Live updates

The scientists mending broken hearts

There's been another medical breakthrough at Oxford University. Scientists in the city really have learnt how to mend broken hearts.

They've identified new ways to help the heart repair itself after a cardiac arrest.

Just a week ago we reported on how researchers in Oxford were close to finding a way of preventing malaria, which kills 650,000 people a year across the planet.

Now Oxford scientists have given hope of a cure to Britain's half a milion sufferers from heart failure, as Penny Silvester reports

Getting a feel for university life

View of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University Credit: Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Nearly 60 young sleuths from Oxfordshire, will be investigating a ‘Murder in the Cloisters’ at Oxford University over the Easter holiday (7-9 April) in a programme that gives students a chance to learn what university is like – socially and academically.

The twelve to fifteen year olds are taking part in a free spring residential activity at the University, but the peace of the college quad will be shattered when a student is found dead and everyone becomes a suspect in his murder.

The students will be staying in accommodation at Pembroke College and visiting the University’s libraries, lecture theatres and museums. There will be tasters of subjects they are unlikely to study at school, like learning Ancient Greek with the Faculty of Classics, and a chemistry lab will be turned into a forensic science facility as the students explore samples from suspects’ clothing.

The new skills and knowledge they will pick up will prove invaluable in their bid to find the killer. The students will have to remain vigilant throughout the three-day course, as they see the suspects around college and at a formal dinner.

The aim is to give students a taste of university life, including both the academic and social side of life at Oxford.


Debate continues over Oxford's Port Meadow landscape

It was once one of the most peaceful spots among the dreaming spires of Oxford. Now Port Meadow is at the centre of a row - over blocks of flats which critics say ruin the skyline. The five storey Castle Mill development was built in 2012 beside the River Thames between the Cripley Meadow Allotments and the railway tracks, to increase student accommodation. But campaigners are angry. They say there was a lack of consultation and they now want the top floor of the flats to be removed at an estimated cost of £30 million pounds. Juliette Fletcher reports.

Around 200 protesters in Oxford rallying against Le Pen speech

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Oxford University tonight. They're demonstrating against the involvement of France's far-right party in one of the university's prestigious debates.

Marine Le Pen, who's the leader of the 'Front National' party, is due to talk to the Oxford Union in a couple of hours. But she (will) arrived to angry scenes.

Credit: PA

Anti-facist campaigners say Le Pen should not be given a platform to speak on, but the Union president says its members believe in freedom of speech.

Oxford academics' 'It will be a tough Christmas for retailers'

Retailers this Christmas will find it a tough challenge to match last year's festive spending figure of ninety one billion pounds according to academics in Oxford.

They say changing shopping habits and low real wages rates will have a significant impact on shopping.

Christmas spending reached £91bn last year Credit: ITV Meridian

"We have found that overdoing the Christmas cheer with flashing bright lights and piping fast-paced music such as Jingle Bells into stores puts shoppers under greater pressure. Less harsh lighting, pleasant smells and gentler seasonal music such as The Nutcracker are far more likely to put us in the mood for spending."

– Nancy Puccinelli, Associate Professor in Marketing

Oxford Ebola vaccine trials continue progression at speed

The 60th and last healthy volunteer will receive the Ebola vaccine in a trial carried out by the University of Oxford today.

The first volunteer in the UK trial at Oxford University was vaccinated on September 17, two weeks after the first volunteer in the USA. This allowed further trials in Mali and then Switzerland to begin shortly afterwards in October.

Almost 200 people have received a candidate Ebola vaccine in little more than two months in safety trials carried out in the USA, UK, Mali and Switzerland.

If the safety and immunogenicity data from the Phase 1 trials are promising, the expectation is that the vaccine will move into the next phases of study to further evaluate safety as well as effectiveness in protecting against Ebola infection in African countries.

The Oxford trial is being funded under a £2.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development.

Professor Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, who is leading the Oxford trial, said: "The response we have seen from people coming forward to take part has been remarkable."


Oxford University reveals new study on Alzheimer's Disease

New research on Vitamin B Credit: ITV news

Taking B vitamins won't prevent Alzheimer's disease according to researchers at Oxford University. One trial undertaken four years ago showed - for some - it had an effect on the rate of brain shrinkage.

But new clinical trials involving 20,000 people show it doesn't slow mental decline nor is it likely to prevent the disease.Dr Robert Clarke from Oxford University who led the work said: "It would have been nice to have found something different

"Our study draws a line under the debate: B vitamins don't reduce cognitive decline as we age. Taking folic acid and vitamin B-12 is sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer's disease."

He added " It's better to have a balanced diet - eat more fruit and vegetables, avoid too much red meat and too many calories."

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation, the UK Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the UK Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Load more updates