• Cellular mechanisms governing glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide secretion.

      Reimann, Frank; Diakogiannaki, Eleftheria; Moss, Catherine E.; Gribble, Fiona M.; Wellcome Trust; University of Cambridge (Elsevier, 2020-11-19)
      Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is a gut hormone secreted from the upper small intestine, which plays an important physiological role in the control of glucose metabolism through its incretin action to enhance glucose-dependent insulin secretion. GIP has also been implicated in postprandial lipid homeostasis. GIP is secreted from enteroendocrine K-cells residing in the intestinal epithelium. K-cells sense a variety of components found in the gut lumen following food consumption, resulting in an increase in plasma GIP signal dependent on the nature and quantity of ingested nutrients. We review the evidence for an important role of sodium-coupled glucose uptake through SGLT1 for carbohydrate sensing, of free-fatty acid receptors FFAR1/FFAR4 and the monoacyl-glycerol sensing receptor GPR119 for lipid detection, of the calcium-sensing receptor CASR and GPR142 for protein sensing, and additional modulation by neurotransmitters such as somatostatin and galanin. These pathways have been identified through combinations of in vivo, in vitro and molecular approaches.
    • Quantitative imaging for early detection of osteoarthritis

      Schetinin, Vitaly; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-07-09)
      The project supported by European Regional Development Fund is related to Quantitative Imaging for Early Detection of Osteoarthritis. The developed method has been tested on high resolution X-Ray images of knees at early stage when the pathological changes in patient's bones cannot be reliably quantified by using the standard radiologic tests. At early stage the pathology is latently developing and so being diagnosed later becomes untreatable. The proposed method has been developed in collaboration with Fusion Radiology (UK) and with Stavropol regional hospital (Russia). The Fusion Radiology (led by Mr Azizul Ambia) is a contractor of the NHS, providing radiology opinions for multiple UK hospitals. The regional hospital (the Deputy MD Anna Sadovaya) has verified the developed method on 160 patient cases. The new method has provided a statistically significant improvement of diagnostic accuracy on the anonymised patient records. The improvements were between 7% and 9%. The results achieved in the studies will allow radiologists to minimise false negative rate which is critically important for early diagnostics.
    • Battery-assisted electric vehicle charging: data driven performance analysis

      Ali, Junade; Dyo, Vladimir (2020-07-03)
      As the number of electric vehicles rapidly increases, their peak demand on the grid becomes one of the major challenges. A battery-assisted charging concept has emerged recently, which allows to accumulate energy during off-peak hours and in-between charging sessions to boost-charge the vehicle at a higher rate than available from the grid. While prior research focused on the design and implementation aspects of battery- assisted charging, its impact at large geographical scales remains largely unexplored. In this paper we analyse to which extent the battery-assisted charging can replace high-speed chargers using a dataset of over 3 million EV charging sessions in both domestic and public setting in the UK. We first develop a discrete-event EV charge model that takes into account battery capacity, grid supply capacity and power output among other parameters. We then run simulations to evaluate the battery-assisted charging performance in terms of delivered energy, charging time and parity with conventional high-speed chargers. The results indicate that in domestic settings battery-assisted charging provides 98% performance parity of high-speed chargers from a standard 3 kW grid connection with a single battery pack. For non-domestic settings, the battery-assisted chargers can provide 92% and 99% performance parity of high-speed chargers with 10 battery packs using 3kW and 7kW grid supply respectively.
    • Impact of Covid-19 on the experiences of parents and family carers of autistic children and young people in the UK

      Pavlopoulou, Georgia; Wood, Rebecca; Papadopoulos, Chris; UCL Institute of Education; University of East London; University of Bedfordshire (UCL Institute of Education, 2020-07-01)
      A new study led by the Institute of Education at University College London, in collaboration with the University of East London and the University of Bedfordshire, has shed light on the experiences of the parents and carers of autistic children and young people during lockdown in the UK. The findings reveal that many families feel let down by the government and that they have had to face the lockdown tackling new struggles, often with significantly reduced support. However, parents and carers also experienced a number of positives, providing important lessons for support and health services and education providers in the future.
    • "First meetings": constructive first encounters between pre-service teachers and their mentors

