£600 donation to fight diabetes

University of Brighton researchers have received a £600 donation to continue researching ways to better monitor diabetes.

The cash, from Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex, will support the latest in glucose monitoring technology using the University’s unique software and data interpretation systems.

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

The monitoring system, worn on a patient’s abdomen, can be used to build personal profiles based on an individual’s blood glucose levels and their metabolism.

Dr Wendy Macfarlane, Reader in Molecular Biology and Head of the Diabetes Research Group (DRG) at the University, said: “It can help reverse the effects of diabetes and allow users to build a personalised diet and fitness plan.”

She explained: “The GlycoTrain system and our software combine to allow patients to see their blood glucose levels at all times and help them understand the effects of different foods, exercises and activities on their blood glucose regulation, helping them to make the right choices for their individual metabolism.

“Everyone’s metabolism is unique and GlycoTrain helps us find the right diet, exercise and lifestyle choices for each individual patient. Type 2 diabetes is a reversible disease and if we can help high risk and newly diagnosed patients to change their lifestyle and their metabolism, then we can stop this disease in its tracks.

“Thanks to the support of amazing groups like Support4Diabetes, this project is now expanding and we are excited to be recruiting a new and much larger cohort of participants over the coming months.” You can find out more about the project, visit on the university website 

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.

The University’s Healthy Futures will be the platform for new partnerships which will search for and research new disease preventions, diagnoses, pioneering treatments and breakthrough innovations. The collaborations will also foster high-skill training and jobs.

Professor Matteo Santin, Academic Lead for Healthy Futures, said: “We believe that in the long term the city has the potential to emerge as a model city for health enterprise where societal needs are addressed through pioneering approaches and where organisations thrive through public and private investment.

“As a non-profit organisation with a multidisciplinary expertise, our University is in a privileged position to make this happen.”

The academic/business partnerships will first listen to their respective needs and to those of the public. To this end, local companies, entrepreneurs and organisations are being invited to the inaugural Health Entrepreneurs’ Brunch at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton on 19 December. Two similar events will be held at later dates. Read More

My six week expedition to Indonesia

Caroline Dunnett, a third year Ecology BSc(Hons) student talks about her expedition with Operation Wallacea in Indonesia.

“For 6 weeks over the summer of 2018, I travelled to Indonesia to a remote island called Hoga in the Sulawesi National Park. I spent my time there completing my open water P.A.D.I and collect data for my dissertation on Coral Reefs and their Interaction with Sponges.

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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

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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My experience as a placement student at Kew

Why did I decide to complete a placement year?

A placement year!? A WHOLE year of my life! These were some of the things that I pondered long and hard about when deciding whether I wanted to apply for a placement year or not. I decided that I wanted to get some experience of working in a scientific institution before graduating from my degree, keen to develop skills that I had learned during the first two years of studying Ecology at Brighton and put them to good use! In addition, I relished the prospect of learning new skills and techniques which would ultimately help me during my final year.

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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.

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