Today's news

October 3, 2006

US pair win Nobel Prize for genetic discovery
Research that has revolutionised understanding of how genes work landed the Nobel Prize for medicine yesterday for two US scientists, Professors Andrew Fire of Stanford University and Craig Mello of Massachusetts University. Their discoveries - which were published eight years ago in the journal Nature - have opened new avenues for the treatment of disease and influenced genetics research worldwide.
The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph

Oxford college fund opened to private investors
An investment fund set up to help Oxford University colleges generate more steady returns from their capital is to be opened to private investors for the first time. Oxford Investment Partners, which was founded by Deutsche Asset Management's former chief executive Paul Berriman and chief investment officer Karl Sternberg, has launched a new feeder fund, designed to attract high-net worth individuals with more than £100,000 to invest.
The Independent

Philosophers demand help for teacher on run from Islam threats
Intellectuals are rallying around a philosophy teacher forced into hiding after he wrote an article describing the Prophet Muhammad as a ruthless warlord and mass murderer. Robert Redeker, a writer who teaches at a lycee near Toulouse, has been under police protection, moving between secret addresses, since threats against him appeared on Islamist websites last week. His home address was published with calls to murder. Despite the threats the Government has offered M Redeker, 52, only limited support. More than 20 stars of the French intellectual world appealed yesterday to the Government to do more to help. They included the philosophers Bernard-Henri Levy, Alain Finkielkraut and Andre Glucksmann.
The Times

Learn how to make the numbers add up
A recent survey by the Financial Services Authority suggests that, when it comes to planning ahead - saving for retirement or choosing financial products - many people lack the skill to make the right decisions. According to Ian Fribbance of The Open University, one reason is that personal finance has become more complicated than it was a generation ago. Fribbance is the one of the architects of a new Open University course which aims to help people to manage their money, giving them a overview of the wider economy, and how they fit into it.
The Independent

Epic trek by Mars rover may unlock secrets of watery past
After a 21-month, six-mile trek across the Martian landscape the Nasa rover vehicle Opportunity has reached the vast Victoria crater. "It's just breathtaking, the most spectacular thing we've seen," said Steve Squyres, mission controller for the expedition. Scientists hope that the exposed layers of rock inspected by Opportunity will help them to understand how long the planet had water.
The Times

Scientist scales world's tallest tree
A giant redwood deep in a remote northern Californian forest has been declared the tallest tree in the world. Confirmation of the new record-breaker came only after a tree-climbing scientist reached its top to confirm a height of nearly 380ft (114m) - a foot taller than previously thought. Hyperion , which stands 379.1ft tall, is nearly nine feet taller than the previous record holder, Stratosphere Giant . Two other ancient redwoods discovered nearby were also higher than the previous best, knocking the old record-holder into fourth place.
The Times

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