Research News - 2012

Research on transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina wins major prize

University of Exeter politics lecturer Lara Nettelfield’s book, Courting Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Hague Tribunal’s Impact in a Postwar State has won the prestigious Marshall Shulman book prize.

Timely ends: telomere length in early life predicts lifespan

New research by a team from the Universities of Glasgow and Exeter shows that a good indicator of how long individuals will live can be obtained from early in life using the length of specialised pieces of DNA called telomeres. 

Predators hunt for a balanced diet

Predators select their prey in order to eat a nutritionally balanced diet and give themselves the best chance of producing healthy offspring.

Cefas and the University of Exeter sign strategic alliance

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter have sealed a strategic collaboration.

£20 million centre will advance disease treatment

The University of Exeter has announced plans to develop a £20 million interdisciplinary research centre to understand how cells operate and how diseases are caused.

Unlocking Cornwall's Bronze Age past

A modern day boat builder is being challenged to recreate the oldest boat ever found in western Europe, dating to around 2000 BC.

University and Netmums join forces to tackle postnatal depression

The University of Exeter and parenting website Netmums are developing a new online therapy programme for postnatal depression.

What do sunsets look like from other planets?

A University of Exeter astrophysicist has shown what sunsets look like on planets outside our solar system.

Research reveals power of the subconscious on human fear

The human subconscious has a bigger impact than previously thought on how we respond to danger, according to research led by the University of Exeter.

Gene research sheds light on timing of menopause

An international team of researchers has discovered 13 new regions of the genome associated with the timing of menopause.

Exeter expert examines China on the Big Screen

The role of Chinese cinema in shaping China's image is being explored in a new project.

Turtles’ mating habits protect against effects of climate change

The mating habits of marine turtle may help to protect them against the effects of climate change, according to new research led by the University of Exeter.

Exeter research highlights importance of Cornwall's food and drink industry

Research on the agriculture and food and drink of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly confirms just how vital these industries are to the area

Violins 'printed' in Exeter

The University of Exeter’s new Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) is set to make some noise in the classical music world by ‘printing’ two violins.

Review suggests differences in blood pressure between arms could indicate vascular risk

A systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), has found that differences in systolic blood pressure between arms could be a useful indicator of the likelihood of vascular risk and death.

First plants caused ice ages

New research reveals how the arrival of the first plants 470 million years ago triggered a series of ice ages.

Exeter scientists illustrate plant communication in landmark BBC series

The University of Exeter has contributed to a new BBC Two series, by conducting an experiment that visualises communication between plants.

Centre for Sport Leisure and Tourism Research announces London showcase event

Researchers from the Centre for Sport Leisure and Tourism Research (CSLTR) will be showcasing their latest findings in a high profile event in London on Monday April 23 2012.

Operational Research seeks benefit for stroke victims

Researchers from the University of Exeter, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), are working with clinicians to reduce the time it takes from the start of a stroke to the administration of vital clot-busting drug treatment.

Health and Social Care Bill may compromise patient safety says Business School academic

A former NHS hospital Chief Executive and now senior academic at the University of Exeter Business School, has warned that patient safety may worsen if the Health and Social Care Bill is passed in its current form.

Stock market stereotypes undervalue female directors in the short-term

New research into how the stock market perceives the capabilities of female company directors finds that an initial negative response by investors is overturned in the longer term, once markets respond to corporate performance rather than stereotypes.

Ice Age mariners from Europe were among America's first people

Some of the earliest humans to inhabit America came from Europe according to a new book.

Over £5.7m to support groundbreaking research in Devon

Over £5.7 million will be invested in NHS Clinical Research Facilities to understand disease process and assist development of new treatments to benefit patients in Devon.

University team to lead project to safeguard Ascension Island's wildlife

A University of Exeter team will deliver an ambitious programme to protect the unique flora and fauna of Ascension Island.

