University of South Wales
  • Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Breast cancer is an expanding threat that leads to many women's death worldwide. Despite the improvement of the early detection methods and treatment, still, there is a high number of breast cancer mortality. To increase patient survival in breast cancer, identifying novel biomarkers is essential for therapeutics targets. The Glycophorin C (GYPC) gene is correlated with patient survival, which can be a possible biomarker for early detection in breast cancer progression. However, the expression of GYPC is not clearly defined in breast cancer. Here, we widely analyzed the expression pattern of GYPC in breast cancer and patient survival datasets through several bioinformatics tools. GYPC mRNA expression using ONCOMINE, GENT2, and GTX2 webs. Also, The co-expression profile of GYPC has been repossessed from Ma breast four datasets from Oncomine dataset. Our study revealed that mRNA expression of GYPC is strongly correlated with the survival of breast cancer patients, suggesting its role as a tumor suppressor. The downregulation of GYPC in breast cancer tissue is examined by promoter methylation and copy number alterations. The downregulation of GYPC expression was significantly correlated with high patient survival. Moreover, we performed pathway analysis via Enricher and gene ontology web using 20 positively correlated genes. Consequently, our analyzed data suggested that GYPC might be an essential therapeutics and prognostic biomarker in breast cancer.
Bhutan has reported a total of 2596 COVID-19 cases and three deaths as of September 15, 2021. With support from India, the United States, Denmark, the People’s Republic of China, Croatia and other countries, Bhutan was able to conduct two rounds of nationwide vaccination campaign. While many countries struggle to overcome vaccine refusal or hesitancy due to complacency, a lack of trust, inconvenience and fear, escalated in some countries by anti-vaccine groups, Bhutan managed to inoculate more than 95% of its eligible populations in two rounds of vaccination campaign. Enabling factors of this successful vaccination campaign were strong national leadership, a well-coordinated national preparedness plan, and high acceptability of vaccine due to effective mass communication and social engagement led by religious figures, volunteers and local leaders. In this short report, we described the national strategic plan and enabling factors that led to the success of this historical vaccination campaign.
While compound weather and climate events (CEs) can lead to significant socioeconomic consequences, their response to climate change is mostly unexplored. We report the first multi-model assessment of future changes in return periods for the co-occurrence of heatwaves and drought, and extreme winds and precipitation based on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and three emission scenarios. Extreme winds and precipitation CEs occur more frequently in many regions, particularly under higher emissions. Heatwaves and drought occur more frequently everywhere under all emission scenarios examined. For each CMIP6 model, we derive a skill score for simulating CEs. Models with higher skill in simulating historical CEs project smaller increases in the number of heatwaves and drought in Eurasia, but larger numbers of strong winds and heavy precipitation CEs everywhere for all emission scenarios. This result is partly masked if the whole CMIP6 ensemble is used, pointing to the considerable value in further improvements in climate models.
Background Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is associated with a range of adverse offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. Several studies suggest that PAE modifies DNA methylation in offspring cells and tissues, providing evidence for a potential mechanistic link to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). We systematically reviewed existing evidence on the extent to which maternal alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with offspring DNA methylation. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted across five online databases according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, Google Scholar and CINAHL Databases were searched for articles relating to PAE in placental mammals. Data were extracted from each study and the Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I) was used to assess the potential for bias in human studies. Results Forty-three articles were identified for inclusion. Twenty-six animal studies and 16 human studies measured offspring DNA methylation in various tissues using candidate gene analysis, methylome-wide association studies (MWAS), or total nuclear DNA methylation content. PAE dose and timing varied between studies. Risk of bias was deemed high in nearly all human studies. There was insufficient evidence in human and animal studies to support global disruption of DNA methylation from PAE. Inconclusive evidence was found for hypomethylation at IGF2/H19 regions within somatic tissues. MWAS assessing PAE effects on offspring DNA methylation showed inconsistent evidence. There was some consistency in the relatively small number of MWAS conducted in populations with FASD. Meta-analyses could not be conducted due to significant heterogeneity between studies. Conclusion Considering heterogeneity in study design and potential for bias, evidence for an association between PAE and offspring DNA methylation was inconclusive. Some reproducible associations were observed in populations with FASD although the limited number of these studies warrants further research. Trail Registration : This review is registered with PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42020167686).
Spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS) alters the vision of astronauts during long-duration spaceflights. There is controversy regarding SANS being similar to patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). IIH has been shown to be due to an elevation in venous sinus pressure. The literature suggests an increase in jugular vein pressure secondary to a headward shift of fluid occurs in SANS but this may not be enough to significantly alter the intracranial pressure (ICP). The literature regarding cardiac output and cerebral blood flow (CBF) in long-duration spaceflight is contradictory, however, more recent data suggests increased flow. Recent modelling has shown that an increase in CBF can significantly increase sinus pressure. The purpose of the present paper is to review the SANS vascular dynamics literature and through mathematical modelling suggest the possible underlying cause of SANS as an elevation in venous sinus pressure, secondary to the redistribution of fluids towards the head, together with a significant increase in pressure drop across the venous system related to the CBF.
The majority of risk loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are in non-coding regions, hampering their functional interpretation. Instead, transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) identify gene-trait associations, which can be used to prioritize candidate genes in disease-relevant tissue(s). Here, we aimed to systematically identify susceptibility genes for coronary artery disease (CAD) by TWAS. We trained prediction models of nine CAD-relevant tissues using EpiXcan based on two genetics-of-gene-expression panels, the Stockholm-Tartu Atherosclerosis Reverse Network Engineering Task (STARNET) and the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx). Based on these prediction models, we imputed gene expression of respective tissues from individual-level genotype data on 37,997 CAD cases and 42,854 controls for the subsequent gene-trait association analysis. Transcriptome-wide significant association (i.e. P < 3.85e−6) was observed for 114 genes. Of these, 96 resided within previously identified GWAS risk loci and 18 were novel. Stepwise analyses were performed to study their plausibility, biological function, and pathogenicity in CAD, including analyses for colocalization, damaging mutations, pathway enrichment, phenome-wide associations with human data and expression-traits correlations using mouse data. Finally, CRISPR/Cas9-based gene knockdown of two newly identified TWAS genes, RGS19 and KPTN , in a human hepatocyte cell line resulted in reduced secretion of APOB100 and lipids in the cell culture medium. Our CAD TWAS work (i) prioritized candidate causal genes at known GWAS loci, (ii) identified 18 novel genes to be associated with CAD, and iii) suggested potential tissues and pathways of action for these TWAS CAD genes.
Background We have previously shown that service-wide support can increase the odds of alcohol screening in any 2-month period in a cluster randomized trial of service-wide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). Here we report an exploratory analysis on whether the resulting pattern of screening was appropriate. Aim: we assess whether that increase in screening was associated with: (i) increased first-time screening, (ii) increased annual screening, (iii) whether frequently screened clients fell into one of four risk categories as defined by national guidelines. Methods Setting and participants: 22 ACCHS; randomized to receive the support model in the treatment (‘early-support’) arm over 24-months or to the waitlist control arm. Intervention: eight-component support, including training, sharing of experience, audit-and-feedback and resource support. Analysis: records of clients with visits before and after start of implementation were included. Multilevel logistic modelling was used to compare (i) the odds of previously unscreened clients receiving an AUDIT-C screen, (ii) odds of clients being screened with AUDIT-C at least once annually. We describe the characteristics of a sub-cohort of clients who received four or more screens annually, including if they were in a high-risk category. Results Of the original trial sample, 43,054 met inclusion criteria, accounting for 81.7% of the screening events in the overall trial. The support did not significantly increase the odds of first-time screening (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 0.81–2.18, p = 0.25) or of annual screening (OR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.42–2.37, p = 0.98). Screening more than once annually occurred in 6240 clients. Of the 841 clients with four or more screens annually, over 50% did not fall into a high-risk category. Females were overrepresented. More males than females fell into high-risk categories. Conclusion The significant increase in odds of screening observed in the main trial did not translate to significant improvement in first-time or annual screening following implementation of support. This appeared to be due to some clients being screened more frequently than annually, while more than half remained unscreened. Further strategies to improve alcohol screening should focus on appropriate screening regularity as well as overall rates, to ensure clinically useful information about alcohol consumption. Trial Registration ACTRN12618001892202, retrospectively registered 16 November 2018 https://anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?ACTRN=12618001892202 .
