• Shock wave lithotripsy, for the treatment of kidney stones, results in changes to routine blood tests and novel biomarkers: a prospective clinical pilot-study

      Hughes, Stephen F.; orcid: 0000-0001-6558-9037; email: Stephen.hughes6@wales.nhs.uk; Jones, Nathan; Thomas-Wright, Samantha J.; Banwell, Joseph; Moyes, Alyson J.; Shergill, Iqbal (BioMed Central, 2020-06-01)
      Abstract: Background: The number of patients undergoing shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) for kidney stones is increasing annually, and as such the development of post-operative complications, such as haematuria and acute kidney injury (AKI) following SWL, is likely to increase. The aim of the study was to evaluate changes in routine blood and novel biomarkers following SWL, for the treatment of kidney stones. Methods: Twelve patients undergoing SWL for solitary unilateral kidney stones were recruited. From patients (8 males and 4 females) aged between 31 and 72 years (median 43 years), venous blood samples were collected pre-operatively (baseline), at 30, 120 and 240 min post-operatively. Routine blood tests were performed using a Sysmex XE-5000, and Beckman Coulter AU5800 and AU680 analysers. NGAL, IL-18, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-8 concentrations were determined using commercially available ELISA kits. Results: Significant (p ≤ 0.05) changes were observed in several blood parameters following SWL. NGAL concentration significantly increased, with values peaking at 30 min post-treatment (p = 0.033). Although IL-18 concentration increased, these changes were not significant (p = 0.116). IL-6 revealed a statistically significant rise from pre-operative up to 4 h post-operatively (p < 0.001), whilst TNF-α significantly increased, peaking at 30 min post-SWL (p = 0.05). There were no significant changes to IL-10 and IL-8 concentrations post-SWL (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Changes to routine blood tests and specific biomarkers, in the future, may be more useful for clinicians. In turn, identification of a panel of biomarkers could provide valuable data on “normal” physiological response after lithotripsy. Ultimately, studies could be expanded to identify or predict those patients at increased risk of developing post-operative complications, such as acute kidney injury or. These studies, however, need validating involving larger cohorts.
    • Shut and re-open: the role of schools in the spread of COVID-19 in Europe

      Stage, Helena B.; orcid: 0000-0001-9938-8452; email: helena.stage@manchester.ac.uk; Shingleton, Joseph; orcid: 0000-0002-1628-3231; email: Joseph.Shingleton@phe.gov.uk; Ghosh, Sanmitra; orcid: 0000-0002-4879-7587; Scarabel, Francesca; orcid: 0000-0003-0250-4555; Pellis, Lorenzo; orcid: 0000-0002-3436-6487; Finnie, Thomas; orcid: 0000-0001-5962-4211 (The Royal Society, 2021-05-31)
      We investigate the effect of school closure and subsequent reopening on the transmission of COVID-19, by considering Denmark, Norway, Sweden and German states as case studies. By comparing the growth rates in daily hospitalizations or confirmed cases under different interventions, we provide evidence that school closures contribute to a reduction in the growth rate approximately 7 days after implementation. Limited school attendance, such as older students sitting exams or the partial return of younger year groups, does not appear to significantly affect community transmission. In countries where community transmission is generally low, such as Denmark or Norway, a large-scale reopening of schools while controlling or suppressing the epidemic appears feasible. However, school reopening can contribute to statistically significant increases in the growth rate in countries like Germany, where community transmission is relatively high. In all regions, a combination of low classroom occupancy and robust test-and-trace measures were in place. Our findings underscore the need for a cautious evaluation of reopening strategies. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK’.
    • Shut and re-open: the role of schools in the spread of COVID-19 in Europe

