“Outdated and incoherent” curriculum turning children off Religious Education

The “incoherent, confusing and outdated” Religious Education curriculum is leading children to reject the subject and needs radical reform if it is to stay relevant, experts have said.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

Research News

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.

Variation in genetic risk explains which people develop type 1 diabetes in later life

Having certain genetic variants could explain why people can develop type 1 diabetes at markedly different ages, including later in life, says new University of Exeter research being presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Lisbon, Portugal (11-15 Sept). 

Cold region ‘tipping point’ now inevitable

The decline of cold regions called periglacial zones is now inevitable due to climate change, researchers say

Exeter team brief government on threats to coastal communities

University of Exeter scientists have been commissioned by the Government to write a briefing paper on the health and wellbeing of people living in coastal cities, towns and villages.

Community support for protection of the Great Barrier Reef

Who cares about the Great Barrier Reef? Many people, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

High-flying ducks cross Himalayas

A high-flying duck species reaches altitudes of up to 6,800 metres (22,000 feet) to cross the Himalayas, new research shows.

Breakthrough in understanding mitochondria

Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how mitochondria – the “powerhouses” of human cells – are made. 

Otters learn by copying each other

Otters can learn how to solve puzzles by watching and copying each other, new research shows.

Virus reprogrammes ocean plankton

A virus which infects plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients, new research shows.

Buildings to generate their own power with innovative glass blocks

Buildings could soon be able to convert the sun’s energy into electricity without the need for solar panels, thanks to innovative new technology.

Telling people not to ‘down’ drinks could make them drink more

Campaigns designed to stop young people “bolting” drinks can make them more likely to do it, new research suggests. 

Evolved masculine and feminine behaviour can be inherited from social environment – not just from genes

The different ways men and women behave, passed down from generation to generation, can be inherited from our social environment – not just from genes, experts have suggested.

‘Inefficient’ sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive

Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to “inefficient” traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.

Commuters could help cut Exeter congestion

City commuters could play a pivotal role in helping curb traffic congestion in and around Exeter, thanks to a pioneering initiative.

Hubble Detects Exoplanet with Glowing Water Atmosphere

Scientists have found the strongest evidence to date for a stratosphere on an enormous planet outside our solar system, with an atmosphere hot enough to boil iron.

How to keep your brain sharp in older age

New research from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp.

Riding the wave: pioneering research tames Nanoquakes

Researchers from the University of Exeter have pioneered a new technique to control high frequency sound waves, commonly found within everyday devices such as mobile phones.

University and leading British surf brand seek wetsuit recycler

A pioneering inventor is being sought to create recycled and recyclable wetsuits.

Boat noise disrupts fish co-operation

Noise from motorboats changes the behaviour of cleaner fish and the species they help.

How camouflaged birds decide where to blend in

Animals that rely on camouflage can choose the best places to conceal themselves based on their individual appearance, new research shows.

Can singing help overcome impact of strokes?

Researchers are seeking volunteers to help study the benefits of singing groups for people with a communication disorder associated with strokes.

Grown-up gannets find favourite fishing grounds

Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits. 

Moth larvae testing firm wins grant

A spinout company, which provides moth larvae for use in scientific testing – reducing the need for tests on mice and rats – has won a £100,000 grant.

Men were diagnosed as infertile in medieval times – and recipes drawn up to cure them, research shows

Men could be held responsible for the failure to produce children as far back as medieval times, a new study of medical and religious texts has shown.

Exeter researcher wins prestigious diabetes research award

An Exeter researcher has just been awarded £362,337 from leading charity Diabetes UK to understand if certain genes can protect people from developing Type 2 diabetes.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

Supporting coastal communities in Southeast Asia

A group of UK researchers have been awarded funding to help support coastal communities in East and South East Asia that depend on healthy and diverse marine ecosystems.

One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by targeting risk factors from childhood onwards

One in three cases of dementia could be potentially prevented if brain health is improved throughout life.

Exclusion from school can trigger long-term psychiatric illness

Excluding children from school may lead to long- term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a study of thousands of children has shown.

Sea temperature changes contributing to droughts

Fluctuations in sea surface temperature are a factor in causing persistent droughts, research suggests. 

One minute of running per day associated with better bone health in women

A single minute of exercise each day is linked to better bone health in women, new research shows. 

‘No solid evidence’ for biopesticide-diarrhoea link

A report commissioned by EU food regulators wrongly linked a highly effective biopesticide with diarrhoea in humans, an expert says.

Scientists shed new light on the complex and intricate processes that help the body combat stress

Scientists have developed a pioneering new approach to reveal how the body releases hormones in order to combat stress.

People with dementia benefit from goal-oriented therapy

Personalised cognitive rehabilitation therapy can help people with early stage dementia significantly improve their abilities.

One social hour a week in dementia care improves lives and saves money

Person-centred activities combined with just one hour a week of social interaction can improve quality of life in care homes.

Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life

The more regularly people report doing word puzzles such as crosswords, the better their brain function in later life, a large-scale and robust online trial has found.

Squirrels have long memory for problem solving

Squirrels can remember problem-solving techniques for long periods and can apply them to new situations, researchers have discovered.

Exeter secures EPSRC grant to revolutionise wireless technologies

The University of Exeter has received a multi-million pound research grant to pioneer new techniques and materials to control and manipulate electromagnetic and acoustic energy.

Experience sights of ancient Exeter using virtual reality

People can step back in time and experience what it would have been like to live among the crowded streets of Georgian Exeter thanks to virtual reality.

Football boosts bone development in boys

Playing football can improve bone development in adolescent boys, new research shows.

Research looks into whether sea spray is losing its sparkle

Pioneering new research has given a fresh insight into the crucial role that sea spray plays in climate change.

Research shortfall on common form of dementia highlighted

New research has highlighted the scarcity of evidence on the prognosis of dementia with Lewy bodies.

Research reveals West Antarctic Ice Sheet loss over the last 11,000 years

Wind-driven incursions of warm water have forced the retreat of glaciers in West Antarctica over the last millennia, new research has revealed.

Research could give insight into genetic basis of the human muscle disease, myopathy

Pioneering research using the tropical zebrafish could provide new insights into the genetic basis of myopathy, a type of human muscle disease.

Rising stars of research at Exeter receive MRC fellowships

Prestigious fellowships from the Medical Research Council (MRC) will help nurture the next generation of research excellence at the University of Exeter.