• A new and intuitive test for zero modification

      Wilson, Paul; Einbeck, Jochen; School of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.; Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom. (Sage, 2018-04-05)
      While there do exist several statistical tests for detecting zero modification in count data regression models, these rely on asymptotical results and do not transparently distinguish between zero inflation and zero deflation. In this manuscript, a novel non-asymptotic test is introduced which makes direct use of the fact that the distribution of the number of zeros under the null hypothesis of no zero modification can be described by a Poisson-binomial distribution. The computation of critical values from this distribution requires estimation of the mean parameter under the null hypothesis, for which a hybrid estimator involving a zero-truncated mean estimator is proposed. Power and nominal level attainment rates of the new test are studied, which turn out to be very competitive to those of the likelihood ratio test. Illustrative data examples are provided.
    • A new measure of molecular attractions between nanoparticles near kT adhesion energy

      Kendall, Kevin; Dhir, Aman; Du, Shangfeng (IOP Publishing, 2009-03)
      The weak molecular attractions of nanoparticles are important because they drive self-assembly mechanisms, allow processing in dispersions e.g. of pigments, catalysts or device structures, influence disease through the attraction of viruses to cells and also cause potential toxic effects through nanoparticle interference with biomolecules and organs. The problem is to understand these small forces which pull nanoparticles into intimate contact; forces which are comparable with 3kT/2z the thermal impact force experienced by an average Brownian particle hitting a linear repulsive potential of range z. Here we describe a new method for measuring the atomic attractions of nanoparticles based on the observation of aggregates produced by these small forces. The method is based on the tracking of individual monosize nanoparticles whose diameter can be calculated from the Stokes–Einstein analysis of the tracks in aqueous suspensions. Then the doublet aggregates are distinguished because they move slower and are also very much brighter than the dispersed nanoparticles. By finding the ratio of doublets to singlets, the adhesive energy between the particles can be calculated from known statistical thermodynamic theory using assumptions about the shape of the interaction potential. In this way, very small adhesion energies of 2kT have been measured, smaller than those seen previously by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM).
    • A new species of death adder (Acanthophis: Serpentes: Elapidae) from north-western Australia

      Maddock, Simon T; Ellis, Ryan J; Doughty, Paul; Smith, Lawrence A; Wüster, Wolfgang (Magnolia Press, 2015-08-28)
      Australian death adders (genus Acanthophis) are highly venomous snakes with conservative morphology and sit-and-wait predatory habits, with only moderate taxonomic diversity that nevertheless remains incompletely understood. Analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences and morphological characteristics of death adders in northern Australia reveal the existence of a new species from the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which we describe as Acanthophis cryptamydros sp. nov. Although populations from the Kimberley were previously considered conspecific with Northern Territory death adders of the A. rugosus complex, our mtDNA analysis indicates that its closest relatives are desert death adders, A. pyrrhus. We found that A. cryptamydros sp. nov. is distinct in both mtDNA and nDNA analysis, and possesses multiple morphological characteristics that allow it to be distinguished from all other Acanthophis species. This study further supports the Kimberley region as an area with high endemic biodiversity.
    • A New Species of New Guinea Worm-Eating Snake, Genus Toxicocalamus (Serpentes: Elapidae), From the Star Mountains of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, With a Revised Dichotomous Key to the Genus

      O’Shea, Mark; Parker, Fred; Kaiser, Hinrich (2015-07)
      We describe a new species of New Guinea vermivorous snake (Toxicocalamus) from a single specimen collected at Wangbin in the Star Mountains, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The new species is the largest known member of the genus and can be differentiated from all other Toxicocalamus by a combination of the following characters: large size (total length of the holotype 1,200 mm), dorsal head scutes in the typical ‘‘colubrid-elapid dorsal nine-scute arrangement’’; separate, single preocular and paired postoculars; single anterior temporal and single or paired posterior temporals; six supralabials, with third and fourth supralabial contacting the orbit; dorsal scales in 15–15–15 rows; 203 ventral scales, 29 subcaudal scales; and a divided anal plate. Its erstwhile status, misidentified as Micropechis ikaheka in the collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, demonstrates the need for detailed examination of existing collections and is indicative of hidden diversity yet to be identified, not only in the field but also on the shelves of museum collections. We also provide a revised key to the genus Toxicocalamus.
    • A new species of small and highly abbreviated caecilian (Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Seychelles island of Praslin, and a recharacterization of Hypogeophis brevis Boulenger, 1911

