Now showing items 21-40 of 4049

    • Disparities in student attainment: The University of Wolverhampton final report

      Cousins, Glynis; Cureton, Debra (HE Academy, 2012-10-31)
      This project was the result of a the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) project fund initiative funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and managed by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The research discussed in this document has been carried out across two Higher Education Institutions in the Midlands: Coventry University and the University of Wolverhampton.
    • What works? The University of Wolverhampton final report

      Cureton, Debra (Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 2016-07-31)
    • Species

      Kaburu, Stefano S. K (Springer, 2019-02-08)
    • Rank acquisition in rhesus macaque yearlings following permanent maternal separation: The importance of the social and physical environment

      Wooddell, Lauren J.; Kaburu, Stefano S. K; Murphy, Ashley M.; Suomi, Stephen J.; Dettmer, Amanda M. (Wiley, 2017-08-18)
      Rank acquisition is a developmental milestone for young primates, but the processes by which primate yearlings attain social rank in the absence of the mother remain unclear. We studied 18 maternally reared yearling rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) that differed in their social and physical rearing environments. We found that early social experience and maternal rank, but not individual traits (weight, sex, age), predicted dominance acquisition in the new peer‐only social group. Yearlings also used coalitions to reinforce the hierarchy, and social affiliation (play and grooming) was likely a product, rather than a determinant, of rank acquisition. Following relocation to a familiar environment, significant rank changes occurred indicating that familiarity with a physical environment was salient in rank acquisition. Our results add to the growing body of literature emphasizing the role of the social and physical environment on behavioral development, namely social asymmetries among peers.
    • Handling newborn monkeys alters later exploratory, cognitive, and social behaviors

      Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Sclafani, Valentina; Paukner, Annika; Kaburu, Stefano S. K; Suomi, Stephen J.; Ferrari, Pier F (Elsevier, 2017-08-18)
      Touch is one of the first senses to develop and one of the earliest modalities for infant-caregiver communication. While studies have explored the benefits of infant touch in terms of physical health and growth, the effects of social touch on infant behavior are relatively unexplored. Here, we investigated the influence of neonatal handling on a variety of domains, including memory, novelty seeking, and social interest, in infant monkeys (Macaca mulatta; n = 48) from 2 to 12 weeks of age. Neonates were randomly assigned to receive extra holding, with or without accompanying face-to-face interactions. Extra-handled infants, compared to standard-reared infants, exhibited less stress-related behavior and more locomotion around a novel environment, faster approach of novel objects, better working memory, and less fear towards a novel social partner. In sum, infants who received more tactile stimulation in the neonatal period subsequently demonstrated more advanced motor, social, and cognitive skills—particularly in contexts involving exploration of novelty—in the first three months of life. These data suggest that social touch may support behavioral development, offering promising possibilities for designing future early interventions, particularly for infants who are at heightened risk for social disorders.
    • Diary of a Well-Maker: a note on crafts as research practice

      Hackney, Fiona; Rana, Mah (Plymouth College of Art, 2018-11-30)
      This paper signals the value of making for well-being as a reflexive research activity. It focuses on a series of short reflective diary entries created by artist and researcher Mah Rana during her daily encounters with people, spaces, places, and things. The entries are personal and incidental, involve memories and snippets of conversation but, crucially, they are all positioned from her perspective as a self-identified ‘well-maker’. Someone, that is, who is alert to the particular values, benefits, qualities, and characteristics of creative making for mental and physical health: who takes note of how these manifest in our everyday lives, often in the quietest of ways.
    • Designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing

      Hackney, Fiona; Saunders, Clare; Willett, Joanie; West, Jodie; Hill, Katie (Environmental Audit Committee, 2018-10-10)
    • Dress and textiles network: Heritage and design in the West Midlands

      Hackney, Fiona (MUPI: Museum-University Partnership Initiative, 2018-10-10)
    • Gender differences in research areas, methods and topics: Can people and thing orientations explain the results?

