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Research Horizons

Cambridge University

Welcome to Cambridge University's research collection, where you can find out about some of the research, discoveries and innovations that take place here. Whether you are at Cambridge, thinking about applying, or just curious about what happens at this famous University, this collection gives you a chance to find out something you didn't already know about the world around you!



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Research Horizons
Mar 31, 2017 Cambridge University
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Carrying out fieldwork in high-security subterranean data centres, Alex Taylor explores fears of technological failure in our data-dependent society. Alex is a PhD student in the Division of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.
Research Horizons
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Genetics of a canine transmissible tumour show how the world’s oldest cancer “metastasised” through the global dog population – and captured, maintained and rearranged its mitochondrial DNA along the way. Strakova et al. eLife 2016;5:e14552 More info here: http://www.tcg.vet.cam.ac.uk/
Research Horizons
Apr 29, 2016 Cambridge University
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Cambridge University Library is celebrating its 600th anniversary with an exhibition of priceless treasures communicating 4,000 years of human thought. To celebrate, we have made six films on the six distinct themes featured in Lines of Thought. The second film in the series looks at Gravity; by following the discussions of generations of great scientific minds, from Copernicus to Hawking via Newton and Einstein, we begin to understand our place among the stars. To see more of the exhibits in...
Research Horizons
Mar 14, 2016 Cambridge University
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Research Horizons
Mar 14, 2016 Cambridge University
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From 3000-year-old Chinese oracle bones to Penguin paperbacks of the 20th century, the collections at Cambridge University Library chart the technological revolutions that have changed the world around us. The objects in the film all feature in the Library's spectacular new exhibition Lines of Thought: Discoveries that Changed the World - See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/news/lines-of-thought-revolutions-in-communications#sthash.N7v4PP1M.dpuf
Research Horizons
Nov 12, 2015 Cambridge University
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Research provides insight into feasibility of virus becoming airborne transmissible. It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found. Currently, avian H5N1 influenza, also known as bird flu, can be transmitted from birds to humans, but not (or only very rarely) from human to human. However, two recent papers by Herfst, Fouchier and colleagues in Science and Imai, Kawaoka and colleagues in Nature reveal that...
Research Horizons
Nov 5, 2015 Cambridge University
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Howler monkeys are about the size of a small dog, weighing around seven kilos, yet they are among the loudest terrestrial animals on the planet, and can roar at a similar acoustic frequency to tigers. Evolution has given these otherwise lethargic creatures a complex and powerful vocal system. For males, a critical function of the roar is for mating: to attract females and scare off rival males. But not all male howler monkeys have been equally endowed. The bigger a male howler’s vocal organ,...
Research Horizons
Nov 5, 2015 Cambridge University
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Britain has had a long history of interaction with India from the 17th century until the present day. During that time, a large number of Britons who lived in the region documented their lives using diaries, letters and photos, many of which have found their way into the archive of the Centre of South Asian Studies in Cambridge. Centre of South Asian Studies: http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk Centre of South Asian Studies Archive: http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk/archive/...
Research Horizons
Oct 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, J is for Jay – a surprisingly clever corvid with the ability to mimic human voices and much more. Jays are corvids – members of the crow family. The jays we see in Britain are Eurasian jays. With their pinkish plumage, and characteristic flash of blue, they will be familiar to many people as woodland birds that are increasingly seen in gardens, even in...
Research Horizons
Oct 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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One of the most important maps of the UK ever made – described as the ‘Magna Carta of geology’ – is to go on permanent public display in Cambridge after being restored to its former glory. - See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/the-magna-carta-of-scientific-maps#sthash.cfVPSGJz.dpuf William Smith’s 1815 Geological Map of England and Wales, which measures 8.5ft x 6ft, demonstrated for the first time the geology of the UK and was the culmination of years of work by Smith, who...
Research Horizons
Oct 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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This set of 29 papier mache models of horses' teeth (Wh. 6135) was made by Dr Louis Auzoux in France in the 1890s. The original wooden case opens out to reveal four rows of spaces for sets on each side. A hinged wooden flap holds the teeth in place. The models demonstrate the appearance of horses’ teeth at different ages, the effects of wind sucking and crib biting, and the fraudulent ways of making a horse seem older or younger by the appearance of its teeth. As a medical student in Paris,...