      Connolly, Steve M.; Bates, Gareth; Shea, James (Emerald, 2020-07-01)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an action research project in which the researchers sought to develop a set of questions for use by mentors (experienced teachers) and mentees (pre-service teachers) on a course of initial teacher education (ITE) when they first met – the “initial encounter”. Design Methodology/Approach: The researchers used an action research approach to address the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers from different backgrounds, such as Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), and the issues around mentoring which may exacerbate this problem. Discussions between the course team and participating mentors and mentees suggested that the initial encounter between mentor and mentee was significant, and an action research methodology would allow for developing questions that might structure such encounters. Findings: The researchers found that a useful and effective set of questions could be developed and used by mentors and mentees. Additionally, this process gave researchers insights into the nature of the first encounters between mentors and mentees on an ITE course and how both groups see their roles. In several cycles of action research, the participants produced a number of iterations of such questions, which were refined across a two-year period. Research Limitations/Implications: While it is too early to tell if the issues leading to the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers that prompted the project have been reduced in any significant way, the researchers suggest that thinking about these initial encounters can impact the way a mentor and mentee goes on to build a relationship. Originality/Value: The authors found very little research in the field of teacher education which looks at initial encounters between mentors and mentees and thus make an original contribution to the mentoring literature.
    • Cyberharassment Awareness Course (Cybac): influences from domestic abuse perpetrator programmes for its design and function

      Conradie, Liesl; Pitchford, Melanie; Myers, Ellie; Barnes, Jim; Short, Emma; Open University; University of Bedfordshire; Fatima College of Health Sciences, Abu Dhabi (International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 2020-06-30)
      Cyberharassment as a crime has increased significantly in recent years and is covered by legislation in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Cyberharassment can be targeted towards individuals or groups of people. Perpetrators can be unknown or known to their victims and the methods of harassment are diverse. The use of domestic abuse (DA) programmes for first time or low risk offenders are employed to reduce recidivism and to safeguard victims. A first step in creating a cyberharassment awareness course identified the aspects that appear to contribute to the effectiveness of these DA programmes. Various aspects contributed to the success of domestic abuse programmes and they were influential in the development of the cyberharassment awareness course. The main aspects considered and included or recommended are the need for treatment readiness, excluding some perpetrators, multi-agency working, and the location and intensity of the programme. The programmes that proved successful made use of a group contract and included individual and group work aspects, all of which were mandatory. Cognitive behaviour therapy formed the backbone of programmes and empathy awareness training was considered. The needs of individual perpetrators were to be catered to and victims included where possible.
    • Moving widening participation outreach online: challenge or opportunity?

      Rainford, Jon; ; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-06-30)
      The COVID-19 pandemic creates an immediate need to deliver existing pre-entry widening participation outreach work remotely. In doing so this means rethinking existing programmes and adapting existing working practices. This paper proposes a three-dimensional framework involving pedagogical, technological and the humanistic elements. It argues that any technological solutions need to consider the inequalities of access to technology and the barriers faced by both practitioners and students. Understanding the changing nature of this work alongside the potential time and investment needed to realise its potential is vital for all staff with strategic and operational responsibility related to access and participation. Whilst some existing pre-entry work may not translate to this new mode, online outreach has the potential to open up new ways to engage and inspire target learners over sustained periods through combined creation and curation of content.
    • Factors in implementation of clinical commissioning policy in improving health and wellbeing and/or reducing health inequalities in the English NHS: a systematic review of the evidence

      Regmi, Krishna; Mudyarabikwa, Oliver; University of Bedfordshire; Coventry University (Research Square, 2020-06-25)
      This is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports that have not undergone peer review. They should not be considered conclusive, used to inform clinical practice, or referenced by the media as validated information. Objective: This study aimed to identify and synthesise the factors in implementing clinical commissioning policy in improving health and/or reducing health inequalities in the English NHS. Methods: Systematic review was conducted. We searched Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Allied & Complementary Medicine, DH-DATA, Global Health and CINAHL for primary studies that assessed the enablers and barriers, and reported in accordance with PRISMA statement. Methodological quality was appraised using JBI Critical Appraisal tools and Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool [MMAT] to assess the methodological qualities, and synthesised performing thematic analysis. Two reviewers independently screened the papers and extracted data. Results: We included six primary studies (including a total of 1155 participants) in the final review. The studies reported two broad categories, under four separate themes: agenda of health inequalities not fully addressed; poor evidence for reducing health inequalities; reform through restructuring of organisations, and strategic approaches. Conclusion: This study provides useful factors – enablers and barriers – to implement and deliver clinical commissioning policy in improving health and wellbeing. These factors could be assessed in future to develop objective measures and interventions to establish the link between commissioning and health inequalities improving equitable access, health outcomes and effective partnerships.
    • Gender, age and physical activity representation in children's colouring books (Representación del género, la edad y la actividad física en libros para colorear infantiles)

