• Exploring nurses’ online perspectives and social networks during a global pandemic COVID-19

      O'Leary, Lisa; Erikainen, Sonja; Peltonen, Laura-Maria; Ahmed, Wasim; Thelwall, Michael; O'Connor, Siobhan (Wiley, 2022-03-31)
      Objectives. Examine the online interactions, social networks, and perspectives of nursing actors on COVID-19 from conversations on Twitter to understand how the profession responded to this global pandemic. Design. Mixed methods. Sample. 10,574 tweets by 2,790 individuals and organisations. Measurements. NodeXL software was used for social network analysis to produce a network visualisation. The betweenness centrality algorithm identified key users who were influential in COVID-19 related conversations on Twitter. Inductive content analysis enabled exploration of tweet content. A communicative figurations framework guided the study. Results. Nursing actors formed different social groupings, and communicated with one another across groups. Tweets covered four themes; 1. outbreak and clinical management of the infectious disease, 2. education and information sharing, 3. social, economic, and political context, and 4. working together and supporting each other. Conclusion. In addition to spreading knowledge, nurses tried to reach out through social media to political and healthcare leadership to advocate for improvements needed to address COVID-19. However, they primarily conversed within their own professional community. Action is needed to better understand how social media is and can be used by nurses for health communication, and to improve their preparedness to be influential on social media beyond the nursing community.
    • Small female citation advantages for US journal articles in medicine

      Thelwall, Michael; Maflahi, Nabeil (SAGE, 2021-12-31)
      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.
    • Status of BIM implementation in the Dominican Republic construction industry- an empirical study

      Silverio, Ana Karina; Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh; Heesom, David (Emerald, 2021-12-31)
      Purpose: The increased use and proven benefits of Building Information Modelling (BIM) worldwide suggest that its implementation could greatly help diminish inefficient, traditional practices in the Dominican Republic (DR) construction industry. However, there is no empirical work about the implementation of BIM in the country. Therefore, this study aims to critically appraise and document the status of BIM implementation in the DR to raise awareness and understand how BIM can be successfully implemented in the country. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative approach was adopted in which data was collected through semi-structured interviews, with the participation of 53 professionals from 36 construction organisations. The data collected was analysed with the method of content analysis. Findings: The results confirmed that the DR is a BIM infant country. There are low levels of BIM implementation. The reasons why BIM is not implemented are explored, and a significant interest in implementing BIM in the future is also reported. Drivers to implement BIM include BIM benefits, competitive advantage and pressure from external partners. Current BIM approaches are mainly single-disciplinary, principally in Architecture, and the effectiveness and scope of implementation are highly affected by intra-organisational and inter-organisational barriers. Originality/value: There is a lack of research about BIM in the DR. This study bridges this research gap by collecting primary data from Dominican construction organisations and construction professionals to report findings related to BIM implementation.
    • Time-dependent thixotropic behaviours of lead-free Sn-Ag-Cu (SAC) solder pastes and flux mediums used in electronic assemblies

      Mallik, S; Ekere, Nduka; Depiver, Joshua (David Publishing, 2021-12-31)
      Solder pastes are widely used as crucial joining material in microelectronic assemblies. This study investigates time-depended behaviours of paste materials (solder pastes and flux mediums) in relation to their transportation, storage, handling and applications. Two fluxes and four commercially available lead-free solder pastes prepared from those fluxes were evaluated. Two rheological test methods – ‘hysteresis loop test’ and ‘step shear test’ were adapted, taking account of actual shear profile of solder pastes and flux mediums. Within hysteresis loop tests, samples were sheared for both single and multiple cycles, with increasing and decreasing shear rates. These tests provided a quick and straightforward way of benchmarking time-depended structural breakdown and build-up of paste materials. The test results also provided an effective means of predicting how the pastes will behave during their use, such as at various stages of the stencil printing process. Step shear tests were performed by applying a sequence of stepwise increase in shear rates. The step-wise increase in shear rate has influenced the timedependent behaviours of solder paste samples and flux mediums. The result from the stepshear-test implies that the build-up of solder paste structure depends mainly on both the previous shear history and the intensity of structural break-down.
    • Drivers to improve talent management in the age of COVID-19: the case of UK construction industry

