Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Habitat fragmentation is one of the main threats to biodiversity in Africa. In this article,we highlight the importance of conserving the Guinean forests of West Africa, which arerich in biodiversity and endemism but threatened by habitat loss, degradation and frag-mentation. The size of forest patches is critical, with larger fragments containing morespecies than smaller ones. The protection of intact, dense forest patches is vital for anyconservation strategy in West Africa, but improving the management of forests that arealready used for logging and hunting is also essential. Community forests (CFs) can play acrucial role in conservation, especially if there is a substantial network that can promoteecological connectivity. However, biomonitoring in CFs remains a challenge due to inad-equate resources. By developing standardised, easy-to-apply and inexpensive methodsfor biomonitoring, communities can be involved in biomonitoring instead of relying solelyon scientists and expensive equipment. We present a monitoring framework here wherewe suggest local communities should become the main agents for biomonitoring in theirown forests; we highlight a five-step scheme. The importance of the various CFs in termsof conservation should be made through a combination of accurate, standardised face-to-face interviews with selected persons in the target communities and biomonitoring bebased on the RAPELD scheme. The latter will be implemented after specifically traininglocal ‘wise’ persons. We are proposing a kind of ‘citizen science’ scheme, applied to enhance the ability of local communities to monitor their own biodiversity.
Snowboarding wrist protectors are typically designed to limit impact forces and prevent wrist hyperextension. The standard for snowboarding wrist protectors (ISO 20320:2020) includes a test for measuring their bending stiffness, when fitted to a wrist surrogate. This test serves as a simple means of assessing the ability of wrist protectors to prevent wrist hyperextension. Wrist protector bending stiffness measurements have been shown to be influenced by surrogate design, protector strapping condition, and surrogate surface compliance. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on the repeatability of bending stiffness measurements, as previous studies have conducted tests during one session. This study investigated the repeatability of a bending stiffness test, by testing two snowboarding wrist protectors (short and long) on two wrist surrogates (compliant and stiff), under three protector strapping conditions (loose, moderate, tight), across three repeated test sessions. Test session had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on torque values, with a large effect size (ηp2 > 0.14), indicating the test had limited repeatability between test sessions. Despite this limited repeatability, torque values increased with both wrist angle and strap tightness, as reported before, indicating consistent trends in results. The outer surface compliance of the surrogate did not significantly affect the protector’s sensitivity to test session nor strapping condition.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a globally significant vector-borne disease that is primarily transmitted between birds and mosquitoes. Recently, there has been an increase in WNV in southern Europe, with new cases reported in more northern regions. Bird migration plays a crucial role in the introduction of WNV in distant areas. To better understand and address this complex issue, we adopted a One Health approach, integrating clinical, zoological, and ecological data. We analyzed the role of migratory birds in the Palaearctic-African region in the spread of WNV across Africa and Europe. We categorized bird species into breeding and wintering chorotypes based on their distribution during the breeding season in the Western Palaearctic and the wintering season in the Afrotropical region, respectively. By linking these chorotypes to the occurrence of WNV outbreaks in both continents throughout the annual bird migration cycle, we investigated the relationship between migratory patterns and virus spread. We demonstrate that WNV-risk areas are interconnected through the migration of birds. We identified a total of 61 species that potentially contribute to the intercontinental spread of the virus or its variants, as well as pinpointed high-risk areas for future outbreaks. This interdisciplinary approach, which considers the interconnectedness of animals, humans, and ecosystems, represents a pioneering effort to establish connections between zoonotic diseases across continents. The findings of our study can aid in anticipating the arrival of new WNV strains and predicting the occurrence of other re-emerging diseases. By incorporating various disciplines, we can enhance our understanding of these complex dynamics and provide valuable insights for proactive and comprehensive disease management strategies.
