All entries for December 2006

December 22, 2006

Metal ring round white dwarf solves missing planets puzzle

Writing about web page

Dr Boris Gänsicke and Professor Tom Marsh from The University of Warwick’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Group within the Department of Physics talk about their recent discovery of a metal rich gas disc around a white dwarf in the Virgo constellation.

Length: 16 minutes

What does the Astronomy and Astrophysics group do
Recent discovery of a metal rich gas disc around a white dwarf in the Virgo constellation
How does this relate to an apparent lack of planets around white dwarfs
How white dwarfs are formed
The planet that caused the disruption of the asteroid
The Earth’s fate in 5 to 8 billion years
Implications of the discovery for our own Solar System
Why is the system so rare
Does this have any bearing on the question of life on other planets
Next stage of the white dwarf’s life
Further research on the star
What will happen to the metal rich disc

December 20, 2006

Historians show how Angels survived Puritan purge by hanging round death beds

Writing about web page

Angels have an important role at Christmas, as part of the nativity story or just appearing on top of a Christmas tree. However they were nearly swept from our culture in a purge of Catholic practices and symbols by zealous Tudor and Stuart Protestants. Even Christmas itself was banned for a time under Cromwell, yet somehow angels remained popular figures. Now a new study entitled ‘Angels in the Early Modern World’ led by Professor Peter Marshall of the University of Warwick and Professor Alexandra Walsham of Exeter reveals how Angels escaped the puritan purge by hanging around English death beds.

December 18, 2006

How Angels nearly disappeared from our culture.

Writing about web page

Professor Peter Marshall discusses how the protestant reformation nearly removed Angels from our culture and how they managed to survive into the modern era.


What is an Angel
When were they under threat and why
Did people have a personal relationship with Angels
Did this form part of other purges and the campaign against witchcraft
What about Demons
Removing the Book of Tobit
How did Angels remain in our culture
The role of Angels and the Deathbed
Ghosts and fairies
Were there differences between forms of protestant reformation and between nations
The modern Angel

December 11, 2006

5 days & £2 million in a sandpit could help create a more sustainable future

Writing about web page

The University of Warwick is to use a “sandpit” full of people to decide to how to spend £2,000,000. They will decide how best to use that money to fund research projects that will help companies make the environment and sustainability a key driver of their business.

DfT announces New Hybrid Sports Car Partnership at Hybrid Vehicle Conference

Writing about web page

Malcolm Fendick, Head of Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Division of the Department for Transport, is to announce the start of a new Hybrid sports car technology partnership at a special conference on Hybrid vehicle technology at the University of Warwick on Wednesday 13th December.

Chile, Pinochet's Death

Professor Wyn Grant Visted Chile last month, and was granted a tour of the presidential palace, as well as an audience with the Minister of the Presidency.

He is an expert Allende/Pincohet and modern Chile.

Contact him on 02476 52370, or via the press officer Richard Fern on 07876 217740.

December 08, 2006

Producing antibodies in plants

Writing about web page

Dr. Lorenzo Frigerio from Warwick’s Biological Sciences Department talks about the Wellcome Trust Translation Award he has received to enable him to validate his lab based work on increased yield of antibody production within plant cells using complete plants in order to show industrial scale manufacture is possible.

Length: 19 minutes


Background on antibody production in plants
Wellcome Trust Translation Award to validate work in complete plants
How will these antibodies be used, what benefits are offered
Who will be treated and how
When will this enter the market
Will this be costly (privately available or NHS)
Risks to health or the environment
Other areas of medicine the techniques might be applied to

December 07, 2006

110,000 Gifted kids recycle their mobile phones to support disadvantaged students

Writing about web page

Young people are among the quickest to change their mobiles for the latest model but thanks to new scheme the next time they upgrade their phones they have an opportunity to help gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students at Woodway Park School in Coventry are among the first to join the scheme in which thousands of students across England to will raise money, every time they change their mobile phones, for education opportunities for gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Biochemistry students swap lectures for 3D cinema experience

Writing about web page

Staff and students at the University of Warwick have long dreaded that point in the Warwick’s biochemistry degree when lecturers have to attempt to explain the arcane and intricate three dimensional geometry of protein structures obtained by X-ray crystallography. Now this most daunting of lectures has been transformed into one of the biochemistry degree’s most unusual learning experiences – something more like a 3D cinema experience.

December 04, 2006

Research helps UK Poinsettia growers beat foreign imports & smaller window sills

Writing about web page

Poinsettia plants remain a popular Christmas purchase in the UK but British poinsettia growers have to battle against a tidal wave of imports from Continental Europe. Now researchers at the University of Warwick are providing British poinsettia growers with the techniques to grow as many poinsettia plants as their European rivals while maintaining the high quality of UK grown poinsettias. The researchers have also developed some new tricks to cope with the shrinking size of UK window sills.

December 2006

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