University of Cambridge - European Union http://www.54335178.com/taxonomy/external-affiliations/european-union en Quantum state of single electrons controlled by ‘surfing’ on sound waves http://www.54335178.com/research/news/quantum-state-of-single-electrons-controlled-by-surfing-on-sound-waves <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/3_1.jpg?itok=2qIzFd6L" alt="" title="3D render of the semiconductor nanostructure, Credit: Hermann Edlbauer" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The international team, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, sent high-frequency sound waves across a modified semiconductor device to direct the behaviour of a single electron, with efficiencies in excess of 99%. The <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12514-w">results</a> are reported in the journal <em>Nature Communications</em>.</p> <p>A quantum computer would be able to solve previously unsolvable computational problems by taking advantage of the strange behaviour of particles at the subatomic scale, and quantum phenomena such as entanglement and superposition. However, precisely controlling the behaviour of quantum particles is a mammoth task.</p> <p>“What would make a quantum computer so powerful is its ability to scale exponentially,” said co-author Hugo Lepage, a PhD candidate in Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, who performed the theoretical work for the current study. “In a classical computer, to double the amount of information you have to double the number of bits. But in a quantum computer, you’d only need to add one more quantum bit, or qubit, to double the information.”</p> <p>Last month, researchers from Google claimed to have reached ‘quantum supremacy’, the point at which a quantum computer can perform calculations beyond the capacity of the most powerful supercomputers. However, the quantum computers which Google, IBM and others are developing are based on superconducting loops, which are complex circuits and, like all quantum systems, are highly fragile.</p> <p>“The smallest fluctuation or deviation will corrupt the quantum information contained in the phases and currents of the loops,” said Lepage. “This is still very new technology and expansion beyond the intermediate scale may require us to go down to the single particle level.”</p> <p>Instead of superconducting loops, the quantum information in the quantum computer Lepage and his colleagues are devising use the ‘spin’ of an electron – its inherent angular momentum, which can be up or down – to store quantum information.</p> <p>“Harnessing spin to power a functioning quantum computer is a more scalable approach than using superconductivity, and we believe that using spin could lead to a quantum computer which is far more robust, since spin interactions are set by the laws of nature,” said Lepage.</p> <p>Using spin allows the quantum information to be more easily integrated with existing systems. The device developed in the current work is based on widely-used semiconductors with some minor modifications.</p> <p>The device, which was tested experimentally by Lepage’s co-authors from the Institut Néel, measures just a few millionths of a metre long. The researchers laid metallic gates over a semiconductor and applied a voltage, which generated a complex electric field. The researchers then directed high-frequency sound waves over the device, causing it to vibrate and distort, like a tiny earthquake. As the sound waves propagate, they trap the electrons, pushing them through the device in a very precise way, as if the electrons are ‘surfing’ on the sound waves.</p> <p>The researchers were able to control the behaviour of a single electron with 99.5% efficiency. “To control a single electron in this way is already difficult, but to get to a point where we can have a working quantum computer, we need to be able to control multiple electrons, which get exponentially more difficult as the qubits start to interact with each other,” said Lepage.</p> <p>In the coming months, the researchers will begin testing the device with multiple electrons, which would bring a working quantum computer another step closer.</p> <p>The research was funded in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.</p> <p><em><strong>Reference:</strong></em><br /><em>Shintaro Takada et al. ‘<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12514-w">Sound-driven single-electron transfer in a circuit of coupled quantum rails</a>.’ Nature Communications (2019). DOI:</em> <em>10.1038/s41467-019-12514-w</em></p> <p>?</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Researchers have successfully used sound waves to control quantum information in a single electron, a significant step towards efficient, robust quantum computers made from semiconductors.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">We believe that using spin could lead to a quantum computer which is far more robust, since spin interactions are set by the laws of nature</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Hugo Lepage</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Hermann Edlbauer</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">3D render of the semiconductor nanostructure</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Thu, 10 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 sc604 208092 at http://www.54335178.com Eight Cambridge researchers awarded major European starter grants http://www.54335178.com/research/news/eight-cambridge-researchers-awarded-major-european-starter-grants <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/1280px-amesiteperovskite2.jpg?itok=xIGlRxd0" alt="Naturally-occurring perovskite" title="Naturally-occurring perovskite, Credit: Géry PARENT " /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants have been awarded to 408 researchers from across Europe. The awards will help individual researchers to build their own teams and conduct world-leading research across all disciplines, creating an estimated 2,500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at the host institutions.</p> <p>The successful Cambridge researchers are:</p> <ul><li>Roland Bauerschmidt?- Renormalisation, dynamics, and hyperbolic symmetry</li> <li>Quentin Berthet - Computational Trade-offs and Algorithms in Statistics</li> <li>Felix Deschler - Twisted Perovskites: Control of Spin and Chirality in Highly-luminescent Metal-halide Perovskites</li> <li>Lorenzo Di Michele - A DNA NANOtechology toolkit for artificial CELL design</li> <li>Louise Hirst - Gliding epitaxy for inorganic space-power sheets</li> <li>Sertac Sehlikoglu - Imaginative Landscapes of Islamist Politics Across the Balkan-to-Bengal Complex</li> <li>Blake Sherwin - CMB Lensing at Sub-Percent Precision: A New Probe of Cosmology and Fundamental Physics</li> <li>Margherita Turco - Human Placental Development and the Uterine Microenvironment</li> </ul><p>Commenting on the awards, Dr Peter Hedges, Head of the University Research Office at the University of Cambridge, said: “The success of UK researchers, and in particular Cambridge researchers, demonstrates the world-leading position that our country holds in research and innovation. This is a position we have will have to fight hard to maintain in the face of competition from other nations across Europe, the USA?and China.</p> <p>“Six of our successful researchers are non-UK nationals, showing once again that Cambridge has the?ability to attract the very best talent from around the world to carry out research at its world class facilities.”