To understand the biomass and floristics of secondary forests in Borneo better, we established a one-hectare plot on the lower slopes of Gunung Kelam in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. We recorded 683 stems (≥5 cm dbh) representing 50 species, 44 genera and 27 families; the five species with the greatest Importance Value were Artocarpus elasticus (IV=81.5), Vitex pinnata (40.2), Cryptocarya ferrea (14.2), Polyscias elliptica (12.7) and Gordonia excelsa (10.7); stem dbh distributions differed among species indicating that succession was still occurring. The stand basal area was 29.0 m². We estimated biomass with eight different allometric equations. Four equations (Chave, Hashimoto, Kenzo and Manuri-DGH9) showed very close agreement at around 137 Mg ha-1 suggesting they were all suitable for mid-aged secondary forest biomass estimation in this region. Despite tree diversity and biomass being lower than nearby primary forest, secondary forests will become increasingly prevalent in the future and this therefore necessitates their increased study and conservation.
Research into the psychology of coaching has been somewhat neglected in comparison to research on the psychological development of athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a brief online rational-emotive-behavioral-therapy (REBT) program on coach irrational beliefs and well-being. Coaching staff from an elite international canoeing team ( N = 4) took part in a three-session (30- to 40-min) REBT program. Participants completed measures of irrational beliefs and mental well-being at preintervention, postintervention, and follow-up (1 month) time points. Visual analyses and social validation revealed that the intervention reduced irrational beliefs and enhanced mental well-being in two participants. However, REBT was more effective for some coaches than others, and follow-up data indicated a return to base levels in some coaches. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed, alongside practitioner reflections.
Cisplatin (CIS) is a chemotherapeutic medication for the treatment of cancer. However, hepatotoxicity is among the adverse effects limiting its use. Caroxylon salicornicum is traditionally used for treating inflammatory diseases. In this investigation, three flavonoids, four coumarins, and three sterols were detected in the petroleum ether fraction of C. salicornicum (PEFCS). The isolated phytochemicals exhibited binding affinity toward Keap1, NF-κB, and SIRT1 in silico. The hepatoprotective role of PEFCS (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) was investigated in vivo. Rats received PEFCS for 14 days and CIS on day 15. CIS increased ALT, AST and ALP and caused tissue injury along with increased ROS, MDA, and NO. Hepatic NF-κB p65, pro-inflammatory mediators, Bax and caspase-3 were increased in CIS-treated animals while antioxidants and Bcl-2 were decreased. PEFCS mitigated hepatocyte injury, and ameliorated transaminases, ALP, oxidative stress (OS) and inflammatory markers. PEFCS downregulated pro-apoptosis markers and boosted Bcl-2 and antioxidants. In addition, PEFCS upregulated Nrf2, HO-1, and SIRT1 in CIS-administered rats. In conclusion, PEFCS is rich in beneficial phytoconstituents and conferred protection against liver injury by attenuating OS and inflammation and upregulating Nrf2 and SIRT1.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 refers to "Climate Action". It is one of the 17 goals established by the United Nations in their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The primary objective of SDG13 is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. It recognises that climate change is a global challenge that requires immediate attention and concerted efforts from governments, businesses, communities, and individuals worldwide. SDG13 permeates a number of SDGs and also influences them in a significant way. Based on the need to contextualise SDG13 and considering its role as one of the central SDGs, this article outlines the links between SDG13 and the other SDGs. It also reports on a survey involving experts from 61 countries. The findings suggest that even though climate change impacts, particularly extreme weather events, are known to disproportionally affect poorer and minoritized communities, the synergies among related goals and climate justice seem to receive less attention. The article concludes by describing some of the means via which synergies between SDG13 and other SDGs may be achieved.
Doctoral study can be emotionally and psychologically challenging for students and supervisors. They can feel lost in the process, isolated and emotionally drained. It might be tempting for the supervisor to downplay such difficulties to protect the student. In this paper we argue that such challenges can be pedagogically developmental and ought to be acknowledged. This paper introduces three philosophical concepts: touch, tact and swerve. They are concerned with human intentionality in practical contexts and enable us to accomplish two things. Firstly, conceptualise the fluid, dynamic interplay of thoughts, emotions and psychological states in doctoral supervision; secondly, generate new tools for analysing the doctoral process. Our concepts are derived from Jean-Luc Nancy’s philosophy, particularly his influential text Corpus (1992/2008). Nancy’s work is contextualised by two of his key philosophical influences, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Their ideas, especially towardness and de-severence (Heidegger) and de-centred sense (Merleau-Ponty) provide valuable context for the explanations of touch, tact and swerve. The authors conducted a piece of research into doctoral supervisors’ experiences. The data illustrate the emotional and psychological challenges of being a supervisor and our concepts enable us to theorise their pedagogic potential, demonstrating ‘real world’ impact.
