Now showing items 1-20 of 7631

    • Using text messages to support recovering substance misusers

      McClelland, Gabrielle T.; Duffy, P.; Davda, P. (2018-09)
      Background: The use of digital technology in health and social care is developing rapidly. It is promoted in UK policy and research which suggests varied results surrounding its implementation and outcomes. Introduction: This article aimed to test the implementation and outcomes of a short messaging service sent to a dedicated phone. The target cohort were drug treatment clients in two sites in Northern England. Materials and methods: Through staff focus groups and interviews with a small cohort of clients, the implementation and perceptions of the system were examined. Results: Nineteen participants were recruited to site 1 (15 male, 4 female, average age=37.7 years) and 12 participants were recruited to site 2 (9 male, 3 female, average age=40.3 years). One outcome that was of interest was well-being in treatment which, in this study, was described as an overall sense of feeling better rather than just focusing on the rehabilitation aspect of the programme. Other outcomes included: the successful completion of treatment and any relapse or associated reported drug use. Discussion: The system shows some evidence of its ‘social actor’ role; however, its implementation was hindered by staff citing that it called for increased resources. For future implementation the use of client’s own phones may be considered which may help to embed the system more fully in recovery planning and targeting clients at a different treatment stage. Conclusions: Despite some indications of positive results for clients and a perception that the system may have value as an addition to existing clinical interventions, more evaluation is required to determine whether this system can be implemented in a drug treatment setting.
    • Crystallographic texture and mineral concentration quantification of developing and mature human incisal enamel

      Al-Mosawi, M.; Davis, G.R.; Bushby, A.; Montgomery, J.; Beaumont, Julia; Al-Jawad, M. (2018)
      For dental human enamel, what is the precise mineralization progression spatially and the precise timings of mineralization? This is an important question in the fundamental understanding of matrix-mediated biomineralization events, but in particular because we can use our understanding of this natural tissue growth in humans to develop biomimetic approaches to repair and replace lost enamel tissue. It is important to understand human tissues in particular since different species have quite distinct spatial and temporal progression of mineralization. In this study, five human central incisors at different stages of enamel maturation/mineralization were spatially mapped using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and X-ray microtomography techniques. From the earliest developmental stage, two crystallite-orientation populations coexist with angular separations between the crystallite populations averaging approximately 40o and varying as a function of position with the tooth crown. In general, population one had significantly lower texture magnitude and contributed a higher percentage to the overall crystalline structure, compared to population two which only contributed 20-30% but had significantly higher texture magnitude. This quantitative analysis allows us to understand the complex and co-operative structure-function relationship between two populations of crystallites within human enamel. There was an increase in the mineral concentration from the enamel-dentin junction peripherally and from the incisal tip cervically as a function of maturation time. Quantitative backscattered-electron analyses revealed that mineralization of prism cores precedes that of prism boundaries. These results provide new insights into the precise understanding of the natural growth of human enamel.
    • The incompatibility of system and lifeworld understandings of food insecurity and the provision of food aid in an English city

      Power, M.; Small, Neil A.; Doherty, B.; Pickett, K.E. (2018)
      We report qualitative findings from a study in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith city with high levels of deprivation. Primary research over 2 years consisted of three focus groups and 18 semi-structured interviews with food insecurity service providers followed by focus groups with 16 White British and Pakistani women in or at risk of food insecurity. We consider food insecurity using Habermas’s distinction between the system and lifeworld. We examine system definitions of the nature of need, approved food choices, the reification of selected skills associated with household management and the imposition of a construct of virtue. While lifeworld truths about food insecurity include understandings of structural causes and recognition that the potential of social solidarity to respond to them exist, they are not engaged with by the system. The gap between system rationalities and the experiential nature of lay knowledge generates individual and collective disempowerment and a corrosive sense of shame.
    • Riluzole–Triazole Hybrids as Novel Chemical Probes for Neuroprotection in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

