Research News

Lost buildings and artworks of Renaissance Florence to be reunited for the first time in hundreds of years

People will be able to step back in time and experience the extraordinary treasures of Renaissance Florence as they would have looked hundreds of years ago thanks to new University of Exeter research supported through the Digital Art History initiative of the Getty Foundation.  

Controversial science critics who turn into believers can sway others, research shows

People who experience their own “Road to Damascus” moment over hotly-debated scientific issues can then become key advocates on the subject, new research has shown.

Blood clot discovery could pave way for treatment of blood diseases

Scientists have discovered new ways in which the body regulates blood clots, in a discovery which could one day lead to the development of better treatments that could help prevent and treat conditions including heart diseases, stroke and vascular dementia.

Efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance must take account of fourfold difference in use across Europe, report says

Global efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance will be more effective if they focus on the cultural context behind the fourfold difference in total antibiotic use and consumption across Europe, according to a new report.

University of Exeter Campaign reaches £50 million in donations

The University of Exeter’s fundraising campaign, ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ has exceeded £50 million of philanthropic donations, taking the total to nearly 84% of target with less than two years to go.

Exeter expert backs calls for bold national Plastic Packaging Plan to help protect oceans

One of the world’s foremost experts in microplastics research has backed calls for a bold new national policy framework to help reduce the amount of ocean plastic pollution.

Million pound grant for researchers working to solve social and economic challenges

University of Exeter researchers have been given a £1.1m grant to help improve people’s lives by working in partnership to solve pressing social and economic challenges.

Skyglow over key wildlife areas

Light pollution affects the skies over most of the world’s key wildlife areas, new research shows.

MDMA users more empathetic than other drug users

Long-term MDMA users have higher levels of empathy than cannabis and other drugs users, new research suggests.

Being kind to yourself has mental and physical benefits, research shows

Taking time to think kind thoughts about yourself and loved ones has psychological and physical benefits, new research suggests.

What do coffee, work-outs and a vivid imagination have to do with bipolar disorder?

Drinking tea or coffee, exercising and imagining events are things that most of us do sometimes, but they might tell us more about how people with bipolar disorder can manage their condition.

Funding boost supports next generation of highly skilled scientists and engineers for offshore renewable energy industry

The University of Exeter’s role in developing the next generation of offshore renewable energy has received a significant boost, it has been announced.

Graphene biosensor could provide early lung cancer diagnosis, research shows

The wonder-material graphene could hold the key to unlocking the next generation of advanced, early stage lung cancer diagnosis.

Poor diet may have caused nosedive in major Atlantic seabird nesting colony

The observed population crash in a colony of sooty terns, tropical seabirds in one of the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs), is partly due to poor diet, research led by the University of Birmingham has found.

Endangered sharks being eaten in UK

Endangered species of hammerhead and dogfish are among the sharks being sold as food in the UK, researchers have revealed.

Plastic in Britain’s seals, dolphins and whales

Microplastics have been found in the guts of every marine mammal examined in a new study of animals washed up on Britain’s shores.

Exeter and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory strengthen commitment to world-leading marine science research

Two of the South West’s leading environmental research organisations have strengthened their commitment to collaborating to address some of the key questions facing the sustainable future of the ocean.

Exeter leads research into impacts of flooding and drought in South East Asia

Experts from the University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) will spearhead two pioneering new research projects that aim to boost local resilience to the devastating effects of natural disasters across South East Asia.

Research sheds light on body clock and links to mental health and disease

A large-scale genomic analysis has revealed some of the inner workings of the body clock, shedding new light on how it links to mental health and disease.

Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat, particularly when combined with other seemingly low-level symptoms.

Exeter psychologist receives prestigious award for Research in Traumatic Brain Injury

A leading Clinical Neuropsychologist from the University of Exeter has received a prestigious award for his work.

Exeter receives nearly £900,000 to fund dementia research

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have been awarded up to £900,000 to fund leading research into epigenetic causes of dementia.

Funding boosts Exeter’s research into the building blocks of galaxies

An Astrophysics expert from the University of Exeter has been awarded substantial funding to help solve one the most fundamental riddles of modern astronomy.

EU funding failed to win hearts and minds and prevent Brexit vote

People in one of the poorest parts of the UK voted for Brexit despite being given billions of pounds of EU cash because they don’t feel the funding improved their lives, according to a new report.

Faster CO₂ rise expected in 2019

With emissions already at a record high, the build-up of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere could be larger than last year due to a slower removal by natural carbon sinks.

Innovative new technique could pave the way for new generation of flexible electronic components

Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed an innovative technique that could help create the next generation of everyday flexible electronics.

Multi-million pound funding boost to develop virtual testing for next generation of lightweight aircraft structures

A groundbreaking new research project, designed to develop the next generation of lightweight aircraft structures, has received a multi-million pound funding boost.