Background Cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects that have the potential to benefit athletes. This pilot study investigated the effects of acute, oral CBD treatment on physiological and psychological responses to aerobic exercise to determine its practical utility within the sporting context. Methods On two occasions, nine endurance-trained males (mean ± SD V̇O 2max : 57.4 ± 4.0 mL·min ⁻¹ ·kg ⁻¹ ) ran for 60 min at a fixed intensity (70% V̇O 2max ) (RUN 1) before completing an incremental run to exhaustion (RUN 2). Participants received CBD (300 mg; oral) or placebo 1.5 h before exercise in a randomised, double-blind design. Respiratory gases (V̇O 2 ), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), blood glucose (BG) and lactate (BL) concentrations, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and pleasure–displeasure were measured at three timepoints (T1–3) during RUN 1. V̇O 2max , RER max , HR max and time to exhaustion (TTE) were recorded during RUN 2. Venous blood was drawn at Baseline, Pre- and Post-RUN 1, Post-RUN 2 and 1 h Post-RUN 2. Data were synthesised using Cohen’s d z effect sizes and 85% confidence intervals (CIs). Effects were considered worthy of further investigation if the 85% CI included ± 0.5 but not zero. Results CBD appeared to increase V̇O 2 (T2: + 38 ± 48 mL·min ⁻¹ , d z : 0.25–1.35), ratings of pleasure (T1: + 0.7 ± 0.9, d z : 0.22–1.32; T2: + 0.8 ± 1.1, d z : 0.17–1.25) and BL (T2: + 3.3 ± 6.4 mmol·L ⁻¹ , d z : > 0.00–1.03) during RUN 1 compared to placebo. No differences in HR, RPE, BG or RER were observed between treatments. CBD appeared to increase V̇O 2max (+ 119 ± 206 mL·min ⁻¹ , d z : 0.06–1.10) and RER max (+ 0.04 ± 0.05 d z : 0.24–1.34) during RUN 2 compared to placebo. No differences in TTE or HR max were observed between treatments. Exercise increased serum interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, tumour necrosis factor-α, lipopolysaccharide and myoglobin concentrations (i.e. Baseline vs. Post-RUN 1, Post-RUN 2 and/or 1-h Post-RUN 2, p ’s < 0.05). However, the changes were small, making it difficult to reliably evaluate the effect of CBD, where an effect appeared to be present. Plasma concentrations of the endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide (AEA), increased Post-RUN 1 and Post-RUN 2, relative to Baseline and Pre-RUN 1 ( p ’s < 0.05). CBD appeared to reduce AEA concentrations Post-RUN 2, compared to placebo (− 0.95 ± 0.64 pmol·mL ⁻¹ , d z : − 2.19, − 0.79). Conclusion CBD appears to alter some key physiological and psychological responses to aerobic exercise without impairing performance. Larger studies are required to confirm and better understand these preliminary findings. Trial Registration This investigation was approved by the Sydney Local Health District’s Human Research Ethics Committee (2020/ETH00226) and registered with the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12620000941965).
The chemical pollution crisis severely threatens human and environmental health globally. To tackle this challenge the establishment of an overarching international science–policy body has recently been suggested. We strongly support this initiative based on the awareness that humanity has already likely left the safe operating space within planetary boundaries for novel entities including chemical pollution. Immediate action is essential and needs to be informed by sound scientific knowledge and data compiled and critically evaluated by an overarching science–policy interface body. Major challenges for such a body are (i) to foster global knowledge production on exposure, impacts and governance going beyond data-rich regions (e.g., Europe and North America), (ii) to cover the entirety of hazardous chemicals, mixtures and wastes, (iii) to follow a one-health perspective considering the risks posed by chemicals and waste on ecosystem and human health, and (iv) to strive for solution-oriented assessments based on systems thinking. Based on multiple evidence on urgent action on a global scale, we call scientists and practitioners to mobilize their scientific networks and to intensify science–policy interaction with national governments to support the negotiations on the establishment of an intergovernmental body based on scientific knowledge explaining the anticipated benefit for human and environmental health.
