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March 2014

Leadership development is ‘top priority for firms’

Leadership development is now the number one priority for organisations in the UK, a new report says. Deloitte has published its UK Human Capital Trends 2014 report, examining the patterns shaping the human capital agenda. The study suggests that the new emphasis on leadership development could be attributed to changing leadership needs and the challenge of addressing multiple generations of leaders. Leadership development scored 74 per cent on the report's …Read More

Autism linked to prenatal development

New research suggests that brain irregularities in autistic children could be traced back to prenatal development. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the origins of the architecture of the autistic brain, which contains patches of abnormal neurons, may lie in this stage of development. "While autism is generally considered a developmental brain disorder, research has not identified a consistent or causative lesion," said Thomas …Read More

New research ‘highlights ethics problem among managers’

New research has revealed the scale of the ethics problem facing UK organisations, with managers becoming 'robotically compliant' rule followers and neglecting the ethical dimension of human interaction. This is the conclusion of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and personality test MoralDNA. Workplace culture is dominated by rules, bureaucracy and targets, meaning managers are 'switching off' their care for others, they claim. The report, Managers and their MoralDNA, explores a …Read More

Scientists shed light on virus replication

Mathematicians and scientists from two UK universities have collaborated to shed new light on the process of viral replication during an infection. Experimentalists from the University of Leeds and mathematicians from the University of York devised a mathematical model that gives new insights into the molecular mechanisms behind virus assembly, helping to explain the efficiency of their operation. Researchers from the Departments of Mathematics and Biology at the University of …Read More

New report ‘undermines’ career progression myths

The 30% Club has released findings of its research which undermines ten common myths about how women progress to top positions in organisations. According to the research, men and women have similar career aspirations, leadership behaviour and push and pull factors for career moves. Small differences, however, can result in significantly different outcomes. A man starting his career in a FTSE 100 organisation is 4.5 times more likely to make …Read More

Study identifies mechanism behind kidney cancer progression

Researchers from Chicago and Beijing have identified a major mechanism behind the progression of kidney cancer and their findings could lead to new treatments for the disease.  Their research, published in the March 20th edition of the journal Cancer Cell, shows how a shortage of oxygen, or hypoxia, created when rapidly multiplying kidney cancer cells outgrow their local blood supply, can accelerate tumor growth. It does this by causing a …Read More

Chancellor announces science investment

Chancellor George Osborne used his 2014 Budget to help promote British science, announcing extra investment in stem cell research and postdoctoral training. Some £55 million is to be provided to fund research into stem cells, establishing a Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre to help treat a wide range of degenerative diseases. The government said that while the UK has a leading position in stem cell therapy research, its manufacturing capability is …Read More

Muscle-derived stem cells used to repair nerve damage

Scientists have successfully used stem cells derived from human muscle tissue to repair nerve damage and restore function in an animal model.  Their findings raise hopes that cell therapy of certain nerve diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, might one day be available. Treatments for damage to peripheral nerves – those outside the brain and spinal cord – have hitherto had limited success, often leaving patients with impaired muscle control and …Read More

All employees will soon be able to request flexible working

Some of the most profound changes to the world of work are set to take place following the passage of the Children and Families Act, which was given royal assent in parliament last week. The legislation gives workers a host of new rights, including the right for all staff to request flexible working, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reports. It could represent the biggest change in working practices …Read More

New method finds gene linked to heart attack risk

Researchers have identified a gene variation that has a key influence on blood lipid levels and individuals' predisposition to heart attacks. The discovery, made by a team from the University of Michigan and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, could help scientists to develop treatments for high cholesterol and other lipid disorders. Significantly, the formerly unrecognised gene has been overlooked during previous attempts to find genes that affect the …Read More