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Could algae help solve our social problems?

Film & Comic Con Event in Swansea  on Saturday 28th will be held in the once used Iceland Store in the High Street. Continuing to build on the success of the previous Film and Comic Cons in Cardiff they hope to bring you some more of your favourite stars from TV, Film and Comics as well as a whole host of fun activities including photo shoots with the stars, panels, autograph sessions and loads of stalls full of TV and Film Memorabilia to browse. The event starts at 10am untill 4pm and admission is free.

Film & Comic Con Swansea

"That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands n'more!"

Dr Simon Dymond (Pictured) Reader in Psychology and Director of the Experimental Psychopathology Lab at Swansea University, is co-author of a new article highlighting the research and published in NeuroImage.  He explained: “We all have a ‘tipping-point’, a switch that occurs when, instead of instinctively approaching rewarding situations and people, we choose to avoid activities, unfamiliar people and events because of the increased potential threat.


“The point we are talking about is the switch between approach to avoidance – the ‘tipping point’.  Or as Popeye famously put it: "That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands n'more!" Our research has cast light on the brain systems involved in this transition.”


“Psychologists have studied this reaction in approach/avoidance experiments:  participants are confronted with situations where they are offered pleasant rewards such as food or money, countered with the occasional presentation of unpleasant events such as losing that food or money or receiving a mild electric shock.  As the likelihood of the unpleasant event occurring increases, people tend to switch from approach to threat-avoidance. This is because it’s often better to protect what you have got, rather than risk losing it.”



IT will be like the opening scene from a James Bond movie this summer when skydivers fly towards Swansea Bay from thousands of feet above.


Swansea Council has now confirmed that the expert Tigers parachute display team have been added to the line-up for the Wales National Airshow on Saturday July 2 and Sunday July 3.


The team, formed in 1986, has performed across the world in locations including Berlin, Kosovo, Cyprus and Denmark.

A joint collaborative programme between the UK and India is working on a bioenergy project where algae could help solve social problems by cleaning industrial effluent.

BREXIT THE MOVIE is a feature-length documentary film to inspire as many people as possible to vote to LEAVE the EU in the June 23rd referendum.

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Temp 12ºC


29 May

Temp 17ºC

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Dr Carole Llewellyn from the Swansea University College of Science recently hosted a visit by two experts from India to see the Swansea University’s CSAR aquaculture and microalgal facilities and to meet Welsh Water and Tata Steel Industry.  


The visitors Professor, N Thajudden, a microbiologist and expert in cyanobacteria from Bharathidasan, Thiruchirappali and Dr V Sivasubramanian, Director of Phycospectrum Environment Research Centre (PERC), an international company based in Chennai, met Carole and Dr Alla Silkina from the College of Science to discuss future projects under the jointly funded UK-BBSRC and India-DBT programme.


This programme is focussed on understanding the interactions between algae and bacteria with the aim of promoting algal growth for bioenergy production. The project is in collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory.


Discussion also included the development of further links in terms of student exchange and algal biotechnology industrial placements.

Photo taken at Swansea University’s algal greenhouse facility Left to right: Dr Alla Silkina, Professor N. Thajuddin, Dr V. Sivasubramanian, Dr Carole Llewellyn.

Jennifer Aniston announces her TV star mother has died after long illness


Jennifer Aniston has announced her mother, television actress Nancy Dow, has died after a long illness.


The Friends star issued a statement confirming Nancy had passed away “peacefully surrounded by family and friends” at the age of 79.


Jennifer had visited her estranged mother for the first time in nearly five years on May 12, according to US magazine In Touch.


In a statement, Jennifer said: “It is with great sadness that my brother John and I announce the passing of our mother Nancy Dow.


“She was 79 years old and passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends after enduring a long illness. We ask that our family’s privacy be respected as we grieve our loss.”

Actress Jennifer Aniston

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New research conducted with Swansea University, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, Florida Institute of Technology, and Reykjavik University has shed light on the brain activity involved in our ‘tipping-point’, a situation where we switch from approach to avoidance in the presence of threat or danger.

Simon Dymond

The researchers devised a unique task to identify the behavioural and neuronal processes underlying peoples’ tipping-points. Dr Dymond, who holds a visiting position at Reykjavik University, said: “The participants’ task was to decide whether to board spaceships (i.e., approach) or refuse to board spaceships (i.e., avoidance). To help decisions, we presented participants with an ‘alien threat meter’, which highlighted the chances of a spaceship being laden with aliens that would steal all their money and supplies. The aim was to earn as much money as possible and prevent alien attacks. In an earlier phase, levels of the threat meter were made aversive by repeatedly pairing them with a loud scream and angry face.


Dr Mike Schlund, Research Scientist at University of North Texas and lead author of the study said: “It is known that dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) are regions implicated in approach-avoidance decisions. Indeed, it is well known that the extent of activation in these regions is related to the complexity of the decisions involved about whether to approach or avoid. However, ventral frontal regions of the brain may also support this decision-making process by increasing activation as the difference between values of choice options increases.


Dr Dymond said: “The alien threat meter task allowed us, for the first time, to track activation along the approach-avoidance continuum. We found that avoidance behaviour, decision times and physiological arousal increased as the likelihood of an alien invasion increased and it produced inverted U-shaped changes in dACC/dmPFC activation. Interestingly, the opposite, U-shaped changes in dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal regions were found at these same points along the approach-avoidance continuum.


“These findings reveal that parallel ventral/dorsal systems modulate human approach-avoidance transitions; as one’s tipping point is reached, and threat becomes ever more likely, avoidance soon becomes the default coping mechanism for dealing with threat. It’s natural that we seek to preserve gains made, but for many people this tendency can lead to a life of excessive, debilitating avoidance, anxiety and depression. Further understanding the brain systems involved in this tipping- point will help to develop effective cognitive-behavioural therapies to overcome excessive avoidance and anxiety.”