Now showing items 1-20 of 407

    • UK University staff experience high levels of sedentary behaviour during work and leisure time

      Faghy, Mark A; Roscoe, Clare MP; Pringle, Andy; Duncan, Mike; Buchanan Meharry, John; University of Derby; Coventry University (Taylor and Francis Online, 2021-01-11)
      Reducing sedentary behaviours at work is imperative. Before effective strategies can be developed there is a need to understand profiles of activity within particular roles and organisations. This study aimed to determine activity profiles of staff by job title at a UK University. Three-hundred and seventeen participants completed the short form International Physical Activity Questionnaire to determine physical activity profiles. Fifty-one participants also wore a wrist worn GENEActiv accelerometer for seven days and completed a self-report diary denoting work and leisure hours. Twenty-one per cent of respondents were categorised as inactive and achieved 298 ± 178 metabolic equivalent minutes per week (MET-min/week). Those in administrative roles were most sedentary (501 ± 161 minutes/day). Accelerometer data highlighted that sedentary time was identical between job roles (pooled mean 8746 ± 823 counts) and equated to 84 ± 9% of total time. During working hour’s management, professional and specialist job roles had the highest level of sedentary time (2066 ± 416 counts). Time spent undertaking sedentary activities during working hours contributes to reduced overall activity and can impede productivity, performance, and health. Interventions encouraging regular movement and preventing sedentary behaviours at work are therefore required.
    • The Inclusion of a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Responsive Sequence in Self-assembled Peptide-based Brain-Targeting Nanoparticles Improves the Efficiency of Nanoparticles Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier at Elevated MMP-9 Levels

      Islam, Yamir; Ehtezazi, Parinaz; Cashmore, Andrew; Marinsalda, Elena; Leach, Andrew G.; Coxon, Christopher R.; Fatokun, Amos A.; Sexton, Darren W.; Khan, Iftikhar; Downing, James; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-12-14)
      This study investigated whether the inclusion of a matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) responsive sequence in self-assembled peptide-based brain-targeting nanoparticles (NPs) would enhance the blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration when MMP-9 levels are elevated both in the brain and blood circulation. Brain-targeting peptides were conjugated at the N-terminus to MMP-9-responsive peptides, and these were conjugated at the N-terminus to lipid moiety (cholesteryl chloroformate or palmitic acid). Two constructs did not have MMP-9-responsive peptides. NPs were characterised for size, charge, critical micelle concentration, toxicity, blood compatibility, neural cell uptake, release profiles, and in vitro BBB permeability simulating normal or elevated MMP-9 levels. The inclusion of MMP-9-sensitive sequences did not improve the release of a model drug in the presence of active MMP-9 from NPs compared to distilled water. 19F NMR studies suggested the burial of MMP-9-sensitive sequences inside the NPs making them inaccessible to MMP-9. Only cholesterol-GGGCKAPETALC (responsive to MMP-9) NPs showed <5% haemolysis, <1 pg/mL release of IL-1β at 500 μg/mL from THP1 cells, with 70.75 ± 5.78% of NPs crossing the BBB at 24 h in presence of active MMP-9. In conclusion, brain-targeting NPs showed higher transport across the BBB model when MMP-9 levels were elevated and the brain-targeting ligand was responsive to MMP-9.
    • An old dog and new tricks: Genetic analysis of a Tudor dog recovered from the Mary Rose wreck.

      Zouganelis, George D; Ogden, Rob; Nahar, Niru; Runfola, Valeria; Bonab, Maziar; Ardalan, Arman; Radford, David; Barnett, Ross; Larson, Greger; Hildred, Alex; et al. (Elsevier, 2014-10-14)
      The Tudor warship the Mary Rose sank in the Solent waters between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight on the 19th of July 1545, whilst engaging a French invasion fleet. The ship was rediscovered in 1971 and between 1979 and 1982 the entire contents of the ship were excavated resulting in the recovery of over 25,000 objects, including the skeleton of a small to medium sized dog referred to as the Mary Rose Dog (MRD). Here we report the extraction and analysis of both mitochondrial and genomic DNA from a tooth of this animal. Our results show that the MRD was a young male of a terrier type most closely related to modern Jack Russell Terriers with a light to dark brown coat colour. Interestingly, given the antiquity of the sample, the dog was heterozygotic for the SLC2A9 gene variant that leads to hyperuricosuria when found in modern homozygotic animals. These findings help shed light on a notable historical artefact from an important period in the development of modern dog breeds.
    • Technology used to recognize activities of daily living in community-dwelling older adults

