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Poster Session // day one

Digital posters from all institutions will also be shown.

The preservation of the UK’s flora and fauna has been of dramatic importance in the recent coming years in terms of increased human development and destruction of vital habitats for farmland and urbanization. The population of bat species in the UK has been under serious decline as a result with all 17 species being protected under British Law. Strategies and further improvements in conservation and monitoring need to be greatly considered in order to protect and sustain these keystone species that provide ecological services ranging from pest management to disease control. The Gower Peninsula of Southern Wales appears to harbour a genetically distinct population of Lesser Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros) that have become isolated from the rest of the UK. Work looking into the mitochondrial analysis of this particular group by extraction and analysis of the variation in the 720bp fragments of the mtDNA Cyctochrome B gene has helped build a greater understanding of the species phylogeography as well as elaborate upon the phylogenetic history of the species emergence in the UK as well as other species, helping understand the migration and distribution of the species in the country. The results found here can hugely benefit the conservation work on bats currently taking place in the UK and would influence well-informed decisions on the governing of the Gower Peninsula itself towards future conservation and preservation which would be a sure step in the right direction in protecting this fragile species from potential or possibly permanent disappearance.

Plants are constantly exposed to a variety of environmental challenges including pathogenic microbes. Without the adaptive immunity mechanisms of vertebrates, plants rely solely on innate immune responses for defence against pathogens. The field of plant-microbe interactions has made impressive progress over the last 20 years, revealing the two-step basic architecture of plant immune system. Genetic and yeast two-hybrid screens have been instrumental in the discovery of numerous extracellular and intracellular immune receptors. Despite our advances in the identification of immune receptors, with high potential for agricultural use, an apparent gap exists in our understanding of how activation of receptors leads to functional plant immunity. The focus of this proposal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms bridging the gap between activated receptors and downstream cascades, a vital step into engineering plants with durable resistance.

This project looks at the role of parent-child relationships over time in relation to moral duties. Society as it currently stands is very much concerned with liberal notions of the individual as alienated from their special relationships, particularly in commonly accepted moral theory. Even if we more to accept certain forms of extra moral obligations placed upon us by special relationships, the ramifications of accepting these, and to what extent these do and should hold remain unclear. With reference to the argument put forward by Brighouse and Swift on varying forms of parental partiality, this project will deconstruct their position to examine the underlying intuitions for their conclusion. As traditional rebuttals of this line of argumentation typically rely on at least a refutation of complete parental partiality, this study seeks to look at what the nature of this partiality is. By concluding that it is derived for the most part from a position of responsibility, this project looks to support that such considerations should have an influential role in moral decision making.

We aim to understand the dynamics of polynomial functions over p-adic number fields, which is an area of active research in number theory.

In reference of 'Measurable Dynamics of Simple p-adic Polynomials' by J. Bryk and C. E. Silva, iteration of some polynomial functions over the p-adic number field has lead to some discovery of interesting results in the density the output of the such iteration in the p-adic number field. This is due to the fact that the distance in p-adics is measured by a non-Achimedean norms. Motivated by this, we are using the tools from Ergodic Theory to understand the distribution of some sequences over such number field.

This project will give us the insight in understanding the behaviour of sequences of numbers in terms of its distributions over the p-adic number field, especially when we vary the values of a prime number, p assigned to the p-adic number fields. Furthermore, this project lies in the field of the Arithmetic Dynamics, which is an amalgamation of the two major field of mathematics, Dynamical Systems and Number Theory. Such field has gain many interest in research as it might provide insight into real world problems, including the study of climate, financial markets, and cryptography.

Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (hRSV) causes severe bronchiolitis in susceptible populations, particularly babies and the elderly, and is the second largest cause of death in post-neonatal infants under one year of age worldwide. There is currently no vaccine. Easton, Gould and Marsh have found that inhibition of DDX3X, a host RNA helicase that the virus is obliged to use, prevents the expression of viral proteins, thus preventing the virus from reproducing. Pre-clinical studies have shown that DDX3X inhibitors reduce the severity of hRSV. Three novel compounds, AJR-1, AJR-2 and AJR-4 – structurally related to inhibitors active against infections including dengue and West Nile – virus are studied herein and are of interest as potential broad-spectrum antivirals.

