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DNA research project launches in Manchester

A project launched in the North West is aiming to bring hope to people fighting cancer and rare genetic conditions.

Experts at a hospital in Manchester are going to explore the DNA of thousands of people so they can one day isolate faulty genes which cause diseases to be passed through generations.

ITV Granada correspondent Rob Smith spoke to one family living under the shadow of illness.


WATCH: How the latest Starchaser rocket fell to earth

The latest rocket from Hyde-based company Starchaser has suffered a disastrous launch failure.

A four-metre Tempest research rocket took off from a launchpad near Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield.

But the rocket seemed to quickly lose thrust and nose-dived back down to earth after climbing only a few hundred feet.

Tempest was to be testing vital housekeeping electronics to be used aboard Starchaser's planned future manned launches, as well as a GPS experiment on behalf of Manchester University and an air quality monitoring experiment that is a collaboration between the universities of Chester and Leicester.

Rocket mission fails in Cheshire

A research rocket has failed to launch from a site near the Jodrell Bank telescope in Cheshire.

Engineers say a 'mishap' grounded the four-metre rocket , which was meant to be taking aerial shots of the telescope.

The Starchaser rocket, Tempest Credit: Adam McClean

The launch was carried out by Starchaser industries, the brain child of Steve Bennett from Hyde.

Formed in 1992, the company has designed and built several rocket systems to investigate the feasibility of producing a vehicle for space tourism.

Starchaser engineers inspect the rocket Credit: Adam McClean
Steve Bennett from Starchaser industries Credit: Press Association

Rocket launch at Jodrell Bank

A research rocket is to be launched from the site of the Jodrell bank telescope in Cheshire. The 4m long rocket is called Tempest and will be taking unique aerial shots of the telescope as well as carrying air quality testing equipment.

Steve Bennett from Starchaser industries Credit: PA

The launch is being carried out by Starchaser industries - the brain child of Steve Bennett from Hyde. Formed in 1992, the company has designed and built several rocket systems - all prototypes - to investigate the feasibility of producing a vehicle for space tourism.


Video plea to fund wonder drug for Gracie

The parents of a schoolgirl being treated in Manchester are pleading for the NHS to fund her continued treatment with a drug that's worked wonders in combating the effects of her rare condition.

They're being supported by the seven year old's doctor at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and a few familiar face from Coronation Street.

Chester Zoo hopes new arrival will help breeding programme

Kifaru Credit: Chester Zoo

Staff at Chester Zoo hope that a new arrival from Germany will boost their rare breeds programme. Twenty-nine-year-old Kifaru - an Eastern black rhino - is settling in to his new home after travelling from Hannover Zoo. Staff in Chester hope their new arrival will sire a number of new calves and bring vital new blood to the European population of Eastern black rhinos – a species classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered in the wild.

The zoo’s curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:“With a species that’s as highly threatened with extinction as the Eastern black rhino, all individuals in the European breeding programme are important.“As so few individuals exist, it is essential that we achieve successful breeding from as many of the rhinos in zoos as possible. Kifaru has only sired three calves previously; this means he has a great opportunity to add to the dwindling numbers of black rhino which makes him one of the most important rhinos around. Any offspring he may go on to produce here would bring vital genetics to the European population. “This population is vital as an insurance policy against further declines in the wild and the more successful the population is, the better that insurance policy can be.“We have one of the best records in the world when it comes to breeding rhinos, so fingers crossed we can encourage Kifaru to work his magic with our females.”

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