University of London
  • London, United Kingdom
Recent publications
This study draws on the linguistics literature, which recognizes the role of language attributes in shaping individual behaviour. We theorize that weak-future languages (e.g., Chinese), which create the perception that the future is closer temporally to the present than do strong-future languages (e.g., English), favour future-oriented behaviours such as investment in crowdfunding of entrepreneurial ventures. To test this thesis, we use a mixed-method approach, combining an original dataset of crowdfunding investments in 53 countries (Study 1) and a randomized experiment examining the investment behaviour of 77 bilingual (English-Chinese) students (Study 2). We find that natives of countries with weak-future languages engage more actively in crowdfunding of entrepreneurial ventures compared to individuals from countries with strong-future languages. We find that this effect dominates the stable effect of national culture. In other words, perceiving the future as closer means that the future assumes greater psychological importance for weak-future speakers and, therefore, they enact more future-oriented behaviours.
Media attention to the world’s growing plastic crisis exploded in 2018, almost certainly increasing social exposures for companies heavily involved in the material’s manufacture or use. Relying on arguments from media agenda setting theory (Brown & Deegan, 1998), we explore how a sample of large U.S. plastic manufacturers and users responded to the crisis in their standalone CSR reports, with particular emphasis on their use of circular economy terminology to frame that response. Circular economy ideas have been gaining traction with governmental units, non-governmental organisations, and academic researchers, and like the plastic crisis, are seeing substantially increased coverage in media outlets. The concern we address in our investigation is whether the exposed companies use the circular economy terminology in an attempt to identify with symbols of legitimacy. As expected, we find significantly more extensive disclosure of plastics-related issues in our sample companies’ 2018 CSR reports than had been the case for reports covering the prior three-year period, and we show increased reliance on the use of circular economy terms within those disclosures. We further document that the circular economy-related plastics disclosure is significantly weighted toward symbolic as opposed to substantive disclosure and is far more commonly related to disclosures of goals and initiatives than to the provision of actual data. We thus argue that rather than reflecting an underlying shift in the sample companies’ operating processes, the increased use of the circular economy terminology may be an attempt at legitimation.
Objectives Three-dimensional virtual reality (3D VR) permits precise reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) images, and these allow precise measurements of colonic anatomical parameters. Colonoscopy proves challenging in a subset of patients, and thus CT colonoscopy (CTC) is often required to visualize the entire colon. The aim of the study was to determine whether 3D reconstructions of the colon could help identify and quantify the key anatomical features leading to colonoscopy failure. Design Retrospective observational study. Methods Using 3D VR technology, we reconstructed and compared the length of various colonic segments and number of bends and colonic width in 10 cases of CTC in technically failed prior colonoscopies to 10 cases of CTC performed for non-technically failure indications. Results We found significant elongation of the sigmoid colon (71 ± 23 cm versus 35 ± 9; p = 0.01) and of pancolonic length (216 ± 38 cm versus 158 ± 20 cm; p = 0.001) in cases of technically failed colonoscopy. There was also a significant increase in the number of colonic angles (17.7 ± 3.2 versus 12.7 ± 2.4; p = 0.008) in failed colonoscopy cases. Conclusion Increased sigmoid and pancolonic length and more colonic bends are novel factors associated with technical failure of colonoscopy.
