Possibly – I’ve done research on sustainable ways of cleaning up poisoned soil so that it can be safely used as playing fields or for building on. At the moment our discoveries aren’t used commercially as developers prefer to use methods they’ve always used – digging up the poisoned soil and dumping it somewhere else – but attitudes about this are slowly changing.
I haven’t unfortunately – that would be such a cool thing to have done! I’ve written small computer programs but those are only really for my work.
That said, I am hoping that my work will eventually lead to medicines that could be used around the world to treat a disease called Amoebiasis. Medicines tend to target particular parts of bacteria and viruses. My PhD involves finding out what parts of a microbe called Entamoeba histolytica could be targeted by medicines to kill it. If I find the genes that code for these cell parts, it could be a very early step in helping people design medicines for the future.
In my lab we work with things like fuel cells or solar cells, which are not used everywhere yet, but might someday be quite common as we are all looking for alternative and clean ways of making/using energy.
My study is looking for a cure for constant ringing in the ears. This ringing is caused by the brain being overactive and hearing itself working.
So normally the brain is like a car engine at a traffic light, it is waiting to do something but the engine is humming away, but we are used to this sound. But in ringing in the ears, we are revving the engine all the time, and this is a really loud sound we can always hear.
So far my research is telling me that I need to ‘trick’ the brain, we need to think it is overworking already, which will make it turn itself down. We need to play a sound to the ear, which will turn down the brain activity and hopefully cure the ringing in the ears.
So, if I find this cure, I will probably invent a sound device that will play the best sound that will trick the brain into turning it’s own activity down.