Research News

Dementia research at Exeter gets £190,000 boost

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

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. 

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.

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).

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%).

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.

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. 

Cancer identification genetics project wins European Health Award

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

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.

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.

Monkey island research station battered by Hurricane Maria

Researchers are working to restore a Puerto Rican research station and its nearby community following damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Plastic pollution discovered on ice floes near the North Pole

Melting ice is releasing frozen plastic into the Arctic Ocean, as plastic waste flows towards the Pole.

Fish have complex personalities, research shows

Tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies have individual “personalities”, new research shows.

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. 

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.

University of Exeter astronomy experts help create 360° VR exoplanet documentary

Budding astronomers and space enthusiasts can explore exotic worlds orbiting distant stars, thanks to a pioneering new VR documentary.

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.

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.

Glass buoys to speak up for fishing communities

Sea shanties and fishermen’s voices feature in a new art exhibit designed to give a voice to marginalised fishing communities.

£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.

£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.

New hopes for limiting warming to 1.5°C

Significant emission reductions are required to achieve one of the key goals of the Paris Agreement, and limit the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C.

University of Exeter named as one of the top 100 places in the world to study and research arts and humanities

The University of Exeter has been named as one of the top 100 places in the world to study and research arts and humanities in the 2018 Times Higher Education Arts and humanities subject ranking, published today.

 

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). 

University of Exeter trees remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars

The thousands of trees at the University of Exeter remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars from the atmosphere every year, research shows.

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.

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.

Global rankings rate Exeter in top 200 of world universities

The University of Exeter has remained in the top 200 of universities worldwide in a respected global league table released today, 5 September 2017. 

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.

Scientists take first snapshots of molecular propeller that runs at 100 degrees Celsius

Scientists have made a new discovery into how ancient microbes that survive in some of the harshest environments propel themselves forward.

Virus reprogrammes ocean plankton

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

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. 

Smart doll uses ‘espionage’ powers for education

A controversial “smart doll” has been reprogrammed to enlighten adults rather than potentially spying on children.

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.

New children’s books mix storytelling and science

Birds and turtles are common enough on the pages of children’s books – but what about bacteria or psyllids (otherwise known as jumping plant lice)?

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.

Children to explore natural world at Science in the Square

Budding nature-lovers will be taken on a voyage of discovery to find out how animals have evolved to deal with friends and foe, at a special interactive event.

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.

Dementia researchers raise thousands for Alzheimer’s Society in epic bike challenge

Five researchers at the University of Exeter have pedalled from London to Paris, raising thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Society.

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.

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.

Clownfish males become fierce females if their ‘wife’ is eaten

Male clownfish, immortalised in the film Finding Nemo, change sex completely if their female mate is eaten or dies, research by marine biologists shows.

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.

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.

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.

Interactive family events to give public fascinating insight into space weather

People of all ages will be given a fascinating insight into the future of pioneering space weather research, during a special series of interactive events, later this month.

Child’s portions of fish and chips on menu as fish shrink

Sea-bass and sardines to replace cod because of climate change.

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 shortfall on common form of dementia highlighted

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

Bowel cancer diagnosis delayed by other illness

A new study revealed that additional serious long-term health conditions, such as heart disease, can push a bowel cancer diagnosis back by up to twenty six days.

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.

A fifth of male fish in UK rivers now ‘trans-gender’ due to chemicals in human waste

Anti-depressants flushed down the loo reduce natural shyness in fish.

Devon cohabiting couples needed to help researchers uncover the secret of finding life-long love

Devon cohabiting couples can help experts uncover the secret of finding life-long love by taking part in a University of Exeter research project.

Hydrogen peroxide protects plants against sun damage

Plants use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to control how their cells react to varying levels of light, new research shows.

Aspirin reduces risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

Extensive study offers ‘definitive proof’ of improved outcomes in high-risk pregnancies.

Rare archaeological find could be the first time unique pottery seen in the South West

Archaeologists excavating a site where Iron Age, Roman, and early medieval communities lived for more than a thousand years have unearthed pottery believed to have never been seen before in the South West.

Monitoring changes in wetland extent can help predict the rate of climate change

Monitoring changes to the amount of wetlands in regions where permafrost is thawing should be at the forefront of efforts to predict future rates of climate change, new research shows.

Ape expert joins War for the Planet of the Apes Q&A

A real-life primate expert joined stars of new film War for the Planet of the Apes for a Q&A with journalists.

Two Exeter diabetes researchers recognised as “Rising Stars”

Two researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have been recognised as rising stars in diabetes research.

Starting school young can put child wellbeing at risk

New research has shown that the youngest pupils in each school year group could be at risk.

Soapbox Science returns to Exeter

Ever wondered what happens in your brain when you eat chocolate? Or whether Nemo’s dad should’ve been less worried about finding his son and more concerned about ocean acidification?

One year on from the EU referendum, Brexit voters describe themselves as middle class, educated but dissatisfied with life

A year since the vote to leave the European Union, new research has found that Brexit voters are more likely to describe themselves as middle class, educated and fed up, rather than angry and working class.

Role aerosols play in climate change unlocked by spectacular Icelandic volcanic eruption

Cloud systems “well buffered” against aerosol changes in the atmosphere, research shows.

Top scientist to talk climate change at Glastonbury

Glastonbury festivalgoers can look forward to a heady mix of Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry – and a lesson on climate change from a top scientist.

Ancient Devon community had a taste for exotic food and drink

Devon farmers who made their home in the same remote location for 1,200 years had a taste for exotic imported food and drink, archaeologists have found.

Drowsy dormice doze into decline

Britain’s population of hazel dormice has declined by more than 70%, new research shows.

Hiding true self harms career and sense of belonging

Hiding your true self at work can damage your career and reduce your sense of belonging in the workplace, a new study suggests.

£2 million for Exeter Centre of Excellence in dementia care research

Alzheimer’s Society has announced today that it has committed almost £2million to the University of Exeter.

Living Systems Institute a double winner at 2017 Michelmores Property Awards

The University of Exeter’s flagship Living Systems Institute (LSI) secured two accolades at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs, research shows

Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new research has found.