University of Central Lancashire
  • Preston, United Kingdom
Recent publications
A major challenge to antimalarial chemotherapy is the spreading resistance to antimalarial drugs. The use of effective and safe antimalarial drugs has been the backbone of malaria elimination programs. Though many efforts and resources have been committed to developing of new and effective antimalarial drugs, however, the rapid spread of resistance has limped all the efforts. Emerging of drug resistance has been a significant issue in the last decade. Artemisinin‐based combination therapy (ACT) has been the first‐line treatment of Plasmodium falciparum after the emerging of chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. The ACTs combine the long‐acting drugs with fast‐acting artemisinin derivatives to ensure complete remission from the disease. At the beginning, antimalarial drugs are effective in clearing the malarial parasite, but successive clearance leads to selection pressure making the parasite fit to survive and proliferate under the effect of an antimalarial drugs. Furthermore, non‐specific drug targeting of conventional antimalarial drugs results in the need for administration of higher dose and subsequent intolerable side effects leading to patient noncompliance and toxicity. For these reasons, new and out of the box strategies and techniques to deliver the antimalarial drug specifically to the site of action are required. Research is ongoing in the field of nanomedicine, to develop nanocarrier systems capable of incorporating drugs, lowering the resistance process with control and treatment of malaria by targeted delivery. Targeting drugs, especially to their site of action would indeed enable the optimal concentration of the drug in malarial parasite‐infected red blood cells (pRBCs) and infected liver tissues. Polymers, lipids, proteins, liposomes, and other materials have been explored as nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery to infected cells because of their preferential binding to pRBCs, low toxicity and high biodegradability. This chapter discusses the various approaches in antimalarial chemotherapy using nanotechnology‐based drug delivery systems that might be beneficial to reduce the emergence of drug resistance.
We examined whether practice in an open skill video-game task would lead to changes in performance, attention, motivation, perceived effort, and theta, alpha, and beta waves. Specifically, we were interested on whether potential performance gains from practice would be primarily explained by the neural efficiency (i.e., cortical idling) or the neural proficiency hypothesis (i.e., mix of heightened and reduced activation across the cortex). To this end, we asked 16 novice participants (8 males and 8 females; Mage = 23.13 years) to play a Nintendo Wii video-game shooting task, namely Link’s Crossbow Training. Pre-test scores, which were followed by an acquisition phase, were compared to post-test scores. Performance and subjective data were recorded for each trial and EEG data was continuously recorded using the portable EEGO System. Our findings revealed that performance increased while attention decreased at post-test, thereby confirming that practice leads to performance gains and reduces attentional overload. No changes in motivation or perceived effort were observed, perhaps because effort is a gestalt multidimension construct and video-gaming is an inherently motivating activity. EEG frequency analysis revealed that, for the most part, performance gains were accompanied by increased cortical activity across frequencies bands, thus lending primary support to the neural proficiency hypothesis. Accordingly, neurofeedback interventions to aid motor learning should teach performers not only how to silence their brains (i.e., quiescence state linked to automaticity and “flow”) but also how to amplify task-relevant brain networks.
A high concentration photovoltaic/thermal system (HCPV/T) coupled with a spray cooling device is proposed in this study, which can effectively reduce the contact thermal resistance between the solar cell and the heat exchanger. Electrical analysis of solar cells and thermal analysis of spray cooling heat exchangers are firstly investigated through experiments and simulations. Compared with the traditional cooling method, the spray cooling is covered in the form of a surface for cooling, which can improve the temperature uniformity of the solar cell. To evaluate the performance of the new system from the perspective of energy quality, an exergy analysis method suitable for HCPV/T systems utilizing high pressure is proposed. The performance of the hybrid HCPV/T system is compared with the independent HCPV system. The result shows that the electrical efficiency of the hybrid system can not only remain above 27%, but also the thermal efficiency of the system can reach above 45%. In addition, under high temperature inlet conditions, a suitable outlet temperature can be obtained, the energy quality of the system can be improved, and the total exergy efficiency can reach 34%. These findings greatly expand HCPV/T systems to achieve higher performance.
