Research stories in the Faculty of Science

A leaf

Developing more valuable biofuel plants

Professor Peter Fleming, an expert in the developmental biology of plants, is working with colleagues to increase the economic potential of plants grown for biofuel. The research could also lead to the development of plants capable of withstanding some of the effects of climate change, such as drought.
Coastal plastic waste Jesse Harrison found during fieldwork

Microbes could protect marine life from plastic pollution

Thanks to groundbreaking research from experts at the University of Sheffield, Marine life could be protected from the lethal effects of plastic pollution. The researchers have found that coastal microbes could be a potential 'clean-up' solution.
The sun

Mega-tsunami hits House of Commons

Solar physicists from the University have made an important discovery which sheds light on mega-tsunamis on the Sun. The discovery, which will help to solve the mystery of why the atmosphere of the sun is much hotter than its surface, was recently announced in the House of Lords.
Dr Lee Thompson

Particle physics know-how could save lives

The discovery of life-saving new drugs could be accelerated following a project between the University of Sheffield and local company LabLogic Systems. The two-year research partnership aims to develop a new generation of LabLogic's BetaRAM detector, which tracks the movement of potential new pharmaceuticals through the body.
Space shuttle

A volatile issue - the quest for safer, 'greener' energy sources

Chemist Dr Peter Portius is exploring the molecular structure and reactivity of energetic compounds, with the ultimate goal of finding chemical systems which could efficiently store and release energy without creating greenhouse gases.
Global computing network

The biggest advance in computing since the Web

In 1989 physicists at CERN pioneered the World Wide Web, which has radically altered our lives. Now CERN has developed what many believe will be the next big leap forward in computing, and researchers from the University's Department of Physics and Astronomy are involved in the project.