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Session 18A-18C 14:00-15:30 // day two

18A - Globalization and InequalityJoint University of Warwick and Monash University South Afircs

Mobile money refers to the services allowing users to transfer funds, make payments, and store money using their mobile phone, being particularly popular in Africa. This paper investigates the effect of mobile money on saving behaviour in low-developed Sub-Saharan Africa, using the 2014 World Bank Global Findex. The motivation of this study lies behind the staggering figure of 2 billion people from the developing world without access to the financial system, yet with a mobile phone (Boston Consulting Group, 2011). Without proper saving tools, the unbanked are left vulnerable to unforeseen situations and unable to accumulate wealth, plan, and thus escape the poverty trap. The study aims to contribute to the scanty literature body on this subject. It uses two alternative econometric estimation techniques, i.e. The Linear Probability Model (LPM) and the Probit Model, finding that the influence of mobile money on the probability of saving is significant and positive and depends on whether an individual has an account at a financial institution. Ceteris paribus, a mobile-money user is around 13 percentage points more likely to save than a mobile-money non-user, given having no account at a financial institution. However, given having an account at a financial institution, a mobile money user is around 4 (LPM)/8 (Probit) percentage points more likely to save than a mobile-money non-user. The results carry deep implications for local central banks` regulatory and monetary policies, as well as for guiding local governments, who can promote mobile money services and ensure they are secure and affordable.
Low to middle income countries disproportionally bear the burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic although the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly decreased acquired immunodeficiency syndrome- (AIDS) -related mortality and prolonged HIV/AIDS survival rates. The developing world is concurrently affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs); cancer, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). The overwhelming double epidemic is accompanied by manifestations of simultaneous HIV/AIDS infections and both AIDS-Defining Malignancies (ADM); cervical carcinoma, central nervous system melanoma, Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) as well as Non-AIDS-Defining Malignancies (NADM); Hodgkin’s lymphoma, squamous/basal cell carcinomas, melanoma, hepatic- renal- and anal neoplasms, as well as head- neck- and lung cancer. A progressively concomitantly infected populace may depend on the concurrent use of HAART and AC to treat the comorbidities. This study aims to present a clinical trial assessing the efficacy and toxicity of the concurrent use of HIV/AIDS therapy HAART, and antineoplastic chemotherapy (AC) with and without radiotherapy in patients concurrently infected with HIV/AIDS and either ADM or NADM. A multicentre, Phase IV, randomized controlled trial will be conducted. The HIV/AIDS patients will be stratified according to cancer type into ADM and NADM. The patients will be randomized into either Group A (concurrently on HAART and AC), Group B (concurrently on HAART and radiotherapy only) or Group C (concurrently on HAART, AC and radiotherapy) to be compared against each group and Non- HIV/AIDS cancer patients on either AC or AC and radiotherapy. An adverse drug-drug interaction is anticipated in the co-administration of HAART and AC as both protease inhibitors (PI) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) and AC are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes. However, it is predicted that a customised malignancy management strategy may avert adverse drug interactions and be beneficial if based on the patient’s individual liver and renal functions, bone marrow suppression level, mitochondrial dysfunction and genotype. The conclusions of this article may inform efficient methods of the clinical management of concomitant HIV/AIDS and ADM and/or NADM infected patients, to enhance the efficacy of HAART in the context of AC, curtail toxic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic drug interactions, and consequently improve the patient’s prognosis.
Is it possible to refine Rawls' Law of Peoples to respond to the changing nature of global society?

