system must be reformed to avoid the rush for places that was seen this year. The Evening Standard
- University College Northampton regains its university status. The Independent
- Illegal immigrants abuse the university system to gain entry to Britain. The Sunday Times
- Radical Islamic group are recruiting on university campuses. The Independent On Sunday
- York University drops maths entrance exam because students found it too difficult. The Sunday Telegraph