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  • Eyewear for rugby union: wearer characteristics and experience with rugby goggles

    Little, J-A.; Eckert, F.; Douglas, M.; Barrett, Brendan T. (2020)
    Unlike many other sports, Rugby Union has not permitted players to wear spectacles or eye protection. With an industrial partner, World Rugby developed goggles suitable for use while playing rugby for the purposes of growing participation amongst those that need to wear corrective lenses. This study reports on the profile and experiences of goggle wearers. 387 players received the goggles. Data were obtained from 188 (49 %) using an online, 75-item questionnaire. 87 % “strongly agreed/agreed” that goggles are beneficial and 75 % are happy with goggle performance. Common problems reported by 49.7 and 32.6 % of respondents were issues with fogging-up and getting dirty. 15 (8 %) players stopped wearing the goggles because of fogging-up, limits to peripheral vision and poor comfort/fit. Injuries were reported in 3 % of respondents. In none of these cases did the player stop wearing the goggles. From the positive experience of players in the trial, the goggles were adopted into the Laws of the game on July 1, 2019. As the need to correct vision with spectacles is common, and contact lenses are not worn by 80 % + of spectacle wearers, the new Rugby goggles will widen participation for those that need to wear refractive correction, or have an existing/increased risk of uniocular visual impairment.
  • A natural solution to photoprotection and isolation of the potent polyene antibiotic, marinomycin A

    Bailey, C.S.; Zarins-Tutt, J.S.; Agbo, M.; Gao, H.; Diego-Taboada, A.; Gan, M.; Hamed, Refaat B.; Abraham, E.R.; Mckenzie, G.; Evans, P.A.; et al. (2019-08-28)
    The photoprotection and isolation of marinomycin A using sporopollenin exine capsules (SpECs) derived from the spores of the plant Lycopodium clavatum is described. The marinomycins have a particularly short half-life in natural light, which severely impacts their potential biological utility given that they display potent antibiotic and anticancer activity. The SpEC encapsulation of the marinomycin A dramatically increases the half-life of the polyene macrodiolide to the direct exposure to UV radiation by several orders of magnitude, thereby making this a potentially useful strategy for other light sensitive bioactive agents. In addition, we report that the SpECs can also be used to selectively extract culture broths that contain the marinomycins, which provides a significantly higher recovery than with conventional XAD resins and provides concomitant photoprotection.
  • Pluronic F127 thermosensitive injectable smart hydrogels for controlled drug delivery system development

    Shriky, Banah; Kelly, Adrian L.; Isreb, Mohammad; Babenko, Maksims; Mahmoudi, N.; Rogers, S.; Shebanova, O.; Snow, T.; Gough, Timothy D. (2020-04-01)
    Understanding structure-property relationships is critical for the development of new drug delivery systems. This study investigates the properties of Pluronic smart hydrogel formulations for future use as injectable controlled drug carriers. The smart hydrogels promise to enhance patient compliance, decrease side effects and reduce dose and frequency. Pharmaceutically, these systems are attractive due to their unique sol-gel phase transition in the body, biocompatibility, safety and injectability as solutions before transforming into gel matrices at body temperature. We quantify the structural changes of F127 systems under controlled temperature after flow, as experienced during real bodily injection. Empirical formulae combining the coupled thermal and shear dependency are produced to aid future application of these systems. Induced structural transitions measured in-situ by small angle x-ray and neutron scattering reveal mixed oriented structures that can be exploited to tailor the drug release profile.
  • How timely is access to palliative care medicines in the community? A mixed methods study in a UK city

