• Electrical and mechanical analysis of different TSV geometries

      Jeong, Il Ho; Majd, Alireza Eslami; Jung, Jae Pil; Ekere, Nduka Nnamdi (MDPI, 2020-04-02)
      Through-silicon via (TSV) is an important component for implementing 3-D packages and 3-D integrated circuits as the TSV technology allows stacked silicon chips to interconnect through direct contact to help facilitate high-speed signal processing. By facilitating the stacking of silicon chips, the TSV technology also helps to meet the increasing demand for high density and high performance miniaturized electronic products. Our review of the literature shows that very few studies have reported on the impact of TSV bump geometry on the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the TSV. This paper reports on the investigation of different TSV geometries with the focus on identifying the ideal shapes for improved electrical signal transmission as well as for improved mechanical reliability. The cylindrical, quadrangular (square), elliptical, and triangular shapes were investigated in our study and our results showed that the quadrangular shape had the best electrical performance due to good characteristic impedance. Our results also showed that the quadrangular and cylindrical shapes provided improved mechanical reliability as these two shapes lead to high Cu protrusion of TSV after the annealing process.
    • Multimodal role of amino acids in microbial control and drug development

      Idrees, Muhammad; Mohammad, Afzal R; Karodia, Nazira; Rahman, Ayesha (MDPI AG, 2020-06-17)
      Amino acids are ubiquitous vital biomolecules found in all kinds of living organisms including those in the microbial world. They are utilised as nutrients and control many biological functions in microorganisms such as cell division, cell wall formation, cell growth and metabolism, intermicrobial communication (quorum sensing), and microbial-host interactions. Amino acids in the form of enzymes also play a key role in enabling microbes to resist antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and microbial biofilms are posing a great threat to the world’s human and animal population and are of prime concern to scientists and medical professionals. Although amino acids play an important role in the development of microbial resistance, they also offer a solution to the very same problem i.e., amino acids have been used to develop antimicrobial peptides as they are highly effective and less prone to microbial resistance. Other important applications of amino acids include their role as anti-biofilm agents, drug excipients, drug solubility enhancers, and drug adjuvants. This review aims to explore the emerging paradigm of amino acids as potential therapeutic moieties.
    • Small female citation advantages for US journal articles in medicine

      Thelwall, Michael; Maflahi, Nabeil (SAGE, 2020-12-31)
      Female underrepresentation continues in senior roles within academic medicine, potentially influenced by a perception that female research has less citation impact. This article provides systematic evidence of (a) female participation rates from the perspective of published journal articles in 46 Scopus medical subject categories 1996-2018 and (b) gender differences in citation rates 1996-2014. The results show female proportion increases 1996-2018 in all fields and a female majority of first authored articles in two fifths of categories, but substantial differences between fields: A paper is 7.3 times more likely to have a female first author in Obstetrics and Gynecology than in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Only three fields had a female last author majority by 2018, a probable side effect of ongoing problems with appointing female leaders. Female first-authored research tended to be more cited than male first-authored research in most fields (59%), although with a maximum difference of only 5.1% (log-transformed normalised citations). In contrast, male last-authored research tends to be more cited than female last-authored research, perhaps due to cases where a senior male has attracted substantial funding for a project. These differences increase if team sizes are not accounted for in the calculations. Since female first-authored research is cited slightly more than male first-authored research, properly analysed bibliometric data considering career gaps should not disadvantage female candidates for senior roles.
    • Targeting Aquaporin-4 subcellular localization to treat central nervous system edema

