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Durham University

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Medieval thinking meets modern research

Image showing digital artwork of medieval understanding of the universe

Imagine being able to step back in time and see how a great mind of the past understood our world, or experience how food and drink tasted hundreds of years ago.

Well, research led by Durham University is allowing people to do just that. 

(15 Feb 2019) » More about Medieval thinking meets modern research


New Vice-Provost (Research) appointed

We are pleased to announce that Professor Colin Bain has been appointed as Vice-Provost (Research).

(14 Feb 2019) » More about the appointment of our new Vice-Provost (Research)


Should fish and chips portions be smaller?

Fish and chips in take-away box

Next time you go for your fish and chips, you might be able to choose your portion size.

(7 Feb 2019) » More about should fish and chips portions be smaller?


£1.3m to connect research with society

Durham will receive £1.3m over the next four years to continue our world-leading social science research.

(5 Feb 2019) » More about Durham will receive £1.3m over the next four years to continue our world-leading social science research.


New PhD opportunities in science and engineering

Smart surfaces, offshore wind energy and unmanned electric transportation are some of the subjects students will be able to study and research, thanks to new funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

(4 Feb 2019) » More about New PhD opportunities in science and engineering


National praise for academic and business partnership

Durham University has featured in a national report highlighting innovation between universities and industry.

(1 Feb 2019) » More about National praise for academic and business partnership


The value of a dyslexia diagnosis

One English council is changing its guidance for children with reading difficulties after research by Durham University questioned the value of a dyslexia diagnosis.

(29 Jan 2019) » More about The value of a dyslexia diagnosis


Black holes shed light on expanding Universe

Scientists are using supermassive black holes to measure the expansion of the early Universe.

(28 Jan 2019) » More about Black holes shed light on expanding Universe


It’s time to talk about heat

If we told you there was a low-carbon way to meet the world’s energy demand, address climate change and rebalance energy politics, would you believe us? Well it’s true.

It is time we start focusing on heat.

(23 Jan 2019) » More about It’s time to talk about heat


Tackling global natural disasters

The threat from natural disasters is growing due to climate change, increased population and overuse of resources.

(22 Jan 2019) » More about Tackling global natural disasters


The future of oil spill clean ups

Oil spills happen frequently ranging from large ones like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster to smaller ones on industrial sites. All have a damaging impact on the environment and wildlife.

(22 Jan 2019) » More about The future of oil spill clean ups


Black hole and gravity research honoured

Two astrophysicists have been honoured for research to further our understanding of black holes and the effects of gravity.

(11 Jan 2019) » More about Black hole and gravity research honoured


Targeted treatment technology wins award

A Durham University spin out-company, led by academics in our Chemistry and Biosciences departments, has been recognised for its excellence at a regional awards ceremony.

(11 Jan 2019) » More about Targeted treatment technology wins award


The connection between obesity and broken bones

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. 

(9 Jan 2019) » More about The connection between obesity and broken bones


Bringing the world’s largest telescope to life

A cutting-edge component of what will be the world’s largest telescope has passed critical tests.

(8 Jan 2019) » More about Bringing the world’s largest telescope to life


Milky Way heading for catastrophic collision

The Milky Way is on a collision course with a neighbouring galaxy that could fling our Solar System into space.

(4 Jan 2019) » More about Milky Way heading for catastrophic collision


Researching health hazards of volcanic emissions

There are 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide and Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii is one of the most active. In 2018, eruptions from Kīlauea intensified significantly.

Dr Claire Horwell, in our Department of Earth Sciences, has been providing public information on the health impacts of eruptions, including the smog from Kilauea, known as “vog”, in collaboration with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Here she explains her work.

(2 Jan 2019) » More about Researching health hazards of volcanic emissions


Could future crops adapt to climate conditions?

A better understanding of how plant roots develop could open up the possibility of breeding new crops that are more adaptive to climate change, and in turn help with food security in the future.

(21 Dec 2018) » More about Could future crops adapt to climate conditions?


Does Santa need a passport?

We all know that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. But what is his citizenship? Who collects taxes from the elves’ workshop? And how is this all being affected by climate change?

(19 Dec 2018) » More about does Santa need a passport?


Big Bang fossil discovered

A relic cloud of gas, orphaned after the Big Bang, has been discovered in the distant Universe.