      Stride, Mark; Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini (British Academy of Management, 2021-12-31)
      The UK built environment is constantly challenged with talent management issues that comprises of a multitude of individual areas effecting the construction industry and burdening many job roles including skilled labour, Architects, Engineers and Project Managers to build a huge housing programme, High Speed rail 2 (HS2), smart cities and many other key national projects. However, without the skilled labour, there will be subsequent implications including delays, rising costs and now the Coronavirus pandemic and the UK recession will inflate these factors further. The object of this review is to understand the key drivers to improve the talent management in the construction industry and therefore a critical review of the construction industry has been completed to understand how improvements can be made. Scopus and UK Government publications have been peer-reviewed and reported the drivers to improve talent management in the construction industry. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were used to select eligible articles. After the full screening, 53 articles that met the criteria were analysed and used to identify 9 key drivers to improve talent management in the construction industry. The identified drivers to improve talent management are women in the workplace, intersectionality, young adults, disabled workers, employer responsibility management, aging workforce, retaining talent, industry 4.0 and construction sustainability. This identified that further research is required into each of these areas to allow the sector to improve the recruitment and retainment of employees.
    • What makes a book tweet popular? Analysis of the most retweeted content posted by Spanish and non-Spanish book publishers

      Mas-Bleda, Amalia; Makita, Meiko; Mrva-Montoya, Agata; Thelwall, Mike (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2021-12-31)
      The aim of this article is to identify content-related features of the most retweeted messages posted by Spanish and non-Spanish book publishers on Twitter. A content analysis has been conducted to identify the topic of the tweets and whether they include book title hashtags, images and hyperlinks, and if so, what the images are about and where the links point to. As a complement, a word association analysis has been carried out to determine which terms are associated with each of the different publishers. Overall, publishers tend to tweet about themselves and their books for marketing purposes. About half of the publishers have Twitter accounts. Spanish publishers’ tweets often contain literary quotes, while the top tweets by non-Spanish publishers are more likely to contain free prize draws. Publishers seeking to engage with potential readers on Twitter could consider quotes and giveaways to build their audience, in addition to tagging author @usernames in book related posts to help reach the author’s network.
    • Protein mimicry and the design of bioactive cell penetrating peptides: The genesis of STOPSPERM bioportides

      Howl, John; Silva, Joana; Fardilha, Margarida; Jones, Sarah; Langel, Ulo (Springer, 2021-12-31)
      The mature spermatozoon, a highly differentiated cell equipped for the sole purpose of fertilisation, lacks the protein machinery required for conventional endocytotic mechanisms. Perhaps contrary to expectation, cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) rapidly translocate across the unique sperm plasma membrane to accrete within distinct intracellular compartments. Confocal microscopy, employing red-fluorescent CPPs and bioportides, is a convenient platform to study this membrane translocation process. In the virtual absence of genetic expression, rapid physiological responses of human sperm are dependent upon protein-protein interactions that may be regulated by post-translational modifications including phosphorylation. This chapter provides an outline of the design of bioactive CPPs, or bioportides, which include protein-mimetic sequences from the interaction domains of sperm proteins. Protocols are included which enable the biological assessment of the impact of bioportides upon the viability and motility of spermatozoa.
    • Mortality and morbidity associated with PEG insertion in England between 2007 and 2019

      Steed, Helen; Kamran, Umair; Varyani, Femi; Brookes, Matthew; Trudgill, Nigel (BMJ, 2021-12-31)
    • Improved patient selection for PEG insertion in England between 2007-2019

      Steed, Helen; Kamran, Umair; Varyani, Fumi; Brookes, Matthew; Trudgil, Nigel (BMJ, 2021-12-31)
    • Three-dimensional oscillation of an acoustic microbubble between two rigid curved plates

