• Development of the radiography evidence base: An examination of advancing practice.

      Small, Neil A.; Snaith, Beverly (University of BradfordSchool of Health Studies, 2014-05-07)
      Radiography has seen most development over the last 30 years with the evolution of new technologies, but perhaps more significantly changes in education models and radiographer roles. The development of advanced and consultant posts has facilitated the growth of the profession, although the evidence base is still evolving. Through a number of research projects this thesis will explore the growth in the radiography evidence base with specific reference to the extending role of the radiographer in image interpretation. Parallel clinical and academic developments have provided evidence of a scholarly profession which is slowly establishing its place through publication and a growing research base.
    • The Development of Theory of Mind and Social Competence in Young Pakistani Children

      Waters, Gillian M.; Johnson, Sally E.; Sireer, Nafeesa (University of BradfordDivision of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2017)
      Theory of mind (ToM) refers to a cognitive ability that enables one to attribute mental states (such as desires, emotions, beliefs) to self and others. In recent years researchers have identified cultural variations in the onset of ToM understanding in collectivist and individualist cultures. However, the findings of cross-cultural studies regarding these variations are inconsistent. The major aim of this innovative research was to investigate differences in the acquisition of ToM in children from a collectivist culture (Pakistan) and an individualist culture (UK). The second aim of the study was to assess the specific association between ToM and social competence in a culturally diverse sample. An additional aim of the study was to investigate the universality of various correlates of ToM such as executive functioning (EF), parenting styles, and maternal mental state talk. The findings of the studies demonstrated a significant delay in the acquisition of ToM in Pakistani children, when compared with Western children from individualist societies. These findings were corroborated by the results of novel cross-cultural study that compared the performance of White British, British Pakistani, and Pakistani children on a ToM scale. White British children outperformed both Pakistani and British Pakistani children on measures of ToM, EF, and social competence. The current findings also provide support for the association of mental state understanding with EF, social competence, parenting styles, and maternal mental state talk. These findings have important implications for the role of general (collectivist vs. individualist cultures) as well as specific cultural practices (such as parenting and education) in the acquisition of mental state understanding.
    • Diabetes in Kuwait - current patients' experiences of their medical treatment(s) with emphasis on renal complications as compared with worldwide guidelines

      Naylor, Ian; Buhajeeh, Eman A.A. (University of BradfordSchool of Pharmacy, 2015)
      Introduction: The studies reported in this thesis investigated a number of patient orientated aspects of its current diagnosis, management and treatment in Kuwait. A comprehensive literature survey is presented with a detailed critical analysis of the very limited number of published material relevant to type 2 diabetes in Kuwait is also provided. A concise list of aims and objectives is also provided. Methodology: The methodology used to derive knowledge of the present situation from the patient perspective, was a series of relevant questions, devised based on the internationally used diabetes Michigan questionnaire. Face to face interviews were used throughout for both patients and medical staff. Suitable data analysis was performed. Results: A pilot study consulted 10 Kuwaiti and 10 non-Kuwaiti patients, and after analysis of their data it was found to be reliable, appropriate and capable of being analysed and so was extended to a larger study of 109 diabetic patients. These 109 diabetic patients were studied in thirteen clinics distributed throughout Kuwait. Two groups of patients were studied – Kuwaiti nationals and non-Kuwaitis both of whom were treated at these clinics during their residency in Kuwait. 38 questions were asked including demographics, medical treatment, monitoring of their disease, physiological consequences and dietary aspects. The major findings were that patients considered two major areas could be improved to enhance the treatment of their disease. The first was to improve the degree of empathy shown to them by the medical/nursing staff and secondly to provide simple practical advice on exercise, dietary considerations and renal aspects of their disease. More comprehensive findings are presented in the thesis but many of these were minor compared with these two major aspects. Also presented are interviews with the medical staff in Kuwait who treat diabetic patients and the problems they face when treating their disease. The opinions and views of selected ophthalmologists and renal specialists are also presented. Medical views were also sought in the UK- Ascot Rehabilitation above their experiences treating diabetic patients from Kuwait. Another aspect of the study was to interview Kuwaiti nationals who had been sent to a clinic in Ascot, UK for the treatment of the serious consequences of their conditions. Many of these were had type 2 diabetes and their views and perspectives of their treatment in Kuwait were gathered as being representative of the long term treatment of this condition. Discussions and Conclusions: The thesis discusses in some detail all the results which were obtained and concludes with a series of recommendations which could be taken to improve the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Kuwait.
    • Diachronic effects of bio-cultural factors on stature and body proportions in British archaeological populations. The impact of living conditions, socio-economic, nutritional and health status on growth, development, maximum attained stature and physical shape in archaeological skeletal population samples.

