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Poster Session // days one & two

Tuesday 24 September

"There is an ongoing debate about the use of large-scale public procurement policies to eliminate massive long-term unemployment and help unemployed to reintegrate to the job market. However, recent evidence supporting either side is mostly from developing countries (Zimmermann, 2012; Morano, 2016). However, introducing such policies is considerable for any post-crash economy. This paper contributes to the literature with evidence from a middle-income country, Hungary, who has the one of the largest public employment programs in the EU (Pintér, 2015).
The paper builds on four interviews which were conducted in a Hungarian village with public employment workers. During those occasions, the participants were asked about their finances, experience with the scheme and their employment expectations. The main focus of the interview was whether the scheme has managed to address the participants with such skills that would later help them to reintegrate to the job market, as this is identified as the cornerstone of signalling the success of employment policies (Andonova et al., 2017; Morano, 2016). The initial findings are inserted into a wider picture by a literature review of other public employment programs from the region. "
"Any chemical reaction releases or consumes heat; hence, calorimetry is a universal method to study chemical transformations. Conventional calorimeters are expensive (>£1,000 - £10,000) and work only in batch operation mode. The work aims to design and manufacture a low-cost calorimeter to work in continuous flow. The calorimeter developed uses isothermal power-compensated principles and allows for spatially resolved data in a continuous flow reaction. A Peltier thermoelectric element may cool the reactor tube coiled around the heat exchanger; the resistive heater may heat the reactor - the electrical energy input required to maintain temperature depends on the reaction enthalpy. Computer-aided design thermal simulations were used to design a heat exchanger. The calorimeter contained consecutive reactor units to gain spatial resolution of the reaction heat. Each unit was independently heated or cooled using a proportional-integral-differential control implemented in Arduino. The units were calibrated using resistive heaters (Joule effect) to determine the cooling power of the Peltier units under a range of conditions. The approach was validated by performing a series of model chemical reactions with known reaction heat and using various flow rates of reactants. The results show how the flow rate effects the heat from the chemical reaction and how the accuracy of the calorimeter varies. Further experimentation real-life applications for the calorimeter were demonstrated "
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the myeloid cells of the blood. In ~30% of cases of AML, there is mutation in FLT3 gene and the most common type is internal tandem duplication (ITD). Mutations of this gene may therefore act as oncogenes, creating myeloid expansion and stimulating cancer formation. TP53 is the most common mutated tumour suppressor gene in human cancer. tp53 M214K missense mutation is located in the p53 DNA-binding domain and prevents the activation of p53 target genes. The aim of this project is to examine the cooperativity of FLT3 and tp53 in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. FLT3-ITD and tp53M214K mutant lines were crossed and produced double mutant, single mutants and control. These 3 types of genotypes will be undergoing Flow cytometry for comparison with the control to evaluate the cooperativity of FLT3-ITD and tp53. Erythroid, lymphoid, myeloid and precursor populations will be distinguished based on their size and granularity, and subsequently have their population percentages enumerated. Morphology will be examined by microscopy after collection of cells by cytospin and Wright-Giemsa staining. I hope this study can help further investigation of the pathogenesis between FLT3-ITD and tp53 and discover potential drugs forpatients who are suffering from this type of leukemia.
Sexual politics, ideas and social practices that govern not only issues of sexuality but how people treat each other (Collins, 2004), have been a frequent tool of oppression and a site of resistance throughout history. Yet study of sexual politics is marginalised, and power structures rendered invisible. My research looks at how enslaved people in the Caribbean had to address and challenge sexual politics to gain their liberation. Drawing on Foucault's theory of bio-power, discourse analysis and elements of queer theory my research examines visual contemporary representations of enslaved people, accounts of slaveholders and works by other historians to unearth the sexual politics at play. This research shows how sexual politics was at the heart of slavery and the racist colonial regime in the Caribbean and so had to be addressed in order for there to be liberation of the enslaved people of African descent. Analysis of the contemporary sources exposes how control of black bodies, particularly their reproduction and sexual activities was crucial to the system of slavery and empire. Examination of how the enslaved people fought for their freedom, not just militarily but sexually, reveals how the sexual policies of whites were frequently challenged but also adopted by their movements for liberation. The impacts of colonial bio-politics and abolition movements can still be seen in the continued presence of homophobic laws in the Caribbean which stem from the imposition of European moral values and the reconstitution of black masculinity and femininity during the struggles for liberation.
"Since the introduction of clozapine, several guidelines and recommendations have been developed to promote safe practice; this audit will look at the most up to date of these alongside trust-wide adherence. Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication with a large adverse effect profile. Clozapine can affect the entire gastrointestinal system causing constipation, potentially leading to bowel ileus, obstruction and death. Clinical attention has been drawn to clozapine-induced constipation mortality in recent years, calling for adherence to guideline recommendations. It has been suggested that the mortality in clozapine patients is higher from constipation than the wider recognised agranulocytosis. Trust-wide pharmacological records are to be reviewed to compare alongside Maudsley guidelines, Trust guidelines and specific drug manufacturer guidelines. Laxative users were defined as patients who had laxatives prescribed at any point during clozapine use. Sub groups were created to reflect the specific laxative regime of each patient and if this complied with guidelines. With this being the first audit cycle, a target compliance of 95% has been set. 821 patient pharmacological records, from March 2015 to September 2018, met the audit inclusion criteria. Of these, 217 (26%) were compliant with Trust guidelines, 60 (7%) with Maudsley guidelines and 154 (19%) with Zaponex drug manufacturer guidelines. Despite the results not meeting expectation, it is important to consider the research findings in to clozapine have been developed over recent years and may not have gathered sufficient momentum within trust. There is also insufficient literature to draw strong conclusions on to the most appropriate laxative regime."
