London Metropolitan University
  • London, England, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Globozoospermia (OMIM: 102530) is a rare type of teratozoospermia (< 0.1%). The etiology of globozoospermia is complicated and has not been fully revealed. Here, we report an infertile patient with globozoospermia. Variational analysis revealed a homozygous missense variant in the SSFA2 gene (NM_001130445.3: c.3671G > A; p.R1224Q) in the patient. This variant significantly reduced the protein expression of SSFA2. Immunofluorescence staining showed positive SSFA2 expression in the acrosome of human sperm. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) and Coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) analyses identified that GSTM3 and Actin interact with SSFA2. Further investigation revealed that for the patient, regular intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment had a poor prognosis. However, Artificial oocyte activation (AOA) by a calcium ionophore (A23187) after ICSI successfully rescued the oocyte activation failure for the patient with the SSFA2 variant, and the couple achieved a live birth. This study revealed that SSFA2 plays an important role in acrosome formation, and the homozygous c.3671G > A loss-of-function variant in SSFA2 caused globozoospermia. SSFA2 may represent a new gene in the genetic diagnosis of globozoospermia, especially the successful outcome of AOA-ICSI treatment for couples, which has potential value for clinicians in their treatment regimen selections.
Nowadays, various interfaces are used to control smart home appliances. The human and smart home appliances interaction may be based on input devices such as a mouse, keyboard, microphone, or webcam. The interaction between humans and machines can be established via speech using a microphone as one of the input modes. The Speech-based human and machine interaction is a more natural way of communication in comparison to other types of interfaces. Existing speech-based interfaces in the smart home domain suffer from some problems such as limiting the users to use a fixed set of pre-defined commands, not supporting indirect commands, requiring a large training set, or depending on some specific speakers. To solve these challenges, we proposed several approaches in this paper. We exploited ontology as a knowledge base to support indirect commands and remove user restrictions on expressing a specific set of commands. Moreover, Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) has been exploited for detecting spoken commands more accurately. Additionally, due to the lack of Persian voice commands for interacting with smart home appliances, a dataset of speaker-independent Persian voice commands for communicating with TV, media player, and lighting system has been designed, recorded, and evaluated in this research. The experimental results show that the LSTM-based voice command detection system performed almost 1.5% and 13% more accurately than the Hidden Markov Model-based one, in scenarios ‘with’ and ‘without ontology’, respectively. Furthermore, using ontology in the LSTM-based method has improved the system performance by about 40%.
Understanding of how time is experienced is essential when conducting qualitative research. This article explores how time seemingly stands still, speeds up, slows down, rewinds and fast-forwards for the participants in our qualitative investigations. Drawing upon interview data with street homeless people in Moscow, Russia, this article examines the ways in which time is contextualized and used by research participants to make sense of their everyday experiences and important events in their lives. There is a tendency to understand time by measuring it, rather than seeing it as something within which lived experience happens and qualitative research is carried out. Drawing on Bergson’s conception of time as duration, this article examines the ways in which time can be distinctively used and understood within qualitative research.
In this paper, we bring together two concepts that we have been developing separately over recent years, to challenge linear and simplistic notions of migrant integration, depict multi-dimensional processes of settling and changeability over time. The concept of embedding has been proposed to capture dynamism beyond the more static notion of Granovetter’s embeddedness. The concept explores the contexts and contingencies of where and how migrants establish different degrees of attachment in different places and through different social relationships. Also the concept of anchoring has been developed to offer an antireductionist processual and multi-dimensional understanding of migrant adaptation and settling, highlighting the issues of security and stability. In this paper, using longitudinal research, we explore for the first time how bringing our two concepts together may offer additional insights and understandings of migrants’ experiences of and responses to the uncertainties and complexities of contemporary society, exacerbated by Brexit.
