Now showing items 21-40 of 7078

    • Skinks of Oceania, New Guinea, and Eastern Wallacea: an underexplored biodiversity hotspot

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

      Caulfield, Laura; Sojka, Bozena (Emerald, 2023-02-02)
      Purpose Previous research has demonstrated the positive impact of participation in a music programme run by a Youth Offending Team in England. While the previous research focused solely on children involved with the criminal justice system, this current paper reports findings from research extended to young people identified as ‘at risk’ of involvement with the criminal justice system, vulnerable, or disengaged. Design/methodology/approach A mixed-methods approach was taken, using quantitative measures of the primary outcomes (educational engagement, well-being, musical development, and& attitudes and & behaviour), complemented and extended by semi-structured interviews with a sample of participants. Findings Analysis of the quantitative data from 57 participants showed significant improvements in self-reported engagement with education, musical ability, and well-being. In-depth interviews with 11 participants added a depth of understanding about children’s experiences of the programme and the impact they felt, providing a safe space and improved confidence and well-being. Originality This paper builds on previous research in schools and youth justice settings by presenting findings on the impact of a music programme on the educational engagement and wellbeing of children identified as at-risk of offending, vulnerable, or disengaged.
    • The Influence of atmospheric oxygen content on the mechanical properties of selectively laser melted AlSi10Mg TPMS-based lattice

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

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

      Khan, Nushrat; Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (Emerald, 2023-12-31)
      Purpose This study investigates differences and commonalities in data production, sharing and reuse across the widest range of disciplines yet, and identifies types of improvements needed to promote data sharing and reuse. Design The first authors of randomly selected publications from 2018 and 2019 in 20 Scopus disciplines were surveyed for their beliefs and experiences about data sharing and reuse. Findings From the 3,257 survey responses, data sharing and reuse are still increasing but not ubiquitous in any subject area and are more common among experienced researchers. Researchers with previous data reuse experience were more likely to share data than others. Types of data produced and systematic online data sharing varied substantially between subject areas. Although the use of institutional and journal-supported repositories for sharing data is increasing, personal websites are still frequently used. Combining multiple existing datasets to answer new research questions was the most common use. Proper documentation, openness, and information on the usability of data continue to be important when searching for existing datasets. However, researchers in most disciplines struggled to find datasets to reuse. Researcher feedback suggested 23 recommendations to promote data sharing and reuse, including improved data access and usability, formal data citations, new search features, and cultural and policy-related disciplinary changes to increase awareness and acceptance. Originality This study is the first to explore data sharing and reuse practices across the full range of academic discipline types. It expands and updates previous data sharing surveys and suggests new areas of improvement in terms of policy, guidance, and training programs.
    • Advocacy leadership and the deprofessionalising of the special educational needs co‐ordinator role

      Done, Elizabeth; Knowler, Helen; Richards, Hazel; Brewster, Stephanie (Wiley/NASEN, 2022-12-31)
      The UK government is proposing to replace M-level national award for special educational needs co-ordination training, mandated for SENCos in England, with an unaccredited national professional qualification. Such downgrading of their qualification level is intended to significantly increase the number of qualified SENCos; however, this is likely to reduce SENCos' capacity to exercise ‘advocacy leadership’ in support of students at risk of marginalization and social exclusion. We reject a neoliberal political discourse of continual improvement that neglects the need for critical literacy and research-informed inclusive practice on the part of SENCos, and suggest that endemic exclusionary practices in English schools are more likely to go unchallenged. The move towards nonaccredited SENCo status risks their deprofessionalisation, and this proposal is linked to an academisation agenda and efforts to normalize a trichotomised education system (comprising mainstream, ‘special’ and ‘alternative’ provision) by presenting such changes as an improvement.
    • Sources and mechanisms of modality-specific distraction in visual short-term memory

