Now showing items 21-40 of 7409

    • Changes in secondary metabolite production in response to salt stress in Alcea rosea L.

      Sadeghi, Arezoo; Razmjoo, Jamshid; Karimmojeni, Hassan; Baldwin, Timothy; Mastinu, Andrea (MDPI, 2024-01-31)
      The effect of three levels of salinity on physio-biochemical traits in 10 Alcea rosea (hollyhock) varieties were evaluated. It was observed that salt stress increased both the total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) in some varieties and decreased them in others. The greatest increases in both TPC and TFC were recorded in the Saman variety (104% and 62%, respectively) when cultivated under severe salt stress, indicating that this is the most salt-tolerant variety amongst those tested. The most abundant phenolic compound recorded was ellagic acid, and the phenolic compounds that showed the greatest increases in concentration due to salt stress were p-coumaric acid (87% in the Isfahan variety) and chlorogenic acid (142% in the Mahallat variety). Salt stress was also shown to decrease the production of diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) in all varieties. The highest concentration of DPPH (133%) was recorded in the Shiraz 1 variety, grown under conditions of severe salt stress. Salt stress also increased the mucilage content present in the petals, leaves, and seeds of some of the selected varieties. These data suggest that the selection of salt-tolerant varieties of hollyhock for direct cultivation or for use in future breeding programs is feasible.
    • Why engaging young people in heritage is key to levelling up

      Blamire, Joshua; Elkington, Rob (Archives & Records Association, 2023-07-03)
    • The effect of dose, settling time, shelf life, storage temperature and extractant on Moringa oleifera Lam. protein coagulation efficiency

      Shah, Ahsan; Arjunan, Arun; Manning, Georgina; Zakharova, Julia; Andraulaki, Ioanna; Batool, Maryam (Elsevier, 2024-01-17)
      The study explores green chemistry to purify drinking water using Moringa oleifera (MO) Lam. seeds. This is done by investigating the coagulation efficiency of MO seed extracts for treating moderately turbid water. The research reveals the influence of various factors such as dose, settling time, shelf life, storage temperature, and extractant (water and 1 M NaCl solution) on the coagulation efficiency of MO Lam. protein. The MO seed protein extracts (MOPE) dissolved in tap water, and 1 M NaCl solution was characterised for their performance at ambient temperature and 4 ℃. Within 3 h of MOPE treatment, the turbidity reduced by 90–93 % without significantly altering pH and total dissolved solids (TDS) or electrical conductivity (EC) of the treated water samples. Although the dose rate was found to increase with the storage time, the optimum Moringa oleifera dose was 30–50 mg/l. Overall, the refrigerated MOPE in NaCl offered an extended shelf life, exhibiting good coagulation for up to 7 days compared to 3–4 days for the non-refrigerated variant.
    • Geometrically nonlinear coupled adjoint aerostructural optimization of natural-laminar-flow strut-braced wing

      Ma, Yiyuan; Abouhamzeh, Morteza; Elham, Ali (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2022-12-18)
      Novel aircraft concepts employing ultrahigh-aspect-ratio wings, such as the strut-braced wing (SBW) configuration, are promising ways to achieve the next-generation sustainable and fuel-efficient aviation goals. However, as the wing aspect ratio increases, the wing increasingly exhibits more flexibility, higher deformation, and geometrically nonlinear behavior that cannot be accurately simulated by conventional sizing methods and typical linear structural analysis models. This paper establishes a framework for SBW aircraft conceptual design, conceptual optimization, and aerostructural optimization. The presented aerostructural optimization method hasmedium-fidelity and physics-based features.Ageometrically nonlinear structural analysis solver and a quasi-three-dimensional aerodynamic solver are coupled for the aerostructural optimization of composite natural-laminar-flow SBW aircraft. A medium-range (MR)-SBWaircraft is initially designed and optimized in the conceptual design stage. A gradient-based aerostructural optimization is performed using the proposed tool for minimizing the fuel mass of the initially sized and optimized MR-SBW aircraft. The optimization results in a more than 10% reduction in fuel mass, a more than 8% reduction in aircraft maximum takeoff mass, and a more than 30% reduction in wing and strut structural weight by optimizing the wing box structure, the wing planform, and the airfoil shape while satisfying the constraints on structural failure, wing loading, and aileron effectiveness.
    • Prediction models for distortions and residual stresses in thermoset polymer laminates : An overview

