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News archive: Research press releases 2014

Mother knows best: how seeds recognise the seasons

Monday 15 December 2014

Scientists at the University of York have played a key role in new research into the way ‘mother’ plants use their memory of the seasons to teach their seeds the most advantageous time to germinate.

York scientists resolve spin puzzle

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Scientists at the University of York have helped to uncover the properties of defects in the atomic structure of magnetite, potentially opening the way for its use in producing more powerful electronic devices.

Call to change concept of harm reduction in alcohol policy

Tuesday 9 December 2014

A new policy paper by a University of York academic calls for limits on the influence of the drinks industry in shaping alcohol policy because it has a ‘fundamental conflict of interest’.

Scientists reveal parchment’s hidden stories

Monday 8 December 2014

Millions of documents stored in archives could provide scientists with the key to tracing the development of agriculture in the British Isles over the last 700 years, according to new research at the University of York and Trinity College Dublin.

York researchers shed light on Special Guardianship

Thursday 4 December 2014

New research by academics at the University of York suggests that Special Guardianship (SG), an alternative to adoption, increases the potential for permanent stability for children who are unable to live with their birth parents.

York research spotlights male healthcare attitudes

Thursday 4 December 2014

A researcher at the University of York, studying male attitudes towards self-managing long-term healthcare issues, has discovered that self-management support is better received by men if it does not threaten aspects of masculine identity.

Richard III – case closed after 529 years

Tuesday 2 December 2014

An international research team provides overwhelming evidence that the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester represents the remains of King Richard III, closing what is probably the UK’s oldest forensic case.

Research sows the seeds of improved diet

Thursday 27 November 2014

Scientists in the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) at the University of York are part of a major research project launched today to help provide improved crops for the future.

Ancient dental plaque: a ‘whey’ into our milk drinking past?

Thursday 27 November 2014

We drink milk because it is good for us, but we rarely stop to think “Why?” Archaeologists and geneticists have been puzzling this question since it was revealed that the mutations which enable adults to drink milk are under the strongest selection of any in the human genome.

New Hub to make quantum leap in secure communications

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Leading researchers from UK universities and industry have come together in a unique collaboration to exploit fundamental laws of quantum physics for the development of secure communication technologies and services for consumer, commercial and government markets.

Second major research award for York biologist

Tuesday 25 November 2014

A University of York scientist has won a second major award for his pioneering research in the evolutionary biology of microbes.

Researchers discover evidence of earliest domestic chickens

Monday 24 November 2014

An international research team including a University of York biologist has found the earliest evidence for chicken domestication to date.

York wins Arts Council grant to support emerging composers

Thursday 20 November 2014

Emerging composers and performers are set to benefit after the University of York’s Music Press (UYMP) secured a grant from Arts Council England to establish a new support project.

Researchers discover new target for blood cancer treatment

Monday 10 November 2014

Scientists at the University of York have identified a therapeutic target which could lead to the development of new treatments for specific blood cancers.

Ozone destroying substances on the rise - but Montreal Protocol on track

Wednesday 5 November 2014

An international team of scientists, including a researcher from the University of York, has reported a recent increase in atmospheric hydrogen chloride (HCI), an ozone destroying substance.

Tapping the chemical potential of food waste

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Scientists at the University of York are helping local companies extract and use chemicals from food waste.

Research partnership is key to biodiversity conservation

Monday 3 November 2014

A new policy paper led by University of York scientists, in partnership with Proforest, aims to increase awareness among researchers of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach to safeguarding ecosystems and species.

Tackling pharmaceutical fall-out in the environment

Monday 3 November 2014

Researchers at the University of York say that more should be done to tackle the problem of inappropriate disposal of pharmaceutically-contaminated wastes. They also have a potential solution.

Alex investigates how sound design makes for sound design

Friday 17 October 2014

An expert on acoustic modelling is to work with the University of York’s Department of Electronics investigating and developing new methods for architectural and environmental sound design.

Are there enough fish to go around?

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

Researchers assess risks to wildlife and ecosystems posed by pharmaceuticals

Monday 13 October 2014

A University of York researcher has edited a special edition of a Royal Society publication examining the potential risks and impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment on wildlife and ecosystems.

Study confirms pubs’ key role in rural communities

Thursday 9 October 2014

A study of rural pubs has provided the first robust evidence of their central role in the life of English rural communities.

