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News

There's always something new to read about the Faculty, whether it's a new discovery by one of our academics, an award won by one of our students, or an upcoming event.

Most press releases will specify media contacts, but if in doubt, please get in touch with our Media Relations Officer Jamie Brown at jamie.brown@manchester.ac.uk or on +44 (0)161 275 8383.

Latest news

Mould discovery in lungs paves way for helping hard to treat asthma
(15 January 2018)

A team at The University of Manchester have found that in a minority of patients they studied, the standard treatment for asthma -  oral steroids -  was associated with increased levels of the treatable mould Aspergillus in the lung.

School pupils work with university experts to promote mental health
(11 January 2018)

Students from a girls’ grammar school have worked with educational psychologists from The University of Manchester to develop an accessible and appealing mental health strategy for their school.

Osteoarthritis could be treated as two diseases, scientists reveal
(10 January 2018)

Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered that most people with osteoarthritis can be subdivided into two distinct disease groups, with implications for diagnosis and drug development.

Disease discoveries unlock door to diagnosis and new treatments
(8 January 2018)

An international team of scientists and doctors has identified a family of five new genetic diseases which are likely to affect more than 1 in 5000 children

University health and business experts among those honoured by the Queen
(29 December 2017)

Five members of The University of Manchester have been honoured by the Queen in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list.

Self-injury more about coping than a cry for help
(18 December 2017)

New research has revealed that most people who harm themselves do it as a way to deal with their emotional pain, rather than a cry for help.

Screening could catch a quarter of hip fractures before they happen
(18 December 2017)

Community screening for osteoporosis could prevent more than a quarter of hip fractures in older women – according to new research.

Scientists rewrite our understanding of how arteries mend
(13 December 2017)

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered how the severity of trauma to arterial blood vessels governs how the body repairs itself.

Researchers bring new insight into devastating genetic disease
(12 December 2017)

A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health and University of Manchester have uncovered new insights into a rare genetic disease, with less than 500 cases of the disease on record, which devastates the lives of children.

Major cause of dementia discovered
(12 December 2017)

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of a major cause of dementia, with important implications for possible treatment and diagnosis.

Emma beats adversity to win nursing degree first
(8 December 2017)

A nursing student and single mum of two, has defied the odds to achieve a first as a Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) at the University of Manchester.

Time of day affects test results for asthma, researchers find
(8 December 2017)

New research presented today (Friday 8th December) at the British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting shows the human body clock significantly impacts on sample results used to diagnose and treat asthma when taken at different times of the day. This may have implications for how asthma is diagnosed and treated in the future.

Disease caused by reduction of most abundant cellular protein identified
(7 December 2017)

An international team of scientists and doctors has identified a new disease that results in low levels of a common protein found inside our cells.

Blood test could help predict skin cancer’s return
(6 December 2017)

Scientists at the CRUK Manchester Institute, based at The University of Manchester, have discovered that testing skin cancer patients’ blood for tumour DNA could help predict the chances of an aggressive cancer returning.

Now Mugabe is gone, there is a chance to get HIV/AIDS under control
(30 November 2017)

Fortunate Machingura, University of Manchester

In Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the poor and the marginalised with HIV/AIDS lived on borrowed time. Although there were significant strides in reducing the country’s HIV prevalence from an average of 27% in the 1990s to less than 15% in 2017, those pushed into extreme poverty continue to fight a daily battle against corruption and prejudice which limits their access to vital treatment, support and care. Now Mugabe is gone there is a glimmer of hope. But Zimbabwe’s new leaders need to take action quickly before more lives are lost.

In rural Goromonzi, in eastern Zimbabwe, during my ethnographic enquiry in 2014, I met over 100 people living with HIV/AIDS. All had distressing stories and accounts. I particularly remember meeting 33-year-old Charity (not her real name) at the rural home where she had lived with her husband, Tino, and their three children. They seemed to sum up what life was like to be poor and afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.

When we met, Charity looked at me intently, as if she wanted to break me with her eyes. Although Charity and Tino lived together, they barely talked – afraid of upsetting each other. I sat next to Charity and opposite her was the emaciated and silent Tino who leaned on soft pillows. Neither spoke for several moments. Charity interrupted the long silence and began to speak calmly, with her head slightly bowed, but maintaining constant eye contact with me:

"I am on ARVs [antiretrovirals]. Our children are HIV negative thanks to the ARVs. Tino is not on HIV treatment and won’t go back to the clinic because it’s very far … his wounds are not healing. The people in the community are also very unfriendly because he is gay … We have nothing here. No jobs in Zimbabwe, our children do most of the work in nearby farms, Rudo [their eldest daughter] stopped going to school because we couldn’t raise the exam fees. For these ARVs to work, we need food, and it’s a struggle to get food.“

Charity described the times she had to deal with depression along with the recurrent fungal skin infections that are common among immune-suppressed individuals. Like Tino, Charity’s mental and physical health worsened with time and as she narrated her experience, by turns, she appeared to display a range of negative emotions, from extreme depression, through to anxiety, anger, and hopelessness. They were in despair.

This case is emblematic of what happens when HIV infection, poverty, sexuality and poor access to treatment all come together. Although progress has been made and the number of new HIV infections has reduced, the downfall of Robert Mugabe offers Zimbabwe another opportunity to recalibrate the HIV/AIDS trajectory to leave no one behind – by prioritising and fast-tracking actions for the poorest and most marginalised people.

The success of which will depend ultimately on how Emmerson Mnangagwa frames the discourse of development going forward. But here are three quick wins for him to consider.


