Western Sydney University
  • Sydney, Australia
Recent publications
Short-circuiting flow is an important secondary flow in gas cyclones, which has a negative impact on the separation performance. To improve the understanding of the short-circuiting flow and guide the optimization of gas cyclones, this paper presents a numerical study of a cyclone using computational fluid dynamics. Based on the steady flow field, three methods were adopted to investigate the formation mechanism and characteristics of the short-circuiting flow and particles. The temporal variation of the tracer species concentration distribution reveals that the formation mechanism of the short-circuiting flow is the squeeze between the airflows entering the annular space of the gas cyclone at different times. The short-circuiting flow region, distinguished through the spatial distribution of the moments of age, is characterized by a small mean age and a large coefficient of variation. The proportion of the short-circuiting particles increases with the increase of the inlet velocity only for small particles. But with the increase of particle size, the proportion of the short-circuiting particles decreases faster at higher inlet velocities, resulting in significant differences in collection efficiency curves.
Background: Medical curricula are constantly evolving in response to the needs of society, accrediting bodies and developments in education and technology. The integration of blended learning modalities has challenged traditional methods of teaching, offering new prospects in the delivery of medical education. The purpose of this review is to explore how medical students adapt their learning behaviours in a Blended Learning environment to become more independent and self-regulated, in addition to highlighting potential avenues to enhance the curriculum and support student learning. Methods: Using the approach described by Levac et al. (2010), which builds on Arksey and O’Malley’s framework, we conducted a literature search of the following databases: MEDLINE (Ovid), ERIC, EBSCO, SCOPUS and Google Scholar, utilising key terms and variants of “medical student’, ‘self-regulated learning’ and ‘blended learning’. The search yielded 305 studies which were further charted and screened according to the Joanna Briggs Institute. Results: Forty-four studies were identified and selected for inclusion in this review. After full analysis of these studies, underpinned by Self-regulation theory, five major concepts associated with students’ learning behaviours in a Blended Learning environment were identified: Scaffolding of instructional guidance may support self-regulated learning; Self-regulated learning enhances academic performance; Self-regulated Learning improves study habits through resource selection; Blended learning drives student motivation and autonomy; and the Cognitive apprenticeship approach supports Self-regulated learning. Conclusion: This review uncovers medical students’ learning behaviours within a Blended learning environment which is important to consider for curricular adaptations and student support. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
In recent years, the role of gut microbial metabolites on the inhibition and progression of cancer has gained significant interest in anticancer research. It has been established that the gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in the development, treatment and prognosis of different cancer types which is often mediated through the gut microbial metabolites. For instance, gut microbial metabolites including bacteriocins, short-chain fatty acids and phenylpropanoid-derived metabolites have displayed direct and indirect anticancer activities through different molecular mechanisms. Despite the reported anticancer activity, some gut microbial metabolites including secondary bile acids have exhibited pro-carcinogenic properties. This review draws a critical summary and assessment of the current studies demonstrating the carcinogenic and anticancer activity of gut microbial metabolites and emphasises the need to further investigate the interactions of these metabolites with the immune system as well as the tumour microenvironment in molecular mechanistic and clinical studies.
Aims Currently, wound management decisions are based largely on visual observations such as photographs, descriptors or measurements which can lack detail and do not always capture the sub-wound area. A previous case series suggests that there is benefit in using ultrasound imaging (USI) to evaluate diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) at point-of-care, however no guidance exists to inform its use. This scoping exercise explores the capacity of podiatrists with experience in interpreting musculoskeletal structures using USI to interpret sonographic images of DFU. Methods Following a short briefing session, podiatrists with previous musculoskeletal (MSK) USI training were asked to review and report on previously recorded static sonographic images ( n = 8) of active DFU. Content analysis was utilised to identify recurring keywords within the podiatrists’ reports which were coded and assigned to categories to gain context to the data. Results Seven podiatrists participated in the study. Four categories were constructed for the purposes of analysis: Frequency of reporting, 2) Language used in reporting, 3) Observations, 4) Clinical impression Frequently, the reported findings between podiatrists were found to be similar, especially those related to bone morphology. However greater variability was seen in the reporting of wound specific soft-tissue observations. Conclusion This scoping exercise has shown that podiatrists can translate their existing USI skills to make rudimentary reports on clinical findings in DFU. All participants were consistently able to identify and describe characteristics associated with DFU from a single b mode static wound ultrasound image. Findings from this investigation can be used as a foundation for further work to establish accuracy and reliability to validate DFU sonography. In conjunction the development of protocols and training materials will enable the adoption of USI to assess DFU in clinical practice. This will in turn, contribute to improved patient care and establish a new paradigm for wound surveillance which is translatable to other wound types.
