Science | Research Round-Up part 1

Current research at the University of Leeds proves crucial…

There is far more going on at the university than we, as students, get the chance to perceive on a daily basis. Outside the lecture theatres in Roger Stevens or the student union on a Friday night we rarely find out about the discoveries and groundbreaking, globally significant, research that each of the departments are currently producing.  

Detailed mapping reveals the remaining areas of wilderness in Europe


The research headed by Dr. Steve Carver, Director of the Wildland Research Institute used the latest geographical information systems (GIS), to produce “The first comprehensive survey and mapping of the remaining wilderness in Europe’ is expected to “drive EU policy on wilderness” and have massive implications on our perceptions of ecosystem services, human health, climate change, biodiversity and re-wilding- the return of habitats to their natural states. The concept of rewilding is itself a controversial topic as defining natural habitats depends on many spacial, temporal and social factors, the results of the study showed England and Wales to have no qualified areas of wilderness, an issue many will be keen to address. 

Research development into the effect of aerosol particles on the climate

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Working with CERN, University of Leeds academics showed Amines, a nitrogen based compound similar to ammonia, combine with sulphuric acid in the upper atmosphere to form a highly stable aerosol at rates thought only possible in the lower atmosphere. The amines, naturally produced in processes like animal husbandry and bacterial growth, can cause the generation of stable aerosols without the need for ionization from cosmic rays. The amine based aerosols then remain in the upper atmosphere and reflect radiation back out to space creating a relative cooling effect on the surface of the earth. Ken Carslaw, lead author of the research paper, stressed the importance of the University of Leeds contribution over the last decade and underlined the importance of this discovery in understanding the formation of species in the upper atmosphere. He also stated how, with climate modeling, we can accurately assess how the results of the lab experiments at CERN will influence real life climate.

The most comprehensive review of Breast Cancer research ever completed


The research outlined the 10 priority issues in current research and practice in the Breast Cancer Campaign Gap Analysis 2013 and it is predicted that addressing these will lead to the prevention, cure or outliving of Breast cancer by 2050. University of Leeds professor Valerie Spears is positive on the realistic possibility that breast cancer can be overcome, however, The report urgently stresses the need to overcome the ‘gaps’ to avoid the death of 185,000 women in the next 17 years.


Chris Chadburn


Research Round-Up will be featured frequently so check back soon for the latest edition.

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