Australian Catholic University
  • Melbourne, Australia
Recent publications
Electricity demand forecasting is crucial for practical power system management. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the electricity demand system deviated from normal system, which has detrimental bias effect in future forecasts. To overcome this problem, we propose a deep learning framework with a COVID-19 adjustment for electricity demand forecasting. More specifically, we first designed COVID-19 related variables and applied a multiple linear regression model. After eliminating the impact of COVID-19, we employed an efficient deep learning algorithm, long short-term memory multiseasonal net deseasonalized approach, to model residuals from the linear model aforementioned. Finally, we demonstrated the merits of the proposed framework using the electricity demand in Taixing, Jiangsu, China, from May 13, 2018 to August 2, 2021.
Research on street-level bureaucracy has tended to focus on individual and organisational factors that influence street-level practice. To date, empirical research has insufficiently explored the contribution of wider socio-cultural factors in street-level decision making. Drawing on data from a qualitative study of social assistance in Pakistan, this article examines how cultural patronage practices of sifarish intersect with street-level social welfare operations. Results highlight the importance of sifarish in informing decision-making processes and in enabling access to social assistance. In this manner, people providing sifarish (called sifarishie) operate as informal third-party actors. The findings challenge the dominant view of street-level operation that the decision making at street level is solely guided by individual and organisational factors.
Background The central biological clock governs numerous facets of mammalian physiology, including sleep, metabolism, and immune system regulation. Understanding gene regulatory relationships is crucial for unravelling the mechanisms that underlie various cellular biological processes. While it is possible to infer circadian gene regulatory relationships from time-series gene expression data, relying solely on correlation-based inference may not provide sufficient information about causation. Moreover, gene expression data often have high dimensions but a limited number of observations, posing challenges in their analysis. Methods In this paper, we introduce a new hybrid framework, referred to as Circadian Gene Regulatory Framework (CGRF), to infer circadian gene regulatory relationships from gene expression data of rats. The framework addresses the challenges of high-dimensional data by combining the fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm with dynamic time warping distance. Through this approach, we efficiently identify the clusters of genes related to the target gene. To determine the significance of genes within a specific cluster, we employ the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Subsequently, we use a dynamic vector autoregressive method to analyze the selected significant gene expression profiles and reveal directed causal regulatory relationships based on partial correlation. Conclusion The proposed CGRF framework offers a comprehensive and efficient solution for understanding circadian gene regulation. Circadian gene regulatory relationships are inferred from the gene expression data of rats based on the Aanat target gene. The results show that genes Pde10a, Atp7b, Prok2, Per1, Rhobtb3 and Dclk1 stand out, which have been known to be essential for the regulation of circadian activity. The potential relationships between genes Tspan15, Eprs, Eml5 and Fsbp with a circadian rhythm need further experimental research.
The 2023 International Olympic Committee (IOC) consensus statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) notes that exposure to low energy availability (LEA) exists on a continuum between adaptable and problematic LEA, with a range of potential effects on both health and performance. However, there is variability in the outcomes of LEA exposure between and among individuals as well as the specific manifestations of REDs. We outline a framework for a ‘systems biology’ examination of the effect of LEA on individual body systems, with the eventual goal of creating an integrated map of body system interactions. We provide a template that systematically identifies characteristics of LEA exposure (eg, magnitude, duration, origin) and a variety of moderating factors (eg, medical history, diet and training characteristics) that could exacerbate or attenuate the type and severity of impairments to health and performance faced by an individual athlete. The REDs Physiological Model may assist the diagnosis of underlying causes of problems associated with LEA, with a personalised and nuanced treatment plan promoting compliance and treatment efficacy. It could also be used in the strategic prevention of REDs by drawing attention to scenarios of LEA in which impairments of health and performance are most likely, based on knowledge of the characteristics of the LEA exposure or moderating factors that may increase the risk of harmful outcomes. We challenge researchers and practitioners to create a unifying and dynamic physiological model for each body system that can be continuously updated and mapped as knowledge is gained.
