Research in fluid mechanics has long been motivated by the desire to understand the world around us. Biology, in particular, is dominated by transport problems involving fluids, from the diffusion of nutrients and locomotion to flows around plants and the circulatory system of animals. The biological realm has therefore long been a source of inspiration for fluid mechanicians.
In the 1950s, driven by the desire to understand the locomotion of spermatozoa, G I Taylor - the founder of modern fluid mechanics whose name is associated with this lecture - was the first to carry out a mathematical analysis of locomotion in a fluid. In the spirit of Taylor, I will highlight in this lecture examples where an analysis of fluid motion has lead to novel understanding of biological processes in the realm of cellular motility.
Originally a term used almost exclusively in the industrial domain, automation is now being applied in most aspects of life. Yet the rationale for automating and its implications is often not clearly understood. This talk will explore the origins of automation and examine what is encompassed by the term today. It will explore the rationale, benefits and downsides of automating - including implications for the future workforce - and will attempt to provide some signposting around whether we should automate, and if so when and where. A range of industrial automation developments from more than thirty years experience will be used to support this presentation.
Abstract not available
Imaging the metabolism of tumours is likely to play an increasingly important role in predicting and detecting tumour responses to treatment and thus in guiding treatment in individual patients. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging has long been used to study non-invasively the metabolism of tissues in the human body. The problem is that it is a very insensitive technique which means that the resolution of the images is poor and examination times can be very long. We have been using a technique, called dynamic nuclear hyperpolarization (DNP), which can increase sensitivity in the MRI experiment by >10,000x. In this technique we “hyperpolarize” 13C-labelled substrates, such as glucose, and then inject them intravenously. 13C is a non-radioactive isotope of carbon that can be detected in the MRI experiment. The massive increase in sensitivity afforded by hyperpolarization of the 13C nucleus means that we can image the location of the labelled substrate in the body and its metabolic conversion into downstream metabolites. A former colleague once said that it allowed us to watch tumours “eat and breath” and most importantly we can also watch them die when a therapy is effective. In this lecture I will describe the work that we have done using this technique over the last 15 years, which has taken it from the lab and into the clinic. I will finish by describing a new MRI technique for imaging tumour metabolism, which has also recently gone into the clinic and that uses deuterium (2H)-labelled substrates (2H is a non-radioactive isotope of hydrogen that can also be detected in the MRI experiment). 2H is even less sensitive to MRI detection than 13C and is not suitable for hyperpolarization. In this case we exploit an NMR property of the 2H nucleus which allows us to acquire signal very rapidly without signal saturation, which compensates for the low sensitivity of detection. I will show how we think that this can provide complementary information to that provided by imaging with hyperpolarized 13C-labelled substrates.
This talk will introduce a new type of battery electrode that can be recharged directly by light, without the need for external solar cells or external power supplies. These devices may change the way we power off-grid devices and provide a tool to fight energy poverty in developing communities. However, this is an emerging technology that still suffers from tremendous challenges that need to be solved before we can dream of commercialising it. In this talk, I will first discuss the operating principles of light-rechargeable batteries and in particular how they are able to harvest solar energy and sore it. Then I will discuss challenges related to the stability of these devices and their light conversion efficiency. Finally, I will give an outlook of the challenges related to the scale-up manufacturing and commercialisation of these systems as well as the role they might play on the long term in fighting energy poverty and climate change.
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