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

18A - Society and Well Being University of Warwick, Monash University South Africa, and University of Sussex

The American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) is regarded as a key figure of the Modernist movement, with his distinctive writing style emulated to this day. My research aims to explore how psychological dissociation (detachment from ones surroundings, identity, etc.) informs and appears in his famous narrative style. The phenomenon of dissociation as a response to trauma is well documented, as is Hemingway’s role as a writer of traumatic war narratives. What has not been explored in detail, however, is dissociation as a fundamental aspect of his narrative style, not just in his explicit war stories, but throughout his entire body of work. I have combined textual analysis and critical readings with contemporary trauma research to explore how Hemingway communicates what is, for many, uncommunicable. I give particular focus to his ‘Chapters’, Cubist-like vignettes first published in 1924, which, compared to much of his later work, remain relatively unexamined. I also make reference to numerous other texts of his, both published and unpublished, to demonstrate the pervasiveness of what I call his dissociative style.

The challenge of narrating trauma, of speaking the unspeakable, is not just a literary one – it is one affecting all areas of society. Many believe that finding a way to communicate and make sense of trauma is key to allowing survivors to heal. Therefore, it is essential that we understand the mechanisms – such as fragmented, repetitive imagery, dreamlike imagery, narrowing of focus and shifting, inconsistent adverbs – used by writers who manage to convey traumatic experience. Understanding Hemingway’s dissociative style illuminates a powerful device for communicating trauma, which may be used by other survivors seeking to process their own experiences.

ISIS is a heated topic of debate in today’s time. Its emergence has always been a mystery to most people across the world. ISIS is a recent phenomenon, and thus has limited literature and articles. As such, no one knows yet what exactly led to its formation or who heads it. People speculate and do have a rough idea about the causes and reasons for its emergence but it is still not clandestine, and we still do NOT have a clear answer. In this research, we looked at various authors who have given a detailed description about ISIS in their books.

As a methodology, we used different journals, and the resulting conclusion will be based on the tallying the results in each journal. It provided clarity and gave us the idea of why and how ISIS emerged in the Middle-Eastern countries only. The uniqueness of this research lies in the fact that we tried to find reasons and answers to the questions that every students wants.

We often hear in the news about the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, but the fact that ISIS is one of the major reasons behind it is ignored most of the time. In this research, we have tried to come up with the answers to questions that are raised by students – and this makes the research study distinct from the previous studies about the emergence of the Islamic States.

Paedophilia is reported on by the media mainly as an issue of criminality, yet when considering its definition as a psychiatric disorder, this changes. This research examines how and why reports on paedophilia often disregard its classification as a mental disorder, and hence aims to positively change the currently damaging social perceptions towards non-offending paedophiles.

The number of publications denoting paedophilia and related crimes such as Samantha Ashenden’s, ‘Policing Perversion: The contemporary governance of Paedophilia’ (2002) escalated around the turn of the twenty-first century. However, the topic remains of prominence to a contemporary society, reflected by Kieran McCartan’s, ‘Media Constructions of, and Reactions to, Paedophilia in Society’, (2014).

Two Louis Theroux documentaries are examined as a sample of modern media, (‘A Place for Paedophiles’, 2009; ‘Among the Sex Offenders’, 2014) in order to deduce how broadcasters portray issues. Results show a solely ‘negative’ portrayal of paedophilia, forming a damaging and biased belief about the issue. Such a media portrayal of this topic has also been shown to influence the way the public respond to this issue in their daily lives, and provoke a damaging effect on the health of non-offenders.

This paper argues that an explanation for this damage is due to a lack of public recognition of paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder, rather than a crime. From here therefore, it is important for researchers in this field to examine what the next steps in developments of social policy should be. Furthermore, as issues around criminal acts associated with paedophilia have been shown to cause moral panic within society, there is a necessity for wider social change. Hence, this research highlights both: a greater need for focus on protocols for treating sexual offenders after they have been released from prison, and the need for addressing the aims of sentencing.

In the WHO’s 2016 SDG Progress report, Gender Inequality (GI) was identified as an SDG problem that not only impacted the mental and physical health of women but also their agency in terms of economic contribution and GDP. The World Bank’s review of interventions addressing Violence Against Women (VAW) concluded that community and societal interventions were relatively ineffective. Application of Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to the topic of GI and VAW provides vital insight into why interventions are ineffective, especially with regards to experiences and fear of abuse. By performing a meta-analysis drawing on past qualitative and quantitative research of the topic, this research seeks to establish: 1) How VAW and GI cultural norms can be viewed as the product of underlying societal values and beliefs; 2) How SCT can be used as a framework to understand underlying mechanisms that can perpetuate or prevent these cultural norms; and the key focus is 3) How workplace interventions could serve as a solution to impacting cultural norms of GI (and indirectly, VAW) in a positive manner in the future. Workplace interventions can be better incentivised with research showing gender equality’s association with improved economic performance. These interventions are also a less intrusive way to modify the environment in the attempt to impact societal cognition of women and men alike. This impact would, in theory, alter behaviour so that women begin to model increased positive economic agency, as based on the SCT – which could affect overall agency of women.