      Camp, Nicola; Lewis, Martin; Hunter, Kirsty; Johnston, Julie; Zecca, Massimiliano; Di Nuovo, Alessandro; Magistro, Daniele; Lewis, Martin G.C.; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-12-28)
      The use of technology has been suggested as a means of allowing continued autonomous living for older adults, while reducing the burden on caregivers and aiding decision-making relating to healthcare. However, more clarity is needed relating to the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) recognised, and the types of technology included within current monitoring approaches. This review aims to identify these differences and highlight the current gaps in these systems. A scoping review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA-ScR, drawing on PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Articles and commercially available systems were selected if they focused on ADL recognition of older adults within their home environment. Thirty-nine ADL recognition systems were identified, nine of which were commercially available. One system incorporated environmental and wearable technology, two used only wearable technology, and 34 used only environmental technologies. Overall, 14 ADL were identified but there was variation in the specific ADL recognised by each system. Although the use of technology to monitor ADL of older adults is becoming more prevalent, there is a large variation in the ADL recognised, how ADL are defined, and the types of technology used within monitoring systems. Key stakeholders, such as older adults and healthcare workers, should be consulted in future work to ensure that future developments are functional and useable.
    • The physiological impact of masking is insignificant and should not preclude routine use during daily activities, exercise, and rehabilitation

      Haraf, Rebecca H.; Faghy, Mark; Carlin, Brian; Josephson, Richard A.; University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio; Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection (HL-PIVOT) Network, Chicago, Illinois; University of Derby; Sleep Medicine and Lung Health Consultants, Pittsburgh Critical Care Associates, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2021-01)
      Masking has been employed as a strategy for reducing transmission of a variety of communicable diseases. With the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, many countries have implemented mandatory public masking. However, the perceived impact of mask use on pulmonary function has been a deterrent to public compliance with recommendations. COVID-19 has shed light on the impact that comorbid cardiac and pulmonary conditions may have on disease severity. This knowledge has led to increased primary and secondary prevention efforts for which exercise and rehabilitation are central. The importance of safe methods of exercise while mitigating risk of viral transmission is paramount to global recovery from the pandemic and prevention of future outbreaks. We constructed a focused literature review of the impact of various masks on pulmonary function at rest and with exercise. This was then incorporated into recommendations for the integration of masks with exercise and rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era. While there is a paucity of evidence, we identified the physiological effects of masking at rest and during exercise to be negligible. The perceived impact appears to be far greater than the measured impact, and increased frequency of mask use leads to a physiological and psychological adaptive response. Masking during daily activities, exercise, and rehabilitation is safe in both healthy individuals and those with underlying cardiopulmonary disease. Rehabilitation participants should be reassured that the benefits of masking during COVID-19 far outweigh the risks, and increased frequency of mask use invokes adaptive responses that make long-term masking tolerable.
    • Compassion: From its evolution to a psychotherapy

      Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2020-12-09)
      The concept, benefits and recommendations for the cultivation of compassion have been recognized in the contemplative traditions for thousands of years. In the last 30 years or so, the study of compassion has revealed it to have major physiological and psychological effects influencing well-being, addressing mental health difficulties, and promoting prosocial behavior. This paper outlines an evolution informed biopsychosocial, multicomponent model to caring behavior and its derivative “compassion” that underpins newer approaches to psychotherapy. The paper explores the origins of caring motives and the nature and biopsychosocial functions of caring-attachment behavior. These include providing a secure base (sources of protection, validation, encouragement and guidance) and safe haven (source of soothing and comfort) for offspring along with physiological regulating functions, which are also central for compassion focused therapy. Second, it suggests that it is the way recent human cognitive competencies give rise to different types of “mind awareness” and “knowing intentionality” that transform basic caring motives into potentials for compassion. While we can care for our gardens and treasured objects, the concept of compassion is only used for sentient beings who can “suffer.” As psychotherapy addresses mental suffering, cultivating the motives and competencies of compassion to self and others can be a central focus for psychotherapy.
    • P193 Experiences of delivering a nurse-led fracture risk assessment for patients with inflammatory rheumatological conditions in primary care

