19A - Social Inclusion and EngagementUniversity of Warwick and Baruch College, CUNY
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the English legal system’s adequacy in protecting “outsiders” to the law – namely, women and LGBTQUA+ communities. This research will find that the law is patriarchal with a binary understanding of gender, and that this creates inequality. Furthermore, in the light of a recent argument that paedophilia is a “sexual orientation”, this paper will evaluate the legitimacy of expanding the boundaries of “equality” in relation to Aristotelian arguments on the purpose of the law – that the law should govern for “the greater good of humanity”.
For this research, this paper will discuss Franz Kafka’s “outsider” jurisprudence and analyse Kafka’s perception of what the law “is” and “does” to outsiders. The law’s patriarchy will be demonstrated using Catherine MacKinnon’s radical feminism theories, through its oppression and policing of female sexuality; the laws regarding proprietary interest in the family home; and the law’s insufficiency in protecting victims of domestic violence - as exemplified through the long-due creation of a “controlling and coercive behaviour” offence and landmark police negligence case Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police in 2015. This research will portray the law’s failure to protect LGBTQUA+ communities with, primarily, an analysis of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and its unrecognition of transgender defendants when proving “absence of consent” and “deception”.
This research will conclude that through a deconstruction of gender and hypothesis of what the law would be and do if it were non-gendered, the inadequacies of the law may be addressed.
19B - New Perspectives University of Warwick and University of Leeds
Biobutanol has increasing commercial and environmental interest. It is an alternative renewable fuel with a similar energy density to petroleum compared to shorter chain alcohols, such as ethanol. The conversion of bioethanol to butanol can be achieved via the Guerbet reaction, which consists of three main processes. This research aimed to identify how biological and chemical catalysts could be used to improve yields and butanol selectivity from bioethanol.
The study focussed on investigating the first two Guerbet processes through a series of experiments. Initially, the difficult oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde was attempted using alcohol dehydrogenases enzyme and cofactor Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). The enzyme was assayed using spectrophotometry, noting absorption changes at 340nm due to NAD+ concentration.
The subsequent aldol condensation reaction of acetaldehyde and bases was also investigated. The reaction progress was monitored via off-line gas chromatography. This analysis was used to continually modify and optimise the reaction. Room temperature reactions were seen to primarily form high levels of polymerised product due to the reaction between acetaldehyde intermediate enolates. Therefore updated reaction parameters were used; a lower reaction temperature and a slower addition rate of acetaldehyde to the base.
Results for this research are pending. However, when available, the results will be used to develop and produce a viable and efficient method for large-scale conversion of ethanol to butanol, primarily focussing on optimising butanol yields.
Breath-analysis is a novel method of obtaining non-invasive data on the clinical state of an individual through specific sampling and subsequent analysis of exhaled breath. This research field has been gaining interest in the scientific community, due to its potential to provide simple breath tests for lung cancer, diabetes, and malabsorption disorders. However, only the very last portion of exhaled breath (â€œend-tidalâ€� breath) contains gases that can be used for diagnosis using electronic noses. Moreover, standardised sampling procedures for breath-analysis currently do not exist.
The aim of this project was to design, manufacture and assemble a portable, hand-held breath capture device, which automatically and reproducibly captures end-tidal breath. An extensive literature review was conducted to define the device specification and sampling procedure. Thereafter, components were selected to match the specification as closely as possible. An experimental prototype was assembled to verify the functionality of the system. Subsequently, the device was manufactured and successfully assembled.
The device monitors carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen, temperature and pressure levels in real-time. The sampling process is initiated by redirecting exhaled air into a medical collection bag, when the CO2 threshold of 3000 ppm (parts-per-million) is surpassed. The sampling process is completed after surpassing the cut-off threshold, at 90% of the maximum CO2 level.
The breath capture device was successfully developed and has performed well during preliminary testing. This advancement should be considered relevant and important, since it may enable breath-analysis to gain widespread usage as a cheap, non-traumatic, and non-invasive alternative to blood analysis.