Coventry, United Kingdom
Coventry, United Kingdom

The University of Warwick ) is a public research university in Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand access to higher education. Warwick Business School was established in 1967 and Warwick Medical School was opened in 2000. Warwick merged with Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004.Warwick is primarily based on a 290 hectare campus on the outskirts of Coventry with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a London base at the Shard in central London. It is organised into four faculties—Arts, Medicine, Science and Social science—within which there are 32 departments. Warwick has around 23,400 full-time students and 1,390 academic and research staff and had a total income of £460 million in 2012/13, of which £84 million was from research grants and contracts. Warwick Arts Centre, a multi-venue arts complex in the university's main campus, is the largest venue of its kind in the UK outside London.Warwick consistently ranks in the top ten of all major national rankings of British universities and is the only multi-faculty institution aside from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial to have never been ranked outside of the top ten. It is ranked by QS as the world's third best university under 50 years and as the world's 13th best university based on employer reputation. It was ranked 7th in the UK amongst multi-faculty institutions for the quality of its research in the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise. Entrance is competitive, with around 8.25 applicants per place for undergraduate study.Warwick is a member of AACSB, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association, the M5 Group, the Russell Group and Universities UK. It is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University. The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group. Wikipedia.


Time filter

Source Type

Patent
University of Warwick | Date: 2015-05-14

A method of compressing a high dynamic range original image to provide compressed image data for use with (i) a high dynamic range decoder for viewing the high dynamic range image and (ii) a reduced bit depth decoder for viewing an image of lower dynamic range which has been derived from the high dynamic range original image. The difference between the image of the high dynamic range original image and the lower dynamic range is measured and that difference information is compressed. Compressed image data is produced comprising the compressed image of the lower dynamic range and the compressed image data.


Rayman M.P.,University of Surrey | Stranges S.,University of Warwick
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2013

The potential of some selenoproteins to protect against oxidative stress led to the expectation that selenium would be protective against type 2 diabetes, and indeed in early in vivo and in vitro studies, selenium (as selenate) was shown to have antidiabetic and insulin-mimetic effects. However, more recently, findings from observational cross-sectional studies have raised concern that high selenium exposure may be associated with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, at least in well-nourished populations, though trial results have been inconsistent. Moreover, the largest trials that investigated the effects of selenium supplementation on diabetes endpoints have had cancer prevention as their primary outcome, casting doubt on the interpretation of posthoc analyses. Factors affecting serum/plasma selenium are not just location and level of disease-associated inflammation but the fact that higher concentrations of plasma selenoprotein P yet lower concentrations of glutathione peroxidase are found in type 2 diabetic patients than in normal subjects. From a public health perspective, selenium is marketed as a dietary supplement and is commonly added to multivitamin/mineral preparations that are consumed in many Western countries. Based on current evidence, however, the indiscriminate use of selenium supplements in individuals and populations with adequate-to-high selenium status cannot be justified and may increase risk. In conclusion, although there is a clear link between certain selenoproteins and glucose metabolism or insulin resistance, the relationship between selenium and type 2 diabetes is undoubtedly complex. It is possible that the relationship is U-shaped, with possible harm occurring both below and above the physiological range for optimal activity of some or all selenoproteins. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Henfridsson O.,University of Warwick | Bygstad B.,University of Oslo
MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems | Year: 2013

The current literature on digital infrastructure offers powerful lenses for conceptualizing the increasingly interconnected information system collectives found in contemporary organizations. However, little attention has been paid to the generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure, that is, the causal powers that explain how and why such infrastructure evolves over time. This is unfortunate, since more knowledge about what drives digital infrastructures would be highly valuable for managers and IT professionals confronted by the complexity of managing them. To this end, this paper adopts a critical realist view for developing a configurational perspective of infrastructure evolution. Our theorizing draws on a multimethod research design comprising an in-depth case study and a case survey. The in-depth case study, conducted at a Scandinavian airline, distinguishes three key mechanisms of digital infrastructure evolution: adoption, innovation, and scaling. The case survey research of 41 cases of digital infrastructure then identifies and analyzes causal paths through which configurations of these mechanisms lead to successful evolution outcomes. The study reported in this paper contributes to the infrastructure literature in two ways. First, we identify three generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure and how they contingently lead to evolution outcomes. Second, we use these mechanisms as a basis for developing a configurational perspective that advances current knowledge about why some digital infrastructures evolve successfully while others do not. In addition, the paper demonstrates and discusses the efficacy of critical realism as a philosophical tradition for developing substantive contributions in the field of information systems.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2013

The UK is committed to a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before 2050. With over 40% of fossil fuels used for low temperature heating and 16% of electricity used for cooling these are key areas that must be addressed. The vision of our interdisciplinary centre is to develop a portfolio of technologies that will deliver heat and cold cost-effectively and with such high efficiency as to enable the target to be met, and to create well planned and robust Business, Infrastructure and Technology Roadmaps to implementation. Features of our approach to meeting the challenge are: a) Integration of economic, behavioural, policy and capability/skills factors together with the science/technology research to produce solutions that are technically excellent, compatible with and appealing to business, end-users, manufacturers and installers. b) Managing our research efforts in Delivery Temperature Work Packages (DTWPs) (freezing/cooling, space heating, process heat) so that exemplar study solutions will be applicable in more than one sector (e.g. Commercial/Residential, Commercial/Industrial). c) The sub-tasks (projects) of the DTWPs will be assigned to distinct phases: 1st Wave technologies or products will become operational in a 5-10 year timescale, 2nd Wave ideas and concepts for application in the longer term and an important part of the 2050 energy landscape. 1st Wave projects will lead to a demonstration or field trial with an end user and 2nd Wave projects will lead to a proof-of-concept (PoC) assessment. d) Being market and emission-target driven, research will focus on needs and high volume markets that offer large emission reduction potential to maximise impact. Phase 1 (near term) activities must promise high impact in terms of CO2 emissions reduction and technologies that have short turnaround times/high rates of churn will be prioritised. e) A major dissemination network that engages with core industry stakeholders, end users, contractors and SMEs in regular workshops and also works towards a Skills Capability Development Programme to identify the new skills needed by the installers and operators of the future. The SIRACH (Sustainable Innovation in Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating) Network will operate at national and international levels to maximise impact and findings will be included in teaching material aimed at the development of tomorrows engineering professionals. f) To allow the balance and timing of projects to evolve as results are delivered/analysed and to maximise overall value for money and impact of the centre only 50% of requested resources are earmarked in advance. g) Each DTWP will generally involve the complete multidisciplinary team in screening different solutions, then pursuing one or two chosen options to realisation and test. Our consortium brings together four partners: Warwick, Loughborough, Ulster and London South Bank Universities with proven track records in electric and gas heat pumps, refrigeration technology, heat storage as well as policy / regulation, end-user behaviour and business modelling. Industrial, commercial, NGO and regulatory resources and advice will come from major stakeholders such as DECC, Energy Technologies Institute, National Grid, British Gas, Asda, Co-operative Group, Hewlett Packard, Institute of Refrigeration, Northern Ireland Housing Executive. An Advisory Board with representatives from Industry, Government, Commerce, and Energy Providers as well as international representation from centres of excellence in Germany, Italy and Australia will provide guidance. Collaboration (staff/student exchange, sharing of results etc.) with government-funded thermal energy centres in Germany (at Fraunhofer ISE), Italy (PoliMi, Milan) and Australia (CSIRO) clearly demonstrate the international relevance and importance of the topic and will enhance the effectiveness of the international effort to combat climate change.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.3.1 | Award Amount: 3.53M | Year: 2010

The NANOFUNCTION Network of Excellence aims to integrate at the European level the excellent European research laboratories in order to strengthen scientific and technological excellence in the field of novel nanoelectronic materials, devices and circuits for developing new integrated functions and disseminate the results in a wide scientific and industrial community.\n\nThis proposal will focus on the convergence of Advanced More than Moore devices (Analog-RF-sensors-actuators-biochips-energy harvesters, etc.) for adding functionalities to ICs and Beyond-CMOS nanostructures (nanowires, nanostructured materials, etc.) which could be integrated on CMOS platforms. In particular, the interest of these nanodevices for the development of innovative applications with increased performance in the field of nanosensing, energy harvesting, nanocooling and RF will be thoroughly investigated.\n\nThis work will be carried out through a network of joint processing, characterisation and modelling platforms. The consortium will work closely with European industry and will feed back data and know-how on devices that deliver the required performance. This interaction will strengthen European integration in nanoelectronics, help in decision-making and ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of nanoelectronics for the next decades.\n\n\nFree keywords: -Beyond CMOS nanodevices -Advanced More than Moore technologies and applications -Innovative functionalities -Nanosensors -Energy harvesting -Nanocooling -Advanced RF materials and devices


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.22M | Year: 2009

Facilitating Implementation of Research Evidence (FIRE) is a proposed four year programme of research to identify and validate key factors determining the successful implementation of research evidence in practice. The study is underpinned by a conceptual framework, the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework, which proposes that the successful implementation of research evidence is dependent on the complex interplay of the evidence, the context of implementation and the way the process is facilitated. The planned research will focus on evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of facilitation as an implementation strategy. A randomised, controlled trial with three intervention arms (standard dissemination and two different models of facilitation) and six units in each of five countries (four in Europe, plus Canada; n=30) is planned. The units will be asked to implement research based guidance on continence promotion and receive differing levels of facilitation support to do so. Detailed contextual, process and outcome data will be collected to fully explore the complex processes at work during implementation. With the combination of an international consortium and experienced research team, a theory-driven, multi-method evaluation study and detailed attention to stakeholder involvement and dissemination throughout the research, the study has the potential to make a significant contribution to the knowledge and practice of translating research evidence at a clinical, organisational and policy level, within Europe and internationally.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-25-2015 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016

C3-Cloud will establish an ICT infrastructure enabling a collaborative care and cure cloud to enable continuous coordination of patient-centred care activities by a multidisciplinary care team and patients/informal care givers. A Personalised Care Plan Development Platform will allow, for the first time, collaborative creation and execution of personalised care plans for multi-morbid patients through systematic and semi-automatic reconciliation of clinical guidelines, with the help of Decision Support Modules for risk prediction and stratification, recommendation reconciliation, poly-pharmacy management and goal setting. Fusion of multimodal patient and provider data will be achieved via C3-Cloud Interoperability Middleware for seamless integration with existing information systems. An Integrated Terminology Server with advanced semantic functions will enable meaningful analysis of multimodal data and clinical rules. Active patient involvement and treatment adherence will be achieved through a Patient Empowerment Platform ensuring patient needs are respected in decision making and taking into account preferences and psychosocial aspects. Co-design and 4-layered multi-method multi-stakeholder evaluation will lead to a user friendly solution. To demonstrate feasibility, pilot studies will focus on diabetes, heart failure, renal failure, depression in different comorbidity combinations. Pilots will operate for 15 months in 3 European regions with diverse health and social care systems and ICT landscape, which will allow for strengthening the evidence base on health outcomes and efficiency gains. C3-Cloud adaptive patient pathways and organisational models validated by patient organisations and a clinical reference group, change management and training guidelines will be shared with the European community. Commercial exploitation of C3-Cloud integrated care solutions will be facilitated through an Industry Vendor Forum and commercial EHR/PHR products of 3 leading SMEs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-04.3-2014 | Award Amount: 1.51M | Year: 2015

The aim of the HySEA project is to conduct pre-normative research on vented deflagrations in enclosures and containers for hydrogen energy applications. The ambition is to facilitate the safe and successful introduction of hydrogen energy systems by introducing harmonized standard vent sizing requirements. The partners in the HySEA consortium have extensive experience from experimental and numerical investigations of hydrogen explosions. The experimental program features full-scale vented deflagration experiments in standard ISO containers, and includes the effect of obstacles simulating levels of congestion representative of industrial systems. The project also entails the development of a hierarchy of predictive models, ranging from empirical engineering models to sophisticated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element (FE) tools. The specific objectives of HySEA are: - To generate experimental data of high quality for vented deflagrations in real-life enclosures and containers with congestion levels representative of industrial practice; - To characterize different strategies for explosion venting, including hinged doors, natural vent openings, and commercial vent panels; - To invite the larger scientific and industrial safety community to submit blind-predictions for the reduced explosion pressure in selected well-defined explosion scenarios; - To develop, verify and validate engineering models and CFD-based tools for reliable predictions of pressure loads in vented explosions; - To develop and validate predictive tools for overpressure (P) and impulse (I), and produce P-I diagrams for typical structures with relevance for hydrogen energy applications; - To use validated CFD codes to explore explosion hazards and mitigating measures in larger enclosures, such as warehouses; and - To formulate recommendations for improvements to European (EN-14994), American (NFPA 68), and other relevant standards for vented explosions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-4.3-02 | Award Amount: 1.94M | Year: 2009

GRASP aims to contribute to the analysis and articulation of the current and future role of the EU as a global and regional actor in multilateral security governance, in a context of challenged multilateralism, where the EU aims for effective multilateralism. This project will examine the notion and practice of multilateralism in order to provide the required theoretical background for assessing the linkages between the EUs current security activities with multi-polarism, international law, regional integration processes and the United Nations system. The projects work plan will consist of the following components: (i) conceptual integrated analyses of the evolving concepts of multilateralism and security and the EUs role as a security actor; (ii) case-studies of the EUs approach to a number of specific security issues (regional conflict; terrorism; WMD proliferation; migration; energy and climate change; and severe violations to human rights); (iii) a transversal comparative analysis applying and integrating the case study findings; and lastly, (iv) a foresight study, building off the projects findings that will detail scenarios for future EU policy towards external security relations and multilateral approaches to threats and challenges. The research will be policy-oriented and include a strong interactive dimension, in order to assure ongoing feedback from the target-public. The work will be undertaken by a consortium of European research centers that have already collaborated on these issues (FP6). This group is enlarged by the inclusion of a number of institutes from outside the EU (Israel, Canada, South Africa and China) that will bring in further expertise on specific security issues in addition to important regional perceptions, necessary to avoiding a narrow Euro-centric approach and enabling a more comprehensive understanding of the role of the EU on the global stage.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2013

Globalization and ever-changing customer demands resulting in product customization, variety and time to market have intensified enormous competition in automotive and aerospace, manufacturing worldwide. Manufacturers are under tremendous pressures to meet changing customer needs quickly and cost effectively without sacrificing quality. Responding to these challenges manufacturers have offered flexible and reconfigurable assembly systems. However, a major challenge is how to obtain production volume flexibility for a product family with low investment and capability to yield high product quality and throughput while allowing quick production ramp-up. Overcoming these challenges involves three requirements which are the focus of this proposal: (1) Model reconfigurable assembly system architecture. The system architecture should purposefully take into account future uncertainties triggered by product family mix and product demands. This will require minimizing system changeability while maximizing system reusability to keep cost down; (2) Develop novel methodologies that can predict process capability and manage product quality for given system changeability requirements; and (3) Take advantage of emerging technologies & rapidly integrate them into existing production system, for e.g., new joining processes (Remote Laser Welding) and new materials. This project will address these factors by developing a self-resilient reconfigurable assembly system with in-process quality improvement that is able to self-recover from (i) 6-sigma quality faults; and (ii) changes in design and manufacturing. In doing so, it will go beyond state-of-the-art and practice in following ways: (1) Since current system architectures face significant challenges in responding to changing requirements, this initiative will incorporate cost, time and risks involving necessary changes by integrating uncertainty models; decision models for needed changes; and system change modelling; and (2) Current in-process quality monitoring systems use point-based measurements with limited 6-sigma failure root cause identification. They seldom correct operational defects quickly and do not provide in-depth information to understand and model manufacturing defects related to part and subassembly deformation. Usually, existing surface-based scanners are used for parts inspection not in-process quality control. This project will integrate in-line surface-based measurement with automatic Root Cause Analysis, feedforward/feedback process adjustment and control to enhance system response to fault or quality/productivity degradation. The research will be conducted for reconfigurable assembly system with multi-sector applications. It will involve system changeability/adaptation and in-process quality improvement for: (i) Automotive door assembly for implementing an emerging joining technology, e.g. Remote Laser Welding (RLW), for precise closed-loop surface quality control; and (ii) Airframe assembly for predicting process capability also for precise closed-loop surface quality control. Results will yield significant benefits to the UKs high value manufacturing sector. It will further enhance the sector by accelerating introduction of new emerging eco-friendly processes, e.g., RLW. It will foster interdisciplinary collaboration across a range of disciplines such as data mining and process mining, advanced metrology, manufacturing, and complexity sciences, etc. The integration of reconfigurable assembly systems (RAS) with in-process quality improvement (IPQI) is an emerging field and this initiative will help to engender the development into an internationally important area of research. The results of the research will inform engineering curriculum components especially as these relate to training future engineers to lead the high value manufacturing sector and digital economy.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 608.09K | Year: 2015

Turnip yellows virus (TuYV) is a very important pathogen of vegetable brassicas (Latin name Brassica oleracea; cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprout, broccoli etc.) and oilseed rape (OSR) in the UK & Europe. Many crops sampled have had very high levels of TuYV infection. Unlike many viruses, TuYV does not cause very obvious symptoms in most brassicas (storage cabbage where it causes tipburn is the exception). This has meant many growers are unaware of the infections. Despite lack of obvious symptoms we showed that TuYV reduces the yield of cabbage by upto 36% and Brussels sprouts by upto 65%. Estimates of OSR yield reductions in the UK alone are upto 30% (losses of GBP 67-180 million/annum). TuYV can move between vegetable brassicas, oilseed rape and weeds, resulting in the high levels of infection of crops seen. A very common greenfly (peach-potato aphid) transmits TuYV; once they acquire the virus they transmit for life. In glasshouse experiments we have identified the best insecticide seed treatments and sprays for controlling TuYV. We have also shown in the field that different cabbage and Brussels sprout cultivars have different susceptibilities to TuYV (all are susceptible, but some less so than others) and that the earlier plants are infected, the greater the yield loss. We have also found a number of sources of extreme resistance to TuYV in Brassica oleracea and have been studying the diversity of TuYV by determining the genetic code of many isolates. Collaborators in the project have a network of suction traps around the UK that trap flying greenfly. They identify the different greenfly species including the peach potato aphid and count them. They are also developing a molecular technique to detect TuYV in the greenfly. All these discoveries provide the opportunity to combine them in to an integrated programme that will give optimal control of TuYV. To develop this integrated control programme we intend to do field experiments in two regions of the UK. At one location we will introduce greenfly carrying TuYV to provide high infection pressure and at the other location we will rely on natural infection. In these experiments we will apply the individual components (partial plant resistance, the best seed treatment and the best sprays) separately, in pairs and in threes in order to quantify the efficacy of individual and combined treatments. This will identify the best combinations and quantify synergy between treatments. The timing of spray treatments will be informed by when peach-potato aphids are flying, this will be known from the suction trap and water trap catches around the experiment. To build on and improve the integrated programme we will identify the best source of extreme resistance to TuYV in our resistant B. oleracea lines. This will be crossed with a susceptible line. The offspring will be tested for resistance/susceptibility by challenging plants with TuYV and testing for TuYV using a quantitative test called ELISA. Some of the next generation of plants will be susceptible to TuYV and some will be resistant. By analysing the genes/chromosomes/RNA/DNA of these plants and comparing this with the susceptibility/resistance status of the plants, it will allow the development of molecular markers. Seed companies will use these to significantly speed up the incorporation of the resistance genes into commercially acceptable varieties. We are collaborating with Syngenta and Dow in the optimal use of seed treatments and sprays and with the seed companies Tozer, Sakata UK, Enza Zaden and Rijk Zwaan UK on the TuYV resistance exploitation. We are also working with Allium and Brassica Agronomy who work with farmers. Through these collaborations the outcomes of the research (integrated programme for TuYV control and new sources of resistance to TuYV) will be exploited by growers in order to reduce residues in vegetables and inputs and increase yields, thereby contributing to food security.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-06-2014 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015

Very preterm birth is a principal determinant of motor and cognitive impairment in later life. About 50 000 infants in the EU survive very preterm birth annually and are at much higher risk of cerebral palsy, visual and auditory deficits, impaired cognitive ability, psychiatric disorders and behavioural problems than infants born at term. However, the long term prognosis at initial discharge from hospital for each individual infant is unknown. Follow-up screening and prevention programmes aim to identify health problems early, enable interventions to improve outcome and to allow optimal management of health care. Despite the recognised importance of these programmes, little is known about their actual application and impact. These programmes consume significant resources because of the multidisciplinary staff required for clinical and developmental assessments and interventions, the coordination required to maintain contact with children after discharge and the time input from families. This project uses a unique resource the EPICE cohort of 6675 babies born before 32 weeks of gestational age and surviving to discharge home in 18 geographically diverse regions in 2011/2012 to assess the impact of these screening programmes on health, care and quality of life for very preterm infants and their families as well as on coverage, ability to meet needs, health equity and costs at the population-level. It will also generate new knowledge about assessment tools and methods. Four inter-related studies will be carried out in 11 EU countries by a multi-disciplinary consortium of clinicians (in obstetrics, paediatrics, and child development), researchers (in epidemiology, health services research and health economics) and a user organisation. Partners have the expertise to implement this project and the national and international renown to translate its result into better programmes and policies.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 337.48K | Year: 2015

The project partners will integrate printed electronics (PE) and conventional (CE) solid state electronics in order to improve functionality, reduce cost and increase scalability of a photonics based medical device. New methods will be employed in order to produce luminaires, printed sensors and PE/PE or PE/CE interconnects. These will be combined with conventional electronics such as memory and processors to make the device smart and therefore ensure patient compliance with the treatment regime.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.4 | Award Amount: 4.83M | Year: 2011

The proposed ACCOMPANY system will consist of a robotic companion as part of an intelligent environment, providing services to elderly users in a motivating and socially acceptable manner to facilitate independent living at home. The ACCOMPANY system will provide physical, cognitive and social assistance in everyday home tasks, and will contribute to the re-ablement of the user, i.e. assist the user in being able to carry out certain tasks on his/her own. Services to the user will be delivered through socially interactive, acceptable and empathic interaction, building on computational models of robot social cognition and interaction. The envisaged relationship of the user with the robot is that of a co-learner robot and user providing mutual assistance for the user not to be dominated by the technology, but to be empowered, physically, cognitively and socially.The project combines a multidisciplinary consortium to tackle the technological as well as human-centred and ethical challenges of the project. A state of the art service robot platform, Care-O-bot 3 will be used to assess user requirements and user acceptance of the robot. Results from user studies will then be fed back to adapt the technology so that it better suits user demands and preferences. Throughout the project such formative feedback results in different iterations of the ACCOMPANY prototypes.Three test sites in three different European countries (UK, the Netherlands, France), as well as a dedicated showcase, will ensure an extensive evaluation process considering cultural differences.The ACCOMPANY system will be a novel technological solution TOWARDS facilitating independent living at home for elderly users. In addition, ACCOMPANY will specify and benchmark design and ethical guidelines for service robots for the elderly. The novel insights gained in the project will be made publicly available, thereby strengthening the European service robotics research and industry.The project combines a multidisciplinary consortium to tackle the technological as well as human-centred and ethical challenges of the project. A state of the art service robot platform, Care-O-bot 3 will be used to assess user requirements and user acceptance of the robot. Results from user studies will then be fed back to adapt the technology so that it better suits user demands and preferences. Throughout the project such formative feedback results in different iterations of the ACCOMPANY prototypes.Three test sites in three different European countries (UK, the Netherlands, France), as well as a dedicated showcase, will ensure an extensive evaluation process considering cultural differences.The ACCOMPANY system will be a novel technological solution to facilitating independent living at home for elderly users. In addition, ACCOMPANY will specify and benchmark design and ethical guidelines for service robots for the elderly. The novel insights gained in the project will be made publicly available,


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008.3.1.1.2.;NMP-2008-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 2.67M | Year: 2009

This project aims at the preparation and testing of catalyst supported on structured reactors (ceramic and metallic honeycomb monoliths, metallic filters, carbon cloth) coated with nanocarbon materials (NCM), namely carbon nanofibers (CNF) and carbon nanotubes (CNT). This structured catalytic reactor will be used for catalytic water purification. Every partner responsible for testing the monoliths will focus on a different pollutant (Nitrates, organic matter) and catalytic process (hydrogenation, oxidation) depending on the particular expertise of every partner. The properties of monolithic reactor coated with NCM, e.g. thin catalyst layer and mesoporosity, enable the control of the diffusion path and enhance the diffusion of reactant to catalytic sites. The objective is to achieve, via the use of monoliths coated with NCM, an intensification of the catalytic process in terms of improved selectivity, robustness, stability and performance while reducing energy requirements and by-product generation with respect to the catalytic process using conventional reactors, as e.g. trickled bed or slurry


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.75M | Year: 2014

Transition to adulthood is the period of onset of most of the serious mental disorders that disable or kill in adult life. Current service configuration of distinct Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health (AMHS) Services is considered the weakest link where the care pathway should be most robust. Transition-related discontinuity of care is a major socioeconomic and societal challenge for the EU. The MILESTONE project is an EU-wide study determining care gaps in current services across diverse healthcare systems and robustly evaluating an innovative transitional care model. In ten high-quality work packages we will map current services and transitional policies across EU; develop and validate transition-specific outcomes measures; conduct a longitudinal cohort study of transition process and outcomes across eight EU countries; develop and test, in a cluster-randomised trial, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an innovative transitional care model; create clinical, organisational, policy and ethics guidelines for improving care and outcomes for transition age youth; and develop and implement training packages for clinicians across EU. The project will provide robust evidence for the most cost-effective way to meet the as-yet-unmet need of young people who fall through the CAMHS-AMHS divide; facilitate the development of integrated models of care and function; improve health care outcomes and system efficiencies; and ensure take-up of best practice. The project has active and intensive participation of young people, carers, advocacy groups and key stakeholders and involves two SMEs, Concentris and HealthTracker. Findings from the project will transform mental health care in EU for young people. Our results will assist policy makers in making informed and evidence-based decisions for improving health systems, enhancing patient outcomes, quality of life, service satisfaction, and improving health status at individual and population levels.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.2 | Award Amount: 6.69M | Year: 2014

EmployID aims to support and facilitate the learning process of Public Employment Services (PES) practitioners in their professional identity transformation process. To perform successfully in their job they need to acquire a set of new and transversal skills, develop additional competencies, as well as embed a professional culture of continuous improvement. EmployID will offer efficient use of technologies to provide advanced coaching, reflection and networking services. Based on adult learning theories, the project focuses on technology developments that make facilitation services for professional identity transformation cost-effective and sustainable by empowering the individual to engage in peer learning and facilitation. This will include (1) e-coaching tools that make coaching processes more efficient and enables peers to develop coaching skills, (2) reflection tools that integrate into coaching processes and support on-going conversation across contexts, (3) novel networking and facilitation tools that support individuals in becoming effective facilitators for the learning of others, and (4) flexible scorecard visualizations as a form of workplace learning analytics, partially fed by data collected from the user activities and feedback. These new tools will integrate into existing learning and training infrastructures, such as existing LMS. Privacy aspects will be addressed carefully by appropriate technical and organizational means. The EmployID framework will help PES practitioners to become self-directed learners and competent in their job counselling and PES organisations in effectively managing the up-skilling of their staff. A comprehensive and empirically validated indicator framework for PES organizations adaptable to their needs will support the development of a performance improvement culture. Our holistic approach is targeting professional identity transformation on an individual, network and organisational level.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2015

A diverse, complex, and poorly characterised community of microorganisms lies at the heart of the wine an industry worth over 220 billion globally. These microorganisms play key roles at all stages of the viniculture and vinification processes, from helping plants access nutrients from the soil, driving their health through protection against pathogens, to fermentation processes that transform the must into wine with its complex array of aromas and flavours. Given this importance, an improved understanding of the microbial community and its interplay will have significant effects on the industry. In recent years, Next Generation DNA sequencing has revolutionised many areas of biology, including microbiology, through conferring the ability to characterise microbes on the deep community scale, through both shotgun and deep amplicon sequencing approaches. To exploit this power for the benefit of the wine industry, we propose MICROWINE, a 15 ESR Marie Curie Actions European Training Network. The network is constructed as a close collaboration between industry and academic partners, around the theme of the microbial communitys role in the wine production process. Through combining microbial metagenomic sequencing with powerful computation analyses, with metadata generated using techniques such as metabolomics and geochemistry, we will study the action of microbes from the plant protection and nutrition, through to wine fermentation process, using samples collected from both Europe and beyond. We will further train the ESRs across a wide range of relevant disciplines, and maximise information transfer through multiple host and academic-industry cosupervision and secondments. In this way, we anticipate contributing to the strength and scientific progress of the wine industry through training of a cohort of leading, interdisciplinary and tightly interconnected scientists at the forefront of modern microbiological, genomic, computational and related techniques.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2015

Metabolism is the foundation of all living organisms. While cells in a population are often phenotypically different, most of our current analytical approaches still probe metabolism only at the population level. Because strong evidence exists that metabolic cell-to-cell heterogeneity has, for instance, disease relevance, researcher from MetaRNA will overcome this severe analytical limitation through exploiting exciting opportunities emerging from the RNA field. Such synergy potential between the metabolism and RNA research fields has until today not been exploited, because they are separated from each other in Europe and worldwide. Through consequently missing research training programs we thus lack experts with combined knowledge in metabolism and RNA. The aim of the MetaRNA proposal is therefore to establish a European Training Network (ETN) that educates specialists for academia and industry - fully trained at the interface of these two fields - in the development and application of RNA-based sensors to investigate metabolism at the single-cell level, to apply these tools for novel biotechnological applications and to provide a framework for their future use in diagnostics and therapeutics. In MetaRNA, eight research groups from the metabolic and RNA fields and six partners from the private sector join forces to create a platform of mobility and training to 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs), by means of customized research projects, exchange of knowhow among researchers and partners, attendance to specialized courses, workshops and conferences, as well as training in complementary skills.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-03-2015 | Award Amount: 997.13K | Year: 2016

The SaSHa (Si on SiC for the Harsh Environment of Space) project will accelerate the development of an entirely new generation of power electronic semiconductor devices benefitting Space and several terrestrial applications. Proof of concept prototypes (up to TRL5) will be developed that incorporate a brand new Si on SiC substrate solution into state-of-the-art power electronic device architectures. The resulting power devices will be capable of working at voltage ratings from 50 to 600 V, in high radiation conditions and at temperatures up to 300C, characteristics unavailable in the current power market, let alone for Space. By solving the so-called self-heating effect of state-of-the-art silicon-on-insulator electronics, this disruptive technology will offer: 1) significantly improved device efficiency with at least 50% less wasted power; 2) three times the power density; 3) a significant increase in the maximum operating temperature, by as much as 100C and 4) a radiation tolerance to match the current state-of-the-art. These characteristics translate into a more efficient power system to boost on-board power and waste less heat. This reduces the burden on the cooling system saving mass and space on the spacecraft, and increasing mission length. Therefore, this is a technology enabling or benefitting several space technologies including high voltage solar arrays, electric propulsion, and many ancillary power conditioning applications. Furthermore, in the future, it will also find use in many terrestrial harsh environment applications including downhole drilling, aviation and automotive.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC1.R1-2015 | Award Amount: 6.71M | Year: 2016

Zelcor project aims at demonstrating the feasibility of transforming lignocellulose biorefinery recalcitrant side streams into high added-value biobased products, including fine chemicals. Its concept is to combine chemical and enzymatic catalysis with insects-based biological conversion, within a biorefinery integrated approach. The project is conceived to avoid waste production by recycling waste bio-based products and improve the sustainability of existing second generation biorefineries. It addresses three types of recalcitrant raw materials: lignocellulosic residues from ethanol production, lignins dissolved during pulping process and lignin-like humins formed by sugars conversion. Enzymatic and process engineering will be implemented to design efficient conversion routes and permit technological breakthroughs. A transversal platform for the characterisation of biomolecules will be settled to identify bio-products of commercial interest among lignins and humins multifunctional nanoparticles, phenolic antioxidants, insects-based chitosans and aromatic chemical intermediates. Thanks to this platform, Zelcor will enhance knowledge of the structure-function relationships and the mechanisms involved in recalcitrant raw materials catalytic depolymerisation and bioconversion. Demonstration of the approach feasibility will be performed by process scaling-up, formulation of end-product prototypes and value chain sustainability and safety assessment. The presence of industrial partners all along the value chains, from lignocellulosic feedstock to end products, will facilitate demonstration activities and technological transfers. With this strong industry drive, Zelcor will lead to large scale production of biomolecules for cosmetics, packaging and chemical industry, as well as novel biocatalysts. Zelcor is a 6.7M collaborative project, 49% of which for SMEs (43% EC grant). It gathers 18 organisations from 8 countries, including 6 academia, 8 SMEs, and 3 corporations.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-3-04;KBBE-2007-3-3-05 | Award Amount: 8.07M | Year: 2009

This proposal will (further) develop and apply metagenomics tools to access the enzymatic potential borne in the cryptic biota of selected natural habitats, in particular target soil-related and aquatic ones. In the light of the environmental relevance of chitins and lignins (as natural compounds recalcitrant to degradation) and halogenated aliphatic and aromatic compounds (anthropogenic recalcitrant compounds), the enzymatic activities that we will target are functions able to degrade these compounds. A database of gene functions will be established and maintained. Next to its great relevance to environmental biotechnology including bioremediation, a spin-off of the work will be the discovery of novel biocatalytic functions of industrial relevance. We will in particular address the catabolic potential that is encoded by the mobilome, the collective pool of mobile genetic elements in the microbiota. We will further apply high-throughput (454-based) sequencing to rapidly unravel the metabolic complement in this mobile gene pool. The project brings together a suite of 15 contractors across Europe, encompassing 21 laboratories spread over 11 copuntries and including 4 SMEs. Most of the partners are renowned laboratories which have vast experience in metagenomics of environmental samples, biotechnology, enzymology, bioinformatics, the mobilome, waste management and bioremediation and enzyme production.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.2 | Award Amount: 9.76M | Year: 2010

TRANSFoRm will develop rigorous, generic methods for the integration of Primary Care clinical and research activities, to support patient safety and clinical research via:\n1.\tRich capture of clinical data, including symptoms and signs rather than just a single diagnosis. A generic, dynamic interface, integrated with electronic health records (EHR), will facilitate both diagnostic decision support and identification of patients eligible for research, thus enhancing patient safety.\n2.\tDistributed interoperability of EHR data and other data sources that maintains provenance, confidentiality and security. This will enable large-scale phenotype-genotype association studies and follow up of trials.\n3.\tSoftware tools and services to enable use of controlled vocabulary and standardised data elements in clinical research. This will enable integration and reuse of clinical data.\nWhy this is important? Whilst diagnostic error is the commonest cause of litigation in Primary Care, EHR systems do not provide for easy collection of the data required for decision support. At the same time, clinical research is becoming uneconomic due to the costs of recruiting and following study participants, tasks that could be supported by the use of data from EHRs.\nWho will conduct the work? A multi-disciplinary consortium of ICT and clinical researchers from across Europe. These include experts in ontology, integration, distributed systems, security, data mining, user-facing design, evaluation and clinical research domains. Clinical participants include The European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (where the systems will be deployed), The European General Practice Research Network, and a major Contract Research Organisation.\nWhat is the anticipated impact? Improved patient safety by speeding translational research, quicker and more economic recruitment and follow up of RCTs, and enhanced uptake of eHR systems that offer support for clinical care and research.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2013.5.1-2 | Award Amount: 15.13M | Year: 2014

SIIP is a break-through Suspect Identification solution based on a novel Speaker-Identification (SID) engine fusing multiple speech analytic algorithms (e.g. voiceprints recognition, Gender/Age/Language/Accent ID, Keyword/ Taxonomy spotting and Voice cloning detection). This Fused Speaker Identification will result in significantly higher true-positive speaker identification, reduced False-Positives/Negatives while increasing reliability & confidence. SIIP analyzes rich metadata from voice samples and social media. SIIP provides judicial admissible evidence for identifying crime/terror suspects as well as for mapping/tracing the suspect terror/crime network. SIIP is crucial when individuals use Internet-based applications (e.g. VoIP or social media) to plan a crime or terrorist attack. SIIPs results can easily be shared with relevant authorities based on a sustainable SIIP Info Sharing Center (SISC) located at INTERPOL. SISC guarantees an increased reliability of the identification results through advanced technologies and through voice samples checked against a large centralized database of samples collected by INTERPOLs 190 members (based on standard operating/data privacy procedures). SIIP multiplies and increases the information sharing and cooperation in the LEA community and speeds up the use of Speaker Identification by LEAs in Europe not only for individual identification but also for authentication. SIIP runs on all speech sources (e.g. Internet, PSTN, Cellular and SATCOM) and uses the latest OSINT data mining applications to obtain and corroborate voice samples. The SIIP consortium consists of 17 partners bringing together end-users, SMEs, industrial and academic partners from a variety of fields including Speech analytics, Social Media Analytics and Integration. To maximize its impact, SIIP will be designed, developed and tested with INTERPOL and police forces in the UK and Portugal, taking into account the various EU legal/ethical aspects and Interpol regulations.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: FCT-15-2015 | Award Amount: 1.92M | Year: 2016

MEDI@4SEC focuses upon enhancing understanding of the opportunities, challenges and ethical consideration of social media use for public security: the good, the bad and the ugly. The good comprises using social media for problem solving, fighting crime, decreasing fear of crime and increasing the quality of life. The bad is the increase of digitised criminality and terrorism with new phenomena emerging through the use of social media. The ugly comprises the grey areas where trolling, cyberbullying, threats, or live video-sharing of tactical security operations are phenomena to deal with during incidents. Making use of the possibilities that social media offer, including smart work-arounds is key, while respecting privacy, legislation, and ethics. This changing situation raises a series of challenges and possibilities for public security planners. MEDI@4SEC will explore this through a series of communication and dissemination activities that engage extensively with a range of end-users to better understand the usage of social media for security activities. MEDI@4SEC will seek a better understanding of how social media can, and how social media cannot be used for public security purposes and highlight ethical, legal and data-protection-related issues and implications. Activities centre around six relevant themes: DIY Policing; Everyday security; Riots and mass gatherings: The dark web; Trolling; and Innovative market solutions. MEDI@4SEC will feed into, support and influence changes in policy-making and policy implementation in public security that can be used by end-users to improve their decision making. By structuring our understanding of the impact of social media on public security approaches in a user-friendly way MEDI@4SEC will provide an evidence-base and roadmap for better policymaking including: best practice reports; a catalogue of social media technologies; recommendations for EU standards; future training options; and, ethical awareness raising.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.3 | Award Amount: 15.53M | Year: 2011

The airways diseases asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affect over 400 million people world-wide and cause considerable morbidity and mortality. Airways disease costs the European Union in excess of 56 billion per annum. Current therapies are inadequate and we do not have sufficient tools to predict disease progression or response to current or future therapies. Our consortium, Airway Disease PRedicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM), brings together the exisiting clinical consortia (EvA FP7, U-BIOPRED IMI and BTS Severe Asthma), and expertise in physiology, radiology, image analysis, bioengineering, data harmonization, data security and ethics, computational modeling and systems biology. We shall develop an integrated multi-scale model building upon existing models. This airway model will be comprised of an integrated micro-scale and macro-scale airway model informed and validated by omic data and ex vivo models at the genome-transcriptome-cell-tissue scale and by CT and functional MRI imaging coupled to detailed physiology at the tissue-organ scale utilising Europes largest airway disease cohort. Validation will be undertaken cross-sectionally, following interventions and after longitudinal follow-up to incorporate both spatial and temporal dimensions. AirPROM has a comprehensive data management platform and a well-developed ethico-legal framework. Critically, AirPROM has an extensive exploitation plan, involving at its inception and throughout its evolution those that will develop and use the technologies emerging from this project. AirPROM therefore will bridge the critical gaps in our clinical management of airways disease, by providing validated models to predict disease progression and response to treatment and the platform to translate these patient-specific tools, so as to pave the way to improved, personalised management of airways disease.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 438.90K | Year: 2012

This proposal aims to bring together the complementary expertise of world leading groups carrying out research on the engineering assessment, prevention and mitigation of geohazards, the main ones being floods, landslides, and earthquakes considering also the effect of climate change and human activity on soil degradation. To mitigate these disasters it is necessary to improve our understanding of the failures taking place in flood defence embankments, to have better models for a more rational risk assessment of areas prone to flooding, to investigate the geomechanical conditions leading to the onset of landslides more in depth, to model debris flows and mudflows to estimate run-out distances and destructive power of the landslide materials, etc. In other words, prevention, preparedness and mitigation of geohazards rely on sound geo-engineering which requires competences in geomechanics, numerical modelling, constitutive models for soils, hazard zonation and risk assessment. The goals of this proposal are: i) to investigate the key aspects of major geohazards (floodings, landslides, earthquakes) to bridge the current gaps in knowledge to improve significantly the current capabilities of prevention, preparedness and mitigation by bringing together specialists engaged in cutting edge research; ii) to enable knowledge exchange among experts in complementary research fields; iii) to train several Early Stage Researches (ESRs) to expand their knowledge during their stay at the host institution; iv) to improve the current normative standards and codes ruling geohazard prevention; v) to generate new approaches to the problems dealt with through exposure to different methodologies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2009-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2010