Objective The introduction of a new clinical pharmacist workforce via Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is a recent national policy development in the National Health Service in England. This study elicits the perspectives of people with responsibility for local implementation of this national policy package. Attention to local delivery is necessary to understand the contextual factors shaping the integration of the new clinical pharmacy workforce, and thus can be expected to influence future role development. Design A qualitative, interview study Setting and participants PCN Clinical Directors and senior pharmacists across 17 PCNs in England (n=28) Analysis Interviews were transcribed, coded and organised using the framework method. Thematic analysis and complex systems modelling were then undertaken iteratively to develop the themes. Results Findings were organised into two overarching themes: (1) local organisational innovations of a national policy under conditions of uncertainty; and (2) local multiprofessional decision-making on clinical pharmacy workforce integration and initial task assignment. Although a phased implementation of the PCN package was planned, the findings suggest that processes of PCN formation and clinical pharmacist workforce integration were closely intertwined, with underpinning decisions taking place under conditions of considerable uncertainty and workforce pressures. Conclusions National policy decisions that required General Practitioners to form PCNs at the same time as they integrated a new workforce risked undermining the potential of both PCNs and the new workforce. PCNs require time and support to fully form and integrate clinical pharmacists if successful role development is to occur. Efforts to incentivise delivery of PCN pharmacy services in future must be responsive to local capacity.
Archival bindings are interesting yet challenging objects for conservators to treat. The definition of this kind of binding is broad but minor details, such as the use of tackets and different lacing methods to attach the cover to the textblock, make each binding distinctive. Although these bindings exhibit different structures, one of their most common types of deterioration is a pronounced concave spine. When it comes to repairing these bindings, it is important to keep these differences in mind, and therefore conservation treatments need to be developed for each individual item. At London Metropolitan Archives (London, UK), the Diocese of London Consistory Court records offer a great resource for studying this type of binding, and conservators need to find solutions to maintain the potential historical information that a binding feature can reveal. This gentle approach is sometimes challenged by the need to enable safe handling by users, which may require a more interventive measure. This article describes different conservation treatments on three similar archival bindings from the sixteenth century that aimed to fulfil these requirements. Treatment options were chosen to maintain the binding features and allow safe access. We will describe how different approaches have led to different outcomes.
Teacher education has gathered interest globally and nationally among teachers, educators, researchers and policy makers. Madalinska-Michalak, O ’Doherty and Assuno Flores (2018) observe that regional/ national, social, economic, political and historical factors impact upon teacher education and ‘it is also impacted by global problems and tendencies’ (pp. 567). This paper builds on these debates and examines the effects of global discourses of teacher education in the national contexts of developed and developing countries, for example, Guyana, Japan, South Africa, United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). This includes consideration of teacher education and training before and during the current global Covid-19 pandemic ( UNESCO, 2020 ). The paper concludes that teacher education continues to be under scrutiny due to global and national expectations, the demand of and how they are positioned in preparing teachers for the 21st century. Notwithstanding, as globalisation becomes more integrated in societies globally teacher education curricula not only has to retain its emphasis on standards, but equally its agility to ensure that the needs of all learners are met.
A feasibility study of an innovative design is presented of a metamaterial inspired antenna array for millimeter-wave band applications where non-mechanical beam-steering is required such as in 5G and 6G communications, automotive and radar systems. In communication systems beam-steering antennas can significantly improve signal-to-noise ratio, spatial directivity, and the efficiency of data transmission. However, in tightly packed arrays the effects of mutual coupling between the radiating elements can severely limit the array’s performance. The proposed antenna array consists of a 3×3 matrix of patch radiators that are tightly packed and interconnected to each other. Rows of radiators are demarcated by a horizontal microstrip transmission-line whose ends are short-circuited to the ground-plane. This technique reduces unwanted surface waves that contribute to undesired coupling. Embedded in the square patch radiators is a rhombus shaped slot that increases the effective aperture of the antenna with no impact on the antenna’s size. As the antenna is excited via a single feedline the edge-to-edge spacing between the radiators and the interconnected feedlines are made such that there is phase coherency at the radiating elements. Measured results show that the effectiveness of the proposed array in simultaneously improving its impedance bandwidth and radiation characteristics. The measured peak gain and radiation efficiency are 13.6 dBi and 89.54%, respectively.
