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Birmingham, United Kingdom

Aston University is a public research campus university situated at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England. Aston began as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, evolving into the UK’s first elite College of Advanced Technology in 1956. Aston University received its Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth II on 22 April 1966.Aston was ranked by QS as the 47th best university in the world under 50 years old in 2012 and as the world's 51st best university based on employer reputation in 2011. It was ranked 5th in the UK for graduate employability. A survey suggested it is one of the 20 most targeted universities by the UK's top employers. Aston pioneered the integrated placement year concept over 50 years ago, with more than 70% of Aston students take placement year, the highest percentage in the UK. Aston students are the 24th most satisfied students out of 132 UK Universities, with the overall satisfaction level at 89% for the second year running. Aston University was responsible for educating 2.3 per cent of the UK's millionaires, placing Aston among the top 10 UK universities for producing millionaires. Wikipedia.


Gross S.R.,Aston University
Cell Adhesion and Migration | Year: 2013

In order to metastasize away from the primary tumor site and migrate into adjacent tissues, cancer cells will stimulate cellular motility through the regulation of their cytoskeletal structures. Through the coordinated polymerization of actin filaments, these cells will control the geometry of distinct structures, namely lamella, lamellipodia and filopodia, as well as the more recently characterized invadopodia. Because actin binding proteins play fundamental functions in regulating the dynamics of actin polymerization, they have been at the forefront of cancer research. This review focuses on a subset of actin binding proteins involved in the regulation of these cellular structures and protrusions, and presents some general principles summarizing how these proteins may remodel the structure of actin. The main body of this review aims to provide new insights into how the expression of these actin binding proteins is regulated during carcinogenesis and highlights new mechanisms that may be initiated by the metastatic cells to induce aberrant expression of such proteins. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.


Sorokina M.,Aston University
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

We propose a scheme for multilevel (nine or more) amplitude regeneration based on a nonlinear optical loop mirror (NOLM) and demonstrate through numerical modeling its efficiency and cascadability on circular 16-, 64-, and 256- symbol constellations. We show that the amplitude noise is efficiently suppressed. The design is flexible and enables variation of the number of levels and their positioning. The scheme is compatible with phase regenerators. Also, compared to the traditional single-NOLM configuration scheme, new features, such as reduced and sign-varied power-dependent phase shift, are available. The model is simple to implement, as it requires only two couplers in addition to the traditional NOLM, and offers a vast range of optimization parameters. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Sumetsky M.,Aston University
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

A coupled resonator optical waveguide (CROW) bottle is a bottle-shaped nonuniform distribution of resonator and coupling parameters. This Letter solves the inverse problem for a CROW bottle, i.e., develops a simple analytical method that determines a CROW with the required group delay and dispersion characteristics. In particular, the parameters of CROWs exhibiting the group delay with zero dispersion (constant group delay) and constant dispersion (linear group delay) are found. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Burgess A.P.,Aston University
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2013

EEG Hyperscanning is a method for studying two or more individuals simultaneously with the objective of elucidating how co-variations in their neural activity (i.e., hyperconnectivity) are influenced by their behavioral and social interactions. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of different hyper-connectivity measures using (i) simulated data, where the degree of coupling could be systematically manipulated, and (ii) individually recorded human EEG combined into pseudo-pairs of participants where no hyper-connections could exist. With simulated data we found that each of the most widely used measures of hyperconnectivity were biased and detected hyper-connections where none existed. With pseudo-pairs of human data we found spurious hyper-connections that arose because there were genuine similarities between the EEG recorded from different people independently but under the same experimental conditions. Specifically, there were systematic differences between experimental conditions in terms of the rhythmicity of the EEG that were common across participants. As any imbalance between experimental conditions in terms of stimulus presentation or movement may affect the rhythmicity of the EEG, this problem could apply in many hyperscanning contexts. Furthermore, as these spurious hyper-connections reflected real similarities between the EEGs, they were not Type-1 errors that could be overcome by some appropriate statistical control. However, some measures that have not previously been used in hyperconnectivity studies, notably the circular correlation co-efficient (CCorr), were less susceptible to detecting spurious hyper-connections of this type. The reason for this advantage in performance is discussed and the use of the CCorr as an alternative measure of hyperconnectivity is advocated. © 2013 Burgess.


Bridgwater A.V.,Aston University
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2012

This paper provides an updated review on fast pyrolysis of biomass for production of a liquid usually referred to as bio-oil. The technology of fast pyrolysis is described including the major reaction systems. The primary liquid product is characterised by reference to the many properties that impact on its use. These properties have caused increasingly extensive research to be undertaken to address properties that need modification and this area is reviewed in terms of physical, catalytic and chemical upgrading. Of particular note is the increasing diversity of methods and catalysts and particularly the complexity and sophistication of multi-functional catalyst systems. It is also important to see more companies involved in this technology area and increased take-up of evolving upgrading processes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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