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Issue 475, 21 January 2002

Main news stories

  • A breath of fresh air to Alzheimer's sufferers
    A Leeds scientist researching the effects of low oxygen on the body believes he has identified a cause of Alzheimer's disease – low levels of oxygen reaching brain cells.
  • More beer, butties and music
    A 4.8m extension of one of the country's largest student union buildings has given the city a new music venue, and Leeds University Union more bars than any students' union in the UK.
  • RAE2001 success should 'stand us in good stead'
    Seventy percent of University of Leeds researchers are now working in 5 or 5* departments, according to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise – a 75% increase on the 1996 RAE.
  • A dame, two knights and a gold medal winner
    An Oscar winning actress, a distinguished diplomat, a gold medal athlete and a Nobel prize-winner will receive honorary degrees from the University next year. Chancellor Lord Melvyn Bragg will make the awards to Dame Judi Dench, Sir Roderic Lyne, Fiona May and Sir Paul Nurse at a special ceremony on Wednesday 17 July 2002.
  • The song of the volcano, sent across the Atlantic from Montserrat to Leeds
    Volcanoes don't only erupt – they sing, and in a new development by geophysicists at the University of Leeds, the sounds or seismic tremor made by a volcano thousands of miles across the Atlantic will be transmitted directly to Leeds, where they will be analysed to show the minute changes in pressure which foretell an imminent eruption.
  • Life, sex and the insect world
    Females who mate with two males can choose between their sperm to avoid having their brothers' offspring, according to a new study by researchers Dr Tom Tregenza and Dr Nina Wedell.
  • Fall in vaccinations prompts MMR study
    Leeds is seeing cases of mumps rise alarmingly, as take up of the MMR vaccine continues to fall. Across the city there were just under 400 cases last year, more than double the number in 2000, and ten times the figure for 1999. Take up of the first MMR vaccine has dropped to around 80% in Leeds, with as few as 70% having the second injection – which ensures immunisation – at age five.
  • Project to put dialects online
    Several thousand recordings from the 1950s and 60s of people talking about hobbies, childhood reminiscences, customs, local history, crafts, industries and gypsy lore, singing folk-songs and recounting myths and folk-tales are to be made accessible online for the first time.

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