Proposed in this paper is the design of an innovative and compact antenna array which based on four radiating elements for multi-input multi-output (MIMO) antenna applications used in 5G communication systems. The radiating elements are fractal curves excited using an open-circuited feedline through a coplanar waveguide (CPW). The feedline is electromagnetically coupled to the inside edge of the radiating element. The array’s impedance bandwidth is enhanced by inserting a ground structure composed of low-high-low impedance between the radiating elements. The low-impedance section of the ground is a staircase structure that is inclined at an angle to follow the input feedline. This inter-radiating element essentially suppresses near-field radiation between adjacent radiators. A band reject filter based on a composite right/left hand (CRLH) structure is mounted at the back side of the antenna array to reduce mutual coupling between the antenna elements by choking surface wave propagations that can otherwise degrade the radiation performance of the array antenna. The CRLH structure is based on the Hilbert fractal geometry, and it was designed to act like a stop band filter over the desired frequency bands. The proposed antenna array was fabricated and tested. It covers the frequency bands in the range from 2-3 GHz, 3.4-3.9 GHz, and 4.4-5.2 GHz. The array has a maximum gain of 6. 2dBi at 3.8 GHz and coupling isolation better than -20 dB. The envelope correlation coefficient of the antenna array is within the acceptable limit. There is good agreement between the simulated and measured results.
An innovative off-chip antenna (OCA) is presented that exhibits high gain and efficiency performance at the terahertz (THz) band and has a wide operational bandwidth. The proposed OCA is implemented on stacked silicon layers and consists of an open circuit meandering line. It is shown that by loading the antenna with an array of subwavelength circular dielectric slots and terminating it with a metamaterial unit cell, its impedance bandwidth is enhanced by a factor of two and its gain on average by about 4 dB. Unlike conventional antennas, where the energy is dissipated in a resistive load, the technique proposed here significantly reduces losses. The antenna is excited from underneath the antenna by coupling RF energy from an open-circuited feedline through a slot in the ground-plane of the middle substrate layer. The feedline is shielded with another substrate layer which has a ground-plane on its opposite surface to mitigate the influence of the structure on which the antenna is mounted. The antenna has the dimensions 12.3 × 4.5 × 0.905 mm ³ and operates across the 0.137–0.158 THz band corresponding to a fractional bandwidth of 14.23%. Over this frequency range the average measured gain and efficiency are 8.6 dBi and 77%, respectively. These characteristics makes the proposed antenna suitable for integration in sub-terahertz near-field electronic systems such as radio frequency identification (RFID) devices with high spatial resolution.
This perspective considers the benefits of the potential future use of the cell permeant calpain inhibitor, calpeptin, as a drug to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Recent work has reported calpeptin’s capacity to inhibit entry of the virus into cells. Elsewhere, several drugs, including calpeptin, were found to be able to inhibit extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis. Unsurprisingly, because of similarities between viral and EV release mechanisms, calpeptin has also been shown to inhibit viral egress. This approach, identifying calpeptin, through large-scale screening studies as a candidate drug to treat COVID-19, however, has not considered the longer term likely benefits of calpain inhibition, post-COVID-19. This perspective will reflect on the capacity of calpeptin for treating long COVID by inhibiting the overproduction of neutrophil extracellular traps potentially damaging lung cells and promoting clotting, together with limiting associated chronic inflammation, tissue damage and pulmonary fibrosis. It will also reflect on the tolerated and detrimental in vivo side-effects of calpain inhibition from various preclinical studies.
A series of substituted aryl phosphate esters have been synthesised from their α‐hydroxyphosphonates substrates, using DBN (1,5 diazabicyclo(4.3.0)non‐5‐ene) at room temperature, via a phospha‐Brook rearrangement. The aryl‐substrate dependence of the rearrangement was explored, and excellent yields of the phosphate esters were achieved irrespective of whether the aryl moiety was activated or unactivated. A plausible mechanism for the rearrangement has been proposed. Based on the low temperature 31P‐NMR, the mechanism of the phospha‐Brook rearrangement is proposed to take place via an oxaphosphirane intermediate.
The issue of timeliness in rape and other serious sexual offence investigations has been raised in a number of inspections and reviews, and there are policy imperatives to decrease delays, but there has been little exploration of police data to understand what contributes to them and enable practical recommendations or options. This paper explores what official data from two police forces participating in Operation Soteria Bluestone tell us about the timelines of these investigations, what this reveals about the gaps in policing data, and what additional knowledge can be gained from qualitative methodologies, in this instance case file analysis and case reviews.
