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Body found in search for missing junior doctor

Rose Polge went missing during her hospital shift two months ago Credit: PA

The body of junior doctor and former Southampton University student, Rose Polge, has been found in the sea off the Dorset coast.

The 25-year-old, who lived in Torbay, went missing during her hospital shift two months ago.

A police spokesman said: "On Friday the 1st April, a female body was recovered from the sea east of Portland Headland, Dorset.

"Police are currently working on the belief that the body is that of 25-year old missing person Rose Polge, from Torquay.

"Devon and Cornwall Police are working with Dorset Police and the Coroner’s Office on this matter, and await the results of the formal identification."


New research suggests "vicious circle" between eating disorders and financial concerns

University of Southampton Credit: ITV news

Experiencing financial difficulties at university may increase the risk of female students developing an eating disorder, according to new research from the University of Southampton and Solent NHS Trust.

Conversely, the study also found that having extreme attitudes to food and eating predicted short-term financial difficulties for female students, suggesting the possibility of a 'vicious cycle'.

Published online in The International Journal of Eating Disorders, the researchers also found a greater persistence of eating attitudes in women from less affluent families.

Over 400 undergraduate students, from universities across the UK, completed surveys assessing family affluence, recent financial difficulties and attitudes towards food and eating.

Clinical Psychologist and lead author of the study, Dr Thomas Richardson commented: "It may be that those at higher risk of having an eating disorder feel like they have no control over events in their life, such as their financial situation, and they may then restrict their eating as a way of exercising control in other areas of their life."

Lettuce set to be first life on Mars by 2018

A team of student researchers have plans to put the first life on Mars by 2018 - in the form of a humble lettuce.

The student project, called Lettuce on Mars, is looking to send a small greenhouse to Mars in which lettuce will be grown using the atmosphere and sunlight on Mars.

The brains behind lettuce on Mars Credit: Southampton University

To live on other planets we need to grow food there. No-one has ever actually done this and we intend to be the first. This plan is both technically feasible and incredibly ambitious in its scope, for we will be bringing the first complex life to another planet.

Growing plants on other planets is something that needs to be done, and will lead to a wealth of research and industrial opportunities that our plan aims to bring to the University of Southampton."

– Project leader Suzanna Lucarotti
Students from the University of Southampton are aiming to put the first life on Mars. Credit: Southampton University

The researchers decided to plant lettuce, although it's not the most nutritiously rich plant, to study its growth on Mars.

It will open the doors for richer plants, such as tomatoes and strawberries, to be transported and cultivated on a foreign planet.

New composition pays tribute to young poet killed in WW1

The experiences of a young soldier killed in the First World War underpins new work by the world-renowned composer and University of Southampton professor, Michael Finnissy.

Remembrance Day draws on the poetry and prose of Henry Lamont Simpson, who was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917.

He was brought back to Southampton and then treated at a military hospital in Hursley Park near Winchester. Returning to The Front in 1918, he was killed by a sniper while reconnoitring No Man’s Land. He was just 21 years old.

Henry Lamont was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917. Credit: UniversityofSouthampton

Professor Michael Finnissy comments:

It is fitting that young people are integral to the performance. The student musicians are much the same age as Henry when he was sent to fight in the war and this premiere gives them the chance to reflect on the horrors faced by young soldiers a century ago.

My composition simply presents evidence, much as Simpson’s poetic war-diary does. Significantly, he laments the loss of his friends, but does not accuse or apportion blame. It is not the work of a general, or a war-hero, or a politician and moves from scenes of mass volunteer-enlistment, to the horrors of the battlefield – from regret, to simple off-duty pleasures in the countryside.

– Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy’s piece receives its world premiere at the University’s concert venue Turner Sims on 16 November. Finnissy himself will play the solo piano part, and Henry Lamont Simpson’s great nephew will be in the audience as a special guest.


Southampton University wins contract for health centre

Southampton University has been awarded a £5.1m contract to share research findings with patients and managers in health and social care.

A new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Dissemination Centre will make it easier for people to get research they need in a helpful form.

The new centre will showcase the most important findings from the NIHR, which invests over £1bn in research that saves lives and improves care.

The £5.1m contract awarded by the NIHR will run for five years from the 1st April 2015.

These new awards are important because of the role systematic reviews play in the health research landscape. By removing uncertainties in science and research, systematic reviews help to ensure that only the most effective and best-value interventions are adopted by the NHS and social care providers.

“The centres will provide high quality systematic reviews infrastructure, enabling our health and care services access to the best possible evidence to inform decisions and choices.”

– Professor Dame Sally C. Davies FRS FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health

The centre was one of three contracts awarded by the NIHR, which also saw Southampton have its contract renewed as one of nine Technology Assessment Review (TAR) teams.

New study reveals 'worrying statistic' of ME sufferers

One third of those affected by the condition ME - or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - have no access to specialist care. This worrying statistic has come to light through a new study by the University of Southampton.

Experts say the illness still isn't being taken seriously. A teenage boy from Alton in Hampshire says the lack of support makes living with ME even harder for him. Sally Simmonds reports.

£3m awarded for Arts at University of Southampton

Arts venues based at the University of Southampton have been awarded more than £3m over three years (2015-18) by Arts Council England, as part of its National Portfolio funding programme.

The University is proud to continue to host three Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations on its Highfield campus – John Hansard Gallery, Turner Sims, and Nuffield, providing a concentration of artistic and cultural activity at the University, which is unique in the UK.

It’s been announced that over three years the John Hansard Gallery will receive approximately £1.3m, the theatre company Nuffield £1.6m and the concert venue Turner Sims just over £129,000.

Arts at Southampton form an integral part of the University’s research, enterprise, student experience and its relationship to the city and region. This funding secures our ability to continue to provide world-class arts activities, both on campus and beyond – enriching the cultural lives of our staff, students and the wider community of the region.”

– University of Southampton Registrar, Tessa Harrison

We are in the premier league of creative nations and this portfolio will keep us on top in an era of tight funding. We can delight in our arts organisations and museums for the sheer inspiration they bring to our daily lives, as well as their contribution to the creative sector. I’m proud that we’ve been able to deliver such a strong and well balanced portfolio.”

– Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair Arts Council England

Southampton invention to ease pain for amputees

A new device that was partially created by researchers at Southampton University will help relieve pain for amputees.

The device is the first prosthetic liner with pressure sensors to ease pain for poorly fitting replacement limbs.

The device is thought to be available to NHS patients in as soon as three years.

The sensors for the device were developed by Dr Liudi Jinag and his team at the University of Southampton, where they measured the pressure and pulling forces that patients face on their prosthetic limbs.

There are 50,000 lower-limb amputees in the UK and many use artificial limbs that are attached to their limb through a socket.

This means no two stumps are the same shape and size and even an individual’s stump can change shape over the course of a single day.

Socket fit is the single biggest factor determining whether prosthesis will be successful for a patient. If we had a simple way to accurately measure the load at the socket-stump interface and determine the best possible fit for that limb, it would completely transform the socket fit experience for amputees. We’re hoping that the development of the intelligent liner will be the first step leading to the ‘holy grail’ in prosthetics – a fully automatic, self-adjusting smart socket interface for amputees.”

– Dr Liudi Jiang
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