“Making Sense of Your Science” career workshop – Sunday 3 July

SEB MAIN MEETING 2016, BRIGHTON CONFERENCE CENTRE

SUNDAY 3RD JULY, 10.30 – 15.30

MAKING SENSE OF YOUR SCIENCE

£27 including lunch

Making “Sense of Your Science” is a Career Workshop being held at the Brighton Conference Centre during the Society for Experimental Biology’s conference on Sunday 3rd July. This one-day event is being made available to local PhD students and postdocs and includes a panel of media professionals who will give you helpful advice about how to communicate your science to the media, as well as more general rules about how to present your science in writing and face-to-face. See below for more detail of the programme.

Sign up by 4pm, 27 June

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Get up to £30,000 tax-free to Train to Teach a STEM subject

Good teachers are always in demand but STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at secondary school are particular priorities and attract additional support and higher levels of funding.

The teaching profession is a great way to make your degree, skills and knowledge really count. At the moment, tax-free bursaries and scholarships worth up to £30,000 are being offered to top graduates who choose to train as teachers.

Our teaching courses at Brighton are perfect if you have graduated with an honors degree or equivalent, in a subject relevant to the specialism. Or if you think you may need additional support we also offer subject knowledge enhancement routes (SKE) which you can do ahead of the teaching course.

We offer courses in a number of STEM subject areas including:
Biology and
Chemistry

Specialising in a STEM subject at postgraduate level means that you will be able to take a role in the leadership and development of this subject area throughout your career.

You can find out more at the Department of Education (DfE) website.

Or you can register an interest in our programmes here.

Join us at our campus open day on Saturday 18 June

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and the campus where you will be studying. You will also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.
If you are thinking of beginning your studies in 2017, you can find out more about our campus open day and how to book a place here

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Festival of chemistry

hal-in-moscow-2More than 90 students from 24 schools will take part in the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry here at the University of Brighton later this month.

The 11 to 13-year-olds will take part in hands-on, practical events including a ‘murder mystery’ which will involve students using their analytical chemistry skills. There will also be a ‘University Challenge’ to invent a new colour indicator to show how much sugar is in food products.

And Professor Hal Sosabowski, the university’s Professor of Public Understanding of Science based on our school, will provide an “explosive” lecture using liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen and solid carbon dioxide.

All students will be given individual prizes and certificates and winning teams will be awarded prizes for their schools.

The Salters’ Festivals of Chemistry are an initiative run by The Salters’ Institute which promotes the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young, and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

This year event on 14 June will be the festival’s twentieth appearance at the university. The festival is one of 49 taking place at universities and colleges throughout the UK and Ireland. This year, the institute is working in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Discovering new antibiotics

Scientists at the University of Brighton are working with a team in South Korea on research that could lead to the development of new antibiotics.

Just weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron called for a worldwide cut in the unnecessary use of antibiotics and rewards for drug companies which develop new medicines to fight drug-resistant superbugs, the scientists have been studying soil bacteria which, they say, have the genetic potential to “produce tens of thousands of novel antibiotics”.

The South Korean-led study has been supported by University of Brighton scientists Professor Colin Smith and Dr Giselda Bucca in the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences.

The scientists undertook a detailed study of the activity of genes that are responsible for antibiotic production in a soil bacterium called Streptomyces. These bacteria are the major producers of antibiotics that are used worldwide to treat infections. Their study reveals how the activity of the genes for antibiotic production are controlled in the particular species of bacterium they studied – Streptomyces coelicolor – and this new knowledge, they say “suggests new ways for scientists to increase production of known antibiotics and, perhaps more importantly, to discover new antibiotics”.

Professor Smith said: “There is a critical need for developing new antibiotics because of the global rise in antibiotic resistance. Soil bacteria such as Streptomyces have the genetic potential to produce tens of thousands of novel antibiotics. However, it can be very difficult to coax them to produce these antibiotics in detectable quantities under laboratory conditions.

“The results from our study suggest how we could manipulate these bacteria to switch on production of antibiotics. This could allow us to ‘awaken’ genetic pathways for antibiotics that are not usually active outside of their natural soil environment. This, in turn, could enable us to study their properties and to scale up their production in the laboratory if they look promising as new antibiotics.”

Professor Smith and Dr Bucca are now embarking on a proof-of-concept study with the global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline to establish whether the same genetic controls operate in other Streptomyces bacteria. Professor Smith said: “If they do then this will open up new possibilities for increasing production of clinically-important antibiotics.”

The research is published in Nature Communications, find out more here.

Professor Colin Smith

Professor Colin Smith

Do you need some help with job hunting?

Student Services are offering their annual ’Transform Your Life’ two day graduate employability course.
‘Transform Your Life’ 2 day University of Brighton graduate employability course

Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 June 2016
This course is particularly suited to any final year students or graduates who may be finding the next stage of their career rather challenging.

It includes:
* confidence boosting activities
* applications/CVs
* online presence
* presenting yourself well at interview (including practice interviews)

Find out more about the course, including how to book a place, here.

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Well done Riccardo

Congratulations to Riccardo Terzi for winning the highest number of votes from his peers for the best journal Club presentation for the academic year.  Riccardo gave his talk on a pore-forming toxin implicated in enterocolitis in foals, which is the topic of his MRes project.  Riccardo is with working on a project supervised by Simon Hardy.

Parakeets flocking to Europe

Rose-ringed_Parakeet_eating_leavesParakeets were once a rare site in Europe but new research co-led by the University of Brighton shows there are now as many as 85,000 across the continent – and the numbers are increasing all the time.

In fact, the non-native Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is now a common site in many parts of the continent – and they could be posing a major threat.

Researchers are now asking members of the public to help keep tabs on numbers by reporting sightings.

The new study, conducted by Dr Rachel White, Senior Lecturer in ecology and conservation from the University of Brighton’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, and European colleagues as part of the ParrotNet research network, has shown that parakeets are on the march across European cities.

The research provides an overview of the state of the Ring-necked Parakeet populations across Europe, along with the most detailed estimate of the total number of European populations so far. In East and Northern Europe, Ring-necked Parakeets remain scarce, but across other parts of the continent, numerous growing populations can be found. The European total has been estimated in this study to be no less than 85,000 birds.

Dr White said: “Invasions by non-native species are considered a major threat to biodiversity, agriculture and sometimes human health. Ring-necked Parakeets in Europe originate predominantly from India and Pakistan. They are clearly very successful invaders and although serious impacts are currently unknown, the enduring, strong growth of their populations raises concerns.

The team is asking members of the public to help by reporting Parakeet sightings through mobile apps or websites such as BirdTrack  or iNaturalist

Find out more facts about parakeets here

The research is published in the Open Access journal ‘The Open Ornithology Journal” and more information on invasive parakeets in Europe can be found via the ParrotNet website. ParrotNet is an EU COST Action (ES1304).

Find out more about the university’s research on this here.

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