The SYNFLOW vision is the paradigm shift from batch-wise large volume processes in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and intermediates production comprising many separate unit operations towards highly integrated but yet flexible catalytic continuous flow processing. For this purpose, SYNFLOW develops a unique integrative approach combining molecular understanding of synthesis and catalysis with engineering science in process design and plant concepts, aiming at an efficiency breakthrough in process development and operation. The SYNFLOW mission is to overcome the traditional way of linear process development providing individual solutions for specific products, and to demonstrate the technological, economic and ecological superiority of truly designing processes by application of advanced chemical and engineering knowledge. The SYNFLOW concept is based on the definition of generic challenges with industrial relevance, represented by Case Studies provided by the industrial consortium members. Catalyst development, studies of the underlying chemical target transformations (synthetic methodology), tailored reaction engineering, conceptual process design and process evaluation interact closely in order to substantiate the SYNFLOW vision. Its success will be demonstrated on a relevant production scale as a reference for the entire European Chemical Industry. The SYNFLOW consortium brings together major industrial producers from the Pharmaceuticals, Fine Chemicals and Intermediates sectors, providers of process technology and technical catalyst supply. A number of high-ranked academic partners ensures the availability of comprehensive expertise for the suggested Case Studies. Dissemination of the results is guaranteed by the participation of DECHEMA and Britest. SYNFLOW presents a holistic approach to central challenges of the European Chemical Industries and therefore a highly promising candidate to fulfill the crucial issues of the NMP-2009-3.2-1 call.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-5.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.97M | Year: 2011

MYPLACE explores how young peoples social participation is shaped by the shadows (past, present and future) of totalitarianism and populism in Europe. Conceptually, it goes beyond the comparison of discrete national political cultures or reified classifications of political heritage (postcommunist/liberal democratic); it is premised rather on the pan-European nature of a range of radical and populist political and philosophical traditions and the cyclical rather than novel nature of the popularity they currently enjoy. Empirically, MYPLACE employs a combination of survey, interview and ethnographic research instruments to provide new, pan- European data that not only measure levels of participation but capture the meanings young people attach to it. Analytically, through its specific focus on youth and the historical and cultural contextualization of young peoples social participation, MYPLACE replaces the routine, and often abstract, iteration of the reasons for young peoples disengagement from politics with an empirically rich mapping of young peoples understandings of the civic and political space that they inhabit. In policy terms, MYPLACE identifies the obstacles to, and facilitators of, young peoples reclamation of the European political arena as a place for them.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.2.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2014

Some progress has been made in understanding and managing cyber crime as well assessing its economic impact. Yet much remains to be done. Lack of co-ordination in law enforcement and legislation, lack of common consensus on the nature of cyber crime and lack of knowledge sharing and trust are just some of the issues that both afflict cyber crime responses and cloud our understanding of cyber crime. E-CRIME addresses these well-known problems, while analysing the economic impact of cyber crime and developing concrete measures to manage risks and deter cyber criminals in non-ICT sectors. E-CRIME does so by adopting an interdisciplinary and multi-level-stakeholder focused approach that fully integrates a wide range of stakeholders knowledge and insights into the project. First, the project will create a detailed taxonomy and inventory of cyber crime in non-ICT sectors and analyse cyber criminal structures and economies by combining the best existing data sources with specialist new insights from key stakeholders and experts. Second, E-CRIME will assess existing counter-measures against cyber crime in non-ICT sectors in the form of current technology, best practices, policy and enforcement approaches, and awareness and trust initiatives. Third, having mapped the as-is of cyber crime, the project will use available information and new data to develop a multi-level model to measure the economic impact of cyber crime on non ICT-sectors. Fourth, E-CRIME will integrate all its previous findings to identify and develop diverse, concrete counter-measures, combined in portfolios of inter-sector and intra-sector solutions, including enhancement for crime-proofed applications, risk management tools, policy and best practices, and trust and confidence measures. The analysis will proceed in close co-operation with relevant and diverse stakeholders. This will be achieved through conducting interviews and survey, organising workshops and setting up an E-CRIME Stakeholder Forum.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-11 | Award Amount: 16.70M | Year: 2009

The overarching goal of COGS is to identify individuals with an increased risk of breast, ovary and prostate cancer. Furthermore, we will evaluate the effect of inherited genetic variation on tumour characteristics and clinical outcome. We will do this through quantifying the role of genetic and environmental/lifestyle risk in the largest data set ever generated. In all, we will include over 200,000 individuals in the COGS project. We will use detailed knowledge of the architecture of genetic susceptibility and interactions with environmental/lifestyle factors which will result in much more accurate individual risk prediction and improved intervention strategies. We are taking advantage of a unique possibility by incorporating seven existing consortia into one large project COGS. Members of these consortia have collaborated successfully over the past years and results have been presented in world leading scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These papers reflect that collaboration has been ongoing and that is has so far been very successful. We will also build on an existing European Commission project, TRANSBIG, thus adding value to already spent money. Results generated through COGS will lead to an improved understanding of the biological processes that underlie carcinogenesis, that in turn could guide new therapeutic strategies. Results will also lead to the development of new tests for risk prediction for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-11-2015 | Award Amount: 2.36M | Year: 2016

The European Union has made a major start articulating the relevance of cultural and science for its external relations. What has yet to be done, however, is to make explicit the assumptions underpinning much of this work on cultural and science diplomacy and to codify and articulate it as part of a systematic and strategic approach to understanding the direction of travel of science and cultural diplomacy that locates developments in these fields within the evolving global and EU external relations context. EL-CSID will do this, with the added ambition to identify how the Union and its member states might collectively and individually develop a good institutional and strategic policy environment for extra-regional culture and science diplomacy. Hence, the over-arching objectives of this proposed project are threefold: 1) To detail and analyse the manner in which the EU operates in the domains of cultural and science diplomacy in the current era; comparing its bilateral and multilateral cultural and science ties between states, regions, and public and private international organisations. 2) To examine the degree to which cultural and science diplomacy can enhance the interests of the EU in the contemporary world order and to identify: (a) How cultural and science diplomacy can contribute to Europes standing as an international actor; (b) Opportunities offered by enhanced coordination and collaboration amongst the EU, its members and their extra-European partners; and (c) Constraints posed by economic and socio-political factors affecting the evolving operating environments of both science and cultural diplomacy. 3) To identify a series of mechanisms/platforms to raise awareness among relevant stakeholders of the importance of science and culture as vehicles for enhancing the EUs external relations. The research will generate both scholarly work and policy-oriented output which will be disseminated through an extensive and targeted dissemination programme.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-AIPP6;SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-AIPP4 | Award Amount: 67.54M | Year: 2013

Our society is facing both energy and competitiveness challenges. These challenges are tightly linked and require new dynamic interactions between energy producers and energy consumers, between machines, between systems, between people and systems, etc. Cooperative automation is the key for these dynamic interactions and is enabled by the technology developed around the Internet of Things and Service Oriented Architectures. The objective of the Arrowhead project is to address the technical and applicative challenges associated to cooperative automation: -Provide a technical framework adapted in terms of functions and performances, -Propose solutions for integration with legacy systems, -Implement and evaluate the cooperative automation through real experimentations in applicative domains: electro-mobility, smart buildings, infrastructures and smart cities, industrial production, energy production and energy virtual market, -Point out the accessible innovations thanks to new services, -Lead the way to further standardization work. The strategy adopted in the project has four major dimensions: -An innovation strategy based on business and technology gap analysis paired with a market implementation strategy based on end users priorities and long term technology strategies -Application pilots where technology demonstrations in real working environments will be made -A technology framework enabling collaborative automation and closing innovation critical technology gaps -An innovation coordination methodology for complex innovation orchestration Date of approval by the ECSEL JU: 23/07/2015


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 707.70K | Year: 2013

This is a project for a partnership between leading Brazilian and European research groups in dynamical systems, a prominent subject in mathematics. An extensive consortium of European and Brazilian institutions will collaborate to provide world leading critical mass and support for research on the very forefront of the field. Work Packages reflect parallel priorities in the research. Transfer of knowledge is facilitated by two large conferences and five smaller workshops. The project has excellent strategic value in view of the development of closer ties in higher education and research between the European Research Area and Brazil.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-04-2016 | Award Amount: 9.71M | Year: 2017

The projects overall aim is to improve the health, development and quality of life of children and adults born very preterm (VPT, < 32 weeks of gestation) or very low birth weight (VLBW, < 1500g) approximately 50 000 births each year in Europe by establishing an ICT platform to integrate, harmonise and exploit the wealth of data from 20 European cohorts of VPT/VLBW children and adults and their families constituted from the early 1980s to the present, together with data from national registries. VPT/VLBW births have higher risks of cerebral palsy, visual and auditory deficits, impaired cognitive ability, psychiatric disorders and social problems than infants born at term and account for more than a third of the health and educational budgets for children. They may also face higher risks of non-communicable disease as they age. There is emerging evidence of reduced mental health, quality of life, partnering, family life and employment chances and wealth in adulthood. The platform will enable stratified sub-group analyses of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, neonatal complications, and otherwise rare medical conditions that cannot be studied in national population cohorts. The broad temporal, geographic, cultural and health system diversity makes it possible to study the impact of socioeconomic and organisational contexts and determine the generalisability of outcomes for VPT/VLBW populations. The RECAP platform creates a value chain to promote research and innovation using population cohorts, beginning with the integration of VPT/VLBW cohorts to the translation and dissemination of new knowledge. It will be based on a sustainable governance framework, state-of-the art data management and sharing technologies, tools to strengthen research capacity, a hypothesis-driven research agenda and broad stakeholder participation, including researchers, clinicians, educators, policy makers and very preterm children and adults and their families.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.2-02 | Award Amount: 11.97M | Year: 2012

Marine microorganisms form an almost untapped resource of biotechnological potential. However, its use is hindered by the low success rate of isolation of novel microorganisms and often by poor growth efficiency. Hence, the vast majority of marine microorganisms has not been cultivated and is often considered as unculturable. MaCuMBA aims at improving the isolation rate and growth efficiency of marine microorganisms from conventional and extreme habitats, by applying innovative methods, and the use of automated high throughput procedures. The approaches include the co-cultivation of interdependent microorganisms, as well as gradient cultures and other methods mimicking the natural environment, and the exploitation of cell-to-cell communication. Signaling molecules produced by microorganisms may be necessary for stimulating growth of the same or other species, or may prevent their growth. Signaling molecules also represent an interesting and marketable product. MaCuMBA will make use of high throughput platforms such Cocagne, using gel micro-droplet technology, or MicroDish in which many thousands of cultures are grown simultaneously. Various single-cell isolation methods, such as optical tweezers, will aid the isolation of specific target cells. Isolated microorganisms as well as their genomes will be screened for a wide range of bioactive products and other properties of biotechnological interest, such as genetic transformability. Growth efficiency and expression of silent genes of selected strains will be increased also by using the clues obtained from genomic information. MaCuMBA is targeted to SMEs and industry and they make a significant part of the consortium, ensuring that the project focuses on the interests of these partners. Moreover, MaCuMBA has adopted a comprehensive and professional exploitation, dissemination, implementation, and education strategy, ensuring that MaCuMBAs results and products will be directed to end-users and stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2011

The goal of EINS is coordinating and integrating European research aimed at achieving a deeper multidisciplinary understanding of the development of the Internet as a societal and technological artefact, whose evolution is increasingly interwined with that of human societies. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all the disciplines which study Internet systems under any technological or humanistic perspective, and which in turn are being transformed by the continuous advances in Internet functionalities and applications. EINS will bring together research institutions focusing on network engineering, computation, complexity, security, trust, mathematics, physics, sociology, game theory, economics, political sciences, humanities, law, energy, transport, artistic expression, and any other relevant social and life sciences.\nThis multidisciplinary bridging of the different disciplines may also be seen as the starting point for a new Internet Science, the theoretical and empirical foundation for an holistic understanding of the complex techno-social interactions related to the Internet. It is supposed to inform the future technological, social, political choices concerning Internet technologies, infrastructures and policies made by the various public and private stakeholders, for example as for the far-ended possible consequences of architectural choices on social, economic, environmental or political aspects, and ultimately on quality of life at large.\nThe individual contributing disciplines will themselves benefit from a more holistic understanding of the Internet principles and in particular of the network effect. The unprecedented connectivity offered by the Internet plays a role often underappreciated in most of them; whereas the Internet provides both an operational development platform and a concrete empirical and experimental model. These multi- and inter-disciplinary investigations will improve the design of elements of Future Internet, enhance the understanding of its evolving and emerging implications at societal level, and possibly identify universal principles for understanding the Internet-based world that will be fed back to the participating disciplines. EINS will:\nCoordinate the investigation, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, of specific topics at the intersection between humanistic and technological sciences, such as privacy & identity, reputation, virtual communities, security & resilience, network neutrality\nLay the foundations for an Internet Science, based i.a. on Network Science and Web Science, aiming at understanding the impact of the network effect on human societies & organisations, as for technological, economic, social & environmental aspects\nProvide concrete incentives for academic institutions and individual researchers to conduct studies across multiple disciplines, in the form of online journals, conferences, workshops, PhD courses, schools, contests, and open calls


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.2-02 | Award Amount: 5.64M | Year: 2013

BISIGODOS aims to address the production of valuable algae derived chemicals, amino acids and high added-value bio-resins for coatings, printing, food and hair care and adhesives applications, starting from algae biomass fed directly with CO2 from industrial emissions (cement, steel factory, thermal power plants, etc.) as a raw material that is cost-effective and renewable. The process is assisted by solar radiation, nutrients and sea water microalgae. This approach is based on the technology developed by the Partner Biofuel Systems (BFS) to produce bio-oil. In order to develop such technology, several innovative approaches are proposed: - New algae strains production optimization and CO2 energetic balance improvement. -Optimization of photo-bioreactors - Study and adaptation of separation of algae components based on hybrid technologies. - Production of algae derived chemicals for surfactants applications and amino acids for food applications - Production of bio-based resins from algae based fatty acids and bio-oil aromatic moieties. Similar studies have been carried out at laboratory level to obtain a broad range of algae derived chemicals, however BISIGODOS project aims to work at semi-industrial scale using the BFS industrial photo-bioreactors facilities. Results obtained at this scale, under a well controlled process, will permit to validate the lab scale results and to develop new ones (mainly in the bioresin field) gaining a real knowledge of the industrial-market possibilities that the microalgae technologies offer and contributing to define the roadmap of the technology


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2013

Cultural Heritage (CH) is an integral element of Europe and vital for the creation of a common European identity and one of the greatest assets for steering Europes social, economic development and job creation. However, the current research training activities in CH are fragmented and mostly design to be of a single-discipline, failing to cover the whole lifecycle of Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) research, which is by nature a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral research agenda. ITN-DCH aims for the first time worldwide that top universities, research centers, industries and CH stakeholders, end-users and standardized bodies will collaborate to train the next generation of researchers in DCH. The project aims to analyze, design, research, develop and validate an innovative multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral research training framework that covers the whole lifecycle of digital CH research for a costeffective preservation, documentation, protection and presentation of CH. ITN-DCH targets innovations that covers all aspects of CH ranging from tangible (books, newspapers, images, drawings, manuscripts, uniforms, maps, artefacts, archaeological sites, monuments) to intangible content (e.g., music, performing arts, folklore, theatrical performances) and their inter-relationships. The project aims to boost the added value of CH assets by re-using them in real application environments (protection of CH, education, tourism industry, advertising, fashion, films, music, publishing, video games and TV) through research on (i) new personalized, interactive, mixed and augmented reality enabled e-services, (ii) new recommendations in data acquisition, (iii) new forms of representations (3D/4D) of both tangible /intangible assets and (iv) interoperable metadata forms that allow easy data exchange and archiving.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 65.00K | Year: 2013

The aim of this proposal is to expand the capability base that solid state NMR community has at its disposal so that more materials and chemistry systems can be effectively studied with this technique. Solid state NMR usually confines itself to the study of diamagnetic materials and compounds; i.e. systems that do not possess unpaired electrons in their electronic structure. Many modern materials and chemical systems being developed possess transition metals and/or rare earth species as part of the elemental composition; these introduce unpaired electrons into these systems and thus promote paramagnetic characteristics which are incompatible with the conventional NMR methodology. Our traditional mindset of how we approach the typical NMR measurement needs to be adjusted as our typical drive to higher external magnetic field strengths is counterproductive in this case. The electron polarisation that gives rise to paramagnetic anisotropies and shifts scales linearly with magnetic field, and these effects greatly detract from conventional NMR data thus masking the information that is normally sought. Severe cases of paramagnetism can preclude the NMR measurement of some systems completely. The most direct way to address this solid state NMR challenge is to attempt measurements in a much reduced (rather than increased) magnetic field, and to spin the sample at very high MAS frequencies. This low field/fast MAS methodology maximises the chance for NMR data to be elucidated from these systems, however these types of NMR spectrometers are very rare commodities worldwide. While many thousand NMR instruments exist throughout the world at fields of 7.05 T (300 MHz for 1H) and above, only a handful of operational low field spectrometers exist to undertake these type of measurements; furthermore, the UK is not well catered for in this field of spectroscopy apart from very limited proof-of-concept pilot studies that have demonstrated this idea. This new capability will be as easy to operate as conventional solid state NMR instrumentation and no specific additional training is required to enable its usage for data acquisition. The impact of this methodology is expected to influence the fields of catalysis and energy materials (battery materials, solid oxide and H conduction fuel cells, hydrogen storage materials, supported metal nanoparticles systems, zeolites, nuclear waste glasses etc.), general organometallc and inorganic chemistry, and the emerging field of medical engineering (rare earth doped biomaterials for oncology and blood vessel growth stimulation applications). It is also expected that this methodology will bridge across to established techniques such as EPR, and emerging technologies such as DNP, both of which employ different strategies for the manipulation of the paramagnetic interaction. These relationships are expected to stimulate a more vibrant magnetic resonance community that will be capable of collaboratively tackling the challenging research issues that confront the UK. Academic collaborators at Cambridge, Birmingham, Imperial, Queen Mary, Kent, UCL and Lancaster, and industrial partners such as Johnson Matthey and Unilever are all acutely aware of these new solid state NMR possibilities and flexibility that this methodology offers, and they eagerly await the improvements to the measurement technology that a low field/fast MAS combination can offer. The specific objectives that shape this proposal are: (a) to deliver a shared low-field/fast MAS solid state NMR resource to the UK magnetic resonance community that will augment the current UK suite of solid state NMR instrumentation in existence, (b) to put in place a state-of-the-art solid state NMR console and appropriate fast MAS probe technology capable of delivering the most modern experiments, (c) to align this methodology with established characterisation technologies such as EPR and emerging experimental initiatives such as DNP.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.2-3 | Award Amount: 2.92M | Year: 2014

The HEALTH.2013.4.2-3 call identifies a need for new or improved statistical methodology for clinical trials for the efficient assessment of safety and/or efficacy of treatment for small population groups. This project brings together international experts in innovative clinical trial design methodology in these specific areas along with key stakeholders including regulatory authorities, industry, clinicians and patient groups to address this need. Our aim is the development novel methodology for the design and analysis of clinical trials in small populations. We will focus on four specific areas where we believe there are particular challenges: (i) early phase dose-finding studies in small populations, (ii) decision-theoretic methods for clinical trials in small populations, (iii) confirmatory trials in small populations and personalised medicines, (iv) use of evidence synthesis in the planning and interpretation of clinical trials in small populations and rare diseases. We will build on recent research advances, of our own and of others in this area. In the rare disease setting, we will focus on Bayesian and decision-theoretic methods that formally enable comparison of the gain in information with the cost, both in economic and opportunity terms, of clinical experimentation, and assess how information from outside the trial can formally be incorporated in the design and decision-making processes. In the personalised medicine setting, we will develop methods that allow evaluation of efficacy in a number of sub-populations simultaneously in a confirmatory clinical trial without any reduction in scientific or statistical rigour.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2013

Seed quality is of paramount importance to agriculture, food security and the conservation of wild species. Considerable economic losses result from sub-optimal seed performance, undermining food security and livelihoods. Seed quality is strongly influenced by the environmental stresses experienced by the mother plant. Climate change will further exacerbate economic losses and decrease the predictability of seed yield and quality for the farmer. The looming challenges of climate change and food security require new knowledge of how stress impacts on seed quality, as well as a re-appraisal of optimal storage conditions. EcoSeed addresses these challenges by bringing together a group of distinguished European experts in seed science and converging sciences to characterise seed quality and resilience to perturbation. EcoSeed combines state-of the-art omics, epigenetics, and post-omics approaches, such as nuclear and chromatin compaction, DNA repair, oxidative and post-translational modifications to macromolecules, to define regulatory switchboards that underpin the seed phenotype. Special emphasis is placed on the stress signalling hub that determines seed fate from development, through storage, germination and seedling development, with a particular focus on seed after-ripening, vigour, viability and storability. Translation of new knowledge gained in model to crop and wild species is an integral feature of EcoSeed project design, which will create a step-change in our understanding of the regulatory switchboards that determine seed fate. Novel markers for seed quality and new omics information generated in this project will assist plant breeders, advise the seed trade and conservationists alike. In this way, EcoSeed will not only be proactive in finding solutions to problems of ensuring seed quality and storability but also play a leading role in enabling associated industries to better capture current and emerging markets.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-4.1-1 | Award Amount: 10.16M | Year: 2011

GREEN will study the current and future role of the EU in an emerging multi-polar world through a programme of stock-taking, multi-disciplinary research and complementary activities. It aims at an understanding of the prospective directions of the emerging global governance structures and Europes place in them. Analysis will focus on the extant actors from the 20th century, the 21st century rising powers, the increasingly influential non-state actors (from civil and non-civil society) and the new transnational regulatory networks of public and private policy makers and regional agencies. While multi-polarity, with Europe as a pole, is a possibility, alternative scenarios are also plausible. A shift from a trans-Atlantic to trans-Pacific locus of power, or the depolarization and fragmentation of authority are such alternatives; both could marginalize Europe. But these are questions to be researched; not assertions to be made. The project will have 5 components: i) conceptual analyses of an emerging multi-polar world and the theory and practice of international organisation and networks in that world; ii) evolving EU policy and practice; iii) the effects of regional leadership from Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas; iv) projects on the EU and multi-polarity within the fields of human rights and security, energy, resources and environment, trade and finance; v) a foresight study detailing scenarios for EU policy towards the emerging world order. The research will be theoretical, policy-oriented and with an interactive dissemination strategy to assure feedback from its target-publics. The work will be undertaken by a manageable consortium of partners (from Belgium, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Norway with a strong track-record of collaboration on these issues) accompanied by leading institutes from the USA, Argentina, Singapore, China, Japan, Australia and South Africa to act as hub-and-spokes for their regions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.27M | Year: 2009

Coping with economic uncertainty while seeking security is a central dilemma of public policy in a globalising economy. A complex set of deals and conflicts are involved in the process of distributing the gains and the burdens of that uncertainty, and various forms of employment contracts and labour and social policies express their outcome. This project is concerned with the study of that process and its implications for societal models. In the course of conflict a number of different institutions engage in new practices; and there is a new diversity of employment forms and tenures. Social policy becomes increasingly integrated with employment and industrial relations practices, while both the sustainability of the institutions themselves and their impact on the natural environment require consideration. Challenges are also presented by the different forms of governance at work in the various policy fields. The crisis of the Keynesian model was often seen as a crisis for associational governance (or neo-corporatism), and an advance for reliance on market governance (usually assisted by strong elements of government intervention). Since then, policy-making by individual large corporations often seems to be replacing associational governance as well as government policy-making in fields of employment categories and rights, pay determination, and the determination of pensions. However, the public goods issues raised by uncertainty and environmental damage bring again into question the adequacy of governance by the market and individual firms. We should expect to find radical changes in the societal models that we have become accustomed to using in the analysis of social policy. There is a search for new modes of governance, or new combinations of old ones.


BIO-GO-For-Production is a Large Scale Collaborative Research Project that aims to achieve a step change in the application of nanocatalysis to sustainable energy production through an integrated, coherent and holistic approach utilizing novel heterogeneous nanoparticulate catalysts in fuel syntheses. BIO-GO researches and develops advanced nanocatalysts, which are allied with advanced reactor concepts to realise modular, highly efficient, integrated processes for the production of fuels from renewable bio-oils and biogas. Principal objectives are to develop new designs, preparation routes and methods of coating nanocatalysts on innovative micro-structured reactor designs, enabling compact, integrated catalytic reactor systems that exploit fully the special properties of nanocatalysts to improve process efficiency through intensification. An important aim is to reduce the dependence on precious metals and rare earths. Catalyst development is underpinned by modelling, kinetic and in-situ studies, and is validated by extended laboratory runs of biogas and bio-oil reforming, methanol synthesis and gasoline production to benchmark performance against current commercial catalysts. The 4-year project culminates in two verification steps: (a) a 6 month continuous pilot scale catalyst production run to demonstrate scaled up manufacturing potential for fast industrialisation (b) the integration at miniplant scale of the complete integrated process to gasoline production starting from bio-oil and bio-gas feedstocks. A cost evaluation will be carried out on the catalyst production while LCA will be undertaken to analyse environmental impacts across the whole chain. BIO-GO brings together a world class multi-disciplinary team from 15 organisations to carry out the ambitious project, the results of which will have substantial strategic, economic and environmental impacts on the EU petrochemicals industry and on the increasing use of renewable feedstock for energy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.6-02 | Award Amount: 9.37M | Year: 2013

The global chemical industry is transitioning from petrochemical production processes to bio-based production processes. This transition creates a clear market need for technologies that reduce the development time and cost of cell factories. PROMYS will develop, validate and implement a novel synthetic biology platform technology termed ligand responsive regulation and selection systems. Ligand responsive regulation and selection systems are biological devices that integrate biological sensing modules, within larger regulatory networks to control cellular programs. This technology will drastically accelerate the construction, optimization and performance of cell factories by enabling industrial users to impose non-natural objectives on the engineered cell factory. PROMYS will address three major challenges in metabolic engineering that limit the development of new cell factories: 1) Synthetic pathway construction 2) Cell factory optimization 3) Control of populations during fermentation Ligand responsive regulation and selection systems will directly couple the presence of a desired chemical product or flux state within a cell, to the survival of the cell. As such, they allow the in vivo identification of the needle (e.g. functional pathway or optimized cell factories) in a haystack (e.g. large libraries). In addition, the technology developed in PROMYS will be applied to deliver increased fermentation yields by continuously selecting for high yielding cell factories within the fermentation population. PROMYS is industry driven and designed such that the expected innovations of each work package have a direct commercialization partner, which is willing to commit the necessary resources to develop commercial products from the innovation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.1.1. | Award Amount: 10.17M | Year: 2011

Key questions in physics can be answered only by constructing a giant underground observatory to search for rare events and study terrestrial and astrophysical neutrinos. The Astroparticle Roadmap of ApPEC/ASPERA strongly supports this, recommending that: a new large European infrastructure of 100000-500000 ton for proton decay and low-energy neutrinos be evaluated as a common design study together with the underground infrastructure and eventual detection of accelerator neutrino beams. The latest CERN roadmap also states: a range of very important non-accelerator experiments takes place at the overlap of particle and astroparticle physics exploring otherwise inaccessible phenomena; Council will seek with ApPEC a coordinated strategy in these areas of mutual interest. Reacting to this, uniting scientists across Europe with industrial support to produce a very strong collaboration, the LAGUNA FP7 design study has had a very positive effect. It enabled, via study of seven pre-selected locations (Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and UK), a detailed geo-technical assessment of the giant underground cavern needed, concluding finally that no geo-technical show-stoppers to cavern construction exist. Building on this, the present design study will address two challenges vital to making a final detector and site choice: (i) to determine the full cost of construction underground, commissioning and long-term operation of the infrastructure, and (ii) to determine the full impact of including long baseline neutrino physics with beams from CERN.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-10-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

The emergence of highly diverse resistance mechanisms among pathogens requires their detailed analysis to guarantee an efficient medical treatment. The gold standard in clinical diagnostics is based on the cultivation of bacteria and their phenotypical characterisation. However, these methods are labour-intensive and time-consuming lasting in some cases up to a few weeks. Thus, faster diagnostic techniques are necessary to ensure an immediate and targeted treatment of the patient. DNA-based diagnostics can provide the relevant results within a few hours. The requirements for a clinical DNA-based characterisation method are high; more than 1000 clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes, a few hundred phylogenetic marker genes and virulence factors have to be targeted (including SNP detection). The limit of detection has to be low because a few 100 bacterial cells in the blood system can lead to the death of the patient. It should be possible to analyse a wide range of clinical sample origins such as stool, blood, urine and saliva using the same test. In addition, the results have to be obtained within a single working day. In our project, we will develop two diagnostic systems that can be with direct sample material from patients. Thus, the time-consuming cultivation of pathogens will be avoided. Additionally, the test will be more sensitive, specific and faster than any other test on the market using an innovative DNA probe concept.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.16M | Year: 2010

Cancer is hallmarked by multiple genetic aberrations that lead to a functional derangement of cellular signalling networks. Embryonal tumours (ETs) comprising neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma and Ewing sarcoma, occur early in life, and thus may reveal pathogenetically relevant lesions clearer than adulthood tumours which carry passenger mutations accumulated during life. ASSET will exploit this fact by focussing on unravelling the signalling networks and their alterations in ETs. The basic hypothesis is that ETs share common pathogenetic principles that can be captured and made accessible to rational analysis by combining high-throughput and high content analysis of the genome, transcriptome and proteome with mathematical modelling. ASSET builds on a previous FP6 consortium, the European Embryonal Tumour Pipeline (EEPT), which generated high-throughput genomic and transcriptomic data on ETs. ASSET is the next logical step to add crucial functional information that will allow us to generate (i) defined in vitro and in vivo tumour systems; (ii) combined analysis of genomic mutations, transcriptome, miRNA expression and dynamic proteome changes; (iii) systematic perturbations; (iv) mathematical modelling to elucidate pathogenetic networks and their emergent behaviour; (v) the virtuous cycle of model validation in relevant biological model systems and clinical samples towards a major goal. This goal is to identify mechanistically understood network vulnerabilities that can be exploited for new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of major paediatric tumours. Elucidating such core mechanisms will (i) improve understanding of and therapeutic options for these devastating childhood malignancies and (ii) enable a rational approach to deal with the complexity of the pathogenesis of adulthood cancers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2015

Leishmaniasis control is the topic for EUROLEISH-NET, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network. Leishmaniasis is a neglected infectious disease and a major public health and veterinary problem that afflicts both developing countries and Europe. The current technological and epidemiological advances underpin the necessity to develop training programmes aiming at developing new tools and strategies to control of leishmaniasis. An excellent group of academic and non-academic institutions in Europe and abroad will host 15 PhD students who will receive training in this programme. The expertise and training that will be offered ranges from parasitology to molecular science, genetics, epidemiology and strategic interventions. The 15 research projects designed encompass drug discovery, drug resistance, diagnostics and vaccine development, population genetics, vector control and integrated control programmes. The designated project supervisors have proven track records of success in research and in training. The incorporation of trainee mobility into the network, together with the commitment, strong affiliations and technology transfer between the participants provide a highly synergistic framework for success. The EUROLEISH-NET coordinators have proven experience in laboratory, field, administrative and financial management, supported by a meticulously planned series of meetings and diligent monitoring of the progression of each researcher. We anticipate an extremely productive training and research output from EUROLEISH-NET. We expect to train the next generation of leading research scientists in this field, endowed with skills that are broadly and internationally transposable.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.2-4 | Award Amount: 15.40M | Year: 2011

The AvecNet consortium will develop practical solutions to the current limitations of vector control strategies in Africa using a combination of translationally-aware, state of the art science and end user analysis to ensure successful development and uptake of the new and improved approaches to malaria control and elimination. Our carefully balanced, multidisciplinary team of European and African experts includes vector biologists, engineers, epidemiologists, social scientists and leaders of large supranational consortia. These partners are all prominent members of global vector control research programs having unique specialization in Africa-centric projects. Together we have developed a proposal focused specifically to address the three major research challenges that confront efforts to interrupt mosquito-mediated transmission of malaria in Africa: 1. The need for practical strategies to prolong the efficacy of existing insecticide-based vector control methods, 2.The need to develop new interventions that target all major malaria vectors, that are simultaneously effective, socially acceptable and sustainable, 3. The impact of the major demographic and environmental changes occurring in Africa on malaria epidemiology and control. These research activities are cross-linked by specific tasks to reinforce our commitment to ensure sustainability, engage all stakeholders and strengthen research capacity in Africa. Overall, the project will add significant value to the international research effort in vector control by taking forward the state of the art and translating this into new or improved control tools that will be trialled within the time frame of this project. The studies planned in this collaborative project will provide scalable solutions, giving the solid platform upon which ongoing and future vector control programmes can be built.


Arago J.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We show that the excitonic coupling in molecular crystals undergoes a very large fluctuation at room temperature as a result of the combined thermal motions of the nuclei. This observation dramatically affects the description of exciton transport in organic crystals and any other phenomenon (like singlet fission or exciton dissociation) that originates from an exciton in a molecular crystal or thin film. This unexpected result is due to the predominance of the short-range excitonic coupling mechanisms (exchange, overlap, and charge-transfer mediated) over the Coulombic excitonic coupling for molecules in van der Waals contact. To quantify this effect we develop a procedure to evaluate accurately the short-range excitonic coupling (via a diabatization scheme) along a molecular dynamics trajectory of the representative molecular crystals of anthracene and tetracene. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Martin T.A.D.,University of Warwick
International Journal of Modern Physics A | Year: 2015

A brief summary is reported on measurements of soft and hard diffractive processes by the ATLAS, CMS and TOTEM collaborations at a center of mass energy of 7 TeV. © 2015 World Scientific Publishing Company.


Imai M.,Keio University | Kita S.,University of Warwick
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2014

Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Qi Y.,University of Warwick | O'Connor P.B.,University of Warwick
Mass Spectrometry Reviews | Year: 2014

The Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer intricately couples advanced physics, instrumentation, and electronics with chemical and particularly biochemical research. However, general understanding of the data processing methodologies used lags instrumentation, and most data processing algorithms we are familiar with in FT-ICR are not well studied; thus, professional skill and training in FT-ICR operation and data analysis is still the key to achieve high performance in FT-ICR. This review article is focused on FT-ICR data processing, and explains the procedures step-by-step for users with the goal of maximizing spectral features, such as mass accuracy, resolving power, dynamic range, and detection limits. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 33: 333-352, 2014 © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


The best clinical decisions are based on both evidence and values in what is known as the 'two-feet principle'. Anecdotally, educationalists find teaching clinicians to become more evidence based is relatively simple in comparison to encouraging them to become more values based. One reason is likely to be the importance of values awareness. As values-based practice is premised on a mutual respect for the diversity of values, clinicians need to develop the skills to ascertain patient values and to get in touch with their own beliefs and preferences in order to understand those at play in any consultation. Only then can shared decision-making processes take place within a shared framework of values. In a research article published in BMC Medicine, Altamirano-Bustamante and colleagues highlight difficulties that clinicians face in getting in touch with their own values. Despite finding that healthcare personnel's core values were honesty and respect, autonomy was initially low ranked by participants. One significant aspect of this work is that this group has demonstrated that the extent to which clinicians value 'autonomy' and 'openness to change' can both be positively influenced by well designed education. © 2013 Peile; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rees K.,University of Warwick
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

The Seven Countries study in the 1960s showed that populations in the Mediterranean region experienced lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality probably as a result of different dietary patterns. Later observational studies have confirmed the benefits of adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern on CVD risk factors. Clinical trial evidence is limited, and is mostly in secondary prevention. To determine the effectiveness of a Mediterranean dietary pattern for the primary prevention of CVD. We searched the following electronic databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, Issue 9 of 12, September 2012); MEDLINE (Ovid, 1946 to October week 1 2012); EMBASE (Ovid, 1980 to 2012 week 41); ISI Web of Science (1970 to 16 October 2012); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Health Technology Assessment Database and Health Economics Evaluations Database (Issue 3 of 12, September 2012). We searched trial registers and reference lists of reviews and applied no language restrictions. We selected randomised controlled trials in healthy adults and adults at high risk of CVD. A Mediterranean dietary pattern was defined as comprising at least two of the following components: (1) high monounsaturated/saturated fat ratio, (2) low to moderate red wine consumption, (3) high consumption of legumes, (4) high consumption of grains and cereals, (5) high consumption of fruits and vegetables, (6) low consumption of meat and meat products and increased consumption of fish, and (7) moderate consumption of milk and dairy products. The comparison group received either no intervention or minimal intervention. Outcomes included clinical events and CVD risk factors. Two review authors independently extracted data and contacted chief investigators to request additional relevant information. We included 11 trials (15 papers) (52,044 participants randomised). Trials were heterogeneous in the participants recruited, in the number of dietary components and follow-up periods. Seven trials described the intervention as a Mediterranean diet. Clinical events were reported in only one trial (Women's Health Initiative 48,835 postmenopausal women, intervention not described as a Mediterranean diet but increased fruit and vegetable and cereal intake) where no statistically significant effects of the intervention were seen on fatal and non-fatal endpoints at eight years. Small reductions in total cholesterol (-0.16 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.06; random-effects model) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (-0.07 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.13 to -0.01) were seen with the intervention. Subgroup analyses revealed statistically significant greater reductions in total cholesterol in those trials describing the intervention as a Mediterranean diet (-0.23 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.27 to -0.2) compared with control (-0.06 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.01). Heterogeneity precluded meta-analyses for other outcomes. Reductions in blood pressure were seen in three of five trials reporting this outcome. None of the trials reported adverse events. The limited evidence to date suggests some favourable effects on cardiovascular risk factors. More comprehensive interventions describing themselves as the Mediterranean diet may produce more beneficial effects on lipid levels than those interventions with fewer dietary components. More trials are needed to examine the impact of heterogeneity of both participants and the intervention on outcomes.


Hartley L.,University of Warwick
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

There is increasing evidence that both green and black tea are beneficial for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. To determine the effects of green and black tea on the primary prevention of CVD. We searched the following databases on 12 October 2012 without language restrictions: CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (OVID), EMBASE (OVID) and Web of Science (Thomson Reuters). We also searched trial registers, screened reference lists and contacted authors for additional information where necessary. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) lasting at least three months involving healthy adults or those at high risk of CVD. Trials investigated the intake of green tea, black tea or tea extracts. The comparison group was no intervention, placebo or minimal intervention. The outcomes of interest were CVD clinical events and major CVD risk factors. Any trials involving multifactorial lifestyle interventions or focusing on weight loss were excluded to avoid confounding. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, abstracted data and assessed the risk of bias. Trials of green tea were analysed separately from trials of black tea. We identified 11 RCTs with a total of 821 participants, two trials awaiting classification and one ongoing trial. Seven trials examined a green tea intervention and four examined a black tea intervention. Dosage and form of both green and black tea differed between trials. The ongoing trial is examining the effects of green tea powder capsules.No studies reported cardiovascular events.Black tea was found to produce statistically significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (mean difference (MD) -0.43 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.56 to -0.31) and blood pressure (systolic blood pressure (SBP): MD -1.85 mmHg, 95% CI -3.21 to -0.48. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP): MD -1.27 mmHg, 95% CI -3.06 to 0.53) over six months, stable to sensitivity analysis, but only a small number of trials contributed to each analysis and studies were at risk of bias.Green tea was also found to produce statistically significant reductions in total cholesterol (MD -0.62 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.77 to -0.46), LDL cholesterol (MD -0.64 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.77 to -0.52) and blood pressure (SBP: MD -3.18 mmHg, 95% CI -5.25 to -1.11; DBP: MD -3.42, 95% CI -4.54 to -2.30), but only a small number of studies contributed to each analysis, and results were not stable to sensitivity analysis. When both tea types were analysed together they showed favourable effects on LDL cholesterol (MD -0.48 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.61 to -0.35) and blood pressure (SBP: MD -2.25 mmHg, 95% CI -3.39 to -1.11; DBP: MD -2.81 mmHg, 95% CI -3.77 to -1.86). Adverse events were measured in five trials and included a diagnosis of prostate cancer, hospitalisation for influenza, appendicitis and retinal detachment but these are unlikely to be directly attributable to the intervention. There are very few long-term studies to date examining green or black tea for the primary prevention of CVD. The limited evidence suggests that tea has favourable effects on CVD risk factors, but due to the small number of trials contributing to each analysis the results should be treated with some caution and further high quality trials with longer-term follow-up are needed to confirm this.


Hartley L.,University of Warwick
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

There is increasing evidence that high consumption of fruit and vegetables is beneficial for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. The primary objective is to determine the effectiveness of i) advice to increase fruit and vegetable consumption ii) the provision of fruit and vegetables to increase consumption, for the primary prevention of CVD.  We searched the following electronic databases: The Cochrane Library (2012, issue 9-CENTRAL, HTA, DARE, NEED), MEDLINE (1946 to week 3 September 2012); EMBASE (1980 to 2012 week 39) and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science on ISI Web of Science (5 October 2012). We searched trial registers, screened reference lists and contacted authors for additional information where necessary. No language restrictions were applied. Randomised controlled trials with at least three months follow-up (follow-up was considered to be the time elapsed since the start of the intervention) involving healthy adults or those at high risk of CVD. Trials investigated either advice to increase fruit and vegetable intake (via any source or modality) or the provision of fruit and vegetables to increase intake. The comparison group was no intervention or minimal intervention. Outcomes of interest were CVD clinical events (mortality (CVD and all-cause), myocardial infarction (MI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), angiographically-defined angina pectoris, stroke, carotid endarterectomy, peripheral arterial disease (PAD)) and major CVD risk factors (blood pressure, blood lipids, type 2 diabetes). Trials involving multifactorial lifestyle interventions (including different dietary patterns, exercise) or where the focus was weight loss were excluded to avoid confounding. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. Trials of provision of fruit and vegetables were analysed separately from trials of dietary advice. We identified 10 trials with a total of 1730 participants randomised, and one ongoing trial. Six trials investigated the provision of fruit and vegetables, and four trials examined advice to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.The ongoing trial is examining the provision of an avocado-rich diet.The number and type of intervention components for provision, and the dietary advice provided differed between trials.None of the trials reported clinical events as they were all relatively short term. There was no strong evidence for effects of individual trials of provision of fruit and vegetables on cardiovascular risk factors, but trials were heterogeneous and short term. Furthermore, five of the six trials only provided one fruit or vegetable. Dietary advice showed some favourable effects on blood pressure (systolic blood pressure (SBP): mean difference (MD) -3.0 mmHg (95% confidence interval (CI) -4.92 to -1.09), diastolic blood pressure (DBP): MD -0.90 mmHg (95% CI -2.03 to 0.24)) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but analyses were based on only two trials. Three of the 10 included trials examined adverse effects, which included increased bowel movements, bad breath and body odour. There are very few studies to date examining provision of, or advice to increase the consumption of, fruit and vegetables in the absence of additional dietary interventions or other lifestyle interventions for the primary prevention of CVD. The limited evidence suggests advice to increase fruit and vegetables as a single intervention has favourable effects on CVD risk factors but more trials are needed to confirm this.


