Now showing items 1-20 of 6929

    • Evaluation of challenges for successful adoption of smart healthcare strategies

      Renukappa, Suresh; Mudiyia, Primrose; Suresh, Subashini; Abdalla, Wala; Subbarao, Chandrashekar (Elsevier, 2022-12-31)
      Smart healthcare strategies have been identified as a potential solution to address the growing challenges faced by the healthcare sector. The ability of smart healthcare strategies to improve efficiency, patient’s outcomes and delivery of quality healthcare has motivated and committed governments and policy makers to invest in this innovation. However, uptake and usage of smart healthcare strategies has not been successful as anticipated, and this is due to a number of challenges faced by different stakeholders during the adoption of these strategies. The objective of this paper is to systematically check published literature to identify and compile a comprehensive list of challenges of adopting smart healthcare strategies. Knowledge of these potential challenges gives stakeholders awareness and better prospects of dealing with the challenges of adopting smart healthcare strategies. A systematic literature review was conducted. EBSCOhost, PubMed, Scopus and Science Direct were searched for full text, peer reviewed, English language articles that reported the challenges for successful adoption of smart healthcare management strategies. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines were used to select eligible articles. After the full screening, 26 articles that met the criteria were analysed and reported. Three main themes of challenges that affect the adoption of smart healthcare strategies have been identified based on technology-organisation-environment (TOE) framework. The findings of this study demonstrate that different TOE challenges affect smart health strategies adoption by healthcare sector. This study, therefore, proposes a differentiated approach to policies and practices to effectively scale up adoption of smart health and reduce failure rates of smart health projects. It is concluded that future research is needed in identifying key change management strategies to successfully manage the identified challenges to improve the prospects of successful adoption of smart healthcare strategies.
    • Direct thermal management of windings enabled by additive manufacturing

      Simpson, Nick; Yiannakou, Georgios; Felton, Harry; Robinson, John; Arjunan, Arun; Mellor, Philip (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2022-09-27)
      The electrification and hybridization of ground- and air-transport, in pursuit of Carbon Net Zero targets, is driving demand for high power-density electrical machines. The power-density and reliability of electrical machines is ultimately limited by their ability to dissipate internally generated losses within the temperature constraints of the electrical insulation system. As the electrical windings are typically the dominant source of loss, their enhanced design is in the critical path to improvements in power-density. Application of metal additive manufacturing has the potential to disrupt conventional winding design by removing restrictions on conductor profiles, topologies and embedded thermal management. In this paper, a modular end-winding heat exchanger concept is presented, which enables effective direct cooling without occupying valuable stator slot cross-section. In addition, this arrangement eliminates the need for a good stator-winding thermal interface, thereby allowing mechanical or other less permanent winding retention methods to be used, facilitating non-destructive disassembly and repair. A prototype winding is fabricated and experimentally tested to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept, yielding promising results.
    • RNA-seq analysis reveals key genes associated with seed germination of Fritillaria taipaiensis P.Y.Li by cold stratification

      Yang, Qiu-Xiong; Chen, Dan; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Xiao-Yu; Zhao, Min; Peng, Rui; Sun, Nian-Xi; Baldwin, Timothy; Yang, Sheng-Chao; Liang, Yan-Li; et al. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-09-28)
      Seed dormancy is an adaptive strategy for environmental evolution. However, the molecular mechanism of the breaking of seed dormancy at cold temperatures is still unclear, and the genetic regulation of germination initiated by exposure to cold temperature requires further investigation. In the initial phase of the current study, the seed coat characteristics and embryo development of Fritillaria taipaiensis P.Y.Li at different temperatures (0°C, 4°C, 10°C & 25°C) was recorded. The results obtained demonstrated that embryo elongation and the dormancy-breaking was most significantly affected at 4°C. Subsequently, transcriptome analyses of seeds in different states of dormancy, at two stratification temperatures (4°C and 25°C) was performed, combined with weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) and metabolomics, to explore the transcriptional regulation of seed germination in F. taipaiensis at the two selected stratification temperatures. The results showed that stratification at the colder temperature (4°C) induced an up-regulation of gene expression involved in gibberellic acid (GA) and auxin biosynthesis and the down-regulation of genes related to the abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthetic pathway. Thereby promoting embryo development and the stimulation of seed germination. Collectively, these data constitute a significant advance in our understanding of the role of cold temperatures in the regulation of seed germination in F. taipaiensis and also provide valuable transcriptomic data for seed dormancy for other non-model plant species.
    • Investigation of the effect of disulfiram on the chemoresistance and invasiveness in pancreatic cancer cells

