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Latest Durham University Stories

Bright Andromeda Object Caused By 'Normal' Black Hole
2012-02-24 04:24:28

A spectacularly bright object recently spotted in one of the Milky Way's neighboring galaxies is the result of a "normal" stellar black hole, astronomers have found. An international team of scientists, led by Dr Matt Middleton, of Durham University, analyzed the Ultraluminous X-ray Source (ULX), which was originally discovered in the Andromeda galaxy by NASA's Chandra x-ray observatory. They publish their results in the journals Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and...

2012-01-25 04:54:03

Teaching children with autism to 'talk things through in their head' may help them to solve complex day-to-day tasks, which could increase the chances of independent, flexible living later in life, according to new research. The study, led by Durham University, found that the mechanism for using 'inner speech' or 'talking things through in their head' is intact in children with autism but not always used in the same way as typically developing children do. The psychologists found that...

Parenting Styles Among Seals Differ
2011-11-23 04:20:53

Grey seals have different types of personality that affect the extent to which they guard and care for their young, according to new research. Researchers from Durham University and the University of St Andrews, looking at seal colonies in Scotland, found that seal mothers are often unpredictable and adopt a wide variation of mothering styles when it comes to checking on their pups. Some are very attentive while others are not, the researchers found. The Durham-St Andrews study shows,...

2011-11-02 08:52:13

Researchers have identified a potential drug therapy for a premature ageing disease that affects children causing them to age up to eight times as fast as the usual rate. The study is the first to outline how to limit and repair DNA damage defects in cells and could provide a model for understanding processes that cause us to age. The findings could have significant benefits, such as reducing degeneration of some tissues in older age, and could assist health management in countries,...

2011-09-29 23:38:04

Researchers at the University of Leeds and Durham University have solved a long-standing problem that could revolutionize the way new plastics are developed. The breakthrough will allow experts to create the 'perfect plastic' with specific uses and properties by using a high-tech 'recipe book.' It will also increase our ability to recycle plastics. The research paper is published in the prestigious journal Science on Thursday. The paper's authors form part of the Microscale Polymer...

2011-09-14 11:36:17

Results from a project run in 129 primary schools in Scotland, the largest ever trial of peer tutoring, show that children as young as seven to eight years old can benefit from a tutoring session as short as twenty minutes per week. The findings and the ease of implementation of the scheme indicate that peer tutoring could be an effective way to supplement the work of teachers and classroom assistants, and could be rolled out as a nationwide programme. The boost to school pupils'...

2011-08-31 11:27:46

A simple finger prick test during routine eye examinations at high street opticians could help to identify millions of people with previously undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, according to new research. The researchers suggest earlier diagnosis could set people on the road to better management of the disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population, and that this could ultimately result in cost-savings for the NHS. The Durham University study suggests that...

2011-06-21 12:05:34

Heavy and prolonged snowfall can bring about unexpected conditions that encourage fungal growth, leading to the death of plants in the Arctic, according to experts. A new international study confirms that whilst snow has an insulating effect which helps plants to grow bigger, heavy and prolonged snow can, in certain circumstances, also encourage the rapid and extensive growth of killer fungal strains. The research results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, show for the first...

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2011-05-17 13:57:38

A new study offers hope for species such as the Siberian Tiger that might be considered 'too rare to save', so long as conservation efforts can target key threats. The findings have important implications for conserving some of the world's most charismatic endangered species, which often exist in populations far smaller than the many thousands of individuals that earlier studies had argued were necessary for viability. Charismatic examples include the mountain gorilla, which likely now number...

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2011-02-25 07:45:00

Scientists said Thursday that a mud volcano in Indonesia is responsible for displacing more than 13,000 families, and shows no sign of stopping for the better part of the next quarter century, as it continues to emit flammable gas through a deepening lake of sludge. Underground pressure means the volcano -- located in Sidoarjo, East Java -- could continue to gush out gray mud until 2037, when volumes will become small and insignificant, according to a computer model. But gas will continue...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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