Now showing items 1-20 of 8889

    • Flexural performance of concrete beams reinforced with steel–FRP composite bars

      Ge, W.; Wang, Y.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lu, W.; Cao, D. (2020-05-16)
      Flexural performance of concrete beams reinforced with steel–FRP composite bar (SFCB) was investigated in this paper. Eight concrete beams reinforced with different bar types, namely one specimen reinforced with steel bars, one with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars and four with SFCBs, while the last two with hybrid FRP/steel bars, were tested to failure. Test results showed that SFCB/hybrid reinforced specimens exhibited improved stiffness, reduced crack width and larger bending capacity compared with FRP-reinforced specimen. According to compatibility of strains, materials’ constitutive relationships and equilibrium of forces, two balanced situations, three different failure modes and balanced reinforcement ratios as well as analytical technique for predicting the whole loading process are developed. Simplified formulas for effective moment of inertia and crack width are also proposed. The predicted results are closely correlated with the test results, confirming the validity of the proposed formulas for practical use.
    • Flexural Performance of Steel Reinforced ECC-Concrete Composite Beams Subjected to Freeze–Thaw Cycles

      Ge, W.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lu, W.; Cao, D. (2020-02-17)
      Experimental and theoretical investigations on the flexural performance of steel reinforced ECC-concrete composite beams subjected to freeze–thaw cycles are presented in this paper. Four groups of reinforced composite beams with different ECC height replacement ratios subject to 0, 50, 100 and 150 cycles of freeze–thaw were physically tested to failure. Experimental results show that the bending capacity decreases with the increase of freeze–thaw cycles regardless of ECC height replacement ratios. However, the ultimate moment, stiffness and durability of ECC specimens and ECC-concrete composite specimens are greater than those of traditional concrete specimens, owing to the excellent tensile performance of ECC materials. With the increase of ECC height, the crack width and average crack spacing gradually decrease. According to materials’ constitutive models, compatibility and equilibrium conditions, three failure modes with two boundary failure conditions are proposed. Simplified formulas for the moment capacity are also developed. The results predicted by the simplified formulas show good agreement with the experimental moment capacity and failure modes. A parametric analysis is conducted to study the influence of strength and height of ECC, amount of reinforcement, concrete strength and cycles of freeze–thaw on moment capacity and curvature ductility of ECC-concrete composite beams.
    • Sustaining the commitment to patient safety huddles: insights from eight acute hospital ward teams

      Montague, Jane; Crosswaite, Kate; Lamming, Laura; Cracknell, A.; Lovatt, A.; Mohammed, A. Mohammed (2019-11-14)
      Background: A recent initiative in hospital settings is the patient safety huddle (PSH): a brief multidisciplinary meeting held to highlight patient safety issues and actions to mitigate identified risks. Aim: The authors studied eight ward teams that had sustained PSHs for over 2 years in order to identify key contributory factors. Methods: Unannounced observations of the PSH on eight acute wards in one UK hospital were undertaken. Interviews and focus groups were also conducted. These were recorded and transcribed for framework analysis. Findings: A range of factors contributes to the sustainability of the PSH including a high degree of belief and consensus in purpose, adaptability, determination, multidisciplinary team involvement, a non-judgemental space, committed leadership and consistent reward and celebration. Conclusion: The huddles studied have developed and been shaped over time through a process of trial and error, and persistence. Overall this study offers insights into the factors that contribute to this sustainability.
    • pH Dependence of Acrylate-Derivative Polyelectrolyte Properties

      Swift, Thomas (2019-03-14)
      There are many polymers formed of acrylate monomers in existence. Here we interrogate four commonly-used examples and study how their solution properties are pH dependent, or how their state of ionisation can affect their solution properties. Poly(acrylic acid) and poly(methacrylic acid) are both polyelectrolytes, with ionisable functional groups that make them stimuli responsive, changing their hydrodynamic volume. Poly(acrylamide) is a mass-produced material used in a variety of industrial applications, often with an anionic and cationic co-monomer, which dictates both its efficacy and impact on the environment. Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) is a thermally responsive material with applications in smart bioengineering. In solution, these materials can interact with each other due to competing hydrogen bonding interactions. However, this interpolymer complexation is dependent on both the ionisation, and the conformational state, of the polymers involved. This review focuses on the results from fluorescence tagging and turbidimetric techniques.
    • Targeting the mesolithic: Interdisciplinary approaches to archaeological prospection inthe Brown Bank area, southern North Sea

