2,302 Projects, page 1 of 461
New, clean, safe, and more effective methods for controlling mosquito-borne viruses are urgently required. One attractive approach is to release sterile male mosquitoes to mate wild females, thereby reducing their reproductive potential - the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). However, SIT requires frequent releases of very large numbers of such males. A radical new SIT variant is proposed, which is sustainable and persistent - SuperSIT. If successfully developed and deployed, this will provide the established (by the PI and others) benefits of effective, environmentally-friendly, species-specific control, while dramatically (20-100x) reducing the number of sterile males needed, thereby reducing cost of delivery. Much improved environmental persistence will also reduce the vulnerability of the SIT to interruptions; together with reduced resource requirements and the possibility of low-cost, local deployment even in resource-constrained settings, this makes the method much more sustainable than current alternatives. The new approach will be developed in Ae. aegypti, the main vector of (e.g.) dengue, chikungunya and Zika, exploiting specific biological features of culicine mosquitoes that facilitate development, and the PI's long experience of applied insect synthetic biology. The project comprises five Objectives, of which three are independent, parallel synbio paths to providing the novel genetic traits of the SuperSIT concept. This parallel approach mitigates development risk in this ambitious, high-risk/high-return project. Another Objective aims to provide a complementary strain to facilitate mass-production, while the final one incorporates the sophisticated, iterative testing of the novel strains. Substantial preliminary data support each necessary step in the programme. The aim of this project is to develop initial prototype strains and assess their performance in laboratory cage experiments; no field releases are envisioned within the scope of this project.
This project will enable the commercialisation of a new concept for positron imaging which utilises quantum entanglement - Quantum Entanglement Tomography (QET). The work will fund a new collaboration between the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Kromek, one of the leading UK based manufacturers of particle detector products. The new collaboration has the potential to enable new high-quality and low-cost PET imaging detectors. In PET imaging a patient is injected with sugar containing a radioactive atom, usually a flourine atom. When this atom decays 2 photons are emitted which come out in opposite directions back-to-back. By detecting many of these 2 photon events an image of the source can be reconstucted. PET imaging is used for many important clinical diagnoses such as identifying cancerous tissue and diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. We (UoE) have developed and patented a new technique (QET) which will improve upon the sharpness and contrast of the PET image using quantum information. There will be significant cost benefits in adopting this approach. Better imaging will lead to more appropriate treatment, resulting in fewer futile surgical interventions and improved therapy choices for the increasingly expensive chemotherapies applied by oncologists. Apart from oncology applications, there is an increasing use of PET imaging in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. This technical developments in this project would allow smaller and weaker clinical features to be seen, permitting earlier and more reliable diagnosis of disease and disease progression. The new quantum-information based medical imaging method will be commercialised with the CZT based detector systems developed by Kromek. These state-of-the-art photon detectors have close to ideal detection characteristics to accurately determine and exploit this quantum information.
The structure and properties of the topmost atomic layer of a material become increasingly significant when ever smaller amounts of the material are used to make devices. Sometimes the electronic and magnetic properties of the surface can be very different from those of the underlying material, and difficult to predict. This work will answer questions about some material systems which we know are unusual, and we know how to create them, but without a complete understanding of their properties they cannot be fully exploited for technological applications. For example what is the difference in the surface structure of silicon atoms between 2- and 3-Dimensional rare-earth silicides? Do the exceptional magnetic properties of small clusters of atoms originate from the bulk or the surface? We will use a variety of techniques to measure these properties, but in particular metastable de-excitation spectroscopy. In a unique instrument, excited (metastable) helium atoms are focussed onto the surface of interest using laser-cooling methods. Approaching to within a few Angstroms of the surface, the energy of the atoms is released, liberating electrons from the sample with an energy spectrum characteristic of the electronic, structural and magnetic properties of the surface, and not confused by contributions from underlying atoms.
In the age of social media and the smartphone, it has never been easier to take and transfer images to a huge number of people across the globe. Similarly, it has never been easier for individuals to create and access sexually explicit material. In 2015, a new law was introduced in the UK to make sharing private sexual images without consent punishable by up to 2 years in prison. This law was created to criminalise an act popularly defined as 'revenge porn', defined as the circulation of sexual images without the subject's consent. The images themselves may have been taken without consent, consensually taken but shared beyond the subject's approval, or taken and distributed as aresult of hacking. Since the law was passed, reporting of the crime has increased considerably, and incidences frequently make headlines. From the celebrity iCloud hack that released hundreds of private sexual images of female celebrities, to individuals who have found themselves the victim of non-consensual image sharing, it seems that anyone can be made a victim. Predictably, the repercussions of having illicit images shared without consent can be severe. This research project aims to interview individuals who have had illicit images of themselves shared online without their consent. It would aim to explore the severity that the release of these images had on the individuals, including repercussions on their mental health, their careers, and their relationships with others. Additionally, it would question what steps (if any) the individual took to take control of these images and find justice. This could be a formal proceeding, such as reporting the incident to the police, or reporting the images to the hosted website. It could also include informal actions, such as confronting the perpetrator directly. Finally, it would aim to examine if the sharing of these images has caused changes to the behaviour of the individual - for instance, have they changed their image sharing habits. The study would offer much needed insight into the experiences of those victimised by this crime and could offer evidence that improved support or legislation is needed. Studying the non-consensual sharing of sexual images is made all the more important by its taboo nature. By interviewing individuals affected by this crime, the study will give voice to people who may feel uncomfortable or incapable discussing their experiences under normal circumstances. Furthermore, as legislation criminalising the act is so recent, this study will contribute to assessing the effectiveness of the law, a question which is lacking in other studies. Do those who have experienced the offence feel that the law has defended them appropriately? There have been only a few studies regarding individuals with these experiences - as the act of sharing images online without consent is so recent, there is much less literature on this topic than other sexual crimes. Therefore, this study intends to contribute to the work of others, helping to create a more comprehensive and well-rounded picture of what it means to fall victim to this crime. The participants for this study must be individuals over the age of 18, who claim to have had illicit images of themselves shared without their consent. Although some similar studies focus on the experiences of women, no gender restrictions will be placed for this project, as it could result in the elimination of eligible male participants and the loss of a valuable perspective. Every effort would be made to recruit participants across a wide range of demographics, including age, ethnicity, and religion. Data for this study will be collected via qualitative interviews, to best gain information regarding the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of the individual. Additionally, the research project would take great care to handle such a sensitive topic to the highest of ethical considerations, minimising harm for the participant as much as possible.