      Abouhamzeh, Morteza; Sinke, Jos; Benedictus, Rinze; Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology (MDPI AG, 2019-10-11)
      This paper reviews predictive models developed for the development of residual stresses and shape distortions during the manufacturing of thermoset polymeric/composite materials. Different sources that produce residual stresses and shape changes in the laminated panels are described and reviewed. An overview is presented on the characterisation and predictions of the phenomena resulting in residual stresses. The focus will be on the models accounting for the parameters during the cure cycle of the thermoset composite materials published in the literature from 2005 until 2018. The material types covered here range from thermoset adhesives, full composites, and fibre metal laminates. Furthermore, selected works are reviewed on the reduction of the shape changes and residual stresses of composites and fibre metal laminates consisting of thermoset polymers.
    • Aerostructural optimization and comparative study of twin-fuselage and strut-braced-wing aircraft configurations

      Ma, Yiyuan; Abouhamzeh, Morteza; Elham, Ali; The University of Wolverhampton, Department of Engineering, Telford, U.K. (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2023-12-09)
      The ultrahigh-aspect-ratio wing (UHARW) concept is a promising configuration to achieve future sustainable aviation goals. Twin-fuselage (TF) and strut-braced-wing (SBW) configurations are characterized by smaller structural bending moments and shear forces in the wing and are promising concepts for realizing UHARW designs. This paper addresses the aerostructural optimization problem of TF and SBW configurations with UHARW by using a coupled adjoint aerostructural optimization tool, which is composed of a geometrically nonlinear structural solver and a quasi-three-dimensional natural laminar flow (NLF) aerodynamic solver. The optimization results show significant improvements in fuel efficiency and performance for the TF and SBW aircraft, with fuel mass reductions of 13 and 10%, respectively, compared to the corresponding baseline aircraft designed in the conceptual design phase. In comparison to the original reference aircraft A320neo, the optimized TF and SBW have 48 and 31% lower fuel weights, respectively. The NLF range of both upper and lower wing surfaces is expanded during optimization. The optimized SBW configuration has a wing aspect ratio of 26.01, while the optimized TF has a wing aspect ratio of 20.74, indicating that the SBW concept is more conducive to realizing UHARW design compared with the TF configuration studied in this work. The optimized TF aircraft has a lighter fuel weight and gross weight compared to the optimized SBW aircraft, which is because the TF aircraft has a lighter operational empty weight, including a lighter fuselage structural weight, landing gear weight, etc., whereas the top-level aircraft requirements are the same for both aircraft, including range, payload, and cruise Mach.
    • Viscoelastic modelling of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics in hygrothermal circumstances

      Abouhamzeh, Morteza; van Dijk, Yannick L.M.; Grätzl, Thomas (Springer Nature, 2022-09-12)
      Thermoplastics are favourable to the automotive industry due to their recycling possibility. Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) are passed through the automotive paint shop. The imposed thermal loading presents a challenge to implementing economically feasible CFRTP in body structures. The present study provides a simulation approach to analyse the anisotropic viscoelastic deformation behaviour to assess this scenario. Validation experiments were conducted by optically measuring the out-of-plane displacement of dry and moisture-saturated specimens subjected to a simulated cathodic dip painting-dryer. Preliminary lay-up assessment for the automotive painting process is deemed possible due to the good agreement between simulation and experiments.
    • Navigating flood resilience: challenges, solutions, and lessons learnt from the Dominican Republic

