Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Movember – The Art of Mustraction

November 28th, 2016

“Europeana is the cultural fur that warms Europe’s top lip, so let’s look at 8 mustaches that changed the world!”

“Two snuggle the faces of dictators, two are regal, placed on the royalty of Europe, two changed Europe with inventions and two grow more common, but no less important, on WW1 front-line defenses.”

“Europe’s history is sometimes portrayed as the history of manipulation, lies artfully hidden beneath the taches of the powerful, the art of Mustraction, but it is also a history of unity. Facial hair transcends borders. We can marvel at the scope of Europeana, displaying the mustaches of the infamous but also mustaches that portray family memories and war stories. The cause itself is great, improving men’s physical and mental health is good for everyone, so donate if you can [ ]. These free images are meant to inspire growers and demonstrates the historical range of Europeana’s image selection. Off we go!”

To read more of the blog go to:

[Source Europeana blog]

Manchester Met Library e-trial: Digimap Geology

November 28th, 2016

This trial account will be active until 17th December 2016.

To access the trial you will need a username and password, which you can obtain from your subject librarian.  Login at:  choose “EDINA (staff and trials)” by starting to type EDINA.. in the box, then select and continue.

Once logged in you can then choose Geology Digimap.

Please note that access to the service is for trial and evaluation purposes only and for the duration of the trial, download facilities will be unavailable.  Any saved maps should also be deleted at the end of the trial period.  All other terms and conditions of Digimap use apply.

Please send any feedback to Charlotte Arduini:

[Source Manchester Met Library]

Suffrage for Women – from the British Library Sound Archive

November 28th, 2016

Selected by John Berry, Technical Services Preservation Assistant at the British Library.

“The recording is poor; a cacophony of background noise, the content speech is quiet. In many respects the speaker, Christabel Pankhurst, is unpolished stuttering and stammering through the speech in a manner that we could not envisage in our highly managed and marketed world of western politicians. But this detracts nothing from the demands which are being made for enfranchisement of women to vote, which are clear, convincing and to the point. It is a highly illuminating glimpse into the justifications and strategies as well as the political aspirations of the women’s suffrage movement in the early 20th century.”

To hear the recording go to:

[Source British Library Sound and Vision blog as above]

Schlesinger Library Online Collection: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

November 28th, 2016

“The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library of Women in America at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is home to an impressive collection of documents related to Charlotte Perkins Gilman (b. 1860, d. 1935), noted public intellectual and author of The Yellow Wallpaper. The bulk of the collection, which includes personal letters, original manuscripts, diary entries, photographs, and much more, has recently been digitized to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Gilman’s birth. From the landing page, readers may immediately Enter the collection or opt to Learn More about Gilman through a brief biographical essay. There are presently over 37,000 digitized items that promise to provide an intimate look at “Gilman’s thinking about women’s dress, housekeeping responsibility, domestic architecture, and the demand for equal rights.” The site boasts a well-developed search function and users can create an account to add personalized tags or create digital folders as a way to save and organize items of interest. [CDR]”

[Source Scout Report, 18 Oct, 2016:

Damaged salad leaves can ‘massively stimulate’ Salmonella presence in bagged salads

November 28th, 2016

“Investigations by University of Leicester microbiologists, supported by BBSRC, have revealed that just a small amount of damage to salad leaves could massively stimulate the presence of the food poisoning bug Salmonella in ready-prepared salad leaves.”

“The scientists have discovered that juices released from damaged leaves also had the effect of enhancing the virulence of the pathogen, potentially increasing its ability to cause infection in the consumer.”

“The research is led by Dr Primrose Freestone of the University’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and PhD student Giannis Koukkidis, who has been funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) i-case Studentship.”

“Their research investigates novel methods of preventing food poisoning pathogens from attaching to the surface of salad leaves to help producers improve food safety for consumers. This latest study, published today (18 November) in Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that juices from damaged leaves in bagged spinach and mixed salad increased Salmonella pathogen growth 2400-fold over a control group and also enhanced their adherence to surfaces and overall virulence, or capacity to cause disease.”

