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University of Hong Kong
Country: China (People's Republic of)
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31 Projects, page 1 of 7
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J004189/1
    Funder Contribution: 14,222 GBP

    With the growth of the world-wide web (WWW), there has been a corresponding growth in crimes that use the WWW. Specialist law enforcement investigators are ever more frequently required to examine PCs, laptops, mobile phones, sat-navs, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) for look for incriminating (or exonerating) evidence. This has led to a situation where there is a severe shortage of digital forensic examiners with long backlogs of work, leading to even longer delays within the judicial process. At the same time, lawyers are becoming ever more savvy in finding ingenious alternative explanations for the recovered digital evidence which, if accepted by the court, would allow their client to be acquitted. This research project aims to address both these issues. The former issue will be tackled by devising one or more digital forensic triage schemes in which a digital forensic technician filters or screens each digital device for the expected traces of evidence and the 'probative value' or weight of the recovered evidence is accumulated. Only if this accumulated weight of evidence meets one or more prescribed criteria is the device passed on to an experienced forensic investigator for a full digital examination. The latter issue is to be addressed by using the notions of likelihoods and odds to determine how plausible it is that the recovered digital evidence was in fact formed by the process that the prosecution suspects, rather than by some alternative process that the defence might suggest. If the prosecuting authority performs such an analysis it will aid their decision as to whether to go to trial, and if the expert witnesses are armed with this data it will enable them to be more authoritative than previously regarding the strength of the available digital evidence.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/D011558/1
    Funder Contribution: 553,069 GBP

    Is volcanism capable of causing species to go extinct? We don't know the answer to this question but evidence from rocks provides some intriguing clues. Thus, it has been recognised that all the extinction events of the past 300 million years coincide with major volcanic eruptions. These eruptions consisted of huge flows of basalt, involving 100s or 1000s of cubic kilometres of lava, that quietly oozed from the ground, plus some much more violent eruptions that scattered volcanic ash over great distances. Working out which of these styles of eruption are most closely associated, in time, with the extinctions has proved very difficult because the fossil evidence is usually found far away from where the volcanism occurred. This project will address this problem by studying a unique example of the volcanism-extinction link from 260 million years ago when lavas and ashes were repeatedly erupted into shallow seas in present-day China. The limestones that formed in these seas contain abundant fossils and evidence of a catastrophic extinction. By studying these Chinese rocks it will be possible, for the first time, to study directly both the volcanism and extinction story in the same place. The work will be supplemented with studies of carbon and sulphur isotopes from the limestones which will allow the scientists to determine changes in the state of the oceans during this interval.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/T01783X/1
    Funder Contribution: 391,379 GBP

    Combatting antimicrobial resistance is one of the most significant challenges facing our generation. Bacteria are relentlessly developing new resistance mechanisms against clinical antibiotics, making infections much harder to treat. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new antimicrobial compounds and targets. Brevicidine and laterocidine are antimicrobial peptides that have strong activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a class of bacteria that are much harder to kill as they have an extra cell membrane. They are even active against Gram-negative organisms resistant to colistin, our current antibiotic of last resort. Therefore these peptides could be excellent antibiotic candidates. However, they are difficult to prepare by chemical synthesis and less stable than other types of cyclic peptides, and the mechanism by which they kill bacteria is not known. This project aims to develop new brevicidine and laterocidine analogues that are more stable, easier to prepare and have enhanced antimicrobial activity. We will also determine how they kill bacteria, which is important knowledge if these peptides are to become antibiotics.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/W018748/1
    Funder Contribution: 24,183 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.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/M005836/1
    Funder Contribution: 39,773 GBP

    Methane emissions are a global problem, but much of the research focusses on Europe, North America and Australasia where the main research groups are based. Many areas are poorly studied. More interaction and intercalibration of laboratory measurement and field techniques between the main research centres is required to provide comparable data across these regions. Additionally emissions of greenhouse gases from China have risen rapidly over the past decade, but the sources of methane are not well quantified. Three areas of international collaboration have been identified that aim to improve interaction and apply new knowledge and techniques to a new measurement site in Hong Kong. Methane, which is the second-most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, is produced by a wide variety of sources, ranging from gas leaks from natural gas and coal extraction and processing, to cows and agricultural sources, to natural wetlands and fires. The carbon isotopic ratio in methane emissions varies greatly depending on the source, from typically 'heavy' (richer in 13C) in combustion sources and many natural gasfield leaks, to typically 'light' in northern wetland emissions. This isotopic signature provides a method of idetifying methane sources in air arriving at remote sites and in mixed plumes from densely-populated urban centres. This proposal has three linked pump-priming components to help us measure methane emissions and understand them better. The first part is to link the isotopic measurements made in the UK and Europe much more closely with the measurements made by the US NOAA/INSTAAR consortium, who are world leaders in this work. In particular by intercomparing gas standards we can come to a common calibration, and thus produce a linked data set of background stations. Secondly, the work will link UK work with the Australian CSIRO group who are among the leading experts at field measurement using mobile vehicle-mounted systems. This will be particularly useful in skills transfer in studying sources such as gas wells (including fracking), coal mines, landfills and cow barns. Finally, as a proof of concept study, we will collaborate with the University of Hong Kong on a field test of the new methodologies. We intend to set up a measurement station on the extreme SE tip of the island, and sample winter north easterly air with back-trajectories, that has travelled along the Chinese coast from Shanghai, and before that from extreme NW China, where NOAA/INSTAAR have a long-running measurement time series. In summer the reverse flow occurs. In this way we can investigate if it is possible to quantify Chinese emissions of methane and find the isotopic signature of the source mix as it changes over the winter season.

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