The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Thursday 30th October 2014

Education and awareness needed to combat 'global epidemic' of liver disease

Description
Despite significant advances in our knowledge of how to diagnose and treat chronic liver disease, we are currently experiencing a global epidemic in cases. In Europe alone, 29 million people suffer from chronic liver disease, and this rapid upward trend is reproduced in England, where liver disease is one of the leading causes of premature mortality.
Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014
Categories:
Medical and Dental Sciences, Research
Thursday 23rd October 2014

Drones are here to stay, but the government must do more to ensure greater public acceptance

Description
On 16 October, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, announced that part of the UK Reaper drone fleet would be deployed in Iraq to support coalition efforts against the terror group ISIL. This week, he confirmed they would also be flying surveillance missions over Syria. These events mark the first operational use of UK Reapers outside Afghanistan and represent a significant and timely development in the UK government's stated policy towards 'drone warfare'. The overwhelming vote in the House of Commons in support of military action endorsed the firm legal basis for the UK's use of force in collective defence of a friendly government.
Date:
Thursday 23rd October 2014
Categories:
Research, Social Sciences
Thursday 9th October 2014

High-speed rail college a boost for the region – the hard work starts now

Description
Last week the government announced that the headquarters of the new National College for High Speed Rail will be located in Birmingham, with a satellite site in Doncaster. This is good news for the railway industry and good news for the two regions. It's also good news for the University of Birmingham, which will play a key role in the work of the college through its Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE).
Date:
Thursday 9th October 2014
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research, Teaching
Thursday 11th September 2014

Proton radiotherapy: hype, fiction and a few facts

Description
Proton beam therapy (or our preferred title of proton radiotherapy), is a form of radiotherapy delivered with beams of high energy protons rather than the more usual beams of high energy x-rays (or less frequently beams of electrons). It is part of the general field of particle radiotherapy that includes use of particles that are heavier than protons. Beams of carbon ions are the main topic for clinical research around the world, although there is also interest in other particles such as helium ions.
Date:
Thursday 11th September 2014
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
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