Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize

If you are currently in your final year and using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in your project you are eligible for consideration for this years Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize 2016-17, for final year undergraduate projects.

There is a £200 project prize this year, which will be awarded in recognition of the most commendable undergraduate final year project utilising microscopy.

To enter please send a copy of your project to Dr Jonathan Salvage either by email or as a paper copy marked for Dr Salvage’s attention to the school office, by Friday 9 June (latest).

Good luck!

Calling all artists

 

Artists are being asked to submit ideas for a £30,000 piece of public art at the University of Brighton.

The university is partnering the Brighton Digital Festival and Brighton & Hove City Council to commission the work for the Huxley Building on the university’s Moulsecoomb campus in Brighton.

The work will be displayed in the foyer at Huxley, home to the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, teaching pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biomedical science and ecology.

Scientists there research causes and mechanisms of disease, new ways to treat them, better and more individualised ways to deliver these treatments, how people age, novel methods to remediate environmental damage, the effects of trace pollutants on aquatic life and to understand the lifestyle of mammals in an urban setting. The teaching spaces in the building are used to deliver degree programmes.

The co-commission is open to professional artists with £2m public liability insurance. They should consider the university’s Mission Statement and strategic plan https://www.brighton.ac.uk/practical-wisdom/index.aspx, the function and identity of the building and the necessity of engaging a wider public, connecting the university with the local community.

The university is committed to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges. The selection committee will welcome proposals that are consistent with the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges.

Proposals which include a digital element or where digital practice is a key component of the work’s development are welcomed. And proposals that explore how the arts, sciences and technology can combine to engage with complex challenges are also encouraged. Continue reading

Ways to Wellbeing

1. THE BIG CHILL
Wednesday May 10th in Cockcroft 327 12 – 3Come along, enjoy some rest, relaxation and therapeutic activities, healthy snack and a chance to sit quietly or have a chat and gain some tips on stress management from your SSGT Charlotte Morris and advice on revision and exam techniques from Academic Skills Tutor Fiona Ponikwer.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2. TODAY! FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING
SSGTs will be on hand with information, freebies, activities and special guests today May 9th 12 – 2

3. WELLBEING WORKSHOPS
Develop your bounce! Become more resilient to stress – Wednesday 24th May, 1:30 – 3, Mithras G6

For more information / to book: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/studentnewsandevents/2016/10/07/wellbeing-workshops/

4. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS drop in
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Your SSGT Charlotte Morris will be available on Wednesday 10th May at Huxley reception 10 – 12:30 to share resources and answer any questions you have about mental health – PLUS ENJOY A FREE MASSAGE! 

There will be extra availability for confidential one to one appointments with Charlotte until the end of the month: to make an appointment to discuss any aspect of stress, wellbeing, mental health or anything at all which is affecting you / your studies, please email ssgtpabs@brighton.ac.uk

For more wellbeing information and tips like my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pabsstudentsupport/

You can also gain support and advice from Student Services: studentservices@brighton.ac.uk and the Student Union.

Research insight

Asa White, Doctoral Researcher within our school, gets to call wading around in the Bourne Rivulet work!

Asa’s is researching how an invisible chemical may be affecting invertebrate and fish life. It has three main elements.

  • using electric fishing surveys around three watercress farms over two years to ascertain whether discharges are having a population-level impact on fish communities
  • at the same sites, surveying habitat suitability for salmonids in terms of the physical habitat and prey species abundances
  • running laboratory ecotoxicology experiments to study the effects of PEITC on fish. The aim of the research is to understand what effect, if any, watercress farming is having on fish populations. Should a negative impact be uncovered, then mitigation strategies to lessen the impacts could be developed to ensure that fish populations in chalk stream headwaters flourish.

Read his story in this article published on the Wild Trout Trust website.

Blood Culture

Two lecturers from our school, Claire Marriott and Simonne Weeks, have played a part in the development of Blood Culture, an arts podcast.