      Wang, Weiguang; Nkeonye, Ogechi; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide with a mortality to incidence ratio of 94%. It is the 10th most common cancer in the UK with a 5-year survival less than 7%. In contrast to the improved therapeutic outcomes in many other cancers, the prognosis of PDAC remains dismal. One reason for this is because most PDAC patients are asymptomatic and end up being diagnosed after the cancer has advanced to a late stage. Another major obstacle in PDAC management is that PDAC cells are highly resistant to currently available anticancer drugs and the resistant cells metastasize to vital organs leading to a high rate of fatalities. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for chemoresistance, relapse and metastasis. It is widely accepted that CSCs are located in the hypoxic niche which is responsible for maintaining stemness and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The stemness of cancer cells is a reversible state mediated by the hypoxic tumour microenvironment. Hypoxia initiates stemness in cancer cells by activating genes which inhibit apoptosis, modify glucose metabolism, increase cell proliferation and enhance cell pluripotency. Therefore, development of new drugs to target hypoxia-induced CSCs will be of clinical urgency in PDAC treatment. Due to the time and costs for new drug development, repositioning of old drugs for new ailments is an emerging drug R&D strategy in recent years. Disulfiram (DS) is an anti-alcoholism drug used in clinic for over 60 years. It demonstrates excellent activity against a wide range of cancers such as glioblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer and, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma without toxicity to normal cells. Whereas, its effect on PDAC cells is still largely unknown. In this study, the in vitro effect of hypoxia on the stemness, chemosensitivity and invasiveness of Panc-1, a PDAC cell line, and a panel of patient-derived PDAC primary cultures was investigated. The sphere-cultured PDAC cells contained high hypoxic population which demonstrated CSC/EMT traits and were resistant to the first line anti-PDAC drugs; gemcitabine and paclitaxel. The study manifested that the hypoxia-cultured monolayer PDAC cell line and primary cells also expressed CSC markers, ‘ALDH, CD133, ABCG2’ and EMT markers, ‘Vimentin, Snail1, N-cadherin, Snail2’. The hypoxia-cultured cells were highly resistant to gemcitabine and paclitaxel. Significantly higher migration and invasion activities were detected in the hypoxia-cultured PDAC cells compared to the normoxic cultures. Our previous studies demonstrated that copper is essential for the anticancer activity of DS. In this study, the effect of cyclodextrin encapsulated DS and copper (CycDex DS/Cu) on PDAC cells was examined. In line with previous studies, CycDex DS/Cu showed strong cytotoxicity in sphere- and hypoxia-cultured PDAC cells. It blocked hypoxia-induced CSC/EMT traits and reversed hypoxia-induced chemoresistance to gemcitabine and paclitaxel in PDAC cells. DS is an FDA approved medicine. The study suggests that further studies may translate it into PDAC clinic application in a fast track. Many hypotheses claim that hypoxia activates NFкB which in turn activates a cascade of genes that promote metastasis and chemoresistance in cancer. Our previous results indicate that NFкB plays a key role in chemoresistance and invasiveness in some types of cancer. For these reasons, the effect of NFкB on PDAC cells was investigated, NFкBp65 was genetically overexpressed and knocked out in Panc-1 PDAC cell line. The NFкBp65 overexpressed clones showed significantly higher migration rate but failed to induce chemoresistance. In contrast to our previous findings, the NFкBp65 overexpression and knockout did not influence the expression of CSC/EMT markers. These results suggest that we still need to set up further studies to elucidate the molecular anti-PDAC mechanisms of cyclodextrin encapsulated DS/Cu in PDAC cells.
    • Knowledge sharing within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia large construction organisations