The authoritarian turn in Turkey compelled many citizens to change life trajectories which included extreme measures such as migration and exile. Thousands of people left Turkey in the last decade, this recent wave constituting one of the largest Turkish migrations to Europe and beyond. The profile of the migrants included those who were comfortable with and/or opposed the current regime’s political and social policies, members of oppressed minority groups, Gülen movement members who are accused of orchestrating the failed 2016 coup attempt as well as white collar and secular Turkish citizens who made lifestyle migration choices because of the political and economic developments in the country. The article focuses on the narratives of a specific group within this new wave, those whom we refer to as Turkey’s intelligentsia in exile, and who decided to leave Turkey following the Gezi protests in 2013. The findings are based on 25 interviews conducted in 2021 with former academics, activists, artists, journalists and politicians who migrated to a variety of locations as a result of pending trials or arrest warrants against them, dehumanization discourse that pro-regime politicians directed toward them, as well as lack of freedom of speech and assembly.
Implementing net zero carbon supply chain (NZCSC) practises has become critical for organisations across the globe to achieve carbon neutrality in the wake of increasing climate change and global warming. Hence it is important to identify the challenges in the implementation of resilient NZCSC to support the stakeholders. The key thirteen challenges in the implementation of resilient NZCSC were identified from an extensive literature review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method. and industrial experts’ opinions. The challenges were investigated and ranked based on interrelations using procedures like Influential Network Relationship Mapping i.e., Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) and Level Partitioning by Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM) is utilised to understand the cause-effect relationship among the challenges and to further identify the key influential challenges. The alpha value after DEMATEL was found to be 0.11 and identified the lack of management willingness as the main barrier. Level partitioning showed that lack of carbon accounting is the most critical barrier, based on which a roadmap is developed to support the stakeholders. The results from the study can help managers of organisations to implement techniques to achieve an NZCSC. Combining DEMATEL and TISM is the main novelty of the study along with the roadmap. The key findings from the study provide important insights into achieving an NZCSC from both a strategic and policy-making point of view.
This paper presents a technique to mitigate multiple access interference (MAI) in multicarrier code division multiple access (MC-CDMA) wireless communications systems. Although under normal circumstances the MC-CDMA system can achieve high spectral efficiency and resistance towards inter symbol interference (ISI) however when exposed to substantial nonlinear distortion the issue of MAI manifests. Such distortion results when the power amplifiers are driven into saturation or when the transmit signal experiences extreme adverse channel conditions. The proposed technique uses a modified iterative block decision feedback equalizer (IB-DFE) that uses a minimal mean square error (MMSE) receiver in the feed-forward path to nullify the residual interference from the IB-DFE receiver. The received signal is re-filtered in an iterative process to significantly improve the MC-CDMA system’s performance. The effectiveness of the proposed modified IB-DFE technique in MC-CDMA systems has been analysed under various harsh nonlinear conditions, and the results of this analysis presented here confirm the effectiveness of the proposed technique to outperform conventional methodologies in terms of the bit error rate (BER) and lesser computational complexity.
The negative space drawing technique refers to drawing the transparent space around and between objects, rather than drawing the objects themselves. This space-based instruction is thought to attenuate object-specific visual attention and to enhance perception of a spatial expanse. Developmentally, it is equivalent to the Piagetian dichotomic space concept of filled and empty space. A sample of 96 children from 5 to 12 years of age and 24 adults ( N = 120) drew on a computer tablet a real-life model spacebox placed in front of the participant, with three cubes placed inside the model. Children followed two instructions, a Visual Realism (VR) Instruction “Please draw the three cubes and the box as you can see them” and a Negative Space (NSp) Instruction “Please draw the space around the objects,” with the sequence counterbalanced. NSp outline drawings began to show from 9 years onwards. A positive effect of the NSp technique showed for occlusion drawing because of the depiction of common contour of objects which could create a cohesive scene feature such as a horizon. The VR instruction focused attention toward the space box and enhanced 3D drawing of both the spacebox and the cubes. Thus, it could be concluded—rather paradoxically—that drawing in 3D is better based on object- than on space-based attention, while drawing occlusion is better based on space-based than object-based attention. We suggest, however, that a better definition of VR as attention to object appearances is that VR unifies objects and spatial context into one global plane.
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Luke Tredinnick
  • School of Computing
Wendy Wheeler
  • Department of Humanities, Arts and Languages
Isaac Olubunmi Sorinola
  • School of Human Sciences
Paul Hutchison
  • School of Social Sciences - Psychology
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