• Bringing the doctoral thesis by published papers to the Social Sciences and the Humanities: A quantitative easing? A small study of doctoral thesis submission rules and practice in two disciplines in the UK

      Rigby, John; orcid: 0000-0001-9833-5965; email: John.Rigby@manchester.ac.uk; Jones, Barbara; orcid: 0000-0003-2717-6076 (Springer International Publishing, 2020-05-15)
      Abstract: This paper examines how an alternative to the traditional monograph form of the doctoral thesis is emerging that reflects a new approach to the valuation and designation of scientific outputs. This new approach, based on co-citation as underpinning principle for the measurement of knowledge structures, values knowledge and knowledge producers in increasingly quantitative terms. Such a change aligns with wider institutional market-based approaches that have been transforming higher education sectors world-wide. Under these influences, which prioritize quantification and tangibility of output, with quality equated with citation, the thesis, a key institution of the university, is now subject to pressures to transform and be constituted by a series of publishable papers, referred to by a variety of terms, the most common being ‘Thesis by Published Papers’, although ‘Journal Format Thesis’, ‘Alternative Format Thesis’, and ‘Integrated Thesis’ are also used. While the scientific disciplines have traditionally been closer to this paper-based model, albeit with significant national variations, Social Sciences and Humanities subjects are now being affected. We present evidence from a small study of the UK higher education sector of organisational regulations in 54 departments concerning doctoral degree submission formats in two disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences (History and Sociology). We investigate the prevalence of this new practice, investigate some of its key aspects, and identify a number of questions for future research on this emerging and important topic.
    • Carbon nanotubes and their polymeric composites: the applications in tissue engineering

      Huang, Boyang; orcid: 0000-0001-5669-349X; email: boyang.huang@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2020-10-10)
      Abstract: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), with unique graphitic structure, superior mechanical, electrical, optical and biological properties, has attracted more and more interests in biomedical applications, including gene/drug delivery, bioimaging, biosensor and tissue engineering. In this review, we focus on the role of CNTs and their polymeric composites in tissue engineering applications, with emphasis on their usages in the nerve, cardiac and bone tissue regenerations. The intrinsic natures of CNTs including their physical and chemical properties are first introduced, explaining the structure effects on CNTs electrical conductivity and various functionalization of CNTs to improve their hydrophobic characteristics. Biosafety issues of CNTs are also discussed in detail including the potential reasons to induce the toxicity and their potential strategies to minimise the toxicity effects. Several processing strategies including solution-based processing, polymerization, melt-based processing and grafting methods are presented to show the 2D/3D construct formations using the polymeric composite containing CNTs. For the sake of improving mechanical, electrical and biological properties and minimising the potential toxicity effects, recent advances using polymer/CNT composite the tissue engineering applications are displayed and they are mainly used in the neural tissue (to improve electrical conductivity and biological properties), cardiac tissue (to improve electrical, elastic properties and biological properties) and bone tissue (to improve mechanical properties and biological properties). Current limitations of CNTs in the tissue engineering are discussed and the corresponded future prospective are also provided. Overall, this review indicates that CNTs are promising “next-generation” materials for future biomedical applications.
    • Comparing the post-WWII publication histories of oceanography and marine geoscience

      Mitchell, Neil C.; orcid: 0000-0002-6483-2450; email: neil.mitchell@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2020-05-26)
      Abstract: Oceanography and marine geosciences are closely related subjects, though they have had differing influences. The UK, which has experienced the financial benefits of North Sea oil and gas, while also having an extensive fishing industry and a science base linked to other English-speaking countries and European countries, potentially illustrates some changing influences and collaborative tendencies well. In this article, differences in article publication rates and collaborative tendencies, both globally and for the UK, are examined using the Web of Science™, Scopus™ and Georef™ for the period 1946–2018. The results show that publication rates of global oceanography articles rose exponentially faster than all global scientific publishing from the mid-1960s to 1980. Subsequently, the exponential rate of increase slowed though has remained faster than global science publishing. Global Marine Geoscience publication rates increased into the late 1980s, but have since declined. UK oceanography has roughly followed global trends, though its share of global oceanographic publishing declined from 28% in the 1950s to 8% in 2018. UK Marine Geoscience publishing has also generally followed global trends for that field. However, its share of global publications abruptly increased from 4.9% (average 1960–1980) to 13.2% by 1990, largely due to articles arising from UK participation in the Deep-Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program. Oceanography and marine geoscience have also experienced strongly differing histories of collaborative articles over the last four decades. While oceanographic articles co-authored with researchers in other countries have been steadily increasing as a share of total UK Oceanography articles, those of marine geoscience peaked in 1990 and have since declined, though remained at high levels similar to those experienced by 2018 in Oceanography. Comparing global publication rates in both fields with measures of data and sample collection at sea suggests fundamental changes occurred in the way research was carried out. For example, Marine Geoscience publication rates were strongly correlated with geophysical track-line distances for the decade until ~1970, but were inversely correlated for the decade after then. This reflects, for example, the development of plate tectonics, which partly involved analysis of existing marine geophysical data, improved equipment capabilities and the increased role of scientific drilling.
    • Contractible, hyperbolic but non-CAT(0) complexes

