SCIENTISTS from Aberystwyth University are among the first to have used a pioneering new x-ray facility at one of the world’s most advanced scientific facilities.
The new VERSOX facility at the UK’s national synchrotron radiation facility in Oxfordshire was developed by a team of scientists including Professor Andrew Evans, head of the Department of Physics at Aberystwyth.
Professor Evans chairs the User Working Group of the multi-million pound VERSOX project which delivered its ‘first light’ in June 2017.
Professor Evans and colleagues from the Materials Physics research group at Aberystwyth used the new facility to study diamonds at the beginning of August.
Their work focused on nanodiamonds which measure just five nanometres across. Over a million diamonds would fit on the head of a pin.
The team are studying how these tiny diamonds supplied by diamond producer DeBeers could be used to improve the way drugs are delivered in the body for the treatment of conditions such as cancer.
Five years in its development and construction, VERSOX is part of Diamond Light Source at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.
Designed to work like a giant microscope, Diamond Light Source harnesses the power of electrons to produce bright beams of light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines, viruses and vaccines.
VERSOX is one of a series of laboratories known as ‘beamlines’ that capture the bright light beams, giving researchers access to a machine 10,000 times more powerful than a traditional microscope.
Described as a versatile soft X-ray facility, VERSOX has been designed for the study of elements including those essential for life: carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
Professor Evans said: “VERSOX provides a unique advanced tool for future materials development, as it allows researchers to study the atomic structures, the chemical nature and the composition of surfaces at near-ambient pressure, providing important real-world data for a wide range of materials and applications.
“The facility will be of benefit to a diverse range of scientific areas, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, environmental chemistry and heritage conservation and we are delighted that the Aberystwyth group is one of the first to use it,” he added.
Researchers at Aberystwyth University specialise in the physics of diamond surfaces and coatings with molecules, metals, insulators and graphene and also in the interaction of diamonds with light to pave the way for making new quantum structures.
Aberystwyth is one of eight partner universities to have been awarded a new Centre for Doctoral Training in Diamond Science and Technology (CDT) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The work of the CDT promises many pioneering diamond-enabled technologies and original scientific insights.
PhD students from the University are using the soft x-ray methods available through VERSOX to probe interfaces between diamond, nanodiamond and organic molecules for applications in electronics, quantum computing and drug delivery.
A world authority on diamond surfaces, Professor Evans is a guest speaker at the week-long European Materials Research Society 2017 Fall Meeting and Exhibition which opens in Warsaw Poland on Sunday (Sept 17).
A digital future for Ceredigion
STARTING from today (Dec 15), we are excited to announce that The Ceredigion Herald will be a digital only publication.
Our website and social media pages have always been an important outlet for delivering news to Ceredigion, and with the re-launch of Herald Radio this year, and the launch of our news channel Herald News 24 next year, the methods in which we deliver news to Ceredigion is only going from strength to strength.
Put simply, what this means for our readers is more content, delivered quicker, and with all the benefits that only an online platform can provide – such as picture galleries and video content.
Since the first edition, The Ceredigion Herald has gained a reputation for tackling the tough stories which others ignored, reporting on local news and events, and being a voice for the communities across Ceredigion.
This is not changing.
Over the coming weeks and months we will be rolling out new additions to the website, launching our online news channel, and much more.
We hope you look forward to the evolution as much as we are, and if you have any comments, feedback or ideas, we’d love to hear them.
FUW holds open meeting to discuss bank closures
IN LIGHT of the announced NatWest bank closures in Ceredigion, affecting the Lampeter and Cardigan branches, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is holding open meetings with Plaid Cymru to discuss a way forward with local MP Ben Lake and AM Elin Jones.
The meetings will take place on Thursday (Dec 21) at Lampeter Rugby Club and Thursday, January 18 at the Guildhall, Cardigan. Both meetings will commence at 7.30pm and are open to all.
Speaking ahead of the meetings, FUW Ceredigion CEO Mared Jones said: “The closure of those banks will have a detrimental effect on our local towns, as they serve not only villages close by but many of the neighbourhoods in surrounding areas, as well as providing employment to local people.
“We are therefore holding two open meetings with our local elected representatives to discuss a way forward and I hope many of you will be able to join us.”
Farmers warned of targeted fraud attacks
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is warning the farming community to be extremely wary of any suspicious calls, texts or emails as a scam specifically targeting the agricultural sector has been identified.
During December farmers start to receive payments through the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).
Information about the payments, including the recipients’ names and the amount paid, is publically available, meaning criminals are able to directly target victims making their approaches appear more convincing.
The scam communications will typically claim that fraud has been detected on the farmer’s bank account and that urgent action is required to safeguard funds.
The victim is then persuaded to divulge personal or financial information, or even to transfer money directly into a so-called ‘safe account’.
With some grants worth thousands of pounds, in past years fraudsters have stolen significant amounts of money from their victims.
Paul Callard, Financial Crime Team, Dyfed Powys Police said: “If you receive such a call or message, hang up the phone and do not reply directly. Instead, wait five minutes and ring your bank to alert them to the scam, using a phone number that you trust – such as the one from the official website.”
Be wary of:
• Any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from your bank, the police, a Government body or other organisation asking for personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money.
• Cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back. Fraudsters can keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end.
• Any request to check that the number showing on your telephone display matches an organisation’s registered telephone number. The display cannot be trusted, as the number showing can be altered by the caller.
• You will never be asked for your 4 digit PIN or your online banking password, or for you to transfer money to a new account for “fraud reasons”.
• If you receive a suspicious call, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different phone line, then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.
Never disclose your:
• Four digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police.
• Your password or online banking codes.
• Personal details unless you are certain you know who you are talking to. People are not always who they say they are.
Popular This Week
News5 days ago
Winter Giant Lantern Parade: An illuminated legend in Cardigan
News7 days ago
Two friends appear in court on child pornography charges
News1 week ago
Police seeking information about missing teenager
News2 weeks ago
Man jailed for ‘campaign of harassment’
News4 days ago
AM holds meeting with NatWest over branch closures
News2 days ago
Newcastle Emlyn police bring home the bacon
News2 weeks ago
Calls for NatWest to reconsider closures
News4 days ago
Council’s unanimous support New Quay Lifeboat Station