      Sweeney, J.B.; Rattray, Marcus; Pugh, V.; Powell, L.A. (2018-06-14)
      Despite intense attention from biomedical and chemical researchers, there are few approved treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with only riluzole (Rilutek) and edaravone (Radicava) currently available to patients. Moreover, the mechanistic basis of the activity of these drugs is currently not well-defined, limiting the ability to design new medicines for ALS. This Letter describes the synthesis of triazole-containing riluzole analogues, and their testing in a novel neuroprotective assay. Seven compounds were identified as having neuroprotective activity, with two compounds having similar activity to riluzole.
    • Do seasoned offerings improve the performance of issuing firms? Evidence from China

      Zhang, D.; Wu, Yuliang; Ye, Q.; Liu, J. (2018)
      This study provides new evidence that the performance of issuing firms varies by issue type, based on survival analysis methods. Our non-parametric results show that firms raising capital through rights issues, and notably through cash offers, experience a greater risk of delisting following issuance, as compared to those issuing convertible bonds. Our Cox model analyses demonstrate that plain equity issues, in contrast to convertible issues, are subject to different degrees of regulatory discipline, obligations and incentives in shaping survival trajectory. Further, high ownership concentration, agency issues intrinsic to equity offerings, weak shareholders' protection, and corporate ownership and governance and corporate control development at the time of an offer markedly influence post-issue survival. Plain equity issues, notably cash offers, are strongly linked with the agency costs of free cash flows. A large and truly independent board, allied to a separation of CEO and chairman powers, acts as a primary restraint on managers' self-interested behaviour. Such a cohesive governance mechanism can restrain rent-seeking in the firm's fundraising initiative. These observations hold when we take into account information available before an issue, at the time of an issue, and after an issue, demonstrating the robustness of our findings.
    • What health-related activities could be delivered by pharmacy students in the Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) Academic?

      Medlinskiene, Kristina; Tappas, Theodora; Tomlinson, Justine (2018)
      Background: Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) Academic building opened in 2017 with the aim of improving outcomes of people living with long-term conditions. This multi-disciplinary facility houses: physiotherapy and optometry public clinics, health promotion areas, and digital diagnostics. Additionally, a medicines review hub with consultation rooms and teaching space was created for the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences (SPMS), University of Bradford. Pharmacy students have already successfully performed health-related activities with the public in international literature (Lawrence, 2018). This project explored SPMS academics’ perspectives on the potential use of the facility for the teaching and delivery of health-related activities by pharmacy students.
    • Exploring the use of digital technology in the M.Pharm. programme to prepare students for their first day of practice

      Tomlinson, Justine; Yaqoob, Mohammed U.; Shabbir, Subhaan; Medlinskiene, Kristina (2018)
      Background: Technological developments have facilitated the storage of patient records, enabled electronic prescribing, dispensing and the administration of medicines (Goundrey-Smith, 2014). These innovations are increasingly being used, requiring pharmacists to further develop digital capability. The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford, is keen to explore ways to better equip M.Pharm. graduates with the necessary skills to confidently practise in the modern digital environment. This project explored student and staff perspectives of current digital teaching tools in relation to preparedness for the first day of practice.
    • Exploring digital teaching tools, including the use of social media, to support teaching; perspectives of M.Pharm. students

