12,992 Works

Urban green space management for invertebrates and house sparrows

Jacqueline Elizabeth Sara Weir
Urban house sparrow nestlings can develop poorly through lack of invertebrate food (Peach et al., 2008). Productivity can be increased by providing invertebrates (Peach, Sheehan & Kirby, 2014; Peach et al. in press). This study tested the effectiveness of three habitat treatments in increasing invertebrates and seeds in London parks, and their usage by house sparrows. Treatments were: annually sown ‘wildlife seed’ plots; sown perennial wildflower meadows; and existing grass grown taller. Treatment establishment and...

The development of a performance assessment methodology for CO2 storage sites using dynamic pressure and surface deformation data

Jorge De La Torre Guzman
A basic requirement for safe geological storage of CO2 is the ability and integrity of the storage complex to contain the CO2. However, the storage formation and the caprock may contain fractures and/or faults that could provide a permeable conduit for CO2 migration out of the prime storage formation. Furthermore, CO2 injection may induce or reactivate fracture networks and faults providing a pathway for CO2 leakage. Recent experience from large scale industrial CO2 storage projects...

Watching dynamics and assembly of spliceosomal complexes at single molecule resolution

Chandani Manoja Warnasooriya
Splicing plays a major role in eukaryotic gene expression by processing pre-mRNA to form mature mRNA. Splicing is catalysed by the spliceosome; a ribonucleoprotein complex consisting of five small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and over 100 proteins. Proper assembly of spliceosomal components is critical for its function, and thus assembly defects can be lethal. Several diseases have been associated with splicing defects, such as cancer (breast cancer, leukaemia), cystic fibrosis, duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), retinitis pigmentosa...

Particle interactions in high temperature plasmas

Oliver Pike
High temperature plasmas are ubiquitous in high energy astrophysics and are becoming increasingly accessible in the laboratory. This thesis is concerned with two interactions that are important in these systems. The first is the Coulomb interaction, which influences phenomena in systems ranging from controlled fusion experiments to catastrophic astrophysical events. In many of these cases, the motion of the electrons is relativistic. To account for this we extend Spitzer’s famous work on dynamical friction in...

Effect of reinforcement spacers on concrete microstructure and durability

Sukina Alzyoud
Reinforcement spacers (i.e. bar supports, chairs) are crucial elements of reinforced concrete, but their influence on the microstructure and long-term durability is not clear. This study investigates the effect caused by plastic and cementitious spacers, and steel wire chairs combined with different aggregate sizes, curing and conditioning regimes on the transport properties, microstructure and chloride-induced corrosion of concrete structures. Concrete cylindrical samples were prepared with 25 and 50 mm high plastic, steel and cementitious spacers....

Computational and experimental techniques towards optimising the cardiovascular risk assessment of hyperbaric decompression stress caused by circulatory bubble dynamics

Virginie Papadopoulou
This work focuses on developing new techniques towards the quantification of hyperbaric decompression stress. Instead of just preventing decompression sickness (DCS), the aim is to go towards developing an environmental cardiovascular personalised stress index, especially as sub-clinical long terms effects of even recreational scuba diving have been demonstrated. From an engineering perspective, despite the longevity of the research field, a number of fundamental issues that remain unknown have prevented efficient modelling. The aim of this...

Clinical evaluation of a novel close-loop insulin delivery system in type 1 diabetes

Monika Reddy
Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is managed by exogenous insulin administration, either by multiple daily injections (MDI) of insulin or via continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII). Despite intensive insulin therapy and structured education a significant proportion of people with T1DM are unable to achieve optimal glucose control without the risking recurrent hypoglycaemia. Longstanding hyperglycaemia can lead to microvascular and macrovascular complications, whereas hypoglycaemia can lead to seizures, arrhythmias and ‘dead in bed’ syndrome. A closed-loop insulin...

Phase correlation-based illumination-insensitive image matching for terrain-related applications

Xue Wan
The Earth surface is monitored by air-borne and space-borne sensors locally, regionally and globally and at short time intervals. The capability of multi-temporal image matching is essential for many terrain-related applications, such as glacier motion monitoring, landslide localisation and earthquake deformation assessment. Robust image matching using time-varying remotely sensed data is, however, not always achievable because images are acquired separately, under different illumination conditions. For remotely sensed images of natural landscapes, such as mountains, deserts...

