E-mobility transition and DNA disease clues: News from the College | Imperial News

A man sits on an electric motorbike




Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From funding to support a move to e-mobility in Kenya, to DNA research to improve our understanding of disease, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

E-mobility in Nairobi

A man sits on an electric motorbikeImperial has received $97,184 from green funder P4G to support their work on the ChargeUp! Project, which aims to spark an e-mobility transition in Nairobi, Kenya.

The partnership will deploy 45 new charging stations for convenient, affordable battery swaps for electric motorcycles, and is a joint effort between ARC Ride, Fika Mobility, Energy 4 Impact, Strathmore University, and Imperial.

Imperial’s Cameron Sheehan and Professor Tim Green will work to determine the best technical and geospatial configurations for battery swap station roll-out. Battery swapping schemes allow customers to lease fully charged batteries by dropping off discharged ones.

Cameron Sheehan, from the Energy Futures Lab, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the other partners of ChargeUp! to support the transition to e-mobility in Kenya. This will not only benefit residents by reducing local air pollution, but also increase access to green jobs and improve thousands of motorcycle taxi and delivery drivers’ earning potential.”

Mars Day 2022

Promotional image for Mars Day 2022Imperial scientists will be taking part in Mars Day 2022 on 14 March, a free virtual event for those interested in scientific research on Mars.

Professors Sanjeev Gupta and Mark Sephton, from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, will give an anniversary update on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and celebrate the discoveries over the last year from Perseverance, Ingenuity and the next steps to search for evidence of life on Mars. They will be joined by their teammates from the Natural History Museum, Professor Caroline Smith and Dr Keyron Hickman-Lewis.

Professor David Southwood, from the Department of Physics, and Dr Jim Green (NASA), who have played major roles in every expedition to Mars thus far, will also discuss the history of Mars exploration and our major achievements to the present day.

The free-to-attend Mars Day 2022 is presented by the UK Space Education Office, STEM Learning, European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency.

Disease clues in DNA

CGI picture of DNAResearchers from Imperial, in collaboration with LKCMedicine in Singapore and Helmholtz Munich in Germany, are working to understand the interactions between genetics and epigenetics to improve our understanding of disease. Through a large-scale analysis of data from 7,000 individuals, they found millions of links between differences in DNA and epigenetic modifications of DNA, known as DNA methylation, or how our DNA is packaged up within the cell.

These findings led to the discovery of “cellular regulatory networks” which can be linked to diseases and risk factors for conditions such as blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Professor John Chambers, from Imperial’s School of Public Health, who co-led the research, said: “Our results set the stage for investigating the role of epigenetics in environmentally triggered diseases. Ultimately, this allows the identification of new potential drug targets and disease biomarkers which in turn could enable novel clinical studies.”

Read more about the study published in Nature Genetics.A person views the Imperial News website on a smartphone

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