Research Horizons
Oct 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Fumiya Iida’s research looks at how robotics can be improved by taking inspiration from nature, whether that’s learning about intelligence, or finding ways to improve robotic locomotion. A robot requires between ten and 100 times more energy than an animal to do the same thing. Iida’s lab is filled with a wide array of hopping robots, which may take their inspiration from grasshoppers, humans or even dinosaurs. One of his group’s developments, the ‘Chairless Chair’, is a wearable...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Animal research plays an essential role in our understanding of health and disease and in the development of modern medicine and surgical techniques. As part of our commitment to openness, this film examines how mice are helping the fight against cancer. It takes a in-depth look at the facilities in which they are housed, exploring issues of animal welfare and the search for replacements. We welcome comments about this article. However, as with discussions on all of our news and feature pages,...
Research Horizons
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One hundred years after the start of the First World War, few Cambridge residents are likely to be aware that the University Library stands on the site of a former military hospital. The First Eastern General, set up within days of the outbreak of the war, treated tens of thousands of returning casualties between 1914 and 1919. Dr Sarah Baylis looks at the lost history of the First Easter, examining what life was like is this 'small city on the Backs', its impact on Cambridge and how it was...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Fashion conveys complex messages. The recreation of an outfit taken from one of an extraordinary series of Renaissance portraits reveals how one man made his mark on society. In 1530 Matthäus Schwarz, an accountant in the German city of Augsburg, was man in his prime: slim, smart and successful. In a portrait that shows him in an outfit made for the occasion of the Imperial Diet of Augsburg, he is every inch the fashionable man about town, ready to step out of his door and join the party. In...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Researchers have captured the first 3D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out, from a sphere to a mushroom shape and back again. The results could help unravel the mechanical processes at work during a similar process in animals, which has been called the “most important time in your life.” Read more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/upside-down-and-inside-out
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Atomic-level engineering is at the forefront of modern, greener jet engine design. The increasing demand for more people to fly while reducing carbon emissions is one of the greatest aeronautical engineering challenges. Efficiency requires engines to run hotter and faster, but the best materials are already running close to their limits. At the Cambridge Rolls-Royce UTC, we design metal alloys that are able to withstand the extreme conditions inside the gas turbine engine. The jet engine is a...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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An aircraft with a parallel hybrid engine – the first ever to be able to recharge its batteries in flight – has been successfully tested in the UK, an important early step towards cleaner, low-carbon air travel.
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, and in three dimensions. Here, Professor Clemens Kaminski describes how a new era of super-resolution microscopy has begun. The developments earned inventors Eric Betzig and William E Moerner (USA) and Stefan Hell (Germany) the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and are based on clever...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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A tiny sketchbook that brings to life one of the most famous voyages in history has been digitised and made available online for the first time. The intricate pencil drawings and watercolours in the sketchbook were made by Conrad Martens, shipmate to Charles Darwin as they travelled around South America on the voyage of HMS Beagle. Now, for the first time, all of Martens’ Beagle sketches have been made freely available online through Cambridge University Library’s Digital Library:...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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On display at the Whipple Library, Cambridge, is a book described as the 'most important book in the history of scientific racism' Current research into this book is revealing how racist ideas travelled between the United States and Europe in the 19th century. Crania Americana, published in Philadelphia in 1839 by Samuel George Morton, is being studied by Cambridge University PhD student James Poskett at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. His research has uncovered, for the...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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A transformational new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) - the result of over three decades of research in Cambridge -- has now been approved by the EU agency responsible for regulating new drugs. In recognition of the highly effective new treatment, the University of Cambridge has produced this video which explores the history of the drug, showing the many challenges as well as successes experienced during the course of this development. For more information, visit:...
Research Horizons
Jul 6, 2015 Cambridge University
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How does a Killer T Cell Kill its target? Our new film captures the behaviour of cytotoxic T cells – the body’s ‘serial killers’ – as they hunt down and eliminate cancer cells before moving on to their next target.