      Missiaen, T.; Fitch, Simon; Muru, Merle; Harding, Rachel; Fraser, Andy; De Clercq, M.; Garcia Moreno, David; Versteeg, W.; Gaffney, Vincent L. (2020)
      This paper describes some results of the research undertaken over the Brown Bank area during recent (2018/2019) geoarchaeological surveys in the North Sea which included seismic imaging, shallow (vibro)coring and dredging. It examines the benefits of simultaneous high-resolution (0.5 – 1m) and ultra-high-resolution (10 – 20cm) seismic survey techniques and a staged approach to resolving the submerged Holocene landscape in the highest possible detail for the purpose of targeted prospecting for archaeological material from the Mesolithic landscape of Doggerland. The materials recovered from such surveys offer significantly greater information due to an enhanced understanding of the context in which they were recovered. The importance of this information cannot be understated archaeologically, as few locations on land provide the opportunity to recover archaeological finds in situ within preserved landscapes. Moreover, it allows offshore areas of potential human activity to be prospected with some certainty of success.
    • Interactive Fusion and Tracking For Multi‐Modal Spatial Data Visualization

      Elshehaly, Mai; Gračanin, D.; Gad, M.; Elmongui, H.G.; Matković, K. (2015-06)
      Scientific data acquired through sensors which monitor natural phenomena, as well as simulation data that imitate time‐identified events, have fueled the need for interactive techniques to successfully analyze and understand trends and patterns across space and time. We present a novel interactive visualization technique that fuses ground truth measurements with simulation results in real‐time to support the continuous tracking and analysis of spatiotemporal patterns. We start by constructing a reference model which densely represents the expected temporal behavior, and then use GPU parallelism to advect measurements on the model and track their location at any given point in time. Our results show that users can interactively fill the spatio‐temporal gaps in real world observations, and generate animations that accurately describe physical phenomena.
    • PIA: More Accurate Taxonomic Assignment of Metagenomic Data Demonstrated on sedaDNA From the North Sea

      Gaffney, Vincent L.; Cribdon, B.; Ware, R.; Smith, O.; Allaby, R. (2020-04-03)
      Assigning metagenomic reads to taxa presents significant challenges. Existing approaches address some issues, but are mostly limited to metabarcoding or optimized for microbial data. We present PIA (Phylogenetic Intersection Analysis): a taxonomic binner that works from standard BLAST output while mitigating key effects of incomplete databases. Benchmarking against MEGAN using sedaDNA suggests that, while PIA is less sensitive, it can be more accurate. We use known sequences to estimate the accuracy of PIA at up to 96% when the real organism is not represented in the database. For ancient DNA, where taxa of interest are frequently over-represented domesticates or absent, poorly-known organisms, more accurate assignment is critical, even at the expense of sensitivity. PIA offers an approach to objectively filter out false positive hits without the need to manually remove taxa and so make presuppositions about past environments and their palaeoecologies.
    • Ewastools: Infinium Human Methylation BeadChip pipeline for population epigenetics integrated into Galaxy

      Murat, Katarzyna; Grüning, B.; Poterlowicz, P.W.; Westgate, Gillian E.; Tobin, Desmond J.; Poterlowicz, Krzysztof (Oxford Academic, 2020-05)
      Infinium Human Methylation BeadChip is an array platform for complex evaluation of DNA methylation at an individual CpG locus in the human genome based on Illumina’s bead technology and is one of the most common techniques used in epigenome-wide association studies. Finding associations between epigenetic variation and phenotype is a significant challenge in biomedical research. The newest version, HumanMethylationEPIC, quantifies the DNA methylation level of 850,000 CpG sites, while the previous versions, HumanMethylation450 and HumanMethylation27, measured >450,000 and 27,000 loci, respectively. Although a number of bioinformatics tools have been developed to analyse this assay, they require some programming skills and experience in order to be usable. Results We have developed a pipeline for the Galaxy platform for those without experience aimed at DNA methylation analysis using the Infinium Human Methylation BeadChip. Our tool is integrated into Galaxy (http://galaxyproject.org), a web-based platform. This allows users to analyse data from the Infinium Human Methylation BeadChip in the easiest possible way. Conclusions The pipeline provides a group of integrated analytical methods wrapped into an easy-to-use interface. Our tool is available from the Galaxy ToolShed, GitHub repository, and also as a Docker image. The aim of this project is to make Infinium Human Methylation BeadChip analysis more flexible and accessible to everyone.
    • Role of technological dimensions of green supply chain management practices on firm performance

