Imperial in the news: How to put a human on Mars

Last weekend (27 and 28 July 2013) the BBC broadcast a 30-minute programme called How to put a human on Mars, exploring some of the key aspects of how a mission to Mars might look.

Is there life on Mars? A manned-mission could find out

Dr Simon Foster (Physics) was one of five researchers at Imperial who took part. He showed how ice could be used to produce fuel for the return journey and how parachutes would be deployed to slow down and stabilise the landing craft before the astronauts could step foot on the red planet.

To demonstrate this he threw a camera off of the Queen’s Tower, attached to bin bags by string, and talked about his experience in the Imperial Podcast.

Imperial in the news: obese children

Rising obesity levels in children have led to an increase in hospital admissions for obesity-related conditions

Last month’s biggest story involving research at Imperial looked at the increase in children admitted to hospital with obesity-related conditions.

During the period studied there was a four-fold increase in admissions for children experiencing obesity-related conditions, from 872 in 2000 to 3806 in 2009.  Teenage girls with pregnancies complicated by obesity accounted for hospital admissions in 2009.

Surveys suggest that around 30 per cent of children aged 2-15 are overweight and up to 20 per cent are obese.

“The burden of obesity is usually thought to have its serious consequences in adulthood, but we now see it manifesting earlier, in childhood,” said Dr Sonia Saxena, from the School of Public Health at Imperial, who led the study.