      Manmi, Kawa; Aziz, Imad; Arjunan, Arun; Rostam, Saeed; Abdolrahman, Dadvand (Springer, 2021-12-31)
      Understanding the near boundary acoustic oscillation of microbubbles is critical for the effective design of ultrasonic biomedical devices and surface cleaning technologies. Accordingly, this study investigates the three-dimensional microbubble oscillation between two curved rigid plates experiencing a planar acoustic field using boundary integral method (BIM). The numerical model is validated via comparison with the nonlinear oscillation of the bubble governed by the modified Rayleigh-Plesset equation and with the axisymmetric model for an acoustic microbubble in infinite fluid domain. Then, the influence of the wave direction and horizontal standoff distance (h) on the bubble dynamics (including jet velocity, jet direction, centroid movement, total energy, and Kelvin impulse) is evaluated. It was concluded that the jet velocity, the maximum radius and the total energy of the bubble are not significantly influenced by the wave direction, while the jet direction and the high-pressure region depend strongly on it. More importantly, it was found that the jet velocity and the high-pressure region around the jet in acoustic bubble are drastically larger than their counterparts in the gas bubble.
    • Modulation of serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) complexes: a promising approach in cancer treatment

      Matos, Barbara; Howl, John; Jeronimo, Carmen; Fardilha, Margarida (Elsevier, 2021-12-31)
      Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Despite the numerous therapeutic options available, tumor heterogeneity and chemoresistance have limited their success and the development of an effective anticancer therapy remains a major challenge in oncology research. The serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and its complexes have been recognized as potential drug targets. Although research on the modulation of PP1 complexes is currently at an early stage, there is an immense potential. Chemically diverse compounds have been developed to disrupt or stabilize different PP1 complexes in various cancer types with the objective to inhibit disease progression. Beneficial results obtained in vitro now require further pre-clinical and clinical validation. In conclusion, the modulation of PP1 complexes seems to be a promising, albeit challenging, therapeutic strategy for cancer.
    • Behavioral and hormonal changes following social instability in young rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

      Wooddell, Lauren; Kaburu, Stefano; Dettmer, Amanda M (American Psychological Association, 2021-12-31)
      Social instability (SI) occurs when there is competition over social status. Reduced certainty of social status can lead to heightened aggression, which can increase physiological stress responses, as individuals prepare to fight for their social status. However, adults can take proactive coping mechanisms to reduce the physiological stress induced by SI, such as increasing affiliation. Very little is known, however, about the behavioral and hormonal effects of SI early in development. Filling these gaps in knowledge would add to the fields of primatology and developmental and comparative psychology. We conducted an opportunistic study of a peer group of 18 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) yearlings before and during SI. We used social network analysis to measure individuals’ dominance certainty (DC, in their aggressive and submissive network) and their position in affiliative networks (grooming and play) and analyzed hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs). As predicted, during SI, we observed a decrease in DC, indicating that individuals had less stable dominance positions. As well, during SI, we observed increased rates of social grooming and decreased rates of social play, reflecting potential coping mechanisms. More socially connected individuals in social grooming and social play networks received higher levels of coalitionary support. Contrary to predictions, DC did not predict HCCs; rather individuals that were more connected in the social play network exhibited smaller increases in HCCs during SI, revealing a potential buffering effect of social play. Our results underscore the need for further research on the effects of SI during ontogeny.
    • Adaptive fuzzy-logic traffic control approach based on volunteer IoT agent mechanism

