Charles Sturt University
  • Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Recent publications
To automatically identify and delineate metastatic lesions in low-resolution bone scan images, we propose a deep learning-based segmentation method in this paper. In particular, the view aggregation in this method uses a pixel-wise addition to enhance the regions with high uptake of the radiopharmaceutical. The operation of view aggregation augments images for the lesion segmentation task. By following the structure of the encoder-decoder with deep supervision, our model is an end-to-end segmentation network that consists of two sub-networks of feature extraction and pixel classification. As such, the hieratical features of bone scan images can be learned by the feature extraction sub-network. The pixels in metastasis areas within a feature map are then identified and delineated by the pixel classification sub-network. The results of experiments on clinical bone scan images show that the proposed model performs well in segmenting metastatic lesions automatically, obtaining a mean score of 0.6556 on DSC (Dice Similarity Coefficient). However, more bone scan images enable our model to learn better representative features of metastatic lesions, for further improving the performance of deep learning-based lesion segmentation.
The inflammable growth of misinformation on social media and other platforms during pandemic situations like COVID-19 can cause significant damage to the physical and mental stability of the people. To detect such misinformation, researchers have been applying various machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) techniques. The objective of this study is to systematically review, assess, and synthesize state-of-the-art research articles that have used different ML and DL techniques to detect COVID-19 misinformation. A structured literature search was conducted in the relevant bibliographic databases to ensure that the survey solely centered on reproducible and high-quality research. We reviewed 43 papers that fulfilled our inclusion criteria out of 260 articles found from our keyword search. We have surveyed a complete pipeline of COVID-19 misinformation detection. In particular, we identify various COVID-19 misinformation datasets and review different data processing, feature extraction, and classification techniques to detect COVID-19 misinformation. At the end, the challenges and limitations in detecting COVID-19 misinformation using machine learning techniques and the future research directions are discussed.
This paper discusses how to improve the accuracy of doctors' diagnosis and how to protect the security of patients' information. First, UPHFPR (Uncertain Probability Hesitant Fuzzy Preference Relationship) is applied to select more accurate target for doctors. The framework involved an information entropy to quantify the access request risks and privacy risks when doctors access clinical data. Based on the bounded rationality hypothesis, we build a multi-player evolutionary game model of risk access control, and analyze the participants' dynamic selection strategy and evolutionary stability. The simulation experiments suggest that UPPHFPR can help doctors choose the correct work objectives by integrating doctors' diagnostic opinions; we also incorporate the risk of doctor's access behavior into the evolutionary game's profit function, which can realize risk-adaptive access control. This model avoids the disclosure of clinical data and effectively protects the patients’ privacy.
Objectives To evaluate (1) the feasibility of an audit-feedback intervention to facilitate sports science journal policy change, (2) the reliability of the Transparency of Research Underpinning Social Intervention Tiers (TRUST) policy evaluation form, and (3) the extent to which policies of sports science journals support transparent and open research practices. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional, audit-feedback, feasibility study of transparency and openness standards of the top 38 sports science journals by impact factor. The TRUST form was used to evaluate journal policies support for transparent and open research practices. Feedback was provided to journal editors in the format of a tailored letter. Inter-rater reliability and agreement of the TRUST form was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients and the standard error of measurement, respectively. Time-based criteria, fidelity of intervention delivery and qualitative feedback were used to determine feasibility. Results The audit-feedback intervention was feasible based on the time taken to rate journals and provide tailored feedback. The mean (SD) score on the TRUST form (range 0–27) was 2.05 (1.99), reflecting low engagement with transparent and open practices. Inter-rater reliability of the overall score of the TRUST form was moderate [ICC (2,1) = 0.68 (95% CI 0.55–0.79)], with standard error of measurement of 1.17. However, some individual items had poor reliability. Conclusion Policies of the top 38 sports science journals have potential for improved support for transparent and open research practices. The feasible audit-feedback intervention developed here warrants large-scale evaluation as a means to facilitate change in journal policies. Registration : OSF ( ).