    Miller, E.J.; Morgan, Julie D.; Blenkinsopp, Alison (2019-11)
    Objective: To investigate timely access to palliative medicines/drugs (PMs) from community pharmacies to inform palliative care service delivery. Design: Mixed methods in two sequential phases: (1) prospective audit of prescriptions and concurrent survey of patients/representatives collecting PMs from pharmacy and (2) interviews with community pharmacists (CPs) and other healthcare professionals (HCPs). Setting: Five community pharmacies in Sheffield, UK and HCPs that deliver palliative care in that community. Participants: Phase 1: five CPs: two providing access to PMs within a locally commissioned service (LCS) and three not in the LCS; 55 patients/representatives who completed the survey when accessing PMs and phase 2: 16 HCPs, including five phase 1 CPs, were interviewed. Results: The prescription audit collected information on 75 prescriptions (75 patients) with 271 individual PMs; 55 patients/representatives (73%) completed the survey. Patients/representatives reported 73% of PMs were needed urgently. In 80% of cases, patients/representatives received all PMs on the first pharmacy visit. One in five had to travel to more than one pharmacy to access PMs. The range of PMs stocked by pharmacies was the key facilitating factor. CPs reported practical issues causing difficulty keeping PMs in stock and playing a reactive role with palliative prescriptions. Confidentiality concerns were cited by other HCPs who were reluctant to share key patient information proactively with pharmacy teams. Inadequate information transfer, lack of CP integration into the care of palliative patients and poor HCP knowledge of which pharmacies stock PMs meant patients and their families were not always able to access PMs promptly. Conclusions: Consistent routine information transfer and integration of pharmacy teams in the care of palliative patients are needed to achieve timely access to PMs. Commissioners of PM access schemes should review and monitor access. HCPs need to be routinely made aware and reminded about the service and its locations.
  • The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth: or why temporal resolution of bone collagen may be unreliable

    Beaumont, Julia (Wiley, 2020)
    The carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios of human bone collagen have been used extensively over the last 40 years to investigate the diet of past populations. It has become apparent that bone collagen can give an unreliable temporal dietary signature especially in juveniles. With higher temporal resolution sampling of collagen from tooth dentine, it is possible to identify short‐term changes in diet previously invisible in bone. This paper discusses the inherent problems of using bone collagen for dietary studies and suggests better sample choices which can make our interpretations more robust, using breastfeeding and weaning as an example.
  • Dating human occupation and adaptation in the southern European last glacial refuge: The chronostratigraphy of Grotta del Romito (Italy)

    Blockley, S.; Pellegrini, M.; Colonese, A.C.; Lo Vetro, D.; Albert, P.G.; Brauer, A.; Di Giuseppe, Z.; Evans, Adrian A.; Harding, P.; Lee-Thorp, J.; et al. (2018-03-15)
    Grotta del Romito has been the subject of numerous archaeological, chronological and palaeoenvironmental investigations for more than a decade. During the Upper Palaeolithic period the site contains evidence of human occupation through the Gravettian and Epigravettian periods, multiple human burials, changes in the pattern of human occupation, and faunal, isotopic and sedimentological evidence for local environmental change. In spite of this rich record, the chronological control is insufficient to resolve shifts in subsistence and mobility patterns at sufficiently high resolution to match the abrupt climate fluctuations at this time. To resolve this we present new radiocarbon and tephrostratigraphic dates in combination with existing radiocarbon dates, and develop a Bayesian age model framework for the site. This improved chronology reveals that local environmental conditions reflect abrupt and long-term changes in climate, and that these also directly influence changing patterns of human occupation of the site. In particular, we show that the environmental record for the site, based on small mammal habitat preferences, is chronologically in phase with the main changes in climate and environment seen in key regional archives from Italy and Greenland. We also calculate the timing of the transitions between different cultural phases and their spans. We also show that the intensification in occupation of the site is chronologically coincident with a rapid rise in Mesic Woody taxa seen in key regional pollen records and is associated with the Late Epigravettian occupation of the site. This change in the record of Grotta del Romito is also closely associated stratigraphically with a new tephra (the ROM-D30 tephra), which may act as a critical marker in environmental records of the region.
  • Standardization, calibration and innovation: a special issue on lithic microwear method