      Martínez Bello, Vladimir; Hill, Joanne; ; Universidad de Valencia; University of Bedfordshire (Revistas Universidad de León, 2020-06-24)
      Despite publishing houses recognizing the importance of ensuring equal representation of all people in curricular materials and scholars also noting their importance in teaching children gendered behaviours, it is still common to find stereotypically gendered non-coeducational curriculum materials in the international market. The aim of this study is to determine the representation of female and male characters in the illustrations of six colouring books published in the United Kingdom entitled “Books for Girls” and “Books for Boys”. A quantitative content analysis, and a supporting qualitative discourse analysis were carried out. This paper examines the effect of constructing gender difference in children’s colouring books. Gender bias in early childhood education poses the risk of perpetuating a manifestation of inequality.
    • Factors impacting social distancing measures for preventing coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]: a systematic review

      Regmi, Krishna; Lwin, Cho Mar (Research Square, 2020-06-23)
      This is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports that have not undergone peer review. They should not be considered conclusive, used to inform clinical practice, or referenced by the media as validated information. Background: Social distancing measures (SDMs) protect the health of the public from coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection. However, the impact of SDMs has been inconsistent and unclear. This study aims to review the factors impacting SDMs (e.g. isolation, quarantine) for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Methods: A systematic review was conducted. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Allied & Complementary Medicine, COVID-19 Research and WHO database on COVID-19 for primary studies assessing the enablers and barriers associated with SDMs, and reported in accordance with PRISMA statement. We used JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for the cross-sectional survey and Qualitative Research to assess the methodological qualities and synthesised performing thematic analysis. Two reviewers independently screened the papers and extracted data. Results: A total of 1235 citations were identified, of which 16 were found to be relevant. The studies reported in two broad categories, under seven separate themes: positive impact of SDMs, effective public health interventions, positive change in people’s behaviour, worries and concerns about COVID-19, roles of mass media, physical and psychological impacts, and ethnicity/age associated with COVID-19. Conclusion: The identified evidence signals that SDMs are generally effective for preventing or reducing transmission. There is a scope and need to find the best methods and approaches at the primary healthcare level in terms of developing objective measures and interventions to establish the link between different factors and SDMs and reducing transmission of COVID-19 trend effectively, efficiently and equitably.
    • An economic–business approach to clinical risk management

      Comite, Ubaldo; Dong, Kechen; Li, Rita Yi Man; Crabbe, M. James C.; Shao, Xue-Feng; Yue, Xiao-Guang; University Giustino Fortunato; University of South Australia; Hong Kong Shue Yan University; Oxford University; et al. (MDPI, 2020-06-23)
      This paper introduces risk factors in the field of healthcare and discusses the clinical risks, identification, risk management methods, and tools as well as the analysis of specific situations. Based on documentary analysis, an ecient and coherent methodological choice of an informative and non-interpretative approach, it relies on “unobtrusive” and “non-reactive” information sources, such that the research results are not influenced by the research process itself. To ensure objective and systematical analysis, our research involved three macro-phases: (a) the first involved a skimming (a superficial examination) of the documents collected; (b) the second reading (a thorough examination) allowed a selection of useful information; (c) the third phase involved classification and evaluation of the collected data. This iterative process combined the elements of content and thematic analysis that categorised the information into di erent categories which were related to the central issues for research purposes. Finally, from the perspective of safety analysis and risk management, we suggest that comprehensive control and operation should be conducted in a holistic way, including patient safety, cost consumption, and organizational responsibility. An organizational strategy that revolves around a constant and gradual risk management process is an important factor in clinical governance which focuses on the safety of patients, operators, and organizations.
    • Coming to terms with the market: accounts of neoliberal failure and rehabilitation on the British Right

      Hoctor, Tom (Springer, 2020-06-19)
      Critique of “neoliberalism” is generally thought of as a preoccupation of the political Left. Here it will be argued that the British Right has also been developing a distinctive critique of neoliberalism and its failure, whether they thought about it in these precise terms or not. This represented an attempt by Conservative intellectuals to grapple with the enduring legacy of Thatcherism in the party. The objectives of this paper are threefold. Firstly, it will examine the contours of a distinctively Conservative description of neoliberal society by drawing on the work of Jesse Norman. Secondly, it will explain and contextualise their account of neoliberal economic failure and a possible avenue to its rehabilitation. And, thirdly, it will explain why this rehabilitation was itself a failure through a critique of Norman’s attempts to read Hayek through Burke. It concludes by observing that what civic forms of conservatism fail to offer is a thoroughgoing examination of functions that markets are unable to perform.
    • Randomised controlled feasibility study of the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes smartphone app for reducing prolonged sitting time in Type 2 diabetes mellitus

