News: March 2019

New study models the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland

Experts have used an innovative approach to model the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland.

Researchers used state-of-the-art tools to help identify the most suitable location for lynx reintroduction in Scotland – and how this choice might affect the size of a population and its expansion over subsequent decades. Significantly, they believe their model will inform and enhance decision-making around large carnivore reintroductions worldwide.

Publication date: 29 March 2019

Snake venom can vary in a single species — and it’s not just about adaptation to their prey

Few sights and sounds are as emblematic of the North American southwest as a defensive rattlesnake, reared up, buzzing, and ready to strike. The message is loud and clear, “Back off! If you don’t hurt me, I won’t hurt you.” Any intruders who fail to heed the warning can expect to fall victim to a venomous bite.

But the consequences of that bite are surprisingly unpredictable

Publication date: 21 March 2019

Uncoupling the link between snake venom and prey

What was fast-becoming received wisdom among herpetologists, namely that snake venom composition normally reflects the variety of their prey, has been disproved in one common species of North American rattlesnake.

Many recent studies had identified links between the type of prey and the type of venom that had evolved in venomous snake species world-wide. This was thought to reflect natural selection to optimise venom for different prey, and sometimes evolutionary ‘arms- races’ between snake and prey species.

Publication date: 13 March 2019

North Wales and the North West of England leads the UK in securing clean energy

North Wales and the North West of England are the key areas for the development of nuclear research and engineering in the UK, according to a UK Government commissioned Audit report published today.

The report shows that nowhere else in Europe has such a concentration of nuclear expertise, with unparalleled access to a world-renowned skills base and pioneering expertise in nuclear research and development.

Publication date: 8 March 2019

Microplastic pollution widespread in British lakes and rivers - new study

New research by Bangor University and Friends of the Earth has found microplastic pollution in some of Britain’s most iconic and remote rivers and lakes.

The study, believed to be the first of its kind, looked at ten sites - including lakes in the Lake District, waterways in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, a wetland and Welsh reservoir - and found microplastics in all of them.

Publication date: 7 March 2019

What’s in the soil beneath our feet?

A Canadian student with Welsh roots, is breaking new ground in his research to assess exactly what lives in the Welsh soil beneath our feet.

PhD student Paul George who is studying at Bangor University’s School of Natural Sciences and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH),  has his research published today (7 March 2019) in Nature Communications.

Publication date: 7 March 2019

Disappearing rice fields threaten more global warming

All over China, a huge change has been taking place without any of us noticing. Rice paddies have been (and are being) converted at an astonishing rate into aquaculture ponds to produce more protein for the worlds growing populations. This change risks creating an unexpected impact on global warming.

International researchers, including Prof Chris Freeman from Bangor University, have found conversion of paddy fields to aquaculture is releasing massive amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. 

Publication date: 4 March 2019

Bangor University part of a £200m collaboration to create a new generation of Artificial Intelligence leaders

Bangor University is to take part in an exciting new drive to create a thousand new research and business leaders the project is designed to ensure that the UK leads the global revolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

A new generation of PhD students will use AI technology to improve healthcare, tackle climate change and create new commercial opportunities, thanks to a £100m investment from UK Research and Innovation announced recently.  

Publication date: 1 March 2019

Daffodils for St David’s Day

The national flower of Wales has found a new role this St David’s Day (Friday 1 March) – helping scientists to better understand the value of plant extracts as an alternative to antibiotics in animal feed.

Researchers from Bangor University and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have teamed up to investigate the effects of daffodil extracts as natural antimicrobials on the digestive systems of cattle and sheep.

Publication date: 1 March 2019