Blizard Institute

Newark on Trent, United Kingdom

Blizard Institute

Newark on Trent, United Kingdom
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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.theengineer.co.uk

Last week saw the publication of the government’s draft plan to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels across the UK. The government is turning to local authorities to ‘develop new and creative solutions to reduce emissions as quickly as possible, while avoiding undue impact on the motorist’, which won’t lead to any kind of quick fix given that diesel vehicles are in the firing line of this consultation. In a joint statement from Defra and DoT, the government says it is consulting on a range of measures that could be taken to mitigate the impact of action to improve air quality. In the draft UK Air Quality Plan for Tacking Nitrogen Dioxide, Defra and DoT concede that the introduction of stricter vehicle emissions regulations (Euro standards) has not delivered the expected reduction in emissions of NOx from diesel vehicles and that road transport is still by far the largest contributor to NOx pollution in the local areas where the UK is exceeding limit values. In what has become an annual occurrence, London breached its pollution limits within the first week of the year, prompting widespread calls for tougher measures to be enacted. ‘However, road transport is a key part of almost everything that we do as individuals or businesses with social and economic impacts which are much wider than air quality,’ the report states. ‘This means setting new policies and incentives to promote new technology and innovation, speeding up the move to cleaner vehicles and supporting the industrial strategy to deliver cleaner air for UK towns and cities.’ Consequently, local authorities will now be charged with implementing so-called ‘Clean Air Zones’ within the shortest possible time. At the national level, a raft of measures have already been announced that include funding to encourage the roll-out of hydrogen vehicles and supporting infrastructure, and increase funding to encourage the uptake of electric taxis, with taxi drivers being offered £7,500 off the cost of a new low-GHG vehicle by way of an incentive. This is also being considered for drivers of older diesel vehicles. Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT welcomed the proposals for improving air quality across Britain, plus the exemption of new Euro 6 diesels from any penalty charges. “Industry is committed to improving air quality across our towns and cities and has spent billions developing new low emission cars, vans, trucks and buses and getting these new cleaner vehicles onto our roads quickly is part of the solution,” he said. “As outlined in the plan, any proposed scrappage scheme would need to be targeted and deliver clear environmental benefits. We’re encouraged that plans to improve traffic flow and congestion, as well as increase uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles, will be prioritised in towns and cities. We look forward to working with government to encourage the uptake of the latest, low emission vehicles, regardless of fuel type.” Prof Jonathan Grigg, Professor of Paediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said: “Since this proposed plan has been developed to ‘avoid undue impact on the motorist’, it is not surprising that the ambitious option of removing the current toxic diesel fleet from all UK roads by 2025 is not a key component. “Given that previous initiatives that have not directly targeted diesel emissions have failed dismally in the past, I am not confident that these proposed local interventions, however innovative, will achieve a step reduction in exposure of vulnerable populations, such as young children.” Diesel cars aren’t totally responsible for all NOx emissions covered in the consultation but a new testing regime in Britain is seeking to ensure that NOx tests on new vehicles are at least accurate. Under Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests from September 2017, vehicle manufacturers will be required to ensure that real-world NOx emissions for new models are increasingly aligned with lab-testing limits This, claims the government, will entail ‘using innovative technologies to bring forward new, cleaner vehicles that should deliver lower NOx emissions across a wider range of operating conditions.’ RDE (package 3) and Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) both feature on the agenda at IMechE’s Real Driving Emissions: Adapting to Changing Regulation. Taking place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on May 23, the event will discuss the technical challenges facing engineers in meeting emissions targets, plus the role that emissions testing procedures play in this. According to IMechE, issues surrounding the standardisation of equipment and procedure, as well as best practice in developing reports from the data, will also be addressed.


Madurasinghe V.W.,Blizard Institute
Trials | Year: 2017

Background: Minimisation ensures excellent balance between groups for several prognostic factors, even in small samples. However, its use with unequal allocation ratios has been problematic. This paper describes a new minimisation scheme named sequence balance minimisation for unequal treatment allocations. Methods: Treatment- and factor-balancing properties were assessed in simulation studies for two- and three-arm trials with 1:2 and 1:2:3 allocation ratios. Sample sizes were set 30, 60 and 120. The number of prognostic factors on which to achieve balance was ranged from zero (treatment totals only) to ten with two levels occurring in equal probabilities. Random elements were set at 0.95, 0.9, 0.85, 0.80, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5. Characteristics of the randomisation distributions and the impact of changing the block size while maintaining the allocation ratio were also examined. Results: Sequence balance minimisation has good treatment- and factor-balancing capabilities, and the randomisation distribution was centred at zero for all scenarios. The mean and median number of allocations achieved were the same as the number expected in most scenarios, and including additional factors (up to ten) in the minimisation scheme had little impact on treatment balance. Treatment balance tended to depart from the target as the random element was lowered. The variability in allocations achieved increased slightly as the number of factors increased, as the random element was decreased and as the sample size increased. The mean and median factor imbalance remained tightly around zero even when the chosen factor was not included in the minimisation scheme, though the variability was greater. The variability in factor imbalance increased slightly as the random element decreased, as well as when the number of prognostic factors and sample size increased. Increasing block size while maintaining the allocation ratio improved treatment balance notably with little impact on factor imbalance. Conclusions: Sequence balance minimisation has good treatment- and factor-balancing properties and is particularly useful for small trials seeking to achieve balance across several prognostic factors. © 2017 The Author(s).


