Monday, 12 January 2009

Congratulations, Dr. Luisa!

We received word from Luisa that she has successfully completed her viva and is from January 8th on, a PhD at Second University of Napels. In her presentation she covered her experience in York, the results of her practical work, protein-ageing as a common ground between her own scientific interests and BioArCh, and how the Marie Curie-Palaeo studentship helped her with her project. Due to the presence of two external professors in immunology, she got many questions about the immunological relevance of her work and a question about methods to hydrolyse Aβ-amyloid. She received praise about the multi-technological and thematic approach she applied in her work towards her PhD. Matthew, Kirsty, Enrico and Beatrice were acknowledged for their contributions and help.

Congratulations, Luisa!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Fishing for fish fragments

Matthew and colleagues in Archaeology and Chemistry have been funded by the AHRC to see if they can identify tiny fragments of fish from archaeological sites. 
Many fish remains survive on as fragments, so small that they lack the characteristic morphology required to identify them to species.  Zoo-MS offers an alternative approach to the problem.  Zoo is for Zooarchaeology, or more accurately the part of Zooarchaeology that deals with species identification. MS stands for Mass Spectrometry.  Using peptide fingerprints they hope to identify fish from medieval sites and track the arrival of carp into Britain.  
For more information see
Image is of the John Deere - Electronic Fishing Pole

Kirsty to improve upon the egg-timer

Kirsty has been funded by NERC to develop an improved egg-timer, but one which runs for slightly more than three minutes; more like three hundred thousand years....  
She and her team drawn from Archaeology and Chemistry at York, the University of Bradford, the University of Aberystwyth and Arizona State University plan to explore the reaction pathways in ostrich eggshell fragments, the ultimate “egg-timer”.   By using a combination of model systems and shell fragments they will explore how eggshell proteins decay. The then hope to put together a model of the decay pathway  and apply this model to estimate the age of eggshell fragments found in a rich archaeological sequence at Pinnacle Point, South Africa.