How drones and sirens can help save the rhino

University of Brighton researchers have found new ways to help save white rhinoceros from illegal poaching – using drones and sirens.

They investigated the most effective ways of deterring rhinos from danger areas such as near perimeter fences where poachers often operate and spent six months on a South African game reserve testing the most effective way of persuading the animals to move to safer areas.

Poaching, fuelled by the international trade in horn, has caused the deaths of over 1,000 white and black rhinoceros per year between 2013 and 2017 and South Africa alone lost 5,476 rhinoceros to poaching between 2006 and 2016.

Lead researcher Samuel Penny, PhD student and lecturer in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, exposed a population of southern white rhinos to drones, sirens and the sound of a swarm of bees to see which best encouraged them to move.

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They also tried scattering different smells including chilli to deter the rhinos from danger areas. Read More

National appointment for Brighton professor

Matteo Santin, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Tissue Regeneration, has been appointed a member of the science and technology strategic advisory board of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity.

The group, which held its first meeting on 2 July, chaired by Lord Filkin CBE, aims to identify “the most effective ways to increase healthspan and democratise access to the ‘longevity dividend’ for citizens”. Read More

Caroline Lucas set for University nature conference

MP Caroline Lucas is among the speakers at a University of Brighton symposium that will explore the benefits of connecting children and teenagers in the UK with local nature.

The Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion will give a talk entitled ‘Young People and the Natural World: The Art of Paying Attention’ on the first day of the event. She will make the case that “connecting young people with nature is not only vital for their wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of the planet as well”.

The two-day conference – ‘Connecting children and teenagers with local nature: UK research showcase and networking event’ – is co-organised by the University of Brighton’s Dr Rachel White and Royal Holloway’s Dr Deborah Harvey.

It will be held at the University of Brighton’s City Campus on 17 and 18 June and is an opportunity for academics, researchers, environment professionals, educators and students from across the UK to network and share findings.

Other speakers include delegates from WWF, Earthwatch Europe, Natural England and the South Downs National Park.

The focus of the symposium is Read More

Just like wine, humans can be better with age

A Brighton scientist who helped develop anti-ageing compounds based on those found in red wine and chocolate is to explain how close we are to alleviating and preventing old age degenerative diseases.

Professor Lizzy Ostler, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Chemical Biology in our school, and a member of the University of Brighton’s Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease, is giving her inaugural lecture on 20 March.

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City network will boost health innovation and business

University of Brighton researchers are joining forces with entrepreneurs and community groups to turn Brighton and Hove into a focal point for health interventions.

The social and commercial network in the Brighton and Hove area will be tasked with improving health, accelerating innovation and enhancing competitiveness.

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Fighting illness in old age – from Vietnam

University of Brighton scientists and partners in Vietnam have made a breakthrough in the delivery of a disease-fighting constituent of the spice turmeric.

Curcumin, extracted from turmeric, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and has been used for the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease; all diseases linked to ageing. The problem has been finding an effective way of delivering curcumin – but now scientists believe they have found a process that does. Read More

Athena SWAN silver award for our school

The university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science (PABS) has received a Silver Award from Advance HE’s highly-regarded SWAN Charter, which promotes gender equality in the representation, progression and success of staff and students in Higher Education.

The Silver Award was granted in recognition of actions implemented to advance careers of women in science over the past few years. Read More

Innovative installation to be hosted in Huxley Building

A cutting-edge installation which produces real-time digital art from the data in its immediate surroundings has been installed in the Huxley Building.

Duality of Life, was created by Nexus Studios, an award-winning company with offices in London and Los Angeles.

It consists of a dual-screen display that generates real-time digital ‘lifeforms’ from interactions and local data. The design evolves as the data shifts, with the ‘lifeforms’ changing shape and movement. Read More

Slime mould, books and artificial intelligence

The University of Brighton has played a pivotal role in the growth of slime mould for an innovative installation at the Brighton Digital Festival.

Digital artists Cesar Baio and Lucy HG Solomon – who form the collective Cesar & Lois with collaborator Jeremy Speed Schwartz – used the university’s microbiology laboratory to develop the Physarum polychephalum (slime mould) that features in their installation Degenerative Cultures, one element of the wider Uncommon Natures exhibition.

Cesar and Lucy worked closely with the University of Brighton’s Joao Inacio, a senior lecturer in pharmacy and biomolecular sciences, in the course of preparing their microbiological samples for the art display. Joao said: “It was really fun to meet and work with Cesar and Lucy in our lab.”

Uncommon Natures showcases the artists who are finalists of the Lumen Prize for Digital Art, which “celebrates the very best art created with technology”.

Jack Addis, creative director of Lumen Prize, said: “We’re excited to bring together this selection of shortlisted 2018 Lumen Prize artists and to celebrate artists working with a variety of media and mediums.” Read More