We consider the mechanistic basis and functional significance of the pervasive influence of parasitic plants on productivity and diversity, synthesizing recent findings on their responses to drought, heat waves, and fire. Although parasites represent just 1% of all angiosperms, the ecophysiological traits associated with parasitism confer pronounced impacts on their hosts and disproportionate influence upon community structure, composition, and broader ecosystem function. New insights into the roles of their pollinators, seed dispersers, and litter-dependent detritivores have advanced our understanding of how parasitic plants modulate animal communities via their extended and complementary phenology. Direct and indirect impacts of climate change on parasitic plants and their ecological roles are already apparent. Trade-offs between maximizing efficiency at obtaining water from hosts and sensitivity to water stress underlie range shifts and host switching of parasitic plants and increased reliance on these plants by animal communities for food and shelter. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, Volume 53 is November 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
Introduction The identification of unknown radionuclides is an authentic practical activity for students that provides the foundations for clinical problem solving, especially in the storage and management of radioactive waste. As different radionuclides have different half-lives, some of which are quite long, the storage of waste material has to accommodate the longest of these. Cross contamination requires a method of identifying the radionuclide samples in a mixed sample to safely and appropriately manage disposal. Similarly, identifying a single unknown sample of a radionuclide allows correct handling and disposal. Methods Performing a systematic investigation of the physical properties of unknown radioactive samples is a rich learning opportunity to instil understanding of important physics principles among students in nuclear medicine. Results This manuscript outlines an investigation developed that would allow students to identify single unknown radionuclides based on physical properties and identify the constituent radionuclides of a mixed sample using some additional mathematical curve stripping. Conclusion The processes and solutions are provided with real data and this practical activity can be replicated by students generating their own data. Implications for practice This paper provides a template and analysis/interpretation guideline for educators and clinicians to deepen understanding of foundation physics. Enhanced and deeper understanding are a vehicle for improved problem solving in clinical and research practice.
Using cement for peat and soft soil foundation stabilisation has been a traditional engineering practice. However, cement production is a highly energy-intensive process and causes vast carbon emissions. This study describes a series of laboratory experiments that demonstrates the benefits of using clay as a natural and environmentally-friendly material to partially replace cement for peat stabilisation. As a pozzolanic material and filler, clay significantly improves the strength of stabilised peat and reduces the dosage of cement. For a required unconfined compressive strength level of 350 kPa, using only cement to stabilise peat would require 20.8 % of cement. By adding 40 % of clay, the cement consumption is reduced to 12.0 % (a 42.3 % saving) to stabilise the same peat. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) observations revealed a dense microstructure of the stabilised peat due to the filler effect and pozzolanic activity of the clay. The present study confirmed the feasibility of using clay as a partial replacement for cement in peat stabilisation. This study shall inform engineering practice for peat stabilisation with a view to contributing to the global mission of carbon neutrality by 2050.
This article increases understanding of university labour processes. The antecedents and characteristics of early retirement schemes implemented by Australian universities between 2010 and 2020 were considered. Twenty-eight schemes were identified across 20 universities. Content analysis of descriptions of the schemes contained in official documents was undertaken. This revealed somewhat common justifications for the schemes, linked to concerns about organisational sustainability/resilience in the face of external threats and the implementation of modernising efforts. Such justifications appeared to be underpinned by similar ageist biases on the part of management. Despite this broad commonality, however, the schemes manifested a multifurcation of possible work-retirement pathways across institutions. Such reorganisation of labour processes, based on ageist representations that potentially place established workers in conflict with others, represents an incongruence between the market-oriented objectives of universities and areas of public policy responding to workforce ageing. It is argued that drawing momentum from emerging conceptions of sustainability and current diversity initiatives such as Athena Swan and Age Friendly Universities it may be possible to sever the link university leadership perceive between the divestment of older workers and the fulfilment of modernising agendas.
Antimicrobial use (AMU) in the food chain is a potential driver of antimicrobial resistance. Despite Australia's strong regulation of AMU limited to veterinary prescriptions, a proportion of empirical antimicrobial treatments are administered by dairy farmers to manage common cattle health problems. This cross‐sectional survey identified key influences on AMU by dairy cattle farmers within New South Wales, Australia, to detect opportunities for antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) engagement. The study identified existing relationships, resources and attitudes of the dairy farmers that could be optimised for on‐farm AMS strategies. Farmers were most highly influenced by veterinary advice and clinical signs of the animal followed by the withholding period and the potential for antimicrobial resistance development. Farmers' high confidence regarding their own knowledge of antimicrobials (>90%), their high regard for veterinary advice (>90%) and high rate of veterinary health care plan use (69%) provides a strong framework to build the profile and practice of AMS on dairy farms. Positive engagement by dairy farmers (survey response of 20%), was achieved by working with the NSW Food Authority. Despite respondents reporting low reliance on formal (government and commercial) organisations for information about AMU, their engagement demonstrates an opportunity for groups with unparalleled access to dairy farmers to drive AMS. An association between frequent use of veterinary advice and respondents keeping ceftiofur on‐farm requires further investigation. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of on‐farm resources, decision‐making, and practices is required to understand how practices relate to veterinary advice and accepted standards of appropriate AMU on dairy farms.
