University of Leicester in the News, 8 - 31 March 2012

Posted by fi17 at Apr 11, 2012 04:40 PM |
A regular review from the Press Office of coverage of the University in the media.
University of Leicester in the News, 8 - 31 March 2012

Simulation of dust clouds around a black hole

Physics and Astronomy

Researchers in our Department of Physics and Astronomy have run new simulations that explain how black holes grow so massively and rapidly. The team collaborated with Monash University in Australia to show that supermassive black holes may feed from two orbiting gas rings, instead of just one. The story was covered by New Scientist, the Daily Mail, Forbes, The State Column, Red Orbit, Fars News Agency, Times of India, Indian Express, Zee News,, UPI and Science Daily. (University Press Release)

Comet Wild2

The discovery of 'space weathering' on comets such as Wild2 was reported by Astrobiology Magazine, Astronomy Now and Red Orbit. The team behind the new finding was led by the University of Leicester, in particular Dr John Bridges of our Department of Physics and Astronomy. (University Press Release)

Astronomers from the University have used data from Cassini to analyse

Cassini image
Saturn’s northern auroral oval

Saturn's magnetic and electrical fields. Using a variety of techniques, they created images that capture the activity behind Saturn's auroras, providing new insight for researchers. The news and pictures featured in the Daily Galaxy and Red Orbit. (University Press Release)

Leicester physicist Dr Richard Alexander collaborated with a colleague at the University of Arizona to create a model that explains why some planetary orbits are more common than others. The model predicts high energy radiation from young stars can shape the dust clouds from which planets form. The story was reported by Astronomy Now, The Register and Alaska Dispatch. (University Press Release)

Medical Sciences

Botulinum toxin (botox)

Dr. Douglas Tincello of our Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine has pioneered an unlikely new technique to treat overactive bladder problems - botulinum toxin, commercially known as Botox. His study showed promising results in using the beauty treatment to reduce the symptoms of urinary incontinence. The findings were reported in national newspapers such as The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Mirror, Metro, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, and online by Yahoo Lifestyle, Female First Magazine, Top News New Zealand, the Times of India, News Medical, Net Doctor; and locally in the Leicester Mercury. (University Press Release)

University of Leicester biochemists, working as part of an international team, have discovered a protein that targets and even kills cancer cells. The protein offers the hope of new cancer treatments, once the mechanism by which it targets cancer cells has been studied further. Health Canal, 24dash, EurekAlert, Science Codex, Bioscience Technology, R&D Magazine and PhysOrg all covered the story. (University Press Release)

A Leicester study in conjunction with Kidney Research UK has resulted in a newKidney transplant procedure technique that improves the performance of donated kidneys after transplant. The technique involves warming the donated organ and flushing it with oxygenated blood to test its function, before placing it into the recipient's body during surgery. The study was featured on the BBC NewsHuffington PostMedical News Today, the Daily Telegraph and the Leicester Mercury. (University Press Release)

A study by Professor Mary Dixon-Woods of our Department of Health Sciences found that leaflets given to patients as part of cancer trials are not fit for purpose - they're often too long, use confusing jargon and may even be intimidating. The story received wide coverage in the medical press, including Medical News Today, Medical Xpress and Health Canal; and in other outlets such as UPI, and Science Codex. (University Press Release)

New Medical building
Artist's impression

The University has received planning approval for a brand new medical teaching centre that will replace the current Maurice Shock building. The new building will provide state of the art facilities to train the next generation of doctors and surgeons. The Leicester Mercury and BBC News covered the story. (University Press Release)


Life of slang
Oxford University Press

Professor Julie Coleman of our School of English has published a book called "The Life of Slang", describing the origins and history of some of the UK's most beloved slang terms. The book was positively reviewed by the Independent and featured in the Sun. Professor Coleman also wrote a tie-in article for the Huffington Post, and talked about her book on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Social Science

John Williams of our Department of Sociology took part in a recent debate that asked "Is there too much money in sport?" Held at the French Institute in London, the conference looked at millionaire investment in sports like football, and attracted media attention from 24dash and The Mag, a Newcastle United football club magazine. (University Press Release)


Vice-Chancellor Professor  Bob Burgess wrote a piece for the Guardian Higher Education network, describing how government controls on student numbers may lead to talented students from poorer backgrounds missing out on university places. The article coincided with the news that Leicester has yet again met its benchmarks for widening participation and attracting students from lower socioeconomic classes. (University Press Release)

Heartbeat ballThe University's Heartbeat Ball, part of the fundraising appeal for the Cardiovascular Research Centre, received positive coverage in the local press from both the Leicester Mercury and Loughborough News. You can read more about the Heartbeat Ball and the CRC appeal on the Alumni website. (University Press Release)

The Leicester Mercury also covered the fundraising efforts of volunteers who took part in the Tough Guy Challenge to raise money for the CRC.

24dash and Business Network daily news reported on a new collaboration between the University and local marketing company Holland Alexander. The scheme will provide Leicester students with invaluable work experience helping manage events, increasing their employability and boosting their CVs. (University Press Release)

Student Activities

University of Leicester students and Eva Organisation for Women hosted a series of events on campus to celebrate International Women's day, including talks, workshops and art shows celebrating the life and work of women around the world. The events were covered by PAB News and the Leicester Mercury. (University Press Release)

The first official match of Leicester students' Muggle Quidditch team took place in

Quidditch squad
The Leicester Lovegoods

March, and was covered by the Daily Mail, the Metro, Messenger Newspapers, the Leicester Mercury, PAB News and the Huffington Post. University of Leicester students formed the Muggle Quidditch team - based on the sport played by wizards in JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels - and travelled to Keele University for their first big game. (University Press Release)

Local News

The Leicester Mercury ran a series of articles in March about potential changes to drugs policy in the UK. The features coincided with a public consultation on the decriminalisation of certain drugs. University criminologist Dr James Treadwell contributed extensively to the articles, as did psychology researcher Tammy Ayres, who is researching drug use. You can read all the articles on the Mercury's website: Your views will help to shape policy on drugs; Helping the addicts; How lives are being ruined by 'party' highs; and Should our drug laws be changed?

Konrad city plannerColin Hyde of our Centre for Urban History appeared twice in the Mercury for his work on the life and achievements of controversial Leicester town planner Konrad Smigielski. Colin Hyde wrote a First Person article discussing Smigielski's changes to the city landscape, and the nostalgic Mr Leicester pages also re-examined his legacy.

Finally, the Leicester Mercury printed a picture of members of Leicester Student Labour Society with former home secretary David Blunkett, who visited the Students' Union for a question and answer session.

David Blunkett SU visit