Now showing items 1-20 of 2150

    • Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow: five altmetric sources observed over a decade show evolving trends, by research age, attention source maturity and open access status

      Taylor, Michael (Springer, 2023-12-31)
      The attention surrounding research outputs, as partially captured by altmetrics, or alternative metrics, constitutes many varied forms of data. Each of these presents their own activity profile: varying by discipline, by year of publication and by time since published. Some attention accrues through activities that take a moment’s consideration; other attention sources take months or years of consideration and curation before being realized. These differences need to be accommodated by altmetric users. The study of temporal trends in altmetrics is under-developed, and this multi-year observation study addresses some of the deficits in our understanding of altmetric behaviour over time and the history of its development. From a set of 7739 papers sampled over the period 2008-2021 the growth of Mendeley and Twitter is confirmed, alongside an apparent decline in blogging attention. The Open Access Altmetrics Advantage is seen to emerge and evolve over time, with each attention source showing different trends. The existence of late-emergent attention in all attention sources is confirmed. Policy attention is identified as the slowest form of impact studied by altmetrics, and one that strongly favours the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • RAN0013 - Ransomware. Ransomware cyber attacks in the healthcare sector

      Renukappa, Suresh; Subbarao, Chandrashekar; Suresh, Subashini (UK Parliament, 2023-01-30)
    • RAN0011 - Ransomware. Adapting railway sector to repel ransomware cyber threats

      Renukappa, Suresh; Erriadi, Wahiba; Suresh, Subashini; Seabright, Luke (UK Parliament, 2023-01-30)
    • Design, simulation, and mechanical testing of 3D-printed titanium lattice structures

      Bari, Klaudio (MDPI, 2023-01-11)
      Lattice structure topology is a rapidly growing area of research facilitated by developments in additive manufacturing. These low-density structures are particularly promising for their medical applications. However, predicting their performance becomes a challenging factor in their use. In this article, four lattice topologies are explored for their suitability as implants for the replacement of segmental bone defects. The study introduces a unit-cell concept for designing and manufacturing four lattice structures, BCC, FCC, AUX, and ORG, using direct melt laser sintering (DMLS). The elastic modulus was assessed using an axial compression strength test and validated using linear static FEA simulation. The outcomes of the simulation revealed the disparity between the unit cell and the entire lattice in the cases of BCC, FCC, and AUX, while the unit-cell concept of the full lattice structure was successful in ORG. Measurements of energy absorption obtained from the compression testing revealed that the ORG lattice had the highest absorbed energy (350 J) compared with the others. The observed failure modes indicated a sudden collapsing pattern during the compression test in the cases of BCC and FCC designs, while our inspired ORG and AUX lattices outperformed the others in terms of their structural integrity under identical loading conditions.
    • Soil properties influence the toxicity and availability of Zn from ZnO nanoparticles to earthworms

      Lahive, Elma; Matzke, Marianne; Svendsen, Claus; Spurgeon, David; M Pouran, Hamid; Zhang, Hao; Lawlor, Alan; Pereira, M. Gloria; Lofts, Stephen (Elsevier, 2023-01-05)
      To develop models that support site-specific risk assessment for nanoparticles (NPs), a better understanding of how NP transformation processes, bioavailability and toxicity are influenced by soil properties is needed. In this study, the influence of differing soil properties on the bioavailability and toxicity of zinc oxide (ZnO) NPs and ionic Zn to the earthworm Eisenia fetida was investigated. Earthworms were exposed to ZnO_NPs and ionic Zn, between 100 and 4400 mg Zn/kg, in four different natural soils (organic matter content: 1.8–16.7%, soil pH: 5.4–8.3, representing sandy loam to calcareous soils). Survival and reproduction were assessed after 28 and 56 days, respectively. Zn concentrations in soil pore waters were measured while labile concentrations of Zn were measured using an in-situ dynamic speciation technique (diffusive gradient in thin films, DGT). Earthworm Zn tissue concentrations were also measured. Soil properties influenced earthworm reproduction between soil controls, with highest reproductive output in soils with pH values of 6–7. Toxicity was also influenced by soil properties, with EC50s based on total Zn in soil ranging from 694 to >2200 mg Zn/kg for ZnO_NP and 277–734 mg Zn/kg for ionic Zn. Soil pore water and DGT measurements showed good agreement in the relative amount of Zn extracted across the four soils. Earthworms exposed to ZnO_NPs survived higher Zn concentrations in the soils and had higher tissue concentrations compared with ionic Zn exposures, particularly in the high organic content calcareous soil. These higher tissue concentrations in ZnO_NP exposed earthworm could have consequences for the persistence and trophic mobility of Zn in terrestrial systems and need to be further investigated to elucidate if there any longer-term risks associated with sustained input of ZnO_NP to soil.
    • Impact of mechanical stimulation on the life cycle of horticultural plant

