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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Timeline report for superbug research

Monday, November 24th, 2014

“A new report which sets out the foundation for future research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) [has been] published by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The report tells the story of key research achievements over the past thirty years, showcasing some of the best advances and providing the groundwork for a cross-Council collaboration on AMR research.”

“Antimicrobial resistance is a huge and complex problem for healthcare and agriculture. Antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections in humans and animals for 70 years, but these medicines are becoming less and less effective. No new classes of antibiotics have been discovered for 25 years and some strains of bacteria are now unharmed by the drugs designed to kill them.”

“The UK Research Councils have joined together in an historic initiative to tackle this global problem. A coordinated network of medical researchers, engineers, biologists, vets, economists, mathematicians and designers, will drive through new discoveries and advancements.”

“The AMR initiative, which has been heralded as a war cabinet for AMR research, pulls together all seven research councils and looks to deliver exciting new research projects.”

“The report offers a timeline and case studies in each area supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) , Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Medical Research Council (MRC).”

To read the timeline go to:

[Source Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): ]

Engage conference 2014

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Location: Bristol Marriott Royal, Bristol

Date: 3-4 December 2014

“Are you interested in how universities can play a more active role in stimulating dialogue and debate, and in feeding people’s curiosity and imagination? In learning from how other organisations – like the Eden Project and the BBC – go about this? In exploring tools and techniques for effective engagement, and exploring how such work can best be evaluated and supported?”

Engage 2014 tackles all these questions and more. A two day event, with plenary, workshops, and a range of hands on encounters that bring cutting edge public engagement to life.”

To find out more go to:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

New insights from Understanding Society

Monday, November 24th, 2014

“New findings from the large Understanding Society study, which follows people in 40,000 households across the UK, [has been] published in the report Insights 2014. This is the third summary of findings from Understanding Society, aiming to reveal an evidence-based picture of change in the UK.”

“”Insights 2014 reflects how the study has matured and is starting to address the sort of questions which only longitudinal data can really answer,” says the study’s Director Nick Buck.”

“”We interview the same set of individuals in households each year and this helps to explore how individual and family lives change over time. Uniquely, it can help us understand what factors are associated with movements in and out of states, such as poverty, and how this impact on people’s lives in the longer term.””

“The Insights report is focusing on three key areas to shed light on how society has changed over time: ‘Living in recession’, ‘A diverse UK’ and ‘Family ties and social connections’.”

Insights 2014 can be found at:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

Call for Papers for Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies: Best Article Prize (2015)

Monday, November 24th, 2014

“The editors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies (JMIS) and Routledge are delighted to offer a $500 prize for the most outstanding article published in JMIS in 2015.  This prize will be offered thereafter on an annual basis.”

“All articles published in JMIS in 2015 will automatically be considered for the Best Article Prize, and all submissions received during the calendar year 2014 will be considered for publication in 2015.”

[Source Heritage Portal news: ]

Imaging with added sparkle

Monday, November 17th, 2014

“Tiny diamonds are providing scientists with new possibilities for accurately measuring processes inside living cells, with potential to improve drug delivery.”

“Researchers from Cardiff University’s Schools of Biosciences and Physics have unveiled a new method for viewing tiny diamonds inside living human cells. The pioneering technology could help to ensure that drugs are reaching the right target cells, as it enables researchers to see where a drug is reacting inside the body.”

“Nanodiamonds are small particles (a thousand times smaller than human hair) with low toxicity that can transport drugs inside cells. They show huge promise as an alternative to the organic fluorophores usually used by scientists to visualise processes inside cells and tissues.”

“A major limitation of organic fluorophores is that they degrade over time under light illumination. This makes it difficult to use them for accurate measurements of cellular processes. They can also become toxic or even kill cells. Nanodiamonds are one of the best inorganic material alternatives because of their compatibility with human cells, and due to their stable structural and chemical properties.”

“In their latest paper, the researchers showed that non-fluorescing nanodiamonds (diamonds without defects) can be imaged far more stably via the interaction between illuminating light and the vibrating chemical bonds in the diamond’s lattice structure, which results in scattered light of a different colour.”

“The paper Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy of single nanodiamonds was published in Nature Nanotechnology. DOI:10.1038/nnano.2014.210.”

