• 1 H, 13 C, 15 N backbone resonance assignment for the 1–164 construct of human XRCC4

      Cabello-Lobato, Maria Jose; Schmidt, Christine K.; orcid: 0000-0002-8363-7933; email: christine.schmidt@manchester.ac.uk; Cliff, Matthew J.; orcid: 0000-0002-7482-0234; email: matthew.cliff@manchester.ac.uk (Springer Netherlands, 2021-06-25)
      Abstract: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) represent the most cytotoxic DNA lesions, as—if mis- or unrepaired—they can cause cell death or lead to genome instability, which in turn can cause cancer. DSBs are repaired by two major pathways termed homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). NHEJ is responsible for repairing the vast majority of DSBs arising in human cells. Defects in NHEJ factors are also associated with microcephaly, primordial dwarfism and immune deficiencies. One of the key proteins important for mediating NHEJ is XRCC4. XRCC4 is a dimer, with the dimer interface mediated by an extended coiled-coil. The N-terminal head domain forms a mixed alpha–beta globular structure. Numerous factors interact with the C-terminus of the coiled-coil domain, which is also associated with significant self-association between XRCC4 dimers. A range of construct lengths of human XRCC4 were expressed and purified, and the 1–164 variant had the best NMR properties, as judged by consistent linewidths, and chemical shift dispersion. In this work we report the 1H, 15 N and 13C backbone resonance assignments of human XRCC4 in the solution form of the 1–164 construct. Assignments were obtained by heteronuclear multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. In total, 156 of 161 assignable residues of XRCC4 were assigned to resonances in the TROSY spectrum, with an additional 11 resonances assigned to His-Tag residues. Prediction of solution secondary structure from a chemical shift analysis using the TALOS + webserver is in good agreement with the published X-ray crystal structures of this protein.
    • 18 Years of Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (MRONJ) Research: Where Are We Now?—An Umbrella Review

      Sacco, Roberto; orcid: 0000-0002-8413-1053; email: roberto.sacco@manchester.ac.uk; Calasans-Maia, Monica Diuana; orcid: 0000-0001-5759-7926; email: monicacalasansmaia@gmail.com; Woolley, Julian; orcid: 0000-0001-7879-8815; email: julianwoolley@gmail.com; Akintola, Oladapo; email: dapoakintola@nhs.net; de Almeida Barros Mourão, Carlos Fernando; orcid: 0000-0001-5775-0222; email: mouraocf@gmail.com; Moraschini, Vittorio; email: vitt.mf@gmail.com; Kushnerev, Evgeny; email: evgeny.kushnerev@manchester.ac.uk; Acocella, Alessandro; email: alessandroacocella@yahoo.it; Obisesan, Olamide; email: oobisesan@nhs.net; Yates, Julian; email: julian.yates@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-09-23)
      Background: Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a condition affecting patients exposed to medications used to treat benign and malignant conditions of bone tissue. Many studies have highlighted that ONJ is a severe condition, which is very challenging to manage, especially in individuals with oncologic disease. The aim of this umbrella review is to analyze all available interventional and non-interventional systematic reviews published on medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) and summarize this evidence. Material and methods: A multi-database search (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL) was performed to identify related multi-language papers published from January 2003 until June 2021. An additional manual search was also performed in systematic review registries (PROSPERO, INPLASY, JBI and OFS) to identify possible missing reviews. Data were extracted from relevant papers and analyzed according to the outcomes selected in this review. Results: The search generated 25 systematic reviews eligible for the analysis. The total number of patients included in the analysis was 80,840. Of the reviews, 64% (n = 16) were non-interventional and 36% (n = 9) were interventional. Study designs included case series 20.50% (n = 140), retrospective cohort studies 12.30% (n = 84) and case reports 12.20% (n = 83). It was unclear what study design was used for 277 studies included in the 25 systematic reviews. Conclusions: The data reviewed confirmed that the knowledge underpinning MRONJ in the last 20 years is still based on weak evidence. This umbrella review highlighted a widespread low-level quality of studies and many poorly designed reviews.
    • 3D DESI-MS lipid imaging in a xenograft model of glioblastoma: a proof of principle

