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Fruit farm manager jailed

A disaster waiting to happen. That's what a judge said, today, as he sentenced the manager of a fruit farm - to 2 and a half years in prison - for the manslaughter of two of his workers.

Scott Cain and Ashley Clark - both in their 20's - died after entering an apple store on the Blackmoor estate near Liss. The room was starved of oxygen to keep the fruit fresh - and they should have been using breathing apparatus.

Instead they held their breath, a method they nicknamed scuba diving. Their manager - 57 year old Andrew Stocker - encouraged this - ignoring health and safety regulations. Andrew Pate has been speaking to the families of the men who died.

Asian wasp threatens Kent woodland

A large swathe of woodland in Kent, is under threat from a deadly Asian wasp. The insect has come over to the UK for the first time ever and laid its eggs in the buds of sweet chestnut trees in Farningham Wood. The Forestry Commission has begun felling trees to stop the threat spreading to other parts of the country. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Councillor Matthew Dickins from Sevenoaks District Council and Matthew Woodcock from the Forestry Commission.



Doctors make breakthrough in brain injuries study

Doctors in Southampton have developed a brain pressure test that can detect life-threatening head injuries and infections - without the need for surgery or spinal procedures.

The method involves patients wearing headphones with an ear plug linked to a computer, which enables doctors to measure fluid pressure in the skull.

The device known as the cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure (CCFP) analyser is being used to study healthy volunteers at Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire.

"We know that high pressure inside the skull resulting from injuries and infections can be fatal, so it is essential it is detected as early as possible to avoid exacerbating symptoms and ensure treatment can begin promptly.

"Current methods for testing ICP (intracranial pressure) require procedures to be carried out under sedation or anaesthetic, which means they are limited to the most severe cases and those with less obvious initial symptoms often go undetected until their symptoms have worsened.

"However, as our CCFP (cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure) device does not require a patient to do anything other than wear a set of headphones with an ear plug, it has the potential to provide rapid, accurate and safe assessments to patients in much larger numbers than is currently possible."

– Dr Robert Marchbanks, consultant clinical scientist

Power cables to be buried in area of natural beauty

The energy giant UK Power Networks has decided to bury its power cables in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in east Kent.

The cables are essential for electricity supply, but putting them underground is extremely expensive. The decision has given fresh hope to campaigners trying to prevent a corridor of massive pylons being erected in the Valley of the Great Stour near Canterbury. John Ryall reports.

Malaria vaccine breakthrough could save thousands

Scientists in Oxford have made a breakthrough in developing a new vaccine that could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers - causing the deaths of around 650,000 people every year, most of them children under the age of five.

At Oxford University they have been working to prevent the disease for seven years. But now first clinical trials of a new vaccine show it is nearly seventy percent effective. Juliette Fletcher has been to the Jenner Institute to find out more.

The interviewees from the Malaria vaccine trials at the Jenner Institute are: Katie Ewer, Senior Immunologist; and Carly Bliss, Research Assistant.

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