      Tomlinson, Justine; Azad, Imran; Saleem, Mohammed Adil; Medlinskiene, Kristina (2018)
      Background: The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford, is keen to evaluate the potential benefits of digital tools to enhance the teaching and learning of all M.Pharm. students. Students are increasingly using digital technology for both educational and social purposes (Cheston et al., 2013). This project explored the views of pharmacy students about digital technology, including social media, for teaching in the M.Pharm. programme. Method: Convenience sampling was employed to recruit M.Pharm. students for focus groups. Each focus group, facilitated by student researchers with topic guide, was audio-recorded and analysed for themes. Ethics approval was obtained from the University. Results: Year 2 and 3 students from two focus groups (n1=8 (6 male), n2=10 (8 male)) identified three main digital teaching tools used in the current programme: Blackboard, response clickers, and iSTAN. Blackboard, a virtual learning environment, was seen as a hub for holding all required learning materials. However, its use depended on internet access and some felt they would benefit from offline use and improved compatibility with different devices. Audience response systems and a human patient stimulator were well received by students. However, participants strongly felt that they were underutilised. The main benefit of using social media for learning was instant feedback and the encouragement of informal discussions. Participants were not always comfortable posting within the current digital tools used in the programme (e.g. Blackboard) as they felt ‘monitored’. However, participants acknowledged that information obtained through social media might not be as reliable as information from digital tools moderated by academics. Interestingly, participants reported a lack of engagement with programme specific social media pages (e.g. Facebook page). They felt that the information provided was aimed at qualified pharmacists, rather than current students. Conclusion: Participants valued accessibility, flexibility and availability of instant feedback when using digital tools to support their learning. They felt positive about the digital tools used within the programme but emphasised the need of greater integration. References Cheston, C.C., Flickinger, T.E. & Chisom, M.S. (2013). Social media use in medical education: a systematic review. Academic Medicine, 88(6), 893-901
    • Performance evaluation of multi-stage reverse osmosis process with permeate and retentate recycling strategy for the removal of chlorophenol from wastewater

      Al-Obaidi, M.A.; Kara-Zaitri, Chakib; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2018)
      Reverse Osmosis (RO) is one of the most widely used technologies for wastewater treatment for the removal of toxic impurities, such as phenol and phenolic compounds from industrial effluents. In this research, performance of multi-stage RO wastewater treatment system is evaluated for the removal of chlorophenol from wastewater using model-based techniques. A number of alternative configurations with recycling of permeate, retentate, and permeate-retentate streams are considered. The performance is measured in terms of total recovery rate, permeate product concentration, overall chlorophenol rejection and energy consumption and the effect of a number of operating parameters on the overall performance of the alternative configurations are evaluated. The results clearly show that the permeate recycling scheme at fixed plant feed flow rate can remarkably improve the final chlorophenol concentration of the product despite a reduction in the total recovery rate.
    • Crystallization of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide in the heat exchangers of once-through multistage flash (MSF-OT) desalination process

      Alsadaie, S.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2018)
      In this paper, a dynamic model of fouling is presented to predict the crystallization of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide inside the condenser tubes of Once-Through Multistage Flash (MSF-OT) desalination process. The model considers the combination of kinetic and mass diffusion rates taking into account the effect of temperature, velocity and salinity of the seawater. The equations for seawater carbonate system are used to calculate the concentration of the seawater species. The effects of salinity and temperature on the solubility of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide are also considered. The results reveal an increase in the fouling inside the tubes caused by crystallization of CaCO3 and Mg(OH)2 with increase in the stage temperature. The intake seawater temperature and the Top Brine Temperature (TBT) are varied to investigate their impact on the fouling process. The results show that the (TBT) has greater impact than the seawater temperature on increasing the fouling.
    • Alopecia areata is associated with increased expression of heart disease biomarker cardiac troponin I

      Wang, E.H.C.; Santos, L.; Li, X.Y.; Tran, A.; Kim, S.S.Y.; Woo, K.; Shapiro, J.; McElwee, Kevin J. (2018-09)
      The development of androgenetic alopecia is associated with a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but the association of alopecia areata with cardiovascular diseases in humans is largely unexplored. We measured the plasma level of two common cardiovascular disease markers, cardiac troponin I and Creactive protein, in alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia-affected subjects. Also, we investigated the possible presence of pro-apoptotic factors in the plasma of hair loss subjects. The mean plasma cardiac troponin I level was highest in alopecia areata subjects, moderately higher in androgenetic alopecia subjects, and lowest in subjects without hair loss (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata subjects not receiving treatments had highest levels of cardiac troponin I (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata plasma samples with high cardiac troponin I levels also induced significantly higher rates of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in cell culture assays. The results suggest the potential for increased heart remodelling. Close monitoring of cardiovascular health in alopecia areata subjects, as well as subsets of androgenetic alopecia patients, may be appropriate.
    • Effect of calcium ions on peptide adsorption at the aqueous rutile titania (110) interface