      Bag, S.; Gupta, S.; Kumar, S.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar (2020)
      Purpose The research study aims to investigate green supply chain management (GSCM) elements as part of a complete system. It aims to understand the special properties of the GSCM system under the moderating effects of product complexity and purchasing structure. Design/methodology/approach A thorough literature review led to the building of the conceptual framework. Six constructs were identified using systems theory. These constructs include green supply chain technological dimensions (particularly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) based), green supply chain strategy, green supply chain process, product complexity, purchasing structure, and firm performance. The instrument was scientifically developed for gathering survey responses using complete design test methods. The conceptual model was eventually tested based on survey data collected from 250 automotive components and allied manufacturers in the emerging economy of South Africa. Findings The results indicate that GSCM technological dimensions (AI-based) positively influence GSCM strategy. Further, GSCM strategy was found to positively influence the GSCM process. The GSCM processes have significant effects on environmental performance, social performance, and financial performance. The product complexity has a significant moderation effect on the paths GSCM strategy and GSCM process. Originality/value The findings from multivariate data analysis provide a better understanding of GSCM system dynamics and are helpful to key decision-makers. This unique model has elevated GSCM theory to a new level. There are limited studies available in the existing GSCM literature using systems theory. This study will offer an advanced/comprehensive understanding to readers in this relatively new concept.
    • Human resource slack, sustainable innovation and environmental performance of small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa

      Adomako, Samuel; Nguyen, N.P. (2020)
      Despite the burgeoning interests in the environmental strategy, there is a limited understanding of how human resource slack drives sustainable innovation and environmental performance. This paper contributes to filling this gap by examining the effect of human resource slack on sustainable innovation and its impact on environmental performance. Besides, this paper investigates the contingent effects of intangible resource advantage on this relationship. The hypotheses are tested using data from 301 small and medium‐sized enterprises in Ghana. The results suggest that human resource slack positively relates to sustainable innovation and this relationship is moderated by intangible resource advantage. Also, we find that sustainable innovation mediates the relationship between human resource slack and environmental performance. The insights from our paper provide a nuanced understanding of the relationships among human resource lack, sustainable innovation, and environmental performance. Implications for theory and practices are discussed.
    • Time to make healthcare professions more accessible to women with children

      Archibong, Uduak E.; McIntosh, Bryan; Donaghy, L. (2020-03)
      In response to a recent report published by the Royal College of Nursing, Bryan McIntosh, Uduak Archibong and Louise Donaghy discuss the impact of motherhood, part-time hours and career breaks on the cultural perceptions and experiences of female healthcare professionals.
    • Exploring Diversity Management in Transnational Corporations Through the Lens of Migration and Expatriation

      Utam, Kingsley U.; Archibong, Uduak E.; Walton, S.; Eshareturi, Cyril (2020)
      In this study, we aim to develop an understanding of the similarity between migration and expatriation, identify both as elements in diversity, and draw attention to the additional layer of ethnic diversity created by the high number of top management expatriates in some Nigerian subsidiaries of transnational corporations. Using the qualitative research design, we thematically analysed data from semistructured interviews with six indigenous managers in four transnational corporations. We found a significant number of expatriate managers in two subsidiaries and a lack of diversity management framework to address the new layer of diversity as reflected in the unequal treatment of indigenous managers. We conclude that migration and expatriation are similar and could be better managed through effective diversity management framework.
    • Characterisation of dissolved organic matter to optimise powdered activated carbon and clarification removal efficiency

      Shutova, Y.; Rao, N.R.H.; Zamyadi, A.; Baker, A.; Bridgeman, John; Lau, B.; Henderson, R.K. (2020)
      The character of dissolved organic matter (DOM) present in drinking water treatment systems greatly impacts its treatability by coagulation–flocculation. Powdered activated carbon dosing has been suggested to enhance DOM removal when combined with coagulation–flocculation. However, optimising powdered activated carbon (PAC) dosing requires further research. In this study, fluorescence spectroscopy combined with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) and liquid chromatography with organic carbon detection (LC–OCD) has been used to characterise DOM removal in three ways: (a) coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation without PAC dosing, (b) PAC dosing prior to- and (c) PAC dosing during coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation treatment. It was shown that only coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation preferentially removed biopolymer and humic substance chromatographic fractions and fluorescent DOM, whereas dosing PAC preferentially removed building blocks and low molecular weight neutral chromatographic fractions. The DOM treatability that was achieved when PAC was dosed both prior to- and during coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation was comparable, but higher than what was achieved without any PAC dosing. Introduction of PAC to the coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation process significantly improved DOM removal, with fluorescent components removed by 97%. This study also highlights that a combination of fluorescence spectroscopy and LC–OCD is essential to track the removal of both, fluorescent and non-fluorescent DOM fractions and understand their impacts on DOM treatability when using different treatment processes. Overall, lower residual DOM concentrations were obtained in the treated water when PAC adsorption and the coagulation–flocculation–sedimentation processes were combined when compared to treating the water with only one of the processes, despite differences in source water character of DOM.
    • Pleiotropic Effects of Proopiomelanocortin and VGF Nerve Growth Factor Inducible Neuropeptides for the Long-Term Regulation of Energy Balance

