How seaweed could help us lose weight

What if we could we eat what we want without putting on weight. Newcastle University scientists are close to achieving that using seaweed.

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Wi-Fi tractors keep fans connected at Tour de France

Tractors are being given a hi-tech makeover so they can create Wi-Fi hotspots for cycling fans heading to watch the Tour de France.

The tractors, which have newly-fitted receivers, will keep Tour de France fans connected. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
The Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event, arrives in Yorkshire on Saturday 5th July. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
The Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event, arrives in Yorkshire on Saturday 5th July. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

They will be parked up in four of the busiest sections of the Yorkshire route and will provide a free Wi-Fi service from newly-fitted receivers.

The project is a collaboration between the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency and the National Union of Farmers. The tractors will feature in Hawes, Grassington, High Bradfield and Holme.

The Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event, arrives in Yorkshire on Saturday 5th July.

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Clegg and Cable open new aerospace plant

Clegg and Cable at aerospace plant on Wearside
Nick Clegg and Vince Cable open aerospace plant on Wearside Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Deputy Prime Minister and Business Secretary are on Wearside to open a £100 million aerospace factory.

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable met with engineers at Rolls-Royce in Washington, which will make engine parts for aircraft.

It is hoped the new plant will safeguard hundreds of manufacturing jobs.

Monkey paralysis research: How it works

Researchers at Newcastle University, working with macaque monkeys, have shown that by connecting the brain to a computer and then the computer to the spinal cord, it is possible to restore movement.

They say the discovery opens up the possibility of new treatments within the next few years which could help stroke victims or people with spinal cord injuries regain some movement in their arms and hands.

The team trained macaque monkeys to pull a handle. The monkeys were temporarily paralysed, using a drug that wore off after two hours. The monkeys had no movement in their hands. But when the stimulation circuit was switched on the monkey could pull the handle.

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Paralysis breakthrough: What the experts say

For the first time scientists have been able to restore the ability to grasp with a paralysed hand using spinal cord stimulation. There is currently no cure for upper limb paralysis. This can be caused by a stroke or spinal injury.

Researchers at Newcastle University, working with macaque monkeys, have shown that by connecting the brain to a computer and then the computer to the spinal cord, it is possible to restore movement.

"Much of the technology we used for this is already being used separately in patients today, and has been proven to work. We just needed to bring it all together.

"I think within five years we could have an implant which is ready for people. And what is exciting about this technology is that it would not just be useful for people with spinal injuries but also people who have suffered from a stroke and have impaired movement due to that. There are some technical challenges which we have to overcome, as there is with any new technology, but we are making good progress."

– Dr Andrew Jackson, Research Fellow at Newcastle University

"Animal studies such as ours are necessary to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of procedures before they can be tried in human patients, to minimise risk and maximise chance of successful outcomes."

– Dr Jonas Zimmermann, now at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

"Being able to restore dexterous hand movements to patients paralysed by stroke or spinal cord injury would be a huge improvement to their independence and quality of life. The Newcastle University team's research, which harnesses the intact portions of the nervous system and creates new artificial connections, is at the cutting edge of neuro and rehabilitation science. When used alone or in combination with other rehabilitation approaches, this technique could lead to significant improvements in hand function and transform the lives of paralysed patients."

– Dr John Williams, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust

Monkey paralysis research could help 'devastating' conditions

Pioneering research at Newcastle University could eventually allow patients paralysed from the waist up the ability to use their hands.

The process involves redirecting electronic signals from the brain to the spinal cord through a computer.

Dr Andrew Jackson, Research Fellow at Newcastle University, explains the importance of the research.

Research on monkeys could enable paralysed hands to move again

Pioneering research at Newcastle University could eventually allow patients paralysed from the waist up the power to grasp objects with their hands.

The process involves redirecting electronic signals from the brain to the spinal cord through a computer.

To test the theory, scientists used macaque monkeys, temporarily paralysing them to mimic human injuries, inevitably raising concerns over experiments on animals.

Dr Andrew Jackson, Research Fellow at Newcastle Univeristy, explains the controversial decision and the process involved.

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