Coma Songs: York and Cardiff academics co-produce BBC Radio 3 programme

Thursday 9 October 2014

Academic research into the experiences of families of patients with severe brain injuries has been translated into a radio programme, providing insight into the heart-breaking dilemmas they face.

Why is educational achievement heritable?

Tuesday 7 October 2014

New research involving the University of York has found that the high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behaviour problems and self-efficacy, and not just intelligence.

York academics reveal new findings about insect diversification

Thursday 2 October 2014

Biologists from the University of York have compiled two new datasets on insect evolution, revealing that metamorphosing insects diversify more quickly than other insects and are therefore the biggest contributors to the evolution of insect diversity.

Scientists identify most pressing environmental issues posed by pharmaceuticals

Tuesday 30 September 2014

A new study led by the University of York identifies the key research questions about the risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment.

Protein ‘map’ could lead to potent new cancer drugs

Friday 26 September 2014

Scientists at the University of York are part of a team of researchers which has gained fresh insights into how a disease-causing enzyme makes changes to proteins and how it can be stopped.

New website charts Aero Girls search

Thursday 25 September 2014

A new website launched today by the University of York unlocks some of the mysteries surrounding an enigmatic collection of 1950s paintings commissioned by Rowntree and held in York’s Borthwick Institute for Archives.

Plant variants point the way to improved biofuel production

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Manufacturing biofuels from food crop by-products such as straw could be made quicker and cheaper thanks to a new study led by scientists at the University of York.

New approach aims to silence cancer ‘survival genes’

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Scientists at the University of York are working on a promising new approach for tackling colorectal cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related death.

York research centre in challenge triumph

Monday 22 September 2014

A team led by the Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) at York is one of five winners who will share a total of £4.9 million in the UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), the CRACK IT Challenges programme.

York academics awarded prestigious research grants

Monday 22 September 2014

Three academics from the University of York have secured funding totalling more than £3 million from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for two major research projects.

York and Cardiff academics launch new resource for family members of people in vegetative or minimally conscious states

Monday 15 September 2014

A unique online resource for family members and others involved in the care of people with severe forms of brain injury is to be launched this week.

New national study of alcohol health workers published

Monday 8 September 2014

A new study of alcohol health workers has found that while many hospitals now employ specialist staff to deal with alcohol problems among patients, the work is often precarious and underfunded.

Near-extinct African amphibians ‘invisible’ under climate change

Friday 5 September 2014

An international team of researchers has found that the majority of threatened species are ‘invisible’ when using modern methods to predict species distributions under climate change.

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

Thursday 28 August 2014

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

Ibuprofen posing potential threat to fish

Thursday 21 August 2014

Research led by the University of York suggests that many rivers contain levels of ibuprofen that could be adversely affecting fish health.

Study reveals the EU is part of most Europeans’ everyday life

Wednesday 20 August 2014

The EU is becoming part of most Europeans’ everyday life irrespective of social class, according to a study in six countries.

Passport study reveals vulnerability in photo-ID security checks

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Passport issuing officers are no better at identifying if someone is holding a fake passport photo than the average person, new research has revealed.

York scientists unveil new technology to better understand small clusters of atoms

Monday 18 August 2014

Physicists at the University of York, working with researchers at the University of Birmingham and Genoa, have developed new technology to study atomic vibration in small particles, revealing a more accurate picture of the structure of atomic clusters where surface atoms vibrate more intensively than internal atoms.

Embalming study ‘rewrites’ key chapter in Egyptian history

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Researchers from the Universities of York, Macquarie and Oxford have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

York survey highlights ocean research priorities

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists by a University of York researcher.

New insights into why adolescents carry meningitis-causing bacteria

Monday 4 August 2014

University of York scientists have shed new light on why teenagers and young adults are particularly susceptible to meningitis and septicaemia.

Art for education: African schoolchildren inform York environmental project

Thursday 31 July 2014

Environmentalists from the University of York, a partner in the CHIESA (Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa) project, are to showcase winning entries from an East African school art competition that was used to celebrate International Mountain Day.

Facial features are the key to first impressions

Monday 28 July 2014

A new study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of York shows that it is possible to accurately predict first impressions using measurements of physical features in everyday images of faces, such as those found on social media.

