Western Sydney University
  • Sydney, Australia
Recent publications
The paper seeks to determine whether Bitcoin behaves differently from forex markets and Gold, and whether it offers any diversification, hedging, or safe-haven potential. A Markov regime-switching regression model is employed to determine the relationship between Bitcoin, the real economic activity, foreign exchange markets, financial markets, Energy, and Gold. The results indicate that, unlike USD/EUR and Gold, besides other variables, Bitcoin exhibits significant deviations in terms of its association with other financial and economic variables. Bitcoin appears to be strikingly positively associated with equity markets in both regimes. This may limit its potential to either act as a hedge or a safe-haven for US Equity markets. Bitcoin also deviates considerably from Gold and USD/EUR as it is not affected by the same set of variables as Gold or USD/EUR are under either regime. Moreover, while Gold appears to offer considerably weak safe-haven properties, particularly against equity, Bitcoin fails to be a safe-haven for any of the assets under study. The results, however, indicate that the properties of Bitcoin may range between a diversifier and a hedge, however, such potential of Bitcoin must be viewed with caution owing to the large volatility exhibited by Bitcoin.
Background Our previous strain‐specific systematic review (SR) showed that Lactobacillus reuteri (LR) DSM 17938 reduces necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), late onset sepsis (LOS), and time to full feeds (TFF) in preterm infants. Considering progress in the field over last six years, we aimed to update our SR. Methods SR of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non‐RCTs was conducted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, EMCARE, Cochrane CENTRAL and grey literature databases were searched in June 2023. Primary outcomes: TFF, NEC ≥Stage II, LOS, and all‐cause mortality. Meta‐analysis was performed using random effects model. Certainty of Evidence (CoE) was summarized using GRADE guidelines. Trial Sequential Analysis (TSA) was applied for the outcome of NEC in RCTs. Results Twelve RCTs (n=2284) and four non‐RCTs (n=1616) were included. Of them, six RCTs and three non‐RCTs were new. Meta‐analysis of RCTs showed LR significantly reduced TFF [MD: ‐2.70 (95% CI: ‐4.90 to ‐1.31) days; p=0.0001), NEC ≥stage II [RR: 0.57 (95% CI: 0.37‐ 0.87); p=0.009, 8 RCTs) and LOS [RR: 0.72 (95% CI: 0.54‐0.97); p=0.03). There was no significant reduction in mortality [RR: 0.76 (95% CI: 0.54‐1.06); p=0.10). TSA showed diversity adjusted required information size (DARIS) as 3624 for NEC. Overall CoE: ‘very low’. Meta‐analysis of four non‐RCTs showed LR significantly reduced NEC [OR: 0.34 (95% CI: 0.15‐0.77; p=0.01) but not LOS. LR had no adverse effects. Conclusions Very low CoE suggests that LR DSM 17938 may reduce risk of NEC, LOS, and shorten TFF in preterm infants. Additional RCTs are required to increase sample size and CoE. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
In view of increasing threats arising from the shortage of fresh water, there is an urgent need to propose sustainable technologies for the exploitation of unconventional water sources. As a derivative of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), microbial desalination cell (MDC) has the potential of desalinating saline/brackish water while simultaneously generating electricity, as well as treating wastewater. Therefore, it is worth investigating its practicability as a potential sustainable desalination technology. This review article first introduces the fundamentals and annual trends of MDCs. The desalination of diverse types of solutions using MDCs along with their life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) and economic analysis is studied later. Finally, limitations and areas for improvement, prospects, and potential applications of this technology are discussed. Due to the great advantages of MDCs, improving their design, building materials, efficiency, and throughput will offer them as a significant alternative to the current desalination technologies.
To identify the active constituents, core targets, immunomodulatory functions and potential mechanisms of Dizhi pill (DZP) in the treatment of myopia. The active constituents and drug targets of DZP were searched in the TCMSP, Herb databases and correlational studies. The targets of myopia were searched in the TTD, Genecards, OMIM and Drugbank databases. Gene expression profile data of GSE136701 were downloaded from the GEO database and subjected to WGCNA and DEG analysis to screen for significant modules and targets of myopia. Intersectional targets of myopia and DZP and core targets of myopia were analyzed through the String database. The GO and KEGG enrichment analyses of the interested targets were conducted. Cibersort algorithm was used for immune infiltration analysis to investigate the immunomodulatory functions of DZP on myopia. Autodock was used to dock the important targets and active constituents. Eight targets (STAT3, PIK3CA, PIK3R1, MAPK1, MAPK3, HSP90AA1, MIP, and LGSN) and 5 active constituents (Quercetin, Beta-sitosterol, Diincarvilone A, Ferulic acid methyl ester, and Naringenin) were identified from DZP. In pathways identified by the GO and KEGG enrichment analyses, “ATP metabolic process” and “AGE-RAGE diabetes complication signaling” pathways were closely related to the mechanisms of DZP in the treatment of myopia. Molecular docking showed that both the intersectional targets and core targets of myopia could bind stably and spontaneously with the active constituents of DZP. This study suggested that the mechanisms of DZP in the treatment of myopia were related to active constituents: Quercetin, Beta-sitosterol, Diincarvilone A, Ferulic acid methyl ester and Naringenin, intersectional targets: STAT3, PIK3CA, PIK3R1, MAPK1, MAPK3, and HSP90AA1, core targets of myopia: MIP and LGSN, AGE-RAGE signaling pathway, positive regulation of ATP metabolic process pathway and immunomodulatory functions.