(18 Dec 2018) » More about Big Bang fossil discovered


Putting clean growth on the map

The Durham Energy Institute’s (DEI) work on geothermal energy has featured on an interactive map showcasing innovation across small businesses and organisations in the UK.

(17 Dec 2018) » More about Putting clean growth on the map


How we are protecting our cultural heritage

From the Colosseum to the Dead Sea Scrolls, cultural heritage is a vital part of our identity but faces a number of threats including climate change, natural disasters, conflict and mass tourism. 

(14 Dec 2018) » More about How we are protecting our cultural heritage


Bioenergy crops could damage biodiversity

Oil palm plantation

Increasing the use of bioenergy is seen as one of the most important ways in which countries could help to meet climate change targets. However, researchers are warning that this could be just as damaging for global biodiversity as climate change itself.

(11 Dec 2018) » More about Bioenergy crops could damage biodiversity


Festival drug checking can reduce drug-related harm

One of the biggest dangers for people who take illegal drugs at festivals is knowing what has been supplied to them – in terms of contents, strength and contaminants.

(9 Dec 2018) » More about Festival drug checking can reduce drug-related harm


Chimpanzees can sniff out strangers

Chimpanzees’ sense of smell is more sophisticated than we thought with a new study showing that our closest relatives use their noses to smell danger.

(24 Oct 2018) » More about Chimpanzees can sniff out strangers


Play with time at Oriental Museum exhibition

Yasmin and Florence Bird experiment with the When the Dust Settles artwork

Visitors to the Oriental Museum can explore the physics and philosophy of time at a new interactive exhibition.

(19 Oct 2018) » More about Play with time at Oriental Museum exhibition


Avalanche – making a deadly snowstorm

Explosives, snow and a car were used to trigger an avalanche in an episode of BBC2’s Horizon Programme to reveal more about the mystery behind this natural rollercoaster. The experiment was led by avalanche expert, Professor Jim McElwaine, from Durham University’s Earth Sciences department.

(18 Oct 2018) » More about Avalanche – making a deadly snowstorm


Astronomers identify far flung galaxies

Astronomers have captured a spectacular image of a massive galaxy cluster embedded among nearly thousands of previously unseen galaxies scattered across space and time.

Zooming onto the galaxy cluster Abell 370

(13 Sep 2018) » More about Astronomers identify far flung galaxies


North-South divide in chronic pain

England has a North-South ‘pain divide’, with a clear geographical split in the prevalence and intensity of chronic pain and the use of potentially addictive opioid pain killers, shows new research.

(12 Sep 2018) » More about North-South divide in chronic pain


Protecting against volcanic ash

A first of its kind study, led by Dr Claire Horwell of the Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, has found that industry-certified particle masks are most effective at protecting people from volcanic ash, whilst commonly used surgical masks offer less protection.

(11 Sep 2018) » More about Protecting against volcanic ash


Funding boost for Strategy delivery

Durham University has successfully secured £225 million of borrowing through a private placement.

(30 Aug 2018) » More about Funding boost for Strategy delivery


Earthquake research could improve seismic forecasts

The timing and size of three deadly earthquakes that struck Italy in 2016 may have been pre-determined, according to new research that could improve future earthquake forecasts.

(23 Aug 2018) » More about Earthquake research could improve seismic forecasts


Physicists reveal oldest galaxies

Some of the faintest satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy are amongst the very first that formed in our Universe, physicists have found.

(17 Aug 2018) » More about Physicists reveal oldest galaxies


Outstanding partnership helps reduce power outages

Durham University and NM Group Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Vegetation Analytics

Power outages caused by trees falling on power lines are being reduced as a result of a research partnership involving a Durham University Research Fellow and an international company.

(17 Jul 2018) » More about Outstanding partnership helps reduce power outages


European dogs wiped out ancient American breeds

The arrival of Europeans to the Americas, beginning in the 15th Century, all but wiped out the dogs that had lived alongside native people on the continent for thousands of years, according to new research published in Science.

(6 Jul 2018) » More about European dogs wiped out ancient American breeds


Archaeologists reveal castle’s medieval secrets

Medieval mysteries, hidden beneath the grounds of a 900-year-old British castle, have been uncovered during a major archaeological excavation.

(3 Jul 2018) » More about Archaeologists reveal castle’s medieval secrets


Cataclysmic collision shaped Uranus’ evolution

Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt and could explain its freezing temperatures, according to new research.

