Beyond the Burg Blurbs: April 2

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April 2, 2010

4:11 AM

Sweden’s Uppsala University and Stockholm University recently published a joint study in the scientific journal Biomedical Central Evolutionary Biology suggesting that Stone Age Scandinavians were lactose-intolerant. Research shows that the group of hunter-gatherers had a DNA sequence that differed significantly from that of modern Swedes in terms of the capacity to digest lactose into adulthood. Currently, the findings show the significance of “gene flow,” which focuses on those with genetic similarities.

The University of Edinburgh has denied accusations concerning discrimination in its application process after receiving criticism from other British universities for allegedly favoring students from Scotland over the rest of the British Isles. The accusations maintain that Edinburgh gives priority to local students in choosing their preferred subject of interest. According to the BBC, faculty members of English higher education institutions have responded by discouraging their students from applying to Edinburgh.

A recent paper by McGill University economist Jennifer Hunt analyzed why so many women leave careers in science and engineering. Hunt cites salary and promotion opportunities as the key factors for women in leaving their jobs. When looking at data from the National Science Foundation, she found that women do not leave science-related careers at a higher rate than men, but that there are lower margins of retention in male-dominated sectors such as engineering, financial management and economics.

Tel Aviv University participated in an international campaign aimed at reducing meat consumption by hosting “Meatfree Monday,” during which hundreds of free vegetarian meals were handed out to students. Lectures were also held to discuss the link between the beef industry and rainforest destruction. Celebrities such as singer Paul McCartney, fashion designer Stella McCartney and wife of John Lennon Yoko Ono backed the campaign. Other universities have also hosted meat free days in their cafeterias.

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