Abertay University
  • United Kingdom
Recent publications
Life-history-oxidative stress theory predicts that elevated energy costs during reproduction reduce allocation to defences and increase cellular stress, with fitness consequences, particularly when resources are limited. As capital breeders, grey seals are a natural system in which to test this theory. We investigated oxidative damage (malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration) and cellular defences (relative mRNA abundance of heat shock proteins (Hsps) and redox enzymes (REs)) in blubber of wild female grey seals during the lactation fast (n = 17) and summer foraging (n = 13). Transcript abundance of Hsc70 increased, and Nox4, a pro-oxidant enzyme, decreased throughout lactation. Foraging females had higher mRNA abundance of some Hsps and lower RE transcript abundance and MDA concentrations, suggesting they experienced lower oxidative stress than lactating mothers, which diverted resources into pup rearing at the expense of blubber tissue damage. Lactation duration and maternal mass loss rate were both positively related to pup weaning mass. Pups whose mothers had higher blubber glutathione-S-transferase (GST) expression at early lactation gained mass more slowly. Higher glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and lower catalase (CAT) were associated with longer lactation but reduced maternal transfer efficiency and lower pup weaning mass. Cellular stress, and the ability to mount effective cellular defences, could proscribe lactation strategy in grey seal mothers and thus affect pup survival probability. These data support the life-history-oxidative stress hypothesis in a capital breeding mammal and suggest lactation is a period of heightened vulnerability to environmental factors that exacerbate cellular stress. Fitness consequences of stress may thus be accentuated during periods of rapid environmental change.
The study explores in depth the relationship between missing persons’ psychosocial and criminological characteristics/circumstances and violent-fatal outcomes (suicide and homicide). A relational analytical explicative study of 929 cases and controls was designed using a retrospective and stratified design. Data gathering was conducted through the content analysis of judicial and police information, as well as the development of psychological autopsy techniques and semi-structured interviews with the persons involved in the missing person cases including offenders in prison. Bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques were utilised for analyses. The findings showed that there are different risk and protective factors which can distinguish between good state of health, suicide, and homicide outcomes. This research entails implications for prevention and police risk assessment system.
Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) has been a major problem for shrimp aquaculture in Southeast Asia due to its epizootic prevalence within the region since the first reported case in 2009. This study explores the application of halophilic marine bacilli isolated from coral mucus and their quorum-quenching abilities as potential biocontrol agents in aquaculture systems to combat the causative agent of EMS, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-degrading (AiiA) activity was first screened by PCR then confirmed by bio-reporter assay, and a combination of 16S rDNA sequence analysis and quantitative phenotype assays including biofilm-formation and temperature-growth responses were used to demonstrate diversity amongst these quorum-quenching isolates. Three phenotypically distinct strains showing notable potential were chosen to undergo co-cultivation as a method for strain improvement via long term exposure to the pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus. The novel approach taken led to significant improvements in antagonism and quorum quenching activities as compared to the ancestral wild-type strains and offers a potential solution as well as pathway to improve existing beneficial microbes for one of the most pressing issues in shrimp aquacultures worldwide.
IntroductionPeople often consume alcohol following trauma, particularly in response to distressing memories. To date, little is known about how post-encoding alcohol consumption influences episodic memory recall for negative events. Understanding these effects may help to improve support for trauma victims – for example, witnesses and victims of crimes.Methods We tested 60 participants who self-described as heavy drinkers. After watching an analog trauma film, half were allocated to consuming a moderate dose of alcohol (Alcohol-Exposed group), while half received a placebo drink (Placebo-Control group). Immediately and after a one-week delay, participants recalled the event via free and cued recall tasks. Participants also gave remember-know responses and confidence ratings, elucidating alcohol’s effect on experiential memory.ResultsFree recall performance was similar for the Alcohol-Exposed group and the Placebo-Control group during Sessions 1 and 2. The Alcohol-Exposed group benefitted more from the delayed repeated retrieval attempt. For the cued recall task, the Alcohol-Exposed group provided more “Do not Know” responses compared to the Placebo-Control group in both sessions. For the Alcohol-Exposed group only “Correct Know” responses increased from Session 1 to 2. Although memory performance improved across sessions, confidence levels decreased from Session 1 to 2 in the Alcohol-Exposed group.DiscussionPost-encoding alcohol consumption appears to impact immediate episodic memory retrieval; however, this effect is only temporary in nature. No evidence was found that alcohol primarily reduces remembering responses. Much like previous findings focusing on pre-encoding alcohol consumption (Hagsand et al., 2017), current findings suggest that providing individuals who drank alcohol after witnessing an incident with a delayed repeated retrieval attempt can lead to more complete and accurate testimonies.