(3 Jul 2018) » More about Cataclysmic collision shaped Uranus’ evolution


Honouring the physicists of the future

Durham University has honoured the next generation of scientists at its annual Schools Physicist of the Year awards.

(3 Jul 2018) » More about Honouring the physicists of the future


Understanding Antarctic ice sheet changes

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet was able to re-grow after shrinking but the process is not fast enough to combat the impact of today’s climate change, according to research involving Durham University.

(18 Jun 2018) » More about Understanding Antarctic ice sheet changes


Exhibition tells the story of 17th Century Scottish soldiers

The story of the Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, whose remains were discovered in two mass burial sites in Durham City in 2013, is the subject of a major new exhibition at Durham University’s Palace Green Library.

(11 Jun 2018) » More about Exhibition tells the story of 17th Century Scottish soldiers


Durham University climbs in world university rankings

Durham University has climbed to 74th in the world in the latest global university rankings.

The University moved up four places overall from 78th last year in the QS World University Rankings 2019.

The increase puts Durham in the top eight per cent of 1,011 global higher education institutions ranked, according to the QS.

(6 Jun 2018) » More about Durham University climbs in world university rankings


Discovering how humans can see with sound

Lore and student Josefina wear earphones and talk into foam covered microphones

Human echolocation enables people to ‘see’ with their ears and build a picture of the world around them. The technique involves making sharp mouth clicks and then translating the sound reflected by surrounding objects into spatial information – a method also used by whales, dolphins and bats.

(5 Jun 2018) » More about discovering how humans can see with sound


Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers reburied in Durham

The remains of Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, discovered during construction work at the University’s Palace Green Library in 2013, have been reburied in Durham City.

(18 May 2018) » More about Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers reburied in Durham


Could a Multiverse be hospitable to life?

A Multiverse – where our Universe is only one of many – might not be as inhospitable to life as previously thought, according to new research.

Could a Multiverse be hospitable to life?

(14 May 2018) » More about Could a Multiverse be hospitable to life?


Research into manufacture of life-saving drug wins industry-sponsored award

Durham University chemists have won a national award for research that could increase the availability of an effective treatment for a strain of meningitis in less developed countries.

(10 Apr 2018) » More about Research into manufacture of life-saving drug wins industry-sponsored award


Dark matter might not be interactive after all

Astronomers are back in the dark about what dark matter might be, after new observations showed the mysterious substance may not be interacting with forces other than gravity after all.

(6 Apr 2018) » More about Dark matter might not be interactive after all


Grammar schools could be damaging to social mobility

Grammar schools are no better or worse than non-selective state schools in terms of attainment, but can be damaging to social mobility, according to new research by Durham University.

(27 Mar 2018) » More about grammar schools could be damaging to social mobility


Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults

The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth’s crust, according to new research.

(28 Feb 2018) » More about Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults


Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans, study suggests

Neanderthal Origin of Cave Art

Researchers have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world’s oldest known cave paintings – suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own.

(23 Feb 2018) » More about Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans, study suggests


UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk

Strict controls would be “a necessity” to minimise the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research.

(15 Feb 2018) » More about UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk


International medal for surface scientist

Prof Jas Pal Badyal (r) receives the Chemical Research Society of India’s International Medal

A chemist whose research is helping to harvest clean drinking water and has waterproofed millions of mobile phones has been awarded a major international honour.

(30 Jan 2018) » More about International medal for surface scientist


Formation of human tissue to improve drug testing and reduce animal research

Professor Stefan Przyborski, Biosciences, Durham University

Innovative three dimensional (3D) cell culture technology is giving scientists the ability to grow realistic human tissues for more effective drug testing while reducing the need for animal research.

(18 Jan 2018) » More about Formation of human tissue to improve drug testing and reduce animal research


New image brings people face to face with Seventeenth Century Scottish soldier

The face of one of the Seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers who was imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 has been revealed through a remarkable new digital reconstruction.

(14 Dec 2017) » More about New image brings people face to face with Seventeenth Century Scottish soldier


Schools could play a vital role to help prevent mental health problems in young people

More needs to be done to provide guidance and support in schools to prevent mental health problems in young people according to a new report.

(23 Nov 2017) » More about schools could play a vital role to help prevent mental health problems in young people


Illuminating the Universe

Durham University is one of the world’s leading centres for research into the origins and evolution of the Universe.

