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Newcastle University

Country: United Kingdom

Newcastle University

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2,943 Projects, page 1 of 589
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2541187

    This project analyses the connection between politics, collective and individual memory by exploring a collection of life story interviews with former border soldiers of the GDR. In light of onging debates about the shortcomings of the unification process and the disregard of East German experiences, it will bring the voices of men which have no recognition in debates about the commemoration of the GDR to the fore. The project will explore how they perceived their military service and how their interpretations changed with the judicial scrutiny and political and media debates about the "coming to terms" in unified Germany.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: MC_PC_12031
    Funder Contribution: 1,506,200 GBP

    All pregnant women are offered scans at 12 and 20 weeks of pregnancy to confirm the dates and detect fetal abnormalities, many of which are due to chromosome imbalances (i.e. gains or losses of part or all of a chromosome). Babies with chromosomal abnormalities have complex problems, often associated with developmental disability. Parents faced with this knowledge have to make difficult choices; some opt not to continue the pregnancy. Testing for chromosome problems involves an 'invasive' procedure (e.g. amniocentesis) which can sometimes cause a miscarriage. Major chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. Down's syndrome) can be detected using a technique called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). Smaller and less common imbalances require the baby's cells to be grown and examined. This procedure (karyotyping) is slow, labour intensive and only detects large imbalances that can be seen down the microscope. Array comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) is a new molecular test that can rapidly detect smaller (sub-microscopic) imbalances. When used in children with undiagnosed developmental disability it has detected imbalances (not detected by karyotyping) in 10% of cases. There is very little experience of using aCGH on fetal samples but small studies suggest it may detect 5-10% more imbalances than karyotyping. However, performing and interpreting array CGH is complex as not all imbalances cause problems - some are inherited from a parent and others appear not to have any adverse effect, so more tests are needed to understand the significance of a newly detected imbalance. We now know that the baby’s genetic material (DNA) is present in the mother’s blood and research has shown that this DNA can be used to diagnose Down’s syndrome. This means that we may be able to detect babies with this condition non-invasively by taking a sample of the mother’s blood, thereby avoiding the miscarriage risk associated with invasive testing (NIPD). This study will recruit 1500 fetuses being karyotyped because of an abnormality detected on a scan. NIPD will be performed using the mother’s blood sample. Arrays will be performed on villi and amniotic fluid cells in 6 genetics laboratories using agreed guidelines. In addition to the standard karyotype information, clinicians/parents will be informed of imbalances detected by aCGH where the significance is known (based on similar cases reported in the medical literature). We need costs for the arrays and the scientists to perform them. NHS costs are requested for midwives to recruit parents. In addition, we will find out what parents, health professionals and commissioners think of the new technology. We will make recommendations as to whether array CGH should replace fetal karyotyping.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: MR/X001873/1
    Funder Contribution: 648,323 GBP

    Diseases that affect the bones and joints of the human body can range from rare diseases, which result from mutations in a single gene (monogenetic bone diseases) to common conditions that result from a number of factors including a combination of complex genetic mutations, injury and lifestyle. Rare and common skeletal diseases share many features and disease pathways in common. It is therefore long recognised that studying disease processes in the rare skeletal diseases can help our understanding of disease processes in common conditions such as arthritis. To this end we have been using genetically engineered mice to study disease processes in a group of rare human bone diseases, which also cause osteoarthritis (OA) and another painful condition known as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a disease that primarily affects children. We have shown that specific malformed structural proteins - the building blocks of cartilage - can cause problems with the way that cartilage is made and this renders it more susceptible to OA and OCD. We therefore plan to study these genetically engineered mice 'models' of human bone disease in greater detail, to understand disease process, which will eventually allow us to develop new therapies for these currently incurable common diseases.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2748534

    Skin has its own independent internal clock. This is driven by the circadian rhythm genes which modulate a diurnal pattern of skin protection from external stressors during the day and damage repair during the night. Extrinsic skin ageing is driven to a large extent by environmental factors and external stressors such as the components of sunlight, pollution and lifestyle factors. The damage from these exogenous sources and current lifestyle in the 21st century can impair skin structure, the skin's internal clock and related functions. The Birch-Machin laboratory has recently explored the role of individual and combined components of the full spectrum in solar light on human skin1. They have shown synergistic interactions of the individual sunlight components of sunlight with direct effects of urban pollution and topical actives on bioenergy and mitochondrial function1-3. The project will investigate the protection and repair against the damage induced by external stressors and thereby offer the potential for modifying the skin clock. This project is multi-disciplinary including cellular, molecular biological and physiological techniques, image analysis, cell culture, genetic and chemical analysis, immunostaining and gene expression References:1FASEB BioAdvances 2021;3:855-865, 2Aging Cell. 2020 Oct;19(10):e13248, 3FASEB 2020 Mar; 34(3):3874-3883.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I005900/1
    Funder Contribution: 117,777 GBP

    VARMA(Variability Modelling and Analysis) tool is under development as a user friendly tool which interfaces standard Process/Device simulators and Circuit simulators allowing the identification of process variations which will have most effect on device and circuit performance and their subsequent assimilation into circuit design stages. VARMA thus bridges the gap between design and technology. The rationale for its development is summarised below.To satisfy market demands, chip complexity is not only increasing from the aspect of the designer but also for fabrication. It is estimated that with current technologies the fabrication process requires in excess of 34 masks, 500 processing steps and over 600 hundred design rules, with an average, overall, design cost of $30M, with mask costs increasing by 50% with each advance to the next technology node. Furthermore, it is considered that for a new product the possibility for a re-spin is 50-80% introducing a 12-16 week delay in the product reaching the market place. Consequently first spin success is crucial in a market place where a product is considered to be old within a year and market profile over time looks more like an impulse function. However, it is considered that with sub 65nm technologies at least one design re-spin will be required before an acceptable manufacturing yield is obtained. In the past the main reasons for a design re-spin were functional design errors; although these have not been eliminated the major cause is now due to the effects of process variations. With the rapid changes in today's technologies, in order for products to compete in the market place, there are few opportunities to analyse the fabrication process to evolve a solution. Consequently, when there is a degree of uncertainty in the fabrication process the potential effects of fluctuations implicitly impact not only on the device manufacturability, yield and reliability but also on design 'aggressiveness' which affects device performance and subsequently the profitability of the product.As a result of both the complexity of present day design and the fabrication process, combating the effects of process variability can no longer be left to the semiconductor technologists to alleviate the problems by introducing a few 'tweaks' into the process as there are now too many variables to be considered. Consequently there is a need for a tool which bridges the gap between design and technology. The VARMA tool flow permits both the semiconductor technologist and designer to analyse the effects of process variations on device and circuit performance to improve the yield and also the optimisation of process parameters of manufactured devices so that their characteristics match the requirements of a given circuit application. Consequently, VARMA is being developed as a user friendly tool which interfaces standard Process/Device simulators and Circuit simulators.VARMA thus bridges the gap between design and technology with in-built user friendly tools for example, Process Wizard, technology library creator, cause and effect analyser etc., thus facilitating:a) The effects of process variability to be analysed.b) The optimisation of device and process parameters in order to achieve a given spread in circuit level performance characteristics.c) The automatic generation of technology libraries for Si, strained Si etc for a range of current and future processing nodes. VARMA differs form existing DFM tools in that it addresses variability issues related to their effects on the electrical behaviour of devices rather than on process steps which affect the design and physical implementation of the circuit.

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