Research Horizons
Jun 17, 2015 Cambridge University
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Technology developed in Cambridge at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology lies at the heart of a commercial process that can turn toothpaste tubes and drinks pouches into both aluminium and fuel in just three minutes. The process recycles a form of packaging – plastic-aluminium laminates – whose only fate was landfill or incineration. Now, in a commercial-scale plant, built and operated by Cambridge spin-out Enval Limited, up to 2,000 tonnes of packaging are recycled a...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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Professor Clare Bryant from Cambridge’s Department of Veterinary Medicine explains how reading AS Byatt’s Possession at a crucial point in her early career reminded her of the excitement of research and persuaded her not to turn her back on her life as a scientist. Here she talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star Wars to...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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Dr Amy Milton from Cambridge’s Department of Psychology relates how Requiem for a Dream, Hubert Selby’s bleak portrayal of drug addiction, motivated her to dedicate her academic career to finding treatments for addiction. Here she talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star Wars to Middlemarch, we find out what fiction has meant to...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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A PhD student in cell biology at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Guy Pearson draws a link between the pursuit of Fancy Day in Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree and the pursuit of scientific discovery. Here he talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star Wars to Middlemarch, we find out what fiction has meant to...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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Karen Yu’s growing love of science as a young girl was galvanised by reading the novelisation of the Star Wars movies (Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas). Her desire to build her own fusion reactor eventually morphed into a PhD in industrial photonics, using lasers for nanoscale manufacturing (if not for lightsabers), at Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. Here she talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the...
Research Horizons
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Dr Juliet Foster’s ongoing fascination with the portrayal of mental illness in literature was triggered by reading The Madness of a Seduced Woman by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. Today she carries out research in Cambridge’s Department of Psychology. Here she talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star Wars to Middlemarch, we find out...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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In June 1910, Dr Edward Wilson set sail to Antarctica on board the Terra Nova on the British Antarctic Expedition led by Captain Scott. A supremely talented artist, Wilson sketched what he saw – including the majestic albatross. The expedition ended in tragedy. The members of the British expedition perished on their return from the pole having discovered that the Norwegians had got there first. Wilson’s sketchbook was retrieved from the tent where he and his companions spent their last...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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Having decided to become a doctor at the age of 10, Professor Carol Brayne’s love of the novels of Charles Dickens and George Eliot fired up her determination to tackle social inequalities in healthcare. Today she is Director of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health. Here she talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star Wars to...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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A new generation of pollution monitors developed by the University of Cambridge, together with academic and industrial partners, could help gather the evidence essential to tackle poor air quality. Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk, causing one in every eight deaths according to figures released in 2014 by the World Health Organization. The new sensors are small enough to carry, stable enough to be installed as static detectors long-term around a city, and...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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As a child, Dr Paul Coxon from Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, was fascinated by the madcap inventions of the boy hero in Jan Wahl’s SOS Bobmobile (illustrated by Fernando Krahn) – and he still likes to tinker with his own inventions in the lab today. Here he talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated children’s books to Thomas Hardy, from Star...
Research Horizons
Jun 3, 2015 Cambridge University
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As a mineral scientist, Professor Simon Redfern from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences travels widely, and likes his visits to be about more than just the rocks. A recent trip to Kazakhstan was enlivened by reading Jamila by Chinghiz Aitmatov, a novella set in post-war Soviet Kyrgyzstan, on the borders of Kazakhstan. Here he talks about this favourite book as part of ‘Novel Thoughts’, a series exploring the literary reading habits of eight Cambridge scientists. From illustrated...
Research Horizons
Feb 18, 2015 Cambridge University
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On a July day in 1930, British Airship R100 took to the air from a Bedfordshire airfield on its first transatlantic flight. As it made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, 2,000ft in the air, a window opened and Squadron Leader Booth, wearing a pair of rubber gloves, leaned out. In his hand was a Petri dish. This film tells the story of a remarkable experiment, the brain child of Cambridge mycologist Dr W. A. R. Dillon Weston, and his passion for crafting models of fungi spun out of glass. Dr...
Research Horizons
Feb 18, 2015 Cambridge University
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It was thought that no bronzes by Michelangelo had survived - now experts believe they have found not one, but two - with a tiny detail in a 500-year-old drawing providing vital evidence. They are naked, beautiful, muscular and ride triumphantly on two ferocious panthers. And now the secret of who created these magnificent metre-high bronze male nudes could well be solved. A team of international experts led by the University of Cambridge and Fitzwilliam Museum has gathered compelling evidence...