The number of individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasing, but nutritional care can be inconsistent, especially in those with stable COPD. Historically, poor appetite and weight loss have been considered the norm during the progression of COPD into the later stage. However, it is imperative that nutritional assessment, support and management is undertaken from diagnosis, because malnutrition can lead to exacerbations of COPD and increased hospitalisation. Poor nutrition in individuals with COPD has been shown to predict an increase in mortality and with the care of patients taking place principally in the community, the nutritional aspects of care should be assessed, monitored and managed, in accordance with the latest guidance. The lack of a nutritional Quality Outcome Framework indicator for COPD can leave nutrition overlooked, but evidence shows that screening, assessment and planning can have an overall positive impact.
Background Recent evidence suggests that the failure of the glymphatic system – the brain’s waste clearance system, which is active during sleep – plays a key role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Glymphatic function can be investigated using serial MRIs after intrathecal gadobutrol injection. This technique can reveal the health of the glymphatic system, but has not yet been used in participants with cognitive impairment due to AD. Case report This report describes the sleep and gadobutrol tracer clearance patterns of four participants diagnosed with mild to moderate cognitive impairment with evidence of AD pathology (pathological levels of Ab and p-tau in cerebrospinal fluid). We performed polysomnography and MRI studies before tracer injection and MRI scans at 1.5-2 h, 5–6 h, and 48 h after injection. Despite participants reporting no sleep problems, polysomnography revealed that all participants had moderate to severe sleep disturbances, including reduced sleep efficiency during the study and obstructive sleep apnea. Severe side-effects related to tracer administration were observed, impeding the completion of the protocol in two participants. Participants who finished the protocol displayed delayed and persistent tracer enrichment in the cortex and white matter, even 48 h after injection. These outcomes have not been observed in previous studies in participants without AD. Conclusion The findings suggest that brains with sleep impairment and AD pathology have poor glymphatic function, and therefore cannot clear the contrast tracer efficiently. This is likely to have caused the severe side effects in our participants, that have not been reported in healthy individuals. Our results may therefore represent the only available data acquired with this technique in participants with AD pathology.
Aim The aim of this paper is to present the evidence on the effectiveness of non‐surgical interventions to improve health and well‐being in women living with Mayer–Rokitansky–Kuster–Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. Design Systematic review guided by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews checklist. Data Sources The search was conducted between June and September 2022 across the following databases: CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, PsycINFO and Cochrane. Trial registries (clinicaltrials. gov, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), Cochrane Controlled Trials Register‐CCTR), Google scholar, dissertations, conference proceedings and reference lists of included studies were also searched. Corresponding authors, formal and informal MRKH groups were contacted to obtain any significant studies or reviews. Review Methods Eligible were only English‐language empirical studies of any time period. The review followed narrative synthesis. Results Twenty‐three studies were identified that fit the inclusion criteria which included 1540 MRKH syndrome affected women. Four studies were on psychological interventions (n = 85) and 19 studies (vaginal dilation therapy n = 897, coital dilation n = 57) focused on non‐surgical vaginal dilation as a measure to vaginal agenesis in MRKH syndrome. Conclusions Clearly, vaginal dilation is a viable initial treatment option for women with MRKH syndrome. There is limited evidence that ‘coital dilation’ is an effective method of dilation for vaginal agenesis. The literature, however, supports the need for psychological intervention to improve health and well‐being. Impact Women with MRKH syndrome who require dilation can receive guidance and support from their healthcare providers, particularly sexual and reproductive health nurses, clinical nurse specialists and gynaecologists. From the point of diagnosis, clinical psychologists should be involved. As much as feasible, family and partner support can be encouraged. Patient or Public Contribution No patient or public contribution.
