Now showing items 21-40 of 2621

    • Viewing Contact Sports as a Safeguarding Issue

      Walker, Daniel (2023-02)
      ... Sustaining a sport-related concussion (SRC) has been associated with negative consequences to emotion and cognition in recent years,4,5 and head impacts are no different.1 Moreover, there is a consistent link reported with neurodegenerative diseases such as motor-neuron disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Although this is well-known within the scientific community, and becoming so in the general population, we still place children at risk. Promoting attitude change toward SRC and head impacts in sport is difficult enough with adults as many are accustomed to the way their contact sports are played and spectated. However, a redeeming feature for many researchers is that the evidence is there, and the rhetoric is being discussed in the mainstream media across the world.
    • Providing a clearer insight into how sport-related concussion and physical pain impact mental health, cognition, and quality of life

      Walker, Daniel; Qureshi, A.W.; Marchant, David; Ford, B.; Balani, A.B. (2023-03)
      Sport-related concussion (SRC) and physical pain are both associated with poor mental health, impaired cognition, and reduced quality of life. Despite SRC and physical pain often co-occurring, there is little research that investigates these two factors together, and therefore it is difficult to conclude which of these contributes to the negative outcomes asso ciated with them. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of SRC and physical pain on mental health, cognitive ability, and quality of life. Depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, anxiety was assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory while the SF-12 recorded health-related quality of life. A trail making task (TMT) assessed cognitive flexibility of participants. Analysis of 83 participants (43 concussed) revealed that SRC led to reduced accuracy on TMT(A) and (B), whereas physical pain was responsible for poorer mental health and reduced quality of life. This study highlights the influence that SRC has on cognitive ability and the impact that physical pain has on mental health and quality of life. With this information, we are better placed to predict the negative consequences of SRC and physical pain and therefore tailor support accordingly.
    • Person-centred deprescribing for patients living with frailty: a qualitative interview study and proposal of a collaborative model

      Peat, George W.; Fylan, Beth; Breen, Liz; Raynor, D.K.; Olaniyan, Janice; Alldred, David P. (2023-06)
      (1) Present deprescribing experiences of patients living with frailty, their informal carers and healthcare professionals; (2) interpret whether their experiences are reflective of person-centred/collaborative care; (3) complement our findings with existing evidence to present a model for person-centred deprescribing for patients living with frailty, based on a previous collaborative care model. Qualitative design in English primary care (general practice). Semi-structured interviews were undertaken immediately post-deprescribing and 5/6 weeks later with nine patients aged 65+ living with frailty and three informal carers of patients living with frailty. Fourteen primary care professionals with experience in deprescribing were also interviewed. In total, 38 interviews were conducted. A two-staged approach to data analysis was undertaken. Three themes were developed: attitudes, beliefs and understanding of medicines management and responsibility; attributes of a collaborative, person-centred deprescribing consultation; organisational factors to support person-centred deprescribing. Based on these findings and complementary to existing evidence, we offer a model for person-centred deprescribing for patients living with frailty. Previous models of deprescribing for patients living with frailty while, of value, do not consider the contextual factors that govern the implementation and success of models in practice. In this paper, we propose a novel person-centred model for deprescribing for people living with frailty, based on our own empirical findings, and the wider evidence base.
    • An exploration of the changing understandings of physical impairment and disability in early medieval England: a bioarchaeological, funerary, and historical approach

      Bohling, Solange N.; Croucher, Karina T.; Buckberry, Jo (2022)
      This paper explores experiences and perceptions of physical impairment and disability in early medieval England, contrasting pre-Christian (AD 5th–early 7th centuries) and Christian (AD late 8th–11th centuries) communities through a combination of bioarchaeological, clinical, funerary, historical, and theoretical analyses. By comparing understandings of physical impairment and disability in the pre-Christian and Christian periods, this paper investigates how political rearrangements and the growing power of the Church might have influenced changing contemporary perceptions of physical impairment and disability. This research has found that the funerary treatment of individuals with physical impairment in the pre-Christian period was extremely variable within and between cemeteries, and there is evidence for arguably positive, normative, and potentially negative burial treatment. Although mortuary treatment of Christian-era individuals with physical impairment was somewhat variable, this variation was much more subtle. This reflects the overall Christian-era pattern in burial form, and strongly negative or positive mortuary treatment was not identified among the individuals with physical impairment. Based on this evidence, it is proposed that administrative and judicial standardisation, conversion to Christianity, and the spread of Christian morals and doctrine influenced the reduction in mortuary variability observed in individuals with physical impairment and/or disability in the 8th–11th centuries in England.
    • Promotion of joint degeneration and chondrocyte metabolic dysfunction by excessive growth hormone in mice

