Research News

Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant bacteria in guts

Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

Exeter research helps shape Government blueprint for natural environment

Pioneering research from the University of Exeter has helped shape the Government’s new blueprint to improve the natural environment.

Obese fat becomes ‘inflamed’ and scarred, which may make weight loss harder

The fat of obese people becomes distressed, scarred and inflamed, which may make weight loss more difficult, research at the University of Exeter has found.

New studies aim to boost social science methods in conservation research

Scientists have produced a series of papers designed to improve research on conservation and the environment.

Orangutans, like people, use medicinal plants to treat joint and muscle inflammation

Scientists have discovered that the same plant used by indigenous people on Borneo is also used by wild orangutans to treat joint and muscle inflammation.

Fragile images of Devon on show for the first time in a century

Thousands of fragile and irreplaceable images of Devon have been preserved for future generations to see thanks to University of Exeter experts.

Pioneering new technique could boost understanding of causes of heart disease

The complex and mysterious mechanisms that drive communication and reactions within human cells could be on the verge of being unravelled, due to a pioneering new technique.

National research extended to stop young adults with ADHD slipping through the net

Researchers at the University of Exeter have launched the second phase of a national survey to help identify existing services and gaps in provision for young adults with Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

Research will help GPs diagnose dementia more accurately

Research at the University of Exeter designed to help identify patients with dementia and reduce the pressure on health services has received a generous boost of £120,000 from the Halpin Trust.

More than 10,000 people sign up to health research at Exeter

Thousands of people in Devon have signed up to take part in high-quality research, accelerating meaningful benefits to patient health.

Bosses with mood swings make workers most anxious

Bosses who have “Jekyll and Hyde” personalities cause their staff the highest levels of anxiety, a new study has shown.

Men more likely to try to dodge paying tax

Men are significantly more likely than women to try to evade paying tax, researchers have found.

Antibiotic resistance: ‘sleeping’ bacteria that can survive drug treatment identified

‘Sleeper cells’, which can survive doses of antibiotics and lie resting in a dormant state, may hold a key to understanding antibiotic resistance, research has found. 

Are bones discovered under an Exeter street from the first turkey dinner in England?

Bones dug up from under an Exeter street may be the remains of the first ever turkey dinner in England, archaeologists believe.

Some monkeys prone to isolation

Some individual animals are prone to social isolation, new research suggests.

Human societies evolve along similar paths

Societies ranging from ancient Rome and the Inca empire to modern Britain and China have evolved along similar paths, a huge new study shows.

Grammar teaching leaves children confused, research shows

Children can be left confused and unable to write accurate sentences because of “uncertain” grammar teaching, experts have warned.  But confident teachers can enable students to use their grammar knowledge to help them craft and create their writing and positively support children’s development as writers.

Exeter marine biologist is star of the Blue Planet

Blue Planet II, which has captured the nation’s imagination and highlighted the beauty and plight of marine life around the world, starred the University of Exeter’s Steve Simpson, Associate Professor of Marine Biology & Global Change.

New NHS app will help people spend less time waiting for health services

A new free app which shows how busy local NHS services are will help people to spend less time waiting for treatment.

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches,  including plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear.  

New training for clergy to help traumatised communities

Clergy who help communities devastated by horrific events are to receive new training.

Understanding ‘myths’ about sexual violence and domestic abuse key to prevention in Universities

Universities can play a key role in tackling stereotypical and prejudicial views around the causes of gender-based violence, a new study has suggested.

Boost for green research at Exeter

Sustainable seafood and electric cars are among the eco-friendly industries that will be the focus of new research at the University of Exeter.

Tuna dissected by university scientists

A tuna accidentally caught off Devon has been dissected by scientists at the University of Exeter.

Parental lifespan genes could hold clue to longer life

A large-scale international study led by the University of Exeter Medical School has discovered new genes linked to parents’ lifespan – which could one day be targeted to help prolong human life.  

Exeter and Cranbrook to pilot new health drive

Exeter and the East Devon new town of Cranbrook are among 12 areas selected to work on a ground-breaking new approach to tackle inactivity in communities, Sport England has announced.