      Reynoso Vanderhorst, Hamlet; Pathirage, Chaminda; Proverbs, David (MDPI, 2024-01-24)
      Recent unprecedented events worldwide, such as floods in Dubai, recurring heavy rainfall in Santo Domingo, and abrupt temperature changes in the United Kingdom (UK), underscore the tangible impacts of climate change. In response to escalating threats from natural disasters, global communities prioritise resilience and effective disaster management systems. This paper addresses best practices for managing abnormal floods, laying the foundation for the next generation of preparedness and mitigation plans. Focusing on flood risk in Santo Domingo, the study employs the Community Disaster Resilience Framework, conducting a workshop with over 100 stakeholders from government, private, and academic sectors. The assessment spans physical, economic, environmental, and social aspects, revealing common challenges in infrastructure upkeep, public awareness, urban planning, drainage, and economic disparities. The paper proposes technological solutions like predictive maintenance and smart drainage systems, emphasising the potential for implementation. Recognising the importance of community involvement and preparedness, insights from the United Kingdom guide initial steps in strategy development. The conclusions advocate for collaborative efforts among government, academia, and society to navigate the complexities of disaster management and community resilience, ultimately proposing a framework to address these challenges. Further research is suggested in expanding online platforms for disaster risk reduction education in the Caribbean region.
    • A peer-led walking intervention for adolescent girls (the WISH study): a cluster-randomised controlled trial

      Murphy, Marie H.; O'Kane, S. Maria; Carlin, Angela; Lahart, Ian; Doherty, Leanne C.; Jago, Russell; McDermott, Gary; Faulkner, Maria; Gallagher, Alison M.; Centre for Exercise Medicine, Physical Activity and Health, Sports and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Belfast, UK; Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PHARC), Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. (Elsevier, 2023-11-23)
      BACKGROUND: Adolescent girls in the UK and Ireland fail to meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. PA behaviours track from childhood into adulthood. The effects of walking interventions on adult health are known; however, the potential of walking to promote PA in adolescents is less known. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a novel, school-based walking intervention aimed at increasing PA levels of adolescent girls. METHODS: In this cluster-randomised controlled trial, female pupils aged 12-14 years were recruited from 18 (mixed or single-sex) schools across the border region of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Schools were randomly assigned to either the control group (usual physical activity; n=9) or the intervention group (n=9) by independent faculty staff using an online randomisation tool ( In intervention schools, female pupils aged 15-18 years were trained as walk leaders and led the younger pupils in 10-15 min walks before school, at break, and at lunchtime. Walks were in school grounds and pupils were encouraged to join as many walks as possible. The intervention was delivered for a full school year excluding holidays (for a total of 18-21 weeks). Accelerometers measured PA, and the primary outcome was total PA (counts per minute [cpm]). Ethics approval was granted by Ulster University Research Ethics Committee and written informed consent (parent or guardian) and assent (pupils) was obtained. This study is registered with the ISRCTN Registry, 12847782. FINDINGS: The study took place from Sept 1, 2021, to May 31, 2023. In total, 589 pupils were recruited (n=286 in intervention group; n=303 in control group). Median moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) at baseline was 36·1 min/day (IQR 23·0) for the intervention group and 35·3 min/day (19·8) for the control group. Only 37 (15%) girls in the intervention group and 29 (10%) girls in the control group met PA guidelines (60 min/day of MVPA). The mean total PA after intervention was 676 cpm (SD 18·7) for the intervention group and 710 cpm (SD 17·7) for the control group. Post-intervention total PA did not differ between groups when adjusted for age, body-mass index, z-scores, and baseline PA (mean difference -33·5, 95% CI -21·2 to 88·1; p=0·213). INTERPRETATION: Scaling up PA interventions is challenging. Despite a promising feasibility study, the results of this fully powered trial indicate that in this context, the walking programme did not increase PA. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, school environments have changed, and although pupils enjoyed the programme, attendance at walks was low. There is a need to better understand the implementation of interventions such as this within schools. FUNDING: Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN).
    • Biosynthesis and characterisation of polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers and their oligomers for circular economy