Scientists throw light on the mechanism of plants’ ticking clock

Friday 25 July 2014

Scientists from the University of York are part of an international team of researchers who have made a significant step in discovering the genetic mechanisms that plants use to fight for light.

Western Indian Ocean communities play vital role in conservation

Thursday 24 July 2014

An international team of researchers led by the University of York has carried out the first assessment of community-led marine conservation in the Western Indian Ocean.

Tooth plaque provides unique insights into our prehistoric ancestors’ diet

Wednesday 16 July 2014

An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture.

Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by ‘third hand’ tobacco smoke

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Research led by the University of York has highlighted the potential cancer risk in non-smokers – particularly young children – of tobacco smoke gases and particles deposited to surfaces and dust in the home.

Report highlights pubs’ role in creating economic development and social wellbeing in rural Ireland

Wednesday 16 July 2014

A new study by the University of York and the Newcastle Business School (Northumbria University) has revealed the central role pubs play in creating economic development and social wellbeing in rural Ireland.

When does a physical system compute?

Thursday 10 July 2014

Can physical systems from bacteria to black holes act as a computer? A University of York computer scientist and colleagues from the universities of Oxford and Leeds address this question in newly published research which seeks to define unconventional computational devices.

Research points to new therapies for bladder cancer

Wednesday 9 July 2014

A University of York scientist has played a key role in research that could help to improve the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer, one of the most common cancers, particularly among men.

York-led network releases first oil palm policy report

Tuesday 8 July 2014

A knowledge exchange network led by the University of York, which aims to increase the use of scientific evidence to guide oil palm policy, has produced its first science for policy report. The report – ‘Change in carbon stocks arising from land-use conversion to oil palm plantations’ – focuses on identifying low carbon stock landcover types which could be converted to oil palm production.

York economist bids to change the way auctions work

Friday 4 July 2014

A University of York economist has developed a new approach to auctions which could help to transform the way multiple goods are sold.

An eye in the sky: quadcopter sees the woods and the trees

Friday 27 June 2014

Academics at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York are capitalising on the opportunities offered by the development of low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to monitor, map and explore our cities, countryside and changing environments.

New password alternative plays to strengths of human memory

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Forgotten passwords are a serious problem for both IT managers and users. The root of the problem is a trade-off between memorability and security: simple passwords are easy to remember but easy to crack; complex passwords are hard to crack but hard to remember. Now a University of York academic, Dr Rob Jenkins, is proposing an alternative based on the psychology of face recognition. Dubbed ‘Facelock’, it could put an end to forgotten passwords, and protect users from prying eyes.

What amino acids in shells can tell us about Bronze Age people

Thursday 19 June 2014

A new study by scientists at the University of York has shed new light on the use of mollusc shells as personal adornments by Bronze Age people.

UK poverty study calls on Government to tackle rising deprivation

Thursday 19 June 2014

The percentage of households who fall below society’s minimum standard of living has increased from 14 per cent to 33 per cent over the last 30 years, despite the size of the economy doubling.

Government policy to protect UK seas ‘has drifted far off course’

Monday 16 June 2014

The Marine Conservation Zone network now under construction was heralded as a new beginning for life in UK seas. But on present evidence – as Professor Callum Roberts of the University of York will explain in a speech at the Zoological Society of London on the 17 June – it will be worse than useless, giving the illusion of protection while offering virtually none.

York scientists provide new insights into biomass breakdown

Friday 6 June 2014

Scientists at the University of York are playing a key role in the quest for a better understanding of how a recently discovered family of enzymes can degrade hard-to-digest biomass into its constituent sugars.

Trial shows benefits of structured approach to teaching writing

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Researchers at the University of York have found that a structured approach to teaching writing about a memorable experience can make a significant improvement to children’s writing skills.

Lasers create table-top supernova

Monday 2 June 2014

Laser beams 60,000 billion times more powerful than a laser pointer have been used to recreate scaled supernova explosions in the laboratory as a way of investigating one of the most energetic events in the Universe.

New technologies ‘making it easier’ to protect threatened species

Friday 30 May 2014

Human actions have pushed extinction rates to 1000 times faster than the natural rate. New research says that without urgent action, further rises are likely heralding what many believe could become the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history.

York scientists’ role in genome sequence lays foundation for better cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli

Friday 23 May 2014

Scientists at the University of York have contributed to a new study which represents a significant step forward in understanding the molecular processes which underpin the evolution of genomes in Brassica species.