      Hawarden, Ashley W; Paskins, Zoe; Desilva, Erandie Ediriweera; Herron, Daniel; Machin, Anabelle; Jinks, Clare; Hider, Samantha; Chew-Graham, Carolyn; Primary Care Centre Versus Arthritis, School of Primary, Community and Social Care, Stoke on Trent; Haywood Academic Rheumatology Centre, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Stoke on Trent; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-04-20)
      The INCLUDE (INtegrating and improving Care for patients with infLammatory rheUmatological DisordErs in the community) pilot trial aimed to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a nurse-delivered review in primary care for people with inflammatory rheumatological conditions (IRCs), to identify and manage common comorbidities including anxiety and depression, cardiovascular and fracture risk. We report analysis of data focusing on the fracture risk assessment component of the review. Ethical approvals obtained. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore experiences of participating in INCLUDE, with 20 patients, the two nurses delivering the intervention and three General Practitioners (GPs) within participating practices. 24 consenting patients had their INCLUDE review recorded for fidelity checking. Selected extracts were played within some interviews to stimulate discussion (tape-assisted recall). Extracts from recorded consultations relating to fracture risk assessment were transcribed and coded. Interviews were digitally recorded, with consent, transcribed and anonymised. Thematic analysis of the interview data was followed by mapping to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Findings mapped to 10/14 TDF domains relating to knowledge, skills, social/professional role and identity, beliefs about capabilities, optimism, beliefs about consequences, reinforcement, intentions, memory attention and decision processes and environmental context/resources. GPs and nurses identified a lack of knowledge and skills in relation to the identification and management of osteoporosis, due to lack of exposure and repeated changes in clinical guidance. GPs reported differing opinions about whether osteoporosis screening was the role of primary or secondary care. GPs and nurses had differing views about the limits of the nurse role in communicating risk. The INCLUDE nurses reported confidence (self-efficacy) in undertaking FRAX assessments. Nurses valued the opportunity to learn new skills and believed that they were improving patient care. They described practical barriers using FRAX including the difficulty navigating between different IT systems. Nurses described uncertainty over when to refer to the GP. Fidelity checks of recorded reviews, showed that FRAX was appropriately calculated for 22/24 patients; whilst INCLUDE nurses introduced the reason for calculating fracture risk, explanations of the meaning of risk were limited, and patients’ understanding was not always checked and queries not responded to; patient interview findings confirmed patients had limited understanding of the meaning of FRAX. Life-style advice related to bone health was given in few consultations. Screening for fracture risk in people with IRCs in a review consultation is acceptable and feasible, although explanations of the meaning of risk assessment could be improved. Integration of a fracture risk assessment tool within GP software would facilitate risk calculation. More work is needed to understand barriers to risk assessment, including clarity over roles and professional boundaries, and develop management pathways to optimise management of fracture risk in people with IRCs.
    • A qualitative study of men’s behavioural changes during weight loss maintenance

      Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Carless, David; Drew, Kevin; Leeds Beckett University; University of Derby; University of Edinburgh (Sage, 2020-11-22)
      This study aims to understand the behaviour changes men who attended a weight loss programme engage in during weight maintenance. Understanding the needs of men in the context of weight loss maintenance is important, as they are underrepresented in this body of literature. Given its focus on personal experience, this study adopted a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews supported by participant-generated photo-elicitation techniques to explore the behavioural changes 12 men engaged in 6 months after attending a men-only weight loss programme. Data analysis was undertaken through thematic analysis and Gleeson’s polytextual thematic analysis. This study suggests that the key behaviours men engaged in to maintain weight loss can be classified into four categories: (1) ‘Small’ changes, (2) Informed decisions, (3) Monitoring of behaviours, and (4) Dealing with ambivalence. This study makes an original contribution to knowledge and can have important implications for practice in the area of men’s health, particularly with regard to the long-term impact of weight loss interventions.
    • Investigating the environmental, behavioural, and sociodemographic determinants of attendance at a city-wide public health physical activity intervention: longitudinal evidence over one year from 185,245 visits

      Hobbs, Matthew; Wicks, Claire; Pringle, Andy; Griffiths, Claire; Radley, Duncan; Zwolinsky, Stephen; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Essex; University of Derby; Leeds Beckett University; et al. (Elsiever, 2020-11-20)
      Understanding the determinants of attendance at public health interventions is critical for effective policy development. Most research focuses on individual-level determinants of attendance, while less is known about environmental-level determinants. Data were obtained from the Leeds Let’s Get Active (LLGA) public health intervention in Leeds, England. Longitudinal data (April 2015 – March 2016) on attendance were obtained for 25,745 individuals (185,245 visits) with baseline data on sociodemographic determinants (e.g. age), lifestyle practices (e.g. smoking) obtained for 3,621 individuals. This resulted in a total of 744,468 days of attendance and non-attendance for analysis. Random forests were used to explore relative importance of the determinants of attendance while generalised linear models were applied to examine specific associations. The probability that a person will go more than once, the number of return visits, and the probability that a person will go on a particular day were investigated. Distance to leisure centre from home was the most influential determinant in predicting whether a person who went to the leisure centre once, returned. Age group was the most substantial determinant for the number of return visits. While distance to leisure centre was less important for predicting the number of return visits, the difference between the estimates for 300m and 10,000m was 7-10 visits per year. Finally, month was the most important determinant of daily attendance. This longitudinal study highlights the importance of both individual and environmental determinants in predicting various aspects of attendance. It has implications for strategies aiming to increase attendance at public health interventions.
    • Integrating sport and exercise medicine clinics into the National Health Service: a qualitative study

      Vishnubala, Dane; Mariono, Katherine, Rose; Pratten, Margaret, Kathryn; Pringle, Andy; Griffin, Steffan, Arthur; Finn, Gabrielle; Bazira, Peter; Edwards, Kimberley; Hull York Medical School, York; University of Leeds; et al. (BMJ, 2020-11-03)
      Objectives To explore the services National Health Service (NHS)-based sport and exercise medicine (SEM) clinics can offer, and the barriers to creating and integrating SEM services into the NHS. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to collect data from identified ‘stakeholders’. Stakeholders were identified as individuals who had experience and knowledge of the speciality of SEM and the NHS. An inductive thematic analysis approach was taken to analyse the data. N=15 stakeholder interviews. The management of musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries (both acute and chronic) and concussion were highlighted as the two key services that SEM clinics can offer that would most benefit the NHS. MSK ultrasound was also mentioned by all stakeholders as a critical service that SEM clinics should provide. While exercise medicine is an integral part of SEM, SEM clinics should perhaps not have a heavy exercise medicine focus. The key barriers to setting up SEM clinics were stated to be convincing NHS management, conflict with other specialities and a lack of awareness of the speciality. The management of acute MSK injuries and concussion should be the cornerstone of SEM services, ideally with the ability to provide MSK ultrasound. Education of others on the speciality of SEM, confirming consistent ‘unique selling points’ of SEM clinics and promoting how SEM can add value to the NHS is vital. If the successful integration of SEM into the NHS is not widely achieved, we risk the NHS not receiving all the benefits that SEM can provide to the healthcare system.
    • Fundamental movement skills and accelerometer-measured physical activity levels during early childhood: a systematic review

