Live updates

UEA scientists say they've worked out why men exist by studying beetles.

Tribolium flour beetles Credit: UEA

Scientists at the University of East Anglia say they've worked out why men exist, by studying the habits of beetles.

Biologists have long puzzled over why males have survived given that their only contribution to reproduction is sperm.

In evolutionary terms, scientists say it makes more sense to have an all-female asexual population which creates daughters who can reproduce rather than sons who can not.

But new research suggests that sexual competition for mates keeps the population healthy and free of disease, keeping it genetically diverse.

Scientists studied a colony of Tribolium flour beetles and watched them evolve for 10 years under controlled laboratory conditions.

In some groups 90 beetles had to compete for the affections of 10 females, while in others females far outnumbered the males.

After 7 years or 50 generations of the beetles, researchers found that males who had competed the most for female attention were fitter and more resistant to disease and inbreeding.

In contrast beetles without sexual selection became extinct after 10 generations.

"These results show that sexual selection is important for population health and persistence, because it helps to purge negative and maintain positive genetic variation in a population. To be good at out-competing rivals and attracting partners in the struggle to reproduce, an individual has to be good at most things, so sexual selection provides an important and effective filter to maintain and improve population genetic health."

– Prof Matt Gage, UEA

The research has been published in the Journal of Nature called 'Sexual selection protects against extinction'.

UEA students use replica home to help train for the care industry

The University of East Anglia may have a population of 15,000 students but it's also where you'll find a unique bungalow with all the mod cons to help the elderly, disabled and frail have greater independence in their own homes.

The replica home helps students, health professionals and care home staff in their training but it's also where patients, family and carers can come to see the latest gadgets.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray.

Advertisement

University home showcases new help for the old

UEA bungalow opens to patients and carers Credit: ITV ANGLIA

The University of East Anglia has opened a high-tech bungalow to show how elderly, disabled and frail people can have greater independence in their own homes.

It allows those inside to close doors and windows, control the television and to operate a video intercom system without getting up.

It's used for training students but now it's hoped it will help patients and carers see how lives can be improved .

Norwich: Bid to get people to wee in the shower receives a "mixed reaction"

People are being encouraged to wee in the shower. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The UEA students behind a campaign to get people to urinate in the shower instead of using the toilet admit they've received a "mixed reaction".

The '#gowiththeflow' project was dreamt up by Debs Torr and Chris Dobson who based the idea on the success of a similar campaign in Brazil.

Chris Dobson and Debs Torr are asking people to declare their habits on Twitter and Facebook. Credit: ITV News Anglia

They hope to get all 15,000 students at the university to take part - and are asking them to declare their habits on Twitter and Facebook.

"We've certainly had mixed reactions about it.

Some people kind of recoil, saying why would you do that?

But if you look at the science, it's all there and it's a really good way to get people talking.

We've had a lot of debate."

– Debs Torr, University of East Anglia student

Norwich: UEA students encouraged to urinate in the shower to save water

The UEA in Norwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Students are being encouraged to urinate in the shower to save water.

The campaign, called 'gowiththeflow', has been dreamt up by Debs Torr and Chris Dobson at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich.

They hope to get all 15,000 students at the university to take part - and are asking them to declare their habits on Twitter and Facebook.

"We've done the maths, and this project stands to have a phenomenal impact.

With 15,000 students at UEA, over a year we would save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times over.

Imagine how big an impact it could have if we could get everyone in East Anglia, or even the UK, to change their morning habits."

– Chris Dobson

The contentious idea has received a mixed reaction but they estimate that £125,000 could be saved per year if the entire UEA student population took part.

The pair are representing UEA in the Npower Future Leaders Challenge, encouraging students to devise an environmental initiative on their campus.

Advertisement

Research breakthrough into antibiotic resistance

Professor Changjiang Dong, University of East Anglia Credit: ITV News Anglia

Scientists at the University of East Anglia in Norwich have released research which could lead to finding a solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

The research they've carried out could help in the development of a new type of drug to kill superbugs.

It comes as the World Health Organisation warns that antibiotics are becoming less effective in treating some common conditions.

Professor Changjiang Dong from the UEA said. "We have identified the path and gate used by the bacteria to transport barrier building blocks to the outer surface. Importantly, we have demonstrated that the bacteria would die if the gate is locked.

The number of superbugs are increasing at an unexpected rate, this research provides the platform for urgently needed new generation drugs."

Researchers says this discovery may pave the way to a new generation of antibiotic drugs.

Soil bacteria could help slow down global warming

The research was carried out by scientists at the UEA. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Scientists based in Norwich say a bacteria found in soil could help slow down global warming.

The research from the University of East Anglia shows how a specific type breaks down natural gasses like methane, before they're released into the environment.

Scientists say the bacteria could help in the fight against global warming Credit: ITV News Anglia

Those microbes can be used to tackle gas leaks from fracking. The effect of methane on global warming is more than 20 times greater than carbon dioxide .

Research suggests gastric surgery can half the risk of heart attacks

The waist of an obese woman Credit: PA Images

Researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich have found gastric surgery can halve the risk of heart attacks in obese people.

Doctors reviewed data from 14 studies of more than 29,000 patients who had undergone an operation to reduce the size of their stomachs to help them lose weight.

The surgery was also found to reduce death rates by 40 per cent.

Load more updates