Global justice is an increasingly prevalent issue in an increasingly interconnected world. However, it is relatively unexamined by political theorists, whose work has mostly been concentrated inside the state.
John Rawls' Law of Peoples offers a view of what a just world might look like but it has been badly received because it is seen as statist, conservative and a reinforcement of the status quo. I will defend Rawls' caution to a certain extent because I agree with his view that it is illiberal to impose liberal values on others. However, I want to show that if greater global consensus is present it is possible for the Law of Peoples to be refined and demand more ambitious terms of global justice.
I will give a theoretical analysis of Rawls' theory and suggest it can be split into three distinct parts:
1: A theory of duty: to promote peace
2: A general theory of value: peace is legitimate stability amongst peoples (peoples representing organised societies, not individuals)
3: A specific theory of value: the criterion for legitimacy 
I will apply Alan Ryan's method of distinguishing between political thought to lay out the scope of refinement. He proposes that we ask the question, 'How should we govern ourselves?' and then distinguish political thought depending on what the thinker claims is the ultimate political goal (e.g. Happiness, freedom, justice etc). The ultimate political goal in the Law of Peoples is peace, defined by the general theory of value as; legitimate stability amongst peoples. Any changes made to what peace is, would change the ultimate political goal. Thus changes made to the general theory of value I will consider an abandonment of the theory. However changes to the theory of duty; how to promote peace, and the specific theory of value; how to define legitimacy, can be made without changing the ultimate political goal. Thus I will consider this a refinement. 
I will conclude that it is possible to refine the Law of Peoples to reflect changes in the nature of global society. Furthermore, it will continue to be applicable unless there arises enough consensus for a world state. In this case the theory would have to be abandoned because the ultimate political goal would be legitimate stability amongst persons (individuals) and not peoples.
By structuring his theory in this way Rawls created an inbuilt flexibility. Consequently, although his opinions may have been conservative, his theory is progressive. Rawls believed that 'the correct regulative principle for a thing depends on the nature of that thing'. The thing, global society, is changing, so must the principles of global justice.

Economic Inequality around the globe is on the rise as the gap between the poorest and richest has increased. Global trade-facilitating institutions appear to be failing in their function of promoting global economic security and cooperation and even appear to perpetuate this inequality rather than tackling it. Thus it remains apparent that there is a clear need for reform of the existing framework of tacking global inequality that arises out of trade as the problem is truly endemic and effects people around the globe.

My research focuses on potential reforms for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by identifying the system’s deleterious impact on equality and suggesting how it can be changed to prevent this from occurring. By focusing on potential changes and failures in the past to prevent crises, including the role of the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the predecessor of the WTO), which resulted in further economic injustice, the research plans to diagnose where the Organisation has failed and identify ways of how it can change its approaches to be more effective.

This is not a call to completely dismantle the WTO as doing so could potentially unravel the framework of tackling inequality completely. However, by questioning and illuminating potential reforms, the research hopes to indeed take on an almost epidemiological approach in order to provide an incentive for an effective dialogue on governing global trade; pathing the way to a more economically just world.

18B - Pushing the Boundaries University of Warwick and University of North Carolina, Greensboro

If two coherent sounds with slightly different frequencies are presented to different ears, the brain integrates them and creates a third - “binaural beat”. ABB are linked to alpha brain waves, which are electrical patterns from within the brain ranging from 8 to 14 Hz. Previous research by Kraus & Porubanova (2015) demonstrated their enhancing effects on working memory. If our hypothesis, that the performance in the ABB condition will be significantly greater than in the silence condition when memorizing words, if supported, ABB would have a positive effect on long-term memory and learning.

Therefore pointing to a whole range of new implementations like tackling learning and memory deficiencies. The research aim is to investigate whether alpha brain waves used in alpha binaural beats, presented to an individual, enhance their long-term memory and learning effectiveness in a naturalistic setting. The sample used was opportunistic – only University of Warwick students were allowed to participate. Furthermore, the method had an experimental design where a total of 63 participants were divided into two groups: the experimental “ABB” condition (consisting of 30 participants) and the control “silence” condition (consisting of 33 participants); both memorized a list of 50 English words. Performance was assessed through the amount of words correctly recalled – this was done in silence. The findings were inconsistent with previous research or the hypothesis. The conclusion is: ABB had no effect on long-term memory performance. Klimesch (2012) demonstrated ABB are accountable for the retrieval process. Therefore, another condition should be introduced, where individuals memorize words with ABB and recall them also with ABB.