      Dobell, Alexandra; Pringle, Andy; Faghy, Mark; Roscoe, Clare M. P.; University of Derby (MDPI AG, 2020-11-11)
      Early childhood is a key period for children to begin developing and practicing fundamental movement skills (FMS), while aiming to perform sufficient physical activity (PA). This study reviews the current evidence for the levels of achievement in FMS and PA measured using accelerometers among 4–5-year-old children and examines differences by gender. This review was conducted using the PRISMA framework. Keyword searches were conducted in Pubmed, Medline, Google Scholar and SPORTDiscus. Inclusion criteria included age: 4–5 years old; FMS measurement: Test of Gross Motor Development 2 and 3; PA measurement: objective methods; balance measurement: static single limb; study design: cross-sectional observational/descriptive, randomised control trials, intervention studies; language: English. Twenty-eight articles from twenty-one countries met the inclusion criteria and were split into either FMS and PA articles (n = 10) or balance articles (n = 18). Three articles showed children achieving 60 min of moderate to vigorous PA per day, two articles demonstrated significant differences between girls’ and boys’ performance of locomotor skills and five reported locomotor skills to be more proficient than object control skills at this age for both genders. Balance was measured in time (n = 12), points score (n = 3) or biomechanical variables (n = 3), displaying heterogeneity of not only measurement but also outcomes within these data, with static single limb balance held between 6.67 to 87.6 s within the articles. Four articles reported girls to have better balance than boys. There is little conclusive evidence of the current levels for FMS, PA and balance achievement in young children 4–5 years of age. The academic literature consistently reports low levels of FMS competence and mixed evidence for PA levels. Inconsistencies lie in balance measurement methodology, with broad-ranging outcomes of both low and high achievement at 4–5 years old. Further research is required to focus on increasing practice opportunities for children to improve their FMS, increase PA levels and establish sufficient balance ability. Consistent and comparable outcomes during early childhood through more homogenous methodologies are warranted.
    • Task-efficacy predicts perceived enjoyment and subsequently barrier-efficacy: Investigation of a psychological process underpinning schoolchildren’s physical activity

      Zhang, Shuge; Wang, Jingjing; Pitkethly, Amanda; University of Derby; China Institute of Sport Science, Beijing; Edinburgh Napier University (Taylor & Francis, 2020-11-20)
      Self-efficacy and perceived enjoyment have been recognized as important psychological correlates of children’s physical activity (PA). However, research investigating the psychological process underpinning self-efficacy and perceived enjoyment has generated “contradictory” findings – with some regarding self-efficacy as an antecedent of enjoyment while the others arguing for the reverse. To mitigate this confusion, we have embraced the largely overlooked distinction between task- and barrier-efficacy in PA research and have examined the proposal that task-efficacy enhances perceived enjoyment and, subsequently, increases barrier-efficacy and PA. In a sample of 331 eight-to-ten years old schoolchildren (169 boys), task-efficacy manifested an indirect effect on accelerometer-based measures of MVPA and total PA via perceived enjoyment and subsequently barrier-efficacy. Perceived enjoyment served as a mediator of task-efficacy on MVPA but not total PA. Barrier-efficacy appeared to be a consistent mediator underlying schoolchildren’s PA regardless of PA intensity. The findings suggest that 1) the distinction between task- and barrier-efficacy warrants consideration in children’s PA promotion and 2) the psychological drivers of more vigorous types of PA differ compared to lower intensity PA. Future research would do well to explore the key psychological factors underpinning less vigorous types of PA to inform the development of effective PA interventions for those who have difficulties engaging in MVPA.
    • Being limitless: A discursive analysis of online accounts of modafinil use

      Hall, Matthew; Forshaw, Mark; Montgomery, Catharine; Arden University; University of Derby; Liverpool John Moores University (Palgrave Macmillan/ Springer, 2020-10-31)
      Modafinil is a prescription-only substance in the UK for the treatment of disorders such as narcolepsy. Soldiers have also used this substance as an alternative to amphetamines in situations where they face long periods of sleep deprivation. More recently, the substance has become increasingly popular for enhancing cognitive performance e.g. students taking exams. Modafinil is widely available on the Internet and is reported to carry a wide range of health risks and side effects if not taken with medical supervision. Given the tension between health risk and enhanced cognitive performance, how people talk about modafinil use becomes an important question. Drawing on discourse analysis we focus in particular on how respondents work up accounts of their modafinil use as credible, authentic, and legitimate; a community of practice. Our analysis has clear implications for engaging (mis)use in health promotion interventions.
    • Chemically modified minds: Substance use for cognitive enhancement