Background Disadvantage and transgenerational trauma contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians being more likely to experience adverse health consequences from alcohol and other drug use than non-Indigenous peoples. Addressing these health inequities requires local monitoring of alcohol and other drug use. While culturally appropriate methods for measuring drinking patterns among Indigenous Australians have been established, no similar methods are available for measuring other drug use patterns (amount and frequency of consumption). This paper describes a protocol for creating and validating a tablet-based survey for alcohol and other drugs (“The Drug Survey App”). Methods The Drug Survey App will be co-designed with stakeholders including Indigenous Australian health professionals, addiction specialists, community leaders, and researchers. The App will allow participants to describe their drug use flexibly with an interactive, visual interface. The validity of estimated consumption patterns, and risk assessments will be tested against those made in clinical interviews conducted by Indigenous Australian health professionals. We will then trial the App as a population survey tool by using the App to determine the prevalence of substance use in two Indigenous communities. Discussion The App could empower Indigenous Australian communities to conduct independent research that informs local prevention and treatment efforts.
Low-speed wind tunnel experiments are conducted to study the aerodynamic performance of a half-span delta wing with 45° leading-edge sweep at subsonic flow regime. The experiments are carried out at a Reynolds number of 8.37 × 10⁵, a free-stream Mach number of 0.1 and angles of attack up to 25°, in steps of 5°. The test model was designed with thirty-two pressure taps fixed on its surfaces (sixteen on each side). Multi-tube manometers were connected to these taps using long tubes to enable recording the pressure readings. Surface pressure distributions and aerodynamic characteristics were calculated at different span-wise locations along the non-dimensional chord-wise distance. Results exhibited that most lift on the studied wing is generated in the region close to the leading edge for all the studied incidence angles. Additional lift is created in the region close to the root chord rather than the tip chord, whereas drag forces increases from tip to root. This can be attributed to the formation of trailing edge vortexes due to the flow separation at the wing leading edge that produces more drag, hence suppressing lift. The study showed also that angle of attack increases the drag coefficient from tip to root, especially at high angle of attack, indicating unfavourable behaviour for manoeuvring. Moreover, the angle of attack increased the pitching moment coefficient up to 10° before it drops sharply until it reaches the tip of the wing model.
The rational construction of microstructure and composition with enhanced Maxwell-Wagner-Sillars effect (MWSE) is still a challenging direction for reinforcing electromagnetic wave (EMW) absorption performance, and the related EMW attenuation mechanism has rarely been elucidated. Herein, MWSE boosted β-chitin/carbon nano-onions/Ni–P composites is prepared according to the heterointerface engineering strategy via facile layer-by-layer electrostatic assembly and electroless plating techniques. The heterogeneous interface is reinforced from the aspect of porous skeleton, nanomaterials and multilayer construction. The composites exhibit competitive EMW response mechanism between the conductive loss and the polarization/magnetic loss, as describing like the story of “The Hare and the Tortoise”. As a result, the composites not only achieve a minimum reflection loss (RL min ) of − 50.83 dB and an effective bandwidth of 6.8 GHz, but also present remarkable EMW interference shielding effectiveness of 66.66 dB. In addition, diverse functions such as good thermal insulation, infrared shielding and photothermal performance were also achieved in the hybrid composites as a result of intrinsic morphology and chemicophysics properties. Therefore, we believe that the boosted MWSE open up a novel orientation toward developing multifunctional composites with high-efficient EMW response and thermal management.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, many people now wear face masks in public. Face masks impair our ability to identify faces, which can cause problems for professional staff who identify offenders or members of the public. Here, we investigate whether performance on a masked face matching task can be improved by training participants to compare diagnostic facial features (the ears and facial marks)—a validated training method that improves matching performance for unmasked faces. We show this brief diagnostic feature training, which takes less than two minutes to complete, improves matching performance for masked faces by approximately 5%. A control training course, which was unrelated to face identification, had no effect on matching performance. Our findings demonstrate that comparing the ears and facial marks is an effective means of improving face matching performance for masked faces. These findings have implications for professions that regularly perform face identification.