      Stage, Helena B.; orcid: 0000-0001-9938-8452; email: helena.stage@manchester.ac.uk; Shingleton, Joseph; orcid: 0000-0002-1628-3231; email: Joseph.Shingleton@phe.gov.uk; Ghosh, Sanmitra; orcid: 0000-0002-4879-7587; Scarabel, Francesca; orcid: 0000-0003-0250-4555; Pellis, Lorenzo; orcid: 0000-0002-3436-6487; Finnie, Thomas; orcid: 0000-0001-5962-4211 (The Royal Society, 2021-05-31)
      We investigate the effect of school closure and subsequent reopening on the transmission of COVID-19, by considering Denmark, Norway, Sweden and German states as case studies. By comparing the growth rates in daily hospitalizations or confirmed cases under different interventions, we provide evidence that school closures contribute to a reduction in the growth rate approximately 7 days after implementation. Limited school attendance, such as older students sitting exams or the partial return of younger year groups, does not appear to significantly affect community transmission. In countries where community transmission is generally low, such as Denmark or Norway, a large-scale reopening of schools while controlling or suppressing the epidemic appears feasible. However, school reopening can contribute to statistically significant increases in the growth rate in countries like Germany, where community transmission is relatively high. In all regions, a combination of low classroom occupancy and robust test-and-trace measures were in place. Our findings underscore the need for a cautious evaluation of reopening strategies. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK’.
    • Sieve-Like CNT Film Coupled with TiO 2 Nanowire for High-Performance Continuous-Flow Photodegradation of Rhodamine B under Visible Light Irradiation

      Yang, Zhengpeng; email: zhengpengyang2013@163.com; Lv, Xiaoting; email: 18339113590@163.com; Liu, Xuqing; orcid: 0000-0001-5998-6546; email: xuqing.liu@manchester.ac.uk; Jia, Shengmin; email: smjia2019@sinano.ac.cn; Zhang, Yongyi; email: yyzhang2011@sinano.ac.cn; Yu, Yingying; orcid: 0000-0002-6364-2831; email: yyyu2019@sinano.ac.cn; Zhang, Chunjing; email: chunjingzhang2013@163.com; Liu, Dandan; email: ddliu2015@sinano.ac.cn (MDPI, 2021-05-19)
      Continuous-flow photoreactors hold great promise for the highly efficient photodegradation of pollutants due to their continuity and sustainability. However, how to enable a continuous-flow photoreactor with the combined features of high photodegradation efficiency and durability as well as broad-wavelength light absorption and large-scale processing remains a significant challenge. Herein, we demonstrate a facile and effective strategy to construct a sieve-like carbon nanotube (CNT)/TiO2 nanowire film (SCTF) with superior flexibility (180° bending), high tensile strength (75–82 MPa), good surface wettability, essential light penetration and convenient visible light absorption. Significantly, the unique architecture, featuring abundant, well-ordered and uniform mesopores with ca. 70 µm in diameter, as well as a homogenous distribution of TiO2 nanowires with an average diameter of ca. 500 nm, could act as a “waterway” for efficient solution infiltration through the SCTF, thereby, enabling the photocatalytic degradation of polluted water in a continuous-flow mode. The optimized SCTF-2.5 displayed favorable photocatalytic behavior with 96% degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) within 80 min and a rate constant of 0.0394 min−1. The continuous-flow photodegradation device made using SCTF-2.5 featured exceptional photocatalytic behavior for the continuous degradation of RhB under simulated solar irradiation with a high degradation ratio (99.6%) and long-term stability (99.2% retention after working continuously for 72 h). This work sheds light on new strategies for designing and fabricating high-performance continuous-flow photoreactors toward future uses.
    • Simmel and Shakespeare on Lying and Love

      Balmer, Andrew; email: andrew.balmer@manchester.ac.uk; Durrant, Michael (SAGE Publications, 2021-01-31)
      This article contributes to the development of the sociology of lying by exploring some of the earliest comments on the topic, which are to be found amongst Georg Simmel’s writings about secrecy. We outline Simmel’s broader approach to interaction, as an experience that is conditioned upon non-knowledge, and work towards the attribution to him of the discovery of an aesthetic of concealment and revelation. This, we argue, can be used as a founding block in the sociology of lying. We then examine what Simmel has to say about lying specifically and find he falls into contradiction as he tries to link lying to other social forms, such as love, and to the shifting patterns of life which he understood to define modernity. To refine his approach, we look back to the period of early modernity during which questions of self-revelation and concealment are being explored in literature and lived uncertainly. Specifically, we take a detailed look at William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138, for it clearly articulates the complex, relational dynamics of lying and love and allows us to read this back into Simmel’s account and explain why he falls into confusion. We then conclude by posing a series of questions and taking the position that sociologists should study lying as a relational phenomenon.
    • Simulating Ionising Radiation in Gazebo for Robotic Nuclear Inspection Challenges

