Snow-blanketed Britain seen from space

THE extent of Britain’s winter whiteout is revealed in a stunning picture from space, received today by scientists in Dundee.
The nationwide blanket of snow and ice came as temperatures dipped to as low as minus 18.
The image, sent by NASA’s Terra satellite, shows the UK framed by cloud sweeping in from the East.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond declared it Scotland’s worst winter in 50 years, while forecasters said the country faces another ten days of freezing conditions.
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Tributes for woman who died after being hit by a car

Fiona Clason

By Cara Sulieman

 

FRIENDS have paid touching tributes to a young woman who died after being hit by a car at the weekend.

Fiona Clason died at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh on Monday, the day after she was struck by a car on the capital’s waterfront.

The family of the 24-year-old were too upset to speak yesterday (Thurs) but friends of Ms Clason left touching messages on her social networking profile.

The University of Dundee graduate described herself as a fan of Hibs, Formula 1 racing and American Wrestling on her Facebook page.

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Philanthropic Scot gives over £2m to charity

Walter Craig receiving Paul Harris AwardBy Alexander Lawrie

A SCOT who helped raise cash for a much-needed medical research centre has left almost £2.5 million in his will.

Walter Craig was a leading member of the Abertay Rotary Club and carried out a huge fundraising campaign to help finance the skin tissue culture laboratory at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Mr Craig, who was a retired jute mill manager, passed away on March 25, 2009, aged 83, and the generous Dundonian has left almost his entire estate to worthy causes.

His final bequest of £2,465,567.20 is largely made up of cash and shares, and the wealthy philanthropist has left over hundreds of thousands of pounds to a number of charities which were close to his heart.

The most noteworthy entry in his final will is the creation of a Charitable Trust for the “public benefit and general welfare of the residents of the Tayside area” which will receive almost £2 million.

Charities to benefit from Mr Craig’s generosity include Ninewells Cancer Campaign, the RAF Association, the MacMillan Cancer Support and the British Red Cross Society.

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Scientists develop bomb pill for cancer

By Cara Sulieman

SCIENTISTS are developing a new stealth pill to treat cancer.

They plan to use a tiny capsule to carry a ‘bomb’ laden with drugs into the body before exploding it near to the tumour.

Dundee University is the main player in the development of the super-pill which aims to minimise the side effects of treatment.

A small capsule full of chemotherapy is injected into the body and tracked on its route to the tumour.

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University boffins found key to cancer treatment

By Cara Sulieman

SCIENTISTS at a Scottish university have found a DNA ‘tool kit’ inside the body that repairs damage to the cells.

And because DNA damage is one of the main causes of cancer, it is hoped the discovery can help develop treatment for the deadly disease in the future.

The proteins detect abnormalities in the DNA and go about fixing it so that the cell can start working normally again.

The team, based at Dundee University, have discovered the SLX proteins that maintain healthy DNA and prevent the mutations which can lead to cancer.

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Newborn babies can communicate

By Cara Sulieman
ANY parent will tell you that their baby has a personality of their own, and now a study has shown that it’s true.

Dr Emese Nagy from the University of Dundee carried out a study on 90 newborn babies and found that they are a lot more sensitive to change than was previously thought.

The study proved that children are born with a strong desire to communicate with the people around them.

Dr Nagy said: “We all spend most of our social life communicating and relating to each other, it is crucial in our physical and mental well-being, and health.

“To feel that we belong to the other is a basic need.

“This study showed that even newborn infants come to this world with a powerful sensitivity to the other person.”

Dr Nagy travelled to Hugary to carry out the research involving playing and interacting with the children as young as three-hours-old.

The research involved gently talking to and touching the infants for three minutes – in the way a mother would with a baby.

The physician-psychologist then suddenly froze and stopped all communication. The response from the babies was very strong, even with the youngest ones as they looked away and started crying

Once Dr Nagy started to interact with them again, it took time to rebuild their trust and calm them down.

The results have implications for the mental health of young children, as psychologists start to realise how much of the surrounding world youngsters understand.

Dr Nagy said: “Such results may have implications for infant mental health, that not only older infants but even newborns, from their first hours of life, are sensitive to disturbed communication.”