News in 2019

  • Probiotics and prebiotics work differently in girls and boys according to piglet study 18 December 2019 Baby boy's and girl's immune systems respond differently to prebiotics and probiotics, according to new research. The paper published in Frontiers in Immunology today [9 December] suggests that differences in male and female immunity begin much earlier than previously thought.
  • Up to two fifths of antibiotic prescriptions in the US could be inappropriate 18 December 2019 As much as two fifths (43 per cent) of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States could be inappropriate, warn researchers highlighted in an editorial by Professor Hay from Bristol Medical School published by The BMJ today [11 December].
  • UK universities will work together to improve research quality and reproducibility 10 December 2019 UK universities will collaborate to improve the quality of UK academic research output. Whilst the UK is at the leading edge of research globally, there is a need to constantly strive to improve in order to retain that positions. Crucially, institutions must produce research that is rigorous, robust and of high-quality, to ensure that the UK retains its reputation for producing world-leading research.
  • Scientists discover body's protection shield 18 November 2019 Scientists have discovered a way to manipulate the body’s own immune response to help boost tissue repair. The findings, published in Current Biology today [Monday 18 November], reveal a new network of protective factors to shield cells against damage. This discovery, made by University of Bristol researchers, could significantly benefit patients undergoing surgery by speeding recovery times and lowering the risk of complication.
  • Cell family trees tracked to discover their role in tissue scarring and liver disease 15 November 2019 Researchers have discovered that a key cell type involved in liver injury and cancer consists of two cellular families with different origins and functions.
  • Could synthetic molecules provide a general treatment for cystic fibrosis? 14 November 2019 A new treatment for lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) for which there remains no cure could potentially benefit all patients, according to a University of Bristol study published in Chemical Science. The findings are an important step towards a new therapy addressing the fundamental cause of cystic fibrosis.
  • Some complementary and alternative therapies to treat colic show promise 12 November 2019 A review of the evidence on the use of complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies to treat babies with colic has shown some that some treatments - including probiotics, fennel extract and spinal manipulation - do appear to help, but that overall the evidence on the use of these therapies is limited so should be treated with caution.
  • Researchers identify certain gut bacteria that may be involved in causing bowel cancer 4 November 2019 People who have a certain type of bacteria in their guts may be at greater risk of developing bowel cancer. The findings will be presented by University of Bristol researcher, Dr Kaitlin Wade, at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow today [Monday 4 November].
  • £18.5 million boost for South West biosciences 24 October 2019 PhD training across the biosciences has received a massive boost thanks to a £18.5 million funding award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation) to the University of Bristol-led South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP).
  • £10 million funding boost for postgraduate biomedical sciences research 14 October 2019 The Wellcome Trust has awarded the University of Bristol over £10 million in funding for two prestigious PhD programmes in the faculties of Health Sciences and Life Sciences.
  • Scientists join forces to shed new light on ageing and wound healing 11 October 2019 Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Bristol have been granted £4 million to investigate how cells govern the processes of ageing and wound healing and how this is influenced by the circadian (day/night) cycle. Their findings could help to improve wound healing and identify strategies to treat diseases like osteoarthritis.
  • Multi-million Euro grant to research the mechanism of viral infection 11 October 2019 The European Research Council has awarded a prestigious Synergy Grant worth €7.6 million to the University of Bristol and Swiss partners, the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) and the ETH Zurich, for a joint research project looking at the molecular mechanisms of viral infection.
  • Bristol scientists awarded £1.25 million to study antimicrobial use and resistance in Argentinian farms 9 October 2019 What drives the risks of antimicrobial resistance in Argentinian livestock farms? How can these risks be minimised through effective regulation? These are just some of the questions that an interdisciplinary group of researchers at the University of Bristol, led by the Bristol Veterinary School, will answer, thanks to a £1.25 million grant from the Global AMR Innovation Fund, managed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Aid, administered by BBSRC.