Many Gram-positive bacteria contain an accessory gene regulator (agr) system, which is a quorum sensing system regulated by a small cyclic peptide called the auto-inducing peptide, or AIP. Although the structure of each AIP is similar across species, each has a different sequence, which can allow AIPs to act as quorum sensing inhibitors when introduced to another species. This has been shown in previous studies. To continue exploring such cross communications of quorum sensing systems--and the agr system in general--the sequence and structure of each AIP must be known. If was the goal of this study to use high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify the AIP produced by Staphylococcus caprae and explore its potential to inhibit the production of AIP by Staphylococcus aureus. A synthetic peptide of the same structure predicted for the S. caprae AIP caused potent inhibition of the S. aureus quorum sensing system.
Getting accurate information is vital in all surveys, especially in public health research where respondents are often faced with sensitive and personal questions. Even though there are assurances of anonymity, subjects often lie and give out untruthful responses that directly lead to problematic response bias. One method that can reduce this bias is the randomized response technique (RRT) that was introduced by Warner (1965). Randomized response models are used to increase the response rate in surveys which have questions that are sensitive either because of a social-religious stigma attached to them or because the response has potential legal implications. In such models, the bias can potentially be removed through allowing the interviewer to maintain privacy by using a randomization device. Greenberg et al. (1969) extended this model by introducing an unrelated question element to the model. In the unrelated-question model, a predetermined proportion of subjects are randomly asked to answer an innocuous unrelated question with a known prevalence. In turn, the researcher is not sure which question any particular respondent answered. In such models, the responses can be unscrambled at the aggregate level but not at individual level. Unrelated-question RRT models have been used in many field surveys and are fond to be effective. / / / The main objective of our research project is to examine variations of the unrelated question model by using indirect sampling. We will present both theoretical and simulation results to show that the new variations work better that the original unrelated question model.
Copy number variations (CNVs) are additions or deletions in the number of times a DNA sequence appears in the genome. CNVs are a large source of genetic diversity, but are also linked to various genetic disorders, such as cancer. Research exists regarding the relationship between CNVs and several types of cancer, but studies are often isolated and small. Further research is necessary to identify correlations between CNVs and genetic disorders. Algorithms exist that analyse raw CNV data, but they tend to over correct or under correct for outliers. This work attempts to create a new algorithm that uses the piecewise nature of copy numbers to maintain a smooth plot while remaining sensitive enough to detect true jump points in the data. The new model incorporates a weight and tuning parameters. The weight serves to “prioritize” the observed data points, increasing the robustness, while the tuning parameters control how sensitive the model is to break points. The proposed model uses the LASSO regression analysis, and adapts it to incorporate the new tuning parameters and weights. The algorithm is constructed and, using R, simulations are run with data from previous cancer studies. The proposed model returns a plot that displays the piecewise nature of CNVs more accurately than the previous LASSO method, and detects break points just as precisely. Additional simulations with larger data sets will be conducted to ensure the accuracy of this new method. Future research should aim to identify recurrent CNV regions and pinpoint the implications of these recurrences.

18C - Enviornment, Evolution and Systems University of Warwick, Baruch College, CUNY, and University of Leeds

The notion of habitability, or the ability of a planet to sustain life, has historically been applied to planetary systems utilising data from exoplanet Astronomy. More recently it has been expanded to include the influence of galactic structure over the age of the Universe, extending the question of habitability into the realms of Cosmology. Philosophical questions like these, as well as the search for extra-terrestrial life, have placed cosmic habitability firmly in the public interest, often dominating popular-Science.

Rather than focus on the specific properties of particular star systems, we will ask how the cosmic history of star formation affects habitability from the earliest epochs of the universe - up until now. This will inevitably include the effects of highly energetic events such as gamma ray bursts, and the evolution of energetic explosions such as supernovae, on the ability of the Universe to host life. We hope to place constraints on the genesis and lifetime of the first civilizations, and on the wider environment of galactic structure.

This will be achieved using high resolution Cosmological simulations of galaxy formation, extending current models of habitability to larger length scales for the first time. In particular, these simulations will follow the evolution of metallicity in galaxies, subject to constraints on hazardous radiation, mapping the time-evolution of Galactic Habitable Zones (GHZs). This will probe the cosmic evolution of life alongside the evolution of the Universe itself, providing genuine insight into the origins of life in all galaxies, throughout all of time.