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) was first introduced in 2014 by the International Olympic Committee’s expert writing panel, identifying a syndrome of deleterious health and performance outcomes experienced by female and male athletes exposed to low energy availability (LEA; inadequate energy intake in relation to exercise energy expenditure). Since the 2018 REDs consensus, there have been >170 original research publications advancing the field of REDs science, including emerging data demonstrating the growing role of low carbohydrate availability, further evidence of the interplay between mental health and REDs and more data elucidating the impact of LEA in males. Our knowledge of REDs signs and symptoms has resulted in updated Health and Performance Conceptual Models and the development of a novel Physiological Model. This Physiological Model is designed to demonstrate the complexity of either problematic or adaptable LEA exposure, coupled with individual moderating factors, leading to changes in health and performance outcomes. Guidelines for safe and effective body composition assessment to help prevent REDs are also outlined. A new REDs Clinical Assessment Tool-Version 2 is introduced to facilitate the detection and clinical diagnosis of REDs based on accumulated severity and risk stratification, with associated training and competition recommendations. Prevention and treatment principles of REDs are presented to encourage best practices for sports organisations and clinicians. Finally, methodological best practices for REDs research are outlined to stimulate future high-quality research to address important knowledge gaps.
In the past decade, the study of relationships among nutrition, exercise and the effects on health and athletic performance, has substantially increased. The 2014 introduction of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) prompted sports scientists and clinicians to investigate these relationships in more populations and with more outcomes than had been previously pursued in mostly white, adolescent or young adult, female athletes. Much of the existing physiology and concepts, however, are either based on or extrapolated from limited studies, and the comparison of studies is hindered by the lack of standardised protocols. In this review, we have evaluated and outlined current best practice methodologies to study REDs in an attempt to guide future research. This includes an agreement on the definition of key terms, a summary of study designs with appropriate applications, descriptions of best practices for blood collection and assessment and a description of methods used to assess specific REDs sequelae, stratified as either Preferred , Used and Recommended or Potential . Researchers can use the compiled information herein when planning studies to more consistently select the proper tools to investigate their domain of interest. Thus, the goal of this review is to standardise REDs research methods to strengthen future studies and improve REDs prevention, diagnosis and care.
Background The assessment of body composition (BC) in sport raises concern for athlete health, especially where an overfocus on being lighter or leaner increases the risk of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) and disordered eating. Methods We undertook a critical review of the effect of BC on performance (29 longitudinal, prospective or intervention studies) and explored current practice related to BC considerations via a follow-up to a 2013 internationally distributed survey. Results The review found that a higher level of body fat was negatively associated with endurance performance, while a gain in muscle mass resulted in performance benefits across sports. BC did not contribute to early talent identification, and no unique cut-off to signify a performance advantage for BC was identified. BC appears to be one of an array of variables impacting performance, and its influence should not be overstated. The survey (125 practitioners, 61 sports and 26 countries) showed subtle changes in BC considerations over time, such as an increased role for sport dietitian/nutrition practitioners as BC measurers (2013: 54%, 2022: 78%); less emphasis on reporting of body fat percentage (2013: 68%, 2022: 46%) and reduced frequency of BC assessment if ≥every fourth week (2013: 18%, 2022: 5%). Respondents remained concerned about a problematic focus on BC (2013: 69%, 2022: 78%). To address these findings, we provide detailed recommendations for BC considerations, including an overview of preferable BC methodology. Conclusions The ‘best practice’ guidelines stress the importance of a multidisciplinary athlete health and performance team, and the treatment of BC data as confidential medical information. The guidelines provide a health focus around BC, aiming to reduce the associated burden of disordered eating, problematic low energy availability and REDs.
The present study asked whether oral vocabulary training can facilitate reading in a second language (L2). Fifty L2 speakers of English received oral training over three days on complex novel words, with predictable and unpredictable spellings, composed of novel stems and existing suffixes (i.e., vishing , vishes , vished ). After training, participants read the novel word stems for the first time (i.e., trained and untrained), embedded in sentences, and their eye movements were monitored. The eye-tracking data revealed shorter looking times for trained than untrained stems, and for stems with predictable than unpredictable spellings. In contrast to monolingual speakers of English, the interaction between training and spelling predictability was not significant, suggesting that L2 speakers did not generate orthographic skeletons that were robust enough to affect their eye-movement behaviour when seeing the trained novel words for the first time in print.