Aerial survey reveals Exmoor's rare peatlands as never seen before

An unmanned aircraft has captured hundreds of images of Exmoor’s peatlands, revealing the condition of this rare environment as never seen before.

Exeter professor contributes to national literacy debate

An academic from the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education has contributed to a national debate on how we can improve literacy among school children.

Bilingual education works – if you do your homework

More schools should consider adopting bilingual education for part of their teaching, according to a language education expert from the University of Exeter.

Marine Protected Areas are keeping turtles safe

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are providing sea turtles with an ideal habitat for foraging and may be keeping them safe from the threats of fishing.

New £3.6 million mood disorders research facility opens its doors

The South West region is set to benefit from a new £3.6 million building dedicated to researching treatments for mood disorders such as depression and Bipolar Disorder.

Exeter team to adapt weather forecasting for Exoplanets

A University of Exeter team is adapting the UK Met Office’s weather and climate model to study the atmospheric properties of planets orbiting other stars.

Local schools trial radical new approach to Easter story

Six local schools are changing the way in which Religious Education is taught, thanks to a pioneering new approach to learning developed by researchers from the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education.

Exeter to become catalyst for engaging research

The University of Exeter has been awarded £300,000 to become a centre of excellence for public engagement in research.

800-year-old farmers could teach us how to protect the Amazon

In the face of mass deforestation of the Amazon, we could learn from its earliest inhabitants who managed their farmland sustainably.

Exhibition reveals South West's repair industries as threatened and thriving

An exhibition offering a unique insight into the business of repairing everyday objects opens at the University of Exeter on 11 April.

University researcher reaches finals of prestigious global competition

Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, from Lima (Peru) has been named as a finalist in one of the world’s most prestigious wildlife conservation competitions - the Whitley Awards.

Green-glowing fish provides new insights into health impacts of pollution

Understanding the damage that pollution causes to both wildlife and human health is set to become much easier thanks to a new green-glowing zebrafish.

Spin-out wins Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation

University of Exeter spin-out company Simpleware Ltd has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its new approach to converting 3D image data into high-quality computer models (CAD, Rapid Prototype, CFD and Finite Element models).

Birds cultivate decorative plants to attract mates

An international team of scientists has uncovered the first evidence of a non-human species cultivating plants for use other than as food.

New graphene-based material could revolutionise electronics industry

The most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity has been invented by a team from the University of Exeter.

Exeter scientist wins Rosenhain Medal

University of Exeter physicist Professor Steve Eichhorn has won the Rosenhain Medal in recognition of his distinguished achievement in materials science.

International research team unravels origin of devastating kiwifruit disease

An international research team including an Exeter scientist has used the latest DNA sequencing technology to trace a devastating pathogen back to its likely origin of China.

First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants

Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter and the Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a mysterious ocean giant: the manta ray.

University scientist joins international team to sequence butterfly genome

A University of Exeter scientist has joined a landmark effort to sequence the genome of a South American butterfly.

Exeter professors win research prizes from the Royal Meteorological Society

Professor David Stephenson and Professor Jim Haywood in Mathematics at the University of Exeter have won prestigious research prizes from the Royal Meteorological Society.

£30,000 award to South West sea-life scientist

HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) has presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to University of Exeter research fellow Joanna Alfaro Shigueto for her work to build a better future for Pacific coast wildlife and fishing communities.

The heart rules the head when we make financial decisions

Our ‘gut feelings’ influence our decisions, overriding ‘rational’ thought, when we are faced with financial offers that we deem to be unfair, according to a new study.

Light pollution transforming insect communities

Street lighting is transforming communities of insects and other invertebrates, according to research by the University of Exeter.

Exeter researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has today announced the recipients of its first ever Fellowships in Manufacturing.

Renewable Energy students help Guernsey develop renewable energy strategy

Renewable Energy academics and students from the Cornwall Campus, near Falmouth recently visited Guernsey on a field trip to make a high level strategic assessment of the island's renewable energy potential.

