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Durham University

Country: United Kingdom

Durham University

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2,228 Projects, page 1 of 446
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 300115
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2600917

    Native chemical ligation (NCL) is a chemical reaction which is critical in the synthesis of proteins. It has enabled chemists to prepare highly potent peptide-based pharmaceuticals for a range of diseases. Despite its ubiquity, aspects of the reaction's mechanism are still debated, so brute-force reaction screening is commonly employed, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. We will use a quantitative, combined synthetic-kinetic approach to elucidate the mechanism for NCL across a range of amino acids. Using this insight, we aim to understand current limitations and drawbacks of NCL in order to deliver better and more efficient synthetic procedures.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S515048/1
    Funder Contribution: 200,842 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 802979
    Overall Budget: 1,499,830 EURFunder Contribution: 1,499,830 EUR

    Empathy – sharing and understanding others’ emotions and thoughts – is a defining feature of what it means to be human. However, we lack knowledge about the origins of empathy and to what extent its sub-components reflect species and cultural universals. Studying infants and great apes enables us to identify the developmental and evolutionary origins of empathy and the extent of its human uniqueness. Until now, it has largely been assumed that infants and great apes lack the capacity for empathy. However, this claim may reflect a lack of adequate methodologies and research attention, leaving infant and great ape empathy underestimated. Now, combining novel techniques to investigate empathy comparatively (thermal-imaging, pupillometry and eye-tracking) with longitudinal observations and innovative experiments, EMPORIGIN will overcome this issue to provide the first comparative investigation of empathy development in humans and bonobos, our closest living relatives. Rich datasets on bonobo (wild and semi-captive) infant development and caregiver interactions will be compared to those from human infants in two small-scale, traditional societies – Vanuatu and Samoa. Both societies show distributed-caregiving but vary in societal structure and emotional expressivity. Using a cross-species and cross-cultural approach, EMPORIGIN will deliver step-change insights into empathy development that go far beyond the State-of-the-Art. We will test the hypothesis that humans and bonobos share a core capacity for empathy, but humans diverge in a greater motivation to ameliorate others’ emotional states and a capacity for reciprocal emotional exchange. These capacities could lead to a cascade of human-unique forms of sharing and co-operation. Combining approaches across biology, psychology, ethology and anthropology, EMPORIGIN will advance our understanding of the origins of empathy, one of our most remarkable capacities, and challenge current perspectives about its human uniqueness.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G0900220
    Funder Contribution: 1,659,930 GBP

    We propose to carry out a large field trial in The Gambia, West Africa, to find out whether there is any additional benefit of spraying homes with DDT in addition to the normal practice of getting everyone to sleep under bednets impregnated with long-lasting insecticides. The study will have two groups of villages: one with only treated nets and the other with both treated nets and DDT spraying. We will measure how effective the interventions are by sampling mosquitoes in the houses and measuring malaria in study children in both sets of villages. Importantly we will determine whether the vectors are likely to become resistant to the insecticides used and we will be able to determine how much it will cost to prevent cases of malaria using the DDT. This study is important since many Afircan countries, including The Gambia, are either spraying houses with DDT at present or intend to do so in the near future.

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