Today's news

April 10, 2006

Edinburgh university and NHS in £50m research bid
Edinburgh University and NHS Lothian are set to take part in a £50 million research project aimed at developing new medicines. They will be joined by Philadelphia-based Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Scottish Enterprise, and other Scottish NHS boards and universities in the Scottish Translational Medicine Research Collaboration. Translational Medicine is a new approach to developing new drugs and treatments by focusing research on new tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of human diseases. These tests follow the progress and response to the treatment of patients who have suffered from heart attacks, cancer, depression or osteoporosis.
The Scotsman

Europe has no need of a flawed elite university
One of the more bizarre schemes of Europe's indefatigable reformers is to establish an elite university, called the European Institute of Technology, by 2009. The name suggests that the European Union is trying to create a clone of the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. The EIT epitomises the confused thinking in the debate about Europe's economic future. It is based on the misconception that elite universities can be established by diktat. In fact, they evolve over time and only in the right environment.
The Financial Times

Cass introduces masters in pensions
What is believed to be the first masters programme for the pensions industry is to be launched by Cass Business School, London, this September. David Blake, programme director and director of the Pensions Institute at Cass, says that with many countries facing a potential pensions crisis the programme could not have been created at a more opportune time. “We aim to produce a new class of professional, the pension scientist. This is someone who can competently deal with the multi-disciplinary nature of pension problems,” says Professor Blake.
The Financial Times

Bird flu unlikely to infect people, says leading scientist
The bird flu virus is very unlikely to change into a form that will infect human beings, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday. Sir David King said that it was “totally misleading” to suggest that a global flu pandemic in humans was inevitable. His attempt to ease public concern coincided with the leak of documents detailing government plans to deal with a widespread outbreak of a human form of the virus. The papers, prepared before the discovery in Scotland of a dead swan with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, show plans for a pandemic lasting up to six months. Reports based on the Whitehall papers also indicated concerns that there may be “more than one pandemic wave” of bird flu.
The Times

First Chinese medicine firm floats in London to fund research
Rising interest across the western world in traditional medical treatments will today result in the first flotation of a Chinese medicines company in London. China MediTech, which has been backed by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, is hoping to raise £40 million in a listing on the junior market, Aim. It is expected to value the company at £130 million or more. As well as looking to buy producers and distributors of traditional medicines in China, Chi-Med will use the proceeds to invest in research and development.
The Guardian

From the weekend's papers:


  • Top Oxbridge students offered cash for essays. The Times
  • Napier lecturer who lost job after starting firm wins £47,000. The Scotsman
  • Nepali students clash with police in pro-democracy protests. The Times


  • July 7 bombs were a 'demo' not terrorism, claims professor. The Sunday Telegraph
  • Oxford to set its own English test as trust in A levels runs out. The Sunday Telegraph
  • Creationist to tour UK universities. The Guardian
  • A student has got his maths degree after almost 30 years studying the Open University course. The Sunday People
  • St Andrews to become first 'carbon neutral' university. The Scotland On Sunday

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