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New colleges to train young talent

Apprentices from across the country, needed to fill thousands of future skilled jobs in the wind energy industry, are to be trained at a new multi-million pound college based on the Humber. The plans were announced during a visit to the region today by the Business Secretary Vince Cable. He also revealed that a new college to train young talent in highly skilled engineering roles will be based in South Yorkshire. Fiona Dwyer reports.

Business Secretary announces new National College of Wind Energy for Humber

The Humber's credentials as the UK's green industry capital has been further enhanced today with the news that a national wind energy college is to be based in the region.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced this morning that the new multi-million pounds development will be based on the banks of the estuary.

Because of the huge investment in renewables around Hull, including the Siemens factory, the city is likely to be a strong contender to land the new college. Other possible sites could be around the BAE facilities at Brough and Grimsby.

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Cable announces new national wind energy college

Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce today that a new national wind energy college will be based in the Humber.

No location has yet been revealed for the facility, which will cost tens of millions of pounds, but sites are being considered on both banks of the estuary.

The scheme, which will train thousands of young people, will be funded by employers and with a government grant.

“It is excellent news for the region that our bid to establish a National College for Wind Energy in the Humber has been successful.

“This is a major step forward in achieving the ambition we set out in March for the Humber to be the national centre of excellence for energy skills, and builds on the other investments we are making in training facilities.

“We worked closely with government, industry and education to develop the national college proposal, which will focus on delivering excellence in teaching, learning and assessment, underpinned by quality standards set by employers to reflect the sector’s skills needs.”

– Lord Haskins, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership

Richard III - case closed after 529 years

An international research team has confirmed today that the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester is the remains of King Richard III, closing what is probably the UK’s oldest forensic case.

Richard III

Scientists carried out key parts of the analysis at the University of York and the research team included members of the Department of Biology at York.

Led by Dr Turi King, from the University of Leicester, the research which is published in Nature Communications, traced seven living relatives of Richard III – two by the female line and five by the male line.

The researchers collected DNA from Richard III’s living relatives and analysed several genetic markers, including the complete mitochondrial genomes, inherited through the maternal line, and Y-chromosomal markers, inherited through the paternal line, from both the skeletal remains and the living relatives.

While the Y-chromosomal markers differ, the mitochondrial genome shows a genetic match between the skeleton and the maternal line relatives.

The former result is not unsurprising as the chances for a false-paternity event is fairly high after so many generations.

This paper is also the first to carry out a statistical analysis of all the evidence together to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Skeleton 1 from the Greyfriars site in Leicester is indeed the remains of King Richard III.

The researchers also used genetic markers to determine hair and eye colour of Richard III and found that with probably blond hair and almost certainly blue eyes Richard III looked most similar to his depiction in one of the earliest portraits of him that survived, that in the Society of Antiquaries in London.

“Our paper covers all the genetic and genealogical analysis involved in the identification of the remains of Skeleton 1 from the Greyfriars site in Leicester and is the first to draw together all the strands of evidence to come to a conclusion about the identity of those remains.

"Even with our highly conservative analysis, the evidence is overwhelming that these are indeed the remains of King Richard III, thereby closing an over 500 year old missing person’s case.“

– Dr Turi King

“It’s amazing how much we can deduce from ancient DNA today. Making inferences about hair or eye color of a person just from some DNA snippets obtained from a skeleton would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.”

– Professor Michi Hofreiter, Honorary Professor of Biology at York

“The University of York is immensely proud of its contribution to the Richard III project.

" These exciting results are testimony to the positive collaboration between two great historical cities associated with Richard - Leicester and York – and the crucial part they have played in identifying and commemorating England’s last Yorkist king.“

– Professor Mark Ormrod, of the Department of History at York

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NASA film astronauts from inside water ball in space

NASA astronauts have filmed themselves on the International Space Station - from inside a water ball.

Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst were investigating the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity last summer, but the video was only recently uploaded.

The trio submerged a Go-Pro camera in the water ball and filmed the experience:

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