The classification of mindsports such as the card game of bridge within sport and society continues to be keenly debated. The concept of ‘physicality’ is often cited as being a prerequisite for an activity to be classed as a ‘sport’, a characteristic typically seen as lacking in mindsports. However, by drawing upon monist conceptualisations of the mind, body and world being intertwined, it is possible to problematise such arguments by highlighting the interconnected sensations experienced when participating in bridge. This article explores such a notion through phenomenologically-inspired analysis of 52 interviews with elite-level bridge players. The findings detail the importance players placed upon aspects of kinaesthesia, physical presence within the competitive environment, and the role of other social actors within their own understandings of their competition experience. These sensorial, emotional and embodied accounts of elite-level bridge shed light on the physical negotiations and socio-cultural influences involved in mindsport, which allude to a greater degree of ‘physicality’ than has previously been discussed.
The use of aquatic biomass as potential sources for bioenergy production has attracted significant attention worldwide. Production of biogas and bioethanol from both marine and freshwater plants using same pre-treatment methods were evaluated and the results indicate that both processes can be potentially enhanced appropriate methods of pre-treatment. In this study, the effects of thermochemical and enzymatic pre-treatment of selected seaweeds and freshwater macrophytes for biogas and bioethanol production were investigated. It was found that methane biogas yield from the anaerobic digestion of selected aquatic plants was highly dependent on the plant species. For example, biomethane yields of 189, 195, 221, 234 mL/g volatile solids were obtained following anaerobic digestion of acid and enzymatic pre-treatment of Laminaria digitata, Sargassum fluitans , Eichhornia crassipies and Pistia stratiotes , respectively. Additionally, alcoholic fermentation by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (distiller’s strain) was carried out on aquatic plant hydrolysates and the highest ethanol yields (of over 4 g/L) were obtained from Eichhornia crassipies and Pistia stratiotes . Poor fermentation yields from Laminaria digitata, and Sargassum fluitans hydrolysates were attributed to the predominance of un-fermented rhamnose sugars in these plants. The findings demonstrate the importance of reliance on empirical data for each substrate when designing and operating anaerobic digestion and alcohol fermentation systems. The results show that the same pre-treatment methods can be used for both types of bioenergy production, i.e., biogas and bioethanol, from marine and freshwater plants, thereby enhancing the economic viability of both processes in industry-scale applications.
This paper discusses the challenges involved in developing solidarity during pandemics. We draw from the field of economics, social psychology, political psychology and organisational theory to understand and explain how decision-makers and actors think and behave during pandemics. We argue that the rational action theory (RAT) and identity politics are the ‘rationalities’ that underpin global efforts used to establish solidarity. We see these mindsets as obstacles to addressing pandemics, which show no respect for geographical or genealogical borders. As an alternative, we explore how African philosophy of Ubuntu can offer another rationality in developing solidarity during pandemics. We propose an analytical tool to assess how nation-states might react when called to display solidarity during pandemics and how the international community can bring them on board.
Introduction: Previous research has found that nurses in inpatient CAMHS can struggle to define their role and contribution to patient care. While gratitude has received increased attention in relation to subjective wellbeing in healthcare settings, the receipt of gratitude in the form of thank you letters is currently unexplored in the CAMHS context. Aim/question: To gain an understanding of how inpatient CAMHS nursing staff experience receiving expressions of gratitude from patients. Method: Adopting an exploratory qualitative approach, two focus group interviews were conducted. Participants completed a brief online follow-up questionnaire. Data was examined using thematic analysis. Results: Reflecting on expressions of gratitude improved understanding of professional identity, enhanced reflexivity, enhanced team cohesion, and increased professional and personal confidence and motivation. Discussion: Expressions of gratitude appear to offer meaningful sources of feedback for nurses and support a greater sense of personal accomplishment, professional role, and the relational impact of care for patients. When nurses share and discuss expressions of gratitude with colleagues this brought benefits additional to the initial receipt. Implications for mental health nursing: Nurses should be supported to engage in discussing and reflecting upon receiving thank you letters and other tokens of gratitude although care should be taken to support those who might experience unease or increased self-doubt.