      Hall, Matthew; Forshaw, Mark; Montgomery, Catharine; Arden University; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan/ Springer, 2020-10-31)
      This innovative edited collection brings together leading international academics to explore, from a psychosocial perspective, the use of various non-prescription and prescription substances showing the complex reasons behind their adoption, and the ways in which they are misused, and links between use and cognitive enhancement. While studies on drug use to date have examined drug use in the context of sporting performance, addiction and recreational use there has been little work which explores their wider misuse to improve cognitive enhancement. With medical sociology and social psychology at its core, this important volume shows the complex reasons behind the misuse of various substances, how these are connected to contemporary desire for increased mental performance, and why the potential health risks and possibly harmful side effects do not act as deterrents.
    • Examining the relationship of personality functioning and treatment completion in substance misuse treatment

      Papamalis, Fivos E.; University of Derby UK, Thessaloniki, Greece. (SAGE Publications, 2020-10-06)
      Treatment retention is a major factor contributing to favourable outcome in the treatment of substance misuse, but the literature remains very limited. Despite evidence of the association of personality with drug use experimentation and relapse, surprisingly little is known about its role in the treatment process. Clients’ personality functioning as measured by malleable and context sensitive characteristic adaptations in treatment are of concern. This study examines whether, and to what extent, personality functioning contributes to or hinders treatment completion. This paper examined the extent to which service users’ characteristic adaptations may be potential determinants of treatment completion. A longitudinal multi-site design was utilised, examining the therapy process in a naturalistic setting in five inpatient treatment units. The study examined whether service users’ characteristic adaptations (SIPP-118) predict completion, while controlling psychosocial, motivational and treatment engagement indicators involving n = 340 participants from 5 inpatient centres. Multivariate regression analyses were applied to examine the predictive role of characteristic adaptations on treatment completion. Findings indicated that certain dysfunctional characteristic adaptations emerged as strong predictors of treatment completion. Dysfunctional levels on Self-control and Social concordance were significant predictors of drop out from treatment. Individuals with low capacity to tolerate, use and control one’s own emotions and impulses were almost three times more likely to drop-out compared to those without [OR] = 2.73, Wald = 6.09, P = .014, 95% CI [1.2, 6.0]. Individuals with dysfunctional levels on the ability to value someone’s identity, withhold aggressive impulses towards others and work together with others were 2.21 more times more likely to complete treatment [OR] = 2.21, Wald = 4.12, P = .042, 95% CI [1.0, 4.7]. The analysis at the facet level provided additional insight. Individuals with higher adaptive levels on Effortful Control were 46% more times likely to complete treatment than the group [OR] = 4.67, Wald = 10.231, P = .001, 95% CI [1.81, 12.04], 47% more likely on Aggression regulation [OR] = 4.76, Wald = 16.68, P < .001, 95% CI [2.1, 10.3], and 26% more likely on Stable self-image [OR] = 2.62, Wald = 6.75, P < .009, 95% CI [0.9, 3.0]. These findings extend our knowledge of the predictive role of characteristic adaptations in treatment completion and highlight the clinical utility of capturing these individual differences early on. Delineating the role of characteristic adaptations in treatment may provide the basis for enhancing treatment effectiveness through individualized interventions that are scientifically driven and may open new avenues for the scientific enquiry of personality and treatment.
    • Targeting complement cascade: an alternative strategy for COVID-19