Objective: To evaluate whether routine mid-gestational uterine artery Doppler (UtAD) modifies the risk for preterm preeclampsia after first trimester combined pre-eclampsia screening. Design: Retrospective cohort study SETTING: London Tertiary Hospital POPULATION: 7793 women with singleton pregnancies, first-trimester preeclampsia screening using the Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF) algorithm and UtAD Pulsatility Index (PI) assessment at the mid-gestation ultrasound. Methods: Pregnancies were divided into four groups: high risk in both trimesters (H1 H2 ), high risk in first but not in second trimester (H1 L2 ), low risk in first but high risk in second trimester (L1 H2 ), and low risk in both trimesters (L1 L2 ). Main outcome measures: Small for gestational age (SGA), hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), stillbirth. Results: 600 (7.7%) and 620 women (7.9%) were designated as high risk in the first and second trimesters respectively. Preterm preeclampsia was more prevalent in the H1 L2 group (4.5%) than in low risk women in the first trimester (0.4%, p<0.0001). The prevalence of preterm preeclampsia in the L1 H2 group (3.3%) was significantly lower than in women at high risk in the first trimester (7.0%, p=0.0076) and higher than the L1 L2 group (0.2%, p<0.0001). Prevalence of SGA and term HDP followed similar trends. Conclusions: Preeclampsia risk after first trimester FMF preeclampsia screening may be stratified through mid-gestational routine uterine artery Doppler (UtAD) assessment. Pregnancy care should not be de-escalated for low mid-gestational UtAD impedance in those classified as high risk in the first trimester. Escalation of care may be justified in low risk women with high mid-gestational UtAD resistance.
Patient and public involvement is a fundamental part of research design and is increasingly required by research funders and regulators. In addition to the moral and ethical arguments in its favour, it has the potential to improve the accessibility and transparency of research, and to optimise study recruitment and retention. While clinical trials in acute cardiovascular care have traditionally focussed on “hard” outcomes, such as mortality or major adverse cardiovascular events, there is increasing recognition that these fail to capture the full breadth of patient experience. Patient-centred outcomes aim to measure things of greater value to patients, using validated tools to quantify symptoms, patient self-reports, or novel outcomes such as days alive and outside hospital. This In Perspective commentary explores the rationale behind patient and public involvement, the background to and evidence supporting the use of patient-centred outcomes, and discusses potential challenges and how they can be mitigated.
In this paper, we focus on how medical staff care for people who are dying and on the increasing use of diverse technologies to ease the experience of dying. Because it is accepted patients cannot recover, the primary value to preserve life underpinning much of biomedical practice is contrasted by a commitment to make people’s last period of life as fulfilling and meaningful as possible. Drawing on illustrative cases from an ethnography of palliative care in central London, we discuss how these different priorities construct the patient in different ways. We present two different repertoires of practice, the first of which cares for human life, while the second adopts an idea of personhood to support and maintain patients’ social ties with the wider world. The two concepts inscribe different boundaries of the patient and can help guide what might be the best thing for staff, patients, and others to do. Our examples show that while these two repertoires can emerge in tension in end-of-life care, they are never fully opposites. We argue for a reaffirmation of the concept of the person to accompany contemporary posthuman and more-than-human debates in order to think about “more-than” beyond a focus on the material.
Two early plays in the Shakespeare canon, 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI, exist in widely different versions. For many years, the standard explanation for the discrepancy was that Contention and True Tragedie were untrustworthy texts contaminated by memorial reconstruction. In this essay, I will argue that each needs to be treated in its own terms as an internally consistent play; that anomalies in the text of Contention and True Tragedie are not convincing evidence of memorial reconstruction; and that significant differences in the alternative versions can best be explained as revision and expansion, rather than as abridgement.
We study two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions in the presence of a periodic mass term alternating between positive and negative values along one direction. This scenario could be realized for a graphene monolayer or for the surface states of topological insulators. The low-energy physics is governed by chiral Jackiw-Rebbi modes propagating along zero-mass lines, with the energy dispersion of the Bloch states given by an anisotropic Dirac cone. By means of the transfer matrix approach, we obtain exact results for a piecewise constant mass superlattice. On top of Bloch states, two different classes of boundary and/or interface modes can exist in a finite-size geometry or in a nonuniform electrostatic potential, respectively. We compute the dispersion relation for both types of boundary and interface modes, which originate either from states close to the superlattice Brillouin zone (BZ) center or, via a Lifshitz transition, from states near the BZ boundary. In the presence of a potential step, we predict that the interface modes, the Bloch wave functions, and the electrical conductance will sensitively depend on the step position relative to the mass superlattice.
