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499 Projects, page 1 of 50

  • UK Research and Innovation
  • 2012
  • 2017

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/J021636/1
    Funder Contribution: 365,608 GBP
    Partners: Imperial College London, University of Southampton, TKU, UEA, Alfred Wegener Inst for Polar & Marine R, Netherlands Inst for Sea Research (NIOZ)

    Global climate change is one of the big challenges society faces today. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and evident from observations of increasing global average temperatures. Warming is also observed in the oceans, and is accompanied by a change in salinity, with the high latitudes becoming 'fresher' (i.e., less saline) and the subtropics and tropics becoming more saline - a redistribution of properties that has the potential to affect ocean circulation. There are also clear effects of climate change on the chemistry of the oceans. Whilst increased uptake of more abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to an acidification of the oceans that threatens marine ecosystems, only little is known about the effects of higher concentrations of certain trace metals, as a result of anthropogenic pollution and changing erosion patterns on land. Such changes are very important, however, as the ability of the ocean to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is strongly coupled to the supply of so-called nutrients, elements that are essential for life in the ocean. As part of this project, we will develop a better understanding of such 'biogeochemical cycles'. We picked out three trace metals, neodymium (Nd), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb), which together represent the behaviour of many different elements in the ocean. For example, both Cd and Pb are today supplied to the environment by human activity and this may alter their natural cycles. As Cd is an important micronutrient in the ocean, such changes could also affect the global carbon cycle. As part of our project, a PhD student will focus on understanding whether the natural flux of dust from desert areas to the ocean and the anthropogenic particles the dust scavenges in the atmosphere have an important impact on the marine Cd and Pb cycles. The student will furthermore study, how the cycling of these elements in the ocean is altered by changing oxygen concentrations. Oxygen is (next to the nutrients) another important player in biogeochemical cycles, and its solubility in seawater is temperature dependent. Climate models predict that extended zones with low oxygen concentrations will develop in the future oceans. Another important aspect of the ocean system is that ocean currents are the key mechanism for distributing heat, and thus they have a significant impact on regional and local climate. Furthermore, water mass movements (both vertical and lateral) are very important for the carbon cycle, as the deep ocean contains 50-60 times more carbon than the atmosphere. Today we can monitor ocean circulation by measuring the physical properties of seawater. Observations over the past 50 years, however, do not give us any clear indication whether the pattern of ocean circulation is changing. From studies of the past we know, however, that ocean water masses had a different configuration during the ice ages and past periods of extreme warmth. Neodymium isotopes in seawater are often used for such reconstructions, and the results show stunning relationships between past temperatures, carbon dioxide levels, and ocean circulation. A patchy understanding the modern Nd cycle however limits our confidence in such reconstructions, and thus our ability to transfer the inferred mechanisms to future models. In particular, it is generally assumed that away from ocean margins, Nd isotopes are an ideal ocean circulation tracer as they are only modified by mixing between water masses. However, there are many potential marine processes, which may not be in accord with this simplistic view. Such uncertainties will be addressed by the current project, based on a comprehensive suite of new observational data that will be collected for samples from strategic locations in the Atlantic Ocean. In conjunction with modelling efforts, our new data will shed light on the processes governing the marine Nd cycle and the suitability of Nd isotopes as circulation tracer.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I033335/2
    Funder Contribution: 5,618,010 GBP
    Partners: NTU, Boeing Co, AWE, MTT TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED, Econolyst Ltd, NPL, 3T RPD Ltd, Smart Fibres, EOS, Aptiv (United Kingdom)...