</p> <p>The ERC-funded research will be carried out in 24 countries, with institutions from Germany (73), the UK (64) and the Netherlands (53) to host the highest number of projects. The grants, worth in total €621 million (£560 million), are part of the EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.</p> <p>Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Researchers need freedom and support to follow their scientific curiosity if we are to find answers to the most difficult challenges of our age and our future. This is the strength of the grants that the EU provides through the European Research Council: an opportunity for outstanding scientists to pursue their most daring ideas.”</p> <p>President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, added: “In this year’s ERC Starting Grant competition, early-career researchers of 51 nationalities are among the winners – a record. It reminds us that science knows no borders and that talent is to be found everywhere. It is essential that, for its future successful development, the European Union keeps attracting and supporting outstanding researchers from around the world. At the ERC we are proud to contribute to this goal by supporting some of the most daring creative scientific talent.”?</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Eight Cambridge researchers are among the latest recipients of European Union awards given to early-career researchers from over 50 countries.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Six of our successful researchers are non-UK nationals, showing once again that Cambridge has the ability to attract the very best talent from around the world to carry out research at its world class facilities</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Peter Hedges</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Perovskite#/media/File:Amesite,_perovskite_2.jpg" target="_blank">Géry PARENT </a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Naturally-occurring perovskite</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-panel-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Researcher profile: Dr Margherita Turco</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-panel-body field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img alt="" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/inner-images/margherita.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; float: left; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px;" />?Among this year’s successful awardees is Dr Margherita Turco from Cambridge’s Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR).</p> <p>Margherita began her career studying the development of embryos in domestic animals during her studies for Veterinary Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, in Italy. During her PhD in Molecular Medicine at the European Institute of Oncology in Milano, she became interested in how early cell lineage decisions are made and began using various stem cells models to address this question.</p> <p>This led Margherita to come to Cambridge in 2012 to carry out her postdoctoral work on human trophoblast stem cells at the CTR. Her goal is to understand how the human placenta grows and develops during pregnancy.</p> <p>“The placenta is a remarkable organ that is formed early in pregnancy.?It plays the crucial role of nourishing and protecting the baby throughout its development before birth,” she says. However, there is a lot that can go wrong during this period.</p> <p>“Complications occurring during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction, stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth, are principally due to defective placental function. These conditions, which collectively affect around one in five pregnancies, can pose a risk to both the baby and mother’s health. Understanding early placental development is the key to understanding successful pregnancy.”</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-license-type field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">License type:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/imagecredit/attribution-sharealike">Attribution-ShareAlike</a></div></div></div> Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:35:55 +0000 cjb250 207382 at http://www.54335178.com Exercise in pregnancy improves health of obese mothers by restoring their tissues, mouse study finds http://www.54335178.com/research/news/exercise-in-pregnancy-improves-health-of-obese-mothers-by-restoring-their-tissues-mouse-study-finds <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/workout-19311071920.jpg?itok=8ejIhSpt" alt="" title="Workout, Credit: ArtCoreStudios (Pixabay)" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>Researchers at the University of Cambridge, who led the study published today in the journal <em>Physiological Reports</em>, say the findings reinforce the importance of an active lifestyle when planning pregnancy.</p> <p>In the UK, more than a half of all women of reproductive age and almost a third of pregnant women are overweight or obese. This is particularly concerning, as being overweight or obese during pregnancy increases the risk of complications in the mother, such as gestational diabetes, and predisposes both her and her infant to develop metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in the years after pregnancy.</p> <p>Exercise is known to improve how the body manages blood sugar levels and thereby reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome in non-pregnant women. It also has positive effects prior to and during pregnancy, with beneficial outcomes for both mother and her child, preventing excessive gestational weight gain and the development of gestational diabetes, and the need for insulin use in women who have already developed gestational diabetes. However, little is known about the changes that exercise causes to the tissues of obese pregnant mother.</p> <p>To answer this questions, researchers at the University of Cambridge fed mice a sugary, high fat diet such that they become obese and then the obese mice were exercised. The mice exercised on a treadmill for 20 minutes a day for at least a week before their pregnancy and then for 12.5 minutes a day until day 17 of the pregnancy (pregnancy lasts for around 20 days in mice).</p> <p>Mice are a useful model for studying human disease as their biology and physiology have a number of important characteristics in common with those of humans, including showing metabolic changes with obesity/obesity-causing diets and in the female body during pregnancy.</p> <p>The researchers found that the beneficial effects on metabolic health in obese mothers related to changes in how molecules and cells communicate in maternal tissues during pregnancy.</p> <p>“A moderate level of exercise immediately before and then during pregnancy leads to important changes in different tissues of the obese mother, effectively making the tissues more like those seen in non-obese mothers,” says Dr Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow from the Centre for Trophoblast Research in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, who co-led the study.</p> <p>“We believe these changes may explain how exercise improves the metabolism of the obese mother during pregnancy and, in turn, may prevent her babies from developing early signs of type 2 diabetes after birth.”</p> <p>The key organs of the mother that were affected by exercise were:</p> <ul><li>white adipose tissue – the fatty tissue that stores lipids and can be found in different parts around the body, including beneath the skin and around internal organs;</li> <li>skeletal muscle – muscle tissue that uses glucose and fats for contraction and movement;</li> <li>the liver – the organ that stores, as well as syntheses lipids and glucose.