Sleep apnoea (SA) is characterised by a cessation or reduction in breathing for 2 or more breaths at night leading to severe sleep deprivation. SA is highly prevalent affecting 4% of men and 2% of women in the UK (~1.5 million adults), with a huge economic burden on the NHS of £55 million. Importantly SA remains undiagnosed in a large proportion of the population (>90%), meaning these numbers are likely to be greatly underestimated. Furthermore, SA is increasingly recognised as an independent risk factor for several major comorbidities which will not only worsen patient outcomes, but will contribute to their costs to the NHS: £8.7 billion (cardiovascular disease), £9.6 billion (stroke), £5 billion (cancer), £3.5 billion (liver disease), £9.8 billion (diabetes), and 26.3 billion (dementia). Currently research is limited due to the lack of a good model of SA. Here we demonstrate a novel physiologically-realistic and clinically relevant model of SA characterised by plethysmography (breathing), EEG/EMG (brain activity) and ELISA (inflammation). Additionally, behavioural tests and electrophysiological techniques will provide new insight into neurological comorbidities attributed to the disease. Given the unprecedented public health issue presented by SA, this new model is essential to the development of therapeutics to prevent exacerbation of the disease and its comorbidities.
Globally the number one risk factor of mortality is hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is responsible for the death of 75,000 people in the UK alone and 9 million people worldwide every year. Hypertension costs the NHS over £2.1 billion every year due to it contributing to the formation of cardiovascular diseases. Paradoxically, hypertension is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions. It is widely accepted that high salt intake causes hypertension by disrupting normal osmoregulation (regulation of blood water content). Western dietary patterns are characterised by a high intake of processed foods, dairy products, and meat, each of which contains high amounts of salt, thus explaining why we are in the midst of a hypertension epidemic. Plant-based diets, comprising of high amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, have low salt content and high potassium content, making them a potential low-cost candidate for reducing blood pressure. It has been estimated that reducing the average systolic blood pressure of the UK population by just 5 mmHg would save £850 million of NHS and Social Care spend over a 10-year period. This review will assess the efficacy of plant-based diets at reducing blood pressure to highlight whether they should be explored as a future method of preventing and treating hypertension.
"In the UK, NHS pharmacies offer ‘essential services' (prescriptions, advice, provision of emergency contraception), are more commonly open in the evenings and at weekends, are visited more often than general practices or genitourinary medicine clinics, and increasingly offer routine hormonal contraception, emergency contraception, and contraceptive injections. Prior to my review, pharmacy-specific contraception provision had not been fully evaluated; I therefore conducted a systematic review to examine the impact and delivery of contraceptive services in pharmacies, focusing on the experiences of pharmacy users and staff. 4105 papers were initially identified from 7 electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Popline, Scopus, the Cochrane database, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and subjected to the following inclusion criteria: Qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods papers published after 2007 Participants: pharmacy users, pharmacy staff Interventions/exposures: emergency hormonal contraception, emergency contraception, oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive injection Comparators: sexual health service provider other than pharmacy Outcomes: service users'/providers' attitudes, satisfaction, views on service, barriers to use After title/abstract, full text and reference list screening, 15 papers were quality assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool - only 6 fulfilled all criteria, mainly due to low response rate and poor reconciliation of qualitative/quantitative data. Narrative synthesis was used to identify recurring themes or noteworthy quotes from the data. Most users felt comfortable in pharmacies and considered privacy satisfactory. Staff members seemed to support pharmacy provision of sexual health services, though some pharmacists lacked confidence in intimate procedures, such as coil insertion or depot injections."
"This mixed methods study consists of a literature review and a service evaluation of a leading fertility centre. The literature review identifies best practice to avoid transmission of viruses during assisted conception in patients with HIV, Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV), and how this affects their pregnancy outcomes. To identify best practice in avoiding transmission of viruses during assisted conception in viral positive families. To evaluate current conception methods for viral positive families at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine (CRM), and compare them with published data to determine success and opportunities for improvement. An online literature search amassed 116 studies and 10 papers were shortlisted. From these papers, data was collected such as author and viral illness. For the service evaluation, a list of viral positive patients receiving treatment at CRM in the past 5 years was assessed for treatment method and outcome. The pregnancy rate for viral positive families at CRM was 43%, the live birth rate (LBR) was 30.8%. LBR = HIV, HBV and HCV were 13.3%, 35.9% and 33.3%, respectively. At p <0.05, the p-value was 0.326, meaning there was not a statistically significant difference between pregnancy and live birth rates where the male was seropositive vs the female. Assisted conception outcomes are worse when the female is seropositive for HIV, HBV and HCV. Options for viral positive men, such as sperm washing, are safe and effective. Assisted conception in viral positive families is as successful at CRM than their viral negative counterparts."
"Mathematics is the language of science but its application in physical sciences such as physics have always been more widely appreciated than in “soft” sciences like biology. There is a long history of applying mathematics in biology and medicine, with Archibald Pitcairne, often regarded as the forgotten father of mathematical medicine, developing the theory of iatromathematics in 1713. However, only recently has mathematical biology become an accepted branch of applied mathematics.