      Kitchen, P; Salman, MM; Halsey, AM; Clarke-Bland, C; MacDonald, JA; Ishida, H; Vogel, HJ; Almutiri, S; Logan, A; Kreida, S; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-05-14)
      © 2020 The Author(s) Swelling of the brain or spinal cord (CNS edema) affects millions of people every year. All potential pharmacological interventions have failed in clinical trials, meaning that symptom management is the only treatment option. The water channel protein aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is expressed in astrocytes and mediates water flux across the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers. Here we show that AQP4 cell-surface abundance increases in response to hypoxia-induced cell swelling in a calmodulin-dependent manner. Calmodulin directly binds the AQP4 carboxyl terminus, causing a specific conformational change and driving AQP4 cell-surface localization. Inhibition of calmodulin in a rat spinal cord injury model with the licensed drug trifluoperazine inhibited AQP4 localization to the blood-spinal cord barrier, ablated CNS edema, and led to accelerated functional recovery compared with untreated animals. We propose that targeting the mechanism of calmodulin-mediated cell-surface localization of AQP4 is a viable strategy for development of CNS edema therapies.
    • Measuring societal impacts of research with altmetrics? Common problems and mistakes

      Thelwall, Mike (Wiley, 2020-06-24)
      The impact agenda in many countries has led to increased attempts to assess the societal impacts of research. Altmetrics, webometrics, and other alternative indicators have been proposed to support this task, and many journal articles have been written that exploit alternative indicators to investigate societal impacts. Nevertheless, methodological studies of many of these indicators have revealed that extreme care must be taken with gathering, aggregating, and interpreting them. This article gives an overview of current alternative indicators, summarizes empirical research, and reports a series of common problems and mistakes to avoid when using them. The main issues are: selecting indicators to match goals; aggregating them in a way sensitive to field and publication year differences; largely avoiding them in formal evaluations; understanding that they reflect a biased fraction of the activity of interest; and understanding the type of impact reflected rather than interpreting them at face value.
    • Iron deficiency, immunology and colorectal cancer

      Omar, Hafid; Phipps, Oliver; Brookes, Matthew (Oxford University Press, 2020-12-31)
      Excessive gut luminal iron contributes to the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer. However, emerging evidence suggests that reduced iron intake and low systemic iron levels are also associated with the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. This is important because patients with colorectal cancer often present with iron deficiency. Iron is necessary for appropriate immunological functions; hence, iron deficiency may hinder cancer immunosurveillance and potentially modify the tumor immune microenvironment, both of which may assist cancer development. This is supported by studies showing that patients with colorectal cancer with iron deficiency have inferior outcomes and reduced response to therapy. Here, we provide an overview of the immunological consequences of iron deficiency and suggest ensuring adequate iron therapy to limit these outcomes.
    • Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Induces a Spatial Bias in Whole-body Position Estimates

      Patel, Mitesh; Roberts, R. E.; Arshad, Qadeer; Ahmed, Maroof; Riyaz, Mohammed U.; Bronstein, Adolfo M. (Elsevier, 2015-07-23)
      Peripheral galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) has been shown to temporarily ameliorate left spatial neglect [ 1 ]. Specifically, anodal (facilitatory) stimulation over the left mastoid bone coupled with cathodal (inhibitory) over the right mastoid reduces visuospatial-neglect scores in line cancellation [ 2 ] and line bisection tasks [ 3 , 4 ]. This montage increases activity in the left vestibular nerve and suppresses activity in the right [ 5 ], which has been shown to focally activate vestibular networks that occupy visuospatial attention mechanisms, primarily in the non-dominant hemisphere [ 5 ]. Thus, it appears that electrical stimulation of the peripheral vestibular system can shift visuospatial attention to the left side of space [ 4 ]. However, whether such a shift of spatial attention in normal subjects can influence perception of spatial position during whole-body spatial translations is unknown. We hypothesized that shifting attention to the left would result in participants underestimating spatial position estimates during rightward whole-body translations and overestimating spatial position estimates during leftward whole-body translations.
    • Quality control perspectives during mass production with a focus on the chemical industry

