Hands-on science for Brighton students

Young people with an interest in science and engineering can learn how to turn their passion into a career at a science fair in Brighton tomorrow (11 July).

Big Bang @ Brighton will take place at the University of Brighton and organisers are promising “an exciting, colourful and noisy event” aimed at encouraging more students to pursue further studies and potential careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Organised by STEM Sussex, the University of Brighton’s STEM outreach department, the event is funded by the Sussex Learning Network’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), a four-year programme aimed at encouraging more young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, into higher education.

Big Bang @ Brighton will feature a range of hands-on activities, workshops and shows provided by many local companies, universities and colleges and other organisations, highlighting the STEM-related opportunities available to young people in the area. Continue reading

£221,000 to find a new tool to help fight cancer

Bhavik Patel and Melanie FlintThe University of Brighton has been awarded £221,000 to develop a sensor device that will measure biomarkers in tissue to aid personalised cancer therapy.

Currently, little is known about how different amounts and types of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species influence the state of tumours and their response to chemotherapy.

Researchers will be looking to develop a novel electroanalytical sensor that can monitor these species over long time frames and provide answers to these questions.

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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, the University’s 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

High note for “Sister Act” Gospel choir

A Brighton choir has reached the finals of the national University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY) competition.

Sound of Zion, based at the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, will be competing against eight other university gospel choirs at a televised event at the Dominion Centre in Wood Green, London, on 24 March.

Founded by Debbie-Ann Ofosuware, who graduated last year from the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (BScHons Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences), and Teniola Taiwo who graduated from the University’s Brighton Business School (BAHons in Business and Marketing), the choir comprises singers from both Brighton and Sussex universities.

Teniola, a Marketing Assistant in Brighton, said: “I can’t believe we’ve reached the finals! I never thought we’d have such an opportunity when we first started. It’s been an incredible journey and so many lives have been touched along the way – so even if we don’t win, we’re still grateful.”

The final is described by the UGCY organisers as a “Sister Act meets X Factor” event for the whole family. Judging will be singer-songwriter Stephanie Sounds, and Creative/Music Director Ayo ‘Ace’ Oyerinde, Mobo Award winning Gospel artist Volney Morgan and record producer Les Moir from Integrity Music.

Other finalists include Imperial College Gospel Choir, Cambridge University Gospel Choir, Manchester Harmony Gospel Choir, and returning champions London College of Creative Media Choir.

University Gospel Choir of the Year is a voluntary organisation providing a platform for university gospel choirs across the UK to develop and showcase their musical abilities.

Tickets for the 6.30pm show are available at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/ugcy2018

Best presentation award

Dr Dmitriy Berillo

Dr Dmitriy Berillo, a Marie Curie Research Fellow in our department, has been awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th International Conference on Environment, Water and Wetlands for his outstanding work  on the biodegradation of chlorophenol derivatives using macroporous material.

The petrochemical industry, textiles, leather production, domestic preservatives, and petrochemicals are the main sources of exposure of phenol derivatives and chlorophenols(CPs) into the environment. The International Agency for Research on Cancers categorized CPs as potential human carcinogens and they are very hazardous to the environment and animals. The aim of Dmitriy’s work is to develop a bioremediation system for phenol derivatives & CPs based on macroporous materials, which we believe can be efficiently used for wastewater treatment.

Festival of Chemistry

We are very excited to be hosting the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry tomorrow (13 June).

More than 60 11 – 13 year olds from 16 schools will take part in practical events and will use their analytical chemistry skills to solve problems. They will also be split into teams to compete in a ‘University Challenge’. All students will be awarded individual prizes and certificates and the winning teams will be given prizes for their schools.

As part of the festival, Professor Hal Sosabowski, Professor of Public Understanding of Science in our school, will be giving a lecture using liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen and solid carbon dioxide.

The festival is being held in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry, one of 49 being organised in universities and colleges around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The festivals are an initiative of The Salters’ Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young, and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

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.

Five shortlisted applicants will be notified on 15 June. They will receive a concept development fee of £1,000 to work on a detailed proposal for final selection. These proposals that can also be exhibited at the British Science Festival, being hosted by the universities of Brighton and Sussex in September. Continue reading