Breakthrough in ageing research

University of Brighton scientists have helped discover a way of regenerating  ageing skin cells – with compounds based on those found in red wine, dark chocolate and red grapes.

Laboratory experiments showed cells not only look physically younger but behave more like young cells and start dividing.

Professor Richard Faragher, Professor of Biogerontology, and Dr Lizzy Ostler, Head of Chemistry, said the breakthrough should generate more research into tackling health issues associated with ageing.

Professor Faragher said: “These findings illustrate the enormous potential of ageing research to improve the quality of later life. Older people no more want to be sickly ‘frequent flyers’ with the NHS than teenagers do.

“A recent Government report recognised historic underinvestment in ageing research in the UK. I say to politicians of all parties: Redress this now and give our older people the healthy futures they deserve.”

Dr Ostler said: “Breakthroughs of this kind really need chemists and biologists working on research and teaching together under the same roof. We prize our multidisciplinary collaborative atmosphere at Brighton. This breakthrough vindicates that approach.”

The scientists, members of the University’s Stress, Ageing and Disease Centre of Research and Enterprise Excellence, worked together to select the best compounds for testing from a library designed and synthesised by Dr Vishal Birar, whilst he was undertaking a University of Brighton-funded PhD studentship under Dr Ostler’s supervision. Continue reading

My placement at GlaxoSmithKline

Emma Greening
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

“Choosing to do a placement year at GlaxoSmithKline was one of the best choices I could’ve made during my degree. Spending a year working in the management of Phase II-IV clinical trials has given me so many opportunities to learn about the drug development process, and play a key role in the progression of new therapies in the Immunoinflammation, Neurosciences and Dermatology therapy area. I was able to experience a scientific career away from the lab bench, and the skills I’ve gained during this time will be completely invaluable when returning for final year and when applying for graduate jobs. I really couldn’t recommend applying for an industrial placement year enough!”

A warm welcome at our open day

Sunshine, blue skies, our brilliant ambassadors and friendly staff welcomed visitors to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June.

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and campus where you will be studying. You’ll also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.

If you are thinking about beginning your studies in 2018 and missed this one, find out more about upcoming events on our website.

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Moulsecoomb Campus Open Day

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 2018 come along to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June. Find out more about open days on our website.

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!

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.

 

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.

BSS and NSS Survey

Unless you have been avoiding emails, not coming into university and not talking to anyone in the School you will, no doubt, be aware that the all undergraduate students are being asked to give their feedback on their university experience to date via either the Brighton Student Survey or the National Student Survey. This feedback is extremely important to both the school and university and helps us make changes for you.

You can read about some of the changes we made this academic year as a consequence of feedback from last year please do have a look at the your voice matters blog (https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/yourvoicematters/school-of-pharmacy-and-biomolecular-sciences/ )

The Brighton Student Survey (BSS)

The BSS is the School and University’s main opportunity to gather feedback from all level 4 and 5 students so that we can understand what we are doing well and what we can improve.  The BSS is opened on Monday 6 February and will close at midnight on Monday 6 March, if you haven’t yet, please do take 10 minutes to complete the survey – there are only a few days left and every response matters. Completing the survey automatically enters you into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a £200 voucher from the university.

How do I complete the survey?

The National Student Survey (NSS)

The National Student Survey (NSS) is commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and is a national survey, undertaken by Ipsos MORI, which gathers the views of all final year undergraduates about what it has been like to study their course at their institution.

The survey comprises 27 questions in the survey cover teaching, assessment and feedback, learning opportunities, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, and the student voice. There are also questions about careers, course delivery, work placements, welfare resources and facilities, social opportunities and overall satisfaction.

How do I complete the survey?

Because the school would really like to receive feedback from as many students as possible we have decided to donate £100 to the student society associated with the course that has the highest proportion of their students completing both the BSS and NSS so your society could receive up to £200 for 10 minutes of your time.

Together for Tinnitus

This week, February the 6th to 12th, is Tinnitus awareness week, aiming to raise GP’s awareness and to provoke the discussion of this wide spread condition.  Described as the ‘sensation of hearing a sound in the absence of any external sound” – British Tinnitus Association, the sound can be heard in one or both of the ears and can be extremely disruptive. 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives, but only 10% will experience tinnitus permanently.

Tinnitus is not a disease or illness, but is caused by a change mentally or physically, and can be triggered from an ear infection to a TBI (traumatic brain injury). 1 in 10 tinnitus sufferers have suffered a head injury previous to the onset. Either of these cause a change in the transmission of hearing information to the brain, usually a lack of, causing the brain to attempt to acquire more information from the ears. It is this extra information that is tinnitus, therefore tinnitus is activity of the brain not the ears, as it previously was thought to be.

A rare form of tinnitus found in those suffering from hearing loss who have an interest or ability with music, as musical tinnitus or musical hallucination (MH). The tinnitus seems like a familiar song that sounds exactly as it did before the decrease in hearing ability. MH is more common in those who also have epilepsy or Alzheimer’s disease, but it has been linked to the use of certain medication and brain tumours. It is often a concern to those that suffer and those around them that MH is psychosomatic, however this is extremely rarely the cause, with the only link proven to be with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Tinnitus often fades, and those that permanently experience it learn to treat it as background noise and can live completely undisrupted lives. Treatment is available, such as Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and TRT. TRT, or tinnitus retraining therapy, is the use of particular levels of sound to reduce the prioritisation of the tinnitus noise, with the treatment of tinnitus known as habituation. Elements of this method are used by many professionals however as a stand-alone therapy, its effectiveness is yet to be proven.

By this point, you may be thinking, how does this affect me, as a younger individual or one that has no hearing problems at all, however the BTA

suggest you “Plug-em”. A new prevention campaign aimed at to raise awareness that tinnitus can be prevented by the protection of our very delicate ears.

For more information on tinnitus, how you can support BTA and the “Plug-em” campaign visit the BTA website: https://www.tinnitus.org.uk

National Student Money Week 2017 is here!

 

We all know that dreaded feeling of checking your bank balance, and it kindly greeting you by being severely less than expected, but fear not National Student Money Week is here with advice and tips on how to make that student loan stretch further.

This year’s NSMW is themed ‘Waste not, want not’, and there are plenty of activities university wide. Information stands will be popping up across all campuses, offering advice from SSGT’s and the Careers service. If you fancy being a bit more hands on this NSMW, a cooking competition is also being run, with the opportunity to win a food hamper.

Further details of the competition, daily NSMW updates, and where the information stands will be can be found on the Student Advice Service blog: http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/studentadviceservice/nsmw