Research News

High stakes decision-making causes a little more cheating, a lot less charity, research shows

The age old adage of virtue being its own reward may not hold true in the corporate world – in fact, honourable acts could lead workers to behave more selfishly later on, new research has shown.

Research gives new insight into the evolution of the nervous system

Pioneering research has given a fascinating fresh insight into how animal nervous systems evolved from simple structures to become the complex network transmitting signals between different parts of the body.

Societies can remain distinct despite migration

Countries around the world can retain distinct cultures despite migration, new research shows.

Innuendo alone can fuel conspiracy theories, research shows

Innuendo alone in news coverage can fuel belief in conspiracy theories, according to a new study.

Public must help shape ‘smart cities’

The public must play a key role in the ongoing “smart cities” revolution, researchers say.

Beaver numbers increase across Tayside

Beaver numbers across Tayside have increased in the past six years, according to a new survey commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and carried out by the University of Exeter.

University of Exeter postgraduate receives prestigious fellowship from the WWF

An Exeter Student has been awarded a prestigious fellowship to further her research into the threats river dolphins face from fisheries and infrastructure in the Peruvian Amazon.

Asian hornets: First UK use of radio tags to find nest

Electronic radio tags have been used for the first time on the UK mainland to help find a nest of invasive Asian hornets, which was then destroyed.

Stunning virtual tour of exoplanets wins prestigious award

A stunning virtual reality documentary that allows budding astronomers and space enthusiasts to explore the exotic worlds orbiting distant stars has been honoured with a special pan-European award.

Engineering expert secures prestigious RAEng Industrial Fellowship

An Engineering expert from the University of Exeter has been awarded a prestigious Fellowship to help pioneer better and more reliable flight control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Mental Well-Being Related to Better Brain Health in Older Adults

A positive sense of mental well-being is related to better brain health among older adults, according to a new report issued today by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) and involving University of Exeter research.

Exeter academics secure prestigious Alan Turing Institute Fellowships

Prestigious fellowships from The Alan Turing Institute will help nurture the next generation of data science research excellence at Exeter.

New half-light half-matter particles may hold the key to a computing revolution

Scientists have discovered new particles that could lie at the heart of a future technological revolution based on photonic circuitry, leading to superfast, light-based computing.

E-cigarettes should be used more actively to help smokers quit, experts recommend

“Ongoing nervousness” about the use of e-cigarettes in stop-smoking services can be a “significant” barrier to people finding support, research revealed during “Stoptober” shows.

 

Research into equine vision leads to trial of new fence and hurdle design to further improve safety in jump racing

The colours deployed on hurdles and fences on British racecourses may be set to change following cutting-edge research led by the University of Exeter into the way that horses perceive colour.

Home rehabilitation helps people with heart failure achieve better quality of life

A new home-based rehabilitation programme could help thousands of heart failure patients to achieve a better quality of life.

New state-of-the-art optical spectrum analyser will help to detect disease

Pioneering research, conducted by Professor Frank Vollmer at the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute, will advance even further thanks to support from the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung.

App to understand and improve the mental health of young people

Teenagers’ attachment to their smart phones is being harnessed to prevent anxiety and depression and improve wellbeing.

Exeter secures international autism research grant

A three year international research grant of $975,000 USD (almost £750,000) has been awarded to the University of Exeter for research by Professor Jonathan Mill into the genetics of autism.

Exeter academic wins renowned cancer research award

An Exeter paper has won Research Paper of the Year under the cancer category in the Royal College for General Practitioners (RCGP) Research Awards.

Future European science leaders to work on cutting-edge peroxisome research

The EU funded Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network PerICo has announced the start of a new, four-year, research programme on Peroxisome Interactions and Communication.

Over 30s with type 1 diabetes frequently misdiagnosed with type 2

New research presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) reveals that many cases of type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosed after the age of 30 are not being properly identified and are frequently misdiagnosed as being type 2 diabetes (T2D), potentially leading to delays in receiving appropriate treatment.

Warmer springs can reduce summer plant productivity

Warmer springs are leading to substantially reduced plant productivity across the Northern hemisphere in the later months of the year, a new study has revealed.

Experiencing extreme weather is not enough to convince climate change sceptics

Experiencing extreme weather is not enough to convince climate change sceptics that humans are damaging the environment, a new study shows.

Miniature magnetic swimming devices to revolutionise diagnostics and drug delivery

Scientists have created miniature magnetic swimming devices – which mimic the appearance of sperm cells – that could revolutionise disease treatment by swimming drugs to specific areas of the body.

Weight gain from adolescence linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes

New research presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Berlin, Germany, reveals that weight gain between the age of 10 and adulthood is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk that is independent of body mass index (BMI).