Keywords: Economic agency, meta-analysis, social cognitive theory, Violence Against Women, gender inequality, sustainable development goals, societal intervention

18B - Medicine & the Brain University of Leeds and Baruch College, CUNY (with Warwick audience)

Thiotropocin, tropodithietic acid (TDA), and thiosulfenin make up a group of antibiotic compounds, derived from the P. gallaeciensis bacteria, called natural tropone products. They are tautomers (two or more molecules that interconvert rapidly via an atom/group transfer) that share structural similarities. The similarities and present controversial debate regarding the structural identity of the natural tropones led to the examination of the transformation of one molecule to the next (i.e. from thiotropocin → TDA → thiosulfenin). We used computational methods to calculate how much energy was required for each transformation/reaction and to achieve a potential energy surface (energy diagram) for the overall conversion process. Comparing how much energy was needed for each conversion helped us address which step in the process is most energetically feasible (i.e. which step is most likely to occur). After obtaining a summarised potential energy surface with energetics calculated for the entire conversion process, interestingly, the first step listing the conversion of thiotropocin→TDA resulted in a barrierless process requiring no energy (0kcal/mol), indicating that this step is most feasible. Determining which step in the conversion process is most feasible, which thus indicates which natural tropone product is most likely to exist in nature, allows for further understanding and development of this antibiotic in the pharmaceutical industry.

It has been questioned whether pyriproxyfen, a juvenile hormone analog, rather than the Zika virus has been the cause of microcephaly since 2015, as the time period as the time period of the insecticide change match the increase in microcephaly cases (Evans et al., 2016). Juvenile hormone analogs are compounds that disrupt the developmental and reproductive processes of insects and crustaceans by altering gene expression (De Kort, Koopmanschap and Vermunt, 1997; Park and Allaby, 2013). Studies have shown that microcephaly, a birth defect characterised by abnormally small brain size, can be caused by exposure to harmful substances during pregnancy as well as genetic causes (Hussain et al., 2016; Gilmore and Walsh, 2013).

This study sought to examine if the expression of any genes thought to be associated with microcephaly are modified by juvenile hormone and its analogs. Juvenile hormone analog targets were determined using microarray analysis comparing changes in RNA expression from Kc cells, brains and whole pupae treated with methoprene. An extensive literature search was completed for a compilation of genes associated with microcephaly. Drosophila orthologs of microcephaly related human genes, scored by similarity in DNA sequences, were used for comparison with genes targeted by juvenile hormone analogs. Two genes, Wdr62 and TUB1G, overlapped. Studies have shown that both Wdr62 and TUB1G are centrosomal genes and important for cell division. We will next test to see if these genes are also targets of pyriproxyfen to better understand if this insecticide affects genes related to mammalian microcephaly.

Aim

This study investigates the feasibility of creating a wireless Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) sensor that could be placed in an incontinence pad to detect urinary metabolites. A metabolite is a compound found in urine such as glucose or nitrites. Previous literature has shown the creation of similar devices but none so far have been wireless.

Clinical relevance

Current devices for monitoring urinary metabolites are simplistic and rely on the patient’s ability to provide an adequate sample. For some patients, such as those with incontinence problems, providing a urinary sample can be difficult. Therefore the main aim of the project was to incorporate a sensor to detect the presence of urinary metabolites and correctly diagnose infections.

Results

During the dry condition, the nitrite sensor produced no response; in the wet condition, it produced a small response and, in the nitrite positive condition, it produced a significantly larger response.

Conclusions

The preliminary data suggests that a wireless RFID nitrite sensor is feasible; however, further research needs to be conducted into the sensors validity and safety. Advancements in the project include collection of data from commercially available moisture-detecting RFID tags and their suitability to the application of incontinence.

The limitation in tackling the back-pain problem that occurs to the majority of the adults is that the inability to conduct studies on healthy specimens of the human spine. While computational analysis is a promising preclinical testing tool, the models often require robust validation. Recent studies have focused on the importance of the fibre directionality in the finite element (FE) models of the intervertebral disc (IVD), while estimating the geometry of the annulus fibrosis (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP) of the IVD. However, little to no research has focused on the sensitivity of the models to geometrical changes in AF and NP, which heavily relies on the assumption that the IVD behaves accordingly regardless of the shape and location of the NP. This lack of validation suggests uncertainty to the measured outputs.

The aim of this works is to investigate the role of the NP on the sensitivity of the FE models to changes in geometry, location and mechanical properties of the NP.

Image-based FE models of the IVD from computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images capturing the NP will be created. The geometry of the NP will be validated experimentally using photographic evidence displaying the NP. Since the NP is composed of gel-like fluid, it is expected that some discrepancies will be seen between the FE models in terms of disc bulge and reaction forces. The results will highlight the importance of capturing the geometry of the NP, and replicate it in the FE models. Ideally, a more accurate computational representation of the NP based on medical images reduces the necessity to conduct studies on healthy specimens of the human spine.

Towards the end of the study, the decision of the inclusion of a far more realistic geometry of the NP and the impact of it on the current FE models will be determined.