Research News: September 2019

Bangor wins Future Leader Fellowship

An academic at Bangor University’s School of Medical Sciences has been awarded a prestigious Future Leader Fellowship by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a major UK funding body.

Dr Chris Staples joins top researchers and innovators from across the country to receive a portion of a £78 million cash boost provided as Future Leader Fellowships. This investment is designed to propel the next generation of scientific leaders, as they conduct cutting-edge research and develop their research independence.

Publication date: 20 September 2019

Are the Amazon fires a crime against humanity?

Fires in the Brazilian Amazon have jumped 84% during President Jair Bolsonaro’s first year in office and in July 2019 alone, an area of rainforest the size of Manhattan was lost every day. The Amazon fires may seem beyond human control, but they’re not beyond human culpability.

This article by Tara Smith, Lecturer in Law, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 17 September 2019

Do nature shows deceive us into thinking our planet is fine?

Research into recent BBC and Netflix nature documentaries suggests that while they increasingly mention threats faced by the natural world, they rarely show the full extent of human-caused environmental destruction

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that nature is being severely affected by humans, the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, and that this has serious impacts. Nature documentaries have sometimes been criticised for failing to show the true extent of this environmental loss. A new study found that while recent high-profile nature documentaries talk more about the threats facing the inspiring natural wonders portrayed, nature is still mostly visually depicted as pristine and untouched, potentially resulting in a sense of complacency among viewers.

Publication date: 17 September 2019

A green revolution needn’t be dull with sustainable sequins!

With sequins remaining ‘on-trend’ in the world of ‘fast fashion’, one small company is hoping to add a little light of brilliance and sustainability by developing a biodegradable sequin.

Fast fashion is often criticised for increasing the amount of material sent to landfill. The craze for sequins only serves to add a literal ‘layer’ of unrecyclable plastic into that mix.

One company is hoping to change all that however. Rachel Clowes established The Sustainable Sequin Company a year ago to provide the fashion industry with a sustainable sequin.

Rachel is currently using recycled plastic to provide off the shelf and custom-made sequins of various shapes and sizes. Rachel’s recycled plastic sequins are the first step towards her goal of developing a compostable sequin, which when used on a biodegradable material, could see the whole garment degrading naturally once sent to landfill.

Rachel has turned to experts at Bangor University and has asked them to throw their considerable experience behind her challenge.

Publication date: 10 September 2019

Preventable trauma in childhood costs North America and Europe $1.3 trillion a year

Across Europe and North America the long-term impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on health and productivity is equivalent to 1.3 trillion dollars a year, according to a new paper published in the Lancet Public Health.

The cost is equivalent to a massive three per cent of the two regions’ combined Gross Domestic Product - or 1,000 dollars a year for every person in North America and Europe.

Publication date: 4 September 2019

How machine learning is improving English cricketers

Innovative machine learning may seem light years away from first class test cricket, but it was the introduction of machine learning which enabled experts at Bangor University to reveal to the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) the factors which can lead to developing county or international world-class cricketers.

Publication date: 2 September 2019