      Liu, Zhengguang; Fadiji, Tobi; Yang, Jun; Li, Zhiguo; Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline Laure (Elsevier, 2023-01-11)
      Mechanical stimulation technology is critical in agricultural crop production because it is constantly regarded as a developing green technology to regulate plants to meet people's need for green and healthy agricultural products. Various environmental mechanical stimulation impacts seed germination, seedling growth, flowering date, fruit quantity, and fruit quality throughout the life cycle of a horticultural plant. This study first outlines the basic characteristics of six types of common mechanical stimulation in nature: precipitation, wind, gravity, touch, sound, and vibration. The effects of various mechanical stimulation types on the seed, seedling, flowering, and fruit of horticultural plants throughout their whole life cycle are then presented, as reviewed in the recent 100 years of existing literature. Finally, potential future study directions are discussed. The main challenge in mechanical stimulation technology is to uncover its potential capabilities for regulating and controlling plant development and fruit quality in green agriculture instead of agricultural chemicals.
    • Additional use cases for RFID tags by implementing 3D printed push-button functionalities

      Valo, Pauli; Leino, Mirka; Lehtinen, Tommi; Virkki, Johanna; Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline Laure; Poberznik, Anja; Kortelainen, Joonas; Koivisto, Antti; Merilampi, Sari (IEEE, 2022-11-11)
      Passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) tags can be embedded to objects and to the surrounding environment for identification and sensing. The potential of the technology can be further increased by designing new features, such as push-button functionalities, to the tags. In this study, the additional features were created in a unique way through 3D printing, as it enables the designing and manufacturing of versatile and individually tailored products. The first prototype was created around a commercial tactile push-button, while the second prototype was fully self-designed and based on thick two-sided tape and copper tape. These kinds of structures can be used to sense the state of the battery-free push-button wirelessly from a distance. Both prototype devices were found to be fully functional when tested with a hand-held RFID reader from a 1-meter distance by 4 people. Finally, care professionals were gathered to ideate versatile future use cases for the developed push-button prototypes as an assistive technology. New possibilities for using the buttons were identified especially for persons with limited cognitive and physical capabilities. The next steps are to first design special-purpose push-button objects based on these ideas and then 3D print prototypes of these objects.
    • Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of three Timor-Leste reptiles: first country record of Amblyomma helvolum, with new interactions and an updated list of host species

      Oda, Fabrício H.; Martins, Thiago F.; Labruna, Marcelo B.; O'Shea, Mark; Kaiser, Hinrich (Elsevier, 2023-01-11)
      We report on the presence of the ixodid tick Amblyomma helvolum on three species of reptiles from Timor-Leste. Among a total of 21 host specimens (lizards: 18 four-fingered skinks, Carlia sp. ‘Meleotegi’ and two forest skinks, Sphenomorphus sp. ‘Meleotegi’; snake: one Coelognathus subradiatus) four were parasitized by ticks. Whereas nymphs were associated with the lizards, an adult male was retrieved from the snake. This report is the first of A. helvolum for Timor-Leste, the first for the skink genera Carlia and Sphenomorphus, and the first for C. subradiatus. We present a comprehensive table with updated taxonomy of known associations between A. helvolum and other vertebrates.
    • Skinks of Oceania, New Guinea, and Eastern Wallacea: an underexplored biodiversity hotspot

