news 2013


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Veterinary - 16.12.2013
Common misconceptions by cat owners lead to high numbers of unwanted kittens
Overpopulation in cats is recognised to contribute to high numbers of cats entering rescue shelters each year. New research suggests that the high number of unwanted kittens may be due to common misconceptions held by cat owners. The research led by academics at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences is published online in the Veterinary Record .

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 16.12.2013
Shedding new light on leaf formation
A research project studying the biology of plants has shed new light on the mechanisms that control the placement and arrangement of leaves. The new insights revealed by the study could help to inform the way in which we select and grow different varieties of crops in the future. Co-author of the study Dr Etienne Farcot , at The University of Nottingham, said: "With a world population of seven billion and growing, ensuring global food security is one of the major challenges of modern society.

Health - 16.12.2013
Families urged to get to the heart of their medical histories this Christmas
The full paper can be found here: http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/15/eurheartj.eht539.full (external site, html) Doctors are encouraging people to take advantage of Christmas gatherings with relatives to discuss family medical histories to help tackle ill-health.

Social Sciences - Health - 16.12.2013
One in four women prisoners self-harm every year
As many as one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year, with women in prison four times more likely to self-harm than men. The findings come from the largest ever study of self-harm in prisons led by Dr Seena Fazel and Professor Keith Hawton from the University of Oxford. The researchers examined the prevalence of self-harm in all prisoners in England and Wales between 2004 and 2009 and the results are published in the medical journal The Lancet .

Electroengineering - Chemistry - 13.12.2013
A new step towards graphene-based electronics
A new step towards graphene-based electronics
13 Dec 2013 University of Manchester scientists have helped demonstrate that long, structurally well-defined ribbons of graphene can be made. Writing , researchers used different characterisation techniques, including Raman spectroscopy – led by Dr Cinzia Casiraghi and her group – to confirm that these ribbons, called GNRs, are structurally well-defined and have excellent charge-carrier mobility.

Mathematics - 13.12.2013
Language can affect children’s mathematical development
A unique international study has found that the grammatical structures of language can influence children's early understanding of numbers. The joint research between the University of California at San Diego, UCL, King Saud University, University of Nova Gorica and Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at the importance of language in the development of young children's understanding of numbers in Saudi Arabia, Slovenia and United States.

Physics - 13.12.2013
Graphene research lands one of 2013 top 10 physics breakthroughs
Graphene research lands one of 2013 top 10 physics breakthroughs
13 Dec 2013 Research by a University of Manchester scientist has been included in the top 10 breakthroughs in physics in 2013, as judged by Physics World magazine. Dr Roman Gorbachev was highly commended for research he and his team carried out the first measurement of Hofstadter's butterfly in a solid-state system.

Chemistry - Physics - 13.12.2013
Noble gas molecule discovered in space
A molecule containing a noble gas has been discovered in space by a team including astronomers from Cardiff University. The find was made using a Cardiff-led instrument aboard Europe's Herschel Space Observatory. The molecule, argon hydride, was seen in the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago.

Physics - Chemistry - 13.12.2013
First noble gas molecules in space
First noble gas molecules in space
Noble gas molecules have been detected in space for the first time in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, by astronomers at UCL. Watch a video explaining the findings Led by Professor Mike Barlow (UCL Physics & Astronomy) the team used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to observe the Crab Nebula in far infrared light.

Environment - 12.12.2013
Lack of monitoring impairs bat conservation research
Lack of monitoring impairs bat conservation research
Millions of pounds are being spent to protect bats from disturbance by building development and renovations, however a lack of follow-up monitoring makes it difficult to tell whether conservation efforts are effective. Researchers from the University of Bristol Mammal Research Unit found that between 2003 and 2005 an estimated £4.3 million was spent by developers in England to provide new homes for displaced bats, but less than 20 per cent of sites were monitored afterwards for their impact on bat populations.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.12.2013
New gene discovery sheds more light on Alzheimer's risk
A research team from The University of Nottingham has helped uncover a second rare genetic mutation which strongly increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease in later life. In an international collaboration, the University's Translational Cell Sciences Human Genetics research group has pinpointed a rare coding variation in the Phospholipase D3 (PLD3) gene which is more common in people with late-onset Alzheimer's than non-sufferers.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.12.2013
Salmonella’s ’turn-ons’ revealed
Professor Jay Hinton: "These findings show that salmonella goes through a complex choreography of different stages while infecting different parts of our bodies” Scientists have used a new method to map the response of every salmonella gene to conditions in the human body, providing new insight into how the bacteria triggers infection.

Administration - Social Sciences - 12.12.2013
’Invisible’ homeless women are not accessing the services they need
Homeless women are not accessing the support of social services that they need to progress due to a lack of service coordination and the complex needs of the service users, a recent project has found. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that homeless women 'are used to making themselves invisible in order to survive' and are therefore a hard-to-reach group for social services to work with.

Social Sciences - Health - 11.12.2013
Improving life with dementia
The G8 summit has announced today the launch of a £4 million research project about improving life with dementia. This new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research hopes to answer some key questions: How can people with dementia be supported to live well?  What affects their ability to do this and when should support be offered to help people live well with this challenging disease?

Life Sciences - Health - 11.12.2013
Researchers uncover mechanism controlling Tourette Syndrome tics
A mechanism in the brain which controls tics in children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham. The study, which has been published in the British Psychological Society's Journal of Neuropsychology , could herald new non-drug therapies to help young people with TS overcome the repetitive physical movements and vocal sounds which characterise their condition.

Health - Social Sciences - 11.12.2013
Making ‘dementia friendly’ neighbourhoods
The University of Liverpool and a team of European experts will explore the role of the neighbourhood in the everyday lives of people with dementia in a new research project announced during the G8 dementia summit. The 'Neighbourhoods and Dementia' study, led by the University of Manchester, was one of six research projects announced by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) along with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), as part of a £20 million funding boost which will significantly add to the understanding of dementia.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.12.2013
Blood pressure drug could double up as first treatment for common form of dementia
A 4p per day drug for high blood pressure could become the first ever treatment for one of the most common forms of dementia within a decade, say two leading charities. The widely prescribed drug amlodipine has shown promising effects in people with vascular dementia, the most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.

Health - 10.12.2013
South Asians need to exercise for 20 minutes longer per day than Europeans
New research has suggested men of South Asian origin may need to exercise for approximately 20 minutes a day longer than their Europeans counterparts. Current physical activity guidelines recommend that all adults take at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (equivalent to walking briskly for 30 minutes on 5 days of the week) per week.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.12.2013
New test for chronic blood cancers
Current test only identifies around 60 per cent of blood cancers; without new test, diagnosis in other 40 percent is difficult and requires multiple, often invasive, tests Not only will the identification of CALR lead to a new, less invasive test, we also hope that it can lead to new treatments Dr Jyoti Nangalia A simple blood test will soon be able to catch the vast majority of a group of chronic blood cancers, a new study reveals.

Health - Administration - 10.12.2013
Healthy habits reduce dementia risk
A study which monitored the health habits of 2,235 men over a 35-year period has found that exercise significantly reduces the risk of dementia. Published today in the  PLOS One journal by researchers from Cardiff University, the study is the longest of its kind to probe the influence of environmental factors in chronic disease.