      Oduoza, Chike; Akdogun, Anil; Vanli, Ali Sendar (InTechOpen, 2020-03-11)
      Mass production was part of the industrial revolution in 1870 and, with it, a huge step change in manufacturing processes. Its impact was ground breaking and became even more remarkable with automation in a business production environment. The chemical industry is one of the manufacturing sectors that has benefited from the technology of mass production achieved through automating the business process. In this era of industry 4.0 and with the associated advanced technologies of smart manufacturing, cloud computing, cyber physical systems and internet of things, mass production has been revolutionised but still faced issues such as quality control of the production process which was affected by supply chain management, customised production of commodity and specialty chemicals and huge demand from other chemical industry manufacturers. This chapter has reviewed the evolution of mass production during traditional manufacturing to the present day and carried out a risk assessment to quality of production in a mass production environment with a view to recommending adequate quality control of the production process. The chapter also included a case study for mass production of a pharmaceutical drug—Amoxicillin which was partly batch produced into dry powder and then mass produced using tableting and encapsulating machine, highlighting sources of contamination and inconsistency in tablet weight if adequate control measures were not put in place.
    • Bacillus subtilis natto: A non-toxic source of poly-γ-glutamic acid that could be used as a cryoprotectant for probiotic bacteria

      Bhat, AR; Irorere, VU; Bartlett, T; Hill, D; Kedia, G; Morris, MR; Charalampopoulos, D; Radecka, I; University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK. i.radecka@wlv.ac.uk. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-07-05)
      It is common practice to freeze dry probiotic bacteria to improve their shelf life. However, the freeze drying process itself can be detrimental to their viability. The viability of probiotics could be maintained if they are administered within a microbially produced biodegradable polymer - poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) - matrix. Although the antifreeze activity of γ-PGA is well known, it has not been used for maintaining the viability of probiotic bacteria during freeze drying. The aim of this study was to test the effect of γ-PGA (produced by B. subtilis natto ATCC 15245) on the viability of probiotic bacteria during freeze drying and to test the toxigenic potential of B. subtilis natto. 10% γ-PGA was found to protect Lactobacillus paracasei significantly better than 10% sucrose, whereas it showed comparable cryoprotectant activity to sucrose when it was used to protect Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium longum. Although γ-PGA is known to be non-toxic, it is crucial to ascertain the toxigenic potential of its source, B. subtilis natto. Presence of six genes that are known to encode for toxins were investigated: three component hemolysin (hbl D/A), three component non-haemolytic enterotoxin (nheB), B. cereus enterotoxin T (bceT), enterotoxin FM (entFM), sphingomyelinase (sph) and phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase (piplc). From our investigations, none of these six genes were present in B. subtilis natto. Moreover, haemolytic and lecithinase activities were found to be absent. Our work contributes a biodegradable polymer from a non-toxic source for the cryoprotection of probiotic bacteria, thus improving their survival during the manufacturing process. © 2013 Bel-Rhlid et al.
    • UBE2QL1 is disrupted by a constitutional translocation associated with renal tumor predisposition and is a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene

      Wake, NC; Ricketts, CJ; Morris, MR; Prigmore, E; Gribble, SM; Skytte, AB; Brown, M; Clarke, N; Banks, RE; Hodgson, S; et al. (Wiley, 2013-09-02)
      Investigation of rare familial forms of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has led to the identification of genes such as VHL and MET that are also implicated in the pathogenesis of sporadic RCC. In order to identify a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene, we characterized the breakpoints of a constitutional balanced translocation, t(5;19)(p15.3;q12), associated with familial RCC and found that a previously uncharacterized gene UBE2QL1 was disrupted by the chromosome 5 breakpoint. UBE2QL1 mRNA expression was downregulated in 78.6% of sporadic RCC and, although no intragenic mutations were detected, gene deletions and promoter region hypermethylation were detected in 17.3% and 20.3%, respectively, of sporadic RCC. Reexpression of UBE2QL1 in a deficient RCC cell line suppressed anchorage-independent growth. UBE2QL1 shows homology to the E2 class of ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and we found that (1) UBE2QL1 possesses an active-site cysteine (C88) that is monoubiquitinated in vivo, and (2) UBE2QL1 interacts with FBXW7 (an F box protein providing substrate recognition to the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase) and facilitates the degradation of the known FBXW7 targets, CCNE1 and mTOR. These findings suggest UBE2QL1 as a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene. © 2013 The Authors. *Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • Developments in the United Kingdom road transport from a smart cities perspective

      Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh; Jallow, Haddy (Emerald, 2020-12-31)
      Purpose: Smart city is a city which functions in a sustainable and intelligent way, by integrating all of its infrastructures and services in a cohesive way using intelligent devices for monitoring and control, to ensure efficiency and better quality of life for its citizens. As other countries globally, UK is keen for economic development and investment in smart city missions to create interest in monetary environment and inward investment. This paper explores the driving forces of smart road transport transformation and implementation in the UK. Design/methodology/approach: The study involved interviews with sixteen professionals from the UK road transport sector. A semi-structured interview technique was used to collect experts’ perception, which was then examined using content analysis. Findings: The results of the study revealed that the technological advancement is a key driver. The main challenges faced for the implementation of smart city elements in the UK road network are: lack of investment; maintenance; state of readiness and the awareness of the smart road transport concept. The study concludes that an understanding of the concept of smart cities from a road transport perspective is very important to create awareness of the benefits and the way it works. A wider collaboration between every sector is crucial to create a successful smart city. Originality/value: The study contributes to the field of digitalisation of road transport sector. This paper reveals the key driving forces of smart road transport transformation, the current status of smart road transport implementation in UK and challenges of the smart road transport development in the UK.
    • A brief review of the clinical anatomy of the vestibular-ocular connections—how much do we know?

      Bronstein, Adolfo M.; Patel, Mitesh; Arshad, Qadeer (Springer Nature, 2014-11-21)
      The basic connectivity from the vestibular labyrinth to the eye muscles (vestibular ocular reflex, VOR) has been elucidated in the past decade, and we summarise this in graphic format. We also review the concept of ‘velocity storage’, a brainstem integrator that prolongs vestibular responses. Finally, we present new discoveries of how complex visual stimuli, such as binocular rivalry, influence VOR processing. In contrast to the basic brainstem circuits, cortical vestibular circuits are far from being understood, but parietal-vestibular nuclei projections are likely to be involved.
    • Synthesis of Sodalite from Sepiolite by Alkali Fusion Method and Its Application to Remove Fe3+, Cr3+, and Cd2+ from Aqueous Solutions

      Kamyab, Seyedeh Mahsa; Modabberi, Soroush; Williams, Craig D; Badiei, Alireza (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2020-06-16)
      The aim of this article is to study the sodalite synthesis from sepiolite through an alkali fusion method followed by hydrothermal process, and to investigate its application in heavy metal removal. The fused precursors were prepared through mixing sepiolite with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) activators, at 650°C. Hydrothermal reactions were performed at 100°C, 140°C, 180°C, and 220°C. Under the hydrothermal treatment at 140°C, pure sodalite 1 was formed from fused precursor of sepiolite-NaOH, for 48 h, while pure sodalite 2 was synthesized from fused mixture of sepiolite and KOH, at 180°C for 72 h. Pure sodalites and raw material were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses. The potential of two sodalites for removal of Fe3+, Cr3+, and Cd2+ cations from 0.001, 0.01, and 0.1 M aqueous solutions was evaluated through a series of batch experiments. The optimum adsorption of Fe3+ and Cr3+ was achieved from 0.001 to 0.01 M solutions. In contrast, Cd2+ was removed most efficiently from 0.1 M solution. In terms of contact time, the maximum adsorption amount from 0.001 M solutions was achieved between 1 and 2 h for pure sodalite 1 and between 30 min and 1 h for pure sodalite 2. The highest adsorption rate from 0.01 to 0.1 M solutions was observed between 30 min and 1 h, for both pure sodalite 1 and pure sodalite 2. Sepiolite was shown to be successfully used as raw material for formation of pure sodalite, and subsequently, pure sodalite has considerable capability to be used for environmental cleanups.
    • A systems thinking approach for incremental reduction of non-physical waste