      Slavenko, Alex; Allison, Allen; Austin, Christopher C.; Bauer, Aaron M.; Brown, Rafe M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Ineich, Ivan; Iova, Bulisa; Karin, Benjamin R.; Kraus, Fred; et al. (CSIRO Publishing, 2023-01-06)
      Context: Skinks comprise the dominant component of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna in Oceania, New Guinea, and Eastern Wallacea (ONGEW). However, knowledge of their diversity is incomplete, and their conservation needs are poorly understood. Aims: To explore the diversity and threat status of the skinks of ONGEW and identify knowledge gaps and conservation needs. Methods: We compiled a list of all skink species occurring in the region and their threat categories designated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. We used available genetic sequences deposited in the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s GenBank to generate a phylogeny of the region’s skinks. We then assessed their diversity within geographical sub-divisions and compared to other reptile taxa in the region. Key results: Approximately 300 species of skinks occur in ONGEW, making it the second largest global hotspot of skink diversity following Australia. Many phylogenetic relationships remain unresolved, and many species and genera are in need of taxonomic revision. One in five species are threatened with extinction, a higher proportion than almost all reptile families in the region. Conclusions: ONGEW contain a large proportion of global skink diversity on <1% of the Earth’s landmass. Many are endemic and face risks such as habitat loss and invasive predators. Yet, little is known about them, and many species require taxonomic revision and threat level re-assessment. Implications: The skinks of ONGEW are a diverse yet underexplored group of terrestrial vertebrates, with many species likely facing extreme risks in the near future. Further research is needed to understand the threats they face and how to protect them
    • The Influence of atmospheric oxygen content on the mechanical properties of selectively laser melted AlSi10Mg TPMS-based lattice

      Baroutaji, Ahmad; Arjunan, Arun; Beal, James; Robinson, John; Coroado, Julio (MDPI, 2023-01-02)
      Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an emerging Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique for the on-demand fabrication of metal parts. The mechanical properties of Selectively Laser Melted (SLMed) parts are sensitive to oxygen concentration within the SLM build chamber due to the formation of oxides, which may lead to various negative consequences. As such, this work explores the influence of SLM atmospheric Oxygen Content (OC) on the macroscopic mechanical properties of SLMed AlSi10Mg bulk material and Triply Periodic Minimal Surface (TPMS) lattices namely primitive, gyroid, and diamond. Standard quasi-static tensile and crushing tests were conducted to evaluate the bulk properties of AlSi10Mg and the compressive metrics of TPMS-lattices. Two oxygen concentrations of 100 ppm and 1000 were used during the SLM fabrication of the experimental specimens. The tensile test data revealed a small influence of the oxygen content on the bulk properties. The low oxygen concentration improved the elongation while slightly reduced the ultimate tensile strength and yield stress. Similarly, the influence of the oxygen content on the compressive responses of TPMS-lattices was generally limited and primarily depended on their geometrical configuration. This study elucidates the role of SLM atmospheric oxygen content on the macroscopic behaviour of SLMed AlSi10Mg parts.
    • Bioactive bacterial cellulose wound dressings for burns with collagen in-situ and chitosan ex-situ impregnation