      Zhu, S.; Liu, H.; Davis, T.; Willis, Craig R.G.; Basu, R.; Witzigreuter, L.; Bell, S.; Szewczyk, N.; Lotz, M.K.; Hill, M.; et al. (2023-07)
      Objective: Many patients with acromegaly, a hormonal disorder with excessive growth hormone (GH) production, report pain in joints. We undertook this study to characterize the joint pathology of mice with overexpression of bovine GH (bGH) or a GH receptor antagonist (GHa) and to investigate the effect of GH on regulation of chondrocyte cellular metabolism. Methods: Knee joints from mice overexpressing bGH or GHa and wild-type (WT) control mice were examined using histology and micro–computed tomography for osteoarthritic (OA) pathologies. Additionally, cartilage from bGH mice was used for metabolomics analysis. Mouse primary chondrocytes from bGH and WT mice, with or without pegvisomant treatment, were used for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Seahorse respirometry analyses. Results: Both male and female bGH mice at ~13 months of age had increased knee joint degeneration, which was characterized by loss of cartilage structure, expansion of hypertrophic chondrocytes, synovitis, and subchondral plate thinning. The joint pathologies were also demonstrated by significantly higher Osteoarthritis Research Society International and Mankin scores in bGH mice compared to WT control mice. Metabolomics analysis revealed changes in a wide range of metabolic pathways in bGH mice, including beta-alanine metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, lysine degradation, and ascorbate and aldarate metabolism. Also, bGH chondrocytes up-regulated fatty acid oxidation and increased expression of Col10a. Joints of GHa mice were remarkably protected from developing age-associated joint degeneration, with smooth articular joint surface. Conclusion: This study showed that an excessive amount of GH promotes joint degeneration in mice, which was associated with chondrocyte metabolic dysfunction and hypertrophic changes, whereas antagonizing GH action through a GHa protects mice from OA development.
    • The monks of San Millán: Investigating the transition between pre-monastic and monastic diet using carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in incremental dentine

      Higuero Pliego, A.; Beaumont, Julia (Elsevier, 2023-06)
      From the early Medieval period, Christian monasteries were wealthy and powerful, and played a central role in both religious and political life. Those who entered the monasteries did so at the age of 7-8 years and were drawn from a wide range of social strata. From that point, they were subject to the dietary rules imposed by the rules of each monastic order. In order to assess the origins and diet of 10 monks who lived in the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla Yuso (La Rioja, Spain) during the 17th – 18th century, collagen from small sections of human dentine (representing the childhood diet) and from ribs (an average of the last 5 - 10 years of adult diet) was measured to establish lifetime variations in the isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N). Bulk collagen δ13C (overall mean= -18.2‰ +/-0.4) and δ15N (overall mean= 12.6‰ +/-0.8) values from the ribs suggest 2 adult cohorts: one with a diet based on C3 plants and a high intake of protein from meat or dairy products and some marine resources and a second cohort with some C4 plant consumption alongside meat and dairy. Data from the dentine sections revealed different dietary patterns during the period of tooth formation among the monks, suggesting that 4 of them entered the monastery after consuming lower status diets during childhood.
    • Chain-Extendable Crosslinked Hydrogels Using Branching RAFT Modification

