University of Glasgow front gates. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

World Changers: February 

By Katie McKay

From Extended Research technology, to advanced knowledge of traumatic head injuries, The Glasgow Guardian looks into the world changing research taking place on campus. 

This month in University of Glasgow research sees groundbreaking research in educational technology, medicine, and social justice. 

A UofG report has underlined the power of Extended Reality (XR) technology in education. The study was supported by Meta, and made a series of suggestions to the XR technology industry, as well as the government and education sector. 

The report writes that the XR “represents a significant watershed” in audiovisual technology progression, with devices now based “on the way we naturally interact with the real world”.

“This sense of presence and immersion can offer countless opportunities not just for entertainment and storytelling, but for a wide range of educational experiences too.”

The Advanced Research Centre (ARC) has world-leading facilities, which were used to blend teaching, learning and research with XR technology, which proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The University of Glasgow continues to make world-changing scientific discoveries. A report has revealed that nearly half of people who have suffered a brain injury through sport continue to experience symptoms after six months. 

The study was led by the University of Stirling in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, and revealed that certain sports are more associated with traumatic brain injuries. Horse-riding, skiing, and football are particularly risky.

Data was analysed from over 4,000 patients. Researchers used standard scales to show when someone has not completely recovered, persistent disability or post-concussion symptoms. After six months, 46% of patients had not recovered. 

Consultant neuropathologist and co-author of the study, Professor Willie Stewart said: “This work demonstrates that for up to a third of people attending hospital with so-called mild traumatic brain injuries from sport, the injury is anything but ‘mild’ with persisting symptoms reported at 6 months.”

Also this month, UofG researchers released a report into deaths in police custody. The report found that every week, four people die in custody in Scotland. In a one year period, 244 people have died in custody. 

The research was the first of its kind to be undertaken in Scotland, and revealed that the majority of these deaths occured while people were detained under the Mental Health Act. The authors of the report said many of these deaths are going “unnoticed.” 

Co-author of the report and Professor of Criminology, Sarah Armstrong, said: “For the first time we are able to see the number of deaths across a range of settings for which the state has responsibility. Every week just in Scotland four people die, deaths that largely go unnoticed, and by far happen to and affect families with the least power. 

“Each death is a tragedy but what makes it a public concern is the responsibility of the state for people’s care. Given this, one would expect robust and public methods of investigation. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case for most deaths.”


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