Blindauer C.A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2011

Bacterial metallothioneins (MTs) have been known since the mid-1980s. The only family known until recently was the BmtA family, exemplified by the zincand cadmium-binding SmtA from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC 7942, for which a structure was determined in 2001. Only in 2008 was a second type of bacterial MT identified in mycobacteria, and the copperbinding gene product was called MymT. Many of the features of SmtA either have been unexpected or are otherwise "unusual", for example the presence of a zinc finger fold and the kinetic inertness of one of the four zinc ions bound to the protein. The unpredictability of molecular properties of this protein exemplified the need for continued biophysical studies of novel proteins. Homologues for SmtA have been identified in a limited number of bacterial genomes from cyanobacteria, pseudomonads, alphaproteobacteria, gammaproteobacteria, and firmicutes. Except for the residues defining the zinc finger fold, these homologous protein sequences display an intriguing variety, especially in terms of metal ligand position and identity. The increased number of homologues has allowed use of hidden Markov models to look for more remote relatives of SmtA, leading to the identification of a novel family of putative hybrid LIM domain MTs. However, database searches based on sequence similarity are of limited use for mining for further "overlooked" bacterial MTs, as so far undiscovered bacterial MTs may be too diverse from any other known MTs, and other approaches are required. © SBIC 2011.


Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

It is shown that dynamic localization of the charge carrier is present in the simple Holstein Hamiltonian (fully quantum and without random variables) if the polaron binding energy is sufficiently small and the small polaron is not formed at high temperature. Previously, this idea was only explored in semiclassical models of organic semiconductors. Band renormalization cannot be used in the presence of dynamic localization, which is best studied with a vibronic basis set introduced here. The lifetime of these vibronic states can be estimated using second-order renormalized perturbation theory. In the regime of dynamic localization the diffusivity displays a transition between metal-like and insulator-like transport as the temperature increases, similar to that predicted and observed in the nonadiabatic regime. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Thrift N.,University of Warwick
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space | Year: 2011

Can we detect changes in the way that the world turns up as they turn up? This paper makes such an attempt. The first part of the paper argues that a wide-ranging change is occurring in the ontological preconditions of Euro-American cultures, based in reworking what and how an event is produced. Driven by the security-entertainment complex, the aim is to mass produce phenomen-ological encounter: Lifeworld Inc as I call it. Swimming in a sea of data, such an aim requires the construction of just enough authenticity over and over again. In the second part of the paper, I go on to argue that this new world requires a different kind of social science, one that is experimental in its orientationo-just as Lifeworld Inc iso-but with a mission to provoke awareness in untoward ways in order to produce new means of association. Only thus, or so I argue, can social science add to the world we are now beginning to live in. © 2011 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.


Rabbani N.,University of Warwick | Thornalley P.J.,University of Warwick
Nature Protocols | Year: 2014

This protocol describes a method for the detection and quantification of methylglyoxal (MG), the major physiological substrate of the cytosolic glyoxalase system. Accumulation of MG, also called dicarbonyl stress, is implicated in tissue damage in aging and disease. Measurement of MG is important in physiological studies, in the development of glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) inducer and inhibitor therapeutics, and in the characterization of medical products, especially dialysis fluids, and of thermally processed foods and beverages. MG can be derivatized with 1,2-diaminobenzene (DB), resulting in an adduct that can be detected using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Quantification is achieved by stable isotopic dilution analysis with [ 13 C 3 ]MG. Pre-analytic processing at ambient temperature, under acidic conditions with peroxidase inhibition, avoids artifactual overestimation of MG. Estimates obtained from physiological samples can be validated by kinetic modeling of in situ rates of protein glycation by MG for confirmation of the results. This procedure was developed for the analysis of cultured cells, plasma and animal tissue samples, and it can also be used to analyze plant material. Experimental measurement requires 4.5 h for sample batch pre-analytic processing and 30 min per sample for LC-MS/MS analysis. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.


Rees K.,University of Warwick
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Changes in population diet are likely to reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer, but the effect of dietary advice is uncertain. This review is an update of a previous review published in 2007. To assess the effects of providing dietary advice to achieve sustained dietary changes or improved cardiovascular risk profile among healthy adults. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) and the HTA database on The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2010). We searched MEDLINE (Ovid) (1950 to week 2 October 2010) and EMBASE (Ovid) (1980 to Week 42 2010). Additional searches were done on CAB Health (1972 to December 1999), CVRCT registry (2000), CCT (2000) and SIGLE (1980 to 2000). Dissertation abstracts and reference lists of articles were checked and researchers were contacted. Randomised studies with no more than 20% loss to follow-up, lasting at least three months and involving healthy adults comparing dietary advice with no advice or minimal advice. Trials involving children, trials to reduce weight or those involving supplementation were excluded. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Forty-four trials with 52 intervention arms (comparisons) comparing dietary advice with no advice were included in the review; 18,175 participants or clusters were randomised. Twenty-nine of the 44 included trials were conducted in the USA. Dietary advice reduced total serum cholesterol by 0.15 mmol/L (95% CI 0.06 to 0.23) and LDL cholesterol by 0.16 mmol/L (95% CI 0.08 to 0.24) after 3 to 24 months. Mean HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels were unchanged. Dietary advice reduced blood pressure by 2.61 mm Hg systolic (95% CI 1.31 to 3.91) and 1.45 mm Hg diastolic (95% CI 0.68 to 2.22) and 24-hour urinary sodium excretion by 40.9 mmol (95% CI 25.3 to 56.5) after 3 to 36 months but there was heterogeneity between trials for the latter outcome. Three trials reported plasma antioxidants, where small increases were seen in lutein and β-cryptoxanthin, but there was heterogeneity in the trial effects. Self-reported dietary intake may be subject to reporting bias, and there was significant heterogeneity in all the following analyses. Compared to no advice, dietary advice increased fruit and vegetable intake by 1.18 servings/day (95% CI 0.65 to 1.71). Dietary fibre intake increased with advice by 6.5 g/day (95% CI 2.2 to 10.82), while total dietary fat as a percentage of total energy intake fell by 4.48% (95% CI 2.47 to 6.48) with dietary advice, and saturated fat intake fell by 2.39% (95% CI 1.4 to 3.37).Two trials analysed incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events (TOHP I/II). Follow-up was 77% complete at 10 to 15 years after the end of the intervention period and estimates of event rates lacked precision but suggested that sodium restriction advice probably led to a reduction in cardiovascular events (combined fatal plus non-fatal events) plus revascularisation (TOHP I hazards ratio (HR) 0.59, 95% CI 0.33 to 1.08; TOHP II HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.12). Dietary advice appears to be effective in bringing about modest beneficial changes in diet and cardiovascular risk factors over approximately 12 months, but longer-term effects are not known.


Martini P.,University of Warwick
Vision Research | Year: 2010

Inter-trial repetitions of a target's features in a visual search task reduce the time needed to find the target. Here I examine these sequential dependencies in the Priming of Pop-Out task (PoP) by means of system identification techniques. The results are as follows. Response time facilitation due to repetition of the target's features increases linearly with difficulty in segmenting the target from the distracters. However, z-scoring the reaction times normalizes responses by equating facilitation across levels of difficulty. Memory kernels, representing the influence of the current trial on any future trial, can then be calculated from data normalized and averaged across conditions and observers. The average target-defining feature kernel and the target position kernel are well fit by a sum of two exponentials model, comprised of a high-gain, fast-decay component and a low-gain, slow-decay component. In contrast, the average response-defining feature kernel is well fit by a single exponential model with very low-gain and decay similar to the slow component of the target-defining feature kernel. Analysis of single participant's data reveals that a fast-decay component is often also present for the response-defining feature, but can be either facilitatory or inhibitory and thus tends to cancel out in pooled data. Overall, the results are similar to integration functions of reward history recently observed in primates during frequency-matching experiments. I speculate that sequential dependencies in PoP result from learning mechanisms that bias the attentional weighting of certain aspects of the stimulus in an effort to minimize a prediction error signal. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Young L.S.,University of Warwick
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2016

It is more than 50 years since the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), the first human tumour virus, was discovered. EBV has subsequently been found to be associated with a diverse range of tumours of both lymphoid and epithelial origin. Progress in the molecular analysis of EBV has revealed fundamental mechanisms of more general relevance to the oncogenic process. This Timeline article highlights key milestones in the 50-year history of EBV and discusses how this virus provides a paradigm for exploiting insights at the molecular level in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Filippone M.,University of Glasgow | Girolami M.,University of Warwick
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2014

The main challenges that arise when adopting Gaussian process priors in probabilistic modeling are how to carry out exact Bayesian inference and how to account for uncertainty on model parameters when making model-based predictions on out-of-sample data. Using probit regression as an illustrative working example, this paper presents a general and effective methodology based on the pseudo-marginal approach to Markov chain Monte Carlo that efficiently addresses both of these issues. The results presented in this paper show improvements over existing sampling methods to simulate from the posterior distribution over the parameters defining the covariance function of the Gaussian Process prior. This is particularly important as it offers a powerful tool to carry out full Bayesian inference of Gaussian Process based hierarchic statistical models in general. The results also demonstrate that Monte Carlo based integration of all model parameters is actually feasible in this class of models providing a superior quantification of uncertainty in predictions. Extensive comparisons with respect to state-of-the-art probabilistic classifiers confirm this assertion. © 1979-2012 IEEE.


Veras D.,University of Warwick
Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy | Year: 2014

Planetary, stellar and galactic physics often rely on the general restricted gravitational N-body problem to model the motion of a small-mass object under the influence of much more massive objects. Here, I formulate the general restricted problem entirely and specifically in terms of the commonly used orbital elements of semimajor axis, eccentricity, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of pericentre, and true anomaly, without any assumptions about their magnitudes. I derive the equations of motion in the general, unaveraged case, as well as specific cases, with respect to both a bodycentric and barycentric origin. I then reduce the equations to three-body systems, and present compact singly- and doubly-averaged expressions which can be readily applied to systems of interest. This method recovers classic Lidov-Kozai and Laplace-Lagrange theory in the test particle limit to any order, but with fewer assumptions, and reveals a complete analytic solution for the averaged planetary pericentre precession in coplanar circular circumbinary systems to at least the first three nonzero orders in semimajor axis ratio. Finally, I show how the unaveraged equations may be used to express resonant angle evolution in an explicit manner that is not subject to expansions of eccentricity and inclination about small nor any other values. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Rees K.,University of Warwick
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Selenium is a key component of a number of selenoproteins which protect against oxidative stress and have the potential to prevent chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, observational studies have shown inconsistent associations between selenium intake and CVD risk; in addition, there is concern around a possible increased risk of type 2 diabetes with high selenium exposure. To determine the effectiveness of selenium only supplementation for the primary prevention of CVD and examine the potential adverse effect of type 2 diabetes. The following electronic databases were searched: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (Issue 10 of 12, October 2012) on The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE (Ovid) (1946 to week 2 October 2012); EMBASE Classic + EMBASE (Ovid) (1947 to 2012 Week 42); CINAHL (EBSCO) (to 24 October 2012); ISI Web of Science (1970 to 24 October 2012); PsycINFO (Ovid) (1806 to week 3 October 2012); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Health Technology Assessment Database and Health Economics Evaluations Database (Issue 4 of 4, October 2012) on The Cochrane Library. Trial registers and reference lists of reviews and articles were searched and experts in the field were approached. No language restrictions were applied. Randomised controlled trials on the effects of selenium only supplementation on major CVD end-points, mortality, changes in CVD risk factors, and type 2 diabetes were included both in adults of all ages from the general population and in those at high risk of CVD. Trials were only considered where the comparison group was placebo or no intervention. Only studies with at least three months follow-up were included in the meta-analyses, shorter term studies were dealt with descriptively. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Twelve trials (seven with duration of at least three months) met the inclusion criteria, with 19,715 participants randomised. The two largest trials that were conducted in the USA (SELECT and NPC) reported clinical events. There were no statistically significant effects of selenium supplementation on all cause mortality (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.08), CVD mortality (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.2), non-fatal CVD events (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.04) or all CVD events (fatal and non-fatal) (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.11). There was a small increased risk of type 2 diabetes with selenium supplementation but this did not reach statistical significance (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.15). Other adverse effects that increased with selenium supplementation, as reported in the SELECT trial, included alopecia (RR 1.28, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.62) and dermatitis grade 1 to 2 (RR 1.17, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.35). Selenium supplementation reduced total cholesterol but this did not reach statistical significance (WMD - 0.11 mmol/L, 95% CI - 0.3 to 0.07). Mean high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were unchanged. There was a statistically significant reduction in non-HDL cholesterol (WMD - 0.2 mmol/L, 95% CI - 0.41 to 0.00) in one trial of varying selenium dosage. None of the longer term trials examined effects on blood pressure. Overall, the included studies were regarded as at low risk of bias. The limited trial evidence that is available to date does not support the use of selenium supplements in the primary prevention of CVD.


Petrenko O.A.,University of Warwick
Low Temperature Physics | Year: 2014

Recent progress in the understanding of the complex magnetic properties of the family of rare-earth strontium oxides, SrLn2O4, is reviewed. These compounds consisting of hexagons and triangles are affected by geometrical frustration and therefore exhibit its characteristic features, such as a significant reduction of magnetic ordering temperatures and complex phase diagrams in an applied field. Some of the observed features appear to be rather remarkable even in the context of the unusual behavior associated with geometrically frustrated magnetic systems. Of particular interest is the coexistence at the lowest temperature of different magnetic structures (exhibiting either long or short-range order) characterized by different propagation vectors in materials without significant chemical or structural disorder. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


Petzetakis N.,University of Warwick | Dove A.P.,University of Warwick | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Chemical Science | Year: 2011

The synthesis and self-assembly of poly(lactide)-b-poly(acrylic acid) and poly(lactide)-bpoly(dimethylaminoethylacrylate) block copolymers by a combination of ring-opening polymerization and reverse-addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization is reported. Self-assembly of block copolymers containing enantiopure homochiral poly(lactide), PLA, by a simple direct dissolution methodology results in core-crystallization to afford micelles with a cylindrical morphology. Amorphous atactic PLA cores and conditions that did not promote crystallization resulted in spherical micelles. Cylindrical micelles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with cryo-TEM, small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and angular dependent dynamic light scattering (DLS) proving that the cylindrical morphology was persistent in solution. Manipulation of the assembly conditions enabled the length and dispersity of the resultant cylindrical micelles to be controlled. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.


Veras D.,University of Warwick
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2014

As a comet, asteroid or planet approaches its parent star, the orbit changes shape due to the curvature of space-time. For comets in particular, the deviation at the pericentre may noticeably change their ephemerides and affect the dynamics of outgassing, tidal disruption or other processes which act on orbital time-scales and are assumed to follow Newtonian gravity. By obtaining and analysing the unaveraged equations of motion in orbital elements due to the dominant post-Newtonian contribution (1PN), I derive a simple analytic expression for the maximum deviation in terms of only the stellar mass and eccentricity of the orbit. This relation can be used to assess the potential importance of including short-period relativistic terms in models containing comets, asteroids or planets, and help determine the level of precision needed in numerical integrations. The magnitude of the deviation in systems with solar-like stars is typically comparable to the size of comet nuclei, and the direction of the deviation is determined by the eccentricity. I show that for eccentricities above a critical value of √19-4 ≈ 0.359, the direction is away from the star. © 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Brunel N.,University of Chicago | Hakim V.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Richardson M.J.E.,University of Warwick
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

At the single neuron level, information processing involves the transformation of input spike trains into an appropriate output spike train. Building upon the classical view of a neuron as a threshold device, models have been developed in recent years that take into account the diverse electrophysiological make-up of neurons and accurately describe their input-output relations. Here, we review these recent advances and survey the computational roles that they have uncovered for various electrophysiological properties, for dendritic arbor anatomy as well as for short-term synaptic plasticity. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Spanudakis E.,University of Warwick | Jackson S.,University of Warwick
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

The onset of flowering in plants is regulated by complex gene networks that integrate multiple environmental and endogenous cues to ensure that flowering occurs at the appropriate time. This is achieved by precise control of the expression of key flowering genes at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. In recent years, a class of small non-coding RNAs, called microRNAs (miRNAs), has been shown to regulate gene expression in a number of plant developmental processes and stress responses. MiRNA-based biotechnology, which harnesses the regulatory functions of such endogenous or artificial miRNAs, therefore represents a highly promising area of research. In this review, the process of plant miRNA biogenesis, their mode of action, and multiple regulatory functions are summarized. The roles of the miR156, miR172, miR159/319, miR390, and miR399 families in the flowering time regulatory network in Arabidopsis thaliana are discussed in depth. © © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


Pitto-Barry A.,University of Warwick | Barry N.P.E.,University of Warwick
Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2014

This mini-review highlights the latest advances in the chemistry and biology of Pluronic® triblock copolymers. We focus on their applications in medicine, as drug delivery carriers, biological response modifiers, and pharmaceutical ingredients. Examples of drug delivery systems and formulations currently in clinical use, clinical trials or preclinical development are highlighted. We also discuss the role that Pluronic® copolymers may play in the innovative design of new nanomedicines in the near future. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Coates M.E.,University of Warwick | Beynon J.L.,University of Warwick
Annual Review of Phytopathology | Year: 2010

Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, a downy mildew pathogen of the model plant Arabidopsis, has been very useful in the understanding of the relationship between oomycetes and their host plants. This naturally coevolving pathosystem contains an amazing level of genetic diversity in host resistance and pathogen avirulence proteins. Oomycete effectors identified to date contain a targeting motif, RXLR, enabling effector entry into the host cell. The availability of the H. arabidopsidis genome sequence has enabled bioinformatic analyses to identify at least 130 RXLR effectors, potentially used to quell the host's defense mechanism and manipulate other host cellular processes. Currently, these effectors are being used to reveal their targets in the host cell. Eventually this will result in an understanding of the mechanisms used by a pathogen to sustain a biotrophic relationship with a plant. © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Roberts G.M.,University of Warwick | Stavros V.G.,University of Warwick
Chemical Science | Year: 2014

In an effort to illuminate why nature has chosen a particular set of bio-molecular 'building-blocks' for life, recent years have seen an up-surge of gas-phase spectroscopy experiments aimed at understanding why the DNA/RNA nucleobases, aromatic amino acids and their corresponding chromophore subunits, exhibit a resistance to photochemical damage (photostability) following the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The research considered in this Perspective article specifically focuses on the role of electronically excited dissociative 1πσ* states (formed through the photo-induced promotion of an electron in a σ* ← π molecular orbital transition), which have been implicated to contribute to this photostable behaviour. In particular, we review the application of gas-phase femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopies to gain insights into 1πσ* state driven relaxation dynamics in a number of heteroaromatic biomolecules and their UV chromophore subunits. This Perspective article also discusses how the information obtained from these studies can be used as a 'stepping-stone' for extending this research to larger, more complex biomolecules and ultimately, more realistic systems in solution. © 2014 the Partner Organisations.


Patterson J.P.,University of Warwick | Robin M.P.,University of Warwick | Chassenieux C.,University of Maine, France | Colombani O.,University of Maine, France | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

There has been much interest in the construction of soft nanomaterials in solution due to a desire to emulate the exquisite structure and function of Nature's equivalents (e.g. enzymes, viruses, proteins and DNA). Nature's soft nanomaterials are capable of selectivity, precision and efficiency in areas such as information storage and replication, transportation and delivery, and synthesis and catalysis. To this end, the use of small molecules, amphiphiles, colloids, and polymers have been investigated for the development of advanced materials in myriad fields of biomedicine and synthetic chemistry. Two major challenges are faced in this area of research: the reproducible, scalable and precise synthesis of such constructs and the reliable, accurate and in-depth analysis of these materials. This tutorial review will focus on this second aspect and provide a guide for the characterisation and analysis of soft nanomaterials in solution using scattering and microscopic techniques. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Presented in this paper is a study to show that the Hart-Smith semiempirical modeling approach can be used to predict the net-tension strength of multirowed bolted connections of pultruded material. Using the original 1987 paper by Hart-Smith a strength equation is developed for the specific connection configuration of two rows with a centrally placed steel bolt. The reported equation can be directly used for the two orientations of material that have the tension load parallel or perpendicular to the direction of pultrusion. Using experimental measurements for material properties and single-bolted connections from Rosner's 1992 work and the open-hole tension strengths from Turvey and Wang's 2003 paper, representative values to the modeling parameters in the strength equation are established. For model verification a comparison is made between theoretical and experimental strengths, using 17 test results from Hassan et al.'s 1997a work. Only two of the 17 experimental-to-theory strength ratios are <1.0, and only one of these two could be said to have predicted unsafe net-tension strengths. With none of the ratios exceeding 1.2, it is seen that the simple and versatile modeling approach gives very acceptable predictions. To determine the modeling parameters that will enable the Hart-Smith approach to be in a load resistance factor design standard there is a need for a comprehensive series of strength tests, for net-tension failure with filled- and open-holes, that covers the complete range of multirowed bolted connections that is to be permitted by the standard. © 2010 ASCE.


Challis G.L.,University of Warwick
Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2014

Streptomyces, and related genera of Actinobacteria, are renowned for their ability to produce antibiotics and other bioactive natural products with a wide range of applications in medicine and agriculture. Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) is a model organism that has been used for more than five decades to study the genetic and biochemical basis for the production of bioactive metabolites. In 2002, the complete genome sequence of S. coelicolor was published. This greatly accelerated progress in understanding the biosynthesis of metabolites known or suspected to be produced by S. coelicolor and revealed that streptomycetes have far greater potential to produce bioactive natural products than suggested by classical bioassay-guided isolation studies. In this article, efforts to exploit the S. coelicolor genome sequence for the discovery of novel natural products and biosynthetic pathways are summarized. © 2013 Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.


Thornalley P.J.,University of Warwick | Rabbani N.,University of Warwick
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2014

Background: Proteins in human tissues and body fluids continually undergo spontaneous oxidation and glycation reactions forming low levels of oxidation and glycation adduct residues. Proteolysis of oxidised and glycated proteins releases oxidised and glycated amino acids which, if they cannot be repaired, are excreted in urine. Scope of Review: In this review we give a brief background to the classification, formation and processing of oxidised and glycated proteins in the clinical setting. We then describe the application of stable isotopic dilution analysis liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for measurement of oxidative and glycation damage to proteins in clinical studies, sources of error in pre-analytic processing, corroboration with other techniques - including how this may be improved - and a systems approach to protein damage analysis for improved surety of analyte estimations. Major conclusions: Stable isotopic dilution analysis LC-MS/MS provides a robust reference method for measurement of protein oxidation and glycation adducts. Optimised pre-analytic processing of samples and LC-MS/MS analysis procedures are required to achieve this. General significance: Quantitative measurement of protein oxidation and glycation adducts provides information on level of exposure to potentially damaging protein modifications, protein inactivation in ageing and disease, metabolic control, protein turnover, renal function and other aspects of body function. Reliable and clinically assessable analysis is required for translation of measurement to clinical diagnostic use. Stable isotopic dilution analysis LC-MS/MS provides a "gold standard" approach and reference methodology to which other higher throughput methods such as immunoassay and indirect methods are preferably corroborated by researchers and those commercialising diagnostic kits and reagents. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Current methods to study reactive oxygen species - pros and cons and biophysics of membrane proteins. Guest Editor: Christine Winterbourn. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Bugg T.D.H.,University of Warwick
Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2014

In this issue of Chemistry & Biology, Thierbach and colleagues establish the chemical mechanism for a cofactor-independent dioxygenase enzyme, a member of a small group of enzymes that can activate dioxygen without requiring a metal ion or redox cofactor. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Richardson M.J.E.,University of Warwick | Swarbrick R.,University of Warwick
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

The synaptic coupling between neurons in neocortical networks is sufficiently strong so that relatively few synchronous synaptic pulses are required to bring a neuron from rest to the spiking threshold. However, such finite-amplitude effects of fluctuating synaptic drive are missed in the standard diffusion approximation. Here exact solutions for the firing-rate response to modulated presynaptic rates are derived for a neuron receiving additive excitatory and inhibitory synaptic shot noise with exponential amplitude distributions. The shot-noise description of the neuronal response to synaptic dynamics is shown to be richer and qualitatively distinct from that predicted by the diffusion approximation. It is also demonstrated how the framework developed here can be generalized to multiplicative shot noise so as to better capture effects of the inhibitory reversal potential. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Gellersen B.,Endokrinologikum Hamburg | Brosens J.J.,University of Warwick
Endocrine Reviews | Year: 2014

Decidualization denotes the transformation of endometrial stromal fibroblasts into specialized secretory decidual cells that provide a nutritive and immunoprivileged matrix essential for embryo implantation and placental development. In contrast to most mammals, decidualization of the human endometrium does not require embryo implantation. Instead, this process is driven by the postovulatory rise in progesterone levels and increasing local cAMP production. In response to falling progesterone levels, spontaneous decidualization causes menstrual shedding and cyclic regeneration of the endometrium. A growing body of evidence indicates that the shift from embryonic to maternal control of the decidual process represents a pivotal evolutionary adaptation to the challenge posed by invasive and chromosomally diverse human embryos. This concept is predicated on the ability of decidualizing stromal cells to respond to individual embryos in a manner that either promotes implantation and further development or facilitates early rejection. Furthermore, menstruation and cyclic regeneration involves stem cell recruitmentandrenders the endometrium intrinsically capable of adapting its decidual response to maximize reproductive success. Herewereview the endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine cues that tightly govern this differentiation process. In response to activation of various signaling pathways and genome-wide chromatin remodeling, evolutionarily conserved transcriptional factors gain access to the decidua-specific regulatory circuitry. Once initiated, the decidual process is poised to transit through distinct phenotypic phases that underpin endometrial receptivity, embryo selection, and, ultimately, resolution of pregnancy. Wediscusshowdisorders that subvert theprogramming, initiation, or progression of decidualization compromise reproductive health and predispose for pregnancy failure. © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.


Habershon S.,University of Warwick
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2014

By comparing classical and quantum-mechanical (path-integral-based) molecular simulations of solvated halide anions X- [X = F, Cl, Br and I], we identify an ion-specific quantum contribution to anion-water hydrogen-bond dynamics; this effect has not been identified in previous simulation studies. For anions such as fluoride, which strongly bind water molecules in the first solvation shell, quantum simulations exhibit hydrogen-bond dynamics nearly 40% faster than the corresponding classical results, whereas those anions which form a weakly bound solvation shell, such as iodide, exhibit a quantum effect of around 10%. This observation can be rationalized by considering the different zero-point energy (ZPE) of the water vibrational modes in the first solvation shell; for strongly binding anions, the ZPE of bound water molecules is larger, giving rise to faster dynamics in quantum simulations. These results are consistent with experimental investigations of anion-bound water vibrational and reorientational motion. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Rabbani N.,University of Warwick | Thornalley P.J.,University of Warwick
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2014

Methylglyoxal is a potent protein-glycating agent. It is an arginine-directed glycating agent and often modifies functionally important sites in proteins. Glycation forms mainly MG-H1 [Nδ-(5-hydro-5-methyl-4- imidazolon-2-yl)ornithine] residues. MG-H1 content of proteins is quantified by stable isotopic dilution analysis-MS/MS and also by immunoblotting with specific monoclonal antibodies. Methylglyoxal-modified proteins undergo cellular proteolysis and release MG-H1 free adduct for excretion. MG-H1 residues have been found in proteins of animals, plants, bacteria, fungi and protoctista. MG-H1 is often the major advanced glycation end-product in proteins of tissues and body fluids, increasing in diabetes and associated vascular complications, renal failure, cirrhosis, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, Parkinson's disease and aging. Proteins susceptible to methylglyoxal modification with related functional impairment are called the DCP (dicarbonyl proteome). The DCP includes albumin, haemoglobin, transcription factors, mitochondrial proteins, extracellular matrix proteins, lens crystallins and others. DCP component proteins are linked to mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetes and aging, oxidative stress, dyslipidaemia, cell detachment and anoikis and apoptosis. Methylglyoxal also modifies DNA where deoxyguanosine residues are modified to imidazopurinone MGdG {3-(2′-deoxyribosyl)-6,7-dihydro-6,7-dihydroxy-6/7- methylimidazo-[2,3-b]purine-9(8)one} isomers. MGdG was the major quantitative adduct detected in vivo. It was linked to frequency of DNA strand breaks and increased markedly during apoptosis induced by a cell-permeant glyoxalase I inhibitor. Glyoxalase I metabolizes >99% methylglyoxal and thereby protects the proteome and genome. Gene deletion of GLO1 is embryonically lethal and GLO1 silencing increases methylglyoxal concentration, MG-H1 and MGdG, premature aging and disease. Studies of methylglyoxal glycation have importance for human health, longevity and treatment of disease. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2014 Biochemical Society.


Phillips D.J.,University of Warwick | Gibson M.I.,University of Warwick
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2014

Significance: The development of responsive drug delivery systems (DDS) holds great promise as a tool for improving the pharmacokinetic properties of drug compounds. Redox-sensitive systems are particularly attractive given the rich variety of redox gradients present in vivo. These gradients, where the circulation is generally considered oxidizing and the cellular environment is substantially more reducing, provide attractive options for targeted, specific cargo delivery. Recent Advances: Experimental evidence suggests that a "one size fits all" redox gradient does not exist. Rather, there are subtle differences in redox potential within a cell, while the chemical nature of reducing agents in these microenvironments varies. Recent works have demonstrated an ability to modulate the degradation rate of redox-susceptible groups and, hence, provide new tools to engineer precision-targeted DDS. Critical Issues: Modern synthetic and macromolecular chemistry provides access to a wide range of redox-susceptible architectures. However, in order to utilize these in real applications, the actual chemical nature of the redox-susceptible group, the sub-cellular location being targeted, and the redox microenvironment being encountered should be considered in detail. This is critical to avoid the over-simplification possible when using non-biological reducing agents, which may provide inaccurate kinetic information, and to ensure these materials can be advanced beyond simple "on/off" systems. Furthermore, a strong case can be made for the use of biorelevant reducing agents such as glutathione when demonstrating a materials redox response. Future Directions: A further understanding of the complexities of the extra- and intracellular microenvironments would greatly assist with the design and application of DDS. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Coja-Oghlan A.,University of Warwick
SIAM Journal on Computing | Year: 2010

Let Φ be a uniformly distributed random k-SAT formula with n variables and m clauses. We present a polynomial time algorithm that finds a satisfying assignment of Φ with high probability for constraint densities m/n < (1 - εk)2k In(k)/k, where εk → 0. Previously no efficient algorithm was known to find satisfying assignments with a nonvanishing probability beyond m/n = 1.817 · 2k/k [A. Frieze and S. Suen, J. Algorithms, 20 (1996), pp. 312-355]. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Sens P.,CNRS Gulliver Laboratory | Turner M.S.,University of Warwick
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

Compositional heterogeneities of cell membranes are thought to play an important role in many physiological processes. We study how variations in the membrane composition can be driven by nonthermal fluctuating forces and therefore show how these can occur relatively far from any critical point for the membrane. We show that the membrane steady state is not only controlled by the strength of the forces and how they couple to the membrane, but also by their dynamics: In a simple class of models this is captured by a single force correlation time. We conclude that the coupling of membrane composition to normal mechanical forces, such as might be exerted by polymerizing cytoskeleton filaments, could play an important role in controlling the steady state of a cell membrane that exhibits transient lateral modulations of its composition on length scales in the 10-100 nm regime. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Kerr R.M.,University of Warwick
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

A pair of perturbed antiparallel quantum vortices, simulated using the three-dimensional Gross-Pitaevskii equations, is shown to be unstable to vortex stretching. This results in kinetic energy K â̂‡ψ being converted into interaction energy E I and eventually local kinetic energy depletion that is similar to energy decay in a classical fluid, even though the governing equations are Hamiltonian and energy conserving. The intermediate stages include the generation of vortex waves, their deepening, multiple reconnections, the emission of vortex rings and phonons, and the creation of an approximately -5/3 kinetic energy spectrum at high wave numbers. All of the wave generation and reconnection steps follow from interactions between the two original vortices. A four vortex example is given to demonstrate that some of these steps might be general. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Apostolou M.,University of Warwick
Evolution and Human Behavior | Year: 2010

Evidence from the anthropological record indicates that in most human societies, parents control the mating access to their offspring. Based on these data, a model of sexual selection has been recently proposed, whereby along with female and male choice, parental choice constitutes a significant sexual selection force in our species. This model was found to provide a good account for the mating patterns which are typical of foraging societies. By employing data from the Standard Cross Cultural Sample, the present study aims at examining whether this model can also account for the mating patterns typical of agricultural and pastoral societies. In addition, comparisons between different society types are made and two model-derived hypotheses are tested. First, it is hypothesised that parents have more control over their offspring's mate choices in non-foraging societies. Second, it is hypothesised that male parents exert greater decision making power in agropastoral societies than in hunting and gathering ones. Both hypotheses are supported by the results presented here. The evolutionary implications of these findings are also explored. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Roberts J.,University of Warwick
Sociology of Health and Illness | Year: 2012

Commercial companies market 4D ultrasound scans to expectant parents for the stated purpose of reassurance, to promote bonding, and to get 'baby's first picture'. This article describes in detail the process of commercial 4D scanning in the UK, paying particular attention to the discursive exchanges in the scan room. It is argued that sonographers and clients engage in a process of 'collaborative coding' that, despite the realism of 4D, is essential to making the imagery on the screen personally and socially meaningful. While sonographers first help clients to get their bearings, expectant parents and others often engage in a complex process of narrating the images on the screen as they are created. The capacities of 4D ultrasound to image facial features and movements inform stories about fetal experience and family resemblances as well as enabling playfully imagined interactions with the fetus. While these stories are primarily based in experiences of the visual, there is also evidence that pregnant women seek to map the image onto their bodies and to reintroduce some elements of their embodied experiences into the narratives. © 2011 The Author. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2011 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Lereya S.T.,University of Warwick | Wolke D.,University of Warwick
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines | Year: 2013

Background: Prenatal stress has been shown to predict persistent behavioural abnormalities in offspring. Unknown is whether prenatal stress makes children more vulnerable to peer victimisation. Methods: The current study is based on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective community-based study. Family adversity, maternal anxiety and depression were assessed at repeated intervals in pregnancy and the postnatal period. Parenting, partner conflict and temperament were measured at preschool age. Peer victimisation was assessed using multiple informants (child, parent, teacher) at primary school age (between ages 7 and 10). Results: Prenatal severe family adversity and maternal mental health directly increased the risk of victimisation at school even when controlled for postnatal family adversity and maternal mental health, parenting, partner conflict and temperament. Effects were found to be independent of sources of information of peer victimisation. Partner conflict and maladaptive parenting also independently increased the risk of peer victimisation. Conclusions: Experiences in pregnancy may affect the developing foetus and increase vulnerability to be victimised by peers. Conflict between parents and their parenting further increase the risk of being victimised by peers at school. © 2012 The Authors.


Pikhurko O.,University of Warwick
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B | Year: 2013

Let l>k≥3. Let the k-graph Hl(k) be obtained from the complete 2-graph Kl(2) by enlarging each edge with a new set of k-2 vertices. Mubayi [A hypergraph extension of Turán's theorem, J. Combin. Theory Ser. B 96 (2006) 122-134] computed asymptotically the Turán function ex(n,Hl(k)). Here we determine the exact value of ex(n,Hl(k)) for all sufficiently large n, settling a conjecture of Mubayi. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Vladimirou E.,University of Warwick
Developmental cell | Year: 2013

Kinetochores are the central force-generating machines that move chromosomes during cell division. It is generally assumed that kinetochores move in an autonomous manner. However, we reveal here that movements of neighboring sister-kinetochore pairs in metaphase are correlated in a distance-dependent manner. This correlation increases in the absence of kinetochore oscillations or stable end-on attachments. This suggests that periodic movements of bioriented chromosomes limit the correlated motion of nonsisters. Computer simulations show that these correlated movements can occur when elastic crosslinks are placed between the K-fibers of oscillating kinetochores. Strikingly, inhibition of the microtubule crosslinking motor kinesin-5 Eg5 leads to an increase in nonsister correlation and impairs periodic oscillations. These phenotypes are partially rescued by codepletion of the kinesin-12 Kif15, demonstrating a function for kinesin-5 and kinesin-12 motors in driving chromosome movements, possibly as part of a crosslinking structure that correlates the movements of nonsister kinetochores. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Dalgaard J.Z.,University of Warwick
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2012

Intuitively one would not expect that ribonucleotides are incorporated into nuclear DNA beyond their role in priming Okazaki fragments, nor that such incorporation would be functional. However, several recent studies have shown that not only are ribonucleotides present in the nuclear DNA, but that they can be incorporated by at least two different mechanisms: random 'mis'-incorporation of ribonucleotides, which occurs at a surprisingly high frequency; and site-specific incorporation at a stalled fork. Importantly, in the latter case, the ribonucleotides have been shown to have a biological function - acting to initiate a replication-coupled recombination event mediating a cell type change. Traditionally, it has been thought that 'random' ribonucleotide incorporation causes genetic instability, but new evidence suggests there may be a fine balance between mechanisms preventing and incorporating ribonucleotides into genomic DNA. Indeed, genomic ribonucleotides might have diverse roles affecting genetic stability, DNA damage repair, heterochromatin formation, cellular differentiation, and development. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Walton R.I.,University of Warwick
Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials | Year: 2011

A review of the various hydrothermal and solvothermal methods that have been used for the preparation of cerium oxides is presented. Much work has focussed on the preparation of cerium dioxide (ceria) and its doped analogues because of their extensive applications in catalysis, solid-oxide fuel cells and other technologies. It is shown how the solvothermal method offers a number of distinct advantages in the one-step formation of ceria materials, including control of crystal form and morphology in the nanometre regime from spherical and cubic particles to anisotropic polyhedra and rods. The use of solution additives allows surface capping either preventing aggregation of particles or permitting their assembly into complex hierarchical structures. In terms of doping, the solvothermal synthesis method allows access to phases not possible using high temperatures synthesis, including ceria doped by transition-metal ions. These synthetic advantages all allow fine-tuning of the properties of ceria for practical applications. Finally, some recent work that has focussed on the synthesis of complex mixed-oxide phases containing cerium, both in the +3 and the +4 oxidation state, is presented: this illustrates the potential of solvothermal synthesis in the discovery of new materials. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Rolls E.T.,Oxford Center for Computational Neuroscience | Rolls E.T.,University of Warwick
Cortex | Year: 2015

The concept of a (single) limbic system is shown to be outmoded. Instead, anatomical, neurophysiological, functional neuroimaging, and neuropsychological evidence is described that anterior limbic and related structures including the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala are involved in emotion, reward valuation, and reward-related decision-making (but not memory), with the value representations transmitted to the anterior cingulate cortex for action-outcome learning. In this 'emotion limbic system' a computational principle is that feedforward pattern association networks learn associations from visual, olfactory and auditory stimuli, to primary reinforcers such as taste, touch, and pain. In primates including humans this learning can be very rapid and rule-based, with the orbitofrontal cortex overshadowing the amygdala in this learning important for social and emotional behaviour. Complementary evidence is described showing that the hippocampus and limbic structures to which it is connected including the posterior cingulate cortex and the fornix-mammillary body-anterior thalamus-posterior cingulate circuit are involved in episodic or event memory, but not emotion. This 'hippocampal system' receives information from neocortical areas about spatial location, and objects, and can rapidly associate this information together by the different computational principle of autoassociation in the CA3 region of the hippocampus involving feedback. The system can later recall the whole of this information in the CA3 region from any component, a feedback process, and can recall the information back to neocortical areas, again a feedback (to neocortex) recall process. Emotion can enter this memory system from the orbitofrontal cortex etc., and be recalled back to the orbitofrontal cortex etc. during memory recall, but the emotional and hippocampal networks or 'limbic systems' operate by different computational principles, and operate independently of each other except insofar as an emotional state or reward value attribute may be part of an episodic memory. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Loman N.J.,University of Birmingham | Pallen M.J.,University of Warwick
Nature Reviews Microbiology | Year: 2015

Twenty years ago, the publication of the first bacterial genome sequence, from Haemophilus influenzae, shook the world of bacteriology. In this Timeline, we review the first two decades of bacterial genome sequencing, which have been marked by three revolutions: whole-genome shotgun sequencing, high-throughput sequencing and single-molecule long-read sequencing. We summarize the social history of sequencing and its impact on our understanding of the biology, diversity and evolution of bacteria, while also highlighting spin-offs and translational impact in the clinic. We look forward to a 'sequencing singularity', where sequencing becomes the method of choice for as-yet unthinkable applications in bacteriology and beyond. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Zhang Y.,University of Warwick
International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2012

In this letter, rectified mass diffusion of gas bubbles in liquids under acoustic field with dual frequencies is theoretically investigated. Comparing with gas bubbles under single-frequency acoustic field, if the acoustic pressure amplitude is above a certain value determined in the present work, a wider range of bubbles can grow through rectified mass diffusion with more rapid growth rate under dual-frequency acoustic field. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Kirkilionis M.,University of Warwick
Briefings in Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

We discuss and review different ways to map cellular components and their temporal interaction with other such components to different non-spatially explicit mathematical models. The essential choices made in the literature are between discrete and continuous state spaces, between rule and event-based state updates and between deterministic and stochastic series of such updates. The temporal modelling of cellular regulatory networks (dynamic network theory) is compared with static network approaches in two first introductory sections on general network modelling. We concentrate next on deterministic rate-based dynamic regulatory networks and their derivation. In the derivation, we include methods from multiscale analysis and also look at structured large particles, here called macromolecular machines. It is clear that mass-action systems and their derivatives, i.e. networks based on enzyme kinetics, play the most dominant role in the literature. The tools to analyse cellular reaction networks are without doubt most complete for mass-action systems. We devote a long section at the end of the review to make a comprehensive review of related tools and mathematical methods. The emphasis is to show how cellular reaction networks can be analysed with the help of different associated graphs and the dissection into modules, i.e. sub-networks. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org.