Background Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer report higher levels of depression and anxiety and lower health related quality of life than non-LGBTQI AYAs with cancer, and LGBTQI adults with cancer. This mixed methods study examined LGBTQI AYAs' experiences of cancer and cancer care, to understand these health disparities. Methods Online surveys were completed by 95 LGBTQI AYAs with cancer (age 16–39 years); 19 AYAs took part in a one-to-one semi structured interview. Reflexive thematic analysis of interviews and open-ended survey responses facilitated in-depth examination of subjective experiences; descriptive statistics performed on individual closed-ended survey items identified the percentage of AYAs reporting experiences identified in the qualitative analysis. Results 63% of AYAs reported high or very high distress on the K10. Three themes were identified in the qualitative analysis: 1) “Identities in flux”, included subthemes “Cancer disrupts developing identities, and involvement with LGBTQI communities”; “Internalized prejudice impacts identities”; and “Cancer facilitates identities and embodiment”. 2) “Invisibility in cancer care”, included subthemes “Navigating disclosure amongst cis-heteronormative assumptions”, “Discrimination and paternalistic cancer care” and “ Cis-heteronormativity within cancer information”. 3) “Precarious social support for LGBTQI AYAs with cancer”, included subthemes “ Social support during cancer is helpful for LGBTQI AYAs”, “LGBTQI AYAs navigate limited support”, and“ Finding cancer peer support networks is difficult for LGBTQI AYAs”. Conclusions LGBTQI AYAs with cancer experience psychosocial vulnerabilities related to identity development, experiences of care, and social support networks. These factors likely contribute to their previously evidenced elevated risk of distress, relative to both non-LGBTQI AYAs and LGBTQI older adults. AYAs affected by cancer may require additional, tailored supportive care, including targeted information resources, LGBTQI AYA specific cancer support groups, or partnerships and referrals to LGBTQI community organisations. Additionally, it is evident that health care professionals and cancer services have much work to do in ensuring LGBTQI AYAs receive affirming and appropriate care across paediatric and adult clinical settings. They must move beyond assuming all patients are cisgender, heterosexual and do not have intersex variations unless otherwise stated; work to signal inclusivity and facilitate disclosure; and be able to respond appropriately with tailored information and care, which is inclusive of LGBTQI partners, chosen family, and support systems.
Background Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) is a common condition worldwide. Women report being unprepared about PPGP, and state they receive little recognition and support from healthcare professionals. Situated within the Common-Sense Model and Convergent Care Theory, this study sought to gain a conceptual understanding of the perceptions, beliefs and experiences of healthcare professionals who provide routine care for women with PPGP in Australia. Methods A qualitative research design, using individual, semi-structured interviews with purposive sampling of healthcare professionals (N=27) consisting of doctors (N=9), midwives (N=9) and physiotherapists (N=9). Most participants were female (22/27) with a range of professional experience. An interview guide consisting of open-ended questions was used with a flexible and responsive approach. Thematic analysis was performed where interview data were transcribed, coded, grouped into meaningful categories and then constructed into broad themes. Results Four themes were identified: 1. Identity and impact of PPGP; 2. What works well?; 3. What gets in the way?; and 4. Quality care: What is needed? Healthcare professionals recognised PPGP as a common and disabling condition, which created a large impact on a woman’s life during pregnancy. Stepped-level care, including education and physiotherapy intervention, was seen to be helpful and led to a positive prognosis. Barriers at patient, clinician and organisation levels were identified and led to consequences for women with PPGP not receiving the care they need. Conclusion This study elucidates important implications for health care delivery. Acknowledging that PPGP is a common condition causing difficulty for many women, healthcare professionals identified strong teamwork and greater clinical experience as important factors in being able to deliver appropriate healthcare. Whilst healthcare professionals reported being committed to caring for women during pregnancy, busy workloads, attitudes towards curability, and a lack of formal education were identified as barriers to care. The findings suggest timely access, clear referral pathways and an integrated approach are required for best care practice for women with PPGP. A greater emphasis on the need for multidisciplinary models of care during pregnancy is evident.