      Ram Kumar Pandian, Sureshbabu; Arunachalam, Sankarganesh; Deepak, Venkataraman; Kunjiappan, Selvaraj; Sundar, Krishnan; Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, Krishnankoil, Tamilnadu, India; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-10-19)
      The complement system is a stakeholder of the innate and adaptive immune system and has evolved as a crucial player of defense with multifaceted biological effects. Activation of three complement pathways leads to consecutive enzyme reactions resulting in complement components (C3 and C5), activation of mast cells and neutrophils by anaphylatoxins (C3a and C5a), the formation of membrane attack complex (MAC) and end up with opsonization. However, the dysregulation of complement cascade leads to unsolicited cytokine storm, inflammation, deterioration of alveolar lining cells, culminating in acquired respiratory destructive syndrome (ARDS). Similar pathogenesis is observed with the middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS), and SARS-CoV-2. Activation of the lectin pathway via mannose-binding lectin associated serine protease 2 (MASP2) is witnessed under discrete viral infections including COVID-19. Consequently, the spontaneous activation and deposits of complement components were traced in animal models and autopsy of COVID-19 patients. Pre-clinical and clinical studies evidence that the inhibition of complement components results in reduced complement deposits on target and non-target tissues, and aid in recovery from the pathological conditions of ARDS. Complement inhibitors (monoclonal antibody, protein, peptide, small molecules, etc.) exhibit great promise in blocking the activity of complement components and its downstream effects under various pathological conditions including SARS-CoV. Therefore, we hypothesize that targeting the potential complement inhibitors and complement cascade to counteract lung inflammation would be a better strategy to treat COVID-19.
    • Effects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest Kalahari

      Thomas, Andrew D.; Tooth, Stephen; Wu, Li; Elliott, David R.; Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan; Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-10-09)
      Shrub encroachment is occurring in many of the world's drylands, but its impacts on ecosystem structure and function are still poorly understood. In particular, it remains unclear how shrub encroachment affects dryland soil surfaces, including biological soil crust (biocrust) communities. In this study, soil surfaces (0–1 cm depth) were sampled from areas of Grewia flava shrubs and Eragrostis lehmanniana and Schmidtia kalahariensis grasses in the southwest Kalahari during two different seasons (March and November). Our hypothesis is that the presence of different vegetation cover types (shrubs versus grasses) alters the microbial composition of soil surfaces owing to their contrasting microenvironments. The results showed that more significant differences in microclimate (light, soil surface temperatures) and soil surface microbial communities were observed between shrubs and grasses than between sampling seasons. Based on high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing, our findings showed that approximately one third (33.5%) of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) occurred exclusively in soil surfaces beneath shrubs. Soil surfaces with biocrusts in grass areas were dominated by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus steenstrupii, whereas the soil surfaces beneath shrubs were dominated by the proteobacteria Microvirga flocculans. Soil surfaces beneath shrubs are associated with reduced cyanobacterial abundance but have higher total carbon and total nitrogen contents compared to biocrusts in grass areas. These findings infer changes in the relative contributions from different sources of carbon and nitrogen (e.g. cyanobacterial and non-cyanobacterial fixation, plant litter, animal activity). The distinctive microbial composition and higher carbon and nitrogen contents in soil surfaces beneath shrubs may provide a positive feedback mechanism promoting shrub encroachment, which helps to explain why the phenomenon is commonly observed to be irreversible.
    • Population genetic diversity in an Iraqi population and gene flow across the Arabian Peninsula.

      Hayder, Lazim; Almohammed, Eida Khalaf; Hadi, Sibte; Smith, Judith; University of Derby; Ministry of Interior of Qatar, Doha, Qatar; University of Central Lancashire (Nature, 2020-09-17)
      Y-STRs have emerged as important forensic and population genetic markers for human identification and population differentiation studies. Therefore, population databases for these markers have been developed for almost all major populations around the world. The Iraqi population encompasses several ethnic groups that need to be genetically characterised and evaluated for possible substructures. Previous studies on the Iraqi population based on Y-STR markers were limited by a restricted number of markers. A larger database for Iraqi Arab population needed to be developed to help study and compare the population with other Middle Eastern populations. Twenty-three Y-STR loci included in the PowerPlex Y23 (Promega, Madison, WI, USA) were typed in 254 males from the Iraqi Arab population. Global and regional Y-STR analysis demonstrated regional genetic continuity among the populations of Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. The Iraqi Arab haplotypes were used to allocate samples to their most likely haplogroups using Athey’s Haplogroup Predictor tool. Prediction indicated predominance (36.6%) of haplogroup J1 in Iraqi Arabs. The migration rate between other populations and the Iraqis was inferred using coalescence theory in the Migrate-n program. Y-STR data were used to test different out-of-Africa migration models as well as more recent migrations within the Arabian Peninsula. The migration models demonstrated that gene flow to Iraq began from East Africa, with the Levantine corridor the most probable passageway out of Africa. The data presented here will enrich our understanding of genetic diversity in the region and introduce a PowerPlex Y23 database to the forensic community.
    • A biopsychosocial framework for recovery from COVID-19