We articulate a holistic understanding of hope, going beyond the common conceptualization of hope in terms of positive affect and cognition by considering what hope means for the underprivileged. In the recognition that hope is always situated in a particular place, we explore the perspective of the privileged and the underprivileged, clarifying how spatial contexts shape their goals for the future and their agency toward attaining these goals. Where some people experience precarity due to their disability, race, gender, sexuality, and social class, others enjoy enhanced agency due to their privilege. In our analysis, this loss of agency does not mean the underprivileged are hopeless; instead, it suggests that hope can incorporate negative affect and cognition. In our view, a spatial understanding acknowledges the power of hope in discouraging situations, and it points to practical measures through which hope can be cultivated by marginalized communities.
This study aimed to investigate the cardiovascular effects of epicatechin, a flavonoid found in green tea and cocoa, in attenuating complications associated with metabolic syndrome in diet-induced obese rats. Male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats aged 16 weeks were fed either standard rat chow (SC) or given a high-fat-high-carbohydrate (HFHC) diet for 20 weeks. Epicatechin treatment (5mg/kg/day) was administered to a subset of WKY rats commencing at week 8 of the 20 week HFHC feeding period. Body weights, food, water and energy intakes, blood pressure, heart rate and glucose tolerance were measured throughout the treatment period. Oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, lipid levels, cardiac collagen deposition, cardiac electrical function, aortic and mesenteric vessel reactivity were examined after the treatment. Twenty weeks of HFHC feeding in WKY rats resulted in the development of metabolic syndrome indicated by the presence of abdominal obesity, dyslipidaemia, glucose intolerance and increased blood pressure. Epicatechin treatment was found to enhance the oxidative stress status in HFHC groups through an increase in serum nitric oxide levels and a decrease in 8-isoprostane concentrations. Furthermore, WKY-HFHC rats displayed a decrease in interleukin-6 levels. The lipid profiles in HFHC groups showed improvement, with a decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels observed in WKY-HFHC rats. However, epicatechin was not effective in preventing weight gain, glucose intolerance or hypertension in HFHC fed rats. Overall, the results of this study suggest that epicatechin has the potential to improve the underlying mechanisms associated with metabolic syndrome in obese rats.
This book begins with a comparison of understanding something versus explaining it. Whereas dialogue works towards mutual understanding and respect, explanations examine issues of which the participants may not be aware. This distinction also relates to the problems of insider and outsider knowledge. A dialogic understanding of Islam has been problematic in recent times because of international instability, military conflict, and extreme political movements. However, understanding Christianity may be as difficult as understanding Islam following St. Paul’s commentary on Christian belief being ‘foolishness to the Greeks’. Edward Said’s Orientalism has also been influential in considering the limitations of western understanding. The limitations of secular feminist approaches are considered along with debates about Islamophobia. The general conclusion is to take a critical view of ‘positionality’ that claims that factual knowledge is limited by the position of the researcher. While understanding might be from the position of the viewer, explanation strives for information that can be shared as reliable evidence. The introduction concludes with a defence of the possibility and prospects of dialogue.
Background Mental fatigue and mental recovery have gained scientific attention in relation to sporting performance, yet best practice assessment and management methods are lacking. A greater understanding of current knowledge and practices in high‐performance sport are necessary. Objective To understand the contemporary knowledge, beliefs, monitoring processes, management strategies, perceived responsibility, sources of evidence, and challenges, when assessing the mental fatigue and mental recovery of athletes in high‐performance sport. Methods A mixed‐methods survey approach obtained information from 156 multi‐disciplinary high‐performance sport practitioners. Descriptive outputs were reported and potential differences between key concepts were detected using Wilcoxon‐signed rank analysis. Thematic analysis interpreted open‐text responses. Results Only 11.5% and 5.1% of respondents indicated they were “very” knowledgeable about mental fatigue and mental recovery, respectively. Knowledge (p < 0.001) and confidence in application (p = 0.001) were significantly greater for mental fatigue than mental recovery. Nearly all respondents perceived mental fatigue and mental recovery impacted training and competition performance, with a greater negative impact during competition (p < 0.001). A limited number of respondents reported deliberate assessment (31.1%) or management (51.2%) of mental fatigue and mental recovery. A combination of sources of evidence were used to inform practice, with common challenges to implementation including staff knowledge, athlete‐buy in, time‐availability, and a lack of evidence. Practitioners reported that assessing and managing mental fatigue and mental recovery was multi‐disciplinary in nature. Conclusion Practitioners reported that mental fatigue and mental recovery did impact performance, yet this was not reflected in the implementation of evidence‐based assessment and management practices in high‐performance sport.