Bertoletti A.,National University of Singapore | Bertoletti A.,Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore | Kennedy P.T.,Blizard Institute
Cellular and Molecular Immunology | Year: 2015

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection progresses through distinct disease phases that are strongly associated with patient age. The so-called immune tolerant (IT) phase represents the classical early phase of infection; it is associated with high levels of HBV replication and lack of clinical signs of liver Inflammation. Whether this phase of HBV infection is also associated with immunological features of "tolerance' has recently been challenged. Here, we review the data that dispute this concept of immune tolerance and then propose an alternative interpretation of the immunopathological events that take place during this early phase of CHB infection. © 2015 CSI and USTC.


PARIS, Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CHANEL Research announces the winner of the CHANEL-CERIES Research Award 2016: Professor David Kelsell, Ph.D. (UK) for his trail-blazing work in skin molecular mechanisms. "The CHANEL-CERIES Research Award was created in 1996 to support innovative skin research projects and enrich global understanding of healthy skin," comments Christian Mahe, Senior Vice President Beauty Research and Innovation. "We are extremely proud to support our laureate's ground-breaking project and look forward to sharing his future findings." David Kelsell Ph.D. holds the position of Deputy Director of Research at the Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.  His research focuses on new insights into the molecular mechanisms responsible for maintaining and correcting the skin's balance. "Professor Kelsell's research will focus on the presumptive role of iRHOM2 as a master regulator of stress responses in skin," states Professor Barbara Gilchrest, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and President of the CERIES Scientific Advisory Board which selects the annual Awardees. "Using cultured human keratinocytes, he will examine how this as yet little-studied protein modulates inflammation and otherwise protects the skin from sun damage and either physical or chemical challenges." "Indeed, the award will allow us to specifically investigate, using molecular and cell biology tools, why the palm and sole skin is much thicker than other parts of the body and how it responds to physical and environmental stress," continues Professor David Kelsell. "Receiving this award is truly a personal honour but is also a reflection of the dedicated work of the Kelsell group as a whole and the wonderful research collaborations we have had over the years." Professor Kelsell's project will pave the way for innovative cosmetic research targeting both maintenance and repair of healthy skin. The CHANEL-CERIES Research Award of 40,000€ is supported by CHANEL Research. It is intended to honour the accomplishments of a scientific researcher with a proven track record in fundamental or clinical research work and to encourage his or her continued research activity. The field of research concerns the physiology or biology of healthy skin and/or its reactions to environmental factors.


CHANEL Research announces the winner of the CHANEL-CERIES Research Award 2016: Professor David Kelsell, Ph.D. (UK) for his trail-blazing work in skin molecular mechanisms. "The CHANEL-CERIES Research Award was created in 1996 to support innovative skin research projects and enrich global understanding of healthy skin," comments Christian Mahé, Senior Vice President Beauty Research and Innovation. "`We are extremely proud to support our laureate's ground-breaking project and look forward to sharing his future findings." Research into stress responses in healthy skin to throw new light on cutaneous balance and repair David Kelsell Ph.D. holds the position of Deputy Director of Research at the Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.  His research focuses on new insights into the molecular mechanisms responsible for maintaining and correcting the skin's balance. "Professor Kelsell's research will focus on the presumptive role of iRHOM2 as a master regulator of stress responses in skin," states Professor Barbara Gilchrest, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and President of the CERIES Scientific Advisory Board which selects the annual Awardees.  "Using cultured human keratinocytes, he will examine how this as yet little-studied protein modulates inflammation and otherwise protects the skin from sun damage and either physical or chemical challenges." "Indeed, the award will allow us to specifically investigate, using molecular and cell biology tools, why the palm and sole skin is much thicker than other parts of the body and how it responds to physical and environmental stress," continues Professor David Kelsell. "Receiving this award is truly a personal honour but is also a reflection of the dedicated work of the Kelsell group as a whole and the wonderful research collaborations we have had over the years." Professor Kelsell's project will pave the way for innovative cosmetic research targeting both maintenance and repair of healthy skin. The CHANEL-CERIES Research Award of 40,000€ is supported by CHANEL Research. It is intended to honour the accomplishments of a scientific researcher with a proven track record in fundamental or clinical research work and to encourage his or her continued research activity. The field of research concerns the physiology or biology of healthy skin and/or its reactions to environmental factors.


