The newspaper of Imperial College London
 Issue 125, 15 January 2003
The future starts here«
Knighthood for head of surgery«
Proud Ravinder knighted«
Sparks across the park«
Taking LEAD with seven point plan«
Advanced Civil Engineering Education Initiative«
Britain's earliest TB victim«
Professor Peter Hills«
Academic training courses«
Optimising performance«
Shining a new light on the eye«
Imperial College Volunteer Centre«
New look gym at Wye«
In brief«
Media spotlight«
What's onů«

Media spotlight

Successful drug trial brings treatment for autoimmune diseases closer
More effective treatment for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease could be in the pipeline following promising results from a new drug trial. A study led by Professor Subrata Ghosh, medicine, has shown that Antegren, also called natalizumab, dramatically reduces the number of new brain lesions in patients with MS and reduces the number of relapses in half. In Crohn's patients, it increased the rate of remission and improved the patients' quality of life. "It's more like a smart missile rather than a sledgehammer, said Professor Ghosh speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle (02/01/03). "This drug blocks a molecule, which tells the immune cells to go and stick to the gut and cause inflammation. It's like an address on an envelope - and this drug blocks that address."

Boston Herald (02/01/03), Washington Post (02/01/03), Miami Herald (02/01/03)

Expert comment on latest obesity theory
Professor Steve Bloom, investigative science, has expressed his scepticism over claims by a team of American researchers that obesity could be linked to viral infection. Speaking to the Guardian (03/01/03), Professor Bloom said: "We know that obesity has been growing at a very constant rate for about 50 years and the cause is obvious. People are eating much more and taking less exercise. Why do we need to invent some strange theory about a virus?"

Breaking Britain's transport gridlock
The challenge of how to break Britain's transport gridlock is addressed by Professor Stephen Glaister, civil and environmental engineering, in the Independent on Sunday (05/01/03). "Short of physical rationing of fuel we still need to address directly the difficulties traffic growth will cause," writes the professor. "The Government has conceded that the voters will not tolerate ever-worsening congestion, so more road capacity must be created. More intelligent use of what we already have will make a worthwhile contribution. But new road construction will be necessary."

Cloning claim condemned by IVF expert
Professor Robert Winston, paediatrics obstetrics and gynaecology, has joined forces with the rest of the scientific community in condemning claims by the Raelian cult that they have cloned the first human. Speaking to the Mirror (28/12/02), Professor Winston said: "It's about as realistic as me saying I've built a bridge across the channel that no one's seen, and expect to be believed just because I'm a scientist... It's all very predictable. This strange cult is publicity seeking. Nearly all scientists will regard Clonaid's claim as ludicrous." Speaking to the Independent (28/12/02) he added: "These people are barking mad. If you believe in extraterrestrials, it says it all. One will only believe they have cloned a baby if they provide the proof."

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