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Issue 475, 21 January 2002

In the news

Diabetes costs the NHS 5 billion a year, according to a study by Professor Rhys Williams. His findings were reported in the Financial Times and Independent with forecasts that the illness could 'swamp' the health service over the next two decades.

The destruction of the Greek city of Helike was explored in the BBC TV's Horizon. Using his knowledge of Mediterranean geology Dr Richard Collier in earth sciences showed how the city was covered by sediment following an earthquake in 373BC, as featured in Reporter 472.

The launch of the Lord of the Rings film generated much coverage in national and regional press about the author, and former University lecturer, J R R Tolkien. Made a professor of dialect during his first academic post in Leeds, he took inspiration from local words in writing his novels. 'Baggins' appears in records of Yorkshire dialects at the University, meaning food taken to work for lunch, noted the Yorkshire Post.

Criminal justice student Byungho Im helped North Yorkshire Police identify the body of a murdered Korean student. Her body had been found in a suitcase near York in November 2001. A member of the south Korean police, Byungho had been surfing websites when he found a plea for information posted by the woman's family, reported the Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Post.

Juliet Lodge, professor of European studies, championed the euro in the THES. She suggested there would be considerable benefits for UK universities if the country joined the single currency, explaining that 'research proposals for EU funding from multidisciplinary teams will be easier' and it would enable 'business on exchange students and staff in one currency'.

Obstetrics and gynaecological consultants Nigel Simpson and Professor James Walker's system to predict when a woman is going into labour (see Reporter 454) is nearer to production The confirmation of funding for commercialisation was covered across the national press. Talking to the Times, Dr Simpson said 'the money should enable a prototype to be completed within six months'. Using faint electrical signals detectable in the womb the device will pinpoint delivery time to within 48 hours said the Independent, rather than days or weeks.

Professor Andrew Lock's visit to India for Leeds University Business School was followed closely by the Indian press. The Times of India described in the increasingly international nature of research and the Statesman stressed the University's links with India through its local office.

Communications lecturer Dr Richard Howells joined a debate on racism for BBC Radio 4's The Message. He suggested that the media might not have the courage to identify the root causes of racism, in case attempts to understand it is mistaken for condoning.

Language Centre tutor, Becky Smith, was interviewed about teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) as a career for YTV's Jobfinder programme. She outlined her own career and explained the challenges and benefits of working in this field.

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