How to reduce landslide risk economically and effectively is a very meaningful and challenging research topic. In particular, it is difficult and expensive to completely control deep-seated colluvial landslides. Taking the Kangjiapo landslide in Wanzhou district, Chongqing city, China, as a case, this study focuses on measures to prevent and control the risks of deep-seated colluvial landslides through detailed investigation and monitoring. The Kangjiapo landslide is located in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, and it is part of a famous ancient landslide named the Pipaping landslide. The steep sliding surface in the rear was not found during the first treatment; the Kangjiapo landslide has been reactivated since 2015. Field investigations, monitoring, borehole, and related tests were conducted to identify the landslide characteristics and mechanisms. The landslide deformation was not spatially or temporally uniform according to monitoring data analysis. The landslide is less likely to fail in general because the sliding surface in the front is very gentle. The reasons for Kangjiapo landslide reactivation could include the decline of the reservoir water level, a steep sliding surface in the rear, and the existence of a sliding zone with low strength due to a long period of reservoir immersion. In order to reduce the deep-seated landslide risk, landslide mitigation measures including stabilizing piles nearby the road, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, and MEMS inclinometer in the platform are proposed. This landslide control practice provides a new idea for the deep-seated colluvial landslides.
Vulnerable communities (including people from refugee, Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse, and low socioeconomic backgrounds) represent the most at-risk populations facing inequities and negative health, economic, and social outcomes. The recent COVID-19 pandemic both highlighted and fuelled these disparities. Community gardening has emerged as a community-based solution to address these inequities, yet the research literature has largely considered outcomes for the general population rather than those with the most need. This paper represents the first systematic review to summarise the evidence on the broad impact of community gardening on outcomes for vulnerable populations. A systematic search of 13 databases (PubMed, Medline, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, Education Source, Education Resources Information Center, Psychology and Behavioral Science Collection, SocINDEX, and Allied Health and Complementary Medicine Database) for English language articles from 1985 to 2022 was conducted. There were 33 studies identified where females were substantially overrepresented in the studies compared to males, and the main criteria for vulnerability included low socioeconomic-status and culturally diverse populations. Findings revealed that community gardening provides a wide range of benefits for vulnerable populations, with social connection, health, education, and nutrition being the more commonly cited. A relative emphasis on benefits of social connections, education, and nutrition is apparent for vulnerable populations in comparison to reviews considering the general population. The quality of studies was evaluated as moderate with little information provided about program characteristics. These shortcomings reduce the understanding of what characteristics are most likely to result in improvements and limit the capacity of practitioners to translate research into policy and practice for vulnerable communities.
Research documenting lived experiences of welfare rarely pays sustained attention to the multicultural realities that welfare users occupy. This book brings together Anglo-settler, Indigenous and minority ethnic stories of navigating the practical hurdles and cultural assumptions of Australia’s welfare system. It argues for more sustained attention to culturally diverse lives on welfare without reifying cultural difference or reducing people to the category of ‘welfare recipient’. The book is based on ethnographic research in southwest Sydney, a region popularly known as one of the most multicultural in Australia and targeted as a ‘disadvantaged area’ in place-based conditional welfare trials. The aim of foregrounding diverse and multifaceted accounts of welfare is informed by the author’s own experience of growing up in a poor, white family reliant on welfare. The book takes ‘responsibility’ and ‘vulnerability’ as starting points to explore how dominant cultural scripts about need and support interact with the diverse versions of obligation that make up everyday life. The book problematises how welfare policy moralises the actions, life chances and choices of people receiving government income support. At the same time, it shows the multiple cultural resources welfare users draw on to position themselves as moral subjects in strained circumstances.
We provide evidence that the roughness of chords – a psychoacoustic property resulting from unresolved frequency components – is associated with perceived musical stability (operationalized as finishedness) in participants with differing levels and types of exposure to Western or Western-like music. Three groups of participants were tested in a remote cloud forest region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), and two groups in Sydney, Australia (musicians and non-musicians). Unlike prominent prior studies of consonance/dissonance across cultures, we framed the concept of consonance as stability rather than as pleasantness. We find a negative relationship between roughness and musical stability in every group including the PNG community with minimal experience of musical harmony. The effect of roughness is stronger for the Sydney participants, particularly musicians. We find an effect of harmonicity – a psychoacoustic property resulting from chords having a spectral structure resembling a single pitched tone (such as produced by human vowel sounds) – only in the Sydney musician group, which indicates this feature's effect is mediated via a culture dependent mechanism. In sum, these results underline the importance of both universal and cultural mechanisms in music cognition, and they suggest powerful implications for understanding the origin of pitch structures in Western tonal music as well as on possibilities for new musical forms that align with humans' perceptual and cognitive biases. They also highlight the importance of how consonance/dissonance is operationalized and explained to participants-particularly those with minimal prior exposure to musical harmony.