      Radecka, Iza; Ekere, Anabel; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-05)
      Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable bioplastics that can potentially replace non-biodegradable petroleum-based plastics. However, the high production cost of PHAs which is associated with the high cost of starting substrate extraction solvents limits its integration into large scale biotechnology process. To overcome this limitation, this research examined the upcycling and bioconversion of plastic wastes to PHA. Novel plastic wastes investigated in this study were oxidised low-density polyethylene (LDPE), LDPE separated from Tetra Pak® waste (PE-T) and [text redacted]. These plastic wastes were supplied directly to Cupriavidus necator for use as potential carbon sources for PHA accumulation in a 48-hour shake flask cultivation study, in either tryptone soy broth or basal salt medium. LDPE and PE-T produced the most PHA yield with high purity (29% CDW and 40% CDW respectively). While cultures with [text redacted] had the highest yield (32-68% CDW), characterisation results showed this was due to high contamination from the [text redacted] starting material. Electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) confirmed the monomer composition of the polymer produced with LDPE and PE-T to be 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyvalerate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate and that with [text redacted] to be 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate. Chloroform solvent extraction and soap digestion were also compared to determine the most cost-effective, characterized by high PHA yield and purity. Chloroform extraction technique resulted in higher PHA yields (40% CDW) than soap digestion technique (14% CDW). In PHA oligomer production studies, thermal degradation of PHBV to PHA oligomers proved to be a better method for obtaining PHA oligomers than from yeast biomass in brewery waste. The outcome from this study provides preliminary evidence for further developmental work on the cost-effective microbial recycling of LDPE and Tetra Pak® plastic wastes for PHA production.
    • Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of the C2H2-zinc finger transcription factor gene family and screening of candidate genes involved in floral development in Coptis teeta Wall. (Ranunculaceae)

      Duan, Shao-Feng; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Ji-Chen; Xiang, Gui-Sheng; Xiao, Lin; Cui, Rui; Hu, Qian-Qian; Baldwin, Timothy; Lu, Ying-Chun; Liang, Yan-Li (Frontiers Media, 2024-01-22)
      Background: C2H2-zinc finger transcription factors comprise one of the largest and most diverse gene superfamilies and are involved in the transcriptional regulation of flowering. Although a large number of C2H2 zinc-finger proteins (C2H2-ZFPs) have been well characterized in a number of model plant species, little is known about their expression and function in Coptis teeta. C. teeta displays two floral phenotypes (herkogamy phenotypes). It has been proposed that the C2H2-zinc finger transcription factor family may play a crucial role in the formation of floral development and herkogamy observed in C. teeta. As such, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the C2H2-ZFP gene family in C. teeta. Results: The complexity and diversity of C. teeta C2H2 zinc finger proteins were established by evaluation of their physicochemical properties, phylogenetic relationships, exon-intron structure, and conserved motifs. Chromosome localization showed that 95 members of the C2H2 zinc-finger genes were unevenly distributed across the nine chromosomes of C. teeta, and that these genes were replicated in tandem and segmentally and had undergone purifying selection. Analysis of cis-acting regulatory elements revealed a possible involvement of C2H2 zinc-finger proteins in the regulation of phytohormones. Transcriptome data was then used to compare the expression levels of these genes during the growth and development of the two floral phenotypes (F-type and M-type). These data demonstrate that in groups A and B, the expression levels of 23 genes were higher in F-type flowers, while 15 genes showed higher expressions in M-type flowers. qRT-PCR analysis further revealed that the relative expression was highly consistent with the transcriptome data. Conclusion: These data provide a solid basis for further in-depth studies of the C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor gene family in this species and provide preliminary information on which to base further research into the role of the C2H2 ZFPs gene family in floral development in C. teeta.
    • Dietary restraint and emotional eating among elite/international combat sport athletes

      Barker, Laura; Ruiz, Montse C.; Nevill, Alan M.; Cloak, Ross; Lane, Andrew; Devonport, Tracey (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-31)
      In one-on-one combat sport, weight classifications are enforced to promote fair fights and minimise injury risk. Most combat sport athletes try to fight at weight much lower than their natural weight necessitating use of weight loss strategies including restrained eating prior to competition. Previous research indicates that individuals self-reporting as high in dietary restraint also self-report a higher desire to emotionally eat, which if acted upon would compromise weight management goals. This mixed-methods exploratory study examined associations between dietary restraint and emotional eating among elite/international combat sport athletes. Nineteen elite/international competitors in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts completed the emotional eating scale, a revised restraint scale, and a rapid weight loss questionnaire. A subsample of six participants then completed individual interviews to explore emotional eating, particularly during the lead-up to and post-competition. Quantitative findings via non-parametric tests found high scores in restrained eating associated with a greater urge to emotionally eat. Qualitative findings via content analysis of interview data identified three themes that helped understand this association, ‘emotions eliciting an urge to eat’, ‘outcomes of emotional eating’, and ‘resisting emotional eating’. Participants described a cycle of restrained eating pre-competition followed by an increased tendency toward emotional eating post-competition, with the extent of emotional eating influenced by the degree of restrained eating required and competition outcomes.
    • Antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of acute schizophrenia after the first episode