      Mercer, Tom; Shaw, Raegan; Fisher, Luke (Taylor & Francis, 2023-01-18)
      Visual short-term and working memory can be disrupted by irrelevant, distracting input occurring after encoding. Distractors similar to the original memory are known to be interfering, but it is unclear whether dissimilar distractors have the same disruptive effect. The presence of dissimilar distraction would be problematic for views of similarity-based interference, hence the present study investigated modality-specific distraction using a procedure that required participants to compare single target and probe objects over a delay. An irrelevant distractor could be presented during the delay separating the target and probe, but it varied in its similarity to the target. In four experiments, recognition was disrupted by the presence of a distractor, even when the distractors were highly dissimilar to the target. Furthermore, the interference effect was not reduced when the same distractors were repeatedly used throughout the experiment, and interference from dissimilar distractors was only lessened when it was extremely predictable. These findings indicate that susceptibility to dissimilar distraction is a persistent limitation in visual short-term memory.
    • Towards an ecocritical adaptation studies

      Geal, Robert (Oxford University Press, 2023-12-31)
      Arguments that ‘it is time for adaptation studies to take an x turn’ have proliferated in the inevitably methodologically eclectic field of adaptation studies. However, there are still methodologies with which adaptation studies has not yet engaged in detail, and which could be enriched by certain existing adaptation studies conventions. One such approach is ecocriticism: analyses of how various cultural practices reflect and inform human attitudes and behaviours towards the nonhuman world around us. This article outlines how the study of adaptation has thus far engaged with ecocritical issues, and indicates how existing adaptation studies protocols offer useful tools to extend the ecocritical project in a diachronic and intercultural manner.
    • Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 - Final evaluation report November 2022

      Walton, Peter; Jacobs, Lezelle (Insolvency Service, HM Government, 2022-12-19)
    • Definition modelling for English and Portuguese: a comparison between models and settings

      Dimas Furtado, Anna Beatriz; Research Institute of Information and Language Processing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-06)
      Definitions are key for many areas of knowledge; they convey meaning, refer to product conceptualization and naming, facilitate communication, provide clarity, and pervade all areas of human activity. Hence, having access to definitions is essential for many professions, but it is crucial for translation and interpreting. Definition Modelling (DM) is a task concerned with automatically generating definitions from embeddings. While most approaches to DM covers only English, this project aims at generating definitions for both Portuguese and English. DM is tackled with two deep-learning models as a sequence-to-sequence task in this research. Experiments are performed in three different settings - monolingual, cross-lingual, and multilingual based on various corpora and different embeddings. Given the lack of resources, the first dataset for Portuguese DM is developed. Both intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation is conducted. Results show that adopting the pre-trained MT5 model yield better results than non-pre-trained models for monolingual settings. Besides that, Flair-embeddings fare better than both character-based and transformer-based embeddings in non-pre-trained embedding. Human evaluation suggests that automatically generated glosses are useful for translators, although post-editing may be required to achieve optimal quality.
    • The impact of entrepreneurial orientation on debt financing of family businesses: Evidence from Nigeria

      Jaiyeola, Afusat; Wang, Yong; Mahmood, Samia; Montiel Méndez, O.J.; Tomaselli, S.; Maciel, A.S (Emerald, 2022-11-28)
      There exists a shortage of studies that establish linkages between entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing in family businesses. In line with this research stream, the purpose of this chapter is to examine the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing of family businesses. Specifically, the study investigates how the five entrepreneurial orientation dimensions– risk-taking, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness, and autonomy influence family business debt financing. By adopting a qualitative research methodology and based on empirical evidence gathered through a 10-case study design involving face-to-face interviews with owners of family businesses in Nigeria, the study examines the influence of entrepreneurial orientation on debt financing. The results suggest that the entrepreneurial orientation of family businesses seems to play a pivotal role in influencing debt financing. If a firm is entrepreneurial-oriented, it is reasonable to expect that it will focus attention on new and emerging opportunities for obtaining debt financing. The study advances research on entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing in family businesses. It develops an empirically theoretical framework at the intersection of the family business and entrepreneurial orientation research, filling a gap in the literature. Future research could substantiate the findings of this study on a broader empirical base, using quantitative methods. This study offers a new perspective to the study of entrepreneurial orientation and, at the same time, contributes with findings from research on entrepreneurial orientation to the study of debt financing in family businesses.
    • Enabling family business resilience – The role of female leadership: Evidence from a Chinese family business

