Bangor University Students’ Union’s English Language Newspaper ...more

Browsing: Science

For Ridhima Pandey, environmentalism runs in the family. Her father, Dinesh Pandey, is an activist and victim of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods in India, one of the country’s worst natural disasters. Ridhima is a Haridwar native, raised in the ancient and historically significant Hindu city that rests on the Ganges River, on the banks of which she has often found statues, clothes and plastic: “We say the Ganga is mata (mother), that Ganga is a goddess for us, and we just pollute it.” This sparked her anger and her interest, and she began asking her father question after question about…

At first glance, Halloween and being environmentally conscious do not seem to go hand in hand. We buy socially relevant costumes new each year, meant to be worn once, then they sit in the back of our closets until we finally get rid of them. Individually wrapped Halloween candy is given out and consumed in excess; after all, that’s the spirit of Halloween. Now, I’m not suggesting that we curtail our chocolate and candy intake. There are just a few things that we can do to make our Halloween festivities a little bit greener. When it comes to Halloween costumes,…

Topic: Wrapping up your lunch Going on a trip or packing for your day at school or university? Step away from that cling film and single-use plastic bags. Did you know that in the UK alone, enough cling film is used up each year to wrap around the Earth 30 times! And every second 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world. This has seriously got to stop because it’s so easy to convert to zero waste. Here are some ways you can wrap your lunch guilt-free: Easy way = Use tinfoil. Did you know you can…

An examination of the emerging tiny house movement as a sustainable option for reducing one’s ecological footprint. Sustainability practices have been at the forefront of both global and local efforts to mitigate the negative effects of globalization, urbanization, resource exploitation, and climate change. Understanding its unique characteristics and approaches is essential to utilizing it successfully to implement improvement efforts at any scale. Environmental sustainability can be understood as a method of using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged, so that ecological balance can be maintained. Understanding the concept of sustainability is aided by looking…

As I’m sure you’re aware of by now, climate change is causing a global emergency. This does not just affect the environment and the world: it is a human rights issue. Climate change affects food production and access to food, causes natural disasters that claim thousands of lives and destroys as many homes, and makes sea levels rise, which also displaces thousands of people. It is resulting in fundamental rights such as shelter, food, and clean water being denied to millions of people across the world. Millions of people across the world are standing up for our rights in this…

When faced with the potential of a hard Brexit, climate change may be the least of everyone’s worries. Despite this, it is important to consider what the potential implications of a hard Brexit are to climate change. The UK has been at the forefront of campaigning efforts to steer the EU towards a greener future, pledging to reduce emissions during the EU’s Paris Agreement pledge, and tipping the EU member states towards more ambitious goals to mitigate climate change.  One of the main criticisms of the UK remaining in the EU is the restrictive regulations that UK companies have to…

Plenty of protestors crossed many miles to reach Bangor’s Climate Strike March yesterday. However, only two of those travellers elected to do so under their own power, in a canoe. Luke McNair and Deio Collwyn Williams set off from their homes on the Llŷn peninsula at 6am, in a canoe that would later sit proudly beside that day’s demonstrations in Bangor. From Porthdinllaen to Y Felinheli, the friends paddled over 25 miles (40km) that morning in the name of environmentally-friendly travel. Though smaller scale, the journey mirrored that of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who founded the School Strikes for…

The forest has always been an environment deeply resonant with the human spirit. Since the dawn of mankind, it’s been a place of mystery and darkness, but also shelter and comfort. Few places on earth are richer with life, it buzzes, oozes and beats in every nook and cranny. Ecologically speaking, the forest had long been considered a place of fierce competition for sunlight, food and survival, but over the past few decades a discovery has emerged with profound implications for our understanding of this ecosystem. In 1988, plant scientist E. I. Newman argued the existence of a complex subterranean…