Abstract Background Night eating syndrome (NES) is a unique eating disorder characterised by evening hyperphagia and nocturnal ingestions which cause significant distress and/or impairment in functioning. Despite the growing literature, NES remains poorly understood and under diagnosed. As such, this study aims to compare the prevalence of physical health conditions in participants with NES when compared to participants without an eating disorder (ED) and participants with other eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa (AN), binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN)) in a general population Australian sample of adults. Methods The data for this study were obtained from the 2017 Health Omnibus Survey (HOS) a multi-stage, cross-sectional survey, conducted by Harrison Research in South Australia. This current study focused on 2547 participants over 18 years of age and specific questions from this population survey including those related to participant demographics and health. Results This study identified that participants who screened positive for night eating syndrome (spNES) when compared to participants with other eating disorders (ED) or no ED diagnosis, were significantly more likely to have an increased age, be female, have lower levels of education and have lower household income. Additionally, the spNES group was significantly associated with sleep apnoea (p = 0.031), insomnia or other sleep problems (p
Background Global food systems are failing adolescents. Poor diet quality driving malnutrition among adolescents around the world and the quality of foods eaten by adolescents not only determines their health and development, but also is the foundation of thriving communities. The present study aimed to engage adolescents across low‐income, middle‐income and high‐income countries to determine their lived experience of food, food systems and the challenges they face within their food systems. Methods The study used the Distributed Data Generation method pioneered by the Young and Resilient Research Centre, at Western Sydney University, to conduct workshops with adolescents aged 10–19 years across the globe in collaboration with UNICEF. Participatory workshops were designed to capture qualitative data on adolescents lived experiences and perspectives of their food systems, food sustainability and food security, and how improvements can be made. Thematic analysis was undertaken to analyse qualitative data. Descriptive statistics were generated for demographic data captured. Results Six hundred and forty adolescents across 18 countries participated. Three key themes emerged, which included experiences of food, challenges to food systems and strengthening food systems. Adolescents saw potential in empowering communities to create change and contribute to food system transformation. Adolescents called for inclusion in decision‐making from local food practice to large global policy development. Conclusions The study results demonstrated how adolescents experience their food systems and want to see sustainable change, although they also want to be a part of the change. Adolescents described that there needs to be an active choice to work with them, listen to their lived experience and across all levels of society strengthen food systems. To achieve this, adolescents need to be involved in decision‐making around their food systems for a sustainable future.
Owing to critical climate change issues, the environmental responsibility of multinational corporations (MNCs) has recently attracted considerable attention from academia. However, few studies have examined how corporate governance (CG) affects MNCs’ environmental strategies during internationalization. Therefore, informed by the Institutional and stakeholder theories, this study focuses on Fortune Global 500 MNCs and theoretically discusses and empirically tests the relationship between internationalization and MNCs’ environmental performance and the moderating effects of CG on this relationship. The results indicate that there is a positive impact of internationalization on MNCs’ environmental performance and a positive moderating effect of board independence. Moreover, additional analyses show the joint moderating effects of CG on this relationship. Our results emphasize the importance of MNCs’ environmental responsibility that focuses on global stakeholders’ demands, how board independence strengthens board attention to stakeholders’ concerns, and why the joint effects of CG enhance environmental performance. Finally, suggestions for promoting MNCs’ environmental responsibility by strengthening CG regulations targeting policymakers and MNCs are provided.
Flood is one of the worst natural disasters, which causes the damage of billions of dollars each year globally. To reduce the flood damage, we need to estimate design floods accurately, which are used in the design and operation of water infrastructure. For gauged catchments, flood frequency analysis can be used to estimate design floods; however, for ungauged catchments, regional flood frequency analysis (RFFA) is used. This paper compares two popular RFFA techniques, namely the quantile regression technique (QRT) and the index flood method (IFM). A total of 181 catchments are selected for this study from south-east Australia. Eight predictor variables are used to develop prediction equations. It has been found that IFM outperforms QRT in general. For higher annual exceedance probabilities (AEPs), IFM generally demonstrates a smaller estimation error than QRT; however, for smaller AEPs (e.g. 1 in 100), QRT provides more accurate quantile estimates. The IFM provides comparable design flood estimates with the Australian Rainfall and Runoff—the national guide for design flood estimation in Australia.
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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 Psychology
Nasim Foroughi
  • School of Medicine
Sydney, Australia