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).
Compulsive exercise is linked with poorer treatment outcomes in people with eating disorder (EDs). High-performance athletes represent a growing and complex subcomponent of the broader ED population, and emergent evidence indicates that different conceptualisations of compulsive exercise are needed in this population. Existing randomised controlled trials in ED populations have demonstrated small treatment effects on compulsive exercise compared with control groups; however, athletes were sparsely sampled across these studies. Thus, the extent to which current treatments for compulsive exercise in EDs are also effective in high-performance athletes is unknown. For this opinion paper, we sought representation from high-performance sports leadership, someone with lived experience of both an ED and high-performance athletics, and ED clinical experts. We discuss the utility of recommending exercise abstinence in ED treatment with athletes, as well as a number of other treatment strategies with some evidence in other contexts for further consideration and research in this population. These include using mindfulness-based interventions as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioural therapies, using wearable technologies and self-reported fatigue to inform training decisions, and incorporating greater exercise variation into training programs. We also offer practical considerations for clinicians seeking to apply foundational elements of cognitive-behavioural interventions (e.g., exposure and response prevention, cognitive restructuring, behavioural experiments) into an ED treatment program for a high-performance athlete. Future research is needed to examine characteristics of pathological compulsive exercise in athletes and whether available treatments are both feasible and effective in the treatment of compulsive exercise in athletes with an ED.
Background Running-related injury (RRI) is highly prevalent among recreational runners and is a key barrier to participation. Atypical lower limb alignment and mechanical function have been proposed to play a role in development of lower extremity injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between incidence of running-related injury (RRI) in non-elite runners with biomechanical and musculoskeletal variables. Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Published research indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, AMED, and The Cochrane library until 13th January 2021, grey literature, and reference lists of included studies were screened to identify prospective studies of non-elite adult runners that measured a relationship between biomechanical or musculoskeletal measures and incidence of RRI. Results Thirty studies (3404 runners), testing over 100 discrete biomechanical and musculoskeletal risk factors for RRI, were included. Nineteen studies were pooled in twenty-five separate meta-analyses. Meta-analysis of four studies detected significantly less knee extension strength among runners who developed a RRI (SMD − 0.19, 95% CI − 0.36 to − 0.02, p = 0.03), though this may not be clinically important. A meta-analysis of two studies detected significantly lower hip adduction velocity among runners who developed a RRI (MD − 12.80, 95% CI − 25.22 to − 0.38, p = 0.04). Remaining meta-analyses found no significant relationship between biomechanical or musculoskeletal variables and RRI. Conclusion This systematic review and meta-analysis found the currently available literature does not generally support biomechanical or musculoskeletal measures as risk factors for RRI in non-elite runners. While meta-analysis findings for knee extension strength and hip adduction velocity as risk factors for RRI were statistically significant, the associated trivial to small effects sizes suggest these findings should be treated with caution. Until further evidence emerges, recommendations for injury prevention in non-elite runners cannot be made based on biomechanical and musculoskeletal measurements alone.
As a natural flavone, apigenin is abundantly present in vegetables, fruits, oregano, tea, chamomile, wheat sprout and is regarded as a major component of the Mediterranean diet. Apigenin is known to inhibit proliferation in different cancer cell lines by inducing G 2 /M arrest, but it is unclear whether this action is predominantly imposed on G 2 or M phases. In this study, we demonstrate that apigenin arrests prostate cancer cells at G 2 phase by flow cytometric analysis of prostate cancer cells co-stained for phospho-Histone H3 and DNA. Concurrently, apigenin also reduces the mRNA and protein levels of the key regulators that govern G 2 -M transition. Further analysis using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) confirmed the diminished transcriptional activities of the genes coding for these regulators. Unravelling the inhibitory effect of apigenin on G 2 -M transition in cancer cells provides the mechanistic understanding of its action and supports the potential for apigenin as an anti-cancer agent. Graphical Abstract
The study presents photometric analysis of the completely eclipsing contact binary systems TYC 8351-1081-1 and ASAS J210406-0522.3. TYC 8351-1081-1 is an extremely low mass ratio (q=0.086) system with a high degree of contact (f=0.66) while ASAS J210406-0522.3 is found to be in marginal contact (f=0.08) with a relatively low-mass ratio of 0.272. There is good thermal contact in both systems with only a small difference in the temperature of the components. The systems have been observed by a number sky surveys over the past 20 years. We compare the light curve solutions from up to three of these surveys and find that survey photometric data manually analysed is robust and yields results comparable to dedicated ground-based photometry. There is evidence of significant luminosity transfer from the primary to the secondary, on the order of 0.5L⊙ for TYC 8351-1081-1 and 0.06L⊙ for ASAS J210406-0522.3. There appears to be no change in the period of either system over the past 20 years and theoretical angular momentum loss is below current measurement threshold in both cases. We also show that the mass ratio and separation are well above the theoretical values for orbital instability in both cases. As would be expected, the density of the secondary components is significantly higher relative to the primary.
