Today's papers

June 28, 2002

Tories pledge aid for poor students
Iain Duncan Smith unexpectedly made two policy announcements last night as he faced a hostile audience of young voters. The Conservative leader, in a special edition of BBC One’s Question Time , pledged to reinstate maintenance grants for poor students and to raise the income level at which graduates begin to repay tuition fees.

MMR may be linked to a certain type of autism
A British researcher believes he has defined a sub-group of autism that could be linked to the MMR vaccine. Paul Shattock, director of the Autism Research Unit at Sunderland University, said one in ten autistic children appeared to have the distinctive form of the disease. But he stressed the findings were preliminary and had yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
( Daily Telegraph, Independent, Times, Daily Mail )

The spray that could save children from deadly meningitis
British scientist have made a major breakthrough in the battle to defeat meningitis. They have created a vaccine for meningitis B -- the only strain of the disease against which there is still no defence – that is delivered via a simple nasal spray. The prototype vaccine was developed by a team led by Andrew Gorringe at the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research near Salisbury, Wiltshire. The research is published in the Journal of Infection and Immunity .
( Daily Mail )

Chips may cause cancer, warns top food expert
Chips and crisps were at the centre of a cancer alert last night after scientists found the two favourite potato snacks can contain high levels of the chemical acrylamide, which is linked to cancer. The World Health Organisation’s head of food safety, Jorgen Schlundt, warned people to cut back on eating fried products following an emergency meeting in Geneva. He said that teams of scientists in Britain, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Switzerland had confirmed the findings.
( Daily Mail, Financial Times, Daily Mirror)

Scientists saved from ice ship
Helicopters from a South African ship rescued 21 scientists from a supply vessel trapped in the Antarctic pack ice yesterday. Two helicopters also carried supplies to a German vessel carrying 79 Russian scientists and 28 crew to South Africa from the remote Vovolazarevskaya research station in northeast Antarctica. It ran into impassable ice on June 11.
( Times )

Pioneering scientist dies
Alice Stewart, who achieved worldwide fame and changed medical practice through her tenacious investigations and demonstration of the connection between foetal X-rays and child cancers, has died aged 95. She went on to attract the enmity of the nuclear and health physics establishments – and the hostility of the British and US governments – by insisting that her studies showed that the adverse effects of exposure to low-level radiation were far more serious than had been officially accepted.
( Guardian )

Alert as GM pollen spreads
Pollen from genetically modified plants can contaminate other crops within a two-mile radius, scientists warn today. The Australian scientists from the University of Adelaide discovered that a third of conventional oilseed rape plants growing near GM fields showed signs of contamination.
( Daily Mail )

Night-time lights stave off diabetic blindness
Sleeping with a light on might help stave off eye problems and the risk of blindness for hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes, researchers suggested yesterday. The researchers, from Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine, said they were on the “brink of a breakthrough” in fighting a condition that is the leading cause for people aged 16-64 to be registered blind.
( Guardian )

Death of Koran scholar
John Wansbrough, a historian of the ancient and Islamic Near East who moved expertly in the fields of Semitic language and religion, has died aged 74. His whole academic career was spent at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he was latterly professor of Semitic studies.
( Independent )

Superstar telescope
Scientists at Cambridge University are building a £26.5 million super-telescope that can read words on a 1p coin 150 miles away.
( Daily Mirror )

International authority in paediatric gastroenterology dies
Charlotte Anderson, who was the first female professor of paediatrics in the UK, has died aged 87. Earlier, she had been an important member of the team at Birmingham University who demonstrated conclusively that the gluten fraction of wheat was the villain in coeliac disease, leading to the introduction of gluten-free diets.
( Times )


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