</li> </ul><p>Exercise affected key signalling pathways – the ways that molecules and cells within tissue communicate – involved in responding to insulin (the hormone that stimulates glucose uptake by white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle), in storage and breakdown of lipids (fats found in the blood and tissue) and in growth and the synthesis of proteins.</p> <p>White adipose tissue showed the greatest number of changes in response to exercise in the obese pregnant mouse, being restored to a state similar to that seen in the tissue of non-obese mothers. This suggests that insulin resistance of the mother’s white adipose tissue may be the cause of poor glucose-insulin handling in obese pregnancies. The findings are different to that seen in non-pregnant animals, whereby exercise typically affects insulin signalling in the skeletal muscle.</p> <p>In addition, the team’s previous work showed that exercise improves sensitivity to insulin and glucose handling throughout the whole body in the obese mother. It also prevents the development of insulin resistance in the offspring of obese mothers after birth. Low insulin sensitivity/insulin resistance requires larger amounts of insulin to control blood glucose levels.</p> <p>“Our findings reinforce the importance of having an active lifestyle and eating a healthy balanced diet when planning pregnancy and throughout for both the mother and her developing child,” says co-lead Professor Susan Ozanne from the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge.</p> <p>“This can be important in helping to reduce the risk of adverse health problems in the mother and of later health problems for her child.”</p> <p>This work received funding from the European Union, Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, British Heart Foundation, S?o Paulo Research Foundation, Centre for Trophoblast Research, and the Royal Society.</p> <p><em><strong>Reference</strong><br /> Musial, B et al. <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14202">Exercise alters the molecular pathways of insulin signalling and lipid handling in maternal tissues of obese pregnant mice.</a> Physiological Reports; 28 August 2019; DOI: 10.14814/phy2.14202</em></p> <p>?</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Exercise immediately prior to and during pregnancy restores key tissues in the body, making them better able to manage blood sugar levels and lowering the risk of long term health problems, suggests new research carried out in mice.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A moderate level of exercise immediately before and then during pregnancy leads to important changes in different tissues of the obese mother, effectively making the tissues more like those seen in non-obese mothers</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="https://pixabay.com/photos/workout-ball-pilates-fitness-gym-1931107/" target="_blank">ArtCoreStudios (Pixabay)</a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Workout</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-license-type field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">License type:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/taxonomy/imagecredit/public-domain">Public Domain</a></div></div></div> Thu, 29 Aug 2019 23:17:07 +0000 cjb250 207282 at http://www.54335178.com Machine learning to help develop self-healing robots that ‘feel pain’ http://www.54335178.com/research/news/machine-learning-to-help-develop-self-healing-robots-that-feel-pain <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/sphgreen.jpg?itok=Sg9fcu-g" alt="" title="Robotic hand made of self-healing material that can heal at room temperature, Credit: Bram Vanderborght" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The goal of the €3 million Self-healing soft robot (SHERO) project, funded by the European Commission, is to create a next-generation robot made from self-healing materials (flexible plastics) that can detect damage, take the necessary steps to temporarily heal itself and then resume its work – all without the need for human interaction.</p> <p>Led by the University of Brussels (VUB), the research consortium includes the Department of Engineering (University of Cambridge), école Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI), Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), and the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix.</p> <p>As part of the SHERO project, the Cambridge team, led by <a href="http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/profiles/fi224">Dr Fumiya Iida</a>?from the Department of Engineering are looking at integrating self-healing materials into soft robotic arms.</p> <p><a href="http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/profiles/tg444">Dr Thomas George Thuruthel</a>, also from the Department of Engineering,?said self-healing materials could have future applications in modular robotics, educational robotics and evolutionary robotics where a single robot can be 'recycled' to generate a fresh prototype.</p> <p>“We will be using machine learning to work on the modelling and integration of these self-healing materials, to include self-healing actuators and sensors, damage detection, localisation and controlled healing,” he said. “The adaptation of models after the loss of sensory data and during the healing process is another area we are looking to address. The end goal is to integrate the self-healing sensors and actuators into demonstration platforms in order to perform specific tasks.”</p> <p>Professor Bram Vanderborght, from VUB, who is leading the project with scientists from the robotics research centre Brubotics and the polymer research lab FYSC, said: “We are obviously very pleased to be working on the next generation of robots. Over the past few years, we have already taken the first steps in creating self-healing materials for robots. With this research we want to continue and, above all, ensure that robots that are used in our working environment are safer, but also more sustainable. Due to the self-repair mechanism of this new kind of robot, complex, costly repairs may be a thing of the past.”</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Researchers from the University of Cambridge will use self-healing materials and machine learning to develop soft robotics as part of a new collaborative project.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-media field-type-file field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="cam-video-container media-youtube-video media-youtube-1 "> <iframe class="media-youtube-player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R7fZbYUFtc8?wmode=opaque&controls=&rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Bram Vanderborght</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Robotic hand made of self-healing material that can heal at room temperature</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:11:57 +0000 Anonymous 206972 at http://www.54335178.com New approach to drug discovery could lead to personalised treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders http://www.54335178.com/research/news/new-approach-to-drug-discovery-could-lead-to-personalised-treatment-of-neuropsychiatric-disorders <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/crop_113.jpg?itok=jdz-AxHu" alt="" title="Drug target in neurons, Credit: Santiago Lago" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, accounting for 31% of total years lived with disability. While our understanding of the biology behind these disorders has increased, no new neuropsychiatric drugs with improved treatment effects have been developed in the last few decades, and most existing treatments were found through luck.