Stallard N.,University of Warwick
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2012

Methodology for sample size calculation for phase III clinical trials is well established and widely used. In contrast, for earlier phase clinical trials or pilot studies, although there is an acceptance that the methods used for phase III trials are not appropriate, there is little consensus over methods that should be used. This paper explores this problem from a Bayesian decision-theoretic perspective. The aim is to obtain sample sizes that would be appropriate for studies funded by a large funder such as a public sector body or major pharmaceutical company. The sample sizes obtained are optimal in that they minimise the average number of patients required per successfully identified effective therapy or equivalently maximise the number of effective therapies successfully identified over a long period. It is indicated that the number of patients included in a phase II clinical trial should be approximately 0.03 times that planned to be included in the phase III study. This is similar to that proposed by other researchers in this area, though rather smaller than actually used for many phase II trials. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Macpherson J.V.,University of Warwick
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2015

Conducting, boron doped diamond (BDD), in addition to its superior material properties, offers several notable attributes to the electrochemist making it an intriguing material for electrochemical research. These include the widest solvent window of all electrode materials; low background and capacitive currents; reduced fouling compared to other electrodes and; the ability to withstand extreme potentials, corrosive and high temperature/pressure environments. However, BDD is not your typical electrode material, it is a semi-conductor doped degenerately with boron to present semi-metallic characteristics. Input from materials scientists, chemists and physicists has been required to aid understanding of how to work with this material from an electrochemical viewpoint and improve electrode quality. Importantly, depending on how the BDD has been grown and then subsequently treated, prior to electrochemical measurement, the resulting material properties can vary quite significantly from one electrode to the next. This likely explains the variability seen by different researchers working on the same experimental systems. The aim of this "protocols" article is not to provide a state-of-the-art review of diamond electrochemistry, suitable references are provided to the interested reader, but instead serves as a reference point for any researcher wishing to commence work with diamond electrodes and interpret electrochemical data. It provides information on how best to characterise the material properties of the electrode before use and outlines the interplay between boron dopant density, non-diamond-carbon content, grain morphology, surface chemistry and redox couple identity. All should ideally be considered when interpretating electrochemical data arising from the diamond electrode. This will aid the reader in making meaningful comparisons between data obtained by different researchers using different diamond electrodes. The guide also aims to help educate the researcher in choosing which form of BDD is best suited to their research application. © the Owner Societies 2015.


Marsh T.R.,University of Warwick
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2011

Close pairs of white dwarfs are potential progenitors of type Ia supernovae and they are common, with the order of 100-300 million in the Galaxy. As such they will be significant, probably dominant, sources of the gravitational waves detectable by LISA. In the context of LISA's goals for fundamental physics, double white dwarfs are a source of noise, but from an astrophysical perspective, they are of considerable interest in their own right. In this paper I discuss our current knowledge of double white dwarfs and their close relatives (and possible descendants) the AM CVn stars. LISA will add to our knowledge of these systems by providing the following unique constraints: (i) an almost direct measurement of the galactic merger rate of DWDs from the detection of short period systems and their period evolution, (ii) an accurate and precise normalization of binary evolution models at shortest periods, (iii) a determination of the evolutionary pathways to the formation of AM CVn stars, (iv) measurements of the influence of tidal coupling in white dwarfs and its significance for stabilizing mass transfer, and (v) discovery of numerous examples of eclipsing white dwarfs with the potential for optical follow-up to test models of white dwarfs. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Theisen U.,University of Warwick | Straube E.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Straube A.,University of Warwick
Developmental Cell | Year: 2012

Directional cell migration requires the establishment and maintenance of long-term differences in structure and function between the front and back of a cell. Here, we show that the microtubule motor Kif1C contributes to persistent cell migration primarily through stabilization of an extended cell rear. Kif1C-mediated transport of α5β1-integrins is required for the proper maturation of trailing focal adhesions and resistance to tail retraction. Tail retraction precedes and induces changes in migration direction. Stabilization of cell tails through inhibition of myosin II activity suppresses the Kif1C depletion phenotype and results in longer-lived tails and higher directional stability of migrating cells. Taken together, these findings indicate that the maintenance of an extended, tense cell tail facilitates directional migration. We propose a rear drag mechanism for directional persistence of migration whereby the counterforce originating from a well-anchored tail serves to maintain directionality of the force-generating leading edge of the cell. Theisen et al. show that the microtubule motor Kif1C mediates α5β1-integrin transport for proper maturation of trailing focal adhesions, resistance to tail retraction, and support of directionally persistent cell migration. They propose that directionality of the force-generating cell leading edge is governed by the counterforce originating from a well-anchored tail. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Kerr R.M.,University of Warwick
Physics of Fluids | Year: 2013

Long, straight, anti-parallel vortex tubes, with balanced profiles and a local perturbation, are simulated using the Navier-Stokes equations and evolve into a chain of spiral vortex rings with the characteristics of three-dimensional turbulence. This includes evidence of a cascade of energy to high wavenumbers, the formation of a k-5/3 inertial subrange and a new hierarchy of rescaled vorticity moments where, against expectations, the lower-order moments bound the higher-order moments. This order holds for all times even as the individual moments fluctuate significantly and could explain the observation that ratios converge faster than the individual moments in very high Reynolds number forced turbulence simulations. The transformation of the original pair of vortices into turbulent swirling vortex rings is outlined by describing first the twists and turns of the first two reconnection steps in detail, next how these create the first set of vortex rings, and finally the formation of the additional reconnections and stretched, swirling rings that lead to turbulence. The k-5/3 spectrum is interpreted in terms of a model of stretched, spiral vortices similar to those seen in these simulations. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.


Wall M.J.,University of Warwick | Dale N.,University of Warwick
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2013

Abstract The neuromodulator adenosine plays an important role in many physiological and pathological processes within the mammalian CNS. However, the precise mechanisms of how the concentration of extracellular adenosine increases following neural activity remain contentious. Here we have used microelectrode biosensors to directly measure adenosine release induced by focal stimulation in stratum radiatum of area CA1 in mouse hippocampal slices. Adenosine release was both action potential and Ca2+ dependent and could be evoked with low stimulation frequencies and small numbers of stimuli. Adenosine release required the activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors and could be evoked by local application of glutamate receptor agonists. Approximately 40% of stimulated-adenosine release occurred by translocation of adenosine via equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). This component of release persisted in the presence of the gliotoxin fluoroacetate and thus results from the direct release of adenosine from neurons. A reduction of adenosine release in the presence of NTPDase blockers, in slices from CD73-/- and dn-SNARE mice, provides evidence that a component of adenosine release arises from the extracellular metabolism of ATP released from astrocytes. This component of release appeared to have slower kinetics than the direct ENT-mediated release of adenosine. These data suggest that activity-dependent adenosine release is surprisingly complex and, in the hippocampus, arises from at least two distinct mechanisms with different cellular sources. © 2013 The Physiological Society.


Cheung D.L.,University of Warwick
Langmuir | Year: 2012

Hydrophobins are small, amphiphilic proteins expressed by strains of filamentous fungi. They fulfill a number of biological functions, often related to adsorption at hydrophobic interfaces, and have been investigated for a number of applications in materials science and biotechnology. In order to understand the biological function and applications of these proteins, a microscopic picture of the adsorption of these proteins at interfaces is needed. Using molecular dynamics simulations with a chemically detailed coarse-grained potential, the behavior of typical hydrophobins at the water-octane interface is studied. Calculation of the interfacial adsorption strengths indicates that the adsorption is essentially irreversible, with adsorption strengths of the order of 100 k BT (comparable to values determined for synthetic nanoparticles but significantly larger than small molecule surfactants and biomolecules). The protein structure at the interface is unchanged at the interface, which is consistent with the biological function of these proteins. Comparison of native proteins with pseudoproteins that consist of uniform particles shows that the surface structure of these proteins has a large effect on the interfacial adsorption strengths, as does the flexibility of the protein. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Grosskopf T.,University of Warwick | Soyer O.S.,University of Warwick
Current Opinion in Microbiology | Year: 2014

While natural microbial communities are composed of a mix of microbes with often unknown functions, the construction of synthetic microbial communities allows for the generation of defined systems with reduced complexity. Used in a top-down approach, synthetic communities serve as model systems to ask questions about the performance and stability of microbial communities. In a second, bottom-up approach, synthetic microbial communities are used to study which conditions are necessary to generate interaction patterns like symbiosis or competition, and how higher order community structure can emerge from these. Besides their obvious value as model systems to understand the structure, function and evolution of microbial communities as complex dynamical systems, synthetic communities can also open up new avenues for biotechnological applications. © 2014.


House T.,University of Warwick
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2011

The last decade has seen much work on quantitative understanding of human behaviour, with online social interaction offering the possibility of more precise measurement of behavioural phenomena than was previously possible. A parsimonious model is proposed that incorporates several observed features of behavioural contagion not seen in existing epidemic model schemes, leading to metastable behavioural dynamics. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Spiller D.G.,Crown Bioscience | Wood C.D.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Rand D.A.,University of Warwick | White M.R.H.,Crown Bioscience
Nature | Year: 2010

Populations of cells are almost always heterogeneous in function and fate. To understand the plasticity of cells, it is vital to measure quantitatively and dynamically the molecular processes that underlie cell-fate decisions in single cells. Early events in cell signalling often occur within seconds of the stimulus, whereas intracellular signalling processes and transcriptional changes can take minutes or hours. By contrast, cell-fate decisions, such as whether a cell divides, differentiates or dies, can take many hours or days. Multiparameter experimental and computational methods that integrate quantitative measurement and mathematical simulation of these noisy and complex processes are required to understand the highly dynamic mechanisms that control cell plasticity and fate. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Oswald A.J.,University of Warwick | Wu S.,Hamilton College
Science | Year: 2010

A huge research literature, across the behavioral and social sciences, uses information on individuals' subjective well-being. These are responses to questions - asked by survey interviewers or medical personnel - such as, "How happy do you feel on a scale from 1 to 4?" Yet there is little scientific evidence that such data are meaningful. This study examines a 2005-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System random sample of 1.3 million U.S. citizens. Life satisfaction in each U.S. state is measured. Across America, people's answers trace out the same pattern of quality of life as previously estimated, from solely nonsubjective data, in one branch of economics (so-called "compensating differentials" neoclassical theory, originally from Adam Smith). There is a state-by-state match (r = 0.6, P < 0.001) between subjective and objective well-being. This result has some potential to help to unify disciplines.


Throsby K.,University of Warwick
Sociology of Health and Illness | Year: 2012

Drawing on ethnographic data gathered through observations and interviews at a surgical weight management clinic in a large hospital, this article argues that while the core values governing the provision of obesity surgery (obesity=ill health; obesity surgery=weight loss; weight loss=improved health and cost savings) can be seen as governing the clinical encounter, the singularity of these collective equations reflects neither the complexity of the patient experience of obesity surgery nor the extent to which the 'war on obesity' itself does not adhere strictly to those principles. Drawing on Annemarie Mol's concept of the body multiple, and focusing on three different forms of excess (excess weight, excess consumption and excess skin) that emerged in the course of the study, this article argues that the rationalised singularity of obesity that is enacted in the obesity surgery clinic risks obscuring the uncertainties inherent to those practices and the moral judgements and values that are ultimately inextricable from them. © 2011 The Author. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2011 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Tiskin A.,University of Warwick
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2010

Monge matrices play a fundamental role in optimisation theory, graph and string algorithms. Distance multiplication of two Monge matrices of size n can be performed in time O(n2). Motivated by applications to string algorithms, we introduced in previous works a subclass of Monge matrices, that we call simple unit-Monge matrices. We also gave a distance multiplication algorithm for such matrices, running in time O(n1.5). Landau asked whether this problem can be solved in linear time. In the current work, we give an algorithm running in time O(n log n), thus approaching an answer to Landau's question within a logarithmic factor. The new algorithm implies immediate improvements in running time for a number of algorithms on strings and graphs. In particular, we obtain an algorithm for finding a maximum clique in a circle graph in time O(n log2 n), and a surprisingly efficient algorithm for comparing compressed strings. We also point to potential applications in group theory, by making a connection between unit-Monge matrices and Coxeter monoids. We conclude that unit-Monge matrices are a fascinating object and a powerful tool, that deserves further study from both the mathematical and the algorithmic viewpoints. Copyright © by SIAM.


Stec H.M.,University of Warwick | Hatton R.A.,University of Warwick
Advanced Energy Materials | Year: 2013

A lithography free approach to fabricating optically thin ( - 10 nm) noble metal electrodes with a dense array of sub-wavelength apertures is reported. These nano-structured electrodes support surface plasmon resonances which couple strongly with visible light concentrating it near to the electrode surface. They are also remarkably robust and can be fabricated on glass and plastic substrates with a sheet resistance of < 15 O sq-1 . As the window electrode in solution processed and vacuum deposited organic photovoltaics (OPV) the photocurrent is increased by as much as 28% as compared to identical devices without apertures, demonstrating that the apertures do not need to have a tight size and/or shape distribution to be effective. As a drop-in replacement for the indium-tin oxide electrode in fl exible OPV these plasmonactive electrodes offer superior performance; 5.1% vs. 4.6%, demonstrating that this class of electrode is a truly viable alternative to conducting oxide window electrodes for OPV. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co.


Truong V.X.,University of Warwick | Dove A.P.,University of Warwick
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013

Discerning Tastes: The regioselectivity of the nucleophilic addition of thiols to electron-deficient alkynes is controlled by the choice of the solvent (i.e. the polarity of the reaction mixture) and the catalyst. Both thioalkenes and dithianes can be prepared in a rapid reaction that generates no by-products (see scheme). In turn the utility of this reaction is shown for efficient end-group modification of polymers. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Gorfman S.,University of Warwick | Thomas P.A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2010

The potential lead-free piezoelectric material sodium bismuth titanate, Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3, was investigated by means of high-resolution single-crystal X-ray diffractometry. The splitting of Bragg peaks observed in the high-resolution reciprocal-space maps suggests that the average structure of Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3 has lower than rhombohedral symmetry. This observation is contrary to the commonly adopted model, which has followed from many previous analyses of neutron and X-ray powder diffraction data. © 2010 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved.


Griffin X.L.,University of Warwick
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

The morbidity and socioeconomic costs of fractures are considerable. The length of time to healing is an important factor in determining a patient's recovery after a fracture. Ultrasound may have a therapeutic role in reducing the time to union after fracture. To assess the effects of low intensity ultrasound (LIPUS), high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFUS) and extracorporeal shockwave therapies (ECSW) as part of the treatment of acute fractures in adults. We searched the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register (December 2011), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (in The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1950 to November Week 3 2011), EMBASE (1980 to 2011 Week 49), trial registers and reference lists of articles. Randomised controlled trials evaluating ultrasound treatment in the management of acute fractures in adults. Studies including participants over 18 years of age with acute fractures, reporting functional outcomes, time to union, non-union, secondary procedures such as for fixation or delayed or non-union, adverse effects, pain, costs or patient adherence were included. Two authors independently extracted data from the included studies. Treatment effects were assessed using mean differences or risk ratios and, where there was substantial heterogeneity, pooled using a random-effects model. Results from 'worst case' analyses, which gave more conservative estimates of treatment effects for time to fracture union, are reported in preference to those from 'as reported' analyses. Twelve studies, involving 622 participants with 648 fractures, were included. Eight studies were randomised placebo-controlled trials, two studies were randomised controlled trials without placebo controls, one study was a quasi-randomised placebo controlled trial and the remaining study was a quasi-randomised controlled trial without placebo control. Eleven trials tested LIPUS and one trial tested ECSW. Four trials included participants with conservatively treated upper limb complete fractures and six trials included participants with lower limb complete fractures; these were surgically fixed in four trials. The remaining two trials reported results for conservatively treated tibial stress fractures.Very limited data from two complete fracture studies showed no difference between ultrasound and placebo control in functional outcome. Pooled estimates from two studies found LIPUS did not significantly affect the time to return to training or duty in soldiers or midshipmen with stress fractures (mean difference -8.55 days, 95% CI -22.71 to 5.61).Based on a 'worst case' analysis, which adjusted for incomplete data, pooled results from eight heterogeneous studies showed no statistically significant reduction in time to union of complete fractures treated with LIPUS (standardised mean difference -0.47, 95% CI -1.14 to 0.20). This result could include a clinically important benefit or harm, and should be seen in the context of the highly significant statistical heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%). This heterogeneity was not explained by the a priori subgroup analyses (upper limb versus lower limb fracture, smoking status). An additional subgroup analysis comparing conservatively and operatively treated fractures raised the possibility that LIPUS may be effective in reducing healing time in conservatively managed fractures, but the test for subgroup differences did not confirm a significant difference between the subgroups.Pooled results from eight trials reporting proportion of delayed union or non-union showed no significant difference between LIPUS and control. Adverse effects directly associated with LIPUS and associated devices were found to be few and minor, and compliance with treatment was generally good. One study reporting on pain scores found no difference between groups at eight weeks.One quasi-randomised study (59 fractures) found no significant difference between ECSW and no-placebo control groups in non-union at 12 months (risk ratio 0.56, 95% CI 0.15 to 2.01). There was a clinically small but statistically significant difference in the visual analogue scores for pain in favour of ECSW at three month follow-up. The only reported complication was infection, with no significant difference between the two groups. While a potential benefit of ultrasound for the treatment of acute fractures in adults cannot be ruled out, the currently available evidence from a set of clinically heterogeneous trials is insufficient to support the routine use of this intervention in clinical practice. Future trials should record functional outcomes and follow-up all trial participants.


The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, has constructed a new international framework, which is set to become the cornerstone for all action on human rights and business at the international level. The principle of human rights due diligence (HRDD) is the central component of the corporate duty to respect human rights within that framework. This article argues that Ruggie's HRDD principle contains the majority of the core procedural elements that a reasonable human rights impact assessment (HRIA) process should incorporate. It is likely that the majority of corporations will adopt HRIA as a mechanism for meeting their due diligence responsibilities. However, in the context of the contentious debate around corporate human rights performance, the current state of the art in HRIA gives rise to concerns about the credibility and robustness of likely practice. Additional requirements are therefore essential if HRDD is to have a significant impact on corporate human rights performance - requirements in relation to transparency; external participation and verification; and independent monitoring and review. © 2013 Copyright The Author(s).


Kettell S.,University of Warwick
British Journal of Politics and International Relations | Year: 2013

The sphere of foreign policy provides a hitherto unexplored field for studying the applicability of interpretivist concepts and concerns. Here, a particularly useful topic of analysis is that of discursive strategies; namely, the way in which government figures seek to legitimise and justify their decisions and behaviour. Operating at the intersection between beliefs, traditions and dilemmas, the examination of foreign policy discourse offers key insights into a variety of important issues, including political communication and media management. This article considers these themes by examining the changing form of New Labour's discursive strategy on Britain's role in the war on terror during the period of Tony Blair's premiership from 2001 to mid-2007. Charting the various shifts to have taken place in this discursive landscape, the article analyses the way in which these changes were driven by dilemmas resulting from tensions between practical developments and the discursive claims made about them. This shows how various rationalities within the sphere of British politics were operationalised and sustained, and how numerous 'dilemmas of discourse' were addressed. © 2012 Political Studies Association.


Heath-Kelly C.,University of Warwick
British Journal of Politics and International Relations | Year: 2013

This article interrogates the production of the 'radicalisation' discourse which underpins efforts to govern 'terrorism' pre-emptively through the UK's PREVENT strategy. British counter-terrorism currently relies upon the invention of 'radicalisation' and related knowledge about transitions to 'terrorism' to undertake governance of communities rendered suspicious. The article argues that such conceptions make terrorism knowable and governable through conceptions of risk. Radicalisation knowledge provides a counterfactual to terrorism-enabling governmental intervention in its supposed production. It makes the future actionable. However, while the deployment of 'radicalisation' functions to make terrorism pre-emptively governable and knowable, it also renders PREVENT unstable by simultaneously presenting 'vulnerability indicators' for radicalisation as threats to the wider collective-these conducts are framed as both 'at risk' and 'risky', both vulnerable and dangerous. This instability speaks to ad hoc production of the radicalisation discourse by scholarly and policy-making communities for the governance of terrorism through radicalisation knowledge. This article analyses the production of the radicalisation discourse to explore its performance as a form of risk governance within British counter-terrorism. © 2012 Political Studies Association.


Watson M.,University of Warwick
British Journal of Politics and International Relations | Year: 2013

New Labour staked much politically on its ability to enact a trouble-free shift in underlying economic subjectivities so as to nurture responsibly self-sufficient welfare citizens. This policy began merely as the requirement for benefit claimants to become active worker subjects in the interests of enhanced employability. More problematically from the perspective of its own macroeconomic policy, it ended as the requirement for as many people as possible to become much more tension-prone active worker-saver-investor subjects in the interests of enhanced private pension insurance. The article charts the collapse of New Labour's reputation for economic governing competence as these latter subjects' accumulated asset wealth threatened to implode during the recent financial crisis. In its last days the Brown government inadvertently placed itself in the paradoxical position of being able to defend either the financial interests of responsibly self-sufficient welfare citizens or its own reputation for macroeconomic responsibility, but not both. British Journal of Politics and International Relations © 2012 Political Studies Association.


Miller M.A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine | Year: 2011

There is emerging evidence suggesting that disturbances in sleep and sleep disorders play a role in the morbidity of chronic conditions including obesity and hypertension as well as in the development of type-2 diabetes. This brief review examines the role of inflammation in the development of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, it outlines the utility of inflammatory markers and, in particular, adhesion molecules as biomarkers for cardiovascular risk and the factors that affect their level in the circulation. It then discusses the relationship between sleep and markers of inflammation and the role of sleep in immune function.


Adriaens A.,Ghent University | Dowsett M.,University of Warwick
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2010

Corrosion is a major source of degradation in heritage metal objects, and any remedial measures are subject to a strong (Western) ethic that favors conservation as opposed to restoration. Accordingly, major scientific challenges exist for developing appropriate treatment methods to stabilize and protect artifacts after they are recovered from an archaeological site, both before and during their display or storage in a museum. Because inappropriate treatments can cause irreversible damage to irreplaceable objects, it is crucial that the chemical processes involved are fully understood and characterized before any preservation work is undertaken. In this regard, large infrastructural facilities such as synchrotrons, neutron sources, and particle accelerators provide a wealth of analytical possibilities, unavailable in smaller scale laboratories. In general, the intensity of the radiation available allows measurements on a short time scale or with high spatial resolution (or both), so heterogeneous changes induced by a chemical process can be recorded while they occur. The penetrative nature of the radiation (e.g., X-rays, protons, or neutrons) also allows a sample to be studied in air. If necessary, complete artifacts (such as paintings or statuettes) can be examined. In situ analysis in a controlled environment, such as a liquid or corrosive atmosphere, also becomes an exciting possibility. Finally, there are many complementary techniques (local atomic structure or crystal structure determination, macroscopic 3-D imaging (tomographies), imaging chemical analysis, and so on) so the many distinct details of a problem can be thoroughly explored. In this Account, we discuss the application of this general philosophy to studies of corrosion and its prevention in cultural heritage metals, focusing on our recent work on copper alloys. More specifically, we use synchrotron-based techniques to evaluate the use of corrosion potential measurements as a possible monitoring method for copper-based objects recovered from marine environments. The extraction of chlorides from such artifacts is a process that must take place before the artifacts are put on display or stored, because air exposure of untreated metal will result in severe damage or loss in as little as a few weeks. Chloride is removed by soaking the artifact for up to two years in tap water or dilute sodium sesquicarbonate, with regular solution changes. Our research supports the effectiveness of this treatment for thin nantokite (copper(I) chloride) layers, but it raises questions for copper hydroxychlorides (atacamite and paratacamite), especially when these minerals are trapped in fissures. Electrochemical parameters such as the corrosion potential are shown to be insensitive to the physical presence of large hydroxychloride coverages if they overlie a cuprite (Cu2O) layer. X-ray absorption spectroscopy proves to be a good monitor for the chloride in solution over the working electrode, whereas X-ray diffraction offers the potential for real-time measurement of the surface chloride composition. In principle, the two techniques together offer the possibility of monitoring surface and fluid levels simultaneously. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Phillips D.J.,University of Warwick | Gibson M.I.,University of Warwick
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

Disulfide linkages were introduced into poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) by the polycondensation of a RAFT-derived, telechelic macromonomer to give degradable yet vinyl-based polymers. These polymers displayed a redox-sensitive lower critical solution temperature (LCST) with the shorter, degraded product displaying a higher LCST than its non-degraded counterpart. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Tian Y.,University of Warwick | Zhao C.Y.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

Thermal applications are drawing increasing attention in the solar energy research field, due to their high performance in energy storage density and energy conversion efficiency. In these applications, solar collectors and thermal energy storage systems are the two core components. This paper focuses on the latest developments and advances in solar thermal applications, providing a review of solar collectors and thermal energy storage systems. Various types of solar collectors are reviewed and discussed, including both non-concentrating collectors (low temperature applications) and concentrating collectors (high temperature applications). These are studied in terms of optical optimisation, heat loss reduction, heat recuperation enhancement and different sun-tracking mechanisms. Various types of thermal energy storage systems are also reviewed and discussed, including sensible heat storage, latent heat storage, chemical storage and cascaded storage. They are studied in terms of design criteria, material selection and different heat transfer enhancement technologies. Last but not least, existing and future solar power stations are overviewed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Chen Y.,University of Warwick | Murrell J.C.,University of Warwick
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2010

The application of metagenomics, the culture-independent capture and subsequent analysis of genomic DNA from the environment, has greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity of microbes and microbial protein families; however, the metabolic functions of many microorganisms remain largely unknown. DNA stable-isotope probing (DNA-SIP) is a recently developed method in which the incorporation of stable isotope from a labelled substrate is used to identify the function of microorganisms in the environment. The technique has now been used in conjunction with metagenomics to establish links between microbial identity and particular metabolic functions. The combination of DNA-SIP and metagenomics not only permits the detection of rare low-abundance species from metagenomic libraries but also facilitates the detection of novel enzymes and bioactive compounds. © 2010.


Rutledge P.J.,University of Sydney | Challis G.L.,University of Warwick
Nature Reviews Microbiology | Year: 2015

Microorganisms produce a wealth of structurally diverse specialized metabolites with a remarkable range of biological activities and a wide variety of applications in medicine and agriculture, such as the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, and the prevention of crop damage. Genomics has revealed that many microorganisms have far greater potential to produce specialized metabolites than was thought from classic bioactivity screens; however, realizing this potential has been hampered by the fact that many specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) are not expressed in laboratory cultures. In this Review, we discuss the strategies that have been developed in bacteria and fungi to identify and induce the expression of such silent BGCs, and we briefly summarize methods for the isolation and structural characterization of their metabolic products. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Coja-Oghlan A.,University of Warwick
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2011

Let φ be a uniformly distributed random k-SAT formula with n variables and m clauses. Non-constructive arguments show that φ is satisfiable for clause/variable ratios m/n ≤ rk ∼ 2k ln 2 with high probability (Achlioptas, Moore: SICOMP 2006; Achlioptas, Peres: J. AMS 2004). Yet no efficient algorithm is know to find a satisfying assignment for densities as low as m/n ∼ rk · In(k)/k with a non-vanishing probability. In fact, the density m/n ∼ rk · In(k)/k seems to form a barrier for a broad class of local search algorithms (Achlioptas, Coja-Oghlan: FOCS 2008). On the basis of deep but non-rigorous statistical mechanics considerations, a message passing algorithm called belief propagation guided decimation for solving random k-SAT has been forward (Mézard, Parisi, Zecchina: Science 2002; Braunstein, Mézard, Zecchina: RSA 2005). Experiments suggest that the algorithm might succeed for densities very close to rk for k = 3,4,5 (Kroc, Sabharwal, Selman: SAC 2009). Furnishing the first rigorous analysis of belief propagation guided decimation on random k-SAT, the present paper shows that the algorithm fails to find a satisfying assignment already for m/n ≥ ρ · rk/k, for a constant ρ > 0 independent of k.


Martsinovich N.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011

Electron injection from a photoexcited chromophore into semiconductor (TiO 2) nanoparticles is one of the key electron transfer processes in dye-sensitized solar cells. We describe our model for calculations of electron injection times, which is based on partitioning the semiconductor-chromophore system into fragments (TiO 2 slab with adsorbed chromophore's anchoring group, and an isolated chromophore), and calculating the imaginary part of the self-energy from the electronic properties of the fragments: density of states of TiO 2 slab, TiO 2-anchoring group coupling, and chromophore's wave function coefficients. The electronic properties of the semiconductor and its interface with the chromophore's anchoring group are reused for all chromophores with the same anchoring group (carboxylic acid in this study), and only a calculation of the isolated chromophore's lowest unoccupied molecular orbital is required for each chromophore. We use this model to calculate electron injection times for a large set of organic chromophores, including, e.g., perylene dyes and biisonicotinic acid, on TiO 2 rutile (110) and anatase (101) surfaces. The calculated injection times are in good agreement with reported experimental injection times or light conversion efficiencies of solar cells based on these dyes. Our model is computationally efficient and allows us to make reliable predictions of electron injection times for families of chromophores sharing the same adsorption chemistry. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Liu T.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011

A simplified model system is used to compute the rates of interfacial charge separation (CS) and recombination (CS) in the P3HT/PCBM blend (poly(3-hexylthiophene) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester) used in bulk heterojunction solar cells. The absolute charge-transfer rates of CS (kCS) and CR (kCR) processes were calculated to be 1.50 × 1011 and 1.93 × 109 s -1, respectively, from the Marcus-Levich-Jortner rate equation, in reasonable agreement with the range of available experimental values for a model containing a six thiophene rings chain and a single PCBM molecule. A detailed discussion of the inaccuracy intrinsic in the evaluation of all quantities entering the rate expression (equilibrium energy, electronic coupling, and internal and external reorganization energies) is provided together with a discussion of the sensitivity of the computed rate to these quantities. A variety of DFT methods is used to evaluate the states energy of the system (TDDFT, calculation with background charges, and unrestricted DFT), and it was found that unrestricted calculations of the lowest triplet state can describe with good accuracy the equilibrium energy and geometry of the charge-transfer states. A physically plausible range for the external reorganization energy is computed with a continuum model, and it is shown that a more accurate evaluation of this quantity is not essential. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


This paper discusses the potential of the synthetic-aperture method in digital holography to increase the resolution, to perform high accuracy deformation measurement, and to obtain a three-dimensional topology map. The synthetic aperture method is realized by moving the camera with a motorized x-y stage. In this way a greater sensor area can be obtained resulting in a larger numerical aperture (NA). A larger NA enables a more detailed reconstruction combined with a smaller depth of field. The depth of field can be increased by applying the extended depth of field method, which yields an in-focus reconstruction of all longitudinal object regions. Moreover, a topology map of the object can be obtained. © 2010 Optical Society of America.


Blindauer C.A.,University of Warwick
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Zinc is one of the most important micronutrients for virtually all living organisms, and hence, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms for its homeostasis. Besides proteins involved in transmembrane transport, both extra- and intracellular zinc-binding proteins play important roles in the respective metabolic networks. Important examples for extracellular zinc transporters are mammalian serum albumins, and for intracellular zinc handling, certain metallothioneins are of relevance. The availability of protein structures including relevant metal binding sites is a fundamental prerequisite to decipher the mechanisms that govern zinc binding dynamics in these proteins, but their determination can prove to be surprisingly challenging. Due to the spectroscopic silence of Zn2 +, combinations of biophysical techniques including electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and multinuclear NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, coupled with site-directed mutagenesis and molecular modelling have proven to be valuable approaches to understand not only the zinc-binding properties of metallothioneins and albumins, but also the influence of other physiologically relevant competing agents. These studies have demonstrated why the bacterial metallothionein SmtA contains a site inert towards exchange with Cd2 +, why the plant metallothionein EC from wheat is partially unfolded in the presence of Cd2 +, and how fatty acids impact on the zinc-binding ability of mammalian serum albumins. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Didelot X.,University of Warwick | Maiden M.C.J.,University of Oxford
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2010

Genetic exchange plays a defining role in the evolution of many bacteria. The recent accumulation of nucleotide sequence data from multiple members of diverse bacterial genera has facilitated comparative studies that have revealed many features of this process. Here we focus on genetic exchange that has involved homologous recombination and illustrate how nucleotide sequence data have furthered our understanding of: (i) the frequency of recombination; (ii) the impact of recombination in different parts of the genome; and (iii) patterns of gene flow within bacterial populations. Summarizing the results obtained for a range of bacteria, we survey evidence indicating that the extent and nature of recombination vary widely among microbiological species and often among lineages assigned to the same microbiological species. These results have important implications in studies ranging from epidemiological investigations to examination of the bacterial species problem. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Maggio E.,University of Warwick | Martsinovich N.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013

Suitably designed symmetric dyes can be used in dye-sensitized solar cells to reduce the charge recombination rate by two to three orders of magnitude. If the electron coupling between the electrode and the dye is mediated by a conjugated linker, it is possible to design dyes for which the HOMO of the dye is not coupled to the semiconductor. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Pallen M.J.,University of Warwick
Parasitology | Year: 2014

The term 'shotgun metagenomics' is applied to the direct sequencing of DNA extracted from a sample without culture or target-specific amplification or capture. In diagnostic metagenomics, this approach is applied to clinical samples in the hope of detecting and characterizing pathogens. Here, I provide a conceptual overview, before reviewing several recent promising proof-of-principle applications of metagenomics in virus discovery, analysis of outbreaks and detection of pathogens in contemporary and historical samples. I also evaluate future prospects for diagnostic metagenomics in the light of relentless improvements in sequencing technologies. Copyright © 2014 Cambridge University Press.


Anderson R.,Imperial College London | Truscott J.,Imperial College London | Hollingsworth T.D.,University of Warwick
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

A combination of methods, including mathematical model construction, demographic plus epidemiological data analysis and parameter estimation, are used to examine whether mass drug administration (MDA) alone can eliminate the transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). Numerical analyses suggest that in all but low transmission settings (as defined by the magnitude of the basic reproductive number, R0), the treatment of pre-school-aged children (pre-SAC) and school-aged children (SAC) is unlikely to drive transmission to a level where the parasites cannot persist. High levels of coverage (defined as the fraction of an age group effectively treated) are required in pre-SAC, SAC and adults, if MDA is to drive the parasite below the breakpoint under which transmission is eliminated. Long-term solutions to controlling helminth infections lie in concomitantly improving the quality of the water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). MDA, however, is a very cost-effective tool in long-term control given that most drugs are donated free by the pharmaceutical industry for poor regions of the world. WASH interventions, by lowering the basic reproductive number, can facilitate the ability of MDA to interrupt transmission. © 2014 The Authors.


Penfold C.A.,University of Warwick | Buchanan-Wollaston V.,University of Warwick
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

The process of leaf senescence is induced by an extensive range of developmental and environmental signals and controlled by multiple, cross-linking pathways, many of which overlap with plant stress-response signals. Elucidation of this complex regulation requires a step beyond a traditional one-gene-at-a-time analysis. Application of a more global analysis using statistical and mathematical tools of systems biology is an approach that is being applied to address this problem. A variety of modelling methods applicable to the analysis of current and future senescence data are reviewed and discussed using some senescence-specific examples. Network modelling with a senescence transcriptome time course followed by testing predictions with gene-expression data illustrates the application of systems biology tools. © 2014 The Author.


Forrest M.D.,University of Warwick
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

In vitro, Purkinje cell behaviour is sometimes studied in a dissociated soma preparation in which the dendritic projection has been cleaved. A fraction of these dissociated somas spontaneously burst. The mechanism of this bursting is incompletely understood. We have constructed a biophysical Purkinje soma model, guided and constrained by experimental reports in the literature, that can replicate the somatically driven bursting pattern and which hypothesises Persistent Na+ current (INaP) to be its burst initiator and SK K+ current (ISK) to be its burst terminator. © 2013 Michael D.


Griffin X.L.,University of Warwick
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2011

Delayed union and non-union of fractures are a considerable cause of morbidity to patients. Laboratory studies have shown that electromagnetic fields can stimulate the formation of new bone, indicating a potential role for electromagnetic stimulation in the treatment of fractures that have failed to heal. To assess the effects of electromagnetic stimulation for treating delayed union or non-union of long bone fractures in adults. We searched the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register (May 2010), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (in The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1966 to May 2010) and EMBASE (1980 to 2010 Week 20), trial registers and reference lists of articles. Randomised controlled trials evaluating electromagnetic field stimulation for the treatment of delayed union or non-union of long bones in adults. Two authors independently selected studies and performed data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Treatment effects were assessed using risk ratios and, where appropriate, data were pooled using a random-effects model. Four studies, involving 125 participants, were included. Three studies evaluated the effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields and one study, capacitive coupled electric fields. Participants with delayed union and non-union of the long bones were included, but most data related to non-union of the tibia. Although all studies were blinded randomised placebo-controlled trials, each study had limitations.The primary measure of the clinical effectiveness of electromagnetic field stimulation was the proportion of participants whose fractures had united at a fixed time point. The overall pooled effect size was small and not statistically significant (risk ratio 1.96; 95% confidence interval 0.86 to 4.48; 4 trials). There was substantial clinical and statistical heterogeneity in this pooled analysis (I(2) = 58%). A sensitivity analysis conducted to determine the effect of multiple follow-up time-points on the heterogeneity amongst the studies showed that the effect size remained non-significant at 24 weeks (risk ratio 1.61; 95% confidence interval 0.74 to 3.54; 3 trials), with similar heterogeneity (I(2) = 57%).There was no reduction in pain found in two trials. No study reported functional outcome measures. One trial reported two minor complications resulting from treatment. Though the available evidence suggests that electromagnetic field stimulation may offer some benefit in the treatment of delayed union and non-union of long bone fractures, it is inconclusive and insufficient to inform current practice. More definitive conclusions on treatment effect await further well-conducted randomised controlled trials.


Coveney C.M.,University of Warwick
Sociology of Health and Illness | Year: 2014

This article contributes to literature on the sociology of sleep by exploring the sleeping practices and subjective sleep experiences of two social groups: shift workers and students. It draws on data, collected in the UK from 25 semi-structured interviews, to discuss the complex ways in which working patterns and social activities impact upon experiences and expectations of sleep in our wired awake world. The data show that, typically, sleep is valued and considered to be important for health, general wellbeing, appearance and physical and cognitive functioning. However, sleep time is often cut back on in favour of work demands and social activities. While shift workers described their efforts to fit in an adequate amount of sleep per 24-hour period, for students, the adoption of a flexible sleep routine was thought to be favourable for maintaining a work-social life balance. Collectively, respondents reported using a wide range of strategies, techniques, technologies and practices to encourage, overcome or delay sleep(iness) and boost, promote or enhance wakefulness/alertness at socially desirable times. The analysis demonstrates how social context impacts not only on how we come to think about sleep and understand it, but also how we manage or self-regulate our sleeping patterns. © 2013 The Author. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2013 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Pascoe D.J.,University of Warwick
Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) processes are important for the transfer of energy over large scales in plasmas and so are essential to understanding most forms of dynamical activity in the solar atmosphere. The introduction of transverse structuring into models for the corona modifies the behavior of MHD waves through processes such as dispersion and mode coupling. Exploiting our understanding of MHD waves with the diagnostic tool of coronal seismology relies upon the development of sufficiently detailed models to account for all the features in observations. The development of realistic models appropriate for highly structured and dynamical plasmas is often beyond the domain of simple mathematical analysis and so numerical methods are employed. This paper reviews recent numerical results for seismology of the solar corona using MHD. © 2014 National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences and IOP Publishing Ltd..


Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Advances in Polymer Science | Year: 2010

The traditional theories of charge transport in ordered organic semiconductors are reviewed and their limitations discussed. The recent contributions of computational chemistry to the understanding of the parameters that determine the charge mobility in bulk semiconductors are analyzed in detail. The effect of thermal motions on the electronic wavefunction and the effect of strong off-diagonal electron-phonon coupling are identified as essential ingredients for the proper description of the charge dynamics. The development of suitable methods to compute the charge mobility taking into account these new computational results is reviewed, with special emphasis on the models that allow the prediction of the structure-property relationship. The available experimental evidence is compared with the predictions made by the most recent models. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Seiden G.,Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization | Seiden G.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Thomas P.J.,University of Warwick
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2011

Rotating-drum flows span a variety of research areas, ranging from physics of granular matter through hydrodynamics of suspensions to pure liquid coating flows. Recent years have seen an intensified scientific activity associated with this unique geometrical configuration, which has contributed to our understanding of related subjects such as avalanches in granules and segregation in suspensions. The existing literature related to rotating-drum flows is reviewed, highlighting similarities and differences between the various flow realizations. Scaling laws expressing the importance of different mechanisms underlying the observed phenomena have been focused on. An emphasis is placed on pattern formation phenomena. Rotating-drum flows exhibit stationary patterns as well as traveling and oscillating patterns; they exhibit reversible transitions as well as hysteresis. Apart from the predominant cylindrical configuration, this review covers recent work done with tumblers having other geometries, such as the sphere and the Hele-Shaw cell. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Zhao C.Y.,University of Warwick | Wu Z.G.,University of Warwick
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells | Year: 2011

Latent heat storage (LHS) can theoretically provide large heat storage density and significantly reduce the storage material volume by using the material's fusion heat, Δhm. Phase change materials (PCMs) commonly suffer from low thermal conductivities, being around 0.4 W m -1 K-1 for inorganic salts, which prolong the charging and discharging period. The problem of low thermal conductivity is a major issue that needs to be addressed for high temperature thermal energy storage systems. Since porous materials have high thermal conductivities and high surface areas, they can be used to form composites with PCMs to significantly enhance heat transfer. In this paper, the feasibility of using metal foams and expanded graphite to enhance the heat transfer capability of PCMs in high temperature thermal energy storage systems is investigated. The results show that heat transfer can be significantly enhanced by both metal foams and expanded graphite, thereby reducing the charging and discharging period. Furthermore, the overall performance of metal foams is superior to that of expanded graphite. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Royle P.,University of Warwick
Systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Systematic reviews are important for informing clinical practice and health policy. The aim of this study was to examine the bibliometrics of systematic reviews and to determine the amount of variance in citations predicted by the journal impact factor (JIF) alone and combined with several other characteristics. We conducted a bibliometric analysis of 1,261 systematic reviews published in 2008 and the citations to them in the Scopus database from 2008 to June 2012. Potential predictors of the citation impact of the reviews were examined using descriptive, univariate and multiple regression analysis. The mean number of citations per review over four years was 26.5 (SD ± 29.9) or 6.6 citations per review per year. The mean JIF of the journals in which the reviews were published was 4.3 (SD ± 4.2). We found that 17% of the reviews accounted for 50% of the total citations and 1.6% of the reviews were not cited. The number of authors was correlated with the number of citations (r = 0.215, P < 0.001). Higher numbers of citations were associated with the following characteristics: first author from the United States (36.5 citations), an ICD-10 chapter heading of Neoplasms (31.8 citations), type of intervention classified as Investigation, Diagnostics or Screening (34.7 citations) and having an international collaboration (32.1 citations). The JIF alone explained more than half of the variation in citations (R(2) = 0.59) in univariate analysis. Adjusting for both JIF and type of intervention increased the R2 value to 0.81. Fourteen percent of reviews published in the top quartile of JIFs (≥ 5.16) received citations in the bottom quartile (eight or fewer), whereas 9% of reviews published in the lowest JIF quartile (≤ 2.06) received citations in the top quartile (34 or more). Six percent of reviews in journals with no JIF were also in the first quartile of citations. The JIF predicted over half of the variation in citations to the systematic reviews. However, the distribution of citations was markedly skewed. Some reviews in journals with low JIFs were well-cited and others in higher JIF journals received relatively few citations; hence the JIF did not accurately represent the number of citations to individual systematic reviews.


Barry N.P.E.,University of Warwick | Sadler P.J.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

This review describes how the incorporation of dicarba-closo-dodecarboranes into half-sandwich complexes of ruthenium, osmium, rhodium and iridium might lead to the development of a new class of compounds with applications in medicine. Such a combination not only has unexplored potential in traditional areas such as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy agents, but also as pharmacophores for the targeting of biologically important proteins and the development of targeted drugs. The synthetic pathways used for the syntheses of dicarba-closo-dodecarboranes-containing half-sandwich complexes of ruthenium, osmium, rhodium and iridium are also reviewed. Complexes with a wide variety of geometries and characteristics can be prepared. Examples of addition reactions on the metal centre, B-H activation, transmetalation reactions and/or direct formation of metal-metal bonds are discussed (103 references). © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Tippett N.,University of Warwick | Wolke D.,University of Warwick
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

We examined whether socioeconomic status (SES) could be used to identify which schools or children are at greatest risk of bullying, which can adversely affect children's healthand life. We conducted a review of published literature on school bullying and SES. We identified 28 studies that reported an association between roles in school bullying (victim, bully, and bully-victim) and measures of SES. Random effects models showed SES was weakly related to bullying roles. Adjusting for publication bias, victims (odds ratio [OR] = 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.24, 1.58) and bully-victims (OR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.36, 1.74) were more likely to come from low socioeconomic households. Bullies (OR = 0.98; 95% CI = 0.97, 0.99) and victims (OR = 0.95;95%CI = 0.94,0.97)were slightly less likely to come from high socioeconomic backgrounds. SES provides little guidance for targeted intervention, and all schools and children, not just those with more socioeconomic deprivation, should be targeted to reduce the adverse effects of bullying.


Sorensen T.B.,University of Warwick
Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce | Year: 2012

We provide the first pivoting-type algorithm that computes an exact proper equilibrium of a bimatrix game. This is achieved by using Lemke's algorithm to solve a linear complementarity problem (LCP) of polynomial size. This also proves that computing a simple refinement of proper equilibria for bimatrix game is PPAD-complete. The algorithm also computes a witness in the form of a parameterized strategy that is an epsilon-proper equilibrium for any given sufficiently small ε, allowing polynomial-time verification of the properties of the refined equilibrium. The same technique can be applied to matrix games (two-player zero-sum), thereby computing a parameterized epsilon-proper strategy in polynomial time using linear programming. © 2012 ACM.


Utili S.,University of Warwick | Utili S.,University of Oxford
Geotechnique | Year: 2013

A full set of solutions for the stability of homogeneous c, φ{symbol} slopes with cracks has been obtained by the kinematic method of limit analysis, providing rigorous upper bounds to the true collapse values for any value of engineering interest of φ{symbol}, the inclination of the slope, and the depth and location of cracks. Previous stability analyses of slopes with cracks are based mainly on limit equilibrium methods, which are not rigorous, and are limited in their capacity for analysis, since they usually require the user to assume a crack depth and location in the slope. Conversely, numerical methods (e.g. finite-element method) struggle to deal with the presence of cracks in the slope, because of the discontinuities introduced in both the static and kinematic fields by the presence of cracks. In this paper, solutions are provided in a general form considering cases of both dry and water-filled cracks. Critical failure mechanisms are determined for cracks of known depth but unspecified location, cracks of known location but unknown depth, and cracks of unspecified location and depth. The upper bounds are achieved by assuming a rigid rotational mechanism (logarithmic spiral failure line). It is also shown that the values obtained provide a significant improvement on the currently available upper bounds based on planar failure mechanisms, providing a reduction in the stability factor of up to 85%. Charts of solutions are presented in dimensionless form for ease of use by practitioners. © 2013 Thomas Telford Ltd.


Law K.J.H.,University of Warwick | Stuart A.M.,University of Warwick
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2012

Data assimilation leads naturally to a Bayesian formulation in which the posterior probability distribution of the system state, given all the observations on a time window of interest, plays a central conceptual role. The aim of this paper is to use this Bayesian posterior probability distribution as a gold standard against which to evaluate various commonly used data assimilation algorithms. A key aspect of geophysical data assimilation is the high dimensionality and limited predictability of the computational model. This paper examines the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations in a periodic geometry, which has these features and yet is tractable for explicit and accurate computation of the posterior distribution by state-of-the-art statistical sampling techniques. The commonly used algorithms that are evaluated, as quantified by the relative error in reproducing moments of the posterior, are four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVAR) and a variety of sequential filtering approximations based on threedimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) and on extended and ensemble Kalman filters. The primary conclusions are that, under the assumption of a well-defined posterior probability distribution, (i) with appropriate parameter choices, approximate filters can perform well in reproducing the mean of the desired probability distribution, (ii) they do not perform as well in reproducing the covariance, and (iii) the error is compounded by the need to modify the covariance, in order to induce stability. Thus, filters can be a useful tool in predicting mean behavior but should be viewed with caution as predictors of uncertainty. These conclusions are intrinsic to the algorithms when assumptions underlying them are not valid and will not change if the model complexity is increased. ©2012 American Meteorological Society.


Kaverina I.,Vanderbilt University | Straube A.,University of Warwick
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

Microtubules define the architecture and internal organization of cells by positioning organelles and activities, as well as by supporting cell shape and mechanics. One of the major functions of microtubules is the control of polarized cell motility. In order to support the asymmetry of polarized cells, microtubules have to be organized asymmetrically themselves. Asymmetry in microtubule distribution and stability is regulated by multiple molecular factors, most of which are microtubule-associated proteins that locally control microtubule nucleation and dynamics. At the same time, the dynamic state of microtubules is key to the regulatory mechanisms by which microtubules regulate cell polarity, modulate cell adhesion and control force-production by the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we propose that even small alterations in microtubule dynamics can influence cell migration via several different microtubule-dependent pathways. We discuss regulatory factors, potential feedback mechanisms due to functional microtubule-actin crosstalk and implications for cancer cell motility. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Alexander G.P.,University of Pennsylvania | Chen B.G.-G.,University of Pennsylvania | Chen B.G.-G.,University of Warwick | Matsumoto E.A.,University of Pennsylvania | And 2 more authors.
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2012

The homotopy theory of topological defects is a powerful tool for organizing and unifying many ideas across a broad range of physical systems. Recently, experimental progress was made in controlling and measuring colloidal inclusions in liquid crystalline phases. The topological structure of these systems is quite rich but, at the same time, subtle. Motivated by experiment and the power of topological reasoning, the classification of defects in uniaxial nematic liquid crystals was reviewed and expounded upon. Particular attention was paid to the ambiguities that arise in these systems, which have no counterpart in the much-storied XY model or the Heisenberg ferromagnet. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Hoerl C.,University of Warwick
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014

It is often thought that there is little that seems more obvious from experience than that time objectively passes, and that time is, in this respect, quite unlike space. Yet nothing in the physical picture of the world seems to correspond to the idea of such an objective passage of time. In this paper, I discuss some attempts to explain this apparent conflict between appearance and reality. I argue that existing attempts to explain the conflict as the result of a perceptual illusion fail, and that it is, in fact, the nature of memory, rather than perception, that explains why we are inclined to think of time as passing. I also offer a diagnosis as to why philosophers have sometimes been tempted to think that an objective passage of time seems to figure directly in perceptual experience, even though it does not. © 2014 The New York Academy of Sciences.


Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Organic Electronics: physics, materials, applications | Year: 2011

Elementary arguments are used to show that there is a maximum charge mobility that can be described by sequential hopping between molecules and that this maximum mobility can be expressed in terms of physical quantities that are all experimentally accessible. The evaluation of the maximum hopping mobility with realistic parameters suggests that sequential charge hopping is not the correct transport mechanism for the best molecular materials used for organic transistors. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kesner R.P.,University of Utah | Rolls E.T.,Oxford Center for Computational Neuroscience | Rolls E.T.,University of Warwick
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2015

The aims of the paper are to update Rolls' quantitative computational theory of hippocampal function and the predictions it makes about the different subregions (dentate gyrus, CA3 and CA1), and to examine behavioral and electrophysiological data that address the functions of the hippocampus and particularly its subregions. Based on the computational proposal that the dentate gyrus produces sparse representations by competitive learning and via the mossy fiber pathway forces new representations on the CA3 during learning (encoding), it has been shown behaviorally that the dentate gyrus supports spatial pattern separation during learning. Based on the computational proposal that CA3-CA3 autoassociative networks are important for episodic memory, it has been shown behaviorally that the CA3 supports spatial rapid one-trial learning, learning of arbitrary associations where space is a component, pattern completion, spatial short-term memory, and spatial sequence learning by associations formed between successive items. The concept that the CA1 recodes information from CA3 and sets up associatively learned backprojections to neocortex to allow subsequent retrieval of information to neocortex, is consistent with findings on consolidation. Behaviorally, the CA1 is implicated in processing temporal information as shown by investigations requiring temporal order pattern separation and associations across time; and computationally this could involve associations in CA1 between object and timing information that have their origins in the lateral and medial entorhinal cortex respectively. The perforant path input from the entorhinal cortex to DG is implicated in learning, to CA3 in retrieval from CA3, and to CA1 in retrieval after longer time intervals ("intermediate-term memory") and in the temporal sequence memory for objects. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Corre C.,University of Warwick
Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2013

The TetR family of microbial transcription factors directly control the expression of a diverse range of genes in bacteria by sensing specific ligands. In this issue of Chemistry & and Biology, Cuthbertson and colleagues used phylogenomics to guide the identification of TetR-like protein cognate ligands and revealed a novel inducible antibiotic resistance mechanism. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Clarke A.,University of Warwick
Quality & safety in health care | Year: 2010

To assess effectiveness of guidelines for referral for elective surgical assessment. Systematic review with descriptive synthesis. Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane database up to 2008. Hand searches of journals and websites. Studies evaluated guidelines for referral from primary to secondary care, for elective surgical assessment for adults. Appropriateness of referral (usually measured as guideline compliance) including clinical appropriateness, appropriateness of destination and of pre-referral management (eg, diagnostic investigations), general practitioner knowledge of referral appropriateness, referral rates, health outcomes and costs. 24 eligible studies (5 randomised control trials, 6 cohort, 13 case series) included guidelines from UK, Europe, Canada and the USA for referral for musculoskeletal, urological, ENT, gynaecology, general surgical and ophthalmological conditions. Interventions varied from complex ("one-stop shops") to simple guidelines. Four randomized control trials reported increases in appropriateness of pre-referral care (diagnostic investigations and treatment). No evidence was found for effects on practitioner knowledge. Mixed evidence was reported on rates of referral and costs (rates and costs increased, decreased or stayed the same). Two studies reported on health outcomes finding no change. Guidelines for elective surgical referral can improve appropriateness of care by improving pre-referral investigation and treatment, but there is no strong evidence in favour of other beneficial effects.


Lewandowski J.R.,University of Warwick
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013

Dynamics are intimately linked to protein stability and play a crucial role in important biological processes, such as ligand binding, allosteric regulation, protein folding, signaling, and enzymatic catalysis. Solid-state NMR relaxation measurements allow researchers to determine the amplitudes, time scales, and under favorable conditions, directionality of motions at atomic resolution over the entire range of dynamic processes from picoseconds to milliseconds. Because this method allows researchers to examine both the amplitudes and time scales of motions in this range, they can link different tiers of protein motions in protein energy landscapes. As a result, scientists can better understand the relationships between protein motions and functions. Such studies are possible both with the primary targets of solid-state NMR studies, such as amyloid fibrils, membrane proteins, or other heterogeneous systems, and others that researchers typically study by solution NMR and X-ray crystallography. In addition, solid-state NMR, with the absence of tumbling in solution, eliminates the intrinsic size limitation imposed by slow tumbling of large proteins. Thus, this technique allows researchers to characterize interdomain and intermolecular interactions in large complexes at the atomic scale.In this Account, we discuss recent advances in solid-state relaxation methodology for studying widespread site-specific protein dynamics. We focus on applications involving magic angle spinning, one of the primary methods used in high-resolution solid-state NMR. We give an overview of challenges and solutions for measuring 15N and 13C spin-lattice relaxation (R 1) to characterize fast picosecond-nanosecond motions, spin-lattice in the rotating frame (R1ρ), and other related relaxation rates for characterization of picosecond-millisecond protein motions. In particular, we discuss the problem of separating incoherent effects caused by random motions from coherent effects arising from incomplete averaging of orientation- dependent NMR interactions. We mention a number of quantitative studies of protein dynamics based on solid-state relaxation measurements. Finally, we discuss the potential use of relaxation measurements for extracting the directionality of motions. Using the 15N and 13C R 1 and R1ρ measurements, we illustrate the backbone and side-chain dynamics in the protein GB1 and comment on this emerging dynamic picture within the context of data from solution NMR measurements and simulations. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Faraday Discussions | Year: 2013

We introduced a minimal model of the donor-acceptor interface encountered in organic solar cells to explain the efficient generation of free charges in these systems and we investigated the nature of charge transfer states formed by a delocalized exciton in the donor component. Contrarily to the generally accepted view excitons do not generate strongly bound hole-electron pairs, but relatively delocalized charge transfer states with energy very close to the energy of free holes and electrons. These states are kinetically more accessible from the exciton state and very close in structure to the free hole and electron states. The most relevant molecular parameter that affects the rate of exciton dissociation is the electronic coupling between donor orbitals and acceptor orbitals, i.e. the band widths of the donor and acceptor materials. Moreover, and to some surprise, we find that the process of charge separation is mostly a purely electronic process and a very similar physics can be described neglecting the role of nuclear degrees of freedom altogether. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Drummond D.R.,University of Warwick
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

The simple mechanistic and functional division of the kinesin family into either active translocators or non-motile microtubule depolymerases was initially appropriate but is now proving increasingly unhelpful, given evidence that several translocase kinesins can affect microtubule dynamics, whilst non-translocase kinesins can promote microtubule assembly and depolymerisation. Such multi-role kinesins act either directly on microtubule dynamics, by interaction with microtubules and tubulin, or indirectly, through the transport of other factors along the lattice to the microtubule tip. Here I review recent progress on the mechanisms and roles of these translocase kinesins. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Critoph R.E.,University of Warwick
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2012

The history of solid sorption systems is long, since in 1823 Faraday used the adsorption of large amounts of ammonia into silver chloride as the basis of a thermal compressor to obtain and study liquid ammonia. With the ammoniated silver chloride in one leg of a sealed bent glass tube, upon heating he could repeatedly drive out and condense pure liquid ammonia in the other leg. In 1915, Dunsford reserved a patent for ammonia sorption reactors using ammonium nitrate as adsorbent, particularly for use in marine applications. Environmental and energy cost concerns led to new research and development of smaller scale products for a range of applications such as vehicle air conditioning, solar air conditioning and heat pumping in the modern era. With ever increasing energy prices and greater environmental concerns customers can see much more serious commercial interest and so it may now be the time for adsorption refrigeration and heat pumping to join the mainstream technologies.


Kerr R.M.,University of Warwick
Journal of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2012

Since the advent of cluster computing over 10 years ago there has been a steady output of new and better direct numerical simulation of homogeneous, isotropic turbulence with spectra and lower-order statistics converging to experiments and many phenomenological models. The next step is to directly compare these simulations to new models and new mathematics, employing the simulated data sets in novel ways, especially when experimental results do not exist or are poorly converged. For example, many of the higher-order moments predicted by the models converge slowly in experiments. The solution with a simulation is to do what an experiment cannot. The calculation and analysis of Yeung, Donzis & Sreenivasan (J. Fluid Mech., this issue, vol. 700, 2012, pp. 5-15) represents the vanguard of new simulations and new numerical analysis that will fill this gap. Where individual higher-order moments of the vorticity squared (the enstrophy) and kinetic energy dissipation might be converging slowly, they have focused upon ratios between different moments that have better convergence properties. This allows them to more fully explore the statistical distributions that eventually must be modelled. This approach is consistent with recent mathematics that focuses upon temporal intermittency rather than spatial intermittency. The principle is that when the flow is nearly singular, during bad phases, when global properties can go up and down by many orders of magnitude, if appropriate ratios are taken, convergence rates should improve. Furthermore, in future analysis it might be possible to use these ratios to gain new insights into the intermittency and regularity properties of the underlying equations. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Qin T.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

Classical molecular dynamics simulations were used to build several large models of the amorphous polymeric semiconductor MEH-PPV. A balanced set of approximations was determined to evaluate the electronic structure of these large systems, providing quantitative information for the understanding of the charge transport properties. We have verified that the electronic structure is largely determined by the conformational disorder of the individual chains, with little effect of electrostatic disorder and interchain coupling. The disorder is essentially static, although thermal motions cause an evolution of the single chain orbital energies. The localization length of the orbitals relevant for transport is energy-dependent, unlike what is normally assumed in variable range hopping methods. Although we have found evidence of correlation between planarity of the polymer chain and localization of the highest valence band orbitals, the correlation is moderate and exceptions are frequent. All observations are discussed in terms of the desirable characteristics that should be included in a model of transport for amorphous polymeric semiconductors. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ma H.,Nanjing University | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Advanced Materials | Year: 2014

Direct optical excitation of long-range charge-transfer (CT) states in organic photovoltaics is shown to be feasible, a fact that is ascribed to the very low but non-vanishing oscillator strength of each individual transition and the much higher density of states (DOS) as compared with their short-range counterparts. This finding provides a new framework to interpret the low-energy absorption spectra of photovoltaic devices and to correlate this property with the optoelectronic conversion process in working devices. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Blindauer C.A.,University of Warwick | Leszczyszyn O.I.,University of Warwick
Natural Product Reports | Year: 2010

Metallothioneins have been the subject of intense study for five decades, and have greatly inspired the development of bio-analytical methodologies including multi-dimensional and multi-nuclear NMR. With further advancements in molecular biology, protein science, and instrumental techniques, recent years have seen a renaissance of research into metallothioneins. The current report focuses on in vitro studies of so-called class II metallothioneins from a variety of phyla, highlighting the diversity of metallothioneins in terms of structure, biological functions, and molecular functions such as metal ion specificity, thermodynamic stabilities, and kinetic reactivity. We are still far from being able to predict any of these properties, and further efforts will be required to generate the knowledge that will enable a better understanding of what governs the biological and chemical properties of these unusual and intriguing small proteins. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


There is great current interest in bridging the gap between robust synthetic polymers and complex biological polymers to allow for the preparation of novel functional,well-defined, biocompatible and tailorablematerials. In thismini-review recent reports on the preparation of functional amino acid polymers using controlled radical polymerisation techniques are discussed. The future potential applications of thesematerials as well as the proposed further directions in the field are also highlighted. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.


Willcock H.,University of Warwick | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2010

This paper describes both well-established routes and recent advances in the end group modification of polymers synthesised by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. The lability of the thiocarbonylthio group, which facilitates the RAFT mechanism, allows for ready post-polymerisation functionalisation of RAFT polymers by a number of techniques. In particular, end group thermolysis, radical induced reduction, hetero-Diels-Alder reactions and reaction with nucleophiles are discussed as are the applications and limitations of each method. The versatility of RAFT as a polymerisation tool for the synthesis of polymers with functional end groups for a range of applications is demonstrated. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Gibson M.I.,University of Warwick
Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2010

Biological antifreezes are a relatively large and diverse class of proteins (and very recently expanded to include lipopolysaccharides) which are capable of interacting with ice crystals in such a manner as to influence and, under the correct conditions, to prevent their growth. These properties allow for the survival of organisms which are either continuously or sporadically exposed to subzero temperatures which would otherwise lead to cryo-injury/death. These proteins have been found in a range of organisms, including plants, bacteria, insects and fish, and the proteins themselves have a diverse range of chemical structures ranging from the highly conserved antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) to the more diverse antifreeze proteins AFPs. Their unique abilities to non-colligatively decrease the freezing point of aqueous solutions, inhibit ice recrystallisation and induce dynamic ice shaping suggest they will find many applications from cell/tissue/organ cryostorage, frozen food preservatives, texture enhancers or even as cryosurgery adjuvants. However, these applications have been limited by a lack of available material and also underlying questions regarding their mode of activity. The aim of this review article is to highlight the potential of polymeric materials to act as synthetic mimics of antifreeze(glyco) proteins, as well as to summarise the current general challenges in designing compounds capable of mimicking AF(G)Ps. This will cover the basic properties and modes of action of AF(G)Ps along with the methods commonly used to evaluate their activity. This section is essential to specifically define the 'antifreeze' terminology in terms of these proteins' unique function and to distinguish them from conventional antifreezes. A detailed evaluation of the processes involved in AF(G)P activity is beyond the scope of this review, but the reader will be pointed towards relevant literature. This will then be placed in the context of modern polymer science, with a focus on the ability of synthetic polymers to display some type of specific antifreeze activity, which will be summarised. Finally, the potential applications of these materials will be highlighted and future avenues for their research and the challenges faced in achieving these goals suggested. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Zhou D.,University of Warwick | Zhao C.Y.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Tian Y.,University of Warwick
Applied Energy | Year: 2012

Thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) offers a high thermal storage density with a moderate temperature variation, and has attracted growing attention due to its important role in achieving energy conservation in buildings with thermal comfort. Various methods have been investigated by previous researchers to incorporate PCMs into the building structures, and it has been found that with the help of PCMs the indoor temperature fluctuations can be reduced significantly whilst maintaining desirable thermal comfort. This paper summarises previous works on latent thermal energy storage in building applications, covering PCMs, the impregnation methods, current building applications and their thermal performance analyses, as well as numerical simulation of buildings with PCMs. Over 100 references are included in this paper. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Darwish M.,University of Warwick | Wills M.,University of Warwick
Catalysis Science and Technology | Year: 2012

A review of recent developments in the use of iron catalysts for asymmetric transformations, including hydrogenations, transfer hydrogenation, hydrosilylation and oxidation reactions. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Dove A.P.,University of Warwick
ACS Macro Letters | Year: 2012

Organic catalysis in ring-opening polymerization (ROP) has become a powerful alternative to more traditional metal-based catalysts. The field has developed to a point at which there are not only excellent low cost and easy to use organocatalysts for day-to-day polymerizations, but the ability to precisely control the synthesis of advanced polymer architectures and ROP monomers that are extremely challenging to polymerize with other catalysts now exists. This viewpoint article will highlight the key advances in organocatalyst design with the aim of encouraging the wider application of organic catalysts in ROP. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Ricketts J.,University of Warwick
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines | Year: 2011

Background: Deficits in reading airment (SLI), Down syndrome (DS) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Methods: In this review (based on a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge database to 2011), the Simple View of Reading is used as a framework for considering reading comprehension in these groups. Conclusions: There is substantial evidence for reading comprehension impairments in SLI and growing evidence that weaknesses in this domain are common in DS and ASD. Further, in these groups reading comprehension is typically more impaired than word recognition. However, there is also evidence that some children and adolescents with DS, ASD and a history of SLI develop reading comprehension and word recognition skills at or above the age appropriate level. This review of the literature indicates that factors including word recognition, oral language, nonverbal ability and working memory may explain reading comprehension difficulties in SLI, DS and ASD. In addition, it highlights methodological issues, implications of poor reading comprehension and fruitful areas for future research. © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


Spooner R.A.,University of Warwick | Lord J.M.,University of Warwick
Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2012

A number of protein toxins bind at the surface of mammalian cells and after endocytosis traffic to the endoplasmic reticulum, where the toxic A chains are liberated from the holotoxin. The free A chains are then dislocated, or retrotranslocated, across the ER membrane into the cytosol. Here, in contrast to ER substrates destined for proteasomal destruction, they undergo folding to a catalytic conformation and subsequently inactivate their cytosolic targets. These toxins therefore provide toxic probes for testing the molecular requirements for retrograde trafficking, the ER processes that prepare the toxic A chains for transmembrane transport, the dislocation step itself and for the post-dislocation folding that results in catalytic activity. We describe here the dislocation of ricin A chain and Shiga toxin A chain, but also consider cholera toxin which bears a superficial structural resemblance to Shiga toxin. Recent studies not only describe how these proteins breach the ER membrane, but also reveal aspects of a fundamental cell biological process, that of ER-cytosol dislocation. © 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Frey B.S.,University of Warwick | Frey B.S.,University of Zürich
Science | Year: 2011

The pursuit of happiness can have concrete benefits for well-being.


Woolley M.J.,University of Warwick
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society | Year: 2013

The calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor is a complex of a calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR), which is a family B G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and receptor activity modifying protein 1. The role of the second extracellular loop (ECL2) of CLR in binding CGRP and coupling to Gs was investigated using a combination of mutagenesis and modelling. An alanine scan of residues 271-294 of CLR showed that the ability of CGRP to produce cAMP was impaired by point mutations at 13 residues; most of these also impaired the response to adrenomedullin (AM). These data were used to select probable ECL2-modelled conformations that are involved in agonist binding, allowing the identification of the likely contacts between the peptide and receptor. The implications of the most likely structures for receptor activation are discussed.


McHale R.,University of Warwick | OReilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Macromolecules | Year: 2012

The hydrogen-bonding recognition interactions of nucleobases are a fundamental property of nucleic acid chemistry and associated transcription, translation, and replication functions. Nucleobase interactions are central in protein biosynthesis, yielding sequence- and stereospecific macromolecules capable of assembly into precisely defined, complex shapes and morphologies that make up the machinery of life. As the understanding of nucleobases and their significance developed in the past century, chemists have inevitably sought to extend their function from a biological setting onto wholly synthetic platforms. Recent advances point to a burgeoning area of study which may soon bear fruit in some of the holy grails of polymer synthesis, namely sequence (and stereo) control, single chain manipulation, and controlled polymer folding. This Perspective seeks to summarize recent developments in the area of nucleobase containing polymers (including nucleobase mimics), with particular emphasis on controlled polymerization, self-assembly, and templating polymerization. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Liu Z.,University of Warwick | Sadler P.J.,University of Warwick
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusIridium is a relatively rare precious heavy metal, only slightly less dense than osmium. Researchers have long recognized the catalytic properties of square-planar IrI complexes, such as Crabtree's hydrogenation catalyst, an organometallic complex with cyclooctadiene, phosphane, and pyridine ligands. More recently, chemists have developed half-sandwich pseudo-octahedral pentamethylcyclopentadienyl IrIII complexes containing diamine ligands that efficiently catalyze transfer hydrogenation reactions of ketones and aldehydes in water using H2 or formate as the hydrogen source. Although sometimes assumed to be chemically inert, the reactivity of low-spin 5d6 IrIII centers is highly dependent on the set of ligands. Cp* complexes with strong σ-donor C^C-chelating ligands can even stabilize Ir IV and catalyze the oxidation of water. In comparison with well developed Ir catalysts, Ir-based pharmaceuticals are still in their infancy. In this Account, we review recent developments in organoiridium complexes as both catalysts and anticancer agents.Initial studies of anticancer activity with organoiridium complexes focused on square-planar IrI complexes because of their structural and electronic similarity to PtII anticancer complexes such as cisplatin. Recently, researchers have studied half-sandwich IrIII anticancer complexes. These complexes with the formula [(Cpx)Ir(L^L′)Z]0/n+ (with Cp* or extended Cp* and L^L′ = chelated C ^N or N^N ligands) have a much greater potency (nanomolar) toward a range of cancer cells (especially leukemia, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma) than cisplatin. Their mechanism of action may involve both an attack on DNA and a perturbation of the redox status of cells. Some of these complexes can form IrIII-hydride complexes using coenzyme NAD(P)H as a source of hydride to catalyze the generation of H 2 or the reduction of quinones to semiquinones. Intriguingly, relatively unreactive organoiridium complexes containing an imine as a monodentate ligand have prooxidant activity, which appears to involve catalytic hydride transfer to oxygen and the generation of hydrogen peroxide in cells. In addition, researchers have designed inert IrIII complexes as potent kinase inhibitors. Octahedral cyclometalated IrIII complexes not only serve as cell imaging agents, but can also inhibit tumor necrosis factor α, promote DNA oxidation, generate singlet oxygen when photoactivated, and exhibit good anticancer activity. Although relatively unexplored, organoiridium chemistry offers unique features that researchers can exploit to generate novel diagnostic agents and drugs with new mechanisms of action. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Li C.-T.,University of Warwick
IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security | Year: 2010

Sensor pattern noises (SPNs), extracted from digital images to serve as the fingerprints of imaging devices, have been proved as an effective way for digital device identification. However, as we demonstrate in this work, the limitation of the current method of extracting SPNs is that the SPNs extracted from images can be severely contaminated by details from scenes, and as a result, the identification rate is unsatisfactory unless images of a large size are used. In this work, we propose a novel approach for attenuating the influence of details from scenes on SPNs so as to improve the device identification rate of the identifier. The hypothesis underlying our SPN enhancement method is that the stronger a signal component in an SPN is, the less trustworthy the component should be, and thus should be attenuated. This hypothesis suggests that an enhanced SPN can be obtained by assigning weighting factors inversely proportional to the magnitude of the SPN components. © 2010 IEEE.


Modeshia D.R.,University of Warwick | Walton R.I.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2010

In this critical review we consider the large literature that has accumulated in the past 5-10 years concerning solution-mediated crystallisation of complex oxide materials using hydrothermal, or more generally solvothermal, reaction conditions. The aim is to show how the synthesis of dense, mixed-metal oxide materials, usually prepared using the high temperatures associated with solid-chemistry, is perfectly feasible from solution in one step reactions, typically at temperatures as low as 200 °C, and that important families of oxide materials have now been reported to crystallise using such synthetic approaches. We will focus on two common structures seen in oxide chemistry, ABO 3 perovskites and A 2B 2O 6O′ pyrochlores, and include a systematic survey of the variety of chemical elements now included in these two prototypical structure types, from transition metals, in families of materials that include titanates, niobates, manganites and ferrites, to main-group elements in stannates, plumbates and bismuthates. The significant advantages of solution-mediated crystallisation are well illustrated by the recent literature: examples are provided of elegant control of crystal form from the nanometre to the micron length scale to give thin films, anisotropic crystal morphologies, or hierarchical structures of materials with properties desirable for many important contemporary applications. In addition, new metastable materials have been reported, not stable once high temperatures and pressures are applied and hence not amenable using conventional synthesis. We critically discuss the possible control offered by solvothermal synthesis from crystal chemistry to crystal form and how the discovery of new materials may be achieved. Computer simulation, combinatorial synthesis approaches and in situ methods to follow crystallisation will be vital in providing the predictability in synthesis that is needed for rational design of new materials (232 references). © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Johnson T.C.,University of Warwick | Morris D.J.,University of Warwick | Wills M.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2010

This tutorial review describes recent progress in the development of homogeneous catalytic methodology for the direct generation of hydrogen gas from formic acid and alcohols. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Stanford M.J.,University of Warwick | Dove A.P.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2010

The important advances and current trends in the stereocontrolled ring-opening polymerisation of lactide are discussed in this tutorial review. Microstructures, structural characterisation methods and the properties of stereoregular poly(lactide)s are examined. The application of metal-based catalysts dominates this area although simple anionic polymerisation and organocatalytic routes that demonstrate control of the polymer tacticity are discussed. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Allaby R.,University of Warwick
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2010

Genetics has long been used as a source of evidence to understand domestication origins. A recent shift in the emphasis of archaeological evidence from a rapid transition paradigm of hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, to a protracted transition paradigm has highlighted how the scientific framework of interpretation of genetic data was quite dependent on archaeological evidence, resulting in a period of discord in which the two evidence types appeared to support different paradigms. Further examination showed that the discriminatory power of the approaches employed in genetics was low, and framed within the rapid paradigm rather than testing it. In order to interpret genetic data under the new protracted paradigm it must be taken into account how that paradigm changes our expectations of genetic diversity. Preliminary examination suggests that a number of features that constituted key evidence in the rapid paradigm are likely to be interpreted very differently in the protracted paradigm. Specifically, in the protracted transition the mode and mechanisms involved in the evolution of the domestication syndrome have become much more influential in the shape of genetic diversity. The result is that numerous factors interacting over several levels of organization in a domestication system need to be taken into account in order to understand the evolution of the process. This presents a complex problem of integration of different data types which is difficult to describe formally. One possible way forward is to use Bayesian approximation approaches that allow complex systems to be measured in a way that does not require such formality.


Pace M.F.,University of Warwick
Procedia Computer Science | Year: 2012

The MapReduce framework has been generating a lot of interest in a wide range of areas. It has been widely adopted in industry and has been used to solve a number of non-trivial problems in academia. Putting MapReduce on strong theoretical foundations is crucial in understanding its capabilities. This work links MapReduce to the BSP model of computation, underlining the relevance of BSP to modern parallel algorithm design and defining a subclass of BSP algorithms that can be efficiently implemented in MapReduce. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Huang H.,University of Warwick | Mawby P.A.,University of Warwick
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2013

This paper presents a method to estimate the inverter lifetime so that we can predict a failure prior to it actually happening. The key contribution of this study is to link the physics of the power devices to a large scale system simulation within a reasonable framework of time. By configuring this technique to a real system, it can be used as a converter design tool or online lifetime estimation tool. In this paper, the presented method is applied to the grid side inverter to show its validity. A power cycling test is designed to gather the lifetime data of a selected insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) module (SKM50GB123D). Die-attach solder fatigue is found out to be the dominant failure mode of this IGBT module under the designed accelerated tests. Furthermore, the crack initiation is found to be highly stress dependent while the crack propagation is almost independent with stress level. Two different damage accumulation methods are used and the estimation results are compared. © 2012 IEEE.


Radnor Z.,University of Warwick
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management | Year: 2010

Purpose: This paper evaluates the transfer of a Lean approach developed by a global manufacturing and logistics company into a large UK Government department. The purpose of this paper is to examine which tools and techniques are transferred and implemented into the government department together with their impact as viewed by the staff within the department in order to bring about both technical and culture change. Design/methodology/approach: The research takes a case study approach based visiting ten sites within one organisation interviewing over 250 people throughout the organisation. Findings: This paper reflects on the introduction or transfer of a Lean approach into a large government department in order to understand which tools are relevant and have had an impact. The findings indicate that the tools mostly focused on the principle of Lean related to reduction of waste and that some of the concepts such as standard work may not be appropriate for public services. On reflecting on the findings, the paper presents two frameworks - one for clarifying the purpose of the tools in terms of assessment, improvement and monitoring and another, the House of Lean, as a framework for not only for the tools but also the factors to support the implementation of the tools. Research limitations/implications: The research is limited to one organisation one approach to Lean. However, the size of the organisation and the establishment of the approach mean that the limitations are small with the findings - Particularly the development of the frameworks relevant to the majority of public service organisations. Originality/value: To date the development and implementation of business improvement methodologies such as Lean are still under researched within public services. The majority of papers to date focus on presenting case studies of what happened. This paper attempts to go beyond that in order to present framework to help in understanding, developing and challenging the concept of Lean in public services. © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Trigkilidas D.,University of Warwick
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England | Year: 2013

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common and progressive joint disease. Treatment options for knee OA vary from simple analgesia in mild cases to knee replacement for advanced disease. Knee pain due to moderate OA can be targeted with intra-articular injections. Steroid injections have been used widely in managing acute flare-ups of the disease. In recent years, viscosupplementation has been used as a therapeutic modality for the management of knee OA. The principle of viscosupplementation is based on the physiological properties of the hyaluronic acid (HA) in the synovial joint. Despite a sound principle and promising in vitro studies, clinical studies have been less conclusive on the effectiveness of HA in managing osteoarthritic knee pain. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of HA intra-articular injections in the management of osteoarthritic knee pain. A systematic review of the literature was performed using MEDLINE®, Embase™ and CINAHL® (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature). The databases were searched for randomised controlled trials available on the effectiveness of HA intra-articular injections in managing osteoarthritic knee pain. The search yielded 188 studies. Of these, 14 met the eligibility criteria and were reviewed in chronological order. HA intra-articular injections have a modest effect on early to moderate knee OA. The effect peaks at around 6-8 weeks following administration, with a doubtful effect at 6 months.


Chen Y.,University of Warwick
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2010

The performance of collaborative spectrum sensing using censored energy detection is analyzed. Unlike the conventional energy detector that applies the measurements from the interested band directly to the decision-making process, the censored energy detector selects the measurements at different collaborating users by comparing them with two pre-determined limits before applying them to collaborative spectrum sensing. Both soft decision and hard decision rules are considered. Using the Neyman-Pearson criterion, analytical expressions for the probability of detection are derived and are verified by simulation. A simplified censored energy detector based on the Gamma approximation is also obtained. Using the derived results, it is shown that the censored energy detector outperforms the conventional energy detector when the optimum limits are used in the censoring. The performance gain depends on the decision rule, the operating signal-to-noise ratio and the number of collaborating users. © 2010 IEEE.


Loomes G.,University of Warwick
Psychological Review | Year: 2010

This article develops a parsimonious descriptive model of individual choice and valuation in the kinds of experiments that constitute a substantial part of the literature relating to decision making under risk and uncertainty. It suggests that many of the best known " regularities" observed in those experiments may arise from a tendency for participants to perceive probabilities and payoffs in a particular way. This model organizes more of the data than any other extant model and generates a number of novel testable implications which are examined with new data. © 2010 American Psychological Association.


Jiang X.J.,University of Huddersfield | Whitehouse D.J.,University of Warwick
CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology | Year: 2012

This paper gives an overview of the progress which has been made in surface metrology over the past ten years. It updates the surface classification system, and discusses the practical and theoretical reasons for the technological shifts which have occurred. This includes the use of surfaces with predetermined features as an alternative to traditional machined surfaces, and the move from simple to freeform shapes. The paper discusses technological shifts in association, filtration, numeric parametric techniques, fractals associated with function and standardisation. Many examples are given in order to contextualise the significance of these technological changes. This paper should help to predict the direction of future developments in surface metrology, and therefore emphasise its importance in functional applications in advanced manufacture. © 2012 CIRP.


Bhatia S.,University of Warwick
Psychonomic Bulletin and Review | Year: 2014

The common-ratio, common-consequence, reflection, and event-splitting effects are some of the best-known findings in decision-making research. They represent robust violations of expected utility theory, and together form a benchmark against which descriptive theories of risky choice are tested. These effects are not currently predicted by sequential sampling models of risky choice, such as decision field theory (Busemeyer & Townsend 1993). This paper, however, shows that a minor extension to decision field theory, which allows for stochastic error in event sampling, can provide a parsimonious, cognitively plausible explanation for these effects. Moreover, these effects are guaranteed to emerge for a large range of parameter values, including best-fit parameters obtained from preexisting choice data. © 2014, Psychonomic Society, Inc.


