Students shun new universities
Students are turning their backs on new universities in favour of traditional institutions. Many former polytechnics and colleges have suffered a huge dip in applications. At the same time, highly ranked universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, York and Nottingham are becoming more popular. Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show that so-called ‘trendy’ courses at the newest universities are failing to halt the slide.
Unions call for spread of scientific know-how
The government’s £1.25 billion science strategy will fail unless know-how is spread through the regions, the Trades Union Congress warned yesterday.
Half of all Europeans ‘may have Arab genes’
The blood ties between Europeans and the Middle East are much stronger than previously thought, says a study of man’s genetic family tree by scientists at University College London. Up to half the genes of indigenous Europeans may have come from immigrants who brought farming to the continent 6,000-10,000 years ago.
(Daily Telegraph, Times, Independent)
Study supports audit firms’ reservations about rotation
Britain’s biggest accounting firms are trying to press the government away from adopting compulsory rotation of auditors. The firms say they may stop auditing company accounts if the proposal is introduced. Support for their viewpoint comes in a study conducted by Milan’s Bocconi University.
Historian rewards loyal staff
Sir John Plumb, the eminent historian on the 18th century, did not forget the people who served him at high table in his will, which was published yesterday. Although the former master of Christ’s College, Cambridge, left shares in his £1.4 million estate to his Glenfield Trust, which will help future generations of scholars, he also made bequests to the staff below stairs. The bachelor don, whose protégés include Simon Schama, died last year aged 90.
Fellow of the world
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka attacks western academics for cosily aquiescing to injustice and fully supports sanctions against Israel and the idea of academic boycotts. ‘Israel needs to be told its conduct is unacceptable. Academics should should be among the forefront of voices calling for cultural, sporting and economic sanctions,’ he says.
Chess piece found from the 5th century
A chess figure found in Albania suggests that the game was played in Europe 600 years earlier than was previously thought. The ivory piece dating from the 5th century was found by members of the Institute of World Archaeology, affiliated to the University of East Anglia.
Now it’s not safe to stay out of the sun
Medical science has discovered that obeying doctors’ orders and forgoing the pleasures of sun worship can be bad for your health. Too little sun can cause vitamin D deficiency, which can result in skeletal deformities in children and muscular weakness and frail bones in adults. Australian professor Caryl Newson found that nearly a quarter of women in her study were vitamin D deficient.
Teeth are the key facial feature that lead people to make snap judgements about each other and can strongly influence who gets a job, scientists at Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas’ Dental Institute and Sheffield Dental School found.
Research team unlocks secret of how cancer spreads
Scientists are a step closer to a breakthrough in the fight against cancer after discovering the molecule that allows the disease to spread. The molecule, known as Src, has been found to loosen the structure of tissues surrounding a tumour, opening the way for cancer cells to multiply. Scientists from Cancer Research UK, based at Glasgow’s Beatson Institute, made the discovery in bowel cancer patients.
Wales welcomes back one of world’s rarest plants
The Snowdonia Hawkweed, one of the rarest plants in the world, has been rediscovered growing on a mountain slope in Wales, decades after botanists feared it had become extinct. ‘We were literally capering about for joy on the mountain ledges like lunatics when we found it,’ said Tim Rich, head of vascular plants at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.
‘Resurrected’ artist dies
Robert Lenkiewics, one of the most eccentric artists in Britain, died yesterday, years after faking his death to see how people would react.
Industrial sociologist dies
Alan Fox, a lecturer in Oxford University’s department of social and administrative studies, who has died aged 82, was the most distinguished and original industrial sociologist of his generation.(Guardian)
‘One hell of a big bang’
Today is Hiroshima Day, the 57th anniversary of the atom bomb dropped by the US on the Japanese city.
(Guardian, Daily Mail)
Police have arrested a 37-year-old man in Kent on suspicion of stealing a 17th-century book from the British Library.