Understanding sleep patterns and behaviors of athletes is essential for developing targeted sleep-based interventions for implementation in practice. However, more than double the number of sleep studies have examined male athletes compared with female athletes, making the current understanding of sleep patterns, behaviors, and interventions among athletes disproportionately indicative of men. Consequently, this review demonstrates the need for more female-specific sleep data among athlete populations due to research inattention and sex-related differences. Specifically, this review identifies variations in sleep patterns and behaviors between male and female athletes, as well as physiological and lifestyle factors that potentially affect sleep patterns and behaviors across the lifespan, specifically in female athletes. In this regard, evidence suggests some female athletes experience longer sleep durations and better objective sleep quality, but similar or worse subjective sleep quality compared with male athletes. Additionally, scheduling training in the morning or throughout the day may benefit sleep in some female athletes. Considering sleep disorders, women may be at greater risk for insomnia and restless legs syndrome compared with men, which may be attributed to pregnancy, as well as a higher prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms, iron deficiency without anemia, and use of psychotropic medication among women. Finally, the menstrual cycle, menstrual disorders, oral contraceptive use, and the postpartum period have been shown to exert detrimental effects on sleep patterns and behaviors and should theoretically be considered when monitoring and managing sleep in female athletes.
Using the contingent valuation method, this study examines the determinants of German tourists' willingness to pay for accommodation in a Finnish holiday cottage. A particular focus is on the communication of credentials relating to three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, socio-cultural, and economic). The results suggest that there are significant differences in how tourists value the different sustainability attributes of their accommodation. The environmental dimension was the only sustainability dimension to have a positive and statistically significant effect on tourists' willingness to pay. In terms of tourists' demographic characteristics, meanwhile, employment status was the only socio-demographic factor to have a significant effect on the tourists' willingness to pay. The managerial implications include investing in, and actively communicating, environmental sustainability features as part of a successful business strategy for Finnish cottage service providers targeting German tourists. ARTICLE HISTORY
Background CONCISE is an internationally agreed minimum set of outcomes for use in nutritional and metabolic clinical research in critically ill adults. Clinicians and researchers need to be aware of the clinimetric properties of these instruments and understand any limitations to ensure valid and reliable research. This systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken to evaluate the clinimetric properties of the measurement instruments identified in CONCISE. Methods Four electronic databases were searched from inception to December 2022 (MEDLINE via Ovid, EMBASE via Ovid, CINAHL via Healthcare Databases Advanced Search, CENTRAL via Cochrane). Studies were included if they examined at least one clinimetric property of a CONCISE measurement instrument or recognised variation in adults ≥ 18 years with critical illness or recovering from critical illness in any language. The COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist for systematic reviews of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures was used. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were used in line with COSMIN guidance. The COSMIN checklist was used to evaluate the risk of bias and the quality of clinimetric properties. Overall certainty of the evidence was rated using a modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. Narrative synthesis was performed and where possible, meta-analysis was conducted. Results A total of 4316 studies were screened. Forty-seven were included in the review, reporting data for 12308 participants. The Short Form-36 Questionnaire (Physical Component Score and Physical Functioning), sit-to-stand test, 6-m walk test and Barthel Index had the strongest clinimetric properties and certainty of evidence. The Short Physical Performance Battery, Katz Index and handgrip strength had less favourable results. There was limited data for Lawson Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition criteria. The risk of bias ranged from inadequate to very good. The certainty of the evidence ranged from very low to high. Conclusions Variable evidence exists to support the clinimetric properties of the CONCISE measurement instruments. We suggest using this review alongside CONCISE to guide outcome selection for future trials of nutrition and metabolic interventions in critical illness. Trial registration : PROSPERO ( CRD42023438187). Registered 21/06/2023.