Two important Ukranian exports to Wales are to be combined to produce a drink which is sure to raise a few eyebrows. We’ve long been importing vodka, and since 1986 we’ve had a few years of importing radiation resulting from the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. Now scientists at the University of Portsmouth hope to combine these exports by making a vodka using ingredients from Chernobyl’s radioactive wasteland.  After the nuclear power plant exploded, a 30km exclusion zone was declared unfit for human habitation for twenty four thousand years. Three hundred and fifty thousand people were moved from…

Species such as fireflies, cuttlefish and squid light up to camouflage themselves, to communicate and attract each other, as well as for defence. These species produce light in two different ways. Bioluminescence occurs when an organism produces light following chemical reactions. While in biofluorescence, light falling on the organism excites an electron in a protein, raising its energy to unstable levels. When this happens, excess energy is released from the electron in the form of fluorescent light.  Corals use photoprotective biofluorescence to turn harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun into a harmless glow. This light production process could be a…

Tesco and ASDA have become the first retailers to sign up to trials with the National Grid, which will see their hundreds of thousands of aisles of fridges and freezers used as a ‘virtual battery pack’ to reinforce the UK’s electrical supply. The National Grid is responsible for managing and maintaining a steady supply of power to the entire UK. It is especially challenging to maintain this supply during times of ‘peak demand’ where the system’s capacity is pushed to its limits. If the Grid cannot supply sufficient power to an area, the network automatically disconnects to prevent damage to…

Tuna is a staple of the student diet; cheap, easy and healthy… right? A study conducted by the University of California suggests that some students may be eating dangerous amounts of this fishy treat. Fifty four students had hair samples taken and were asked to keep a record of the number of meals containing tuna they had eaten each week. The hair samples were used to measure the levels of mercury, a heavy metal found in most fish, in the participants’ bodies. Out of the fifty four participants, 54% reported eating more than 3 meals of tuna a week, and…

What’s the story behind the ‘fish tube’ meme? The Wooshh Passage Portal, or ‘Salmon Cannon’, has been used to transport thousands of fish safely over dams and other man-made obstacles. Like most fish, salmon stocks are in decline due to overfishing and man-made obstacles such as dams. Salmon migrate from the sea up freshwater rivers to ensure that their young have a safe place away from the many predators that patrol the oceans. Although they are famously proficient at surmounting waterfalls, they fall short at hundred meter high man-made dams. This is where the ‘Salmon Cannon’ comes into play. It…

A new data science hub for green energy is to be created at Bangor University, backed by £4.6m EU funds. The new Smart Efficient Energy Centre (SEEC) will develop joint research between Welsh and international organisations and businesses. It will investigate the options for using big data science to improve the efficiency of low carbon energy systems including nuclear, marine and offshore wind energy. The centre is forecast to become an international hub of excellence in North Wales, generating a further £9m of research income over the next four years, and encouraging collaboration on new ideas and innovative solutions to global energy efficiency issues. Research will be based…

by Fatima Ammar  Bangor’s student-led community garden at the Fron Heulog site (next to St James’s Church on Friddoedd Road), formerly nicknamed ‘HogSoc garden’ is undergoing a new project in collaboration with Headway Gwynedd, the brain injury association. On top of the pre-existing raised vegetable beds, cold frames, live willow dome, Welsh heritage fruit trees, and our charismatic shed, we’ll be creating a sensory garden for brain trauma patients to enjoy, benefit from, and relax in. Sensory gardens are used to help those suffering from various sensory problems, learning difficulties, brain injuries, or mental disorders to feel safe and comfortable…

Bangor University has been awarded a ‘First Class Honours’ for its sustainability credentials. by People & Planet, the largest student network in the UK campaigning for social and environmental justice. Only 29 of the 154 universities in the UK are placed in this category. This latest table sees the University rising nine places in the table, and achieving its highest ever score, and is assessed on a wide range of environmental, social and financial sustainability criteria. Dr Einir Young, Bangor’s Director of Sustainability said: “This is further evidence that we are making progress and underlines our commitment to sustainability as a…

1 2 3 4 11