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Aberystwyth University

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577 Projects, page 1 of 116
  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation Project Code: BB/N00471X/1
    Funder Contribution: 76,648 GBP

    Developing new varieties of Miscanthus (a grass used as an energy crop) requires pollination between parent plants with different characteristics. A good way of controlling this process is to carry it out within an isolated environment known as a crossing bag. These bags need to allow light penetration, control humidity and allow air circulation whilst preventing other pollen from entering the bag. The bags are conventionally made from a paper-based material. The bags have a tendency to rip easily and are prone to slug infestation, which means that the environment is no longer sufficiently isolated to ensure a controlled cross pollination. Alternative materials for crossing bags that do not have these problems therefore need to be developed. Current bags have the advantage of being relatively cheap but are single use; if bags made from alternative materials have superior properties (e.g. slug proof, better light penetration, temperature and humidity control), the greater seed set would make these alternative bag materials economically viable as they would considerably improve the efficiency of a plant breeding programme.

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  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation Project Code: ES/G010099/1
    Funder Contribution: 110,573 GBP

    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.

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  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation Project Code: EP/R043817/1
    Funder Contribution: 277,147 GBP

    Accurate control of complex quantum systems is of great importance for the development of quantum technologies, as it permits to achieve many goals with high accuracy despite inherent system imperfections. Realising this in practice, however, is a great challenge, since it requires precise models and numerically expensive simulations. The central goal of this project is to develop and implement control techniques that do not require theoretical modelling, simulation or any knowledge of a systems' microscopic decomposition. Instead, all necessary information will be obtained directly from the experiment. We will identify control targets that characterise desired properties of quantum systems well, and that can be estimated accurately and efficiently in an experiment. Based on the assessment of these targets and their dependence on tunable control parameters, we will develop control algorithms such that an optimal control protocol is found within a minimal number of experimental measurements. These methods will be developed in direct interplay between simulations of experiments with many--body systems and actual experimental implementations. In simulations we will target the creation and stabilisation of many--body localised states and time--crystalline structures, that will give evidence that the novel control techniques can cope with state--of--the--art quantum many--body problems. Experimentally we will consider the preparation of highly non--classical states of a levitated nano--sphere and the formation of large crystals of Rydberg atoms. With an experiment on an extremely massive quantum object and an experiment with many, strongly interacting quantum systems, we will be able to experimentally achieve goals that are clearly out of reach with existing control techniques. Having verified the efficacy of the control techniques, we will develop a software package and make it publicly available such that it finds broad application in the development of quantum technologies.

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  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation Project Code: 1646205

    Giant Pandas are one of the most recognisable and iconic species in the world and are often flagship species in conservation. In January 2011 RZSS Edinburgh Zoo loaned Yang Guang and Tian Tian for an estimated £6 million over ten years. Due to the charismatic appeal of the Giant Pandas, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo saw a rise in visitor numbers by 51% emphasising the general public's fondness for these animals. Conserving these endangered animals in captivity is not only financial lucrative but more significantly it is of environmental importance. Therefore, measures must be taken to prevent endangering an already endangered species. The genus of parasitic nematode worms (helminths) Baylisascaris infect more than 50 species worldwide and is the most prevalent parasite found in Giant Pandas both in the wild and captivity. Specifically, B. schroederi infection causes severe damage to the host by obtrusion of the intestines potentially leading to the death of the infected Panda via inflammation or starvation. A more serious concern from B. schroederi infection is visceral larva migrans (VLM) - migration of the larvae throughout the animal to sites such as the brain and the eyes. Between 2001 and 2005 VLM from B. schroederi infection has been the main cause of mortality in wild Pandas and is one of the main threats to Panda survival accounting for 50% of all wild Giant Panda deaths. B. schroederi is also a persistent problem in captive Pandas including RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. Control of B. schroederi is managed by routine anthelmintic dosing to remove the parasites from the infected Panda. Unfortunately, we are limited by a lack of knowledge on how B. schroederi responds to anthelmintic treatments or if resistance to anthelmintics is present. This proposal aims to tackle a persistent problem in managed zoo animals, specifically B. schroederi infection in captive Giant Pandas. A collaborative project between IBERS, Aberystwyth University, and RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, aims to understand how the parasite B. schroederi responds to anthelmintic treatment to answer the question 'is resistance is the cause of persistent infections in captive Giant Panda populations?'. Anthelmintics are also used for Giant Pandas undergoing rehabilitation or breeding/release programmes across China's Giant Panda reserves. Therefore, investigation of the drug resistance status of the parasite B. schroederi will have a positive impact upon the health and welfare of this flagship species both in captivity and in their native habitat. This research programme falls directly within the remit of the BBSRC strategic plan for improving animal health and increasing the welfare of managed animals. In line with this strategic priority we also aim to lay down fundamental research to take strides towards alleviating the Giant Panda species from the burden of this infection by producing research data key for the production of new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines - providing the tools for the future control of this parasitic nematode infection.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 339567
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