      Omotayo, Temitope; Olanipekun, A; Obi, Lovelin; Boateng, P (Emerald, 2020-12-31)
      Purpose: Continual cost reduction of overhead costs of building projects can realign the concept of post-contract cost control towards value driven construction projects and stakeholders satisfaction. This study synthesized and analysed the viable continuous improvement measures critical for waste reduction during the execution phase of a building project. Design/Methodology/approach: A review of existing literature facilitated a list of continuous improvement measures. This literature review findings enabled a Likert scale questionnaire which was administered to two-hundred and fifty (250) small and medium scale construction companies (SMSCC) in Nigeria. Multiple linear regression statistical tests deduced the significant cost reduction measure from which a causal loop diagram was designed to indicate continuous improvement measures during the execution phase of a building project. Findings: Cogent construction activities associated with overhead costs were deduced from the statistical tests as being payment of suppliers and subcontractors; and purchase orders. An all-inclusive casual loop model for cost reduction through waste minimisation in construction projects as a viable oriented mechanism for meeting clients’ requirements was developed. Practical implications: The causal loop continuous improvement model recognised external and internal factors which are crucial for SMSCC to focus on for their organisational growth and performance enhancement. Originality or value: A focus on non-physical waste in construction organisations potentially addresses behavioural challenges for continuous improvement.
    • Framework for sustainable risk management in the manufacturing sector

      Oduoza, Chike (Elsevier, 2020-12-31)
      Risk management is a huge challenge for business managers especially in the manufacturing engineering sector, and if not proactively controlled can lead to under performance and sometimes cessation of activities for some companies. It is common knowledge that poorly managed risks can have an adverse effect on performance while proactive and systematic control of key risk variables in a business environment could generate successful outcomes. The work carried out here has developed a framework for risk management affordable and suitable for use especially by small and medium size enterprises in the manufacturing sector. Using a combination of Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) and Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) search algorithms, it was possible to search and identify key risk indicators that could undermine business performance (measured in terms of cost, time, quality and safety) from a system database, and thereby manage (monitor, identify, analyse, reduce, accept or reject their impact) them. The conclusion drawn from the study is that risk management for a manufacturing process can be successfully achieved if risk factors which have a negative impact on project cost, quality of delivery, lead cycle and takt time and health and safety of workers can be identified using BBN and minimised using the framework developed in this study.
    • Role of handedness-related vestibular cortical dominance upon the vestibular–ocular reflex

      Arshad, Qadeer; Patel, Mitesh; Goga, U.; Nigmatullina, Y.; Bronstein, Adolfo M. (Springer, 2015-03-06)
      Dear Sirs, Cortical influences over low-order vestibular function such as the vestibular–ocular reflex (VOR) are widely accepted [1–3]. Hallpike and colleagues originally demonstrated that patients with temporal lobe lesions, exhibit a strong asymmetry (i.e. “directional preponderance”), in the vestibular nystagmus elicited during caloric stimulation” [3]. Recent work to establish the neural correlates of human vestibular cortical processing have implemented three main approaches. Functional imaging [4–6], clinical lesion studies [2, 7, 8] and brain stimulation data [9–11] have all implicated tempo-parietal areas, usually with right hemisphere dominance. However, it was not until the seminal paper by Dieterich et al. [4] that the concept of handedness-related vestibular hemispheric dominance took shape, showing that the right hemisphere is vestibular dominant in right-handed individuals and vice versa in left handers.
    • Conceptual model for cloud computing adoption in upstream oil & gas sector

      Lawan, Mahmud; Oduoza, Chike; Buckley, Kevan (Elsevier, 2020-12-31)
      Cloud computing is a paradigm which offers IT services such as storage, network and processing power via the internet. The technology has gained popularity in recent years with adoption in different sectors due to the numerous benefits it offers such as scalability, flexibility and cost reduction. Although some are quick adopters, others are considered cautious adaptors. The upstream oil and gas industry fall under the latter category due to some challenges with regards to adoption decision. Migrating to a cloud platform depends on a number of factors. A clear understanding of these factors is necessary to enable decision makers in the industry to be more proactive and appropriately guided in their plan towards adoption. Therefore, this study aims to identify the factors that may influence cloud adoption in the industry. A literature review was conducted in order to propose an integrated model, which is a combination of the Technology environment organisation (TOE) framework, institutional theory, and diffusion of innovation. The model groups the factors into three fundamental categories. In addition, the study reports benefits of the cloud technology in the upstream oil and gas sector, challenges hindering adoption, as well as approaches by earlier researchers to support cloud migration in the industry.
    • Optimising driver profiling through behaviour modelling of in-car sensor and global positioning system data

