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Patent
Valbiotis, University Blaise Pascal, University of La Rochelle and Cnrs | Date: 2016-10-18

The subject of the invention is a composition comprising at least a mixture of molecules obtained at least from: This composition is particularly useful as a nutritional product or health product for preventing and/or combating carbohydrate and/or fat metabolism disorders in humans and animals.


The present invention relates to a method for stimulating the resistance of plants to biotic stress by radiation exposure of at least one spot of a plant characterized in that the radiation exposure is performed by UV-C rays alone or UV-B rays alone or a combination thereof with an exposure duration being less or equal to one second and the radiation exposure being repeated at least once with an interval of time between one hour and one month. The invention will find an application for stimulating natural defenses of plants to biotic stress as pests, bacteria, fungus or virus. The invention could be used directly on plants growing in fields for agriculture and the food industry.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2015

Concerns are growing about how much melting occurs on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), and how much this melting will contribute to sea level rise (1). It seems that the amount of melting is accelerating and that the impact on sea level rise is over 1 mm each year (2). This information is of concern to governmental policy makers around the world because of the risk to viability of populated coastal and low-lying areas. There is currently a great scientific need to predict the amount of melting that will occur on the surface of the GrIS over the coming decades (3), since the uncertainties are high. The current models which are used to predict the amount of melting in a warmer climate rely heavily on determining the albedo, the ratio of how reflective the snow cover and the ice surface are to incoming solar energy. Surfaces which are whiter are said to have higher albedo, reflect more sunlight and melt less. Surfaces which are darker adsorb more sunlight and so melt more. Just how the albedo varies over time depends on a number of factors, including how wet the snow and ice is. One important factor that has been missed to date is bio-albedo. Each drop of water in wet snow and ice contains thousands of tiny microorganisms, mostly algae and cyanobacteria, which are pigmented - they have a built in sunblock - to protect them from sunlight. These algae and cyanobacteria have a large impact on the albedo, lowering it significantly. They also glue together dust particles that are swept out of the air by the falling snow. These dust particles also contain soot from industrial activity and forest fires, and so the mix of pigmented microbes and dark dust at the surface produces a darker ice sheet. We urgently need to know more about the factors that lead to and limit the growth of the pigmented microbes. Recent work by our group in the darkest zone of the ice sheet surface in the SW of Greenland shows that the darkest areas have the highest numbers of cells. Were these algae to grow equally well in other areas of the ice sheet surface, then the rate of melting of the whole ice sheet would increase very quickly. A major concern is that there will be more wet ice surfaces for these microorganisms to grow in, and for longer, during a period of climate warming, and so the microorganisms will grow in greater numbers and over a larger area, lowering the albedo and increasing the amount of melt that occurs each year. The nutrient - plant food - that the microorganisms need comes from the ice crystals and dust on the ice sheet surface, and there are fears that increased N levels in snow and ice may contribute to the growth of the microorganisms. This project aims to be the first to examine the growth and spread of the microorganisms in a warming climate, and to incorporate biological darkening into models that predict the future melting of the GrIS. References 1. Sasgen I and 8 others. Timing and origin of recent regional ice-mass loss in Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 333-334, 293-303(2012). 2. Rignot, E., Velicogna, I., van den Broeke, M. R., Monaghan, A. & Lenaerts, J. Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L05503, doi:10.1029/2011gl046583 (2011). 3. Milne, G. A., Gehrels, W. R., Hughes, C. W. & Tamisiea, M. E. Identifying the causes of sea-level change. Nature Geosci 2, 471-478 (2009).


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2015

Future information and communication networks will certainly consist of both classical and quantum devices, some of which are expected to be dishonest, with various degrees of functionality, ranging from simple routers to servers executing quantum algorithms. The realisation of such a complex network of classical and quantum communication must rely on a solid theoretical foundation that, nevertheless, is able to foresee and handle the intricacies of real-life implementations. The study of security, efficiency and verification of quantum communication and computation is inherently related to the fundamental notions of quantum mechanics, including entanglement and non-locality, as well as to central notions in classical complexity theory and cryptography. The central Research objective of our proposal is an end to end investigation of the verification and validation of quantum technologies, from full scale quantum computers and simulators to communication networks with devices of varying size and complexity down to realistic ``quantum gadgets. This goal represents a key challenge in the transition from theory to practice for quantum computing technologies. We will work closely with experimentalists and engineers to ensure that theoretical progress takes Development considerations into account, and will design prototypes for proof-of-principle demonstrations of our methods. The experimental aspects of our proposal are supported by the PIs associate directorial position at the Oxford led hub, joint projects with the York led hub as well as other ongoing collaborations with experimental labs in France and Austria. Meanwhile the required expertise in engineering design would be supported through a new collaboration of the PI as part of the Edinburgh Li-Fi research and development centre. The Deployment axis, complementing our core activity in research-development, will be built upon the unique Edinburgh entrepreneurial culture supported by Informatics Ventures as well as a dedicated senior business advisory board (which sponsored the PIs recent patent on quantum cloud). Advances to the problem of secure delegated computation would have an immediate significant consequence on how computational problems are solved in the real world. One can envision virtually unlimited computational power to end users on the go, using just a simple terminal to access the computing cloud which would turn any smartphone into a quantum-enhanced phone. This will generate new streams of growth for the UK cyber security sector as well as complementary business developments for the National quantum technology investment.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 636.76K | Year: 2014

