Live updates

Germ expert discusses the "five-second rule"

Food that has been dropped on the floor is usually safe to eat under the so-called "five-second rule", according to a scientist from Aston University in Birmingham.

Germ expert Professor Anthony Hilton said that there isn't much to be concerned about if the food is only there for a moment, although he did stress that retrieving morsels can never be entirely risk-free.


  1. Mark Gough

Birmingham scientists' energy breakthrough - full report

Scientists have disovered how to make gold from rubbish - black gold - in other words - oil.

It sounds like the Holy Grail for the energy industry, but researchers at Aston Univeserity in Birmingham have figured out that if they burn rubbish and garden clippings in a pressure cooker - it turns into oil and gas.

They're heating their own building with it - now they want to help firms do the same thing and say large cities can become self-sufficient in generating their own power. Our business correspondent, Mark Gough reports.

University researchers call for waste to be supplied to test for bioenergy

Researchers at Aston University are calling on businesses in the West Midlands to supply them with industrial and manufacturing waste to be tested for suitability to produce bioenergy.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), based at Aston University in Birmingham, have developed a new technology called 'Pyroformer'. This generates cost-effective heat and power from its use of multiple waste sources.

It has been trialled in the UK, Germany and India, and is said that it could benefit businesses serving a wide range of sectors.

Business across the West Midlands which have waste sources are being called on Credit: ITV News Central

EBRI is calling on businesses which have waste sources such as food and agricultural waste, sewage sludge, and manure and biomass, to continue the development of Pyroformer.

Tim Miller, Director of Operations at EBRI, said: "The city of Birmingham, for instance, has the potential to power itself using the waste it produces."

"It is crucial that EBRI is able to source waste products to run and develop our technology without having to transport it long distances and we are keen to source these waste streams from within the West Midlands."


Aston University opens its new £16.5 million school today

Aston University will open its new £16.5 million school in Birmingham today.

The Aston University Engineering Academy has been created in partnership with Birmingham City Council, specialising in engineering and science for 600 pupils aged between 14 and 19.

It has also teamed up with companies including Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, E.ON and Rolls-Royce to give pupils a real insight to the engineering industry.