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Cardiff University in the News - December 2011 and January 2012

A selection of news highlights from the media in December 2011 and January 2012. The Public Relations office prepares media releases on behalf of the University and each year responds to more than 600 calls from the media (ranging from expert comment and filming location requests).

The ‘Ultimate Scholarship’

Thrive_English - webThe University launched a unique initiative in December, supplementing its packages of bursaries and scholarships for students with one "Ultimate Scholarship" – the offer of free tuition for life.

The competition is open to any UK or EU student who has or is planning to apply to study at Cardiff in 2012, and involves a series of academically challenging tasks designed to identify the most exceptional student. The University is looking for a student with outstanding passion, commitment and intelligence to reflect its reputation as one of the UK’s leading academic institutions.

This story was covered locally and nationally in the South Wales Echo, Times Higher Education supplement and the Western Mail.

Leveson Inquiry

Ian HARGREAVES WEBCardiff academic Professor Ian Hargreaves, Chair of Digital Economy in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Cardiff Business School, gave expert analysis to the Leveson Inquiry – the ongoing public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press following the News International ‘phone hacking’ scandal.

Professor Hargreaves was among the UK’s leading academics presenting the oral evidence to the Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in December.

This story was covered nationally in the Guardian.

Violence Prevention

violence prevention webA successful violence prevention model developed at the University is set to be implemented in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

Established by Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the School of Dentistry, the Cardiff Violence Prevention Model is based upon information sharing between and joint action by police, councils and emergency departments to curb violence.

This story was covered in the Western Mail among other publications.

Potential boost for IVF success

baby webA new technique successfully used in mice to identify embryos likely to result in a successful pregnancy could be used in humans, according to University scientists.

The discovery could potentially boost IVF success rates and help to reduce the number of multiple births.

The findings, published in the international journal Fertility and Sterility and funded by the Wellcome Trust, used an advanced imaging technique to track the discrete movements inside an egg that occur during stimulation at fertilization.

The Cardiff scientists worked with a team in Oxford University to analyse the internal contents of the human egg or cytoplasm to observe distinct rhythmic patterns.

This story was covered in UK-wide publications including the Western Mail.

Purchase deal over hepatitis drug

Prof Chris McGuigan webAmerican pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed the purchase of US biotech company Inhibitex, in a $2.5Bn (£1.6bn) deal which includes the promising new anti-hepatitis C drug INX-189, first designed and prepared in Cardiff University.

The buy-out means Bristol-Myers will continue the development of INX-189, a Hepatitis C drug first created by Professor Chris McGuigan at the Welsh School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

This story was covered locally and nationally, including The Telegraph.

Toddler Communication

toddler communication pic Web croppedInfants can understand the difference between intentional and accidental actions from tone of voice alone, new research by the School of Psychology has shown.

Led by Dr Merideth Gattis, the year-long research involved 84 babies aged 14 to 18 months who took part in two studies – one using English language and one using Greek language.

This story was covered internationally by the New Zealand Herald, Asian News International and many other print and online publications.

Expert comment

· Professor Gareth Williams, School of Social Sciences, commented on research suggesting that men in Wales’ poorest areas can expect to suffer 19 more years of poor health than those in the most prosperous area (Western Mail)

· Professor Ron Eccles, Common Cold Centre, commented on research that found 4 in 10 workers admit to sending their bosses a text message instead of calling in sick (Mirror)

· Professor Phil Jones, School of Architecture, commented on the University’s £3m Sustainable Building Envelope Demonstration (SBED) study which aims to test how building facades could be developed to generate renewable energy (South Wales Echo)

· Professor Richard Wyn Jones, School of European Languages, Transition and Politics, commented on a joint University report which found that voters living in England have placed much greater emphasis on their English rather than their British identity (The Telegraph)


FuturityCardiff is a partner of international research news website Futurity. All partners are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) or the Russell Group. Cardiff research covered by Futurity in December and January included:

Findings by the Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, that T-cells in the human body, which help protect us from disease, can inadvertently destroy cells that produce insulin.

Media services

University staff can sign up for the Daily Media summary, prepared by the Communications and International Relations Division, by emailing: . The media summary is prepared from web news sources, local news media and national newspaper education supplements. Staff can also view copies of articles in full via the comprehensive news database Lexis Nexis. Copies of coverage from the last month can also be requested from the Public Relations Office. Please contact Jill Wilmott-Doran ( or 70293). If you have a potential news story, please contact the Public Relations Team.