      Renukappa, Suresh; Alamil, Hani Mohammed; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022)
      An increasing number of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) construction organisations are turning to knowledge sharing as a key to leverage their distinctive core competencies in their pursuit of competitive advantage. However, the construction industry is one of the most challenging environments where managing people effectively is vital to ensure that they contribute their knowledge to organisational success. Knowledge sharing is part of knowledge management process, one of the building blocks for an organisation’s success and acts as a survival strategy in this knowledge era. However, knowledge sharing is an under-researched area in the KSA large construction organisations context, despite several policy transformations announced by the KSA government. Thus, the main aim of this research was to investigate how KSA large construction organisations are knowledge sharing en-route to competitiveness. The findings are based on qualitative methodology adopting semi-structured interviews with 44 professionals. The content analysis revealed five key drivers for knowledge sharing. The single most important driver for knowledge sharing is the integration of knowledge assets. Furthermore, seven key knowledge sharing strategies are implemented in large construction organisations in the KSA. Regular sharing of best practices related to project knowledge is the most widely implemented. The study revealed eight knowledge sharing techniques and technologies that are extensively used in the KSA large construction organisations. The key challenge for knowledge sharing is the lack of communication skills whereas knowledge sharing strategies contribute to the acceleration of construction processes. A framework for knowledge sharing was developed and evaluated for the benefit of KSA large construction organisations, which is the main contribution to the knowledge. The study concludes that knowledge sharing is an integrated and complex process. The results suggest that, for effective implementation of knowledge sharing strategies, there is an urgent need for the KSA large construction organisations to develop and deploy appropriate knowledge sharing related management training programmes. The most estimable contribution of this study is to provide valuable insights that would help the KSA construction industry’s decision makers to implement knowledge sharing strategies to improves the sector’s competitiveness. The findings of this research are limited to the KSA construction industry context only; as such, the generalisability of the results outside this context may be very limited.
    • Experience of anger: Perceptions of anger in self and family members

      Hinton, Daniel; Stevens-Gill, Debbie; Markson, Alexandra; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-03)
      Family emotion literature usually focuses on emotions generally, or specific emotions (sadness), often using questionnaires with parents and young children. There is little research on anger, specifically, in families and how it is experienced by family members. This research aimed to investigate individuals’ lived experience of anger, and their experience of family member anger expression while growing up. Meaning obtained from their experiences is examined, considering anger-related beliefs and messages. As literature often interchanges ‘anger’ with ‘aggression’, this study attempted to investigate anger as separate from aggression, while acknowledging that both constructs might co-occur. Six participants attended semi-structured interviews, and using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), multiple themes were developed from participant accounts. Main findings include the internal and external experience of anger, with perceived shifts in control, as well as physiological, cognitive, and behavioural components that support the proposed model. Individuals adopted a dynamic role in anger within the family, shaped by family messages. Additionally, anger was found to be confused with aggression, with aggression often viewed as acceptable when perceived as justified or as punishment. This study contributes to the anger literature by highlighting new phenomena experienced by participants, family anger dynamics, and the idea that individuals take on a dynamic role in family anger. Additionally, a model of anger – the Layers Model – is proposed, as a template for anger experience. This is the first known model of anger experience, which also attempts to differentiate anger from aggression, while acknowledging how these constructs fit amongst other possible ‘layers’ within the anger experience. This model offers a template for future anger research, but also has potential value in therapeutic settings with adults and children. Further suggestions on how this research and its findings are important to clinical practice and Counselling Psychology is addressed.
    • Factors that influence how relationships adjust to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome: A grounded theory