New study demonstrates benefits of undervalued saltmarsh

A new tool which helps land managers assess the costs and benefits of re-introducing valuable saltmarsh, has been developed by economists and environmental scientists from the South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) at the University of Exeter.

Big Lottery Fund supports Exeter health research

A support programme to help parents of disabled children stay healthy in mind and body has received a funding boost of nearly £40,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, to help it expand.

Almost half of us mistakenly believe that common law marriage exists

Almost half of people in England and Wales mistakenly believe that unmarried couples who live together have a common law marriage and enjoy the same rights as couples that are legally married. 

Virtual reality training for nuclear workers and police

Nuclear safety and counter-terrorism policing could be boosted by new virtual reality (VR) training being developed at the University of Exeter.

Small trees are among the oldest in Congolese rainforest

Forest giants have long been considered the oldest trees in tropical forests, but new research shows small trees can also be very old, and can even grow older than the big ones.

Near-term climate prediction ‘coming of age’, study shows

The quest for climate scientists to be able to bridge the gap between shorter-term seasonal forecasts and long-term climate projections is ‘coming of age’, a study shows.

Local focus could help tackle global problems

People’s love for their local areas could be harnessed to tackle global environmental problems, researchers say.

New risk score far more effective for diabetes diagnosis

A new way of screening babies and adults for future risk of type 1 diabetes will be much more effective at identifying the condition than current methods, new research has concluded.

Common gene disorder causes serious “stealth” disease, but could be easily treated

The Western world’s most common genetic disorder causes far higher levels of serious disease and disability than previously thought, despite being easy to detect and treat.

Men donned fake sideburns to join in with 19th century craze for whiskers

The mid nineteenth century was the age of the ‘beard movement’, a time when huge beards suddenly became all the rage, as the ultimate badge of manliness. But new evidence shows there was also a long-forgotten earlier mania for whiskers.

Step forward in understanding human feet

Scientists have made a step forward in understanding the evolution of human feet.

Wild insects ‘get old’ before they die

Short-lived wild insects “get old” – losing some of their physical abilities – before they die, new research shows.

New policy design needed to tackle global environmental threat, according to report

A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle the greatest global environmental threats.

Pioneering collaboration will reimagine the future of museum visitor experiences

Experts from the University of Exeter are working with leading organisations from the fields of culture, entertainment and education as part of a pioneering collaboration which aims to reimagine the museum visitor experience using storytelling and cutting-edge virtual technology.

Exeter neuroscience expert secures prestigious award

A neuroscience expert from the University of Exeter has secured a prestigious Wellcome Trust Investigator Award to pioneer new research into the function of neural circuits.

Archaeologists to explore hidden past of one of Devon’s oldest buildings used by rulers and nobility

Archaeologists are hoping to discover more about the prehistoric, Roman and medieval history of a building used by Kings and Devon’s most important families.

Climate model uncertainties ripe to be squeezed

The latest climate models and observations offer unprecedented opportunities to reduce the remaining uncertainties in future climate change, according to a new study. 

Roaming cats prey on their owners’ minds

Many cat owners worry about their pets wandering the streets, but perceive cats hunting mice and birds to be unavoidable instinct, researchers at the University of Exeter have found.

CBE for cancer diagnosis professor whose deafness “boosted research career”

Professor Willie Hamilton, whose research in improving cancer diagnosis has helped save thousands of lives, has been awarded the CBE.

Experts tackle Mars settlement problems

Ugly interior design, interplanetary “jetlag” and personality clashes are among the problems hampering humanity’s efforts to settle on Mars, experts say.

Pollutants from wild fires affect crop and vegetation growth hundreds of kilometres from impact zone, research shows

The startling extent to which violent wild fires, similar to those that ravaged large swathes of California recently, affect forests and crops way beyond the boundaries of the blaze has been revealed.

Teachers should teach Muslim, feminist and other views of Jesus this Christmas

Lessons about Jesus should include exploration of how Muslims view him as a prophet and investigation of his Jewish identity, experts have said.

Historians and computer scientists unite for £9.2m project which will revolutionise research

Historians and computer scientists are set to collaborate to analyse millions of pages of documents as part of a major new research project which will shed new light on the impact of mechanisation on the lives of ordinary people.

Higher radiation dose needed to X-ray obese patients increases cancer risk

Extremely obese people are needing a far higher dose of radiation during x-ray examinations than people of normal weight, increasing their risk of cancer, new research has shown.

Newly discovered adolescent star seen undergoing ‘growth spurt’

Astronomers have discovered a young star undergoing a rare growth spurt – giving a fascinating glimpse into the development of these distant stellar objects.

Popular children more likely to give less to pals at Christmas

Popular children are likely to be less generous towards their friends at Christmas than other kids, but only if their giving takes place in private and their classmates won’t be told.

