In the news
Dr Jieyu Liu (East Asian Studies), who specialises in gender and development in China, took part in a discussion for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour on the country’s one child policy.
A team of international researchers led by Dr Carmel Toomes, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, has discovered a gene that could help prevent a form of inherited blindness. The gene, known as TSPAN12, is found to be faulty in patients who have an eye condition called Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) that can lead to blindness or visual impairment. Members of the same family can carry the gene and it’s hoped that this new research will enable early screening and treatment of people at risk. The story was covered in the Yorkshire
Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.
An article in the Big Issue about how to ensure that women who have been sexually assaulted receive the necessary police and legal support, included an interview with Dr Louise Ellison (School of Law). She talks about the difficulties faced by women when they report an attack and how this lack of understanding is continued when a case comes to court.
The Muslim Post carried a Question and Answer interview with PhD student Kais Dukes (School of Computing) about his research: Artificial Intelligence and Corpus Linguistics applied to analysis of the Quran.
Kais has set up a website http://corpus.quran.com/ to let anyone interested in the Quran to see his research, and contribute to collaborative analysis.
“The interview might make for a good read for those people with a general interest in the Quranic Arabic Corpus project, from a nontechnical point-of-view,” said Kais.
BBC Radio 4’s Nature programme featured an interview with PhD student Mark Goddard (Faculty of Biological Sciences), lead author of a new research paper about how diversity can be encouraged in the UK’s gardens.
Urban green spaces such as gardens and parks are an increasingly important refuge for wildlife as towns and cities encroach further into the countryside. By co-ordinating their gardening efforts, neighbours could create a network of interlinking habitats where birds, bees and mammals can flourish.
Professor Tim Benton, Research Dean in the Faculty of Biological Sciences, and Dr Andy Dougill, Head of the School of Earth and Environment, co-authored the research which was the cover story of February’s Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
Dr Graham Dutfield, Professor of International Governance (School of Law) was interviewed in London for a feature to be broadcast by Japanese TV station, NHK. The station is running a string of stories on biodiversity as there is a major conference being held in Japan on this topic later this year.
Dr Dutfield spoke about biopiracy – the theft or illegal collection of indigenous plants by institutions, which then seek to patent them – how it developed and how eveloped and developing countries might have different perceptions of it.
He also talked about whether countries should be concerned about places like the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew Gardens and how to go about establishing rights over biological legacy.
BBC Radio 4’s Material World included an interview with Professor Ben Varcoe (School of Physics and Astronomy) about how quantum physics has helped create a portable magnetic monitor to diagnose heart problems. The programme reports on scientific developments and research findings.
The search for the piece of music that will capture the true spirit of the 2012 Olympics was the subject of articles in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post. Simon Warner (School of Music) contributed, saying that a special 2012 song could help fix the London Olympics in the public’s minds as a historic event, which people from different backgrounds can sing along to and take part in. He said: “One of the few places they feel comfortable singing is on the sporting terraces. It is a place where people feel able to raise their voices.
“The success of Nessun Dorma, Barcelona and also Skinner and Baddiel’s Three Lions are indications that if you get the right music and song it can have a lasting impression and also provide part of a patriotic support system.”
Head of Special Collections Chris Sheppard was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland’s Book Café about the recent archive donation by Lord Melvyn Bragg (see page 3 for more details). The story was also covered in the Guardian and the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Further details of press coverage can be found at http://mediacuttings.leeds.ac.uk/index.aspx