      Rimmer, Stephen; Spencer, P.; Nocita, D.; Sweeney, John; Harrison, M.; Swift, Thomas (2023-03-17)
      Functional crosslinked hydrogels were prepared from 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and acrylic acid (AA). The acid monomer was incorporated both via copolymerization and chain extension of a branching, reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer agent incorporated into the crosslinked polymer gel. The hydrogels were intolerant to high levels of acidic copolymerization as the acrylic acid weakened the ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) crosslinked network. Hydrogels made from HEMA, EGDMA and a branching RAFT agent provide the network with loose-chain end functionality that can be retained for subsequent chain extension. Traditional methods of surface functionalization have the downside of potentially creating a high volume of homopolymerization in the solution. Branching RAFT comonomers act as versatile anchor sites by which additional polymerization chain extension reactions can be carried out. Acrylic acid grafted onto HEMA–EGDMA hydrogels showed higher mechanical strength than the equivalent statistical copolymer networks and was shown to have functionality as an electrostatic binder of cationic flocculants.
    • In jars: The integration of historical anatomical and pathological potted specimens in undergraduate education

      Sutton-Butler, Aoife; Croucher, Karina T.; Garner, Pip; Bielby-Clarke, Keren; Farrow, Matthew (2023-04)
      Across the UK, many anatomy departments possess historical potted wet cadaveric specimen collections, such as organs preserved in fluid-filled jars. Although considered obsolete by some for anatomical education, there is immense potential for their utilisation in teaching, particularly in institutes that have limited access to cadavers or have had body donation rates impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Another benefit of historical potted cadaveric specimens is that severe pathology, often not seen today, can be observed by the student. The aim of this study was to understand students' opinions and attitudes towards the use of historical anatomical and pathological potted wet specimen collections in undergraduate science teaching. Following their integration into the anatomy program of a Clinical Sciences degree, seventy-seven undergraduate students completed a five-point Likert questionnaire on their perspective for the integration of the historical potted specimens in anatomical education. This study was approved by the Research Ethics committee at the University of Bradford RESULTS: The study demonstrated that 90 % of students found the collection useful in teaching, 92 % would like to see the collection used more in teaching, and 76 % of students found that the collection encouraged them to consider medical ethics and the donor. In conclusion, the survey findings suggest that further utilisation of historical potted wet specimen collections would be useful in the teaching of anatomy and that these collections could potentially encourage conversations on post-mortem bodily integrity, ethics, and organ donation.
    • Stromal vascular fraction cells from individuals who have previously undergone radiotherapy retain their pro-wound healing properties

      Trevor, L.V.; Riches-Suman, Kirsten; Mahajan, A.L.; Thornton, M. Julie (2023-03)
      Beneficial effects have been observed following the transplant of lipoaspirates containing adipose-derived stem cells into chronic wounds caused by oncologic radiotherapy. It is not yet certain whether adipose-derived stem cells are resistant to radiation exposure. Therefore, the aims of this study were to isolate stromal vascular fraction from human breast tissue exposed to radiotherapy and determine the presence of adipose-derived stem cells. Stromal vascular fraction from irradiated donor tissue was compared to commercially sourced pre-adipocytes. Immunocytochemistry was used to determine the presence of adipose-derived stem cell markers. Conditioned media from stromal vascular fraction isolated from irradiated donors was used as a treatment in a scratch wound assay of dermal fibroblasts also isolated from irradiated donors and compared to pre-adipocyte conditioned media and serum free control. This is the first report of human stromal vascular fraction being cultured from previously irradiated breast tissue. Stromal vascular fraction conditioned media from irradiated donors had a similar effect in increasing the migration of dermal fibroblasts from irradiated skin to pre-adipocyte conditioned media from healthy donors. Therefore, the ability of adipose-derived stem cells in the stromal vascular fraction to stimulate dermal fibroblasts in wound healing appears to be preserved following radiotherapy. This study demonstrates that stromal vascular fraction from irradiated patients is viable, functional and may have potential for regenerative medicine techniques following radiotherapy.
    • Exploration of meaning, motivation, and preparedness to care amongst the one-child policy generation in China