      Pasaribu, Khatarina Meldawati; Ilyas, Syafruddin; Tamrin, Tamrin; Radecka, Izabela; Swingler, Sam; Gupta, Abhishek; Stamboulis, Artemis G; Gea, Saharman (Elsevier, 2023-01-10)
      Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a biopolymer that commonly used for wound dressings regarding to its high in-vitro and in-vivo biocompatibility. Moreover, the three-dimensional fibers in BC become an advantageous for bioactive wound dressing application as they serve as templates for impregnation other supportive materials. Chitosan and collagen are two of the materials that can be impregnated to optimize the BC properties for serve as wound dressing material. Collagen can help skin cells grow on the wound sites, where chitosan has anti-bacterial properties and can bind red blood cells. BC-based wound dressings were made by impregnating collagen via in-situ method followed by immersing chitosan via ex-situ method into BC fibers for 24 h. The intermolecular interactions of amine groups in the wound dressing were confirmed by FTIR. The XRD diffractogram showed wider peaks at 14.2°, 16.6°, and 22.4° due to the presence of collagen and chitosan molecules in the BC fibers. SEM images confirmed that chitosan and collagen could penetrate BC fibers well. Other tests, such as water content, porosity, antibacterial properties, and haemocompatibility, indicated that the wound dressing was non-hemolytic. In-vivo test indicated that BC/collagen/chitosan wound dressing supported the wound healing process on second degree burn.
    • Towards closing the housing gap in the UK: exploration of the influencing factors and the way forward

      Daniel, Emmanuel Itodo; Oshodi, Olalekan; Dabara, Daniel; Dimka, Nenpin (Emerald, 2023-01-11)
      Purpose: Housing provides constructed space for human activities. Literature indicates that housing impacts wealth, education attainment and health outcomes, among others. Due to its contributions to society, it is essential to develop and implement strategies that address the housing shortage experienced in most cities across the globe. The study aims to unpack the factors affecting housing production in the UK and chart the way forward. Methodology: In addressing the study's aim, an interprivitst approach was adopted, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with eighteen experienced professionals. Data were collected across the four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). Findings: The results indicated that the opportunistic behaviour of stakeholders is one of the main factors affecting housing production in the study area. Also, modern construction methods, collaborative practices, government intervention and affordable housing schemes were identified as key strategies for addressing housing production factors. Implication: The study identified strategies for mitigating housing production issues that provide a focal point to all stakeholders keen on filling the housing shortage gap and improving productivity to channel their resources and effort accordingly. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to empirically analyse the influencing factors on the housing gap in the UK from the perspective of the supply-side, to provide information that could lead towards closing the said gap.
    • Thymoquinone: hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin loaded bacterial cellulose for the management of wounds

      Swingler, Sam; Gupta, Abhishek; Gibson, Hazel; Kowalczuk, Marek; Adamus, Grazyna; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Radecka, Iza (MDPI, 2022-12-15)
      The need for more advantageous and pharmaceutically active wound dressings is a pressing matter in the area of wound management. In this study, we explore the possibility of incorporating thymoquinone within bacterial cellulose, utilising cyclodextrins as a novel method of solubilising hydrophobic compounds. The thymoquinone was not soluble in water, so was incorporated within hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin before use. Thymoquinone: hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex produced was found to be soluble in water up to 7% (w/v) and was stable with no crystal formation for at least 7 days with the ability to be loaded within the bacterial cellulose matrix. The inclusion complex was found to be thermally stable up to 280 °C which is far greater than the production temperature of 80 °C and was stable in phosphate-buffered saline and extraction solvents in permeation and dose experiments. The adhesion properties of the Thymoquinone: hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin loaded bacterial cellulose dressings were tested and found to be 2.09 N. Permeation studies on skin mimicking membrane Strat-M showed a total permeated amount (0–24 h) of 538.8 µg cm−2 and average flux after a 2 h lag of 22.4 µg h−1 cm−2. To the best of our knowledge, the methods outlined in this study are the first instance of loading bacterial cellulose with thymoquinone inclusion complex with the aim of producing a pharmaceutically active wound dressing.
    • What China’s environmental policy means for pv solar, electric vehicles, and carbon capture and storage technologies

