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Our Changing World

As part of this series of public lectures that examine the global challenges facing society and the role of academia in meeting these challenges, Dr Michael Shaver, Chancellor's Fellow in the School of Chemistry, presented "The Intertwined World of 'Peak' Oil, Renewables and Sustainability".

New Forbes Chair: Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones

Guy moves to Edinburgh from Bristol and was elected to the Royal Society earlier this year.

His group's research focuses on the mechanism by which reagents and catalysts function in synthetic organic reactions.

Guy's group move into purpose-built labs next summer, and with the addition of new facilities for in situ reaction monitoring, such as stop-flow NMR, IR, UV, they aspire to build this to become the UK's centre of expertise for the study and application of organic reaction mechanism to synthesis.

Not So Sticky?

A team lead by Scott Cockroft based in the School of Chemistry have developed an experimental synthetic system for measuring the strength of Van der Waals dispersion forces in solution.

Van der Waals dispersion forces are a fundamental, but elusive class of molecular interaction. These attractive forces are responsible for holding molecules together such that gases are able to condense into liquids, and are even proposed as the origin of the "stickiness" of gecko's feet.

Health Check for Cells Could Help Monitor Progress of Disease

A test that measures the health of cells could be developed to diagnose and monitor diseases, including degenerative illnesses and cancer.

Colin Campbell's research has led to a sensor that measures tiny electronic signals in cells that help keep the cell functioning and are a key indication of health. These signals occur routinely to control everyday processes such as cell maintenance. When they are irregular, it can indicate that cells have been damaged by inflammation, toxicity, or disease.

Soil Gives Up Its Secrets

In the UN International Year of Soil, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have taken the first steps towards characterising the unknown molecular make-up of soil.

Dr Dusan Uhr??n???s group have developed 3D and 4D NMR experiments that have allowed the identification of the major phenolic compounds in a sample taken from a local peaty soil at Red Moss Peat Bog in Balerno.

Computer Simulations Reducing Drug Development Costs

Research carried out in the group of Julien Michel and with collaborators at the University of Bristol has been recently featured on the cover of the PRACE magazine that showcases scientific computing projects performed on the EU's largest supercomputers.

The study demonstrated the feasibility of high-throughput atomic-level computer simulations of drug-protein interactions to reduce the time and cost of drug development.