Number news graphic

Number News

Billions of neurons, millions of Nissans, and thousands of Leakfrogs make up the numbers dominating the news this month.


Bets worth over £1bn were placed through Betfair's mobile products in the last financial year, and the number of people using their mobiles to place a bet through the Betting Exchange more than doubled to 168,000.

The company, which has a mobile tech centre of excellence in San Francisco, offers applications for the iPhone and iPad in 12 languages as well as HTML-5 Web-based applications for Android phones and a new Racing on Your Mobile application, powered by Timeform.


GKN Aerospace expects to recycle nearly 100 tonnes of uncured carbon waste from its plant in Cowes, Isle of Wight, over the next 12 months under a cost-neutral agreement with West Midlands firm Recycled Carbon Fibre Ltd. The recycled material will be used in a variety of products including paints and coatings, thermoplastic polymers, composite tooling and deep sea buoyancy products.

100 billion

Scientists at the University of Manchester are using chips based on ARM processor technology to understand and model human brain functions. There are 100 billion neurons with 1,000 million connections in the human brain; the neurons emit spikes that are relayed as tiny electrical signals. In the SpiNNaker (Spiking Neural Network Architecture) computer each impulse is modelled as a 'packet' of data that is transmitted in a similar way to information online. The model will help neuroscientists, psychologists and doctors understand complex brain injuries, diseases and conditions.


More than 10,000 NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) have been awarded to staff at Transport for London in the last ten years, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace. NVQs have been awarded to employees at London Underground including station staff, train drivers, signallers and the engineering workforce since 2001. In December 2008 the scheme was expanded to cover other roles across TfL.


Pike Research reports that 17.4 million smart meter units were shipped globally in the first quarter of 2011, along with a nearly equal number of advanced metering infrastructure communications nodes. Seventy per cent of these shipments were in China in support of a massive roll-out by State Grid Corporation of China.

Excluding China, nearly 5.3 million smart meters were shipped, two thirds of them in North America.


A device created by engineers at Thames Water has been used to check for water leakage at over 70,000 properties since 2008 and found 2,100 leaks on customers' pipes that were large enough to warrant a repair or pipe replacement.
The Leakfrog gadget is fitted to a water meter overnight and measures the longest time it takes for one litre of water to pass through. The shorter the time, the bigger the leak. Thames Water says Leakfrogs identify hard-to-find leaks quickly and at the fraction of the cost of other methods.


The one millionth Qashqai was driven off the production line at Nissan's Sunderland plant on 28 June, less than four years, seven months after production began on 5 December 2006.

The Qashqai is easily the highest-volume car produced in the UK. Earlier in June Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that the next version of the Qashqai will be designed, engineered and built in the UK, safeguarding the jobs of 6,000 people at Nissan and in its supply chain.


A wave-power device developed for commercial-scale electricity production has generated an average output of 45kW in ocean trials, with peaks of over 400kW. Rated at 150kW, Ocean Power Technologies' PowerBuoy 150 has been deployed in the North Sea since April 2011, at a site some 33 nautical miles from Invergordon, Scotland. Onboard equipment replicates grid-connection conditions. OPT says the power take-off system has performed better than expected in the irregular ocean conditions and verifies that an average of 150kW would be achievable at greater wave heights.

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