University of Edinburgh research articles from Innovation Toronto
- Creativity and innovation need to talk more
- Scots scientists in diabetes breakthrough
- Human stem cell-derived hepatocytes regenerate liver function
- Antibiotic found on human skin could lead to new medicine
- Implants make light work of fixing broken bones
- Hormone-Producing Thyroid Grown from Embryonic Stem Cells
- New flu gene found hiding in plain sight, and affects severity of infections
- Gene breakthrough could lead to new male contraceptive
- A fast and cheap optical version of Wi-Fi is coming
- Li-Fi: Can lightbulbs help move our data around?
- Diesel-Engine Exhaust Filter Reduces Harmful Particles by 98 Percent
- Technology On Way To Forecasting Humanity’s Needs
- “Albedo Yachts” and Marine Clouds: A Cure for Climate Change?
- Machine-Learning Revolutionizes Software Development
- Crystals hold super computer key
- Solar cells utilize thermal radiation
- Breakthrough could mean fewer people needing organ transplants
- New camera system creates high-resolution 3-D images from up to a kilometer away
- New Sources Of Biofuel To Take Pressure Off Traditional Crops
The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 17th in the world by the 2013 QS rankings. It is ranked 11th in the world in arts and humanities by the 2012–13 Times Higher Education Ranking. It is ranked the 15th most employable university in the world by the 2013 Global Employability University Ranking. It is a member of both the Russell Group, and the League of European Research Universities, a consortium of 21 research universities in Europe. It has the third largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, after the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
Vast quantities of gold could be salvaged from old mobile phones using a simple chemical method, a University study shows.
Current methods for extracting gold from old gadgets are inefficient and can be hazardous to health, as they often use toxic chemicals such as cyanide, researchers say.
Electrical waste – including old mobile phones, televisions and computers – is thought to contain as much as seven per cent of all the world’s gold.
The precious metal is a key component of the printed circuit boards found inside electrical devices.
Improving how the precious metal is recovered from discarded electronic devices could help reduce the environmental impact of gold mining and cut carbon dioxide emissions, the team says.
Edinburgh scientists developed a simple extraction method that does not use toxic chemicals and recovers gold more effectively than current methods.
The finding could help salvage some of the estimated 300 tonnes of gold used in electronics each year, researchers say.
By unravelling the complex chemistry underpinning the extraction process, the team discovered a compound that could be used to recover gold more effectively.
Printed circuit boards are first placed in a mild acid, which dissolves all of their metal parts. An oily liquid containing the team’s chemical compound is then added, which extracts gold selectively from the complex mixture of other metals.
The findings could aid the development of methods for large-scale recovery of gold and other precious metals from waste electronics, the team says.
The study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The University seeks to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the wider world.
The study is one of many staff and student-led initiatives at the University to promote the so-called circular economy, which encourages reuse of materials and greater resource efficiency.
We are very excited about this discovery, especially as we have shown that our fundamental chemical studies on the recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste could have potential economic and societal benefits.
Here’s the scientific dirt: Soil can help reduce global warming
“We can substantially reduce atmospheric carbon by using soil. Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon and using prudent agricultural management practices that tighten the soil-nitrogen cycle can yield enhanced soil fertility, bolster crop productivity, improve soil biodiversity, and reduce erosion, runoff and water pollution. These practices also buffer crop and pasture systems against the impacts of climate change.
Rabies could be eradicated from street dogs in India with the help of a new smartphone app, a study has shown.
Researchers are using the app to track free-roaming dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies.
Monitoring them in this way has enabled vets to vaccinate 70 per cent of the dog population in the City of Ranchi – the threshold needed to minimise the risk that the disease is passed to people.
Adopting the approach more widely could help to eliminate rabies from people and animals, the researchers say.
Teams vaccinated more than 6000 dogs in 18 districts of the city of Ranchi, India.
They surveyed the number of marked, vaccinated and unmarked, unvaccinated dogs to monitor the proportion of animals that had received the vaccine.
A bespoke smartphone app – called the Mission Rabies app – was developed for researchers to instantly upload information about the animals vaccinated, including their exact location.
In areas where coverage fell below 70 per cent, catching teams were re-deployed to vaccinate more dogs until the target was achieved.
Learn more: Dog study shapes plan to wipe out rabies
Crops with improved yields could more easily become a reality, thanks to a development by scientists.
Scientists were able to pinpoint the most critical components involved in efficient plant growth, and to gauge what further research might be needed for improved crops.
Simple plants such as algae are very good at fixing carbon from the air, compared with complex plants such as rice and wheat.
If we can harness the systems that simple plants use to grow efficiently, we may be able to create highly productive crops.