    Evans, Adrian A.; Lerner, H.; Macdonald, D.A.; Stemp, W.J.; Anderson, P.C. (2014-08)
    This paper introduces a special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science that considers the current state and future directions in lithic microwear analysis. There is considerable potential for lithic microwear analysis to reconstruct past human behaviour as it can provide direct insight into past activities. Consequently, it is a technique worthy of significant additional investment and continued development. To further the cause of methodological maturation within microwear analysis and to promote standardization, calibration, and innovation, the following collection of papers present various approaches and perspectives on how greater methodological refinement and increased reliability of results can and should be achieved. Many of these papers were part of a session held at the 2011 Society for American Archaeology Meeting (SAA) in Sacramento, California, while others were selected from the 2012 International Conference on Use-Wear Analysis in Faro, Portugal. The purpose of the SAA session and this special themed issue is essentially two-fold. The first is to promote awareness of the need for methodological standardization, calibration, and continuing innovation. The second is to open a serious dialogue about how these aims could be pursued and achieved.
  • A new combined approach using confocal and scanning electron microscopy to image surface modifications on quartzite

    Pedergnana, A.; Ollé, A.; Evans, Adrian A. (2020-04)
    Confocal microscopy has been increasingly employed in the field of traceology to acquire metrological data of surface changes on a micro-scale. However, its advantages for a traditional visual inspection of use-wear are rarely highlighted. As traditional optical microscopy (OM) has proven unable to entirely fulfil the prerequisites for an ideal observation of highly reflective and irregular materials, alternative ways for providing better observation conditions must be sought. In this contribution, we explore the combination of laser scanning confocal (LSCM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micro-graphs for the visual characterisation of wear on quartzite and evaluate the potential of both techniques.
  • Sensationalism and speaking to the public: scientific rigour and interdisciplinary collaborations in palaeopathology

    Snoddy, A.M.E.; Beaumont, Julia; Buckley, H.R.; Colombo, A.; Halcrow, S.E.; Kinaston, R.L.; Vlok, M. (Elsevier, 2020-03)
    Objectives: In this brief communication we discuss issues concerning scientific rigour in palaeopathological publications, particularly studies published in clinical or general science journals, that employ skeletal analysis to elucidate the lives and deaths of historical figures or interpret “mysterious” assemblages or burials. We highlight the relationship between poor methodological rigour and lack of interdisciplinary communication, and discuss how this can result in scientifically weak, sensational narratives being presented to the public. Conclusions: Although most high profile publications involving analysis of archaeological human remains are methodologically sound and well interpreted, others have suffered from poor scientific rigour stemming from an apparent lack of awareness of anthropological methods and ethics. When these publications are highlighted by the press, sensationalistic narratives are perpetuated which may reflect poorly on our discipline and give the public unrealistic expectations about our work. Suggestions for future research: We suggest that best practice in high-profile paleopathological research include recruitment of a range of authors and reviewers from clinical sciences, anthropology, and the humanities, consideration of the ethical issues surrounding retrospective diagnosis, and transparency with the press in regards to the limitations inherent in this kind of work.
  • Synthesis by extrusion: continuous, large-scale preparation of MOFs using little or no solvent