      M Pouran, Hamid; Karimi, Seyed M; Padilha Campos Lopes, Mariana; Sheng, Yong (MDPI, 2022-11-29)
      This perspective paper elaborates on how the burden of environmental issues on public health and the economy led China’s government to declare its revised environmental policies or “war on pollution”. It explains the importance of photovoltaic solar (PV), electric vehicles (EV), and carbon capture and storage (CCS) in helping China to mitigate its environmental concerns while maintaining economic growth. China already leads PV solar and EV manufacturing; however, it has not made a tangible contribution to CCS technology yet. On the other hand, CCS is far behind its envisaged role in contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and supporting countries to meet their net carbon zero targets. China’s existing coal power plants are good candidates to be retrofitted with CCS. Similar to PV and EV technologies, China could influence this technology globally, by reducing the uncertainties, demonstrating the viability, and driving the costs lower. China’s revised policies have been effective and shown global impacts, but their implementations remain as strong as the political will behind them.
    • Measuring property flood resilience (PFR) in UK homes

      Adedeji, Taiwo; Proverbs, David; Xiao, Hong; Oladokun, Victor Oluwasina (Emerald, 2022-11-01)
      Purpose: Despite the present focus on improving the resilience of homes to flooding in UK flood risk management policy and strategy, a general measurement framework for determining levels of flood resilience in UK homes does not exist. In light of this, the aim of this study was to develop a means to evaluate the levels of resilience in flood-prone homes from the perspective of homeowners'. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative research methodology was employed, with empirical data obtained through a postal survey of homeowners who had experienced flooding. The responses received were then analysed using a combination of statistical techniques including agreement/reliability tests and multiple regression to develop a model of flood resilience. Findings: A predictive model was developed that allows the resilience of a property to be quantified and measured as perceived by homeowners. The findings indicate that the main factors found to influence the level of flood resilience were: property type (PT), presence of cellar/basement (C/B), property wall type (PWT), property ground floor type (PGFT), kitchen unit type (KU), flood experience (FE), flood source (FS) and flood risk level (FRL). Practical implications: The resulting model provides unique insights into resilience levels to the benefit of a range of stakeholders including policy makers (such as Defra/Environment Agency), Local Authority flood teams, property professionals, housing associations and homeowners. As a result, homeowners will be in a better position to determine which interventions should be prioritised to ensure better flood protection. Originality/value: This is the first study of its kind to have rigorously quantified the level of flood resilience for individual homes. This study has quantified the effectiveness of individual resilience measures to derive the first reliable means to measure the overall levels of resilience at the individual property level. This is regarded as a significant contribution to the study of flood risk management through the quantification of resilience within individual UK homes, enabling the prioritisation of interventions and the overall monitoring of resilience.
    • Enhancing the organisation and the management of built environment higher education courses

      Gomis, Kasun; Saini, Mandeep; Pathirage, Chaminda; Arif, Mohammed (Emerald, 2022-12-09)
      Purpose Persistent critical issues in built environment higher education (BEHE) curricula may need to be addressed by improving course organisation and management. In addition to the implications of the COVID pandemic, issues such as inadequate communication and lack of contemporary and innovative practices integrated with course delivery have resulted in a gap for Course organisation and management. The purpose of this study is to recommend a set of drivers that can assist academics and academic institutions in improving course development, organisation and management in the BEHE context. Thus, the study focused on three themes: course organisation and administration, timetabling and course communication. Design/methodology/approach A systematic approach was taken to obtain data, where a documental analysis and a close-ended questionnaire were adopted as data collection instruments. The documental analysis considered 334 mid module reviews (MMRs) generating data from architecture, construction management, civil engineering, surveying and real estate students. Content analysis was used to identify critical themes within the MMRs and develop a closed-ended questionnaire. Twenty academics from each discipline completed the questionnaire. Eight drivers were developed from the data obtained from both MMRs and questionnaires. Content analysis and interpretive structural modelling were applied to identify the relationship between the drivers. Finally, these drivers were categorised by their level of influence and reliance to highlight how they contributed to improving course organisation and management. Findings The study revealed eight drivers that can improve course organisation and management in the BEHE context. The study found that using virtual learning environments and communication are fundamental in course organisation and management. Practical implications This research paper suggests drivers to improve how academics and academic institutions organise and manage courses. The study recommends eight drivers that could be used as a guideline and a best practice as per the level partitioning diagram developed to enhance the course organisation and management in BEHE. Originality/value The study proposes a set of drivers to improve course organisation and management in BEHE curricula. Furthermore, insight into how these drivers influence and rely on each driver and their relation with the national student survey theme are novel contributions to the current body of knowledge. The paper further clarifies how they should be implemented for successful course organisation and management, thus, improving the quality of courses in higher education curricula.
    • Earthship buildings: opinions on their contribution towards sustainable alternative housing in the UK