Warming warning over turtle feminisation

Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.

Research sheds new light on what drove last, long-term global climate shift

The quest to discover what drove the last, long-term global climate shift on Earth, which took place around a million years ago, has taken a new, revealing twist.

Convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction

Evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction has been found in a largescale genomic analysis.

Warning over deep-sea ‘gold rush’

A “gold rush” of seabed mining could lead to unprecedented damage to fragile deep-sea ecosystems, researchers have warned.

First international academic “Santa survey” shows children stop believing in Father Christmas aged eight

It’s that time of year when children look forward to a stocking full of presents - but the first international academic “Santa survey” shows many adults also wish they still believed in Father Christmas and some had felt betrayed when they discovered the truth.

Crucial environmental research receives major funding boost

Pioneering new research on major environmental issues, led by scientists from the University of Exeter, have received a major funding boost, it has been announced.

First women parliamentary candidates utilised their gender to win votes, records show

Britain’s first female parliamentary candidates utilised their gender as a campaigning tool to win votes and championed new policies such as equal citizenship, analysis of records show.

What if global warming passes 1.5°C?

What will happen if humanity fails to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Drones help map sea level rise

Drones can be used to create low-cost and accurate 3D maps of coastal areas, new research shows.

Exeter research ranked among the most influential of 2018

Research conducted by Exeter experts has been recognised amongst the top 100 influential in 2018.

Human antibody discovery could save lives from fungal killer

A new way to diagnose, treat and protect against stealth fungal infections that claim more than 1.5 million lives per year worldwide has been moved a step closer, according to research published in Nature Communications.

Hong Kong’s waters benefit health and wellbeing

A ground-breaking study has revealed how spending time in and around Hong Kong’s ‘blue spaces’ (harbours, coastlines and beaches) is linked to better health and wellbeing, especially for older adults.

Exeter Recognised in UK’s Top Breakthroughs List for Revolutionary Hip Replacement

The Exeter Hip has been listed as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its life-changing impact on nearly two million lives across half a century.

‘Hangxiety’ higher in shy people

Very shy people are more likely to suffer “hangxiety” – anxiety during a hangover – than their extrovert friends, new research shows.

Helium exoplanet inflated like a balloon, research shows

Astronomers have discovered a distant planet with an abundance of helium in its atmosphere, which has swollen to resemble an inflated balloon.

Innovative technology centre opening at Oceansgate development

A new centre for marine innovation, based at Plymouth’s Oceansgate development, is now up-and-running thanks to European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding.

Scientists secure prestigious awards for global impact of microplastics research

A team of researchers has won two prestigious awards for the impact of work highlighting the presence, and potential impacts, of microplastics in our oceans.

Microplastics found in all sea turtle species

Tests on more than 100 sea turtles – spanning three oceans and all seven species – have revealed microplastics in the guts of every single turtle.

Scheme to improve wellbeing of parent carers to start trials

A support programme to help parents of disabled children stay healthy in mind and body will begin its first trial in the coming months, and is looking for participants.

Graphene unlocks new potential for ‘smart textiles’

The quest to create affordable, durable and mass-produced ‘smart textiles’ has been given fresh impetus through the use of the wonder material Graphene.

Asylum hearing help from new video

People seeking asylum will be helped to prepare for appeal hearings by a new video created by experts from the University of Exeter and Asylum Aid.

More than £340,000 funding for international trial to support people with dementia

More than £340,000 of UK funding will support the University of Exeter’s role in a new trial that aims to test a new way of supporting people who live with dementia to cope with life’s challenges.

Exeter’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Strategy commended

The University of Exeter’s role in a high-level strategic fund, designed to pioneer new ways to tackle some of today’s greatest global challenges, has received a commendation.

Exeter City’s incredible history brought to life in new stand

Exeter City’s incredible history has been brought to life in the club’s new Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand thanks to the efforts of academics, volunteers, fans and former players.

Extreme heat damaging health and livelihoods and threatening to overwhelm world’s hospitals

New research published in The Lancet medical journal shows that rising temperatures as a result of climate change are already exposing us to an unacceptably high health risk. It warns, for the first time, that older people in Europe and the East Mediterranean are particularly vulnerable to extremes of heat, markedly higher than in Africa and SE Asia.

Study Finds Biases in Widely Used Dementia Identification Tests

Quick tests used in primary care settings to identify whether people are likely to have dementia may often be wrong, according to a study published in the November 28, 2018, online issue of Neurology® Clinical Practice, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

UK Space Agency funds new experiments on International Space Station

UK science will be launched into space to help tackle the effects of ageing, thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency.

Exeter experts among world’s most influential scientists, according to new ranking

Leading academics from the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the world’s most influential researchers, according to a prestigious new ranking.