</p> <p>This is mainly because doctors can’t take brain tissue samples from patients in the same way that they are able to do a biopsy on a cancer tumour elsewhere in the body for example, so it’s difficult for researchers to understand exactly what to target when designing new neuropsychiatric drugs.</p> <p>Now, a team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge have shown that live blood cells from patients with mental health disorders can be used to identify potential targets for drug discovery research. Their <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau9093">results</a> are reported in the journal <em>Science Advances</em>.</p> <p>Human blood cells contain many receptors and proteins involved in signalling that are also found in our central nervous system and have been shown to be linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. Previous research has shown that there is a strong link between cells in our blood and the way our central nervous system operates, for example patients suffering from bacterial infections often show depressive-like symptoms.</p> <p>This makes blood cells an ideal environment in which to test potential new drugs. There is also significant evidence that using primary cells from patients in drug development leads to a higher success rate for effective drug discovery.</p> <p>“Psychiatric disorders are increasingly recognised as disorders of the whole body,” said Professor Sabine Bahn from Cambridge’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, who leads the research group behind the work. “This study proposes a shift in the field to directly explore live cellular function as a model for disease.”</p> <p>Using a high-content single-cell screening process, the researchers analysed cells from 42 schizophrenia patients and screened thousands of potential compounds for new drugs. The team have focused on discovering new psychiatric uses for drugs which are routinely prescribed for other conditions, such as high blood pressure.</p> <p>This drug ‘repurposing’ strategy can reduce the time and cost it takes to bring a new drug to the clinic tenfold. With an average drug development cost of $2-3 billion over 12 years, this represents an efficient alternative to deliver new potential treatments to patients in considerably less time. The approach could also lead to a reduction in animal testing.</p> <p>They can also test existing psychiatric treatments on patient blood cells and may be able to predict how effective those treatments will be for each individual. This overcomes a major hurdle in clinical psychiatry as many patients do not respond to first-line treatments. To accomplish this, the team tested rare blood samples from schizophrenia patients before and after clinical treatment, collected via a network of international collaborators.</p> <p>As a final step, the team confirmed that the activity of new drugs was shared between blood cells and brain cells, by testing those drug compounds on human nerve cells.</p> <p>“This is the most in-depth, functional exploration of primary psychiatric patient tissue to date and has the potential to substantially accelerate drug discovery and personalised medicine for neuropsychiatric disorders and other human diseases,” said lead author Dr Santiago Lago, who developed the technology with Dr Jakub Tomasik.</p> <p>The research was funded in part by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Union.</p> <p><strong><em>Reference:</em></strong><br /><em>Santiago G. Lago et al. ‘<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau9093">Drug discovery for psychiatric disorders using high-content single-cell screening of signalling network responses ex vivo</a>.’ Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/</em><em>sciadv.aau9093</em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Researchers have developed a method that could drastically accelerate the search for new drugs to treat mental health disorders such as schizophrenia.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Psychiatric disorders are increasingly recognised as disorders of the whole body</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Sabine Bahn</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Santiago Lago</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Drug target in neurons</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Wed, 08 May 2019 18:00:00 +0000 erh68 205162 at http://www.54335178.com We are all 'others': teaching children to celebrate differences http://www.54335178.com/research/features/we-are-all-others-teaching-children-to-celebrate-differences <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/features/fish2.jpg?itok=2I5vsQJA" alt="" title="Details from artwork commissioned by the University of Cambridge Primary School featuring paintings by the pupils, Credit: Linda Culverwell (ARTBASH)" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>At times of dramatic change and conflict, words can become weapons. Europe is transforming: migration, economic crises and Brexit are shaking the continent’s sense of identity, and debate has turned quickly to division and misunderstanding, to angry Twitter exchanges and pumped-up political stand-offs.</p> <p>Now, a new Europe-wide project led by Cambridge’s Faculty of Education and closely linked to the <a href="http://universityprimaryschool.org.uk/">University of Cambridge Primary School</a> (UCPS) is encouraging better dialogue – by initially removing language altogether.</p> <p>The three-year <a href="https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/dialls/">DIALLS</a> project (Dialogue and Argumentation for Cultural Literacy Learning in Schools) will use wordless picturebooks and short films as a stimulus for discussion by children in primary and secondary schools. Exploring their individual and collective responses to the texts within school – and with peers in partner countries from Portugal and Cyprus to Israel and Lithuania – will, researchers believe, help children understand their own cultural identities, while also recognising and respecting those of others in a fast-changing and diverse Europe.</p> <p>“Our approach is to use the skills of dialogue to promote understanding,” says Dr Fiona Maine, a visual literacy specialist and principal investigator for the €4.4 million project, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme and involving nine universities. “To have an effective dialogue, you need to understand other people’s perspectives and where they are coming from, and perhaps critique your own views.”</p> <p>Texts without words, needing no translation across borders, are an ideal stimulant for cross-cultural debate, Maine says. “These texts are ambiguous, and so give rich opportunities for discussion.”</p> <p>A preliminary collection of dozens of materials gathered from across Europe since the project’s launch in May 2018 reflects the fact that many picturebooks have resonance for readers of all ages.<em>The Mediterranean</em>, by the Swiss illustrator Armin Greder, is for older readers and tackles themes of displacement and violence, its beautiful charcoal images confronting the tragic reality of refugees lost at sea. <em>Baboon on the Moon</em>, directed by Christopher Duriez, is a quirky animated film in which a baboon is taken from the jungle to top up the moon’s light each day. At first glance, it’s more playful, yet it addresses similarly powerful notions of home and belonging that could be discussed by all ages.