      Henderson, Fiona; Jones, Emrys; Denbigh, Joanna; Christie, Lidan; Chapman, Richard; Hoyes, Emmy; Claude, Emmanuelle; Williams, Kaye J.; Roncaroli, Federico; McMahon, Adam; email: adam.mcmahon@manchester.ac.uk (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2020-10-05)
      Abstract: Desorption electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) can image hundreds of molecules in a 2D tissue section, making it an ideal tool for mapping tumour heterogeneity. Tumour lipid metabolism has gained increasing attention over the past decade; and here, lipid heterogeneity has been visualised in a glioblastoma xenograft tumour using 3D DESI-MS imaging. The use of an automatic slide loader automates 3D imaging for high sample-throughput. Glioblastomas are highly aggressive primary brain tumours, which display heterogeneous characteristics and are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It is therefore important to understand biochemical contributions to their heterogeneity, which may be contributing to treatment resistance. Adjacent sections to those used for DESI-MS imaging were used for H&E staining and immunofluorescence to identify different histological regions, and areas of hypoxia. Comparing DESI-MS imaging with biological staining allowed association of different lipid species with hypoxic and viable tissue within the tumour, and hence mapping of molecularly different tumour regions in 3D space. This work highlights that lipids are playing an important role in the heterogeneity of this xenograft tumour model, and DESI-MS imaging can be used for lipid 3D imaging in an automated fashion to reveal heterogeneity, which is not apparent in H&E stains alone.
    • A Bayesian Estimation of Child Labour in India

      Kim, Jihye; email: jihye.kim@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Olsen, Wendy; Wiśniowski, Arkadiusz (Springer Netherlands, 2020-06-18)
      Abstract: Child labour in India involves the largest number of children in any single country in the world. In 2011, 11.8 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 were main workers (those working more than 6 mo) according to the Indian Census. Our estimate of child labour using a combined-data approach is slightly higher than that: 13.2 million (11.4–15.2 million) for ages 5 to 17. There are various opinions on how best to measure the prevalence of child labour. In this study, we use the International Labour Organization (ILO)‘s methodology to define hazardousness and combine it with the most recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)‘s time thresholds for economic work and household chores. The specific aims of this study are to estimate the prevalence of child labour in the age group 5 to 17 and to suggest a combined-data approach using Bayesian inference to improve the accuracy of the child labour estimation. This study combines the National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment 2011/12 and the India Human Development Survey 2011/12 and compares the result with the reported figures for the incidence of child labour from the Indian Census. Our unique combined-data approach provides a way to improve accuracy, smooth the variations between ages and provide reliable estimates of the scale of child labour in India.
    • A Beautiful Law for the Beautiful Game? Revisiting the Football Offences Act 1991

      Pearson, Geoff; email: geoff.pearson@manchester.ac.uk (SAGE Publications, 2021-04-30)
      This article revisits the operation of the Football (Offences) Act (FOA) 1991 30 years after its enactment. FOA was introduced following recommendations of the Taylor Report 1990 as part of a raft of measures looking to balance spectator safety against the threat of football crowd disorder. Providing targeted and largely uncontroversial restrictions on football spectators, and seemingly popular with police and clubs, FOA criminalises throwing missiles, encroaching onto the pitch and engaging in indecent or ‘racialist’ chanting. It is argued here that FOA has struggled to keep pace with developments in football spectator behaviour and management, that it is increasingly used in a manner unanticipated by the legislators and that it faces new challenges in enforcement as a result of developing human rights law. The FOA may still provide a useful tool for football spectator management, but it needs substantial amendment to remain relevant to the contemporary legal and football landscape.
    • A breakthrough from 60 years ago: “General nature of the genetic code for proteins” (1961)

      Cobb, Matthew; orcid: 0000-0002-8258-4913; email: cobb@manchester.ac.uk (2021-06-07)
      Abstract: In 1961, Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner, together with two Cambridge colleagues, published an article in Nature that used simple genetic experiments to demonstrate that the genetic code was almost certainly based on groups of three nucleotides. Six decades later, this article continues to be an inspiration to scientists due to its elegant argumentation and its use of simple, powerful experimentation to reveal fundamental truths about the organisation of living matter. This essay explores how and why the research was carried out, showing how the aims of the experiment gradually changed over time, and highlighting how the intense intellectual interactions between Crick and Brenner contributed to this model of scientific endeavour.
    • A case of chain propagation: α-aminoalkyl radicals as initiators for aryl radical chemistry.

