929 Works

Insecticide exposure during brood or early-adult development reduces brain growth and impairs adult learning in bumblebees

Richard Gill, Dylan Bob Smith, Andres Arce, Ana Ramos Rodrigues, Philipp Bischoff, Daisy Burris & Farah Ahmed
For social bees, an understudied step in evaluating pesticide risk is how contaminated food entering colonies affects residing offspring development and maturation. For instance, neurotoxic insecticide compounds in food could affect central nervous system development predisposing individuals to become poorer task performers later-in-life. Studying bumblebee colonies provisioned with neonicotinoid spiked nectar substitute, we measured brain volume and learning behaviour of 3 or 12-day old adults that had experienced in-hive exposure during brood and/or early-stage adult...

Integrating green and blue spaces into our cities: Making it happen

K Brown & A Mijic
Urban blue-green infrastructure (BGI) is a network of nature-based features situated in built-up areas that form part of the urban landscape. These features are either based on vegetation (green), water (blue), or both. Green roofs and walls, grassed areas, rain gardens, swales (shallow channels, or drains), trees, parks, rivers and ponds are all examples of this type of architecture. Blue-green infrastructure is important as a climate change mitigation and adaptation measure, and has a host...

Climate sensitivity: What is it, and why is it important?

P Ceppi & J Gregory
Climate sensitivity is a fundamental measure of global climate change. This briefing paper explains how climate sensitivity is estimated from different lines of evidence – modelling, observations, and palaeoclimate records – and why its exact value remains uncertain.

Metabolomic profiling for the identification of novel biomarkers in deep vein thrombosis

Marina Kafeza
ABSTRACT Background Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major health concern with significant morbidity and mortality. The etiology of deep vein thrombosis is complex and multifactorial, including both genetic and environmental factors. Nonspecific symptoms and the lack of a blood biomarker that could con-firm DVT makes the diagnosis challenging. New molecular technologies and techniques have entered the scientific arena which offer the op-portunity to revisit this important clinical need. Metabolomics have succeeded the genomics era....

Physical activity, apolipoprotein-ɛ4 and cognition among cognitively healthy older adults: a longitudinal study

Catherine Robb
Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is fast becoming a public health priority. In the absence of effective drug treatment, the focus has shifted towards lifestyle change for prevention. Physical activity (PA) engagement is consistently associated with preserved cognition and lower risk of cognitive decline among older adults. Whether PA mitigates enhanced risk for dementia via APOEɛ4 allele carriage, demographic and/or biomarker risk factors is less understood. This thesis aimed to evaluate the longitudinal relationship between PA...

Neurological injury associated with thoracic endovascular aortic repair

Anisha Helen Perera
Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has improved patient outcomes compared to open surgery, although stroke and paraplegia remain complications. Silent cerebral infarction (SCI; imaging evidence of infarction without neurological dysfunction) has also emerged as a risk. Meta-analysis performed of SCI with seven endovascular procedures shows risk of SCI is significant, with rates of almost 70% with transcatheter aortic valve implantation and TEVAR. The neurological injury with aortic stenting study investigates transcranial Doppler-detected cerebral embolisation, SCI...

Statistical approaches for metabolomics and omics data integration

Takoua Jendoubi
Biological processes are the result of multiple interactions between various omic entities and are inherently complex. Metabolomics profiling plays a key role into deciphering mechanisms of biological functions in living organisms and is hence gaining popularity. In the last twenty years, the parallel acquisition of high-throughput datasets from the genome, metabolome, proteome, and transcriptome has seen a tremendous boost. The integrative analysis of these datasets is promising to enhance the understanding of biological functions and...

Improving patient safety in Libya: the way forward

Mustafa A. Elmontsri
Background: Patient safety has become a major public health issue. The increasing number of adverse events in healthcare has led many countries around the world to establish new organisations, regulations and policies to tackle the issue of patient safety and provide high quality care, including in Libya. There is very limited research about the issue of patient safety in developing countries and in particular Libya. The level of patient harm in developing countries is very...

Improving the quality of care for patients with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease undergoing surgery

Pritesh Morar
This thesis provides a comprehensive overview of the variability seen at time of surgery for patients with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease. It questions the validity of the Montreal classification in the setting of surgery. It provides a consensus for how a surgical service provision and the multidisciplinary team can be standardised to enhance the quality of care for patients with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease. Through meta-analysis, this thesis demonstrates that surgery is an inevitable end-point in 75%...

