Using fMRI to investigate speech-stream segregation and auditory attention in healthy adults and patients with memory complaints

Salwa Kamourieh
Poor memory for recent conversations is the commonest presenting symptom in patients attending a cognitive neurology clinic. They also frequently have greater difficulty following and remembering conversations in the presence of background noise and/or unattended speech. While the ability to participate in and recall conversations depends on several cognitive functions (language-processing, attention, episodic and working memory), without the ability to perform auditory scene analysis, and more specifically speech-stream segregation, recall of verbal information will be...

Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF) receptor subtype signalling in acute lung injury - a therapeutic approach

Szabolcs Bertok
To date no definite treatment exists for acute lung injury (ALI), only supportive therapy, among which mechanical ventilation is an important tool; however ventilation itself may exacerbate the underlying injury, termed ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). The pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) has been consistently implicated in the pathogenesis of ALI/VILI, however clinical trials with anti-TNF therapy failed to improve the outcome. TNF acts on two cell-surface receptors (TNFRs), p55 and p75, and knock-out...

A comparative optimisation study of activated carbon production from hazelnut shells by thermal and microwave heating methods

Suzan Sharifan
This research has studied the optimisation of activated carbon production from waste hazelnut shells, using both conventional and microwave heating techniques. A comparative study was conducted on the results obtained from both production methods to provide information on the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each production technique from a physical and chemical perspective. The study of the conventional production method was carried out using a comprehensive two- stage Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The microwave production...

Quaternion valued adaptive signal processing

Cyrus Jahanchahi
Recent developments in sensor technology, human centered computing and robotics have brought to light new classes of multidimensional data which are naturally represented as three- or four-dimensional vector-valued processes. Such signals are readily modeled as real vectors in R3 and R4, however, it has become apparent that there are advantages in processing such data in division algebras - the quaternion domain. The progress in the statistics of quaternion variable, particularly augmented statistics and widely linear...

Immune responses to mycobacteria; the role of age and disease severity

Elizabeth Whittaker
Investigating the immune mechanisms that predispose the development of TB disease is essential to expand our understanding of immune protection from TB. We hypothesized younger children would have a distinctly different immune response to mycobacteria than older children predisposing them to severe TB disease. We compared mycobacterial immune responses in healthy, BCG vaccinated children of increasing ages, focusing on CD4, γδ and regulatory T cells and their related cytokines. Additionally we compared these responses in...

Quality in subtitling: theory and professional reality

Szu-Yu Kuo
The issue of quality is of great importance in translation studies and, although some studies have been conducted in the field of subtitling, most discussions have been limited to aspects such as how to become a good subtitler and how to produce quality subtitles. Little research has been carried out to investigate other potential factors that may influence the quality of subtitling output in practice. In recent years, some subtitling courses at postgraduate level have...

Experimental Study of Plasma Implosion Dynamics in a Two-Stage Wire Array Z-Pinch Configuration

Essa Khoory
This thesis presents results from experiments of a two-stage wire array Z-pinch configuration carried out on the MAGPIE generator ( ~ 1.4MA in ~ 250ns) at Imperial College, London. This configuration preconditions the load wires (heating and expanding wires into columns of gas) before allowing the full current to rapidly switch into the load. The preconditioning effect of cylindrical Al wire array loads of different wire numbers and wire thicknesses were investigated from density analysis...

Development of high-throughput technologies for the study of drug-membrane interactions

Claire Elizabeth Stanley
Understanding how drug molecules interact with our body and what effects they may induce as a result is of fundamental concern to the pharmaceutical industry. Crucially we want to use this knowledge to our advantage during the drug discovery process in order to manipulate a drug’s efficacy in vivo - therefore the development of new technologies, able to effectively screen numerous desirable drug-membrane interactions, is of key importance. The first half of this thesis details...

Towards Laser Spectroscopy of Highly Charged Ions: Dynamics of 40Ca+ Ions in a Penning Trap

To date, the most successful quantum field theory is quantum electrodynamics (QED) which offers a fully quantum mechanical description of the electromagnetic interaction between charged particles. Laboratory tests of the theory have been performed for a wide range of field strengths and no significant deviation from the predictions of the theory have been found. For heavy highly charged ions (HCI), the electric and magnetic fields around the nucleus can be orders of magnitude higher than...