Asteroseismology has grown from its beginnings three decades ago to a mature field teeming with discoveries and applications. This phenomenal growth has been enabled by space photometry with precision 10–100 times better than ground-based observations, with nearly continuous light curves for durations of weeks to years, and by large-scale ground-based surveys spanning years designed to detect all time-variable phenomena. The new high-precision data are full of surprises, deepening our understanding of the physics of stars. ▪ This review explores asteroseismic developments from the past decade primarily as a result of light curves from the Kepler and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite space missions for massive upper main sequence OBAF stars, pre-main-sequence stars, peculiar stars, classical pulsators, white dwarfs and subdwarfs, and tidally interacting close binaries. ▪ The space missions have increased the numbers of pulsators in many classes by an order of magnitude. ▪ Asteroseismology measures fundamental stellar parameters and stellar interior physics—mass, radius, age, metallicity, luminosity, distance, magnetic fields, interior rotation, angular momentum transfer, convective overshoot, core-burning stage—supporting disparate fields such as galactic archeology, exoplanet host stars, supernovae progenitors, gamma-ray and gravitational wave precursors, close binary star origins and evolution, and standard candles. ▪ Stars are the luminous tracers of the Universe. Asteroseismology significantly improves models of stellar structure and evolution on which all inference from stars depends. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Astronomy Volume 60 is August 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Objective: Family dysfunction and self-esteem play an important role in the development of eating disorders (EDs), but this role has not been sufficiently examined regarding eating pathology and psychosocial quality of life (QoL), which often remains unchanged even after ED symptoms reduce. The purpose of this study was to therefore assess the mediating role of self-esteem between family dysfunction and both eating pathology and psychosocial QoL in ED patients and controls. Method: One hundred and fifty four female adult ED patients and 154 female healthy adult controls were recruited from Athens, Greece, and self-reported measures were used to assess family dysfunction, eating pathology, self-esteem, and psychosocial QoL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was employed to test the mediation hypotheses. Results: For both the ED and control groups, family dysfunction levels did impact eating pathology, but only through self-esteem. Family dysfunction, self-esteem, and eating pathology had a direct effect on both groups' psychosocial QoL. Conclusion: Self-esteem's important role in EDs was confirmed in both groups, along with its sensitivity to family dysfunction. We propose a parsimonious yet comprehensive theoretical model of the role of family dysfunction and self-esteem in EDs which future studies should further investigate longitudinally and in other population groups.
This study aimed to compare the significant turning demands of English Premier League soccer match play relative to playing position using LiDAR technology. Turning data were collected from an English Premier League soccer team (2020-2021 season; 18 fixtures) using a Sportlight® LiDAR tracking system. Turns were tracked during match play, sub-categorised by entry speed (<3.0, 3.0-5.5, 5.5-7.0 and >7.0 m/ s) and turning angle (Low: 20-59°; Medium: 60-119°; High: 120-180°). Turning metric frequencies were compared between playing positions (centre backs, fullbacks , central midfielders, wide midfielders, and central forwards). On average, per match, central midfielders performed more total turns (~38 vs ~18-27), turns with entry speeds <3.0 (~15 vs ~7-10) and 3.0-5.5 m/s (~21 vs ~8-15) and low (~4 vs ~1-2), medium (~10 vs ~3-6) and high angled turns (~24 vs ~12-18) compared to all other playing positions (p ≤ 0.001, d = 0.96-2.74). Approximately, 90% of turns during matches were performed with entry speeds <5.5 m/s and ~63-70% were high angled turns. This study provides unique insights into the turning demands of English Premier League soccer matches , which can be used to inform position-specific physical preparation strategies, turning testing battery selection, agility drill construction, and rehabilitation and return to play standards.
The adoption and integration of renewable energy technologies (RETs) into buildings is key to making the necessary transition to low-carbon and resilient built environments. However, such technologies have struggled to gain a firm foothold in countries within the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region. This is particularly the case in Nigeria, which suffers from severe energy poverty, despite its significant RE and conventional energy potential. In Nigeria, a significant proportion of the energy demand for offices is provided by self-powered off-grid fossil-fuel generators. The country is also one of the primary settings for increased construction activity. This, combined with its susceptibility to the effects of climate change, presents significant concerns relating to the resilience of its built environment. However, there has not yet been a comprehensive empirical study addressing this, as previous studies have been limited in their insight and perspectives. This study adopted a grounded theory method (GTM) aligned with Charmaz’s approach, to gain in-depth participant-driven insights into factors influencing sustainable energy use in commercial buildings, focusing on solar photovoltaics (PVs). This led to the development of a theory of the sustainability transition process of construction professionals (CPs). It provides relevant, reliable, and relatable points of reference that would be beneficial to policymakers in developing plans for actionable interventions for PV and broader sustainable measures toward green energy transition. Furthermore, it highlights the value of employing GTMs in construction management research beyond the developing context. This paper contributes theoretically, empirically, and methodologically to facilitate a better understanding of the situations (context) grounded in empirical data.