      A new species of indotyphlid caecilian amphibian, Hypogeophis pti sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens from the Seychelles island of Praslin. The type series was collected in 2013 and 2014, and a referred specimen previously identified as H. brevis Boulenger, 1911 was collected from an unspecified Seychelles locality in 1957. The new species most closely resembles the Seychelles endemic Hypogeophis brevis in being short (maximum known total length in life ca. 120 mm) and long snouted, but differs by having a less anteriorly positioned tentacular aperture and fewer primary annuli and vertebrae. In having only 67–69 vertebrae, H. pti sp. nov. is the most abbreviated extant species of caecilian reported to date. 
    • A new species of the Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) collegalensis (Beddome, 1870) complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Western India

      A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) from the C. collegalensis complex is described based on a series of specimens from western and central India. Morphological and molecular data support the distinctiveness of the new form, which can be diagnosed from other Cyrtodactylus (including other Geckoella) species by its small body size (snout to vent length to 56 mm), the absence of precloacal and femoral pores, no enlarged preanal or femoral scales, and a dorsal scalation consisting wholly of small, granular scales. The new species is most closely related to C. collegalensis, C. speciosus and C. yakhuna, from which it differs by the presence of a patch of enlarged roughly hexagonal scales on the canthus rostralis and beneath the angle of jaw, its relatively long limbs and narrow body, and a dorsal colour pattern of 4–6 pairs of dark spots.
    • A Novel Birefrigent Photonic Crystal Fiber Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor

      Otupiri, R.; Akowuah, E. K.; Haxha, S.; Ademgil, H.; AbdelMalek, F.; Aggoun, A. (IEEE, 2014-08)
      A numerical analysis of a novel birefringent photonic crystal fiber (PCF) biosensor constructed on the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) model is presented in this paper. This biosensor configuration utilizes circular air holes to introduce birefringence into the structure. This PCF biosensor model shows promise in the area of multiple detection using HEx 11 and HEy 11 modes to sense more than one analyte. A numerical study of the biosensor is performed in two interrogation modes: amplitude and wavelength. Sensor resolution values with spectral interrogation yielded 5 10 5 RIU (refractive index units) for HEx 11 modes and 6 10 5 RIU for HEy 11 modes, whereas 3 10 5 RIU for HEx 11 modes and 4 10 5 RIU for HEy 11 modes are demonstrated for the amplitude interrogation.
    • A novel mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of aspirin and salicylates

      Bashir, Asma'u I.J.; Kankipati, Chandras S.; Jones, Sarah; Newman, Robert M.; Safrany, Stephen T.; Perry, Christopher J.; Nicholl, Iain D. (Spandidos Publications Ltd, 2019-01-29)
      Epidemiological studies indicate that long-term aspirin usage reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and may protect against other non-CRC associated adenocarcinomas, including oesophageal cancer. A number of hypotheses have been proposed with respect to the molecular action of aspirin and other non‑steroidal anti‑inflammatory drugs in cancer development. The mechanism by which aspirin exhibits toxicity to CRC has been previously investigated by synthesising novel analogues and derivatives of aspirin in an effort to identify functionally significant moieties. Herein, an early effect of aspirin and aspirin-like analogues against the SW480 CRC cell line was investigated, with a particular focus on critical molecules in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) pathway. The present authors proposed that aspirin, diaspirin and analogues, and diflunisal (a salicylic acid derivative) may rapidly perturb EGF and EGF receptor (EGFR) internalisation. Upon longer incubations, the diaspirins and thioaspirins may inhibit EGFR phosphorylation at Tyr1045 and Tyr1173. It was additionally demonstrated, using a qualitative approach, that EGF internalisation in the SW480 cell line may be directed to endosomes by fumaryldiaspirin using early endosome antigen 1 as an early endosomal marker and that EGF internalisation may also be perturbed in oesophageal cell lines, suggestive of an effect not only restricted to CRC cells. Taken together and in light of our previous findings that the aspirin-like analogues can affect cyclin D1 expression and nuclear factor-κB localisation, it was hypothesized that aspirin and aspirin analogues significantly and swiftly perturb the EGFR axis and that the protective activity of aspirin may in part be explained by perturbed EGFR internalisation and activation. These findings may also have implications in understanding the inhibitory effect of aspirin and salicylates on wound healing, given the critical role of EGF in the response to tissue trauma.
    • A Novel Method for Cleaning Reaction Vessels.