Bismuth-based materials (e.g., metallic, oxides and subcarbonate) are emerged as promising electrocatalysts for converting CO 2 to formate. However, Bi o -based electrocatalysts possess high overpotentials, while bismuth oxides and subcarbonate encounter stability issues. This work is designated to exemplify that the operando synthesis can be an effective means to enhance the stability of electrocatalysts under operando CO 2 RR conditions. A synthetic approach is developed to electrochemically convert BiOCl into Cl-containing subcarbonate (Bi 2 O 2 (CO 3 ) x Cl y ) under operando CO 2 RR conditions. The systematic operando spectroscopic studies depict that BiOCl is converted to Bi 2 O 2 (CO 3 ) x Cl y via a cathodic potential-promoted anion-exchange process. The operando synthesized Bi 2 O 2 (CO 3 ) x Cl y can tolerate − 1.0 V versus RHE, while for the wet-chemistry synthesized pure Bi 2 O 2 CO 3 , the formation of metallic Bi o occurs at − 0.6 V versus RHE. At − 0.8 V versus RHE, Bi 2 O 2 (CO 3 ) x Cl y can readily attain a FE HCOO - of 97.9%, much higher than that of the pure Bi 2 O 2 CO 3 (81.3%). DFT calculations indicate that differing from the pure Bi 2 O 2 CO 3 -catalyzed CO 2 RR, where formate is formed via a * OCHO intermediate step that requires a high energy input energy of 2.69 eV to proceed, the formation of HCOO ⁻ over Bi 2 O 2 (CO 3 ) x Cl y has proceeded via a * COOH intermediate step that only requires low energy input of 2.56 eV.
Background The SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe pneumonia and highly impact general health. We aimed to investigate different clinical features and CT scan findings of patients with COVID-19 based on disease severity to have a better understanding of this disease. Methods Ninety patients with coronavirus were divided into three categories based on the severity of the disease: mild/moderate, severe, and very severe. Clinical, laboratory, and CT scan findings of the patients were examined retrospectively. Any association between these features and disease severity was assessed. Results The mean age and duration of hospitalization of patients increased with increasing the severity of the disease. The most common clinical symptoms were shortness of breath, cough, and fever. As the severity of the disease increased from mild/moderate to very severe, there was an increase in neutrophil counts and a decrease in lymphocytes and white blood cells (WBC) showing excessive inflammation associated with severe forms of COVID-19. Subpleural changes (81%) and ground-glass opacification/opacity (GGO) lesions (73%) of the lung were the most common features in CT images of COVID-19 patients, and interlobular septal thickening (10%) was the lowest CT feature among patients. Regarding the affected parts of the lung in COVID-19 patients, bilateral, peripheral, and multiple lesions had the highest prevalence. Conclusions It has been shown that clinical, laboratory, and CT scan findings varied in COVID-19 patients based on disease severity, which need to be considered carefully in timely diagnosis and treatment of this illness.
Background Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) contribute high disease burdens amongst the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and are public health problems in Angola. This study reports the prevalence, intensity and risk factors for schistosomiasis and STH infection in Huambo, Uige and Zaire provinces, Angola, to inform a school-based preventive chemotherapy program. Methods A two-stage cluster design was used to select schools and schoolchildren to participate in parasitological and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) surveys across Huambo, Uige, and Zaire provinces. Point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen and urinalysis rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were used to determine the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium , respectively. Kato-Katz was used to identify and quantify STH species and quantify and compare with RDTs for S. mansoni . Urine filtration was used to quantify and compare with RDTs for S. haematobium . Descriptive statistics were used for prevalence and infection intensity of schistosomiasis and STH infection. Performance of RDTs was assessed through specificity and Cohen’s Kappa agreement with microscopy. A multivariate regression analysis was used to determine demographic and WASH factors associated with schistosomiasis and STH infection. Results A total 575 schools and 17,093 schoolchildren participated in the schistosomiasis survey, of which 121 schools and 3649 schoolchildren participated in the STH survey. Overall prevalence of S. mansoni was 21.2% (municipality range 0.9–74.8%) and S. haematobium 13.6% (range 0–31.2%), with an overall prevalence of schistosomiasis of 31.4% (range 5.9–77.3%). Overall prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides was 25.1% (range 0–89.7%), hookworm 5.2% (range 0–42.6%), and Trichuris trichiura 3.6% (range 0–24.2%), with an overall prevalence of STH infection of 29.5% (range 0.8–89.7%). Ecological zone and ethnicity were factors associated with schistosomiasis and STH infection, with older age and female sex additional risk factors for S. haematobium . Conclusions Most municipalities met World Health Organization defined prevalence thresholds for a schistosomiasis preventive chemotherapy program. A STH preventive chemotherapy program is indicated for nearly all municipalities in Uige and select municipalities in Huambo and Zaire. The association between ecological zone and ethnicity with schistosomiasis and STH infection necessitates further evaluation of home and school environmental, sociodemographic and behavioural factors to inform targeted control strategies to complement preventive chemotherapy programs.
