The Birmingham Brief

Intelligent thought on policy issues.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham.

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Thursday 2nd April 2015

'Toilet-seat head' amphibian boosts catalogue of Triassic curiosities

Description
The Triassic, which lasted from 252 to 200 million years ago, is not a geological period that looms large in the public consciousness. It lacks the Hollywood glamour of the Jurassic, and sadly none of its cast is as iconic as stars of the Cretaceous such as Tyrannosaurus rex. Yet, among palaeontologists the Triassic is renowned, and with good reason.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

Action on Air Quality: does the government get it?

Description
The UK government has responded to the Action on Air Quality report of its Environmental Audit Committee. The last two decades of UK/EU air quality policy, and the industry response, reminds me of nothing so much as the kind of school-swot one-upmanship we all remember hearing from clever but immature peers when we were young.
Date:
Thursday 5th March 2015
Thursday 26th February 2015

Sporting bodies must up their game in the fight against doping

Description
From Ben Johnson to Lance Armstrong, with countless others in-between, there has been no shortage of high-profile doping scandals to shake the sporting world in recent decades.
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015
Thursday 6th November 2014

Weight loss surgery: a cure for the type 2 diabetes epidemic?

Description
A study published on Monday in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal reports that weight loss surgery, such as the fitting of a gastric band, can reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 80%. This confirms findings from a previous study conducted in Sweden but expands what we know about the effectiveness of the various types of surgical procedures used in the UK. The study highlights the possibility of using obesity surgery as a means of preventing type 2 diabetes in those who are at highest risk of the disease – a possibility that has attracted a great deal of media attention and controversy.
Date:
Thursday 6th November 2014
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