Imperial in the news: asthma research

Hospital admissions for children fell 12.3 per cent in the first year of smoke-free legislation in England

This week has seen the publication of two important studies about asthma – one relating to the fall in the number of children being admitted to hospital with asthma since smoke-free legislation was introduced in England in 2007, and one on occupations where workers are likely to develop the disease.

The study about the reduction in hospital admissions for children was led by Dr Christopher Millet [School of Public Health] who was interviewed by the BBC. The story gained a lot of coverage, including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Huffington Post, Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Independent featured an editorial.

Imperial in the news: music and medicine

There are many similarities between performance in the operating theatre and on stage

An innovative collaboration between Professor Roger Kneebone [Surgery & Cancer] and Professor Aaron Williamson, of the Royal College of Music, explores the similarities between surgeons and musicians in performance.

Surgeons and musicians are both required to perform perfectly under pressure. Both go through routines in advance of their performance, which also closely match their mental preparations.

Professors Kneebone and Williamson discuss the parallels between the groups, including instruments, techniques and the theatres in which they perform, and the stress and tensions that they might be experiencing.

This documentary on BBC Radio 3 features the thoughts of junior surgeons and young cellists about how they get ready and focussed for their work, as well as what they consider during their performance and the distractions that they need to manage.

Imperial in the news: Quandrantid meteor shower

The Quadrantid meteor shower was most visible at dawn this morning

Although you may have missed your chance to see the Quandrantids meteor shower at 5am this morning, Dr Simon Foster [Physics] told Daily Telegraph readers a little bit about this heavenly spectacle.

The meteors come about when the earth passes through the debris trail of an ancient comet around this time each year. In a video on the media outlet’s website, Dr Foster explained the best places to see the shooting stars is in the countryside and away from light pollution.

He said the best direction to look to observe the shower is towards the North West, at any dark patch of sky close to Ursa Major, the constellation known as ‘The Big Dipper’.