Today's news

December 6, 2005

Pledge to make Britain 'leading location for drug research'
The Chancellor pledged to make Britain lead the world in science with measures that were broadly welcomed by researchers. With the establishment of a National Institute for Health Research in the NHS, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies "have just announced a new half-billion-pound-a-year investment in Britain, making Britain the leading location for research in new drugs and treatments," Gordon Brown said.
Daily Telegraph

MPs and peers say anti-terror bill would fail human rights test in court
The Government's anti-terror bill is still so widely drawn that it is incompatible with the Human Rights Act and will face challenges in the courts, a committee of MPs and peers warned yesterday. The Government tabled amendments to the bill yesterday so that academics and librarians will not be caught by its provisions designed to outlaw the training of terrorists. The amendments make clear that professional scientists or university librarians will not face prosecution if they lecture or lend books which contain material which could be useful to terrorists unless they know, and not merely suspect, that the student involved has malign intentions.
The Guardian

Animal rights campaigners target Oxford Christmas party
Animal rights protesters today targeted a Christmas party being held by Oxford University staff in the latest move in their campaign against a £20 million research laboratory. The Speak group said it had discovered that the department of experimental psychology was holding a party in a city centre pub and urged supporters to phone the venue with their objections to the animal experiments going on at the university.
The Guardian

LSE apologises for student rampage
The London School of Economics has issued an abject apology after more than 100 of its students rampaged drunkenly through neighbouring King's College, terrorising staff and causing extensive damage. The incident happened on Friday afternoon when a traditional end of the term fun run was diverted into King's campus in the Strand. One member of King's staff described a "drunken and chanting hoard", who set off a fire alarm causing the building to be evacuated.
The Guardian

To dazzle at interview, don't wear bling
Smile, think before you speak and leave your bling at home if you want a place at Oxford or Cambridge. Hopeful sixth-formers heading for interviews this week are also being advised to dress smartly and not to fiddle with their hair if they wish to impress. “You should remove anything that dangles, glints or jingles if you have a tendency to fiddle with it during moments of high stress,” says a guide to Oxbridge admissions, adding: “This can be extremely distracting — if not irritating — for an interviewer.“
The Times

With love at Christmas - a set of stem cells
Christmas shopping for the unborn baby has never been easy. However, stem cell technology may have brought what is possibly this year's most original gift. For a mere £1,250, it is possible to harvest stem cells from the umbilical cord at birth and store them frozen for up to 25 years. "Stem cells are not just for life — they're for Christmas," said Shamshad Ahmed, managing director of Smart Cells International, a company offering stem cell gift certificates as a new line this year.
The Guardian

Race against time to study mysterious new species
A mysterious creature has been discovered deep in an endangered rainforest, the wildlife charity WWF said yesterday. The animal, which is believed to be a mammal slightly larger than a cat, has red fur and a long bushy tail and was photographed twice by a hidden camera at night. Researchers believe it could be the first new carnivorous mammal to be found on Borneo, which has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on Earth, for more than a century.
Daily Telegraph , The Times , The Guardian, The Independent  

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