      Webb, Richard C. H.; email: richard.webb@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2020-10-26)
      Abstract: We prove that almost all arc complexes do not admit a CAT(0) metric with finitely many shapes, in particular any finite-index subgroup of the mapping class group does not preserve such a metric on the arc complex. We also show the analogous statement for all but finitely many disc complexes of handlebodies and free splitting complexes of free groups. The obstruction is combinatorial. These complexes are all hyperbolic and contractible but despite this we show that they satisfy no combinatorial isoperimetric inequality: for any n there is a loop of length 4 that only bounds discs consisting of at least n triangles. On the other hand we show that the curve complexes satisfy a linear combinatorial isoperimetric inequality, which answers a question of Andrew Putman.
    • Effects of Ageing on Aortic Circulation During Atrial Fibrillation; a Numerical Study on Different Aortic Morphologies

      Deyranlou, Amin; Miller, Christopher A.; Revell, Alistair; Keshmiri, Amir; orcid: 0000-0003-4747-277X; email: a.keshmiri@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2021-03-02)
      Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) can alter intra-cardiac flow and cardiac output that subsequently affects aortic flow circulation. These changes may become more significant where they occur concomitantly with ageing. Aortic ageing is accompanied with morphological changes such as dilation, lengthening, and arch unfolding. While the recognition of AF mechanism has been the subject of numerous studies, less focus has been devoted to the aortic circulation during the AF and there is a lack of such investigation at different ages. The current work aims to address the present gap. First, we analyse aortic flow distribution in three configurations, which attribute to young, middle and old people, using geometries constructed via clinical data. We then introduce two transient inlet flow conditions representative of key AF-associated defects. Results demonstrate that both AF and ageing negatively affect flow circulation. The main consequence of concomitant occurrence is enhancement of endothelial cell activation potential (ECAP) throughout the vascular domain, mainly at aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta, which is consistent with some clinical observations. The outcome of the current study suggests that AF exacerbates the vascular defects occurred due to the ageing, which increases the possibility of cardiovascular diseases per se.
    • Energy-entropy prediction of octanol–water logP of SAMPL7 N-acyl sulfonamide bioisosters

      Falcioni, Fabio; email: fabio.falcioni@manchester.ac.uk; Kalayan, Jas; Henchman, Richard H.; orcid: 0000-0002-0461-6625; email: rhen7213@uni.sydney.edu.au (Springer International Publishing, 2021-07-10)
      Abstract: Partition coefficients quantify a molecule’s distribution between two immiscible liquid phases. While there are many methods to compute them, there is not yet a method based on the free energy of each system in terms of energy and entropy, where entropy depends on the probability distribution of all quantum states of the system. Here we test a method in this class called Energy Entropy Multiscale Cell Correlation (EE-MCC) for the calculation of octanol–water logP values for 22 N-acyl sulfonamides in the SAMPL7 Physical Properties Challenge (Statistical Assessment of the Modelling of Proteins and Ligands). EE-MCC logP values have a mean error of 1.8 logP units versus experiment and a standard error of the mean of 1.0 logP units for three separate calculations. These errors are primarily due to getting sufficiently converged energies to give accurate differences of large numbers, particularly for the large-molecule solvent octanol. However, this is also an issue for entropy, and approximations in the force field and MCC theory also contribute to the error. Unique to MCC is that it explains the entropy contributions over all the degrees of freedom of all molecules in the system. A gain in orientational entropy of water is the main favourable entropic contribution, supported by small gains in solute vibrational and orientational entropy but offset by unfavourable changes in the orientational entropy of octanol, the vibrational entropy of both solvents, and the positional and conformational entropy of the solute.
    • Global Constitutionalism and Democracy: the Case of Colombia