Stochastic Scheduling of Wind-Integrated Power Systems

Alexander Sturt
The cost of balancing supply and demand will increase as power systems are decarbonised, because the requirement for operating reserve will increase with the wind penetration, while the flexible fossil-fuel generators, which have been the traditional providers of reserve, will be displaced. While these costs can be mitigated through increased interconnection, energy storage, and demand-side market participation, a fundamental review of system operational policy is also needed to ensure that the available reserves are scheduled...

Control of high harmonic generation by manipulation of field parameters

Leonardo Brugnera
?High harmonic generation is a well established technique to investigate the structure and the inner dynamics of atoms and molecules. This thesis describes how the generating field parameters can be manipulated to extend the limits imposed on the technique by the use of traditional laser sources. In this field, with traditional source we mean high intensity, linearly polarised laser pulses at 800 nm. The first parameter to be investigated is the wavelength λ of the...

Heavier Group 2 Metals: Application to Intermolecular Hydroamination, C-F Activation and Intramolecular Hydroalkoxylation

Christine Brinkmann
This thesis describes the reactivity of different heavier alkaline earth catalysts [M{X(SiMe3)2}2(THF)n]m (M = Ca, Sr, Ba; X = N, CH; n= 0, 2; m= 1, 2) in the intermolecular hydroamination of styrene derivatives. The scope of these reactions with respect to the substrate was determined and detailed kinetic studies to establish rate law and temperature dependence of the hydroamination reactions reported were conducted. Overall, it was found that [Ca{N(SiMe3)2}2]2 is favoured enthalpically (Ca: ΔH‡...

Ionic liquid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass

Agnieszka Brandt
This thesis is concerned with the thermal treatment of lignocellulosic biomass using ionic liquids for the purpose of comminution via dissolution, for fractionating the biological composite and for obtaining aqueous solutions of carbohydrate monomers from the pulp via enzymatic hydrolysis. A major focus was the relationship between the choice of the anion and the effectiveness of the treatment. The synthesis of a range of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium ionic liquids with strongly hydrogen-bond basic anions was accomplished. Selected,...

Debt Management of Non-Financial Corporations

Amandine Claire-Marie Laffont
Debt management is of high importance for financial professionals and is a complex managerial decision, since the uncertainty of business cashflows may undermine the availability of financing, stress business operations and diminish future growth prospects. Whilst the management of corporate debt has sparked much interest and been widely discussed in the academic literature, none of the existing theories address this problem comprehensively. This thesis considers debt management decisions in non- financial corporations; it tests empirically...

Pathway and gene-based analysis of genome wide association studies (GWAS)

Charikleia Eleftherochorinou
My PhD thesis comprises the development and application of novel strategies to analyse genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in the context of functional pathways. I propose pathway and gene-centric methodologies as complementary tools to the conventional singlemarker analyses to mine further the GWAS hidden information. I developed the cumulative trend (CT) test statistic that assesses the cumulative genetic variation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes that interact in the same biological pathway and tests the...

Critical heat flux and associated phenomena in forced convective boiling in nuclear systems

In evaporation of a liquid flowing in a tube or nuclear fuel element, there exists a transition (known as "dryout", "burnout", "boiling crisis" or "critical heat flux", CHF) from a high heat transfer coefficient regime to one of greatly reduced heat transfer coefficient. The conditions leading to dryout or CHF and the behaviour of wall temperatures in the ("post dryout or post CHF") region beyond it are of immense importance in nuclear reactor safety. In...

Elucidating the role of microglial group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in microglial inflammation : focus on Parkinson's disease and neuroprotection

Daniel Angel Gonzalez Carter
Microglia, the resident immune cells in the central nervous system, are implicated in the progressive neuronal death seen in Parkinson’s disease. Microglia are responsible for host defence by mounting an inflammatory response against pathogens and injury. However, if the inflammatory response is not controlled, collateral neuronal damage may occur, leading to neuronal degeneration. Microglia express metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR), and their activation has important effects on microglial inflammation. mGluR are a class of G-protein coupled...