      Cox, Jeffrey J.; Gibbons, M. N. N.; Hudson, I. D.; Williams, Craig D. (NISCAIR, 2002)
      The objective of zeolite synthesis is the production of pure phase material and a study by Lowe et al. showed that small and possibly significant amounts of template remaining in supposedly clean vessels could influence the crystallisation of subsequent gels. Two cleaning methods are widely used to clean the synthesis reaction vessels i.e. hydrofluoric acid or a solution of sodium hydroxide at reaction temperature, but their efficacy has not been tested. Zeolite omega was synthesized with both organic and inorganic templates and, following synthesis, the reaction vessels were cleaned by a novel method, described here, using hydrofluoric acid, crown ethers, and ultrapure water. This new method was compared to the standard methods by using a ‘scavenging gel’ to test the cleanliness of the vessels. The ‘scavenging gel’ produced some crystalline material when used following conventional cleaning whereas, when the vessels were cleaned using the method described here, the gel failed to crystallise. Conductivity measurements have proved a reliable index to the cleanliness of the reaction vessels.
    • A review of factors affecting electrostatic charging of pharmaceuticals and adhesive mixtures for inhalation

      Kaialy, Waseem (Elsevier, 2016-02-02)
      Pharmaceutical powders are typically insulators consisting of relatively small particles and thus they usually exhibit significant electrostatic charging behaviours. In the inhalation field, the measurement of electrostatic charge is an imperative stage during pharmaceutical formulation development. The electrostatic charge is affected by the interplay of many factors. This article reviews the factors affecting the electrostatic charging of pharmaceutical powders with a focus on dry powder inhalations. The influences of particle resistivity, size distribution, shape distribution, surface roughness, polymorphic form and hygroscopicity, as well as the effects of moisture uptake, environmental conditions, pharmaceutical processing (i.e., milling, sieving, spray drying and blending), and storage on the electrostatic charge behaviours of pharmaceuticals, with focus on inhalation powders, were reviewed. The influence of electrostatic charge on the performance of dry powder inhaler formulations in terms of drug content homogeneity, the passage of drug through the inhaler device, drug-carrier adhesion/detachment, and drug deposition on the respiratory airways were discussed. The understanding gained is crucial to improving the safety, quality, and efficiency of the pharmaceutical inhalation products.
    • A review of photovoltaic module technologies for increased performance in tropical climate

      Ogbomo, Osarumen O.; Amalu, Emeka H.; Ekere, N.N.; Olagbegi, P.O. (Elsevier, 2016-11-23)
      The global adoption and use of photovoltaic modules (PVMs) as the main source of energy is the key to realising the UN Millennium Development Goals on Green Energy. The technology – projected to contribute about 20% of world energy supply by 2050, over 60% by 2100 and leading to 50% reduction in global CO2 emissions – is threatened by its poor performance in tropical climate. Such performance discourages its regional acceptance. The magnitude of crucial module performance influencing factors (cell temperature, wind speed and relative humidity) reach critical values of 90 °C, 0.2 m/s and 85%, respectively in tropical climates which negatively impact module performance indices which include power output (PO), power conversion efficiency (PCE) and energy payback time (EPBT). This investigation reviews PVM technologies which include cell, contact and interconnection technologies. It identifies critical technology route(s) with potential to increase operational reliability of PVMs in the tropics when adopted. The cell performance is measured by PO, PCE and EPBT while contacts and interconnections performance is measured by the degree of recombination, shading losses and also the rate of thermo-mechanical degradation. It is found that the mono-crystalline cell has the best PCE of 25% while the Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) cell has the lowest EPBT of 8-months. Results show that the poly-crystalline cell has the largest market share amounting to 54%. The CdTe cell exhibits 0% drop in PCE at high-temperatures and low irradiance operations – demonstrating least affected PO by the conditions. Further results establish that back contacts and back-to-back interconnection technologies produce the least recombination losses and demonstrate absence of shading in addition to possessing longest interconnection fatigue life. Based on these findings, the authors propose a PVM comprising CdTe cell, back contacts and back-to-back interconnection technologies as the technology with latent capacity to produce improved performance in tropical climates.
    • A role for human endogenous retrovirus-K (HML-2) in rheumatoid arthritis: investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis.

