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Latest Durham University Stories

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2010-04-19 14:26:07

Modern-day Chinese pigs are directly descended from ancient pigs which were the first to be domesticated in the region 10,000 years ago, a new archaeological and genetic study has revealed. An international team of researchers, led by Durham University (UK) and the China Agricultural University, in Beijing, say their findings suggest a difference between patterns of early domestication and movement of pigs in Europe and parts of East Asia. The research, published today (Monday, April 19) in...

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2010-03-21 13:55:00

Scientists have found a massive galaxy in the early Universe creating stars like our sun up to 100 times faster than the modern-day Milky Way. The team of international researchers, led by Durham University, described the finding as like seeing "a teenager going through a growth spurt". Due to the amount of time it takes light to reach Earth the scientists observed the galaxy as it would have appeared 10 billion years ago "“ just three billion years after the Big Bang. They found four...

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2010-03-10 06:10:00

Scientists have found evidence of a catastrophic event they believe was responsible for halting the birth of stars in a galaxy in the early Universe. They report their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The researchers, led by Durham University's Department of Physics and funded by the Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society say the massive galaxy, SMM J1237+6203, underwent a series of blasts trillions of times more powerful than any caused by an...

2009-12-15 21:07:30

'While shepherds watched' was the first carol to cross over to the Church of England from the secular, folk tradition and carol singers might be surprised to hear that it used to be commonly sung to the tune 'Cranbrook', better known as 'Ilkley Moor' ('On Ilkla Moor baht 'at'') according to research by a hymn expert from Durham University. The tune used in most church services today is one of many variations used over the 300-year history of this much-loved carol according to Professor Jeremy...

2009-12-10 13:46:13

Environmental scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Durham University have employed a novel combination of geological and model reconstructions of wetland environments during a 10,000-year period to address spatial variations in sea-level history and provide quantitative estimates of subsidence along the east coast of England. The findings indicate that glacial rebound "” the rise or fall of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last...

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2009-11-25 09:20:10

The world's largest species of monkey 'chooses' mates with genes that are different from their own to guarantee healthy and strong offspring, according to a new research study. The results obtained from mandrills, a species closely related to humans, support the disputed theory that humans are attracted to those with a dissimilar genetic make up to maintain genetic diversity. Female mandrills are more likely to reproduce with males whose genes are complementary, possibly because they 'smell...

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2009-11-11 07:50:00

The Universe's infant galaxies enjoyed rapid growth spurts forming stars like our sun at a rate of up to 50 stars a year, according to scientists at Durham University. The findings show that "stellar nurseries" within the first galaxies gave birth to stars at a much more rapid rate than previously expected, the researchers from Durham's Institute for Computational Cosmology revealed. Their work appears in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The research...

2009-10-07 11:38:39

The 'Coastland Map' produced by scientists from Durham University and published in the Journal GSA Today, charts the post Ice-Age tilt of the UK and Ireland and current relative sea-level changes. According to the map, the sinking effect in the south could add between 10 and 33 per cent to the projected sea-level rises caused by global warming over the next century. * The projections are less than previous estimations for subsidence and could help local authorities to save money on sea and...

2009-09-25 14:13:04

Decision-making on science "“ especially emerging technologies such as nanotechnology "“ must become more democratic, a new report on science policy released today argues. The group of leading European academics behind the 'Reconfiguring Responsibility' report argue forcefully that current governance activities are limiting public debate and may repeat mistakes made in managing GM. The DEEPEN report comes in the wake of a move within UK and European science policy-making to govern...

2009-09-16 07:19:27

The ice sheets that sculpted the landscape of northern Britain moved in unexpected ways and left distinctive egg-shaped features according to new research. Scientists from Durham University have deciphered the landforms and created a model of the British and Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) which reveals for the first time how glaciers reversed their flows and retreated back into upland regions from where they originated. These ice sheet flow patterns created a unique 'overprinting' of British glacial...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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