</p> <p>The next task is to whittle the initial selection down to a core set of 45 texts, likely to include some 30 books, with films and potentially artworks making up the total. It is here that children will themselves get involved in the research, with pupils at UCPS – the UK hub for the project – reviewing and choosing alongside their teachers.</p> <p>“Student voice is important in the selection,” says Maine. “We’ll ask children which they like, but also which they feel give them real opportunities for discussion.”</p> <p>The chosen texts, divided for different age groups where appropriate, will then be used by partner schools in each of the nine participant countries to stimulate discussion over 15 lesson sequences. The aim is twofold: children in 300 classes across Europe will explore their responses to the ideas prompted by the books and films, but in doing so will also develop their skills in dialogue and argumentation (the structuring of discussion by hearing and building on others’ points of view). These, in turn, underpin the fundamental goal of the project: to develop children’s “cultural literacy” – not in the sense of knowledge of a defined European culture of art and literature, but in an openness to engage with many different interpretations of it.</p> <p>“For effective dialogue, in essence, you have to be tolerant, empathetic and inclusive of other positions,” says Maine. “Cultural literacy is not about accessing culture, but about a disposition to engage. Through understanding your own heritage, cultural identity and values and how they are positioned, you are better able to see that actually everybody has a slightly different experience. So it is not about saying ‘us and others’: we are all ‘others’.”</p> <p>Children’s exploration of this ‘otherness’ will begin in the classroom as they discuss texts with fellow pupils, moving on as the project develops to discussions with children elsewhere in their own country (in England, 30 schools will be involved at first, with more in the third year once resources on using the texts are online).</p> <p>Children across Europe will be able to share their ideas using a specially created digital platform. One landmark will be a semi-virtual conference in May 2020 bringing together school students to share ideas on the themes explored in the wordless texts, leading to the creation of a “manifesto for cultural literacy for young people in Europe” to sit alongside a set of freely available resources for teachers.</p> <p>Along the way, children will also develop their own ‘cultural artefacts’ – artwork, stories or short films to be made publicly available in a virtual gallery. In the UK, participating teachers will have access to the Faculty of Education for professional development.</p> <p>For UCPS, with its close ties to the Faculty and strong research mission, the DIALLS project sits perfectly with its own curriculum priorities. “The real key perhaps to the project is to connect teachers and academics and children, and doing that through different texts,” says UCPS Headteacher Dr James Biddulph. “It fits in with our school’s focus on developing compassionate citizens who are actively involved in their world.”</p> <p>But with its pan-European scope and ambition to promote understanding, is there a risk the DIALLS initiative could seem unduly idealistic in an era of transition, enormous complexity and debates that can seem so intractable that many in the adult world are tempted to turn away and tune out? How can we expect children to make sense of Europe and its different – and changing – cultures, when even we adults frequently seem unable to do so?</p> <p>For Maine, the goal is not to find cosy solutions to the world’s problems, but to give children more tools to manage difference positively. “This isn’t about finding answers – we aren’t trying to get people to agree, nor even to seek to agree. This is about listening and understanding. It’s about a way of being.”</p> <p><em>Read more about our research on the topic of children in the University's research magazine; download a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/system/files/issue_37_research_horizons.pdf">pdf</a>;?view?on?<a href="https://issuu.com/uni_cambridge/docs/issue_37_research_horizons">Issuu</a>.</em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>As the world around us increasingly divides into ‘us and others’, the University of Cambridge Primary School is taking part in a new research project to help children discover for themselves that far more unites us than divides us.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">This isn’t about finding answers – we aren’t trying to get people to agree, nor even to seek to agree. This is about listening and understanding. It’s about a way of being</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Fiona Maine</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Linda Culverwell (ARTBASH)</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Details from artwork commissioned by the University of Cambridge Primary School featuring paintings by the pupils</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:00:00 +0000 Anonymous 201302 at http://www.54335178.com Cambridge partners in new €1 billion European Quantum Flagship http://www.54335178.com/research/news/cambridge-partners-in-new-eu1-billion-european-quantum-flagship <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/creditpanthermedia.netslashagsandrew.jpg?itok=TXQxcH31" alt="" title="Credit: panthermedia.net/agsandrew" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The <a href="https://qt.eu/">Quantum Flagship</a>, which is being officially launched today in Vienna, is one of the most ambitious long-term research and innovation initiatives of the European Commission. It is funded under the Horizon 2020 programme, and will have a budget of €1 billion over the next ten years.???????????????????</p> <p>The Quantum Flagship is the third large-scale research and innovation initiative of this kind funded by the European Commission, after the Graphene Flagship – of which the University of Cambridge is a founding partner – and the Human Brain Project. The Quantum Flagship work in Cambridge is being coordinated by Professor Mete Atature of the Cavendish Laboratory and Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre.</p> <p>Quantum technologies take advantage of the ability of particles to exist in more than one quantum state at a time. A quantum computer could enable us to make calculations that are well out of reach of even the most powerful supercomputers, while quantum secure communication could power ‘unhackable’ networks made safe by the laws of physics.</p> <p>The long-term research goal is the so-called quantum web, where quantum computers, simulators and sensors are interconnected via quantum networks, distributing information and quantum resources such as coherence and entanglement.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/inner-images/crop_4.jpg" style="width: 590px; height: 288px;" /></p> <p>The potential performance increase resulting from quantum technologies may yield unprecedented computing power, guarantee data privacy and communication security, and provide ultra-high precision synchronisation and measurements for a range of applications available to everyone, locally and in the cloud.</p> <p>The new Quantum Flagship will bring together academic and industrial partners, with over 500 researchers working on solving these problems, and help turn the results into technological opportunities that can be taken up by industry.</p> <p>In close partnership with UK, Italian, Spanish, Swedish universities and companies, Cambridge will develop layered quantum materials and devices for scalable integrated photonic circuits, for applications in quantum communication and networks.