Read more: High yield crops a step closer
Martian colonists could use an innovative new technique to harvest energy from carbon dioxide thanks to research pioneered at Northumbria and Edinburgh Universities.
Dry ice may not be abundant on Earth, but increasing evidence from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggests it may be a naturally occurring resource on Mars as suggested by the seasonal appearance of gullies on the surface of the red planet.
If utilised in a Leidenfrost-based engine dry-ice deposits could provide the means to create future power stations on the surface of Mars.
One of the co-authors of Northumbria’s research, Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar, said: “Carbon dioxide plays a similar role on Mars as water does on Earth. It is a widely available resource which undergoes cyclic phase changes under the natural Martian temperature variations.”Perhaps future power stations on Mars will exploit such a resource to harvest energy as dry-ice blocks evaporate, or to channel the chemical energy extracted from other carbon-based sources, such as methane gas.
Your double helix is ticking
When people had a biological age greater than their actual age, they could see they were more likely to die sooner than a person whose biological and real ages were similar.
“The difference between DNA methylation age and chronological age predicts mortality risk over and above a combination of smoking, education, childhood IQ, social class, APOE genotype, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes,” says a paper summarizing the work.
When the biological and chronological ages were five years apart, people had a 21% higher mortality risk, after adjusting for age and gender.
Vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut the number of human cases of the disease by 85%, according to scientists.
The study, published in the online journal PNAS, used veterinary, human and molecular data to examine the risks of E. coli O157 transmission from cattle to humans, and to estimate the impact of vaccinating cattle.
Lead author, Dr Louise Matthews, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, said: “E. coli O157 is a serious gastrointestinal illness. The economic impact is also serious – for instance studies in the US suggest that healthcare, lost productivity and food product recalls due to E. coli O157 can cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.”Treating cattle in order to reduce the number of human cases certainly makes sense from a human health perspective and, while more work is needed to calculate the cost of a vaccination programme, the public health justification must be taken seriously.
Tiny worms could be key to solving Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune ailments There is a new weapon in the fight against autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus, the common trait of which is an immune system that attacks its own organs and tissues.
“What we would like to do now is harness components of the type 2 immune response to target the control of harmful inflammation that can lead to autoimmune diseases like diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease,” Gause says.
“Finding new ways to stimulate these regulatory components of the type 2 immune response may provide us with a new set of tools to target the control of harmful inflammatory responses now associated with this wide array of different diseases.” For now, live helminths or helminth byproducts may be introduced into the body on a short-term basis to train compromised immune systems.
Crops with improved yields could more easily become a reality, thanks to a development by scientists.
Researchers studying a biological process that enables tiny green algae to grow efficiently have taken the first steps to recreating the mechanism in a more complex plant.
Their findings could lead to the breeding of high yield varieties of common crops such as wheat, rice and barley.
Algae cells are known to have a specialised mechanism that boosts their internal concentration of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.
Researchers have generated functional hepatocytes from human stem cells, transplanted them into mice with acute liver injury, and shown the ability of these stem-cell derived human liver cells to function normally and increase survival of the treated animals.
This promising advance in the development of cell-based therapies to treat liver failure resulting from injury or disease relied on the development of scalable, reproducible methods to produce stem cell-derived hepatocytes in bioreactors, as described in an article in Stem Cells and Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Stem Cells and Development website.
Massoud Vosough and coauthors demonstrate a large-scale, integrated manufacturing strategy for generating functional hepatocytes in a single suspension culture grown in a scalable stirred bioreactor. In the article “Generation of Functional Hepatocyte-Like Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Scalable Suspension Culture” the authors describe the method used for scale-up, differentiation of the pluripotent stem cells into liver cells, and characterization and purification of the hepatocytes based on their physiological properties and the expression of liver cell biomarkers.
David C. Hay, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, U.K., comments on the importance of Vosough et al.’s contribution to the scientific literature in his editorial in Stem Cells and Development entitled “Rapid and Scalable Human Stem Cell Differentiation: Now in 3D.” The researchers “developed a system for mass manufacture of stem cell derived hepatocytes in numbers that would be useful for clinical application,” creating possibilities for future “immune matched cell based therapies,” says Hay. Such approaches could be used to correct mutated genes in stem cell populations prior to differentiation and transplantation, he adds.
“The elephant in the room for stem cell therapy rarely even acknowledged let alone addressed in the literature is that of scalable production of cells for translational application,” says Editor-in-Chief Graham C. Parker, PhD, research professor, Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine. “Baharvand’s groups’ landmark publication not only demonstrates but exquisitely describes the methodology required to scale up stem cell populations for clinical application with a rigor to satisfy necessary manufacturing standards.”