Today's news

September 25, 2006

Push to gain success from university spin-outs
Creating profitable businesses from university developed technology is a significant challenge and will be the subject of a major conference hosted by the British Venture Capital Association tomorrow in London. Representatives, including Unico, the British Business Angels Association, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, scientists, venture capitalists, law firms, accountants, commentators, politicians and officials, will discuss how the UK can improve its record in developing good businesses from university spin-outs.
The Financial Times

Trainee vets to be hands-on from first
The first new veterinary school for 50 years opens in Nottingham today and will be using a ground-breaking teaching technique. Its 95 students will be asked to touch and examine animals from the first day of their course. Veterinary students studying for a five-year degree traditionally wade through two years of textbooks before being allowed anywhere near real subjects. "We are integrating clinical cases and textbook study from the beginning,'' said Professor Gary England, the dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. "This is a fresh approach to veterinary education and will produce a generation of vet graduates who have a very good understanding of the relationship between clinical veterinary medicine and problem-solving.''
The Daily Telegraph

British teacher becomes a literary sensation in the US
Diane Setterfield, a former French teacher from Yorkshire whose first novel - a book that she spent five years writing - has just been published, is embarking this week on a promotional tour of the United States buoyed by the remarkable news that The Thirteenth Tale has gone straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Her first clue that her decision to give up her university post to concentrate on writing was a wise move came when after a 10-day bidding war, her agent secured a UK and US publishing deal worth £1.3 million.
The Independent

Stem-cell transplants could end age-related blindness
The most common cause of blindness in old age could one day be reversed with cell transplants into the eye, scientists say. Researchers have improved vision in rats suffering from a disease similar to age-related macular degeneration using embryonic stem cells. The team that developed the treatment said that if further tests showed promise they would attempt the approach on patients in as little as two years. The study is published in the journal Cloning And Stem Cells by Robert Lanza and Irina Klimanskaya at Advanced Cell Technology, Massachusetts, and Raymond Lund at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
The Daily Telegraph

New study claims obesity alone may not be a killer
Obesity alone does not lead to early death or critical illnesses, experts said today. However, a new study suggests the risk trebles if a patient has diabetes. The link between obesity and type 2 diabetes is well established, but now researchers insist obesity alone is not a predictor of life-threatening illness or early death. A study published today in the journal Critical Care said that people suffering diabetes are three times more likely to develop critical illness and die young than those who do not have diabetes.
The Scotsman

Simpsons star to give uni speech
Students are in for a treat today when Bart Simpson arrives on campus. Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart, will address the Literary and Debating Society at the National University of Ireland in Galway. She will perform her stand-up routine based on her bestselling book My Life As A 10-Year-Old Boy .
The Mirror

From the weekend's papers:


  • Paying for coaching may not be enough to get you into the UK's top universities. The Financial Times
  • Quitting university need not be a bar to a successful career. The Daily Telegraph
  • Edinburgh University Students' Association has revealed it wants to become known as the most environmentally friendly in the UK. The Scotsman


  • Some universities are asking their students to sign legally binding contracts in which they promise to behave themselves. The Sunday Times
  • Students at St Andrews and Edinburgh universities face among the highest bills in Britain for student accommodation, according to a new report. The Scotsman

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