Watermark could prevent plastic piracy

Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have devised a high tech watermark that can be added to plastic products as they are created to prevent counterfeiting.

As the watermark is created as an intrinsic part of the plastic as it is moulded, it would require very detailed technical knowledge and equipment to replicate it.

Professor Gordon Smith from WMG said the new technology could be of significant interest to a range of manufacturers to prevent piracy in products like DVD s and plastic containers used by a range of consumer industries.

For more details see the University of Warwick.

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Vaccine against fatal salmonella moves closer

A vaccine against a fatal strain of salmonella could be developed thanks to research led by Dr Calman MacLennan from the University of Birmingham.

His research team has discovered a protective salmonella-specific antibody that develops in African children that may help them to fight nontyphoidal salmonella, which can kill up to a quarter of infants under two-years-old in parts of the developing world.

Dr Calman MacLennan, who carried out the work while working for the Universities of Liverpool and Malawi, hopes the study will help to develop a vaccine or a treatment for the disease.

 For more details see the University of Birmingham.  

Health science centres announced for region

The creation of three academic health science centres (AHSC) in the West Midlands has been announced by West Midlands minister Liam Byrne, MP, during a visit to The University of Warwick’s Medical School.

The AHSC at Warwick will be the first in the Midlands and will bring together all the NHS trusts across Coventry and Warwickshire to draw on the university’s world-leading research expertise in systems biology, engineering and medicine.

Another two AHSCs are planned in the region.

For more details see The University of Warwick.  

Business innovation challenge

Businesses are being challenged to improve their innovation strategy with the help of design experts at Coventry University.

The university’s design hub wants businesses to get in touch with them so staff can help in developing innovation strategies for firms.

The Design Hub is leading the way in responding to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills’ new white paper Innovation Nation, which has called for sharing of knowledge between the public and private sectors.

Innovation challenge project manager Julia Stew said: “We’re inviting businesses across the West Midlands to get in touch to find out how we can help them to develop their innovation strategy.  We can help with concept development, industrial design, graphic design and initial prototyping.”

For more details see Coventry University. 

First mini medical school launched

Ever wanted to understand more about the human body and the latest treatments for illnesses without the need to spend five years at med school?

Birmingham University has come up with a solution with the first mini-medical school to be run in the UK.

A series of two-hour sessions over the 10-week course will tackle some of the major topics in medicine in a fun and accessible way, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders and communication between doctors and patients.

For more information see Birmingham University

Society-wide action needed over obesity

A group of experts tackling obesity have called for more widespread action across society to tackle a growing crisis.

The group of experts from Birmingham University have called for more to be done in areas like transport policy, town planning, education and access to sport to encourage a healthier lifestyles.

The group is focusing on developing research that looks to tackle obesity across our entire lifespan.

For more see Birmingham University.

Fast Forward winners are crowned

A panel of top car experts decides who has designed the best car to win the ideasforlife.tv Fast Forward competition.

Groups of students from three schools have spent the last two months designing their own car from scratch, with the help of advice from experts from across the West Midlands, as part of the challenge.

It’s the last lap of the contest where the students pitch their designs to the panel of judges in their bid to win the title.

  Fast Forward final