In-silico bioinformatic tools were investigated as a method for identifying and optimising novel compounds for activity against hRSV as well as predicting their likely uptake and metabolism routes. By looking at known compound-transporter interactions in open source databases, uptake routes for the similar novel compounds were suggested. Compounds known to have activity with the predicted transporter were then identified and by comparing their ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) properties to those of the novel inhibitors, commercially available compounds were identified which may show activity against hRSV and will be acquired and tested in the future. In-vitro assays of the three novel inhibitors were also performed on immortalised human cell lines infected with hRSV.

Yoyakarta hosts a vibrant urban art culture, given the wider context of Java's strong religious background and complex colonial history, this phenomenon appears stronger and possibly out of place. My research delves into the role Yogyakarta played in the colonial liberation of Indonesia during the Indonesia National Revolution (1945-1949) and explores whether this can be accountable for the freedom that is experienced today by urban artist. Due to the breadth urban art covers, I chose to specialise in street art (Graffiti) because the act of street art in itself is one of defiance and personal liberation. I used interviews with both street artists and professors at Gadjah Mada University in combination with archival research to understand the how Yogyakarta helped in the war efforts along with the characteristics of urban art culture today. I discovered that it was the self-mobilising youth into 'youth groups' in Yogyakarta that fought both in combat and as political actors of change. I observed changing perceptions of freedom, murals that were scribed on the walls campaigning for literal freedom from the colonial powers during the revolution have transpired into a figurative freedom for individuality. Although artist today don’t personally reflect on Yoyakarta's role in the liberation of Indonesia, there is a mutual understanding that art is an expression of identity, and identity can be weakened or strengthened with the invasion or liberation from a coloniser. This research can imply that cities which experience active art cultures may have roots of freedom/liberation imbedded within their history, which should be followed up with further investigation.

This project documented in this report aimed to understand the equity of public resources in the context of New York City. A measure for this equity was derived by quantifying the accessibility that citizens had to a variety of state provided facilities across all five boroughs. Key themes were identified to guide analysis, namely educational standard, environmental impacts, healthcare provisions, transport quality and accessibility to public services. Data representing these key themes was sourced to provide scope of the project, and in turn served as input to the system developed. This system contained a number of analytical scripts that utilised current practices in the data science discipline. In particular, a variety of visualisations were created using the Plotly graphing library. These visualisations were interesting and dynamic, and told a story about the lives of New York residents through emerging patterns and clusters of behaviour. The results gained from this highlighted that there was areas of inequity in parts of the city. For example, Manhattan had a disproportionally low number of fire fighting provisions in comparison to its population, especially downtown. Additionally, it was observed that Brooklyn residents had the lowest access to mental health facilities compared to any other borough. These results inspired a set of recommendations to be made, that indicated possible changes to public policy which could realign the balance of equity in favour of more people across the city of New York.

When searching for viable investment strategies, researchers typically postulate a hypothesis and proceed to test it with data. A proportion of these studies uses data mining approach instead, where non-trivial economic relationships are identified through computer optimization, but no initial hypothesis is formed to explain them. While this approach is often quicker to carry out, investment strategies designed in this way are typically not very robust as even a small change in the underlying data effects their performance significantly. Therefore, these findings typically lack future predictive power. My research is going to be similar to the data mining approach but will use evolutionary algorithms instead of traditional methods. Such algorithms randomly select several predefined parameters and further combine them together to maximize their performance. These findings are typically more robust to changes in the underlying data and therefore are more likely to have future predictive power. The optimization process itself also becomes computationally much more efficient as evolutionary algorithms benefit from chance. This enables them to identify viable investment strategies faster than the use of traditional data mining methods. The findings of this research will be further subjected to extensive statistical testing to maximize the likelihood of their future predictive power and to minimize the risk of over-optimization which is typical for data mining.

