Today's news

March 14, 2007

Computer curfew for students after spate of campus suicides
For more than a decade the seven elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have been churning out world-class computer whiz kids for the booming information technology industry. IITians, as their graduates are known, are renowned as among the most brilliant and hardworking in the world. But one IIT has exposed a darker side to India’s high-tech elite by restricting access to the web in an attempt to make students more sociable after a series of campus suicides. IIT Bombay banned internet use in its 13 student hostels from 11.30pm to 12.30pm from the start of this week, according to university officials. They said that an alarming number of its 5,000 students had become addicted to gaming, blogging, file-sharing and online movies and were showing up late for classes or sleeping through them.
The Times

Ceremony to celebrate university links with China
A ceremony is to be held in the Far East to celebrate 150 years of collaboration between Edinburgh University and China. A delegation from the Scottish capital flying out to the State Guest House in Beijing on Saturday. The highlight of the event will be the award of an honorary degree to Edinburgh University alumnus Professor Zhong Nan-Shan, who identified the Sars virus. It is also 152 years since Huang Kuan graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University, making him the first Chinese graduate of any European institution.
The Scotsman

Research jobs at risk after £68m raid on funds
Scientists yesterday have called for a more co-ordinated approach to government funding after money they expected to receive for research went instead towards a rescue package to bail out British car maker MG Rover. The Royal Society of Chemistry said yesterday that around 1,000 research jobs are now threatened because of the decision by the Department of Trade and Industry to raid its science research funds this year. The RSC was told that the £68 million was needed to help fill a financial black hole brought about by the collapse of MG Rover and the department's future financial liabilities to British Nuclear Fuels.
The Guardian

Global warming may kill off oak and bluebell
British gardeners could be left tending pomegranates and figs instead of apples and runner beans if climate change continues at the current rate, according to an academic model of likely conditions by 2050. Traditional seasons will merge into a constant, largely warm climate by the middle of the century, says the study from the University of East Anglia, which also foresees year-round weeds, giant wasps and an end to the bluebell. "The future looks extremely challenging if change continues at the present rate," said David Viner of the climatic research unit at East Anglia, which carried out the study for the satellite and cable TV channel UKTV Gardens.
The Guardian

Green tea may help battle cancer
New evidence for green tea's anticancer effects have been reported by scientists who have carried out tests on lung cancer cells. The team found that an extract of the tea is able to restore a key protein, actin, which becomes disrupted in cancer, helping to repair the damage. The active constituents of green tea, polyphenols, are recognized antioxidants - chemicals that mop up damaging free radicals - but the extent of any anticancer activity had been unclear until now. Although animal studies offer strong evidence for the anticancer effect of green tea and in several organs, including the lung, studies on large numbers of people have proved controversial.
The Daily Telegraph

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