University of Manchester discoveries set to change the world

You may have heard of the phrase “research-intensive university” and Manchester is built on research (we’re ranked fifth in the UK for research power). But what does it mean for you as a student?

It means the chance to learn in an environment where academic enquiry seeks to truly change the world.

Here’s just some Manchester research examples that are creating solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.

Contributing to the fight against coronavirus

Our people are working together and with partners from across society to understand coronavirus (COVID-19) and its wide-ranging impacts on our lives. Some of our leading experts and researchers involved have taken part in a collection of COVID Catalysts flash lectures that showcase ideas and innovation from across the University.

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Graphene sieve turns seawater into drinking water

Graphene, a 2D material originally isolated in 2004, has been used to create graphene-oxide membranes that can remove the common salts from seawater, making it safe to drink. This research will help provide clean drinking water for millions of people who struggle to access adequate clean water sources.

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Solar cell defect mystery solved

Solar panels are among the most available system of generating energy through renewable sources, however the majority only achieve 20% efficiency. Our research has identified a key material defect, leading to improvements in efficiency and helping to develop solar panels as a green energy alternative.

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Human brain supercomputer used to understand Parkinson’s disease

Manchester houses the world’s largest neuromorphic supercomputer capable of completing more than 200 million million actions per second. This machine is helping neuroscientists better understand how our own brain works, especially in the area of Parkinson’s disease, meaning it has potential for neurological breakthroughs in science such as pharmaceutical testing.

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India’s childhood leukaemia survival rate rises to 80%

Work led by Professor Vaskar Saha, a paediatrician from The University of Manchester, means that around 80% of children with the most common childhood cancer are now likely to survive following treatment at major centres across India, thanks to his revolutionary approach. Professor Vaskar Saha, has helped cure children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) by 15% during the five years he has led the ICICLE (Indian Childhood Collaborative Leukaemia Group) clinical project, in partnership with Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata.

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Smell of skin could lead to early diagnosis for Parkinson's

Our scientists have found small molecules contained in a substance secreted by the skin, known as sebum, are responsible for a unique scent in people with Parkinson’s. The results could lead to the development of an early diagnosis test for the neurodegenerative disorder. At present there are no definitive diagnostic tests currently available.

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