      Bifarin, Oladayo O.; Quinn, Catherine; Breen, Liz; Yu, L.; Oyebode, Jan R. (2023-02)
      In China there is a cultural expectation (Xiao, -filial piety) that offspring should provide care for their parents. However, the sustainability of this is threatened by the impact of the One-Child Policy (OCP) (1979-2015), which has resulted in a diminution in numbers of children available to care, rapid urbanisation and increase in the number of women in employment. In this context, the objective was to explore the motivations, meaning, and preparedness for future caregiving of offspring affected by the OCP. We adopted a constructivist position using a hermeneutic phenomenology approach and interviewed eight current and prospective caregivers aged 20-35 years about future caregiving responsibilities. Data were obtained through in-depth interviews, analysed using reflective Thematic Analysis. Three prominent themes: (i) Caregiving beliefs, (ii) Caregiving conditions and (iii) Contextual factors were identified under an overarching theme "Competing pressures-meanings, motivation and preparedness". Despite the inherent stress, participants envisaged providing or organising care in the future to fulfil Xiao, and most viewed long-term care settings as unviable. Ultimately, the findings suggested that the actual performance of caregiving would not always measure up to ideal expectations, resulting in 'filial discrepancy' that is, a gap between societal expectations for caregiving to older relatives and actual caregiving performance. This could adversely impact the caregivers and quality of care provided. The findings highlighted the urgent need to develop culturally attuned services, including education and training for family caregivers, health and social care professionals.
    • Stabilisation of acrylic latexes containing silica nanoparticles for dirt repellent coating applications

      Swift, Thomas (Elsevier, 2023-04)
      This study examines the feasibility of using colloidal silica nanoparticles as active agents in high concentration waterborne polymer latex formulations. We showed that distributing the silica throughout the waterborne emulsion formed a composite coating material with a hydrophilic surface that consequently reduced exterior dirt pickup. Two grades of silica nanoparticles were studied, one using sodium stabilisation and another using epoxysilane modification to introduce glycidox-ypropyltrimethoxysilane surface functionality. Rheological study of the waterborne latex on mixing showed that there was an immediate pH responsive interaction between the silica sols and the polymer latex. Once loading of sodium charge stabilised silica NPs exceeded the volume required for heteroflocculation to occur the mixture demonstrated the potential to gel on standing – a process which took weeks, or months, to occur depending on the pH and relative concentrations used. At least fifty percent silane modification to the NP surface was found to be necessary to maintain a stable colloidal dispersion for long term storage of the waterborne latex. Despite this both grades of silica were found to imbue reductions in dirt pickup when applied to exterior masonry concrete studies over a 3-month weathering test
    • DNA dioxygenases Tet2/3 regulate gene promoter accessibility and chromatin topology in lineage-specific loci to control epithelial differentiation

      Chen, G-D.; Fatima, I.; Xu, Q,; Rozhkova, E.; Fessing, Michael Y.; Mardaryev, Andrei N.; Sharov, A.A.; Xu, G-L.; Botchkarev, Vladimir A. (2023-01)
      Execution of lineage-specific differentiation programs requires tight coordination between many regulators including Ten-eleven translocation (TET) family enzymes, catalyzing 5-methylcytosine oxidation in DNA. Here, by using Keratin 14–Cre–driven ablation of Tet genes in skin epithelial cells, we demonstrate that ablation of Tet2/Tet3 results in marked alterations of hair shape and length followed by hair loss. We show that, through DNA demethylation, Tet2/Tet3 control chromatin accessibility and Dlx3 binding and promoter activity of the Krt25 and Krt28 genes regulating hair shape, as well as regulate interactions between the Krt28 gene promoter and distal enhancer. Moreover, Tet2/Tet3 also control three-dimensional chromatin topology in Keratin type I/II gene loci via DNA methylation–independent mechanisms. These data demonstrate the essential roles for Tet2/3 in establishment of lineage-specific gene expression program and control of Dlx3/Krt25/Krt28 axis in hair follicle epithelial cells and implicate modulation of DNA methylation as a novel approach for hair growth control.
    • Investigation into the development of novel lanthanide-based luminescent colorants for application to textiles and paper materials

