De Montfort University
  • Leicester, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Intelligent systems that are capable of making autonomous decisions based on input from their environment have great potential to do good, but they also raise significant social and ethical concerns. The discourse on ethics and artificial intelligence (AI) has covered these concerns in depth and developed an array of possible ways of addressing them. This article argues that a shortcoming of this discourse is that it concentrates on specific issues and their mitigation but neglects the nature of intelligent systems as socio-technical systems of systems that are often described as ecosystems. Building on the discussion of ethics and AI, the article suggests that it would be beneficial to come to an understanding of what would constitute responsible AI ecosystems. By introducing the concept of meta-responsibility or higher-level responsibility, the article proposes characteristics that an ecosystem would have to fulfil, in order to be considered a responsible ecosystem. This perspective is theoretically interesting because it extends the current AI ethics discourse. It furthermore offers a novel perspective for researchers and developers of intelligent system and helps them reflect on the way they relate to ethical issues.
The generation of collective opinion based on probability distribution function (PDF) aggregation is gradually becoming a critical approach for tackling immense and delicate assessment and evaluation tasks in decision analysis. However, the existing collective opinion generation approaches fail to model the behavioral characteristics associated with individuals, and thus, cannot reflect the fairness concerns among them when they consciously or unconsciously incorporate their judgments on the fairness level of distribution into the formulations of individual opinions. In this study, we propose a multi-objective optimization-driven collective opinion generation approach that generalizes the bi-objective optimization-based PDF aggregation paradigm. In doing so, we adapt the notion of fairness concern utility function to characterize the influence of fairness inclusion and take its maximization as an additional objective, together with the criteria of consensus and confidence levels, to achieve in generating collective opinion. The formulation of fairness concern is then transformed into the congregation of individual fairness concern utilities in the use of aggregation functions. We regard the generalized extended Bonferroni mean as an elaborated framework for aggregating individual fairness concern utilities. In such way, we establish the concept of Bonferroni mean-type collective fairness concern utility to empower multi-objective optimization-driven collective opinion generation approach with the capacity of modeling different structures associated with the expert group with fairness concern. The application of the proposed fairness-aware framework in the maturity assessment of building information modelling demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of multi-objective optimization-driven approach for generating collective opinion when accomplishing complicated assessment and evaluation tasks with data scarcity.
In recent years, the scientific community has called for improvements in the credibility, robustness and reproducibility of research, characterized by increased interest and promotion of open and transparent research practices. While progress has been positive, there is a lack of consideration about how this approach can be embedded into undergraduate and postgraduate research training. Specifically, a critical overview of the literature which investigates how integrating open and reproducible science may influence student outcomes is needed. In this paper, we provide the first critical review of literature surrounding the integration of open and reproducible scholarship into teaching and learning and its associated outcomes in students. Our review highlighted how embedding open and reproducible scholarship appears to be associated with (i) students' scientific literacies (i.e. students’ understanding of open research, consumption of science and the development of transferable skills); (ii) student engagement (i.e. motivation and engagement with learning, collaboration and engagement in open research) and (iii) students' attitudes towards science (i.e. trust in science and confidence in research findings). However, our review also identified a need for more robust and rigorous methods within pedagogical research, including more interventional and experimental evaluations of teaching practice. We discuss implications for teaching and learning scholarship.
There is a popular notion that social media is a detrimental force in modern society. Previous research has often examined social media from a perspective of dysfunction as opposed to investigating more positive aspects of human functioning. To better investigate positive human functioning, the current research adopts a psychological wellbeing perspective to focus on Instagram, a largely image-based form of social media, and how Instagram might be related to a self-reported ability to flourish (flourishing) and subjective feelings of wellbeing (i.e., feeling positive emotions and negative emotions). A sample of 295 undergraduate students (M age = 20; SD age = 3.34; 265 females and 30 males) completed questionnaire-based measures over an online research platform examining time spent on Instagram, Instagram activities, social comparisons and psychological wellbeing. Self-reported time spent on Instagram a day was not associated with any of the three psychological wellbeing measures. But how people used Instagram was related to psychological wellbeing. Using Instagram to interact with others was positively associated with both flourishing and positive emotions, whilst browsing on Instagram was positively associated with positive emotions. Furthermore, making downward comparisons whilst using Instagram was associated with positive emotions. Conversely, making upward comparisons when using Instagram was negatively associated with flourishing and positive emotions and positively associated with negative emotions. Overall, the research would suggest that using Instagram is not always associated with detriments to wellbeing. But rather, how people use Instagram can be associated with either higher or lower self-reports of psychological wellbeing.