Background Function after acute stroke using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) is usually assessed at a point in time. The analytical implications of serial mRS measurements to evaluate functional recovery over time is not completely understood. We compare repeated‐measures and single‐measure analyses of the mRS from a randomized clinical trial. Methods and Results Serial mRS data from AFFINITY (Assessment of Fluoxetine in Stroke Recovery), a double‐blind placebo randomized clinical trial of fluoxetine following stroke (n=1280) were analyzed to identify demographic and clinical associations with functional recovery (reduction in mRS) over 12 months. Associations were identified using single‐measure (day 365) and repeated‐measures (days 28, 90, 180, and 365) partial proportional odds logistic regression. Ninety‐five percent of participants experienced a reduction in mRS after 12 months. Functional recovery was associated with age at stroke <70 years; no prestroke history of diabetes, coronary heart disease, or ischemic stroke; prestroke history of depression, a relationship partner, living with others, independence, or paid employment; no fluoxetine intervention; ischemic stroke (compared with hemorrhagic); stroke treatment in Vietnam (compared with Australia or New Zealand); longer time since current stroke; and lower baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale & Patient Health Questionnaire‐9 scores. Direction of associations was largely concordant between single‐measure and repeated‐measures models. Association strength and variance was generally smaller in the repeated‐measures model compared with the single‐measure model. Conclusions Repeated‐measures may improve trial precision in identifying trial associations and effects. Further repeated‐measures stroke analyses are required to prove methodological value. Registration URL: http:// www.anzctr.org.au ; Unique identifier: ACTRN12611000774921.
Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial, chronic condition which increases the risk of a wide range of diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. The prevalence of obesity continues to rise and this places a huge economic burden on the healthcare system. Existing approaches to obesity treatment tend to focus on individual responsibility and diet and exercise, failing to recognise the complexity of the condition and the need for a whole-system approach. A new approach is needed that recognises the complexity of obesity and provides patient-centred, multidisciplinary care which more closely meets the needs of each individual with obesity. This review will discuss the role that digital health could play in this new approach and the challenges of ensuring equitable access to digital health for obesity care. Existing technologies, such as telehealth and mobile health apps and wearable devices, offer emerging opportunities to improve access to obesity care and enhance the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of weight management interventions and long-term patient support. Future application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to obesity care could see interventions become increasingly automated and personalised.
Over the past 15 years, interest in additive manufacturing (AM) on lattice structures has significantly increased in producing 3D/4D objects. The purpose of this study is to gain a thorough grasp of the research pattern and the condition of the field’s research today as well as identify obstacles towards future research. To accomplish the purpose, this work undertakes a scientometric analysis of the international research conducted on additive manufacturing for lattice structure materials published from 2002 to 2022. A total of 1290 journal articles from the Web of Science (WoS) database and 1766 journal articles from the Scopus database were found using a search system. This paper applied scientometric science, which is based on bibliometric analysis. The data were subjected to a scientometric study, which looked at the number of publications, authorship, regions by countries, keyword co-occurrence, literature coupling, and scientometric mapping. VOSviewer was used to establish research patterns, visualize maps, and identify transcendental issues. Thus, the quantitative determination of the primary research framework, papers, and themes of this research field was possible. In order to shed light on current developments in additive manufacturing for lattice structures, an extensive systematic study is provided. The scientometric analysis revealed a strong bias towards researching AM on lattice structures but little concentration on technologies that emerge from it. It also outlined its unmet research needs, which can benefit both the industry and academia. This review makes a prediction for the future, with contributions by educating researchers, manufacturers, and other experts on the current state of AM for lattice structures.
Stalking involves repeated unwanted communication, harassment, and intrusive behaviour. This brief report draws on a service evaluation undertaken immediately prior to and during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic creates a paradox when considering safety in the home, but it is important to recognise the dangers this presents to many victims of stalking. The information presented in this report is based on existing literature and early evidence from semi-structured interviews and discussions with 15 victims and six practitioners. Whilst lockdown measures might appear to be a time when victims are less accessible to their stalkers, early evidence from this study suggests that their vulnerability is increased. Technology has helped to facilitate stalking behaviours by providing stalkers with new approaches to control, humiliate, threaten and isolate their victims. Some lockdown restrictions have provided increased opportunities for stalkers to monitor their victims and the professional uncertainty and recognition around stalking has continued, coupled with delays in the criminal justice system. The COVID-19 crisis has reversed gains made by stalking victims and has imprisoned some victims in their homes making their whereabouts easier to monitor. Stalking behaviour has not ceased as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and the risk of harm to victims remains significant. Effective practice, policy and legal responses are required for both the victims and perpetrators of stalking during the pandemic and afterwards.