Otto W.R.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Wright N.A.,Blizard Institute
Fibrogenesis and Tissue Repair | Year: 2011

There is currently much interest in adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their ability to differentiate into other cell types, and to partake in the anatomy and physiology of remote organs. It is now clear these cells may be purified from several organs in the body besides bone marrow. MSCs take part in wound healing by contributing to myofibroblast and possibly fibroblast populations, and may be involved in epithelial tissue regeneration in certain organs, although this remains more controversial. In this review, we examine the ability of MSCs to modulate liver, kidney, heart and intestinal repair, and we update their opposing qualities of being less immunogenic and therefore tolerated in a transplant situation, yet being able to contribute to xenograft models of human tumour formation in other contexts. However, such observations have not been replicated in the clinic. Recent studies showing the clinical safety of MSC in several pathologies are discussed. The possible opposing powers of MSC need careful understanding and control if their clinical potential is to be realised with long-term safety for patients. © 2011 Otto and Wright; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Giovannoni G.,Blizard Institute
Handbook of Clinical Neurology | Year: 2014

The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a bodily fluid, which is both easily accessible and the most proximate to the pathological alterations of multiple sclerosis (MS). Consequently, the analysis of this fluid provides an important window into the pathological underpinnings of this disease. For example, for years, it has been known that the CSF of MS patients contains oligoclonal gamma immunoglobulins (IgG), which are synthesized within the central nervous system and presumably relate to the immune dysfunction, which is characteristically found in MS. This insight has lead to the introduction of highly-effective anti-B-cell therapies into the field of MS therapeutics. Moreover, the presence of an oligoclonal IgG response in the CSF, although not specific for MS, is a very sensitive finding and, as a result, its presence can be quite helpful for establishing an MS diagnosis in the right clinical context. In addition, this finding has predictive value. Thus, patients without a definite diagnosis who have CSF IgG bands are significantly more likely to develop definite MS compared to those patients without such a banding pattern. Other biological molecules can also be found in the CSF including neurofiliment, myelin basic protein (MBP), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), tau, neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), and the growth associated protein (GAP-43). However, the value of measuring these (and other) CSF constituents for both diagnostic and prognostic purposes and for following response to therapy is still to be determined. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Omran Y.A.,Blizard Institute | Aziz Q.,Blizard Institute
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2014

With more than 100 studies published over the past two decades, functional brain imaging research in gastroenterology has become an established field; one that has enabled improved insight into the supraspinal responses evoked by gastrointestinal stimulation both in health and disease. However, there remains considerable inter-study variation in the published results, largely owing to methodological differences in stimulation and recording techniques, heterogeneous patient selection, lack of control for psychological factors and so on. These issues with reproducibility, although not unique to studies of the gastrointestinal tract, can lead to unjustified inferences. To obtain consistent and more clinically relevant results, there is a need to optimize and standardize brain imaging studies across different centres. In addition, the use of complementary and more novel brain imaging modalities and analyses, which are now being used in other fields of research, might help unravel the factors at play in functional gastrointestinal disorders. This Review highlights the areas in which functional brain imaging has been useful and what it has revealed, the areas that are in need of improvement, and finally suggestions for future directions. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Dobson R.,Blizard Institute
Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders | Year: 2012

There remains a need for sensitive and reliable biomarkers that can be used longitudinally in multiple sclerosis. Whilst both CSF and MRI have been extensively studied, they remain invasive and expensive methods of investigation. On the contrary, urine provides a valuable fluid which is readily available for serial sampling. Some work has been done on urinary biomarkers in multiple sclerosis; however, urinary biomarkers have not been extensively studied and validated for use in routine clinical practice, and urine remains understudied and underutilised. In this review the use of neopterin, urinary free light chains, nitric oxide metabolites and urinary myelin basic protein-like protein as potential biomarkers that have been identified in urine are discussed, and avenues for future study are raised. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Wright N.A.,Blizard Institute
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2012

Recently, a dispute has arisen concerning the operational definition and identification of epithelial stem cells. There is a current view which considers that epithelial stem cell identification depends solely on the in vitro isolation and expansion of cells from the putative stem cell. This article argues strongly that this is a perverse and erroneous view, and that lineage labelling, using genetic markers, remains the gold standard for identifying epithelial stem cells and for analysing their behaviour: in vitro methods show, at best, clonogenic potential but not fate, and constitute ancillary support for conclusions drawn from lineage analysis. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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