    Crawford, Deborah E.; Casaban, J.; Haydon, R.; Giri, N.; McNally, T.; James, S.L. (2015-03)
    Grinding solid reagents under solvent-free or low-solvent conditions (mechanochemistry) is emerging as a general synthetic technique which is an alternative to conventional solvent-intensive methods. However, it is essential to find ways to scale-up this type of synthesis if its promise of cleaner manufacturing is to be realised. Here, we demonstrate the use of twin screw and single screw extruders for the continuous synthesis of various metal complexes, including Ni(salen), Ni(NCS)2(PPh3)2 as well as the commercially important metal organic frameworks (MOFs) Cu3(BTC)2 (HKUST-1), Zn(2-methylimidazolate)2 (ZIF-8, MAF-4) and Al(fumarate)(OH). Notably, Al(fumarate)(OH) has not previously been synthesised mechanochemically. Quantitative conversions occur to give products at kg h−1 rates which, after activation, exhibit surface areas and pore volumes equivalent to those of materials produced by conventional solvent-based methods. Some reactions can be performed either under completely solvent-free conditions whereas others require the addition of small amounts of solvent (typically 3–4 mol equivalents). Continuous neat melt phase synthesis is also successfully demonstrated by both twin screw and single screw extrusion for ZIF-8. The latter technique provided ZIF-8 at 4 kg h−1. The space time yields (STYs) for these methods of up to 144 × 103 kg per m3 per day are orders of magnitude greater than STYs for other methods of making MOFs. Extrusion methods clearly enable scaling of mechanochemical and melt phase synthesis under solvent-free or low-solvent conditions, and may also be applied in synthesis more generally.
  • Limits and possibilities in the geolocation of humans using multiple isotope ratios (H, O, N, C) of hair from east coast cities of the USA

    Reynard, L.M.; Burt, N.; Koon, Hannah E.C; Tuross, N. (2016-07)
    We examined multiple natural abundance isotope ratios of human hair to assess biological variability within and between geographic locations and, further, to determine how well these isotope values predict location of origin. Sampling locations feature differing seasonality and mobile populations as a robust test of the method. Serially-sampled hair from Cambridge, MA, USA, shows lower δ2 H and δ18 O variability over a one-year time course than model-predicted precipitation isotope ratios, but exhibits considerable differences between individuals. Along a ∼13° northsouth transect in the eastern USA (Brookline, MA, 42.3 ° N, College Park, MD, 39.0 ° N, and Gainesville, FL, 29.7 ° N) δ18 O in human hair shows relatively greater differences and tracks changes in drinking water isotope ratios more sensitively than δ2 H. Determining the domicile of humans using isotope ratios of hair can be confounded by differing variability in hair δ18 O and δ2 H between locations, differential incorporation of H and O into this protein and, in some cases, by tap water δ18 O and δ2 H that differ significantly from predicted precipitation values. With these caveats, randomly chosen people in Florida are separated from those in the two more northerly sites on the basis of the natural abundance isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen.
  • Basilar portion porosity: A pathological lesion possibly associated with infantile scurvy

    Moore, Joanna; Koon, Hannah E.C. (2017-09)
    Recent analysis of the juvenile (≤12 years) human remains from a 19th century site in Wolverhampton, England revealed a relatively high level of nutritional deficiency diseases within the population. Indeed, 41.7% of the 48 juvenile skeletons analysed exhibited a combination of porous and proliferative bone lesions consistent with the pathological alterations associated with nutritional stress. This paper describes a pathological lesion on the inferior surface of the basilar portion of the occipital bone, not previously reported in association with infantile scurvy, but which was exhibited by 90% (N=9) of the 10 scorbutic individuals identified during this study.
  • A carbon and nitrogen isotopic investigation of a case of probable infantile scurvy (6th- 4th centuries BC, Slovenia)

