Research Portal

Research Portal profiles world leading research excellence
at the Queen's University of Belfast

Publications
  • Over a quarter of people in Northern Ireland live with ‘multiple deprivation’ 25 Aug, 2014 More than a quarter (26 per cent) of adults in Northern Ireland live with ‘multiple deprivation’, (lacking three or more basic necessities), and this figure increases among those who experienced violent events during the ‘Troubles’, according to research from Queen’s University Belfast. Among those who lost a close friend during the ‘Troubles’, the multiple deprivation rate rose to 36 per cent. Multiple deprivation means that people live with three or more deprivations, such as lack of food, heating or clothing, due to lack of money. The figures are included in the largest study of poverty and deprivation ever conducted in the UK, The Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom (PSE) project, led by the University of Bristol and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.&...)
  • Queen’s and NASA join forces in major international investigation into ‘solar flares’ 19 Aug, 2014 A major new collaboration between the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) at Queen’s University Belfast and American space agency NASA is set to investigate ‘solar flares’ and their potential to cause disruption here on Earth. Essentially explosions in the Sun’s atmosphere, solar flares result in significant increases in ultra-violet radiation. While the physics behind this phenomenon is still unknown, the increased UV radiation and the associated solar storms can disrupt radio communication and GPS, with potentially dangerous knock-on effects for a range of activities including air-traffic control and search-and-rescue missions. Solar storms can also be associated with the visual spectacle known as the Northern Lights which is caused by charged particles streaming from the Sun. NASA, in conjunction with the Ca...)
  • Queen’s scientists in hospital superbugs breakthrough 18 Aug, 2014 Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have made a breakthrough in the fight against the most resistant hospital superbugs. The team from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s have developed the first innovative antibacterial gel that acts to kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococci and E.coli using natural proteins. The gels have the ability to break down the thick jelly-like coating, known as biofilms, which cover bacteria making them highly resistant to current therapies, while leaving healthy cells unaffected. Dr Garry Laverty, from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University, and lead researcher, said: “When bacteria attach to surfaces, including medical implants such as hip replacements and catheters, they produce a jelly-like substance called the biofilm. This protective layer is almost impossible for curre...)
  • Boost for cancer prevention research 05 Aug, 2014 Queen’s University scientists are helping to spearhead a new £6 million initiative to find better ways to prevent cancer. The new initiative, led by Cancer Research UK with matching investment from the BUPA Foundation, aims to support cutting-edge research to find better ways to prevent cancer. It is estimated that more than four in ten cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, keeping a healthy body weight, cutting back on alcohol, eating a healthy diet, keeping active and staying safe in the sun. Professor Frank Kee, who directs the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health Research in Northern Ireland at Queen’s University, has been invited to join the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the new Cancer Prevention Science Initiative. Professor Kee, from the School of Medicine, Denti...)
  • Queen’s University awarded £500,000 to tackle global food fraud 04 Aug, 2014 Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have received £500,000 to investigate global food fraud and help prevent criminal activity within the industry. The two year project will investigate vulnerabilities in food supply chains and evaluate effective ways to improve consumer trust in food and its producers. Queen’s was awarded one of only five grants from the ‘Understanding the Challenges of the Food System’ call by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Food Standards Agency, under the Global Food Security programme. Professor Chris Elliott and Dr Moira Dean from the Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security and their colleagues from the School of Law & Institute for Study of Conflict Transformation, in collaboration with Dr John Spink from Michigan State University will undertake...)
  • Queen’s scientist to help find new options to treat aggressive breast cancers 01 Aug, 2014 A Queen’s University scientist has been awarded a grant worth around £100,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Campaign to investigate if the protein ‘PIN1’ could be used to provide new options to treat patients with more aggressive forms of breast cancer. 50,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year on average and 12,000 women sadly die from the disease each year on average. Around 15 per cent of breast cancers are found to be ‘triple-negative’- a type of breast cancer that tends to be more aggressive and has limited treatment options.  In some cases of triple-negative breast cancer (and the related ‘basal-like’ breast cancer), a protein called BRCA1 does not work normally. Dr Niamh O’Brien, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’...)
  • Bats use polarised light to navigate 01 Aug, 2014 Queen’s University scientists have discovered that greater mouse-eared bats use polarisation patterns in the sky to navigate, making it the first mammal that is known to do this. The bats use the way the sun’s light is scattered in the atmosphere at sunset to calibrate their internal magnetic compass, which helps them to fly in the right direction, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Despite this breakthrough, researchers have no idea how they manage to detect polarised light. Dr Richard Holland, from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, co-author of the study, said: “We know that other animals use polarisation patterns in the sky, and we have at least some idea how they do it: bees have specially-adapted photoreceptors in their eyes, and birds, fish, amphibians and ...)
  • Queen’s scientist to help find new options to treat aggressive breast cancers 29 Jul, 2014 A Queen’s University scientist has been awarded a grant worth around £100,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Campaign to investigate if the protein ‘PIN1’ could be used to provide new options to treat patients with more aggressive forms of breast cancer. 50,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year on average and 12,000 women sadly die from the disease each year on average. Around 15 per cent of breast cancers are found to be ‘triple-negative’- a type of breast cancer that tends to be more aggressive and has limited treatment options.  In some cases of triple-negative breast cancer (and the related ‘basal-like’ breast cancer), a protein called BRCA1 does not work normally. Dr Niamh O’Brien, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’...)
  • Bats use polarised light to navigate 23 Jul, 2014 Queen’s University scientists have discovered that greater mouse-eared bats use polarisation patterns in the sky to navigate, making it the first mammal that is known to do this. The bats use the way the sun’s light is scattered in the atmosphere at sunset to calibrate their internal magnetic compass, which helps them to fly in the right direction, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Despite this breakthrough, researchers have no idea how they manage to detect polarised light. Dr Richard Holland, from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, co-author of the study, said: “We know that other animals use polarisation patterns in the sky, and we have at least some idea how they do it: bees have specially-adapted photoreceptors in their eyes, and birds, fish, amphibians and ...)
  • Bowel cancer breakthrough may benefit thousands of patients 17 Jul, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University have made a significant breakthrough that may benefit patients with bowel cancer. Dr Sandra van Schaeybroeck and her team have discovered how two genes cause bowel cancer cells to become resistant to treatments used against the disease. The research, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, was published this month in the prestigious international journal Cell Reports. The activity of the two genes, called MEK and MET, was uncovered when the researchers looked at all the different pathways and interactions taking place in bowel cancer cells. Dr van Schaeybroeck and her group found that these bowel cancers switch on a survival mechanism when they are treated with drugs that target faulty MEK genes. But when the researchers added drugs that also block the MET gene, the bowel cancer cells died. The team...)