Reporter 432, 1 March 1999

In the news

Research to allow saltwater fish farming in the middle of the desert, featured in Reporter 431 has received world-wide coverage. It has also been reported by the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post (complete with cartoon) and Fish Farmer magazine. Environmental geochemist Michael Krom is developing revolutionary technology to provide those in barren regions with a vital source of protein. The £600,000 project was also reported by the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 5.

University research revealing that air bags used in car accidents could cause permanent loss of hearing was included in the Independent, Guardian, Financial Times, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and BBC Look North. The results are based on cases in which drivers suffered hearing loss and persistent tinnitus, and were published in the British Medical Journal.

Student Union opposition to Jack Straw's honorary degree has appeared in the Times, Guardian, Yorkshire Evening Post, and Independent. The Union claimed in Reporter 431 the University's decision shows an "unacceptable level of patronage to a political party." The University was reported in the Times Higher Education Supplement as saying the award is a recognition of Mr Straw's personal achievements not an endorsement of his politics.

Professor Peter Meyer was quoted in the Yorkshire Evening Post in a front page splash about genetically modified food. The paper called him a "voice of reason and calm" and reported his view that the issue has been hijacked by the media. Professor Meyer said he was setting out to dispel the myths about the food. Two companies which produce genetically modified plants were fined a total of £31,000 after being found guilty of breaching government regulations.

University research shows how the 'gor blimey' accent of Eastenders and Birds of a Feather are infiltrating up North, the Daily Mail has reported. Dr Paul Foulkes, lecturer in phonetics, carried out research in Newcastle and said that Geordies are maintaining their accent but incorporating "subtle differences in vowels" which come from the influence of television.

The work of University archivist Richard Davies and his colleague Colin Johnson in helping to produce an English-Russian dictionary was featured in the Yorkshire Post. The collaboration with the University of Moscow brings the translation powers of Russian teachers up to date and should prevent future generations of Russians from repeating phrases such as "I have been to Moscow thrice."

The Independent has reported that the University has maintained its lead at the top of the league table for university applicants for the popular Japan Exchange and Teaching programme, better known as JET. Of the 74 applicants a "respectable" 69 were interviewed.

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