The present work examines the role of reflection in supporting the development of argument skill. Participants who engaged in argumentation practice with additional reflective activities outperformed a control group who only engaged in the argumentation practice. The experimental group showed greater gains in developing argument skill-particularly in employing evidence to weaken an opposing position. Experimental condition participants also exhibited greater gains in content knowledge on the intervention topic compared to the control condition participants. Microgenetic analysis of dialogs during the interventions revealed a different pattern of progress across the two conditions. Experimental condition participants exhibited gradual and overall greater improvements at both strategic and meta levels-meta-strategic and epistemic-compared to control condition participants. Findings support the hypothesis that engagement in reflection during dialogic argumentation supports the development of metacognition, both as competence and disposition, which in turn supports performance at the strategic level. Educational implications are discussed, stressing the beneficial role of engagement in reflective activities for promoting argument skill, above and beyond practice.
Whilst job satisfaction has been extensively investigated as a CSR moderator or outcome, pertinent literature is predominantly silent on the complexity surrounding the formulation of the construct. This study adopts the theory of complexity and examines the combinations of factors leading to hotel employee job satisfaction within a CSR context. Using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), those factorial combinations that are significant in driving job satisfaction were first identified, whereas semi-structured interviews revealed the relationships that describe such configurations. Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) was used as complementary to estimate the effects of size of the examined conditions. In total, three solutions were generated: (i) ethical issues and morality; (ii) hotel-related aspects; (iii) employee-related aspects which are supported by the qualitative data. Results indicate that job satisfaction can be stimulated by diverse combinations of hotel employees' CSR perceptions, moral identity, subjective norms and work engagement, yielding significant theoretical and managerial implications.
Rationale The development of substance use disorders involves long-lasting adaptations in specific brain areas that result in an elevated risk of relapse. Some of these adaptations are regulated by the mTOR network, a signalling system that integrates extracellular and intracellular stimuli and modulates several processes related to plasticity. While the role of the mTOR network in cocaine- and alcohol-related disorders is well established, little is known about its participation in opiate use disorders. Objectives To use a heroin self-administration and a withdrawal protocol that induce incubation of heroin-seeking in male rats and study the associated effects on the expression of several genes related to the mTOR system and, in the specific case of Rictor, its respective translated protein and phosphorylation. Results We found that heroin self-administration elicited an increase in the expression of the genes Igf1r , Igf2r , Akt2 and Gsk3a in the basolateral complex of the amygdala, which was not as evident at 30 days of withdrawal. We also found an increase in the expression of Rictor (a protein of the mTOR complex 2) after heroin self-administration compared to the saline group, which was occluded at the 30-day withdrawal period. The activation levels of Rictor, measured by the phosphorylation rate, were also reduced after heroin self-administration, an effect that seemed more apparent in the protracted withdrawal group. Conclusions These results suggest that heroin self-administration under extended access conditions modifies the expression profile of activators and components of the mTOR complexes and show a putative irresponsive mTOR complex 2 after withdrawal from heroin use.
Although previous research has shown that, in English, both adult and teenage readers parafoveally pre-process phonological information during silent reading, to date, no research has been conducted to investigate such processing in children. Here we used the boundary paradigm during silent sentence reading, to ascertain whether typically developing English children, like adults, parafoveally process words phonologically. Participants' eye movements (adults: n = 48; children: n = 48) were recorded as they read sentences which contained, in preview, correctly spelled words (e.g., cheese), pseudohomophones (e.g., cheeze), or spelling controls (e.g., cheene). The orthographic similarity of the target words available in preview was also manipulated to be similar (e.g., cheese/cheeze/cheene) or dissimilar (e.g., queen/kween/treen). The results indicate that orthographic similarity facilitated both adults' and children's pre-processing. Moreover, children parafoveally pre-processed words phonologically very early in processing. The children demonstrated a pseudohomophone advantage from preview that was broadly similar to the effect displayed by the adults, although the orthographic similarity of the pseudohomophone previews was more important for the children than the adults. Overall, these results provide strong evidence for phonological recoding during silent English sentence reading in 8–9-year-old children.