‘I just don’t fancy drinking’ – Exeter study helping alcoholics

“I suppose I’d say I was high-functioning but still a problem drinker. I drank in the evenings and although I wasn’t in trouble with the police, or going broke, or getting ill, if you drink at that level, it takes a toll.”

16-24 year olds are the loneliest age group, according to new BBC Radio 4 survey

BBC Radio 4 has today announced the results of The Loneliness Experiment, a nationwide survey conducted by BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind in collaboration with Wellcome Collection. It is the largest survey into the issue of loneliness to date.

Dog intelligence ‘not exceptional’

People who think dogs are exceptionally intelligent are barking up the wrong tree, new research shows.

Singling out “rising stars” in companies could demotivate staff, research shows

Firms who fast-track individuals to leadership positions and identify “rising stars” risk demotivating their employees, a study shows.

Why a ‘cuckoo in the nest’ can go undetected

Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge have shed light on why some species cannot tell the difference between their own offspring and those of intruders that have been slipped into their nests.

Rare genetic disorders more complex than thought

Researchers have found that the genetic causes of rare neurodevelopmental disorders vary more than previously thought.

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest

Microplastics have been found deep in the sand on beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs.

Professor adds to Health Economics expertise at Exeter

A professor who specialises in clinical trials further bolsters Exeter’s contributions to improving public healthcare.

Eye training to help children with dyspraxia

Children with a coordination disorder can improve skills like throwing and catching with new training videos developed by the University of Exeter.

Major funding to explore genomic changes in dementia

Exeter researchers will join forces with global experts to investigate the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease, in a project announced on World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21).

Multi-million-pound project will put Devon at the forefront of solving global environmental and big data challenges

A £6.4 million initiative to boost Devon’s expertise in solving future global environmental and big data challenges has formally launched in Exeter - The Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab (Impact Lab).

More work needed to help students make successful transitions from revised A-levels to university, study finds

The reformed A-level system is not effectively preparing students for aspects of their university studies, a new report has found.

Discovery could explain failed clinical trials for Alzheimer’s, and provide a solution

Researchers have discovered a vicious feedback loop underlying brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease which may explain why so many drug trials have failed.

Workshy bosses breed contempt and abuse in the workforce, research shows

Workshy bosses can promote a contemptuous attitude amongst their staff - leading to anger, frustration and abuse in the work place, new research has shown.

Remains of weapons, sandals and coins shed new light on Roman conquest of Northwest Iberia

Newly discovered remains of weapons, hobnails from sandals and coins will help experts piece together the untold story of how the Romans won control of Galicia and Northern Portugal from local tribes for the first time.

Models could own the rights to their own catwalk sashay, new analysis shows

Models could make a claim to own the rights to the recording of their sashays and struts they use on the catwalk – and should be able to make more money from their appearances during fashion shows, new legal analysis shows.

Knowing your neighbour cares about the environment encourages people to use less energy

Giving people information about how much gas or electricity their neighbours use encourages them to use less energy, research shows.

Exeter joins UK’s leading mental health experts to solve treatment challenge

The University of Exeter is part of a new collaboration which will see the country's top mental health researchers and clinicians joining forces to solve some of the greatest mental health challenges facing the UK public.

Research shows that more companies should treat diversity as part of business strategy

The majority of the UK’s largest companies have adopted policies on boardroom diversity but their reporting to stakeholders needs to improve. 

New University of Exeter Business School centre opened by Dame Ellen MacArthur

Record-breaking sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has officially marked the opening of a new centre at the University of Exeter Business School, which is dedicated to tackling some of the world’s greatest social and economic challenges.

Famous theory of the living Earth upgraded to ‘Gaia 2.0’

A time-honoured theory into why conditions on Earth have remained stable enough for life to evolve over billions of years has been given a new, innovative twist.

Disrupting genetic processes reverses ageing in human cells

Research has shed new light on genetic processes that may one day lead to the development of therapies that can slow, or even reverse, how our cells age.

One foot in the grave for pheasants that favour a side

Pheasants that more strongly favoured one foot over the other die younger than those that don’t, new research suggests.

New bacterial strain named after Cornish discovery

A new bacterial strain will be named after Cornwall following its identification from a skin infection. 

Striking increase in mental health conditions in children and young people

The proportion of children and young people saying they have a mental health condition has grown six fold in England over two decades, new research reveals.

Worms in space: The Molecular Muscle Experiment

Thousands of worms are being flown to the International Space Station later this year for scientists to understand more about spaceflight-induced muscle loss -  the first UK experiment to take place on the International Space Station.

