Latest Research News

Pristine Antarctic fjords contain similar levels of microplastics to open oceans near big civilisations

In the middle of the last century, mass-produced, disposable plastic waste started washing up on shorelines, and to be found in the middle of the oceans. This has since become an increasingly serious problem, spreading globally to even the most remote places on Earth. Just a few decades later, in the 1970s, scientists found the same problem was occurring at a much less visible, microscopic level, with microplastics.

This article by Alexis Janosik, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of West FloridaDavid Barnes, Data Interpretation Ecologist, British Antarctic SurveyJames Scourse, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Exeter, and Katrien Van Landeghem, Senior Lecturer in Marine Geology, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 16 July 2018

Bangor University Professor Discovers "Lost" Kubrick Screenplay

Professor Nathan Abrams, a Kubrick expert at Bangor University, has discovered a 1956 screenplay by Stanley Kubrick which was believed to have been lost. Titled Burning Secret, it was an adaptation of Viennese novelist, Stefan Zweig's 1913 novella of the same name.

The novella is told from the perspective of a twelve-year old Jewish boy. He is befriended by a suave but predatory baron at an Austrian holiday spa resort as a means of seducing his married mother. The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface.

Publication date: 16 July 2018

Brain Cancer stem cells manipulated on a ‘lab on chip’ for first time

As the first stage has been achieved in a new European research collaboration to combat two of the most aggressive brain cancers (www.sumcastec.eu), academic and industry  participants are meeting at Bangor University this week (11-12 July) to discuss the next steps.

Publication date: 11 July 2018

Theresa May was right to reimpose collective ministerial responsibility – it's the only way to govern

It lasted for 48 hours. Two days after Theresa May told Conservative ministers that they must adhere to the convention of collective responsibility and support the agreed Brexit plan, the prime minister had to accept the resignation of her Brexit secretary, David Davis, and foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

In his resignation letter, Davis wrote that he did not support the new agreed strategy and was following the collective responsibility convention in resigning.

Collective responsibility only concerns ministers in government serving within the cabinet. Dating back to the 18th century, it is a constitutional convention which holds that members of the cabinet should support all governmental decisions. While it’s a convention rather than a legal requirement, ministers are nonetheless expected to show a “united front” for all government actions and policies.

This article  by Stephen Clear, Lecturer in Law, School of Law, was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 10 July 2018

Codi’r To music project brings harmony to homes and social value to schools and communites

An economic evaluation of the value of Sistema Cymru - Codi’r To, a musical initiative in two schools in Gwynedd, reveals that the value of the project extends far beyond the playing of musical instruments and has brought a greater harmony to many of the households involved.

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis conducted by Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics & Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) placed monetary values on all aspects of the benefits deriving from Codi’r To activities with pupils in the two schools and found that every £1 spent generates a social value return of £6.69.

Publication date: 10 July 2018

Bangor University awarded grant to reveal contents of 17th century Mostyn letters

Three thousand rare letters surviving from the 17th and 18th centuries are to be made available to the international scholarly community following a new research award from the Marc Fitch Fund.

Bangor University’s Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates has been awarded the £40,000 grant to digitise and research an exceptional collection of letters kept in the library of Mostyn Hall in Flintshire.

Publication date: 9 July 2018

Medical education in north Wales

Bangor University has welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement that it plans to expand medical education across Wales, which includes new opportunities to study in north Wales.

From 2019, through collaboration between Cardiff and Bangor Universities, students will be able to undertake the entirety of their undergraduate medical degree in north Wales.

Publication date: 9 July 2018

Some of the world’s poorest people are bearing the costs of tropical forest conservation

Global conservation targets should not be met at the cost of the world’s poor. The first study to evaluate a policy aiming to compensate local people for the costs of conservation has revealed that, despite good intentions, the poor have lost out.

Tropical forests are important to all of us on the planet. As well as being home for rare and fascinating biodiversity (like the lemurs of Madagascar), tropical forests lock up enormous amounts of carbon helping to stabilise our climate. However tropical forests are also home to many hundreds of thousands of people whose lives can be affected by international conservation policies.

Multilateral donors such as the World Bank have made clear commitments that those negatively impacted by their projects should be compensated. This includes those affected by conservation projects such as those intended to slow climate change by preventing tropical deforestation (a scheme known as REDD+ or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Researchers have, for the first time, studied one such compensation scheme in depth and revealed it to be inadequate.

Publication date: 5 July 2018

Researching changes to our Arctic Ocean

Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences is leading one of 12 major research projects to have successfully bid to carry out crucial research in one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet- the Arctic.

The joint-funding for the work comes to the University from the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the Changing Arctic Ocean project.

Dr Yueng-Djern Lenn, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Oceanography at the School of Ocean Sciences is to lead the new three-year research project with partners and collaborating institutions. The aim is to increase understanding of how changes within our oceans might affect the quantity of phytoplankton produced in the Arctic Ocean.