Background Ongoing colonisation produces inequity in healthcare delivery and inequality in healthcare outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. As a consequence, within the domain of lower limb health, foot disease has severe impacts for First Nations Peoples. Central to developing culturally safe healthcare and driving positive foot health change for First Nations Peoples, is the need for health professionals to develop understanding of First Nations perspectives of foot health. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate studies investigating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ perceptions of foot and lower limb health. Methods PubMeD, Ovid (Embase, Emcare, Medline), CINAHL, Informit Indigenous collection, and grey literature sources were searched to 23 rd July 2021. We included any published reports or studies that examined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ perceptions of foot and lower limb health, or meanings of, or attitudes to, foot and lower limb health. Results Four studies with a total of 1515 participants were included. Studies found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people self-assessed foot health with a demonstrated ability to perceive their feet as healthy relative to Western clinical measures of peripheral blood supply and neurological function. Footwear, including ill-fitting or lack of footwear was considered a contributing factor to reduced foot and lower limb health. Foot pain affected up to 60% of participants with up to 70% of foot pain untreated. Lack of access to culturally safe health care delivered by culturally capable health professionals was perceived to contribute to worse foot and lower limb health outcomes. Conclusions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ perceptions of foot and lower limb health are influenced by multiple complex interrelated factors. The limited number of studies in this area indicates ongoing failings to consult First Nations Peoples regarding their own lower limb and foot health. It is therefore essential that healthcare service and cultural capability implementation is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in co-design. Urgent need for further research that exemplifies design and delivery of culturally safe care is required.
Due to the nature of their work and operating environments, humanitarian aid workers experience higher rates of psychological distress, burnout and mental health conditions than other emergency service worker populations. Fourteen international humanitarian workers were interviewed to examine whether they seek help from others in the context of work-related distress, specifically, their attitudes and behaviors regarding personal help-seeking at such times, their preferred sources of support and factors that enable or constrain effective help-seeking. Thematic analysis of the data derived five superordinate themes: (1) cultural aspects of help-seeking; (2) risks with formal, internal support; (3) lack of shared understanding of humanitarian context; (4) self-censoring and withdrawal; and (5) role maturity. There is high, in principle, support for personal help-seeking but its use is highly selective. Work colleagues are regarded as the most trusted and effective source of help in high stress periods, while barriers that exist with family and friends mean they are rarely sought out at such times. Trust and confidentiality concerns limit the use of internal agency supports and psychosocial services. External psychological services are preferred but are often found to be unsatisfactory. These findings can support aid organisations to address stigma perceptions that are commonly associated with personal help-seeking, particularly among early career practitioners, and normalise its use as a form of occupational self-care.
Using heterogeneous-condensation agglomeration to enhance removal of fine particles by conventional equipment is an economical and efficient method. Recently proposed Cloud-Air-Purifying (CAP) technology, which combines heterogeneous-condensation agglomeration with a centrifugal field, has significantly improved the removal efficiency of fine particles in gas cyclones. In this work, surfactants were used to further enhance the removal of fine particles. The effect of three surfactants on promoting the removal of fine particles was investigated experimentally. The results indicated that non-ionic surfactant octylphenol polyoxyethylene ether (10) (OP-10) had the best effect on promoting the removal of methylated silica (SiO2-CH3) particles, because it improved heterogeneous condensation of fine particles and collision agglomeration between particles by improving the surface wettability, resulting in the formation of larger aggregates. Furthermore, the interaction energy, mean square displacement and hydrogen bond interactions in different simulation systems were calculated by molecular dynamics simulation to study the mechanism of surfactants on improving the surface wettability. The simulation results demonstrated the hydrophobic tail chains of OP-10 molecules spontaneously adsorbed on the nonpolar SiO2(0 0 1)–CH3 surface through the Van der Waals interaction, which changed the surface polarity and reduced the solid–liquid interaction energy. Meanwhile, hydrogen bonds were formed between polar head groups and water molecules, which enhanced the interaction between water molecules and the surface. Moreover, the mobility of water molecules is enhanced by surfactant molecules. The spatial distribution of the head group and tail chain of surfactant is an important factor affecting the surface wettability. This work is of great importance for enhancing the removal of fine particles in the dedusting system with heterogeneous-condensation agglomeration technology.