      Knüsel, Christopher J.; Schweich, Marianne (University of BradfordDepartment of Archaeological Sciences, 2010-06-30)
      Humans, like all animal species, are subject to Bergmann's (1847) and Allen's (1877) environmental rules which summarize physical adaptations to the natural environment. However, humans are in addition cultural animals and other bio-cultural factors such as social, economic and political status, general health, and nutrition, have a noticeable influence on stature and body proportions. Importantly, socio-economic status has a powerful influence on stature, which has been used to elucidate status differences in past societies (Bogin and Loucky, 1997; Floud et al., 1990; Schutkowski, 2000a). Furthermore, bio-cultural factors influence all dimensions of the human body, including weight, relative limb length, and relative length of the different limb segments. Given minimal migration and shared natural environments, all populations in this study, coming as they do from the last 2000 years of English history, should demonstrate similar morphology (c. f Ruff, 1994) if climatic variables were the only influence on stature and body proportions. In order to assess such bio-cultural factors in individuals from archaeological populations, skeletal populations from sites such as known leprosaria and medieval hospitals, rural and urban parish cemeteries, victims from the battle of Towton in A. D. 1461, and individuals from monastic cemeteries were analysed. The osteometric data from these populations were assessedfo r within and between population variability and indicate effects of bio-cultural factors on attained body proportions and stature. The results indicate a strong relationship between bio-cultural factors and body proportions, body mass index, prevalence of pathologies, sexual dimorphism, secular trend, and general stature from Roman times to the post-medieval period. The usefulness of stature, weight, and physical indices as markers of the bio-cultural environment is demonstrated. The main findings include: a greater sensitivity to external stressors in the males rather than the females of the analysed populations, rendering male statures more susceptible to varying bio-cultural conditions; a potential for very tall stature has existed in the analysed populations but was only realised. in very high status individuals in medieval times, and from the beginning 20'h century with better socio-economic conditions for the population at large; a less stratified socio-political environment, as in the late Anglo-Saxon period resulted in taller average male statures that a more stratified one, such as the medieval Nation-States; and medieval monastic institutions could have high status, e.g., the Gilbertines, or lower status, such as the mendicant orders, while leprosaria had the lowest status of all.
    • Did Dutch company pension fund decision-makers step up to the plate? A retrospective reconstruction of decision-making processes during a financial crisis situation within a number of Dutch company pension funds.

      Benders, J.G.J.M.; Slottje, Arie (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2012)
      This study provides a view of the decision-making process of Dutch company pension funds. The success of this research was the exceptional granting of access to four cases. Lack of such access could very well be the reason why research of this nature has not been previously achieved. The financial health of pension funds, expressed by the coverage ratio, showed a decline in 2008. Research has shown that there is a relationship between decision-making processes and outcome. Were the processes appropriate to set up and maintain a sufficient coverage ratio? A tailor-made conceptual research model has been developed and used as an analysis aid to research the TO BE situation based on legal requirements and factional documents and the AS IS situation based on empirical data. The model made it feasible to shed light on the implementation of good pension fund governance principles and decision-making process, which is a contribution to the current gap in research. The research showed that there is a relationship between the implementation of pension fund governance principles and appropriate decision-making processes. It also showed that there is a relationship between an appropriate decision-making process and coverage ratio. Both conclusions are not statistically proven due to the lack of the statistical significance, but are qualitative analysed and confirmed in the conducted case studies. It is suggested to use the research model by supervisor or pension funds to establish the mismatch between the implementation of pension fund governance principles and decision-making processes to enhance the quality of decision-making processes and outcome.
    • Differential membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase expression in phenotypically defined breast cancer cell lines: Comparison of MT-MMP expression in environmentally-challenged 2D monolayer cultures and 3D multicellular tumour spheroids

