Learning taken to virtual world in project

The benefits of using virtual world technology for learning are to be studied in a research project at Birmingham City University.

The Learning in Virtual Environments, LiVE, project will see students undertake film production exercises, using the internet-based virtual world Second Life.

The study is led by Birmingham City University’s Technology Innovation Centre (TIC), together with the University’s Learning Technology Development Unit and technology partner, Daden Ltd, a leading specialist in virtual environments. The project is funded by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, through its interactive digital media initiative, which promotes the use of new digital technology.

For more see Birmingham City University. 

Midlands winner of science medal

Aston University’s Professor Yvonne Perrie has been announced as the 2007 winner of the prestigious British Pharmaceutical Conference science medal, primarily for her work in improving the delivery of drugs using minute particles called liposomes.

The science medal is awarded annually to a scientist working in a pharmaceutical or related discipline who has produced work of outstanding promise and has demonstrated a proven track record of independent research.

Her research has been applied to improve the potency of drugs while reducing their side-effects and in particular to enhancing the effect of vaccines to protect against a range of infectious diseases.

For more details see Aston University

Research tries to ace tennis elbow

A three-year project to find an effective treatment for tennis elbow is set to start at Keele University.

The study will test the effectiveness of a form of electrical nerve stimulation treatment.

For more details see Keele University.

Open source course launched

A short course for businesses wanting to take advantage of open source software is set to be launched at Birmingham City University.

Open source offers the prospect of cheaper software developed using an independent body of experts.

The course, called developing systems using open source, introduces the conceptual framework of open source systems and covers licences, communities, principles and processes. Students on the course will gain the knowledge and skills needed to install, configure, administer and make full use of the open source system and its networking applications.

For further details see Birmingham City University.

Car and health magazines launched by students

Magazines on car and health news have been launched by students at Coventry University.

Automotive, a 32-page magazine, is the work of five students studying for an MA in automotive journalism and Global Eye has been produced by MA students on the global and health journalism course.

All six of last year’s automotive journalism graduates are now working full-time for motoring magazines and websites, or in the motor industry itself.

For more details see Coventry University.

Health academy launched for better NHS workforce

A health academy has been launched to help the NHS get the best workforce in the West Midlands and enable health workers to get jobs in the sector.

The academy, a partnership between universities and the NHS Trusts in the region, will aim to provide the best advice and guidance on employment within the NHS as well as movement into and between each educational institution for thousands of people.

The Midlands’ Health Academy (MHA) was initially developed through a partnership between Aston University, Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, Birmingham City University and Matthew Boulton College. It now involves a wide range of employers, Midland universities and organisations including the Learning and Skills Council, Staffordshire University and Keele University.

The Academy will target local schools, colleges and universities to inspire young people to become part of the NHS workforce and will also encourage returners to work from this country and refugees who already have health care experience from their own countries and require additional training. Existing NHS workers will also benefit from the academy by having the opportunity to advance their careers through additional training and guidance.

For more details see Aston University

Alzheimer’s patients have high levels of magnetic iron oxides

Higher than normal levels of magnetic iron oxides are present in Alzheimer patients, researchers at Keele University have discovered.

The results of a small scale study of Alzheimer patients indicates that iron accumulation associated with Alzheimer’s appears to involve the formation of strongly magnetic iron compounds.

The findings could lead to a method of diagnosing the disease using an MRI scan.

For more see Keele University.