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University of Liverpool

Health & Wellbeing

Should we use smartphone apps to treat depression and anxiety?

Apps that claim to be able to help with depression and other mental health issues aren't uncommon, but it's difficult to know whether they're actually providing effective treatment. Now, researchers have looked to gain some concrete information as to how helpful an app can be for patients tackling anxiety and/or depression. The results of the study were positive, but they aren't necessarily indicative of mental health apps as a whole, where a lack of regulation has made it extremely difficult to pick out software that can be trusted.Read More

Science

Unique polymer soaks up CO2

Hydrogen may hold promise as an alternative to fossil fuels, but there's still a huge petrol-producing infrastructure in place, and not many service stations offer hydrogen refills yet. That's why some scientists are exploring a bridging technology known as the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) process, for converting fossil fuels into hydrogen. Along with hydrogen, though, carbon dioxide is also a byproduct of the IGCC process, which must be dealt with. Fortunately, scientists from the University of Liverpool have developed a polymer that soaks up that CO2 for use in other applications. Read More

Environment

Tofu ingredient could clean up solar cell recipe

Tofu has long been touted as a good way to clean out your insides, but now a researcher at the University of Liverpool says an ingredient in tofu could also be used to clean up solar cells. The hope is that the naturally occurring substance could replace a key ingredient in thin film solar cells that is highly toxic and expensive to produce. Read More

Bicycles

University of Liverpool team aims to hit 90 mph in pedal-powered Arion1 Velocipede

Last September, at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain in Nevada, a Dutch team made up of students from TU Delft and VU Amsterdam set the current world speed record of 83.13 mph (133.78 km/h) for an unpaced cyclist on flat ground in the VeloX3. The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULVT) has now announced its intentions to take the title with the Arion1 Velocipede, a bicycle resembling an oversized medicine capsule that has been left out in the sun too long.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Odoreader detects bladder cancer in urine

A new, non-invasive type of test could spell the beginning of a new age in bladder cancer diagnosis. Researchers at the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England in Bristol have created a device that can analyze the odors in urine to catch early signs of this type of cancer. The researchers claim the device has generated an accuracy rate of 100 percent in tests with 98 urine samples.Read More

Good Thinking

'Dry water' could be used to store carbon dioxide

You know, I’m pretty sure I remember a Far Side cartoon or something, where someone was selling powdered water – “Just add water!” Well, dry water isn’t quite the same thing. It’s 95 percent liquid water, but that water takes the form of tiny droplets each encased in a tiny globe of silica. The resultant substance is dry and granular. It first came to light in 1968, and was used in cosmetics. More recently, a University of Liverpool research team has been looking into other potential uses for the substance. They have found several, but most interesting is its ability to store gases such as carbon dioxide. Read More

Science

Physicists find way to hide buildings from earthquakes

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes every year, of which 100,000 will be felt and about 100 will cause damage. Engineers now use seismic vibration control technology - and base isolation in particular – to make buildings more earthquake-proof. But what about existing structures? Researchers from the University of Liverpool have now developed a means of effectively making buildings “invisible” to the destructive path of a quake.Read More

Science

Nanotechnology and rainmaking

Rainmaking has advanced since the days when a ritual dance was believed to invoke the wet stuff, but while modern day cloud seeding has been shown to change the structure and size of clouds, it’s still debatable whether the practice actually has any effect on rainfall. After all, even if precipitation does occur after cloud seeding there’s no way of knowing whether it would have rained anyway. This uncertainty hasn’t stopped widespread use of cloud seeding in countries around the world including the US, Russia, Australia and China, which boasts the largest cloud seeding system in the world. Now a breakthrough by an international team of scientists could help in the development of new materials which could be used to enhance the process.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Scientists move a step closer to being able to make objects invisible

May 4, 2007 A computer model designed by a mathematician at the University of Liverpool has shown that it is possible to make objects, such as aeroplanes and submarines, appear invisible at close range. Scientists have already created an ‘invisibility cloak’ made out of ‘metamaterial’ which can bend electromagnetic radiation – such as visible light, radar or microwaves – around a spherical space, making an object within this region appear invisible. Until now, scientists could only make objects appear invisible from far away. Liverpool mathematician Dr Sebastien Guenneau, together with Dr Frederic Zolla and Professors Andre Nicolet from the University of Marseille, have proven - using a computer model called GETDP - that objects can also be made to appear invisible from close range when light travels in waves rather than beams. Scientists predict that metamaterials could be of use in military technology, such as in the construction of fighter jets and submarines, but it will be some years before invisibility cloaks can be developed for human beings.Read More

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