      Constantin, Timothée; orcid: 0000-0001-5376-1557; Juliá, Fabio; orcid: 0000-0001-8903-4482; Sheikh, Nadeem S; orcid: 0000-0002-0716-7562; Leonori, Daniele; orcid: 0000-0002-7692-4504 (2020-10-20)
      The generation of aryl radicals from the corresponding halides by redox chemistry is generally considered a difficult task due to their highly negative reduction potentials. Here we demonstrate that α-aminoalkyl radicals can be used as both initiators and chain-carriers for the radical coupling of aryl halides with pyrrole derivatives, a transformation often employed to evaluate new highly reducing photocatalysts. This mode of reactivity obviates for the use of strong reducing species and was also competent in the formation of sp<sup>2</sup> C-P bonds. Mechanistic studies have delineated some of the key features operating that trigger aryl radical generation and also propagate the chain process.
    • A case of chain propagation: α-aminoalkyl radicals as initiators for aryl radical chemistry.

      Constantin, Timothée; orcid: 0000-0001-5376-1557; Juliá, Fabio; orcid: 0000-0001-8903-4482; Sheikh, Nadeem S; orcid: 0000-0002-0716-7562; Leonori, Daniele; orcid: 0000-0002-7692-4504 (2020-10-20)
      The generation of aryl radicals from the corresponding halides by redox chemistry is generally considered a difficult task due to their highly negative reduction potentials. Here we demonstrate that α-aminoalkyl radicals can be used as both initiators and chain-carriers for the radical coupling of aryl halides with pyrrole derivatives, a transformation often employed to evaluate new highly reducing photocatalysts. This mode of reactivity obviates for the use of strong reducing species and was also competent in the formation of sp C-P bonds. Mechanistic studies have delineated some of the key features operating that trigger aryl radical generation and also propagate the chain process. [Abstract copyright: This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.]
    • A case of employers never letting a good crisis go to waste? An investigation of how work becomes even more precarious for hourly paid workers under Covid

      Herman, Eva; email: eva.herman@manchester.ac.uk; Rubery, Jill; Hebson, Gail (2021-08-18)
      Abstract: The fragility of employers' voluntary, business‐case‐based improvements to employment standards for front‐line hourly paid staff is revealed in two organisational case studies from the art and care sectors. For different reasons, Covid provided a catalyst for employers to enact passive and active exit strategies that made work more precarious.
    • A Case Study of a Negotiated Tender within a Small-to-Medium Construction Contractor: Modelling Project Cost Variance

      Ellis, James; email: james_ellis1998@me.com; Edwards, David John; email: drdavidedwards@aol.com; Thwala, Wellington Didibhuku; email: didi-bhukut@uj.ac.za; Ejohwomu, Obuks; orcid: 0000-0001-7098-8999; email: obuks.ejohwomu@manchester.ac.uk; Ameyaw, Ernest Effah; email: ernest.ameyaw@northumbria.ac.uk; Shelbourn, Mark; email: mark.shelbourn@bcu.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-06-18)
      This research explores the failure of competitively tendered projects in the UK construction industry to procure the most suited contractor(s) to conduct the works. Such work may have equal relevance for other developed nations globally. This research seeks to teach clients and their representatives that “lowest price” does not mean “best value”, by presenting a case study of a successfully negotiated tender undertaken by a small-to-medium enterprise (SME) contractor; SME studies are relatively scant in academic literature. By applying the “lessons learnt” principle, this study seeks to improve future practice through the development of a novel alternative procurement option (i.e., negotiation). A mixed philosophical stance combining interpretivism and pragmatism was used—interpretivism to critically review literature in order to form the basis of inductive research to discuss negotiation as a viable procurement route, and pragmatism to analyse perceptions of tendering and procurement. The methods used follow a three-stage waterfall process including: (1) literature review and pilot study; (2) quantitative analysis of case study data; and (3) qualitative data collection via a focus group. Our research underscores the need to advise clients and their representatives of the importance of understanding the scope of works allowed within a tender submission before discounting it based solely on price. In addition, we highlight the failings of competitive tendering, which results in increased costs and project duration once the works commence on site. These findings provide new contemporary insight into procurement and tendering in the construction industry, with emphasis on SME contractors, existing relationships, and open-book negotiation. This research illustrates the adverse effects of early cost estimates produced without first securing a true understanding of project buildability and programming. Our work concludes with a novel insight into an alternative procurement option that involves early SME contractor involvement in an open-book environment, without the need for a third-party cost control.
    • A catalysis-driven artificial molecular pump.