[Source Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) news: ]

New international macrodata at UK Data Service

Monday, November 17th, 2014

“We are delighted to announce that two new international datasets are now available via UKDS.Stat – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Economic Outlook and Pensions Statistics:

The OECD Economic Outlook is the organisations comprehensive twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years. The Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices, fiscal and current account imbalances, expenditures, foreign trade, output, labour markets, interest and exchange rates, balance of payments and government debt for all OECD member countries as well as for some non-member countries. The data run from, where available, 1960 onwards. Also included is the OECD Long Term Baseline analysing major economic trends to 2060!”

“The OECD Pensions Statistics provide valuable data for measuring and monitoring the pension industry and to permit inter-country comparisons of current statistics and indicators on key aspects of retirement systems across OECD and non-OECD countries from 1980 onwards. The database comprises datasets on Pension Statistics, Indicators, Pensions at a Glance and Public pension reserve funds’ assets.”

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

UK Data Service launches QualiBank

Monday, November 17th, 2014

“A new search and browse interface has been launched by the UK Data Service, which allows users to search collections of public surveys, opinions, interviews and essays, offering a rich and diverse resource detailing people’s lives from the early 1900’s to 1980.”

“The collection contains textual data, audio files and images from the UK Data Service collections.”

“QualiBank has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Digital Futures project, which aims to use the latest technologies to bring richly described and contextualised data to researchers. QualiBank is an interface which lets users search on the context of text files, such as interviews, essays and reports. Any related object, for example, audio recordings or descriptions of photographs, are linked to the objects found, allowing users to easily access a wide breadth of information using minimal searches.”

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

Flexible working for researchers – The Royal Society-EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

“Research fellowships to help scientists and engineers work flexibly are now open for submissions. The awards last for five years and start in October 2015.”

“The Royal Society-EPSRC [Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council] Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships are designed for outstanding early-career researchers who need flexible working patterns due to personal circumstances such as parenting, caring responsibilities or health issues.”

“The application and peer review process is managed by the Royal Society, and EPSRC will meet the costs of up to five successful candidates.”

For more information and to apply go to:

[Source EPSRC news: ]

Using big data to map the UK video games industry

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

“In ‘A Map of the UK Games Industry’, we have worked in partnership with Ukie [The UK Interactive Entertainment Association] to develop a new approach to measure and map the video games sector. Instead of relying on official industry (SIC) codes, or surveying ‘known’ games companies, we have tried to leverage ‘found’, online data about the sector.”

“Gaming websites like MobyGames and review sites such as GameSpot contain a wealth of information about games products that we have scraped to build a list of games companies. We have then established which of these companies are UK based, and extracted information about them (including their postcode and, where available, financial data) from Companies House.”

“This allows us to identify games companies through their creative outputs (revealed by the consumers and journalists maintaining the websites we use as data sources) rather than the box they tick in the business register when they get started.”

“It also results in a high-resolution, timely dataset with interesting information that is not available from official sources. For example, we have been able to look at the platforms that different companies target.”

To view the report go to:

[Source Nesta blog: ]

Landmark archive of 10 million Gaelic words launched

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

“Researchers have completed the first phase of the world’s most extensive digital archive of Scottish Gaelic texts as part of a landmark project to revolutionise access and understanding of the language to public around the world.”

“The Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG) project is already the most comprehensive publicly accessible reference point for the Gaelic language and culture, having been worked on by researchers from Celtic and Gaelic at the University of Glasgow for the past eight years.”

“DASG was established in 2006 and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy, the University of Glasgow, Faclair na Gàidhlig, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Scottish Funding Council, and the Economic and Social Research Council.”

“The DASG project includes the ‘Corpas na Gàidhlig’, a searchable online database of almost 10 million Gaelic words, which is expected to grow to up to 30 million words. The project also includes The Fieldwork Archive which contains over 22,000 words taken from speech recorded in Gaelic-speaking Scotland and Nova-Scotia during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These describe traditional Gaelic life and society and many are accompanied [by] hand-drawn illustrations.”

“Corpas na Gàidhlig will also provide the textual basis for a linked project involving five universities around Scotland. Faclair na Gàidhlig will produce a historical dictionary of Gaelic, a resource for Gaelic comparable to the Oxford English Dictionary.”

To visit the project website go to:

[Source AHRC news: ]

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