South West food security research boosted by 'globally unique' farm facility

Ambitions to make the South West of England a centre of global significance in the arena of food security and land research have been boosted thanks to a state-of-the-art farm research facility in North Devon.

'Jack Spratt' diabetes gene identified

Type 2 diabetes is popularly associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. However, just as there are obese people without type 2 diabetes, there are lean people with the disease.

UK study into whether physical activity aids depression finds no additional benefit

Current clinical guidance recommends physical activity to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Exeter scientist plunges school pupils into marine science

University of Exeter biologist Dr Ceri Lewis is supporting a national campaign to get marine science on the agenda of Britain’s schools.

University scientists develop new tools for conservation and wildlife management

A University of Exeter team has developed new software tools for helping prioritise efforts in species conservation.

Attitude towards age increases risk of dementia diagnosis

Our attitude towards our age has a massive impact on the likelihood of being diagnosed with dementia.

Ancient story of Dartmoor tors has an ice-cold twist

Ice extended further across the UK than previously thought and played a part in sculpting the rocky landscape of Dartmoor in South West England during the last Ice Age, according to new research which challenges previously held theories.

Training people to inhibit movements can reduce risk-taking

New research from psychologists at the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff shows that people can train their brains to become less impulsive, resulting in less risk-taking during gambling.

Eat less meat and improve farming efficiency to tackle climate change

We need to eat less meat and recycle our waste to rebalance the global carbon cycle and reduce our risk of dangerous levels of climate change

University of Exeter research uncovers rice blast infection mechanism

Scientists at the University of Exeter have made a new discovery that they hope might lead to effective control of rice blast disease.

University of Exeter invites artists to work in 3D

The University of Exeter’s Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) has teamed up with the Exeter Phoenix to offer 30 artists from across the South West the opportunity to explore the possibilities of making work in the emerging technology of 3D printing.

University of Exeter boosts research in disease prevention and treatment

The University of Exeter is furthering our understanding of the causes and treatments of diseases.

Marine energy doubled by predicting wave power

The energy generated from our oceans could be doubled using new methods for predicting wave power.

Major changes critical for Energy Bill and Green Deal to succeed

The University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF, along with representatives from 20 other organisations, have published the results of a series of roundtables on UK energy policy.

Dramatic change spotted on a faraway planet

A University of Exeter scientist is part of a team of astronomers that has seen dramatic changes in the upper atmosphere of a faraway planet, using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Responsibility misused by politicians

The concept of responsibility is being used by politicians as a distraction from the real problems in society, which have to do with inequality according to research from the University of Exeter.

Research paves the way for accurate manufacturing of complex parts for aerospace and car industries

Producing strong, lightweight and complex parts for car manufacturing and the aerospace industry is set to become cheaper and more accurate thanks to a new technique developed by engineers from the University of Exeter.

Exeter physicist awarded Faraday Medal

A physicist whose University of Exeter career spans 40 years has been awarded the Faraday Medal of the Institute of Physics.

Helping family is key for social birds

Social birds that forgo breeding to help to raise the offspring of other group members are far more likely care for their own close relatives than for more distant kin, a new study has found.

New research shows agri-environment schemes improved by training

A research programme exploring the effectiveness and value for money of agri-environment schemes found that a relatively small amount of training for farmers could significantly improve their environmental outcome.

University scientists to reveal the secret life of sharks

University of Exeter scientists are part of a team investigating the movements of large sharks visiting Scottish waters.

Largest analysis of public opinions at outbreak of World War I challenges popular myth

A groundbreaking book presents new evidence that challenges the way we understand British and Irish responses to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Binge drinking increases risk of cognitive decline in older adults

Researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, will present the findings of a new study suggesting a link between binge drinking in older adults and the risk of developing dementia.

Snacking and BMI linked to double effect of brain activity and self-control

Snack consumption and BMI are linked to both brain activity and self-control, new research has found.

Exeter physicist bends light waves on surfboards

A University of Exeter scientist is bringing together his passions for physics and surfing with research that could inspire a host of new technologies.