      Hewei, Guan; Sadiq, Ali Safaa; Tahir, Mohammed Adam; Vhatkar, Sangeeta (Springer, 2021-12-31)
      Traffic congestion is an extremely common phenomenal issue, it oc-curs in many cities around the world, especially in those cities with high car own-ership. Traffic congestion not only causes air pollution and fuel wastage, but it also leads to an increased commuting time and reduces the work time availability. Due to these reasons, traffic congestion needs to be controlled and reduced. The traffic light is the most widely adopted method to control traffic, however, most traffic lights in use are designed based on the predefined interval, which cannot cope with traffic volume change very well. Therefore, Internet of Things (IoT) based traffic light or adaptive traffic light systems are developed in the recent years as a complement of the traditional traffic lights. The adaptive traffic light can be built based on monitoring current traffic situation or using Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication. This paper proposes a new design of adaptive traffic light, this traffic light system is based on fuzzy logic, and it introduces for the first time the use of volunteer IoT agent mecha-nism, which introduces more accurate results. To note that the presented work in this paper is the extended version of the work presented in (Hewei, G., Sadiq, A.S. and Tahir, M.A. 2021)
    • UK Joint Advisory Group consensus statements for training and certification in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

      Steed, Helen; Siau, Keith; Keane, Geri; Caddy, Grant; Church, Nick; Martin, Harry; McCrudden, Raymond; Neville, Peter; Oppong, Kofi; Rasheed, Ashraf; et al. (Thieme Open, 2021-12-31)
      Introduction: Despite the high-risk nature of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a robust and standardised credentialing process to ensure competency before independent practice is lacking worldwide. On behalf of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG), we aimed to develop evidence-based recommendations to form the framework of ERCP training and certification in the UK. Methods: Under the oversight of the JAG, a modified Delphi process was conducted with stakeholder representation from the British Society of Gastroenterology, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, trainees and trainers. Recommendations on ERCP training and certification were formulated after formal literature review and appraised using the GRADE tool. These were subjected to electronic voting to achieve consensus. Accepted statements were peer-reviewed by JAG and relevant Specialist Advisory Committees before incorporation into the ERCP certification pathway. Results: In total, 27 recommendation statements were generated for the following domains: definition of competence (9 statements), acquisition of competence (8 statements), assessment of competence (6 statements) and post-certification support (4 statements). The consensus process led to the following criteria for ERCP certification: 1) performing ≥300 hands-on procedures; 2) attending a JAG-accredited ERCP skills course; 3) in modified Schutz 1-2 procedures: achieving native papilla cannulation rate ≥80%, complete bile duct clearance ≥70%, successful stenting of distal biliary strictures ≥75%, physically unassisted in ≥80% of cases; 4) 30-day post-ERCP pancreatitis rates ≤5%; 5) satisfactory performance in formative and summative direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) assessments. Conclusion: JAG certification in ERCP has been developed following evidence-based consensus to quality assure training and to ultimately improve future standards of ERCP practice.
    • Managing COVID-19 related knowledge in the UK Infrastructure sector

      Jallow, Haddy; Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Algahtani, Khaled (Academic Conferences International, 2021-12-31)
      COVID-19 has caused the most serious economic and health crisis globally that we have witnessed in decades. Millions of people across the world have lost jobs, while the healthcare systems are struggling to cope with the rapid increase in cases. Many sectors have been affected with this pandemic including the construction infrastructure sector which benefits from engineers and different staff members travelling to site and interacting/collaborating with peers. Infrastructure construction organisations have responded well during the pandemic in order to carry on works while minimising risks to their employees and their families, however management styles have had to be updated and the transferring/ storage and collection of knowledge has seen new processes and methods being adopted. The relationship between Knowledge and its management within the infrastructure sector during the COVID-19 Pandemic is a topic that has not been regularly researched. This paper aims to review both the impact that COVID-19 has had within the infrastructure sector and Knowledge Management during these times attempting to gain an output of how knowledge has been managed throughout the pandemic within the sector.
    • A multi-user collaborative BIM-AR system to support design and construction

