Today's news

July 4, 2006

No nursing jobs for students at end of training
Large numbers of student nurses due to graduate this year have been unable to find jobs, a survey has found. The Council of Deans, the body that represents university nursing courses, asked its members to estimate the percentage of students who had secured jobs and the percentage it expected to secure jobs and compare that with last year. Where 70 per cent of students graduating in September would normally have found jobs by this stage in the year, only an estimated 20 per cent have done so. At one university the rate was just two per cent, where it would normally be 90 per cent.
The Daily Telegraph

Iran urged to release philosopher
International pressure is growing on Iran to release a prominent philosopher and writer, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who was arrested two months ago on unspecified charges. His incarceration in the notorious Evin prison has left Tehran's intellectual circles concerned about his fate and their own. His friends insist that he is not politically active. Although Iran has an abysmal human rights record, Mr Jahanbegloo's arrest at Mehrabad airport in Tehran has created greater interest abroad than usual because he is well known among foreign academics.
The Guardian

South Korea scientist admits to faking data
Disgraced stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk on Tuesday admitted to fabricating some data that went into a landmark paper but said he was duped by junior researchers into believing the bulk of his team's findings was valid. Hwang, once celebrated as a national hero, was indicted in May after prosecutors said he was the mastermind of an elaborate scheme to make it look like his team had actually produced stem cell lines through cloning human embryos.
The Scotsman

Man who proved it's never too late to learn dies at 100
One of the oldest students in the world has died at the age of 100. Bill Fraser, who had been studying theology at Aberdeen University as part of a lifelong learning scheme, died in the city's Woodend Hospital last Thursday. Mr Fraser, who stayed in the Bridge of Don area of Aberdeen, left school at the age of 15 and worked as a commercial traveller for a publishing company before setting up a bookbinding firm which he ran with his late wife, Mary, until he was nearly 90. A keen member of his local church, he was the oldest student to have enrolled in Aberdeen University's lifelong learning scheme when he began studying for his theology degree four years ago. He had been on course to graduate in 2008.
The Scotsman

Duke cuts into surgery centre
The Duke of Edinburgh was today expected to open a new training centre in Edinburgh to teach the surgeons of the future. The centre is part of the Quincentenary Hall which has been built by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh as part of its 500-year celebrations. Prince Philip is in the Capital with the Queen and his visit to the RCSE's new Nicholson Street facility, where future surgeons will train using simulators, is part of a week-long series of royal engagements. The Duke is patron of the RCSE and he is expected to be invited to inspect the new technology for himself.
The Scotsman

Geordie stroke victim left sounding like Jamaican
Researchers are hoping that a woman who woke up after a stroke to find her Geordie accent sounding like Jamaican patois could shed some light on “foreign accent syndrome”. Lynda Walker, 60, shows the symptoms of a rare affliction that leaves sufferers with a different accent. Although Ms Walker lived in Canada for a spell, she returned to the North East, where she grew up, and never lost her strong Geordie twang. But when she regained consciousness after a stroke in March last year, she spoke with a different accent.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Independent

'Rewired brain' revives patient after 19 years
A study of the "miraculous" recovery of a man who spent 19 years in a minimally conscious state has revealed the likely cause of his regained consciousness. The findings suggest the human brain shows far greater potential for recovery and regeneration then ever suspected. It may also help doctors predict their patients’ chances of improvement. But the studies also highlight gross inadequacies in the system for diagnosing and caring for patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states.
New Scientist, The Times, Nature

Finns turn jargon of Unio Europaea into poetry with Latin
Sniffy classicists, who have always looked down at the European Union as a pale imitation of their beloved Roman Empire, will be delighted. Having pinched the Romans' idea of a single currency, the EU has now decided to embrace Latin. Finland, which is running the EU for the next six months, is to publish weekly news bulletins in Latin on its special EU presidency website. Leaders of the Unio Europaea, who have had a wretched year grappling with the Constitutio Europaea, will be reaching for their dictionaries at their next shindig in Bruxellae.
The Guardian

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