    The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing will create a sustainable and multidisciplinary body of expertise that will act as a UK and international focus - the 'go to' place for additive manufacturing and its applications. The Centre will undertake a user-defined and user-driven programme of innovative research that underpins Additive Manufacturing as a sustainable and value-adding manufacturing process across multiple industry sectors.Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the direct production of end-use component parts made using additive layer manufacturing technologies. It enables the manufacture of geometrically complex, low to medium volume production components in a range of materials, with little, if any, fixed tooling or manual intervention beyond the initial product design. AM enables a number of value chain configurations, such as personalised component part manufacture but also economic low volume production within high cost base economies. This innovative approach to manufacturing is now being embraced globally across industry sectors from high value aerospace / automotive manufacture to the creative and digital industries. To date AM research has almost exclusively focused upon the production of single material, homogeneous structures (in polymers, metals and ceramics). The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing will move away from single material, 'passive' AM processes and applications that exhibit conventional levels of functionality, toward the challenges of investigating next generation, multi-material active additive manufacturing processes, materials and design systems. This transformative approach is required for the production of the new generation of high-value, multi-functional products demanded by industry. The Centre will initially explore two themes as the centrepieces of a wider research portfolio, supported by a range of platform activities. The first theme takes on the challenge of how to design, integrate and effectively implement multi-material, multi-functional manufacturing systems capable of matching the requirements of industrial end-users for 'ready-assembled' multifunctional devices and structures. Working at the macro level, this will involve the convergence of several approaches to increase embedded value to the product during the manufacturing stage by the direct printing / deposition of electronic / optical tracks potentially on a voxel by voxel basis; the processing and bonding of dissimilar materials that ordinarily require processing at varying temperatures and conditions will be particularly challenging. The second theme will explore the potential for 'scaling down' AM for small, complex components, extending single material AM to the printing of optical / electronic pathways within micro-level products and with a vision to directly print electronics integrally. The platform activities will provide the opportunity to undertake both fundamental and industry driven pilot studies that both feed into and derive from the theme-based research, and grow the capacity and capability of the Centre, creating a truly national UK Centre and Network that maintains the UK at the front of international research and industrial exploitation in Additive Manufacturing.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BBS/E/D/20211553
    Funder Contribution: 2,141,410 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh

    This project aims to develop a systems biology approach to dissecting the genetic variation in complex traits. Complex traits are determined by the interaction of genes and the environment. Understanding how genes shape the observed phenotypic variation is relevant for animal breeders, evolutionary biologists, human geneticists and many others. Classical dissection of complex traits has developed techniques that were primarily applied in pursuit of QTL, single loci that explain a large fraction of the genetic variance. Such loci provide natural experiments and could be incorporated into breeding programmes or used to give new insights into treatments for disease. However, emerging from numerous genome-wide association studies in humans and livestock is the issue of the “missing heritability”, where even for strongly heritable traits the large numbers of markers associated with the trait explain only a small fraction of the genetic variation. Responding to this issue raises new questions and requires new approaches to dealing with the challenge of dissecting the genetic variance in complex traits. The direct objectives in this theme will move beyond the locus-centric approach and develop system-centric approaches to dissection. Nevertheless there remains value in identifying classical QTL and there are new sources of data that may offer greater power of detection. Whilst the project is concerned with hypotheses on homology among species in genetic variance and the relative importance of cis/trans and e/m regulatory genetic elements, the novel methodologies developed will be important for those ISP identifying genetic variants. Of particular value across all strategic programmes will be incorporating the use of expression data into the QTL detection.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NC/K50029X/1
    Funder Contribution: 120,000 GBP
    Partners: Imperial College London

    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 Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BBS/E/C/00005194
    Funder Contribution: 2,585,010 GBP
    Partners: Rothamsted Research

    We will exploit long established and acclaimed expertise in the identification and development of pheromones and other semiochemicals for use in crop protection. The work now embodies molecular genetic approaches and specifically targets delivered through seed via breeding and GM technologies. Semiochemicals are small lipophilic molecules (SLMs) that can be generated as plant secondary metabolites and represent a more flexible and robust alternative to current pest control targets for GM, which are mostly direct gene products. Only now do we have the necessary analytical and molecular tools to exploit SLMs by modifying secondary plant metabolism with the advantage that we can use non-toxic signalling mechanisms as alternatives to toxic modes of action, as embodied in semiochemicals. Thus, the main thrust is to exploit semiochemicals as secondary metabolites. Where defensive metabolites are already present in crop species, but acting by direct physiological methods, this will be included, though usually with uplift support. This will be achieved through the following objectives: 1: Identification of signalling chemicals involved in interactions between insects and between insects and their host plants. 2: Investigation of molecular interactions between the signals and their recognition proteins. 3: Elucidation of the molecular basis of natural stress-related induction of plant defences to insects. 4: Deployment of semiochemical strategies at the farm scale.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/J020745/1
    Funder Contribution: 48,685 GBP
    Partners: National Lab of Sync Light LNLS, Pan American Center PANAFTOSA, Pirbright Institute

