Entity

Time filter

Source Type

Jaipur, India

In the first study of its kind, student Zain Habib Alhindi used different concentrations of Surgihoney, a biologically engineered honey that produces chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, to test how effective it could be in destroying the fungus Fusarium, which is found on plants and in soil and can cause devastating infections in vulnerable people. Zain discovered even the lowest concentrations had a significant effect in breaking down the cell wall of the fungus, demonstrating its potential as a future treatment for patients. She said: "Chronic infections, such as those found in long-lasting wounds comprise about 60-80 per cent of infectious diseases in humans and the way fungi invades wounds is associated with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. "However, we know that biofilms - thin layers of microorganisms, which group together - contribute to the severity and delayed healing of chronic wounds. "Through my research I wanted to show the potential for honey as a healing agent to break through these biofilms and in doing so increase the process of healing. What I found amazing is that honey actually works better than some antifungals." Zain (29) from Saudi Arabia is one of only handful of students who have completed The University's new master's degree course in Medical Mycology which runs for just one year instead of the customary two, making it a world first. Because of the way the course is structured Zain was able to spend almost a third of her time in the lab working on experiments to test her theory under the supervision of Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson, Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases in The University's Institute of Inflammation and Repair. Dr Rautemaa-Richardson believes its this intensive, hands-on approach, which appeals to her students and equips them for a career in specialised medicine or research. She said: "This dynamic course provides a solid foundation to the scientific, practical and clinical aspects of fungal diseases, which allows clinically relevant research like this. In the world of increasing antimicrobial resistance new approaches to the management of infections, sparing the real antibiotics, are highly relevant and important." Professor Malcolm Richardson, Professor of Medical Mycology at The University of Manchester added: "Honey has been used since ancient times for the treatment of several diseases. Only a limited number of investigations have looked at its effect on pathogenic fungi. "This opens an exciting door for further work on the application of honey for many fungal infections and allows researchers to adopt different options for treating a range of superficial infections." Surgihoney is proving highly effective at treating infected wounds and superbugs. The honey works by killing the bugs, by producing hydrogen peroxide ROS, removing dead tissue and pus, and then providing a moisture barrier as well as local nutrition. This work confirms previous research on the clinical efficacy of Surgihoney RO in chronic wounds and in the prophylaxis of surgical site infection. Honey contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and sugars – all of which help in the healing of wounds. Manuka is generally regarded as the most potent honey, but it relies upon nectar from a particular tree in New Zealand, limiting its supply. That is precisely the problem that has been solved by the developers of Surgihoney. They have created a product that can be made from organic honey from any floral source. They hope it will ultimately become a global wound-care product.


One of the most powerful computers in the world dedicated to climate change, weather and other earth science research will be replaced in 2017 by an even faster machine, officials announced Monday. The Yellowstone supercomputer in Wyoming currently ranks among the 60 fastest in the world. The new supercomputer, to be named Cheyenne, will be at least 2 1/2 times more powerful, the National Center for Atmospheric Research said. Capable of 5.3 quadrillion calculations, or petaflops, per second, Cheyenne will be some 100,000 times faster than a typical home computer. The speed provides unprecedented detail in climate-change predictions, including regional modeling of effects, the center said. A more powerful computer will allow researchers to see results in higher resolution, like a higher density of pixels sharpens images on a television or a stronger telescope brings a greater number of far-off galaxies into focus, explained Rich Loft, the center's director of technology. Scientists since 2012 have been using the Yellowstone supercomputer near Cheyenne for a range of research that also includes modeling air pollution and ocean currents. The atmospheric research center plans to install Cheyenne later this year and put it to work early next year. Questions it might help answer include: - Is the California drought a fluke or due to global climate change? - Can scientists predict the intensity of solar flares - streams of radiation released by the sun that can endanger satellites and astronauts - during an upcoming solar cycle? - How might climate change increase the likelihood of drought and change the extent of arctic sea ice from decade to decade? The Yellowstone computer, located in a business park a few miles west of Cheyenne, put Wyoming's capital on the map as a potential technology hub. Facilities including a huge Microsoft data center have set up nearby since the center opened. The old machine won't shut down when the new one boots up. The computers will be side-by-side for much of next year but won't operate in direct coordination. Time and bandwidth on supercomputers typically gets divvied up among researchers and rarely goes to a single project at a time. "The machine is usually working on dozens of problems at the same time in a kind of mix of jobs that are running on it. Some of those jobs might take a quarter of the machine. Others might take only 1 percent," Loft said. More than 2,200 scientists from more than 300 universities and federal labs have used Yellowstone since 2012. Officials moved to replace the first Yellowstone computer so quickly because of the rapid pace of technology. "Things get better, faster cheaper. That's the whole story of computers," Loft said. "Certainly you know, if you have a phone, it starts to feel clunky after a few years." The Cheyenne supercomputer will be about three times as efficient as Yellowstone, using 90 percent as much electricity but taking up to a third as much space. The machine will be built by Milpitas, California-based Silicon Graphics International Corp. The University Corp. for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of more than 100 North American universities and colleges, oversees the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Both are based in Boulder, Colorado.