      Sutton, Chris W.; Loadman, Paul M.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Kashtl, Ghasaq J.
      Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc endopeptidases capable of digesting the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is essential for tissue structure and transmitting messages between cells. MMPs play an important role in cancer, controlling cell migration, proliferation, apoptosis, regulation of tumour expansion, angiogenesis and invasion. Previous research has indicated high expression of MT1-MMP in breast cancers suggesting a potential role in tumour progression. Our results confirm that 3D multicellular tumour spheroids (MCTS) using phenotype-specific breast cancer cell lines are a valuable experimental model of the tumour microenvironment. Optimisation of MCTS culture growth conditions using different breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, T47D, MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231) was performed. Unexpected detection of MT1-MMP in MCF-7 MCTS warranted further investigation. MT1-MMP expression in different micro-environmental conditions, including hypoxia and nutrient deprivation (serum-free induced autophagy) were measured in MCF-7 monolayer cultures and MCTS models using immunofluorescence (IF), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot (WB). MT1-MMP expression was rapidly and irreversibly up-regulated in MCF-7 breast cancer cells under conditions of stress (hypoxia and autophagy) compared to normal conditions suggesting an important role of the culture environment on cells behaviour and protein expression. We employed isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technology to correlate MT1-MMP increase with proteomic profiles in MCF-7 breast cancer cell grown under hypoxic, serum-free and 3D MCTS conditions. More than 3500 proteins were identified, which were clustered into groups based on response to unique or shared microenvironment changes. Hypoxic monolayer and spheroid cells exhibited changes in anaerobic metabolism and lipid synthesis, respectively, whereas autophagy resulted in up-regulation of cellular component disassembly. The result indicated multiple drivers of MT1-MMP expression in MCF-7 cells.
    • Digital Image Processing via Combination of Low-Level and High-Level Approaches.

      Jiang, Jianmin; Ipson, Stanley S.; Wang, Dong (University of BradfordThe Digital Media & Systems Research Institute, School of Computing, Informatics & Media, 2012-02-13)
      With the growth of computer power, Digital Image Processing plays a more and more important role in the modern world, including the field of industry, medical, communications, spaceflight technology etc. There is no clear definition how to divide the digital image processing, but normally, digital image processing includes three main steps: low-level, mid-level and highlevel processing. Low-level processing involves primitive operations, such as: image preprocessing to reduce the noise, contrast enhancement, and image sharpening. Mid-level processing on images involves tasks such as segmentation (partitioning an image into regions or objects), description of those objects to reduce them to a form suitable for computer processing, and classification (recognition) of individual objects. Finally, higher-level processing involves "making sense" of an ensemble of recognised objects, as in image analysis. Based on the theory just described in the last paragraph, this thesis is organised in three parts: Colour Edge and Face Detection; Hand motion detection; Hand Gesture Detection and Medical Image Processing. II In Colour Edge Detection, two new images G-image and R-image are built through colour space transform, after that, the two edges extracted from G-image and R-image respectively are combined to obtain the final new edge. In Face Detection, a skin model is built first, then the boundary condition of this skin model can be extracted to cover almost all of the skin pixels. After skin detection, the knowledge about size, size ratio, locations of ears and mouth is used to recognise the face in the skin regions. In Hand Motion Detection, frame differe is compared with an automatically chosen threshold in order to identify the moving object. For some special situations, with slow or smooth object motion, the background modelling and frame differencing are combined in order to improve the performance. In Hand Gesture Recognition, 3 features of every testing image are input to Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), and then the Expectation Maximization algorithm (EM)is used to compare the GMM from testing images and GMM from training images in order to classify the results. In Medical Image Processing (mammograms), the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and clustering rule are applied to choose the feature. Two classifier, ANN and Support Vector Machine (SVM), have been applied to classify the results, in this processing, the balance learning theory and optimized decision has been developed are applied to improve the performance.
    • Digital Watermarking of Images towards Content Protection.

      Jiang, Jianmin; Ipson, Stanley S.; Nasir, Ibrahim A. (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics & Media, 2010-09-20)
      With the rapid growth of the internet and digital media techniques over the last decade, multimedia data such as images, video and audio can easily be copied, altered and distributed over the internet without any loss in quality. Therefore, protection of ownership of multimedia data has become a very significant and challenging issue. Three novel image watermarking algorithms have been designed and implemented for copyright protection. The first proposed algorithm is based on embedding multiple watermarks in the blue channel of colour images to achieve more robustness against attacks. The second proposed algorithm aims to achieve better trade-offs between imperceptibility and robustness requirements of a digital watermarking system. It embeds a watermark in adaptive manner via classification of DCT blocks with three levels: smooth, edges and texture, implemented in the DCT domain by analyzing the values of AC coefficients. The third algorithm aims to achieve robustness against geometric attacks, which can desynchronize the location of the watermark and hence cause incorrect watermark detection. It uses geometrically invariant feature points and image normalization to overcome the problem of synchronization errors caused by geometric attacks. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithms are robust and outperform related techniques found in literature.
    • Directing the Assembly of Multicomponent Organic Crystals. Synthesis, characterisation and structural analysis of multicomponent organic systems formed from dynamic processes.

