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Issue 471, 22 October 2001

In the news

Dr Alison Baker from the Centre for Plant Sciences has created a plant that glows under stress, as featured in Reporter 470. It caught the attention of the national and regional press, including the Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Yorkshire Evening Post and the Yorkshire Post. In the Daily Express, Dr Baker explained: "We are hoping that we can use this discovery to develop more stress resistant plants."

The school of education is involved in a 10m scheme to improve teaching standards in Oman's schools. Promoting the work, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson told the THES: "All universities have got to think about reaching to new constituents. This one is on a huge scale and is enhancing our teaching in an international context." Director of education, Geoff Welford added: "It's been a two-way process. We are learning too, mostly about Omani culture."

Leeds astrophysicist Dr Jeremy Lloyd-Evans has been appointed 'boffin dad' in lads' magazine FHM. The Independent attributed his new role to his instructions for constructing and launching rockets, made from fizzy-drink bottles.

Chemical and biological warfare expert Professor Alastair Hay tried to allay fears over the threat of anthrax attacks in the UK. On BBC Radio 4's Today Programme he stressed that there were 'significant problems' in releasing anthrax spores. Commenting on anthrax incidents in the US NBC, on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast news and Calendar news, he reiterated: "It's not something I would panic about. The likelihood of you or I being exposed is very small."

Flashy experiments make chemistry entertaining and memorable according to Mike Hoyland. US magazine Science suggests if you missed Mr Hoyland's TV appearance and demonstrations, his jazzy experiments are on the Delights of Chemistry webpages.

Staff from the University of Leeds and LMU co-ordinated a peaceful teach-in, in protest over military action against Afghanistan. Guardian Education online and the THES interviewed organiser food sciencist Dr Malcolm Povey. Talking to the THES he said: "The teach-in is a democratic and non-adversarial way of saying to people that war is not inevitable and that we can change the course of events."

Head of city, regional and widening participation, Ceri Nursaw appeared on BBC Look North to discuss student safety in Leeds prior to the showing of the October 11 programme Close up North on crime in the city. She offered advice to students on staying safe: "They're coming to a new city, walk in groups, keep to well-lit streets and don't walk home alone at night. Most students don't have any problems at all and enjoy their time at Leeds very much."

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