The purpose of ‘tokens’ in the context of Ancient Rome is unclear – with theories ranging from festival souvenirs to the broad concept of their use as aIternative currencies. I plan to investigate how gods and heroes are represented on Roman tokens, as compared to other representations of these figures in art more generally, which will hopefully help to reveal the purpose of tokens based on the contexts where certain motifs are often found. I also intend to visit find spots, including sites in Rome and Ostia to further contextualize the tokens, shedding further light on their purpose. I will focus this in-depth research on a few particular tokens, for which there is enough surviving evidence for analysis and re-interpretation to be fruitful. The tokens in question will be taken from a catalogue currently only available in Latin, which I will help to translate, broadening its potential audience. Additionally, the catalogue was produced by a 19th Century scholar who was not an expert in iconography - therefore, my research will produce alternate interpretations of images represented on the tokens, supported by modern scholarship. This enquiry, which will help to build up an image of the tokens’ background will help future researchers to shed some light on the currently obscure purpose of ancient tokens and so to better understand the lives of the people who used them and the processes which shaped those lives.

Quoting Catherine Palmer; “the history of any nation’s diet is the history of the nation itself, with food fashion, fads and fancies mapping episodes of colonialism and migration, trade and exportation, cultural exchange and boundary-making”. Food history is hence an interdisciplinary field that examines the history of food, as well as its cultural, economic, environmental, and sociological impact. Eating is a deeply, indispensable human activity. As epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said; “gastronomy governs the whole life of man”. It is thus interesting from a research point of view as through discussions on the functions, structure, social and political roles of food we can understand the emergence and evolution of characteristics of our own society. The focus of this project is on Hong Kong’s identity as an autonomous territory of the People‘s Republic of China through its cuisine. Hong Kong is a pioneering culinary hub with a colonial past, a long history as a city of commerce, and a city which is much more open to the World compared to mainland China. The pivotal question is: has Hong Kong, despite being an autonomous region, maintained Chinese cuisine? Or has it otherwise established its own distinctive, local cuisine in order to showcase its independence? This allows the exploration of themes such as nationalism and identity, as well as how food plays a key role defining them in relation to place and belonging."

Problem

As demand for GP’s for appointments increases and the population ages, funding for patients and the number of GP’s are falling. It has been argued that a change in consultation medium may help to ease these pressures. One proposed solution is the use of E-consultations, allowing patients to contact their GP via an online form and the GP to contact them back for a telephone or face to face consultation.

Patients can provide a variety of information and leave electronic messages to speed up history taking and allow triage of patients. This may allow alleviation of the unsustainable pressures on GP’s resources. While NHS England and the Nuffield trust have both expressed support of its usage in general practice, uptake has been slow.

Methodology

The proposed study will analyse of data from a service provider offering e-consultation software. Data about usage of the software from 3000 patients will undergo quantitative analysis, with a selected sample of up to 600 free text comments qualitatively analysed using NVivo to establish relationships between themes and patterns in experiences of using the software.

Results

This study will allow us to gain a better understanding of the future of E-consultation use in General Practice with results being available by October.

Implications

A report will be compiled summarising and assessing user demographics and opinions to identify Barriers and adaptations needed to give the best uptake. This information will be passed to health providers to guide them in facilitating the growth of online consultations.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that car companies are being affected by the unprecedented rise of Uber. As Forbes said in 2016, this challenge to the industry requires “everyone from insurance companies to car dealers… to start studying the math”. My project will be the attempt to quantify the effects of Uber on other industries, a task that has fascinated journalists but has not been done properly. In particular, I will explore how the rates charged by rental companies and car ownership rates have changed after the introduction of Uber. The innovation I hope to introduce will be to use states where Uber has been blocked by regulation as a counterfactual for Uber not being introduced (Texas is a prime example). I will be informing my research by collecting exclusive data from Sandbag (UK) Brookings (Washington), US Department of Transport and Federal Trade Commission and interviewing prominent researchers in these institutions.

The hopes of this research is to provide techniques, refined with expert help abroad, to analyse Uber’s effects on broader society. Moreover, it can provide a scientific basis for regulation should monopolisation by Uber be uncovered or if congestion and pollution is increased.