(14 Nov 2017) » More about Illuminating the Universe


Multi-million pound boost to help improve energy technology

A newly announced research centre will see Durham University join forces with two of North East England's other universities to help improve energy technology at an atomic level. 

(8 Nov 2017) » More about Multi-million pound boost to help improve energy technology


Durham Law School tackles unacceptable working practices

According to the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), only one quarter of workers worldwide has a stable employment relationship.

(19 Oct 2017) » More about Durham Law School tackles unacceptable working practices


How telescope technology is helping treat heart disease

Research using space telescope technology that has ultimately led to better treatments for heart patients has won international recognition.

(17 Oct 2017) » More about how telescope technology is helping treat heart disease


Reformation Rebels: The surprising histories of Benedictine monks in exile

Monks in Motion

Sixteenth and seventeenth century Benedictine monks refused abstinence, died in duels, went off to war and spread illegal Catholic doctrine, a new study has revealed.

(31 Aug 2017) » More about Reformation Rebels: The surprising histories of Benedictine monks in exile


Calling time on the kissing bugs

They are known as ‘kissing bugs’ and they spread a disease that rarely makes the headlines but infects up to seven million people worldwide.

(21 Jul 2017) » More about calling time on the kissing bugs


Durham scientists play key role as construction starts on world’s largest telescope

Construction work has begun on the world’s largest visible to infrared telescope – and Durham University is playing a key role.

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)

(20 Jul 2017) » More about Durham scientists play key role as construction starts on world’s largest telescope


Women have to ‘prove they are sports fans’

Female sports fans struggle to be taken seriously and feel they are regarded as being less committed than male fans, according to research by Dr Stacey Pope, who answers some questions about her findings below.

(14 Jul 2017) » More about women have to ‘prove they are sports fans’


Durham appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global)

Durham University has appointed its first Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) following a competitive recruitment process. 

(6 Jul 2017) » More about Durham appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global)


Exploring geothermal energy potential

Researchers at the University’s Durham Energy Institute (DEI) are exploring the Earth’s geothermal energy potential

(4 Jul 2017) » More about Exploring geothermal energy potential


Little Cub gives astronomers rare chance to see galaxy demise

A primitive galaxy that could provide clues about the early Universe has been spotted by astronomers as it begins to be consumed by a gigantic neighbouring galaxy.

(4 Jul 2017) » More about Little Cub gives astronomers rare chance to see galaxy demise


Outstanding recognition for Durham University's scientists

Durham University’s outstanding achievements in science have been recognised with a series of awards.

(30 Jun 2017) » More about outstanding recognition for Durham University's scientists


From ashtrays full of cigarette butts to smoke-free environments

This week, it will be ten years since the smoking ban for enclosed workplaces in the UK came into force. Dr Andrew Russell from the Life of Breath research project takes a look at how things have changed.

(28 Jun 2017) » More about from ashtrays full of cigarette butts to smoke-free environments


Durham ranked in world’s top 100 universities

Durham University’s position among the world’s leading universities has been confirmed once more, with the publication of the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2017.

(14 Jun 2017) » More about Durham ranked in world’s top 100 universities


Post-election 2017 – Durham University expertise

A selection of Durham University experts who are available for comment to the media on a variety of post-election issues.

(9 Jun 2017) » More about Post-election 2017 – Durham University expertise


Geography professors honoured for outstanding achievements

Two of Durham University’s geographers have been honoured for their outstanding achievements by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

(5 Jun 2017) » More about Geography professors honoured for outstanding achievements


Scottish soldiers commemorated in Durham

The seventeenth Century Scottish soldiers, who were imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, were commemorated with a series of events in the City on Friday 12 May 2017. 

(12 May 2017) » More about Scottish soldiers commemorated in Durham


Pioneering work in chemistry receives prestigious recognition

Professor Jas Pal Badyal FRS from Durham University has been named as the Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize winner for 2017 for his pioneering work on the functionalization of solid surfaces and deposition of nanocoatings.

(9 May 2017) » More about pioneering work in chemistry receives prestigious recognition


Simulated galaxies provide fresh evidence of dark matter

A simulated galaxy is pictured, showing the main ingredients that make up a galaxy: the stars (blue), the gas from which the stars are born (red), and the dark matter halo that surrounds the galaxy (light grey)

Further evidence of the existence of dark matter – the mysterious substance that is believed to hold the Universe together – has been produced by Cosmologists at Durham University.