Dairy cows' health and productivity set to benefit from Exeter study

University of Exeter scientists are undertaking the first ever study of its kind to investigate how the way dairy cows interact with one another impacts on their health and productivity.

Obama needs to show Americans he's still 'one of them'

To win a second term in office, President Obama needs to persuade voters that he is still 'one of them' – and recapture some of the charisma that helped propel him to the top four years ago.

Coral reef thriving in sediment-laden waters

Rapid rates of coral reef growth have been identified in sediment-laden marine environments, conditions previously believed to be detrimental to reef growth.

Exeter geographers collaborate with artists on the Jurassic Coast

University of Exeter geographers have helped shape a series of new artworks and special free events for visitors to Hive Beach, Dorset, to enjoy this summer.

Exeter professor's double accolade for nursing science

A University of Exeter professor has been elected President of the European Academy of Nursing Science.

Study proves that one extinction leads to another

When a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon follow, according to new research.

Research links Bisphenol-A to narrowing of the arteries

A research team from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, and University of Cambridge has for the first time established a link between high levels of urinary Bisphenol-A (BPA) and severe coronary artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries).

Warming causes more extreme shifts of the Southern Hemisphere's largest rain band

South Pacific countries will experience more extreme floods and droughts, in response to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a paper in the journal Nature.

Research identifies mechanism responsible for eye movement disorder

A research team from King’s College London and the University of Exeter Medical School has identified how a genetic mutation acts during the development of nerves responsible for controlling eye muscles, resulting in movement disorders such as Duane Syndrome, a form of squint.

Menopause evolved to prevent competition between in-laws

The menopause evolved, in part, to prevent competition between a mother and her new daughter-in-law, according to research published in the journal Ecology Letters.

New physio guidelines for the elderly at risk of falls

Taking a fall in older life can not only result in injury, but also a potentially debilitating loss of confidence.

Firefighters to join the Exeter 10,000

Firefighters from Devon and Somerset Fire Service Red Watch have taken part in the Exeter 10,000 project, run by the National Institute for Health Research Exeter Clinical Research Facility (CRF), University of Exeter Medical School (formerly Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry). 

Blanket bogs need protection from climate change

Blanket bogs, which provide vital habitats for a unique range of plants, birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, are at risk of declining as a result of climate change.

Exeter academics contribute to arts-science debate

Artists, scientists and policy makers will come together at the third Creative Coast Forum event at the University of Exeter on 10 September.

Long menopause allows killer whales to care for adult sons

Scientists have found the answer to why female killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species - to care for their adult sons.

Exeter research reveals winning ingredient that can’t be beet

Athletes competing this summer have benefited from an unlikely ingredient to fuel their Olympic and Paralympic success.

Pesticides not yet proven guilty of causing honeybee declines

The impact of crop pesticides on honeybee colonies is unlikely to cause colony collapse, according to a paper in the journal Science.

University hosts Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Rt Hon Vince Cable has visited the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus.

Breakthrough study identifies 'trauma switch'

Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School have for the first time identified the mechanism that protects us from developing uncontrollable fear.

New report by Exeter academic identifies connection between brain injury and crime in young people

Psychology Professor Huw Williams has authored a major new report, published today, on the impact that acquired brain injuries can have on young people in childhood.

University academic works with manufacturing giant on project to influence consumer recycling behaviour

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) recently announced the details of a new project led by Dr Stewart Barr in Geography which will try to understand household recycling behaviours.

Twitter principles of social networking increase family success in nesting birds

New research carried out by scientists at Universities  in Exeter, France and Switzerland reveals for the first time the importance of social networking in producing a successful family.

Research to reveal route to affordable, secure and sustainable energy

What is the best way for people in the UK to have access to affordable, secure and sustainable energy?

Exeter Scientists key to creating one of UK's greenest schools

Scientists at the University of Exeter have been heavily involved in developing a school which is in the national top ten for energy efficiency.