Publication date: 3 July 2018

UK and Germany combine forces to fund crucial Arctic science

Natural Environment Research Council- changing Artic Ocean Media release

For the first time, the UK and Germany have joined forces to investigate the impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean.

The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have jointly invested almost £8 million in 12 new projects to carry out crucial research in one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet. The new projects start today and join the existing NERC Changing Arctic Ocean research programme, which aims to better understand – and predict – changes to the Arctic marine environment and ecosystems.

Publication date: 3 July 2018

Why we explored an undisturbed rainforest hidden on top of an African mountain

Atop Mount Lico in northern Mozambique is a site that few have had the pleasure of seeing – a hidden rainforest, protected by a steep circle of rock. Though the mountain was known to locals, the forest itself remained a secret until six years ago, when Professor Julian Bayliss spotted it on satellite imagery. It wasn’t until last year, however, that he revealed his discovery, at the Oxford Nature Festival.

We recently visited the 700 metre-high mountaintop rainforest in an expedition organised by Bayliss, in collaboration with Mozambique’s Natural History Museum and National Herbarium. As far as anyone knew (including the locals), we would be the first people to set foot there (spoiler: we weren’t).

This article by Simon Willcock, Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University and Phil Platts, Research Fellow, University of York was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 29 June 2018

First textbook on ocean renewable energy published

A potential source of renewable energy surrounds us – the ocean – a vast natural resource that could potentially meet all of the world’s growing demand for electricity several times over.

With recent investments, R&D, and academic research into ocean renewable energy, it was considered timely to produce a textbook on the fundamentals of ocean renewable energy. This book, published by Bangor University ocean energy expert Dr Simon Neill, in collaboration with Dr Reza Hashemi at the University of Rhode Island, is the first published in this new topic.

Publication date: 28 June 2018

Welsh Professor wins people’s choice Award

A volume of poetry written by a Bangor University Welsh Professor has won the golwg 360 Barn y Bobl prize (Welsh people’s choice award) at the glittering 2018 Wales Book of the Year Awards.

Caeth a Rhydd by Peredur Lynch, Professor in Welsh had been shortlisted in the Welsh language Poetry category. Professor Peredur Lynch completed his first poetry volume while on a sabbatical at Harvard University’s Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures.

Publication date: 27 June 2018

Significant barriers to timely diagnosis of dementia and access to post-diagnostic support found across five European countries

Significant barriers to timely diagnosis of Alzheimer have been found across Europe, according to a report presented today at the European Parliament.

The findings of the five-country study funded by Alzheimer Europe and led by Prof Bob Woods of Bangor University’s College of Healthcare Sciences identified the following:

Publication date: 26 June 2018

We're working on a more accurate pollen forecasting system using plant DNA

Most people enjoy the warmer, longer days that summer months bring – but plant allergy sufferers will have mixed emotions. Roughly one in five Europeans suffers from allergic reactions to tree, grass and weed pollen causing pollinosis, hay fever and allergic asthma.

This article by Simon Creer, Professor in Molecular Ecology, School of Biological Sciences and Georgina Brennan, Postdoctoral Research Officer, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 21 June 2018

Bangor Scientists travel to Peru to research life in thin air

Mountains literally take our breath away, not only because of the dramatic landscapes and distinctive cultures, but because every breath taken at high altitude contains less oxygen (known as hypoxia). Hypoxia places a considerable strain on the lungs, blood, heart and blood vessels as they work together to satisfy the body’s need for oxygen. Researchers from the School of Sport, Health and Exercise (Extremes Research Group) at Bangor University have a particular interest in understanding how humans adapt to life in thin air.

Publication date: 20 June 2018

‘Once in a lifetime’ rainforest research trip

Six days after getting married, lecturer Simon Willcock left his wife for a once in a lifetime trip to a ’lost world’- an isolated rainforest atop a large outcrop of volcanic rock in Mozambique.

A lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University, since his PhD Simon has worked with a network of leading scientists whose interest include the study of remote and undisturbed rainforests.

Publication date: 19 June 2018

Response to the Reid report on research and innovation

Following today’s publication of Professor Graeme Reid’s review of Government-funded research and innovation in Wales, Bangor University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone said: “Wales has a number of strengths in research and innovation and it’s important that we continue to support existing areas of excellence, as well as develop and nurture new areas of expertise.

Publication date: 6 June 2018

Five brain-boosting reasons to take up martial arts – at any age

This article by Ashleigh Johnstone, PhD researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Psychology was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

We are all aware that exercise generally has many benefits, such as improving physical fitness and strength. But what do we know about the effects of specific types of exercise? Researchers have already shown that jogging can increase life expectancy, for example, while yoga makes us happy. However, there is one activity that goes beyond enhancing physical and mental health – martial arts can boost your brain’s cognition too.

Publication date: 8 May 2018