Climate change could lead to threefold increase in storms that bring flooding to Europe and North America, research shows

Powerful storms that cause extreme weather conditions such as flooding across Europe and North America could increase threefold by the end of the 21st century.

‘Bee-lief’ in wildflowers’ value to courgette pollination

A pioneering new study has revealed the value of pollination services to courgette.

Study reveals why older women are less healthy than older men

Genes that act late in life could explain why women have poorer health than men in older age, according to new research.

One in eight of five to 19-year-olds had mental disorder in 2017: major new survey

The University of Exeter has played a key role in a national survey which found that one in eight (12.8%) of children and young people aged between five and 19, surveyed in England in 2017, had a mental disorder.

Online ADHD service map aims to stop young people slipping through net

Researchers at the University of Exeter have released a map put together from the results of a national survey. The new map aims to help identify existing services and gaps in provision for young adults with Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

Primary teachers have 'higher psychological distress’ than other professional groups

Primary school teachers experience higher levels of clinically significant distress than people in comparable professions, according to the first study to make the comparison over a sustained time period.

Frogs breed young to beat virus

Frogs from groups exposed to a deadly virus are breeding at younger ages, new research suggests.

Voters would have forgiven Cameron for failing to hold an EU referendum, study shows

Many voters would have forgiven David Cameron if he had failed to deliver on his campaign promise to hold an EU referendum, a study suggests.

Improving dementia care and treatment saves thousands of pounds in care homes

Improving staff training in care homes and reducing reliance on harmful medications saves thousands of pounds per year, as well as improving quality of life and reducing agitation in dementia, new research has demonstrated.

Exeter experts help in hunt for new antibiotic drugs

Exeter scientists are part of an international team helping to find new antibiotic drugs to treat killer infections.

Female vets still face discrimination

Female vets still face discrimination, a new study has revealed.

Marine and citizen scientists take to the seas to help secure a future for Atlantic bluefin tuna in UK waters

Cefas and University of Exeter have launched a bluefin tuna tagging programme to try and find out more about the migration patterns of these enigmatic predators.

£500,000 further funding for teacher classroom management study

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have received £500,000 from the Education Endowment Foundation to further enhance a study that supports teachers to improve behaviour in their classroom by developing their classroom management technique.

Experts trace remarkable history of colonial Indian wildlife paintings

The mysterious origins of remarkable paintings of Indian wildlife are no longer shrouded in mystery thanks to detective work by experts around the world.

University of Exeter expert contributes to Government’s bovine TB strategy review

A University of Exeter expert has contributed to the review of the Government’s 25 Year Bovine TB Strategy.

Great War Armistice was marked in Devon with joy and sadness

Those on the “Home Front” in Devon marked the end of World War One with both joy and sadness, a University of Exeter historian has found.

Exeter researcher wins Young Investigator Grant

A University of Exeter researcher is among a group of promising scientists awarded Young Investigator Grants by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

DNA discovery gives new insight into ancient history of South America

The discovery of ancient DNA from the earliest inhabitants of South America has revealed important new information about how people settled in the Americas.

Being overweight likely to cause depression, even without health complications

A largescale genomic analysis has found the strongest evidence yet that being overweight causes depression, even in the absence of other health problems.

Exeter expert shortlisted for NERC Impact Awards 2018

4,000 tons of microbeads no longer released into ocean after pioneering plastics research

‘Boost confidence and motivation to stop vets quitting’

Employers and employees must work together to tackle issues of confidence and motivation, as a new report from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) reveals day-to-day experiences in the workplace are the biggest drivers for burnout and exit from the veterinary profession.

Thousands of WW1 soldiers packed out bombed buildings to watch films

Cinema-going was so popular among troops serving in the trenches in World War One thousands regularly packed into bombed out buildings near the front line to watch the latest films, new research shows.

Female volunteers needed for stress study

Researchers at the University of Exeter are looking for volunteers to help them explore whether assigning a more positive meaning to a stressful event can reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.  

Health services must address multiple conditions in dementia care

Most people living with dementia also have at least one other health condition, and health services need to adapt to optimise their health and quality of life, a new study concludes.

Genetic factors tied to obesity may protect against diabetes

Some genetic variations associated with obesity actually protect against Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, new findings suggest.

Alzheimer’s Society to fund Exeter research into brain inflammation

The University of Exeter has received a £361,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Society for a three year project to investigate the role that infections have in driving inflammation in the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Are Frankenstein and Dracula Blood Brothers?

In Hollywood films, Frankenstein’s monster (or ‘Being’) usually appears as a shambling zombie. Count Dracula is sleek and sophisticated. Though they have often appeared on double bills, they are very different monsters – or are they?

3% of children hit daily activity target

Only one in 30 children does the recommended amount of daily physical activity, new research suggests.

Free movement can protect humans from environmental threats

Greater freedom of movement and investments in human rights and social opportunities can help protect humans from environmental threats like rising sea levels, new research says.