April 6th, 2011

Sex and religion: A nationwide study

Experts at the University, in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, have spent two years investigating the attitudes and experiences of sex and religion among British 18 to 25-year-olds. The study, which involved nearly 700 people from six religions, highlighted challenges they face in reconciling their sexuality and their religion and the concerns they have about the stigmatisation of religion and the increasingly sexualised culture in British society. “Religion, Youth and Sexuality: a Multi-faith Exploration” received nearly £250,000 of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Stop that fruit going mouldy

Millions of tons of soft fruit go to waste each year through mould developing. Scientists at Nottingham have joined forces with colleagues at Loughborough University and UK fruit growers Berryworld to use cold plasma technology to keep the mould at bay for longer. Cold plasma is already used in the medical world to clean bacteria from wounds and its potential use in the food sector was a chance discovery by food scientists and microbiologists.

Health Secretary announces £775m boost

Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, has announced £775m national funding for medical research during a visit to NIHR BRU (Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre Biomedical Research Unit) at the Queen’s Medical Centre campus of Nottingham University Hospitals. Nottingham is the only UK city to have three BRUs, which aim to turn world-class research into treatments for patients. They are funded by a previous round of Government funding and are collaborations between the University and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).

Slalom success

Alice Spencer and Jacquelyn Shaw have won gold and bronze medals respectively in the women’s K1 event at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Slalom Championships 2011. Alice admits the competition between the two has aided her development. However, the two also teamed up with fellow student George Marshall at the BUCS event to secure a silver medal in the Slalom Mixed C2 race.

Steer clear of smoke

Pregnant women who breathe in the secondhand smoke of other people are at an increased risk of delivering stillborn babies or babies with defects, a study led by researchers at the University has found. The study, published in the April edition of the journal Pediatrics, found passive smoking increased the risk of stillbirth by 23% and was linked to a 13% increased risk of congenital birth defects. The findings underline the importance of discouraging men from smoking around their pregnant partners.

Nottingham to lead new £10m centre

The University of Nottingham is to lead a new £10m Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Working with leading companies in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors, the centre will be a national leader for engineering research in the field of composite materials – a critical technology that will help the UK to develop a low-carbon economy. Funding over the next five years includes £4.9m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with a further £1.8m from industry partners: Lotus, Rolls-Royce, GKN, Airbus, Bentley, Caparo, Luxfer and Vestas. The centre will work with businesses on tackling major research challenges, with the aim of turning ideas into new products and processes ready for the marketplace. It has the backing of National Composites Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs), announced by the Government this month.

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