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/inner-images/crop2_4.jpg" style="width: 590px; height: 288px;" /></p> <p>Cambridge is investigating and refining layered semiconductors just a few atoms thick, based on materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Certain TMDs contain quantum light sources that can emit single photons of light, which could be used in quantum computing and sensing applications.</p> <p>These quantum light emitters occur randomly in layered materials, as is the case for most other material platforms. Over the past three years, the Cambridge researchers have developed a technique to obtain large-scale arrays of these quantum emitters in different TMDs and on a variety of substrates, establishing a route to build quantum networks on compact chips. The Cambridge team has also shown how to electrically control emission from these devices.</p> <p>Additionally, the researchers have found that TMDs can support complex quasi-particles, called quintons. Quintons could be a source of entangled photons - particles of light which are intrinsically linked, no matter how far apart they are - if they can be trapped in quantum emitters.</p> <p>These findings are the basis of the work being done in the Quantum Flagship, aimed at the development of scalable on-chip devices for quantum integrated photonic circuits, to enable secure quantum communications and quantum sensing applications.</p> <p>“Our goal is to bring some of the amazing properties of the layered materials platform into the quantum technologies realm for a number of applications,” said Atature. “Achieving compact integrated quantum photonic circuits is a challenge pursued globally and our patented layered materials technology offers solutions to this challenge. This is a great project that combines quantum physics, optoelectronics and materials science to produce technology for the future.”</p> <p>“Quantum technology is a key investment area for Europe, and layered materials show great promise for the generation and manipulation of quantum light for future technological advances,” said Ferrari. “The Graphene Flagship led the way for these large European Initiatives, and we are pleased to be part of the new Quantum Flagship. The Flagships are the largest and most transformative investments in research of the European Union, and will cement the EU leadership in future and emerging technologies.”?</p> <p>Andrus?Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said:?“Europe is determined to lead the development of quantum technologies worldwide. The Quantum Technologies Flagship project is part of our ambition to consolidate and expand Europe's scientific excellence. If we want to unlock the full potential of quantum technologies, we need to develop a solid industrial base making full use of our research.”</p> <p><em>Inset images: Mete Atature and Andrea Ferrari;?Artist’s impression of on-chip quantum photonics architecture with single photon sources and nonlinear switches on optical waveguides, credit Matteo Barbone.</em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>The University of Cambridge is a partner in the €1 billion Quantum Flagship, an EU-funded initiative to develop quantum technologies across Europe.?</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Flagships are the largest and most transformative investments in research of the European Union, and will cement the EU leadership in future and emerging technologies</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Andrea Ferrari</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">panthermedia.net/agsandrew</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Mon, 29 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0000 sc604 200752 at http://www.54335178.com Graphene may exceed bandwidth demands of future telecommunications http://www.54335178.com/research/news/graphene-may-exceed-bandwidth-demands-of-future-telecommunications <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/crop_92.jpg?itok=VY5ZYY8t" alt="" title="Credit: Lauren V. Robinson / ? Springer Nature Ltd" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The researchers have demonstrated how properties of graphene – a two-dimensional form of carbon - enable ultra-wide bandwidth communications and low power consumption to radically change the way data is transmitted across the optical communications systems.</p> <p>This could make graphene-integrated devices the key ingredient in the evolution of 5G, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), and Industry 4.0. The <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41578-018-0040-9">findings</a> are published in <em>Nature Reviews Materials</em>.</p> <p>As conventional semiconductor technologies approach their physical limitations, researchers need to explore new technologies to realise the most ambitious visions of a future networked global society. Graphene promises a significant step forward in performance for the key components of telecommunications and data communications.</p> <p>In their new paper, the researchers have presented a vision for the future of graphene-based integrated photonics, and provided strategies for improving power consumption, manufacturability and wafer-scale integration. With this new publication, the Graphene Flagship partners also provide a roadmap for graphene-based photonics devices surpassing the technological requirement for the evolution of datacom and telecom markets driven by 5G, IoT, and the Industry 4.0.</p> <p>“Graphene integrated in a photonic circuit is a low cost, scalable technology that can operate fibre links at a very high data rates,” said study lead author Marco Romagnoli from CNIT, the National Interuniversity Consortium for Telecommunications in Italy.</p> <p>Graphene photonics offers advantages both in performance and manufacturing over the state of the art. Graphene can ensure modulation, detection and switching performances meeting all the requirements for the next evolution in photonic device manufacturing.</p> <p>Co-author Antonio D’Errico, from Ericsson Research, says that “graphene for photonics has the potential to change the perspective of Information and Communications Technology in a disruptive way. Our publication explains why, and how to enable new feature rich optical networks.”</p> <p>This industrial and academic partnership, comprising researchers in the Cambridge Graphene Centre, CNIT, Ericsson, Nokia, IMEC, AMO, and ICFO produced the vision for the future of graphene photonic integration.</p> <p>“Collaboration between industry and academia is key for explorative work towards entirely new component technology,” said co-author Wolfgang Templ of Nokia Bell Labs. “Research in this phase bears significant risks, so it is important that academic research and industry research labs join the brightest minds to solve the fundamental problems. Industry can give perspective on the relevant research questions for potential in future systems. Thanks to a mutual exchange of information we can then mature the technology and consider all the requirements for a future industrialization and mass production of graphene-based components.”</p> <p>“An integrated approach of graphene and silicon-based photonics can meet and surpass the foreseeable requirements of the ever-increasing data rates in future telecom systems,” said Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre. “The advent of the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and the 5G era represent unique opportunities for graphene to demonstrate its ultimate potential.”