      Ahmadi-Assalemi, Gabriela; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Maple, Carsten; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Hammoudeh, Mohammad; Jahankhani, Hamid; Pillai, Prashant (Elsevier, 2020-12-31)
      Connected cars have a massive impact on the automotive sector, and whilst this catalyst and disruptor technology introduce threats, it brings opportunities to address existing vehicle-related crimes such as carjacking. Connected cars are fitted with sensors, and capable of sophisticated computational processing which can be used to model and differentiate drivers as means of layered security. We generate a dataset collecting 14 hours of driving in the city of London. The route was 8.1 miles long and included various road conditions such as roundabouts, traffic lights, and several speed zones. We identify and rank the features from the driving segments, classify our sample using Random Forest, and optimise the learning-based model with 98.84% accuracy (95% confidence) given a small 10 seconds driving window size. Differences in driving patterns were uncovered to distinguish between female and male drivers especially through variations in longitudinal acceleration, driving speed, torque and revolutions per minute.
    • Enabling accurate indoor localization for different platforms for smart cities using a transfer learning algorithm

      Maghdid, Halgurd S; Ghafoor, Kayhan Zrar; Al-Talabani, Abdulbasit; Al-Shakarchi, Ali; Singh, Pranav Kumar; Rawat, Danda B (Wiley, 2020-06-14)
      Indoor localization algorithms in smart cities often use Wi‐Fi fingerprints as a database of Received Signal Strength (RSS) and its corresponding position coordinate for position estimation. However, the issue of fingerprinting is the use of different platform‐devices. To this end, we propose a Long Short‐Term Memory (LSTM)‐based novel indoor positioning mechanism in smart city environment. We used LSTM, a type of recurrent neural network to process sequential data of users’ trajectory in indoor buildings. The proposed approach first utilizes a database of normalizing fingerprint landmarks to calculateWiFi Access Points (WAPs) RSS values to mitigate the fluctuation issue and then apply the normalization parameters on the RSS values during the online phase. Afterwards, we constructed a transfer model to adapt the RSS values during the offline phase and then applying it on the RSS values from the different smartphones during the online phase. Thorough simulation results confirm that the proposed approach can obtain 1.5 to 2 meters positioning accuracy for indoor environments, which is 60 % higher than traditional approaches.
    • Critical review of the determinants of medication adherence in patients with dementia

      Richardson, Lloyd; Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick A. (Innovare Academic Sciences Pvt Ltd, 2020-05-15)
      Objective: Medication adherence is a prominent issue in the general population; therefore, due to the nature of dementia, the risk of medication no adherence is even greater. Furthermore, there have been discrepancies regarding the impact of specific determinants on medication adherence as previous literature has cited conflicting information. This review aimed to identify the potential causative relationship of dementia that may result in medication non-adherence.
 Methods: A meta-analysis of (15 primary research papers) was conducted to identify and assess the specific themes and determinants related to non-adherence, and their impact on medication adherence in those who were cognitively impaired.
 Results: Four domains were established or developed upon review and risk of bias and risk of the summary table were created. A critical review undertaken to analyse various papers and their respective findings. Through the data analysis it was found that common themes could be established, such as Cognitive impairment, Disability, Mental illness and occasional forgetfulness to take their medication. The impact of each domain was expressed e. g. the predominant role of executive function and memory as well as non-adherence leading to delusional or suspicious thoughts.
 Conclusion: The findings align with current literature. The caregiver aspect needs to be addressed more thoroughly and more investigations are required such as identifying underlying factors that may potentially result in influence.