      Amano, Shuntaro; orcid: 0000-0001-6017-6823; Fielden, Stephen D P; orcid: 0000-0001-7883-8135; Leigh, David A; orcid: 0000-0002-1202-4507; email: david.leigh@manchester.ac.uk (2021-06-23)
      All biological pumps are autonomous catalysts; they maintain the out-of-equilibrium conditions of the cell by harnessing the energy released from their catalytic decomposition of a chemical fuel . A number of artificial molecular pumps have been reported to date , but they are all either fuelled by light or require repetitive sequential additions of reagents or varying of an electric potential during each cycle to operate . Here we describe an autonomous chemically fuelled information ratchet that in the presence of fuel continuously pumps crown ether macrocycles from bulk solution onto a molecular axle without the need for further intervention. The mechanism uses the position of a crown ether on an axle both to promote barrier attachment behind it upon threading and to suppress subsequent barrier removal until the ring has migrated to a catchment region. Tuning the dynamics of both processes enables the molecular machine to pump macrocycles continuously from their lowest energy state in bulk solution to a higher energy state on the axle. The ratchet action is experimentally demonstrated by the progressive pumping of up to three macrocycles onto the axle from bulk solution under conditions where barrier formation and removal occur continuously. The out-of-equilibrium [n]rotaxanes (characterized with n up to 4) are maintained for as long as unreacted fuel is present, after which the rings slowly de-thread. The use of catalysis to drive artificial molecular pumps opens up new opportunities, insights and research directions at the interface of catalysis and molecular machinery.
    • A Comparative Assessment of Machine-Learning Techniques for Forest Degradation Caused by Selective Logging in an Amazon Region Using Multitemporal X-Band SAR Images

      Kuck, Tahisa Neitzel; orcid: 0000-0003-0952-7055; email: tahisa@ieav.cta.br; Sano, Edson Eyji; orcid: 0000-0001-5760-556X; email: edson.sano@embrapa.br; Bispo, Polyanna da Conceição; orcid: 0000-0003-0247-8449; email: polyanna.bispo@manchester.ac.uk; Shiguemori, Elcio Hideiti; orcid: 0000-0001-5226-0435; email: elcio@ieav.cta.br; Silva Filho, Paulo Fernando Ferreira; orcid: 0000-0003-0556-3470; email: silvafilho@ieav.cta.br; Matricardi, Eraldo Aparecido Trondoli; email: ematricardi@unb.br (MDPI, 2021-08-24)
      The near-real-time detection of selective logging in tropical forests is essential to support actions for reducing CO2 emissions and for monitoring timber extraction from forest concessions in tropical regions. Current operating systems rely on optical data that are constrained by persistent cloud-cover conditions in tropical regions. Synthetic aperture radar data represent an alternative to this technical constraint. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of three machine learning algorithms applied to multitemporal pairs of COSMO-SkyMed images to detect timber exploitation in a forest concession located in the Jamari National Forest, Rondônia State, Brazilian Amazon. The studied algorithms included random forest (RF), AdaBoost (AB), and multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN). The geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) of logged trees and the LiDAR point clouds before and after selective logging were used as ground truths. The best results were obtained when the MLP-ANN was applied with 50 neurons in the hidden layer, using the ReLu activation function and SGD weight optimizer, presenting 88% accuracy both for the pair of images used for training (images acquired in June and October) of the network and in the generalization test, applied on a second dataset (images acquired in January and June). This study showed that X-band SAR images processed by applying machine learning techniques can be accurately used for detecting selective logging activities in the Brazilian Amazon.
    • A Comprehensive Review of the Composition, Nutritional Value, and Functional Properties of Camel Milk Fat

