Researchers at the University of Southampton have discovered that more vitamin D during pregnancy gives children stronger muscles.
Low vitamin D status has been linked to reduced muscle strength in adults and children, but little is known about how variation in a mother’s status during pregnancy affects her child.
Vitamin D levels were measured in 678 mothers in the later stages of pregnancy. When the children were four years old, grip strength and muscle mass were measured. Results showed that the higher the levels of vitamin D in the mother, the higher the grip strength of the child.
Lead researcher Dr Nicholas Harvey, Senior Lecturer at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton said, “These associations between maternal vitamin D and offspring muscle strength may well have consequences for later health.
"Muscle strength peaks in young adulthood before declining in older age and low grip strength in adulthood has been associated with poor health outcomes including diabetes, falls and fractures."
The University of Southampton is to receive part of £18m funding to turn food waste into renewable energy.
The unique project will get a share of the money with 12 other new industrial networks in bioenergy and biotechnology.
The funding by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council aims to boost the relationship between academic research and promoting the benefits for the UK.
Universities Minister David Willetts, who also represents Havant, said:
To get ahead in the global race we need to turn our world-beating science and research into world-beating products and services, as set out in our Industrial Strategy. These networks will unlock the huge potential of biotechnology and bioenergy, such as finding innovative ways to use leftover food, and creating chemicals from plant cells.”
– David Willetts, Universities Minister, who also represents Havant
A study by the University of Southampton has shown that paracetamol and ibuprofen provide no overall advantage for patients with colds or sore throats.
It also found that steam inhalation had no clear benefit and two per cent of people had received mild scalding from the steam.
Paracetemol, ibuprofen or a combination of both are the most common courses of treatment for respiratory tract infections. Clinicians should probably not advise patients to use steam inhalation in daily practice as it does not provide symptomatic benefit for acute respiratory infections and a few individuals are likely to experience mild thermal injury. Similarly, routinely advising ibuprofen or ibuprofen and paracetemol together than just paracetemol is also not likely to be effective. However our research has shown that ibuprofen is likely to help children, and those with chest infections.
– Prof Paul Little, who led the study
The research also showed that patients were more likely to come back within a month with worsening or new symptoms if they were prescribed with ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of participants in the study who were prescribed ibuprofen or paracetamol came back.
£10m has been awarded to the University of Southampton to develop new world-class engineering research facilities. Outdated equipment will be replaced, with much of the money spent on marine and maritime sciences.
There will be major investment in the new buildings at the university's new Boldrewood Campus as part of government moves to inject funding into the technologies of the future.
The UK’s world-class universities are at the forefront of our economic recovery. It’s vital we do everything we can to encourage collaboration with the private sector and boost funding for research.
– David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science
A Southampton University study found that working shift patterns made it harder for women to conceive.
The study compares the impact of working non-standard working schedules with that in women not working shifts.
Led by Dr Yin Cheong, a senior lecturer at Southampton University, and Dr Stocker included data on 119,345 women and found that those working shifts had a 33 per cent higher rate of menstrual disruption than those working regular hours.
Whilst we have demonstrated an association between shift work and negative early reproductive outcomes, we have not proven causation. However, if our results are confirmed by other studies, there may be implications for shift workers and their reproductive plans. Our findings may have implications for women attempting to become pregnant as well as employers."
– Dr Stocker, University of Southampton clinical researcher
University of Southampton student Hannah Brown has won an international canoeing competition.
The 23-year-old from Bradford-on-Avon came first in the Women's Wildwater Canoeing Sprint World Championship in Solkan, Slovenia.
Hannah has just completed a Marine Biology with Oceanography degree getting a first-class honours and took the win by more than half a second, which is a big margin in water sports.
She originally came through the ranks at Southampton through the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme and then as a Sports Bursary Scholarship athlete.
Hannah said: "The world championships are the pinnacle of a sporting season and to be able to win on an individual level is unbelievable.
"I think this success is a combination of so many pieces coming together within the University and my training life. It shows that with dedication and skill it is possible to combine academic life and sporting excellence."
The findings produced by researchers from museums and universities in Belgium and the UK, such as Southampton University, contradict previous theories that the reptiles were the last survivors from the Cretaceous period (the time span between 145 and 66 million years ago).
Research has shown that the ichthyosaurs appeared during the Triassic and Jurassic period and survived into the Cretaceous which suggests the end of the Jurassic extinction did not occur for the species.
The fact they survived the Jurassic period makes their fossil record unique from other marine reptile groups.