Blood pressure declines 14 to 18 years before death

Blood pressure in the elderly gradually begins to decrease about 14 or so years before death, according to a new largescale study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

Exeter reports to UN on antibiotic resistance in environment

Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest health challenges of modern times – and now two world-leading academics have reported to the United Nations on how the problem can be spread through our natural environment.

New tool allows farmers to compare their environmental impacts

Farmers can now compare their business’s impact on the environment using a new tool designed to help them operate in a more sustainable and productive way.

Doctors could improve health by being aware of their patients’ shame

Doctors could improve patient’s health if they were more aware of the serious impact shame has on the body, research suggests.

Type 1 diabetes as common in adults as children, but many adults are misdiagnosed

Type 1 diabetes is not predominantly a ‘disease of childhood’ as previously believed, but is similarly prevalent in adults, new research published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology shows.

Charity funds Medicine students’ placements abroad

Final year Medicine students have spent the summer developing their clinical skills through international work placements in locations around the world, thanks to a charity donation.

Lighting revolution may increase light pollution

A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year.

Exeter Clinical Trials Unit receives national registration

The future of high quality health research in Exeter and the South West has been boosted by announcement of the national registration of the Exeter Clinical Trials Unit.

New CO2 device for unmanned ocean vessels

Carbon dioxide in remote parts of the world’s oceans will be measured by a new instrument being developed by scientists.

Military veterans to take part in new study exploring how they make the transition to civilian life

Military veterans and their families will take part in a new University of Exeter study which will explore their experiences leaving military life behind.

Research hopes to make dental visits less stressful for children with autism

Inspired by her own experience as a mum to a five-year-old son with autism, a dental hygienist has published new research hoping to make dental examinations less stressful for autistic children.

Building empathy between planners and migrants for sustainable cities

Researchers will engage new migrant populations and planners in Bangladesh’s second city to build human security into planning processes.

Dementia research at Exeter gets £190,000 boost

The dementia research charity BRACE and Kirby Laing Foundation have together awarded more than £190,000 to the University of Exeter Medical School to support cutting-edge genomic research to better understand the causes of dementia.

University experts and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation to work towards a circular economy

Experts at the University of Exeter are celebrating a new collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as they join its network as a Pioneer University.

Exeter secures significant rise in research funding

Exeter has seen an increase in the amount of research funding it receives from Research Councils UK, continuing its upward trajectory over recent years.

“Outdated and incoherent” curriculum turning children off Religious Education

The “incoherent, confusing and outdated” Religious Education curriculum is leading children to reject the subject and needs radical reform if it is to stay relevant, experts have said.

Companies should monitor egos of employees to prevent unethical behaviour

Monitoring the egos of employees could prevent bad behaviour because people who feel entitled are more likely to behave unethically at work, research suggests.

Climate change impacts already locked in – but the worst can still be avoided

Some impacts of global warming – such as sea level rise and coastal flooding – are already locked in and unavoidable, according to a major research project. 

Artificially cooling planet “risky strategy”, new research shows

Proposals to reduce the effects of global warming by imitating volcanic eruptions could have a devastating effect on regions prone to either tumultuous storms or prolonged drought.

‘Friends of friends’ relationships may be simpler than they seem

New research gives clues into how social networks can evolve by showing that complex social patterns seen in the animal kingdom may be simpler than they appear.

Hong Kong residents invited to study to maintain healthy brain

People in Hong Kong aged 50 and over are being invited to join a ground-breaking online study called PROTECT, to help learn how they can maintain a healthy brain in later life.

Female mongooses help their pups by driving out rivals

Mongoose mothers boost their pups’ survival chances by evicting rival females from their social groups, new research shows.

Cornish residents help improve health and wellbeing within their communities

Residents from Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth have united with businesses and academics in a project designed to improve people’s health and wellbeing in tomorrow’s homes.

Record high CO2 emissions delay global peak

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels have risen again after a three year hiatus, according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project (GCP).

Forecasts help predict future of UK birds

Forecasts which predict how climate change will affect UK birds are improving, new research suggests.