Intergenerational transmission of attachment is one of the core hypotheses of attachment theory. How parents or other caregivers look back on their childhood attachment experiences is suggested to shape their infants’ attachments. In the current paper, we show that a new twist to correspondence analysis (Canonical Correlation Analysis [CCA]) of cross-tabulated attachment classifications with oblique rotation Correspondence Analysis (CA) may uncover the latent structure of intergenerational transmission showing the unique role of parental Unresolved representations in predicting infant Disorganized attachments. Our model of intergenerational transmission of attachment supports predicted associations between parental and infant attachments. Despite growing skepticism about the validity of parental Unresolved trauma and infant Disorganized attachment, we come to an evidence-based statistical defense of these generative clinical components of attachment theory awaiting a substantive experimentum crucis.
Renewed interest in psychedelic substances in the 21st century has seen the exploration of psychedelic treatments for various psychiatric disorders including substance use disorder (SUD). This review aimed to assess the effectiveness of psychedelic treatments for people with SUD and those falling below diagnostic thresholds (i.e. substance misuse). We systematically searched 11 databases, trial registries, and psychedelic organization websites for empirical studies examining adults undergoing psychedelic treatment for SUD or substance misuse, published in the English language, between 2000 and 2021. Seven studies investigating treatment using psilocybin, ibogaine, and ayahuasca, alone or adjunct with psychotherapy reported across 10 papers were included. Measures of abstinence, substance use, psychological and psychosocial outcomes, craving, and withdrawal reported positive results, however, this data was scarce among studies examining a wide range of addictions including opioid, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and unspecified substance. The qualitative synthesis from three studies described subjective experience of psychedelic-assisted treatments enhanced self-awareness, insight, and confidence. At present, there is no sufficient research evidence to suggest effectiveness of any of the psychedelics on any specific substance use disorder or substance misuse. Further research using rigorous effectiveness evaluation methods with larger sample sizes and longer-term follow-up is required.
Bioemulsions are attractive platforms for the expansion of adherent cells in bioreactors. Their design relies on the self-assembly of protein nanosheets at liquid-liquid interfaces, displaying strong interfacial mechanical properties and promoting integrin-mediated cell adhesion. However, most systems developed to date have focused on fluorinated oils, which are unlikely to be accepted for direct implantation of resulting cell products for regenerative medicine, and protein nanosheets self-assembly at other interfaces has not been investigated. In this report, the composition of aliphatic pro-surfactants palmitoyl chloride and sebacoyl chloride, on the assembly kinetics of poly(L-lysine) at silicone oil interfaces and characterisation of ultimate interfacial shear mechanics and viscoelasticity is presented. The impact of the resulting nanosheets on the adhesion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is investigated via immunostaining and fluorescence microscopy, demonstrating the engagement of the classic focal adhesion-actin cytoskeleton machinery. The ability of MSCs to proliferate at the corresponding interfaces is quantified. In addition, expansion of MSCs at other non-fluorinated oil interfaces, based on mineral and plant-based oils is investigated. Finally, the proof-of-concept of such non-fluorinated oil systems for the formulation of bioemulsions supporting stem cell adhesion and expansion is demonstrated.
Genotype positive – phenotype negative (GEN + PHEN-) individuals harbor a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant without exhibiting a phenotypic manifestation of the disease. In the last few years, the widespread use of genetic testing in probands and relatives has increasingly led to the identification of these individuals, with emerging dilemmas regarding their clinical management. A genetic variant may exhibit a variable expressivity even in the same family and spontaneous conversion to overt phenotype is largely unpredictable. Little is known about the possible influence of environmental factors, such intense or moderate exercise with open questions regarding their possible role in promoting or worsening the phenotypic expression. Current guidelines for sports participation in this setting acknowledge the weak burden of evidence and the many uncertainties. The recommendations to engage in intensive exercise and competitive sports is usually contingent on annual clinical surveillance, except for pathogenic variants in specific genes, such as LMNA or PKP2. In certain conditions, such as arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, guidelines do not differentiate between GEN + PHEN- individuals and patients with overt disease and recommend avoiding participation in high-intensity recreational exercise and competitive sports. It should be emphasized that international guidelines, traditionally restrictive in terms of sports participation and focused on disqualification, embraced recently a more liberal attitude promoting a shared decision-making approach in absence of clinical markers of increased risk. In this review, we will discuss the current state of knowledge on GEN + PHEN- individuals and the dilemmas surrounding the impact of exercise and prognosis, focusing on cardiomyopathies and channelopathies, which are the predominant causes of sudden cardiac death in the young and in young athletes.
