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Latest Cambridge University Stories

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2008-09-22 15:15:00

Professor Stephen Hawking unveiled a $1.83 million (£1m) clock called the "time eater" at Cambridge University. The special guest of honor and author of A Brief History of Time revealed the unique clock, which has no hands or numbers, at Corpus Christi College. The clock features a giant grasshopper and has 60 slits cut into its face which light up to show the time. John Taylor, the creator of what is being called the strangest clock in the world, said he "wanted to make timekeeping...

2008-09-18 00:00:26

By Andy Sharman UNIVERSITIES A flagship scheme set up to raise teenage interest in mathematics will be lucky to solve the crisis affecting the subject at university level, says one leading academic. Andy Sharman reports It was marketed as a scheme that would benefit up to 15,000 pupils and assist the teaching of a subject in crisis. But the Fast Forward Maths programme, launched by the University of Cambridge, has been rubbished by a leading academic, who says that the initiative will...

2008-09-12 00:00:23

By Dominic Lawson BRITAIN HAS the best schools in the world. Why else would leading figures in countries such as China and Russia send their children to learn here, rather than in their own educational systems? Their choice is not based on mere social aspiration: the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has produced figures showing that British schools came top out of all 62 groups in science and maths. Here's the hitch, though: this was a survey which divided schools in...

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2008-09-03 13:35:00

Researchers say a small protein molecule in the brain plays a crucial ovulation-triggering role, a finding that could hold the key to new therapies for infertility. The protein, called kisspeptin, is known to play a vital role in kick-starting puberty. Now, the first evidence that kisspeptin signaling in the brain is also essential for ovulation to occur in adults has been published by a group from the University of Otago led by Professor Allan Herbison, in collaboration with Cambridge...

2008-08-19 03:00:24

By McDonald, Robert I Motzkin, Glenn; Foster, David R MCDONALD, R. I. (Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138), G. MOTZKIN AND D. R. FOSTER (Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA 01366). Assessing the influence of historical factors, contemporary processes, and environmental conditions on the distribution of invasive species. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 135: 260-271. 2008.-Despite concern over potential detrimental effects of non-native invasive species on...

2008-07-28 00:00:33

By Richard Garner Education Editor Bringing exams forward to Easter would restore the credibility of A-levels by allowing the brightest pupils to be selected for university places, according to Cambridge University's head of admissions. Geoff Parks said A-levels should be completed by the end of the Easter term to allow all youngsters to get their results before they apply to university, rather than force admissions officers to rely on predicted grades. The move would represent the most...

2008-07-23 03:00:25

By Ruse, Michael Handmaiden to the Science? PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY RE-ENGINEERING PHILOSOPHY FOR LIMITED BEINGS: Piecewise Approximations to Reality. William C. Wimsatt. xviii + 450 pp. Harvard University Press, 2007. $49.95. INTEGRATING EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT: From Theory to Practice. Edited by Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon, xiv + 334 pp. The MIT Press, 2007. $34. EVIDENCE AND EVOLUTION: The Logic Behind the Science. Elliott Sober, xx + 412 pp. Cambridge University Press, 2008....

2008-07-06 18:00:07

By Faye Flam, The Philadelphia Inquirer Jul. 6--By completely reversing four types of mental impairment in mice, scientists are overturning the long-entrenched notion that our mental capacity is hardwired and immutable. So striking were the animal results that scientists are beginning drug trials on people with genetic disorders associated with mental retardation and autism. Several of the drugs are approved for other uses, which should speed up the testing process. Until recently,...

2008-04-02 03:00:42

By Fitzgerald, Gerard J The first large-scale use of a traditional weapon of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear) involved the successful deployment of chemical weapons during World War I (1914- 1918). Historians now refer to the Great War as the chemist's war because of the scientific and engineering mobilization efforts by the major belligerents. The development, production, and deployment of war gases such as chlorine, phosgene, and mustard created a new and complex public...

2008-02-29 03:00:27

By Das, S Singh, S B; Mohanty, O N; Bhadeshia, H K D H The basic science behind bake hardening steels is well understood in terms of the interactions between interstitial solutes and dislocations. However, the manufacture of such alloys involves a variety of other variables, the interactions between which are influential in controlling the extent of hardening. In the present work, a model which includes the chemical composition of the steel, the strain before aging and the annealing and...