news 2016

Environment - Jul 20
Environment
Under warmer conditions, plants can take up more carbon dioxide by using carbon more efficiently for growth, shows a new study. Plants take in - or ‘fix' - carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Some of the carbon is used for plant growth, and some of it is used in respiration, where the plant breaks down sugars to get energy.
Business - Jul 20

Pupils who have immigrated to the UK have a significantly more positive attitude towards school than their peers whose parents were born here, new research has revealed.

Life Sciences - Jul 19
Life Sciences

A Eight hundred year old Norwegian skeleton found to have traces of Salmonella. This research Reshapes understanding of the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica.

Pedagogy - Jul 20

Teenagers who regularly clash with their parents are more likely to have given time to a charity or humanitarian cause, a study has shown.

Earth Sciences - Jul 19

Groundwater pumped from the depths of the coastal Bengal Basin supporting more than 80 million people is largely secure from contamination, according to new research by UCL and the British Geological Survey.


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Environment - Medicine / Pharmacology - 29.12.2016
Languages still a major barrier to global science, new research finds
Languages still a major barrier to global science, new research finds
Over a third of new conservation science documents published annually are in non-English languages, despite assumption of English as scientific ‘lingua franca'. Researchers find examples of important science missed at international level, and practitioners struggling to access new knowledge, as a result of language barriers.

Medicine / Pharmacology - 29.12.2016
Can paint strokes help identify Alzheimer's?
Can paint strokes help identify Alzheimer’s?
A new University of Liverpool study published in ‘Neuropsychology!' shows that it may be possible to detect neurodegenerative disorders in artists before they are diagnosed. Psychologist Dr Alex Forsythe from the University's School of Psychology and her team, working with Dr Tamsin Williams of Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Trust, Vale of York and Maynooth University, Ireland, examined 2092 paintings from the careers of seven famous artists who experienced both normal ageing and neurodegenerative disorders.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 23.12.2016
First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate
First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate
Using ultrafast imaging of moving energy in photosynthesis, scientists have determined the speed of crucial processes for the first time. This should help scientists understand how nature has perfected the process of photosynthesis, and how this might be copied to produce fuels by artificial photosynthesis.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 22.12.2016
Study named as People’s Choice for Science magazine’s ‘Breakthrough of the Year 2016’
Cambridge research that will enable scientists to grow and study embryos in the lab for almost two weeks has been named as the People's Choice for Science magazine's ‘Breakthrough of the Year 2016' It's a natural human instinct to be curious about where we come from, but until now, technical hurdles have meant there's been a huge gap in our understanding of how embryos develop Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz The work, led by Professor Magdalena Ze

Astronomy / Space Science - 22.12.2016
New record set for world's most heat resistant material
New record set for world’s most heat resistant material
Researchers have discovered that tantalum carbide and hafnium carbide materials can withstand scorching temperatures of nearly 4000 degrees Celsius. These materials may enable spacecraft to withstand the extreme heat generated from leaving and re-entering the atmosphere. Dr Omar Cedillos-Barraza In particular, the team from Imperial College London discovered that the melting point of hafnium carbide is the highest ever recorded for a material.

Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Solved: mystery that was holding back development of next-generation solar cells
Solved: mystery that was holding back development of next-generation solar cells
Scientists have identified an unexpected cause of poor performance in a new class of flexible and cheap solar cells, bringing them closer to market. Solar cells are the building blocks of photovoltaic solar panels. They are made from light-absorbing materials that convert sunlight into electricity. Normally the light-absorbing material is silicon, which has an energy-intensive manufacturing process.

Life Sciences - Environment - 22.12.2016
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
It helps to have a larger brain if you're living in an extreme climate, according to a study of birds published in Nature Communications . The research suggests that birds have evolved larger brains to cope in harsh environments where the tasks of finding food, evading predators and finding shelter are more demanding.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 21.12.2016
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions A new genetic disease which results in neurodegeneration has been discovered by experts at the University of Sussex. In a study published today, Wednesday 21 December, in the top scientific journal Nature, the team from the University of Sussex's Genome Damage and Stability Centre (GDSC) reveal they have discovered the disease, ataxia oculomotor apraxia type XRCC1 , which is caused by a genetic mutation that disrupts the repair of our DNA.

