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Issue 480, 22 April 2002

In the news

Professor Katie Wales joined Channel 5 News in March to explain the function of phrases such as 'you know' and 'you know what I mean', following the award of 700 to an American schoolboy for using 'you know' 30 times in a 135 second conversation.

As ITV Digital tries to reach an agreement with the football league, Bill Gerrard explained the problems for sport and the media in Time magazine: "The market's been plagued by excessive optimism," but ITV's problems demonstrate that 'it's coming back to earth.'

Mechanical student Damon Lane from Penn State shared his thoughts on studying at Leeds with BBCi. In his online diary he writes: "After being in England for about a week, the most surprising thing that I have found is how similar it is to the United States." Leeds' famous nightlife has made its mark though: "I cannot comment too much on that since I really do not remember my first Saturday night here – I guess the clubbing and pubbing deserve their reputation," he said.

Read more on the BBC website

Hugh Lee's bid to run up Everest – see Reporter 479 – gained the support of the Yorkshire Evening Post. His current level of fitness is even more impressive given the drink-related problems of his past. Hugh recalls a doctor's advice: "He warned me if I didn't stop drinking altogether, not just cut down, then it was the end."

The great work done by Leeds' student community Action was recognised by the Yorkshire Evening Post. Volunteer Claire Leydon said: "It has really opened my eyes to the rest of the city and the people who live here – it's been a real learning experience."

As BBC2 began promotion for Food junkies: how we fell in love with food, the Guardian examined the sugar industry and sought the opinion of Leeds dental institute's Professor Monty Duggal. A specialist in determining the damage foods do to our teeth, Professor Duggal 'asserts that sugar's effect on teeth is now limited thanks to fluoride toothpaste'.

Pioneer of work on transplanting frozen ovarian tissue, Dr Tony Rutherford, commented on the world's first whole ovary transplant. The procedure may have restored the fertility of a 34 year old woman in China. Dr Rutherford described it to the Daily Mail as 'an important step forward'. "Theoretically, it could allow natural conception to take place. This might be quite an attractive idea for someone who has ovarian failure and might prefer it to going through the rigmaroles of IVF."

The north-south gap is 'continuing to widen', concludes a report by researchers at the universities of Leeds, Manchester and the London School of Economics. The findings were reported in the Guardian: "It questions why the north-south economic gap continued to widen during the growing prosperity of the past five years, when poorer cities should have caught up with the capital rather than fall behind."

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