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick; Sherzad Qadir, Zina; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-10)
      Background: Antipsychotic drugs (APDs) represent the treatment of choice for psychotic disorders, but uncertainty surrounds the optimal selection of agents. Methodology: This was a mixed method study which included a systematic review and psychiatrists’ opinion survey. The systematic review focused on comparative analysis of APDs, regardless of being typical or atypical, which are used for the treatment of schizophrenia, to determine their relative efficacy, rate and causes of discontinuations and potential side-effects. The review followed the PRISMA-P© statement and checklist and used the RevMan© statistical analysis tool to report on the findings. PubMed©, CINHAL© and ScienceDirect™ were searched for suitable studies. The primary outcomes of interest were clinical response measured by symptoms improvement, tolerance to side effects and discontinuation rate and reasons. The study analyses were presented as forest plots, with 95% confidence intervals and p value of 0.05 or less as significant. The selected study population was adults who were APD-naïve or only a short history of APD use (<16 weeks). A cross-sectional survey of psychiatrists from the UK and India was conducted to understand their opinions regarding their choice of APDs, their experience with tolerance and efficacy in managing psychosis in patients diagnosed with acute schizophrenia after first episode of psychosis. Both categorical and qualitative data was collected and analysed. The survey was opened from 26 April 2022 to 31 July 2022. Findings: Twenty one RCTs were included in the systematic review. There was better individual patients’ response to aripiprazole vs. ziprasidone (CDSS p=0.04), aripiprazole vs. quetiapine (BPRS p=0.02, YMRS p=0.001) and ziprasidone vs. quetiapine (CGI p=0.02, CDSS p=0.02) in the study sample. In the short term APDs use, the difference between aripiprazole and risperidone was statistically significant for diminished sexual desire (p=0.01). Long term APDs use, the difference between aripiprazole and ziprasidone was significant for increased duration of sleep (p=0.003), rigidity (p=0.02), erectile dysfunction (p=0.005), ejaculatory dysfunction (p=0.02) and weight gain (p=0.01); aripiprazole and quetiapine for sleepiness (p<0.001), increased duration of sleep (p=0.001), tremors (p=0.04), erectile dysfunction (p=0.002), akathisia (p=0.05); quetiapine and ziprasidone for rigidity (p=0.03), vertigo (p=0.05), weight gain (p=0.003) and akathisia (p=0.005); olanzapine and quetiapine for weight gain (p<0.001), risperidone and quetiapine for increased duration of sleep (p=0.02), olanzapine and risperidone for weight gain (p=0.03), olanzapine and haloperidol for weight gain (p<0.001) and akathisia (p=0.0003), haloperidol and quetiapine for akathisia (p=0.02), haloperidol and ziprasidone for weight gain (p=0.03) and olanzapine and ziprasidone weight gain (p<0.001). Total discontinuation after short term use for quetiapine vs. aripiprazole, ziprasidone vs. olanzapine, ziprasidone vs. quetiapine, ziprasidone vs. olanzapine and aripiprazole vs. risperidone was not significantly different (p>0.05) but it was for ziprasidone vs. olanzapine (p=0.02). After long term use of APDs, total discontinuation rate difference was significantly different in six pairs: p=0.03 for quetiapine vs. olanzapine, p<0.001 for quetiapine vs. ziprasidone, p<0.001 for quetiapine vs. aripiprazole, p=0.02 for olanzapine vs. ziprasidone, p=0.002 for haloperidol vs. olanzapine, p=0.05 for haloperidol vs. ziprasidone. However the difference was not significantly different (p>0.05) between quetiapine vs. risperidone, haloperidol vs. quetiapine, ziprasidone vs. aripiprazole, risperidone vs. olanzapine, ziprasidone vs. risperidone haloperidol vs. risperidone. Discontinuation reasons were possible to analyse only with long term APDs use and 12 pairs were compared. The difference was significant between olanzapine and risperidone due to the lack of efficacy (p<0.001), quetiapine and ziprasidone due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and side effects (p<0.001), quetiapine and haloperidol due to side effects (p=0.01), quetiapine and aripiprazole due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and drop-out (p=0.04), aripiprazole and ziprasidone due to side effects (p<0.001) and lack of compliance (p=0.0005), olanzapine and haloperidol due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and side effects (p=0.001), haloperidol and ziprasidone due to lack of compliance (p=0.01) and olanzapine and ziprasidone due to lack of efficacy (p=0.01), side effects (p<0.001) and lack of compliance (p=0.05). For risperidone vs. olanzapine, risperidone vs. ziprasidone vs. risperidone, quetiapine vs. risperidone vs. haloperidol, there was no significant difference in reported reasons (p>0.05). The most selected first line APDs in both countries were olanzapine (47.5%), risperidone (42.8%) and aripiprazole (25.3%). 60% of psychiatrists from India (60%) and 48% from UK (48%) selected that ‘medication efficacy’ as the main reason for choosing specific APD. Switching one APD to another within 4-6 weeks from initiation was selected by 53.7% of psychiatrists and 3-6 months was selected by 11.6%. The main reasons for switching APDs indicated were poor clinical efficacy (69%) and lack of tolerability (45%). Poor efficacy was the most selected reason by the Indian practitioners (68%) and the UK practitioners(71%) for switching APDs. When one APDs did not control the symptoms, 35% of the UK psychiatrists waited 3-6 months and 47% of Indian psychiatrists waited for 4-6 weeks before adding another APDs to manage poor efficacy. Nonadherence was the most common reason for relapse (90% UK psychiatrist and 70% Indian psychiatrist) followed by elicit drug use (27.6%). The most reported side effects which led to nonadherence were weight gain (10.8%), drowsiness (10.4%), erectile dysfunction and movement disorders (equally 8.7%). Weight gain (8.1%), movement disorders (7.7%) and hyperprolactinaemia (7%) were the highest reported side effects that caused psychiatrist to switch to another APDs. Similarly, weight gain (11.4%) was the most common side effects prompting patients to seek termination of the treatment, followed by drowsiness (10.3%) and erectile dysfunction (9.4%). Life threatening rare side effects was the main reason to discontinue the use of APDs (10.5%). Conclusion: Olanzapine, risperidone and aripiprazole were the most selected as initial treatment choice by psychiatrists from India and UK and are perceived as widely effective and/or widely tolerated. It was concluded that no single antipsychotic stands out as uniquely effective or free of side effects for all treated individuals. Individual patient clinical response, tolerance to side effects or life threatening side effects remain the most reliable basis for continuing the use of APD. relevant However, lack of clinical effect or intolerable side effects lead to therapy being reviewed, APD switched or ceased.
    • An exploration of the efficacy of instructor modelling in the application of situated learning to educating student British Sign Language/English interpreters in healthcare interpreting