Obstructive sleep apnoea in older people

Alison McMillan
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is common and the prevalence increases with age. When OSA leads to sleep disruption and excessive daytime sleepiness, it is referred to as obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS). The aim of this thesis was to investigate the consequences of OSAS in older people (˃ 65 years) and the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP is the treatment of choice in moderate to severe OSAS in middle aged people....

The role of transmission networks in the evolution of a low carbon electricity system in the UK

Nicholas Hughes
The UK’s commitments to addressing climate change require a radical restructuring of the electricity sector. This thesis examines what role the electricity transmission networks could play in this transformation. In order to examine the possible role of policy making within a socio-technical system under conditions of long-term uncertainty, a novel scenario method is developed which accounts for political values, actor dynamics and technological networks. The approach is used to examine possible pathways for the electricity...

Epigenetic control of the post-bariatric phenotype: the role of microRNAs

Abdullah Alkandari
The rising obesity pandemic and the concomitant rise in its co-morbidities are leading causes of global morbidity and mortality. Bariatric surgery is a form of gastrointestinal surgery that leads to sustained weight loss, diabetes resolution, reduction in cancer risk and other improvements in health. MicroRNAs are a family of small, endogenous, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MicroRNAs control expression of over half the human transcriptome and are involved in processes...

Excitation dynamics of strongly dissipative quantum systems

Jake Iles-Smith
Strong coupling between a quantum system and its many-body environment is becoming an increasingly important topic for many branches of physics. Numerous systems of experimental and technological relevance demonstrate strong system-environment coupling, leading to complex dynamical behaviour. This thesis is concerned with two particular examples of such systems, namely quantum dots (QDs) and excitonic energy transfer (EET) in molecular systems. Traditional quantum optics treatments are often insufficient to describe the transient, steady state, and optical...

The anthropometric, environmental and genetic determinants of right ventricular structure and function

Timothy Dawes
BACKGROUND Measures of right ventricular (RV) structure and function have significant prognostic value. The right ventricle is currently assessed by global measures, or point surrogates, which are insensitive to regional and directional changes. We aim to create a high-resolution three-dimensional RV model to improve understanding of its structural and functional determinants. These may be particularly of interest in pulmonary hypertension (PH), a condition in which RV function and outcome are strongly linked. PURPOSE To investigate...

Processing and microstructural characterisation of UO2-based simulated spent nuclear fuel ceramics for the UK`s advanced gas-cooled reactors

Zoltan Hiezl
Processing and characterisation of depleted UO2-based Simulated Spent Nuclear Fuel (SIMFuel), which aims to replicate both chemistry and microstructure of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) discharged from a UK Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) after a prolonged cooling time is described in this thesis. Thirteen fission product surrogates were blended with depleted UO2 and sintered to simulate the composition of fuel pellets after burn-ups of 25 and 43 GWd/t U. Pure depleted UO2 pellets were also investigated...

Protein separation using surfactant precipitation

Fadzlie Wong Faizal Wong
Protein precipitation using a variety of surfactants has been shown to have considerable potential as a protein separation technique, and considerable work on using anionic surfactants has been carried out by previous researchers. However, anionic surfactants are only suitable for high pI proteins due to concerns about protein stability. Therefore, the first aim of this work was to develop a surfactant precipitation method for low pI proteins based on using cationic surfactants. The effect of...

Understanding the role of microRNA expression in the response to phenobarbital toxicity in the rat

Michael Craig Osborne
New chemical entities that humans and animals are likely to be exposed to are tested using various in vitro and in vivo toxicological assays to understand the potential for harm. The increasing power of in silico analysis in combination with in vitro techniques is being exploited for the ability to predict in vivo outcomes such as toxicity, thereby reducing the requirement for animal testing. Previous studies in our laboratory have found that dietary phenobarbital treatment...

