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

Brighton researchers aiming to save the whale – and humans

University of Brighton scientists have discovered a more environmentally-friendly way of preventing man-made toxins from leaching into the water system – using living organisms.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), now banned by most countries including the UK (1981), are still posing serious health risks and are suspected of causing the death of a new-born orca which made headlines around the world earlier this year when its mother Tahlequah carried the dead calf for 17 days.

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On the brink of living beyond 120

Science could be on the brink of fulfilling humans’ dream of longer healthier lives, according to a University of Brighton expert on ageing.

Professor Richard Faragher, the university’s Professor of Biogerontology, will discuss the latest research findings from diet and exercise to the medicines of tomorrow at a New Scientist Live event on 20 September.

Professor Faragher, from the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, holds the Chair of Biogerontology and is president-elect of the American Aging Association. He was the first British citizen to be elected to the Board of Directors of the American Federation for Aging Research, the leading US non-profit organisation supporting and advancing healthy aging through biomedical research, and he has been Chair of the British Society for Research on Ageing and the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology.

Professor Faragher will also explore the ethical aspects of ageing research: “Views on living forever are as interesting and varied as the science itself.”

New Scientist Live is an award-winning festival of ideas and discoveries. The four-day event at London ExCeL will feature more than 110 speakers giving thought-provoking talks on everything from overcoming chronic pain to boosting your brain with magnetism.

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

Enrol online

Congratulations to everyone who’s received an offer. If you’ve had your place confirmed, you’ll be able to enrol from today.

There are a few things to do before you get here, including the first stage of your enrolment and getting started with your email account and course materials.

Once you’ve enrolled online, you’ll also be able to see all the essential details about your course, including your start date, welcome events and a draft timetable.

Find out more about what you need to do before you start.

See you soon!

Paper towels win hands down over blow dryers

Paper towels are more efficient at drying and cleaning hands, according to research at the University of Brighton.

Despite the rising popularity of hand dryers in public restrooms the research shows traditional paper towels do the job better – and leave behind less bacteria.

The scientists are now calling on hospitals and other health care facilities to consider withdrawing air dryers altogether.

The research was conducted by Biomedical Science BSc(Hons) graduate Samantha Crockett, now  Senior Quality Assurance Microbiologist with GlaxoSmithKline, and Biological Sciences BSc(Hons) graduate Gregory Andreou, a microbiologist at Industrial Microbiological Services Limited. They were led by Dr Sarah Pitt, Principal Lecturer in the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences in Moulsecoomb, Brighton.

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Simple test could save cancer patients from unnecessary treatment

Some bladder cancer patients could be saved from months of unnecessary and ineffective treatment by a simple blood test, according to researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), run by Brighton and Sussex universities.

The test would benefit those patients who are unlikely to benefit from a commonly used immunotherapy.
Currently, 30-40 per cent of individuals have no benefit from the standard immunotherapy treatment, and they are only identified once therapy has failed, often six months or longer later. Read More