</p> <p><strong><em>Reference: </em></strong><br /><em>Marco Romagnoli et al. ‘Graphene-based integrated photonics for next-generation datacom and telecom.’<em> </em>Nature Reviews Materials (2018). DOI: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-018-0040-9">10.1038/s41578-018-0040-9</a>. </em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Researchers from the Cambridge Graphene Centre, together with industrial and academic collaborators within the European Graphene Flagship project, showed that integrated graphene-based photonic devices offer a solution for the next generation of optical communications.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Lauren V. Robinson / ? Springer Nature Ltd</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Fri, 12 Oct 2018 12:34:23 +0000 Anonymous 200422 at http://www.54335178.com New class of materials could be used to make batteries that charge faster http://www.54335178.com/research/news/new-class-of-materials-could-be-used-to-make-batteries-that-charge-faster <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/3.jpg?itok=lxpJ_v1W" alt="" title="Impression of rapidly flowing ionic diffusion within a niobium tungsten oxide, Credit: Ella Maru Studio" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>Although these materials, known as niobium tungsten oxides, do not result in higher energy densities when used under typical cycling rates, they come into their own for fast charging applications. Additionally, their physical structure and chemical behaviour give researchers a valuable insight into how a safe, super-fast charging battery could be constructed, and suggest that the solution to next-generation batteries may come from unconventional materials. The <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0347-0">results</a> are reported in the journal <em>Nature</em>.</p> <p>Many of the technologies we use every day have been getting smaller, faster and cheaper each year – with the notable exception of batteries. Apart from the possibility of a smartphone which could be fully charged in minutes, the challenges associated with making a better battery are holding back the widespread adoption of two major clean technologies: electric cars and grid-scale storage for solar power.</p> <p>“We’re always looking for materials with high-rate battery performance, which would result in a much faster charge and could also deliver high power output,” said Dr Kent Griffith, a postdoctoral researcher in Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry and the paper’s first author.</p> <p>In their simplest form, batteries are made of three components: a positive electrode, a negative electrode and an electrolyte. When a battery is charging, lithium ions are extracted from the positive electrode and move through the crystal structure and electrolyte to the negative electrode, where they are stored. The faster this process occurs, the faster the battery can be charged.</p> <p>In the search for new electrode materials, researchers normally try to make the particles smaller. “The idea is that if you make the distance the lithium ions have to travel shorter, it should give you higher rate performance,” said Griffith. “But it’s difficult to make a practical battery with nanoparticles: you get a lot more unwanted chemical reactions with the electrolyte, so the battery doesn’t last as long, plus it’s expensive to make.”</p> <p>“Nanoparticles can be tricky to make, which is why we’re searching for materials that inherently have the properties we’re looking for even when they are used as comparatively large micron-sized particles. This means that you don’t have to go through a complicated process to make them, which keeps costs low,” said Professor Clare Grey, also from the Department of Chemistry and the paper’s senior author. “Nanoparticles are also challenging to work with on a practical level, as they tend to be quite ‘fluffy’, so it’s difficult to pack them tightly together, which is key for a battery’s volumetric energy density.”</p> <p>The niobium tungsten oxides used in the current work have a rigid, open structure that does not trap the inserted lithium, and have larger particle sizes than many other electrode materials. Griffith speculates that the reason these materials have not received attention previously is related to their complex atomic arrangements. However, he suggests that the structural complexity and mixed-metal composition are the very reasons the materials exhibit unique transport properties.</p> <p>“Many battery materials are based on the same two or three crystal structures, but these niobium tungsten oxides are fundamentally different,” said Griffith. The oxides are held open by ‘pillars’ of oxygen, which enables lithium ions to move through them in three dimensions. “The oxygen pillars, or shear planes, make these materials more rigid than other battery compounds, so that, plus their open structures means that more lithium ions can move through them, and far more quickly.”</p> <p>Using a technique called pulsed field gradient (PFG) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which is not readily applied to battery electrode materials, the researchers measured the movement of lithium ions through the oxides, and found that they moved at rates several orders of magnitude higher than typical electrode materials.</p> <p>Most negative electrodes in current lithium-ion batteries are made of graphite, which has a high energy density, but when charged at high rates, tends to form spindly lithium metal fibres known as dendrites, which can create a short-circuit and cause the batteries to catch fire and possibly explode.</p> <p>“In high-rate applications, safety is a bigger concern than under any other operating circumstances,” said Grey. “These materials, and potentially others like them, would definitely be worth looking at for fast–charging applications where you need a safer alternative to graphite.”</p> <p>In addition to their high lithium transport rates, the niobium tungsten oxides are also simple to make. “A lot of the nanoparticle structures take multiple steps to synthesise, and you only end up with a tiny amount of material, so scalability is a real issue,” said Griffith. “But these oxides are so easy to make, and don’t require additional chemicals or solvents.”</p> <p>Although the oxides have excellent lithium transport rates, they do lead to a lower cell voltage than some electrode materials. However, the operating voltage is beneficial for safety and the high lithium transport rates mean that when cycling fast, the practical (usable) energy density of these materials remains high.</p> <p>While the oxides may only be suited for certain applications, Grey says that the important thing is to keep looking for new chemistries and new materials. “Fields stagnate if you don’t keep looking for new compounds,” she says. “These interesting materials give us a good insight into how we might design higher rate electrode materials.”</p> <p>The research was funded in part by the European Union, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.</p> <p><strong><em>Reference: </em></strong><br /><em><em>Kent J. Griffith et al. ‘<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0347-0">Niobium tungsten oxides for high-rate lithium-ion energy storage</a>.’ Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0347-0</em></em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>Researchers have identified a group of materials that could be used to make even higher power batteries. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used materials with a complex crystalline structure and found that lithium ions move through them at rates that far exceed those of typical electrode materials, which equates to a much faster-charging battery.