The Schola Cantorum13 March 2012The Department of Music is home to a very special choir. Known as the Schola Cantorum, this 16 strong all-female choir specialises in medieval music, particularly Old Hispanic and Gregorian chant, under the guidance of senior lecturer and medieval music specialist Dr Emma Hornby.
Getting InsideArts at the University of Bristol1 February 2012On 18 October, the Faculty of Arts at the University of Bristol opened its doors for InsideArts – the University’s first festival of the arts and humanities. The week was abuzz with a wide range of events — all free and all open to the public.
Composition for brass band: Gaia Symphony and Eden12 February 2012John Pickard, internationally-recognised composer in the Department of Music, has composed pieces for brass band to wide acclaim. Two pieces in particular, Gaia Symphony and Eden, have generated considerable attention from the mainstream and specialist press, attracting audiences across the globe.
Bringing classics to (Second) life12 February 2012Shelley Hales, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, teamed up with e-learning specialist Nic Earle from the Education Support Unit to develop an exciting educational tool that helps people to understand and engage with history.
Ice Pigging12 March 2012Ice Pigging is set to become the pipe cleaning technique of choice with many countries using the award winning method, devised by Professor Joe Quarini from the Faculty of Engineering, to clean their water pipes.
Medical Imaging12 February 2012Professor Ian Craddock from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, along with Professor Alan Preece (Emeritus in School of Clinical Sciences), has led a team to create the world’s first radar breast imaging system.
Engaging with teaching in the Far East13 February 2012Oral microbiologist Dr Angela Nobbs from the School of Oral and Dental Sciences provided Japanese colleagues with a taste of the school's interactive teaching methods through an intensive lecture tour at Kyushu University in January 2011.
Dental practice in a Tanzanian hospital13 February 2012Having spent their training to date in the UK, dental students Lydia Harris and Rob Mahal decided to investigate the provision of dental care in a developing country. Their research took them to Tanzania where they found that things were very different from what they were used to.
Tackling teen relationship violence on TV12 February 2012“Do you make your girlfriend weak at the knees ...because she’s scared you’ll hit her?” This was one of several tough questions directed at teenagers in two recent government-funded media campaigns incorporating TV, cinema, outdoor and online adverts. The powerful campaigns reached nearly 3 million 13 to 18 year old TV viewers1, challenging their attitudes and helping them to recognise abuse in their relationships.
Evolutionary tactics revealed by plant-animal communications20 February 2012The iridescent properties of spike-moss plants could serve more than just an aesthetic function by creating a cunning distraction for predators, research suggests. Investigations into the cross-talk between flora and fauna aim to pinpoint the survival capabilities of these little-known plants and explore whether such an evolutionary instinct could provide additional insights into the world’s biodiversity.
Molecular biology reveals the survival instinct of plants20 February 2012Changes in the genetic make-up of plants are being examined by molecular biologists whose studies represent a major step forward in efforts to understand how shifts in environmental conditions will affect the future growth and survival of crops.
Statistical modelling and methods for complex causal inference20 February 2012Dr Vanessa Didelez is a statistician developing methods to understand better causal mechanisms, the processes linking cause and effect in complex systems in motion that evolve over time, so-called dynamical systems. As many standard methods fail to handle multiple time-varying factors rendering them unusable, she is uniquely combining graphical models with background knowledge and statistical algorithms. Although her anticipated methodology could be applied in many different contexts, she foresees particular benefits for computer scientists, social scientists, geneticists and health professionals. For example, well acquainted with the biomedical community, she helps medical researchers analysing large longitudinal HIV patient data sets to enable the advancement of personalised medicine treatment programmes.
Using 19th century equations to understand transition to turbulence in pipe flow20 February 2012Understanding how fluid flow through a straight pipe changes from being steady to an irregular state – the so-called ‘transition to turbulence’ problem – is one of the greatest challenges in fluid mechanics. By combining theory and experimentation, Professor Richard Kerswell (Bristol University) and Professor Tom Mullin (Manchester University) studied how solutions to equations over 150-years-old could explain what is seen in nature. The ultimate aim of this work is to control or even prevent turbulence arising when its consequences such as increased drag are undesirable, for example, pumping oil in transcontinental pipelines and the airflow across an aeroplane wing.
Neuroscientists examine hormones and neurones for key to energy balance20 February 2012Obesity and high blood pressure are two of the world’s biggest health problems. In a novel study that examines both conditions in parallel, neuroscientists at Bristol University are examining how mechanisms in the brain and body adjust to nutritional intake. Their research aims to identify the signalling pathways that disrupt energy levels and trigger weight gain and hypertension.
