St George’s University Challenge team in final bid for semis

The St George’s University Challenge team will be back on the show next Monday (1 April) to make their last bid for a place in the semi-final round of the competition in their third of three quarter-final matches.

This follows last week’s defeat in their second quarter-final match against New College, Oxford. After leading from the start, the final buzzer sounded when the St George’s team was trailing 110-160.

More student spaces provide further opportunity for trainee paramedics in the capital

Extra student places for trainee paramedics have been made available on a London degree programme, and applications are now being invited.

The London Ambulance Service has awarded an extra 39 places to the Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. This brings the total to 60, with 30 each for the September 2013 and March 2014 intakes.

St George's University Challenge team in second quarter-final match tonight

The St George’s, University of London University Challenge team will be back in quarter-final action against New College, Oxford tonight (Monday 18 March).

The match – the second of SGUL’s quarter-final ties – will be aired on BBC2 at 8pm. It follows the team’s 195-105 win against Pembroke College, Cambridge in its first quarter-final match.

MRC awards £3.3million to St George’s for rare disease treatment development

St George’s, University of London researchers have been awarded £3.3million by the Medical Research Council to develop a new treatment for a deadly metabolic disorder.

The funding will be used to accelerate the clinical development of a drug therapy for mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE), a rare progressive disease that kills patients at an average age of 38.

Health Education England director of nursing praises new recruitment approach

The director of nursing of Health Education England – the new national organisation leading education, training and workforce development across the healthcare system – has visited the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education to see some of the pioneering work being undertaken to recruit high-calibre nursing students.

In his recent report into failings of care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, Robert Francis QC emphasised the need for universities to select nursing students who were intelligent, caring and had a strong desire to care for others. Dr Lisa Bayliss-Pratt visited the faculty, run jointly by Kingston University and St George's, University of London, last month to see how its new approach to interviewing potential students was helping identify those with the empathy, honesty and integrity needed to enter the caring profession.

Researchers to investigate how satisfied carers of stroke survivors are with social care support

Every year an estimated 150,000 people have a stroke, with those from ethnic minority backgrounds more likely to be affected. A majority rely on family members for long-term care but very little is known about these carers' needs or if they feel the social care services designed to support them work well. Now, researchers from Kingston University and St George's, University of London are embarking on a study to explore the differences in satisfaction levels amongst older carers of stroke survivors from different ethnic groups.

"Satisfaction is an important element of measuring service quality and there is evidence that carers from ethnic minorities may feel less happy with the support available than those of white British origin," Dr Nan Greenwood, lead researcher from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston and St George's, explained. "With black and Asian carers a significant and growing group, it's really important to understand why this is, to ensure equity of access and to make sure needs are met, regardless of ethnicity."

Scientists find first genetic marker for a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder

Scientists have found a gene that, when mutated, is linked to a hereditary neurological  disorder that causes mental dysfunction, immobility, seizure and a life expectancy of ten years. This discovery lays the foundation for the first genetic screening option for this form of neurodegenerative disease.

Neurodegenerative disease is the umbrella term for a group of incurable and debilitating conditions, including Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which lead to a progressive decline in the nervous system.

Steroids may help reduce deaths from all types of tuberculosis

The routine use of steroids to treat tuberculosis may help reduce deaths from all types of the disease, according to a new review of existing research.

Each year there are 8.7million cases of TB worldwide, and it causes 1.4million deaths. The most common form of the disease (pulmonary TB) affects the lungs, but there are many other forms and it can affect almost all the body’s organs.

Early evidence shows ‘good’ cholesterol could combat abdominal aortic aneurysm

New research provides early evidence that ‘good’ cholesterol may possess anti-aneurysm forming properties. In laboratory-based investigations, scientists found that increased levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the so-called good cholesterol, blocked the development of aneurysms – dangerous ‘ballooning’ in the wall of a blood vessel – in the body’s largest artery, the aorta.

The researchers say their findings – which are published in the American Heart Association scientific journal Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology – lay the foundations for further investigations into ways of raising HDL cholesterol as a possible therapeutic intervention for the condition.


Annual UK drug deaths fall seven per cent, with heroin-related deaths continuing to decline

Annual deaths related to heroin and morphine are continuing to drop significantly, falling from 41 per cent of total drug-related deaths in the UK in 2010 to 32 per cent in 2011. Meanwhile, deaths from ‘legal highs’ – some of which have now been banned – remained steady following a large increase in the previous year.

In total, UK drug-related deaths fell by seven per cent from 1,883 in 2010 to 1,757 in 2011, as revealed today (28 February) in the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD) 2012 report. This continues a two-year downward trend that saw deaths fall by 14 per cent from 2009 to 2010.


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