      Wang, Yong; Li, Yanshuang; Montiel Méndez, O.J.; Tomaselli, S.; Maciel, A.S. (Emerald, 2022-11-28)
      Research on what makes family business resilient and why resilience matters in family businesses is in development. Drawing on the upper echelon theory, we examine the impact of female leadership on resilience development. Semi-structured interviews were performed in the selected family business. This was complemented by secondary data available from online publications. Results suggest that resilience consists of abilities to prepare for, control, adapt to, and absorb change. Evidence further indicates female-embodied attributes, female-enabled family cohesion, female-empowered governance, and female-characterised resource orchestration lead to the development of resilience.
    • Teacher talk and pupil talk: a case study of a thinking skills approach to learning in an English primary academy

      Lavender, Peter; Matheson, David; Gurton, Paul; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
      This thesis is an exploratory case study of how talk is used by teachers and pupils through a thinking skills approach to learning in a primary academy. It investigates the inter-relationship between curriculum and pedagogy using lesson observations, interviews with teachers and pupil focus groups. Findings suggest that an enquiry-oriented approach to curriculum, together with a dialogic stance amongst teachers, can result in an emancipatory consciousness-raising experience for children (Freire, 1974). Using the techniques of Philosophy for Children, pupils develop their understanding by bringing their life experiences to bear on curricular topics studied. Reflecting together in small group and whole class discussions, facilitated by teachers, enables them to give voice to their ideas and build on those of others, corresponding to the development of ‘communicative competence’ (Habermas,1984). Children’s development of criticality is seen to be enhanced in this approach to learning by the gradual introduction of conceptual or abstract vocabulary. However, a corollary is the risk that some may not engage in spoken enquiries or indeed that this curriculum may not provide them with the skills to achieve as well in national tests. An essential requirement of this counter cultural approach to teaching is the adoption of a fallibilist stance by teachers in discussion with children. Classroom relationships, which reduce the social distance and develop a more symmetrical power balance, foster collaboration and a sense of classroom community. The study concludes with implications for teacher education and professional development, namely: curriculum planning which takes account of pupils’ own experiences and capital; opportunities for children to develop their communicative competence which forges links between everyday and school language; and teacher focus on praxis, acting wisely and carefully in a particular situation.
    • Under one banner: The General Federation of Trade Unions c. 1899-1926

      Gildart, Keith; Nicolson, Edda; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-08)
      This thesis is a study of the early history of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) from their creation in 1899 until the events surrounding the 1926 general strike. The GFTU were created by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to bring together all trade unions under one banner by acting as an arbitration committee for industrial disputes and administrators of a national strike fund. They quickly grew to be an autonomous organisation that worked alongside the TUC and the fledging Labour Party, and briefly represented British trade unionists on the international stage. Despite this central role, and a peak membership of more than 1.5 million workers in the early 1920s, their contribution to the labour movement has been largely ignored in favour of the much larger TUC. The GFTU was perhaps marginalised due to being more of a committee than an organisation, and for its moderation in industrial politics. Although the principal aim of this thesis is to shed light on an ignored institution, it also posits that an emotions history approach can offer a new lens with which to view organisations. It uses the extensive archival records of the GFTU – including their annual reports, management committee records, newspaper articles, special investigative reports, and council meeting minutes – to reveal a more complex reading of trade union politics and culture in the first three decades of the twentieth century, and highlights the use of emotions as a way in which a sense of community was formed. Although much of labour history has tended to focus on more industrially militant organisations and high profile strikes as a way of understanding the organised working class, considering the more conciliatory voices of trade union organisations such as the GFTU reveals a more nuanced picture of the history of British labour movement. This thesis uses a broad definition of emotions that includes culture and experience, and uses five emotions to uncover more about the people involved in the GFTU during this period: hope, friendship, patriotism, exclusion, and hostility. Using these feelings as a lens reveals much about how the GFTU constructed an idea of shared feelings and experiences that was intended as a way of growing and maintaining their membership levels and support of their policies.
    • Reducing medication errors in Kuwaiti government hospitals through pharmacovigilance