Administration / Government - Medicine / Pharmacology - 21.12.2016
NHS hospitals that outsource cleaning ‘linked with higher rates of MRSA’
New research shows that NHS hospitals that employ private cleaners are associated with a higher incidence of MRSA, a ‘superbug' that causes life-threatening infection and has previously been linked with a lack of cleanliness. The superbug is becoming increasingly difficult to treat. As from 2005, trusts have been required to regularly report incidents of MRSA, which has enabled researchers to produce empirical evidence for the first time that compares the rates of infection in hospitals that outsource cleaning with those using in-house cleaners.

Agronomy / Food Science - 21.12.2016
Turn an ear to hear
Listeners in a noisy situation benefit from facing slightly away from the person they are listening to, turning one ear towards the speech, concludes a study by Cardiff University, funded by UK charity Action on Hearing Loss (RNID). This listening tactic was found to be especially beneficial for cochlear implant users who typically struggle in noisy social settings such as restaurants.

Environment - 21.12.2016
’Belief in climate change found to be influenced by the local weather’
New research finds local temperatures may play an important role in whether people believe in climate change. The study, published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) , found that of the Americans surveyed, belief that the earth is warming related to the frequency of record-high and record-low temperatures they had experienced themselves.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 21.12.2016
‘Glue' that makes plant cell walls strong could hold the key to wooden skyscrapers
‘Glue’ that makes plant cell walls strong could hold the key to wooden skyscrapers
Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today . The study, led by a father and son team at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge, solves a long-standing mystery of how key sugars in cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 20.12.2016
Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again
Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again
UCL researchers have discovered a new genetic cause for dystonia, a movement disorder, enabling treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation which has been so successful that children have been able to walk again. The team of researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University of Cambridge and the NIHR Rare Disease Bioresource have identified mutations in a gene, called KMT2B, in 28 patients with dystonia.  In most cases, the patients - many of whom were young children who were thought to have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy - were unable to walk.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 19.12.2016
Alzheimer’s Advance: study in mice show new drugs that restore memory loss and prolong life
An international team of scientists has announced a new advance in the fight against Alzheimer's disease by identifying a new drug target for not only improving symptoms of brain degeneration - but also to extend the life-span of the terminally ill mice. The four-year study by Medical Research Council (MRC) scientists based at the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 19.12.2016
Physicists shine light on antimatter
Scientists from the University of Liverpool as part of CERN's ALPHA collaboration have made the first spectroscopic measurement of an atom of antimatter - a longstanding goal in antimatter physics. Published , this finding represents a significant step towards the development of highly precise tests of whether matter behaves differently from antimatter.

Earth Sciences - 19.12.2016
Megathrust earthquakes
The raggedness of the ocean floors could be the key to triggering some of the Earth's most powerful earthquakes, scientists from Cardiff University have discovered. In a new study published today the team, also from Utrecht University, suggest that large bumps and mounds on the sea floor could be the trigger point that causes the crust in the Earth's oceans to drastically slip beneath the crust on the continent and generate a giant earthquake.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 19.12.2016
Patients show considerable improvements after treatment for newly-defined movement disorder
Patients show considerable improvements after treatment for newly-defined movement disorder
DNA sequencing has defined a new genetic disorder that affects movement, enabling patients with dystonia - a disabling condition that affects voluntary movement - to be targeted for treatment that brings remarkable improvements, including restoring independent walking.

Chemistry - 19.12.2016
Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery
Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery
A team of international scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered the earliest direct evidence of humans processing plants for food found anywhere in the world. Researchers at the Organic Geochemistry Unit in the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry , working with colleagues at Sapienza, University of Rome and the Universities of Modena and Milan, studied unglazed pottery dating from more than 10,000 years ago, from two sites in the Libyan Sahara.

Medicine / Pharmacology - 19.12.2016
Neglect and abuse in childhood could have long-term economic consequences
Neglect and abuse in childhood could have long-term economic consequences
People who suffer neglect and abuse in childhood are much more likely to have time off work due to long-term sickness and less likely to own their own homes when they reach middle age than their peers, according to new research undertaken at UCL. The study, which is published in U.S. journal Pediatrics and undertaken as part of the Public Health Research Consortium, showed that the potential socioeconomic impact of child neglect and abuse may persist for decades.

Religions - 19.12.2016
Eighteenth Century monks' favourite tipple
Eighteenth Century monks’ favourite tipple
Two Eighteenth Century drinks recipes, discovered by researchers from Durham University's Department of Theology and Religion , have revealed that a brandy-based cocktail was a favourite drink amongst a community of English Catholic monks exiled in France. The recipes were discovered by Dr James Kelly , Research Fellow in Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism, during research work for the Monks in Motion project.
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