    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.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/J010928/1
    Funder Contribution: 472,580 GBP
    Partners: OU, STRI, Singapore-MIT Alliance

    Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas that is ~25 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping the Sun's energy. There is therefore considerable interest in the processes involved in CH4 production, principally in waterlogged soils in wetlands, and the processes that lead to its emission to the atmosphere. This study is concerned with processes that enhance the amount of CH4 emitted to the atmosphere, in particular, a novel mechanism for transferring CH4 from soil to the atmosphere. It is generally thought that CH4 produced in waterlogged soils is emitted by a combination of three processes: 1) by diffusion through water-filled pores, 2) by abrupt release of bubbles, and 3) through internal spaces in the stems of grass-like plants which are adapted to live in waterlogged soils. We propose that the stems of wetland trees also provide an important conduit for the transfer of CH4 from wet soils to the atmosphere, a possibility that to date has been almost entirely overlooked. This project builds on published data gathered by this team which showed that mature temperate wetland alder trees indeed emit CH4 via their trunks, a finding that is corroborated by one other recent study of ash trees in Japan. This is an important finding because wetlands are the largest single source of CH4 emissions to the atmosphere and 60% of these ecosystems are forested. We now have additional unpublished data that was collected in the spring of 2011 (10 weeks before the call deadline) which show that tropical peat swamp forest trees in Borneo emit 65% off all ecosystem methane emissions and twice as much as emissions currently quantified from the peatland surface. At present, researchers working in forested wetlands typically measure only CH4 emitted from the soil surface and thus we assert that the total amount of CH4 being released from these ecosystems is being grossly underestimated. This oversight in the past may also explain why different ways of estimating CH4 emissions for a region rarely agree. Estimates of CH4 emission obtained from satellite or atmospheric measurements are often greater than estimates based on observations made at ground level. This is particularly evident in forested tropical areas. Our finding that trees enhance venting of CH4 from soil is a possible explanation to account for the discrepancy, in part, because soils in many of the forested areas are flooded either seasonally and in many cases permanently, which means an abundance of CH4 should be present in soils. We suggest that there are two ways by which CH4 produced in wet soils may be transported and emitted through trees: i) as a gas through air-filled tissue in trees that has formed as an adaptation to enable transfer of oxygen from the atmosphere to the tree's roots which are growing in oxygen-poor waterlogged soil, and ii) dissolved in sap and then liberated to the atmosphere when tree water is lost by transpiration through pores in tree stems and leaves. In the proposed study we will measure CH4 emissions from tropical wetlands, principally in Borneo but also in Panama using techniques to help distinguish the tree emission routes and establish their contribution to ecosystem methane flux as measured using larger scale micro-meteorological methods. We will also measure the ratio of two naturally occurring 'versions' (isotopes) of carbon: the relatively rare heavy isotope carbon-13 and the lighter more common carbon-12. The ratio of these isotopes of carbon in CH4 in the soil and in tree emissions provides valuable information about how CH4 is produced and how it moves through the tree. Ours will be the first multi-year study of tropical wetland tree emissions which should, for the first time, establish the true contribution of these ecosystems to the atmospheric methane concentration.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: MR/K00414X/1
    Funder Contribution: 3,075,640 GBP
    Partners: University of Birmingham

