Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Induction week

Last week was a busy period for staff and students as we welcomed back our second and final years and met 220 excited first years who were keen to start their studies. The school held a series of events introducing the new cohort to the academic staff and core laboratory facilities. This was accompanied by a well-attended social event in the graduation tent on the Hoe on Wednesday evening and our annual social trip to Mount Edgcumbe on Friday. Fortunately the sun shined enabling Drs. Foey, Breese and Belshaw to play touch rugby with the energetic students, whereas others preferred the delights of the park and the Edgcumbe Arms.

Graduation 2012-13

Graduation was held on the Hoe on the 16th September celebrating the hard work and achievements of our 2012-13 cohort of students.  Family, friends and staff were delighted to see so many smiling faces and were ‘enlightened’ by the wisdom of Gilberts and George’s Ten Commandments for life.  Staff wish graduates all the best for the future and please keep us up to date about your subsequent success.

Society of Biology award winner for the highest aggregate mark in the school Sean Kelly, with Christine Fry (L) and Mairi Knight (R)

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Lecturer Gail Rees on TV talking about recent nutrition and health study

Click here for ITV Westcountry interview and read press release below (covered in Times and Daily Mail).

Expert reaction to substance found in broccoli, metabolism and ageing, as published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition*

 Dr Gail Rees, Lecturer in Human Nutrition, Plymouth University, said:

“This is an exciting study that demonstrates how eating broccoli benefits our metabolism. It is of huge scientific interest as we are now starting to unravel exactly which components of fruit and vegetables are responsible for good health and what the specific effects are.

“The study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is particularly important because it shows the advantages of eating regular but reasonable portion sizes of a special type of broccoli high in glucoraphanin. The study also demonstrates that the response to eating this type of broccoli is dependent on genetic makeup, so how beneficial it is to your health varies according to your genetics.

“We must remember that there are thousands of bioactive components in fruit and vegetables and we need to have a mixture of different types daily. This novel type of broccoli, grown to have a high amount of this particular bioactive component, is not yet widely available in the UK and may have cost implications for consumers.

“The best advice is to continue to consume at least five portions of different fruit and vegetables per day as part of a healthy diet. Reduction of cancer risk and healthy ageing are also dependent on decreasing alcohol and fat consumption, reducing smoking, lowering body weight and regular exercise. This study was carried out on 48 people so it was a fairly small study and may now need to be carried out on a larger sample size to ensure the results are representative of the wider population.”

*Armah CN, Traka MH, Dainty JR , Defernez M, Janssens A, Leung W, Doleman JF, Potter JF, and Mithen RF
(2013) A diet rich in high-glucoraphanin broccoli interacts with genotype to reduce discordance in plasma metabolite profiles by modulating mitochondrial function. Am J Clin Nutr 98: 712-722