      Thelwall, Mike; Bailey, Carol; Tobin, Catherine; Bradshaw, Noel-Ann (Elsevier, 2019-12-31)
      Although the gender gap in academia has narrowed, females are underrepresented within some fields in the USA. Prior research suggests that the imbalances between science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields may be partly due to greater male interest in things and greater female interest in people, or to off-putting masculine cultures in some disciplines. To seek more detailed insights across all subjects, this article compares practising US male and female researchers between and within 285 narrow Scopus fields inside 26 broad fields from their first-authored articles published in 2017. The comparison is based on publishing fields and the words used in article titles, abstracts, and keywords. The results cannot be fully explained by the people/thing dimensions. Exceptions include greater female interest in veterinary science and cell biology and greater male interest in abstraction, patients, and power/control fields, such as politics and law. These may be due to other factors, such as the ability of a career to provide status or social impact or the availability of alternative careers. As a possible side effect of the partial people/thing relationship, females are more likely to use exploratory and qualitative methods and males are more likely to use quantitative methods. The results suggest that the necessary steps of eliminating explicit and implicit gender bias in academia are insufficient and might be complemented by measures to make fields more attractive to minority genders.
    • Education policies on access and reduction of poverty: Thecase of Ghana

      Dzidza, Peter Mawunyo; Jackson, Ian; Normanyo, Amatefee K.; Walsh, Michael; Ikejiaku, Brian-Vincent (Professors World Peace Academy, 2019-12-31)
    • The effects of poverty reduction strategies on artisanal fishing in Ghana: The case of Keta municipality

      Dzidza, Peter Mawunyo; Jackson, Ian; Normanyo, Amatefee K.; Walsh, Michael (Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2017-05-31)
      This paper assesses the level of poverty in Ghana after three decades of successive implementation of numerous poverty reduction strategies including Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) by various governments of Ghana. The Keta municipality in the Volta region, where artisanal fishing thrives, was chosen as a representative sample of the whole country. The authors identified eleven artisanal fishing communities in the selected area using systematic sampling. Data were collected on household consumption patterns. This process was used to determine the profile of poverty using the latest upper poverty line of Ghana and the Greer and Thorbecke (1984) poverty formula. Research findings show that the various poverty alleviation methods implemented over three decades by the Government of Ghana, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) significantly failed as they have not produced any meaningful effect on poverty reduction in the sample area. Finally, this paper offers further suggestions regarding how this poverty gap may be bridged using alternative methods.
    • The importance of collaboration and competition within and outside the OECD

      Jackson, Ian; McManus, John (Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2016-08-10)
      The purpose of this paper is to address the role of the OECD in the global marketplace. The paper highlights some current trends in the global market and the changing role of the OECD. In this context, the authors discuss various perspectives on the role of OECD in a globalized world. The authors focus on recent debates on the state of the global economy and the changing position of the OECD in the world market. The authors apply a conceptual approach combined with analyses of data and secondary material. The authors also put forward an argument for investigating what determines competition within and outside the OECD. In this context, creating markets within a global economy requires considerable stimulus on the part of national governments. This necessitates national governments working together in partnership with national and global firms to reduced bureaucracy and increase transparency to boost trade in a cost effective manner. This is seen by some economists to be a prerequisite to future competitiveness. Finally, the authors seek to demonstrate how leading countries within the OECD are building innovative capability to master the challenges and opportunities that the new emerging economies present (such as Brazil).
    • Storying students’ ecologies of belonging: a narrative inquiry into the relationship between ‘first generation’ students and the University

      Richards, Lynn
      This research study explores the ways in which articulations of belonging are expressed by a small number of second year education undergraduates in a post-1992 university in the UK. Issues of student engagement and belonging in Higher Education (HE) have been the subject of research within recent years as a way to enhance rates of student retention and success, as the Widening Participation agenda has realised a changing demographic within the traditional student body. This study focuses on the First Generation Student (FGS), as reflective of the non-traditional student, who is subject to a negative framing within the educational literary discourse. The research adopts a metaphorical lens to locate the FGS as migrant within the HE landscape and to consider HE institutional efforts to foster a sense of belonging, as a strategic tool for success, as a colonising process. Working within an ecological framing of the topic, the study focuses on the differing contexts within which the research participants operate and considers the impact these have upon student engagement with the university. As a way to foreground respectful working with research participants, a person-centred approach has been employed, using a narrative inquiry methodological framework. Voices of the participants, as narrators, are privileged within this study in order to afford them the opportunity to add to the ongoing conversation on belonging. Creative strategies, based upon photo- and metaphor-elicitation, have been employed to facilitate discussion of the abstract and intangible concept of belonging and to provide a participatory nature to this research study. Findings signal a strong resolve by these narrators to overcome obstacles in their path to success within what is often an unfamiliar terrain within HE. The potentiality of the individual is privileged, showing strengths that are brought to the world of study which are often unrecognised by university practices. The affective dimension of belonging is emphasised within the research and metaphors of belonging, articulated by the narrators, offer alternative conceptual structurings which privilege aspects to do with security and adventure. Such insights afford opportunities to view belonging from differing perspectives, to re-figure ways in which students see themselves within HE processes, and to alert staff and personnel to new ways in which they might view the non-traditional student. Aspects of valuing the diversity of students and of a person-centred approach to working are viewed as key to creating the possibilities for belonging.
    • In their own performance: an ethnographic study of mothers’ accounts of interactions with professionals at a children’s centre.