      Booth, Colin A.; Horry, Rosemary; Isaac, Cameron; Mahamadu, Abdul–Majeed; Manu, Patrick; Gyau Baffour Awuah, Kwasi; Aboagye-Nimo, Emmanuel; Georgakis, Panagiotis; Prabhakaran, Abhinesh (ICE Publishing, 2022-10-03)
      Earthship buildings are marketed as being an epitome of sustainable alternative housing. Built by reusing or repurposing mostly reclaimed urban waste products, their design includes the utilisation of low-embodied-energy materials, passive solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic power systems, rainwater harvesting and solar hot water heating, along with black- and greywater-treatment systems. This study explores stakeholder opinions of whether Earthship buildings can contribute towards the future of alternative housing in the UK. Opinions were sought through a questionnaire completed by UK members of online social media groups whose shared focus is related to sustainability (n = 50). The results reveal that the public believe that the main benefits are their minimal environmental impact and also their reliance on renewable energy resources, while the main barriers are identifying suitable building plots and obtaining the necessary planning permissions. Notwithstanding that the participants included in this study already have sustainability interests, it is surmised that the public deem that the general principles of Earthships are an acceptable choice of alternative home/living. However, while the uptake of Earthship homes proves increasingly popular in some parts of the world, the utmost concern within the UK setting is the reality of finding somewhere suitable to build an Earthship and acquiring necessary authorisations to construct the building.
    • Predicting primary sequence-based protein-protein interactions using a Mercer series representation of nonlinear support vector machine

      Chatrabgoun, Omid; Daneshkhah, Alireza; Esmaeilbeigi, Mohsen; Sohrabi Safa, Nader; Alenezi, Ali H.; Rahman, Md Arafatur (IEEE, 2022-11-21)
      The prediction of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is essential to understand the cellular processes from a medical perspective. Among the various machine learning techniques, kernel-based Support Vector Machine (SVM) has been commonly employed to discriminate between interacting and non-interacting protein pairs. The main drawback of employing the kernel-based SVM to datasets with many features, such as the primary sequence-based protein-protein dataset, is the significant increase in computational time of training stage. This increase in computational time is mainly due to the presence of the kernel in solving the quadratic optimisation problem (QOP) involved in nonlinear SVM. In order to fix this issue, we propose a novel and efficient computational algorithm by approximating the kernel-based SVM using a low-rank truncated Mercer series as well as desired. As a result, the QOP for the approximated kernel-based SVM will be very tractable in the sense that there is a significant reduction in computational time of training and validating stages. We illustrate the novelty of the proposed method by predicting the PPIs of “S. Cerevisiae” where the protein features extracted using the multiscale local descriptor (MLD), and then we compare the predictive performance of the proposed low-rank approximation with the existing methods. Finally, the new method results in significant reduction in computational time for predicting PPIs with almost as accuracy as kernel-based SVM.
    • Evaluation of the effect of leaf development in plectranthus amboinicus l. on antimicrobial activity and virulence factors of pseudomonas aeruginosa PA01 and staphylococcus aureus NCTC8325

