Research News: August 2017

Funding to develop dementia researchers

In Wales there at 45,000 people living with dementia and the cost of illness has been estimated at £1.4 billion per year. The highest part of this cost is unpaid care by family and friends. Support services can be fragmented and difficult for people to access across health and social care sectors. Poor transport links and the risk of carers feeling more isolated and unsupported are particular challenges for rural areas.

Researchers at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences have been awarded over half a million pounds in funding to undertake fellowships in dementia research. These fellowships, funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, aim to build capacity in health and social care research by supporting individuals to become independent researchers and to undertake high-quality research projects’.

Publication date: 30 August 2017

The oyster is their world- now they want you to consider the oyster

Aquaculture experts at Bangor University are hoping to initiate a sea-change in how oysters are considered and consumed at an international Oyster Symposium being held at the University (11-14 September). They hope that the event will encourage a rapid but sustainable increase in oyster production and consumption- at home and at oyster bars here in Wales and elsewhere.

Publication date: 30 August 2017

Developing new long-range micro backpacks for bees

A project to develop a new means of tracking bees in the landscape is progressing well according to scientists at Bangor University. 

An ecologist and a microsystems engineer are working together to develop micro-backpacks for bees that will enable the bees to be followed by small drones as they fly from plant to plant. 

This will enable scientists to learn more about where the bees collect nectar and what might be affecting their numbers.  

Publication date: 29 August 2017

Forget Jon Snow, watch the young women to find out how Game of Thrones ends

For Game of Thrones fans, the current series has been a bit of a mystery. As the television writers have picked up the storyline where author George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice novels ended, there is, for the first time, no original text to refer back to.

 

This article by Raluca Radulescu, Professor of Medieval Literature and English Literature, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article

Publication date: 25 August 2017

Landfill sites: not just a load of rubbish

Far from being a load of rubbish, landfill sites should be considered one of the great untapped resources in the search for new enzymes for biotechnology, and could fuel more efficient biofuel production.

A new research paper in mSphere (DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00300-17) by biologists at Bangor and Liverpool universities has for the first time identified the enzymes which degrade natural materials such as paper and clothing in landfill sites.

Publication date: 22 August 2017

Independent music labels are creating their own streaming services to give artists a fair deal

Music streaming services are hard to beat. With millions of users – Spotify alone had 60m by July 2017, and is forecast to add another 10m by the end of the year – paying to access a catalogue of more than 30m songs, any initial concerns seem to have fallen by the wayside.

But while consumers enjoy streaming, tension is still bubbling away for the artists whose music is being used. There is a legitimacy associated with having music listed on major digital platforms, and a general acknowledgement that without being online you are not a successful business operation or artist.

This article by Steffan Thomas, Lecturer in Film and Media, at the School of Creative Studies & Media was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 18 August 2017

Migrating birds use a magnetic map to travel long distances

Birds have an impressive ability to navigateThey can fly long distances, to places that they may never have visited before, sometimes returning home after months away.

Though there has been a lot of research in this area, scientists are still trying to understand exactly how they manage to find their intended destinations.

This article was by Richard Holland, Senior Lecturer in Animal Cognition, School of Biological Sciences, was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 18 August 2017

Bird-brained? Not at all: Reed Warblers reveal a magnetic map

We all marvel at those mammals, birds and insects who migrate long distances, and at their innate ability to reach a destination thousands of miles away.

Scientists are still trying to unravel all the mechanisms involved. Now, one group of scientists believe that they have revealed one system being used by some migrating birds, and it reveals a fascinating ‘world-map’ that many of us would marvel at.

Publication date: 17 August 2017

Historic wrecks to assist Wales’ marine renewable energy future

Historic wrecks around Wales’ coastline, such as that of a German submarine sunk 10 miles off Bardsey Island at the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula on Christmas Day 1917, are to play a part in assisting Wales’ growing marine renewable energy sector.

Over the next two years, marine scientists from Bangor University will be surveying the coast of Wales as part of the ERDF-funded SEACAMS2 project led by the University in partnership with Swansea University. The researchers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences and Centre for Applied Marine Sciences are undertaking collaborative research, including marine surveys, to support the sustainable growth of the marine renewable energy sector in Wales. 

Publication date: 14 August 2017

Forest conservation approaches must recognise the rights of local people

Until the 1980s, biodiversity conservation in the tropics focused on the “fines and fences” approach: creating protected areas from which local people were forcibly excluded. More recently, conservationists have embraced the notion of “win-win”: a dream world where people and nature thrive side by side.

This article by Sarobidy Rakotonarivo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Stirling and Neal Hockley, Research Lecturer in Economics & Policy, Bangor University  was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 9 August 2017