The Bali myna Leucopsar rothschildi has long suffered heavy trapping, leading to its near extinction in the wild and categorization as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Decades of conservation breeding, release of birds and post-release management at Bali Barat National Park have, until recently, failed to secure a viable wild population. However, over the past decade, population increases, expansion into new areas of the National Park and beyond, and successful breeding in both artificial and natural nest sites have occurred. These recent successes are associated with a change in approach by the National Park authority from concentrating efforts on the last refugium of the species (an area protected from trapping but with potentially suboptimal habitat) and towards the human-dominated landscapes around the main road through the National Park. Bali mynas tended to favour areas with extensive shorter grass cover and open canopies and to shun denser woodland. Anthropogenic landscapes such as farmland and plantations presumably mimic the original savannah habitat of the species, but nestbox provision has probably been crucial in these areas in the absence of natural cavities. A potential further factor in the increases in myna numbers and range has been a scheme involving local people in commercial breeding of the species, thereby reducing its market price, and working with communities to reduce trapping pressure. We encourage continuing operation of this management strategy inside the National Park and its further extension into adjacent tourist areas, which appear to have myna-friendly socio-ecological conditions.
Brazing of Mo to W and to graphite is achieved using BNi2 paste (containing Ni, Cr, Si, and B). For the Mo/W or Mo/graphite joint, the joining area consists of a diffusion area and a brazing area. The diffusion area is composed of MoNi and Mo, which is formed by diffusion of the Mo substrate into the braze during brazing. The brazing area of the Mo/W joint contains Ni(ss) (solid solution), Cr(ss), Ni 3 B, CrB, and Ni 4 W, while the brazing area of the Mo/graphite joint mainly comprises Ni(ss), MoNi, Ni 3 B, and CrB. A continuous chromium carbide layer is formed at the brazing area/graphite interface in the Mo/graphite joint due to the reaction of Cr in the BNi2 braze with the graphite. Nanoindentation measurements of the joints show that the diffusion area exhibits the highest hardness and elastic modulus in the joints. The shear strengths of the Mo/W and Mo/graphite joints are 58.1 ± 16.0 and 13.0 ± 4.0 MPa, respectively. The Mo/W and Mo/graphite joints fracture after the shear tests in the W and graphite sides, respectively, near the joining area, indicating that both fractures are caused by the stress concentration in the corresponding areas.
Medical treatments are in the foreground treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Although the benefits of exercise have become more evident, research on exercise has not included people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and RLS. This case report examined how aerobic exercise affects RLS symptoms in a male with MS and RLS. The RLS diagnostic criteria were used to diagnose RLS. Because RLS symptoms can affect many aspects, comprehensive assessment tools were chosen. Aerobic exercise training was applied for 24 sessions with a physical therapist using a recumbent exercise bike. The sessions started with 20 min, with 2–3 min of warm-up, 15 min of loading, and 2–3 min of cool-down, and reached 30 min at the end of 12 weeks. As a result, aerobic exercise might be a promising method for improving RLS severity, sleep quality, gait, and health-related quality of life in people with MS and RLS.
This paper identifies key barriers to young Iraqi and Syrian refugee children’s access to education in Lebanon and highlights how local initiatives serve as glimmers of hope, or ‘lifelines’, for their well-being and learning. Reporting on aspects of my doctoral study, the paper homes in on one case study with an Iraqi family and their 5-year-old son, Kefa. The ‘Day in the Life’ methodology enabled rich insights into Kefa’s home life and the informal school he attended, supplemented by interview data with his schoolteacher and observation of his school. The paper also draws on questionnaire data to situate this case study in a broader spectrum of refugee children’s experiences in Lebanon (n = 100). Framed by sociocultural approaches to learning, the findings illustrate the interplay of social, economic and relational barriers that impede refugee children’s access to quality education, and demonstrate how, despite limited resources, the informal school offered an inclusive and anti-discriminatory environment and pedagogy to break down barriers that bred racism, bullying and isolation. The paper argues that, although important, these lifelines are limited in their scope. State intervention is needed to build non-discriminatory systems that promote inclusive education, so all children can receive quality education, feel safe and belong.
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Tomasz Liskiewicz
  • Department of Engineering
Mark Batey
  • MMU Business School
Bruce Edmonds
  • Centre for Policy Modelling
Ali Kashif Bashir
  • Computing and Mathematics
Manchester, United Kingdom