Lewis T.L.,University of Warwick | Wyatt J.C.,University of Leeds
Journal of Medical Internet Research | Year: 2014

The use of mobile medical apps by clinicians and others has grown considerably since the introduction of mobile phones. Medical apps offer clinicians the ability to access medical knowledge and patient data at the point of care, but several studies have highlighted apps that could compromise patient safety and are potentially dangerous. This article identifies a range of different kinds of risks that medical apps can contribute to and important contextual variables that can modify these risks. We have also developed a simple generic risk framework that app users, developers, and other stakeholders can use to assess the likely risks posed by a specific app in a specific context. This should help app commissioners, developers, and users to manage risks and improve patient safety.


Lucas E.,University of Warwick
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2013

The early embryonic environment has been shown to be remarkably influential on the developing organism, despite the relative brevity of this developmental stage. The cells of the zygote and cleavage-stage embryo hold the potential to form all cell lineages of the embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues, with gradual fate restriction occurring from the time of compaction and blastocyst formation. As such, these cells carry with them the potential to influence the phenotype of all successive cell types as the organism grows, differentiates and ages. The implication is, therefore, that sublethal adverse conditions which alter the developmental trajectory of these cells may have long-term implications for the health and development of the resulting offspring. One confirmed mechanism for the translation of environmental cues to phenotypic outcome is epigenetic modification of the genome to modulate chromatin packaging and gene expression in a cell- and lineage-specific manner. The influence of the periconceptional milieu on the epigenetic profile of the developing embryo has become a popular research focus in the quest to understand the effects of environment, nutrition and assisted reproduction technology on human development and health. © 2013, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Zhang Y.,University of Warwick
International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2013

Heat transfer across interfaces of oscillating gas bubbles in liquids is a fundamental issue of bubble dynamics with many applications. The current formulas in the literature relating with heat transfer are either too complex to be used for calculation or not valid for some regions of interest. In this communication, a group of formulas is proposed to predict heat transfer across bubble interfaces accurately for a wide range of parameters. An exact solution is used to validate the accuracy of the present formulas. Finally, energy dissipation during gas bubble oscillations in liquids through heat transfer is quantitatively compared with those through viscosity and acoustic radiation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Robinson S.,University of Warwick
Proceedings - Winter Simulation Conference | Year: 2011

In performing a simulation study the modeler needs to make decisions about what to include in the simulation model and what to exclude. The modeler is faced with the very difficult choice of determining what is the best model to develop. Make it too complex and it may not be possible to complete the model with the time and knowledge available. Make it too simple and the results may not be sufficiently accurate. The process of determining what to model is known as conceptual modeling. In this paper we explore conceptual modeling first with an illustrative example from a healthcare setting. Conceptual modeling, its artefacts and requirements are then defined. Finally, a framework for helping a modeler to determine the conceptual model is briefly outlined. © 2011 IEEE.


Hutter O.S.,University of Warwick | Hatton R.A.,University of Warwick
Advanced Materials | Year: 2015

A new type of window electrode for organic photovoltaics (OPVs) based on an ultra-thin bilayer of copper and amorphous tungsten suboxide, which derives its remarkable optical and electrical properties from spontaneous diffusion of copper into the oxide layer. As the window electrode in efficient inverted OPVs, this unpatterned electrode is shown to perform as well as indiuma-tin oxide glass. © 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


The preparation and characterization of a series of mono-, bis-, and tris-ligated rhodium(I) complexes of Glorius' conformationally rigid bioxazoline-derived N-heterocyclic carbene ligand IBioxMe4 are described. Through reaction of [Rh(COE)2Cl]2 (COE = cis-cyclooctene) with isolated IBioxMe4, [Rh(IBioxMe 4)(COE)Cl]2 (1), trans-[Rh(IBioxMe4) 2(COE)Cl] (2), and [Rh(IBioxMe4)3Cl] (3) were each isolated by careful choice of the reaction conditions. Further substitution and salt metathesis reactions of 1-3 were investigated, and derivatives containing CO, norbornadiene, and cyclopentadienyl ancillary ligands were readily isolated. Notably, halide abstraction from 2 and 3 using Na[BAr F 4] (ArF = 3,5-C6H 3(CF3)2) resulted in the formation of low-coordinate T-shaped cis-[Rh(IBioxMe4)2(COE)][BAr F 4] (9) and [Rh(IBioxMe4)3][BAr F 4] (11). The solid-state structures of 2, 9, and 11 each feature IBioxMe4 ligands that bind unusually with tilted coordination geometries. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


The isolation, characterization and reactivity of a T-shaped rhodium(I) complex containing Glorius' bioxazoline derived N-heterocyclic carbene ligand IBioxMe4 is described: [Rh(IBioxMe4)3][BAr F 4] (1). 1 represents a rare example of a solution-stable "naked" 14-electron complex and is characterized in the solid state by highly distorted ligand geometries and Rh···C distances >3.1 Å for the IBioxMe4 alkyl substituents. Consistent with the bulky nature of the NHC ligand, no reaction was observed with excess IBioxMe4, PCy3, or norbornadiene. Reaction of 1 with CO, however, led to coordinatively saturated [Rh(IBioxMe4) 3(CO)][BArF 4] (2). © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Unwin P.R.,University of Warwick
Faraday Discussions | Year: 2014

This contribution provides a personal overview and summary of Faraday Discussion 172 on "Carbon in Electrochemistry", covering some of the key points made at the meeting within the broader context of other recent developments on carbon materials for electrochemical applications. Although carbon electrodes have a long history of use in electrochemistry, methods and techniques are only just becoming available that can test long-established models and identify key features for further exploration. This Discussion has highlighted the need for a better understanding of the impact of surface structure, defects, local density of electronic states, and surface functionality and contamination, in order to advance fundamental knowledge of various electrochemical processes and phenomena at carbon electrodes. These developments cut across important materials such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, conducting diamond and high surface area carbon materials. With more detailed pictures of structural and electronic controls of electrochemistry at carbon electrodes (and electrodes generally), will come rational advances in various technological applications, from sensors to energy technology (particularly batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells), that have been well-illustrated at this Discussion. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2014.


Watson M.,University of Warwick
Housing Studies | Year: 2010

This paper conceptualises the marked downturn in UK house prices in the 2007 2009 period in relation to longer-term processes of national economic restructuring centred on a new model of homeownership. The structure of UK house prices has been impacted markedly by the Labour Government's efforts to ingrain a particular notion of financial literacy amid the move towards an increasingly asset-based system of welfare. New model welfare recipients and new model homeowners have thereby been co-constituted in a manner consistent with a new UK growth regime of 'house price Keynesianism'. However, the investor subjects who drive such growth are necessarily rendered uncertain compared with the idealised image of government policy because of their reliance on the credit-creating decisions of private financial institutions. The recent steep decline in UK house prices is explained here as an epiphenomenon of the disruptive effect on the idealised image caused by the dependence of investor subjects on pricing dynamics not of their making. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.


Stallard N.,University of Warwick
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2010

Seamless phase II/III designs allow strong control of the familywise type I error rate when the most promising of a number of experimental treatments is selected at an interim analysis to continue along with the control treatment. If the primary endpoint is observed only after long-term follow-up it may be desirable to use correlated short-term endpoint data available at the interim analysis to inform the treatment selection. If short-term data are available for some patients for whom the primary endpoint is not available, basing treatment selection on these data may, however, lead to inflation of the type I error rate. This paper proposes a method for the adjustment of the usual group-sequential boundaries to maintain strong control of the familywise error rate even when short-term endpoint data are used for the treatment selection at the first interim analysis. This method allows the use of the short-term data, leading to an increase in power when these data are correlated with the primary endpoint data. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Blindauer C.A.,University of Warwick
Chemical Communications | Year: 2015

Between 5 and 10% of all proteins of a given organism are estimated to require zinc for function, and hence zinc is essential for almost any given metabolic process. It is therefore of great interest to understand major players and mechanisms that ensure the tight and correct control of zinc distribution and speciation in organisms and their individual cells. Significant progress has been made in recent years regarding 3-dimensional structures and modes of action of zinc sensor proteins, membrane-bound zinc transporters for cellular and sub-cellular uptake and efflux, as well as intracellular binding proteins. This feature article highlights advances in structures, zinc-binding sites and thermodynamics of proteins that are involved in zinc homeostasis and trafficking, including developments in understanding the metal selectivity of proteins. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Cave M.,University of Warwick
Telecommunications Policy | Year: 2010

Next generation access (NGA) networks are an opportunity and a challenge for regulators. Unlike the costs of a copper access networks, those of an NGA are not yet sunk; hence fixed monopoly suppliers need an incentive to invest. This need is likely to influence the regulator's unbundling and access pricing regime, including application of the 'ladder of investment', which encourages competitors to develop their own infrastructure. This paper considers how the ladder is affected by NGAs, taking account of both the changed network architecture of NGAs, which may remove the unbundled local loop access point, and problems associated with providing an incentive to take the copper network out of use. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Chen Y.,University of Warwick
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2010

New and improved energy detector for random signals in Gaussian noise is proposed by replacing the squaring operation of the signal amplitude in the conventional energy detector with an arbitrary positive power operation. Numerical results show that the best power operation depends on the probability of false alarm, the probability of detection, the average signal-to-noise ratio or the sample size. By choosing the optimum power operation according to different system settings, new energy detectors with better detection performances can be derived. These results give useful guidance on how to improve the performances of current wireless systems using the energy detector. It also confirms that the conventional energy detector based on the generalized likelihood ratio test using the generalized likelihood function is not optimum in terms of the detection performance. © 2010 IEEE.


Danon L.,University of Warwick
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

A major goal of infectious disease epidemiology is to understand and predict the spread of infections within human populations, with the intention of better informing decisions regarding control and intervention. However, the development of fully mechanistic models of transmission requires a quantitative understanding of social interactions and collective properties of social networks. We performed a cross-sectional study of the social contacts on given days for more than 5000 respondents in England, Scotland and Wales, through postal and online survey methods. The survey was designed to elicit detailed and previously unreported measures of the immediate social network of participants relevant to infection spread. Here, we describe individual-level contact patterns, focusing on the range of heterogeneity observed and discuss the correlations between contact patterns and other socio-demographic factors. We find that the distribution of the number of contacts approximates a power-law distribution, but postulate that total contact time (which has a shorter-tailed distribution) is more epidemiologically relevant. We observe that children, public-sector and healthcare workers have the highest number of total contact hours and are therefore most likely to catch and transmit infectious disease. Our study also quantifies the transitive connections made between an individual's contacts (or clustering); this is a key structural characteristic of social networks with important implications for disease transmission and control efficacy. Respondents' networks exhibit high levels of clustering, which varies across social settings and increases with duration, frequency of contact and distance from home. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings for the transmission and control of pathogens spread through close contact.


House T.,University of Warwick
Contemporary Physics | Year: 2012

Infectious disease remains, despite centuries of work to control and mitigate its effects, a major problem facing humanity. This paper reviews the mathematical modelling of infectious disease epidemics on networks, starting from the simplest Erdös-Rényi random graphs, and building up structure in the form of correlations, heterogeneity and preference, paying particular attention to the links between random graph theory, percolation and dynamical systems representing transmission. Finally, the problems posed by networks with a large number of short closed loops are discussed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


The marine Roseobacter clade bacteria comprise up to 20% of the microbial community in coastal surface seawater. Marine Roseobacter clade bacteria are known to catalyse some important biogeochemical transformations in marine carbon and sulfur cycles. Using a comparative genomic approach, this study revealed that many marine Roseobacter clade bacteria have the genetic potential to utilize methylated amines (MAs) as alternative nitrogen sources. These MAs represent a significant pool of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in the marine environment. The marine Roseobacter clade bacterial genomes also encode full sets of genes providing them with the potential to generate energy from complete oxidation of the methyl groups of MAs. Representative species of the marine Roseobacter clade were tested and their abilities to use MAs are directly linked to the presence in their genomes of genes encoding key enzymes involved in MA metabolism, including trimethylamine monooxygenase (tmm) and gamma-glutamylmethylamide synthetase (gmaS). These two genes were chosen as functional markers for detecting MA-utilizing marine Roseobacter clade bacteria in the environment. PCR primers targeting these two genes were designed and used successfully to retrieve corresponding gene sequences from MA-utilizing isolates of the marine Roseobacter clade, as well as directly from DNA extracted from surface seawater obtained from Station L4 off the coast of Plymouth, UK. Taken together, the results suggest that MAs may serve as important nitrogen and possibly energy sources for marine Roseobacter clade bacteria, which helps to explain their global success in the marine environment. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Zhao C.Y.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Zhang G.H.,University of Warwick
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

The use of latent heat storage, microencapsulated phase change materials (MEPCMs), is one of the most efficient ways of storing thermal energy and it has received a growing attention in the past decade. However, there is no complete overview of its utilization in thermal energy storage systems, and the information is widely spread in the literature. In this paper, a comprehensive review has been carried out for MEPCMs. Four aspects have been the focus of this review: fabrication and characterization of MEPCMs, applications of MEPCMs to the textile and building, fundamental properties of microencapsulated phase change material slurry (MPCS) and application of MPCS to the thermal energy storage system. Over 140 recent publications are referenced in this paper. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Byers J.C.,University of Warwick | Guell A.G.,University of Warwick | Unwin P.R.,University of Warwick
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

There is a prevailing and widely adopted view that carbon nanotubes, which are finding considerable application in energy, healthcare, and electronics applications, are highly (electro)catalytically inert unless modified, doped, or defected. By visualizing the electrochemical reduction of oxygen (hydrogen peroxide generation) at high resolution along pristine (defect-free) regions of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes, we show that there is, in fact, significant activity comparable to that of standard gold electrocatalysts. Moreover, the activity is greatly enhanced at strained (kinked) sites and regions modified by oxidation. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are thus effective electrocatalysts in their own right and not just supports for other materials. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Currie G.,University of Warwick
Journal of health services research & policy | Year: 2013

There exists a translation gap between academic research and clinical practice in health care systems. One policy-driven initiative to address the translation gap in England are the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs), funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). These aim to bring together NHS organizations and universities to accelerate the translation of evidence-based innovation into clinical practice. Our aim was to draw out lessons for policy-makers regarding the mobilization of such initiatives. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with 174 participants across nine CLAHRCs plus in-depth case studies across four CLAHRCs. Those interviewed were staff who were central to the CLAHRCs including senior managers and directors, junior and senior academics, and health care practitioners. Social positions of the CLAHRC leaders, conceived as institutional entrepreneurs, together with the antecedent conditions for CLAHRC bids, had an impact on the vision for a CLAHRC. The process of envisioning encompassed diagnostic and prognostic framing. Within the envisioning process, the utilization of existing activities and established relationships in the CLAHRC bid influenced early mobilization. However, in some cases, it led to a translational 'lock in' towards established models regarding applied research. The CLAHRC experiment in England holds important lessons for policy-makers regarding how to address the translation gap. First, policy makers need to consider whether they set out a defined template for translational initiatives or whether variation is encouraged. We might expect a degree of learning from pilot activities within a CLAHRC that allows for greater clarity in the design of subsequent translational initiatives. Second, policy makers and practitioners need to understand the importance of both antecedent conditions and the social position of senior members of a CLAHRC (institutional entrepreneurs) leading the development of a bid. Whilst established and well-known clinical academics are likely to be trusted to lead CLAHRCs, and the presence of pre-existing organizational relationships are important for mobilization, privileging these aspects may constrain more radical change.


Du J.,Tongji University | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2011

Anisotropic particles, such as patchy, multicompartment and Janus particles, have attracted significant attention in recent years due to their novel morphologies and diverse potential applications. The non-centrosymmetric features of these particles make them a unique class of nano- or micro-colloidal materials. Patchy particles usually have different compositional patches in the corona, whereas multicompartment particles have a multi-phasic anisotropic architecture in the core domain. In contrast, Janus particles, named after the double-faced Roman god, have a strictly biphasic geometry of distinct compositions and properties in the core and/or corona. The term Janus particles, multicompartment particles and patchy particles frequently appears in the literature, however, they are sometimes misused due to their structural similarity. Therefore, in this critical review we classify the key features of these different anisotropic colloidal particles and compare structural properties as well as discuss their preparation and application. This review brings together and highlights the significant advances in the last 2 to 3 years in the fabrication and application of these novel patchy, multicompartment and Janus particles (98 references). © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2011

The theories developed since the fifties to describe charge transport in molecular crystals proved to be inadequate for the most promising classes of high mobility molecular semiconductors identified in the recent years, including for example pentacene and rubrene. After reviewing at an elementary level the classical theories, which still provide the language for the understanding of charge transport in these systems, this tutorial review outlines the recent experimental and computational evidence that prompted the development of new theories of charge transport in molecular crystals. A critical discussion will illustrate how very rarely it is possible to assume a charge hopping mechanism for high mobility organic crystals at any temperature. Recent models based on the effect of non-local electron-phonon coupling, dynamic disorder, coexistence of localized and delocalized states are reviewed. Additionally, a few more recent avenues of theoretical investigation, including the study of defect states, are discussed. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Salassa L.,University of Warwick
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2011

Polypyridyl metal complexes have optical properties that have been exploited in a wide range of biological and technological applications. Their structural diversity, chemical and redox properties provide a unique opportunity for designing new anticancer agents. Despite this great potential, relatively little is known about the cytotoxic effects of metal polypyridyl complexes, at least in comparison with other classes of coordination and organometallic compounds. This review uses selected examples to illustrate the most recent research carried out on this class of complexes as enzyme inhibitors and cytotoxic agents. Metal polypyridyl complexes are widely studied in coordination chemistry and have been employed in a wide range of applications, from catalysis to chemical biology. However, their use as potential anticancer agents has not been fully explored. This review highlights recent examples of metal polypyridyl complexes studied for their enzyme-inhibition and cytotoxicity properties. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Martsinovich N.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2011

A full understanding of the elementary processes taking place in dye-sensitised solar cells requires an accurate description of the electronic structure of the dyes, the semiconductor surface, the electrolyte and their interactions. This review describes how electronic structure calculations have contributed to the field since its first steps and what methodologies have been adopted to study the charge transfer processes at the interface. Not all properties are equally predictable with electronic structure methods, and this work highlights the main success areas (e.g. the rationalization of the optical properties of the dyes), the recent developments (e.g. the improved description of the dye-semiconductor interaction) and the key challenges for the future (e.g. the calculation of charge recombination rate). © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Hawley C.A.,University of Warwick
NeuroRehabilitation | Year: 2012

Children with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often have difficulties in adjusting to their injury and altered abilities, and may be at risk of low self-esteem and loss of confidence. However, few studies have examined self-esteem in this client group. The current study measured the self-esteem of a group of children who were, on average, two years post-TBI and compared this to their performance on other psychometric measures. Participants were 96 children with TBI and 31 peer controls, their parents and teachers. Self-esteem was measured using the Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory (CSEI). CSEI scores were compared with performance on Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WISC-III), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS); Children's Memory Scale (CMS), Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS) and Parental Stress Index (PSI). Self-esteem was highly correlated with IQ; HADS anxiety and depression; and parental stress (p< 0.001). Children with TBI had significantly lower self-esteem than controls and population norms (p=0.015). Many children with TBI demonstrate low self-esteem and this is closely linked with anxiety and depression. This may hamper academic performance and could lead to further psychosocial problems. It is recommended that self-esteem is routinely assessed after brain injury and rehabilitation strategies implemented to promote a sense of self-worth. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Beevers A.J.,University of Warwick | Dixon A.M.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2010

In recent years there has been an abundance of research into the potential of helical peptides to influence cell function. These peptides have been used to achieve a variety of different outcomes from cell repair to cell death, depending upon the peptide sequence and the nature of its interactions with cell membranes and membrane proteins. In this critical review, we summarise several mechanisms by which helical peptides, acting as either transporters, inhibitors, agonists or antibiotics, can have significant effects on cell membranes and can radically affect the internal mechanisms of the cell. The various approaches to peptide design are discussed, including the role of naturally-occurring proteins in the design of these helical peptides and current breakthroughs in the use of non-natural (and therefore more stable) peptide scaffolds. Most importantly, the current successful applications of these peptides, and their potential uses in the field of medicine, are reviewed (131 references). © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2010.


Barber T.M.,University of Warwick | Franks S.,Imperial College London
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrinopathy that is associated with an adverse metabolic profile including insulin resistance. There is a clear association between obesity, the development of PCOS and the severity of its phenotypic, biochemical and metabolic features. Evidence to support this link includes data from epidemiological, pathophysiological and genetic studies. Given the importance of obesity in the development and manifestation of PCOS, ongoing research into the many facets of adipocyte biology in women with the condition is important and should continue to be a priority. In this review article, we discuss the existing literature on fat distribution, adipokines, adipocyte hypertrophy and adipocyte steroid metabolism in women with PCOS. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


The liver regulates both glycaemia and triglyceridaemia. Hyperglycaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia are both characteristic of (pre)diabetes. Recent observations on the specialised role of DGAT2 (diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2) in catalysing the de novo synthesis of triacylglycerols from newly synthesized fatty acids and nascent diacylglycerols identifies this enzyme as the link between the two. This places DGAT2 at the centre of carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridaemia and hepatic steatosis. This function is complemented, but not substituted for, by the ability ofDGAT1 to rescue partial glycerides from complete hydrolysis. In peripheral tissues not normally considered to be lipogenic, synthesis of triacylgycerolsmay largely bypassDGAT2 except in hyperglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic conditions, when induction of de novo fatty acid synthesis in these tissues may contribute towards increased triacylglycerol secretion (intestine) or insulin resistance (adipose tissue, and cardiac and skeletal muscle). © 2013 Biochemical Society.


Recent technological developments have led to improvements in the strengths of materials, such as the steel and wire ropes used in the construction of cable supported bridges. This, combined with technological advancements in construction, has encouraged the design of structures with increasing spans, leaving the question of material and environmental costs behind. This paper presents a refined mathematical model for the assessment of relative material costs of the supporting structures for cable-stayed and cable suspension bridges. The proposed model is more accurate than the ones published to date in that it includes the self weight of the cables and the pylons. Comparisons of material requirements for each type of bridge are carried out across a range of span/dip ratios. The basis of comparison is the assumption that each structure is made of the same material (steel) and carries an identical design load, q, exerted by the deck. Calculations are confined to a centre span of a three-span bridge, with the size of the span ranging from 500. m to 3000. m. Results show that the optimum span/dip ratio, which minimises material usage, is 3 for a cable-stayed (harp type) bridge, and 5 for a suspension structure. The inclusion of the self weight of cable in the analysis imposes limits on either the span, or span/dip ratio. This effect is quantified and discussed with reference to the longest cable-supported bridges in the world completed to date and planned in the future. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Carre I.,University of Warwick | Veflingstad S.R.,University of Warwick
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2013

Recent experimental advances have enabled the identification of direct regulatory targets for transcription factors. Application of these techniques to the circadian regulatory network in Arabidopsis has uncovered a number of discrepancies within established models as well as novel regulatory interactions. This review integrates these new findings and discusses the functional implications of the revised transcriptional network for the oscillatory mechanism of the clock. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Hebenstreit D.,University of Warwick
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2013

Many genes produce mRNA irregularly, resulting in infrequent transcription bursts.Transcriptional bursting is a major source of noise, but its cause is unknown.Gene loops are a possible mechanism for generating bursts.Links between noise, transcription, looping, and polymerase pausing are examined. Expression levels of the same mRNA or protein vary significantly among the cells of an otherwise identical population. Such biological noise has great functional implications and is largely due to transcriptional bursting, the episodic production of mRNAs in short, intense bursts, interspersed by periods of transcriptional inactivity. Bursting has been demonstrated in a wide range of pro- and eukaryotic species, attesting to its universal importance. However, the mechanistic origins of bursting remain elusive. A different type of phenomenon, which has also been suggested to be widespread, is the physical interaction between the promoter and 3' end of a gene. Several functional roles have been proposed for such gene loops, including the facilitation of transcriptional reinitiation. Here, I discuss the most recent findings related to these subjects and argue that gene loops are a likely cause of transcriptional bursting and, thus, biological noise. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Thapper J.,University Paris - Sud | Zivny S.,University of Warwick
Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing | Year: 2013

Let Γ be a set of rational-valued functions on a fixed finite domain; such a set is called a finite-valued constraint language. The valued constraint satisfaction problem, VCSP(Γ), is the problem of minimising a function given as a sum of functions from Γ. We establish a dichotomy theorem with respect to exact solvability for all finite-valued languages defined on domains of arbitrary finite size. We show that every core language Γ either admits a binary idempotent and symmetric fractional polymorphism in which case the basic linear programming relaxation solves any instance of VCSP(Γ) exactly, or Γ satisfies a simple hardness condition that allows for a polynomial-time reduction from Max-Cut to VCSP(Γ). In other words, there is a single algorithm for all tractable cases and a single reason for intractability. Our results show that for exact solvability of VCSPs the basic linear programming relaxation suffices and semidefinite relaxations do not add any power. Our results generalise all previous partial classifications of finite-valued languages: the classification of {0, 1}-valued languages containing all unary functions obtained by Deineko et al. [JACM'06]; the classifications of {0, 1}-valued languages on two-element, three-element, and four-element domains obtained by Creignou [JCSS'95], Jonsson et al. [SICOMP'06], and Jonsson et al. [CP'11], respectively; the classifications of finite-valued languages on two-element and three-element domains obtained by Cohen et al. [AIJ'06] and Huber et al. [SODA'13], respectively; the classification of finite-valued languages containing all {0, 1}-valued unary functions obtained by Kolmogorov and ̌Zivńy [JACM'13]; and the classification of Min-0-Ext problems obtained by Hirai [SODA'13]. Copyright 2013 ACM.


Dolan A.,University of Warwick
Sociology of Health and Illness | Year: 2011

In recent years, much research concerning men's health has focused on men's health-related practices. While this body of research has often sought to contextualise men's health practice it has done so primarily in terms of gender not social class. The need remains therefore to link theories of masculinity and health to broader theories regarding social class and health which highlight the social and economic context of people's lives, in order to develop more complex understandings regarding the interactions between social class, gender and men's health practices. The aim of this article is to explore these interactions via a qualitative examination of the ways in which two groups of working class men living in two contrasting socio-economic areas construct masculinity and how this intertwines with their class position to impact on their health practices. This study highlights how men's conceptualisations of masculinity coupled with their class position informed their understanding of male roles and the expectations that flow from this. It shows how certain risky practices are firmly rooted in the material reality of men's lives, not simply in their gender, and how aspects of masculinity and class position intimately entwine to structure men's health seeking behaviour. © 2010 The Author. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2010 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Meadows J.C.,University of Warwick
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2013

Correct transmission of genetic information from mother to daughter cells is necessary for development and survival. Accurate segregation is achieved by bipolar attachment of sister kinetochores in each chromatid pair to spindle microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles, a process known as chromosome biorientation. Achieving this requires dynamic interplay between kinetochore proteins, kinesin motor proteins and cell cycle regulators. Chromosome bi-orientation is monitored by a surveillance mechanism known as the SAC (spindle assembly checkpoint). The Aurora B kinase, which is bound to the inner centromere during early mitosis, plays a central role in both chromosome bi-orientation and the spindle checkpoint. The application of tension across centromeres establishes a spatial gradient of high phosphorylation activity at the inner centromere and low phosphorylation activity at the outer kinetochore. This gradient is further refined by the association of PP1 (protein phosphatase 1) to the outer kinetochore, which stabilizes kinetochore- microtubule interactions and silences the spindle checkpoint by dephosphorylating Aurora B kinase targets when chromosome bi-orientation is achieved. In the present review, I discuss emerging evidence that bidirectional cross-talk between mitotic kinesins and the Aurora kinase-PP1 axis is crucial for co-ordinating chromosome bi-orientation and spindle checkpoint signalling in eukaryotes. © 2013 Biochemical Society.


Mattu H.S.,University of Warwick | Randeva H.S.,University of Warwick
Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2013

The discovery of leptin in 1994 sparked dramatic new interest in the study of white adipose tissue. It is now recognised to be a metabolically active endocrine organ, producing important chemical messengers - adipokines and cytokines (adipocytokines). The search for new adipocytokines or adipokines gained added fervour with the prospect of the reconciliation between cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), obesity and metabolic syndrome. The role these new chemical messengers play in inflammation, satiety, metabolism and cardiac function has paved the way for new research and theories examining the effects they have on (in this case) CVD. Adipokines are involved in a 'good-bad', yin-yang homoeostatic balance whereby there are substantial benefits: cardioprotection, promoting endothelial function, angiogenesis and reducing hypertension, atherosclerosis and inflammation. The flip side may show contrasting, detrimental effects in aggravating these cardiac parameters. © 2013 Society for Endocrinology.


Fang Z.,University of Warwick | Wills M.,University of Warwick
Organic Letters | Year: 2014

The asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of a series of diynones has been achieved in high conversion and enantiomeric induction. When R1 is a phenyl group, a competing alkyne reduction takes place; however, when R 1 is an alkyl group, this side-reaction is not observed. The application of the reduction to the total synthesis of the natural product (S)-panaxjapyne A in high enantiomeric excess is described.© 2013 American Chemical Society.


Singh S.P.,University of Warwick
British Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2010

Early intervention in psychosis services produce better clinical outcomes than generic teams and are also cost-effective. Clinical gains made within such services are robust as long as the interventions are actively provided. Longer-term data show that some of these gains are lost when care is transferred back to generic teams. This paper argues that sustaining these early gains requires both a reappraisal of generic services and an understanding of the active ingredients of early intervention, which can be tailored for longer input in cases with poorer outcome trajectories.


Rahmanpour R.,University of Warwick | Bugg T.D.H.,University of Warwick
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics | Year: 2015

Members of the DyP family of peroxidases in Gram-positive bacteria have recently been shown to oxidise Mn(II) and lignin model compounds. Gram-negative pseudomonads, which also show activity for lignin oxidation, also contain dyp-type peroxidase genes. Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 contains three dyp-type peroxidases (35, 40 and 55 kDa), each of which has been overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and characterised. Each of the three enzymes shows activity for oxidation of phenol substrates, but the 35 kDa Dyp1B enzyme also shows activity for oxidation of Mn(II) and Kraft lignin. Treatment of powdered lignocellulose with Dyp1B in the presence of Mn(II) and hydrogen peroxide leads to the release of a low molecular weight lignin fragment, which has been identified by mass spectrometry as a β-aryl ether lignin dimer containing one G unit and one H unit bearing a benzylic ketone. A mechanism for release of this fragment from lignin oxidation is proposed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ueltschi D.,University of Warwick
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2015

We investigate the phase diagram of S=1 quantum spin systems with SU(2)-invariant interactions, at low temperatures and in three spatial dimensions. Symmetry breaking and the nature of extremal states can be studied using random loop representations. The latter confirm the occurrence of ferro- and antiferromagnetic transitions and the breaking of SU(3) invariance. And they reveal the peculiar nature of the nematic extremal states which minimize x(Sxi)2. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Zivanovic S.,University of Warwick
Journal of Structural Engineering (United States) | Year: 2012

Vibration serviceability criteria are governing the design and determining the cost of modern, slender footbridges. Efficient and reliable evaluation of dynamic performance of these structures usually requires a detailed insight into the structural behavior under human-induced dynamic loading. Design procedures are becoming ever more sophisticated and versatile, and for their successful use, a thorough verification on a range of structures is required. The verification is currently hampered by a lack of experimental data that are presented in the form directly usable in the verification process. This study presents a comprehensive experimental data set acquired on a box-girder footbridge that is lively in the vertical direction. The data are acquired under normal operating conditions and are presented using a range of descriptors suitable for easy extraction of desired information. This will allow researchers and designers to use this bridge as a benchmark structure for vibration serviceability checks under the vertical component of the pedestrian loading. In addition, capabilities of a sophisticated force model (developed for walking over rigid surfaces) to predict vibrations on this lively bridge are investigated. It was found that there are discrepancies between computed and measured responses. These differences most likely are a consequence of the pedestrian-structure interaction on this lively bridge. The interaction was then quantified in the form of pedestrian contribution to the overall damping of the human-structure system. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Sujan M.A.,University of Warwick
Reliability Engineering and System Safety | Year: 2012

Incident reporting as a key mechanism for organisational learning and the establishment of a stronger safety culture are pillars of the current patient safety movement. Studies have suggested that incident reporting in healthcare does not achieve its full potential due to serious barriers to reporting and that sometimes staff may feel alienated by the process. The aim of the work reported in this paper was to prototype a novel approach to organisational learning that allows an organisation to assess and to monitor the status of processes that often give rise to latent failure conditions in the work environment, and to assess whether and through which mechanisms participation in this approach affects local safety culture. The approach was prototyped in a hospital dispensary using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, and the effect on safety culture was described qualitatively through semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that the approach has had a positive effect on the safety culture within the dispensary, and that staff perceive the approach to be useful and usable. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Liu T.,University of Warwick | Troisi A.,University of Warwick
Advanced Materials | Year: 2013

Low lying excited states of the fullerene anion promote a faster charge separation in organic solar cells containing fullerene derivatives as electron acceptors. Alternative electron acceptors, not based on fullerenes but that share the same property, can be easily designed. On the other hand, it is unlikely for a generic electron acceptor to replicate this fullerene characteristic by chance. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Lewis M.A.,University of Bath | Brown A.D.,University of Warwick
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2012

This paper presents detailed analysis of the operational and operations management characteristics of a professional service firm, a legal partnership. An in-depth study of customer interactions, service customization, process throughput and variability, professional employee behavior and managerial interventions provided the basis for confirmatory and exploratory research. The results suggested a number of refinements to existing conceptualizations of the professional service type operation and indicated areas where professional service operations management should be viewed as highly distinctive. First, professional-client exchange is variably asymmetrical - with significant implications for service package and process design. Second, professional service operations comprise a substantial number of less variable and faster throughput processes - creating a significant opportunity for commoditization. Third, professional status and corresponding organisational structures (e.g. the partnership model) need to be explicitly recognised in any typology - these factors introduce distinctive trade-offs when seeking greater efficiency and effectiveness. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Lu A.,University of Warwick | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Current Opinion in Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Site isolation, compartmentalization and substrate specificity are a few of the characteristics responsible for the catalytic efficiency demonstrated by enzymes in natural systems. In efforts to mimic these highly efficient systems, research has been directed towards macromolecular chemistry. Robust polymer assemblies can create a favorable and isolated environment around the catalytic site allowing specific and sometimes incompatible reactions to take place within this protected reaction pocket. Further exploring the use of 'smart' polymers, control over both the catalytic activity and substrate specificity is achieved. In addition, polymeric systems provide the opportunity for recycling of the active catalysts, further enhancing the advantages of polymer supported catalytic systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Barry N.P.E.,University of Warwick | Sadler P.J.,University of Warwick
ACS Nano | Year: 2013

Encapsulation of the platinum(IV) prodrug mitaplatin in block copolymer nanoparticles increases drug circulation time in the blood and reduces accumulation in the kidneys, as reported by Lippard and colleagues in this issue of ACS Nano. Importantly, controlled drug release from the nanoparticles produces long-term anticancer efficacy, with the prospect of reduced side effects. We highlight the potential that such a strategy holds for the future development of metallodrugs. Metal coordination complexes offer the prospect of novel mechanisms of activity on account of their unique architectures, as well as potential activation mechanisms, including ligand substitution and metal- and ligand-centered redox properties. Nanoparticles offer exciting prospects for improving delivery, cell uptake, and targeting of metallodrugs, especially anticancer drugs, to make them more effective and safer. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Woodruff D.P.,University of Warwick
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013

A number of distinctly different experimental techniques have been developed to determine surface structures in a quantitative fashion, and as the information gained is specific to the method, some understanding of these methods and their complementary aspects is essential to evaluate the data that emerges. The dependence of the EXAFS amplitude on the direction of the polarization vector of the incident radiation also provides some information on the directions of the nearest-neighbor scatterers. In photoelectron diffraction, particularly in the energy-scan (PhD) mode, this interference occurs at the detector, and the (much larger) modulations of intensity with photon energy are also direction-dependent, providing a method to determine the complete local geometry. One important feature of all three of these local structural probes is that, because they involve measurements of core electron binding energies that are characteristic of the photo-absorbing atom, they are element specific.


Lereya S.T.,University of Warwick | Copeland W.E.,Duke University | Costello E.J.,Duke University | Wolke D.,University of Warwick
The Lancet Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Background: The adult mental health consequences of childhood maltreatment are well documented. Maltreatment by peers (ie, bullying) has also been shown to have long-term adverse effects. We aimed to determine whether these effects are just due to being exposed to both maltreatment and bullying or whether bullying has a unique effect. Methods: We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the UK (ALSPAC) and the Great Smoky Mountains Study in the USA (GSMS) longitudinal studies. In ALSPAC, maltreatment was assessed as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or severe maladaptive parenting (or both) between ages 8 weeks and 8·6 years, as reported by the mother in questionnaires, and being bullied was assessed with child reports at 8, 10, and 13 years using the previously validated Bullying and Friendship Interview Schedule. In GSMS, both maltreatment and bullying were repeatedly assessed with annual parent and child interviews between ages 9 and 16 years. To identify the association between maltreatment, being bullied, and mental health problems, binary logistic regression analyses were run. The primary outcome variable was overall mental health problem (any anxiety, depression, or self-harm or suicidality). Findings: 4026 children from the ALSPAC cohort and 1420 children from the GSMS cohort provided information about bullying victimisation, maltreatment, and overall mental health problems. The ALSPAC study started in 1991 and the GSMS cohort enrolled participants from 1993. Compared with children who were not maltreated or bullied, children who were only maltreated were at increased risk for depression in young adulthood in models adjusted for sex and family hardships according to the GSMS cohort (odds ratio [OR] 4·1, 95% CI 1·5-11·7). According to the ALSPAC cohort, those who were only being maltreated were not at increased risk for any mental health problem compared with children who were not maltreated or bullied. By contrast, those who were both maltreated and bullied were at increased risk for overall mental health problems, anxiety, and depression according to both cohorts and self-harm according to the ALSPAC cohort compared with neutral children. Children who were bullied by peers only were more likely than children who were maltreated only to have mental health problems in both cohorts (ALSPAC OR 1·6, 95% CI 1·1-2·2; p=0·005; GSMS 3·8, 1·8-7·9, p<0·0001), with differences in anxiety (GSMS OR 4·9; 95% CI 2·0-12·0), depression (ALSPAC 1·7, 1·1-2·7), and self-harm (ALSPAC 1·7, 1·1-2·6) between the two cohorts. Interpretation: Being bullied by peers in childhood had generally worse long-term adverse effects on young adults' mental health. These effects were not explained by poly-victimisation. The findings have important implications for public health planning and service development for dealing with peer bullying. Funding: Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NARSAD (Early Career Award), and the William T Grant Foundation. © 2015 Lereya et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.


Ellis R.J.,University of Warwick
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The historical origins and current interpretation of the molecular chaperone concept are presented, with the emphasis on the distinction between folding chaperones and assembly chaperones. Definitions of some basic terms in this field are offered and misconceptions pointed out. Two examples of assembly chaperone are discussed in more detail: the role of numerous histone chaper-ones in fundamental nuclear processes and the co-operation of assembly chaperones with folding chaperones in the production of the world's most important enzyme. & 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Tempelaar S.,University of Warwick | Mespouille L.,University of Mons | Coulembier O.,University of Mons | Dubois P.,University of Mons | Dove A.P.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Owing to their low toxicity, biocompatibility and biodegradability, aliphatic poly(carbonate)s have been widely studied as materials for biomedical application. Furthermore, the synthetic versatility of the six-membered cyclic carbonates for the realization of functional degradable polymers by ring-opening polymerisation has driven wider interest in this area. In this review, the synthesis and ring-opening polymerisation of functional cyclic carbonates that have been reported in the literature in the past decade are discussed. Finally, the post-polymerisation modification methods that have been applied to the resulting homopolymers and copolymers and the application of the materials are also discussed. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Gibson M.I.,University of Warwick | O'Reilly R.K.,University of Warwick
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

The aim of this review is to highlight some of the challenges in designing thermally responsive nanoparticles, where the responsivity is endowed by a responsive polymeric corona. A review of the literature reveals many contradictory observations upon heating these particles through their transition temperature. Indeed, both an increase in size due to aggregation and particle shrinkage have been reported for apparently similar materials. Furthermore, careful review of the literature shows that responsive nanoparticles do not have the same transition temperature or properties as their constituent polymers. These observations raise serious questions as to how to achieve the rational design of a responsive particle with a predictable and reproducible response. Here we highlight specific cases where conflicting results have been observed for spherical particles and put these results into the context of flat-surface grafted polymer brushes to explain the behaviour in terms of grafting density, curvature, chain end effects and the role of the underlying substrate. A better understanding of these observations should lead to the improved design of nanoparticles with real function and applications. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Spencer-Oatey H.,University of Warwick
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2011

Over the past few years, there has been an increased focus on 'the relational' in pragmatics. However, different pragmatics scholars (e.g. Holmes and Marra, 2004; Locher and Watts, 2005; Arundale, 2006; Spencer-Oatey 2000/2008) take different approaches to 'the relational' and use different terms when analysing interpersonal relations. As a result, there is considerable conceptual and terminological confusion. There are also a number of controversial issues, one of which is how interpersonal relations can best be studied from a pragmatic perspective. Most people agree that it is essential to hear the voice of the participants, yet there is less agreement as to how best to achieve that. I argue in this paper that one fruitful way is to examine the emotions and (im)politeness judgements that people recount in metapragmatic comments. I report a study of workplace project partnerships that illustrates the insights that such an approach can offer. The insights are of both theoretical and applied relevance, which is important because the effective management of diverse teams is widely recognised as particularly challenging. I contend that pragmatics research into interpersonal relations should be able to identify and illuminate such challenges for project participants, and I provide empirical evidence that an exclusive focus on discourse data is too limited for this. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Ushioda E.,University of Warwick
Computer Assisted Language Learning | Year: 2011

Recently, the impact of globalization and the dominant status of English have provoked critical discussion in the L2 motivation field. Traditional concepts such as integrative motivation lose their explanatory power when English is becoming a 'must-have' basic educational skill and when there is no clearly defined target language community. In this article, I will examine how L2 motivation is currently being reconceptualized in the context of contemporary theories of self and identity - that is, people's sense of who they are, how they relate to the social world and what they want to become in the future. As I will discuss, this theoretical shift in focus to the internal domain of self and identity has important implications for how we as language teachers engage the motivation, interests and identities of our students; and for why we should exploit their world of digital technologies, social networking and online communication to this end. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.