Background: Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) comprises a group of rare, blistering genodermatoses. Prior work has been limited by small sample sizes, and much remains unexplored about the disease burden and health-related quality of life (QOL) of patients with EBS. The aim of this study was to characterize the most common patient-reported clinical manifestations and the health-related impact of QOL in EBS, and to examine differences in disease burden by age. Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa (EB) or their caregivers completed a one-time online survey administered by EBCare, an international online EB registry. Survey data from respondents self-reporting a diagnosis of EBS were analyzed for clinical and wound manifestations, medication use, and QOL (using Quality of Life in Epidermolysis Bullosa [QOLEB] scores). Differences across age groups were assessed using Kruskal-Wallis and Fisher's exact tests. Results: There were 214 survey respondents with EBS. The mean age was 32.8 years (standard deviation = 19.2). Many respondents reported blisters (93%), recurrent wounds (89%), pain (74%), chronic wounds (59%), itch (55%), and difficulty walking (44%). Mean QOLEB score was 14.7 (standard deviation = 7.5) indicating a "moderate" impact on QOL, and 12% of respondents required regular use of opiates. Findings were consistent in subgroup analyses restricted to respondents with diagnostic confirmation via genetic testing or skin biopsy (n = 63 of 214). Age-stratified analyses revealed differences in disease burden: younger respondents were more likely to self-report severe disease (24% vs. 19% vs. 5% for respondents aged 0-9 vs. 10-17 vs. 18 + , p = 0.001), failure to thrive (9% vs. 15% vs. 3%, p = 0.02), and use of gastrostomy tubes (15% vs. 12% vs. 1%, p < 0.001) and topical antibiotics (67% vs. 69% vs. 34%, p < 0.001), while older respondents were more likely to be overweight or obese (6% vs. 0% vs. 51%, p < 0.001) and have difficulty walking (24% vs. 46% vs. 48%, p = 0.04). Conclusions: In the largest international cross-sectional survey of EBS patients conducted, respondents reported extensive disease burden including significant wounding, pain, itch, difficulty walking, and impact on QOL. Age stratified disease manifestations. These findings suggest significant unmet need, and treatment and counseling for EBS patients should consider age-specific differences.
Forensic science practitioners compare visual evidence samples (e.g. fingerprints) and decide if they originate from the same person or different people (i.e. fingerprint ‘matching’). These tasks are perceptually and cognitively complex—even practising professionals can make errors—and what limited research exists suggests that existing professional training is ineffective. This paper presents three experiments that demonstrate the benefit of perceptual training derived from mathematical theories that suggest statistically rare features have diagnostic utility in visual comparison tasks. Across three studies ( N = 551), we demonstrate that a brief module training participants to focus on statistically rare fingerprint features improves fingerprint-matching performance in both novices and experienced fingerprint examiners. These results have applied importance for improving the professional performance of practising fingerprint examiners, and even other domains where this technique may also be helpful (e.g. radiology or banknote security).
Emergent evidence suggests that cyclic intermittent hypoxia increases cerebral arterial shear rate and endothelial function, whereas continuous exposure decreases anterior cerebral oxygen (O2) delivery. To examine to what extent continuous hypoxia impacts cerebral shear rate, cerebral endothelial function, and consequent cerebral O2 delivery (CDO2), eight healthy males were randomly assigned single-blind to 7 h passive exposure to both normoxia (21% O2) and hypoxia (12% O2). Blood flow in the brachial and internal carotid arteries were determined using Duplex ultrasound and included the combined assessment of systemic and cerebral endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation. Systemic (brachial artery) flow-mediated dilatation was consistently lower during hypoxia (P = 0.013 vs. normoxia), whereas cerebral flow-mediated dilation remained preserved (P = 0.927 vs. normoxia) despite a reduction in internal carotid artery antegrade shear rate (P = 0.002 vs. normoxia) and CDO2 (P < 0.001 vs. normoxia). Collectively, these findings indicate that the reduction in CDO2 appears to be independent of cerebral endothelial function and contrasts with that observed during cyclic intermittent hypoxia, highlighting the regulatory importance of (hypoxia) dose duration and flow/shear rate phenotype.
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Krastimir Borisov Popov
  • School of Engineering and Technology
Allyson Lipp
  • Faculty of Life Sciences and Education
Juan Jose Martinez
  • Faculty of Advanced Technology
Mehedi Hassan
  • School of Computing
Richard Williams
  • Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC)
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