      Tumelty, Bridget Patricia (2018)
      This study is concerned with how mothers, who have been referred to a children’s centre for support with parenting, interpret their interactions with professionals including midwives, health visitors, social workers and family support workers. Previous studies have concentrated on unhelpful, “them and us” othering practices, this project aimed to consider mothers’ interpretations of interactions, exploring verbal and non-verbal interactions as well as identifying what interactions with professionals that were helpful or not and why? To explore mothers’ stories, I designed an arts based performance ethnographic methodology. Through the use of theme boards and stream of consciousness writing in a drama group context, text was collected over an eighteen month period from 16 mothers. Initial review, editing and distilling of text was carried out with participants, generating 18 scenes for a play performed together in front of a live audience. Text not used in the play was further analysed using narrative analysis and produced an overarching metaphor of a ‘dance of compliance’. The dance explores images of mothers navigating steps of vulnerability, risk and compliance. Inhabiting the dance were many overlapping victimizing narratives exposing stories of parenting support presented as life enhancing in a context of scarcity. I found that the women kept dancing not because they were empowered but because the dance is obligatory, driven by the systematic production of unhelpful signs that come to constitute their reality. Theoretical perspective/s used in analysis highlight how children’s centres could become a space for symbolic exchanges of support bringing into the light steps of fortitude and humanity. Recommendations for practice centre on the need for professionals to engage in empathic interactions whist always looking for opportunities for mothers to participate in the day to day activities of parenting support.
    • Young people’s perceptions of novel psychoactive substances

      Freeman, Jodie (2018)
      Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) also known as “legal highs” replicate the effects of illegal substances such as ecstasy and cocaine. The most common NPS reported are stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids. Despite the Psychoactive Ban (2016) recent reports identified the UK as having the largest market of NPS use anywhere in Europe. These substances have a short history of consumption and consequently little is known about their effects and health implications. Despite this, the sale of NPS is easily achieved through the internet and street dealers. Increased reports of negative health consequences from NPS consumption and research findings highlighting the willingness of young people to consume drugs without knowing what they are, mean it is vital that we investigate young people’s understandings and perceptions of them. At present there are very few in-depth qualitative studies on NPS. A series of 7 focus groups with a range of young people (40=N: aged 16- 24 years) across the Merseyside area were carried out. Research sites included colleges, youth groups, supported living accommodations, and youth drug and alcohol services. Focus group interviews explored participants’ perceptions of NPS and were followed up with a few semi structured interviews with selected participants. The direction of the study focused on mainly on synthetic cannabinoids which may reflect the age of the study’s population. Using thematic analysis informed by a social constructionist perspective, three main themes were identified around stigma and identity, attractive features of NPS and risk. Findings showed that young people’s perceptions of these substances were dependent on their level of experience with illegal substances and NPS. A novel finding was that synthetic cannabinoid use is employed in the normalisation of cannabis use. Local, national and policy recommendations are made on how youth and health services in both educational and specialised services could work more closely and effectively with young people NPS. They also identify a need among young people for specific guidelines on how to use the Internet and Print media in relation to previous knowledge and experience.
    • Towards identifying potent new hits for glioblastoma

      Sherer, Chris; Prabhu, Saurabh; Adams, David; Hayes, Joseph; Rowther, Farzana; Tolaymat, Ibrahim; Warr, Tracy; Snape, Timothy J. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018-10-02)
      Glioblastoma is a devastating disease of the brain and is the most common malignant primary brain tumour in adults. The prognosis for patients is very poor with median time of survival after diagnosis measured in months, due in part to the tumours being highly aggressive and often resistant to chemotherapies. Alongside the ongoing research to identify key factors involved in tumour progression in glioblastoma, medicinal chemistry approaches must also be used in order to rapidly establish new and better treatments for brain tumour patients. Using a computational similarity search of the ZINC database, alongside traditional analogue design by medicinal chemistry intuition to improve the breadth of chemical space under consideration, six new hit compounds (14, 16, 18, 19, 20 and 22) were identified possessing low micromolar activity against both established cell lines (U87MG and U251MG) and patient-derived cell cultures (IN1472, IN1528 and IN1760). Each of these scaffolds provides a new platform for future development of a new therapy in this area, with particular promise shown against glioblastoma subtypes that are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents.
    • She’s Reddit: A source of statistically significant gendered interest information

