Latest Open University Stories

2011-03-10 13:50:00

Children who are taught how to think and act like scientists develop a clearer understanding of the subject, a study has shown. The research project led by The University of Nottingham and The Open University has shown that school children who took the lead in investigating science topics of interest to them gained an understanding of good scientific practice. The study shows that this method of "Ëœpersonal inquiry' could be used to help children develop the skills needed to weigh...

2010-08-29 07:25:00

A new study theorizes that the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by at least two meteorite strikes rather than one. Scientists previously thought that a huge meteorite impact occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, wiping out the dinosaurs in one fell swoop. New evidence, however, suggests that a second impact occurred in the Ukraine, according to a BBC News report on Friday. The study findings were published in the journal Geology by a team lead by Professor David Jolley of Aberdeen...

2010-08-18 09:50:00

A team of European researchers have pinpointed a magnetar--an unusual type of neutron star that possesses an immensely powerful magnetic field--that was formed by a star that had at least 40 times more mass than our solar system's sun.The discovery, they say, could force scientists to rethink current theories of star evolution, and specifically, the amount of mass needed to form a black hole.According to the scientific website PhysOrg.com, "This proves for the first time that magnetars can...

2010-07-21 09:00:00

NEW YORK, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) announced today that it is making much of its training material openly available and free in a convenient online format at PwC Open University. The first-of-its-kind corporate resource provides business executives, faculty, students and regulators around the world with access to an expansive and growing library of award-winning training courseware developed by the firm. PwC has ranked No. 1 in Training magazine's...

2010-03-31 08:10:00

Common toads (Bufo bufo) can detect impending seismic activity and alter their behavior from breeding to evacuation mode, suggests a new study in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) Journal of Zoology. Researchers from The Open University reported that 96 percent of male toads in a population abandoned their breeding site five days before the earthquake that struck L'Aquila in Italy in 2009. The breeding site was located 74 km from the earthquake's epicenter. The number of paired toads...

2009-07-13 12:05:00

When it comes to mating, timing is everything for amphibians. Researchers have found that the mating activity of amphibians is synchronized by the full Moon. The fascinating fact that frogs, toads and newts across the globe seem to enjoy mating by moonlight has never before been noticed. It appears that in order to make sure that a sufficient number of males and females join up at the same time, they use the lunar cycle to co-ordinate their gatherings. This proves to be an ingenious...

2008-09-25 17:45:00

By Katie Bodinger HIGHER education institutions in Wales are working together to bridge a shortage of secondary teachers in certain subjects. The free Prepare to Teach course is being offered in maths, science, design and technology, modern foreign languages, English, music, information technology, Welsh and religious education. It is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (Hefcw). The 2008-09 course, which starts this month, offers participants flexible start...

2008-09-19 03:00:25

By Jolley, David W Widdowson, Mike; Self, Stephen Abstract: Research from biological and geological sources has highlighted the role of volcanoes in the outgassing of P, and thermal fixation and subsequent atmospheric oxidation of NO^sub x^ in volcanic environments. The impact of these nutrient fluxes on biological systems has been demonstrated on present-day Hawai'i, and here we consider the impact on the plant communities within a large igneous province (LIP). The Miocene Columbia River...

2008-08-05 00:00:10

Musicians and scientists share their passion for fossils in a new TV series When it comes to firing the British public with enthusiasm for old rocks, few people could be better qualified than Dr Hermione Cockburn. The presenter of Fossil Detectives, a new series created by the Open Unversity and the BBC Natural History unit, Cockburn is an earth scientist and Open University tutor, who left full-time academia five years ago to pursue a career in science television. She's been seen in What...

2008-08-03 12:00:31

By April Marciszewski, Tulsa World, Okla. Aug. 3--It's about caring for the entire community, not just individual patients. It's about harnessing the altruism of first-year medical and physician assistant students before the hard work of school wears them down. It's about walking down the street from a hospital, as University of Oklahoma-Tulsa President Dr. Gerry Clancy did almost 15 years ago in Iowa, and taking medical care to a homeless shelter full of people with mental illnesses....

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.