Today's papers

August 8, 2002

Student grants return to stem campus anger
Student grants worth about £30 a week are to be introduced for about 500,000 undergraduates, the government will announce this autumn. A long-awaited review of higher education finance will propose a new system of allowances designed to ease the financial fears that deter many teenagers from going to university and force others to drop out. The grants will be introduced in 2004 or 2005.
( Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )

Jewish academics in UK renounce the right to live in Israel
A group of prominent Jews including two academics seek today to renounce their right to Israeli residence and citizenship in protest at Israel’s ‘barbaric’ policies towards the Palestinians. Professor Steven Rose, director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at the Open University who is campaigning to suspend EU funding of Israel’s universities, and Professor Irene Bruegel of the group Jews for Justice for Palestinians are among 45 signatories to a letter in The Guardian.
( Guardian )
Is the academic boycott of Israel justified? Join the debate on

Graduates flock to teacher training as initiatives kick in
Applications for teacher-training courses are up 18 per cent in a year, with strong rises in maths and physics, statistics show. A total of 47,070 people have applied to start postgraduate certificate of education courses across the UK, compared with just under 40,000 a year ago, according to the Graduate Teacher Training Registry.
( Independent, Guardian, Times )

New diet pill ‘will be best and safest’ slimming aid
Scientists at a London hospital have discovered a hormone that will allow them to create the safest and most effective slimming pill ever. The naturally occurring chemical reduces the appetite by a third, making it at least twice as powerful as other varieties on the market. The scientists at Imperial College and Hammersmith Hospital in London who harnessed the hormone’s potential believe it will provide a safe solution to weight loss for the 12 million people who suffer from obesity in Britain. The research was led by Professor Stephen Bloom and is published in Nature .
( Times, Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Financial Times, Daily Mail )

Economics professor calls for ‘tax breaks’ for organ donors
Tax breaks should be offered to attract organ donors, economics professor Andrew Oswald suggested yesterday. He said a tax reduction of  £10 a year for people going on a donor register could solve the problem of the shortage of organs for transplant.
( Daily Mirror )

College strikes loom over pay
The threat of strike action in colleges of further education has increased after Unison decided to ballot its members after rejecting a 2.3 per cent rise for those on less than £11,000 a year.
( Financial Times )

Student protest at Koran course
An American university is being sued for asking all students to read a book about the Koran. The action against the University of North Carolina has been launched by three students with the backing of a Christian activist group.
( Daily Telegraph )

Women law graduates suffer worst pay bias
Women graduates in law, computing and maths face the biggest discrimination in pay compared with men, a survey by the Equal Opportunities Commission showed.
( Independent )

Suncreams blamed for epidemic of skin rashes
Popular suncreams, moisturisers and shampoos are being blamed for an ‘alarming epidemic’ of painful skin complaints including rashes, swelling and itching. European Commission scientists have identified the chemical Methyldibromo glutaronitrile in the products as the culprit. The scientists want use of the chemical banned until a ‘safe’ level is found.
( Times, Daily Mail )

Jobless scientist up for film prize
A zoologist who wrote a short film during six months of unemployment will see his work receive its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival after it was picked from nearly 1,700 entries to a film competition. Mat Cottam, 32, who has a PhD in zoology from Glasgow University and is working for the National Trust in the Cayman Islands, is one of six candidates shortlisted for the Orange FilmFour Prize for Short Film.
( Times )

Jet vapour trails cool day and heat night
Vapour trails from aircraft make nights up to 1C warmer and days up to 1C cooler, scientists at the University of Wisconsin have found. They discovered the effect after studying temperatures from 4,000 weather stations when aircraft were grounded across the US after the September 11 attacks. The study, published in Nature , suggests this is the biggest difference between night and day temperatures seen for at least 30 years.
( Times, Daily Telegraph )

MI5 will recruit historian to reveal century of secrets
MI5 is to open its secret files dating back nearly 100 years to allow a historian to write the definitive centenary memoir for publication in 2009 – but only if the author agrees to join the Security Service and sign the Official Secrets Act.
( Times, Guardian )

Shy, modest and dead clever for today’s young
He was born 100 years ago in Bristol. When he died he was widely hailed as the most important scientist of the 20th century after Einstein. One of the shyest but most important figures of modern physics, Paul Dirac remains almost completely unknown. Which is why, a century on, the Institute of Physics in London has decided to give him the manga cartoon treatment.
( Guardian )

Reservoir logs: groundwork begins to trace stately home’s fountain spectacular
Scientists armed with radar and satellite systems are hoping to crack the riddle of a 17th-century aristocrat’s attempt to imitate the fountains of Versailles – and decide whether his acres of pools and cascades ever worked. Joseph Holden, a hydrologist at Leeds University, is leading the hunt at Bramham Park, near Leeds, West Yorkshire.
( Guardian )

Genetically modified virus to stop rabbits breeding
Scientists have developed a genetically modified virus to stop rabbits breeding. It could reduce rabbit numbers in Australia, where plagues of the animals are ruining crops. The contraceptive virus, which is a modification of the myxomatosis virus, was developed by scientists at Canberra and trials are reported in New Scientist.
( Daily Telegraph )

Laboratory-grown teeth could replace dentures
False teeth could soon be consigned to history after a British scientist succeeded in growing teeth in the laboratory. Professor Paul Sharpe, head of craniofacial development at King’s College London, who made the breakthrough has set up a firm, Odontis, to exploit his discovery.
( Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )

Philosopher-architect who was ahead of his time dies
John Ollis, said his friend Tony Benn, was ‘a shining example of the maxim “the greatest crime in politics is to be ahead of the times”’. Ollis, who has died aged 78, was one of the generation of philosopher-architects who trained during the postwar optimism of the late 1940s at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.
( Independent )

EU rights plans pose threat to temporary staff
Most companies would cut their use of temporary workers if European Union proposals to give them the same pay and perks as permanent staff became UK law, according to a CBI survey.
( Financial Times )













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