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Latest Durham University Stories

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...

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2009-07-20 08:51:52

The potential for a huge Pacific Ocean tsunami on the West Coast of America may be greater than previously thought, according to a new study of geological evidence along the Gulf of Alaska coast. The new research suggests that future tsunamis could reach a scale far beyond that suffered in the tsunami generated by the great 1964 Alaskan earthquake. Official figures put the number of deaths caused by the earthquake at around 130: 114 in Alaska and 16 in Oregon and California. The tsunami...

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2009-07-10 08:25:00

Southern Elephant seals responded rapidly to climate and habitat change and established a new breeding site thousands of kilometers from existing breeding grounds, according to new research.An international research team, including post-doctorate Dr Mark de Bruyn and collaborators from the US, South Africa and Italy, led by Professor Rus Hoelzel from the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, found that when the Antarctic ice sheets of the Ross Sea Embayment...

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2009-06-18 05:40:00

Scientists have discovered that sticklebacks exhibit an advanced, sophisticated learning technique never before seen in the animal world.  The research reveals that the learning methods of fish may resemble that of humans more than previously believed. The study, conducted by researchers at St. Andrews University and Durham University in Britain, found that nine-spined sticklebacks can observe others to make better decisions. This ability to select the best food patch by comparing how...

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2009-06-03 08:10:00

The secret of a successful sandcastle could aid the revival of an ancient eco-friendly building technique, according to research led by Durham University. Researchers, led by experts at Durham's School of Engineering, have carried out a study into the strength of rammed earth, which is growing in popularity as a sustainable building method. Just as a sandcastle needs a little water to stand up, the Durham engineers found that the strength of rammed earth was heavily dependent on its water...

2009-06-02 09:24:09

Retaining a network of wildlife conservation areas is vital in helping to save up to 90 per cent of bird species in Africa affected by climate change, according to scientists.The research team "“ led by Durham University - including BirdLife International and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) looked at the effects of climate change on 815 bird species of conservation concern in sub-Saharan Africa and on the network of sites designated for them (termed Important Bird Areas).Published in the...

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2009-04-29 09:18:25

Researchers from Durham University's Centre for Bioactive Chemistry are developing methods that show how proteins interact with cell membranes when a virus strikes. Using their approach, the team hopes to find new ways to disrupt and disarm 'enveloped viruses' before they spread in our bodies. Team members, Dr John Sanderson and Dr Paul Yeo from Durham University have helped produce the first ever, high-resolution, full-length structure of a protein from an enveloped virus called the 'matrix...

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2009-04-15 10:15:00

A study released on Wednesday showed that climate change will force bone-weary birds migrating to Europe from Africa to log extra mileage, with possibly devastating consequences. The research found that the annual voyage of some species, which fly north in search of food and suitable climes, could increase by as much as 250 miles. Stephen Willis, a professor at Durham University in Britain and the main architect of the study, said marathon migrations for some birds are set to become even...

2009-03-20 10:53:24

Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Durham University have developed a new material to further understanding of how superconductors could be used to transmit electricity to built-up areas and reduce global energy losses. The team has produced a material from a football-shaped molecule, called carbon60, to demonstrate how a superconductor "“ an element, compound or alloy that does not oppose the steady passage of an electric current "“ could work at temperatures suitable...

2009-02-25 12:04:30

The recovery of some stroke victims, those who suffer brain haemorrhage, could be vastly improved if they were tested and treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, a distressing psychological condition more commonly known to affect soldiers who have fought in war zones.A study of over 100 brain haemorrhage survivors, led by Durham University and funded by the Clarke Lister Brain Haemorrhage Foundation, found more than one third tested positive for the disorder, displaying symptoms such as...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.