Video. New research carried out in the South could help wipe out the winter vomiting bug norovirus, saving hundreds of lives. Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that copper kills the bug almost instantly.
Experts say if the surfaces we touch constantly like door handles, taps and stair rails are made with the metal, it would drastically reduce the spread of infections. Christine Alsford spoke to Professor Bill Keevil from the University of Southampton and a norovirus patient Serena Spencer-Jones.
Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that cooper and copper alloys rapidly destroy norovirus.
The study was designed to simulate fingertip touch contamination of surfaces and showed that the virus was rapidly destroyed on copper and its alloys.
The virus is highly infectious and can be contracted from contaminated food or water, person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces, meaning surfaces made from copper could effectively shut down one avenue of infection.
Lead author Sarah Warnes, from the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton said, "The use of antimicrobial surfaces containing copper in clinical and community environments, such as cruise ships and care facilities, could help to reduce the spread of norovirus."
Scientists at the University of Southampton will be looking at 3D images of human tissues, magnified to one billionth of a metre, thanks to new imaging tools.
It is to help develop replacement stem cells for certain parts of the body. The project is being funded by the Medical Research Council.
Regenerative medicine aims to make tissues and organs repair damaged and diseased tissues and restore the body to its original health.
Professor Richard Oreffo, who is leading the Southampton study said, "Increased ageing populations pose new challenges and emphasise the need for new approaches.
"Regenerative medicine promises to deliver specifiable replacement tissues."
Cancer Research UK scientists from the University of Southampton say there is new hope in the fight against childhood cancer. They have said they are seeing positive results in a pre-clinical trial that could bring treatments for a particular form of childhood cancer closer to reality.
Their study published in 'Clinical Cancer Research' has found that two antibodies developed by the Hampshire team help to boost the immune system to fight neuroblastoma - a form of childhood cancer which grows from undeveloped tissue of the nervous system.
Dr Juliet Gray, Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology said: "Although this work is still at a pre-clinical stage, we hope it has enabled us to identify a way that we can provide effective immunotherapy treatment against neuroblastoma.
"More research is needed to understand how these antibodies work and how they should be used to treat neuroblastoma.
"Six out of ten children with neuroblastoma can be successfully treated with conventional chemotherapy.
"But for those children who don't respond well to this treatment, immunotherapy could become a vital new treatment option.".
WEATHER UPDATE: Normal services resume tomorrow - exams continue as scheduled. Please take care on the icy ground.
A 14-year-old boy from Hampshire has earned a place on an Economics degree course at the University of Southampton.Read the full story ›
The fight against cancer has been given a major boost - with an anonymous donation of £10million to a research team in the South.
The scientists - based at the General Hospital in Southampton - will use the money to develop their work in cancer immunology. Which is - using the power of the body's immune system - to fight tumours. Experts say it's already showing very positive signs.
The money means they can expand the team and build new facilities at Southampton - and speed up their research. Click below for Andrew Pate's full report
The University of Southampton has received the single biggest donation in their history from an anonymous donor.Read the full story ›
The University of Southampton has received a £10 million pound donation from an anonymous donor to further its research into the causes of cancer. Cancer Research UK say they have also received a donation of £10 million from the same anonymous donor, the biggest single donation in their history.
"This remarkable gift allows us to build on our expertise and expand the research teams in Southampton to make even greater progress in developing new treatments.