  • Powerful new synthetic vaccines to combat epidemics 26 September 2019 A new type of vaccine that can be stored at warmer temperatures, removing the need for refrigeration, has been developed for mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya in a major advance in vaccine technology. The findings, published in Science Advances today [Wednesday 25 September], reveal exceptionally promising results for the Chikungunya vaccine candidate, which has been engineered using a synthetic protein scaffold that could revolutionise the way vaccines are designed, produced and stored.
  • Adult fly intestine could help understand intestinal regeneration 25 September 2019 Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are exposed to diverse types of environmental stresses such as bacteria and toxins, but the mechanisms by which epithelial cells sense stress are not well understood. New research by the universities of Bristol, Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have found that Nox-ROS-ASK1-MKK3-p38 signaling in IECs integrates various stresses to facilitate intestinal regeneration.
  • Veterinary surgeons awarded ‘impact award’ for changing antimicrobial use in veterinary practice 20 September 2019 Veterinary researchers from the universities of Bristol and Surrey have been awarded a prestigious award by the Veterinary Record, the official journal of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), for their contribution to changing antimicrobial use in veterinary practice.
  • Hidden danger from pet dogs in Africa 9 September 2019 Researchers at the universities of Abuja and Nigeria, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, have detected a potentially human-infective microbe in pet dogs in Nigeria.
  • Artificial red blood cells enable research into malaria invasion 2 September 2019 Researchers at the University of Bristol and Imperial College London have established a new model system that uses red blood cells grown in the laboratory to study how malaria parasites invade red blood cells.
  • New patient test could tell GPs if infections are antibiotic resistant in under two hours 29 August 2019 A new rapid patient test which could identify whether bacteria isolated from clinical samples are antibiotic resistant in under two hours is being trialled on a range of antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). If successful, the test could transform decision-making around antibiotic choice by helping inform the five million antibiotic prescriptions written each year in the UK for UTIs.
  • New insight into bacterial infections found in the noses of healthy cattle 21 August 2019 New research led by academics at the University of Bristol Veterinary and Medical Schools used the 'One Health' approach to study three bacterial species in the noses of young cattle and found the carriage of the bacteria was surprisingly different. The findings which combined ideas and methods from both animal and human health research could help prevent and control respiratory diseases.
  • Game on: Microbial Pursuit, anything but trivial 31 July 2019 Dr Isabel Murillo Cabeza has created an exciting and interactive version of Trivial Pursuit called Microbial Pursuit, to help our undergraduates learn.
  • Plant virology and vector-transmitted disease experts join forces to help African farmers 24 July 2019 Farmers in African countries who face failing harvests due to insect vector plant diseases are being helped through a new training programme set up by leading experts in plant virology and vector-transmitted diseases. The CONNECTED network, led by an international consortium of universities including Bristol, is aiming to transform Sub-Saharan African agriculture through providing specialist training to crop researchers.
  • A cure for blindness: treating glaucoma with genes 23 July 2019 Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide; it affects roughly 2% of all people over 40. Researchers at the University of Bristol are pioneering a new way of treating glaucoma using gene therapy.
  • £9 million boost for health research in the west country 12 July 2019 Health researchers in the west country have been given a £9 million award from the Government's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to enable them to tackle the area's most pressing health problems. The funding will enable new research projects including forecasting demand in hospitals, increasing people's physical activity levels, supporting people who self-harm and improving outcomes for children in care.
  • Hepatitis C infections could be greatly reduced in the US 11 July 2019 A new study modelling the impact of increased treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among people who inject drugs in the US has found that an increase of clean injecting equipment provided through syringe service programmes, provision of medication assisted treatment (MAT), and antiviral treatment for hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs could reduce the incidence of HCV in the United States by 90% by 2030.
  • University of Bristol awarded £100 million to drive 'tech for better futures' research 10 July 2019 A new £100 million institute, based in the centre of Bristol, is set to transform the way we create, utilise and evaluate new digital technologies to benefit our society now and in the future.
