New methods to unveil the truth about the madness of King George

Investigations into the nature of King George III’s illness will reopen this year. Neuroscientists will pore over thousands of 18th century letters to and from the monarch, well known for his bizarre behaviour and wild outbursts, searching for clues to his mental state.The question of whether King George III, who reigned in Britain between 1760 and 1820, was mad or misunderstood has been mused about since his outbursts were first documented in the late 18th century. In King George’s time, his ravings were treated as insanity; to control his outbursts the King was bound in a straitjacket and chained to a chair. Conclusions from more recent reappraisals of the historical evidence have included the inherited metabolic disorder porphyria and the psychiatric condition mania.


Annual deaths from solvent abuse in the UK rise from 38 to 46

Deaths from solvent abuse rose to 46 in 2009 from 38 in 2008, according to a new report on the latest UK figures released today (Friday 16 November).

The report outlines deaths from volatile substances – solvent-based products such as gas fuels, aerosols, glues, and anaesthetic agents – that occurred in 2009.

St George’s student makes the cut in national surgical skills competition

A St George’s, University of London medical student will represent London in the UK-wide Student Surgical Skills Competition, after winning the London regional heat.

Fifth-year student Ismail Vokshi has made it through to the final of the competition, run each year by the The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).

World’s largest respiratory genetics study launches on World COPD Day

Researchers funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) are to conduct the largest ever study of the genetics relating to lung disease. The main aims are to discover what determines an individual’s lung health and why smoking harms the lungs of some people more than others.

The scientists, from the University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester, and St George’s, University of London, hope to find out why some people are genetically more prone to suffer from lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is the sixth most common cause of death in the UK (around 30,000 deaths per year). It affects approximately 900,000 people in the UK and costs the NHS £500m every year.

Students inspire London’s youngsters to have x-ray career vision on World Radiography Day

A group of trainee radiographers from Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, took to the road to spread the word about the profession and inspire the capital’s youngsters to consider it as a career option.

The students spoke to young people at further education colleges across London about their training to mark World Radiography Day on Thursday 8 November. They were also hard at work raising money for a local cancer charity after rustling up a range of treats for a cake stall at Kingston University.