      Chadwick, Darren; Gutteridge, Robin; Swinton, Jennifer; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-01)
      Background: There is relatively little research explaining how an intimate couple jointly adapt to a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/ chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A large body of literature exists that investigates the impact of ME/CFS on the individual and a smaller body of work addresses the effect on the partner and the influence the partner has in the management of the condition. This research, therefore, sought to illuminate couples’ experiences of ME/CFS, in order to gain a greater understanding of the factors that influence adaptation to the condition in their joint relationship. A Grounded Theory Methodology was adopted to create a tentative theory of adaptation which could supplement the current evidence base and begin to inform future professional practice. Method: Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with experiencers diagnosed with ME/CFS. Five interviews were conducted with the experiencer alone and three interviews also involved the experiencer’s partner. Interviews focused upon the couple’s experience of living with and adapting to ME/CFS. Interviews were analysed following the constructivist grounded theory principles outlined by Charmaz (2006). Findings: A tentative model of reconciliation was constructed which explained the couple’s journey from disruption towards adaptation. This tentative model explained how the couple manage ‘fundamental disruptions’ to their identities and expectations brought about by the introduction of a powerful entity ME/CFS (‘Illness identity or It’). The couple managed these disruptions by working through periods of ‘loss and grief’ using skills such as humour, communication and understanding. Through this process the couple were able to identify and begin to implement appropriate ‘adaptations’ that helped them to manage the impact of ME/CFS within their relationship. Conclusion: This research identified how ME/CFS impacts upon the individual with the diagnosis and their partner and illuminates that the process of reconciling with loss and grief and implementing adaptations is a joint journey. It highlights the importance of considering the couple and not just the individual in the management of ME/CFS and makes tentative recommendations that could inform professional support interventions in the future.
    • Developing a safety assessment framework for the transportation of petroleum products: A case study of the Nigerian petroleum downstream industry

      Georgakis, Panos; Odogun, Augustine; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-10)
      In Nigeria, downstream transportation and distribution of petroleum products is mainly done using pipelines and tanker vehicles. However, the latter have been linked to serious accidents/incidents with substantial consequences on human safety and the environment. This project aims to develop a safety assessment framework for mitigating the impact of accidents and improve road safety during the transportation of petroleum products between a loading depot and retail stations using tankers. During this study, a review of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry with respect to petroleum products transportation was carried out to identify key legislations and stakeholder interests within the context of accident mitigation and safety. A mixed research approach was adopted, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for data collection. The questionnaire survey was used to investigate the problems of petroleum products transportation and distribution using road tankers from a tanker driver perspective, while semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit the opinions of professionals and elucidate their opinions and experiences in relation to the variables in this study. The results from the survey and the interviews conducted revealed gaps in the following areas related to the transportation of petroleum products: technologies, risk management, regulations, environmental management and training leading to the development of a Safety Assessment Framework (SAF) which constitutes the main contribution to knowledge. The developed framework integrates different components of safety to enhance the efficiency and reliability of transportation of petroleum products using tankers. This research would be of benefit to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary the Petroleum Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) which oversees the transportation and distribution of petroleum products across the country. Also, the major oil marketers and the independent oil marketers which make up the freight transporters of the downstream oil and gas transport industry will benefit from this research. Concluding, this work may form a foundation for future research in the field of transport safety in Nigeria and Africa with regards to the transportation of petroleum products and other hazardous materials (HAZMATs).
    • More time for aliens? Performance shifts lead to increased activity time budgets propelling invasion success

      Ginal, Philipp; Kruger, Natasha; Wagener, Carla; Araspin, Laurie; Mokhatla, Mohlamatsane; Secondi, Jean; Herrel, Anthony; Measey, John; Rödder, Dennis (Springer, 2022-09-22)
      In the Grinnellian niche concept, the realized niche and potential distribution is characterized as an interplay among the fundamental niche, biotic interactions and geographic accessibility. Climate is one of the main drivers for this concept and is essential to predict a taxon’s distribution. Mechanistic approaches can be useful tools, which use fitness-related aspects like locomotor performance and critical thermal limits to predict the potential distribution of an organism. These mechanistic approaches allow the inclusion key ecological processes like local adaptation and can account for thermal performance traits of different life-history stages. The African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis, is a highly invasive species occurring on five continents. The French population is of special interest due to an ongoing expansion for 40 years and a broad base of knowledge. We hypothesize that (1) the French population exhibits increased activity time in the invasive European range that could be devoted to fitness-relevant activity and (2) tadpoles may have less activity time available than adult frogs from the same range. We investigate how thermal performance traits translate into activity time budgets and how local adaptation and differences in the thermal responses of life-history stages may boost the European Xenopus invasion. We use a mechanistic approach based on generalized additive mixed models, where thermal performance curves were used to predict the hours of activity and to compare the potential activity time budgets for two life-history stages of native and invasive populations. Our results show that adult French frogs have more activity time available in Europe compared to South African frogs, which might be an advantage in searching for prey or escaping from predators. However, French tadpoles do not have more activity time in Europe compared to the native South African populations suggesting that tadpoles do not suffer the same strong selective pressure as adult frogs.
    • Postdigital dupery and its epistemic vices