Britain’s first ‘national’ anthem embraced Boudica and druids

The national fervour that traditionally surrounds the Last Night of the Proms would have had a very different focus if Britain’s first ‘national’ anthem was still in vogue, research has shown.

Study reveals night-time habits of captive flamingos

What do captive flamingos do at night, when their zoo or wildlife park is closed?

Peatlands will store more carbon as planet warms

Global warming will cause peatlands to absorb more carbon – but the effect will weaken as warming increases, new research suggests.

Exeter in new UK Research and Innovation Mental Health Networks

The University of Exeter is involved in two of eight new Mental Health Networks to be announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The networks will bring researchers, charities and other organisations together to address important mental health research questions.

Ancient household waste gives more clues about Devon’s Roman history

Recently discovered household waste thrown away by families thousands of years ago will provide valuable clues for archaeologists uncovering the secrets of Devon’s Iron Age, Roman, and Medieval history.

Bird bacteria study reveals evolutionary arms race

A study of a songbird and a bacterium that infects it has revealed how species in conflict evolve in response to each other.

Exeter researchers awarded nearly £1 million to target lethal lung disease

Exeter researchers have been awarded a grant of almost £1 million to develop new compounds which could treat the UK's second most common lung disease.

Victorians enjoyed rudimentary version of Netflix, new research shows

Victorian families were able to enjoy their own version of Netflix by utilising an early form of ‘pay-per-view’ entertainment to while away winter evenings, new research has found.

Burly bird gets the worm

The pecking order of garden birds is determined by their size and weight, new research shows.

Stroke doubles dementia risk, concludes large-scale study

People who have had a stroke are around twice as likely to develop dementia, according to the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

Drought increases CO2 concentration in the air

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rises faster during drier years because struggling ecosystems absorb less carbon, new research shows.

Male and female tennis players decline at same rate

The physical abilities of male and female tennis stars decline at the same rate as they age, new research shows.

Wild dolphins learn tricks from each other

Dolphins learn tricks from each other in the wild, new research shows.

Beluga whales and narwhals go through menopause

Scientists have discovered that beluga whales and narwhals go through the menopause.

Increase in storms could have ‘catastrophic impact’ on fishing industry

Potential changes in the frequency and intensity of storms off the coast of the UK and around the world could have a “catastrophic impact” on the livelihood of fishermen and sustainability of fishing industries, research led by the University of Exeter has shown.

Scientists unravel history of lost harbour of Pisa

New insights into the evolution and eventual disappearance of Portus Pisanus, the lost harbour of Pisa, have been revealed.

Therapy that helps people with dementia maintain lifestyles rolled out

A technique that helps people with dementia see satisfying progress in achieving everyday goals that help them live their lives is now being rolled out.

The bright ways forests affect their environment

Why do forests emit the gases that give pine forests their distinctive smell? Scientists think they've found out.

South East Asia and Australia face fall armyworm threat

Countries including China, Indonesia and Australia all face a “high threat” of invasion by the fall armyworm, new research shows.

Research reveals problems in the law on enforced mental health detainment

The current law on involving and informing the relatives or carers of people who are detained against their will on mental health grounds is not working well, according to new research.

Study confirms truth behind ‘Darwin’s moth’

Scientists have revisited – and confirmed – one of the most famous textbook examples of evolution in action.

Discovering why basking sharks go to Scotland

Scientists seeking to discover whether Scotland’s seas are a mating ground for basking sharks have filmed new footage showing the sharks being sociable.

Women in Fisheries website launched

New research exploring women’s roles in fishing families officially gets going this week, as the Women in Fisheries project launches its new website.

Forgotten Lancashire poems written during misery of cotton famine found

Hundreds of moving poems written by desperate Lancashire cotton workers facing hunger and homelessness because of the American Civil War have been uncovered by experts.

Key aspects of human cell ageing reversed by new compounds

The breakthrough could be “basis for a new generation of anti-degeneration drugs.”

Forests crucial for limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees

Trying to tackle climate change by replacing forests with crops for bioenergy power stations could increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Fall armyworm will continue to spread

A devastating crop pest called the fall armyworm – discovered this week in India – will continue to spread, a researcher says.

Twin study highlights importance of both genetics and environment on gene activity

New research highlights the extent to which epigenetic variation is influenced by both inherited and environmental factors.

Simple factors that can avoid harmful side effects in type 2 diabetes

Clinicians can match people with type 2 diabetes to the right drug for them to improve control of blood sugar and help avoid damaging side-effects, simply by factoring in simple characteristics such as sex and BMI into prescribing decisions, new research has shown.