Purpose of review: Dementia policy priorities recommend that people who are living with dementia and their family should have access to support and interventions delivered by dementia specialists, including specialist nurses. However, specialist dementia nursing models and role-related competencies are not clearly defined. We systematically review the current evidence regarding specialist dementia nursing models and their impacts. Recent findings: Thirty-one studies from across three databases, and grey literature were included in the review. One framework defining specific specialist dementia nursing competencies was found. We did not find convincing evidence of the effectiveness of specialist nursing dementia services, relative to standard models of care from the current, limited evidence base, although families living with dementia valued it. No Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) has compared the impact of specialist nursing on client and carer outcomes relative to less specialist care, although one nonrandomised study reported that specialist dementia nursing reduces emergency and inpatient service use compared with a usual care group. Summary: Current models of specialist dementia nursing are numerous and heterogeneous. Further exploration of the specialist nursing skills and the impact of specialist nursing interventions is needed to usefully inform workforce development strategies and clinical practice.
Objectives Polymeric excipients play an important role in a cocrystal formulation to act as precipitation inhibitors to maximize the potential. Otherwise, a stable form of the parent drug will be recrystallized on the dissolving cocrystal surface and/or in the bulk solution during the cocrystal dissolution process, negating the solubility advantage. The objectives of this work were to investigate the potential of using combined polymers to maximise the dissolution performance of surface precipitation pharmaceutical cocrystals. Methods The dissolution performance of a highly soluble flufenamic acid and nicotinamide (FFA-NIC) cocrystal has been systematically studied with predissolved or powder mixed with a single polymer, including a surface precipitation inhibitor [i.e., copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone (60%) /vinyl acetate (40%) (PVP-VA)] and two bulk precipitation inhibitors [i.e., polyethylene glycol (PEG) and Soluplus (SLP)], or binary polymers combinations. Results A single polymer of PVP-VA prevented the FFA surface precipitation for an enhanced dissolution performance of FFA-NIC cocrystal. Unfortunately, it cannot sustain the supersaturated FFA concentration in the bulk solution. A combination of two polymers of PVP-VA and SLP has shown a synergistic inhibition effect to enhance the dissolution advantage of FFA-NIC cocrystal. Conclusions The dissolution of a cocrystal with surface precipitation of the parent drug can be described as: i) the cocrystal surface contacting the dissolution medium; ii) the cocrystal surface dissolving; iii) the parent drug precipitation on the dissolving surface; and iv) the parent drug particles redissolving. A combination of two types of polymers can be used to maximise the cocrystal performance in solution. Graphical Abstract
Background Anxiety and sleep problems are common comorbidities among outpatients living in high-altitude areas. Network analysis is a novel method to investigate the interaction and the association between symptoms across diverse disorders. This study used network analysis to investigate the network structure symptoms of anxiety and sleep problems among outpatients in high-altitude areas, and to explore the differences in symptom associations in various sex, age, educational levels and employment groups. Methods The data was collected from the Sleep Medicine Center of The First People’s Hospital of Yunnan Province from November 2017 to January 2021 with consecutive recruitment (N = 11,194). Anxiety and sleep problems were measured by the Chinese version of the seven-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) respectively. Central symptoms were identified based on centrality indices and bridge symptoms were identified with bridge indices. The difference of network structures in various sex, age, educational levels and employment groups were also explored. Results Among all the cases, 6,534 (58.37%; 95% CI: 57.45-59.29%) reported experiencing anxiety (GAD-7 total scores ≥ 5), and 7,718 (68.94%; 95% CI: 68.08-69.80%) reported experiencing sleep problems (PSQI total scores ≥ 10). Based on the results of network analysis, among participants, “Nervousness”, “Trouble relaxing”, “Uncontrollable worry” were the most critical central symptoms and bridge symptoms within the anxiety and sleep problems network structure. The adjusted network model after controlling for covariates was significantly correlated with the original (r = 0.75, P = 0.46). Additionally, there were significant differences in edge weights in the comparisons between sex, age and educational levels groups (P < 0.001), while the employed and unemployed groups did not show significant differences in edge weights (P > 0.05). Conclusions In the anxiety and sleep problems network model, among outpatients living in high-altitude areas, nervousness, uncontrollable worry, and trouble relaxing were the most central symptoms and bridge symptoms. Moreover, there were significant differences between various sex, age and educational levels. These findings can be used to provide clinical suggestions for psychological interventions and measures targeting to reduce symptoms that exacerbate mental health.
