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University praised for developing female scientists

The University of Sussex has been recognised for its work supporting female scientists.

The university's School of Life Sciences received a national "Athena Swan" award for its efforts to reduce inequality in teaching and research.

Professor Louise Serpell Credit: University of Sussex

Science is often regarded as a boys' subject - but we should all have the potential to choose our career path.

We know that 90 per cent of professors in the UK are men, and that women don't go for jobs unless they feel qualified. At the University of Sussex we are making a concerted effort to support women who want a career in science and we are delighted that our efforts have been recognised with this Athena SWAN Silver award."

– Professor Louise Serpell, University of Sussex

It's called 'healing honey' - but how does it work?

Honey's healing properties are well known

Researchers in Hampshire have been trying to unlock the secrets of honey's well-known healing properties.

The team at the University of Southampton have been using the knowledge they've found to tackle serious infections. Their work with honey could even prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against the most resistant superbugs, such as MRSA.

The report by our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford does contain an image of a nasty wound.

The interviewees are Roger Backhouse; Doctor Matthew Dryden Consultant, Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust; and Mr Rami Salib Associate Professor of Rhinology at the University of Southampton's Faculty of Medicine.

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VIDEO: Which question leaves astronaut Tim Peake stumped during live link-up with Kent schoolchildren?

Kent schoolchildren had the chance to fire questions at astronaut Tim Peake, as he flew overhead aboard the International Space Station today.

Pupils from 23 schools came together to ask him questions via radio link-up from Wellesley House School in Broadstairs.

One question asked by a little girl called Scarlett left him stumped: "What is your favourite Shakespearian quote?", she asked.

But science is clearly his strong point and his answer was inspiring.

WATCH : Kent school children have some surprising questions for astronaut Tim Peake

There were worrying moments at the start of the live link-up when Tim Peake didn't seem able to hear messages from the school.

Science teacher Kerry Sabin-Dawson said: "There was so much tension in the room, waiting and hoping he would hear us. But he did and that was a wonderful moment."

WATCH: Full package

One small step - pioneering robot technology helps patients find their feet

Hospitals in Kent have become some of the first in the country to experiment with the use of bionic legs.

New research shows that so called 'exoskeletons' could improve the health of all manner of patients - including people who have suffered strokes or have multiple sclerosis.

In this exclusive report from the robotics lab at the University of Kent, we meet a man whose been paralysed for a year using the new legs for the first time.

Andy Dickenson hears from clinical specialist Karen Saunders, patient Steve Walker-Manuell, and consultant physician Dr Mohamed Sakel.

MP's brain studied by pupils in Kent

Junior school pupils in Kent were given a science lesson they won't forget in a hurry today. The subject was the human brain.

And to spice things up a bit they got to see a real brain in action. The South East's longest serving MP volunteered to be wired up by a neuroscientist.

His brainwaves were then transmitted to a big screen as he answered pupils' questions. So which issues most excited the grey matter?

John Ryall reports.

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New scheme to help girls pursue STEM industry careers

A new scheme aiming to encourage schoolgirls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries is being launched by four leading communication giants.

The scheme will aim to encourage more girls to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing industries Credit: PA

BT, Ericsson, O2 and Vodafone have teamed up to pull together the pilot programme, which will see school students matched with a business mentor.

Paula Constant, who chairs BT's Women's Network, said if successful they hope to roll the programme out across the UK.

This scheme could make a real difference in encouraging girls to apply for jobs that require STEM skills.

Research shows that even though girls study the relevant subjects in school, only a inority go on to pursue careers in this area.

This issue needs to be addressed and we're really excited about the role we can play in inspiring and supporting female school leavers who may be considering a career in STEM.

– Paula Constant, BT

NHS 'first' as brain surgery is carried out at patients' bedsides

Brain surgeons at Southampton General Hospital are providing life-saving resuscitation, imaging and surgery at patients' bedsides. They're the first in Europe to do so.

Clinicians on the neurointensive care unit (NICU) at Southampton General Hospital have called the development a "major milestone" in the treatment of critically ill and injured patients that could transform clinical practice.

Southampton General Hospital Credit: ITV Meridian

It has been made possible through the use of a £150,000 portable CT scanner - donated by fundraising group Percy's Pals - which enables doctors to scan patients on the unit rather than transport them across hospital to an imaging suite.

Neurosurgeons can then perform an emergency image-guided procedure, known as an external ventricular drain, at the same time to release fluid from the brain and reduce pressure on the skull.

Previously, patients had to be transferred to a scanner by three members of staff - a consultant, medical technician and nurse - for imaging, then taken to theatre if they required a ventricular drain or other emergency surgery.

"Timing is everything when it comes to neurological conditions and any deterioration needs to be diagnosed as quickly as possible so pressure can be taken off of the brain rapidly to give a patient the best possible chance of a good recovery.

"The portable CT scanner not only enables instant imaging, it means we no longer have to move critically ill patients away from the safety of the intensive care unit and we can perform emergency procedures at the bedside - it really is a major milestone in neurointensive care treatment."

– Dr Roger Lightfoot, Director of the NICU, Southampton General Hospital
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