High throughput proteomics could hold the key to new treatment strategies20 February 2012The pathogenesis of dengue virus, which infects millions of people worldwide, has so far eluded scientists whose efforts to understand the disease have yielded limited insights. But after years dedicated to investigating the molecular and cellular biology of dengue fever, virologists at the University of Bristol are using novel approaches to identify cellular proteins that could inform more effective drug design and diagnostic development.
Misbehaving neurons and the complexities of human brain disease14 March 2012How do our brains process the mass of information that constantly confronts us, and how does this processing go wrong in debilitating disorders such as autism and schizophrenia? Bristol neuroscientists are equipped to answer these questions, which are increasingly critical as the social and economic burden of cognitive impairment increases.
New moves in molecular gymnastics for DNA repair20 February 2012Since the double helical structure of DNA was famously solved in 1953, much has been discovered about the complex functionality of our genetic material, providing an increasingly detailed level of knowledge that is vital in underpinning medical approaches to disease.
Microbiology provides novel insights into disease20 February 2012Detailed investigations of how a bacterium that causes dysentery in humans infects its host has yielded insights that may represent new vaccine targets and could ultimately help confront the challenges raised by other species of increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause different diseases in humans, animals and plants.
World’s first trachea transplant marks new era in stem cells20 February 2012A multinational collaboration involving experts in surgery and tissue-engineering from the University of Bristol made medical history when they carried out the first ever transplant of a bioengineered windpipe, with life-changing results.
Two weeks in a busy dental clinic in Kenya20 February 2012For 4th-year student Saagar Patel, the high staff-to-patient ratios, the necessary speed of dental care provision and the important educational role played by dentists in a Nairobi hospital really struck home.
Uncovering an historical mystery15 March 2012This is the story of an historian, the unpublished lifework of an academic, and how analysing a book proposal led to an international, collaborative research initiative known as The Cabot Project.
Visualising the Olympics17 April 2012“Images depicting the Olympic Games provide fascinating commentary and insight into the socio-economic and political contexts of the time in which they were designed,” says Dr Mike O’Mahony, art historian and author of Olympic Visions from the Department of Historical Studies.
Making sense of those vital statistics18 April 2012Behind every quantitative research project, there’s a statistician waiting to make sense of the data, and more than 18,000 users worldwide are working with software developed at Bristol’s Centre for Multilevel Modelling to do it.
Thucydides — still relevant today?30 April 2012Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, has long been quoted by politicians, military strategists, historians and philosophers. He has been considered as the father of both scientific history and political realism. But how extensive is his influence on the modern world and how has this developed?
The lessons of multilevel modelling8 May 2012Multilevel statistical models developed by Professor Harvey Goldstein and Dr George Leckie show school league tables to be unreliable guides to school choice.
Retrieving knowledge from the archives of the mind21 May 2012Skills once learned but forgotten are not entirely lost, according to research by the University of Bristol, which suggests that while memory might seem to fail us, our brains actually hold on to old information.
Geologists delve deeper to understand history of the Atlantic29 May 2012For years, scientists have endeavoured to gather evidence of how the Earth has evolved over time. In a bid to go yet further, Bristol scientists are taking an original tack, searching for ancient deep-sea corals that could further reveal the significance of the ocean to large scale global change
Saving thousands of newborns by cooling them down1 June 2012Inducing hypothermia in a newborn may not seem the obvious way to preserve a new life or prevent brain injury, but a cooling treatment pioneered by Professors Marianne Thoresen and Andrew Whitelaw in Bristol now saves 1,500 babies from death and disability every year in the developed world.
Improving care for children with cleft lip and palate11 July 2012A Bristol research team, headed by Professor Jonathan Sandy from Bristol Dental School, undertook a nationwide review of services for cleft palate patients in the UK, leading to dramatic improvements for patients and their families.
East meets West — Building a ‘remembering’ community21 August 2012Can telling stories about a socialist past and sharing these with a wider public help improve understandings of multiculturalism in Britain today? Two researchers from the Department of German set out to explore this question with the East Meets West project, in which local Eastern European migrant communities play a central role.
Conker Tree Science: how small investments can reach thousands3 September 2012It all started with handing out 1,000 vials containing ‘alien bugs’ in Bristol’s shopping hub of Cabot Circus. Two years later, Conker Tree Science, a hypothesis-led citizen science project, has engaged thousands of people across the UK and generated important data about the spread of an invasive leaf-mining moth.
Contributing to the welfare of laying hens13 September 2012Research into the welfare of laying hens, undertaken by Professor Christine Nicol, contributed significantly to the UK Government's decision to sign up to the battery cage ban in January 2012.
PROMPT training tackles emergencies in pregnancy and birth15 October 2012PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) is an obstetric emergencies training package now used in 85 per cent of UK maternity units. With the potential to save millions in litigation costs for health services, PROMPT also looks set to achieve substantial reductions in preventable perinatal harm both in the UK and worldwide.