(21 Apr 2017) » More about Simulated galaxies provide fresh evidence of dark matter


Should primary schools teach philosophy?

Schools are places where children can learn behaviour, skills and attitudes that have lifelong relevance, in addition to subjects on the formal curriculum. Dr Nadia Siddiqui from the School of Education has looked at the contribution philosophy discussions can make to children’s ‘soft’ skills.

(12 Apr 2017) » More about Should primary schools teach philosophy?


Major new Commission launched on creativity and education

Durham University and Arts Council England have announced The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education.

Launching in September 2017, the Commission will investigate what happens when children experience arts and culture, and how this helps them develop and thrive.

(28 Mar 2017) » More about Major new Commission launched on creativity and education


Improving maths knowledge in schools

Low attainment in maths is seen as one of the most serious problems in UK education. Dr Lee Copping from the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University tells us more about a project which will dig deeper into the causes.

(6 Mar 2017) » More about improving maths knowledge in schools


Policing domestic abuse

‘Out of court resolutions’, including apologies, are used in domestic abuse cases by all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland despite official guidance advising against their use, according to new research.

(3 Mar 2017) » More about policing domestic abuse


New framework to safeguard children

A new NSPCC national framework to help tackle the issue of harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people is proving beneficial to professionals working in safeguarding. The research of Professor Simon Hackett of Durham University’s School of Applied Social Sciences has strongly influenced the Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) framework of which he is first author.

(27 Feb 2017) » More about New framework to safeguard children


Durham part of new Barnardo’s centre of expertise

Durham University is a partner in a new £7.5m Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse launched by the UK Home Office and led by Barnardo’s.

(16 Feb 2017) » More about Durham part of new Barnardo’s centre of expertise


Hearing voices and spirituality

Although voice-hearing is often associated with severe mental illness, it can be an important aspect of people’s religious or spiritual life.

This is an area explored in the world’s first major exhibition on hearing voices which enters its final month (February) at Durham University’s Palace Green Library.

(3 Feb 2017) » More about Hearing voices and spirituality


Bill Bryson: I thought Durham was perfect when I first saw it - I still think so now

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson, the celebrated author and former Chancellor of Durham University, speaks about his enduring love affair with Durham, its Cathedral and its people.

(2 Feb 2017) » More about Bill Bryson: I thought Durham was perfect when I first saw it - I still think so now


Durham University is key to bright future

Place of Light

Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, explores how the University is key to the economic success of County Durham and North East England.

(9 Jan 2017) » More about Durham University is key to bright future


Fusion energy could be the future

Fusion energy offers the tantalising possibility of clean, sustainable and almost limitless energy. But can it be an economically viable option?

Professor Damian Hampshire talks about fusion energy, suggesting it could be economically viable.

(20 Sep 2015) » More about Fusion energy could be the future


Low cost ethical loans for postgraduate study

Durham University has launched an innovative postgraduate loan product to help to attract the most talented students to further study after they finish their undergraduate degree.

FundED: Future Focussed Postgraduate Loans

(20 Sep 2015) » More about Low cost ethical loans for postgraduate study


Skeletons found in mass graves are 17th Century Scottish soldiers

New analysis carried out on skeletons discovered in a centuries-old mass grave in Durham, UK, has led experts to conclude they are the remains of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar.

(2 Sep 2015) » More about Skeletons found in mass graves are 17th Century Scottish soldiers


International focus on Magna Carta exhibition

Eight hundred years on from when it was first written, the enduring legacy of one of the world’s most important documents lives on.

Dr Christian Liddy and Canon Rosalind Brown talk about the significance of the Magna Carta.

(31 Aug 2015) » More about International focus on Magna Carta exhibition


Is there life out there?

Humans have long wondered: “Are we alone in the Universe?”

After all, the Earth is just one planet in one galaxy among hundreds of billions that exist across the cosmos.

 

Dr Pratika Dayal asks if there is life out there

(31 Aug 2015) » More about Is there life out there?


Understanding landslide risk in post-earthquake Nepal

In April 2015 parts of Nepal were devastated by an intense earthquake and significant aftershocks. But the danger to human life and livelihoods doesn’t end when the ground stops shaking. Earthquake-triggered landslides present an immediate and long-term threat in mountain environments, compounding the difficulties for those affected.

Developing early warning systems for vulnerable communities: Research at Durham University

(31 Aug 2015) » More about Understanding landslide risk in post-earthquake Nepal


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