As Donald Trump takes the oath of office and delivers his inaugural address today, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, Dr Adam Quinn, asks whether he will show discipline and self-restraint once in the White House?

Will Trump reach out? - University of Birmingham
It's beautiful on The Vale village this morning - we love this photo from Instagrammer soyeejin looking out from her room window across the campus.

Instagram photo by Lawrence JIN • Jan 20, 2017 at 8:48am UTC
As one of the final acts of his presidency, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who will now be released in May 2017.

Professor of International and Criminal Law, Robert Cryer, shares his thoughts on the decision.

Just how compassionate is Chelsea Manning's release?
Surely the sex of a foetus is exclusively determined by the father’s sperm, carrying an X chromosome for girls and a Y chromosome for boys?

It turns out this is not the full story. Reader in Endocrinology at our School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Kristien Boelaert, explains how hormones, blood pressure and diet can play a part.

From diet to blood pressure – it's not just chromosomes that help determine the sex of a baby
This is what it looks like when you're characterising gold nanoparticles by illuminating them with a 488nm laser on the Nanosight instrument and tracking the scattered light.
A bit of jiggery-pokery using the Stokes-Einstein equation then gives us the particle properties.

According to research scientist Dr. Sunil Vinceró Claire anyway! We just think it's a fabulous capture.

Instagram photo by Dr. Sunil Vinceró Claire • Jan 12, 2017 at 1:37pm UTC
We're delighted to be named one of the UK's top universities for graduate high fliers.

The University is among the six UK universities most frequently targeted by the country’s top employers looking for graduate recruits, according to a newly published report.

University of Birmingham in UK's top six for graduate high fliers
Virtual Reality is being used by the military to replicate conditions of real world combat to help train recruits.
Professor Bob Stone talks to BBC Radio Five Live about how VR costs much less and how it is safer than current training systems.
We love this moody shot of our city skyline from Instagrammer alpha.brum.

Instagram photo by @alpha.brum • Jan 15, 2017 at 1:09am UTC
It's that time again - final year students across the UK are being asked to complete the National Student Survey and help future students make decisions about the university they choose.

And we have a money-can't-buy prize incentive for our students to fill out the simple survey - a chance to win a VIP Graduation Package AND a trip up our clock tower Old Joe,
For a chance to enter you just...
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Fantastic to see so many of our students named in the new women's hockey squad, preparing for the next Olympics.

The team includes four new University of Birmingham athletes, who join last year's Olympic Gold winners Lily Owsley and alumna Sophie Bray.

Many congratulations to all those chosen. What an achievement!

Danny Kerry announces squad to build on Rio gold medal - England Hockey
It's cold and wet and grey on campus today, so we're sharing this lovely photo of Friday's snow instead as it's much nicer!

Thanks to yudithia on Instagram for the great image.
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Trying to lose a bit of weight in the new year? Already been bombarded with articles on willpower, exercise regimes and dieting to help shift those extra pounds?

Professor of Marketing, Isabelle Szmigin, says there are a number of forces working against us - one of the major problems is that we are all victims of an 'obesogenic environment'.

Struggling to stay healthy in 2017? Bad marketing could be to blame
This is such a beautiful shot of our city taken by photographer Kris Askey

Have a great weekend everyone. See you back here on Monday.
In her recent speech, Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that tackling the stigma of mental health is more important than resources.

"I think this misses the point", argues Professor of Mental Health Policy, Paul Burstow. "The under-investment in mental health is itself a symptom of stigma at an institutional level".

Does the PM want hard or soft parity for mental health?
The snow came to campus this morning! #uobsnow
Did you grab a picture?

Images (from left): mcristinat_, lopezamar, artsatbham, @elmunro, oh_itsonlymegan, bethvictoire
Have you ever wondered why the mermaid is synonymous with the University?
For our Throwback Thursday this week, we're featuring our heraldic stones featuring the mermaid from August 1958.

You can read about the mermaid's connection with us on the Research and Cultural Collections - University of Birmingham Tumblr:

A Mermaid’s Tale: the origins of the University’s Crest
"The Gambia’s presidential election crisis has been of particular personal interest for me. Between 2013 and 2014 I lived in the country as a law lecturer at the University of The Gambia. The experience was a fantastic one and helped me to understand why the country and its inhabitants are affectionately referred to as the 'smiling face of Africa'".

Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Associate,...
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A turning point for The Gambia, the smiling face of Africa?
The government and employers need to do more to help those on lower incomes to start saving, a new report from the University has said.

Professor Karen Rowlingson, co-author of the report, said: ‘It is extremely difficult for those ‘just about managing’ to save and they get very little support to do this. The government spends a tiny amount of money on supporting people on lower incomes to...
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'Just about managing' families need more help to save, says academic think-tank
Problems in the NHS have been described by the British Red Cross as a “humanitarian crisis”.

But what are the facts behind the headlines?
Professor of Health Policy and Management, Judith Smith writes for The Conversation, alongside experts from the University of York and King's College London.

Is the crisis in the NHS as bad as the Red Cross says it is?
We love this photo of one of Aston Webb's domes, which Instagrammer Dammodammo has just captioned 'Twinkle'.

Instagram photo by @dammodammo • Jan 10, 2017 at 7:50pm UTC