Sustainable energy management of water distribution systems through optimised pump scheduling

Ruben Menke
Climate change, caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the most important issues of our time. It is often overlooked that up to 5% of a cities electrical energy consumption is required to pump water in the water distribution system. This thesis describes how pump scheduling can contribute to a more sustainable energy management of water distribution systems. The analysis is enabled though a new convex formulation of the pump scheduling problem, which...

Heterogeneously coupled maps. From high to low dimensional systems through ergodic theory

Matteo Tanzi
In this thesis we study ergodic theoretical properties of high-dimensional systems coupled on graphs. The local dynamics at each node is hyperbolic and coupled with other nodes according to the edges of the graph. We focus our attention on the case of graphs with heterogeneous degrees meaning that most of the nodes make a small number of interactions, while a few hub nodes have very high degree. For such high-dimensional systems there is a regime...

Novel therapeutic targets in NSCLC resistance to Erlotinib

Emily Chater
Approximately 10% of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) have an activating mutation within the kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Competitive tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as Erlotinib and Gefitinib, have been developed to therapeutically exploit this. These compounds have shown excellent clinical responses in approximately 77% of patients with EGFR-mutant driven lung cancer. However, despite positive initial response, patients develop resistance, and this is often attributed (50% of cases) to the T790M...

The development of characterisation techniques and electrodes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

Graham Smith
Chapter 2 introduces the fundamentals of low temperature fuel cells. The chapter has a focus on the structure and role of components typically found in alkaline membrane fuel cells, offering a brief review of the start of the art in 2015. Chapter 3 reports on alternatives to platinum electrocatalysts for alkaline conditions with results presented for both anode and cathode catalysts. For the alkaline hydrogen oxidation reaction, carbon supported iridium nanoparticles were investigated. The nanoparticles...

Novel modification of Human Myeloma proteasomes and development of non-active site directed inhibitors

David Pitcher
Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy that is characterised by bone lesions and production of excessive amounts of monoclonal protein. Treatment involves the use of chemotherapy agents, immunomodulatory agents and proteasome inhibitors (PI). The 26S proteasome is a 2.5 MDa molecular machine that is integral to the viability of all eukaryote cell. Its main function is to hydrolyse proteins that are marked for degradation by a poly-ubiquitin chain. Although MM is treatable, it...

Study of Higgs boson production through its decay to two photons using data collected at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV with the CMS detector

Louie Corpe
A study of $H \rightarrow \gamma \gamma$ with 12.9 fb$^{-1}$ of data from p-p collisions at $\sqrt{s}=13$ TeV is presented. The data were collected at the start of LHC Run 2 by the CMS experiment between April and July 2016. The result is a new standalone observation of the Higgs boson in the diphoton decay channel. The significance of the excess is observed to be $5.7\sigma$ ($6.3\sigma$ expected) at the combined Run 1 best-fit Higgs...

Perceptual modelling and processing of reverberant speech

Hamza Ahmed Javed
The study of reverberation, broadly defined as the multipath propagation of sound in an enclosed space, has attracted significant interest from speech processing engineers and researchers alike. This is due in large part to the proliferation of speech processing technologies that facilitate distant talking speech input. In such scenarios, understanding the impact of reverberation on speech quality, and mitigating its detrimental impact through dereverberation techniques, are important and practically well motivated tasks. This research concerns...

Electricity cost estimates: How accurate are they, and are they fit for purpose in policy analysis?

Philip Heptonstall
This thesis is concerned with the history of electricity generation costs, how they have changed over time, and the accuracy of forecasts of future costs. These costs are a critical input to policy, yet both estimates and forecasts have frequently proved to be wrong or have changed dramatically over relatively short timescales. The thesis presents evidence from three technology case studies (offshore wind, nuclear power and solar PV), supported by a review of the range...

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