    Nicholls, Rebecca A.; Buckberry, Jo; Beaumont, Julia; Črešnar, M.; Mason, P.; Koon, Hannah E.C. (2020-04)
    This paper presents a case study of a young infant, from a larger isotopic and osteological investigation of Bronze/Iron Age (14th-4th century BC) skeletal assemblages from Croatia and Slovenia. The osteological analysis of this infant identified pathological lesions including abnormal porosity and new bone formation consistent with malnutrition and phases of recovery. The distribution and appearance of these pathological lesions (i.e. diffuse micro-porosities and plaques of subperiosteal new bone formation on the skull and long bones) led to the conclusion that this infant probably suffered from scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). The diet and nitrogen balance of this individual were investigated by incremental dentine sampling and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. This sampling method provided a high resolution record of dietary and metabolic changes from pre-birth to around the time of death. The resulting isotope data exhibited unusually high δ13C values for this region and time period (between -11.3‰ and -12.6‰), while δ15N values were observed to be c. 3‰ above that of rib collagen sampled from contemporary adults recovered from the same site. The isotope profiles generated from the incremental dentine analysis show that δ13C and especially δ15N continue to increase until death. The evidence from the skeletal remains and high resolution isotopic data support the hypothesis that this infant suffered from severe malnutrition and an increasingly negative nitrogen balance. The paper discusses some scenarios which could have resulted in these unusual isotope ratios, whilst considering the diagnosis of possible metabolic disease. The paper also addresses the need for context when interpreting isotopic results. The isotope data should not be viewed in isolation, but rather as part of a multidisciplinary approach, considering the multiple causes of isotopic variability.
  • Curious Travellers: Repurposing imagery to manage and interpret threatened monuments, sites and landscapes

    Wilson, Andrew S.; Gaffney, Vincent L.; Gaffney, Christopher F.; Ch'ng, E.; Bates, R.; Sears, G.; Sparrow, T.; Murgatroyd, A.; Faber, E.; Coningham, R.A.E. (Oxbow, 2019-08)
    The AHRC-funded Curious Travellers project ( is a data-mining and crowd sourced infrastructure to help record, manage and interpret archaeological sites, monuments and heritage at risk. It provides a priority response to the globally important challenge of sites that have been destroyed or are under immediate threat from natural disasters, neglect, conflict and cultural vandalism. The project uses two workflows to scrape web-based imagery and crowd-source imagery to recreate 3D models of sites and monuments at risk. Many threats to heritage are linked to issues of access – impacting conservation and site management as well as the safety of individuals. The project offers sustainable solutions – working with extant imagery that does not place individuals at additional safety risk, whilst helping to contextualise visible archaeology by linking to relevant site and landscape data and integrating this into local historic environment record frameworks that make this data freely accessible to all.
  • Optimising the glaucoma signal/noise ratio by mapping changes in spatial summation with area-modulated perimetric stimuli

    Rountree, Lindsay C.; Mulholland, P.J.; Anderson, R.S.; Garway-Heath, D.F.; Morgan, J.E.; Redmond, T. (2018-02)
    Identification of glaucomatous damage and progression by perimetry are limited by measurement and response variability. This study tested the hypothesis that the glaucoma damage signal/noise ratio is greater with stimuli varying in area, either solely, or simultaneously with contrast, than with conventional stimuli varying in contrast only (Goldmann III, GIII). Thirty glaucoma patients and 20 age-similar healthy controls were tested with the Method of Constant Stimuli (MOCS). One stimulus modulated in area (A), one modulated in contrast within Ricco’s area (CR), one modulated in both area and contrast simultaneously (AC), and the reference stimulus was a GIII, modulating in contrast. Stimuli were presented on a common platform with a common scale (energy). A three-stage protocol minimised artefactual MOCS slope bias that can occur due to differences in psychometric function sampling between conditions. Threshold difference from age-matched normal (total deviation), response variability, and signal/noise ratio were compared between stimuli. Total deviation was greater with, and response variability less dependent on defect depth with A, AC, and CR stimuli, compared with GIII. Both A and AC stimuli showed a significantly greater signal/noise ratio than the GIII, indicating that area-modulated stimuli offer benefits over the GIII for identifying early glaucoma and measuring progression.
  • Greener dye synthesis: continuous, solvent-free synthesis of commodity perylene diimides by twin-screw extrusion