      Freimanis, Graham L.; Hooley, Paul; Ejtehadi, H Dava; Ali, H. A.; Veitch, A.; Rylance, P.; Alawi, A.; Axford, J.; Nevill, Alan M.; Murray, Paul G.; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
      Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are remnants of ancient retroviral infections within the human genome. These molecular fossils draw parallels with present-day exogenous retroviruses and have been linked previously with immunopathology within rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Mechanisms of pathogenesis for HERV-K in RA such as molecular mimicry were investigated. To clarify a role for HERVs in RA, potential autoantigens implicated in autoimmunity were scanned for sequence identity with retroviral epitopes. Short retroviral peptides modelling shared epitopes were synthesized, to survey anti-serum of RA patients and disease controls. A novel real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was also developed to quantify accurately levels of HERV-K (HML-2) gag expression, relative to normalized housekeeping gene expression. Both serological and molecular assays showed significant increases in HERV-K (HML-2) gag activity in RA patients, compared to disease controls. The real-time PCR assay identified significant up-regulation in HERV-K mRNA levels in RA patients compared to inflammatory and healthy controls. Exogenous viral protein expression and proinflammatory cytokines were also shown to exert modulatory effects over HERV-K (HML-2) transcription. From our data, it can be concluded that RA patients exhibited significantly elevated levels of HERV-K (HML-2) gag activity compared to controls. Additional factors influencing HERV activity within the synovium were also identified. The significant variation in RA patients, both serologically and transcriptionally, may be an indication that RA is an umbrella term for a number of separate disease entities, of which particular HERV polymorphisms may play a role in development.
    • A Simple Method for Predicting the Consequences of Land Management in Urban Habitats

      Young, Christopher; Jarvis, Peter (Springer New York, 2001)
      Land management in urban areas is characterized by the diversity of its goals and its physical expression in the landscape, as well as by the frequency and often rapidity of change. Deliberate or accidental landscape alterations lead to changes in habitat, some of which may be viewed as environmentally beneficial, others as detrimental. Evaluating what is there and how changes may fit into the landscape context is therefore essential if informed land-management decisions are to be made. The method presented here uses a simple ecological evaluation technique, employing a restricted number of evaluation criteria, to gather a spatially complete data set. A geographical information system (GIS) is then used to combine the resulting scores into a habitat value index (HVI). Using examples from Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, existing real-world data are then applied to land-management scenarios to predict probable landscape ecological consequences of habitat alteration. The method provides an ecologically relevant, spatially complete evaluation of a large, diverse area in a short period of time. This means that contextual effects of land-management decisions can be quickly visualized and remedial or mitigating measures incorporated at an early stage without the requirement for complex modeling and prior to the detailed ecological survey. The strengths of the method lie in providing a detailed information baseline that evaluates all habitats, not just the traditional “quality” habitats, in a manner that is accessible to all potential users—from interested individuals to professional planners. (Springer Verlag)
    • A state of the art of required techniques for employing activated carbon in renewable energy powered adsorption applications

      Elsayed, Ahmed M.; Askalany, Ahmed A.; Shea, Andrew D.; Dakkama, Hassan J.; Mahmoud, Saad; Al-Dadah, Raya; Kaialy, Waseem (Elsevier, 2017-05-24)
      This paper reviews, for the first time, the measurement adsorption characteristics techniques to facilitate optimal testing of the validity of adsorbent materials in adsorption applications. Thermo-physical properties, adsorption characteristics and modelling techniques are presented. The characterisation of material thermo-physical properties includes true and bulk densities, specific heat capacity, surface area, pore volume distribution and thermal conductivity. The adsorption characteristics were categorized into adsorption isotherms and kinetics including experimental and theoretical equations. A range of models used in the simulation of adsorption cooling systems is presented and discussed. The paper highlights the conditions for which each measurement technique is most suitable and the limitations of modelling techniques, which is a vital element in the robust assessment of the performance of adsorption cooling units.
    • A study of the chemistry of isomorphous substitution and characterisation of Al-ZSM-5 and Sc-ZSM-5 synthesised in fluoride media.

      Brigden, Clive T.; Williams, Craig D.; Apperley, David C. (MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica distributed exclusively by SpringerLink, 2007)
      Al-ZSM-5 and Sc-ZSM-5 samples have been synthesized using fluoride media at around neutral pH. The synthesis chemistry has been studied and it is shown how the lower tendency of scandium to undergo increased fluoro-complexation (compared with aluminum) coupled with its tendency to hydrolyze is conductive to its isomorphous substitution and framework incorporation into the MFI zeolite structure. Clear unit cell volume expansion, elongation of the c crystallographic axis with increased scandium content, and a strong positive linear correlation between the unit cell volume expansion and the calculated unit cell framework scandium content are shown. Chemical shifts are assigned to tetrahedral and octahedral scandium from 45Sc MAS NMR analysis. Shoulders and a peak at lower wavenumber on the main internal T-O asymmetric stretches in the FT-IR spectra indicate that an interaction exists between framework-incorporated scandium and the SiO4 tetrahedra. It is concluded from the experimental evidence that isomorphous substitution of scandium into the zeolite framework has been achieved.
    • A study to identify the issues and barriers experienced when changes to a patient medication regimen are recommended by pharmacists in the community setting in Australia