      MacKenzie, Alison; Rose, Jennifer; Bhatt, Ibrar; Hayes, Sarah L (Springer, 2022-09-21)
      In early 2020, Alison MacKenzie and Ibrar Bhatt guest edited the Special Issue of Postdigital Science and Education, ‘Lies, Bullshit and Fake News Online: Should We Be Worried?’ (MacKenzie and Bhatt 2020), and in early 2021, Alison MacKenzie, Jennifer Rose, and Ibrar Bhatt published their edited book, The Epistemology of Deceit in a Postdigital Era: Dupery by Design (MacKenzie et al. 2021b), in Postdigital Science and Education book series.Footnote 1 To continue this important work, Sarah Hayes emailed Alison, Jennifer, and Ibrar to arrange this conversation. Alison and Ibrar met with Sarah online in May 2021 and talked for two hours, with Jennifer providing her insights via email, to be blended into the dialogue.
    • The postdigital-biodigital revolution

      Means, Alexander; Jandrić, Petar; Sojot, Amy; Ford, Derek R.; Peters, Michael A.; Hayes, Sarah L (Springer, 2022-09-16)
    • Modeling of CO2 absorption into 4-diethylamino-2-butanol solution in a membrane contactor under wetting or non-wetting conditions

      Yuan, Cuiting; Li, Linlin; Li, Yifu; Pan, Zhen; Zhang, Na; N.Borhani, Tohid; Zhang, Zhien (Elsevier, 2022-09-14)
      In this work, 4-diethylamino-2-butanol (DEAB) as a new type of alkanolamine solvent is used for CO2 capture in a hollow fiber membrane contactor (HFMC). A model describing the gas and liquid reactions and transport inside the membrane contactor under the wetting or non-wetting conditions was built. The countercurrent flow of natural gas and solvent was considered in the model. To investigate the influence of solvent type on decarburization efficiency, DEAB was used and compared with other common solvents such as potassium carbonate (K2CO3), triethylamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA). Under the same operating conditions, the impact of parameters such as humidity, gas flow rate, liquid concentration, membrane length on the decarburization performance was examined. The results indicate that DEAB solvent has the best overall performance especially under the wetting conditions. It was noted that increasing liquid concentration, membrane length and decreasing gas flow rate enhance decarburization.
    • Do job advertisements promote gender inequality in the construction sector?

      Aluko, Ralph O.; Oshodi, Olalekan; Daniel, Emmanuel Itodo (Unpublished, 2022-08-31)
      The poor performance of construction projects remains a topical issue in the academic field of construction management. Across the globe, statistical data indicates that the construction sector is male dominated. The observed inequality is linked to conflicts, which is one of the main reasons for the poor performance of construction projects. The current study aims to explore the differences between job adverts for male [construction manager] and female [social worker] dominated sectors of the economy by comparing word usage. Text mining was used to unearth the differences in the content of the job advertisements for these two roles. The findings indicate that masculine words [such as leader] are the most commonly used words in the job adverts for construction manager roles. The findings suggest that the content of job adverts seem to promote gender stereotypes associated with employment in the construction sector. Such gender cues may contribute to the gender differences in the construction workforce. Taken together, these findings suggest that there is a need to embed gender-neutral words in job adverts placed by construction sector.
    • Evaluating floating photovoltaics (FPVs) potential in providing clean energy and supporting agricultural growth in Vietnam