      Bakry, Ibrahim A.; email: ibrahimbakry@zu.edu.eg; Yang, Lan; email: sunnylan07@126.com; Farag, Mohamed A.; orcid: 0000-0001-5139-1863; email: mohamed.alifarag@aucegypt.edu; Korma, Sameh A.; orcid: 0000-0001-8385-2599; email: sameh.hosny@zu.edu.eg; Khalifa, Ibrahim; orcid: 0000-0002-7648-2961; email: Ibrahiem.khalifa@fagr.bu.edu.eg; Cacciotti, Ilaria; orcid: 0000-0002-3478-6510; email: ilaria.cacciotti@unicusano.it; Ziedan, Noha I.; email: n.ziedan@chester.ac.uk; Jin, Jun; email: wangxg1002@gmail.com; Jin, Qingzhe; email: jqzwuxi@163.com; Wei, Wei; orcid: 0000-0001-7836-7812; email: weiw@jiangnan.edu.cn; et al. (MDPI, 2021-09-13)
      Recently, camel milk (CM) has been considered as a health-promoting icon due to its medicinal and nutritional benefits. CM fat globule membrane has numerous health-promoting properties, such as anti-adhesion and anti-bacterial properties, which are suitable for people who are allergic to cow’s milk. CM contains milk fat globules with a small size, which accounts for their rapid digestion. Moreover, it also comprises lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids concurrent with higher levels of essential fatty acids than cow milk, with an improved lipid profile manifested by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it is rich in phospholipids, especially plasmalogens and sphingomyelin, suggesting that CM fat may meet the daily nutritional requirements of adults and infants. Thus, CM and its dairy products have become more attractive for consumers. In view of this, we performed a comprehensive review of CM fat’s composition and nutritional properties. The overall goal is to increase knowledge related to CM fat characteristics and modify its unfavorable perception. Future studies are expected to be directed toward a better understanding of CM fat, which appears to be promising in the design and formulation of new products with significant health-promoting benefits.
    • A Comprehensive Review of the Composition, Nutritional Value, and Functional Properties of Camel Milk Fat.

      Bakry, Ibrahim A; Yang, Lan; Farag, Mohamed A; orcid: 0000-0001-5139-1863; Korma, Sameh A; orcid: 0000-0001-8385-2599; Khalifa, Ibrahim; orcid: 0000-0002-7648-2961; Cacciotti, Ilaria; orcid: 0000-0002-3478-6510; Ziedan, Noha I; Jin, Jun; Jin, Qingzhe; Wei, Wei; orcid: 0000-0001-7836-7812; et al. (2021-09-13)
      Recently, camel milk (CM) has been considered as a health-promoting icon due to its medicinal and nutritional benefits. CM fat globule membrane has numerous health-promoting properties, such as anti-adhesion and anti-bacterial properties, which are suitable for people who are allergic to cow's milk. CM contains milk fat globules with a small size, which accounts for their rapid digestion. Moreover, it also comprises lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids concurrent with higher levels of essential fatty acids than cow milk, with an improved lipid profile manifested by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it is rich in phospholipids, especially plasmalogens and sphingomyelin, suggesting that CM fat may meet the daily nutritional requirements of adults and infants. Thus, CM and its dairy products have become more attractive for consumers. In view of this, we performed a comprehensive review of CM fat's composition and nutritional properties. The overall goal is to increase knowledge related to CM fat characteristics and modify its unfavorable perception. Future studies are expected to be directed toward a better understanding of CM fat, which appears to be promising in the design and formulation of new products with significant health-promoting benefits.
    • A consideration of publication-derived immune-related associations in Coronavirus and related lung damaging diseases

      Geifman, Nophar; orcid: 0000-0003-2956-6676; email: nophar.geifman@manchester.ac.uk; Whetton, Anthony D. (BioMed Central, 2020-08-03)
      Abstract: Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome virus SARS-CoV-2, a close relative of the SARS-CoV virus, is the cause of the recent COVID-19 pandemic affecting, to date, over 14 million individuals across the globe and demonstrating relatively high rates of infection and mortality. A third virus, the H5N1, responsible for avian influenza, has caused infection with some clinical similarities to those in COVID-19 infections. Cytokines, small proteins that modulate immune responses, have been directly implicated in some of the severe responses seen in COVID-19 patients, e.g. cytokine storms. Understanding the immune processes related to COVID-19, and other similar infections, could help identify diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Methods: Here we examine data of cytokine, immune cell types, and disease associations captured from biomedical literature associated with COVID-19, Coronavirus in general, SARS, and H5N1 influenza, with the objective of identifying potentially useful relationships and areas for future research. Results: Cytokine and cell-type associations captured from Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms linked to thousands of PubMed records, has identified differing patterns of associations between the four corpuses of publications (COVID-19, Coronavirus, SARS, or H5N1 influenza). Clustering of cytokine-disease co-occurrences in the context of Coronavirus has identified compelling clusters of co-morbidities and symptoms, some of which already known to be linked to COVID-19. Finally, network analysis identified sub-networks of cytokines and immune cell types associated with different manifestations, co-morbidities and symptoms of Coronavirus, SARS, and H5N1. Conclusion: Systematic review of research in medicine is essential to facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventions. In a fast moving pandemic the approach taken here will identify trends and enable rapid comparison to the literature of related diseases.
    • A Cross-Sectional Study Investigating the Relationship Between Alexithymia and Suicide, Violence, and Dual Harm in Male Prisoners