      Morrissey, Hana; Saada, Mohammad; School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Background: Reducing medication errors in Kuwaiti government hospitals through pharmacovigilance involves the improvement of medication management practices to achieve the desired outcome. Medication management practices were assessed and based upon the findings, training to enhance healthcare professional’s awareness was developed, and recommendations for improvement of medication safety practices to reduce medication errors through pharmacovigilance were made. Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the extent of medication errors in the Kuwaiti government healthcare system, to gauge the healthcare professional’ awareness about medication safety culture and assess the healthcare professional’s attitudes towards medication error reporting. Methods and design: The study design included five distinct phases. A medical records/systems audit, for healthcare professionals an observation study, survey and development and piloting of a training package, plus the development of a framework for a medication error reporting and recording system. Results: The study revealed important findings at all five steps of the research process. The audit revealed that almost half of identified errors occurred during the prescribing stage (46.1%). The observation study of professionals revealed low compliance with basic standards of good practice such as (68%) updating patient information and (68%) double-checking prescribed medication. The professionals’ survey results revealed that (53.3%) were not aware of the existence of a medication error reporting system. The results of the training program implementation showed that (58%) of professionals indicated that they would like this training to be offered once a year and (39%) felt that the training session should last for at least one day. Finally, the study made recommendations with regards to the suggested algorithm for medication management process, clinical governance and a culturally safe reporting system. Conclusion: This multifaceted research study on reducing medication errors in Kuwaiti government hospitals through pharmacovigilance involved audits, observation studies, surveys, trainings, and the development of system recommendations for future enhancement in terms of recording systems, audit of reports, feedback to staff and development of an open, no blame, error-averse healthcare culture.
    • Measurement of calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9) and S100A12 in serum: method development, analytical validation, and clinical application