  • Understanding the unintended consequences of healthcare apps 9 July 2019 Dr Andrew Turner, Senior Research Associate, CLAHRC West, discusses the move towards ‘digital first’ care, the possible unintended consequences of healthcare apps, and how the DECODE study aims to improve the adoption of a range of digital health tools in primary care by understanding these unintended consequences.
  • Farmer-led research tackling antimicrobial resistance wins Antibiotic Guardian Awards 6 July 2019 A project to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on English dairy farms has won a prestigious award at this year’s Antibiotic Guardian Awards held in Birmingham last week [Thursday 27 June]. The Bristol Veterinary School PhD project - Farmer Action Groups - was a winner in the Research category.
  • Scientists hijack bacteria's homing ability 5 July 2019 In a world first, scientists have found a new way to direct stem cells to heart tissue. The findings, led by researchers at the University of Bristol and published in Chemical Science, could radically improve the treatment for cardiovascular disease, which causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK (1).
  • New study aims to improve acne in women 4 July 2019 A new study is looking for women with acne in Bristol to take part in a new clinical trial. Led by researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton the study will investigate whether a drug called spironolactone can help improve acne in women.
  • Genes could play a role in tooth decay and gum disease 3 July 2019 Tooth decay and gum disease impact on illness and healthcare spending, yet the role of genetics in dental problems is largely unknown. New research led by an international team, including researchers at the University of Bristol, suggests hereditary traits and factors such as obesity, education and personality could play a role in tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Dr Emma Le Roux appointed RCGP Clinical Champion for Dermatology 28 June 2019 Dr Emma Le Roux, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, has been appointed Clinical Champion for Dermatology for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
  • GPs should not use inflammatory marker tests to rule out serious conditions 18 June 2019 Blood tests that detect inflammation, known as inflammatory marker tests, are not sensitive enough to rule out serious underlying conditions and GPs should not use them for this purpose, according to researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Exeter and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (NIHR CLAHRC West).
  • Chronic diseases monitored in primary care could lead to unnecessary testing 14 June 2019 Guidelines used by GPs to monitor chronic diseases are based on expert opinion rather than evidence, according to a review of the guidelines by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) researchers at the University of Bristol. The review, published today [Thursday 13 June] in the British Medical Journal, looked at guidelines for chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are monitored through a range of tests in GP surgeries.
  • Further funding advancing health research at Bristol 13 June 2019 Elizabeth Blackwell Institute nurtures research to improve health for all. We're proud to share the recent funding successes of some of our awardees who have gone on to secure further awards for their research projects in three very different areas: smart stem cells, the genetics of osteoarthritis, and spinal cord injury.
  • Measles: Experts call for compulsory vaccination 12 June 2019 Compulsory measles vaccinations for all children starting primary school may be needed to prevent a resurgence of the disease, experts say.
  • More support needed to increase HIV testing in GP practices 7 June 2019 One-off training sessions for GPs are not enough to increase rates of HIV testing in general practice and greater support is needed, according to researchers from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions published in BMC Family Practice.
  • Bristol Immunisation Group review of 2018-19 5 June 2019 Professor Adam Finn, Dr Julie Yates and Dr Marion Roderick, Directors of the Bristol Immunisation Group Health Integration Team (BIG HIT), give an update on the HIT's progress in 2018-19.
  • Leaving school earlier could increase the risk of heart disease 4 June 2019 Although it has been known for a long time, that education, and socioeconomic position affect health, particularly in later life, there was limited knowledge as to why. New research has found that increased levels of BMI, blood pressure and smoking partly explain why people who left school at an earlier age could be at an increased risk of heart disease.
  • $800 million spin-out deal wins global award for University’s Research Commercialisation Team 3 June 2019 The sale of a University of Bristol spin-out company working on technology to develop next-generation insulin has won a global award.
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