Research Horizons
Jul 30, 2014 Cambridge University
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Ground-breaking new sensing technologies in the world's first 'smart tunnel' are providing engineers with an inexpensive and efficient method of monitoring, maintaining and protecting the UK's infrastructure, now and well into the future. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/the-making-of-a-smart-tunnel
Research Horizons
Jul 30, 2014 Cambridge University
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An anti-fraud laser detector could be used to identify counterfeit banknotes, pharmaceuticals and luxury goods. The prototype was developed with support from the Cambridge Innovation and Knowledge Centre http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/anti-fraud-lasers-and-inks-for-transparent-electronics
Research Horizons
Jul 30, 2014 Cambridge University
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http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/whale-tale-a-dutch-seascape-and-its-lost-leviathan Earlier this year a conservator at the Hamilton Kerr Institute made a surprising discovery while working on a painting owned by the Fitzwilliam Museum. As Shan Kuang removed the old varnish from the surface, she revealed the whale that had been the intended focus of the scene. In 1873 the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, was given a number of Dutch landscape paintings by a benefactor called Richard Kerrick....
Research Horizons
Jul 30, 2014 Cambridge University
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Graphene-based electronic ink paves the way for wearable, printed electronics and sensors, such as heart monitors. The prototype in this film was developed with support from the Cambridge Innovation and Knowledge Centre. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/anti-fraud-lasers-and-inks-for-transparent-electronics
Research Horizons
Jul 30, 2014 Cambridge University
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Seventy years after Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, Cambridge University's Churchill Archives Centre has released a short film (free to embed) commemorating the 'forgotten architect' of D-Day. Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was part of General Eisenhower's inner circle during the months and years of top secret planning that led to Operation Overlord, launched on June 6, 1944. Ramsay was in overall command of Operation Neptune, the unimaginably complex naval and landing operations...
Research Horizons
Mar 21, 2014 Cambridge University
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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman turned a Yorkshire clergyman into a literary celebrity. Three hundred years after his birth on 24 November 1713, Laurence Sterne's quirky take on the novel continues to inspire. Dr Mary Newbould explores Sterne's lasting impact.
Research Horizons
Mar 21, 2014 Cambridge University
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The makers of the beef extract called Bovril were pioneers in the dark arts of marketing. Cambridge University historian Lesley Steinitz explains how that famous black gloop won a cherished place in the heart of the nation. A century and a half ago, a revolution took place in the food industry. A boom in the urban population fuelled a need for the mass production of affordable, non-perishable foodstuffs sold in cans and jars. Advances in processing and manufacturing collided with a burgeoning...
Research Horizons
Mar 21, 2014 Cambridge University
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In December 2013 Professor Michael Green of Cambridge University and Professor John Schwarz of California Institute of Technology were awarded the 2014 Fundamental Physics Prize, one of a series of annual 'Breakthrough Prizes' set up to raise the profile of the physical and biological sciences. Their shared $3 mn prize was given for “opening new perspectives on quantum gravity and the unification of forces”. - See more at:...
Research Horizons
Mar 21, 2014 Cambridge University
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On display at the Whipple Library, Cambridge, is a book described as the 'most important book in the history of scientific racism' Current research into this book is revealing how racist ideas travelled between the United States and Europe in the 19th century. Crania Americana, published in Philadelphia in 1839 by Samuel George Morton, is being studied by Cambridge University PhD student James Poskett at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. His research has uncovered, for the...
Research Horizons
Dec 19, 2013 Cambridge University
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A space mission to create the largest, most-accurate, map of the Milky Way in three dimensions will revolutionise our understanding of the galaxy and the universe beyond. On 19th December 2013, a rocket blasted into the sky from a launch site in French Guiana and travelled 1.5 million km to reach its destination in orbit around the Sun. The spacecraft is called Gaia. Its mission, funded by the European Space Agency and involving scientists from across Europe, is to make the largest, most...
Research Horizons
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Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a novel genetic cause of severe obesity which, although relatively rare, demonstrates for the first time that genes can reduce basal metabolic rate -- how the body burns calories. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/novel-genetic-mutations-cause-low-metabolic-rate-and-obesity
Research Horizons
Oct 21, 2013 Cambridge University
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The Darwin Correspondence Project is researching Charles Darwin's letters and has so far located more than 15,000 he either sent or received. The full texts of these are being published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin (20 vols to date, CUP 1985-), and are also going online on the Project's website with 7500 currently available to read for free (www.darwinproject.ac.uk). Around half the original letters are in the Darwin archive in Cambridge University Library where the Project is based,...