      Bailey, Daniel Paul; Mugridge, Lucie; Dong, Feng; Zhang, Xu; Chater, Angel M.; Brunel University; University of Bedfordshire; University of Strathclyde (MDPI, 2020-06-19)
      This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a self-regulation smartphone app for reducing prolonged sitting in people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This was a two-arm, randomised, controlled feasibility trial. The intervention group used the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes smartphone app for 8 weeks. The app uses a number of behaviour change techniques aimed at reducing and breaking up sitting time. Eligibility, recruitment, retention, and completion rates for the outcomes (sitting, standing, stepping, and health-related measures) assessed trial feasibility. Interviews with participants explored intervention acceptability. Participants with T2DM were randomised to the control (n = 10) and intervention groups (n = 10). Recruitment and retention rates were 71% and 90%, respectively. The remaining participants provided 100% of data for the study measures. The MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes app was viewed as acceptable for reducing and breaking up sitting time. There were preliminary improvements in the number of breaks in sitting per day, body fat %, glucose tolerance, attitude, intention, planning, wellbeing, and positive and negative affect in favour of the intervention group. In conclusion, the findings indicate that it would be feasible to deliver and evaluate the efficacy of the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes app for breaking up sitting time and improving health outcomes in a full trial.
    • Can environmental investments benefit environmental performance? the moderating roles of institutional environment and foreign direct investment

      Li, Ruiqian; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2020-06-18)
      Contribution of environmental investments (EI) to environmental performance (EP) is a lively topic for environmental researchers across the world. In spite of huge amount of research, there is still lack of clarity on the moderating factors that affect the role played by EI. In this study, we distinguish EI into pollution control investments (PCI) and pollution prevention investments (PPI). We further investigate whether institutional environment and foreign direct investment (FDI) can play their moderating effects both on the relationship between EI and EP and on the relationships between different types of investments and EP or not. The results indicate that EI has a positive effect on EP. More specifically, PPI plays a stronger positive role in EP, but PCI does not have a significant effect on EP. In addition, both institutional environment and FDI can strengthen the positive impact of EI on EP. The increase of EI in regions with better institutional environment or high FDI can lead to greater improvement in EP. These moderating effects of institutional environment and FDI are also confirmed on the link between PPI and EP. In summary, our results reinforce the existing views that EI, and specifically PPI, can improve EP, but further contribute to the understanding of the positive moderating roles played by the institutional environment and FDI on the link between EI and EP.
    • Corporate social responsibility and maturity mismatch of investment and financing: evidence from polluting and non-polluting companies

      Bao, Xiaolan; Luo, Qiaosheng; Li, Sicheng; Crabbe, M. James C.; Yue, Xiao-Guang; Huazhong Agricultural University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire; Shanxi University; European University Cyprus; et al. (MDPI, 2020-06-18)
      We investigate the influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the maturity mismatch of investment and financing from the perspective of both polluting and non-polluting companies. The results reveal that CSR performance can aggravate the maturity mismatch of investment and financing; and the e ect can be more serious in the polluting companies. At the same time, we find that CSR makes companies obtain more short-term debt. What is more, polluting companies perform more environmental responsibilities in the form of long-term investments than non-polluting companies. These phenomena exacerbate the maturity mismatch of investment and financing; and this e ect is only significant when polluting companies choose CSR mandatory disclosure. The impact of CSR on the maturity mismatch of investment and financing is more apparent in companies with lower value and at smaller scales. We show that companies should not only perform their CSR to maintain a balanced economic and ecological development, but also pay attention to the aggravation of the maturity mismatch of investment and financing.
    • Practical hash-based anonymity for MAC addresses

      Ali, Junade; Dyo, Vladimir (arXiv, 2020-06-18)
      Given that a MAC address can uniquely identify a person or a vehicle, continuous tracking over a large geographical scale has raised serious privacy concerns amongst governments and the general public. Prior work has demonstrated that simple hash-based approaches to anonymization can be easily inverted due to the small search space of MAC addresses. In particular, it is possible to represent the entire allocated MAC address space in 39 bits and that frequency-based attacks allow for 50% of MAC addresses to be enumerated in 31 bits. We present a practical approach to MAC address anonymization using both computationally expensive hash functions and truncating the resulting hashes to allow for k-anonymity. We provide an expression for computing the percentage of expected collisions, demonstrating that for digests of 24 bits it is possible to store up to 168,617 MAC addresses with the rate of collisions less than 1%. We experimentally demonstrate that a rate of collision of 1% or less can be achieved by storing data sets of 100 MAC addresses in 13 bits, 1,000 MAC addresses in 17 bits and 10, 000 MAC addresses in 20 bits.
    • Impact of social distancing measures for preventing coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol

      Regmi, Krishna; Lwin, Cho Mar (medRxiv, 2020-06-16)
      This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice. Introduction: Social distancing measures (SDMs) protect public health from the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the impact of SDMs has been inconsistent and unclear. This study aims to assess the effects of SDMs (e.g. isolation, quarantine) for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Methods and analysis: We will conduct a systematic review meta-analysis research of both randomised controlled trials and non-randomised controlled trials. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, Allied & Complementary Medicine, COVID-19 Research and WHO database on COVID-19 for primary studies assessing the enablers and barriers associated with SDMs, and will be reported in accordance with PRISMA statement. The PRISMA-P checklist will be used while preparing this protocol. We will use Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines (JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists) to assess the methodological qualities and synthesised performing thematic analysis. Two reviewers will independently screen the papers and extracted data. If sufficient data are available, the random-effects model for meta-analysis will be performed to measure the effect size of SDMs or the strengths of relationships. To assess the heterogeneity of effects, I2 together with the observed effects (Q-value, with degrees of freedom) will be used to provide the true effects in the analysis. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval and consent will not be required for this systematic review of the literature as it does not involve human participation. We will be able to disseminate the study findings using the following strategies: we will be publishing at least one paper in peer-reviewed journals, and an abstract will be presented at suitable national/international conferences or workshops. We will also share important information with public health authorities as well as with the World Health Organization.
    • Opening the black box: the impacts of environmental regulations on technological innovation

      Li, Muyao; Zhang, Jinsong; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Li, Ruiqian; ; Harbin University of Commerce; University of Bedfordshire; Heilongjiang University (MDPI, 2020-06-16)
      Whether environmental regulations (ERs) can stimulate technological innovation (TI) is the key for realizing the win-win strategy between economic development and environmental protection. This study seeks to analyze the impacts of ERs on TI. Though previous literature has highlighted that the black box of TI can be decomposed into technology investment and technology transformation, further empirical studies on such a decomposition has largely been ignored. Moreover, a detailed discussion of the links between ER and the decomposed components of TI has not been conducted in developing countries such as China. Our study attempts to address these research gaps by (i) decomposing TI using a novel DEA procedure and to further analyze the impacts of ERs on the decomposed components of TI, and (ii) apply this novel methodology to Chinese context. Accordingly, this study is conducted in two stages. First, a novel application of the slack-based Network DEA model is developed to uncover the black box of TI using Chinese data; to estimate the overall efficiency of technological innovation (TIE) and decompose it into the efficiency of technology investment (TVE) and the efficiency of technology transformation (TTE). Second, a random effect Tobit model is applied to (i) investigate both the linear and non-linear impacts of ERs on TIE in all sectors, and (ii) examine whether the impacts of ERs on TVE and TTE in different sub-processes are heterogeneous or not. Our results have brought out the benefits of decomposing TI; while technology transformation in China closely follows the trend of TI, the trend of technology investment is somewhat different. The estimation results further indicate that the impacts of ERs on TIE are non-linear. Besides, ERs have heterogeneous impacts on the decomposed components of TI. The impacts of ERs on TVE are non-linear, whereas the impacts of ERs on TTE become insignificant.
    • Physical activity for the benefit of mental health outcomes in young people: a focus on parental bereavement

      Chater, Angel M.; Williams, Jane; Shorter, Gillian; Howlett, Neil; University of Bedfordshire; University of Ulster; University of Hertfordshire (BASES, 2020-06-13)
      First published in The Sport and Exercise Scientist, Issue 64, Summer 2020. Published by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences - www.bases.org.uk”
    • The challenge of achieving transparency in undergraduate honours-level dissertation supervision

      Malcolm, Mary; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis (Routledge), 2020-06-11)
      The undergraduate honours-level dissertation is a significant component of many UK undergraduate programmes, as a key stage in the longer-term intellectual and career development of potential researchers and knowledge-workers, and also a critical contributor to immediate award outcome. This study aims to identify how dissertation supervisors balance and deliver on these expectations. Qualitative analysis of twenty interviews conducted with supervisors at two post-1992 UK universities identifies how supervisors construct supervision as a multi-stage process. Supervisors describe how their individual supervisory practices enable them to maintain initial control of the dissertation, to extend supervisee autonomy at a central stage, and to distance supervisors further from the written output at a final stage in the process. This study questions whether this approach is satisfactory either in an institutional context where the supervisor is also first marker of work they may have shaped substantially, or as a pedagogic approach to developing research skills.