Spencer-Oatey H.,University of Warwick
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2013

This article examines 'relating at work'. Recent theorising in pragmatics has drawn attention to the importance of analysing relations, and yet the pragmatic study of relations is now intertwined so closely with the concept of face (e.g. Arundale, 2010a; Holmes et al., 2011; Locher and Watts, 2005, 2008) that it might seem the two are synonymous. In this paper, I review this research from a multidisciplinary perspective and argue that relating should be studied in its own right, not always through the lens of face. I then report a study on 'relating at work' which had the following aims: (a) to investigate employees' 'grassroots' perspectives on relating at work; (b) to explore ways in which their perspectives can be conceptualised, examining the applicability and relative usefulness of Relational Dialectic Theory and how this relates to face; and (c) to reflect on the relative importance of the cognitive in the pragmatic analysis of relations. I conclude by arguing that Relational Dialectic Theory and Face Theory offer valuable analytic perspectives that are complementary to each other, and calling for more research into the broader issue of relating at work. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Parsons N.R.,University of Warwick
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2013

In many medical studies, researchers widely use composite or long ordinal scores, that is, scores that have a large number of categories and a natural ordering often resulting from the sum of a number of short ordinal scores, to assess function or quality of life. Typically, we analyse these using unjustified assumptions of normality for the outcome measure, which are unlikely to be even approximately true. Scores of this type are better analysed using methods reserved for more conventional (short) ordinal scores, such as the proportional-odds model. We can avoid the need for a large number of cut-point parameters that define the divisions between the score categories for long ordinal scores in the proportional-odds model by the inclusion of orthogonal polynomial contrasts. We introduce the repeated measures proportional-odds logistic regression model and describe for long ordinal outcomes modifications to the generalized estimating equation methodology used for parameter estimation. We introduce data from a trial assessing two surgical interventions, briefly describe and re-analyse these using the new model and compare inferences from the new analysis with previously published results for the primary outcome measure (hip function at 12months postoperatively). We use a simulation study to illustrate how this model also has more general application for conventional short ordinal scores, to select amongst competing models of varying complexity for the cut-point parameters. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Liu H.-K.,Nanjing Normal University | Sadler P.J.,University of Warwick
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2011

DNA has a strong affinity for many heterocyclic aromatic dyes, such as acridine and its derivatives. Lerman in 1961 first proposed intercalation as the source of this affinity, and this mode of DNA binding has since attracted considerable research scrutiny. Organic intercalators can inhibit nucleic acid synthesis in vivo, and they are now common anticancer drugs in clinical therapy.The covalent attachment of organic intercalators to transition metal coordination complexes, yielding metallointercalators, can lead to novel DNA interactions that influence biological activity. Metal complexes with ?-bonded aromatic side arms can act as dual-function complexes: they bind to DNA both by metal coordination and through intercalation of the attached aromatic ligand. These aromatic side arms introduce new modes of DNA binding, involving mutual interactions of functional groups held in close proximity. The biological activity of both cis- and trans-diamine PtII complexes is dramatically enhanced by the addition of ?-bonded intercalators.We have explored a new class of organometallic "piano-stool" RuII and OsII arene anticancer complexes of the type [(?6-arene)Ru/ Os(XY)Cl]+. Here XY is, for example, ethylenediamine (en), and the arene ligand can take many forms, including tetrahydroanthracene, biphenyl, or p-cymene. Arene-nucleobase stacking interactions can have a significant influence on both the kinetics and thermodynamics of DNA binding. In particular, the cytotoxic activity, conformational distortions, recognition by DNA-binding proteins, and repair mechanisms are dependent on the arene. A major difficulty in developing anticancer drugs is cross-resistance, a phenomenon whereby a cell that is resistant to one drug is also resistant to another drug in the same class. These new complexes are non-cross-resistant with cisplatin towards cancer cells: they constitute a new class of anticancer agents, with a mechanism of action that differs from the anticancer drug cisplatin and its analogs. The Ru-arene complexes with dual functions are more potent towards cancer cells than their nonintercalating analogs.In this Account, we focus on recent studies of dual-function organometallic RuII- and OsII-arene complexes and the methods used to detect arene-DNA intercalation. We relate these interactions to the mechanism of anticancer activity and to structure-activity relationships. The interactions between these complexes and DNA show close similarities to those of covalent polycyclic aromatic carcinogens, especially to N7-alkylating intercalation compounds. However, Ru-arene complexes exhibit some new features. Classical intercalation and base extrusion next to the metallated base is observed for {(?6-biphenyl) Ru(ethylenediamine)}2+ adducts of a 14-mer duplex, while penetrating arene intercalation occurs for adducts of the nonaromatic bulky intercalator {(?6-tetrahydroanthracene)Ru(ethylenediamine)}2+ with a 6-mer duplex. The introduction of dual-function Ru-arene complexes introduces new mechanisms of antitumor activity, novel mechanisms for attack on DNA, and new concepts for developing structure- activity relationships. We hope this discussion will stimulate thoughtful and focused research on the design of anticancer chemotherapeutic agents using these unique approaches. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Patent
University of Warwick | Date: 2014-07-18

The invention is in the field of pregnancy and labour. A protein has been identified which is significantly down-regulated in labour. Measuring amounts of this protein therefore allows determination of whether or not a patient is in labour. Furthermore, inhibiting this protein, or providing this protein, can be used to induce or prevent labour.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 342.15K | Year: 2015

Aromatic chemicals are crucial in bioplastics to convey functionality, including strength and flexibility. Currently, these aromatic chemicals can only be sourced from fossil based inputs, limiting applications, increasing the cost and environmental impact. Lignin, the 2nd most abundant organic polymer in plants, is one of the few potential natural sources of aromatic chemicals. Building on a successful feasibility study that proved that the aromatic diacids inherent within lignin could be extracted and substituted in polyester based plastics, this project aims to demonstrate that these metabolites can be produced in a commercially viable manner by the innovative use of modified bacteria to selectively control lignin disintegration when matched with novel chemical processes in scalable batch/continuous reactors. Larger trials will convert the resultant kg quantities of diacids into novel block copolyesters, for evaluation in a high value global bioplastics market of value >£150m.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 755.27K | Year: 2015

Nearly two thirds of the UK population is overweight or obese. This excess weight elevates the risk of premature death and a range of illnesses, such as diabetes and stroke, which greatly reduce quality of life. The hypothalamus at the base of the brain controls body weight by regulating food intake (though feelings of hunger and satiety), and also deposition of fat and expenditure of energy (as heat production and activity). Understanding how the brain signals hunger and satiety is one way in which we can start to develop strategies to reduce the incidence of excess weight in the population. The amino acid content of food is a powerful determinant of satiety. When plasma levels of amino acids are high, then so is the feeling of satiety. Amino acids are detected in the brain. So far four different brain regions have been described in which nerve cells respond to variations in the concentrations of amino acids. We propose to examine a 5th mechanism, which is unique as it is not mediated by nerve cells, but rather by specialized glial cells in the hypothalamus called tanycytes. We have already shown that tanycytes respond to amino acids, and that this may be via the activation of a receptor that also occurs in the taste buds of the tongue which is tuned to the umami flavour -the taste of L-amino acids. The overall purpose of this project is to understand why tanycytes sense amino acids in the brain and what this information is used for. Our specific aims are to: 1. Characterize the mechanisms by which tanycytes detect and signal amino acid concentration; 2. Determine whether amino acid sensing via tanycytes interacts with other modalities of nutrient sensing in these cells -specifically their ability to sense glucose; 3. Test whether the properties of amino acid sensing via tanycytes can be altered by diet (fasting, amount of amino acids in food); 4. Examine the contribution of amino acid sensing via tanycytes to determination of food preferences, the amount of food intake, and ultimately control of body weight. Understanding the mechanisms and functional roles of this new amino acid sensing pathway has many benefits for clinicians and related health professionals; commercial organizations; relevant medical charities; government agencies; and the public. Commercial companies may use our work to develop new types of food additive that reduce appetite, or to reformulate food so that it promotes feelings of satiety. In the light of our work, clinicians, dieticians, and relevant medical charities, may be able to modify advice on diet and eating patterns to various classes of patient to promote healthy eating and weight loss. Government agencies may be able to revise their policies with respect to the food industry and advice to the public to promote healthy eating.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 294.50K | Year: 2016

Summary A major challenge to patient safety is the hospital infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. A well-defined bacterial strain of this kind is Escherichia coli (E. coli) O18:K1:H7, which is responsible for secondary infections in burn patients, neonatal meningitis and sepsis, and acute cystitis. One of the possible solutions to this problem is the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. They show high specificity to their bacterial target, while having minimal side effects on the host, so they can potentially be used to treat bacterial infections in humans. However, there are still concerns for phage therapy, over the potential for immune response, rapid toxin release by the phages and difficulty of dose determination in clinical situations. Additionally, little is known about the cell biology underlying phage therapy, due to the challenges in the field, so that has been an obstacle in the rapid progress of phage therapy. The key aim of the research proposal is to engineer a model system as a tool for phage therapy consisting of 3 parts: a synthetic phage able to target a well-known pathogen, the pathogen (E.coli O18:K1:H7), and mammalian cells to test the phage-bacterium interplay mimicking the conditions of the human body. This system, with proper validation, can be used further for studies, establishing a promising proof of concept for safe phage therapy, which can treat conditions such as infection in burn wound patients, neonatal meningitis or acute cystitis, caused by the target pathogen. A combination of molecular biology, synthetic biology and microscopy methods will be enable me to achieve the objectives. The research will be undertaken in the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, in the lab of Professor Alfonso Jaramillo. The University of Warwick has been ranked as the 7th top institutions within the UK according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The School of Life Sciences was rated as world-leading (80% of its outputs were rated as world leading or internationally excellent).


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 92.17K | Year: 2013

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Knowledge Transfer Partnership | Award Amount: 39.19K | Year: 2015

To develop a novel process to effectively remanufacture piezoelectric diesel injectors, and use this to manufacture prototype test equipment to scale up this process.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: STFC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 109.16K | Year: 2014

LHCb is a particle physics experiment operating at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. It is the worlds leading physics experiment in its field and has a unique capability to explore physics beyond the Standard Model. LHCbs main aim is to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model through precision tests of matter anti-matter asymmetries (CP violation) and rare decays of particles containing beauty and charm quarks. The experiment also has world-class programmes in other areas due to its unique design and coverage of an angular region closer to the beams that at the other main LHC experiments. The opportunity now exists to dramatically increase the reach of LHCbs programme and to widen its physics profile. The UK groups propose to lead the upgrade of the VELO (Vertex Locator), the most precise vertex detector at the LHC, and LHCbs unique RICH (Ring Imaging Cherenkov) particle identification (PID) system. A programme of physics performance studies, computing, reconstruction software and trigger algorithm development, and involvement in a new scintillating fibre tracker complements this work.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 257.74K | Year: 2013

Catalysis lies at the heart of life on earth, powers our homes and puts food on our tables. However to a large degree our ability to transform individual atoms and molecules into new pharmaceutical medicines, fuels, and fertilisers has depended upon an equal combination of brilliant science and serendipitous discoveries. This reflects the complex interactions between reacting molecules and products, their surrounding environment, and of course the catalyst itself, which ideally remains unchanged over thousands of reaction cycles. Recent advances in chemical synthesis and analysis now offer an unprecedented opportunity to sculpt the atomic structure of solid catalysts and to peer inside their microscopic workings.Over the next five years, I propose to integrate these new experimental and theoretical breakthroughs with my own expertise in catalyst design and testing, to develop a new generation of nanoengineered materials for the clean production of valuable chemical feedstocks and sustainable biofuels. New collaborations, forged with world leaders in the areas of inorganic solid-state chemistry, nanoscale imaging and computer modelling, will help me to develop the multidisciplinary skillsets needed to achieve my vision of solid catalysts, tailored on demand, for efficient clean technologies that will benefit society over the coming decade.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 314.57K | Year: 2011

Concerns are frequently expressed in scientific, professional and popular culture about the personal and social costs and consequences of poor sleep. At the same time concerns are being voiced about the appropriate role and use of pharmaceuticals in the management of sleep problems, both inside and outside the doctors surgery and the sleep clinic. This project provides a timely and topical social scientific investigation of these developments and debates. It focuses on sleep and wakefulness promoting drugs in contemporary Britain since 2000, framed in terms of the role of pharmaceuticals in the medical, social and personal management of sleep problems. The project will examine both upstream issues regarding the development and regulation of sleep and wakefulness promoting drugs and downstream issues regarding their meaning and use in medical practice and everyday/night life. These issues will be investigated through a qualitative, multi-method study comprising documentary sources, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and detailed case-studies with key stakeholders in field - ranging from sleep scientists, doctors and policymakers to patients, pressure groups and other key members of the public with an interest in these matters. Results will be communicated and disseminated to both academic and non-academic audiences and user groups, including scientists, doctors, patients, pressure groups and policymakers.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 95.04K | Year: 2015

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 384.98K | Year: 2013

Clathrin is a protein which rapidly and reversibly forms large cage structures of varying sizes. These properties are exploited by cells in order to absorb and transport the substances they need to survive through clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis plays a central role in multiple cellular functions including nutrient uptake, nerve cell function, communication within the cell and organism development. In addition, such apparatus is used by some viruses (notably HIV) and bacteria to gain entry into cells and there is accumulating evidence that proteins involved in endocytosis are associated with a wide range of diseases including neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Given the importance of clathrin-mediated endocytosis to health and disease, understanding the principles of clathrin coat assembly and disassembly is vital if we are to learn how to tackle disease-causing malfunctions of this system. The vehicles which are used are formed from cell membranes through the action of a network of many different proteins, including clathrin, which form a specialised coat around transport vesicles to form clathrin-coated vesicles. Assembly and disassembly of clathrin-coated vesicles is essential for their life cycle and yet many details about how this process works are not understood. Disassembly is handled by two relatively small proteins, Hsc70 which is a molecular chaperone or helper protein and auxilin/GAK, which is a cofactor for Hsc70. Their role is to take apart the assembly which has been created as a result of multiple clathrin molecules coming together around the vesicle. The clathrin molecules are much larger than Hsc70 and auxilin and have an intriguing three-legged appearance which gives clathrin assemblies the appearance and geometry of an irregular football, with pentagonal and hexagonal faces. Our aim is to find out how these smaller molecules dismantle the clathrin coat speedily and without mishaps and to understand how association of individual three-legged clathrin molecules leads to formation of cage structures. We will adopt three strategies for investigating clathrin assembly and disassembly: First, we have made a tool-kit of Hsc70 and auxilin molecules which can be labelled at known sites. By watching clathrin disassembly using these labels we will be able to see which parts of auxilin and Hsc70 are more important for pulling the clathrin molecules apart. Second, we will investigate the related mechanism by which clathrin triskelions assemble by analysing the way in which the cages scatter light when they form. This will allow us to measure what factors, particularly other coat components, influence assembly and data analysis will help us piece together an order of events for cage formation. Our final aim is to obtain detailed measurements of the mechanical properties of the clathrin triskelion. We have been able to image individual clathrin triskelions as they move in real time using the highly novel and state-of-the-art technique of high-speed atomic force microscopy. As a result we will be able to observe cage assembly directly, calculate the rigidity of clathrin triskelions as they associate and understand how the mechanical properties of the clathrin triskelion determine successful assembly into clathrin cages.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2011

Whilst the quality of the output of doctoral-level skills from UK universities is rarely challenged, the relevance and work-place readiness of such skills has historically been questioned by many manufacturing companies. EPSRCs EngD programme, which WMG has pioneered since 1992, has been highly successful in addressing these concerns. However, we believe it is now time for a step-change in the EngD, with radical ideas on high-level skills to be implemented to address the future needs of manufacturing companies in rising to the challenge of a low environmental impact future. Our new EngD Centre in High Value, Low Environment Impact Manufacturing will help ensure that the UK is able to regain its global position in manufacturing and become more successful at innovation and exploitation in low carbon technologies.Our centre will exploit WMGs broad multi-disciplinary research portfolio, exceptionally strong links to industry and understanding of emerging policy, to deliver tailored research and education for companies on low-carbon issues. The Centre will address industrially challenging issues that enable companies to develop and implement effective low-environmental impact policies that benefit the bottom line. Greater resource efficiency helps insure businesses against uncertainty in the supply of materials and price volatility in global markets. It also enables businesses to use their commitment to sustainability to differentiate themselves from competitors.Our vision for the new WMG Industrial Doctorate Centre in High Value, Low Environmental Impact Carbon Manufacturing is:To produce a future generation of manufacturing leaders with the high-level know-how and research experience essential to compete in a global manufacturing environment defined by high impact and low carbon. They will be adept at working in multidisciplinary teams and exceptionally well networked internationally, and with demonstrable entrepreneurial flair.At the core of the Centre are the individual doctoral research projects based on real opportunities and problems in industry, which will deliver research excellence and implement innovations in industry. The Centre will adopt Warwicks portfolio approach, pioneered for the EngD by WMG in the original centre, enabling presentation of new knowledge throughout the programme. Individual projects will display the levels of scholarship, rigour and originality required at the doctorate level.Multidisciplinary team working is built in to our new programme through a cohort approach, a group project, and structured debates. The entrepreneurship element is included in relevant modules, commercialization workshops, empowerment activities, and taking a product to market via the group project (collectively leading to the concurrent gaining of a Masters degree in Technology Entrepreneurship). Business and academic networking and the development of international understanding will be achieved through specialist IT, UK placements, an international placement, workshops and structured social activities. WMG can provide unrivalled access to industrial, international, academic, policy maker and political networks. These new elements will be fully integrated with appropriate modules and the individual research portfolio, with careful customization to meet the needs of individuals.Our new Industrial Doctoral Centre is more ambitious than anything WMG has implemented previously, and represents a very intensive and challenging learning experience for the Research Entrepreneurs (REs). We are confident our programme, because of its innovative nature and the breadth of the offering, will attract individuals of exceptional ability able to rise to the challenges we are offering. We have already attracted considerable support from companies for this novel approach which will provide direct impact as they seek to develop a triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social performance.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 840.94K | Year: 2012

Virtual reality (VR) systems strive to provide real world experiences in safe and controlled computer generated environments. VR systems attempt to deliver two key features: realism and real-time. In particular, the real time element is essential to provide an interactive experience to the user. To achieve this, current VR systems compromise the realism in the environments they are simulating. This is because even the very latest computer hardware is simply not capable of simulating, to a full degree of physical accuracy, in real time, the complexities of the real world. Furthermore, VR systems seldom offer more than two sensory stimuli (typically visuals and audio, or visuals and touch). Real Virtuality systems, on the other hand, are defined as virtual environments that are based on physical simulations and stimulate multiple senses (visuals, audio, smell, touch, motion etc.) in a natural manner. A key feature of Real Virtuality is the natural delivery of multiple senses to ensure cross-modalities (the influence of one sense on another) that would occur in the real environment are present in the virtual world, as these can substantially alter the way in which a scene is perceived and the way the user behaves. In this project we will consider environments that include 4 senses: visuals, audio, smell and feel (where feel includes motion, temperature and wind-speed). Real Virtuality systems are able to achieve a high level of authenticity in real time by selectively delivering real world stimuli; exploiting the fact that the human perceptual system is simply not capable of attending to all stimuli at the highest precision all the time. Rather humans selectively attend to objects within the scene. This can result in large amounts of detail from one sense going unnoticed when in the presence of competing sensory inputs from another modality, or subtle signals in one modality being strongly enhanced by congruent information in another sense. Knowledge of the relative importance of sensory information in a scene at any point in time, enables the areas being attended to, to be computed at the highest quality, while other areas can be delivered at a much lower quality (and thus at a significantly reduced computational effort), without the user being aware of this quality difference. Visualisation and Virtual Experience, undertakes research into a novel, validated Real Virtuality Platform that will provide perceptually equivalent experiences between real world scenarios and their simulated virtual world equivalents. The authenticity of the results is key to enable decisions within the virtual environments to be taken with confidence that the same decision would be made in the equivalent real environment. The high-fidelity of the resultant virtual system will thus be thoroughly tested and fully validated against two real test cases: Gaydon and Sweden. The anticipated outcomes of the research will be techniques of visualisation applicable at all levels of vehicle design: - from verification of individual components through to the verification of the final vehicle design, - and through all stages of the design process, from initial concept definition through to final design approval, through to manufacturing and onto the dealerships, and marketing. Visualisation and Virtual Experience will remove the need to build physical prototypes and thus bring about a reduction in time to market. This would be impossible to achieve without the ability to effectively and authentically experience a product virtually in its intended context, and to make rapid, objective decisions as a result. The results of this project will address national UK priorities by providing step-change improvements in virtual experiences. The new algorithms and methodologies, although created and fully validated for the automotive industry, will be equally applicable to any sector engaged in the design and high value manufacture of products.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2016

The purpose of the proposed research programme is to address the challenge of providing domestic hot water (DHW) using low carbon heat pump technology given the overwhelming trend away from conventional hot water tanks in homes and the inability of present heat pumps to provide instant hot water. We intend to develop a suite of heat pump / storage / control technologies, using either electricity or gas that function without conventional storage cylinders and can deliver energy efficient affordable hot water to a wide range of dwellings well into the future. Ulster will use a novel compressor being developed by industrial partner Emerson that has an exceptional range of running speeds, enabling the same device to either deliver e.g. 25 kW for instantaneous hot water or 10 kW or less for space heating. This would be used in conjunction with a small buffer store to overcome the delay in start-up before hot water is available. Present gas fired heat pumps (both commercial and under development at Warwick) are easier to modulate but are physically large if delivering 20 or 30 kW and also have a long start up time (5 minutes). The Warwick goal is to use new composite adsorbent heat exchangers to reduce start up time to one minute, even when meeting a 25 kW load and to reduce key component sizes to achieve a compact system. Thermal storage is a vital part of DHW provision by heat pumps. A small buffer store may be needed to overcome starting transients, or a large capacity store might be needed to provide a bath-full of water quickly. An intermediate capacity store might work together with a heat pump to meet peak loads. Our research will encompass buffers, compact PCM stores that could be sited in unused spaces such as corners in kitchens and flat stores using vacuum or aerogel insulation that could fit under kitchen cabinets or other available unused spaces. To bring this all together into a range of integrated systems suited to different housing types etc there needs to be both an understanding of the consumers needs and preferences plus a smart adaptive control system. In addition to data in the literature we have access to data from detailed monitoring studies previously carried out by Loughborough. Consumer preferences will be investigated by the use of surveys carried out by the User Centred Design Research Group at Loughborough Design School. Ulster will assume overall responsibility for sensor choice, control hardware and software. They will devise a system controller that adapts to and meets consumer needs in an optimal way. In the long term this will be part of a house-wide wirelessly linked system including wet appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines and smart taps that communicate with the DHW system so that it responds optimally to the size and type of load demanded.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 48.55K | Year: 2016

This project starts from the understanding that public office is not a single thing, but is understood in different ways, comes with different expectations and responsibilities, and is seen as serving different purposes, in different contexts. In Britain between the 16th and 19th centuries a distinctive conception of public office emerged which involved stripping away a number of features that had previously been central features of office - in relation to how they were appointed, the duties they carried out, the boundaries between the interests of the occupant and the interests of the office, the criteria by which they were evaluated, how they were held accountable, and what purposes they were seen as fulfilling within the state. The British conception of public office is still evolving (the Law Commission is currently in the middle of an inquiry into malfeasance), and it is far from universal, differing markedly in certain respects from both US and European models. One major area of variation is how the line between public and political office is drawn, if at all. Yet the idea that we can use a standard model to identify and eliminate dereliction of public office in the less developed world is a widespread mantra of the anti-corruption and development movement. Moreover, the suggestion seems to be that derilictions are essentially similar, and that standards can be made the same. That view has driven a multi-billion anti-corruption movement over the last 20 years, although this has not been notable for its successes. This project seeks to take seriously the different national and local contexts that have shaped how office has evolved and is regarded today. It takes three countries, Britain, Mexico and Kenya, with different traditions and practices and seeks to create a dialogue between them, not only so that British development policy might better address issues of governance and better understand the issues affecting office in these countries, but also, through discussion of the British experience, to examine how improved forms of governance and administration that have purchase on local mentalities and habits of mind and practice can be facilitated. Comparative research on different constructions of public office - how they have emerged, how they are understood, how they are legitimated and when office holders are seen as falling short - is rare. There is a tendency to assume both a universal standard, and to assume that there will be a single understanding of office in any particular context, whereas it is likely to be the case that a number of competing constructions operate in many contexts, perhaps especially in ex-colonial contexts. It is, then, a necessary step to understand the expectations and norms that operate and to appreciate the way that particular conceptions of office might be more or less dysfunctional in certain contexts. What now seem to us to be obvious norms of office in fact developed over a long period, in quite specific local contexts, and often in response to pressing local exigencies. We should not expect the emergence of conceptions of office in other contexts to short-circuit such processes in their entirety, or to end up in the same place. But we might hope that bringing these different experiences into dialogue with each other will have beneficial outcomes for all concerned, creating an approach that seeks less to castigate developing countries for failing to conform within a very short space of time to British or Western norms and does more in the way of encouraging a productive and practical process of thinking how, in the light of certain ideals and restraints, public office can best be configured in relation to local contexts. The project seeks to move discussion away from a focus purely on corruption (which can often be used as a politicized stick) to maximizing good governance in context, and from bribery to the proper benefits of public office.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2015

Fish living in polar oceans have evolved an elegant, macromolecular, solution to survive in sub-zero water: they secrete antifreeze (glyco)proteins (AFGPs) which have several antifreeze effects, including ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) - they slow the rate of ice crystal growth. Ice crystal growth is a major problem in settings as diverse as oil fields, wind turbines, road surfaces and frozen food. Analysis of the process of cryopreservation, whereby donor cells are frozen for later use, has revealed that ice recrystallization is a major contributor to cell death upon thawing. Enhanced cryopreservation methods are particularly needed for stem cell storage to maximize the use of this currently limited resource, but also to enable storage of clinically transfused cells such as platelets and red blood cells. AFGPs have thus far not found application in cryopreservation due to their low availability from natural sources, extremely challenging synthesis, indications of cytotoxicity, but more importantly they have a side effect of shaping ice crystals into needle-shapes which pierces cells membranes, killing them. The aim of this ambitious project is to take a multidisciplinary approach to develop synthetic polymers as tunable, scalable and accessible bio-mimetics of AFGPs, which specifically reproduce only the desirable IRI properties. Precision synthetic and biological methods will be applied to access both vinyl- and peptide- based materials with IRI activity. The bio-inspired approach taken here will include detailed biophysical analysis of the polymer-ice interactions and translation of this understanding to real cryopreservation scenarios using blood-borne cells and human stem cells. In summary, this ambitious project takes inspiration from Natures defense mechanisms that have evolved to allow life to flourish in extreme environments and will employ modern polymer chemistry to apply it to a real clinical problem; cryopreservation.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 475.91K | Year: 2011

The work of the Superconductivity and Magnetism Group Warwick centres on the investigation of strongly correlated electron systems. The philosophy of the group has been to adopt a multi-pronged approach to the study of a range of superconductors and magnetic materials. High quality single crystals are essential for these investigations. In-house experimentation on single crystals is complemented by studies at central facilities using techniques such as neutron and x-ray scattering, muon spin resonance, and measurements in high magnetic fields. These studies are used to arrive at a unified picture of the physics of the materials of interest.We propose to continue to build on our successful crystal growth activities at Warwick. We will produce high quality single crystals of oxides, selenides, silicides and related materials. These include exotic superconductors, various low-dimensional and frustrated magnetic materials, and multiferroics. These crystals will be grown by the floating zone technique using the three optical mirror furnaces that we have at Warwick (two halogen lamp furnaces and one xenon arc lamp furnace). The optical mirror furnaces allow us to grow crystals under different growth conditions including various gas atmospheres, in pressures of up to 10 bars and at temperatures of up to 3000 C. Alternative techniques such as flux growth and chemical vapour transport will be used for the growth of single crystal materials when the floating zone technique is not suitable. A newly acquired tetra-arc furnace will be commissioned and the Czochralski technique will be used to produce single crystals of intermetallic materials.Some of the materials discussed in the proposal may never have been produced in the form of single crystal before. The preparation of crystals of these materials will necessarily require several growth attempts in order to optimise the growth conditions.The single crystals grown are to be used in all of our EPSRC funded work. The crystals will also be made available to other researchers within the UK and internationally. The crystal growth programme supports a wide collaborative network that we have built up over many years. The work will stimulate the formation of new collaborations.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2014

EPSRCs EngD was successfully modernised by WMG in 2011 with radical ideas on how high-level skills should be implemented to address the future needs of manufacturing companies within the UK and globally. In a continual rise to the challenge of a low environmental impact future, our new proposed Centre goes a step further, delivering a future generation of manufacturing business leaders with high level know-how and research experience that is essential to compete in a global environment defined by high impact and low carbon. Our proposed Centre spans the area of Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing. It will cover a wide remit of activity necessary to bring about long term real world manufacturing impacts in critical UK industries. We will focus upon novel research areas including the harnessing of biotechnology in manufacturing, sustainable chemistry, resource efficient manufacturing and high tech, low resource approaches to manufacturing. We will also develop innovative production processes that allow new feedstocks to be utilised, facilitate dematerialisation and light weighting of existing approaches or enable new products to be made. Research will be carried into areas including novel production technologies, additive layer manufacturing, net shape and near-net shape manufacturing. We will further deliver materials technologies that allow the substitution of traditional materials with novel and sustainable alternatives or enable the utilisation of materials with greater efficiency in current systems. We will also focus upon reducing the inputs (e.g. energy and water) and impacting outputs (e.g. CO2 and effluents) through innovative process and product design and value recovery from wastes. Industry recognises there is an increasing and time-critical need to turn away from using non-sustainable manufacturing feed-stocks and soon we will need to move from using processes that are perceived publically, and known scientifically, to be environmentally detrimental if we are to sustain land/water resources and reduce our carbon footprint. To achieve this, UK PLC needs to be more efficient with its resources, developing a more closed-loop approach to resource use in manufacturing whilst reducing the environmental impact of associated manufacturing processes. We will need to train a whole new generation of doctoral level students capable of working across discipline and cultural boundaries who, whilst working with industry on relevant TRL 1-5 research, can bring about these long term changes. Our Centre will address industrially challenging issues that enable individuals and their sponsoring companies to develop and implement effective low environmental impact solutions that benefit the bottom line. Research achievements and enhanced skills capabilities in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing will help insure businesses against uncertainty in the supply of materials and price volatility in global markets and enable them to use their commitment to competitively differentiate themselves.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 101.51K | Year: 2011

Phase transitions are ubiquitous in systems consisting of a large number of interacting components, which can be as simple as a gas or as complex as human society. Often one observes intriguing associated dynamic phenomena such as a separation of time scales and metastability. A classical example is the liquid-gas transition of water, which exhibits metastability of supersaturated vapour over relatively long time scales, followed by a rapid transition to the liquid phase. A phenomenological description of such metastable states goes back to van der Waals theory of non-ideal gases. Besides a proper description of the states, the relevant dynamic aspects are the lifetimes of the states and how transitions occur between them. In reality transitions are often triggered by small impurities (causing e.g. droplet nucleation in vapour), and in mathematical models this is often achieved by adding randomness to dynamics. Stochastic particle systems, where idealized particles move and interact in a discrete (lattice) geometry, provide therefore a very natural class of models to study and understand the dynamics of such transitions and the concept of metastability.A mathematically rigorous approach poses very challenging research questions, and is an active area of modern probability theory where significant recent progress has been achieved. The proposed research builds on these developments and aims towards a full rigorous understanding of a condensation transition in zero-range processes, a particular class of stochastic particle systems which has attracted recent research interest in theoretical physics. Condensation here means, that with increasing density the system switches from a homogeneous distribution of particles to a state where a macroscopic fraction of all the particles condenses on a single lattice site. Zero-range processes are therefore used as generic models of condensation phenomena with applications ranging from clustering of granular materials to the formation of giant hubs in complex network dynamics. They are also of theoretical interest as effective models of domain wall dynamics separating different phases in more general systems, explaining phenomena like the formation of traffic jams on highways.Zero-range processes show a very rich critical behavior with interesting dynamic phenomena on several time scales including metastability, which have been understood on a heuristic level in statistical physics, inspiring many ideas in this proposal. The aim of the project is to underpin these findings with rigorous probabilistic results by proving scaling limits for the dynamics of effective observables on several different time scales. These concrete outcomes will be put into a wider context and will lead to methodological advances, by improving and generalizing recent mathematical techniques and understanding the exact conditions of validity of heuristic arguments used for predictions. Also conceptual insights are invisaged, by exploring new approaches for the mathematical characterization of metastability phenomena in stochastic particle systems.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Small Business Research Initiative | Award Amount: 591.47K | Year: 2013

Awaiting Public Project Summary


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 91.93K | Year: 2011

Flowering time in crop plants is agronomically important because it impacts on quality, yield and scheduling of production. Research into the molecular pathways controlling flowering time in the model plant Arabidopsis has progressed rapidly over the past 20 years and has led to a much greater understanding of the genetic regulation of flowering. However, to date there has been little translation of this huge investment in Arabodopsis research into real benefits in crop plants. Premature bolting (flowering) of rocket before it is harvested is a major problem for growers, as secondary metabolites are produced in the leaves which give the plant a bitter and unpleasant taste and render the crop unsaleable. Delayed bolting is a desirable trait in commercial rocket varieties as it preserves the quality of rocket leaves sold for consumption in leafy salads, and increases sustainability by reducing wastage caused by premature bolting of crops in the field. Several genes have been identified which, if mutated, result in delayed flowering in Arabidopsis. These include genes involved in the photoperiodic pathway, the vernalisation pathway, the autonomous pathway, and genes responsible for integrating the floral pathways. Many of these genes have been cloned from Arabidopsis and homologues of some of these genes have been identified in a diverse range of species, including monocots, where they have been shown to have similar, or conserved roles in regulating flowering time. This project will exploit the knowledge of molecular pathways controlling flowering gained from model plants such as Arabidopsis, and also from the knowledge gained about genes controlling bolting in lettuce (which is part of a current BBSRC funded project in the Supervisors lab), to identify novel alleles of flowering time genes that have either been induced through mutagenesis, or have arisen naturally, that can be used to delay bolting in rocket. This will be done through the following approaches; a). An EMS mutagenised population will be screened for late bolting lines that have been created as a result of the mutagenesis treatment. b). Flowering time genes will be identified and isolated from Rocket, this will be done through homology to known flowering time genes in Arabidopsis which is a close relative of Rocket. c). A Rocket diversity set will be screened for natural variation affecting bolting time. d). Sequences of flowering time genes in the late bolting Rocket lines that have been isolated from a). and c). will be analysed to identify polymorphisms that may be the cause of the late bolting phenotype. This may be done through comparing the transcriptome sequence of the late bolting lines with WT lines, and/or PCR-based cloning and sequencing of the target genes. e). Polymorphisms in flowering time genes will be followed through a back-crossing programme to see if they co-segregate with the late bolting phenotype and thus could be causing the late bolting. f). Late bolting Rocket lines will be grown in commercially managed field trials to test the robustness of the late bolting in different field conditions. g). The effect of delayed bolting on senescence in rocket will be investigated through the analysis of the expression of senescence-associated genes in the late bolting lines. The principle objectives/outputs of this research project are; i). The identification of Rocket genes controlling bolting time. ii). The creation of late bolting lines in a commercially relevant Rocket cultivar which can readily be incorporated into breeding programmes to generate new varieties with delayed bolting. iii). The identification of naturally occurring alleles of known flowering time genes that have a robust effect on bolting time in different genetic backgrounds. iv). To examine the advantages conferred by delayed bolting in terms of reduced crop losses and possibly also through effects on leaf senescence.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 376.91K | Year: 2017

Global human population over the age of 60 will increase more than threefold (to nearly 2 billion individuals) during the first half of the twenty-first century, and that by 2050 it will exceed the size of the global population of young individuals (those individuals who are less than 15 years of age). For the first time in history, there are 11 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and also there are more pensioners than there are children under 16. Ageing population puts an enormous pressure on health care and pension system. Thus, understanding the biology of ageing is an urgently required task in order to ensure a viable and sustainable future for our human community. One of the phenotypic hallmarks of ageing cells is chronic, systemic inflammation in the absence of any apparent infection, and is a significant risk factor for mortality in the elderly. We discovered that a protein called Kenny, which participates in the control of inflammation, is selectively degraded by a cellular process called autophagy. Autophagy, which means self-eating, is an essential process that involves the degradation of cytoplasmic material. Cells use autophagy to generate materials and energy when conditions become unfavourable. They also use this process to clear damaged cellular components or specific proteins in order to abolish their function when it is not needed in the cell. We will use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a genetically modifiable model organism to understand at the molecular level how selective autophagy regulates inflammation during ageing. These mechanisms are very similar between fruit flies and humans, so the results will have direct relevance to human health. This project will make a major contribution to our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of autophagy and inflammation during ageing and could potentially be used in applied research aimed towards developing new strategies to fight age-related diseases and to promote healthy ageing.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 745.20K | Year: 2015

In biology, seeing is believing. To find out what is happening inside cells, biologists use microscopes. This equipment comes in different varieties. The two main microscopes biologists use are light microscopes and electron microscopes. With light microscopes, we can image living cells and watch many different proteins going about their job. Using electron microscopes, we can image much smaller things, however, we can only look at fixed (dead) cells and also seeing proteins is difficult. This money from the BBSRC will help us to buy two of the very latest microscopes. We will put these microscopes together with other machines to make it possible for scientists to see living cells and proteins and then see the same cell and the same proteins in the electron microscope. The special thing about these new microscopes is that they can take pictures and movies in 3D, so we can get all the information out of the cells that we are looking at. The equipment will be based at University of Warwick. We have lots of biologists at our University who need these instruments to carry out important research on bacteria, plants and animals, to understand neuroscience, cell division and plant signalling - to name just a few. We will open up the equipment so that other scientists based in the Midlands or even further afield can use it. These scientists may be Biologists or they may be Materials Scientists or Chemists working in Universities or in Industry.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 257.22K | Year: 2011

Neurons are a specialised part of the extremely complex structure of the nervous system. They generate electrical signals in response to chemical and other inputs and transmit them to other cells. Over the past hundred years experimental research has accumulated an enormous amount of knowledge about the structure and function of an individual nerve cell as well as neural networks. However, there are still fundamental questions that remain unanswered. Theoretical analysis and computational modelling of neural systems are important tools that help to characterise what neurons do and determine the ways in which they function. It has recently become increasingly clear that calcium plays an important role in controlling a great variety of neuronal processes. Calcium channels activated by voltage (voltage-gated channels) in different neuronal cell types are believed, for example, to regulate components of learning and memory and to be involved in coincidence detection mechanisms. The overall aim of the project is to develop a biophysically realistic and computationally inexpensive model of a nerve cell for better understanding the interaction between electrical and chemical signalling (membrane voltage and calcium concentration). This interaction plays important functional roles in neuronal excitability and synaptic integration and plasticity. Experimental studies demonstrate that calcium channels open in response to membrane depolarisation and in turn cause further depolarisation by generating calcium-dependent action potentials. At the same time the propagation of action potential produces an increase in calcium concentration and generates rich patterns in both space and time, from widespread calcium influx in dendrites to heterogeneous calcium transients in axons. Moreover, the properties of the same voltage-gated calcium channels can be different in somatic and dendritic membranes with substantial variability in channel density. The major objectives of the research are i) to explore the implications of the heterogeneous distribution of calcium channels on amplification or boosting of distal synaptic inputs, ii) to investigate the role of calcium in the induction and maintenance of synaptic plasticity, and iii) to study how calcium waves can generate recently-discovered graded persistent activity in single neurons that may underly working memory. The proposed methodology draws from a number of established principles in different scientific disciplines, predominantly those of nonlinear dynamics, numerical analysis of deterministic and stochastic systems, biophysics, computational neuroscience and molecular signalling. A combination of theoretical analysis, numerical simulations and experimental verification will be used to address important issues of calcium signals underlying vital brain functions. Showing that the persistence of activity in a single neuron can be observed in the presence of calcium may reveal that as a computational system, the single neuron is a far more powerful unit that was previously assumed. Calcium dynamics could thus be the physiological basis for a single-neuron mechanism sub-serving working memory. Also, an understanding of the mechanism of calcium regulation in neurons during brain damage is crucially important, and this might provide the ground for a specific future application of the proposed work. As experiments show, ischemia increases calcium concentration in nerve cells, particularly in their dendrites and synaptic terminals. Due to this large calcium increase, dendritic tissue is very susceptible to damage. This is an area where further research can potentially generate explosive rates of development.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 488.61K | Year: 2015