Background The critical role that middle managers play in enacting organisational culture change designed to address unprofessional co-worker behaviours has gone largely unexplored. We aimed to explore middle managers’ perspectives on i) whether they speak up when they or their team members experience unprofessional behaviours (UBs); ii) how concerns are handled; iii) the outcomes; and iv) the role of a professional accountability culture change program (known as Ethos) in driving change. Methods Qualitative, constructivist approach. Five metropolitan hospitals in Australia which had implemented Ethos. Purposive sampling was used to invite middle-level managers from medicine, nursing, and non-clinical support services. Semi-structured interviews conducted remotely. Inductive, reflexive thematic and descriptive thematic analyses undertaken using NVivo. Results Thirty interviews (approximately 60 min; August 2020 to May 2021): Nursing (n = 12), Support Services (n = 10), and Medical (n = 8) staff, working in public (n = 18) and private (n = 12) hospitals. One-third (n = 10) had a formal role in Ethos. All middle managers (hearers) had experienced the raising of UBs by their team (speakers). Themes representing reasons for ongoing UBs were: staying silent but active; history and hierarchy; and double-edged swords. The Ethos program was valued as a confidential, informal, non-punitive system but required improvements in profile and effectiveness. Participants described four response stages: i) determining if reports were genuine; ii) taking action depending on the speaker’s preference, behaviour factors (type, frequency, impact), if the person was known/unknown; iii) exploring for additional information; and iv) addressing either indirectly (e.g., change rosters) or directly (e.g., become a speaker). Conclusions Addressing UBs requires an organisational-level approach beyond supporting staff to speak up, to include those hearing and addressing UBs. We propose a new hearer’s model that details middle managers’ processes after a concern is raised, identifying where action can be taken to minimise avoidant behaviours to improve hospital culture, staff and patient safety.
The high-quality commentary of Joel Marcus on Mark’s Gospel contains at least seven illuminating comments on what he calls ‘the parable of the child’ (Mark 9:36–37). His final comment pushes beyond a mere moral exhortation to welcome or show hospitality to little children. These parables, like others, make Jesus vividly present, and so reveal God, to whom Jesus is ‘strongly connected.’ Marcus should have recognized more clearly the call to recognize in vulnerable, little children the disclosed presence of God who sent his Son into the world. The face of even insignificant children brings us the face of God. The ‘mystery of the child’ reflects the ‘mystery of God.’
This article analyzes the second-century Acts of John 56–57, in which Antipatros seeks healing for his twin sons whom he claims he cannot support as he ages. I argue that this passage turns on a layered critique of Antipatros. First, the text censures medical commerce. Second, it uses his threat of murder, economic circumstances, and name to undermine Antipatros as both father and inquiring disciple. The episode thus leverages criticism of a character whose negative attitudes lead him to contemplate destruction of those with infirmities. However, it retains a mixed message: while the character of the apostle John comes to focus on the sons, the narrative silences them. Ultimately, the text emphasizes what the critique means for the flawed male, elite father, rather than the experience of the impaired sons. Such dynamics warrant close attention as we continue to expand our understanding of attitudes to disability in sources from antiquity.
Many if not most sperm donors in the early years of IVF donated under conditions of anonymity. There is, however, a growing awareness of the ethical cost of withholding identifying parental information from donor children. Today, anonymous donation is illegal in many jurisdictions, and some jurisdictions have gone as far as retrospectively invalidating contracts whereby donors were guaranteed anonymity. This article provides a critical evaluation of the ethics and legality of anonymous donation. We defend Australian and British legislation that has outlawed donor anonymity, and we argue for the establishment of a central registry that provides donor children with the ability to easily and reliably access identifying information about their donor parents.
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Sandra Jennifer Miles
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
Jonathon Sargeant
  • Faculty of Education & Arts
Amy McPherson
  • Faculty of Education and Arts
Deborah Harcourt
  • Faculty of Education
Melbourne, Australia