News In Brief

Old Boy becomes Malaysian PM

Former Nottingham student Najib Tun Razak has been elected as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia since independence was declared in 1957. Having graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in industrial economics, Najib has held a variety of cabinet positions since the age of 25 when he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post, when he was the youngest deputy minister in the country. As Minister of Defence he was responsible for the creation of the Malaysian National Service, and as Prime Minister he has launched the ‘1Malaysia’ concept, with the slogan, “People First, Performance Now.”

Flu database set for deployment

GP practices are being encouraged to make use of a database created at the University of Nottingham to track a potential flu pandemic. Q-Surveillance is a surveillance system set up to alert and manage a flu pandemic and was set up as part of a partnership between Egton Medical Information Systems Limited and the University. Julia Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of Q-Surveillance, said, “it is vitally important that as many GP practices as possible link up to the database.”

Nottingham applies to be World Design Capital

Nottingham has applied to be the World Design Capital in 2012, with council leaders pointing towards the Old Market Square as an example of Nottingham’s strong history of design. Councillor Graham Chapman felt that the application would, “not only provide Nottingham with a platform for promoting its design strengths, but also further economic development.” Run by the International Design Alliance, ‘capital’ status promotes cities which use design to freshen up their urban environment.

University awarded £30k for Alzheimer’s Study

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have been awarded almost £30,000 for a preliminary study into the role of particular molecules in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The study could open up the possibility of easing the symptoms and slowing the progression of the terminal disease, which afflicted 26.6 million people worldwide in 2006 – a number which may quadruple by 2050 according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.

University criticises NHS Stem Cell Therapy

Researchers at the University have revealed failings in the NHS’s use of stem cell therapy, arguing that major changes are needed if it is to have any success. Along with criticism that treatment was overly expensive, Dr Paul Martin, from the Institute of Science and Society, noted that, “there are major structural barriers within the NHS that make it difficult to translate new scientific knowledge of stem cells into improved patient care.”

Nottingham wins ‘Most Vegetarian Friendly’ University

In a poll run by PETA, The University of Nottingham has been voted the country’s most vegetarian-friendly university. Through a variety of methods, such as feedback on social networking sites, consultation with universities and student recommendations, Nottingham was chosen from among 15 nominees to win the accolade. Students particularly praised the university’s spicy vegetable and mashed potato bake.

Asthma risk exacerbated by lack of vitamins

Research from the University claims that a diet containing low levels of vitamins A and C could heighten the risk of developing asthma. The study, which contradicts a paper published last year on this topic, was the result of a review of 40 studies which suggested that people with low levels of these key vitamins were more likely to suffer from asthma. Glenys Jones, a nutritionist with the Medical Research Council, claimed the data provided was interesting, but, “more research is required.”

Cat found after three-year exile

A Nottingham cat was returned to its owner having been missing for over three years, the RSPCA has reported. Kofi was found injured in a street in Ipswich, having gone missing from his home in Nottingham in late 2005. His identity was ascertained from a scan on a microchip fitted to the cat, and he has been reunited with his owner who, perhaps understandably, had “given up hope of seeing him again”.

Nottingham M1 one of the most congested in the UK

A recent report by the RAC has shown that the M1 section from Nottingham to Sheffield is one of the top 10 most congested roads in the UK. The report also found that 87% of motorists in the region were frustrated with the condition of local roads. A report by the RAC trust in Summer 2008 found that congestion across the country was decreasing, due to a fall in the number of vehicles on the move.


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