Research highlights ethical sourcing of materials for modern technology

Researchers have identified methods to predict the environmental and social cost of resourcing new deposits of rare earth minerals.

Traditional Amazonian drug linked to improved sense of wellbeing

A psychedelic drug traditionally used in South America improves people’s general sense of wellbeing and may offer a treatment for alcoholism and depression, new research suggests.

Women on Boards: progress on appointments, but too few women appointed to senior board roles

The percentage of women holding FTSE 100 non-executive (NED) positions is at an all-time high of 33%.

Sports psychologists suffer fear and uncertainty working with elite footballers, research shows

Sports psychologists have to cope with “fear and uncertainty”, job insecurity and long working hours when working with elite footballers, research shows.

Old human cells rejuvenated in breakthrough discovery on ageing

A new way to rejuvenate old cells in the laboratory, making them not only look younger, but start to behave more like young cells, has been discovered by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton.

Crime-scene technique used to track turtles

Scientists have used satellite tracking and a crime-scene technique to discover an important feeding ground for green turtles in the Mediterranean.

More women than men diagnosed with bowel cancer as an emergency despite extra GP visits

More than a third (34%) of women with bowel cancer in England were diagnosed after an emergency hospital visit compared to less than a third of men (30%).

Nanoscale ‘abacus’ uses pulses of light instead of wooden beads to perform calculations

The quest to develop ever-faster and more powerful computers has led to one of the most rudimentary methods of counting being given a 21st century make-over.

Scientists create magnetic system that transforms heat into motion

Scientists have discovered a pioneering new technique to transform ambient heat into motion in nanoscale devices - which could revolutionise future generations of data storage and sensors.

Ancient toilet and Elizabethan illustrations among the historic treasures surviving in Exeter’s oldest buildings

An ancient toilet, Elizabethan wall illustrations and Victorian wallpaper are among the historic treasures surviving in Exeter’s oldest buildings, new research shows.

Climate change already damaging health of millions

Climate change is already a significant public health issue and a looming global health emergency, new research shows.

Divorce law in England and Wales increases conflict and suffering for separating couples and their children

Divorce law in England and Wales is incentivising people to exaggerate claims of ‘behaviour’ or adultery to get a quicker divorce, according to University of Exeter research.

Tales and imagery of life with dementia captured on Exeter allotment

People whose lives have been affected by dementia have worked with well-known professional artists to create insightful images and poems that capture some of their experiences, to form a new book.

Diversity and immigration increase productivity in microbial communities

Natural selection quickly turns a melting pot of microorganisms into a highly efficient community, new research shows

Sustainable seafood top of menu for new research group

A new research group will focus on how seafood can be safely and sustainably produced for the world’s growing population. 

€2 million project to explore links between oceans and human health

The European Union is investing €2 million (£1.78m) to coordinate research into the complex links between oceans and human health and wellbeing.

Weak social ties a killer for male whales

Male killer whales are more likely to die if they are not at the centre of their social group, new research suggests

Physical inactivity and restless sleep exacerbate genetic risk of obesity

Low levels of physical activity and inefficient sleep patterns intensify the effects of genetic risk factors for obesity

Experts study the past and present in new state-of-the-art Digital Humanities Laboratory

Experts are using cutting-edge technologies to study the past and present in a new, state-of-the-art digital humanities laboratory.

Exeter Professor wins international award for psychiatric genetics research

A genetics researcher has won a prestigious award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG) for his work on diseases that affect the brain.

New study to develop teachers’ skills as creative writers

Experts will help teachers develop their own skills as creative writers so they can help boost children’s confidence in writing.

Social media accounts promote skeletal images of women

Skeletal images of bodies featuring protruding bones and pencil-thin limbs are being shared and promoted on social media, new research shows. 

SETsquared partnership secures funding to grow small businesses

The SETsquared Partnership has secured a government award of £5 million to tackle the challenge of scaling up small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate and grow.

Astronomers uncover puzzling early stages of planet formation

The quest to discover how planets found in the far reaches of the universe are born has taken a new, crucial twist.