This poster will explore the mathematics used in medical biology for physiological understanding and diagnostics by looking at the mathematical model of the human heart and blood circulation which plays a critical role in investigating the responses of the human cardiovascular system. Mathematical models are also used to understand the life-threatening cardiovascular diseases such as aortic aneurysms which were the primary cause of 9,863 deaths in 2014 and a contributing cause in more than 17,215 deaths in the United States alone in 2009.

For this research, I will conduct a literature review drawing on the work of Frank C. Hoppensteadt, Van De Vosse and Reed, to understand and analyze the data, aiming to outline the structure and derive models of blood flow in the human heart.

In this research, I will hypothesize that mathematics is a technical and intellectual tool that can make enormous contributions to global health care and the saving of lives. However, due to complexity and diversity of the human body, there are many challenges in the clinical application of mathematical techniques that warrant further analysis. "

"Hip hop is a form of popular culture which is deeply entrenched in our society, making it not only a mirror of social views and opinions, but also an actor in the way that these opinions are shaped. This research project aims to study in what ways hip hop is a microcosm of our society which reflects its gender roles and to evaluate its value as a tool in political research. We will first define in what ways rap music perpetuates sexism and the objectification of women by recreating existing gender roles and contributing to their normalisation to then argue that it also permits their empowerment by giving a platform through which they can redefine their sexuality and challenge existing gender power relations. This will enable us to show that rap music is a valuable tool in research because it is entrenched in popular culture and thus reflects the reality of society, which is often disregarded in academic literature. "
"Students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups across all higher education institutions in the UK have been reported to attain lower class degrees than their white counterparts. Medicine is no different. The exact cause is unknown but this persistent difference in attainment between ethnic groups poses a huge problem for the medical profession. The aim of this research was to explore graduate-entry BAME medical students' experiences of undergraduate training. It drew on qualitative semi-structured focus groups involving 24 MBChB BAME students. The study found that BAME students faced a range of difficulties they felt impeded their learning and performance. The relationships with staff and clinicians, though also identified as facilitators to learning, often hindered progress, as students felt that a lack of representation and lack of understanding of cultural differences impacted their experience. Students also reported a lack of trust in the institution, with many not seeking support. Students reported having to mask their identity to fit in amongst their peers as well as to avoid negative stereotyping. Although rare, BAME students faced overt racism from other students and patients. Several students described experiencing daily microaggressions and witnessing microaggressions against others. Many BAME students reported feelings of isolation, reduced self-confidence and low self-esteem that hindered their learning and performance. These findings suggest that future interventions should include improving peer relationships and implementing institutional changes to diversify student populations. Guidance on tackling racism and adequate training in anti-racism for both students and staff is likely to be key."
" In this project the thermopower of a quantum Hall (QH) system will be computed, taking account of the excitation branches at the edges. The thermal conductance, which is the rate of heat transport, of a single channel in QH systems is quantized in units of fundamental constants. Temperature gradients can generate current flows and a voltage can be applied to stop these currents. The ratio of the voltage needed to the temperature difference is called the thermopower, which is related to the thermal conductance. The role of the edge excitations on thermopower measurements has largely been ignored. Yet their role must be important given that their effects have been directly observed in the heat flow measurements. The importance of edge states on thermopower measurements in QH systems will be studied along with the heat flow measurements which, to date, have not taken bulk contributions into account. The aspect ratio of a system (ratio of length to width) effectively controls the relative importance of the bulk to the edge. Longer samples have small bulk contributions. The thermopower of quantum hall systems will be computed, varying the aspect ratio, allowing the importance of edge states being increased as the aspect ratio increases to be characterised. These computations will be compared to current measurements of thermopower of quantum hall systems. "