      Hemming, Laura; Shaw, Jennifer; Haddock, Gillian; Carter, Lesley-Anne; Pratt, Daniel; email: daniel.pratt@manchester.ac.uk (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-04-29)
      Background: Suicide and violence are common within male prisoners. One suggested risk factor for both behaviors is alexithymia. Alexithymia describes a deficit in identifying and describing feelings and is also related to externally oriented thinking. This study aimed to explore the relationship between alexithymia, suicide, violence and dual harm in male prisoners. Methods: Eighty male prisoners were recruited from three prisons. Participants were asked to complete a battery of questionnaires including measures of alexithymia (TAS-20), suicide ideation (ASIQ), suicide behavior, violence ideation (SIV), violence behavior, depression (BDI-II), hopelessness (BHS), impulsivity (DII) and anger (NAS-PI). Regression analyses and ANOVAS were conducted to assess the association between alexithymia (and its subcomponents) with six outcomes; suicide ideation, suicide behavior, violence ideation, violence behavior, dual harm ideation and dual harm behavior. Results: Alexithymia was a univariate predictor of suicide ideation, though was not a significant predictor when considered in a multivariate model. Alexithymia was a significant multivariate predictor of suicide behavior. Alexithymia was not a significant multivariate predictor of violence ideation or behavior. There were no significant differences in alexithymia or subscales between those with suicide ideation/behavior alone, violence ideation/behavior alone and those with dual harm ideation/behavior. Conclusion: In male prisoners, alexithymia appears an important univariate predictor of suicide and violence, though the current study suggests no significant contribution above other well-known correlates of suicide and violence.
    • A Crystalline Tri-thorium Cluster with σ-Aromatic Metal-Metal Bonding.

      Boronski, Josef T; orcid: 0000-0002-1435-6337; Seed, John A; orcid: 0000-0002-3751-0325; Hunger, David; orcid: 0000-0001-8653-9581; Woodward, Adam W; van Slageren, Joris; orcid: 0000-0002-0855-8960; Wooles, Ashley J; Natrajan, Louise S; orcid: 0000-0002-9451-3557; Kaltsoyannis, Nikolas; email: nikolas.kaltsoyannis@manchester.ac.uk; Liddle, Stephen T; orcid: 0000-0001-9911-8778; email: steve.liddle@manchester.ac.uk (2021-08-23)
      Metal-metal bonding is a widely studied area of chemistry , and has become a mature field spanning numerous d transition metal and main group complexes . In contrast, actinide-actinide bonding is predicted to be weak , being currently restricted to spectroscopically-detected gas-phase U and Th , U H and U H in frozen matrices at 6-7 Kelvin (K) , or fullerene-encapsulated U . Conversely, attempts to prepare thorium-thorium bonds in frozen matrices produced only ThH (n = 1-4) . Thus, there are no isolable actinide-actinide bonds under normal conditions. Computational investigations have explored the likely nature of actinide-actinide bonding , concentrating on localised σ-, π-, and δ-bonding models paralleling d transition metal analogues, but predictions in relativistic regimes are challenging and have remained experimentally unverified. Here, we report thorium-thorium bonding in a crystalline cluster, prepared and isolated under normal experimental conditions. The cluster exhibits a diamagnetic, closed-shell singlet ground-state with a valence-delocalised three-centre-two-electron σ-aromatic bond that is counter to the focus of previous theoretical predictions. The experimental discovery of actinide σ-aromatic bonding adds to main group and d transition metal analogues, extending delocalised σ-aromatic bonding to the heaviest elements in the periodic table and to principal quantum number six, and constitutes a new approach to elaborating actinide-actinide bonding. [Abstract copyright: © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.]
    • A Decade and a Half of Fast Radio Burst Observations

