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

New study calculates alcohol cancer risk in cigarette equivalents to help communicate risk

The well-established link between cancer and tobacco may provide a way to help communicate the links between moderate levels of alcohol and cancer, and raise public awareness of alcohol-associated cancer risks, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.   

A team of researchers at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Bangor University and University of Southampton have estimated the risk of cancer associated with drinking moderate levels of alcohol, and compared this to the risk of cancer associated with smoking.

Publication date: 28 March 2019

Trial to answer dilemma of treating childhood epilepsy

One of the largest ever clinical trials in children with epilepsy, which has just been launched, aims to find out which treatment approach works best for children and their families. The nationwide CASTLE trial, led by Professor Deb Pal from King’s College London and Professor Paul Gringras from the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and in collaboration with Professor Dyfrig Hughes from Bangor University, is one of the only trials to compare antiepileptic drugs against active monitoring with no medication.

Publication date: 28 March 2019

Bangor University secures £9m EU funds to expand research scheme

Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles has announced that a major research and innovation project that brings together postgraduate students and businesses in Wales is set to expand with more than £9m of additional funds from Europe.

Led by Bangor University in partnership with other Welsh universities, the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS II) scheme has operated in North, West Wales and the South Wales Valleys over the past three years, and partners businesses with postgraduate research students to develop innovative research aimed at driving business growth.

Publication date: 21 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

Effective communication and engagement with businesses critical to making Wales’ new tax system a success, suggests new report

Improving and developing business understanding of the new landscape of Welsh taxation is vital to its success as tax devolution continues to evolve according to a new report released today by FSB Wales (Federation of Small Businesses).

The report authored by Bangor University Business School academics Dr. Helen Rogers and Sara Closs-Davies and supported by Bangor University’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account looks at the landscape of new Welsh taxation and focuses on the experience to-date of Land Transaction Tax.

Publication date: 20 March 2019

Mind the gap: Differences in attitudes to health and health improvement across Welsh society

A new report by Public Health Wales and Bangor University highlights stark differences in health-related opinions between people in Wales depending on their age and employment, and how they live their lives.

People who said they feel healthy were more likely to agree (59 per cent) that the NHS should spend less on treating illness and more on preventing it than those who said they feel less healthy (46 per cent) - who may feel a greater need for health treatment.

Publication date: 13 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

An exhibition, map and app uncovers Bangor’s Jewish history

A Bangor University Professor is to launch an exhibition, map and app about the Jewish history of Bangor. 

Titled A Jewish History of Bangor,  the new exhibition and map celebrate the presence of Jews in Bangor from medieval times to the Second World War (and beyond).

Publication date: 6 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