      Stone, Christopher; Williams, Clare; Hughes, Thaïsa; School of Social Science and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
      The aim of this thesis was to determine whether the performance of student sign language interpreters in simulated healthcare assignments was positively impacted by viewing a modelled interpretation, done by an experienced interpreter beforehand. It also explores the benefits of situating learning in a semi-authentic clinical environment, populated by members of the community of practice, where students can experience legitimate peripheral participation. This improvement in practice was sought in response to the call for interpreter education to address the perceived ‘readiness to work’ gap, which contributes to the disparity in health outcomes between deaf people and their hearing counterparts. This was achieved by undertaking an educational intervention as part of an action research cycle, to evaluate the benefits of situated learning and the cognitive apprenticeship stage of instructor modelling. The study demonstrated that student performance in simulated healthcare assignments was improved in several areas as a result of the educational intervention. For example, there was a reduction in the number of undesirable zero-renditions (which lead to a loss information). Students demonstrated a more proactive and successful approach to negotiating their positioning for the interpretation of a physical examination. They also showed an increased awareness of the role of cues of interest and back channels when used by an authentic healthcare professional. The study also revealed that authentic healthcare professionals use different communication behaviours than an actor playing the role of the professional and that the authenticity of participants in simulation activities is key. Whilst there is some limited existing research about the application of situated learning to interpreter training, it is largely perceptual in nature, without empirical evidence to support the use of such a method of education. This study provides evidence about the impact of this type of andragogy. The results have implications for interpreter education programmes and suggest that using situated learning and instructor modelling is a beneficial stage in the development of students who are soon to transition into practicuum.
    • Emerging themes in the Identifying Successful STARTS Methodologies project and exhibition

