Today's news

January 11, 2007

Jaywalking don hit by full force of the law
A distinguished British historian who tried to cross a road in Atlanta, Georgia, has complained of being wrestled to the ground, pinioned by five police officers and incarcerated. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, 56, a Times Higher columnist and visiting Professor of Global Environmental History at Queen Mary, University of London, was attending the conference of the American Historical Association last Thursday when he was caught jaywalking. “I’m a mass of contusions and grazes,” he said in an interview shown on the website YouTube. “I come from a country where you can cross the road where you like,” he said. “It hadn’t occurred to me that I wasn’t allowed to cross the road between the two main conference venues.” He was not the only historian so to offend.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent

Kent offers scholarships to Romanian students
The University of Kent has become the first UK institution to offer scholarships to students from one of the newest European Union members, Romania. In partnership with the Ratiu Foundation UK, the university has developed a package that includes tuition fees and a £3,000 Ratiu Foundation Scholarship for two student places - one on the MSc in information security and biometrics and one on the MSc in biomedical imaging. Robin Baker, pro-vice-chancellor of Kent, said: "We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Ratiu Foundation in this way. Kent's strong European involvement means it is ideally placed to help young Romanians develop expertise in specialist areas."
The Guardian

Mathematician appointed vice-chancellor of East London
The University of East London has appointed Martin Everett as vice-chancellor. Professor Everett has a distinguished record in teaching and research, and is currently pro vice-chancellor at the University of Westminster, director of the university's research strategy, and provost of the Marylebone campus, with responsibility for all teaching, research and resources on site. A mathematician by training, Professor Everett is a leading researcher in the field of social network analysis, which applies mathematical concepts to a broad range of disciplines.
The Guardian

Student's malaria was 'probably curable'
The death of a university student from malaria could have been prevented if her symptoms had been recognised earlier, an inquest heard yesterday. Matilda Cooper, 19, known as Mattie, was found dead in her bed by a friend at her Cardiff University halls of residence on January 26 last year. She had complained of feeling unwell following a Christmas trip to Uganda to see her father Tim. Cardiff coroner's court was told the philosophy, politics and ancient history student, from Devon, had contacted NHS Direct and her GP but was diagnosed with flu. Recording a narrative verdict, the coroner Mary Hassell said her condition was "probably curable".
The Daily Telegraph

Crystal plan to storing radioactive waste
Scientists have laid the foundations for a method of containing radioactive waste that would not leak for thousands of years. A joint team from the University of Cambridge and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the United States is testing the effectiveness of storing radioactive waste in different crystal forms. These tests could be used to develop a method of storing highly-radioactive elements that would only begin to leak thousands of years into the future. By then, most of the radioactivity would have decayed.
The Scotsman, Nature

Cambridge nears stem-cell Holy Grail
Scientists have taken another important step towards understanding how to turn skin and other adult cells into stem cells, the Holy Grail of this field because it would sidestep the troubling ethical issues surrounding the use of embryos. Today a Cambridge University team announces that it has found the precise stage at which cells in the newly fertilised egg become stem cells, as opposed to the cells that form the placenta.
The Daily Telegraph

Scientists plan Britain's first ever mission to the moon
British scientists have put forward ambitious plans to go to the Moon by sending scientific instruments to study the lunar surface. If the proposals are accepted by the Government and the European Space Agency they could form the basis of the first UK-led mission to the Moon. Details emerged yesterday as part of a wider review of Esa's strategy over the next couple of decades to explore the Moon, Mars and nearby asteroids with robots, possibly culminating in manned missions and a joint lunar base by 2020. Nasa has already announced its intention to send men back to the Moon by 2020, and China, India and Japan have expressed an interest in collaborating on lunar exploration.
The Independent

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