      Scowen, Ian J.; Munshi, Tasnim; Alomar, Taghrid S. (University of BradfordSchool of Life Sciences, 2015-04-22)
      Directed assembly of molecular solids continues to attract widespread interest with its fundamental application in a wide range of commercial settings where control of the crystalline state of materials corresponds with product performance. These arenas include pharmaceuticals, personal care formulations, foods, paints and pigments and explosives. In recent times, the assembly of multicomponent organic systems has achieved considerable impetus with the widespread interest in co-crystal systems. However, cogent assembly (or engineering) of multicomponent materials is still in its infancy. Considerable advances in crystal design have been made through consideration of intermolecular ‘synthons’ – identifiable motifs utilising hydrogen bonds – but the translation of other molecular information (conformation, chirality, etc.) into solid state properties (e.g. long-range (translational) symmetry, crystal chirality) remains poorly understood. In this study, we have attempted to evaluate the influence of a chiral centre adjacent to molecular synthons to identify potential translation of information into the solid form. We have compared the co-crystallisation of nicotinamide with both the racemic mixture of malic acid against that with an enantiomerically pure form of the acid (L-malic acid). As well as DL-phenyllactic acid and L-phenyllactic acid. iii It is apparent that recognition between enantiomeric molecular forms play a significant role in the assembly of these systems. This mechanism can be considered independently from the H-bonding networks supporting the hetero-molecular interactions (e.g. acid-amide recognition). Discrimination and control of such interactions may play a role in transmitting chiral molecular information into solid state multi-component assemblies. In order to develop an understanding of co-crystal formation in chiral and achiral forms with intermolecular interactions, the CSD and crystal structures were obtained to do the analysis of how co-crystals pack. This study has also investigated the use of boronic acids. The aim of this study was to investigate the modification of the hydrogen bonding environment within the hydrogen bonded multi-component systems of boroxines. The study also attempted to determine how the starting materials drive the systems between the boronic acid co-crystal and the boroxine adduct.
    • The Discursive Construction of Terrorism: The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and other Kurdish political movements in Turkish official discourse, and the approach of the Turkish authorities regarding the Kurdish question

      Bluth, Christoph; Green, Tim; Deewanee, Azad A.M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Science and Humanities, Division of Peace Studies and International Development, 2018)
      This research critically challenges the conventional understanding of terrorism, which is influenced by the views of states that label certain non-state actors as terrorists and their action as terrorism. The research demonstrates that there is a need to critically study the characteristics of every armed conflict constructed as terrorism. This is the case of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, which is constructed in the Turkish official discourse as a phenomenon of terrorism perpetrated by the PKK. In addition, the Turkish narrative of terrorism is not limited to the PKK, but it transcends to the Syrian Kurdish PYD and YPG, and other Kurdish movements and individuals. The findings of this research reveal that the Turkish official narrative of terrorism functions to achieve two main goals. The first goal is to delegitimize the PKK and the other Kurdish movements. The second goal is to legitimize the repressive policies of the Turkish authorities regarding these movements in particular and the Kurds in general. This is interconnected with the denial of the existence of the Kurdish question and framing it in the context of the narrative of terrorism. The research also reveals that the language and policy of peace and war could change according to the interests of states’ elites. This is the case of the approach of the Turkish authorities regarding the Kurdish question, which changed under the influence of the elections and voting agendas of Erdogan and AKP. The research found that during the peace process and before the June 2015 elections, the approach of Turkish authorities was pro-peace negotiations and non-military action. However, as the AKP was not able to secure the majority that it sought in the June elections, the AKP authorities abandoned the peace process and adopted a military campaign and repressive policies. The latter matched the appeal of the AKP leadership to the votes of nationalist Turks in the November 2015 elections and the April 2017 referendum.
    • DISH Everywhere: Study of the Pathogenesis of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis and of its Prevalence in England and Catalonia from the Roman to the Post-Medieval Time Period

