No. 4521 Thursday 23 September 1999 Vol. 130

£2.5m grant for better knowledge of immune system : A group of scientists at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology has been awarded a Medical Research Council grant of £2½ million to continue its research into the workings of the immune system.

Nineteenth university `spin-off ' company launched : The latest Oxford `spin-off' company, Nanox Ltd., was launched by Isis Innovation Ltd. in July to develop, produce, and commercialise nanocrystalline materials—a market whose value is expected to be £3–£5bn in 2010.

Grant secures future for ancient drama project : A study into over 500 years of the performance, study, and translation of classical plays has had its future secured following an award of more than £425,000 over five years in the latest round of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

First Science and Religion Chair for Oxford : Professor John Brooke, Professor of the History of Science, Lancaster University, has been elected to the newly-created Andreas Idreos Professorship of Science and Religion within the Faculty of Theology.

Chinese delegation visits Oxford : Mr Ding Guangen, Member of the Political Bureau and Head of the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, visited Oxford on 12 September following a ministerial visit to the UK to promote media relations.

Early `greenhouse' effect detected : Research by Oxford scientists has uncovered a time when the Earth's climate may have experienced climatic warming at a rate comparable to the present-day `greenhouse' effect.

Engineering fellowship: Professor Guy Houlsby, FICE, Professor of Civil Engineering and Fellow of Brasenose College, has been elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has been honoured for his work in the foundations of offshore platforms and in situ testing of soil. He is also distinguished for theoretical work on fundamental soil mechanics. He has led a programme of research into the interaction between buildings and tunnelling operations.

Audiology award: Dr David Moore, Reader in Physiology, has been awarded the 1998 Thomas Simm Littler Prize of the British Society of Audiology in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of the development of the auditory system under normal and abnormal conditions. The award was made at the Society's annual conference, held in Buxton on Thursday, 16 September.

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