Most research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been conducted by non-Indigenous people and has not been a positive experience for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This scoping review maps approaches to health research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in Australia from the last two decades. A literature search found 198 papers, of which 34 studies met the inclusion criteria. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Quality Appraisal Tool was then used to map the quality of the reported community driven research. The Quality Appraisal Tool privileges, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s epistemologies and ethical research governance. The findings reported on strengths and identified areas for improvement in reporting community driven research.
Background Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous plant symbionts and an important biotic component of natural and agricultural soils. Yet we have only limited knowledge about the symbiotic functioning of native AM fungal communities in soils from high-input agricultural systems, where mycorrhiza can be suppressed by over-fertilization, tillage and other practices. Aims and Methods We therefore conducted a greenhouse bioassay to examine the functioning of mycorrhizas established by native AM fungal communities from 28 conventionally managed arable soils. Their infectivity and potential to promote plant growth and nutrient uptake were evaluated in comparison to non-mycorrhizal controls and to a highly infective reference isolate, using leek (Allium porrum) as indicator plant. Mycorrhizal effects on soil water-stable aggregation (WSA) were determined as a proxy for an ecosystem benefit of mycorrhizas. Results Root colonization by AM fungi as well as their effect on plant performance were negatively related to P availability as the most influential factor across the analysed gradients of soil conditions. Significant positive plant growth response to mycorrhiza was found only in a small subset of the soils, while positive effects on P uptake were more frequent and more pronounced. Root colonization and mycorrhizal growth response were higher after inoculation with the reference isolate than with the native AM fungal communities. Mycorrhiza-induced changes in WSA were significantly related to the plant mycorrhizal growth response. Conclusions The results suggest that native AM fungal communities may improve plant growth only in a small subset of conventionally managed arable soils, whereby their effect can be limited by suboptimal colonization potential.
The scope of practice of the medical radiation practitioner demands knowledge and understanding of the indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, proper use, drug interactions and adverse reactions of a variety of medications. The risk of patient deterioration or acute emergent event, particularly following contrast administration, makes the command of crash cart medications particularly important. This article explores the pharmacological principles of medications most likely to be required in a medical emergency in the medical radiation department and in particular by the computed tomography (CT) technologist. The article also outlines early warning signs to assist in identifying the emergent or deteriorating patient. The learning outlined is designed to equip medical radiation practitioners with the capacity to identify and respond to a medical emergency typical of the medical radiation department, and to respond to that situation with the appropriate use of emergency medications where appropriate. The ability of medical radiation practitioners to recognise and respond to (including the use of medicines) the deteriorating patient or circumstances of a medically urgent nature are key capabilities required to meet minimum standards for Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia registration and National Safety and Quality Health Service standards. The scope of practice of the medical radiation practitioner demands knowledge and understanding of the indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, proper use, drug interactions, and adverse reactions of a variety of medications. The risk of patient deterioration or acute emergent event, particularly following contrast administration, makes command of crash cart medications particularly important. This article explores the pharmacological principles of medications most likely to be required in a medical emergency in the medical radiation department and in particular by the CT technologist.
Objective: To facilitate manual diagnosis of lung cancer-caused metastasis, in this work, we propose a deep learning-based method to automatically identify and locate the hotspots in a bone scan image which denote the lesions metastasized from lung cancer. Approach: An end-to-end metastasis lesion detection model is proposed by following the classical object detection framework SSD (Single Shot multibox object Detector).The proposed model casts lesion detection problem into automatically learning the hierarchal representations of lesion features, locating the spatial position of lesion areas, and boxing the detected lesions. Main results: Experimental evaluation conducted on clinical data of retrospective bone scans shows the comparable performance with a mean score of 0.7911 for AP (Average Precision). A comparative analysis between our network and others including SSD shows the feasibility of the proposed detection network on automatically detecting multiple lesions of metastasis lesions caused by lung cancer. Significance: The proposed method has the potential to be used as an auxiliary tool for improving the accuracy and efficiency of metastasis diagnosis routinely conducted by nuclear medicine physicians.
After two-years of talking to around 170 early career science/social science researchers from China, France, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Spain, UK and US about their work life and scholarly communications during the pandemic, the Harbingers-2 project is in possession of a mountain of verbatim data. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the kinds of comments ECRs are raising, with a focus on those that provide a particular interesting and illuminating take on ECRs’ experiences under difficult times. Comments, for instance, that might challenge the established order of things or that presage big changes down the line. The selection of comments presented here were made by the national interviewers shortly after the completion of the last of three rounds of interviews (two interviews in the case of Russia). The understandings, appreciations and suggestions thus raised by the ECRs are insightful and constructive, which is what we might have expected from this cohort who are very much at the forefront of the research enterprise and veritable research workhorses. Sixteen broad scholarly topics are represented by quotes/comments, with the main focus of the comments on a subset of these: research performance and assessment, scholarly communication transformations, networking and collaboration, social media and access to information/libraries, which suggests, perhaps, where the action, concerns and interest mainly lie.
