Today's news

October 11, 2006

£18m boost to attract science students
A radical £18 million package to tackle the crisis in university science and technology was unveiled yesterday by Bill Rammell, the Higher Education minister. It will fund projects to reverse the dwindling numbers of students choosing to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at university, and to attract more women and ethnic minorities. Announcing the investment yesterday, Mr Rammell said the way science had been traditionally taught had put young people off the subject. He said that government reform of the secondary school science curriculum, which will focus more on topical issues such as the MMR vaccine and genetic engineering, would result in more young people becoming interested in the subject.
The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Liverpool scientist receives award for malaria research
A University of Liverpool scientist has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society prize for advancing discoveries into new treatments for malaria. Alexis Nzila was given the Royal Society Pfizer Award for his research into the similarities between cancer and malaria and his contribution to the development of possible new treatments for malaria, a disease that is widespread in many tropical regions of the world and particularly prevalent in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Cancer cells and the malaria parasite multiply readily and rely on the availability of vitamins called folates to grow.
The Guardian

Now minister backs universities that ban full-face veils
A minister today backed universities that ban Muslim students and staff from wearing the veil. Bill Rammell stepped into the row opened by Jack Straw by saying many felt "uncomfortable" teaching - or being taught by - someone in a full-face veil. The Higher Education Minister spoke out in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard ahead of new guidance to be issued by the Government to colleges and universities on how to tackle campus extremists. "I'm not dictating hard and fast rules, as dress codes are a matter for university authorities," said the minister.
The Evening Standard

Cabbage extract 'can kill cancer cells'
Extracts of cabbage when combined with chemotherapy have been found to kill breast cancer cells and could have wider implications for several other types of cancer. As much as a shopping trolley full of cabbages would be needed to produce a single dose of the compound called indole-3-carbinol or I3C. A diet high in leafy vegetables is known to be beneficial and I3C is also found in other cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and watercress. But highest concentrations of the compound are found in Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
The Daily Telegraph

Smoking ban linked to better health for bar staff
The smoking ban in Scotland's pubs and clubs has led to a dramatic and immediate improvement in the health of staff working in the licensed trade, the first detailed study on the impact of the controversial curbs has revealed. The study, based on a detailed examination of almost 80 bar staff in Dundee before and after the ban came into force in March, was carried out by researchers at Dundee University's asthma and allergy research group.
The Scotsman

Rising rental costs 'putting students off'
The rising cost of rents in the city is making students choose not to come to Edinburgh, a leading student representative has claimed. Tim Goodwin, president of Edinburgh University Students Association, says on average students are paying more than £80 a week on rent - and many are forced into paying much more. According to Eusa, the amount spent every week on rent is nearly three times the amount spent on the next highest expenditure, food, at £30.
The Scotsman

Light bulb moment: inventor boils eggs without using water
The age-old problem of how to cook the perfect boiled egg may have been solved - simply do away with the boiling water. A British inventor, Simon Rhymes, has created a machine that uses light bulbs to cook the egg and lops the top off at exactly the right height for toast soldier dunking. Mr Rhymes, 23, dreamt up the Bulbed Egg Maker while studying project design at Bournemouth University. "I thought that boiling an egg was rather labour intensive for the rewards you get," he said. "I read that light bulbs gave off so much heat it might be more energy efficient to leave lights on in the house to heat it rather than using central heating.
The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph

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