      Stuart, Kaz; Faghy, Mark; Bidmead, Elaine; Browning, Ruth; Roberts, Catriona; Grimwood, Sam; Winn-Reed, Thea; University of Cumbria; University of Derby (Emerald, 2020-09-23)
      This paper proposes a biopsychosocial (BPS) analysis of COVID-19 experiences which enhances understanding of complex and interrelated factors and leads to the proposition of a BPS recovery framework. Online narrative research was used to explore people's experiences of COVID-19 and was conducted over a four-month period. The call was distributed via a short open-ended qualitative online survey advertised on social media platforms and 305 responses came from across England. The findings illustrate people with a narrow range of BPS characteristics experienced over a wide range of BPS impacts which are nuanced, complex and dynamic. Left unaddressed these may create future adverse BPS characteristics. An integrated BPS framework for recovery is proposed to avoid such further negative outcomes from the pandemic. The sample contained a bias in age, gender and living arrangements. The paper offers a clear framework to enable integrated holistic recovery/regrowth planning. Using the framework would reduce social and health inequities which have been recently deepened by COVID-19 in the long-term.
    • Sodium bicarbonate ingestion improves time-to-exhaustion cycling performance and alters estimated energy system contribution: a dose-response investigation

      Gurton, William H.; Gough, Lewis A.; Sparks, S. Andy; Faghy, Mark; Reed, Katharine E.; University of Essex; Birmingham City University; Edge Hill University; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2020-09-08)
      This study investigated the effects of two sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) doses on estimated energy system contribution and performance during an intermittent high-intensity cycling test (HICT), and time-to-exhaustion (TTE) exercise. Twelve healthy males (stature: 1.75 ± 0.08 m; body mass: 67.5 ± 6.3 kg; age: 21.0 ± 1.4 years; maximal oxygen consumption: 45.1 ± 7.0 ml.kg.min−1) attended four separate laboratory visits. Maximal aerobic power (MAP) was identified from an incremental exercise test. During the three experimental visits, participants ingested either 0.2 g.kg−1 BM NaHCO3 (SBC2), 0.3 g.kg−1 BM NaHCO3 (SBC3), or 0.07 g.kg−1 BM sodium chloride (placebo; PLA) at 60 min pre-exercise. The HICT involved 3 × 60 s cycling bouts (90, 95, 100% MAP) interspersed with 90 s recovery, followed by TTE cycling at 105% MAP. Blood lactate was measured after each cycling bout to calculate estimates for glycolytic contribution to exercise. Gastrointestinal (GI) upset was quantified at baseline, 30 and 60 min post-ingestion, and 5 min post-exercise. Cycling TTE increased for SBC2 (+20.2 s; p = 0.045) and SBC3 (+31.9 s; p = 0.004) compared to PLA. Glycolytic contribution increased, albeit non-significantly, during the TTE protocol for SBC2 (+7.77 kJ; p = 0.10) and SBC3 (+7.95 kJ; p = 0.07) compared to PLA. GI upset was exacerbated post-exercise after SBC3 for nausea compared to SBC2 and PLA (p < 0.05), whilst SBC2 was not significantly different to PLA for any symptom (p > 0.05). Both NaHCO3 doses enhanced cycling performance and glycolytic contribution, however, higher doses may maximize ergogenic benefits.