Mindfulness training for prisoners set to transform Kenyan jails

A project which has transformed the lives of hundreds of Kenyan prisoners through teaching them mindfulness is set to expand, potentially leading to fundamental changes to the country’s jail system.

Nature holds key to nurturing green water treatment facilities

The quest to develop greener and more affordable methods to treat wastewater has taken a new, innovative twist.

World experts target guidance on managing dementia symptoms

New research which brings together the views of the world’s leading experts has concluded that non-drug approaches should be prioritised in treating agitation in people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Research into cell-to-cell signalling mechanism may lead to new cancer treatments

Pioneering new research into the way in which cells communicate with each other could hold the key

Rising stars of research at Exeter receive prestigious European Research Council funding

Three rising research stars at the University of Exeter have received a significant funding boost from the European Research Council (ERC), it has been announced.

Asking ten “critical” questions before embarking on a serious relationship can help couples thrive

Asking ten “critical” questions before embarking on a serious relationship can help couples thrive, according to a new study backed by the prominent divorce lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton.

New research show blueprint for El Niño diversity

A pivotal new research study has isolated the key mechanisms that cause El Niño events to differ amongst each other.

Exeter part of £5million programme to maintain UK’s status as global leader in offshore renewables

The University of Exeter is part of national consortium awarded £5million to bring together a network of academic,

Just ten minutes of social interaction a day improves wellbeing in dementia care

An e-learning programme that trains care home staff to engage in meaningful social interaction with people who have dementia improves wellbeing and has sustained benefits.

Night-time lighting changes how species interact

Night-time lighting from streetlights and other sources has complex and unexpected effects on communities of plants and animals, new research shows.

Scientists use ‘funnel-vision’ to pioneer cheap and efficient solar energy

Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that could unlock new methods of making solar energy more efficient.

Improving the Prescribing Practice of Newly-qualified Doctors

It is known that prescribing errors in hospitals are common and that junior doctors may make more mistakes than senior doctors as they write the most prescriptions in hospital settings.

Better clinical trials must address “critically low” dementia research shortfall

New research gives insights into how the design of clinical trials can improve, with new insights into the “critically low” research pipeline and improve the chances of finding effective dementia therapies.

Environment key battle ground in fight to tackle antibiotic resistance

The environment could be as important a battle ground as the clinic in the global fight against the spread of antibiotic resistance, new research has shown.

Commonly prescribed medications linked to rise in harmful side effects in dementia

 Medications which are commonly prescribed to people with dementia have been linked to an increase in harmful side-effects, research involving the University of Exeter has concluded.

Acidic oceans cause fish to lose their sense of smell

Fish are losing their sense of smell because of increasingly acidic oceans caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, new research shows.

Beavers arrive in the Forest of Dean

A pair of Eurasian Beavers will return to the Forest of Dean today (24 July) for the first time for about 400 years.

Exeter subjects ranked in the world top 100

A wide range of subjects at the University of Exeter have been ranked amongst the world’s best, according to an influential international league table.

Ancient farmers transformed Amazon and left an enduring legacy on the rainforest

Ancient communities transformed the Amazon thousands of years ago

Microclimates may provide wildlife with respite from climate change

Sheltered pockets of cooler and more variable conditions in the British countryside may help native species

National Lottery players help people become archaeologists and explore the history of the South West

People in Devon and Cornwall will work with archaeologists to explore the incredible ancient history

New law designed to encourage first major reforms to divorce in 50 years published

Draft legislation designed to encourage the Government to make the first major changes to divorce legislation

Viruses cooperate to overcome immune defences of bacteria

Virus particles that infect bacteria can work together to overcome antiviral defences, new research shows.

Cranes here to stay, new model predicts

The UK’s tallest bird – the common crane – is here to stay and the UK could have as many as 275 breeding pairs within 50 years, a new study says.

Charitable organisation funds vital global testing for babies with rare disease

A charitable organisation is providing vital funding for people with a rare condition across the world to have genetic screening at the University of Exeter.

High-intensity exercise in teenagers could ward off heart disease

New research published in Experimental Physiology has indicated potential differences in heart health

Celebrating positives improves classroom behaviour and mental health

Training teachers to focus their attention on positive conduct and to avoid jumping to correct minor disruption improves child behaviour, concentration and mental health.

Discovery of ancient tools in China suggests humans left Africa earlier than previously thought

Ancient tools and bones discovered in China by archaeologists suggest early humans left Africa and arrived in Asia earlier than previously thought.

LED lights reduce seabird death toll from fishing by 85 per cent, research shows

Illuminating fishing nets with low-cost lights could reduce the terrible impact they have on seabirds and marine-dwellers by more than 85 per cent, new research has shown.