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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,[nb 6] is asovereign state in Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain (the name of which is also loosely applied to the whole country), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state—the Republic of Ireland ountry of western Europe comprising England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.Beginning with the kingdom of England, it was created by three acts of union: with Wales (1536),Scotland (1707), and Ireland (1801). At the height of its power in the 1800s, it ruled an empire thatspanned the globe. London is the capital and the largest city. The United Kingdom is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. With a total area of approximately 241,930 square kilometres (93,410 sq mi), the UK occupies the major part of the British Isles archipelago and includes the island ofGreat Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands.
The mainland areas lie between latitudes 49°N and 59°N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61°N), and longitudes 8°W to 2°E. The Royal Greenwich Observatory, in South East London, is the defining point of the Prime Meridian. The UK lies between the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and comes within 35 km (22 mi) of the north-west coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. It shares a 499 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. TheChannel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France. In 2013, the gross domestic expenditure on research and development performed in the UK (GERD), in current prices, increased by 7% to £28.9 billion compared with 2012.
Adjusted for inflation, in constant prices, research and development (R&D) expenditure increased by 5%. In constant prices, R&D expenditure has increased by 54% from the 1985 estimate of £18.8 billion. Expenditure has reached an all time high of £28.9 billion in 2013.The business sector performed 64% of UK R&D expenditure in 2013. Expenditure by this sector increased by 8%, in current prices, to £18.4 billion in 2013, compared with 2012.Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2013 represented 1.67% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an increase from 1.62 % in 2012.International comparisons show that UK R&D expenditure in 2013 was below the European Union (EU-28) provisional estimate of 2.02% of GDP, but the 12th highest of all member countries.The United Kingdom has the fifth-largest national economy (and second-largest in EU) measured by nominal GDP and ninth-largest in the world (and second-largest in the EU) measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). The UK economy currently makes up 4% of world GDP
The Centre for Nephrology is part of the UCL Division of Medicine and is within the Transplantation and Immunology theme of the UCL Academic Health Sciences Centre (UCL Partners). This theme includes active renal, liver (including islet cell) and bone marrow transplant programmes, as well as plans for face and laryngeal transplantation. The Centre became a large, single, clinical service and academic unit in 2006 when renal services at the Middlesex, University College, and Royal Free hospitals merged. As a result, our Centre is formally linked with the clinical Nephrology service at the Royal Free Hospital. We have significant internal collaborations and strong links with other UCL research departments, including physiology, biochemistry, genetics, virology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, immunology, and clinical pharmacology. The prevalence and incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing for many reasons - greater public awareness, an ageing population, more advanced and complicated surgery carried out in older patients, and fewer deaths from infection, heart attacks, and some forms of cancer. CKD is recognised to be a silent epidemic with numbers expected to increase year on year. Many patients will have a ‘routine blood test’ at their GP’s surgery, usually including measurement of their blood creatinine level to screen for reduced kidney function; this method is relatively insensitive and better methods are needed to detect and treat kidney disease earlier and thereby reduce the high costs of dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation, and lessen impact on quality of life. The following summary of our key research themes and activities demonstrates our comprehensive clinical and basic research, which forms the foundation of our clinical and research training programmes.