Lance Dann, Course Leader BA (Hons) TV & Digital Media Production here at Brighton, created the podcast and explains more:

Over the weekend, Blood Culture, a University of Brighton related project was the top arts or drama podcast in the UK, knocking The Archers off its seemingly permanent Number 1 position (it also broke into the Top 40 of all UK podcasts briefly giving Russell Brand a run for his money).

While not directly a UoB project, research derived from the series will be, and several members of our staff were involved in its creation. These include myself as its creator, Phil Connolly who developed the story with me and created a series of supporting films, Claire Marriott and Simone Weeks who provided consultation on bio-medical issues and Marley Cole, who designed sound for one of our episodes.

Blood Culture is a techno thriller that addresses issues of the commodification of the body, developments in stem cell science, the exploitation of interns in the workplace and the relationship of capital to medicine in a postdigital environment.  It also involves a fair few fist fights, some tough female protagonists, a series of related web-sites and even an interactive SMS game. The whole project was supported by The Wellcome Trust.

You can watch the trailer for Blood Culture here.

 

Royal Society honour

Professor Colin Smith, expert on genomics and how the science could lead to improved ways of combatting diseases has been invited to organise a Royal Society meeting with world leaders in the field.

The prestigious Theo Murphy International Scientific meeting at Chicheley Hall on 5 – 6 March next year is entitled ‘Changing views of translation: from ribosome profiling to high resolution imaging of single molecules in vivo’. It will bring together senior and early career scientists from around the world to discuss how new technologies are providing novel insights into how cells function.

Professor Smith is Professor of Functional Genomics in our school. He joined the university last year and is establishing a new genomics facility to investigate future potential for highlighting disease risk and revealing the genetic basis for human diseases.

A ‘genome’ comprises the complete set of DNA molecules within each cell of an organism and in 2013 Professor Smith had his whole genome sequenced. He became the first person to donate his genome sequence under ‘open consent’ to the Personal Genome Project UK.

Genomics technologies have been at the heart of Professor Smith’s research for the past 15 years and he has been engaged in a range of interdisciplinary national and international collaborations, investigating antibiotic production by bacteria, human sleep and human nutrition.

Professor Debra Humphris, our Vice-Chancellor, said: “Huge congratulations to Colin. This is a highly prestigious event and an acknowledgement of his work and his global connections in the field of genomics.”

Professor Smith said: “It is a great honour to have been given the privilege to bring together some of the top scientists in this field to discuss recent breath-taking advances in our understanding of fundamental biological processes.”

Explaining our research on the BBC

The university’s Diabetes Research Group (DRB) featured on BBC South East’s Inside Out programme on 27 February.

Professor Adrian Bone, Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology and Head of the DRB, and his team explained cutting-edge research being undertaken at the university to improve treatment for a disease that, for Type 1 diabetes alone, affects 10,000 people in the South East.

To watch the programme go to the BBC’s iPlayer service and scan along to 17.40 mins.

New insight into aged-related hearing loss

Scientists at the University of Brighton have moved a step closer to understanding the underlying cause of age-related hearing loss which affects 11 million people in the UK.
Hearing loss is believed to originate in non-sensory cells in the cochlea, the auditory portion of the inner ear containing the organ which produces nerve impulses in response to sound.
The cells are coupled together by ‘gap junctions’ which are formed of two proteins called connexin 26 and connexin 30. It is mutations or failures in these proteins that cause most cases of hearing loss.
However, experiments by our Sensory Neuroscience Research Group have shown that one particular mutation in the connexion 30 protein actually prevents deafness to high-frequency sound.
Professor Ian Russell, Professor of Neurobiology here at university and a member of the group, said: “This was a great surprise: The mutation should have impaired the function of the cochlea, not aided it.”
He said: “Other members of the research team are now making direct measurements from these supporting cells to understand how the mutation changes the properties of the gap junctions. They should obtain measurements that will enable us to understand how the mutation alters the electrical and mechanical properties of the cochlea and eventually lead to our understanding how sensitivity is preserved in a cochlea that would otherwise be decimated by age-related-hearing-loss.”
The Sensory Neuroscience Research Group’s findings were published on 21 February in Nature Communication. Continue reading

Soapbox Science’s first visit to Brighton

Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.

Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.

Find out more about the Brighton event here.