    Ageing is a complex process that results in the reduced functioning of most of the body's organ systems, with the musculoskeletal system (muscle, bone, tendon and cartilage) significantly affected. The musculoskeletal system is compromised not only by loss of muscle, bone and cartilage with age, but also by the decline in function of the nervous system which results in reduced control of movement and balance. Ageing is also often accompanied by weight gain which puts further strain on joints and contributes to erosion of cartilage and bone, increasing the chances of developing Osteoarthritis (OA). Importantly both ageing and obesity decrease physical activity levels and increase the level of inflammation in the body and alter hormone balance, all of which affect the ability of the body to maintain the musculoskeletal system. Therefore increased physical activity and interventions that are able to reduce inflammation and correct age and obesity related hormone changes, offer a way forward for delaying age-related changes in the musculoskeletal system. Objectives: The objective is to set up a Centre of Excellence in Musculoskeletal Ageing Research by integrating and expanding the complementary research and postgraduate training activity of the two leading Midlands based Universities, Birmingham and Nottingham, together with their associated NHS hospital trusts. The Centre will also establish a unique technical facility for measuring human muscle, tendon and bone metabolism that will provide a valuable resource for the UK research community. The Centre's over-arching research aim is to understand how ageing results in loss of musculoskeletal function and to use this knowledge to intervene and minimise age-related musculoskeletal decline and disease. The major focus of these interventions will be exercise and diet. Clinical benefits: The potential clinical benefits of the research carried out by the Centre are significant as age-related loss of musculoskeletal function has major clinical consequences, including increased risk of falls and fracture (hip and wrist), OA and pain. 1 in 3 older adults fall each year and for 76,000 patients this results in hip fracture. Hip fracture is associated with increased morbidity, loss of independence and the 1 year mortality figure for hip fracture is 22%. There are 6 million people with OA in the UK1, a painful condition which reduces the ability to work and has a significant impact upon quality of life. OA is exacerbated by obesity and there are currently no treatments other than pain remediation. Research questions: 1. What are the key factors driving ageing of the component tissues of the musculoskeletal system, both individually and as an integrated system? This will include the role of genetics and lifestyle; the role of inflammation, physical activity and changes in tissue steroid hormones; age-related loss of neuromuscular function and its contribution to reduced coordination, balance and reduced ability to perform complex motor tasks such as driving. 2. Assessment of interventions to improve musculoskeletal function in old age. It is well established that physical activity reduces the loss of muscle and bone mass with age. In young subjects dietary supplements can increase muscle mass, improve metabolism and reduce inflammation, but efficacy in older adults is largely unknown. The Centre will determine optimal exercise and nutritional supplementation regimes for musculoskeletal maintenance in older adults, both healthy and frail. Interventions will also include pharmacological approaches aimed at reducing inflammation and adjusting hormone balance in favour of musculoskeletal maintenance. 3. Identifying psychological and environmental (practical) barriers to increased physical activity or weight loss in older adults will be a key question addressed by the Centre, with the aim of developing interventions that will be practical and attractive to older adults.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BBS/E/I/00001728
    Funder Contribution: 604,035 GBP
    Partners: Pirbright Institute

    This interdisciplinary research project will study the immune response and pathogenesis of arboviral infections in their mammalian hosts while additionally addressing the effect of vector arthropod saliva. The majority of studies investigating the immune response towards arboviruses and vector arthropod saliva will be carried out using their natural mammalian host, either in vivo or by establishing primary and/or ex vivo cell and organ culture systems. A major aspect of the in-vivo studies will be the cannulation of superficial lymphatic vessels in cattle and sheep to compare the inflammatory and migratory cell response in the collected lymph between infected and non-infected as well as arthropod exposed and non-exposed animals. The project will also investigate if certain aspects of the innate and systemic immune response contribute to the development of disease in mammalian hosts, rather than conferring protection. Initial studies will focus on the immune response of ruminants towards bluetongue virus infection and Culicoides spp. blood-feeding. Innate and systemic immune responses in ruminants towards Culicoides spp, can later be compared to responses of hosts towards other haematophagous arthropod vectors (e.g. ticks and mosquitoes) as well as additional arboviruses. The in-vitro work studying the immune response of skin cells and endothelial cells has the additional benefit of being transferable to include equine derived cells, therefore allowing research into important horse disease or in the wider future important zoonotic arboviruses such as West Nile virus.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K504312/1
    Funder Contribution: 67,443 GBP
    Partners: City, University of London

    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 Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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