Today's news

July 31, 2006

Emmanuel regains top rung on Cambridge's academic ladder
Emmanuel College, alma mater of F. R. Leavis, Griff Rhys Jones and Cecil Parkinson, has been ranked as the best college for academic performance at Cambridge University. The college, known as Emma at the university, has topped the Tompkins table of exam results for the third time in the past four years. It returns to the top of the table after slumping to fifth place last year. Until 2003, the college, where 60 per cent of undergraduates come from state schools, had never achieved highly enough to rank top in the tables which began 26 years ago. However, the 422-year-old college has dominated the tables since then.
The Independent

Britain 'in strong position' to lead stem-cell work
Britain is in an "enormously strong" position to become the world leader in stem-cell research, the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday. Sir David King said there were economic and health benefits to making the UK the global hub of the controversial biomolecular research. He said: "Certainly, the government will see this as an area for investment so we can see a return over the next 10 or 20 years. There will also be a return in terms of health and therapies from this research."  Sir David was speaking as Tony Blair prepared to use a four-day visit to California to highlight Britain's cause in the field.
The Scotsman

Top scientists demand deep burial of radioactive waste
Proposals to bury the UK's existing radioactive waste deep underground need urgent action and should not be delayed by calls for more scientific research, top scientists said today. The statement from the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, comes as the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, an independent committee appointed by the Government, publishes its final recommendations today. The Royal Society said the scientific community's consensus was that geological disposal, or deep burial, is a "feasible and low risk option".
Daily Telegraph , The Scotsman

Scientist publishes 'escape route' from global warming
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has drawn up an emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by altering the chemical makeup of Earth's upper atmosphere. Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the hole in the ozone layer, believes that political attempts to limit man-made greenhouse gases are so pitiful that a radical contingency plan is needed. In a polemical scientific essay to be published in the August issue of the journal Climate Change , he says that an "escape route" is needed if global warming begins to run out of control.
The Independent

Cracked: how to boil the perfect egg
A student has come up with a device designed to solve the morning-time conundrum of how best to soft-boil an egg. The PerfEGG device keeps water temperature constant for 8.5 minutes without reaching boiling point, which aims to let the egg white coagulate but keep the yolk runny, regardless of egg size. The timing of the device can also be adjusted for hard-boiled eggs. Brunel University design student Ben Harris, 22, from Dublin, is in talks about launching his gadget. He said: "I love soft-boiled eggs with toasted soldiers but I get so frustrated if I get the timing wrong and the egg is too hard to dip my soldiers in.''
Daily Telegraph , The Times

Technology transfers must be held accountable.
Financial Times

From the weekend's papers


  • Universities angry at delay over foreign student report. Financial Times
  • Universities call summit to combat plagiarism. The Guardian


  • Pupils snub science for easier subjects. Express on Sunday

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