Quorn protein on par with animal sources

Protein found in Quorn meat-free foods may be just as good for muscles as animal proteins, new research suggests

People with bipolar mood swings needed for research trial

People in Exeter and north, east and mid Devon who have bipolar or cyclothymic disorder are being recruited for a new scientific study.

Amazonian farmers discovered the secret of domesticating wild rice 4,000 years ago

Amazonian farmers discovered how to manipulate wild rice so the plants could provide more food 4,000 years ago, archaeologists have discovered.

University alliance awarded £2m to train a new generation of freshwater leaders

Exeter is part of the UK’s first freshwater doctoral training programme to address the complex challenges facing freshwater sustainability.

More than £1 million to identify genomic changes in schizophrenia

The Medical Research Council is awarding more than £1 million to the University of Exeter Medical School to continue their pioneering work into how and why schizophrenia develops. 

Women can be just as daring and risky as men, new studies show

Macho pursuits dominate traditional risk assessments, reinforcing gender stereotypes

Cancer identification genetics project wins European Health Award

Identifying cancer links more quickly – genetics project wins European Health Award

Pheasant roadkill peaks in autumn and late winter

Chickens’ motives for crossing the road are often questioned – but pheasants should probably avoid it altogether, new research suggests

Healing molecule discovery could reduce limb amputations for diabetes patients

Scientists have discovered new insights into a molecule which is part of the body’s tissue repair system, in a finding which could help treat non-healing wounds and injuries, such as diabetic foot.

Head injury sufferers needed for study

Men who have suffered head injuries are being recruited for a new scientific study.

Global experts seek to end damaging dementia psychosis cycle

A new research report calls for a change in approach in the treatment of psychosis in dementia, to find alternatives to highly damaging antipsychotics.

Conservationists should harness ‘Hollywood effect’ to help wildlife

Researchers say conservation scientists could work with filmmakers to harness the “Hollywood effect”.

Scientists move step towards “holy grail” of computing by creating brain-like photonic microchips

Scientists have made a crucial step towards unlocking the “holy grail” of computing – microchips that mimic the way the human brain works to store and process information.

Mining history of iconic cliff-scape at Perranporth set to be studied for the first time

Experts are studying the little-known mining history of the vulnerable cliffs overlooking the beach at Perranporth to show if the search for tin and copper in the area began in medieval or even prehistoric times.

Psychosis in Parkinson’s dementia: new treatment provides hope

New research involving King’s College London and the University of Exeter has highlighted the benefits of a promising new treatment which could relieve psychosis in thousands of people with dementia related to Parkinson’s disease. 

New photographic exhibition celebrates impact of Indians on British life

Pictures of Queen Victoria with her favoured Munshi, Abdul Karim and Gandhi visiting female textile workers in Lancashire feature in a new exhibition which explores the impact of Indians on British life.

Can spending time in parks, woodlands and beaches improve our mental health?

A new study involving the University of Exeter  will investigate whether spending time in green and blue spaces, such as parks and beaches, can have a positive effect on our long-term wellbeing and mental health.

Study finds GPs are unwilling to refer patients for bowel cancer checks

GPs can be reluctant to refer patients with symptoms of bowel cancer for further investigations, a study by the Universities of Birmingham and Exeter has found.

£500,000 for dementia brain research at Exeter

Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has announced more than £500,000 in funding for researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School to advance understanding of how dementia affects the brain.

St Pauls inquiry could have prevented 1981 riots, research suggests

A full public inquiry into the 1980 Bristol riots could have prevented similar widespread violence which took place around Britain a year later, a new study suggests.

University and Exeter Chiefs to offer rugby PhD

The University of Exeter has teamed up with Exeter Chiefs rugby club to fund a PhD study into the injury risks facing young rugby players.

£2.85m for first PhD programme to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Exeter is one of 16 universities involved in a new PhD programme to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Project develops next generation of offshore renewable energy technology

World-leading researchers from the University of Exeter will collaborate with counterparts in China on a pioneering new project to develop the next generation of offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature

A tree preserved in a New Zealand peat swamp for 30,000 years has revealed new information about the last ice age.