Author: Edwin Pynegar

Science Editor 2013/14

It’s got all the makings of a Hollywood thriller – a 200 tonne Boeing 777 on a routine flight disappears into thin air, two passengers are travelling on false passports, and the latest news (at time of writing – maybe it’ll all have changed by the time you read this!) is that it was deliberately turned around by persons as yet unknown. The story of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 doubtless has lots of secrets yet to be revealed. But what about “normal” flights? What’s the technology behind knowing where the thousands of commercial flights every day actually are? And how…

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Ever wanted to get to know your lecturers a bit better? What do they do when they’re not teaching? Science met up with SBS and SENRGY’s Dr Matt Hayward and talked lions, hunting, and how to get a job working with wildlife… EP: What’s your job here in Bangor? MH: I’m a lecturer in Conservation, which means I deliver modules on conservation-related subjects, and my research involves looking at conservation issues. For me that tends to mean large-predator related topics and looking at threatened species, but I also look at broader issues such as the role of fences in ecosystems…

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You might have thought that in this age of MRI scanners and keyhole surgery, we’d know about the anatomy of the human body from the head right down to the tips of your toes. It turns out, though, that we didn’t know it quite as well as we’d thought. Two surgeons from the hospital of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium have discovered a new ligament in the knee, with major implications for how we might treat sports injuries in the future. The road to the discovery of the antero-lateral ligament, as it’s now known, dates all the way…

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Bangor University scientists are embarking on a major project to work out why we shop the way we do. Researchers from the Department of Psychology will brain-scan supermarket shoppers to try to work out what’s going on in our brains when we’re presented with promotions and special offers. The project, conducted in partnership with the retail research firm SBXL, will ask shoppers to simulate a trip to the supermarket – all while in a £3 million fMRI scanner. The experiment works by displaying products on a screen and then asking the test subject to pick from a range of special…

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Researchers in the School of Ocean Sciences have made headlines from America to Australia – just not necessarily the headlines that they might have wanted. They surround the tale of Ming the clam, an ocean quahog who spent most of his long life blamelessly filter-feeding off the coast of Iceland before being dredged up by Bangor scientists. Just how long he’d been living there, however, hadn’t been clear until a few weeks ago. Ming was originally thought to have been a sprightly 405 – but further work showed that he was actually 507 when he was caught, making him the…

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It’s the Oscars of the scientific world: two weeks ago, all eyes were on Stockholm where the winners of the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine were announced. While each prize comes with a cool $1.2 million’s worth of prize money, that’s hardly what inspires the thousands of scientists beavering away in labs hoping that someday it might be them. Rather, it’s the fact that the few who are chosen go down in history, joining the pantheon of scientific greats such as Einstein, Curie, Crick and Watson. The legendary status of the Prize itself comes with a history…

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