      Doyle, Denise; Glover, Richard; Khechara, Martin; Groes, Sebastian (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2023-07-31)
      In 2019 a team of multi-disciplinary researchers undertook a research project entitled Identifying Successful STARTS Methodologies (ISSM) (2019-2021) in order to analyze the innovative and collaborative strategies utilized by the global Science, Technology and Arts (STARTS) Prize Winners and nominees. The aim was to identify and articulate successful STARTS Methodologies through a series of interviews and in-depth case studies of the recognized projects. The project culminated in a series of case studies and an exhibition at the Made in Wolves Gallery at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and further presented at the UK Garden of Earthly Delights at Ars Electronica in 2020. The project identified three emerging themes: the significance of building a new language of art and science through a third space, the process of anti-disciplinarity as an emergent form of practice, and the importance of different ways of knowing through art and science. A number of the case studies and themes are presented here alongside images from the exhibition.
    • Musicians in the marsh: a new species of music frog (Anura: Ranidae: Nidirana) from Arunachal Pradesh, India

      Boruah, Bitupan; Veerappan, Deepak; Das, Abhijit (Magnolia Press, 2023-11-15)
      We describe a new species of ranid frog of the genus Nidirana from northeast India based on morphological, molecular and acoustic evidence. The new species is phenotypically distinct from its congeners by a combination of morphological characters: body robust with SVL 46.5–59.1 mm (n= 3) in adult males and SVL 60.6–66.0 mm (n= 2) in adult females; a pair of subgular vocal sacs and two patches of nuptial pad on the first finger in adult males; toe tips slightly dilated and oval; circum-marginal grooves present on all toes; dorsal skin with scattered small tubercles. A pale cream-coloured mid-dorsal line from the snout tip to the vent is present. Phylogenetically, the new species differs from its congeners by a genetic divergence of 3.4–8.0% and 7.7–12.4% in 16S and COI genes respectively. Furthermore, the new species can be differentiated from its congeners by its advertisement call, which consists of two different types of notes, call duration (0.58–0.92 s) and dominant frequency of the call (473.7 Hz). The discovery of a new species validates the presence of the genus Nidirana from India and emphasizes the importance of exploring specialized habitats such as marshlands, which are often overlooked.
    • Exploring contract cheating in further education: student engagement and academic integrity challenges

      Rahimi, Roya; Jones, Jenni; Bailey, Carol (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-22)
      Contract cheating is a challenging problem facing higher and further education providers (HE and FE) worldwide. In the UK, contract cheating has been identified as a growing problem by the HEA and, more recently, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the Department for Education. The high rate of contact cheating among students suggests that 8-9% of degrees awarded in the UK are unsafe. To address this issue, the current study with a new approach seeks to investigate student’s motivations, experiences, and rationale for using contract cheating from their point of view. Collected data has been subjected to content analysis and the findings show different phases and drivers in this process as follows: initial stage of connection and conversation, beginning stage of contracting, middle stage which is obtaining a guarantee for a pass and the final stage which includes payment and submission. This study will help increase awareness among UK academics and education providers about the processes involved in contract cheating and propose a set of recommendations for the future.
    • The Influence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other related factors upon health-related quality of life in women of reproductive age: a case-control study