Topology optimization has been increasingly used in various industrial designs as a numerical tool to optimize the material layout of a structure. However, conventional topology optimization approaches implicitly describe the structural design and require additional post-processing to generate a manufacturable topology with smooth boundaries. To this end, this paper proposes a novel robust topology optimization approach to produce an optimized topology with smooth boundaries directly. A truncated Karhunen–Loeve expansion and a sparse grid collocation method are integrated with the explicit moving morphable components method for uncertainty representation and propagation, respectively. The performance of the proposed method is assessed on three numerical examples of continuum structures under loading and material uncertainties through comparison with several robust topology optimization approaches. Results show that the proposed method is superior to the benchmark methods in terms of the balance among robustness of the objective function, boundary smoothness, and computational efficiency.
Advances in neuroscience and other disciplines are producing large-scale brain data that consists of datasets from multiple organisms, disciplines, jurisdictions in different formats. However, due to the lack of an international data governance framework brain data is currently being produced under various contextual ethical and legal principles which may influence key stakeholders involved in the generation, collection, processing and sharing of brain data thereby raising ethical and legal challenges. Also, although calls for a culturally informed brain data governance framework have been made, practical steps and studies to understand the global perceptions of key stakeholders using neuroscientists who are influenced by these ethical legal principles is currently lacking. Therefore, using the research question how do ethical and legal principles influence data governance in neuroscience? we attempt to understand the perceptions of key actors on the principles, issues and concerns that can arise from brain data research. We carried out interviews with 21 leading international neuroscientists. The analytical insights revealed key ethical and legal principles, areas of convergence, visibility, and the issues and concerns that arise in brain data research around these principles. These issues and concerns mainly circulate around intimately connected areas which include ethics, human rights, regulations, policies and guidelines, and participatory governance. The research answers the call for a cross cultural study of global brain data governance and the results of the study will assist in understanding the issues and concerns that arise in brain data governance.
Why did the Australian far-left, namely the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), and the left-wing of the Australian Labor Party (ALP-left), support Cypriot enosis (union with Greece), when it was led by a violent far-right nationalist group, EOKA, and Greece was a repressive right-wing state? There are two aspects to answering this question: the ideological-intellectual and the political-electoral. Intellectually, the CPA and the ALP-left favoured their anti-imperialism and support for left-wing national liberation over any qualms in supporting far-right nationalist causes. Politically, they saw an electoral opportunity in courting left-wing and potential left-wing Greek-speaking migrants from Greece and Cyprus and championing both their labour and perceived ‘national’ causes. In doing so, they engaged with the Greek-speaking migrant labouring classes and gave prominence to their perceived ‘national’ struggles. This article considers why and how the Australian far-left in the form of the CPA and ALP-left became involved in the enosis politics of Greek Cypriots and the violent struggle of a small far-right minority in the island, while attempting to court the votes of left-wing Greek-speaking migrants, by supporting them in what they accepted was their ‘national’ cause – the ‘liberation’ of Cyprus and its enosis with Greece.
Objectives: This study aimed to (1) provide a comprehensive overview of contraceptive methods self-reported by men in England, over 5 years, focusing on condoms in comparison to any male method; and (2) explore condom as a contraceptive method by region and ethnicity. Study design: Data were from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (Contraception) England census data set from 2014/15 to 2018/19. Once missing data were removed, this left a total of 365,292 men. Two binomial logistic regression models were performed. Model 1 examined ethnicity, region, and time on condom as a method of contraception; and Model 2 examined ethnicity, region, and time by any male contraceptive. Descriptive statistics were run for natural family planning and spermicide. Results: Model 1 revealed a significant model, χ2 (15) = 30,976, P < 0.001, and predicted that condoms as a method decreased in London with a greater decrease in Midlands. London saw the lowest rate of decline among the non-White ethnic group, whereas North and South regions increased probability over time. The North started at a higher probability and the South at the lowest. Model 2 also revealed a significant model, χ2 (15) = 32,472, P < 0.001, with a similar pattern to Model 1. Contingency tables showed natural family planning and spermicide were the least reported methods and decreased over time. Conclusions: As any male contraceptive method appears to be decreasing in both models, reproductive health promotion is required. This study has implications for commissioning funds and for identifying regional areas of further investigation.
