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Bangor University experts are pioneering “backpack” transmitters for bees. The technology, originally developed in 2015, is attached to bees so scientists can track their movements. The charge powers a signal, which can be followed by an overhead drone as the bees fly over a wide range. Scientists hope tracking them will provide clues as to why some pollinating insects are in decline. “Existing bee monitoring devices face limits due to their weight, range, and battery life duration and these are the problems that we’ve set out to resolve using cutting-edge micro-technology,” said Dr Cristiano Palego, from the University’s School…

Vegans and other ethically minded people now have it much easier when finding synthetic alternatives to leather. Vegan and more ethical fashion is revolutionizing the industry, as more and more people are demanding animal-friendly eco styles. Now, Mainstream brands such as Toms, Vans, Dr. martens and Etnies have all created their own vegan style line, making finding ethical alternatives for your feet a breeze. On your next shopping spree however, don’t just look out for the leather symbol, as many large retailers are still using animal derived glues, so even non-leather shoes may not be vegan. List of high street…

By Olivia Romero-Collins San Jose, Costa Rica. 26th-28th October 2017: A three-day intensive course for professional biologists and civil engineers working for the government, charities, and private organisations in related fields was held to learn about how to implement wildlife-friendly roads in Mesoamerica. The following article is an account of what I learned at the conference. It’s night time in Costa Rica and you are driving down a quiet road, when all of a sudden, your headlights catch a flash of eyes and the faint outline of the spotted body of a jaguar. What do you do? Do you risk…

The end of October brought an exciting new field course opportunity during the recent reading week, for those in the school of SENRGy (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography. A small group of environmental, conservation students (and one geographer), including myself and 7 others, were fortunate enough to join with some students from the University of Ghana, to undertake a field ecology and conservation course in Ghana. Lead by Prof. Julia Jones of Bangor and Prof. Erasmus Owusu, this intensive 10-day course provided all involved with some of the most valuable skills and knowledge needed for a future in…

Always remember the 5th November… Bonfire Night, a celebration which brings friends and family together with fireworks and fires to warm up on a cold November evening.  However, Guy Fawkes is regularly the most polluted day of the year in the UK, burning masses of timber and shooting rockets into the air adds carbon monoxide and other dangerous to background air pollution. The added smoke in the atmosphere has the potential to cause serious health issues especially to those suffering from lung problems. Researchers have found that airborne particles from Guy Fawkes and Diwali, a celebration in which fireworks are…

Dr Liyang Yue from Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Newton Prize for his project based on building a super-resolution metamaterial 3D printing system. The Prize aims to encourage researchers to participate in the Newton Fund as partners with the UK and to work on the most crucial challenges facing Newton countries. This year these include: India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The concept has been developed to prove how UK partnerships with Newton countries are solving global challenges. It is an annual fund, which equals £1 million and is given to the best research…

This year Seren will be giving away a ticket to Bangor University’s Summer Ball organised by Academi. These tickets are worth £50 each and are likely to sell out soon. Terms: – Entrants must be Bangor University Students (not a member of Seren) – Entrants must be over 18 – Entry will close 12pm (midday) 16/05/2017 – Winner will be picked at random using a random number generator – Winner will be contacted 19/05/2016 and have 24hrs to respond and say they still want the tickets. If they don’t respond their win will be forfeited and another winner picked Just…

A new display has recently gone on display in the foyer of Storiel. Entitled Scales and Tails, snakes, crocodiles and tortoises are just some of the specimens on display that are on loan from Brambell Natural History Museum which is part of the School of Biological Sciences at Bangor University. Several of the specimens are in jars of fluid and are still used for teaching. The display has been curated by Melissa Green, 34, a volunteer who is currently a 2nd year zoology and herpetology student at the university. She said: ‘It’s been a great opportunity to help educate people on…

Dr. Paul Cross is a senior lecturer at Bangor University and has studied a wide range of topics from illegal drug use to zoonotic disease. A few days ago I met with Paul to discuss the importance of British bees and how beekeeping might be beginning to alleviate poverty in sub-Saharan countries.  Why are British bees important? “Historically the British bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), was well adapted to conditions particularly in the UK (high winds, lots of rainfall, short summer, low temperatures etc…) and over millennia had adapted to the environmental conditions. However, beekeepers have been importing other races of…

Dr Catherine Duigan currently works for Natural Resources Wales, which was formed in 2013 by the merging of the Environment Agency Wales, the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), where she was initially employed in 1992. A few days ago I met with Catherine in a moderately trendy café to discuss her journey from education to employment and whether she had any tips for recent graduates looking for a job within the environmental sector. What’s your role at Natural Resources Wales and how has it changed since you began? “My current role is leading a group of technical specialists, of about 30 people, who are…

In the Conservative’s 2015 manifesto, it was stated that a referendum on Britain’s EU membership would be held sometime before 2017. With this referendum looming it’s important to take note of the world leading scientific research being produced in the UK thanks to EU research monies, especially in Wales. On the ninth of February 2014, Switzerland held a referendum. The proposal “against mass immigration” planned to limit immigration by implementing quotas and allocating jobs preferentially to Swiss nationals over foreigners. Heavily supported by the Swiss People’s Party, the proposal would send Switzerland back to the days before its freedom-of-movement agreements…

“Destabilising and provocative” says the United States as reports from state-run North Korean TV claim that, at 9.09am on Sunday the 7th of Feburary, Kim Jong-un’s nation successfully launched a satellite into space despite sanctions banning ballistic missile technology. An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council is to be held in New York City after Japan, South Korea and the US have called for a discussion on a response to North Korea’s space oddity. Space, and the fragile satellites that hang in it, are of key military importance. Peter Singer from the New America Foundation explains that satellites are…

Briton Tim Peake and American Tim Kopra have just embarked on a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk. Although not the first Briton to carry out a spacewalk (the first was Michael Foale in 1995), Tim Peake is the first Briton to do so under the UK banner with Nasa. They will travel 50m (the same length as an olympic swimming pool) along the outside of the International Space Station hand-over-hand to replace a faulty component on the sequential shunt unit that has compromised a power channel. The failed electrical box regulates power from the solar panels. Watch Tim’s spacewalk live with this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDh4uK9PvJU

Light is a factor that influences marine organisms in a multitude of ways. A recent surge in LED lighting to be used at coastal residential sites and industrial areas (oil rigs) is illuminating marine ecosystems at night. Set to peak in 2020, it’s hoped that CO2 emissions and costs will be reduced as a result of their introduc-tion. Stuart Jenkins from the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University and his team measured the impacts of this lighting on sessile and mobile invertebrates. Their findings produced mixed results. For 12 weeks in July 2013, a floating raft was deployed in…

Nearly 30 years ago, reactor four of Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, sending vast amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. However, this disaster is rearing its ugly head once more. Soon after the explosion, a concrete shell was constructed over the decimated reactor to prevent any further radiation leakage, although, as you may expect it was made in a rather bit of a hurry. It was never going to last for ever. This old crumbling tomb is decaying more and more each day; a new solution is required. In 2007 work began on an enormous steel arch, or new…

Scientists have recently discovered the existence of flowing water on Mars. It’s been known for some time that flowing water did once occur on the red planet’s surface. A raft of geological evidence shows us that 4.1 billion years ago (only 0.4 billion years before the formation of Earth), liquid water flowed on the surface, eroding a network of river valleys, lakes, and oceans. Pictures of the planet taken by NASA in 1970 also show evidence of dried-up rivers and lakes etched into the Martian surface. A vast, one mile deep, ocean that once existed in the Northern hemisphere and…

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