To read the article (Open Access) go to:

[Source BBSRC news: ]

In health informatics we trust? Thoughts on big data in healthcare research

November 28th, 2016

“The burgeoning use of big data in healthcare research is revolutionising the way health records are collected, used and shared. But, with controversial projects such as NHS still fresh in everyone’s minds, how can researchers reassure the public that highly sensitive data is safe in their hands?”

“Remember the NHS controversy from a couple of years ago? Of course – it was a complete public relations disaster for both the health service and health data research.”

“Eventually fully scrapped in July this year, wasting millions of pounds, it caused a public outcry over privacy and data sharing, amid accusations that the creation of a vast database of medical records was being rushed through without explaining to patients of the security implications for their highly sensitive information. Leaflets posted through letterboxes failed to include any information on the risks of sharing data (and in many cases apparently didn’t arrive at all) while it also emerged that many patients who had opted-out were still having their data shared.”

“NHS is one example, albeit a calamitous one, of the rise of health informatics – a rapidly expanding field seeking to exploit the potential of big data analytics for healthcare – and some of the red-hot issues around this new industry.”

[Source JISC news: ]

NERC partners with ESRC and AHRC to fund projects that will help developing countries cope with environmental hazards

November 28th, 2016

“Three of the UK’s research councils have funded 22 projects that will help communities in some of the poorest regions of the world understand, prepare for and manage a range of natural and man-made environmental hazards.”

“The Building Resilience research programme will take an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding what causes environmental dangers like droughts, land degradation, volcanoes, earthquakes and flooding, and build in preparedness to help countries cope.”

“The projects, worth just over £3·5m, and funded by NERC, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), are funded under the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), a £1·5bn fund announced by the UK government in 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.”

[Source NERC website: ]

Changes to MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship awards

November 28th, 2016

“MRC [Medical Research Council] Senior Non-Clinical Fellowships (SNCFs) are prestigious awards which help independent early-career researchers to develop their long-term research vision and enable their transition to become internationally recognised leaders in their fields. The MRC is committed to supporting this important career stage, recognising that a Senior Fellowship has been a significant stepping stone in the development of many international leaders.”

“The MRC’s Training and Careers Group recently reviewed our support mechanisms for transitions to leadership. The Group concluded that reverting the tenure of future SNCF awards from 7 to 5 years offers greater flexibility to fund a wider range of researchers, while still offering a generous package to support an ambitious, career-changing programme.”

“As part of the MRC’s fellowships for critical career stages, we have developed a range of tools and guidance for applicants and clarified:

  • the type of skills and experience applicants should be able to demonstrate in order to be competitive when applying for an MRC Senior Fellowship
  • when a fellowship will provide appropriate support for an individual’s long term career goals and chosen career route.”

“The tools and guidance are now available on our webpage. The 5-year tenure will apply from the next deadline for SNCF applications, which is on 25 April 2017.”

[Source MRC news: ]

UK’s largest ever study of family names reveals origins of 45,600 surnames

November 28th, 2016

“We all have a surname, but how many of us know anything about its origin and history? A major Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project led by a team at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has unveiled the UK and Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive collection of family names published by Oxford University Press.”

“Farah, Twelvetrees and Li (Lee) are amongst the 8,000 family names explained for the first time ever, alongside corrections to previous explanations such as Starbuck and Hislop in the newly published Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. The result of a four year detailed investigation of the linguistic origins, history, and geographical distribution of 45,600 most frequent family names in Britain and Ireland, the print and online database, offers an explanation for all names from the very common to many rarer names with 100 current bearers.”

“Nearly 40,000 family names are native to Britain and Ireland, while the remainder reflect the diverse languages and cultures of immigrants that have settled from the sixteenth century to the present day: including French Huguenot, Dutch, Jewish, Indian, Muslim (Arabic), Korean, Japanese, Chinese and African.”

[Source AHRC news: ]

Reaxys ChemSearch Challenge

November 21st, 2016

“If you haven’t yet taken the #ChemSearchChallenge, you are missing out on the chance to compete with chemists from research, education and industry fields to find out who can achieve the fastest route to finding answers.”

“The 2016 ChemSearch Challenge is a multi-week online competition that awards weekly prizes and the glory of sitting atop the leaderboards to professional and aspiring chemists. There’s still time to join and flex those research muscles!”

To find out more go to:

[Source email from Reaxys Elsevier, 16 Nov, 2016]