American academic to assess impact of Frankenstorm

An American scientist at the University of Exeter is assessing the impact of the mega storm resulting from Hurricane Sandy as it rips through his homeland.

Exeter scientist goes from lab bench to backbench

Dr Annette Plaut from the University of Exeter is swapping a lab coat for legislation as she visits Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw at the House of Commons.

Grant award of €5 million will fund pioneering University research

Four of Europe’s most promising scientists from the University of Exeter have received a total of more than €5 million to advance cutting-edge research which will help develop a deeper understanding of the world.

Inspirational Scientist wins European award for Communicating Research

A University of Exeter academic has been hailed as one of Europe’s best young researchers when she received an award in recognition of her work in making complex science easily accessible.

Methane from waste could power homes thanks to £4 million research

The UK could gain an edge in the race to become the most efficient converters of waste into energy when a £4million research project comes to fruition.

Cultural dimensions of climate change are underestimated, overlooked and misunderstood

The impact of climate change on many aspects of cultural life for people all over the world is not being sufficiently accounted for by scientists and policy-makers.

Streetlight policies could cast a shadow over wildlife

Scientists have conducted the first study into the ecological effects of a variety of energy-saving options to reduce overnight street lighting.

Teenagers urged to exercise to ward off bone disease

Playing football or running for at least three hours a week could help teenagers counteract the potential damage to their bone health caused by prolonged spells of sitting.

Say hi to a magpie via new app

A new app which encourages people to say “good morning Mr Magpie” via their mobile phone will help scientists evaluate the benefits which birds bring to the quality of human life.

£2 million research boost for Exeter scientists is part of major international push to help the world’s poorest farmers

University of Exeter scientists have received a £2 million boost to their efforts to tackle crop diseases that affect farmers globally – from Sub Saharan Africa to South West England.

Poetry, photography, and procedures - the arts meet medicine

Preventive medicine, cancer and body image are the issues which will be explored in a creatively focused event at the University of Exeter on 27 November.  

Blame, responsibility and demand for change following floods

New research shows that concerns about governmental failure to act effectively and fairly in the aftermath of extreme weather events can affect the degree to which residents are willing to protect themselves.

Ecologists shed new light on effects of light pollution on wildlife

Light pollution is often associated with negative effects on wildlife.

Top conservation issues to look out for in 2013

A UK-led team of researchers has identified 15 issues that could affect the diversity of life on Earth in 2013.

Cognitive behavioural therapy proves effective at reducing depression in people who have not responded to antidepressants

Antidepressants are the most widely used treatment for people with moderate to severe depression.

Vaccination reduces the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs testing TB positive

New evidence from a four-year field study has shown that BCG vaccination reduces the risk of tuberculosis infection in unvaccinated badger cubs in vaccinated groups, as well as in badgers that received the vaccine.

Viruses cooperate or conquer to cause maximum destruction

Scientists have discovered new evidence about the evolution of viruses, in work that will change our understanding about the control of infectious diseases such as winter flu.

Group interaction among elderly is the key to significant health outcomes

The health benefits of 'water clubs' in care homes for the elderly, where residents gather together regularly to drink water, owe as least as much to the social nature of the activity as to the value of drinking water itself, an investigation by psychologists has shown.

Birdsong bluster may dupe strange females, but it won’t fool partners

Male birds use their song to dupe females they have just met by pretending they are in excellent physical condition.

Badger sleeping habits could help target TB control

Sleeping away from the family home is linked to health risks for badgers, new research by the University of Exeter and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) has revealed.

£1.5 million grant could help develop more robust water systems

A University of Exeter expert has been awarded a five-year fellowship grant for a green engineering research aimed at developing a new approach to water management in UK cities.

Syria policy warning over weapons of mass destruction risk

Policy-makers have been warned that premature military action in Syria could lead to uncontrolled access to weapons of mass destruction and a prolonged, bitter insurgency following any intervention that resulted in the sudden collapse of the Syrian security forces.