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick (International Journal of Current Research, 2018-02-01)
      Background: In Australia, 10-16% acute hospital admissions is related to medication. Home medication review is offered to patients using multiple medications, those with narrow therapeutic-index. It is also recommended for people with recent changes to their medication, who were recently discharged from hospital or who have difficulties with their medication. Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify issues that arise during the process and explore the barriers experienced when changes to patient medication regimen are recommended. Setting: All interviews were conducted in Australia in patients’ homes in accordance with the appropriate guidelines. Method: This study used historical data from past consultations conducted in Australia. The audit was approved by the University of Wolverhampton Human Research Ethics Committee. It is based on anonymised historical data. Main outcome measure: This audit explored improvement in patient health outcomes and service satisfaction Results: Out of 28 home medication reviews, only two occasions were the pharmacist’s recommendations, actioned. On eight occasions, the clinic receptionist acknowledged the receipt of the report but it was not actioned and on 18 occasions no response was received from the doctor or the clinic receptionist. Conclusion: This audit suggests four important areas in the home medication review process require review; the initiation of home medication review, the requirement for diagnostics and recent history to be provided prior to the review, the need to for discussion between the doctors and pharmacists around the recommendations and whether they will be actioned or the reason if they will not be actioned.
    • A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychological predictors of successful assisted reproductive technologies

      Purewal, Satvinder; Chapman, Sarah; van den Akker, Olga; University of Wolverhampton (Springer, 2017-12-07)
      Objectives: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to perform an updated investigation of the effects of depression and anxiety on pregnancy outcomes following assisted reproductive technologies. A bibliographic search was performed using PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, Science Direct databases. Data retrieved were analysed using a random effects model to estimate standardised mean differences. Results: Of the 22 included studies, 18 investigated depression, 15 state anxiety, and seven trait anxiety. Data from 4018 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Results indicated that women who achieved pregnancy or a live birth reported lower levels of depression pre-treatment than those who did not, although the effects were small d = − 0.177 (95% CI − 0.327 to − 0.027, z = 2.309, p = 0.021). These results were consistent under different methodological conditions and the quality of these observational were graded as satisfactory. A similar pattern was seen for state (d = − 0.096, 95% CI − 0.180 to − 0.012: z = 2.241, p = 0.025) and trait anxiety (d = − 0.188, 95% CI − 0.007 to 0.356, z = 2.181, p = 0.029). More research is needed to investigate the impact of psychological variables on assisted reproductive technologies outcomes and moderator influences during assisted reproductive technologies processes.
    • A tin-lead alloy found in a zeolitic amygdale at Carsaig Bay on the Hebridean Isle of Mull.

      Dyer, Alan; Green, David I.; Taylor, Beryl; Williams, Craig D. (Russell Society, 2005)
    • A wireless sensor network border monitoring system: Deployment issues and routing protocols

      Hammoudeh, Mohammad; Al-Fayez, Fayez; Lloyd, Huw; Newman, Robert; Adebisi, Bamidele; Bounceur, Ahcène; Abuarqoub, Abdelrahman; University of Wolverhampton, Manchester Metropolitan University (IEEE, 2017-02-20)
      External border surveillance is critical to the security of every state and the challenges it poses are changing and likely to intensify. Wireless sensor networks (WSN) are a low cost technology that provide an intelligence-led solution to effective continuous monitoring of large, busy, and complex landscapes. The linear network topology resulting from the structure of the monitored area raises challenges that have not been adequately addressed in the literature to date. In this paper, we identify an appropriate metric to measure the quality of WSN border crossing detection. Furthermore, we propose a method to calculate the required number of sensor nodes to deploy in order to achieve a specified level of coverage according to the chosen metric in a given belt region, while maintaining radio connectivity within the network. Then, we contribute a novel cross layer routing protocol, called levels division graph (LDG), designed specifically to address the communication needs and link reliability for topologically linear WSN applications. The performance of the proposed protocol is extensively evaluated in simulations using realistic conditions and parameters. LDG simulation results show significant performance gains when compared with its best rival in the literature, dynamic source routing (DSR). Compared with DSR, LDG improves the average end-to-end delays by up to 95%, packet delivery ratio by up to 20%, and throughput by up to 60%, while maintaining comparable performance in terms of normalized routing load and energy consumption.