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Latest University of Bristol Stories

Courtship In The Cricket World
2012-04-30 14:20:09

Everyone wants to present themselves in the best light - especially when it comes to finding a partner. Some rely on supplying honest information about their attributes while others exaggerate for good effect. A new study by researchers at the University of Bristol, published in PNAS, has discovered how male crickets could use similar tactics to attract a mate. Male crickets advertise for mates by singing loud repetitive songs at night. They rub their wings together, setting them into...

2012-04-30 13:20:26

Evidence that a Florentine merchant house financed the earliest English voyages to North America, has been published on-line in the academic journal Historical Research. The article by Dr Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli, a member of a project based at the University of Bristol, indicates that the Venetian merchant John Cabot (alias Zuan Caboto) received funding in April 1496 from the Bardi banking house in London. The payment of 50 nobles (£16 13s. 4d.) was made so that 'Giovanni...

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...


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.