      Buckberry, Jo; Beaumont, Julia; Castells Navarro, Laura (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2018)
      Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a spondyloarthropathy traditionally defined as having spinal and extra-spinal manifestations. However its diagnostic criteria only allow the identification of advanced DISH and there is little consensus regarding the extra-spinal enthesopathies. In this project, individuals with DISH from the WM Bass Donated Skeletal Collection were analysed to investigate the pathogenesis of DISH and archaeological English and Catalan samples (3rd–18th century AD) were studied to investigate how diet might have influenced the development of DISH. From the individuals from the Bass Collection, isolated vertical lesions representing the early stages of DISH (‘early DISH’) were identified. Both sample sets showed that the presence of extra-spinal manifestations varies significantly between individuals and that discarthrosis and DISH can co-exist in the same individual. In all archaeological samples, the prevalence of DISH was significantly higher in males and older individuals showed a higher prevalence of DISH. In both regions, the prevalence of DISH was the lowest in the Roman samples, the highest in the early medieval ones and intermediate in the late medieval samples. While when using documentary resources and archaeological data, it was hypothesised that the prevalence of DISH in the English and Catalan samples might have been different, the results show no significant differences even if English samples tend to show higher prevalence of DISH than the Catalan samples. This possibly suggests that the development of DISH depends on a combination of dietary habits and, possibly, genetic predisposition might influence the development of DISH. The individuals from the Bass Collection showed high prevalence of metabolic and cardiovascular conditions. In contrast, no association was found between DISH and rich-diet associated conditions (e.g. carious lesions and gout) or deficiency-related conditions (e.g. scurvy, healed rickets).
    • Distorted Security Discourses. The ROK’s Securitisation of the Korean Nuclear Crisis, 2003–2013

      Bluth, Christoph; Greene, Owen J.; Yoon, Seongwon (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, 2016)
      South Korea’s security discourse on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea has been dichotomised by its position within the political spectrum between the progressives and conservatives. By drawing upon Securitisation Theory (ST), this study challenges the current security discourse in South Korea, which has divided and misled the public as well as securitising actors. This study examines the security discourses of the Roh Moo-hyun (2003–2008) and Lee Myung-bak (2008–2013) administrations, since they represent the archetypes of the progressives and conservatives respectively. The results of the analysis suggest that the current security discourses that have been prevalent in South Korea do not correspond with reality and, subsequently, the discourses were not able to deal with real challenges that the nuclear threat posed. This research also explains the root cause of the distorted security discourses by applying a ‘discursive chasm’ as a preliminary concept, which indicates a discursive structure that fundamentally impedes the performance of securitising actors’ articulation, and that distorts the discursive formation (securitisation processes). The chasms consist of three elusive discourses: first, a discourse on threats that cannot simply be said to be either imminent or not imminent (nuclear weapons as materiality and discourse); second, a discourse on the other that cannot easily be defined (the difficulty of representation of North Korea); and third, a discourse on measures that cannot easily be realised (intangible extraordinary measures).
    • Distribution Network Operation with High Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources. Joint Active/Reactive Power Procurement: A Market-Based Approach for Operation of Distribution Network

      Mokryani, Geev; Rajamani, Haile S.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Zubo, Rana H.A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2019)
      Distributed generators (DGs) are proposed as a possible solution to supply economic and reliable electricity to customers. It is adapted to overcome the challenges that are characterized by centralized generation such as transmission and distribution losses, high cost of fossil fuels and environmental damage. This work presents the basic principles of integrating renewable DGs in low voltage distribution networks and particularly focuses on the operation of DG installations and their impacts on active and reactive power. In this thesis, a novel technique that applies the stochastic approach for the operation of distribution networks with considering active network management (ANM) schemes and demand response (DR) within a joint active and reactive distribution market environment is proposed. The projected model is maximized based on social welfare (SW) using market-based joint active and reactive optimal power flow (OPF). The intermittent behaviour of renewable sources (such as solar irradiance and wind speed) and the load demands are modelled through Scenario-Tree technique. The distributed network frame is recast using mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) that is solved by using the GAMS software and then the obtained results are being analysed and discussed. In addition, the impact of wind and solar power penetration on the active and reactive distribution locational prices (D-LMPs) within the distribution market environment is explored in terms of the maximization of SW considering the uncertainty related to solar irradiance, wind speed and load demands. Finally, a realistic case study (16-bus UK generic medium voltage distribution system) is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Results show that ANM schemes and DR integration lead to an increase in the social welfare and total dispatched active and reactive power and consequently decrease in active and reactive D-LMPs.
    • Dividend Policy, Stock Liquidity and Stock Price Informativeness

