Archived research projects

Completed studies

A genetic analysis of smoking and low birth weight

This study has utilised the pregnant woman’s genetic make-up to investigate the relationship between smoking and birth weight. It has strengthened the evidence that smoking during pregnancy causes low birth weight in full term babies. A growing body of evidence has suggested an association between smoking and low birth weight, with mothers who smoke giving…

A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2012

This horizon scanning exercise presents 15 key issues that, although currently receiving little attention, may be of increasing importance to the conservation of biological diversity in the future. The issues presented in this piece of research were identified by a diverse team of 22 experts in horizon scanning, and conservation science and its application. Methods for…

A systematic review into biodiversity and health

This study has reviewed existing research into whether environments with high biodiversity are health promoting. It has found that overall the evidence is inconclusive and fails to identify a specific role for biodiversity in the promotion of better health.

Are chemical pollutants changing patterns of disease?

We are exposed to countless man-made chemical contaminants throughout our lives and exposures to some (such as nanomaterials) have only just begun. This project will evaluate the evidence that contaminants within our bodies may be causing significant changes to patterns of disease. Industrial chemicals allow us to sustain the global population and improve health and…

Assessing the impact of waste metals

This project is working with the University of Exeter Aquatic Resources Centre (ARC) to assess the impact of waste metals on estuarine ecosystems in and around the Fal River, Cornwall, UK. The upper reaches of the Fal estuary are heavily contaminated with waste metals, particularly harmful anthropogenic toxins, following a rich heritage of mining within…

Building a three dimensional model of the skin

This research is seeking to reproduce a tissue engineered model of human skin within the laboratory environment. The model is comprised of skin cells isolated from excess skin following surgery, these cells are then “reassembled” in the lab to produce a tissue which is representative of the human skin. The traditional model of investigating the…

Climate change won’t reduce winter deaths

This study has found that climate change is unlikely to reduce the UK’s excess winter death rate as previously thought. It is published in Nature Climate Change and debunks the widely held view that warmer winters will cut the number of deaths at this time of year.