      Kite, Chris; Lahart, Ian; Randeva, Harpal S.; Kyrou, Ioannis; Brown, James E. P. (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-09)
      This study aimed to assess the impact of a polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis and other factors on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women of reproductive age. Online questionnaires were completed and study groups compared. Potential causal relationships were evaluated using path analysis. Analyses revealed that a PCOS diagnosis alongside BMI had the largest effect on HRQoL. Higher levels of physical activity (PA) were not associated with greater HRQoL, and PA was not directly affected by any other outcome. However, reduced self-esteem was identified as a key factor in the promotion of physical and mental health.
    • Enhancing the fire-resistance performance of composite laminates via multi-scale hybridisation: A review

      Dalfi, Hussein Kommur; Jan, Khayale; Al-Badri, Alaa; Peerzada, Mazhar; Yousaf, Zeshan; Parnell, William; Morrison, Neil; Bari, Klaudio (SAGE, 2024-01-09)
      Fibre-reinforced composites laminates (FRCLs) are employed in various applications such as in marine, aerospace, automotive, and civil industries due to their lightweight nature, design tailorability, and superior specific mechanical properties. However, they possess extremely low flame resistance mainly due to the inherent flammability of the polymer matrix. Various treatments have been applied to improve the fire resistance of FRCLs. In particular, hybridisation (fibre hybridisation and polymer hybridisation) is an important technique which is becoming very popular to enhance the thermal performance and flame resistance of FRCLs. This article is a comprehensive review of the recent developments that broadly cover the improvements in fire resistance of composite laminates via multi-scale hybridisation; the characteristics of thermal decomposition of FRCLs have been presented to comprehend the need for flame retardancy. Approaches for improving the fire resistance of FRCLs and thermal stability, both in polymer and in fibre systems, are discussed. Enhancing the fire resistance has been significant through additives to the matrix, use of flame-retardant modified fibres at interfacial regions and by way of multi-layered hybrid laminates besides hybridization at fibre, yarn and layer level. Finally, a review is presented on the modelling of fire resistance of composite laminates by considering thermo-mechanical models for the prediction of decomposition and failure of laminates at elevated temperatures.
    • Identity of the holotype and type locality of Rhabdophis leonardi (Wall, 1923) (Colubridae: Natricinae), with notes on the morphology and natural history of the species in southwestern China

      Yang, Shi-Jun; Savitzky, Alan H.; Gower, David J.; Veerappan, Deepak; Mori, Akira; Khot, Rahul; Shi, Jing-Song; Ding, Li; Hou, Mian; Xu, Hai-Yuan; et al. (Wiley, 2023-05-02)
      The original description of Natrix leonardi (currently Rhabdophis leonardi) by Frank Wall in 1923, based on a specimen from the “Upper Burma Hills,” lacked important morphological details that have complicated the assignment of recently collected material. Furthermore, although the holotype was never lost, its location has been misreported in one important taxonomic reference, leading to further confusion. We report the correct repository of the holotype (Natural History Museum, London), together with its current catalog number. We also describe key features of that specimen that were omitted from the original description, and provide new details on the morphology of the species, including sexual dichromatism unusual for the genus, based upon specimens from southern Sichuan, China. Rhabdophis leonardi is distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: 15 or 17 DSR at midbody and 6 supralabials; distinct annulus around the neck, broad and red in males, and narrow and orange with a black border in females; dorsal ground color light green or olive; some lateral and dorsal scales possessing black edges, the frequency of black edges gradually increasing from anterior to posterior, forming irregular and ill-defined transverse black bands; eye with prominent green iris; black ventral spots with a red edge, most numerous at midbody but extending halfway down the length of the tail. In southwestern China, this species is frequently found at 1730–2230 m elevation. It has been documented to prey upon anuran amphibians, including toads. A recently published phylogenetic analysis showed this species to be deeply nested with the genus Rhabdophis, as a member of the R. nuchalis Group. That analysis also revealed the existence of two closely related but geographically distinct subclades in the molecular analysis, one of which may represent an unnamed taxon.