Heparin, a sulfate-containing linear polysaccharide, has proven preclinical and clinical efficacy for a variety of disorders. Heparin, including unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), and ultra-low-molecular-weight heparin (ULMWH), is administered systematically, in the form of a solution in the clinic. However, it is eliminated quickly, due to its short half-life, especially in the case of UFH and LMWH. Frequent administration is required to ensure its therapeutic efficacy, leading to poor patient compliance. Moreover, heparin is used to coat blood-contacting medical devices to avoid thrombosis through physical interaction. However, the short-term durability of heparin on the surface of the stent limits its further application. Various advanced sustained-release strategies have been used to prolong its half-life in vivo as preparation technologies have improved. Herein, we briefly introduce the pharmacological activity and mechanisms of action of heparin. In addition, the strategies for sustained release of heparin are comprehensively summarized.
Can we trust our eyes? Until recently, we rarely had to question whether what we see is indeed what exists, but this is changing. Artificial neural networks can now generate realistic images that challenge our perception of what is real. This new reality can have significant implications for cybersecurity, counterfeiting, fake news, and border security. We investigated how the human brain encodes and interprets realistic artificially generated images using behaviour and brain imaging. We found that we could reliably decode AI generated faces using people's neural activity. However, while at a group level people performed near chance classifying real and realistic fakes, participants tended to interchange the labels, classifying real faces as realistic fakes and vice versa. Understanding this difference between brain and behavioural responses may be key in determining the 'real' in our new reality. Stimuli, code, and data for this study can be found at https://osf.io/n2z73/.
Ecological resilience is the capacity of a system to maintain function following disturbance. With the frequency and severity of wildfire activity increasing due to warmer and drier global climate conditions, there are increasing reports of declines in ecological resilience and ecosystems at risk of collapse due to post-fire recovery failure. Observational monitoring of post-fire recovery at the landscape scale is important to understand drivers, identify vulnerable ecosystems and prioritize management intervention to support resilience. Defining a suitably representative baseline condition to compare post-fire recovery states against can be challenging, particularly in broad-scale remote sensing approaches. Here, we introduce a new approach to monitoring post-fire recovery by satellite imagery, the post-fire stability index. The method is based on the concept that a disturbed system state will be reflected by increasing or decreasing rates of system change, while undisturbed or recovered system states are characterised by near-zero rates of change. This reflects the typical pattern of diminishing rate of change in post-fire recovery trajectories. We demonstrate strong performance and suitability of the post-fire stability index in comparison to alternative approaches through time series analyses, and independent validation from post-fire vegetation surveys taken at one-year post-fire. The post-fire stability index was consistently the best performing model across all field measures of vegetative response following the fire event. In ecosystems which exhibit post-fire resprouting, higher values in the post-fire stability index were associated with higher levels of field-based measures of foliage projective cover and canopy cover (+/− resprouting), and with lower levels of basal and no resprouting. The post-fire stability index provides a relatively simple and practical solution for consistent broad-scale monitoring post-fire recovery with satellite imagery, which together with standardised fire severity mapping, provide extensive opportunities for further fire and landscape ecology research.
This paper studies the sector stability problem of opinion dynamics with stubborn extremists, where interactions among individuals can be cooperative or antagonistic. The sector stability is just considered for equilibrium points lying on the boundary. First, two types of sufficient conditions are presented for the sector stability of an equilibrium point. Based on one of the sufficient conditions, an algorithm is proposed to estimate the attraction region of a sector stable equilibrium point. Next, some necessary conditions are presented for the sector stability of an equilibrium point. Moreover, it is also discussed about under what conditions there does not exist an equilibrium point that is sector stable. Finally, three numerical examples are presented to illustrate the validity of the obtained results.
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Erika Gyengési
  • School of Medicine
Garry Stevens
  • Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI)
Emma S George
  • School of Science and Health
Evelyn Smith
  • School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Partha Gangopadhyay
  • School of Business
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