York academic’s key role in Home Front research offensive

Friday 16 May 2014

An archaeologist at the University of York has played a key role in a pioneering project to discover the scope of the First World War’s impact on England.

Visual clue to new Parkinson’s Disease therapies

Thursday 15 May 2014

A biologist and a psychologist at the University of York have joined forces with a drug discovery group at Lundbeck in Denmark to develop a potential route to new therapies for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Bird invaders ‘moving in’ to UK’s nature reserves

Tuesday 13 May 2014

A new study by scientists at the University of York and the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science has demonstrated that nature reserves and other areas specially protected for wildlife, as well as being vital for native species, are very important for helping European birds to expand their ranges into Britain naturally. The catch is that protected areas are also at increasing risk of invasion by species that have been introduced from further afield.

Research shows how plant welfare is improved by fungi in soil

Monday 12 May 2014

A University of York biologist is part of an international team of scientists that has discovered how plants use fungi to help them to gather vital nutrients from the soil.

Pesticides: research provides new insights into their effects on shrimps and snails

Thursday 8 May 2014

Ground breaking research by an international team of scientists has resulted in greater understanding of the effects of pesticides on aquatic invertebrates such as shrimps and snails.

Proving uncertainty: New insight into old problem

Friday 2 May 2014

Nearly 90 years after Werner Heisenberg pioneered his uncertainty principle, a group of researchers from three countries has provided substantial new insight into this fundamental tenet of quantum physics with the first rigorous formulation supporting the uncertainty principle as Heisenberg envisioned it.

How bacteria exploit proteins to trigger potentially lethal infections

Friday 2 May 2014

New research by scientists at the University of York sheds light on how bacteria exploit human proteins during infections.

York researchers to develop better therapies for osteoarthritis by rejuvenating old stem cells

Friday 25 April 2014

Researchers at the University of York are aiming to develop better therapies for the painful condition of osteoarthritis by rejuvenating old stem cells and using them to repair cartilage damage.

The Tsetse fly genome: unlocking the secrets of a blood-sucking insect

Friday 25 April 2014

Scientists at the University of York are part of an international team of researchers that has sequenced and analysed the genome of the tsetse fly, the blood-sucking insect that is the source of sleeping sickness which kills thousands of people every year.

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

Thursday 24 April 2014

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Home or care? Researchers investigate what works best for abused or neglected children

Tuesday 22 April 2014

University of York researchers are launching a new multi-disciplinary project to examine what works best for abused or neglected children – going into care or staying at home with support.

Water users can reduce the risk of spreading invasive species

Thursday 10 April 2014

Foreign species that are devastating water ecosystems could be “hitchhiking” around Britain on canoeists’ and anglers’ kit, according to a new study.

Researchers say Neanderthals were no strangers to good parenting

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Archaeologists at the University of York are challenging the traditional view that Neanderthal childhood was difficult, short and dangerous.

York’s key role in research on ‘self-management support’

Monday 31 March 2014

Health economists at the University of York are to carry out research into the value that people with chronic long-term conditions, such as asthma, cancer, and coronary heart disease, place on interventions aimed to support self-management of their health condition.

Researchers take mathematical route to fighting viruses

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Mathematicians at the University of York have joined forces with experimentalists at the University of Leeds to take an important step in discovering how viruses make new copies of themselves during an infection.

Pooling budgets no panacea for integrated care

Friday 21 March 2014

New research published today by the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York says that pooling funds across health and social care services is not a panacea that will lead to the successful delivery of integrated care.

Research brings new control over topological insulator

Friday 21 March 2014

An international team of scientists investigating the electronic properties of ultra-thin films of new materials – topological insulators (TIs) - has demonstrated a new method to tune their unique properties using strain.

Research celebration marks new White Rose College launch

Wednesday 19 March 2014

The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities which aims to train more than 300 doctoral students over the next five years is formally launched today.

Ash research reveals first genetic clues to fight dieback

Monday 17 March 2014

Scientists collaborating on ash dieback research can reveal the first genetic clues that could help them identify and breed trees tolerant to the disease.

Review calls for major reform of minimum wage

Thursday 13 March 2014

A University of York economist has played a key role in a major review of the future of the minimum wage in the UK by the Resolution Foundation.