      M Pouran, Hamid; Padilha Campos Lopes, Mariana; Ziar, Hesan; Castelo Branco, David; Sheng, Yong (Elsevier, 2022-09-29)
      Vietnam’s promising economic growth has led to energy shortage, growing coal imports, and increasing carbon emissions. The country’s electricity demand annual growth rate has been 12% in recent years and is projected to be 8-9% by 2030. In Vietnam 40% of the land is dedicated to agriculture and thousands of inland water bodies are used for agriculture/aquaculture. Utilising even a small portion of them for Floating Photovoltaics (FPVs) would mitigate land-use conflicts and benefits agriculture and aquaculture. To demonstrate FPVs' potential, we selected a hydropower dam reservoir in the North and six irrigation reservoirs in the South. System Advisor Model (SAM) software was used to simulate the electricity generated if we cover 1%, 5%, and 10% of surfaces of these reservoirs. The results show a potential capacity close to 1 GWp and annual potential generation of 1.4 TWh if 1% of these surfaces were covered by FPVs. We also evaluated FPVs potential for four different types of water bodies in Vietnam: Lake, Lagoon, River and Without Classification. The results showed that the potential capacity, considering use of only of 1% of these water surfaces for FPVs is 3.7 GWp, and provides 5385 GWh generation, which highlights the significant contribution that FPVs can make to the renewable energy sector in this country. However, FPVs face some socio-technical barriers, including regulatory ambiguity about water rights, uncertainty about economic policies and limited information about their environmental impacts that could hamper the expansion of this technology, and need to be addressed through further research.
    • Environmental and technical impacts of floating photovoltaic plants (FPVs) as an emerging clean energy technology

      M Pouran, Hamid; Padilha Campos Lopes, Mariana; Nogueira, Tainan; Castelo Branco, David; Sheng, Yong (Cell Press, 2022-12-31)
      Floating photovoltaic plants (FPVs) are emerging as a new modality of photovoltaic system application. FPVs present several benefits in comparison with ground-mounted systems and could have major and lasting positive environmental and technical impacts globally, which is the focus of this paper. Floating solar technology does not occupy habitable and productive areas and can be deployed in brownfields and degraded environments, that helps reducing land-use conflicts. Saving water through mitigating evaporation and improving water security in water-scarce regions combined with their flexibility for deployment on different water bodies including drinking water reservoirs are of other advantages of FPVs. They also have higher efficiency than ground-mounted PV solar and are compatible with the existing hydropower infrastructures, which supports diversifying the energy supply and its resilience. Despite the notable growth of floating photovoltaics on an international scale, lack of supporting policies and development roadmaps by the governments could hinder FPVs’ sustainable growth. Long-term reliability of the floating structures is also of the existing concerns that if not answered could limit the expansion of this emerging technology.
    • Representation and diversity in the sign language translation & interpreting profession in the UK

      Napier, Jemina; Skinner, Robert; Adam, Robert; Stone, Christopher; Pratt, Sandra; Hinton, Danny; Obasi, Chijoke (SAGE, 2022-12-31)
      This paper reports the findings of a nationwide sign language translator and interpreter (SLTI) census to establish a baseline description of the UK’s SLTI workforce that was commissioned by the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK. Complete responses were received from 690 practitioners from across the UK (43% of the potential sample). The survey responses were analysed using SPSS statistical software, specifically to look at various intersectional characteristics concerning gender, age, sexuality, race and ethnicity. This paper provides an overview of the findings with respect to two key themes: representation and diversity in the profession, along with discussion of the profile of the SLTI profession in the UK, and recommendations for actions for key stakeholder organisations. As a first snapshot, this census functions as a baseline for future comparisons, and can be modified and improved through open dialogue with professional and community groups. This snapshot helps us to identify gaps in representation. Finally, it can also inform the planning and forecasting of recruitment needs for the workforce and highlight any education and training needs.
    • Language aptitude in the visuospatial modality: L2 British Sign Language acquisition and cognitive skills in British Sign Language-English interpreting students