      Mazouz, Khelifa; Sharma, Abhijit; Ebrahim, Rabab H.A.H. (University of BradfordSchool of Management, Faculty of Management & Law, 2017)
      Dividend policy, its determinants, and its impact on firm value are of significant academic interest, and many theories and explanations have been posited on the subject over the years, but there has not been a universal agreement. This thesis examines the links between dividend policy, various aspects of stock liquidity and price informativeness. We study a sample of UK firms over the period from 1996-2013. We show that, on average, stocks of dividend payers have significantly lower bid–ask spread and a lower illiquidity ratio than their counterparts of non-dividend payers. We also find that stocks of high-dividend payers are more liquid than those of firms that pay low or no dividends. These findings are consistent with the predictions of asymmetric information that posit that paying dividends reveals inside information to the market and hence decreases the level of asymmetric information, leading to higher stock liquidity. In the subsequent analysis, we suggest and examine a new channel through which dividend policy can impact firm value. Specifically, we show that dividend payers are less exposed to shocks in the aggregate market liquidity than non-dividend payers. Similarly, we find that the systematic liquidity risk is negatively associated with amount of dividends. Finally, in the context of signalling and agency costs models, we show that dividends are negatively related to stock price informativeness and that this relationship is stronger for firms with lower stock liquidity. The findings imply that dividend policy can both affect and be affected by stock markets.
    • Dizziness and falls rate changes after routine cataract surgery and the influence of visual and refractive factors

      Elliott, David B.; Johnson, Louise; Supuk, Elvira (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2015)
      Purpose: To determine whether symptoms of dizziness and fall rates change due to routine cataract surgery and to determine the influence of visual and refractive factors on these common problems in older adults. Methods: Self-reported dizziness and falls were determined in 287 subjects (mean age of 76.5±6.3 years, 55% females) before and after routine cataract surgery for the first (81, 28%), second (109, 38%) and both eyes (97, 34%). Six-month falls rates were determined using self-reported retrospective data. Dizziness was determined using the short-form of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory. Results: The number of patients with dizziness reduced significantly after cataract surgery (52% vs. 38%; χ2 = 19.14 , p<0.001), but the reduction in number of patients who fell in the 6-months post surgery was not significant (23% vs. 20%; χ2= 0.87, p=0.35). Multivariate logistic regression analyses found significant links between post-operative falls and change in spectacle type (increased risk if switched into multifocal spectacles). Post-operative dizziness was associated with changes in best eye visual acuity and changes in oblique astigmatic correction. Conclusions: Dizziness is significantly reduced by cataract surgery and this is linked with improvements in best eye visual acuity, although changes in oblique astigmatic correction increased dizziness. The lack of improvement in falls rate may be associated with switching into multifocal spectacle wear after surgery.
    • Does Cyberspace outdate Jurisdictional Defamation Laws?

      Usman, Muhammad
      Cyberspace produces friction when the law is implemented by domestic courts using 'state-laws'. These laws are based on a ‘physical presence’ of an individual within the territory. It elevates conflicts relating to cyberspace jurisdiction. This research examines private international law complications associated with cyberspace. The paradigm of libel that takes place within the domain of social media is used to evaluate the utility of traditional laws. This research is conducted using ‘black-letter’ methodology, keeping in mind the changes constituted by the Defamation Act 2013. It pinpoints that the instantaneous nature of social media communication demands an unambiguous exercise of 'personal-jurisdiction', beyond the doctrine of territoriality. An innovation to the code of Civil Procedure is recommended to revise the process of service for non-EU defendants. The permission to serve a writ via social networks (or to the relevant Embassy of the defendant’s domicile state), can accelerate the traditional judicial process. This thesis can be utilised as a roadmap by libel victims for preliminary information. It contributes to the knowledge by discovering that the thresholds under Section 1 and Section 9 of the Defamation Act 2013 overlap with the conventional ‘forum-conveniens’ tests. This crossover is causing legal uncertainty in the application of existing rules to the digital libel proceedings. Section 1 and Section 9 thresholds do not fulfil the purpose of eliminating ‘libel-tourism’ and maintaining a balance between speech freedom and reputation rights. They raised the bar for potential victims and restricted their rights to justice. It is proposed that the traditional ‘conveniens test’ must be used for social media libel victims to produce legal certainty in cyberspace defamation.
    • Does institutionalising decentralisation work? Rethinking agency, institutions and authority in local governance. A case study of Ntonaboma in Kwahu-North District, Ghana.