Health systems performance assessment and sustainable improvement in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar

Aisha Soleman Hamad Al Ghafri
Health systems vary in their complexity and application. Each health system is the product of a country’s culture and the way in which people are willing to fund it, to ensure equity and fairness. There is no ideal health system, as each has its strengths and weaknesses. Since the late nineties, the variety of health system performance assessment (HSPA) frameworks and methods used in high-income countries were either not applied in relation to low and...

A prospective longitudinal study of maternal cardiovascular function from pre-conception to post-partum: the CONCEIVE Study

Fung Lin Foo
Pre-eclampsia (PE) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) confer higher risk of later life maternal cardiovascular disease. It is unclear whether pre-existing inert cardiovascular dysfunction manifests as PE/FGR during pregnancy, or whether PE/FGR attribute an independent risk that augments cardiovascular disease with age. To clarify, subjects should be studied pre-conception, providing cardiovascular observations that are independent of pregnancy- or disease induced physiological changes. A pilot study (IMPOST) demonstrated the feasibility of investigating pre-conception cardiovascular function. CONCEIVE,...

The role of bile-metabolising enzymes in the pathogenesis of Clostridioides difficile infection, and the impact of faecal microbiota transplantation

Benjamin Harvey Mullish
The pathogenesis of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), and mechanisms of efficacy of faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in treating recurrent CDI (rCDI), remain poorly-understood. Certain bile acids affect the ability of C. difficile to undergo germination or vegetative growth. Loss of gut microbiota-derived bile-metabolising enzymes may predispose to CDI via perturbation of bile metabolism, and restitution of gut bile-metabolising functionality could mediate FMT’s efficacy. Initially, human samples were analysed, i.e.: 1) biofluids collected from rCDI patients...

Gonadotropin and kisspeptin receptor function in granulosa cells from women with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Lisa Owens
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common, complex and heterogenous condition which affects 8-13% of women. The underlying aetiology is poorly understood and evidence suggests that it is multigenic disorder with strong epigenetic and environmental influences. Recent genome wide association studies have found hits close to loci encoding FSHR and LHCGR, implicating gonadotropin receptor action in the pathogenesis of the condition. I therefore studied the actions of the gonadotropin receptors in granulosa lutein cells (GLCs)...

Pregnancy following Bariatric Surgery: feto-placental and neonatal considerations

Tanya Maric
The prevalence of obesity in pregnancy is continuing to rise. Obese women have a three-fold risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), large for gestational age neonates (LGA) and the risk of preeclampsia (PE) doubles for every 5-7kg/m2 increase in pre-pregnancy bodyweight. Bariatric Surgery (BS) is an effective treatment for sustained weight loss with a rapid increase in the number of procedures performed in the last 6 years. Long-term studies in non-pregnant populations have demonstrated...

Unsupervised analysis of mass spectral data

Paolo Inglese
Over the last few decades, mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has gained increasing interest as an analytical tool for the analysis of spatial molecular patterns in samples of interest. Because of its untargeted and high-throughput nature, MSI data often consists of hundreds to thousand spectral peak images. Statistical analysis of this type of data has been extensively used to investigate the relationship between the observed molecular patterns and the local properties of the sample. For example,...

Investigating the role of antibiotic exposure and demographic/socioeconomic factors on the development of bloodstream infections in primary care

Hannah Lishman
Background In recent years the UK has seen a rise in the incidence of Gram-negative bloodstream infections (BSIs), particularly those acquired in the community, half of which have been recorded as being preceded by a urinary tract infection (UTI) - one of the most common infections treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance has been postulated as exacerbating or even partially causing the progression from a UTI to a BSI. For these reasons the UK Government has...

Development of fluorogenic RNA aptamers for cellular imaging of RNA and genomic loci

Adam David Cawte
In recent years, there has been an explosion of SELEX-evolved fluorescent RNA aptamers, such as Spinach, Broccoli, Corn and Mango. Fluorogenic RNA aptamers have sparked a lot of interest and hold great potential to enable background-free visualisation of RNA molecules in cellular environments. However, their application has been limited by relatively inefficient folding in vivo and fluorescent stability. Therefore, evolving new RNA aptamers with improved brightness and stability should better their use in cellular imaging....

