I am trying to get to the point where my material has successfully removed a lot of dangerous things from water, to the point that the water is actually drinkable. Then it will be a question of producing it on a large scale so that it can be used nationally and then worldwide. I doubt this will all happen during the course of my PhD (which is 4 years in total) but the research will continue after that (hopefully done by me).
The main goal of my research is to replace some of the man-made chemicals in laundry powder with ones made by nature itself (eg by bacteria!), which are totally biodegradable and much less toxic. This is so that big companies can work towards making their detergent products like washing powder much more environmentally-friendly.
My own part of this research is nearly finished, I’m glad that I’ve achieved most of what I wanted in these 4 years! But there are loads more experiments to do before it gets on the supermarket shelves!
I’m trying to figure out how much water (and other elements we call volatiles like chlorine and fluorine) there is on the Moon and how they behave. This will tell us what conditions for water (and other volatiles) were like early in the solar system just after the Earth formed.
Hopefully this will tell us why the Earth has oceans, lakes etc and no other planet does. Water is one of the key ingredients for life forming and evolving into the humans and other species on the planet today.
I am trying to visualise protein molecules, which bacteria use to protect themselves from antibiotics, using X-ray crystallography.
These proteins are like a little pac man that the bacteria use to build their own jacket to protect themselves.
If we know how these pac man molecules look like, we could then make medicines against them and disarm the bacteria.
At the current stage of my research, I discovered how these proteins look like and we are now in the process of designing and testing new medicines.