Today's news

April 21, 2006

NUS faces marking boycott rebellion
Disgruntled student unions are considering forming a breakaway group as the National Union of Students continues to back a marking boycott by lecturers. Students from research-intensive universities, including Exeter and Sussex, say they have become so disillusioned with the national body that they plan to form their own organisation. The move comes as striking lecturers from the Association of University Teachers and Natfhe meet employers for urgent mediation talks, possibly today.
The Guardian

Fire kills two at Moscow university
Two students died on Friday in a fire at Moscow State University, one of the Russian capital's most imposing landmarks. The Emergencies Ministry said four others were injured in the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of the morning at the building, one of the Stalin-era skyscrapers that loom over Moscow. The fire was on the 12th floor and 650 people were evacuated. It is not yet clear how the fire started, the ministry spokesman said.
The Scotsman

Edinburgh academic voted head of Euro network
A top academic from Napier University has been elected president of a European network of colleges and universities. John Troy, head of the university's accounting and economics department, has been installed as president of Space, a body encourages links between more than 60 higher education institutions across Europe. He said: "I am delighted. This is the first time the position has been held by a UK academic."
The Scotsman

Female graduates better at finding jobs
Male graduates are far more likely to remain unemployed than female graduates, according to research published yesterday. Figures show 8 per cent of men were still unemployed six months after completing their degrees - compared with just 4.7 per cent of women. Researchers claim the reason is that women are much more receptive to the idea of taking up part-time jobs or starting off on a lower rung of the employment ladder than men. They are also more likely to take on voluntary unpaid work or to opt to combine work with further study while waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
The Independent

Rivers halt drilling plans in Antarctic
The discovery of fast-flowing subglacial rivers under the Antarctic ice may put a stop to plans to search the area for previously unknown life forms. Scientists from University College London had planned to drill through the ice to tap into the network of lakes, which, they hoped, had remained undisturbed since the early days of life on Earth. The aim was to collect evidence of microbial life that had evolved independently of lifeforms on the surface. But the discovery of rivers the size of the Thames in London has caused a halt.
The Financial Times

Kirk backs use of human embryos in quest for stem cell treatments
A Church of Scotland committee has backed using human embryos for stem-cell research in some circumstances. The Kirk's Society, Religion and Technology Project decided it was ethical to use embryos created during IVF treatment if they were under 14 days old. In the first major report in a decade from the Church on the subject of embryo research, and the first on the science of stem-cell treatment, project members said that embryos "may be used in medical research with a view to eventual treatments involving stem cells".
The Scotsman

Boosting cells could lead to enhanced pain relief
A new method of enhancing common drugs could improve treatments for conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, scientists said yesterday. Laboratory tests of the technique have suggested that it could make morphine up to 11 times more effective at relieving pain, and researchers believe that it has the capacity to increase the effectiveness of up to 60 per cent of drugs on the market. The prospect of such improvements has been raised by a study in the US that has identified a way of manipulating a key signalling mechanism in human cells that is already exploited in many leading medicines.
The Times

More overseas students are not the answer.
The Independent

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