The question this research project seeks to answer is how environmental attitudes and public engagement in environmental policies varies from country to country in Latin America, and to what extent such variations are related to an economic dependence upon fossil fuels. In the three main oil-producing states of Latin America (Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil) there is a mismatch between the levels of concern about climate change, and the political will for climate action. There exists a contradiction between widespread resistance to extractivism at the local level on the one hand, and support for extravitivism – which funds most social projects – at the political level, on the other hand. Having reviewed the literature and examined polling data to frame country-level attitudes towards climate change, this research project will use qualitative methods in the form of unstructured personal interviews with respondents in Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico to elucidate the ways in which economic involvement feeds into political engagement with environmental polices. Chile will also be used as the main independent variable, due to its low levels of oil production. In spite of Latin America having the second largest reserves of oil outside the Middle East, the mainstream discourse around climate change and fossil fuels frequently focuses only on the USA and China. This research project will shed light on the political reasons preventing Latin America’s government from diversifying the region’s economic model away from extractivism, especially as the region’s economy grows and its middle class expands.
Mitochondrial genes are being used to track and understand the tree of life. Typical mitochondrial DNA contains 37 genes of which 22 are tRNAs. Transfer RNA ranges from 76 to 90 nucleotides in length and links mRNA to the amino acid sequence of protein. Using mitochondrial tRNA to understand the evolution of organisms tends to fall short because tRNAs consists of an evolution all in itself. This evolution though is not always evident. tRNAs do not always progress through evolution and sometimes they switch identities, a process called tRNA remolding. During this process, there is a duplication and single nucleotide mutation in the anticodon triplet in which the tRNA may change to a different tRNA. This has been seen in the tRNA leucine (LUUR). This tRNA has an isoaccepting LCUN codon and through the process of remolding (rather than evolution) it takes the role of the other tRNA. In our lab, we are studying the process of tRNA remolding in marine snails. Marine snails are used because the order mitochondrial genome has been the same for the last thousand years. This is recent considering that the divergence between Homo sapiens and Xenopus (the frog) is about 350 million years and the signature of its evolution would have been erased. We initially analyzed the potential causes of tRNA remolding after generating a matrix of over 500 sequences from 24 species. Twenty of the 22 tRNAs resulted in a non-monophyletic group (an ancestral taxon and all its descendants separated from the root with two or more cuts). We are now focusing on comparing individual tRNAs to find whether these non-monophyletic groups progressed through evolution or whether actual cases of tRNA remolding occurred in some tRNAs. Results of this study will further optimize our understanding of DNA evolution and the evolution of the tree of life.
Methane seeps are deep water environments on continental shelves where methane and other hydrocarbons escape the sediment. Many animals living there form symbiotic relationships with bacteria that can process methane, and hydrogen sulfide derived from methane, to produce energy. Methane seep deposits in the geological record are identified based on their being lenses of carbonate minerals with distinctive strong negative δC13 signatures, having specialised fauna, and being found in deep water mudstone sediments. Although absent from modern methane seep communities, brachiopods belonging to a particular group called Dimerelloidea are common in Mesozoic and Palaeozoic seep deposits. Three new species of dimerelloid brachiopods discovered in Lower Jurassic rocks from the Engadine in Switzerland (Sulser and Furrer, 2008) are not associated with in situ carbonate deposits; they were transported during the Jurassic into the deep water sediments from which they were collected. We undertook an investigation attempting to determine if these brachiopods originated from methane seeps. Using petrographic thin sections from two species, we studied variations in sediment composition in relation to the brachiopods. We also investigated the preservation of fossils and sediments, undertaking carbonate staining to highlight recrystallised areas as alteration can affect oxygen isotope values. Selected samples underwent carbon and oxygen isotope analysis. In one species we found that sediment protected inside the brachiopods is distinct from that outside, both isotopically and compositionally, and is likely to represent life environment. However the δC13 values obtained from all sediments are not negative enough to infer a seep habitat for these brachiopods.