Today's news

February 9, 2007

University unable to tell its arts from its elbow
Australia’s leading woman academic sought to assert her claim yesterday over hundreds of works of art on display at a university by revealing that one of the most hotly contested works is a painting of her own nude bottom. On the eve of her retirement, Di Yerbury, the long-serving Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney, is embroiled in a bitter dispute with her successor, Steven Schwartz. Professor Schwartz, recruited from Brunel University in London last year, has seized 125 boxes of documents and more than 1,000 works of art, many of which are claimed by Professor Yerbury, because of concerns about governance issues at the university.
The Times, The Guardian

Nursing standards 'are under threat'
Poorly qualified nurses are threatening standards of care in the health service two nursing professors claim today. While nurses in many other countries need a degree, only four per cent of British nurses are graduates they say. Professor Linda Shields, from the University of Hull, and Prof Roger Watson, from the University of Sheffield, said American studies showed death rates were lower in hospitals where nurses had degrees.
The Daily Telegraph

The future is orange for hi-tech material made from carrots
Two scientists have created a hi-tech material made from carrots which could be used to make warships in the future. The material, known as Curran, has been developed by Fife-based inventors David Hepworth and Eric Whale and can be made into everything from fishing rods to car parts. The pair, based in Burntisland, believe it could be used as a green alternative to glass and carbon fibre. Nano fibres found in carrots are extracted and combined with hi-tech resins to create a substance which can be moulded into whatever shape, stiffness, strength or lightness required.
The Guardian, The Scotsman

Scientists becoming mind-readers
Scientists have edged closer to mind-reading by using brain scanners to measure changes in blood flow that signal a person's intent to do something. Every day numerous actions are planned, such as returning a book to a friend, shopping or making an appointment. But how and where the brain stores these intentions has been revealed thanks to a study that unveils the intentions in the brain. The work is remarkable because it has never before been possible to deduce from brain activity how a person has decided to act in the future.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Possible cure for Rett Syndrome found in a single gene
A potential cure for one of the severest forms of autism has been discovered by scientists at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities. The research, into a condition called Rett syndrome, is also the first sign that damage caused to the brain by other autism-type conditions is not permanent and could be treated in the future. Most people with the syndrome, which affects more than 10,000 children, mostly girls, in the UK, are profoundly disabled and highly dependent on others. They are usually wheelchair-bound, unable to speak and suffer from breathing difficulties.
The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph

Women shun 'the man who has it all'
Some men are just too good to be true, according to a study published today by psychologists. Men who are good-looking, single, and earn a fortune are not as attractive as good-looking men who have an average kind of job, according to the research. Simon Chu of the University of Central Lancashire and colleagues studied how women weigh up male physical attractiveness and socio-economic status when considering a long-term relationship.
The Daily Telegraph

Letter
Regarding the danger of lack of academic aspiration.
The Daily Telegraph

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