"The study aims to replicate Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014), investigating the effect of note-taking styles on academic performance. Additionally, it also extends the research by investigating the effect of extrinsic motivation on academic performance. Previous studies focused on merely investigating the relationship between extrinsic and factual knowledge, rarely suggesting that there was a difference between extrinsic and conceptual knowledge. To bridge the research conducted in these areas, this study investigates the effect of extrinsic motivation on conceptual and factual knowledge. The independent variables are their preferred note-taking style, either laptop or longhand, and whether or not they were aware of receiving a reward, assigned through random allocation. The dependent variable is the academic performance, measured by the number of correct answers for conceptual and factual questions. Results showed that both note-taking style and extrinsic motivation affected performance. Participants using longhand answered more questions correctly compared to laptop for conceptual questions, but note-taking style did not have an effect on factual questions. Additionally, participants that were aware of the reward answered more questions correctly on conceptual questions compared to those not aware but answered less questions correctly for factual questions. Thus, suggesting that both note-taking style and extrinsic motivation affects academic performance. "
"Abstract Background - Effective analysis of incident reporting systems in healthcare is essential in order for hospital departments to learn from mistakes and to optimise patient care. Reviewing past incidents allows us to take corrective measures to systems and inform clinical practise. This service evaluation will take stock of >10 years of reports in the Plastic Surgery department of University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire and reveal trends in causes and severity of adverse outcomes recorded using DATIX. Methods - DATIX is a web based patient incident reporting service used by many NHS hospitals. Each report contains information including the severity of harm, stage of delivery and a written description of what happened and steps taken to preventing it happening again. To access these reports we used a DATIX functionality to export the full list of completed (acted upon) incidents from the plastic surgery department since DATIX was adopted until the time of writing. The records were then manually assessed by the author and a colleague, and sorted according to the nature of the incident, using headings regarding operative causes, non-operative causes and the severity of each event. The labelled data was studied using SPSS and Excel. Results - frequencies of reported incidents have increased year by year, with an average increase on 85.2% across all years studied, with 2012 showing a particularly high number of reports. Conclusion - this increase is likely due to NHS plans to improve reporting and encourage staff to report any adverse outcomes they encounter."
Stereotypes, known as conventional conceptions of a particular group of person or thing, are ubiquitous. A stereotype formed based on the most representative type of a target group, the “kernel of truth”, is statistically accurate and representative (Bordalo et al. 2016). Although stereotypes response to the change of the “kernel of truth”, they defer modifications and are resistant to change; therefore, stereotypes will soon lose their representativeness and accuracy, becoming biased and harmful. Researches in 20th Century studied the formation and the modification of stereotypes, mainly in gender and ethnic fields, with observational data; whereas, only recently, laboratory experiments have been used to test theoretical models. This essay focuses on stereotypes’ modification of individuals in general, uses two z-tree games to analyse participants’ responses, and studies why stereotypes change slowly and how to promote their modifications to maintain accuracy. A stereotype can be either enhanced or challenged by the new information, but it underreacts to the challenging information (Bordalo et al. 2016). Selective inattention is one possible explanation that decision makers unconsciously ignore information which disobeys their preformed beliefs. Thus, the first experiment examines the existence of selection inattention. To maintain the representativeness of a stereotype to its’ “kernel of truth’, the challenging information has to be nonnegligible. The second experiment studies whether a clustered challenging information can offset the selection inattention problem and promote the stereotype correction; the overcorrection issue of the clustered information will also be observed before justifying its’ effectiveness.