The threat of antibiotic resistance has been compared to that posed by climate change and global terrorism by the Chief medical Officer Dame Sally Davies. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics has existed for hundreds of millions of years, as it evolved to combat antibiotics produced by bacteria and fungi. Resistance is conferred either by mutation or by uptake of DNA from other bacteria which may not even be closely related. This horizontal resistance gene transfer is one of the most important issues facing the fight against infection in the clinic. Novel resistance genes that are taken up by clinical pathogens originate in environmental bacteria, and once in human pathogens or even harmless commensal bacteria, will be selected for by clinical use of antibiotics. However, little is known about the conditions under or locations in which these genes are mobilised into human associated bacteria, or what the human exposure routes for transmission of these resistance genes are. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of antibiotics in agriculture contributes to the increase in resistance seen in the clinic, however much less research has focused on evolution of resistance in farm animals than in humans so less evidence is available. Even less is known regarding reservoirs of resistant bacteria in the natural environment, particularly locations heavily polluted by human or animal waste. 11 billion litres of waste water are discharged into UK rivers every day; critically much of this treatment does not significantly reduce numbers of resistant bacteria. Millions of tons of animal faecal wastes are spread to agricultural land every year, providing additional inputs of resistant organisms into the wider environment. Our previous work has shown that the use of a marker gene, which is predictive of levels of antibiotic resistance genes in sediments, varies by up to 1000 times between clean and dirty sediments. Our data also shows that waste water treatment plants are responsible for the majority of this effect (about 50%), and 30% is associated with diffuse pollution from land adjacent to the river. Other data generated by the consortium suggests that there are real human exposure risks to these environmental reservoirs of resistant organisms, with several million exposure events occurring each year in England and Wales through recreational use of coastal waters alone. This project will, for the first time, use cutting edge high through put DNA sequencing technologies and computational analyses to increase our understanding of the human activities that drive increased levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria across the River Thames catchment. Abundance and identity of over 3000 different resistance genes will be determined at 40 sampling sites, in triplicate at three time points over one year, to capture impacts of seasonality and flow. We will also measure a range of antibiotic residues, metals and nutrients. We will use graphical information system data on waste water treatment plant type, size and location and land use throughout the catchment. Together this data will be used to produce a model which will reveal the main drivers of resistance gene abundance and diversity at the catchment scale. We will also identify novel molecular markers associated with different sources of pollution that can be used as source tracking targets. We aim to analyse the effects of specific mitigation strategies that are able to reduce levels of resistant bacteria, this will enable estimates of reduction in resistance levels that can inform policy and regulatory targets. A translational tool will be developed for surveillance of the most important marker genes identified from the DNA sequence analyses and modelling work. This will be an affordable test that will help identify key factors for human health risk assessment.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 288.12K | Year: 2015

An inner product space over a commutative ring R is a finitely generated projective R-module equipped with a non-degenerate symmetric bilinear form. Inner product spaces are important everywhere in mathematics but also for instance in physics (e.g., Minkowski space), chemistry (e.g., crystallography) and computer science (e.g., design of codes for a band limited channel). In general, the classification of inner product spaces is a very difficult problem. As an example, the classification of projective modules over the ring of integers Z is easy (there is, up to isomorphism, precisely one for every given rank) whereas the classification of inner product spaces over Z is unknown: for a given rank there are only finitely many isometry classes but we dont know how many (even positive definite) inner product spaces of rank 32 there are over Z. Though still far from being trivial, the study of inner product spaces simplifies when one introduces stable equivalence: two inner product spaces X and Y are stably equivalent if there is a third such space Z and an isometry between the orthogonal sum of X and Z with the orthogonal sum of Y and Z. For instance, two inner product spaces over the ring of integers are stably equivalent if and only if they have the same rank and signature. The set of stable equivalence classes becomes an abelian monoid under orthogonal sum and embeds into the Grothendieck-Witt group GW(R) of formal differences of stable equivalence classes. For many rings (such as fields and local rings in which 2 is a unit) two inner product spaces are isometric if and only if they have the same class in GW(R). For such rings, the classification of inner product spaces thus amounts to computing the group GW(R). The computation of these groups is greatly aided by the fact that they are part of a cohomology theory which allows us to compute GW(R) from local data. So far, most tools to compute the groups GW(R) only work when 2 is a unit in R which is a (hopefully unnecessary) restrictive assumption. The main objective of the proposal is to develop tools for computing GW(R) that dont need 2 to be a unit in R. A second objective is the study of GW(R) in the context of an algebraic analogue (A1-homotopy theory) of the continuous world around us which was used by Voevodsky in his work on the Bloch-Kato conjecture which won him the Fields medal.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 261.94K | Year: 2013

This proposal is associated with the targeted research programme of the UK Research Centre for NDE (RCNDE), an EPSRC-supported research centre. It is clear from discussions held with both academics and industrial members within RCNDE that the ultrasonic inspection of highly scattering/attenuating materials is still a large problem that needs to be addressed. The particular materials in question - such as thermal insulation materials, refractory linings, rubbers and thick sections of glass fibre reinforced polymer composites - are industrially very important. In many cases, there are not many alternatives for inspection, in particular if portability and non-radiological methods are required. The research will investigate new ways in which ultrasonic frequencies below 1 MHz can be applied to this problem. This will require research into various aspects of the measurement. Firstly, new transducer designs will be needed, that can generate signals with the required bandwidth. It is planned to try micro fibre composite (MFC) devices for this, teamed up with more conventional PZT elements. These will then be used with various forms of coded waveform, so that cross-correlation can enhance the measurement in terms of detectability and reduced signal to noise levels. In addition, scattering from interfaces and non-defect objects casue clutter in the signal. It is planned to investigate ways of reducing these effects, byusing other ideas such as (a) using a collimation system, and (b) using polarised shear waves. Finally, a system will be dseigned which uses some or all of these elements, and which can tuned to operate at different frequency ranges, depending on the application. The work will be performed in collaboration with three industrial sectors: marine vessel manufacture, the oil and gas industries, and metal forming. All have particular problems with methods of inspecting acoustically attenuating and scattering material. These include coatings and thick composites; thermal insulation layers, corrosion under insulation, and risers; refractory materials, and others. As part of the work, the research will be used to design a portable system that can be used in these industries. This will be tested in the laboratory, before field tests are performed in each case.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 25.31K | Year: 2013

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 466.71K | Year: 2013

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of scholars reassessing the dramatic production of the Revolutionary decade (see for instance the work done in the United States by Ravel, Friedland, Maslan) but as yet this has not been extended to the theatre of the Napoleonic era. The few modern studies that have been undertaken on the immediate post-Revolution continue to conclude that theatre of the Napoleonic period is aesthetically inferior. Horne (2004) for instance concludes that not a single French play of any value dates from the Napoleonic period. Pierre Frantz, in his survey essay in LEmpire des Muses (2004) talks of an aesthetic asphyxiation under Napoleon, despite - or perhaps because of - the importance the Emperor attached to theatre. The variety of approaches scholars of the Revolutionary period have successfully exploited to show how new aesthetic theatrical forms can surface even at a time of censorship and overt politicisation have not, as yet, been applied to the post-Revolutionary period. This project will represent a major advancement in studies of theatre of the Napoleonic era by rectifying the lack of methodologically innovative and up-to-date research on theatrical production in France between 1799 and 1815. This project takes as its base the University of Warwicks special collection of Marandet plays, a resource of over 3000 plays of the French 18th and 19th centuries, one third of which has recently been digitised with a substantial grant from JISCs Enhancing Digital Resources scheme. The collections entire holding for the Napoleonic period has been digitised in anticipation of this project which will focus on analysis of and research into the plays. Using the holdings of the Marandet collection as a starting point, it will re-examine the theatre of the First Empire in order to see whether recent methodological approaches to theatre of the Revolution can be applied to the aesthetic and institutional conditions imposed on French theatre by Napoleon. Theatre facilitates the investigation of key aspects of the artistic process - creation of a literary text, production in the public domain, and critical reception - and is, therefore, an ideal medium through which to re-evaluate the development of Napoleonic cultural life. By extending the focus beyond the canon, an artificial construct which gives only a partial picture of the range of cultural life of early 19th-century France, and by including the reception and cultural context of theatre between 1799 and 1815, the project will provide not just a greater understanding of post-Revolutionary theatre but also of the cultural history of the Napoleonic era and of the complex interplay of art and politics. It will also provide a long-term contribution to studies of French aesthetic production of the early 19th century. By highlighting the benefits of comparative, performance-led and reception-orientated approaches, it will have a significant impact on theatre and music specialists as well as those working on Napoleonic culture, and will lay the basis for a wide-ranging and collaborative continuation project. It will also play a role in training the next generation of 19th-century scholars.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 100.33K | Year: 2011

Ultrasonic testing is well known for its use in medical physics, but also has uses in engineering, for determining the structural integrity of materials and structures, and in fundamental physics measurements of new materials. There is currently very little physics-based ultrasound research being performed in the UK, despite the fact that these measurements give information about the elastic constants and phase changes in the materials, and can give a relatively quick and inexpensive test when compared to measurements such as neutron scattering.The current standard ultrasonic measurements of single crystals use contacting ultrasonic transducers which require gluing to the sample, and complicated procedures to measure the velocity of the sound waves. This proposal seeks to create new experimental techniques, through developing non-contact measurements using electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) and real-time data analysis, and in doing so create a facility which can be used by other researchers. Non-contact measurements bring several advantages; as there is no need for physical contact, the transducers dont significantly load the system. Removing the need for the couplant (glue) means samples are not contaminated, and experiments over a wide range of temperatures is possible. Finally, as the generation mechanism depends on the magnetic state of a material, the efficiency of the EMAT shows clearly any magnetic phase changes.However, electromagnetic techniques of ultrasound generation have a much lower efficiency than standard, contact techniques, and are also sensitive to electromagnetic noise. We will investigate how to overcome this through using filtering, pulse-encoding, and through development of new designs of electromagnetic transducer, utilising a series of coils in the same environment so that electrical noise can be subtracted. Another requirement is a new kind of data processing. PCs are now able to both record and analyse data, and we will develop new analysis routines, in particular through looking at frequency-based analysis techniques such as wavelets and Fourier transforms. This will also help with investigations of thin samples, where echoes are likely to overlap. Using non-contact techniques also allows further improvements to be made, including using broadband ultrasonic pulses rather than narrowband, and through designing new experimental probes which will allow samples to be rotated in a magnetic field during the experiment.The new equipment developed through this work will allow measurements to be performed on a number of materials, identifying samples which work well with non-contact techniques. Samples which will be measured include magnetic materials such as Gd-based materials, which can exhibit magnetocaloric effects, and FePd and Ni2MnGa which show acoustic emission and magnetic noise around structural phase changes. Ferroelectric materials such as BaTiO3 have phase changes over a wide range of temperatures, and a couplant-free system will be very useful here. Finally, non-contact techniques will be well-suited to fragile materials, such as the organic superconductors based on the BEDT-TTF molecule.A further benefit comes from the potential application of the data analysis improvements to thickness gauging for applications such as corrosion and wall thinning measurements in pipework.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 88.32K | Year: 2011

Topology in dimension three is the most accessible field ofmathematics; this is because three-dimensional space is the realm ofeveryday experience. Established by Poincare in a series of inspiringarticles in the late 1800s much of the work in low-dimensionaltopology was combinatorial in nature. In 1979 Thurston revolutionizedthe field by revealing deep connections to many other, more geometric,areas of mathematics.The geometric theme in low-dimensional topology has expanded to include coarse geometry. One striking success of this theme was the work of Masur and Minsky [1999, 2000]; they introduced the idea of using coarse geometry to understand the complex of curves. The complex of curves, defined by Harvey, is a combinatorial analogue of Teichmuller space.The novelty proposed here is to use the methods of Masur and Minsky tostudy and solve combinatorial problems, some first encountered byPoincare, in low-dimensional topology. The themes running through theproposal include handlebodies and Heegaard diagrams, the recognitionproblem for the three-sphere, the structure of the mapping classgroup, and the cobordism group of automorphisms of surfaces.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 34.29K | Year: 2015

Leishmania spp. infection represents a serious public health burden in Brazil, with 35,000 suspected cases annually. Disfiguring and occasionally fatal cutaneous and muco-cutaneous forms of Leishmaniasis are most common in the Amazon region of Brazil. Differential clinical severity and drug-resistance profiles are widely reported between patients. There is thus an urgent need to identify what factors might be responsible for different patient outcomes. Leishmania species and genotype have a role in defining disease severity, as does the host immune response. Less commonly considered is the role that secondary bacterial infections and commensal skin microbiota have in modulating pathology and immunity. In this multidisciplinary project we propose to use state-of-the-art techniques to monitor Leishmania lesion-associated microbial diversity and host immune response to reveal the factors that underlie cutaneous Leishmaniasis severity and progression in Amazonian Brazil.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 33.53K | Year: 2013

This research explores the value of live art to a range of difference people, from those who directly participate in a live art project to the general public who engage with an exhibition in a community arts centre. In particular, the research focuses on an art project entitled Fun With Cancer Patients, lead by artist Brian Lobel as part of Fierce Festival in Birmingham. Fun With Cancer Patients involves a group of teenage volunteers who are undergoing or have experienced cancer treatment: the young people work on actions of their own devising (these may be photography, writing, performance, whatever the young person chooses) and these actions and the process of creating them are documented at a public exhibition which will be attended by a large, mixed audience over a number of weeks. The topic of cancer, an illness which is likely to affect most people either directly or indirectly, is often talked about in a limited range of ways which do not always express peoples lived, emotional and political experiences. Fun With Cancer Patients aims to widen the possibilities for communicating about cancer. The research will follow all stages of the project paying critical attention to the experiences and affective responses of people involved, and it will develop and use innovative qualitative methods in order to explore the value of the art to the individuals involved and also in terms of generating broader understandings of cancer. The research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential of live art in generating meaningful possibilities for expressing and understanding complex experiences and emotions, and creating alternative knowledges and modes of expression.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 199.05K | Year: 2011

Photosynthesis is at the core of virtually every aspect of society, from food production to industrial construction. Terrestrial photosynthesis is intimately connected with our use of other natural resources, and it exerts major controls on the water, mineral and carbon cycles of the world. For example, plant transpiration is thought to have contributed to recent changes in fresh-water availability associated with the global rise in CO2, and it is at the centre of a crisis in water availability expected over the next 20-30 years. Over this same period it is estimated that a 50% increase in global food production will be required to keep pace with the increase in human population. Crop yields have matched population growth until recently, but the gains from cereal cultivars bred in the Green Revolution were realised in full a decade ago. Thus it is vital that routes to further improvements in photosynthetic efficiency are sought now. In most species, CO2 is fixed by Ribulose Bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RuBisCO) in the Calvin-Benson cycle to generate a three-carbon compound. RuBisCO is remarkably poor in its substrate selectivity and promiscuously fixes both CO2 and O2, a fact that makes RuBisCO arguably the most inefficient step in photosynthesis. One way of reducing O2 use by RuBisCO is to raise the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). So-called carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) have evolved multiple times in nature, albeit not as a feature of most common crop species. Thus, comparisons suggest roughly a 50% increase in overall yield might be realised if O2 use by RuBisCO were bypassed in crops. Significant resources have gone into engineering RuBisCO for increased CO2 selectivity and introducing a single-celled version of C4 photosynthesis in rice, but these approaches have yet to see a step change in photosynthetic efficiency. One new set of strategies yet to be explored is to co-opt light-driven pumps, anion exchange transport and substrate channelling to supply CO2 to RuBisCO. To date none of these processes is known to facilitate photosynthesis, although all three occur naturally and have been employed synthetically in biology. It is our goal to develop the equivalent of a two-stage pump: placing in series (1) a transport mechanism to concentrate HCO3- in the chloroplast powered by the light-driven ion pump halorhodopsin (hR) from the archeon Halobacterium halobium, and (2) substrate channelling within the chloroplast using one or more molecular building blocks from Clostridium or cyanobacteria to carry HCO3- or a four-carbon intermediate to RuBisCO. This two-stage strategy is expected to maximise CCM gain driven independently with light energy absorbed by hR, and it has the added potential for engineering hR to tap the unused asset of light beyond the photosynthetic spectrum. Furthermore, an overarching feature of this approach is in its modular nature: it will be possible to develop each stage of the two-stage pump in parallel, and to assess its functionality separately at molecular, cellular and whole-organismal levels, combining the components thereafter for final validation. This modular approach ensures the maximum efficiency and speed in realising our goal within the three-year period.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-5 | Award Amount: 17.23M | Year: 2009

The objectives of the ProMine IP address the Commissions concerns over the annual 11 billion trade deficit in metal and mineral imports. Europe has to enhance the efficiency of its overall production chain putting higher quality and added value products on the market. ProMine focuses on two parts of this chain, targeting extractive and end-user industries. Upstream, the first ever Pan-EU GIS based mineral resource and advanced modelling system for the extractive industry will be created, showing known and predicted, metallic and non-metallic mineral occurrences across the EU. Detailed 4D computer models will be produced for four metalliferous regions. Upstream work will also include demonstrating the reliability of new (Bio)technologies for an ecoefficient production of strategic metals, driven by the creation of on-site added value and the identification of specific needs of potential end-users. Downstream, a new strategy will be developed for the European extractive industry which looks not only at increasing production but also at delivering high value, tailored nano-products which will form the new raw materials for the manufacturing industry. ProMine research will focus on five nano-products, (Conductive metal (Cu, Ag, Au) fibres, rhenium and rhenium alloy powders, nano-silica, iron oxyhydroxysulphate and new nano-particle based coatings for printing paper), which will have a major impact on the economic viability of the extractive industry. They will be tested at bench scale, and a number selected for development to pilot scale where larger samples can be provided for characterisation and testing by end-user industries. It will include production, testing and evaluation of these materials, with economic evaluation, life cycle cost analysis, and environmental sustainability. ProMine with 26 partners from 11 EU member states, has a strong industrial involvement while knowledge exploitation will transfer ProMine results to the industrial community.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-5-2014 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2015

RESOLVE proposal aims at enabling the development of a range of cost-effective, energy efficient and comfortable ELVs (Electric L-category Vehicles) that will primarily attract ICE car drivers to switch to ELVs for daily urban commutes. EU cities are increasingly congested due to the demand and usage of motor vehicles that results in emissions and noise levels increase and scarcer parking, affecting the quality of life and health of city-dwellers. To tackle such issue, European-wide emission targets are becoming stricter and urban mobility plans are being drawn. Future scenarios for EU urban centres see a modal shift in personal mobility from cars to lighter, smaller, more specialised and environmentally friendly alternatives. ELVs are such alternatives that can cater to the average commuters needs because of their smaller size, lighter weight, lower on board energy requirement and thus smaller batteries, which supports lower costs and faster recharge. However this modal shift has not been without challenges: many car drivers do not consider LVs as a viable and comfortable option. To achieve that, the project will develop components and systems that meet the very low cost requirements for the segment, particularly modular and scalable LV-specific electric powertrains and battery architectures. At the same time the project will deliver an exciting and attractive ELV driving experience by proposing new concepts (tilting & narrow track), while keeping the vehicle energy consumption at very low level. All the advances will be demonstrated in two tilting four wheelers demonstrator ELVs (L2e and L6e category), though a large number of such advances will also be applicable to the complete range of ELVs (including powered-two wheelers). The RESOLVE consortium is optimally positioned to drive such innovations: PIAGGIO and KTM are the 2 largest LV manufacturers in the EU and the whole ELV value chain is represented, complemented by top component suppliers and universities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.57M | Year: 2015

A fundamental challenge in processing the massive quantities of information generated by modern applications is in extracting suitable representations of the data that can be stored, manipulated and interrogated on a single machine. A promising approach is in the design and analysis of compact summaries: data structures which capture key features of the data, and which can be created effectively over distributed data sets. Popular summary structures include the Bloom filter, which compactly represents a set of items, and sketches which allow vector norms and products to be estimated. These are very attractive, since they can be computed in parallel and combined to yield a single, compact summary of the data. Yet the full potential of summaries is far from being fully realized. The Principal Investigator will lead a team, working on important problems around creating Small Summaries for Big Data. The goal is to substantially advance the state of the art in data summarization, to the point where accurate and effective summaries are available for a wide array of problems, and can be used seamlessly in applications that process big data. Several directions will be pursued, including: designing and evaluating new summaries for fundamental computations such as tracking the data distribution; summary techniques for complex structures, such as massive matrices, massive graphs, and beyond; and summaries that allow the verification of outsourced computation over big data. Success in any one of these areas could lead to substantial impact on practice, as evidenced by the influence of existing summary techniques. Support in the form of a five-year research grant will allow the PI to consolidate his research in this area, and build an expert team to focus on these challenging algorithmic questions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.69M | Year: 2015

This research programme will establish a new class of materials and develop them into functional devices for biomedical applications. We will design tubular supramolecular polymers, supramolecular polymer brushes (SPBs), based on the self-assembly of cyclic peptide polymer conjugates. The synergy between the cyclic peptide, which directs the formation of the SPBs and the polymer conjugate, which provides functionality, will open the route to a wealth of new functional structures. We will build on our initial work and expand our research to generate new synthetic routes for the ligation of polymers to peptides, develop new protocols for the characterisation of the materials, and establish the mechanism of supramolecular polymerisation. This research programme will open new horizons in the fundamental understanding and production of supramolecular polymers. In particular, beyond the generation of new materials, the functionality of these systems may allow the development of supramolecular living polymers, a long-standing goal in polymer chemistry that is still elusive. The functionality and versatility of the SPBs obtained in this work open the route to a wealth of applications, and we will focus on one specific target: the fabrication of drug delivery vectors. We will exploit the unique combination of features presented by this new class of polymer therapeutics, such as multiple attachment points for one or more drug(s) / targeting ligands / markers, the ability to self-disassemble into smaller and easy-to-excrete components, and an elongated shape that enables diffusion and interaction with cells more efficiently than traditional globular delivery systems. We will study the pharmacology properties of the SPBs, including their stability, toxicity, mode of cell penetration and ability to deliver a single or a combination of bioactive agent(s) (in the case of concerted mechanisms).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-1-01 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2009

This proposal, entitled Acquired Environmental Epigenetics Advances: from Arabidopsis to maize (acronym: AENEAS), aims to assess the impact of environmental conditions on epigenetic states in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and then transfer knowledge to maize (Zea mays): an important European crop. Advances in understanding the detailed mechanisms of epialleles formation in response to environmental cues and their heritable maintenance in a model plant such as Arabidopsis will be the starting objective of the AENEAS proposal. To this end, we will focus on three epigenetic regulatory pathways, which have been well characterized for their interaction with environmental signals in mediating changes into the epigenome. They are: the autonomous, the small RNA and the CpG methylation pathways. The outcome of this research activity will be a road map for plant environmental epigenetics, necessary for further progress of the basic research in this area and for the transfer of the knowledge to crop plants. Concomitantly, the constitution of an Environmental Epigenetics platform for maize, will start with the development of tools indispensable for the shift of epigenetic research from Arabidopsis to maize. This will be achieved by the functional characterization of maize mutants for epi-regulators belonging to the three pathways studied in Arabidopsis. The tools will comprise: maize epi-regulator mutants, their targets, and information about their interaction with environmental cues for epialleles formation and inheritance throughout generations. It is our opinion that the deliverables from AENEAS will be the progenitors for the next-generation of breeding programs, based on the exploitation of the environmental-induced epigenetics variability. In addition, we will conduct a comparative genomics analysis of data arising from the project to generate comparative models for environmental epigenomics in two evolutionary distinct species such as Arabidopsis and maize.


Patent
University of Warwick | Date: 2012-05-31

An additive building method for building a plurality of layers to form a build stack is provided. The method includes creating a variable potential difference between a conducting element at a first voltage potential and an ion source at a second voltage potential, and creating an electric field between the conducting element and the ion source. The electric field passes through the build stack to a nearest surface of the build stack which is nearest a transfer medium. The method further includes accumulating electric charge from the ion source on the nearest surface of the build stack, and transferring deposition material from a transfer medium onto the nearest surface. The strength of the field at the nearest surface of the build stack is controlled in order to cause a homogenous transfer of the deposition material on to the nearest surface.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2016

Economics has traditionally assumed that individuals seek to satisfy coherent and asocial preferences, and has used the satisfaction of those preferences as a normative criterion. This neoclassical approach has supported a view of the market as an institution in which privately-motivated individual actions tend to produce socially beneficial consequences. These ideas have been called into question by recent developments in behavioural economics, which point to the cognitive limitations of economic agents, the instability of preferences, and the existence of pro-social motivations. A common inference is that traditional presumptions in favour of the market and against paternalism are invalidated. I aim to develop an approach to normative economics, and a corresponding understanding of the role of markets, which do not require neoclassical rationality assumptions but may still support those presumptions. My approach is innovative in two ways. First, the criterion for normative analysis is opportunity, not preference satisfaction. Even if individuals lack coherent preferences, opportunities for mutually advantageous transactions can be defined in a normatively significant way, and competitive markets can be shown to be effective in providing such opportunities. Second, using a new version of the theory of team reasoning, the relationship between parties to a market transaction can be construed in terms of a joint intention to achieve mutual benefit. This motivation can support practices of trust and cooperation without disabling market incentives. Using the methods of theoretical and experimental economics and analytical philosophy, I will formalise and integrate these ideas and extend them to provide a new understanding of the role of government in the economy. This work will include analyses of distributional fairness, market ethics, and of the role of regulation in maintaining competitive markets in the face of consumers cognitive limitations.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IIF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IIF | Award Amount: 309.24K | Year: 2013

Human beings have long tried to learn from and mimic nature. A good example is the successful mimicry, by means of nanotechnology, of the lotus leaf effect in many applications requiring self-cleaning from skyscrapers, machine tools work surfaces and even to clothes. Surface micro and nano-topography (finish, texture) obviously affects the performance of many engineered and natural systems. The proposed research is aimed at establishing functionally useful correlations between surface micro-geometry and mechanical and tribological properties. It specifically focuses to elucidate the effect of surface features on the local adhesion, friction, hardness and elastic modulus in terms of anti-adhesion and anti-contamination performances. The proposal will bring the joined expertise in both surface measurement and characterisation by Warwick Group and surface modelling by Dr Tian to achieve above ultimate objectives. We will first study the functional surfaces exhibited by engineered and natural systems for their anti-adhesion and anti-contamination performances. Numerical simulation and modelling will be carried out to generate such surfaces with controlled surface parameters, in order to study the effect of surface topography on the contact angle, adhesion and friction and nano-hardness, and the relationships between. Eventually, this will pave a way for scientists and engineers to design an ideal surface structure or topography for a specific function at a low cost. The research will provide benefits for the sponsor by publishing peer reviewed papers and establishing key enabling methodologies for characterisation and generation of such functional surfaces. The capability of the micro/nano surface measurement and metrology is of high benefit to both UK and European engineers and scientists.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 399.90K | Year: 2012

We propose to establish a Centre of Excellence for Computational Science, Engineering and Mathematics (MidPlus) that serves the M1/M6 corridor from London to the Midlands, initially based on four leading universities with outstanding credentials for cross-institutional collaboration, industrial partnership, and computational research: Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham and Queen Mary. We focus on this region because geographical proximity greatly facilitates outreach and ongoing interactions with industrial partners-especially for SMEs. MidPlus is well located to serve many organisations within the UKs automotive, aerospace, biomedical, materials and creative industries. We will extend this partnership to such companies, and other Universities, as MidPlus develops. This Centre of Excellence will be established with an initial investment in e-Infrastructure of £3M (£1.6M from this EPSRC call and £1.4M from the partner Universities) that will provide: * High performance Computing (HPC) through a capability cluster (Warwick; 2700 cores, infiniBand, some GPU and large-memory SMP nodes) to be combined with Warwicks existing cluster (commissioned 05/2011) to create a 6000 core cluster and so maximise scope for large massively parallel jobs; and a high throughput cluster (QMUL, 2900 cores) to facilitate projects that require multiple runs to span large parameter spaces. * Data storage and archive facilities (mirrored at Birmingham and Nottingham for data integrity) to enable mid- and long-term storage of research data (initially ~1 PB capacity), and the management structures to enable metadata-based search and retrieval with secure implementation of a range of user-specified levels of privacy. In the longer term we will: extend the capacity of the data store; develop an automated data-aging protocol to migrate data, successively, to appropriate longer-term storage technologies; extend the range of tier-2 HPC architecture we support; and develop greater integration of, faster regional network connections between, the data and compute hardware. Our collective research expertise and mastery of managing and using e-Infrastructure is as crucial to the success of MidPlus as is the equipment we will install. We will therefore build an intellectual superstructure on top of the e-Infrastructure that will: * actively promote collaborations that cross disciplinary and institutional boundaries; * provide a coordinated systems and administrative support team to enable industries with existing expertise to use these facilities-either to deal with the peaks in their internal demand for computer facilities or as an alternative to establishing their own; * provide an expertise-base to nurture new industrial use of this e-Infrastructure; * create a strategic framework within which to sustain and develop the regional e-Infrastructure. This intellectual superstructure will enable MidPlus to offer services that add much more value than could be obtained from the bare e-Infrastructure or, indeed, from industrial cloud computing services.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 99.06K | Year: 2015

Several problems facing society in the 21st century share a common problem: that when electronic devices heat up, they become inefficient, wasting energy. It is therefore the case that in your laptop there is significant space, weight and significant design cost associated with implementing the right cooling system to efficiently extract the heat. The laptop is however, a relatively low-power system, operating on earth at a rather pleasant 20C room temperature. Engineers are regularly facing this problem on a much larger scale, in much ambient temperatures, and in a situation where it is often difficult, expensive and often highly impractical to implement active cooling. Oil and gas engineers, attempting to harvest the fossil fuels we are still highly dependent on, face exactly this problem with the electronics that are driving the cutting tool motor. Power electronic devices delivering hundreds of Watts of power to the motor must do so in an ambient that can exceed 225C, operating miles under the ground with only slurry pumped from the surface to cool the devices. Similarly, electric cars are forced into restrictive design choices keeping the electronics as far from the engine as possible to minimise the cooling requirements. In space, near-sun planetary explorers are essentially floating refrigerators, the inner cabin cooled, at great cost to eventual mission length, down to earth-like temperatures when the temperature outside can exceed 300C around Venus or Mercury. The potential benefit for having electronics operating in these environments without cooling is huge, leading to greater efficiency, reliability and mission length, saving space, weight and importantly cost. This project looks to redesign the silicon device and to push its thermal behaviour to the absolute limit, so minimising the need for cooling, or eliminating it entirely. This is to be done by combining it with another material, silicon carbide, that will act as a heat sink placed within fractions of a micro-meter of the active device itself. These new Silicon-on-Silicon Carbide (Si/SiC) devices are expected to offer gains in device efficiency over any existing silicon device operating at elevated temperature. Alternatively, the same level of performance could be retained as with existing solutions, except at temperatures as much as 100C higher, or at much higher power (as much as 4x). The power transistor, implemented entirely with the silicon thin film, is a laterally-diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (LD-MOS) or a lateral insulated gate bipolar transistor (L-IGBT), similar to those that have been developed for silicon on insulator (SOI) or silicon-on-sapphire. These devices shall be optimised for breakdown voltages rated from 50 to 600 V, making the devices ideal for applications such as downhole motor drives required by project partner Halliburton, and for solar array inverters destined for space.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 645.75K | Year: 2013

The neocortex is instantly recognisable as the folded, sheet-like tissue that makes up much of the visible surface of the human brain. It is central to all the high-level brain functions of mammals, receiving information from our senses, combining this with short-term and long-term memory, performing cognitive processes (or thought, in other words) and planning our movements. At the cellular level, these processes have been linked to activity across networks of neurons, comprising periods where the networks are quiet and periods where the networks are active with neurons communicating via fast synapses and firing at rates around 10 times per second. These collective activity states are thought to underlie many normal physiological processes and have been seen localised in small regions of neocortex (less than one cubic millimetre), propagating as waves of activity or in massive synchronous events spread wide across centimetres of neocortex as observed during sleep. Models of neurons that include synaptic connections capture many aspects of neocortical activity but a full, detailed understanding of these processes is still required. In particular, the role of neuromodulators - chemicals that are released and diffuse far throughout tissue with powerful effects on neural properties - have not been incorporated into the picture. An important modulator that suppresses neuronal activity is adenosine, which belongs to the chemical family of purines (caffeine is another well-known purine). Adenosine binds to receptors on the surfaces of neurons and effectively slows activity down. Adenosine has a role in a wide range of healthy processes such as sleep, breathing and control of movement, and plays an important protective role during pathological states like epilepsy and stroke. The University of Warwick has developed novel biosensors that can measure the dynamics of concentrations of adenosine in neural tissue. This unique technology has allowed for significant advances in the understanding of adenosine in other brain regions such as the hippocampus and cerebellum. Using biosensor technology, we have recently performed experiments on neocortical tissue that, for the first time, have demonstrated a link between neocortical activity and adenosine release. We have shown that activity is suppressed by naturally present adenosine and also that activity causes adenosine to be released. Interestingly, it appears that adenosine is rapidly broken-down in tissue, giving this signalling mechanism a short range despite the fact that adenosine diffuses. Our results provide evidence for an important negative feedback mechanism for adenosine in the neocortex, giving it a potentially key role in initiating and terminating activity. To fully understand adenosine signalling, we will use a unique combination of state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical methods to precisely map and correlate the activity within neocortical networks with areas of adenosine release. By combining this with detailed information on the synaptic connections that are targeted by adenosine we can produce a model that fully defines the actions of adenosine in the neocortex during activity. This will increase the fundamental understanding of neocortical processes and has the potential to eventually inform the design of new therapeutic interventions for treating diseases such as epilepsy, which can be the result of over-excitation in the cortex.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 158.03K | Year: 2012

Sunlight is the major natural source of vitamin D and therefore vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK. Vitamin D deficiency can cause many health problems, particulary relating to reduced immunity and increasing susceptibility to infections. Studies have shown that vitamin D has effects on many different aspects of the immune system. Acute Lung Injury (ALI) is a condition that causes respiratory failure in critically ill people. It occurs when the immune system damages the lungs. It can occur as a result of direct injury to the lungs, such as pneumonia, or through indirect damage such septicaemia, trauma or surgery. However, not all patients who have these problems go on to develop ALI. ALI is of considerable public health importance as it has a high mortality rate (40-50%) and leads to a similar number of deaths per year in the UK as breast cancer or AIDS. ALI also has major impact upon patients who survive with 40-50% of those of working age unable to return to work within 12 months. The question we are looking to address is, why do some people develop ALI when others in the same cirumstances do not? Is this linked to their Vitamin D level and its effect on the immune system? ALI affects 1 in 4 people requiring a surgical operation to remove the gullet (oesphagectomy). We have identified that deficiency of vitamin D may be an important risk factor for developing ALI in this group of people. We will look at the effects of vitamin D on different types of immune cells isolated from samples from blood and lung in patients undergoing oesophagectomy and with ALI. We will also use mouse models that are vitamin D deficient to investigate the effects of vitamin D deficiency and whether its replacment can prevent the onset of acute lung injury. This research will determine the role of vitamin D deficiency as a major contributing factor to the development of ALI and also help define the underlying mechanisms by which it occurs. We will test the effects of treatment with vitamin D as a strategy for preventing lung injury which may lead to the use of vitamin D supplementation in patients with, and at risk of, ALI as a means of preventing and treating the condition.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 97.96K | Year: 2013

Fusion power is an attractive potential technology for electrical power generation. To get the next generation of fusion devices to ignite, we need deeper theoretical understanding of the plasma turbulence which is responsible for most of the heat loss in tokamaks. In addition to the direct practical application, understanding the dynamics of this problem is also a fascinating physics problem, because turbulence leads of the spontaneous creation of complex structures, like blobs and shear flow layers, on scales from millimetre-size turbulent eddies to the several-metre radius of the device itself. One crucial aspect of turbulence is the presence of large scale flows: even in simple situations like water running over a rock in a stream, there is a fascinating interplay between the flow and turbulent eddies downstream. Analogously, bulk plasma flows are widely recognised as one of the key features in tokamak turbulence[12]. We outline a framework for investigating the interaction of kinetic plasma turbulence with strong flows, on the full range of length scales. The project will extend a massively-parallel computational tool, NEMORB[6], to treat tokamaks with strong flows, and exploit this tool to study flow self-organisation and interaction with turbulence. This requires the implementation of an advanced mathematical formalism in the code. A key aspect is the unified treatment of flows on all length scales, in order to capture global-scale flows, flows associated with step-like transport barriers, and turbulence-scale flow fluctuations.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: STFC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 65.44K | Year: 2016

The predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe points directly to the existence of some currently hidden laws of physics which are different for matter and anti-matter. One focus of the search for these new laws is the recently-discovered phenomenon of neutrino oscillations. Searching for these new laws of physics will require comparing the oscillations of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos. In neutrino oscillation, the internal quantum mechanical properties of neutrinos---specifically the mass and the flavour---interfere with each other. This allows a neutrino created as one flavour to be observed as another flavour. In the next generation of neutrino experiments, we will compare muon neutrino to electron neutrino oscillation to noun antineutrino to electron antineutrino oscillation. Doing so is the best way to explore charge-parity (CP) symmetry, which stipulates that antimatter should behave just like matter if viewed through a mirror and upside down. CP violation in neutrinos would manifest itself as antineutrinos oscillating differently than neutrinos, and if this happens it is a strong clue as to the origins of the matter/antimatter imbalance in the Universe today. Neutrino oscillation measurements depend on accurate knowledge of neutrino interactions with the target nuclei used in neutrino detectors. This R&D is dedicated to developing a new type of neutrino detectors based on high pressure gas. This will allow us to look at neutrino-nucleus interactions in more detail than ever before, and will give us much more accuracy on neutrino oscillation measurements.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2013

The main aim of this project is to explore novel emergent phenomena in far from equilibrium quantum systems across different fields of research: from solid-state light-matter systems such as superconducting circuits, semiconductor micro-structures and quantum spins to ultra-cold atomic gases. Such cross-fertilisation between traditionally distinct areas is an essential ingredient in successful approach to understanding far from equilibrium collective processes together with the development of new efficient theoretical tools. EPSRC Physics Grand Challenge Survey has identified that compared with that of equilibrium states, our understanding of states far from equilibrium is in its infancy and that on the theory front, there are significant gaps in knowledge, especially in quantum theory. At the same time the problem is of considerable scientific and technological importance and with unforeseeable potential for applications. We shall study exotic quantum orders, bistabilities, pattern formation and other collective phenomena in state-of-the art light-matter systems. An important aspect of our project is to focus on systems, or their features, which in the longer run could lead to potential device applications: from polariton lasers and LEDs, low threshold optical switches, optical transistors, logic gates and finally polariton integrated circuits to quantum computers. Our theoretical analysis will be linked directly to the experiments of our project partners worldwide.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 94.13K | Year: 2014

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 177.67K | Year: 2014

Traditionally employment has been seen as a key route out of poverty. People in employment are less likely to be in poverty than those without paid work but the benefits of entry into employment where pay is low are questionable, especially if they form part of a no pay, low pay cycle. For poverty reduction a focus solely on moving into work is insufficient. In-work poverty has become an increasingly important issue as labour market changes have led to changing working practices (e.g. fragmentation of working hours and zero hours contacts, etc) and a broader polarisation between lower paid and higher paid jobs which impedes progression in employment as a route out of poverty. More good jobs are needed that poor people can access and progress in if more sustainable exits from poverty are to be achieved. Following the economic crisis of 2008/9 there has been a renewed interest in industrial policy in attempts to stimulate economic growth. Governments have identified specific sectors (so called growth sectors or strategic sectors) as a focus of policy attention. The proposed research seeks to fill a gap in evidence about what works in harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction - in recognition that growth sectors: (1) generate opportunities for those out of work to move into; (2) are the focus of policy to support the growth of opportunity; (3) are more likely to experience skills deficiencies, so encouraging engagement with skills and training providers; and (4) may be seeking to reduce staff turnover through developing more clearly defined progression opportunities. Hence the research addresses two of the Welsh Governments strategic priorities: (i) tackling poverty and (ii) promoting jobs and growth. The proposed research focus consists of four elements which together synthesise and assess evidence on how growth sectors may be used for poverty reduction. Element I provides contextual and quantitative analyses of growth sectors. It identifies growth sectors, the number and profile of jobs therein and their growth trajectories. It uses existing large survey data sets to examine how people move between and within growth sectors, and whether and how such moves help people to move out of poverty. It also identifies which sectors offer the best opportunities for progression out of poverty. Element II focuses on reviews of the existing national and international evidence on what works in helping poor people gain entry to growth sectors and how their employment progression can be facilitated. It also examines evidence on how job quality in growth sectors can be enhanced. Good practice examples of relevance to the Welsh context will be identified. Element III involves six in-depth case studies of practical initiatives to harness growth sectors for poverty reduction. A mix of top-down approaches driven by national governments and bottom-up approaches led by local authorities and groups of employers in particular sectors will be examined. Element IV brings together and tests the findings of the research, emphasising what policy levers are available for harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction, and how they might be best used. Stakeholders will be invited to participate in this process of knowledge generation and transfer at workshops held in different parts of Wales in an attempt to maximise the applicability of the what works findings to the Welsh context. Together the different elements of the research project, involving secondary data analysis, evidence reviews and case studies, will address gaps in: - existing knowledge on job mobility and poverty; - interventions to support entry to, progression, and job quality in growth sectors; and - how public policy can address poverty by facilitating sustainable employment in growth sectors.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 122.48K | Year: