Fibre-optics World Record is No Hollow Victory

By | Innovation and infrastructure, Just Added, Technology and interconnectivity, The Data Revolution | No Comments
A whole array of game-changing, life-shaping technologies, from long-distance telecommunications to laser surgery, have a key component in common: fibre optics that carry pulses of light to their destination at incredible speed. A University of Southampton team are now focusing on the next big step forward – hollow-core fibres (HCFs) – and last year shattered a longstanding world record to push the capabilities of these to a new level. Developing HCFs and readying them for real-world use is the mission of the £6 million AirGuide Photonics programme, led by Southampton and involving a high-powered consortium of industrial and academic partners,...
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Guest Post: ISIS – access the atomic-scale

By | Events, Just Added | No Comments
Beamtime and Batteries at a World-leading Neutron and Muon source Rebecca Shutt PhD researcher, Advanced Characterisation of Materials Centre for Doctoral Training, UCL and Imperial College London My first interaction with the UK neutron and muon source, ISIS, was to apply for beamtime in November last year (2018).  The experiment: to probe structural changes within battery electrodes whilst they are being cycled, i.e. to watch layers of graphene in disordered carbons “breathe” in response to in situ charging and discharging. I am at the very beginning of my PhD, so when I was granted beamtime my first reaction was to...
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SES universities receive a boost to tackle major research and societal challenges

By | Advanced materials, Bioscience and medicine, Cities and supporting life, Energy and climate change, Innovation and infrastructure, Just Added, Technology and interconnectivity, The Data Revolution | No Comments
75 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the UK are set to receive over £800 million in support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and industry partners; part of an increased research and development investment to boost the UK economy and deliver scientific excellence. 24 CDTs led by SES universities will soon benefit from UKRI’s funding of £446 million across 75 centres that will develop skills, bring innovation, and build better lives for UK citizens. The investment has been furthered by £386 million (committed through either cash or in-kind support) from 1,400 Industry partners.  In total, over 1/3 of the...
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The Green Dream Team

By | Energy and climate change, Equipment, Just Added, Popular | No Comments
How efficient labs could progress sustainability and excellence in research An exciting new tool is currently being piloted across the UK in an endeavour to standardise best practice across research efficiency, sustainability and quality. The countless benefits and developments in scientific research are widely known and recognised by society, from better drugs to safer materials and faster technology. However, there’s a rarely reported on ‘dark side’ to science where the materials and energy cost to deliver excellent research, both financially and environmentally, are piling up.  With over 2/3 [1] of total university energy usage consumed by laboratory buildings, it’s no surprise that...
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Collaboration the Key to Unlocking Cells’ Secrets

By | Bioscience and medicine, Just Added | No Comments
With the NHS celebrating its 70th birthday this year, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the vital role of drug discovery in the never-ending drive to improve healthcare – and on the ground-breaking research that makes such discoveries possible. Research outcomes can be strengthened hugely by working across disciplines and by combining complementary skills across institutions. An excellent example of both is a well-established collaboration between teams at Oxford University and UCL that’s generating deeper understanding of the innermost workings of the central nervous system. Harnessing a combination of cutting-edge experimental and computational techniques, the research is delivering insights...
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£14 million Helps UK Catalysis Hub React to Key Scientific Challenges

By | Cities and supporting life, Energy and climate change, Just Added, News | No Comments
A new £14 million investment into the UK’s Catalysis Hub (launched in 2013) that will support a nationwide research programme was announced yesterday by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Centred at the Research Complex at the Harwell campus in Oxfordshire, the Hub will co-ordinate a collaborative research program across the UK. The Hub's collaborating partners include SES members the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Southampton, Queen Mary University of London, UCL and Imperial College London. The University of Bath, Cardiff University, and The University of Manchester will lead three of the Hub's themes, with 25 universities directly involved in projects...
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SES Open: Harnessing FAIR Data

By | Events, Just Added, Recommended, The Data Revolution | No Comments
Open Science is a contemporary and relevant theme across the UK research landscape. This year we're hosting a series of exciting events that directly engage with the practice of opening up science. From opening up the discussion on  representation of women and people of diverse backgrounds in research, to providing a forum for debate on the opportunities and struggles in mining or storing data, we invite scientists, staff, students, policymakers, scholars and stakeholders in science and education to join us. Harnessing FAIR Data focused on researchers who employ or are seeking to use data in their work. FAIR is a set...
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Data vs Dementia

By | Bioscience and medicine, Just Added, The Data Revolution | No Comments
Maxine Mackintosh on early intervention to prevent cognitive decline and the One HealthTech community. Maxine Mackintosh is a PhD student at University College London working at the intersection of data science and dementia. Her PhD involves mining medical records for new predictors for dementia. She is passionate about understanding how we might make better use of routinely collected data to improve our cognitive health. Alongside this, she is the co-founder of One HealthTech – a community which champions and supports underrepresented groups, particularly women, to be the future leaders in health innovation. Her professional work has led her to the...
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Computing’s Key to Vital Gains in Brain Research

By | Bioscience and medicine, Just Added, Technology and interconnectivity, The Data Revolution | No Comments
Often cited as the most complex structure in the Universe, the human brain is only just beginning to surrender some of its best-kept, deepest-held secrets. SES members the University of Oxford and University College London (UCL) are making a major contribution to this breakthrough era in brain research – developing and deploying cutting-edge modelling & simulation, medical imaging and image computing, as well as other computer-based tools, to help reveal how and why injury and illness can compromise the brain’s ability to function. These new insights aren’t just of academic interest; they also offer huge potential to underpin much-needed advances...
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Deep in Thought: How ‘Brainy’ Computers Are Changing Our Lives

By | Bioscience and medicine, Just Added, Popular, The Data Revolution | No Comments
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here – and together with technologies such as robotics and quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the heart of this awesome new age of progress and possibilities. Deep learning is a great example. Harnessing computer algorithms inspired by how the brain works, this fast-growing field of AI makes it possible to analyse vast amounts of data and detect patterns and features there – generating insights that can improve and protect lives in areas as diverse as medicine, transport and anti-terrorism. UCL is just one of the SES members currently working at deep learning’s cutting...
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