      Caleb, Manisha; email: manisha.caleb@manchester.ac.uk; Keane, Evan; email: evan.keane@gmail.com (MDPI, 2021-11-20)
      Fast radio bursts (FRBs) have a story which has been told and retold many times over the past few years as they have sparked excitement and controversy since their pioneering discovery in 2007. The FRB class encompasses a number of microsecond- to millisecond-duration pulses occurring at Galactic to cosmological distances with energies spanning about 8 orders of magnitude. While most FRBs have been observed as singular events, a small fraction of them have been observed to repeat over various timescales leading to an apparent dichotomy in the population. ∼50 unique progenitor theories have been proposed, but no consensus has emerged for their origin(s). However, with the discovery of an FRB-like pulse from the Galactic magnetar SGR J1935+2154, magnetar engine models are the current leading theory. Overall, FRB pulses exhibit unique characteristics allowing us to probe line-of-sight magnetic field strengths, inhomogeneities in the intergalactic/interstellar media, and plasma turbulence through an assortment of extragalactic and cosmological propagation effects. Consequently, they are formidable tools to study the Universe. This review follows the progress of the field between 2007 and 2020 and presents the science highlights of the radio observations.
    • A Decade of Mighty Lipophagy: What We Know and What Facts We Need to Know?

      Academic Editor: Tatone, Carla; email: carla.tatone@univaq.it; Khawar, Muhammad Babar; orcid: 0000-0002-1812-0591; email: babarkhawar@yahoo.com; Abbasi, Muddasir Hassan; orcid: 0000-0001-7856-7013; email: dr.muddasir@uo.edu.pk; Rafiq, Mussarat; orcid: 0000-0002-0300-5339; email: mussaratrafiq369@gmail.com; Naz, Naila; orcid: 0000-0002-8864-0250; email: naila.naz@manchester.ac.uk; Mehmood, Rabia; orcid: 0000-0002-9356-2787; email: rabia.wzd@gmail.com; Sheikh, Nadeem; orcid: 0000-0001-9503-9538; email: nadeem.zool@pu.edu.pk (Hindawi, 2021-11-05)
      Lipids are integral cellular components that act as substrates for energy provision, signaling molecules, and essential constituents of biological membranes along with a variety of other biological functions. Despite their significance, lipid accumulation may result in lipotoxicity, impair autophagy, and lysosomal function that may lead to certain diseases and metabolic syndromes like obesity and even cell death. Therefore, these lipids are continuously recycled and redistributed by the process of selective autophagy specifically termed as lipophagy. This selective form of autophagy employs lysosomes for the maintenance of cellular lipid homeostasis. In this review, we have reviewed the current literature about how lipid droplets (LDs) are recruited towards lysosomes, cross-talk between a variety of autophagy receptors present on LD surface and lysosomes, and lipid hydrolysis by lysosomal enzymes. In addition to it, we have tried to answer most of the possible questions related to lipophagy regulation at different levels. Moreover, in the last part of this review, we have discussed some of the pathological states due to the accumulation of these LDs and their possible treatments under the light of currently available findings.
    • A deep learning approach to building an intelligent video surveillance system

      Xu, Jie; orcid: 0000-0002-2287-9971; email: jie.xu-4@student.manchester.ac.uk (Springer US, 2020-10-07)
      Abstract: Recent advances in the field of object detection and face recognition have made it possible to develop practical video surveillance systems with embedded object detection and face recognition functionalities that are accurate and fast enough for commercial uses. In this paper, we compare some of the latest approaches to object detection and face recognition and provide reasons why they may or may not be amongst the best to be used in video surveillance applications in terms of both accuracy and speed. It is discovered that Faster R-CNN with Inception ResNet V2 is able to achieve some of the best accuracies while maintaining real-time rates. Single Shot Detector (SSD) with MobileNet, on the other hand, is incredibly fast and still accurate enough for most applications. As for face recognition, FaceNet with Multi-task Cascaded Convolutional Networks (MTCNN) achieves higher accuracy than advances such as DeepFace and DeepID2+ while being faster. An end-to-end video surveillance system is also proposed which could be used as a starting point for more complex systems. Various experiments have also been attempted on trained models with observations explained in detail. We finish by discussing video object detection and video salient object detection approaches which could potentially be used as future improvements to the proposed system.