Parenteral anticoagulants are a class of anticoagulants that need to be administered non-orally, usually by injection or infusion. There are a variety of such agents, but heparin reflects the most frequently used. Being alerted to an error in a prior publication in which the word 'parenteral' was inadvertently replaced by the word 'parental', it became clear that even experienced authors make such errors, which could then remain undetected by reviewers and editors, thus leading to failure in correction of same before publication. Given this is likely to be a somewhat ongoing error, we undertook a PubMed search of the literature to identify that 'parentally administered' anticoagulants, as well as 'parental' administration of other compounds, seems to be evident throughout the literature. We hope this report acts to raise awareness and help avoid similar errors in the future.
Currently, there is no standardized rearing method or production guidelines for non-replacement male dairy calves that maximizes their economic viability. Producers have highlighted the need to match consumer expectations, but even with broadscale welfare improvement across the dairy industry, challenges remain at providing reliable and valuable pathways for non-replacement male dairy calves for beef production. A key consumer concern has been the use of on-farm euthanasia. Euthanasia has been a catalyst for change in the industry from a human and animal welfare perspective. The practice of euthanasia can lead to a decline in personnel wellbeing. To investigate the relationship between on-farm management practices of non-replacement male dairy calves and producer perceptions of their value proposition, an online questionnaire was provided to Australian dairy producers between June and October 2021. The aim was to identify supply-chain profitability of non-replacement male calves and investigate the attitudes and effects of euthanasia on producer wellbeing as part of managing these calves. A total of 127 useable responses were obtained, and a Bayesian network (BN) was utilized to model the interdependencies between management practices and wellbeing among participants. The results indicated that in general, dairy producers desired high welfare standards in their enterprises with regard to non-replacement male calves as well as expressed a desire to meet industry and consumers' expectations. In line with anecdotal reports of a reduction in practice, euthanasia was not identified as common practice in this group; however, producers were still accessing early-life markets for non-replacement male calves with operational requirements and environmental factors influencing their decisions. Producers expressed dissatisfaction with market access for their calves, as well as the lack of suitability of Australian beef grading standards for dairy-bred carcasses. Australian dairy managers and owners identified that euthanasia influenced employee wellbeing; however, they did not acknowledge euthanasia had an effect on their own wellbeing. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that all non-replacement male calf breeds had the potential to access profitable markets, and avoidance of euthanasia is a strong driver of change among dairy beef production systems in Australia.
The purpose of this systematized review was to investigate how attitudes toward low-tech AAC might be impacting its use in acute care settings. A comprehensive and systematic search of databases identified 23 articles for inclusion. Thematic analysis using the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework facilitated a narrative synthesis of findings. Results suggest that in acute care settings (a) adult patients, families, nursing staff, medical team, and allied health professionals all have opportunities to use but do not regularly engage with AAC; (b) individuals reject low-tech AAC devices for a variety of reasons, including that they are not useful, necessary, suitable, or appropriate in settings such as intensive care units; (c) negative attitudes toward AAC are linked to a lack of initial training and ongoing support, perceived impersonal content, limited functionality, and a lack of consistent availability; and (d) positive attitudes toward low-tech AAC are more prevalent when training and support are offered, low-tech AAC effectiveness is demonstrated, and organizational, financial, and procedural commitments are provided. Limitations of the research are highlighted and future research opportunities are identified.
e date stone beetle, Coccotrypes dactyliperda, is a cryptic spermatophagus species that spends almost its entire life cycle inside the seeds of palms, esp. Phoenix sp. Only during dispersal, when the host seed has been largely eaten out, do females emerge for a short period of time in search of a fresh seed in which to establish new brood galleries. Previous work indicated that C. dactyliperda might be photophobic, preferring to emerge from seeds during night hours, whereas anecdotal evidence suggested that the beetles might be photophilic in terms of their movements post emergence. This paper examines the photosensitivity of the species under controlled laboratory conditions. The results show that C. dactyliperda, once removed from the brood chamber, is attracted by and moves faster to a light source, but that the color of the lit surface (red, blue, green, black) has no influence on either direction or crawl speed.
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Sarah Redshaw
  • Faculty of Arts and Education
Philip Kerr
  • School of Dentistry and Medical Sciences
Shubhagata Das
  • School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Ross Allan Kennedy
  • School of Biomedical Sciences
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