      Morvaridi, Behrooz; Cleaver, Frances D.; Osei-Kufuor, Patrick (University of BradfordDevelopment and Economic Studies, 2012-01-13)
      This thesis draws on an ethnographic research in Ghana to question mainstream views on decentralisation that local level institutions can be consciously crafted to enlist the participation of marginal actors in governance thereby leading to efficiency and equity in development. The research explores the everyday practice of local governance in Ntonaboma, a resettlement community in the Eastern region of Ghana by using participant observation and interviews. Evidence from the study reveals that first decentralisation is not a technical or managerial exercise but rather a societal practice taking place among heterogeneous actors with diverse interest and values. Secondly, the interactions occurring among these diverse actors are mediated through the interplay of a variety of institutions at the local level. Thirdly, the complex and dynamic character of decentralisation at the community level make the specificities of context very relevant in understanding the transformative potentials of decentralisation especially how it impacts on people and their social organisation. The study places emphasis on the application of agency, institutions and authority in local governance approaches. Evidence from the study suggests that institutionalised decentralisation inadequately provides possibilities for ordinary people to transform the nature of their interactions within the community. The thesis raises further questions about the simplistic and instrumental use of institutions in local governance approaches. The study notes that institutions are not static and do not determine outcomes but are informed by the prevailing conditions at the community level. Thus, the actions of actors and specificities of the locality do shape institutions. The study emphasises the role of existing institutions and socially embedded principles in village governance. It thus suggests that, the process of decentralisation is a political process mediated through diverse institutions and with varied outcomes for different individuals. The study concludes by exploring implications for local governance and decentralisation to making local governance pro-poor.
    • Drug nanosizing using microfluidic reactors. Development, characterisation and evaluation of corticosteroids nano-sized particles for optimised drug delivery.

      York, Peter; Blagden, Nicholas; Ali, Hany S.M. (University of BradfordDepartment of Pharmacy, 2011-06-22)
      Over recent years the delivery of nanosized drug particles has shown potential in improving bioavailability. Drug nanosizing is achieved by ¿top-down¿ and by ¿bottom-up¿ approaches. Owing to limitations associated with the top-down techniques, such as high energy input, electrostatic effects, broad particle size distributions and contamination issues, great interest has been directed to alternative bottom up technologies. In this study, the hypothesis that microreactors can be used as a simple and cost-effective technique to generate organic nanosized products is tested using three steroids (hydrocortisone, prednisolone and budesonide). Arrested antisolvent nanoprecipitation using ethanol (solvent) and water (antisolvent) was conducted within the microreactors. To enable experimental design for the microreactor studies, solubility profiles in different ethanol-water combinations at 25 °C were explored. All three drugs¿ solubility increased with increasing ethanol concentration showing maxima at 80-90 % v/v ethanol-water mixtures. Because of the complex multivariate microfluidic process, artificial neural network modelling was then employed to identify the dominant relationships between the variables affecting nanoprecipitation (as inputs) and the drug particle size (as output). The antisolvent flow rate was found to have the major role in directing drug particle size. Based on these successful findings, the potential of preparing pharmaceutical nanosuspensions using microfluidic reactors was researched. A hydrocortisone (HC) nanosuspension (NS) was prepared by introducing the generated drug particles into an aqueous solution of stabilizers stirred at high speed with a propeller mixer. A tangential flow filtration system was then used to concentrate the prepared NS. Results showed that a stable narrow sized HC NS of amorphous spherical particles 500 ± 64 nm diameter and zeta potential ¿18 ± 2.84 mV could be produced. The ocular bioavailability of a microfluidic precipitated HC NS (300 nm) was assessed and compared to a similar sized, milled HC NS and HC solution as a control. The precipitated and the milled NS achieved comparable AUC0-9h of 28.06 ± 4.08 and 30.95 ± 2.2, respectively, significantly (P < 0.01) higher than HC solution (15.86 ± 2.7). These results illustrate the opportunity to design sustained release ophthalmic formulations. Going nano via microfluidic precipitation was also exploited to tailor budesonide (BD) NS for pulmonary administration. The in vitro aerosolization by nebulization of a BD NS was studied in comparison with a commercial BD microsuspension. Overall, the fine particle fraction generated from BD NS (56.88 ± 3.37) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the marketed BD (38.04 ± 7.81). The mean mass aerodynamic diameter of BD NS aerosol (3.9 ± 0.48 ¿m) was significantly smaller (P < 0.05) than the microsuspension (6.2 ± 1.09 ¿m) indicating improved performance for BD NS. In conclusion, findings of this study support the hypothesis of using microfluidic nanoprecipitation as a promising and economical technique of drug nanosizing.
    • Drying shrinkage of self-compacting concrete incorporating fly ash