      Lewis, D.M.; Broadbent, P.J.; Rigout, M.L.A.; Carr, C.M.; Seaton, Colin C.; Swift, Thomas (2023-10)
      This article describes the synthesis and application of lanthanide-based luminophores for visualisation under short wavelength ultraviolet (UV) activation (typically 254 nm). Luminophores are chemical compounds which re-emit light of longer wavelength than typical fluorescence and phosphorescence, following photoexcitation, because of efficient energy transfer from the ligands to the lanthanide ion emission levels. The luminophores described in this article are all derived from europium and terbium metal complexes and cover the complete colour gamut. Selection of appropriate ligands allows for water solubility or water insolubility (if required pigment or disperse “dye” applications). Similar to dyeing or printing processes, the anionic complexes can be applied to polyamide fibres or to cellulosic fibres, whereas dispersions of the non-ionic complexes are suitable for polyester or cellulose acetate fibre application. The water-soluble derivatives are also suitable for ink-jet printing and the water-insoluble derivatives are suitable for lithographic or intaglio paper printing. The novel complexes are excited by radiation below 300 nm and thus cannot be activated by sunlight (the earth's atmosphere prevents light below about 300 nm reaching the surface). Accordingly, the photo-stability of the dyed materials and prints obtained is excellent. These materials could be used in security marking applications, for example bank-notes and passports, where they could replace the current fluorophores that are rendered visible under near UV light (typically 365 nm) illumination but exhibit relatively poor photo-stability. The development of an RGB (red, green and blue) colour palette for inkjet printing based on these innovative luminophores will significantly support the design of digitally printed security features.
    • Crude and Primitive? Rethinking the dating and construction of dug-out church chests in Britain

      Sycamore, R.; Lewis, Jodie (Society for Church Archaeology, 2022)
      Chests were a ubiquitous part of medieval church furniture across Britain and Europe. Late 19th and early 20th century scholars believed that one type, the dug-out chest, was devoid of technical skill, and as such, confined to the earliest period of chest chronology. Perhaps as a result of the ‘primitive’ label, dug-outs remain relatively under-studied in relation to other types of chests and surprisingly few attempts have been made to validate ideas about their early origin through scientific dating. The current study uses dendrochronology to directly date a selection of dug-out chests, almost doubling the number of dated chests of this type in England and producing the earliest absolute dates for their construction. Five dug-out chests from the case-study counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire returned dates ranging from the 13th-16th century, showing that they are not chronologically confined to the ‘earliest’ period. This research also demonstrates how analysing extant saw-marks, along with the different methods of attaching chest lids, can assist in dating a chest’s construction. By understanding the tools and processes of construction, this research challenges the existing accepted framework that dug-outs are the ‘crudest’ and ‘most primitive’ type of church chest in the medieval period. Together these findings offer a new methodology and framework for studies of church chests in Britain and Europe.
    • Metal-organic frameworks as potential agents for extraction and delivery of pesticides and agrochemicals

      Mahmoud, L.A.M.; dos Reis, R.A.; Chen, X.; Ting, V.P.; Nayak, Sanjit (2022-12)
      Pesticide contamination is a global issue, affecting nearly 44% of the global farming population, and disproportionately affecting farmers and agricultural workers in developing countries. Despite this, global pesticide usage is on the rise, with the growing demand of global food production with increasing population. Different types of porous materials, such as carbon and zeolites, have been explored for the remediation of pesticides from the environment. However, there are some limitations with these materials, especially due to lack of functional groups and relatively modest surface areas. In this regard, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) provide us with a better alternative to conventionally used porous materials due to their versatile and highly porous structure. Recently, a number of MOFs have been studied for the extraction of pesticides from the environment as well as for targeted and controlled release of agrochemicals. Different types of pesticides and conditions have been investigated, and MOFs have proved their potential in agricultural applications. In this review, the latest studies on delivery and extraction of pesticides using MOFs are systematically reviewed, along with some recent studies on greener ways of pest control through the slow release of chemical compounds from MOF composites. Finally, we present our insights into the key issues concerning the development and translational applications of using MOFs for targeted delivery and pesticide control.
    • Metal-organic frameworks and their biodegradable composites for controlled delivery of antimicrobial drugs

