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Issue 476, 4 February 2002

In the news

Dr Chris Peers from the institute of cardiovascular research was interviewed on BBC TV's Look North about his research into oxygen deprivation and Alzheimer's disease, featured on the front page of Reporter 475. Asked about the impact of strokes on brain cells, Dr Peers confirmed that 'individuals who have suffered strokes are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease'. His lab-based work supports US studies which showed stroke patients were more likely to suffer dementia.

BBC TV's current affairs programme On the Record joined the school of geography's BSc open day for a feature on student funding. The government's review of tuition fees was discussed with visiting parents. Filmed around campus, locations such as the Brotherton Library and redeveloped Student Union provided an impressive setting for the film. Also interviewed was minister for higher education Margaret Hodge.

Earth sciences lecturer Jurgen Neuberg and his technique for predicting the magnitude of volcanic eruptions (see Reporter 475) received national coverage. In the New Scientist, he explained that current techniques can gauge the time but not the size of eruptions. In the THES, he explained the theory of using broader seismic arrays, as 'like looking at a picture through a blue-tinted glass. You see only one colour.' His work will also feature in a forthcoming edition of BBC Radio 4's Leading Edge.

Communications studies Dr Steve Lax commented on the slow uptake of digital television in BBC Leeds' North of Westminster. Despite the availability of several free channels, viewers can only access them through a digital package at present. A new device to decode just the free channels may encourage more people to switch to digital TV.

With 20% of male drivers admitting to falling asleep at the wheel, 'respecting sleep makes economic sense', states the Independent. Lawrence Smith's Shiftcheck software helps companies organise shifts to match workers' body clocks. The system gives individuals more appropriate shifts and can increase alertness, reducing the risk of accidents at work and on the roads.

Honorary professor Roger Gosden has successfully transplanted ovarian tissue. His work in this area began at Leeds before his move to the Eastern Virginia Medical School in the USA. New Scientist reported the successful transplant of rat ovaries from a paper published in Nature. The Independent highlighted the potential benefits for women who have undergone treatment for cancer and have lost their fertility.

Advances in in-car entertainment featured in the Financial Times' business supplement. Columnist Michael Harvey recounted his test drive in the University's driving simulator. Email will soon be accessible in cars from several manufacturers and Hamish Jamson is researching the effects of this distraction on drivers: "The levels of impairment are very similar to those we found on a study with hands-free mobile phones."


 
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