      Sawant, Sheeba; Baldwin, Timothy; Khan, Habib; Rahman, Ayesha (Springer, 2022-11-03)
      Plectranthus amboinicus is widely recognized as a potential source of antimicrobial compounds due to the presence of bioactive components (essential oils) secreted by the glandular trichomes borne on the leaves. As such, an understanding of the effect of leaf development on the production of these essential oils (EOs) is of crucial importance to its medicinal applications. The current study represents the first comparative investigation of the effect of different stages of leaf development (lag, log, and stationary phase) upon the yield and bioactivity of phytochemicals produced. The effects of leaf extracts on the antimicrobial activity, cell surface hydrophobicity, biofilm formation, and motility of P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were evaluated. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy was used to record the abundance and distribution of both glandular and non-glandular trichomes during leaf development. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the potent phytochemical thymol is present primarily in log (30.28%) and stationary phase (20.89%) extracts. Log phase extracts showed the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (25 mg/ml) when compared to other phases of development. Stationary phase extracts were shown to exhibit the highest biofilm dispersal activity against P. aeruginosa (80%), and log phase extracts against biofilms of S. aureus (59%). Log phase extracts showed the highest biofilm inhibitory activity against P. aeruginosa (66%) and S. aureus (63%). In conclusion, log phase leaf extracts of P. amboinicus exhibited a multimodal mechanism of action by displaying antimicrobial, antibiofilm activities and reducing the motility and hydrophobicity, which are important virulence factors in P. aeruginosa and S. aureus pathogenesis.
    • Insights into public perceptions of earthship buildings as alternative homes

      Booth, Colin A.; Rasheed, Sona; Mahamadu, Abdul–Majeed; Horry, Rosemary; Manu, Patrick; Gyau Baffour Awuah, Kwasi; Aboagye-Nimo, Emmanuel; Georgakis, Panagiotis (MDPI, 2021-08-25)
      Sustainable futures necessitate a concomitant requirement for both sustainable buildings and sustainable behaviours under one roof. The defining principles behind Earthship buildings are to promote the use of local, recycled, waste, natural and renewable materials in their construction, for the adoption of a passive solar design for internal heating/cooling, collection of rainwater as a potable water supply, and encourage the onsite recycling of used water for plants to aid food production. However, despite growth in Earthship buildings constructed across many countries of the world, their appeal has not yet made a noticeable contribution to mainstream housing. Therefore, this study is the first to attempt to explore public perceptions towards the benefits and barriers of Earthship buildings as a means of understanding their demand by potential home builders/owners. Opinions were sought through questionnaire surveys completed by visitors to the Brighton Earthship building. Results reveal that the public believe that the reclamation of rainwater and greywater, renewable energy consumption and use of recycled materials included in the design/build are the major benefits of Earthship buildings, whilst the opportunity for a modern living style in a conservative lifestyle/setting, having a building that is cheaper than an ordinary home and the possibility of living totally off grid are considered the least beneficial reasons for building Earthship homes. Results also reveal that the public believe acquiring necessary permits/permissions to build may be more complicated, securing financial support (mortgage/loan) may be more challenging, and identifying/attaining suitable building plots are major barriers of Earthship buildings, whilst the futuristic/alternative building design, being built from waste materials and being entirely dependent on renewable resources (rainfall/wind/sunshine) are considered the least important barriers to building Earthship homes. Notwithstanding the participants included in this study already having an interest in Earthship buildings/lifestyles, it is concluded that the general public deem the general principles of Earthships as an acceptable choice of building/living but it is the formal means of building or buying an Earthship home that is the greatest hurdle against the uptake of Earthship buildings. Therefore, if sustainable futures are to be realized, it is proposed that a shift away from traditional house building towards Earthship building will require the involvement of all stakeholders immersed in the building process (architects, planners, builders, investors, lawyers) to path an easier journey for Earthship buildings and sustainable living.