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leeds.ac.uk

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Investments

7

Partners & Customers

10

About University of Leeds

University of Leeds is one of the world's top 100 universities and part of the Russell Group of leading UK universities.

University of Leeds Headquarter Location

Leeds, England, LS2 9JT,

United Kingdom

+44 (0)113 2431751

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Latest University of Leeds News

Cosmic Dust Likely Delivered The Phosphorus Needed To Kickstart Life

Nov 26, 2021

getty Unless you’re a farmer or a pharmacist, phosphorus likely rarely enters your consciousness. Yet its compounds form the structural backbone of our genetic code and drives the energy behind nearly all of life’s metabolism. But phosphorus’ bioavailability for prebiotic chemistry was hardly a fait accompli; its presence here on Earth may be serendipitous at best. A recent paper appearing in The Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, only emphasizes this point by outlining a scheme that describes how Earth’s phosphorus was actually delivered to our planet some 4.5 billion years ago. The team led by researchers in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds in the U.K., note that when Earth formed any phosphorus that was present likely sank into our planet’s molten core. But they note that a portion of the interplanetary dust particles which orbit our Sun likely wound up in Earth’s atmosphere. Such cosmic dust particles may deliver phosphorus to Earth’s atmosphere, the American geophysical union (AGU) reports. From there, the AGU notes that a series of chemical reactions repackage the element into biologically useful forms that eventually settle onto Earth’s surface. Upon encroaching upon Earth’s atmosphere, however, this dust was affected by atmospheric friction that caused a portion of it to vaporize and melt. The paper’s authors describe a network of potential chemical reactions that outline the specific process by which this cosmic dust could produce biologically useful phosphorus molecules, the AGU notes. And it’s an ongoing process, happening even now. MORE FOR YOU The researchers were also able to predict which regions of the globe might annually receive the most phosphorus delivered by cosmic dust. Three mountain chains are thought to be the recipients of the most phosphorus delivered by such dust and include the northern Rocky Mountains, the Himalayas, and the southern Andes. In this illustration, several dust rings circle the Sun. These rings form when planets’ gravities ... [+] tug dust grains into orbit around the Sun. Recently, scientists have detected a dust ring at Mercury’s orbit. Others hypothesize the source of Venus’ dust ring is a group of never-before-detected co-orbital asteroids. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith The Leeds team even posits that an atmospheric layer of the phosphorus-containing molecule OPO may encircle Earth some 90 km above our surface. The hope is that future atmospheric research will be able to detect this phosphorus layer’s existence. But arguably, the main lesson in all of this is that even in our own Sun, phosphorus is hard to come by. As a 2020 paper in The Astrophysical Journal Letters (APJL) points out, phosphorus is three orders of magnitude less abundant in the Sun than other important light elements. However, trying to determine its abundance around other stars is extraordinarily difficult, mainly because there are no spectral lines for detecting it at optical wavelengths. And as this paper points out, even using space telescopes to detect it in other stars will be no easy task, as its spectral lines in the near-ultraviolet are often blended and are difficult to discern. Regardless, at present the Sun still seems to be phosphorus-rich when compared with other nearby stars, as the APJL authors note. But data on the abundance of phosphorus in other stars is only available for less than one percent of all stars. Thus, as the authors point out, this makes it difficult to make pronouncements about how prevalent phosphorus might be in other sunlike stars. As the APJL authors note, there is a strong caveat. As they write, on rocky planets that form around host stars with substantially less phosphorus, the fact that much of it will be partitioned in a given planet’s core may rule out the possibility that a potential habitable extrasolar planet would have enough phosphorus for life to evolve. The upshot is that in its bioavailable form, phosphorus here on Earth seems to be a once in a blue-moon proposition. The accretion of cosmic dust in our atmosphere appears to offer Earth an unexpected, continuous source of phosphorus replenishment. But it also gives astrobiologists yet another box that must be checked for life to evolve elsewhere. Follow me on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn . Check out my  website  or some of my other work  here .

University of Leeds Investments

7 Investments

University of Leeds has made 7 investments. Their latest investment was in Slingshot Simulations as part of their Unattributed on December 12, 2019.

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University of Leeds Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

12/17/2019

Unattributed

Slingshot Simulations

$0.97M

Yes

1

11/14/2019

Series A

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$99M

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10

5/30/2018

Seed

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$99M

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10

7/3/2017

Series B

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$99M

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10

2/12/2016

Series A

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$99M

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10

Date

12/17/2019

11/14/2019

5/30/2018

7/3/2017

2/12/2016

Round

Unattributed

Series A

Seed

Series B

Series A

Company

Slingshot Simulations

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Amount

$0.97M

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

1

10

10

10

10

University of Leeds Acquisitions

3 Acquisitions

University of Leeds acquired 3 companies. Their latest acquisition was LUNAC Therapeutics on November 14, 2019.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

11/14/2019

Grant

$14.48M

Spinoff / Spinout

2

1/1/2015

Unattributed

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$99M

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10

Series A

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$99M

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10

Date

11/14/2019

1/1/2015

Investment Stage

Grant

Unattributed

Series A

Companies

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Valuation

Total Funding

$14.48M

$99M

$99M

Note

Spinoff / Spinout

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Sources

2

10

10

University of Leeds Partners & Customers

10 Partners and customers

University of Leeds has 10 strategic partners and customers. University of Leeds recently partnered with KPMG on June 6, 2021.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

6/28/2021

Partner

KPMG

Switzerland

KPMG launches partnership with the University of Leeds

KPMG launches partnership with the University of Leeds

3

5/20/2021

Client

World Health Organization

Switzerland

News > Global > Leeds chosen by WHO to help create global health strategy

`` The WHO 's recognition of the work by Professor Brown and colleagues , and Leeds ' selection as its Collaboration Centre on Health Systems for Health Security is a great honour .

1

5/14/2021

Client

World Health Organization

Switzerland

Leeds chosen by WHO to help create global health strategy

As a result of this work , Leeds is in the process of becoming an official WHO Collaboration Centre .

1

12/18/2020

Partner

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10

12/15/2020

Vendor

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10

Date

6/28/2021

5/20/2021

5/14/2021

12/18/2020

12/15/2020

Type

Partner

Client

Client

Partner

Vendor

Business Partner

KPMG

World Health Organization

World Health Organization

Country

Switzerland

Switzerland

Switzerland

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News Snippet

KPMG launches partnership with the University of Leeds

KPMG launches partnership with the University of Leeds

News > Global > Leeds chosen by WHO to help create global health strategy

`` The WHO 's recognition of the work by Professor Brown and colleagues , and Leeds ' selection as its Collaboration Centre on Health Systems for Health Security is a great honour .

Leeds chosen by WHO to help create global health strategy

As a result of this work , Leeds is in the process of becoming an official WHO Collaboration Centre .

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Sources

3

1

1

10

10

University of Leeds Team

1 Team Member

University of Leeds has 1 team member, including former Chief Executive Officer, Keith Ramsay.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Keith Ramsay

Chief Executive Officer

Former

Name

Keith Ramsay

Work History

Title

Chief Executive Officer

Status

Former

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