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Durham University scientists' discovery 'may change physics'

A new insight on the universe. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A team of scientists at Durham University believe they have made a significant discovery about dark matter, the most common substance in the universe that is invisible.

Astronomers, using the Hubble Space Telescope, say they might have observed the first hint of dark matter interacting with gravity, having previously thought this was not possible.

Scientists initially thought dark matter could not interact with the universe but this could be proof it can. The discovery could mean a change to physics in the future.

Watch Dr Richard Massey from Durham University below:

REPORT: River Wear safety

Following a rescue operation in the early hours of this morning to save the life of another student who had fallen into the the River Wear, police are saying there is a desperate need to change the drinking culture among students.

Watch Frances Read's report on river safety measures in Durham:


Wear rescue: Durham University thank those who averted a 'possible tragedy'

The 20-year old student was discovered at 1.45am today in the River Wear near Durham Amateur Rowing Club by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

Durham University's Chief Operating Officer, Paulina Lubacz has issued the following statement:

We have been notified of an incident in the early hours of this morning (Friday) involving one of our students at the River Wear in Durham, which was attended by the emergency services. The student is safe.

The University would like to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm and the emergency services for averting a possible tragedy. We are working actively with partner organisations to address river safety.

The University is also contacting all students to notify them about the incident and urging them to take proactive measures to ensure their personal safety.

– Paulina Lubacz

Human chain rescues student who fell into the river

Durham Police say that officers formed a human chain, with help from the fire service, to rescue a student who had fallen into the River Wear.

Area near where the man was pulled out of the River Wear Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The man was discovered at 1.45am today in the water near Durham Amateur Rowing Club by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

Police officers came to the aid of the student and managed to get him out of the water.

The river near Durham rowing club Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The man was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham suffering from hypothermia.


River safety action plan agreed for Durham

An action plan for river safety has been agreed for Durham City following the death of Durham University student Euan Coulthard. Euan was the third student to get into difficulty in the river in just over a year.

At the meeting a range of actions were agreed:

  • An independent review of riverside safety by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
  • Durham University and the Students’ Union will further develop their work to inform and educate students
  • Licensed premises will ensure alcohol is supplied in a safe and sensible way
  • Drivers’ recruitment campaign to be launched to support the Students’ Union in re-establishing their night-time bus
  • Development of a new arrangement between the University and identified taxi operators in the city
  • Explore measures to tackle the availability of cheap alcohol
  • Will to progress this work as quickly as possible

As well as these developments, some immediate measures were agreed. These include:

  • A high visibility welfare unit to provide a safe haven
  • The provision of new kit and radios to join up communications and support patrols
  • The development of a night-time scheme supported by student volunteers

These measures will be 'undertaken and implemented without delay'. A further meeting will be held within the next two weeks.

The City Safety Group comprises of Durham County Council, Durham University, the Durham Students’ Union, Durham Constabulary and Durham Cathedral.

Body confirmed as Durham University student Euan Coulthard

The body recovered from the River Wear in Durham city last Friday afternoon has now been formally identified as Euan Coulthard.

The 19-year-old was reported missing on Thursday, 15th January after he failed to return home following a night out.

The results of post mortem examination will be forwarded to HM Coroner but police are satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances regarding Euan’s death.

The coroner is expected to arrange for an inquest to open, probably later this week.

We are very grateful for the assistance we received during our searches from Euan’s friends and fellow students, as well as all the other agencies and volunteers who took part. Our thoughts are now very much with Euan’s family at this sad time.”

– Supt Colin Williamson

Diver who found Wear body having nightmares after discovery

Trevor Bankhead, who found the body believed to be Euan Coulthard, says he does not know if he will be able to dive into the river again, at least for a while.

Mr Bankhead has been having nightmares since he made the discovery. He said he had to go and try to find Euan as a father of four girls. He says he understood what the Coulthard family must be going through.

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