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Browsing: Science

Bangor University Primatology students were extremely lucky to have Matilda Brindle present a guest lecture on her PhD topic; Masturbation in Primates. Matilda is a PhD from University College London, Institute of Zoology, and is currently researching the evolution of auto-sexual behaviours (masturbation) in primates. Her previous project focused on the evolution of the penis bone (baculum), one of the most enigmatic structures in the animal kingdom. Matilda began the talk on why masturbation has become such a taboo subject. The history of masturbation reflects broad changes in society concerning ethics, sexuality and social attitudes. The bad stigma that surrounds…

Wombat faeces has baffled scientists for decades. The Australian marsupial passes cubed-shaped poo, and the only species of mammal to do so. Despite having a pretty normal shaped anus like other mammals, wombats do not pass normal shaped poo. Researchers revealed that the elasticity of their intestines help sculpt the faeces into cubes, the team compared wombat intestines to pig intestines by inserting a balloon and monitored variations of the stretching patterns. It was discovered that wombat faeces changed from liquid form into solid form in the last 25% of the intestines but the final 8% of the intestines varied…

NASA’s next mission involving the Mars rover will continue the hunt for life outside of earth. The 2020 mission will look for signs of ancient life in an ancient river delta. The rover is expected to launch during July 2020 and land on Mars during February 2021. The rover is hunting for signs of past life in the sediments of the Jezero crater, which used to house a 250m deep lake and a delta that flowed into the lake. The presence of the lake may have influenced and supported growth of life due to highly favourable abiotic conditions. River deltas…

Food supplies are finite and scientists are getting desperate on alternative food supplies for the human population. Human’s eating insects is nothing new, globally 2 billion people consume insects, this practice is called entomophagy. It is a common practice in Africa and is home to the richest diversity of edible insects with over 500 different species being consumed. From caterpillars to termites, locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and ants. The edible insect market is set to exceed £406m by 2023. For decades scientists have proposed insects as feed for animals but views on entomophagy differ vastly. Most edible insects are harvested…

Bangor University students have started a campaign against the proposed plans to close the Chemistry department in its entirety. The campaign, Bangor Needs Chemistry, has already amassed hundreds of likes on its Facebook page since it went live this morning. The page was set up by students in response to the proposals made by the University. The page founder, who wishes to remain Anonymous, said: “The Facebook page was set up to raise awareness to alumni and the local community. “The response we have had from alumni thus far has been sadness and a call to arms. They all remember…

Scientific research is only at the beginning of understanding how climate change is going to affect aquatic organisms and how this will then affect entire marine ecosystems. Marine scientists have started to examine the effects of global warming and the reduction in seawater pH, known as ocean acidification. Studies undertaken by marine scientists from the School of Ocean Sciences has allowed for an appreciation that there are fundamental differences in the biological capacities of marine species, compensating for climate change. More specifically within crustaceans, a taxon that is usually regarded as tolerant to environmental change. It has been proven that…

Llama antibodies have now been incorporated in a recipe for a nasal spray designed to destroy infection from various strains of Influenza. Currently, the recipe has passed its first stage of animal testing and the results seem promising. Although, the medicine must undergo vigorous testing before human trials can begin, the development of this nasal spray may add a positive and much needed advancement in influenza vaccination development. The nasal spray could provide relief to the high-risk groups affected by influenza, such as the elderly or infants. Most traditional influenza vaccinations are tailor made each flu season, the nasal spray…

Witnesses are being encouraged to come out of the shadows to help shed light on a North Wales alien conspiracy.  Though, you may know nothing of the incident which has led to one of the greatest mysteries in North Wales, your lecturers may. At 8:30pm on January 23rd 1974 residents of Llandderfel and Llandrillo reported hearing a loud explosion, bright lights in the sky and experiencing ground tremors, which measured 3.5 on the Richter Scale. The police and RAF were dispatched to the area immediately but found nothing. Since 1974, rumours and stories have erupted into a massive debate on…

By Oli Hewson Bangor University has a Natural History Museum. This will be news to many of you, I’m sure, seeing as it has somehow remained a secret to me for almost three years at this institution. This may be partly down to the fact that admission to The Brambell Natural History Museum (no prizes for guessing where it is… Psst! It’s in The Brambell Building – sort of opposite Asda) is generally restricted to students of Natural Sciences at the University and rarely open to the public. When it is, however, it fills. Saturday 3rd was the weekend of…

The doors of Bangor University’s Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) have finally opened. The opening of CEB has placed Bangor University’s research at the cutting edge of research. The research centre aims to discover new enzymes with the potential to transform the efficiency of current biotechnology industries. The centre will be looking at extremophiles and how they can be used within industrial processes. Most industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, energy and cosmetics use inefficient chemical synthesis processes, which require high energy consumption and organic solvents, which are damaging to the environmental and public health. CEB aims to replace chemical synthesis…

Flu season is upon us, just as we all thought we were going to die from “Freshers Flu”, Influenza outbreaks have begun across the UK. As the country becomes increasing sick and run down, the NHS urges for the public to get vaccinated. In recent years there has become a significant divide between communities that believe everyone should get vaccinated and communities that believe that it is dangerous or just unnecessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that being vaccinated for influenza “can save lives” and “reduce the chance of the disease spreading”. But the real question…

Author: Oli Hewson There is some irony in that establishing Linguistics’ credibility as a science necessitates the use of a linguistic system. But onwards we shall proceed! Several theories attempt to explain how the mind defines and groups concepts (AKA “words”). Simplest (look to Occam’s Razor) is the Classical Theory. Basically, you group objects binarily based on their shared properties. Concepts either belong in the group or they don’t. Easy. (If you’re a biologist, replace “concept” and “object” with “organism”.) There’s a whole lot of logic that follows enabling the precise categorisation of each and every conceivable concept, but the…

Every September students from all over migrate to the small city of Bangor. After the heavy drinking period known as freshers, lectures begin in full-throttle. By mid-October, everyone is wrapped up and fully dosed with flu medications and feeling absolutely rotten. The plague of Freshers’ Flu has hit Bangor. We know most of you are probably feeling it, but is Freshers Flu an actual illness? One thing Freshers’ Flu isn’t, it is not a ‘flu’. Seasonal influenza’s, which emerge from South-East Asia, don’t usually present cases until December. There is, however, a very small chance that it could be the…

The marine environment off North Wales is renowned for its potential to provide significant quantities of renewable energy due to high tidal flows, which at specific locations can exceed 3ms-1 on spring tides. Improving our understanding and aiding the understanding of MRE developers at these sites, in terms of water flow, the nature of the seabed and the influence of marine renewable energy (MRE) infrastructure on the environment. Scientists based at the School of Ocean Sciences (SOS), have the capability to do this through access to the latest sonar survey technology and Bangor University’s fleet of research vessels. …

Brexit has influenced and will continue to influence our country. Some may argue that change is good and others will argue that it is bad, but this article will focus on the influence that Brexit will  have on the UK scientific community. The scientific industry is often overlooked in the national political discussion, despite its academic and economic importance. We have gathered all the facts to discuss, objectively, what is to come for scientific research in the UK. The EU produces one-third of the entire world’s scientific output, in terms of both economic value and intellectual capital. This is currently…

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…

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