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Hopes of sea snail painkiller after breakthrough

Scientists at the University of Leicester hope a major breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's and cancer may also lead to the development of a new painkiller, using a toxin produced by a sea snail.

We are very proud of this research. It has taken several years of hard work to master the chemistry techniques to create these new building blocks but now that we have conquered it we have access to new building blocks that people have only ever dreamed of before!

Amino acids are Mother Nature’s building blocks. They are used to make all proteins and so are essential for life, however Mother Nature only uses twenty of these building blocks. The Leicester research involves the chemical synthesis of unnatural amino acids that can be used to make unnatural mini-proteins with new 3D structures and importantly new functions.

We are actively using these building blocks to develop new treatments for cancer and Alzheimer's disease. We have also had a summer student use the building blocks to synthesise a toxin produced by a sea snail, and hope to develop this as a new painkiller.

– Dr Andrew Jamieson, lead scientist

Breakthrough in fight against Alzheimer's and cancer

Scientists at the University of Leicester have made a "breakthrough" in the fight against Alzheimer's and cancer, which they have described as "the stuff of dreams."

Dr Andrew Jamieson with Dr Boris Allard from the University of Leicester Credit: University of Leicester

Researchers have developed a new way to make "designer proteins" that can be used to make more effective drugs with fewer side effects.

The advance is announced by the Jamieson Research Group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester.

Their work, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.

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Inquest hears death of man was "totally preventable"

A retired consultant has told an inquest that the death of a man who was sent home from Stafford Hospital after a doctor failed to spot a ruptured spleen was "totally preventable".

Dr Ivan Phair was a consultant in A&E at Stafford Hospital in 2006, when John Moore-Robinson was brought in following a mountain bike accident on Cannock Chase.

He was discharged the same day and died at home.

John Moore-Robinson Credit: ITV News Central

In an earlier report on the death, Mr Phair said that the initial examination of John Moore-Robinson was "brief and incomplete".

Dr Girish Sharma was the Senior House Officer who conducted that examination.

Asked what more Dr Sharma should have done, Mr Phair said, "He should have put his stethoscope on and listened to the quality of the abdomen and the sound of the bowels."

"He hasn't written anything down to suggest that he has listened to whether or not the bowel sounds were absent or present."

Inquest into death of Stafford patient to resume

John Moore-Robinson died in 2006 Credit: ITV News Central

A second inquest in the death of a Stafford Hospital patient, who was sent home with an undiagnosed ruptured spleen, will resume later today.

John Moore-Robinson died in 2006 after a doctor failed to spot the ruptured spleen following a mountain bike accident.

Coroner Catherine Mason adjourned the inquest in April and requested that Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, who run the hospital, make the necessary staff available as witnesses.

After the first inquest in 2007 an internal report from the hospital said Mr Moore-Robinson's treatment could have been negligent.

Yesterday the inquest heard from a Mid Staffs nurse, who said the trust was understaffed at the time of Mr Moore-Robinson's death.

Today the inquest will hear from Dr Ivan Phair, a consultant in the A&E unit, who wrote the trust's internal report. In his report he said Mr Moore-Robinson should have had an ultrasound examination, which would have identified the damage to his spleen.

Mid Staffs nurse gives evidence at inquest

A statement was read to the court from Mark Saville, a staff nurse at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, that talked of staff shortages at the time Mr Moore-Robinson died.

"When I started working at the trust in 2006 we were understaffed."

– Mark Saville, a staff nurse at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust
John Moore-Robinson died in 2006 after a doctor failed to spot he had a ruptured spleen Credit: ITV News Central

The statement went on to describe how two nurses in Accident and Emergency would have responsibility for thirteen patients.

The court was also told that "there was no minimum standard" for the taking of vital signs from patients at Mid Staffs at the time.

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Health issues addressed by bar breathalysing

David Snartt from the Community Safety Partnership for Charnwood says health and safety issues are being addressed by breathalysing people before they enter bars and clubs in Leicestershire.

Five bars and clubs in Loughborough have signed up to the scheme so far.

The trial will run until November, but could be rolled out across the region if it proves successful.

Breathalyser pilot scheme launches in Loughborough

A pilot scheme to raise awareness of the dangers of binge drinking by breathalysing people before they enter bars and clubs has launched in Leicestershire.

Five bars and clubs in Loughborough have signed up to the scheme so far.

The trial will run until November, but could be rolled out across the region if it proves successful.

PC Mike Green from Leicestershire Police said they would be looking to see if crime figures go down as a result of the scheme.

Second inquest to resume into death of Stafford patient

A second inquest is to resume into the death of Stafford Hospital patient John Moore-Robinson, 20, who died after being sent home from the hospital with an undiagnosed ruptured spleen in April 2006 following a mountain bike accident.

John Moore-Robinson died in 2006 after a doctor failed to spot he had a ruptured spleen Credit: ITV News Central

Coroner Catherine Mason adjourned the inquest in April and requested that Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, who run the hospital, make the necessary staff available as witnesses.

After the first inquest in 2007 an internal report from the hospital said Mr Moore-Robinson's treatment could have been negligent.

REPORT: Second inquest granted into death of man at Stafford Hospital

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