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World record bid set to boost research into septicaemia and meningitis

A world record bid organised by medical research charity SPARKS is set to boost University of Portsmouth research into bacterial septicaemia and meningitis.

Rob Abernethy and Mike Noel-Smith aim to row 4400 miles from Western Australia to Reunion Island in Africa beginning in April 2003. The crossing has only been rowed once before by Swede Anders Svedlund in 1971 who took 64 days.

Dr Kathy Triantafilou, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, says:

"Bacterial septicaemia is potentially fatal. We are delighted that SPARKS has agreed to fund our research into ways of neutralising the harmful effects of bacteria once they enter the bloodstream. The world record bid will be very challenging and it will be very exciting to watch Rob and Mike's progress."Shaun Roy, Senior Fundraiser for SPARKS, says:

"SPARKS has already worked closely with Dr Kathy Triantafilou and her team. Their research is vitally important if we are to find ways of saving the lives of those who die from bacterial septicaemia. Our aim is to raise ?250,000 and we hope that many people will choose to sponsor the two rowers."

SPARKS (SPort Aiding medical Research for KidS) is a charity that aims to give all children a healthy start in life by funding vital medical research into the conditions that affect newborn babies and children. They have passed on over ?9million in the past ten years.


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