Spatial epidemiology and the psychosocial impacts of lymphatic filariasis in Nigeria

Obiora Augustine Eneanya
Nigeria’s National Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis has concluded mapping to identify endemic districts, based on a binary classification of endemic or non-endemic. Although this is useful for the planning of control programmes, it does not portray heterogeneities of infection level that may exist within districts. Entire populations in endemic districts are targeted with chemotherapy which aims to treating and prevent new infections. For populations with advanced stages of disease, such as lymphedema and hydrocele,...

Microbubbles in vascular imaging

Brahman Dharmarajah
Ultrasound is integral in diagnostic imaging of vascular disease. It is a common first line imaging modality in the detection of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and carotid atherosclerosis. The therapeutic use of ultrasound in vascular disease is also clinically established through ultrasound thrombolysis for acute DVT. Contrast agents are widely used in other imaging modalities, however, contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) using microbubbles remains a largely specialist clinical investigation with truly established roles in hepatic imaging...

Mobile applications for the collection of patient self-reported data: the case of depression during pregnancy

Jose Marcano Belisario
Background: Mobile apps can operate as a delivery mode for many of the self-reported measures commonly used to gather patient data in healthcare. However, the incorporation of this technology in existing care pathways has the potential to influence the quality of the responses, as well as the routine activities of clinical services. This project evaluated the use of mobile apps for the delivery of depression screening scales and momentary questions during antenatal care. Methods: A...

A neglected risk factor in HIV transmission, and implications for prevention

Branwen Nia Owen
There is a greatly increased risk of HIV transmission during receptive anal intercourse (AI) compared to receptive vaginal intercourse (VI). If AI is commonly practised between men and women (heterosexual AI) it may substantially contribute to the spread of HIV epidemics. Heterosexual AI is, however, frequently overlooked as a risk factor and is incompletely understood. In order to assess the contribution of heterosexual AI to HIV epidemics we must first better understand who is engaging...

Staging and management of primary and recurrent rectal cancer

Panagiotis Georgiou
Introduction: Currently in the UK, 11-14000 patients are diagnosed with rectal cancer each year sixteen percent of whom will have a locally advanced primary rectal cancer requiring exenterative pelvic surgery (extending beyond the conventional anatomic boundaries of anterior resection surgery). A further 10-20% of patients suffer local recurrence that may be amenable to exenterative surgery. The surgical management, the radiological assessment and clinical outcomes have been poorly understood and largely limited to self-reported personal series....

Epigenetic mechanisms of breast cancer risk exposures

Annelie Ewa Johansson
The breast cancer incidence rate is increasing and risk prediction needs to be improved. Higher lifetime oestrogen exposure is associated with increased risk, however, the mechanisms between oestrogen exposure and breast cancer development are not clear. It was hypothesised that a woman’s lifetime oestrogen exposure accumulates DNA methylation changes, detectable in blood, which can be used for risk assessment for breast cancer. An epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of an estimated lifetime oestrogen exposure (ELEE)-model was...

The role of asymmetric dimethylarginine in murine pregnancy and its link to pregnancy-induced hypertension

Aikaterini Georgopoulou
Globally, preeclampsia accounts for approximately 10% of pregnancy-related deaths. In the United States, the incidence of the disease has risen dramatically over the last two decades. Pharmacological interventions for the management of preeclampsia are very limited; premature delivery is the only option, often resulting in life-long disabilities. Association studies indicate increased levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) in preeclamptic patients, prior to clinical manifestation. ADMA is a negative regulator of the nitric oxide signaling pathway with...

Putting the patient in patient safety: qualitative exploration and co-design of a new paradigm

Emily Barrow
There has been increasing interest in involving patients in patient safety. Whilst interventions have been introduced to support this, there are still barriers to patient involvement. Currently, there is a focus upon the clinical risk paradigm, where policymakers, academics and healthcare professionals define patient safety; however, evidence suggests that patients and healthcare professionals may conceptualise patient safety differently. This means that patient safety, as it is currently defined, may not be meaningful or accessible to...

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