Sunday 21 December 2014

In brief: Leadership in genes

Published 16/01/2013 | 05:00

A gene has been uncovered that may help to create born leaders. The leadership gene, known as rs4950, is an inheri-ted DNA sequence associated with people taking charge.

Scientists from University College London accept that leadership skills are also learned. But the gene may provide the vital push needed to make someone into a manager rather than a minion.

Universally sick

Was it the fish? An estimated 230 University of Amsterdam professors or their spouses got violently ill last week after the school's annual faculty party.

Spokesman Joost van Tilburg said food poisoning was believed to be the cause. He said the professors' distress "mostly involved stomach problems".

'X Factor' college

A course specifically designed to prepare wannabe pop stars to pass the audition stage of ITV talent show the 'X Factor' has been launched.

Bishop Auckland College in Durham claims to be the first to offer the chance to prepare people for going on the 'X Factor'. Students enrolling on the 17-week programme, which ends just before the auditions stage begins, will receive technical tuition in singing and performing.

Tunnel used for raid

Robbers dug a 100ft tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank and escaped with their haul, starting a fire as they left to cover their tracks.

Police said the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe deposit room. They said it was "very professional" and must have taken weeks or even months to complete. It was elaborately constructed and even had ceiling supports.

GPS to track drugs

New York police want pharmacies to fight prescription drug thefts by stocking pill bottles fitted with GPS tracking chips. They are concerned about crimes related to the black market for painkillers and other highly addictive prescription drugs.

Police want to distribute GPS bottles for pharmacists to hide on their shelves with legitimate supplies allowing them to be tracked if there is a robbery or burglary.

Logo leaves bad taste

Civic leaders in Henderson, Nevada, want to update the city's logo after it was mistaken for a hamburger.

They complain it is too detailed to reprint clearly on small items such as business cards. The circular logo was adopted in 1993 and features a mountain range, a lake, buildings and a golf course.

Irish Independent

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