Home > Press > Nanoprobe development will enable scientists to uncover more DNA secrets Abstract: Scientists at the University of Kent have led a study that has developed a 'nanoprobe', a tenth of the size of a human hair, to help uncover more of the secrets of DNA. New research directed by Dr Neil Kad, of the University's School of Biosciences, has led to the use of the nanoprobe to study how individual proteins interact with DNA. Invisible to the human eye, this tiny triangular probe can be captured using laser tweezers and then moved around inside a microscope chamber. Proteins interact with each other and with other chemical components such as DNA. These interactions are classically studied multiple molecules at a time to provide an average view of their behaviour. This makes understanding how molecules respond to force much more difficult. Scientists at Kent have previously developed a new technology that involves suspending single long strands of DNA between microscopic platforms to form 'tightropes'. Now, by using the nanoprobe, developed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, it is possible to manipulate proteins bound to these tightropes; enabling the action of these proteins to be investigated with unprecedented detail. The development will lead to greater understanding of how proteins attach to DNA, and represents an important step towards a marriage of complex nanodevices and single molecule biology. Researchers hope that in the future the development will enable them to study a large range of molecular interactions directly. About University of Kent stablished in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome. It has been ranked: third for overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey; 16th in the Guardian University Guide 2016; 23rd in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015. In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16, Kent is in the top 10% of the world's leading universities for international outlook. Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality. Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, Kent is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (http://www.kent.ac.uk/about/partnerships/eastern-arc.html). The University is worth £0.7 billion to the economy of the south east and supports more than 7,800 jobs in the region. Student off-campus spend contributes £293.3m and 2,532 full-time-equivalent jobs to those totals. In 2014, Kent received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Specialised computer software components to improve the security, speed and scale of data processing in cloud computing are being developed by a University of Cambridge spin-out company. The company, Unikernel Systems, which was formed by staff and postdoctoral researchers at the University Computer Laboratory, has recently been acquired by San-Francisco based software company Docker Inc. Unikernels are small, potentially transient computer modules specialised to undertake a single task at the point in time when it is needed. Because of their reduced size, they are far more secure than traditional operating systems, and can be started up and shut down quickly and cheaply, providing flexibility and further security. They are likely to become increasingly used in applications where security and efficiency are vital, such as systems storing personal data and applications for the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) – internet-connected appliances and consumer products. "Unikernels provide the means to run the same application code on radically different environments from the public cloud to IoT devices," said Dr Richard Mortier of the Computer Laboratory, one of the company's advisors. "This allows decisions about where to run things to be revisited in the light of experience - providing greater flexibility and resilience. It also means software on those IoT devices is going to be a lot more reliable." Recent years have seen a huge increase in the amount of data that is collected, stored and processed, a trend that will only continue as increasing numbers of devices are connected to the internet. Most commercial data storage and processing now takes place within huge datacentres run by specialist providers, rather than on individual machines and company servers; the individual elements of this system are obscured to end users within the 'cloud'. One of the technologies that has been instrumental in making this happen is virtual machines. Normally, a virtual machine (VM) runs just like a real computer, with its own virtual operating system – just as your desktop computer might run Windows. However, a single real machine can run many VMs concurrently. VMs are general purpose, able to handle a wide range of jobs from different types of user, and capable of being moved across real machines within datacentres in response to overall user demand. The University's Computer Laboratory started research on virtualisation in 1999, and the Xen virtual machine monitor that resulted now provides the basis for much of the present-day cloud. Although VMs have driven the development of the cloud (and greatly reduced energy consumption), their inherent flexibility can come at a cost if their virtual operating systems are the generic Linux or Windows systems. These operating systems are large and complex, they have significant memory footprints, and they take time to start up each time they are required. Security is also an issue, because of their relatively large 'attack surface'. Given that many VMs are actually used to undertake a single function, (e.g. acting as a company database), recent research has shifted to minimising complexity and improving security by taking advantage of the narrow functionality. And this is where unikernels come in. Researchers at the Computer Laboratory started restructuring VMs into flexible modular components in 2009, as part of the RCUK-funded MirageOS project. These specialised modules – or unikernels - are in effect the opposite of generic VMs. Each one is designed to undertake a single task; they are small, simple and quick, using just enough code to enable the relevant application or process to run (about 4% of a traditional operating system according to one estimate). The small size of unikernels also lends considerable security advantages, as they present a much smaller 'surface' to malicious attack, and also enable companies to separate out different data processing tasks in order to limit the effects of any security breach that does occur. Given that resource use within the cloud is metered and charged, they also provide considerable cost savings to end users. By the end of last year, the unikernel technology arising from MirageOS was sufficiently advanced that the team, led by Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy, decided to found a start-up company. The company, Unikernel Systems, was recently acquired by San Francisco-based Docker Inc. to accelerate the development and broad adoption of the technology, now envisaged as a critical element in the future of the Internet of Things. "This brings together one of the most significant developments in operating systems technology of recent years, with one of the most dynamic startups that has already revolutionised the way we use cloud computing. This link-up will truly allow us all to "rethink cloud infrastructure", said Balraj Singh, co-founder and CEO of Unikernel Systems. "This acquisition shows that the Computer Laboratory continues to produce innovations that find their way into mainstream developments. It also shows the power of open source development to have impact and to be commercially successful", said Professor Andy Hopper, Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Explore further: Researchers discover new way to patch holes in the 'cloud'