A township in rural Zimbabwe (Fortunate Machingura, author provided)

Stop new HIV infections

The Zimbabwe Health Ministry and its National AIDS Council will need to continue strengthening explicit and proactive HIV/AIDS programs that target women and girls, disabled people, the elderly, prisoners and people in remote rural areas, male and female sex workers, people in same-sex relationships and those living in extreme poverty.

These groups suffer discrimination and disadvantage and experience a higher risk of preventable and premature death due to HIV/AIDS. While it is noble to target everyone, the benefits of development will continue to advantage the better off groups first and worst off groups later, widening the gap between them. There is a moral responsibility to give greater voice to people like Tino and Charity so that they can participate in the process and help improve it.

Invest in electronic health records

To measure progress, detailed information about the most vulnerable needs to be available. President Mnangagwa’s government should aim to reshape civil registration and finance the roll-out of electronic based counting systems, such as the Electronic Health Records (EHR). Keeping track of a single patient on ARVs can be complicated. Doing it for a low-income country with over 13% HIV prevalence while coping with high demand for treatments of all sorts of outbreaks and a sputtering economy magnifies the complexity.

This is why investing in the roll-out of the already piloted Zimbabwe EHR – which can provide high-quality data security, storage and analysis in some of the busiest HIV/AIDS clinics in the nation – is crucial.


Zimbabwe’s interim president, Emmerson Mnangagwa (EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI)

Address corruption

Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The people’s dissatisfaction with the government’s corruption was reflected in the recent anti-Mugabe demonstrations following General Chiwenga’s famous ”operation restore legacy“ which aims to punish all criminals and restore justice.

Corruption not only continues to challenge electoral democracy but also feeds the seeds of inequality, creating a vicious cycle of crime, poverty and the unequal distribution of power and wealth. Poor people and especially marginalised groups living with HIV/AIDS continue to rely on public services that have been weakened by the misappropriation of funds.

The ConversationAddressing corruption means channelling resources back into research, social welfare support, agriculture, education, health and insurance – sectors that mean the most for people like Charity and Tino. But all this cannot be achieved without serious political will from President Mnangagwa to follow up on his commitments.

Fortunate Machingura, Global Challenges Research Fund Post Doctoral Fellow and Lecturer, University of Manchester

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Paul gives the run around in epic 24-hour challenge
(29 November 2017)

An accommodation manager at The University of Manchester is taking in the University’s residential estate in a non-stop 24-hour ultramarathon.

New deal could bring first treatment for rare terminal disorder in children
(27 November 2017)

Scientists from The University of Manchester believe children suffering from Sanfilippo - a rare terminal disorder that affects children’s brains - could be treated successfully for the first time.

New initiative calls for far-reaching changes to UK’s mental health services
(23 November 2017)

A new national initiative backed by David Lammy MP has called for collaboration and far-reaching changes in the use of mental health science and real-life experiences of service users.

Nanobots pass first stage in ‘fantastic voyage’ from fiction to fact
(23 November 2017)

A team of scientists have created a new generation of tiny remote controlled nanorobots which could one day allow doctors to diagnose disease and deliver drugs from within the human body.

Fifth of GPs are foreign and work in poorest communities, research shows
(16 November 2017)

New figures compiled by University of Manchester researchers have revealed that one fifth of practising GPs in England trained abroad and typically work in the country’s most deprived communities.

How robots could solve the antibiotics production crisis
(14 November 2017)

According to the World Health Organisation, there are nowhere near enough new antibiotics in development. But cutting-edge technology gives us a chink of hope in what could otherwise be seen as an intractable problem says Eriko Takano, Professor of Synthetic Biology at The University of Manchester, for World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Our body clocks cause wounds sustained at night to heal more slowly
(9 November 2017)

A new study has discovered how our body clocks cause wounds, such as cuts and burns, to heal approximately 60% faster if the injury happens during the day rather than at night. This could have implications for medical procedures such as surgery and provides targets for developing drugs that improve wound healing, according to the study led by scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Seven-day hospital policy has not reduced weekend mortality, reveals study
(9 November 2017)

The first study to test whether access to consultants and diagnostics at weekends reduces mortality has found no association with weekend death rates.

Time to tackle antibiotic resistance in agriculture
(8 November 2017)

In the run up to the World Health Organisation’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week, Dr Roger Harrison, a Public Health expert from The University of Manchester, explains why antibiotic resistance is not just a cause of concern for doctors

Study shows therapeutic impact of neighbourliness on dementia
(8 November 2017)

New research is showing how being connected with their local community has reaped enormous benefits for people with dementia.

Unretirement - one in four Britons return to work
(1 November 2017)

Around one in four retirees in the UK return to work or ‘unretire’, mostly within five years of retiring, according to research by The University of Manchester and King’s College London.

‘Steep rise’ in self-harm among teenage girls
(19 October 2017)

University of Manchester researchers have found that reports of self-harm in girls aged between 13 and 16 rose by 68% between 2011 and 2014. Overall, girls had much higher rates than boys.

Andy Burnham awarded for his leadership after terror attack
(18 October 2017)

Andy Burnham is this year’s recipient of The University of Manchester’s Doubleday award for his work in the aftermath of May’s Manchester Arena bombing where Twenty-three people were killed and 250 injured.

Found: factor which delays wound healing
(17 October 2017)

New research carried out at The University of Manchester has identified a bacterium - normally present on the skin- which causes poor wound healing in certain conditions.

New research reveals impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the workplace
(12 October 2017)

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has announced findings from a study conducted in partnership with The University of Manchester that investigates the impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis and adult Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis  in the workplace.