Today's news

June 19, 2006

“July 7 scholarship award winner announced”
A young aspiring accountant has been named as the first recipient of a scholarship set up in memory of one of the victims of the July 7 bombings in London. Emma McDowall, 17, said she was honoured to receive The Helen Jones Scholarship, created by the parents of the 28-year-old killed in the Russell Square blast last year. Ms McDowall, who will begin her studies at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh in September, said: "It's a great honour. Helen did a lot in her life and I'd like to live up to that. It's a huge ambition of mine, to pursue a career in chartered accountancy or stockbroking, and this is going to spur me on even more. From what I have heard about Helen, she was a lovely person who worked hard and achieved a lot."
The Guardian

First computer hacking course in Britain
A Scottish university is launching Britain's first degree course in computer hacking. Students at the University of Abertay, Dundee, will be taught how to break into some of the world's most sophisticated security systems so that they can help advise companies on protecting their own networks. Applicants will have to undergo a strict vetting process overseen by the Home Office and Foreign Office before they are accepted on to the "ethical" hacking course, to sift out anyone likely to use it for criminal ends. Professor Lachlan MacKinnon, head of the university's school of computing and creative technologies, said: "We will be monitoring the students very closely because we want them to come out of the other end as ethical hackers."
The Scotsman

Birthday bash for Edinburgh’s Polish medics
A reunion of former students and staff is taking place to mark the 65th anniversary of the Polish School of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. The school was set up during the Second World War to enable medical students to complete their studies after Poland's medical schools were destroyed. During the reunion at the university's medical school at Little France, they will open a new Polish Room which houses a historical collection of artefacts relocated to Chancellor's Building in June 2004, following the closure of the University's Erskine Medical Library.
The Scotsman

Anglo-Saxon sword rescued from skip
A unique Anglo-Saxon sword has been discovered in an old suitcase in the attic of the archaeologist who unearthed it nearly 50 years ago. The seventh century "pattern-welded" Bamburgh Sword, which was forged for a king, narrowly avoided being dumped in a skip by workers who were clearing the house of the archaeologist and broadcaster Brian Hope-Taylor after his death. It was rescued by some former students who had gone to the house after hearing that his books were being sold off.
The Daily Telegraph

Can't sleep? Have a glass of red wine
It tastes rather pleasant, is good for our health and may help us live longer. But, if that isn't enough to convince you, scientists have come up with yet another excuse to enjoy a glass or two of red wine. Research shows that drinking red wine may help us get to sleep more easily. Grape skins - which are removed when making white wine - are bursting with melatonin, the hormone that keeps our body clocks in check and tells us when it is time to go to bed. Wines particularly rich in the compound include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chianti. The researchers, from the University of Milan, said their findings could explain why so many of us reach for a bottle of red wine to help us wind down after a long day.
The Daily Mail

Nanoparticles in sun creams can stress brain cells
Tiny particles used in some sun creams have the potential to cause neurological damage, researchers in the United States have found. The research does not necessarily imply that these microscopic grains, which are also used in consumer products such as some toothpastes and cosmetics, are harmful in the human body. But it adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests that their safety cannot be taken for granted simply because larger particles of the same substance have no ill effects.

Regarding students complaining that they are being let down by the inaccuracy of information on
The Daily Telegraph

The Government should take responsibility for its lack of consideration of doctors educational needs.
The Daily Telegraph

From the weekend's papers:


  • Feeding fish oil to farmed animals and poultry could benefit human health, research shows. The Guardian


  • European students have better English, says University College London head. The Sunday Telegraph
  • Students face August finals after lecturers pay dispute. The Sunday Telegraph
  • St Andrews University allows pagans to hold rituals. The Sunday Times
  • Animal rights militants are paid legal aid, to fight Oxford University plans. The Sunday Times

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