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Parts of Gloucestershire are hotspots for radioactive gas radon

People warned of the dangers of radon Credit: ITV News

A public health campaign is underway this week to alert people to the dangers of radon.

The naturally occurring gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

The Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and Cheltenham are radon hotspots - but homes can be protected.

There are also hotspots in Devon and Cornwall.

Maps showing the areas most at risk from high levels of radon Credit:


Bloodhound to be unveiled to the nation

The Bloodhound will be unveiled in London today Credit: Flock London

The supersonic car known as the Bloodhound will be unveiled today.

The Bristol-built vehicle is making its debut in London, before going on public display.

The much-anticipated racer is aiming to break world records by reaching speeds of more than 1,000 miles per hour.

Injured tortoise has leg replaced with toy car wheel

Touche has been enjoying his new wheel. Credit: ITV News

Vets in Bristol have given a tortoise a new lease of life after replacing one of his legs with a toy car wheel.

Touche the tortoise had to have a leg amputated after an accident last week. Vets at Highcroft Veterinary Hospital attached the wheel of a Hot Wheels toy car to the underneath of his shell, providing extra support for the now three-legged tortoise.

Touche is now back home with his owner, who says he is doing well.

Cheltenham's dinosaurs pulling in the crowd

Thousands of people are heading to the Cheltenham Science Festival, which has been using dinosaurs to pull in the crowds.

The story of how they became extinct is one of the most popular displays - although there is plenty more on offer - including speakers like Professors Brian Cox and Alice Roberts.

"We are putting the best people in front of our audiences, to highlight the best science. It's fun and informative, and people from all over the UK and the world are coming to the Science Festival".

– Ashley Kent, Cheltenham Science Festival

The festival runs until Sunday - see the full programme here.


Dementia research needs more participants, say scientists

Bruce Wilson, 77, is being scanned as part of a clinical trial at Bristol University. Credit: ITV News

Researchers in the South West are urging more people in the region to consider volunteering for dementia studies.

Scientists at Bristol University are looking into the devastating condition but say efforts can be hampered if researchers can't find people willing to take part.

There are currently 39 studies looking for volunteers, including several studies running in the Bristol area. They include a clinical trial to investigate whether a blood pressure treatment could slow memory decline, as well as study investigating the earliest brain changes in the disease.

Bruce Wilson, 77, from Nailsworth is taking part in a clinical trial at the university looking into dementia. While he does not have the condition himself, he has been diagnosed with 'mild cognitive impairment', a possible precursor.

The trial, which has been running for more than a year, is looking for the early warning signs of the disease.

Not only is dementia a condition with no cure, it is a growing problem - with somebody in the UK developing it every three minutes. The number of people it affects is predicted to double in the next 30 years, and it costs the UK more than £26billion.

As an optimist, Mr Wilson believes scientists will get there, and hopes the small part he has played will help.

Researchers are hoping enough people feel the same.

People with and without dementia can sign up online here or contact one of the charity helplines: Alzheimer’s Research UK, on 0300 111 5 111, or Alzheimer’s Society, on 0300 222 1122.

The Beagle has finally landed: brainchild of Bristol genius found on Mars

The Beagle 2 did land successfully on Mars after all. Credit: European Space Agency

A space probe designed by a Bristol scientist which disappeared while on a search for alien life has been discovered on Mars.

The UK Space Agency based in Swindon has confirmed that the British Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on the planet in 2003. The mission was led by Professor Colin Pillinger, who died last year aged 70, having been awarded a CBE for his services to science.

The probe was discovered by an orbiter taking photos 185 miles above the Red Planet. It was thought the probe had not survived the mission.

The Agency now believes that it landed, but did not deploy fully, leaving it unable to contact Earth. This would make Beagle 2 the first British and European spacecraft to successfully land on the Red Planet.

Professor Pillinger's daughter said he would have loved the chance to prove his critics wrong.

Kingswood-born Professor Pillinger was the driving force behind Beagle 2's Mars mission. Credit: Matthew Fearn/PA Wire

He would have loved that this shows Beagle 2 landed on Mars ... This shows such an immense success, and not forgetting all the other things that went on in the background of Beagle 2, all the promotion of science, all of the inspiration to children.

He would love that this is in the news again. He would love that this could inspire that next generation to do Beagle 3.

– Professor Colin Pillinger's daughter Shusanah
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