Lessons from the past: York academics investigate 1966 World Cup

Thursday 6 March 2014

University of York researchers are carrying out a pioneering study of the management history of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, investigating the tournament’s impact on local and national economic development.

Public decides Stone Age research has Star quality

Wednesday 5 March 2014

A study of one of the Europe’s most important Early Mesolithic sites -- Star Carr, near Scarborough -- has won "Research Project of the Year" in the national Current Archaeology Awards 2014.

York physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology

Friday 28 February 2014

An international team of scientists led by physicists from the University of York has paved the way for a new class of magnetic materials and devices with improved performance and power efficiency.

Scientists unlock a ‘microbial Pompeii’

Monday 24 February 2014

An international team of researchers including scientists from the University of York have discovered a ‘microbial Pompeii’ preserved on the teeth of skeletons around 1,000 years old.

Researchers shed new light on the genetic history of the European beaver

Monday 17 February 2014

An international team of scientists has used detailed analysis of ancient and modern DNA to show that the distribution and lack of genetic diversity among modern European beavers is due largely to human hunting.

Waste not, want not: York scientists plot green route to polymer production

Thursday 13 February 2014

Scientists at the University of York are to lead a new Government-backed research project to investigate the potential conversion of waste biomass and waste carbon dioxide into safer and more sustainable raw materials.

From surgery to laboratory and back again

Thursday 13 February 2014

A University of York scientist’s experience in seeing his partner in hospital recovering from a double lung transplant prompted him to design and synthesise new chemical agents that could revolutionise post-operative patient care.

Oil composition boost makes hemp a cooking contender

Monday 10 February 2014

Scientists at the University of York today report the development of hemp plants with a dramatically increased content of oleic acid.

Prostate development discovery could lead to new treatments

Thursday 6 February 2014

SCIENTISTS at the University of York have discovered how the prostate gland develops for the first time, according to research published today (Thursday, February 6) in Stem Cell Reports.

Water supply availability ‘to dominate US natural resource management’

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Water supply is the most pressing environmental issue facing the United States according to a survey of policy makers and scientists revealed in a new publication in BioScience by researchers at the University of York and the University of California, Davis.

British medical tourists seeking treatment overseas without sufficient information and advice

Tuesday 4 February 2014

A team of researchers has found that British people travelling abroad for medical treatment are often unaware of the potential health and financial consequences they could face.

Report shows poverty influences UK survival rates for treatable leukaemia

Monday 3 February 2014

Patients from less affluent backgrounds have a greater chance of dying from a form of chronic blood cancer than those from more affluent areas, according to a comprehensive study carried out by researchers at the University of York.

University of York steps up quantum research drive

Monday 3 February 2014

The University of York has announced the establishment of a new centre to provide a focus for its growing inter-disciplinary research into quantum technologies.

Scientists shine spotlight on Herdwicks’ origins

Thursday 30 January 2014

A new study highlights surprising differences between Herdwick sheep and their closest neighbouring UK upland breeds.

New prostate cancer drugs may not be targeting root cause of disease, York scientists warn

Friday 24 January 2014

New drugs being developed for the treatment of prostate cancer may not be targeting the root cause of the disease, according to research published today (Friday, 24 January 2014) in Cell Death & Differentiation.

York scientists investigate the fibre of our being

Monday 20 January 2014

We are all aware of the health benefits of "dietary fibre". But what is dietary fibre and how do we metabolise it?

Study reveals the role of sex in spread of deadly disease

Friday 17 January 2014

Research involving scientists at the University of York has provided important new information about transmission of human leishmaniasis, a group of infectious diseases which kills more than 100,000 people a year.

Some families would consider terminal sedation for brain injured relatives in a permanent vegetative state

Wednesday 15 January 2014

The families of some very severely brain injured patients believe that once all treatment options are exhausted, allowing their relatives to die with the help of terminal sedation would be a humane and compassionate option, research carried out by the University of York and Cardiff University has revealed.

What lies beneath – scientists discover giant trench under Antarctic Ice

Wednesday 15 January 2014

A massive ancient subglacial trough – deeper than the Grand Canyon - has been discovered by a team of UK scientists, including experts from the University of York.

Population stability ‘hope’ in species’ response to climate change

Monday 6 January 2014

Stable population trends are a prerequisite for species’ range expansion, according to new research led by scientists at the University of York.

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