Research News: April 2018

Reefs that experience high frequency temperature variability most likely to resist coral bleaching

As scientists and conservationists race to work out the best way to conserve the world’s coral reefs, a new study reveals why some reefs appear to be more resistant to coral bleaching during ocean warming events and calls for higher-resolution data to be collected.

Publication date: 30 April 2018

Research helps net £90 million for schools

Research from Bangor University showing the effectiveness of extra funding to schools has enabled the Welsh Government to increase funding levels to schools in order to tackle poverty in Wales.

The collaborative research commissioned by GWE and ERW, two school improvement services providers, provided Welsh Government with evidence on which to base its decision to increase funding to schools under the Pupil Development Grant funding by a further 90 million in 2018-19.  Educationalistspsychologistssocial scientists, and legal experts who have amassed vast experiences of working with schools, pupils and children, worked together to conduct a comprehensive review of how poverty could be affecting educational achievement in Wales.

Publication date: 30 April 2018

Can a brain injury change who you are?

Who we are, and what makes us “us” has been the topic of much debate throughout history. At the individual level, the ingredients for the unique essence of a person consist mostly of personality concepts. Things like kindness, warmth, hostility and selfishness. Deeper than this, however, is how we react to the world around us, respond socially, our moral reasoning, and ability to manage emotions and behaviours.

This article by Leanne Rowlands, PhD researcher in Neuropsychology at the School of Psychology was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 20 April 2018

Conservation through religion? Scientists confirm that sacred natural sites confer biodiversity advantage

Sacred natural sites (SNS) are found all over the world. They are thought to play an important role in conservation but until recently there was little systematic investigation of this claim. Now, new research published in the journal Biological Conservation by an international and multidisciplinary team, led by the University of Ioannina and including Bangor University, has shown that there is a notable conservation benefit to SNS. The researchers of the project, known as THALIS-SAGE, chose for their study the region of Epirus, in north-western Greece, that is host to numerous sacred groves protected through religion for hundreds of years.

Publication date: 20 April 2018

Major Coffee chain’s interest in Biobased and compostable plastic coffee cup lids

With 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups being used in Britain each year, there are almost as many plastic lids being thrown away.

Scientists are working with industry in to develop a new compostable plastic, which will withstand the hot liquids and can be specially moulded for coffee cup lids.

Publication date: 20 April 2018

Flushed with success: How the National Trust plans to stop energy going down the drain.

Over the past 18 months the National Trust has spent almost half million pounds at Penrhyn Castle on projects to create sustainable energy and hot water - yet much of this energy goes to waste - simply flushed down the drain.

To combat this the team at Penrhyn Castle, in collaboration with Bangor University and Trinity College Dublin, are embarking on an exciting new heat recovery project to make use of the huge amount of hot water that usually goes, quite literally, to waste.

Publication date: 17 April 2018

Hen Blant Bach wins Silver in International Film & Television Award

A programme, of which Bangor University was an integral part, has won a Silver Award in the 2018 New York Festivals International Film and Television Awards.

Hen Blant Bach, a production by Darlun production company won the Award in the Community Portraits documentary category. The series was a new factual format for S4C, and followed the social experiment which brought older people and nursery children together to share their day care. The programmes documented the transformative positive effects that can be brought about by bringing these two groups together.

Publication date: 12 April 2018

New styles of strikes and protest are emerging in the UK

The image of strikers picketing outside factory gates is usually seen as something from the archives. Official statistics show an almost perennial decline in formal strikes. In the month of January 2018 there were 9,000 recorded working days lost due to strikes – a tiny fraction of the 3m recorded in January 1979.

This article by Emma Sara Hughes, PhD Candidate in Employment Relations, Bangor University and Tony Dundon, Professor of HRM & Employment Relations, University of Manchester was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 10 April 2018

AI like HAL 9000 can never exist because real emotions aren't programmable

HAL 9000 is one of the best-known articifical intelligence characters of modern film. This superior form of sentient computer embarks on a mission to Jupiter, along with a human crew, in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is currently celebrating its 50th year since release.

This article by Guillaume Thierry, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Prychology was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

For more on Stanley Kubrick and 2001 read: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/latest/stanley-kubrick-s-films-all-had-one-thing-in-common-jewishness-36122

Publication date: 9 April 2018

The English language is the world's Achilles heel

English has achieved prime status by becoming the most widely spoken language in the world – if one disregards proficiency – ahead of Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. English is spoken in 101 countries, while Arabic is spoken in 60, French in 51, Chinese in 33, and Spanish in 31. From one small island, English has gone on to acquire lingua francastatus in international business, worldwide diplomacy, and science.

This article by Guillaume Thierry, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Psychology was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 4 April 2018