      Thornhill, Chris; orcid: 0000-0002-2286-5967; email: chris.thornhill@manchester.ac.uk; de Araújo Calabria, Carina Rodrigues (Springer International Publishing, 2020-07-29)
      Abstract: Focusing on the case of Colombia, this article sets out a sociological examination of constitutions marked by strong, activist judiciaries, by entrenched systems of human rights protection, and by emphatic implementation of global human rights law. Contra standard critiques of this constitutional model, it argues that such constitutions need to be seen as creating a new pattern of democracy, which is often distinctively adapted to structures in societies in which the typical patterns of legitimation and subject formation required for democratic government were obstructed. In polities with such constitutions, legal institutions and norm setters have at times assumed the status of functional equivalents for more typical democratically mandated actors and institutions. In such polities, further, global law assumes essential importance as it creates new sources of normative authorization for legislation and stimulates new lines of articulation between government and society. The article concludes that analysis of such polities, exemplified by Colombia, shows that the common categories of democratic-constitutional analysis are no longer always adequate for understanding current tendencies in democratic formation, and they can easily undermine democracy itself.
    • Impact of heart failure severity on ventricular assist device haemodynamics: a computational study

      McElroy, Michael; Xenakis, Antonios; Keshmiri, Amir; orcid: 0000-0003-4747-277X; email: a.keshmiri@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2020-08-29)
      Abstract: Purpose: This computational fluid dynamics study investigates the necessity of incorporating heart failure severity in the preoperative planning of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) configurations, as it is often omitted from studies on LVAD performance. Methods: A parametric study was conducted examining a common range of LVAD to aortic root flow ratios (LVAD/AR-FR). A normal aortic root waveform was scaled by 5–30% in increments of 5% to represent the common range of flow pumped by the left ventricle for different levels of heart failure. A constant flow rate from the cannula compensated for the severity of heart failure in order to maintain normal total aortic flow rate. Results: The results show that LVAD/AR-FR can have a significant but irregular impact on the perfusion and shear stress-related haemodynamic parameters of the subclavian and carotid arteries. Furthermore, it is found that a larger portion of the flow is directed towards the thoracic aorta at the expense of the carotid and subclavian arteries, regardless of LVAD/AR-FR. Conclusion: The irregular behaviour found in the subclavian and carotid arteries highlights the necessity of including the LVAD/AR-FR in the preoperative planning of an LVAD configuration, in order to accurately improve the effects on the cardiovascular system post implantation.
    • Modelling trend life cycles in scientific research using the Logistic and Gompertz equations

      Tattershall, E.; orcid: 0000-0001-5616-4002; email: emma.tattershall@manchester.ac.uk; Nenadic, G.; Stevens, R. D. (Springer International Publishing, 2021-10-09)
      Abstract: Scientific topics vary in popularity over time. In this paper, we model the life cycles of 200 trending topics by fitting the Logistic and Gompertz models to their frequency over time in published abstracts. Unlike other work, the topics we use are algorithmically extracted from large datasets of abstracts covering computer science, particle physics, cancer research, and mental health. We find that the Gompertz model produces lower median error, leading us to conclude that it is the more appropriate model. Since the Gompertz model is asymmetric, with a steep rise followed a long tail, this implies that scientific topics follow a similar trajectory. We also explore the case of double-peaking curves and find that in some cases, topics will peak multiple times as interest resurges. Finally, when looking at the different scientific disciplines, we find that the lifespan of topics is longer in some disciplines (e.g. cancer research and mental health) than it is others, which may indicate differences in research process and culture between these disciplines.
    • Not only laboratory to clinic: the translational work of William S. C. Copeman in rheumatology