      Helfer, Gisela; Stevenson, T.J. (2020)
      Seasonal rhythms in energy balance are well documented across temperate and equatorial zones animals. The long-term regulated changes in seasonal physiology consists of a rheostatic system that is essential to successful time annual cycles in reproduction, hibernation, torpor, and migration. Most animals use the annual change in photoperiod as a reliable and robust environmental cue to entrain endogenous (i.e. circannual) rhythms. Research over the past few decades has predominantly examined the role of first order neuroendocrine peptides for the rheostatic changes in energy balance. These anorexigenic and orexigenic neuropeptides in the arcuate nucleus include neuropeptide y (Npy), agouti-related peptide (Agrp), cocaine and amphetamine related transcript (Cart) and pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc). Recent studies also indicate that VGF nerve growth factor inducible (Vgf) in the arcuate nucleus is involved in the seasonal regulation of energy balance. In situ hybridization, qPCR and RNA-sequencing studies have identified that Pomc expression across fish, avian and mammalian species, is a neuroendocrine marker that reflects seasonal energetic states. Here we highlight that long-term changes in arcuate Pomc and Vgf expression is conserved across species and may provide rheostatic regulation of seasonal energy balance.
    • Achieving superior organizational performance via big data predictive analytics: A dynamic capability view

      Gupta, S.; Drave, V.A.; Dwivedi, Y.K.; Baabdullah, A.M.; Ismagilova, Elvira (2020)
      The art of unwinding voluminous data expects the expertise in analyzing meaningful decisions out of the acquired information. To encounter new age challenges, practitioners are trying hard to shatter the constraints and work edge-to-edge to achieve higher performance (Market, Financial and Operational performance). It is evident that organizations desire to exploit maximum of their injected resources, but often fail to reap their actual potential. Developing resource-based capabilities stands out to be the most concerned aspect for the firms in recent times, and the same is studied by the previous scholars. In the dearth of literature, it is challenging to find out evidence which marks up the effect of strategic resources in the development of dynamic organizational capability. This study is a two-fold attempt to examine the relationship between organizational capabilities, i.e. big data predictive analytics while achieving superior organizational performance; also, examining the effect of control variables on superior organizational of performance. We tested our research hypotheses using cross-sectional data of 209 responses collected using pre-tested single-informant questionnaire. The results underpin criticality human factor while developing analytical capabilities dynamic in nature in the process of achieving superior performance.
    • One-Pot Stepwise Approach to β-Enaminoketoesters through “Masked” 1,3-Aza-Dipoles

      Yan, Z.; Wu, Na (Anna); Liang, D.; Wang, H.; Pan, Y. (2014-08-01)
      t-BuOK-mediated rearrangement of 1,3-ketoesters with 2-(azidomethyl) aromatics in a two-step, one-pot telescoped sequence affords β-enaminoketoesters in moderate to good yields. A novel pathway is proposed in which the umpolung of the azide is achieved from electrophilicity to nucleophilicity via deprotonation and undergoes nucleophilic attack onto the 1,3-ketoester.
    • Ex vivo/in vitro protective effect of myricetin bulk and nano-forms on PhIP-induced DNA damage in lymphocytes from healthy individuals and pre-cancerous MGUS patients

      Akhtar, Shabana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Isreb, Mohammad; Newton, L.; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Anderson, Diana (2020)
      2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is a central dietary mutagen, produced when proteinaceous food is heated at very high temperatures potentially causing DNA strand breaks. This study investigates the protective potential of a well-researched flavonoid, myricetin in its bulk and nano-forms against oxidative stress induced ex vivo/in vitro by PhIP in lymphocytes from pre-cancerous monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) patients and those from healthy individuals. The results from the Comet assay revealed that in the presence of myricetin bulk (10 µM) and myricetin nano (20 µM), the DNA damage caused by a high dose of PhIP (100 µM) was significantly (P < 0.001) reduced in both groups. However, nano has shown better protection in lymphocytes from pre-cancerous patients. Consistent results were obtained from the micronucleus assay where micronuclei frequency in binucleated cells significantly decreased upon supplementing PhIP with myricetin bulk (P < 0.01) and myricetin nano (P < 0.001), compared to the PhIP treatment alone. To briefly determine the cellular pathways involved in the protective role of myricetin against PhIP, we studied gene expression of P53 and ATR kinase (ATM- and Rad3-related), using the real-time PCR technique.
    • India Pakistan Strategic Relations: The Nuclear Dilemma

      Bluth, Christoph; Mumtaz, U. (Ibidem Press, 2020-05)