      Sultan, A.M.; Hughes, Zak E.; Walsh, T.R. (2018)
      We investigate how the presence of Ca2+ ions at the aqueous TiO2 interface influences the binding modes two experimentally-identified titania-binding peptides, Ti-1 and Ti-2, using replica exchange with solute tempering molecular dynamics simulations. We compare our findings with available experimental data and contrast our results with those obtained under NaCl solution conditions. We find that for Ti-1, Ca2+ ions enhances the adsorption of the negatively-charged Asp8 residue in this sequence to the negatively-charged surface, via Asp{Ca2+{TiO2 bridging. This appears to generate a non-local impact on the adsorption of Lys12 in Ti-1, which then pins the peptide to the surface via direct surface contact. For Ti-2, fewer residues were predicted to adsorb directly to the surface in CaCl2, compared with predictions made for NaCl solution, possibly due to competition between the other peptide residues and Ca2+ ions to adsorb to the surface. This reduction in direct surface contact gives rise to a more extensive solvent-mediated contact Ti-2. In general, the presence of Ca2+ ions resulted in a loss of conformational diversity of the surface-adsorbed conformational ensembles of these peptides, compared to counterpart data predicted for NaCl solution. Our findings provide initial insights into how peptide{TiO2 interactions might be tuned at the molecular level via modification of the salt composition of the liquid medium.
    • Evaluating financial performance of insurance companies using rating transition matrices

      Sharma, Abhijit; Jadi, D.M.; Ward, D. (2018-11)
      Financial performance of insurance companies is captured by changes in rating grades. An insurer is susceptible to a rating transition which is a signal depicting current financial conditions. We employ Rating Transition Matrices (RTM) to analyse these transitions. Within this context, credit quality can either improve, remain stable or deteriorate as reflected by a rating upgrade or downgrade. We investigate rating trends and forecast rating transitions for UK insurers. We also provide insights into the effects of the global financial crisis on financial performance of UK insurance companies, as reflected by rating changes. Our analysis shows a significant degree of rating changes, as reflected by rating fluctuations in rating matrices. We conclude that insurers with higher (better) rating grades depict rating stability over the long-run. An unexpected but interested finding shows that insurers with good rating grades are nevertheless susceptible to rating fluctuations. General insurers are more likely to be rated and they demonstrate higher levels of rating grade variations over the period studied. Using comparative rating transition matrices, we find more variations in rating movements in the post-financial crisis period. We also conclude that general insurers reflect less stable rating outlooks compared to life and general insurers.
    • Inflation linkages within the Eurozone: core vs. periphery

      Magkonis, Georgios; Sharma, Abhijit (2018)
      We examine the process of inflation transmission among GIIPS countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain) and Germany. Our findings suggest that inflation spillovers have increased since 2001. We also find that peripheral economies are (dis‐)inflation transmitters to the core. This finding is significant for policy formulation, given the very low inflation environment that currently exists in the Euro area and the macroeconomic implications that arise from this.
    • Neutralization techniques as a moderating mechanism: ethically questionable behavior in the Romanian consumer context

      Fukukawa, Kyoko; Zaharie, M-M.; Romonti-Maniu, A-I. (2018)
      Based on an empirical investigation in the context of Romania, this paper identifies a moderating role of neutralization techniques within ethically questionable consumer behavior. The quantitative study is based upon a synthesized model of Theory of Planned Behavior incorporating the factor of perceived unfairness and neutralization techniques. Significantly, neutralization techniques are shown to have a negative, but definite impact on the action to behave unethically. This leads to their consideration as a process of thinking, rather than as static judgement. As such, neutralization techniques are conceptually distinctive to the other factors. The paper analyses the results specific to the Romanian context, but noting implications for an understanding of the morality of markets with similar historical, political and economic conditions. Overall, the findings offer a more nuanced reading of consumer behavior. The paper places moral flexibility in terms of a specific cultural context, but also reveals how neutralization techniques can moderate ethically questionable behaviors beyond matters of self-interest, which in turn has implications for how companies can consider their responsibilities in relation to their customers.
    • Fishing, Diet, and Environment in the Iron Age of the Northern Isles