      Worboys, Michael; orcid: 0000-0001-8583-7931; email: michael.worboys@manchester.ac.uk; Toon, Elizabeth (Springer International Publishing, 2020-08-06)
      Abstract: Since the arrival of Translational Medicine (TM), as both a term and movement in the late 1990s, it has been associated almost exclusively with attempts to accelerate the “translation” of research-laboratory findings to improve efficacy and outcomes in clinical practice (Krueger et al. in Hist Philos Life Sci 41:57, 2019). This framing privileges one source of change in medicine, that from bench-to-bedside. In this article we dig into the history of translation research to identify and discuss three other types of translational work in medicine that can also reshape ideas, practices, institutions, behaviours, or all of these, to produce transformations in clinical effectiveness. These are: (1) making accessible state-of-the-art knowledge and best practice across the medical profession; (2) remodelling and creating institutions to better develop and make available specialist knowledge and practice; and (3) improving public and patient understandings of disease prevention, symptoms and treatments. We do so by examining the work of William S. C. Copeman, a dominant figure in British rheumatology from the 1930 through the late 1960s. Throughout his long career, Copeman blended approaches to “translation” in order to produce transformative change in clinical medicine, making his work an exemplar of our expanded notion of TM.
    • Physiological Characteristics of Female Soccer Players and Health and Performance Considerations: A Narrative Review

      Randell, Rebecca K.; orcid: 0000-0003-1141-9766; email: rebecca.randell@pepsico.com; Clifford, Thomas; Drust, Barry; Moss, Samantha L.; Unnithan, Viswanath B.; De Ste Croix, Mark B. A.; Datson, Naomi; Martin, Daniel; Mayho, Hannah; Carter, James M.; et al. (Springer International Publishing, 2021-04-12)
      Abstract: Female soccer has seen a substantial rise in participation, as well as increased financial support from governing bodies over the last decade. Thus, there is an onus on researchers and medical departments to develop a better understanding of the physical characteristics and demands, and the health and performance needs of female soccer players. In this review, we discuss the current research, as well as the knowledge gaps, of six major topics: physical demands, talent identification, body composition, injury risk and prevention, health and nutrition. Data on female talent identification are scarce, and future studies need to elucidate the influence of relative age and maturation selection across age groups. Regarding the physical demands, more research is needed on the pattern of high-intensity sprinting during matches and the contribution of soccer-specific movements. Injuries are not uncommon in female soccer players, but targeting intrinsically modifiable factors with injury prevention programmes can reduce injury rates. The anthropometric and physical characteristics of female players are heterogeneous and setting specific targets should be discouraged in youth and sub-elite players. Menstrual cycle phase may influence performance and injury risk; however, there are few studies in soccer players. Nutrition plays a critical role in health and performance and ensuring adequate energy intake remains a priority. Despite recent progress, there is considerably less research in female than male soccer players. Many gaps in our understanding of how best to develop and manage the health and performance of female soccer players remain.
    • Sarcopenia during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions: long-term health effects of short-term muscle loss

      Kirwan, Richard; orcid: 0000-0003-4645-0077; email: r.p.kirwan@2018.ljmu.ac.uk; McCullough, Deaglan; orcid: 0000-0002-9882-9639; Butler, Tom; orcid: 0000-0003-0818-1566; email: t.butler@chester.ac.uk; Perez de Heredia, Fatima; orcid: 0000-0002-2537-3327; Davies, Ian G.; orcid: 0000-0003-3722-8466; Stewart, Claire; orcid: 0000-0002-8104-4819 (Springer International Publishing, 2020-10-01)
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary global emergency that has led to the implementation of unprecedented measures in order to stem the spread of the infection. Internationally, governments are enforcing measures such as travel bans, quarantine, isolation, and social distancing leading to an extended period of time at home. This has resulted in reductions in physical activity and changes in dietary intakes that have the potential to accelerate sarcopenia, a deterioration of muscle mass and function (more likely in older populations), as well as increases in body fat. These changes in body composition are associated with a number of chronic, lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, osteoporosis, frailty, cognitive decline, and depression. Furthermore, CVD, diabetes, and elevated body fat are associated with greater risk of COVID-19 infection and more severe symptomology, underscoring the importance of avoiding the development of such morbidities. Here we review mechanisms of sarcopenia and their relation to the current data on the effects of COVID-19 confinement on physical activity, dietary habits, sleep, and stress as well as extended bed rest due to COVID-19 hospitalization. The potential of these factors to lead to an increased likelihood of muscle loss and chronic disease will be discussed. By offering a number of home-based strategies including resistance exercise, higher protein intakes and supplementation, we can potentially guide public health authorities to avoid a lifestyle disease and rehabilitation crisis post-COVID-19. Such strategies may also serve as useful preventative measures for reducing the likelihood of sarcopenia in general and in the event of future periods of isolation.