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Latest University of Bristol Stories

2012-03-14 22:14:28

The tiny teeth of a long-extinct vertebrate — with tips only two micrometers across: one twentieth the width of a human hair — are the sharpest dental structures ever measured, new research from the University of Bristol and Monash University, Australia has found. For 300 million years, Earth´s oceans teemed with conodonts — early vertebrates that kept their skeleton in their mouth.  The elements of this skeleton look uncannily like teeth (see image) and, like...

Unearthed Burial Grounds Provide Look Into Slave Trade
2012-03-11 06:05:15

A slave burial ground in St Helena has been unearthed and discovered by archeologists from the University of Bristol. The burial ground was discovered in the South Atlantic Island as construction for a new airport and roads continues. Archeologists now look to the burial ground to tell the story of the Middle Passage during the Atlantic slave trade. St Helena is located 1,000 miles off the eastern shore of Africa. The island became famous for being a landing place for many freed slaves...

2012-03-09 11:02:09

Ever had to find your friend in a crowd? Imagine at a festival your mate saying: "I'll be wearing a yellow t-shirt by the hotdog stall behind the jazz stage." Using this information, you could walk around listening out for the romping double bass, and as you get closer and start to hear the trills of the trumpet, begin to sniff out the frying onions and sizzling sausages. Once you have located the hotdog stand, you only need to look for a bright yellow t-shirt and you will find your friend....

2012-03-07 11:33:01

Using physical experiments and computer modeling to explore the efficiency of bladed tooth shape Using a combination of guillotine-based experiments and cutting-edge computer modeling, researchers at the University of Bristol have explored the most efficient ways for teeth to slice food. Their results, published today in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, show just how precisely the shape of an animal's teeth is optimized to suit the type of food it eats. There is a massive variety...

Ocean Acidification Rapid Compared To Ancient Times
2012-03-02 13:49:09

The world´s oceans may be acidifying more rapidly than they have at any time in the past 300 million years due to high levels of pollution, according to research published this week in the journal Science. Researchers, led by Columbia University´s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Bristol, assessed a number of climate change events in Earth´s history, including an asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. They warn that too...

2012-02-29 10:33:37

A padlocked icon in a web-browser or a URL starting with https provides communication security over the Internet. The icon or URL indicates OpenSSL, a cryptography toolkit implementing the SSL protocol, or a similar system is being used. New research by a collaborative team has developed an attack that can circumvent the security OpenSSL should provide. The attack worked on a very specific version of the OpenSSL software, 0.9.8g, and only when a specific set of options were used. Dr Dan...

2012-02-21 10:52:51

Cuttlefish have the most acute polarization vision yet found in any animal, researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered by showing them movies on a modified LCD computer screen to test their eyesight Cuttlefish have the most acute polarization vision yet found in any animal, researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered by showing them movies on a modified LCD computer screen to test their eyesight. Cuttlefish and their color blind cousins, squid and octopus, see...

2012-02-14 12:40:30

Researchers from the University of Bristol have measured and identified for the first time the stress and strain shear modulus and internal friction of graphene sheets. Graphene is a material that has many potential groundbreaking uses in the electronics and composites industry. The research, in collaboration with the US Office of Naval Research, is published in Nano Letters. Graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is a promising...

2012-02-08 14:50:52

Immunological diseases, such as eczema and asthma, are on the increase in westernised society and represent a major challenge for 21st century medicine. A new study has shown, for the first time, that growing up on a farm directly affects the regulation of the immune system and causes a reduction in the immunological responses to food proteins. The research, led by the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, found that spending early life in a complex farm environment...

2012-02-01 14:08:22

Researchers reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older New findings, led by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol and published this week in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older. It is not fully understood why the brain's cognitive functions such as memory and speech decline as we age. Although work published this year...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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