University of Liverpool

Country: United Kingdom
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2,680 Projects, page 1 of 536
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/K003798/1
    Funder Contribution: 118,796 GBP
    Partners: University of Liverpool

    What are all the species of pathogen that affect our livestock? It is important to answer this question, to help protect the animals that produce our food, and also because nearly 7 out of every 10 human pathogens came from animals, with a good number from the livestock and pets that we closely associate with. Remarkably, however, even for humans this question was only answered ten years ago (1415 were listed) and there remains no definitive answer for livestock, domestic pets and other animals. This proposal aims to further develop a new database of livestock (and other) pathogens, called EID2 (ENHanCED Infectious Diseases 2). EID2 has been built largely from the tens of millions of records of DNA and RNA sequences that are uploaded onto public databases; where such sequences are from a pathogen, they are frequently uploaded with further information on the host (which animal the pathogen was obtained from), where and when it was obtained, and who by. EID2 takes this information, and draws conclusions; for example, that a certain type of pathogen infects a certain host species, and is/was present in a certain country at a certain time. Similar conclusions can be drawn, and added to EID2, from the tens of millions of publications held in other public databases, thereby covering times and places where sequencing has not been extensive. EID2 can map the pathogens and, using incorporated climate data, it can model the climate conditions that determine their distribution. EID2 is open access. TRDF funding will enable us to finalise the development of EID2 into a tool and resource for researchers of pathogens of livestock and domestic pets. We will develop the database to hold more spatially detailed information (at county rather than country level) and improve its ability to handle records where the host species is not clearly defined. We will add further environmental data to allow users to produce better models to explain pathogen distributions, and even predict them in the future, given climate change; and we will allow users to work at the level of diseases, rather than individual pathogens or groups of pathogens. Finally, we will give users the ability to add certain information of their own.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2111203
    Partners: University of Liverpool

    The monitoring of the steroid hormone cortisol/cortisone allows for medical professionals to diagnose conditions often relating to elevated stress and anxiety. Currently the most used method of detecting cortisol requires intravenous sampling and measuring over the course of several hours. Salivary samples have been used to determine the cortisol concentration and hence the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Mass spectroscopy allows for accurate cortisol detection, using a uSPEed cartridge a chromatographic separation/micro separation allows for improvements to the cortisol signal. Optimising the electrospray micro solid phase extraction (SPE) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (APCI) for different concentrations of cortisol will allow for the development of novel cartridges using silver coated silica tips, with tuneable pores sizes. Additionally, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection can be used for detection of cortisol. Coating different papers with silica will allow for lateral flow chromatography, using different sized silicas, and the addition of aptamers means that the paper chromatography can be optimised use in paper spray mass spectroscopy. This will provide a cheap alternative to the current methods of accurately measuring cortisol concentrations.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/W003244/1
    Funder Contribution: 415,072 GBP
    Partners: University of Liverpool