Avian influenza virus as an oncolytic therapy for pancreatic cancer

Matteo Samuele Pizzuto
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide and the development of new treatment strategies for patients suffering from PDA is of crucial importance. Virotherapy uses natural or engineered oncolytic viruses (OVs) to selectively kill tumour cells. Although various OVs are being investigated as agents for pancreatic cancer treatment, due to the genetic heterogeneity of PDA cells and their consequent mixed permissiveness to viruses, virotherapy should not rely on...

The role of FOXM1 in breast cancer chemotherapy resistance

Pasarat Khongkow
Resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is the main obstacle to the effective breast cancer management. Therefore, it is important to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance and develop novel therapeutic strategies in order to overcome drug resistance. In this work, I found that FOXM1 is a critical mediator of epirubicin and paclitaxel resistance in MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. FOXM1 expression was upregulated in both epirubicin resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7 EpiR) and paclitaxel resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7 TaxR)...

Hydration phenomena in concentrated protein solutions

Niklas Henning Jahn
The transport of water in glassy polymers is important in many fields but an underappreciated topic in protein science; though proteins are of rising importance in many industries. Similar to water transport in synthetic polymers, glassy proteins suffer from non-equilibrium effects during water sorption. However, the presence (or absence) of these phenomena is unclear. Here and for the first time, experimental evidence is reported for the presence and consequences of non-equilibrium relaxations during water sorption...

The role of the histone demethylase Jmjd2c/Kdm4c in mouse embryonic stem cell pluripotency

Rute Alexandra Da Costa Tomaz
The development of a whole organism from a single fertilised egg is a tightly orchestrated process at the molecular level. Signalling pathways stimulate the expression of transcription factors that in turn coordinate the activation, repression or priming of genes through multi-protein complex assembly and chromatin remodelling at regulatory regions during key developmental transitions. This project focuses on the role of the chromatin modifier Jmjd2c/Kdm4c in embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency. Jmjd2c is a member of...

Application of in-situ IR spectroscopy for the evaluation of new palladium based catalysts for the hydrogenation of anthraquinone

Xi Chen
The anthraquinone process is the most important method in the manufacture of hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogenation of anthraquinone is the key reaction in this method. Because of the instability of the product in this reaction, and the lack of anthraquinone measuring method during the reaction, the mechanism study on this reaction was exclusively based on the hydrogen consumption and the stoichiometry relationship between hydrogen and anthraquinone. Hence we introduce IR in situ detection, which is...

Acute mental fatigue and cognitive performance in the medical profession

Ian Richard Flindall
Fatigue induced deterioration in cognition has significant implications for working practice within the National Health Service. Although attitudes are changing, few safety measures have been implemented to reduce fatigue related error. The World Health Organisation Operative Checklist is one error prevention strategy developed to address error preoperatively. With rising negligence costs there is an argument for error rates persisting, if not increasing, despite the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). Although work hour limitations have attempted...

Studies towards the biomimetic synthesis of resorcylic acid lactones

Rosa Ellen Cookson
Resorcylic acid lactones (RALs) are a biologically important and structurally interesting class of natural products. Recently the Barrett group has developed a novel, biomimetic strategy to access RALs that bypasses many common inefficiencies inherent to more classical synthetic approaches. The focus of this thesis consists of a synthetic study of the RALs radicicol and paecilomycin B that utilised this methodology.

Identification of unique genetic and epigenetic signatures in myeloproliferative neoplasms using microarray and next generation sequencing: association with MPN-related mutations and clinical phenotypes

Chieh Lee Wong
The past decade has witnessed significant progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Mutations in a large number of genes have now been implicated in the pathogenesis of MPN but their relative importance, the mechanisms by which they cause different cells to predominate and differentiate into the separate MPN syndromes and their implications for prognosis remain unknown. I hypothesized that other genes and epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to the pathogenesis...

Dictionary optimisation for representing and sensing sparse signals

Xiaochen Zhao
Compressed sensing takes advantage that most of the natural signals can be sparsely represented via linear transformations, therefore it is possible to have accurate reconstruction from sub-Nyquist samplings. The properties of the measurement matrix directly affect the relation between the sampling rate and the distortion of the reconstructions. People have been trying to either design measurement matrices from the signal statistics, or train the matrices from large amount of similar signals. Hence the relevant techniques...

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