Volcanic sites can be considered strategic areas for conservation and protection policies, but such policies may involve considerable costs However, not only are volcanic sites often integral to the tourism industry and, hence, of potential significant benefit to local economies in general; entrance fee income from tourists can also contribute to management and conservation costs in particular. Nevertheless, seasonal variations in tourism demand, resulting in over-and under-tourism situations, may impact on both the level of income generated as well as on the sustainability of sites Therefore, based on a case study of Mt Etna in Italy, this study considers establishing appropriate entry fee levels for volcano areas. First, a logit model is applied to the relevant socio-demographic and site-specific variables. The entrance fees are estimated on visitors' willingness to pay and demand elasticity. Applying contingent valuation method (CVM), two groups of tourists (high and low season visitors) are identified and surveyed, with each group demonstrating different willingness to pay and elasticity levels. Rather than applying a single fee, different entrance fees for the two groups are found to generate a higher level of revenue for the park's economic equilibrium. In addition, the different entrance fees offer the potential to mitigate the peak effects of over-tourism and support demand during under-tourism, with clear sustainability consequences. The results, which confirm four hypotheses set about Mt. Etna, could facilitate decision-makers in determining a feasible balance between management costs, tourism demand characteristics and protection commitments.
Background Gross total resection remains the gold-standard approach for vestibular schwannomas (VS) when surgery is indicated. In select cases, incomplete resection (IR) becomes a desired alternative to preserve the facial nerve function and the patient’s quality of life. While a lot of earlier studies described incompletely resected sporadic VSs as dormant, more recent studies reported a higher growth rate following IR, therefore an evaluation of the residual VS growth rates could have important implications for the follow-up treatment protocols and provide relevant information for neurosurgeons, neuro-otologists, neuropathologists, and radiologists. Although prognostic factors predicting preoperative VS growth have been previously investigated, these factors have not been investigated following IR. Our review aims to examine the growth rate of residual sporadic VS following IR and to examine variables associated with the regrowth of residual VS. Methods The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Six databases (MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), CINAHL Plus (EBSCO), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and UK Clinical Trials Gateway (WHO ICTRP) were searched. Full-text articles analysing growth rates in at least ten patients who had residual VS after IR were assessed. We conducted a meta-analysis using a random-effects model via RevMan. Results 14 studies totalling 849 patients were included in the analysis. The mean planimetric growth rate was 1.57 mm/year (range 0.16–3.81 mm/year). The mean volumetric growth rate was 281.725 mm³/year (range 17.9–530.0 mm³/year). Age, sex, pre-operative tumour size/volume, cystic tumour sub-type, MIB-1 index, and intracanalicular tumour location were not associated with residual growth. Residual tumour size/volume was statistically significant to growth (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.47–0.90, p = 0.01). Radiological re-growth occurred in an average of 26.6% of cases (range 0–54.5%). Conclusion From our analysis, only the residual tumour volume/size was associated with residual VS growth. Therefore, close postoperative surveillance for the first year, followed by an annual MRI scan for at least 5 years, and subsequently extended interval surveillance remains of utmost importance to monitor disease progression and provide timely surgical and adjuvant interventions. Our study shows that future work should be aimed at molecular and histological characteristics of residual VSs to aid prognostic understanding of growth.
Background Orthotic wedges with medial posting of the forefoot and rearfoot have been shown to be effective in controlling excessive foot pronation in people with plantar fasciitis (PF), however the best prescription remains unclear. Research question: The aim of this study was to determine the biomechanical effects of two designs of orthotic wedges within a shoe on the hip, knee, rearfoot, and forefoot kinematics in individuals with PF. Methods Thirty-five participants with PF were recruited. They were asked to walk under three randomized conditions; shod, shod with orthotic wedges with foot assessment technique 1 (W1), and shod with orthotic wedges from a new assessment technique (W2). Biomechanical outcomes included lower limb and multi-segment foot kinematics in each subphase of the stance gait, including contact phase, midstance phase, and propulsive phase. Results Compared with shod, the W1 significantly increased rearfoot dorsiflexion, decreased peak forefoot dorsiflexion, and peak rearfoot eversion during the contact phase. In addition, W1 increased rearfoot inversion, decreased hallux dorsiflexion, and peak hallux dorsiflexion during the propulsive phase. For W2, the wedge significantly decreased peak knee internal rotation, decreased forefoot abduction, peak forefoot dorsiflexion, and peak rearfoot eversion during the contact phase. In addition, W2 increased rearfoot inversion, decreased hallux dorsiflexion, and decreased peak hallux dorsiflexion during the propulsive phase. When comparing W1 and W2, W1 showed greater rearfoot dorsiflexion during the contact phase. Significance: These findings suggest that the use of forefoot varus wedges, and the combination of forefoot and rearfoot varus wedges, can change the lower limb kinematics, the multi-segment foot kinematics estimated using markers fixed to the shoe, and the relative length of the plantar fascia which can be associated with a reduction in pain and symptoms during walking.
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Jean Ellen Duckworth
  • Community Health and Wellbeing
Bojlul Bahar
  • International Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Applied Food Safety Studies (IINSAFSS)
Ambreen Chohan
  • Allied Health Research Unit
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