Did you miss? Eruptions, jabs & bangs | University of Oxford
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OSB archive

Did you miss? Eruptions, jabs & bangs

Pete Wilton

Highlights from Oxford science in the news this week:

Everyone was shaken and stirred this week by the news that earthquakes could be quadrupling the number of volcanic eruptions.

Research carried out by Seb Watt, Tamsin Mather and David Pyle from the Department of Earth Sciences gave statistical evidence for a link between very large earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Both BBC Online and The Times were quick on the uptake with The Times coming up with a particularly catchy headline/analogy: 'Champagne effect could help to predict volcanoes'.

Elsewhere reports that a new Oxford-developed malaria vaccine more than halved the risk of malaria for infants in trials in Kenya and Tanzania got New Scientist all excited:

'It's been a bad week for Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, with promising results from two trials of the first vaccine for the disease.' NS wrote, quoting Oxford lead researcher Philip Bejon saying: 'If these results were repeated in a much larger trial, it would almost certainly lead to approval of the world's first vaccine against malaria.'

Interlude: What's friend of the OxSciBlog and new Professor of the Public Understanding of Science Marcus du Sautoy up to this week?

Answer: Amongst other things, guest appearances on both Radio 4's Leading Edge and Desert Island Discs [his playlist included Wagner's Parsifal conducted by the genius von Karajan and Messiaen's Turangalila with its electronica flavouring].

Finally, Oxford physics postgrads are making a big bang tonight with the Accelerate! physics show.

Organiser Suzie Sheehy told the Oxford Mail: 'We want to show that physics, and science in general, is not boring. It will be completely different from the classroom — there will be things exploding, things flying round the lecture theatre and lots of exciting other things with audience involvement.'