      Garbett, James; Hartley, Thomas; Heesom, David (Elsevier, 2021-11-29)
      Augmented Reality (AR) is fast becoming an established tool for the construction industry. Previous research reports on the conversion of BIM geometric models and the implementation of these with marker-based AR, or the use of more wide area AR taking positional input from GPS. Much of this focused on the use of AR in an individual context, so there is need to align AR with the more collaborative nature of BIM. By implementing marker-based AR, and connecting to a cloud-based database, the presented BIM-AR system provides the ability to view, interact and collaborate with 3D and 2D BIM data via AR with geographically dispersed teams. An Agile Scrum Method was used to develop the prototype system including a mobile AR application and a Large Touch Screen application based on and a Model, View, Controller (MVC) approach. Finally, the system was tested and verified using a focus group of construction practitioners.
    • Fuzzy-logic approach for traffic light control based on IoT technology

      Hewei, Guan; Sadiq, Ali Safaa; Tahir, Mohammed Adam (Springer, 2021-10-22)
      Traffic congestion is an extremely common phenomenal issue, it occurs in many cities around the world, especially in those cities with high car ownership. Traffic congestion not only causes air pollution and fuel wastage, but it also leads to an increased commuting time and reduces the work time availability. Due to these reasons, traffic congestion needs to be controlled and reduced. The traffic light is the most widely adopted method to control traffic, however, most traffic lights in use are designed based on the predefined interval, which cannot cope with traffic volume change very well. Therefore, Internet of Things (IoT) based traffic lights or adaptive traffic lights are developed in the recent years as a complement of the traditional traffic lights. The adaptive traffic light can be built based on monitoring current traffic situation or using Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication. In this paper, a new design of adaptive traffic light is proposed, this traffic light system is based on fuzzy logic and it introduces volunteer IoT agent mechanism, which introduces more accurate results.
    • Daratumumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MAIA): overall survival results from a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial

      Facon, Thierry; Kumar, Shaji; Plesner, Torben; Orlowski, Robert Z.; Moreau, Philippe; Bahlis, Nizar; Basu, Supratik; Nahi, Hareth; Hulin, Cyrille; Quach, Hang; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-10-13)
      Background At the primary analysis of the phase 3 MAIA study (median follow-up, 28·0 months), significant progression-free survival benefit was observed with daratumumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (D-Rd) versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) alone in transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. We report updated efficacy and safety results from a prespecified interim analysis for overall survival. Methods MAIA is an ongoing, multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial that enrolled patients between 18 March 2015 and 15 January 2017 at 176 sites in 14 countries. Eligible patients were aged ≥18 years, had newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0–2, and were ineligible for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell transplantation due to age (≥65 years) or comorbidities. Patients were randomised 1:1 by an interactive web response system to receive 28-day cycles of Rd with daratumumab (D-Rd group) or without (Rd group). Randomisation was stratified by International Staging System disease stage, geographic region, and age. Patients in both groups received oral lenalidomide (25 mg on days 1–21 of each cycle) and oral dexamethasone (40 mg on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of each cycle). The D-Rd group also received intravenous daratumumab (16 mg/kg, once weekly during cycles 1–2, once every 2 weeks in cycles 3–6, and once every 4 weeks thereafter). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, and a secondary endpoint was overall survival (both assessed in the intention-to-treat population). Results presented here are from a prespecified interim analysis for overall survival. ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02252172. Findings At a median follow-up of 56·2 months (interquartile range, 52·7–59·9), a significant benefit in overall survival was observed for the D-Rd group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·68; 95% CI 0·53–0·86; p=0·0013). The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the 60-month rate of overall survival was 66·3% (95% CI 60·8–71·3) in the D-Rd group and 53·1% (47·2–58·6) in the Rd group. Median progression-free survival in the D-Rd group versus the Rd group was not reached (95% CI 54·8–not reached) versus 34·4 months (95% CI 29·6–39·2; HR 0·53; 95% CI 0·43–0·66; p<0·0001). The most common (>15%) grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse events were neutropenia (197 [54%] patients in the D-Rd group and 135 [37%] patients in the Rd group), pneumonia (70 [19%] and 39 [11%]), anaemia (61 [17%] and 79 [22%]), and lymphopenia (60 [16%] and 41 [11%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 281 (77%) patients in the D-Rd group and 257 (70%) patients in the Rd group. Treatment-related deaths occurred in 13 (4%) patients in the D-Rd group and 10 (3%) patients in the Rd group (all due to adverse events). Interpretation D-Rd prolonged overall survival and progression-free survival in patients ineligible for stem-cell transplantation with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. There were no new safety concerns.
    • Business model innovation (BMI) in small enterprises from developing countries during COVID-19 outbreak: Exploring drivers and BMI outcomes