      Gama, Rousseau; Udegbune, Michael; School of Biomedical Science & Physiology, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-12)
      Background Faecal biomarkers of intestinal inflammation, in particular faecal calprotectin and to a lesser extent faecal S100A12, are used to discriminate between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and categorise active from inactive disease in established IBD. Faecal biomarkers have limitations including intra–individual and inter–individual variability, spot variability in the same sample and reluctance of some patients to provide stool samples. These issues may be overcome by using serum samples for the measurement of calprotectin and S100A12. This offers the prospect that serum calprotectin and serum S100A12 could replace or supplement faecal calprotectin and faecal S100A12 in the identification and assessment of IBD. The measurement in serum calprotectin and serum S100A12, however, requires method development, validation of assays for serum and evaluation of the validated assays for their diagnostic and prognostic utility in IBD. Method development switches between two processes. It may necessitate adapting an existing method to ensure its suitability for application in a new assay or devising a suitable method by integrating the expertise and experience of the personnel undertaking the task of method development. Assay validation process for commercially available serum immunoassay kits is necessary to underpin assay measurement in order to confirm accuracy of test results, cut costs of undertaking unnecessary and repeat testing procedures, reinforce analytical claim that assay measurement is devoid of uncertainty to justify 'fit for purpose' and confer additional benefit of good reputation to a clinical laboratory. Validation of an assay in serum confirms or disproves kit manufacturer’s analytical claim to robust assay performance characteristics that include accuracy, precision, dilution linearity/parallelism, recovery, sensitivity, interference and stability. Aim/Objectives This project was designed to (1) Develop and analytically validate a faecal S100A12 assay (ImmunodiagnostikTM AG, Stubenwald–Allee 8a, D–64625 Bensheim, Germany) for measurement of S100A12 in serum. Analytically validate serum calprotectin assays provided by Bühlmann (serum BMN®-Cp; Bϋhlmann Laboratories AG, Baselstrasse 55, CH – 4124 Schönenbuch, Switzerland) and ImmunodiagnostikTM (serum IDK®- Cp; ImmunodiagnostikTM AG, Stubenwald–Allee 8a, D–64625 Bensheim, Germany). (2) Assess whether serum BMN®-Cp, serum IDK®-Cp and serum S100A12 could replace or supplement faecal calprotectin and faecal S100A12 in excluding IBD in patients presenting with chronic diarrhoea. (3) Evaluate the utility of serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp in discriminating between active and inactive IBD. (4) Study the effect of the acute phase response (APR) on serum calprotectin determined with two different immunoassays kits (i.e., serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp), and to assess and compare the diagnostic performance of the two assays in APR. Methods (1) ELISA assays for faecal S100A12 were developed and optimised for measurement of S100A12 in serum. The serum BMN®-Cp, serum IDK®-Cp and serum IDK®-A12 were validated by determining analytical sensitivity, functional sensitivity, dilution linearity/parallelism, recovery, precision, and interference. (2) The diagnostic performances of the serum BMN®-Cp, serum IDK®-Cp and serum IDK®-A12 assays were compared against faecal calprotectin, as the diagnostic ‘gold standard’, in 40 patients with IBD and 5 control patients. (3) Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp and other conventional inflammatory blood biomarkers (serum CRP and platelets) were compared to faecal calprotectin in discriminating between active and inactive disease in a cohort of 175 patients with IBD. (4) The effect of APR, as determined by serum CRP, and serum calprotectin was assessed by measuring serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp before and after elective knee or hip surgery in 30 patients. Results Analytical validation Analytical validation of the assays showed a dynamic working range in serum of 10 to 25000 ng/mL, good precision (%CV for intra– and inter–assay variability for the kits were < 10% respectively, for each assay) and good reproducibility. There was no interference from bilirubin, haemoglobin, or lipid in the assays. There was no significant carryover or cross–reactivity across the assays. Assay kits were stable over 12 months. Analytical sensitivity ranged from 0.673 to 577 ng/mL for limit of the blank (LoB), and 1.119 to 597 ng/mL for lower limit of detection (LLoD). Functional sensitivity or limit of quantitation (LoQ) ranged from 522 to 3615 ng/mL. Measured to Expected ratios for dilution linearity/parallelism and recovery for the kits ranged from 98.4% to 103.7%, and from 82.1% to 126.5% respectively. Method comparison showed 19% positive proportional bias of the BMN®-Cp assay compared to the IDK®-Cp assay. Serum BMN®-Cp, serum IDK®-Cp and serum S100A12 in identifying IBD Using faecal calprotectin as the ‘gold standard’ for identifying IBD, the AUC from ROC curves for serum IDK®-Cp (AUC = 0.793) was greater than that for serum BMN®-Cp (AUC = 0.771) and these were greater than that for serum S100A12 (AUC = 0.700). Faecal calprotectin correlated best with serum IDK®-Cp (r = 0.69), then serum BMN®-Cp (r = 0.66) and least with serum S100A12 (r = 0.44). Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp in discriminating between active and inactive IBD. The cohort of 175 patients with IBD consisted of 101 (57.7%) patients with Crohns disease (CD), 71 (40.6%) with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 3 (1.7%) inflammatory bowel disease unclassified (IBDU). The clinical classification of disease activity was largely based on faecal calprotectin which indicated that the disease was quiescent in 99 (56.6%) patients, active in 73 (41.7%) patients and in 3 (1.7%) patients were IBDU. Faecal calprotectin was, therefore, higher (p < 0.0001) in active CD than in quiescent CD, and similarly higher (p < 0.0001) in active UC compared to quiescent UC. Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp in 175 IBD patients were highly correlated (r = 0.97). Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp were higher (p < 0.006) in active CD than in quiescent CD but were similar (p > 0.1) in active and quiescent UC. Serum CRP was higher (p = 0.0095) in active CD compared to quiescent CD but similar (p = 0.0638) in active and quiescent UC. Platelets were similar (p = 0.0579) in active and quiescent CD and similar (p = 0.8055) in active and quiescent UC. Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp concentrations were higher (p < 0.05) in active CD than quiescent CD at the ileal and upper GI, and the colonic and ileo–colonic sites of the ileum. Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp concentrations were similar (p > 0.05) in active UC and quiescent UC involving the rectum, distal colon and pancolon. Based on ROC curve analysis, the performance of serum CRP (AUC = 0.699) was marginally superior to that of serum BMN®-Cp (AUC = 0.662) and serum IDK®-Cp (AUC = 0.656), and these were superior to platelets (AUC = 0.547) in all patients with IBD. In patients with CD, none of the blood biomarkers performed well; serum CRP (AUC = 0.585), serum BMN®-Cp (AUC = 0.585), serum IDK®-Cp (AUC = 0.556) and platelets (AUC = 0.609). In patients with UC, the performance of serum CRP (AUC = 0.752) was superior to that of serum BMN®-Cp (AUC = 0.670) and serum IDK®-Cp (AUC = 0.660), and these were superior to platelets (AUC = 0.487). The effect of an APR on serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp Following elective knee and hip surgery in 30 patients, serum CRP, serum BMN®-Cp, serum IDK®-Cp and blood neutrophils increased (p < 0.0001); serum albumin and serum total protein decreased (p < 0.0001). The mean (SD) post–operative increase in serum BMN®-Cp (3.0 (1.9) fold) and serum IDK®-Cp (2.8 (1.8) fold) were similar (p = 0.6575) but these were both lower (p < 0.0001) than serum CRP (82.0 (60.8) fold). Logarithmically transformed serum CRP correlated positively with serum BMN®-Cp (r = 0.64), serum IDK®-Cp (r = 0.65) and neutrophil count (r = 0.66), and negatively with serum total protein (r = –0.43) and serum albumin (r = –0.70). Serum BMN®-Cp correlated positively with serum IDK®-Cp (r = 0.97) and neutrophil count (r = 0.68), and negatively with serum albumin (r = –0.54). Serum IDK®-Cp correlated positively with neutrophil count (r = 0.67), and negatively with serum albumin (r = –0.55; p < 0.0001). There was no correlation between serum total protein and either serum BMN®-Cp or serum IDK®-Cp. Conclusions The developed and optimised serum IDK®-Cp, serum BMN®-Cp and serum S100A12 assays have good analytical performance and compared favourably to manufacturer stated performance characteristics, where available. The large numerical difference between serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp values indicate that results and any derived cut–offs between assays are not directly inter–changeable. The serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp assays have acceptable diagnostic accuracy for the identification of IBD and these were superior to serum S100A12. Although serum BMN®-Cp results were 1.7–fold higher than matched serum IDK®-Cp results, for diagnostic purposes this was accounted for by their manufacturer provided cut–offs of >3900 ng/mL and >3000 ng/mL respectively. Serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp, however, are unlikely to replace faecal calprotectin but may have a role supplementing faecal calprotectin in the identification of IBD. An elevated serum calprotectin in patients with chronic diarrhoea would be an indication for endoscopy since it has a low false positive rate, but a normal serum calprotectin does not exclude IBD. In the cohort of 175 patients with IBD, serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp were significantly associated with disease activity in patients with CD irrespective of site of disease. There was, however, no significant association between serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp and disease activity in patients with UC. ROC curves analyses indicated that serum CRP performed better than serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp in discriminating between active and inactive disease in patients with CD and UC. In this patient cohort, serum calprotectin offers no advantages over serum CRP in discriminating between active and inactive IBD, particularly since serum CRP is easily available and less expensive. Serum calprotectin is a positive acute phase protein, and both the serum BMN®-Cp and serum IDK®-Cp assays perform equally well during an APR elicited by orthopaedic surgery. The increase in serum calprotectin elicited by trauma and previously reported increase in sepsis indicates that serum calprotectin is a non–specific biomarker of inflammation. At two days following an inflammatory insult, serum CRP may be a better discriminatory biomarker of the APR than serum calprotectin based on a much greater incremental response.
    • Rekindling Potohar [leaflet]

      Takhar, Opinderjit (2022-06)
    • Towards closing the housing gap in the UK: exploration of the influencing factors and the way forward

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

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

      Bollard, Martin; Dowling, Alison; Westwood, Lynne; Cannaby, Ann-Marie (University of Wolverhampton and The Royal Wolverhampton Trust, 2022-06-30)