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Leeds & Yorkshire

Issue 470, 8 October 2001

In the news

University scientists, based at St James's Hospital molecular medicine unit, have discovered a new gene, which causes deafness reported the Yorkshire Post. Senior research fellow Tim Hutchin "It is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are at least 30 other genes," which may cause deafness, he told the newspaper.

University professor of leadership studies, Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, offered an interesting analysis of the presentational style of US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, much interviewed in the wake of the attack on New York. Damned by many as a 'dove', Mr Powell came across as more reflective and more collaborative than many other commentators, Professor Alimo-Metcalfe, told the Independent. Perhaps as a result of having to navigate a white elitest establishment as an outsider, a black man, he could see the world from different perspectives. "Powell is an example of how one can have authority without posturing or macho behaviour," she added.

Fuel and energy researcher Dr Paul Williams' imaginative refinement of a process for recycling tyres, pyrolysis, described in Reporter 463, was featured in as an exemplar of innovation by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Leeds' main attraction for potential students is not its football team, nor a club scene - or even a shopping scene - second only to London, according to Allan Bolton, general manager of Leeds University Business School. His department's MBA students came north to escape from work pressures and for 'quiet reflection' he told the Times. And our facilities were every bit as state-of-the-art as anywhere down south, he added. "The fact that City University has a new building has been widely reported but our new building - a redevelopment of the listed, nineteenth century Leeds Grammar School - has received no attention save in the local press."

Leeds Student once again featured in the Guardian's annual media awards, being shortlisted for student newspaper of the year and student campaign. Journalist, Clare Rudebeck, has been nominated for the diversity award. The winners are to be announced on 18 October.

Extensively interviewed on programmes including ITN, Sky News, national and regional radio, chemical warfare expert and chemical pathologist Professor Alastair Hay offered his insight into the likelihood of chemical attack by terrorists, and agents that might be used. Professor Hay reassured members of the public that the chances of chemical attacks were unlikely following the events in New York and Washington. Unlike explosives, biological and chemical agents are difficult and unpredictable to use. He described existing stockpiles of agents as 'well inventoried' and that a high level of expertise would be needed to carry out a chemical attack. Interviewed on Calendar news, Professor Hay said "gas masks are not a realistic proposition," he went on to suggest there had been a "bit too much hype" about chemical warfare. He concluded that he would not be buying a gas mask.

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