      Fitzpatrick, Alex (2017-06)
      It has been argued that no fishing occurred during the British Iron Age. However, sites in the Northern Isles have been producing large assemblages of small fish bones, complicating the picture. This project reconsiders this argument by investigating fish bone assemblages excavated from the site of Swandro on Rousay, Orkney. Multiple analytical methods were applied to the assemblages in order to determine the range of species present, the method of capture and treatment of the fish, and their influence on diet. Preliminary work consisted of identifying each individual bone to element and species. Due to the size of the average specimen, scanning electron microscopy was employed to examine samples for any indication of butchery, charring, or digestion. Light isotope analysis was also utilised to determine the effects of fish on the diets of the inhabitants of Iron Age Swandro. Results from these analytical approaches indicated the occurrence of low intensity fishing activity and consumption that had no significant effect on diet. However, intensification in fishing would begin to occur during the Later Iron Age, as evident by a shift in the composition of fish bone assemblages. This project can be considered a pilot study in the successful application of analytical methods to faunal assemblages in order to develop a more detailed interpretation of the environmental aspects of a site.
    • The influence of transformed government on citizen trust: insights from Bahrain

      Mahmood, M.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Chen, W. (2018)
      The trust and confidence of citizens in their governments has been declining in recent decades. Electronic government (e-government) is seen as a means to reverse this trend. Despite conflicting conclusions in the literature, there is a consensus that e-government-led transformation can improve citizen confidence and trust in government. This research investigates the influence of e-government-led transformation on citizen trust and confidence in the context of a developing country, the Kingdom of Bahrain. A conceptual model is developed, tested and validated using an online survey targeting ordinary citizens of the country. Based on 313 responses, the findings suggest that citizen trust and confidence is positively influenced by a government transformation, and this relationship is mediated by both government performance and citizen satisfaction. In addition, the results show that key factors must be met to achieve transformed government through the use of e-government systems: transparency, accountability, and meeting citizens’ expectations.
    • Robustness of Automotive SOTA: State-of-the-art in Uncertainty Modelling

      Murphy, O.; Habib Zadeh, Esmaeil; Campean, I. Felician; Neagu, Daniel (2018-06-28)
      This paper identifies the need for thorough experimental based study for Software-over-the-air (SOTA) in an automotive context. The paper outlines the challenges and context for automotive SOTA with an extensive literature review. It then details the early stages of the experimental studies, which aim to identify the key control and noise factors that affect performance of the SOTA in an automotive environment. This contribution establishes a framework for uncertainty modelling of SOTA as a system which highlights the needs to develop solutions requiring big data gathering and analysis as next research opportunities to the scientific community.
    • Banking in shadows: evidence from emerging economies, China and India

      Arora, Rashmi; Zhang, Q. (2018)
      Recent years have seen the increasing concern for the flourish of shadow banking in China and India. In this paper, we aim to get a better understanding of the differences in trends and investigate the factors leading to the rise of shadow banking in these two major emerging economies. We find that financial exclusion is a common factor leading to the rise of shadow banking in China and India. While financial reform has taken place in India, financial repressive policies still prevail in China. Although several regulatory measures have been adopted in India and China, the size of the shadow banking in these two countries remains underestimated. Thus, streamlining and enhancing data collection is a key priority for both India and China. We also argue that the regulation in both countries should be more activity focused rather than sector or entity based, and it should be at par with banks. As shadow banks provide last mile connectivity and enhance financial inclusion, a balanced approach is required keeping in view both benefits and costs of the shadow banking system.