    The threat posed by tick-borne diseases (TBD) in temperate regions such as the UK is growing rapidly. Human exposure is often linked to woodlands that support high densities of tick vectors and key wildlife hosts of these pathogens, and are intensively used by people. Climate change and government policies to increase woodland connectivity and improve human recreational access are highly likely to increase risks of TBD in the UK. To mitigate this threat we need to better understand effects of landscape structure on the movement and habitat use of those wildlife species which are key hosts for ticks and zoonotic pathogens. We also need to understand how humans use landscapes, where they are most at risk of exposure to tick bites and whether exposure could be prevented by habitat and host management. Given recent shifts across Europe in the distributions of TBD and tick populations, it is also critical to understand how longer term climate and land use changes may affect the introduction, establishment and spread of TBDs. Bringing together researchers from ecology, epidemiology, public health, and social science, TICKSOLVE aims to address these gaps. We will provide evidence for optimal greening and woodland restoration policies that will maximise benefits to biodiversity and human wellbeing while minimising human risks from current and future tick-borne diseases by: 1. Bringing together key national and regional level actors in health, land and biodiversity policy that interact with landscapes and TBD systems, to frame key risk scenarios and feasible environmental interventions for TBDs. 2. Better understanding how landscape structure shapes wildlife host distribution, habitat selection and movements and consequently impacts on ticks and TBD risk combining ecological surveys, pathogen genetics and computer modelling 3. Mapping how people use woodland landscapes and how this interacts with risk of encountering infected ticks to identify high risk areas for human exposure 4. Modelling how potential environmental barriers and interventions could reduce human exposure, integrating this knowledge of ecological interactions across the landscapes 5. Predicting how changes in woodland area and climate and patterns of bird migration may change TBD risks in the future 6. Co-developing interventions to minimise current and future TBD risks with stakeholders and policymakers that are locally appropriate. The research will focus on three emerging pathogens that pose a risk to the UK. Firstly Lyme disease (LD) which is currently present in the UK and can cause long-term debilitation. Reported cases of LD have increased 10-fold since 2000, probably linked to an expanding distribution of its main tick vector, Ixodes ricinus. Secondly, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) which has been recently detected in ticks in the UK with evidence of suspected human cases in 2019. TBE uses the same tick vector and can cause severe neurological damage and death with some 5,000 to 12,000 reported cases each year in mainland Europe. Thirdly, Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), caused by a WHO priority pathogen CCHF virus, with epidemic potential, is expanding north-westward in Europe. It's tick vector, Hyalomma spp., was found recently on migratory birds arriving in the UK. The TICKSOLVE project platform and approach of co-developing research, models and risk communication materials with stakeholders, accounting for diverse land management priorities, will enable formulation of future-proofed woodland and greening policies that minimise risks of these diverse TBDs. Furthermore, engagement with key global partners and networks through webinars and meetings will facilitate transfer of TICKSOLVE inter-disciplinary approaches to other rapidly changing tick-borne disease systems worldwide.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2441415
    Partners: University of Liverpool

    Predicting demand for UK HE within the global HE market

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2107207
    Partners: University of Liverpool

    Mediating Militarism: Chronicling 100 Years of Military Victimhood from Print to Digital, 1918-2018 aims to assess militarism and its role in the commemoration of the British war dead since the end of the First World War. 2018 marks the centenary of the cessation of the First World War and provides a framework through which this research project will develop. The project will take advantage of unique access to print and digital materials captured and held by the British Library in order to chronicle the changing public portrayal of the British war dead from the print to the digital age, evaluating the role this portrayal plays in the mediation of militarism in the process. No one definitive example of militarism exists throughout history, as each manifestation of the concept varies in one way or another. All examples may be intrinsically linked to ideals such as the glorification of war-like thinking, but in diametrically opposed socio-political environments these realisations of militarism can take forms often unrecognisable to one another. From this basis, militarism manifests itself in a variety of ways that depend heavily on contemporary politics, alongside both military and social developments. In the case of Britain, national narratives surrounding the First World War have played a key role in the development of the nation's own form of militarism. The nature of Britain's involvement in the First World War meant that following the Armistice of 11th November 1918, a multitude of commemorative practices were developed in order to facilitate the mourning of an entire nation. British soldiers who had died abroad were not repatriated following the war meaning tangible sites of mourning were created as focal points of British remembrance. Through the development of a unique language and symbology surrounding the commemoration of the war dead these commemorative practices continue into the present day and have saturated British attitudes to the military and the waging of war. This research project will first chronicle this past century of representations of what is referred to as 'military victimhood' through both print and digital resources curated by the British Library. These cultural artefacts will then be interrogated so as to explore how representations of this 'military victimhood' have potentially acted as mediators of militarism in British society. Through the examination of these resources methodological practices will be developed in relation to working with mixed collections, such as the British Library's newspaper collections and the UK Web Archive, and will feed into curatorial work on the capture, storage and navigation of such resources. Finally, it is hoped that these processes will aid the British Library in better understanding the value, challenges and limitations of their print and digital collections, and how their future use can be enhanced for researchers in the social sciences.