Wednesday 25 September

"Widening Participation (WP) and Widening Access (WA) have become important matters over the decades for higher-education, endeavouring to widen opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is highly significant in medicine; considering a diversifying patient-population that is not reflected within the practicing workforce or student-population. Despite efforts towards improvement, there is limited evidence-based knowledge as to what effect this work is actually having, and so this review aims to analyse the impact in this sector. This was conducted via an online search strategy of; educational databases, one medical database and use of grey literature. A critical analysis of the literature was chosen to ensure a depth of study in relevant literature that could also provide a summary. This is particularly important as there is currently a fragmented nature to research in this area and so findings are mainly reviewed in isolation also. A number of key themes were elucidated relating to the perception of impact within WP, as well as factors that may impede on the level of impact seen. These themes explored various aspects of WP such as; the incongruity surrounding definitions of WP and WA, the parity in levels of focus given to barriers for certain WP groups, the effects of WP initiatives on individuals and the analysis of WP efforts for those beyond medical school. Several recommendations are suggested, as action from this would fundamentally serve the health of future populations, by enabling a wider populace to not only enter medicine but participate and flourish within it. "
"Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the most common cancer originating from the nasopharynx. It is highly prevalent in certain regions of South-East Asia and Africa and is strongly associated with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection. However, approximately 95% of the world's population sustains a life-long, asymptomatic infection with EBV. The precise mechanism(s) of EBV-related carcinogenesis are poorly understood, and this project focuses on defining the contribution of the tumour microenvironment to tumour development and the interplay between EBV-positive tumour cells and stromal cells. The project will interrogate the functional implications of tumour-stromal cell interactions in EBV-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma. It will determine whether EBV infected epithelial cells, which secrete TGFb and other factors, can convert normal stromal fibroblasts into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and whether this conversion influences the growth, survival and phenotype of EBV-infected cell lines. Control and EBV-infected epithelial cell lines will be used. Organoids will be created by culturing epithelial cells with normal fibroblasts in Matrigel. Evidence of CAF formation will be evaluated using antibodies specific for aSMA and FAP. The impact of CAF formation on growth and phenotype of EBV-infected epithelial cells will be examined. Epithelial cell-fibroblast interactions will be explored to determine the impact of CAF formation on viral gene expression, cell growth and cellular phenotype. In this way, the contribution of stromal fibroblasts to Nasopharyngeal carcinoma growth and progression will be determined, raising the possibility of using the models as a translational tool for evaluating novel therapeutic interventions. "
"Narratives produced by Walt Disney Company has formed a crucial part of an individual’s upbringing. One such classic narrative is that of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ which has evolved from the original Italian folktale called ‘Sun, Moon and Talia.’ The research method employed is case study wherein we shall analyse the storylines of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Sun, Moon and Talia.’

The original transcript normalised rape, cannibalism and male superiority. The ‘Sleeping Beauty’ created by Disney masked a story involving the same. The drastic editing of the original transcript censors the brutal reality and the underlying tones of gender roles and sexuality. Why were numerous male-centric themes normalised in the original transcript? Why was such a brutal reality masked by Disney?

Using a feministic lens, this paper critically analyses the treatment of the concept of rape, gender roles and the patriarchal structure present in the original folktale and the Disney production. Furthermore, we will observe how the literary device ‘magical realism’ was employed in the transcript and the Disney production to censor problematic female representation.

The transformation in the storyline not only comments on the societal outlook of such issues, but are also reflective of the creative strategies implemented by Disney. It would bring to the forefront the complexity of such creative pieces and their impact on the audience. Moreover, such a research would raise important questions about the aforementioned impact of ‘magical realism’ as a literary device to mask disturbing portrayals in film and writing. "

Background: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) affects 1-2% of reproductive-aged women; in around half of cases no explanation is found. Ovarian Reserve Tests (ORTs) are hypothesised to be indicative of oocyte quantity and quality and could be linked with RPL. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the association between Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), a widely used ORT, and RPL.

Methods: Database searches identified 4386 publications. Two reviewers independently screened for eligibility and the data of 13 studies was extracted for inclusion in qualitative synthesis. Eligibility criteria for quantitative synthesis was; FSH measured in women with unexplained-RPL (URPL) compared to non-RPL or explained-RPL (ERPL) controls. Unpaired t-tests were used to compare means in 10 eligible studies. Four studies were included in meta-analyses; Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals were calculated.

Results: Women with RPL had significantly higher FSH levels when compared to fertile controls with no history of RPL (7.47±2.72, 6.68±1.51, p=0.0001). A significantly higher proportion of women with URPL had elevated FSH(>10mIU/mL) when compared to ERPL controls (33.01% vs 20.50%, p=0.0098). Meta-analysis revealed that in women with elevated FSH, the prevalence of URPL was non-significantly higher than in women with Normal FSH (OR2.69[0.75, 9.62], p=0.13). Subgroup analysis revealed that this higher prevalence was also non-significant when ERPL controls were used but significant compared to non-RPL controls.

Conclusions: Current literature indicates some association between FSH and RPL but further research is required to establish whether elevated FSH levels are predictive of further pregnancy losses in women with unexplained RPL.
Co-infection is common, research suggests that infection with more than one pathogen can influence the health outcomes of infection. In this epidemiology focused research project, we will ask whether interactions between pathogens influence host health. Specifically, we will test for associations between the 5 viral respiratory pathogens (Bovine Herpesvirus-1, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, Bovine Adenovirus-3 and Parainfluenza virus-3) and host immunity and body condition. We will use data collected from a longitudinal study in a cattle population in South Africa.
Virtual reality systems allow people to experience a wide range of novel and immersive environments. In this study we will use the HTC Vive virtual reality system, a laser scanned environment and LEAP motion hardware to: i) examine individual‘s perceived levels of immersion as a function of their proneness to spontaneous anomalous body experiences as measured by the Cardiff Anomalous Perception Scale (CAPS), ii) evaluate the influence of seeing representations of one‘s hands and fingers moving in the virtual space as compared with less active feedback on perceived immersion, and iii) determine the possible interaction between type of feedback, people‘s levels of embodiment and perceived immersion. We hypothesize that: i) those with higher CAPS scores will report higher levels of immersion potentially due to a weaker and more flexible body/self-representation, ii) the use of higher fidelity hand/finger visual feedback will lead to a greater sense of immersion, and iii) have a larger effect on those with lower CAPS scores. Implications for predicting and increasing the perceived level of immersion in VR environments are discussed.
"The circadian biological clock is ultimately responsible for orchestrating most physiological processes in our body, such as rest/activity patterns. A consequence is that drugs can have very different effects if taken at different times. This concept is called Chronotherapy and is increasingly appreciated in the clinic now that the molecular mechanisms are partly understood. My project will investigate how the biological clock modulates the function of the blood brain barrier (BBB). The brain is a tightly regulated environment that imports nutrients from blood but prevents entry of many other substances, such as therapeutic drugs. However, there is increasing evidence that the tightness of the BBB throughout the day, and therefore at times it is more permeable to drugs. Understanding how the BBB changes in tightness over the day is an important step towards improving the treatment of diseases such as brain cancer or Alzheimer's."
"Mechanical ventilation is a primary life-support technology used in intensive care units. However, clinical data shows an alarmingly high rate of mortality in hospitalized patients, due to ventilator-induced lung injuries (VILIs). There is an ongoing debate at the pinnacle of research, whether several factors that lead to VILI should be approached as a unified concept of ‘mechanical power' or not. Advances in biomedical systems engineering allow different hypothesis and therapies to be tested in a controlled and safe environment, through computational models and simulations. Physiological simulators implement dynamic mathematical models of the human body and create virtual patients using real data collected from ICUs. Hence, different scenarios can be tested on patients with different affections. My research uses the pulmonary component of the Nottingham Physiological Simulator (NPS) to validate current best-practice of mechanical ventilation, in line with the new focus on lung-protective approach strategies. It simulates different modes of ventilation on virtual models of both healthy and diseased human lungs, with a special focus on how the Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ARDS), a common pulmonary affection, further impairs normal breathing and hinders safe ventilation modes. Higher ventilatory settings are required to maintain optimal oxygenation levels, increasing the risk of developing VILI. Furthermore, the project explores links between the unified approach of ‘mechanical power' and the likelihood of developing VILI. The project concludes on how the simulator can be further modified to test therapies that are believed by clinicians to be beneficial in diseased lungs, such as Prone Position ventilation."
This research project aims to explore disabled students' experiences of the socially constructed threshold of ‘disabled enough'; examining the meaning they attribute to the phrase, their perceptions of the factors influencing whether an individual is characterised as disabled enough, and the barriers faced by students not deemed disabled enough. This is a previously unexplored area of scholarship, despite extensive research on disabled students' broader experiences and the concept of ‘disabled enough' receiving a great deal of media attention. Influenced by methodological debates within disability studies, it draws on data from eight semi-structured interviews and uses thematic analysis to elucidate disabled students' thoughts on the matters at hand, finding that overall, the concept of ‘disabled enough' is a significant aspect of disabled students' lives and contributes to an already disabling HE environment. While the study is on a small scale and has subsequent limitations, it retains significant potential to inform significant changes to policy within HE institutions and create an awareness of the harmful and disabling nature of the concept of ‘disabled enough', discouraging its use and liberating disabled students from its harms.