Background: Early numeracy skills are associated with academic and life-long outcomes. Children from low-income backgrounds typically have poorer maths outcomes, and their learning can already be disadvantaged before they begin formal schooling. Understanding the relationship between the skills that support the acquisition of early maths skills could scaffold maths learning and improve life chances. Aims: The present study aimed to examine how the ability of children from different SES backgrounds to map between symbolic (Arabic numerals) and non-symbolic (dot arrays) at two difficulty ratios related to their math performance. Sample: Participants were 398 children in their first year of formal schooling (Mean age = 60 months), and 75% were from low SES backgrounds. Method: The children completed symbolic to non-symbolic and non-symbolic to symbolic mapping tasks at two difficulty ratios (1:2; 2:3) plus standardized maths tasks. Results: The results showed that all the children performed better for symbolic to non-symbolic mapping and when the ratio was 1:2. Mapping task performance was significantly related to maths task achievement, but low-SES children showed significantly lower performance on all tasks. Conclusion: The results suggest that mapping tasks could be a useful way to identify children at risk of low maths attainment.
Software-defined networks (SDNs) are computer networks where parameters and devices are configured by software. Recently, artificial intelligence aspects have been used for SDN programs for various applications, including packet classification and forwarding according to the quality of service (QoS) requirements. The main problem is that when packets from different applications pass through computer networks, they have different QoS criteria. To meet the requirements of packets, routers classify these packets, add them to multiple weighting queue systems, and forward them according to their priorities. Multiple queue systems in routers usually use a class-based weighted round-robin (CBWRR) scheduling algorithm with pre-configured fixed weights for each priority queue. The problem is that the intensity of traffic in general and of each packet class occasionally changes. Therefore, in this work, we suggest using the particle swarm optimization algorithm to find the optimal weights for the weighted fair round-robin algorithm (WFRR) by considering the variable densities of the traffic. This work presents a framework to simulate router operations by determining the weights and schedule packets and forwarding them. The proposed algorithm to optimize the weights is compared with the conventional WFRR algorithm, and the results show that the particle swarm optimization for the weighted round-robin algorithm is more efficient than WFRR, especially in high-intensity traffic. Moreover, the average packet-loss ratio does not exceed 7%, and the proposed algorithms are better than the conventional CBWRR algorithm and the related work results.
Background: Connected digital games offer exciting opportunities for children to connect, play, and learn, but first they must navigate industry trends that jeopardize their rights, including invasive data collection and manipulative gambling mechanics. Analysis: A policy analysis reveals that Canada’s existing digital game regulation largely relies on a U.S. industry-made classification system and is ill-equipped to address these issues. Comparative analysis shows that despite previous similarities in their approaches to game regulation, Canada has now fallen behind the United Kingdom, where shifting approaches to “age-appropriateness” are producing promising new frameworks for supporting children’s rights across the digital environment. Conclusion and implications: This article concludes with a call to action for a rights-based Canadian response to the problematic issues that have emerged within the children’s game landscape.
In this paper, we investigate and evaluate the analytical expressions for some definite integrals of Srinivasa Ramanujan in terms of Meijer’s G -function by using the Laplace transforms of sin ⁡ ( β ⁢ x 2 ) {\sin(\beta x^{2})} , cos ⁡ ( β ⁢ x 2 ) {\cos(\beta x^{2})} , x ⁢ sin ⁡ ( β ⁢ x 2 ) {x\sin(\beta x^{2})} and x ⁢ cos ⁡ ( β ⁢ x 2 ) {x\cos(\beta x^{2})} . In addition, we investigate a number of infinite summation formulas involving Meijer’s G -function and closed-form evaluation of some related infinite series.