    Cao, Q.; Crawford, Deborah E.; Shi, C.; James, S.L. (2020)
    A continuous, scalable, and solvent‐free method for the synthesis of various naphthalic imides and perylene diimides (PDIs) using twin‐screw extrusion (TSE) is reported. Using TSE, naphthalic imides were obtained quantitatively without the need for excess amine reactant or product purification. With good functional‐group tolerance, alkyl and benzyl amine derived PDIs (incl. commercial dyes) were obtained in 50–99 % yield. Use of K2CO3, enabled synthesis of more difficult aniline‐derived PDIs. Furthermore, an automated continuous TSE process for Pigments Black 31 and 32 is demonstrated, with a throughput rate of about 1500 g day−1, corresponding to a space time yield of about 30×103 kg m−3 day−1, which is 1–2 orders of magnitude greater than for solvent‐based batch methods. These methods provide substantial waste reductions and improved efficiency compared to conventional solvent‐based methods.
  • Comparative genomics shows differences in the electron transport and carbon metabolic pathways of Mycobacterium africanum relative to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and suggests an adaptation to low oxygen tension

    Ofori-Anyinam, B.; Riley, A.J.; Jobarteh, T.; Gitteh, E.; Sarr, B.; Faal-Jawara, T.I.; Rigouts, L.; Senghore, M.; Kehinde, A.; Onyejepu, N.; et al. (2020-01)
    The geographically restricted Mycobacterium africanum lineages (MAF) are primarily found in West Africa, where they account for a significant proportion of tuberculosis. Despite this phenomenon, little is known about the co-evolution of these ancient lineages with West Africans. MAF and M. tuberculosis sensu stricto lineages (MTB) differ in their clinical, in vitro and in vivo characteristics for reasons not fully understood. Therefore, we compared genomes of 289 MAF and 205 MTB clinical isolates from the 6 main human-adapted M. tuberculosis complex lineages, for mutations in their Electron Transport Chain and Central Carbon Metabolic pathway in order to explain these metabolic differences. Furthermore, we determined, in silico, whether each mutation could affect the function of genes encoding enzymes in these pathways. We found more mutations with the potential to affect enzymes in these pathways in MAF lineages compared to MTB lineages. We also found that similar mutations occurred in these pathways between MAF and some MTB lineages. Generally, our findings show further differences between MAF and MTB lineages that may have contributed to the MAF clinical and growth phenotype and indicate potential adaptation of MAF lineages to a distinct ecological niche, which we suggest includes areas characterized by low oxygen tension.
  • Time-resolved crystallography using the Hadamard transform

    Yorke, Briony A; Beddard, G.S.; Owen, R.L.; Pearson, A.R. (2014-11)
    We describe a method for performing time-resolved X-ray crystallographic experiments based on the Hadamard transform, in which time resolution is defined by the underlying periodicity of the probe pulse sequence, and signal/noise is greatly improved over that for the fastest pump-probe experiments depending on a single pulse. This approach should be applicable on standard synchrotron beamlines and will enable high-resolution measurements of protein and small-molecule structural dynamics. It is also applicable to other time-resolved measurements where a probe can be encoded, such as pump-probe spectroscopy.
  • Resilience strategies and the pharmaceutical supply chain: the role of agility in mitigating drug shortages

    Yaroson, Emilia V.; Breen, Liz; Hou, Jiachen; Sowter, Julie (2019)
    Supply chain resilience has been suggested to curb the impact of disruptions on supply chains. While this proposition seems coherent in theory, empirical evidence supporting this is limited, as existing literature has centred on exploring the impact of supply chain resilience on disruptions which are based on set time frames, non-supply chain specific as well as examining non-dynamic disruptive events. This study contends that resilience strategies are dynamic and as such their applications within supply chains differ. Therefore examining the impact of resilience will be appropriate on a dynamic disruption within a specific supply chain. In view of this, the paper examines through existing literature the applicability of agility within the pharmaceutical supply chain when dynamic disruptions like drug shortages occur. The study finds alertness, accessibility, connectivity and visibility as dimensions of supply chain agility that are capable of reducing the impact of drug shortages.

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