      Ashour, Ashraf F.; Sheehan, Therese; Abdalhmid, Jamila M.A.
      The present research is conducted to investigate long term (more than two years) free and confined drying shrinkage magnitude and behaviour of self-compacting concrete (SCC) and compare with normal concrete (NC). For all SCCs mixes, Portland cement was replaced with 0-60% of fly ash (FA), fine and coarse aggregates were kept constant at 890 kg/m3 and 780 kg/m3, respectively. Two different water binder ratios of 0.44 and 0.33 were examined for both SCCs and NCs. Fresh properties of SCCs such as filling ability, passing ability, viscosity and resistance to segregation and hardened properties such as compressive and flexural strengths, water absorption and density of SCCs and NCs were also determined. Experimental results of free drying shrinkage obtained from this study together with collected comprehensive database from different sources available in the literature were compared to five existing models, namely the ACI 209R-92 model, BSEN-92 model, ACI 209R-92 (Huo) model, B3 model, and GL2000 model. To assess the quality of predictive models, the influence of various parameters (compressive strength, cement content, water content and relative humidity) on the drying shrinkage strain are studied. An artificial neural network models (ANNM) for prediction of drying shrinkage strains of SCC was developed using the same data used in the existing models. Two ANNM sets namely ANNM1 and ANNM2 with different numbers of hidden layer neurones were constructed. Comparison between the results given by the ANNM1 model and the results obtained by the five existing predicted models were presented. The results showed that, using up to 60% of FA as cement replacement can produce SCC with a compressive strength as high as 30 MPa and low drying shrinkage strain. SCCs long-term drying shrinkage from 356 to 1000 days was higher than NCs. Concrete filled elliptical tubes (CFET) with self-compacting concrete containing FA up to 60% are recommended for use in construction in order to prevent confined drying strain. ACI 209R-92 model provided a better prediction of drying shrinkage compared with the other four models. However, a very high predictability with high accuracy was achieved with the ANNM1 model with a mean of 1.004. Moreover, by using ANNM models, it is easy to insert any of factors effecting drying shrinkage to the input parameters to predict drying shrinkage strain of SCC.
    • Dual-Use Science and Bioethics: Governance of Biotechnology in Post-Soviet Russia

      Whitman, Jim R.; Whitby, Simon M.; Novossiolova, Tatyana Andreeva (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, 2015)
      Throughout the world, systems of life science governance carry historical, cultural, and political legacies, which now confront the revolutionary and pervasive advances of twenty-first century biotechnology. Nations' adaptability to the twin challenges of attempting to secure the benefits while reducing the risks and threats is a large and still burgeoning governance challenge. The legacy of the Soviet Union is particularly important in this regard, since its history of prolonged authoritarian rule and intense development of biological weapons in combination with the continuing scientific and technological prowess of Russia is a governance challenge, unprecedented in its nature and scale. The aim of the dissertation therefore is to examine to what extent and by what means it is possible for Russia to reconcile its on-going expansion in biotechnology with the institutional and normative inertia arising from its Soviet past. The first part of the dissertation (Chapters 1-4) seeks to uncover and analyse both the growth and consolidation of the governance of biotechnology and the multifaceted governance challenges brought about by the rapid advancement of the life sciences in the twenty-first century. The second part (Chapters 5-8) examines the extent to which the Soviet institutional and infrastructural legacies in the culture of life science research still persist in Russia and impact the governance of biotechnology in that country. The concluding chapter offers an assessment of the current state of the governance of biotechnology in Russia and outlines a scope for further research.