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University staff to strike over 1% wage rise

A picket line is expected to be held at Cardiff University. Credit: PA

Higher Education workers are due take strike action this morning in response to a pay offer of a 1%.

UNISON Cymru says it will be taking industrial action and holding a picket line at Cardiff University alongside Unite and University and College Union.

Simon Dunn, UNISON Cymru/Wales higher education lead, said, "Some of our members in higher education are not even paid a living wage and most have experienced a real term drop in wages of almost 15%. That is bound to have a devastating impact on people's lives.

"And to add further insult to injury, Chief Executives' and Vice Chancellors' pay is extremely generous, with the highest paid vice chancellor in Wales receiving £264,000 a year."


New genes linked to Alzheimer's

In the largest ever study of its kind, scientists, jointly led by Cardiff University, say they have uncovered 11 new susceptibility genes linked with Alzheimer's disease.

They say the breakthrough will significantly advance knowledge of Alzheimer's, and allow new research to be undertaken.

This discovery will pinpoint new mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease...What surprised us most about the findings was the very strong pattern that showed several genes implicating the body's immune response in causing dementia.

We will now turn our attention to people with early onset Alzheimer's - people in their 40s and 50s afflicted with more severe forms of the condition. Their genetic architecture may hold the key to finding yet more genes involved in Alzheimer's.

– Julie Williams, Cardiff University Head of Neurodegeneration

Cardiff University working on finding new antibiotic

A team of scientists at Cardiff University are working on finding a new class of antibiotics.

No new class of antibiotic has been discovered for 26 years.

No new class of antibiotic has been discovered for 26 years. Credit: PA

Scientists are worried that we have become too 'familiar' with taking antibiotics and that we take them for granted - using them for ordinary ailments like coughs and colds.

It is hoped that a new class of antibiotic would take the place of current ones that bacteria are becoming immune to.


Cardiff University to offer online courses

FutureLearn has teamed up with the university Credit: Cardiff University

Cardiff University is the first Welsh university to partner with FutureLearn, offering open online courses.

FutureLearn is the first UK-led provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Starting next year, Cardiff University's first MOOC will be 'Muslims in Britain: Changes and Challenges'.

Professor Patricia Price, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience and Academic Standards at Cardiff said: "We're pleased to be one of the first universities to join FutureLearn and to lead the sector in Wales.

"We're now delighted to see this exciting initiative launch which provides further opportunity to extend access across the world to our high quality education experience.

"Cardiff's first MOOC will start in 2014, delivered by the pioneering Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK."

  1. James Crichton-Smith

RSPCA 'struggling to cope' with abandoned kittens

The RSPCA in Swansea says it is seeing an increase in the number of abandoned cats and kittens it's taking in.

Staff there described this year as the 'worst ever' for the problem and said they're struggling to cope.

The problem stems from cat owners being caught out when their un-neutered pets have litters.

Now the society is working with Cardiff University to try to establish why owners aren't taking preventative measures.

Cardiff Uni academic helps teenagers with HIV comic

The hard-hitting comics touch on experiences like being ostracised by your friends. Credit: Cardiff University

An academic at Cardiff University is using the unusual medium of the comic book to help teenagers in South Africa come to terms with HIV.

Dr Lisa El Refaie, in the university's School of English, Communication and Philosophy, got together with South African health education charity Whizzkids United (WKU) to organise a workshop where teenagers made their own comic strips highlighting their experiences of living with HIV.

"I suggested WKU might run workshops on how to draw comics, as a way to encourage the teenagers to explore and express their own experiences and feelings, and create educational messages relevant to other young people in their community," Dr El Refaie said.

"The results were remarkable, with the teenagers telling some extremely moving stories for the first time."

There are more than 5.5m people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa - around 460,000 are children aged 0-14.

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