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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Emptied of their contents and filled with water, ostrich eggshells enabled some of our earliest ancestors to colonise arid areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, making hunting trips into areas where rain rarely falls. Archaeologists have also found evidence that these communities decorated the ostrich eggs they used as flasks. This discovery makes fragments of decorated eggshell some of the world's earliest examples of art and the capacity for abstract thought.
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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Researchers can measure an avalanche from start to finish for the first time. This process means that more accurate field data can be gathered from avalanches, enabling communities around the world which are vulnerable to avalanches to make better preparataions for their impact.
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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Study of a unique rock collection -- and its astonishingly beautiful microscopic crystal structures -- could change our understanding of how the Earth works. The collection of igneous rocks, housed at the University of Cambridge's Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, dates back to at least the early 1800s and contains around 160,000 rocks and about 250,000 slide-mounted rock slices that are thin enough to let light through. A research team in Cambridge is using the collection to provide new...
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect - the plant-hopper Issus - showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did. Professor Malcolm Burrows talks about finding the bugs that led to the science, and working with artists Elizabeth Hobbs and Emily Tracy and members of the community in the London borough of Hackney to produce the film 'Waterfolk'. For more information about the natural...
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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Folic acid deficiency can cause severe health problems in offspring, including spina bifida, heart defects and placental abnormalities. A study out today reveals that a mutation in a gene necessary for the metabolism of folic acid not only impacts the immediate offspring but can also have detrimental health effects on the next several generations. The new research, which also sheds light on the molecular mechanism of folic acid (also known as folate) during development
Research Horizons
Oct 4, 2013 Cambridge University
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A noisy restaurant, a busy road, a windy day -- all situations that can be intensely frustrating for the hearing impaired when trying to pick out speech in a noisy environment. What if hearing device wearers could choose to filter out all the troublesome sounds and focus on the voices they want to hear? Dr Richard Turner from the University of Cambridge's Department of Engineering believes that this is fast becoming a possibility. He is developing a system that identifies the corrupting noise...
Research Horizons
Apr 17, 2013 Cambridge University
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In 2010, Dr Stephen Leonard embarked on a year-long trip to live with the Inugguit of north-west Greenland, the northernmost settled people on Earth. His aim was to record the language, stories and songs of these communities. The traditional life of the community and its future is potentially threatened by a number of factors, one of which is climate change. Dr Leonard lived as a member of those communities, travelled on hunts, and recorded and filmed as he went. Here he talks about some of his...
Research Horizons
Apr 17, 2013 Cambridge University
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Research provides insight into feasibility of virus becoming airborne transmissible. It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found.
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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An insect not much bigger than a grain of rice is able to repeatedly jump on the surface of water using specialised paddles on their hind legs, new research reveals. The pygmy mole cricket, which is really more closely related to a grasshopper than a cricket, is only 5mm (1/4 inch) long and weighs less than 10mg. They live in burrows that they dig into the muddy banks alongside fresh water, to include creeks and ponds, in more tropical habitats. On land they can jump as far as 1 metre and as...
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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An innovative project at the University of Cambridge will uncover some of the hidden histories of illuminated manuscripts, thanks to the application of techniques more commonly found in scientific laboratories. The MINIARE project will help conservators repair priceless works of art and provide new insights into the cultural, social and economic circumstances of their production. And, crucially for objects of such rarity and fragility, none of the techniques involves touching the manuscripts or...
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology reopens after a 18-month closure for redevelopment. Home to some of the most important collections of its kind in the UK, the museum has undergone a stunning transformation.
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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In this video interview with John Gurdon, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday 8th October, he talks about the research that revolutionised a field, his hopes for the future, and that now legendary school report.
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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An endangered Greek dialect which is spoken in north-eastern Turkey has been identified by researchers as a "linguistic goldmine" because of its startling closeness to the ancient language, as Cambridge researcher Dr Ioanna Sitaridou explains.
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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When you bury family members in a cemetery, you expect them to stay there. Not so 200 years ago, however, when body snatchers prowled the nation's burial grounds looking for subjects. An acute shortage of bodies eligible for dissection by student doctors in the late 17th century drove this cottage industry until the Anatomy Act of 1832, when dead bodies of all the unclaimed poor could legally undergo dissection. But what was the fate of these bodies after they were exhumed? A new book by...
