Molecular Environmental Science News

Professor Jonathan Lloyd delivered a talk on nuclear waste at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.  

August 2013

His talk, entitled ‘Extreme biology: can microbes clean up our nuclear waste’, was part of a series of Café Scientifique events held throughout the week at the Summer Science Exhibition.  An audio recording of the talk is available to listen to here. In addition a post-event interview is included in the Exhibition podcast which can be downloaded from here.

Health risks from arsenic in rice exposed

July 2013

High levels of arsenic in rice have been shown to be associated with elevated genetic damage in humans, a new study has found. More information here

X-rays resurrect 200-year-old lost opera

15 June 2013

Audiences can hear a 200-year-old opera by composer Luigi Cherubini in full for the first time in centuries after scientists used X-rays to reveal hidden notes. More information here.

X-rays reveal new picture of 'dinobird' plumage patterns

12 June 2013

The first complete chemical analysis of feathers from Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil linking dinosaurs and birds, reveals that the feathers of this early bird were patterned – light in colour, with a dark edge and tip to the feather – rather than all black, as previously thought. More information here.

Extinct giant camel found far from the desert in Arctic discovery

06 Mar 2013

A Canadian research team, helped by scientists at The University of Manchester, has discovered the first evidence of an extinct giant camel in the High Arctic. The three-and-a-half million year old fossil was identified using collagen fingerprinting from bone fragments unearthed on Ellsmere Island. It’s the furthest North a camel has ever been found.  More information here.

Professor David Vaughan President of the American Mineralogical Society

February 2013

Professor David Vaughan has been elected as the 2013 President of the American Mineralogical Society, an almost unique honour for someone from outside North America. What is unique is that this follows spells as President of the European Mineralogical Union and the President of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland – a spectacular treble.More information here.

Synchrotron-based imaging techniques used to identify previously unseen anatomy preserved in fossils

18 Dec 2012

Their work on a 50 million year old lizard skin identified the presence of teeth (invisible to visible light), demonstrating for the first time that this fossil animal was more than just a skin moult. This was only possible using some of the brightest light in the universe, x-rays generated by a synchrotron.  More information here.

Images of 300 million-year-old insects revealed

26 Sep 2012

Stunning 3D images of 300 million-year-old insects have been revealed for the first time by University of Manchester researchers.

Writing in the journal PLoS One, the scientists have used a high resolution form of CT scanning to reconstruct two 305-million year old juvenile insects. Without the pioneering approach to imaging, these tiny insects – which are three-dimensional holes in a rock – would have been impossible to study.  More information here.

Arctic collapse dramatically increases global warming

30 Aug 2012

Parts of Arctic Siberia are releasing ten times more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought, a University of Manchester scientist and an international team of researchers have found.

Writing in Nature, the scientists, led by Stockholm University, discovered that much more greenhouse gas is being released into the atmosphere than previously calculated, from and ancient an large carbon pool held in a permafrost along the 7,000 km desolate coast of northernmost Siberian Arctic – dramatically increasing global warming.  More information here.

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