" Student wellbeing at University is a growing public health concern. Poor student wellbeing is known to negatively affect academic success, but this relationship is not direct, and several factors can impact and explain this relationship. The current study aims to investigate how different levels of wellbeing impacts students learning strategies, resilience, motivation and prior academic success of students. We collected data from 144 students, ranging from 18.0 - 58.0 years (M = 20.73, SD = 3.70), studying in over 20 UK Universities. Participants filled in questionnaires measuring wellbeing, resilience, learning strategies and motivation. Contrary to prior research, we found that students with lower wellbeing scores were more resilient and had better learning strategies, but wellbeing was unrelated to motivation or achievement. Therefore, students who have lower wellbeing in this current study have the necessary attributes to thrive at University. However, there are other factors that this study did not consider, such as gender and physical health disabilities, that can impact students University experience. This is something that further studies can investigate. Overall, Universities must do more to enhance the wellbeing of those struggling. "
In recent years, Hungary has gained a reputation in Europe for majority party Fidesz's approach to managing migration and Hungarian national identity. At a time where tensions around immigration continue to grow in Europe and around the world, and when the UN aims to ‘end statelessness by 2024', this research will aim to identify the groups most at risk of statelessness (legally or in effect) in Hungary, in examining Hungarian law, government policy and statistics alongside collecting testimony from affected individuals, local authorities, activists and politicians in open-question, semi-structured interviews. This research will explore the human and the administrative sides of the global statelessness crisis in Hungary, especially in light of EU migratory and statelessness policy and recent political developments, assessing the extent of the problem in the region. It will also consider how a person may find themselves ‘stateless', what the practical implications statelessness or insecure immigration status are on individuals, and questioning, in a world where gaining recognised legal nationality is being treated as the most effective means of fighting statelessness, if this is the best or even a desirable solution for some of the communities affected in the Hungarian context. The research will end by questioning what lessons we can learn from the Hungarian case study when considering our own countries' roles in the global refugee crisis and ending statelessness, concluding my reflections and recommendations from my time spent in Budapest. The data collected could be used for further research designed to suggest solutions.
"The aim of this study is to explore the literature surrounding patient feedback and the value it holds for medical students in the hopes that it will inform a larger study. Patient feedback forms a central aspect in the personal and professional development of doctors. The General Medical Council's directive for medical schools, Tomorrow's Doctors, outlines an expectation that students engage with patient feedback throughout their education. Additionally, multisource feedback is a validated tool for driving development and encouraging self-reflection and, for medical students, should include patients as a feedback source. 5 electronic databases were searched for studies which explored the views of medical students on receiving patient feedback. A total of 707 studies were identified in the initial search of which 236 were duplicates. 471 studies were screened using titles and/or abstracts. Subsequently, 83 were assessed for full-text eligibility. In total, 10 studies were included in the final review. Our results found that students had a positive response to receiving feedback from patients and reported it had a positive impact on their learning. The most useful feedback students received was qualitative in nature, as this allowed patients to be more specific. Non-specific positive feedback was considered less useful while students expressed concerns about the impact negative feedback could have on their confidence. Based on our findings the ideal patient feedback tool would allow for free text and ask specifically about areas for student improvement. This would increase patient involvement in medical education while addressing outcomes set by the GMC."
This research follows a Biophysics approach to engineer a novel type of neuromorphic computing in living bacteria, achieved via the development of a new genetic device that acts as a non-linear transcriptional logic gate able to adjust its gene expression based on its chemical history. This results in the foundation of a new type of artificial intelligence that is not based nor dependent on computer software but on the collective capacity of genetically modified bacterial ecosystems. This is done by engineering gene circuits that function as logic gates, which allow the bacteria to store analog information and to communicate through synthetic synapses. The investigation approach uses iterative cycles of computational Biophysics design, synthetic Biology construction and high-throughput characterisation to adjust the system so it can perform as a general-purpose modular memory machine. The inter-device communication allows for the design of an advanced cognitive computing hardware made of living cells able to be programmed through reinforcement learning. The ability of the microorganisms to behave as functional artificial neural networks is proven by the development of expertise in the game of Tic-Tac-Toe through self-play and reinforcement learning. The outcome will allow for the development of a precise experimental protocol for culturing the bacteria and for exploring their cognitive limits such as their ability to learn, attention and memory retention under different conditions. Furthermore, the experimental model can be re-designed to accommodate for further AI-specific implementations such as mastering more complex, well-known games (Hexapawn, AtariGO) or pattern generation and discrimination.
"Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death globally and can lead to patients having strokes and heart attacks. High cholesterol levels are one of the main predisposing factors for CVD, causing atherosclerotic plaques to build up within arteries which can break off and cause these life changing events. Statin therapy is the main pharmacological method of reducing cholesterol levels. They are normally prescribed to patients who have a QRISK score > 10, but current media coverage has suggested that statins are not being prescribed and taken appropriately. QRISK scores predict how likely a patient is likely to develop CVD over the next 10 years. This study aims to assess if statins are being prescribed in conjunction with the relevant Q-RISK scores. This project took data from a practice covering 6000 patients and compared the prescription of statins against current QOF and NICE guidelines. Of that practice population, 1760 had undergone QRISK scoring, with 1014 scoring > 10. 691 of those patients had subsequently been prescribed a statin. Only 31 patients completed the recommended pathway and declined statins. A further 18 had statins contraindicated or did not tolerate the drug. 2 patients were deemed high risk and had no statin prescribed. This study demonstrates that, in this practice, statins are prescribed according to NICE guidelines and other practices could learn from simple ways of improving statin prescription such as GP education and investing in computer software that can flag high risk patients. "
"Objective: Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy specific disease. The aim of this study was to Identify and compare the characteristics and feto-maternal outcomes of Early-onset (EOPE) and Late-onset pre-eclampsia (LOPE) in Lagos, Nigeria Design: Retrospective cohort study. Method: Patients diagnosed with pre-eclampsia between January 2017 and December 2017 were identified from hospital records, using an inclusion and exclusion criteria.This study included 62 participants from two hospitals. Results were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Results: The incidence of pre-eclampsia was 2.6%. EOPE was more common (58.1%). 97.2% of EOPE and 100% of LOPE were classified as severe. 58.3% of women with EOPE and 42.3% of women with LOPE were not booked at a hospital at the time of delivery. 61.1% of EOPE and 15.3% of LOPE gave birth via cesarean section. 27.8% of EOPE and 3.8% LOPE gave birth to children with very low birth weight. Intrauterine death happened in 36.1% of EOPE. Neonatal morbidity was 22.2% in EOPE and 15.3% in LOPE. Common neonatal complications were asphyxia and sepsis. Maternal morbidity was 22.2% in EOPE and 23.1% in LOPE. Common maternal complications were eclampsia and post-partum hemorrhage. Conclusions: The incidence of pre-eclampsia in this study was higher than other studies carried out in Nigeria. Severe pre-eclampsia was common in EOPE and LOPE, and maternal and neonatal complications were high in both groups. There is a need for better patient antenatal education, to increase antenatal booking rates and aid early presentation of pre-eclampsia, thus reducing the rates of severe pre-eclampsia. "
Stoicism and Epicureanism are philosophies originating in the Hellenistic period, each espousing a series of spiritual exercises intended to engender a conversion in one’s way of living, resulting in an improvement of one’s general wellbeing. In recent years, they have seen a resurgence in popularity; they have also been largely popularised. Many of the philosophical theories comprising these philosophies are dubitable and unconvincing; thus posing the problem: : ‘How can Epicureanism and Stoicism be deemed legitimate, provided the dubitability of their philosophical theories? Furthermore, attempts to untwine the philosophical theories from the spiritual exercises have been unfruitful. To resolve the problematic, I propose a pragmatic approach, whereby the philosophical theories comprising Stoicism and Epicureanism are assessed according to their practical consequences. I also discuss the implications of this approach.
"This project will investigate the attitudes and opinions of residents who live around the prison Wormwood Scrubs. The understanding of the institution, as a complex, represents its position as a vehicle for mass incarceration and ideological significance for the majority of society. It has been recognised in academic literature that the Criminal Justice System (CJS) of England and Wales, sometimes has a simplified and reactionary response to crime. Perhaps, greater public awareness of the CJS combined with local knowledge and powers can help reorient the debate away from punitive measures and curtail criminal activities by addressing the unique specificities of each crime. Although, some have suggested various programmes of community integration and intervention in response to crime, rarely have these been put to local society. These responses need to be taken into account if we wish to effectively pursue such action. By interviewing residents who live around the prison I hope to gain an understanding of how they would view solutions to criminal behaviour, and their attitudes towards criminals whose presence within the prison may affect their ideas on these approaches. The method will be qualitative, semi-structured interviews. The intention is to understand the complex ideas residents bring to bear upon criminal justice policy and their experiences of living near the prison. . "