Our top stories this academic year
A great estate
The University’s transformational campus redevelopment project forged ahead, in Edgbaston and at our other sites. Underpinning the entire project is the desire to open up the University for the benefit of all – and no single project encapsulates this more than the opening of the University of Birmingham School, which will welcome its first pupils in September. On the Edgbaston site, the frame of our state-of-the art new sports centre is now in place, with just under a year to go until students, staff and the community will be able to use the facilities to achieve personal sport and fitness goals. Meanwhile, our inspirational library recently reached its highest point in the centre of campus where, when complete, it will front our striking new green park.
Another time, an Other Place
The University’s Shakespeare Institute entered into a five-year collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company at The Other Place which will see the resurrection of the iconic Stratford-upon-Avon theatre venue which closed in 2005.
Antibiotic resistance: knowing the enemy
Scientists led by the University of Birmingham identified a new mechanism of antibiotic resistance in bacterial cells which could contribute towards greater understanding and the development of solutions to the problem.
Astro-archaeological find from dawn of Time
Birmingham scientists discovered a solar system with five Earth-sized planets dating from the dawn of the galaxy. Keplar 444 was formed 11.2 billion years ago when the universe was less than 20 per cent of its current size.
An international collaborative paleontological research study involving the University of Birmingham discovered a bizarre ‘platypus’ dinosaur in Chile which, although related to the notorious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, is a new lineage that evidently preferred to graze on plants.
Fighting obesity in China’s children
Academics from Birmingham engaged with grandparents in China to help to tackle the growing problem of obesity in Chinese children, in a trailblazing public health programme. Through quizzes, interactive activities and behavioural programmes, it is hoped to change perceptions and encourage older child carers to support healthier lifestyles.
The forgetful side of memory
A study from Birmingham revealed how intentional recall can lead to people forgetting competing experiences that interfere with memory retrieval. The study is the first to isolate the so-called adaptive forgetting mechanisms in the brain.
Taking ‘cold’ seriously
The University launched a policy commission, Doing Cold Smarter, which will investigate how the growing demand for ‘cold’ and ‘cooling’, to tackle global hunger, disease and population growth, can be met without causing environmental ruin.
Insight into the ‘love’ hormone
Researchers at Birmingham highlighted significant similarities between the behavioural effects of the neurochemical oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, and alcohol.