      Thelwall, Mike; Stuart, Emma (Elsevier, 2018-12-31)
      Information about gender differences in interests is necessary to disentangle the effects of discrimination and choice when gender inequalities occur, such as in employment. This article assesses gender differences in interests within the popular social news and entertainment site Reddit. A method to detect terms that are statistically significantly used more by males or females in 181 million comments in 100 subreddits shows that gender affects both the selection of subreddits and activities within most of them. The method avoids the hidden gender biases of topic modelling for this task. Although the method reveals statistically significant gender differences in interests for topics that are extensively discussed on Reddit, it cannot give definitive causes, and imitation and sharing within the site mean that additional checking is needed to verify the results. Nevertheless, with care, Reddit can serve as a useful source of insights into gender differences in interests.
    • Genomic and transcriptomic characterisation of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma of bone

      Ali, Naser M.; Niada, Stefania; Brini, Anna T.; Morris, Mark R.; Kurusamy, Sathishkumar; Alholle, Abdullah; Huen, David; Antonescu, Cristina R.; Tirode, Franck; Sumathi, Vaiyapuri; Latif, Farida (Wiley, 2018-10-03)
      Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma of bone (UPSb), is a rare primary bone sarcoma that lacks a specific line of differentiation. There is very little information about the genetic alterations leading to tumourigenesis or malignant transformation. Distinguishing between UPSb and other malignant bone sarcomas, including dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma and osteosarcoma, can be challenging due to overlapping features. To explore the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of UPSb tumours, whole-exome sequencing (WES) and RNA Sequencing (RNA-Seq) were performed on UPSb tumours. All tumours lacked hotspot mutations in IDH1/2 132 or 172 codons, thereby excluding the diagnosis of dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma. Recurrent somatic mutations in TP53 were identified in 4/14 samples (29%). Moreover, recurrent mutations in histone chromatin remodelling genes, including H3F3A, ATRX and DOT1L, were identified in 5/14 samples (36%), highlighting the potential role of deregulated chromatin remodelling pathways in UPSb tumourigenesis. The majority of recurrent mutations in chromatin remodelling genes identified here are reported in COSMIC, including the H3F3A G35 and K36 hotspot residues. Copy number alteration analysis identified gains and losses in genes that have been previously altered in UPSb or UPS of soft tissue. Eight somatic gene fusions were identified by RNA-Seq, two of which, CLTC-VMP1 and FARP1-STK24, were reported previously in multiple cancers. Five gene fusions were genomically characterised. Hierarchical clustering analysis, using RNA-Seq data, distinctly clustered UPSb tumours from osteosarcoma and other sarcomas, thus molecularly distinguishing UPSb from other sarcomas. RNA-Seq expression profiling analysis and quantitative RT-PCR showed an elevated expression in FGF23 which can be a potential molecular biomarker in UPSb. To our knowledge, this study represents the first comprehensive WES and RNA-Seq analysis of UPSb tumours revealing novel protein-coding recurrent gene mutations, gene fusions and identifying a potential UPSb molecular biomarker, thereby broadening the understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms and highlighting the possibility of developing novel targeted therapeutics.
    • Key somatic variables in young backstroke swimmers

      Sammoud, Senda; Nevill, Alan M.; Negra, Yassine; Bouguezzi, Raja; Helmi, Chaabene; Hachana, Younes (Routledge, 2018-11-15)
      The purpose of this study was to estimate the optimal body size, limb-segment length, girth or breadth ratios for 100-m backstroke mean speed performance in young swimmers. Sixty-three young swimmers (boys [n = 30; age: 13.98 ± 0.58 years]; girls [n = 33; age: 13.02 ± 1.20 years]) participated in this study. To identify the optimal body size and body composition components associated with 100-m backstroke speed performance, we adopted a multiplicative allometric log-linear regression model, which was refined using backward elimination. The multiplicative allometric model exploring the association between 100-m backstroke mean speed performance and the different somatic measurements estimated that biological age, sitting height, leg length for the lower-limbs, and two girths (forearm and arm relaxed girth) are the key predictors. Stature and body mass did not contribute to the model, suggesting that the advantage of longer levers was limb-specific rather than a general whole-body advantage. In fact, it is only by adopting multiplicative allometric models that the abovementioned ratios could have been derived. These findings highlighted the importance of considering somatic characteristics of young backstroke swimmers and can help swimming coaches to classify their swimmers and enable them to suggest what might be the swimmers’ most appropriate stroke (talent identification).