Research Horizons
Mar 15, 2013 Cambridge University
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One of the earliest Anglo-Saxon Christian burial sites in Britain has been discovered in a village outside Cambridge. The grave of a teenage girl from the mid 7th century AD has an extraordinary combination of two extremely rare finds: a 'bed burial' and an early Christian artefact in the form of a stunning gold and garnet cross. The girl, aged around 16, was buried on an ornamental bed -- a very limited Anglo-Saxon practice of the mid to later 7th century -- with a pectoral Christian cross on...
Research Horizons
Mar 13, 2013 Cambridge University
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New research at the University of Cambridge has lifted the lid on an unusual Spanish globe. Until now, the globe in the University of Cambridge's Whipple Museum of the History of Science has been shrouded in mystery: where, when and why was it made? Who would have used it? Most fundamentally, what is it -- some kind of scientific instrument or a child's toy? The globe (c. 1907) is unlike any other currently known. Inside are beautiful illustrations, encyclopaedic entries and a planetarium that...
Research Horizons
Mar 12, 2013 Cambridge University
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Fryderyk Chopin is one of the most enduring composers of all time, universally celebrated for the originality and expressive power of his music. But Chopin is as frustrating as he is fascinating, because he rarely left behind just one version of his works. More often, there are three, four or more versions -- any number of which might be an authoritative representation of how he wanted the piece to sound. Listeners, performers and researchers alike may find this liberating as well as...
Research Horizons
Mar 12, 2013 Cambridge University
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The Balfour Chair of Genetics was established at Cambridge in 1912. As part of its centenary celebrations the Department of Genetics has produced a short film following the development of the subject in the University over the past 100 years. In the early 20th century the establishment of genetic research in Britain was driven primarily by William Bateson. As Steward of St John's College and later Professor of Biology in the University,  Bateson played a key role in demonstrating the...
Research Horizons
Mar 12, 2013 Cambridge University
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Some of the world's oldest engravings of the human form -- prehistoric rock art from the Italian Alps -- have been brought to life by the latest digital technology. P • I • T • O • T • I • is an innovative research project that applies insights from the new technologies of computer graphics to prehistoric pictures, specifically the rock art of Valcamonica, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It brings to life some of the earliest human figures in European rock art -- some made from...
Research Horizons
Mar 12, 2013 Cambridge University
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Scientists at Cambridge University take a closer look at algae and examine its potential as a renewable source of energy. In the near future algae could be used as a sustainable, carbon neutral biofuel.
Research Horizons
Jul 25, 2012 Cambridge University
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The placenta is the interface between the mother and her baby, which means it is not only key to a successful pregnancy, it determines the future health of every one of us. In this film Professor Graham Burton discusses how the Trophoblast Centre was established to generate a fresh approach into placental research. The Centre focuses on common complications during pregnancy that have their roots in poor placental development -- such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth and low birth weight...
Research Horizons
Jun 22, 2012 Cambridge University
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Saturday 23 June 2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing - mathematical genius, hero of the WWII code breakers of Bletchley Park, and father of modern computing. Alan Turing was a mathematician, cryptographer and pioneer of computer science who possessed one of the greatest brains of the 20th century. His life was one of secret triumphs shadowed by public tragedy. Presented by Dr James Grime, Enigma Project Officer at the University's Millenium Mathematics Project
Research Horizons
Oct 14, 2011 Cambridge University
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In 2010, Dr Stephen Leonard embarked on a year-long trip to live with the Inughuit of north-west Greenland who live in the northernmost permanently inhabited settlement in the world. His aim was to record the marginal language, stories and songs of these communities - all of which are potentially threatened by a range of factors, one of which is climate change. Dr Leonard lived as a member of those communities, travelled on hunts, and recorded and filmed as he went. Here is lecture he gave at...
Research Horizons
Nov 4, 2010 Cambridge University
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The remarkable story of a daring World War II operation in which hundreds of people fleeing the Japanese advance through Burma were rescued by elephant is to be told in full for the first time. The expedition was organised by Gyles Mackrell, a British tea planter who shot amateur films during its course. Stills reproduced by kind permission of the Imperial War Museum (C4322/C5021/C5348/CI293)