University of Leicester in the News, 18 - 30 November 2011
The University's biggest story of the month involved a breakthrough in treating malaria. Professor Andrew Tobin and his team working in our Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology discovered key proteins that allow the malaria parasite to survive in the bloodstream, as part of an international collaboration. The findings open up new possibilities for treating the disease, and the news was reported by the BBC, Sky News, Sky News Australia, Medical Xpress, Medical News Today, Health Canal, locally by the Leicester Mercury, and internationally by Zee News, Star Africa, IC News: Africa, the Saudi Gazette, iol New Zealand, and allAfrica.com. (University Press Release)
The findings of research that showed women find cervical smear tests stressful and humiliating continued to generate coverage for the University (see previous University of Leicester in the News). The story featured on BBC News, Medical News Today, Net Doctor, Medical Xpress and in Marie Claire Magazine. Dr Natalie Armstrong of our Department of Health Sciences led the research. (University Press Release)
Scientists at the University of Leicester helped out in a study that has discovered a gene that controls how much people sleep. The team worked with the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich to block the action of the gene ABCC9 in fruit flies, reducing the hours of sleep they required each night. The story was reported by Science Daily, Health Canal, Fox News and its local affiliates, Medical Xpress and Science Codex.
New Scientist magazine reports on a potential new treatment for radiation poisoning, using existing drugs. Dr Don Jones of our Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine was asked to contribute his thoughts on the study, which he described as 'very exciting'.
Dr Paul Lazarus of the University's School of Medicine was interviewed as part of an article on the BBC News website, discussing how Shakespeare could provide useful insights for trainee doctors. Dr Lazarus is in favour of broadening the curriculum at medical schools to help students view medical issues from a wider range of perspectives.
An article about NASA's new Mars Science Laboratory, named 'Curiosity' for short, featured an interview with Professor Mark Sims of our Department of Physics and Astronomy. The story featured in The Age, WA Today and Sydney Morning Herald. Professor Sims talked about finding life on Mars, perhaps hidden away beneath the rocky surface.
The value of UK research council awards granted to the University of Leicester rose by 82% this year, according to an article in the Times Higher Education. Kevin Schürer, pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise, was interviewed as part of the piece.
Dr Paul Reilly of our Department of Media and Communications has stated that more police than ever are using social media sites such as Twitter to engage with the public. The news that over 600 police officers now use Twitter was reported by The Inquirer and The Frontline.
A new study by Dr Ruth Page of our School of English has shown that women are more social on social media sites and that women use social media in a different way to men. The research was reported by Health Canal and Female First. (University Press Release)
Dr Maria Boutchkova has co-authored a paper analysing the effect of politics - particularly elections - on stock markets. The findings show that elections cause stock market uncertainty and demonstrate other effects of the prevailing politics of the time on stock market stability. The story generated great interest in the New Zealand press, covered by Massey University, Guide2, Voxy and Scoop Independent News.
Academics in the news
Professor Clive Ruggles of our School of Archaeology and Ancient History has spoken in favour of keeping Stonehenge dark at night. The debate broke out in the letters pages of The Times, and Professor Ruggles was invited to speak on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. BBC News, The Times and Smart Planet also covered the story. Read about this story on the University's news blog.
Dr Sarah Graham of our School of English was quoted in an article in the BBC News about the success of AIDs and HIV campaign posters in the UK. Dr Graham recently organised an exhibition of AIDs posters and artwork, and was called upon to give her expert opinion on the subject. More details about Dr Graham's exhibition.
The University's local business activities were highlighted in the Leicester Mercury, which ran a full page article about the University's participation in setting up a Technology and Innovation Centre. The Centre will further strengthen links between the Space Research Centre and local industry, helping them take advantage of space technology and engineering expertise. The article praised the University's contribution to space exploration and research and Professor Martin Barstow, head of the College of Science and Engineering, was interviewed for the piece.
Business Secretary Vince Cable's visit to the University was also covered in the Mercury, including a picture of Mr Cable with the Vice-Chancellor. Mr Cable praised the work of the Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LLEP) through which the University has secured funding for a new vibrometry testing centre.
A campaign run by the University to encourage students in Clarendon Park to keep properties tidy, get to know their neighbours and be proud of their area received positive coverage in the Leicester Mercury, including a picture of some of the students involved. The initiative was praised by local residents and the article presents the University and its students in a positive light, pro-actively engaging in their community.
Dr John Bridges of our Department of Physics and Astronomy was interviewed for his role in analysing data sent back from NASA's new Mars explorer, Curiosity. Curiosity is looking for signs of life on the red planet, and Dr Bridges' team will be among the first to see pictures and data transmitted by the rover. Read the article 'John's key role in Mars mission' here. Dr Bridges was also interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester about the mission.
Dr Prashant Kidambi of our School of Historical Studies has studied the first ever 'Indian' cricket tour of the UK, in 1911. His research was featured in a Mr Leicester article in the Mercury, along with a black and white picture of the original team.
A First Person column by Vice-Chancellor Sir Bob Burgess featured in the Mercury on the 28 November. The piece focused on the University's new research centre and demonstrated our strong links with local communities and businesses.
Finally, Professor Phil Shaw from our School of English has reformed his old rock band and is generating quite the local buzz. The Mercury ran a piece about his new band, Alberteen, including a picture of the band performing and an interview with Professor Shaw.