Task sets have been argued to play an important role in cognition, giving rise to the notions of needing to switch between active task sets and to control competing task sets in selective attention tasks. For example, it has been argued that Stroop interference results from two categories of conflict: informational and task (set) conflict. Informational conflict arises from processing the word and is resolved by a late selection mechanism; task conflict arises when two task sets (i.e., word reading and colour identification) compete for activation and can be construed as involving an early selection mechanism. However, recent work has argued that task set control might not be needed to explain all of the switching cost in task switching studies. Here we consider whether task conflict plays a role in selective attention tasks. In particular, we consider whether S-R associations, which lead to informational conflict, are enough on their own to explain findings attributed to task set conflict. We review and critically evaluate both the findings that provided the original impetus for proposing task conflict in selective attention tasks and more recent findings reporting negative facilitation (longer RTs to congruent than to neutral stimuli) - a unique marker of task conflict. We then provide a tentative alternative account of negative facilitation based on poor control over informational conflict and apply it to a number of paradigms including the Colour-Object interference and Affordances tasks. It is argued that invoking competition between task sets in selective attention tasks might not be necessary.
Background: Persistent bacterial infections caused by biofilm-associated Enterococcus faecalis are a global public health concern. This study aims to compare the biofilm removal effects of methylene blue (MB) or hydrogen peroxide (HP) mediated photodynamic inactivation (PDI) with a shock wave enhanced emission photoacoustic streaming (SWEEPS) method laser irradiation enhanced bactericidal activity. Methods: A total of fifty extracted single-rooted human teeth were used. Each canal was then inoculated with a bacterial suspension of E. faecalis and left for ten days to induce biofilm formation. The antibacterial effects within treated root canals using MB or HP + diode laser or SWEEPS alone or in combination were assessed and compared with 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) as the positive control group. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc test. Results: The MB + diode laser + SWEEPS and HP + diode laser + SWEEPS groups displayed significantly lower amounts of bacteria than either the MB + diode laser or SWEEPS and HP + diode laser or SWEEPS groups (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference detected between the diode laser and SWEEPS groups (p = 0.982). Conclusions: SWEEPS can enhance the photosensitizer distribution in the root canal, leading to effective biofilm removal. This technique could thus help promote the future development of endodontic treatments.
Penny Harrison presents recent research on how GI nurses can better meet the needs of LGBT+ patients
A brief overview of recently published articles on gastroenterology, hepatology and stoma care
This study aimed to fabricate clarithromycin laden Eudragit S-100-based microfibers (MF), microfibers coated film (MB), clarithromycin loaded polyvinyl pyrollidone, hyaluronic acid and sorbitol-based dissolving microneedle patches (CP) and microfibers coated microneedle patches (MP). Morphological and phase analysis of formulations were carried out by scanning electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, respectively. Substrate liquefaction test, in vitro drug release, antimicrobial assay and in vivo antibiofilm studies were performed. MF exhibited a uniform surface and interconnected network. Morphological analysis of CP revealed sharp-tipped and uniform-surfaced microstructures. Clarithromycin was incorporated within MF and CP as amorphous solid. Liquefaction test indicated hyaluronate lyase enzyme responsiveness of hyaluronic acid. Fibers-based formulations (MF, MB and MP) provided an alkaline pH (7.4) responsive drug release; ∼79 %, ∼78 % and ∼81 %, respectively within 2 hours. CP showed a drug release of ∼82 % within 2 hours. MP showed ∼13 % larger inhibitory zone against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) as compared to MB and CP. A relatively rapid eradication of S. aureus in infected wounds and subsequent skin regeneration was observed following MP application as compared to MB and CP indicating its usefulness for the management of microbial biofilms.
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12,483 members
Adrian Slater
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Mikhail Goman
  • Department of Engineering
Abiodun Egbetokun
  • Faculty of Business and Law
Tracy Harwood
  • The Institute of Creative Technologies
The Gateway, LE1 9BH, Leicester, United Kingdom
Head of institution
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard
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