Great advances have been made in the development of proto-cells based on giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). However, one essential functional element of all living cells still to be incorporated into such systems is a glycocalyx. This coating of complex carbohydrates extends up to 100 nm from the cell membrane and provides an adhesive layer that mediates interactions between different cell types, viruses and signalling molecules. In most cases, these interactions involve specific carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins) which may be either soluble or membrane-bound. For example, fertilisation is initiated by a specific carbohydrate on the surface of the egg adhering to a specific lectin on the head of the sperm. Protein-carbohydrate interactions also mediate the endocytosis of many bacteria, viruses and bacterial toxins which stick to specific glycolipids on the cell membrane. Protein-carbohydrate interactions thus present a general strategy for enabling cell adhesion and cell entry. In this project we will design and create a modular toolbox of synthetic glcocalyx components and engineered lectins that will be attached to lipid membranes to enable reversible proto-cell adhesion and incorporated into virus-like particles to mediate proto-cell entry. The methodology will be exemplified through the construction of proto-cells that contain proto-organelles and the assembly and remodelling of proto-tissues in which multiple types of proto-cells are brought together in a pre-defined fashion to create more complex systems.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 4.34M | Year: 2014

This world-leading Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioenergy will focus on delivering the people to realise the potential of biomass to provide secure, affordable and sustainable low carbon energy in the UK and internationally. Sustainably-sourced bioenergy has the potential to make a major contribution to low carbon pathways in the UK and globally, contributing to the UKs goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and the international mitigation target of a maximum 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise. Bioenergy can make a significant contribution to all three energy sectors: electricity, heat and transport, but faces challenges concerning technical performance, cost effectiveness, ensuring that it is sustainably produced and does not adversely impact food security and biodiversity. Bioenergy can also contribute to social and economic development in developing countries, by providing access to modern energy services and creating job opportunities both directly and in the broader economy. Many of the challenges associated with realising the potential of bioenergy have engineering and physical sciences at their core, but transcend traditional discipline boundaries within and beyond engineering. This requires an effective whole systems research training response and given the depth and breadth of the bioenergy challenge, only a CDT will deliver the necessary level of integration. Thus, the graduates from the CDT in Bioenergy will be equipped with the tools and skills to make intelligent and informed, responsible choices about the implementation of bioenergy, and the growing range of social and economic concerns. There is projected to be a large absorptive capacity for trained individuals in bioenergy, far exceeding current supply. A recent report concerning UK job creation in bioenergy sectors concluded that there may be somewhere in the region of 35-50,000 UK jobs in bioenergy by 2020 (NNFCC report for DECC, 2012). This concerned job creation in electricity production, heat, and anaerobic digestion (AD) applications of biomass. The majority of jobs are expected to be technical, primarily in the engineering and construction sectors during the building and operation of new bioenergy facilities. To help develop and realise the potential of this sector, the CDT will build strategically on our research foundation to deliver world-class doctoral training, based around key areas: [1] Feedstocks, pre-processing and safety; [2] Conversion; [3] Utilisation, emissions and impact; [4] Sustainability and Whole systems. Theme 1 will link feedstocks to conversion options, and Themes 2 and 3 include the core underpinning science and engineering research, together with innovation and application. Theme 4 will underpin this with a thorough understanding of the whole energy system including sustainability, social, economic public and political issues, drawing on world-leading research centres at Leeds. The unique training provision proposed, together with the multidisciplinary supervisory team will ensure that students are equipped to become future leaders, and responsible innovators in the bioenergy sector.


Patent
Valbiotis, University Blaise Pascal, University of La Rochelle and Cnrs | Date: 2015-10-20

The subject of the invention is a composition comprising at least a mixture of molecules obtained at least from: This composition is particularly useful as a nutritional product or health product for preventing and/or combating carbohydrate and/or fat metabolism disorders in humans and animals.


Device (10) for depositing particles via the liquid route


Patent
Arkema, Cnrs and Bordeaux Polytechnic Institute | Date: 2015-07-27

The present invention relates to a process for producing nanostructured films obtained from block copolymers exhibiting a dispersity index of between 1.1 and 2, limits included, without nanostructuring defects, on a surface, in order for this treated surface to be able to be used as masks for applications in microelectronics.


Patent
Galderma Research & Development and Cnrs | Date: 2016-02-25

A cellular model is described that targets dysregulation or inappropriate activation of the Sonic Hedgehog/Patched (SHH/PTCH) pathway. Also described, is a screening method using this cellular model to screen for pharmacological compounds that can treat or prevent skin cancer, in particular, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) lesions.

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