Nowadays, free radical chemistry is a field that has gained the wider attention of researchers. Our body generates free radicals’ reactive nitrogen and oxygen species through subjection to several pathological states, endogenous systems, and physicochemical conditions. For the physiological state to occur, it is compulsory to propel a balance between antioxidants and free radicals. Oxidative stress will set in when free radicals can no longer be regulated in the body system. Moreover, free radicals negatively affect DNA, protein, and lipids and cause many diseases in the human body. Thus, natural-sourced antioxidants can be used to manage this oxidative stress. Currently, it has been revealed that some synthetic antioxidants, including butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, are hazardous to human health. Therefore, many efforts have been made in search of natural, non-toxic, and effective compounds that possess anti-oxidative properties. Hence, this review comprehensively presents the roles of plant-based antioxidants in resolving the challenging issues associated with free radical diseases in human beings. It further reviews the characteristics and occurrences of free radicals in the human body, the formation and mechanism of free radicals, some of the physiological impacts of free radicals on human health, sources of free radicals, and plant-sourced antioxidants as a frontier in managing free radicals.
Concrete is weak in tension, so steel fibres are added to the concrete members to increase shear capability. The shear capacity of steel fibre-reinforced concrete (SFRC) beams is crucial when building reinforced concrete structures. Creating a precise equation to determine the shear resistance of SFRC beams is challenging since many factors can influence the shear capacity of these beams. In addition, the precision available equations to predict the shear capacity are examined. The current research aims to examine the available equations and propose novel and more accurate model to predict the shear capacity of SFRC beams. An innovative evolutionary polynomial regression analysis (EPR-MOGA) is utilized to propose the new equation. The proposed equation offered improved prediction and increased accuracy compared to available equations, where it scored a lower mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean square error (RMSE), a mean () close to the optimum value of 1.0 and a higher coefficient of determination (R 2) when a comparison with literature was conducted. Therefore, the new equation can be employed to assure more resilient and optimized design calculations due to their improved performance.
Shared understanding can be defined as two or more people thinking similarly in specific situations. Team members who share similar thoughts are positively related to an effective performance. Within team sports like football, shared understanding between team members facilitates a more coordinated performance. For example, shared understanding between team members is crucial to defending an opposition corner kick, with each team member requiring an understanding of all team roles and likely actions, rather than just their own. Williamson, Cox, Gershgoren et al. emphasise the importance of shared understanding that underpins a team's ability to perform effectively together. This would give the team the best chance of defending the corner (e.g. performing effectively together) and not conceding a goal. Having shared understanding between team members is an important component of an effective team; however, shared understanding between team members is not instantaneous. Due to its complex nature, there are several factors that contribute to the development of shared understanding between team members, with some of these being considered previously in different team sports - such as tennis doubles, field hockey and basketball. The focus of this study is therefore to outline how the different contributing factors interact to develop shared understanding between team members within football.
The number of micro-scale spirit distilleries worldwide has grown considerably over the past decade. With an onus on the distillery sector to reduce its environmental impact, such as carbon emissions, opportunities for increasing energy efficiency need to be implemented. This study explores the potential environmental benefits and financial gains achievable through heat recovery from different process and by-product streams, exemplified for a Scotch whisky distillery, but transferrable to micro-distilleries worldwide. The eco-efficiency methodology is applied, taking into account both climate change and water scarcity impacts as well as economic performance of alcohol production with and without heat recovery. A Life Cycle Assessment, focusing on climate change and water scarcity, is combined with a financial assessment considering investment costs and the present value of the savings over the 20-year service life of the heat recovery system. The proposed heat recovery systems allow carbon emission reductions of 8–23% and water scarcity savings of 13–55% for energy and water provision for 1 L of pure alcohol (LPA). Financial savings are comparatively smaller, at 5–13%, due to discounting of the future savings – but offer a simple payback of the investment costs in under two years. The eco-efficiency of the distillery operations can be improved through all proposed heat recovery configurations, but best results are obtained when heat is recovered from mashing, distillations and by-products altogether. A sensitivity analysis confirmed that the methodology applied here delivers robust results and can help guide other micro-distilleries on whether to invest in heat recovery systems, and/or the heat recovery configuration. Uptake should be enhanced through increased information and planning support, and in cases where the distillery offers insufficient heat and water sinks to use all pre-warmed water, opportunities to link with a heat sink outside the distillery are encouraged. A 10% reduction in heating fuel use through heat recovery has the potential to save 47 kt of CO2 eq. or £7.4 M per annum in United Kingdom malt whisky production alone, based on current fuel types used and current prices (2021).