      Livesey, T.C.; Mahmoud, L.A.M.; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Nayak, Sanjit (2023-01)
      Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global crisis with an increasing number of untreatable or exceedingly difficult-to-treat bacterial infections, due to their growing resistance to existing drugs. It is predicted that AMR will be the leading cause of death by 2050. In addition to ongoing efforts on preventive strategies and infection control, there is ongoing research towards the development of novel vaccines, antimicrobial agents, and optimised diagnostic practices to address AMR. However, developing new therapeutic agents and medicines can be a lengthy process. Therefore, there is a parallel ongoing worldwide effort to develop materials for optimised drug delivery to improve efficacy and minimise AMR. Examples of such materials include functionalisation of surfaces so that they can become self-disinfecting or non-fouling, and the development of nanoparticles with promising antimicrobial properties attributed to their ability to damage numerous essential components of pathogens. A relatively new class of materials, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), is also being investigated for their ability to act as carriers of antimicrobial agents, because of their ultrahigh porosity and modular structures, which can be engineered to control the delivery mechanism of loaded drugs. Biodegradable polymers have also been found to show promising applications as antimicrobial carriers; and, recently, several studies have been reported on delivery of antimicrobial drugs using composites of MOF and biodegradable polymers. This review article reflects on MOFs and polymer-MOF composites, as carriers and delivery agents of antimicrobial drugs, that have been studied recently, and provides an overview of the state of the art in this highly topical area of research.
    • RNA-sequencing muscle plasticity to resistance exercise training and disuse in youth and older age

      Fernandez-Gonzalo, R.; Willis, Craig R.G.; Etheridge, T.; Deane, C.S. (2022-12)
      Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and function is critical to health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan. However, disuse through reduced physical activity (e.g., sedentarism), immobilisation, bed rest or microgravity has significant adverse effects on skeletal muscle health. Conversely, resistance exercise training (RET) induces positive muscle mass and strength adaptations. Several studies have employed microarray technology to understand the transcriptional basis of muscle atrophy and hypertrophy after disuse and RET, respectively, to devise fully effective therapeutic interventions. More recently, rapidly falling costs have seen RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) increasingly applied in exploring muscle adaptations to RET and disuse. The aim of this review is to summarise the transcriptional responses to RET or disuse measured via RNA-seq in young and older adults. We also highlight analytical considerations to maximise the utility of RNA-seq in the context of skeletal muscle research. The limited number of muscle transcriptional signatures obtained thus far with RNA-seq are generally consistent with those obtained with microarrays. However, RNA-seq may provide additional molecular insight, particularly when combined with data-driven approaches such as correlation network analyses. In this context, it is essential to consider the most appropriate study design parameters as well as bioinformatic and statistical approaches. This will facilitate the use of RNA-seq to better understand the transcriptional regulators of skeletal muscle plasticity in response to increased or decreased use.
    • Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis for dietary reconstruction and carbon and nitrogen incremental dentine analysis

      Delaney, s.; Murphy, E.; Beaumont, Julia; Cassidy, L.; Drain, D.; Gillig, N.; Gormley, S.; Halstead, L.; Jackson, I.; Jones, M.; et al. (Transport Infrastructure Ireland, 2022-12)
      In 2015, a previously unknown enclosed settlement and burial ground was found near the summit of a low hill in Ranelagh townland, just north of Roscommon town. The site—officially designated Ranelagh 1, and hereafter referred to variously as ‘the Ranelagh site’, ‘the site at Ranelagh’ or simply ‘Ranelagh’—was excavated over a 54-week period by Excavation Director Shane Delaney for Irish Archaeological Consultancy (IAC) Ltd between October 2015 and October 20161 . Excavations revealed that the site was established during the fourth century AD; for over 1,000 years, until the final phase of burial activity proper concluded there shortly after AD 1400, the site would have been a prominent feature in both the geographical and psychological landscape of the time. Cillín (children’s) burials continued at the site until about AD 1650, further asserting this prominence.
    • Editorial: Women in integrative physiology: 2021

      Helfer, Gisela; Kadmiel, M.; Jethwa, P.H. (2022-09)