      Watkins, Freya; Webb, Stacey; Stone, Christopher; Thompson, Robin L. (Frontiers Media, 2022-09-14)
      Sign language interpreting (SLI) is a cognitively challenging task performed mostly by second language learners (i.e., not raised using a sign language as a home language). SLI students must first gain language fluency in a new visuospatial modality and then move between spoken and signed modalities as they interpret. As a result, many students plateau before reaching working fluency, and SLI training program drop-out rates are high. However, we know little about the requisite skills to become a successful interpreter: the few existing studies investigating SLI aptitude in terms of linguistic and cognitive skills lack baseline measures. Here we report a 3-year exploratory longitudinal skills assessments study with British Sign Language (BSL)-English SLI students at two universities (n = 33). Our aims were two-fold: first, to better understand the prerequisite skills that lead to successful SLI outcomes; second, to better understand how signing and interpreting skills impact other aspects of cognition. A battery of tasks was completed at four time points to assess skills, including but not limited to: multimodal and unimodal working memory, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional mental rotation (MR), and English comprehension. Dependent measures were BSL and SLI course grades, BSL reproduction tests, and consecutive SLI tasks. Results reveal that initial BSL proficiency and 2D-MR were associated with selection for the degree program, while visuospatial working memory was linked to continuing with the program. 3D-MR improved throughout the degree, alongside some limited gains in auditory, visuospatial, and multimodal working memory tasks. Visuospatial working memory and MR were the skills closest associated with BSL and SLI outcomes, particularly those tasks involving sign language production, thus, highlighting the importance of cognition related to the visuospatial modality. These preliminary data will inform SLI training programs, from applicant selection to curriculum design.
    • Development of a new bio-microscope for 3D geometry characterization of fruit single cells

      Zhang, Meishuan; Wang, Yiheng; Wang, Junyi; Li, Zhiguo; Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline Laure (Wiley, 2022-09-16)
      Fruit cells are living irregular 3D transparent objects which makes them challenging to determine their real 3D size and shape through only two-dimensional (2D) images using the existing biological microscope. This study deals with a newly self-developed biological microscope including a microscope imaging system, a light source system, a stage and a support base for the 3D size characterization of fruit single cells. The main design concept is based on two optical path systems set up at the front (x-axis) and bottom (z-axis) directions of a transparent chamber containing single cells that allow the front view and bottom view of the single cell to be observed. Performance indicators such as mass, size, observation range, objective magnification, total magnification, focal range, focal accuracy and resolution of the developed biological microscope were estimated. Finally, the 3D geometry size of single tomato cells was measured by the new biological microscope to demonstrate the relative ease at which accurate real 3D geometry information of single fruit cells could be obtained, which echoes its scientific value.
    • Renewable energy re-distribution via multiscale IoT for 6G-oriented green highway management

      Rahman, Md Arafatur; Mukta, Marufa Yasmin; Asyhari, A. Taufiq; Moustafa, Nour; Patwary, Mohammad; Yousuf, Abu; Razzak, Imran; Gupta, Brij (IEEE, 2022-09-16)
      While recent works on investigating renewable energy sources for powering the highway offer promising solutions for sustainable environments, they are often impeded by unequal distribution of sources across the region due to variations in solar exposure and road intensity that electromagnetically and mechanically generate the energy. By exploiting viable gathering of massive renewable energy data using the Internet of Things (IoT), this paper proposes a framework for improved highway-energy management based on the unmanned aerial vehicle-assisted wireless energy re-distribution of the harvested renewable energy. Combining both massive low-rate sensing with high-speed 6G-envisioned transmission for data aggregation, the IoT architecture is of multi-scale, consisting of: i) global data exchange and analytics for energy mapping, re-distribution planning and forecasting, and ii) local data sensing and processing at individual highway lampposts for micro-energy management. The feasibility of the networked energy system is analyzed via analytical cost-reliability analyses. The cost analysis demonstrates the cost-effectiveness through the lowest Requirement of Energy and Cost of Energy for the setup and maintenance. The reliability analysis reveals the energy plus (E + ) feature of the system in certain conditions with enhanced reliability in adverse weathers that impact energy generation. With multi-scale data connectivity to intelligently manage standalone renewable energy, this work puts forward a viable idea of 6G use cases with massively networked energy sensors with a vision of achieving super-connected and intelligence-equipped highways.
    • SP2.2.4 Structured prehabilitation reduces physical deconditioning and improves emotional and physical well-being during neo-adjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgery for oesophageal cancer

      Knight, William; Zylstra, Janine; White, Greg; Lane, Andrew; Browning, Mike; Davies, Andrew (British Journal of Surgery Society/ Oxford University Press, 2022-08-09)