The new system, named Cheyenne, will be installed this year at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) and become operational at the beginning of 2017. Cheyenne will be built by Silicon Graphics International Corp. (SGI) in conjunction with centralized file system and data storage components provided by DataDirect Networks (DDN). The SGI high-performance computer will be a 5.34-petaflop system, meaning it can carry out 5.34 quadrillion calculations per second. It will be capable of more than 2.5 times the amount of scientific computing performed by Yellowstone, the current NCAR supercomputer. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the state of Wyoming through an appropriation to the University of Wyoming, Cheyenne will be a critical tool for researchers across the country studying climate change, severe weather, geomagnetic storms, seismic activity, air quality, wildfires, and other important geoscience topics. Since the supercomputing facility in Wyoming opened its doors in 2012, more than 2,200 scientists from more than 300 universities and federal labs have used its resources. "We're excited to bring more supercomputing power to the scientific community," said Anke Kamrath, director of operations and services at NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory. "Whether it's the threat of solar storms or a heightened risk in certain severe weather events, this new system will help lead to improved predictions and strengthen society's resilience to potential disasters." "Researchers at the University of Wyoming will make great use of the new system as they continue their work into better understanding such areas as the surface and subsurface flows of water and other liquids, cloud processes, and the design of wind energy plants," said William Gern, vice president of research and economic development at the University of Wyoming. "UW's relationship with NCAR through the NWSC has greatly strengthened our scientific computing and data-centric research. It's helping us introduce the next generation of scientists and engineers to these endeavors." The NWSC is located in Cheyenne, and the name of the new system was chosen to honor the support that it has received from the people of that city. It also commemorates the upcoming 150th anniversary of the city, which was founded in 1867 and named for the American Indian Cheyenne nation. The new data storage system for Cheyenne will be integrated with NCAR's existing GLADE file system. The DDN storage will provide an initial capacity of 20 petabytes, expandable to 40 petabytes with the addition of extra drives. This, combined with the current 16 petabytes of GLADE, will total 36 petabytes of high-speed storage. The new DDN system also will transfer data at the rate of 200 gigabytes per second, which is more than twice as fast as the current file system's rate of 90 gigabytes per second. The system will include powerful Intel Xeon processors, whose performance will be augmented through optimization work that has been done by NCAR and the University of Colorado Boulder. NCAR and the university performed this work through their participation in the Intel Parallel Computing Centers program. Even with its increased power, Cheyenne will be three times more energy efficient (in floating point operations per second, or flops, per watt) than Yellowstone, its predecessor, which is itself highly efficient. "The new system will have a peak computation rate of over 3 billion calculations per second for every watt of power consumed," said NCAR's Irfan Elahi, project manager of Cheyenne and section manager for high-end supercomputing services. High-performance computers such as Cheyenne allow researchers to run increasingly detailed models that simulate complex processes and how they might unfold in the future. These predictions give resource managers and policy experts valuable information for planning ahead and mitigating risk. Some of the areas in which Cheyenne is expected to accelerate research include the following: "Supercomputing is vital to NCAR's scientific research and applications, giving us a virtual laboratory in which we run experiments that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to do," said NCAR Director James Hurrell. "Cheyenne will be a key component of the research infrastructure of the United States through its provision of supercomputing specifically tailored for the atmospheric, geospace, and related sciences. The capabilities of this new system will be central to the continued improvement of our ability to understand and predict changes in weather, climate, air quality, and space weather, as well as their impacts on people, ecosystems, and society." Key features of the new Cheyenne supercomputer system: The new Cheyenne supercomputer and the existing file system are complemented by a new centralized parallel file system and data storage components. Key features of the new data storage system: The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Discover hidden collaborations