No. 4448 Thursday 2 October 1997 Vol. 128

Spin-off company ploughs profits into new research : Oxford GlycoSciences (OGS), the University's first spin-off company, founded in 1988, has announced grants of £1.5m for the Glycobiology Institute at the Department of Biochemistry.

New Master of University College : Sir Robin Butler, GCB, CVO, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service since 1987, has been elected by the Fellows of University College as their new Master.

Unitary Chemistry Department set to be largest in West : The University's new `unitary' Chemistry Department, formally established on 1 August by combining the three departments of Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, is now believed to be the largest in the western world.

Predicting the weather . . . years ahead : Two scientists at the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics have discovered a vast temperature cycle in the North Atlantic, which may allow meteorologists to forecast weather patterns for several years ahead.

University and colleges to present case for fees : Following recommendations made by a special working group representative of the University and colleges, Council will shortly submit a response to the Dearing Report.

Oxford don saving Aberfan disaster papers : An Oxford don is overseeing work to preserve and catalogue records of the 1966 Aberfan disaster, after interest was revived by the 30th anniversary last year.

New Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes : Professor Graham Upton has taken up his appointment as the new Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Plant Sciences awards: Members of the Plant Sciences Department received two of the nine David Phillips Research Fellowships this year. Dr Tom Brutnell's work will focus on how maize plants perceive light and transmit this information to developing cells.

Dr Simon Hiscock will study Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort) to identify and characterise genes that control the genetic systems of self-incompatibility, which prevent their self-fertilisation.

Oxford Biomedica grant: Oxford BioMedica, a University spin-off company, has received a £250,000 Government grant to help develop a revolutionary gene therapy which could improve treatment for a wide range of diseases.

The company, a world leader in retroviral gene delivery technologies, set up by Biochemistry Professors Alan and Sue Kingsman in 1995, will work with Dr Ian Jones of the Natural Environmental Research Council's Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology.

Doctorate award: Mr David Rodin, Rhodes Scholar and doctoral student at Magdalen College, has won an international prize for an essay on the ethics of war. His critique of the just war theory, `Self-Defence and War', won the American Philosophical Association's Frank Chapman Sharp Memorial Prize, worth $1,500.

Oxford Transport Strategy: A public inquiry into the proposals for the Oxford Transport Strategy will be held in the Town Hall, beginning on Tuesday, 27 January 1998. It is expected to last for about three weeks.

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