      Martinez, Gabriel; Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini (Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., 2021-10-08)
      The purpose of this paper is to provide understanding of driving forces for Business Model Innovation (BMI) during the pandemic for small businesses in developing countries, comparing them with identified BMI drivers before the outbreak and evaluating their response to the current crisis. A qualitative multiple case study is conducted as it allows the study of BMI within real life and contemporary context. Case study organisations that adopt innovative business models participated from technology, education, and social enterprises. Findings shows that small organisations are influenced by internal and external factors towards BMI during the pandemic. Case organisations showed resilience to the crisis by adjusting accordingly to allow uninterrupted operation during lockdown; developing new products, services and processes that would ensure sustained demand during COVID-19 pandemic. The study explores theoretical implications of the findings. Also, lessons from this research could be useful for practitioners from developed and developing countries. Policymakers from developing countries could benefit from focusing their activities on promoting firms to find novel ways of operating during times of pandemic preventing further economic damage and unemployment.
    • All you need to know about sperm RNAs

      Santiago, Joana; Silva, Joana; Howl, John; Santos, Manuel; Fardilha, Margarida (Oxford University Press, 2021-10-08)
      Background: Spermatogenesis generates a small and highly specialized type of cell that is apparently incapable of transcription and translation. For many years, this dogma was supported by the assumption that (i) the compact sperm nucleus, resulting from the substitution of histones by protamine during spermatogenesis, renders the genome inaccessible to the transcriptional machinery; and (ii) the loss of most organelles, including endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes, limits or prevents translational activity. Despite these observations, several types of coding and non-coding RNAs have been identified in human sperm. Their functional roles, particularly during fertilization and embryonic development, are only now becoming apparent. Objective and rationale: This review aimed to summarize current knowledge of the origin, types, and functional roles of sperm RNAs, and to evaluate the clinical benefits of employing these transcripts as biomarkers of male fertility and reproductive outcomes. The possible contribution of sperm RNAs to both intergenerational and transgenerational phenotypic inheritance is also addressed. Search methods: A comprehensive literature search on PubMed was conducted using the search terms ‘sperm’ AND ‘RNA’. Searches focussed upon articles written in English and published prior to August 2020. Outcomes: The development of more sensitive and accurate RNA technologies, including RNA-seq, has enabled the identification and characterization of numerous transcripts in human sperm. Though a majority of these RNAs likely arise during spermatogenesis, other data support an epididymal origin of RNA transmitted to maturing sperm by extracellular vesicles. A minority may also be synthesized by de novo transcription in mature sperm, since a small portion of the sperm genome remains packed by histones. This complex RNA population has important roles in paternal chromatin packaging, sperm maturation and capacitation, fertilization, early embryogenesis, and developmental maintenance. In recent years, additional lines of evidence from animal models support a role for sperm RNAs in intergenerational and transgenerational inheritance, modulating both the genotype and phenotype of progeny. Importantly, several reports indicate that the sperm RNA content of fertile and infertile men differs considerably, and is strongly modulated by the environment, lifestyle, and pathological states. Wider implications: Transcriptional profiling has considerable potential for the discovery of fertility biomarkers. Understanding the role of sperm transcripts and comparing the sperm RNA fingerprint of fertile and infertile men could help to elucidate the regulatory pathways contributing to male factor infertility. Such data might also provide a molecular explanation for several causes of idiopathic male fertility. Ultimately, transcriptional profiling may be employed to optimize ART procedures and overcome some of the underlying causes of male infertility, ensuring the birth of healthy children