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Fields stagnate if you don’t keep looking for new compounds.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Clare Grey</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Ella Maru Studio</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Impression of rapidly flowing ionic diffusion within a niobium tungsten oxide</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width: 0px;" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ?University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.? All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our <a href="http://www.54335178.com/">main website</a> under its <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions">Terms and conditions</a>, and on a <a href="http://www.54335178.com/about-this-site/connect-with-us">range of channels including social media</a> that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Wed, 25 Jul 2018 17:03:59 +0000 sc604 199112 at http://www.54335178.com Zero gravity graphene promises success in space http://www.54335178.com/research/news/zero-gravity-graphene-promises-success-in-space <div class="field field-name-field-news-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img class="cam-scale-with-grid" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/styles/content-580x288/public/news/research/news/crop-4.jpg?itok=6hmWYsHN" alt="" title="Zero gravity graphene, Credit: Graphene Flagship" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>Working as part of a collaboration between the Graphene Flagship and the European Space Agency, researchers from the Cambridge Graphene Centre tested graphene in microgravity conditions for the first time while aboard a parabolic flight – often referred to as the ‘vomit comet’. The experiments they conducted were designed to test graphene’s potential in cooling systems for satellites.</p> <p>“One of graphene’s potential uses, recognised early on, is space applications, and this is the first time that graphene has been tested in space-like applications,” said Professor Andrea Ferrari, who is Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre, as well as Science and Technology Officer and Chair of the Management Panel for the Graphene Flagship.</p> <p>Graphene – a form of carbon just a single atom thick – has a unique combination of properties that make it useful for applications from flexible electronics and fast data communication, to enhanced structural materials and water treatments. It is highly electrically and thermally conductive, as well as strong and flexible.</p> <p>In this experiment, the researchers aimed to improve the performance of cooling systems in use in satellites, making use of graphene’s excellent thermal properties. “We are using graphene in what are called loop-heat pipes. These are pumps that move fluid without the need for any mechanical parts, so there is no wear and tear, which is very important for space applications,” said Ferrari.</p> <p>“We are aiming at an increased lifetime and an improved autonomy of the satellites and space probes,” said Dr Marco Molina, Chief Technical Officer of the Space line of business at industry partner Leonardo. “By adding graphene, we will have a more reliable loop heat pipe that can operate autonomously in space.”</p> <p>In a loop-heat pipe, evaporation and condensation of a fluid are used to transport heat from hot electronic systems out into space. The pressure of the evaporation-condensation cycle forces fluid through the closed systems, providing continuous cooling.</p> <p>The main element of the loop-heat pipe is the metallic wick, where the fluid is evaporated into gas. In these experiments, the metallic wick was coated in graphene, improving the efficiency of the heat pipe in two ways. Firstly, graphene’s excellent thermal properties improve the heat transfer from the hot systems into the wick. Secondly, the porous structure of the graphene coating increases the interaction of the wick with the fluid, and improves the capillary pressure, meaning the liquid can flow through the wick faster.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.54335178.com/sites/www.54335178.com/files/inner-images/crop-5.jpg" style="width: 590px; height: 288px;" /></p> <p>After promising results in laboratory tests, the graphene-coated wicks were tested in space-like conditions onboard a Zero-G parabolic flight. To create weightlessness, the plane undergoes a series of parabolic manoeuvres, creating up to 23 seconds of weightlessness in each manoeuvre.</p> <p>“It was truly a wonderful experience to feel weightlessness, but also the hyper-gravity moments in the plane. I was very excited but at the same time a bit nervous. I couldn’t sleep the night before,” said Dr Yarjan Samad, a Research Associate at the Cambridge Graphene Centre.</p> <p>During the flight, the graphene-coated wicks again demonstrated excellent performance, with more efficient heat and fluid transfer compared to the untreated wicks. Based on these results, the researchers are continuing to develop and optimise the coatings for applications in real space conditions. “The next step will be to start working on a prototype that could go either on a satellite or on the space station,” said Ferrari.</p> <p>The research was supported by the Graphene Flagship and the European Space Agency, as a collaboration between researchers from Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; the University of Cambridge, UK; the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Italy; and industry partner Leonardo Spa, Italy.</p> <p><em>Inset image: Professor Andrea Ferrari onboard the parabolic?</em><em>flight.?</em></p> <p>?</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-summary field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><p>In a series of experiments conducted last month, Cambridge researchers experienced weightlessness testing graphene’s application in space.</p> </p></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">This is the first time that graphene has been tested in space-like applications.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-content-quote-name field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Andrea Ferrari</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-media field-type-file field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="cam-video-container media-youtube-video media-youtube-2 "> <iframe class="media-youtube-player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LKGiDoxIqzw?wmode=opaque&controls=&rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-credit field-type-link-field field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Graphene Flagship</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image-desctiprion field-type-text field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Zero gravity graphene</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-cc-attribute-text field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license"><img alt="Creative Commons License" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" style="border-width:0" /></a><br /> The text in this work is licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>. For image use please see separate credits above.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-show-cc-text field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Wed, 31 Jan 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Anonymous 194692 at http://www.54335178.com 飞鱼彩票规则
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