The metabolic profiles of different tissues and industrially relevant co-products of alginate extraction from Laminaria hyperborea samples harvested in different seasons were assessed using Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (HILIC-MS). Positive and negative mode MS data, predicted exact mass data and matching with database and literature searches, allowed the putative identification of 57 major metabolites. The metabolites ranged from known and abundant components (e.g., iodide, mannitol, and various betaines) to components not previously noted in this species and 11 major components which could not be identified. The levels of these components varied between tissues and co-products with some metabolites seemingly specific to certain samples. The components also varied between winter and summer harvested material, perhaps reflecting seasonality in their biosynthesis and accumulation in the tissues and co-products. The approach applied in this work could assess when components of potential specific commercial interest were maximally accumulated and help plan the most efficient exploitation of the harvested biomass. It could also be used to define variation in components in L. hyperborea from different locations or potential biotopes of this species. This initial work extends our ability to understand the phenotype of seaweeds whilst also identifying new components and new commercial opportunities.
Software runs our modern day lives: our shopping, our transport and our medical devices. Hence, no citizen can escape the consequences of poor software engineering. A closely-aligned concern, which also touches every aspect of our lives, is cyber security. Software has to be developed with cybersecurity threats in mind, in order to design resistance and resilience into the software, given that they are often rooted in malicious human behaviour. Both software engineering and cyber security disciplines need to acknowledge and accommodate humans, not expect perfect performances. This is a position paper, delineating the extent of the challenge posed by this reality, and suggesting ways for accommodating the influence of human nature on secure software engineering. Practical Relevance : Socio-technical systems are made up of people, processes and technology. All can fail or be suboptimal. Software itself, being designed, developed and used by humans, is likely to malfunction. This could be caused by human error, or by malice. This paper highlights this reality, taking a closer look at all of the possible sources of malfunctioning technology. By doing so, I hope to infuse the management of socio-technical systems with an understanding and acknowledgement of this reality.
This paper assesses the capability of using a new data-driven approach to predict the bond strength between steel rebar and concrete subjected to high temperatures. The analysis has been conducted using a novel evolutionary polynomial regression analysis (EPR-MOGA) that employs soft computing techniques, and new correlations have been proposed. The proposed correlations provide better predictions and enhanced accuracy than existing approaches, such as classical regression analysis. Based on this novel approach, the resulting correlations have achieved a lower mean absolute error (MAE), and root mean square error (RMSE), a mean (μ) close to the optimum value (1.0) and a higher coefficient of determination (R2) compared to available correlations, which use classical regression analysis. Based on their enhanced performance, the proposed correlations can be used to obtain better optimised and more robust design calculations.
While Psychology research in general has been criticized for oversampling from WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) populations, Psycholinguistics has a problem with conducting a large amount of research on a relatively small number of languages. Yet even within WEIRD environments, the experiences of speakers of Minority, Indigenous, Non-standard(ized), and Dialect (MIND) varieties are not always captured alongside their use of a more prestigious standard language. This position piece will provide a case study of one such variety: Scots, a Germanic variety spoken in Scotland, which is often considered “bad English.” However, its speakers display cognitive characteristics of bilingualism despite often regarding themselves as monolingual due to sociolinguistic factors. Such factors include social prestige and language ideology, as well as linguistic distance. In doing so, this paper introduces a new acronym encouraging researchers to MIND their language – by developing more inclusive ways of capturing the linguistic experiences of MIND speakers, to move away from binary distinctions of “bilingual” and “monolingual,” and to recognize that not all varieties are afforded the status of language, nor do many multilinguals consider themselves as anything other than monolingual.
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2,668 members
Lynne Coventry
  • Department of Cybersecurity
Ashok Adya
  • School of Contemporary Sciences
Vera Kempe
  • Division of Psychology
Luis Calmeiro
  • Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Bell Street, DD1 1HG, United Kingdom
Head of institution
Professor Nigel Seaton
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