New fossil site in China shows long recovery of life from the largest extinction in Earth’s history22 December 2010A major new fossil site in south-west China has filled in a sizeable gap in our understanding of how life on this planet recovered from the greatest mass extinction of all time, according to a paper co-authored by Professor Mike Benton, in the School of Earth Sciences, and published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The work is led by scientists from the Chengdu Geological Center in China.
Gradients in the Earth's outermost core9 December 2010Evidence that the outermost portion of the Earth’s core is stratified is provided by earthquake data reported by scientists at the University of Bristol this week in Nature.
Engineer provides new insight into pterodactyl flight6 December 2010Giant pterosaurs – ancient reptiles that flew over the heads of dinosaurs – were at their best in gentle tropical breezes, soaring over hillsides and coastlines or floating over land and sea on thermally driven air currents, according to new research from the University of Bristol.
Extending the life of oil reserves: greener, cheaper more efficient oil extraction made possible6 December 2010An international team of scientists has come up with a new way to treat carbon dioxide (CO2) so that it can be used in efficient and environmentally friendly methods for extracting oil. The team has developed a soap-like additive for CO2 that turns it into a viable solvent for commercial-scale enhanced oil recovery to increase the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from oil fields. The CO2 soluble additives can also be used to reduce the environmental damage caused by every day industrial processes such as food processing and the manufacture of electronics.
Gangster birds running protection racket give insight into coevolution22 November 2010Like gangsters running a protection racket, drongos in the Kalahari Desert act as lookouts for other birds in order to steal a cut of their food catch. The behaviour, revealed in research funded by BBSRC published in Evolution and reported in Nature's Research Highlights today (18 November), may represent a rare example of two species evolving from a parasitic to a mutualistic relationship.
Bristol Students Lead The World with Precision Farming Prototype11 November 2010An interdisciplinary team of students from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Medical and Veterinary Sciences has come third in the finals of one of the most prestigious international events in Synthetic Biology, the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM - http://2010.igem.org).
CHE Excellence Rankings 20102 November 2010The University of Bristol is one of only seven higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe (and four in the UK) to have been included in the “Excellence Group” for each of the seven subject areas considered by the CHE Excellence Rankings. The results of these rankings, which focus on postgraduate study provision, were most recently published in die Zeit – a weekly German magazine- on 28 October 2010 (and on-line on 27 October 2010).
'Life and the Planet' funding success2 November 2010The School of Geographical Sciences has been successful in winning funding for two separate projects in the "Long Term Co-evolution of Life & the Planet" programme, run by the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme was set up to support interdisciplinary research into periods of major physical or biological change in the geological record, and their relationship to carbon and oxygen cycles.
Most distant galaxy ever discovered measured by scientists28 October 2010An international team of astronomers involving the University of Bristol have confirmed that a recently discovered distant galaxy is the most remote object ever observed. It is so far away that light from it has taken 13.1 billion years to reach the Earth.
Why the leopard got its spots28 October 2010Researchers at the University of Bristol investigated the flank markings of 35 species of wild cats to understand what drives the evolution of such beautiful and intriguing variation. They captured detailed differences in the visual appearance of the cats by linking them to a mathematical model of pattern development.
A speed gun for the Earth's insides28 October 2010Researchers at the University of Bristol reveal today in the journal Nature that they have developed a seismological ‘speed gun’ for the inside of the Earth.
Optical chip enables new approach to quantum computing29 September 2010An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bristol has developed a new approach to quantum computing that could soon be used to perform complex calculations that cannot be done by today’s computers.
Taking the pulse of coral reefs20 September 2010Dr Steve Simpson is based in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol. His work on reef fish behaviour has been published in Science and widely covered in the UK and international media. Emma Kennedy is a PhD student at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter. She works on Caribbean coral reefs, as part of a team of tropical marine spatial ecology researchers.
Evolution rewritten, again and again2 September 2010Palaeontologists are forever claiming that their latest fossil discovery will 'rewrite evolutionary history'. Is this just boasting or is our 'knowledge' of evolution so feeble that it changes every time we find a new fossil?
Alice Hughes wins award at International Bat Research Conference2 September 2010Congratulations to Alice Hughes who won a prize for the best oral presentation by a student at the 15th International Bat Research Conference in Prague, held between 23-27 August. Alice won a professional bat detector worth over £1000 for her presentation 'Predicting distributions of Asian bat species over 20,000 years and solving zoogeographic riddles'.
UK researchers release draft sequence coverage of wheat genome27 August 2010The first sequence coverage of the wheat genome has been publicly released by a team of UK researchers, including scientists from the University of Bristol. The release is a step towards a fully annotated genome and makes a significant contribution to efforts to support global food security and to increase the competitiveness of UK farming. The work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Measuring the Speed of Thought20 August 2010If the eyes are the window to the soul, psychologists hoping to solve the mystery of why our neural impulses do not always trigger an immediate response could find the answer in the flick of the eye.
Less is More For Hungry Bats20 August 2010Like a stealth fighter plane, the barbastelle bat uses a sneaky hunting strategy to catch its prey. A team of researchers from the University of Bristol combined three cutting-edge techniques to uncover the secret of this rare bat’s success.
Claire McMullin a Chemistry Student wins poster prize in Taiwan - 06/08/1012 August 2010Claire McMullin, a PhD student in the group of Natalie Fey and Guy Orpen, recently attended the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry (2010 XXIV ICOMC) in Taipei, Taiwan, and won a poster prize for her contribution on "Ligand Effects in Palladium Cross-Coupling Catalysis". Claire and her unique-looking trophy can be seen in the photos below. The meeting attracted in excess of 1000 attendees and there were 379 posters and 20 prizes awarded.
Impressive Showing for Bristol Mathematicians in Annual Awards20 July 2010Academics from the School of Mathematics have won prestigious prizes from the London Mathematical Society - scooping three of the seven awards given annually. Professor Jon Keating FRS, the dean of Science, has been awarded the Froehlich Prize. Professor Jens Marklof and Dr Harald Helfgot were both been awarded the Whitehead Prize.
Caffeine Dependency Research14 July 2010A study published in Neuropsychopharmacalogy by Rogers PJ, Hohoff C, Heatherley SV, Mullings EL, Maxfield J, Evershed RP, Deckert J and Nutt DJ reports that although frequent coffee drinkers develop a tolerance to the anxiety-producing effects of caffeine, they also develop a tolerance to its stimulatory effects. As with other drugs, caffeine brings individuals dependent on it back to - but not above- their baseline level of alertness.