Several articles have attempted to approximate long-memory, fractionally integrated time series by fitting a low-order autoregressive AR(p) model and making subsequent inference. We show that for realistic ranges of the long-memory parameter, the OLS estimates of an AR(p) model will have non-standard rates of convergence to non-standard distributions. This gives rise to very poorly estimated AR parameters and impulse response functions. We consider the implications of this in some AR type models used to represent realized volatility (RV) in financial markets.
Background: To determine maternal and neonatal risk factors for, and incidence of, neonatal early-onset group B streptococcus (EOGBS) and late-onset (LOGBS) infection in South Australia (SA) and the Northern Territory (NT). Methods: A case-control study with 2:1 matched controls to cases. The study included tertiary hospitals in South Australia and the Northern Territory, Australia. Retrospective data were collected from a 16-year epoch (2000-2015). Results: Of a total of 188 clinically suspected or confirmed cases, 139 were confirmed, of which 56.1% (n = 78) were EOGBS and 43.9% (n = 61) were LOGBS. The incidence of clinically suspected and confirmed cases of EOGBS was 0.26/1000 live births in SA and 0.73/1000 live births in the NT, and the incidence of confirmed cases was 0.19/1000 for SA and 0.36/1000 for the NT. The incidence of clinically suspected or confirmed LOGBS was 0.18/1000 live births in SA and 0.16/1000 for the NT. The majority of infants with GBS presented with sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis. Developmental delay was the most commonly recorded long-term complication at 1 year old. Risk factors for EOGBS included maternal GBS carriage, previous fetal death, identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and maternal fever in labor/chorioamnionitis. Conclusions: GBS remains a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Adding previous fetal death to GBS screening guidelines would improve GBS prevention. The introduction of maternal GBS vaccination programs should be guided by country-specific disease epidemiology.
Disease emergence in livestock is a product of environment, epidemiology and economic forces. The environmental factors contributing to novel pathogen emergence in humans have been studied extensively, but the two-way relationship between farm microeconomics and outbreak risk has received comparably little attention. We introduce a game-theoretic model where farmers produce and sell two goods, one of which (e.g. pigs, poultry) is susceptible to infection by a pathogen. We model market and epidemiological effects at both the individual farm level and the community level. We find that in the case of low demand elasticity for livestock meat, the presence of an animal pathogen causing production losses can lead to a bistable system where two outcomes are possible: (i) successful disease control or (ii) maintained disease circulation, where farmers slaughter their animals at a low rate, face substantial production losses, but maintain large herds because of the appeal of high meat prices. Our observations point to the potentially critical effect of price elasticity of demand for livestock products on the success or failure of livestock disease control policies. We show the potential epidemiological benefits of (i) policies aimed at stabilizing livestock product prices, (ii) subsidies for alternative agricultural activities during epidemics, and (iii) diversifying agricultural production and sources of proteins available to consumers.
Current advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have achieved unprecedented impact across research communities and industry. Nevertheless, concerns around trust, safety, interpretability and accountability of AI were raised by influential thinkers. Many identified the need for well-founded knowledge representation and reasoning to be integrated with deep learning and for sound explainability. Neurosymbolic computing has been an active area of research for many years seeking to bring together robust learning in neural networks with reasoning and explainability by offering symbolic representations for neural models. In this paper, we relate recent and early research in neurosymbolic AI with the objective of identifying the most important ingredients of neurosymbolic AI systems. We focus on research that integrates in a principled way neural network-based learning with symbolic knowledge representation and logical reasoning. Finally, this review identifies promising directions and challenges for the next decade of AI research from the perspective of neurosymbolic computing, commonsense reasoning and causal explanation.
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Euthalia Roussou
  • Medicine Rheumatology
Sheila Hollins
  • PHSE, Section of Mental Health, St George's
Donna Dickenson
  • Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities
London, United Kingdom