Scientist leaves £45m to Cambridge
A multi-millionaire scientist who helped to revolutionise birth control by developing the contraceptive pill has left more than £45 million to Cambridge University in what may be the biggest single personal donation in its history. Herchel Smith, who died last December at 76, had already donated £15 million to the university, where he was a student and honorary fellow of Emmanuel College.
( Guardian, Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail )
British Museum impoverished, says director
The British Museum is so underfunded by government that it is barely able to perform its core functions, and will have to cut even those if the grant is not increased, the outgoing director, Robert Anderson, told MPs yesterday.
They said I was a mean marker
An examiner was shocked to find A-level grades were pre-set, despite the poor quality of the entries.
( Daily Telegraph)
Research into drugs for the poor virtually halted
Drug development has been so skewed towards the needs of rich countries that only 1 per cent of new treatments over the past 25 years were for diseases found mainly in the developing world, according to a new study from the World Health Organisation, academia and non-governmental organisations published in The Lancet.
( Financial Times)
The Labour government has promised to halve child poverty by 2010. But new research by Lars Osberg, a visiting Canadian economics professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University, suggests that even if this goal were achieved, it might not be the major attack on poverty that it appears.
( Guardian )
Anti-social conduct may be linked to diet, says study
A study claiming that improving vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in the diets of young offenders appeared to reduce their anti-social behaviour dramatically yesterday prompted calls for further research into the impact of nutrition on crime. The Home Office-backed study was led by Bernard Gesch while he was at Surrey University.
( Guardian, Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail )
Aspirin could cut lung cancer
Taking aspirin could help to reduce by more than half the risk of developing the most common form of lung cancer, once smoking, the biggest threat of all, is removed from the health equation, says US research reported in the British Journal of Cancer . Meanwhile, Cancer Research UK scientists are conducting trials to see whether aspirin, with other agents, can protect against bowel cancer.
( Guardian, Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail)
Rosalind Edwards, professor of social science at South Bank University, London, working alongside colleagues from the University of Gothenburg, has just published the first fruits of a comparative study of the experiences of stepfathers in Britain and Sweden. The British team, in findings echoed by its Swedish counterparts, found a stark contrast between the way working-class stepfathers view their responsibilities and the attitudes of those from more middle-class backgrounds.
( Guardian )
Fruit and veg can beat Alzheimer’s
People who eat lots of fruit and vegetables run a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, two new studies suggest. The research teams, one led by Monique Breteler from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and the other led by Martha Clare Morris at Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Centre in Chicago, report their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association .
( Times, Daily Mail )
Hawking wins science Booke r
Stephen Hawking’s latest attempts to explain the mysteries of the cosmos has won him the £10,000 Aventis prize for science books for The Universe in a Nutshell .
( Daily Telegraph, Times )
Medieval GP’s manual saved
A 15th-century medical handbook that covers every conceivable subject, including bloodletting and the effects of the phases of the planets on human health, has been saved for the nation. The illuminated manuscript, written in 1454, has been bought by the Wellcome Trust Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine in London, which is making it available to the public for the first time in almost 550 years.
( Times )
The Irishmen and the didgeridoo
The didgeridoo got its name from early Irish settlers rather than Australian aborigines, according to PhD student Dymphna Lonergan.
( Daily Mail)
World’s first cancer vaccine
The world has already seen the first successful anti-cancer vaccine in action, although few people realise it, let alone that the jab is actually one of the most widely used across the planet. Baruch Blumberg, director of Nasa’s Astrobiology Institute in California, on the hepatitis B vaccine.
( Daily Telegraph )
Interview with Baruch Blumberg in The THES on Friday
The real masters of spin
British researchers pioneering “spintronics” could herald a new age in computers.
( Daily Telegraph)
Contact lens for 5 years
A contact lens designed to be implanted in the eye and worn for up to five years has been developed by scientists.
( Daily Mirror)