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Eavesdropping babies, 100 million-year-old fish slime, and other discoveries from UoM in January

With the stress of exams, not to mention full timetables of revision and study, January can seem to fly by without an opportunity to take notice of some of the weird and wonderful discoveries coming from the Uni.

We’re at the end of the month and once again we’re sharing our favourite discoveries from University of Manchester researchers
Here’s what happened in January:

100 million-year-old fossilised fish slime shakes up our family tree

Manchester researchers as part of an international team have uncovered evolutionary secrets hidden in the 100-million-year-old fossil of a hagfish – a slimy, eel-like scavenger that lived in an ancient ocean! This discovery changes our view of the evolutionary lineage that gave rise to modern-day jawed vertebrates, from bony fish to humans.

A giant interstellar bubble being blown in the Andromeda Galaxy

An international team of astrophysicists, including researchers from The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, have discovered that a remarkable star has been continuously erupting, on an annual basis, for millions of years.

Newborn babies have inbuilt ability to pick out words, finds study

Be careful what you say around newborns! An international team with representatives from Manchester discovered two mechanisms in 3-day-old infants, which give them the skills to pick out words in a stream of sounds.

Manchester scientists use Nobel-prize winning chemistry for clean energy breakthrough

Clean energy is going to be a huge part of our future and Manchester researchers have been making huge steps to making it even cleaner. Scientists have used a Nobel-prize winning Chemistry technique on a mixture of metals to potentially reduce the cost of fuel cells used in electric cars and reduce harmful emissions from conventional vehicles.

Scientists bring new insight into how animals see

Ever wanted to turn the brightness up on the world? Probably not, but scientists from The University of Manchester have found a way to trick the eye into thinking the world is brighter than it actually is. Though more research is needed, the study provides new insight into how the retina communicates with the brain when animals respond to different situations.

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