Today's news

August 15, 2006

Cost of gaining a degree reaches £33,500
Sixth formers starting university this year expect to pay £33,512 for a three-year degree course, a rise of almost £5,000 on last year's projected figure, a survey says today. A large part of the rise was attributed to the increase in tuition fees of up to £3,000 a year from next month. The survey by NatWest Student Money Matters found that students expected to graduate in 2009 with £14,779 of debt, an increase of £1,099 on last year's projected figure for 2008. However, while graduate debt continues to rise, NatWest said there were signs that students were preparing to cut back on some of their social pleasures.
Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail , The Times

Fresh calls to phase out A-levels in favour of British baccalaureate
The Government today faces fresh calls to phase out A-levels and introduce a "British baccalaureate" or unified diploma, which would allow teenagers to study for academic and vocational qualifications within the same framework. The left-of-centre Institute for Public Policy Research is urging ministers to make the move at the time of a review of the exam system which it has promised in 2008, saying a "radical approach" to education reform is needed to improve the poor staying-on rates of young people in education and training in the UK.
The Guardian , The Independent

'Magic bullet' cancer team wins £2m grant boost
Scientists from the universities of St Andrews and Dundee have won a £2 million research grant to develop a drug-delivery system which uses a "magic bullet" to destroy cancer cells. Researchers demonstrated in the laboratory last year that cancer cells could be destroyed by a single targeted pulse of ultrasound, using a "sniper rifle" approach developed from military technology. The magic-bullet technology could eventually end the need for traumatic surgery and debilitating drug treatments for cancer patients.
The Scotsman

Mammoths may roam again after ,000 years
Bodies of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday. Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out.
The Times , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail , The Independent

Chocs boost circulation
Eating chocolate may reduce the risk of blood clots by improving blood circulation through the heart and brain, new research shows. Cocoa, an essential ingredient in chocolate, contains flavonols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent cancer and heart disease by mopping up free radicals that can damage arteries and blood vessels. The new research shows flavonol-rich cocoa improves blood flow which, scientists say, also lowers the risks of clotting.
Daily Mail


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