The UK has experienced substantial growth in net migration since the 90s that raised concerns on the economic implications of mass immigration, one of the main factors leading to Brexit. The new political landscape facing the UK after their exit allows more flexibility in immigration policy. While substantial research is being conducted to clarify the relationship between immigration and the economy, there is no literature linking UK immigration to innovation. Thus, this paper modifies Porter and Stern’s ‘national ideas production function’ (2000) to account for international graduate students and skilled immigration while using a mix of patenting activity and incorporation activity as proxies for innovation to account for both tangible and intangible technical improvements. Time series regressions on data between years 1994 and 2014 suggest that foreign graduate students were the biggest contributors to patent applications, grants and incorporations with estimated elasticities of 1.23, 0.34 and 1.25, respectively. While skilled immigration is reported to have low contributions to innovation proxies, this is likely to be a symptom of low propensities to patent exhibited by UK firms. The findings suggest that foreign graduate students and skilled immigrants contribute to positive knowledge spillovers in the UK.

This investigation is trying to illustrate the importance of analytical chemistry in contemporary issues, specifically in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of lipids in different foods. The objective of the study was to design an experiment for undergraduate Chemistry labs which uses techniques used for food analysis in industry and at the same time offers the chance to work on a large range of samples. The novelty of this experiment lies in the fact that fatty acid products are used for analysis using saponification, a large scale industrial chemical process, but which has been scaled down for this experiment. This reaction manages to yield quantitative results, eradicating the need for the synthesis of fatty acid methyl esters, which requires harsh conditions and dangerous chemicals. In addition, the experiment lends itself to a first step into scientific investigation. Food coming from different sources, or produced in different ways might contain a different profile of fatty acids. Laboratory chemistry was applied to validate the claims made by manufacturers in terms of content of saturated fat and Omega 3 fatty acids. It was also required from the students to assess the appropriacy of certain sample preparation techniques. Finally, focus was given on the involvement of critical thinking and evaluation of different analytical techniques with the goal of concluding to the one best suited to the molecule under investigation, by considering how the structure of lipids can affect the properties of the lipid molecule. In addition to valuable laboratory skills, the students got to think about what they eat and how they could improve their health making sensible choices.

This research project, based in Greece is titled “Refugees: The Truth Behind their Journey”. It aims to unravel the important process of asylum application, and the different factors that are considered when granting it. Readers will be interested in the larger work of this project, as the research is grounded on the current topic of the refugee crisis. A controversial humanitarian emergency which has most certainly struck an emotional chord amongst most readers, who are eager to learn more about this subject.

Our work seeks to investigate the legal status of refugees in a national (Greek) context as well as under international law. Our focus will be whether migrants’ human rights are respected and adhered to according to international law by local and national authorities, NGOs and the general Greek population. We will interview independent asylum lawyers as well as some working under NGOs to draw on their experiences throughout the refugee crisis and we will also interview some refugees and Greek locals to hear their side of the story. The purpose of the investigation will be achieved by gathering evidence from these interviews, our own observations on the field and online databases (such as ESI).

The work will add to the already extensive body of knowledge/research in this area, by offering more exposure on the topic, raising the awareness of readers. Unravelling the harsh realities of the crisis to people who haven’t visited these camps.

Staphylococcus aureus can act as an intracellular pathogen that results in both human and animal infections. In humans, S. aureus can cause a variety of serious infections and illnesses including localised skin infections, pneumonia and the potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome.

Research has noted that a secretion system (known as the type VII ESAT-6 secretion system) has been found to have high levels of upregulation in cystic fibrosis patients with chronic S. aureus infection. This secretion system machinery has six core components; one extracellular protein, one cytoplasmic protein and four membrane proteins. It has been found as a requirement for virulence, with recent research identifying secreted protein EsxA as a suppressor of host cell apoptotic cell response. In this way, it can sustain intracellular infection as well as required for secretion of other virulence factors of the ess system, such as EsxB and EsxC.

Research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the S. aureus type VII secretion system. To investigate the specific role of individual proteins during S. aureus infection, we will construct and study mutants lacking individual Ess proteins for their ability to form biofilms and invade host cells. These studies could eventually lead to the development of some of the Ess proteins as potential drug or vaccine candidates.