      Wright, Thomas; orcid: 0000-0002-9913-5487; email: thomas.wright@manchester.ac.uk; West, Andrew; orcid: 0000-0003-4553-8640; email: andrew.west@manchester.ac.uk; Licata, Mauro; email: m.licata@lancaster.ac.uk; Hawes, Nick; orcid: 0000-0002-7556-6098; email: nickh@robots.ox.ac.uk; Lennox, Barry; orcid: 0000-0003-0905-8324; email: barry.lennox@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-07-07)
      The utilisation of robots in hazardous nuclear environments has potential to reduce risk to humans. However, historical use has been largely limited to specific missions rather than broader industry-wide adoption. Testing and verification of robotics in realistic scenarios is key to gaining stakeholder confidence but hindered by limited access to facilities that contain radioactive materials. Simulations offer an alternative to testing with actual radioactive sources, provided they can readily describe the behaviour of robotic systems and ionising radiation within the same environment. This work presents a quick and easy way to generate simulated but realistic deployment scenarios and environments which include ionising radiation, developed to work within the popular robot operating system compatible Gazebo physics simulator. Generated environments can be evolved over time, randomly or user-defined, to simulate the effects of degradation, corrosion or to alter features of certain objects. Interaction of gamma radiation sources within the environment, as well as the response of simulated detectors attached to mobile robots, is verified against the MCNP6 Monte Carlo radiation transport code. The benefits these tools provide are highlighted by inclusion of three real-world nuclear sector environments, providing the robotics community with opportunities to assess the capabilities of robotic systems and autonomous functionalities.
    • Simulating topological robustness of Fano resonance in rotated Honeycomb photonic crystals

      Hajivandi, J.; Kaya, E.; Edwards, G.; Kurt, H. (Elsevier, 2021-07-08)
      The Fano resonance with a distinctive ultra-sharp, asymmetric line shape and high quality factor, is a widely occurring phenomena, that has a large variety of optical, plasmonic and microwave manifestations. In this paper, we explore the characteristic robustness of a Fano resonance mode, which is topologically protected by engineering a band inversion, induced by breaking the mirror symmetry of a two-dimensional honeycomb photonic crystal (HPC), associated with C 6 point group symmetry. Dark and bright topological edge modes appear in the band gap which arise when Dirac cone is opened up. Destructive and constructive interference of the dark and bright modes leads to the asymmetric line shape of the Fano resonance. The Fano resonance is very sensitive to the material changes and structural perturbations. This property can be applied to obtain new sensor designs. Here we demonstrate that the topological Fano resonance mode preserves its asymmetric, ultra-sharp line shape in the presence of the disorder, defects and cavities.The stability of the Fano resonance mode has useful optical device applications such as in low threshold lasers, and extremely precise interferometers.
    • Simulating Topological Robustness of Fano Resonance in Rotated Honeycomb Photonic Crystals

      Hajivandi, J.; Kaya, E.; Edwards, G.; Kurt, H.
      The Fano resonance with a distinctive ultra-sharp, asymmetric line shape and high quality factor, is a widely occurring phenomena, that has a large variety of optical, plasmonic and microwave manifestations. In this paper, we explore the characteristic robustness of a Fano resonance mode, which is topologically protected by engineering a band inversion, induced by breaking the mirror symmetry of a two-dimensional honeycomb photonic crystal (HPC), associated with C 6 point group symmetry. Dark and bright topological edge modes appear in the band gap which arise when Dirac cone is opened up. Destructive and constructive interference of the dark and bright modes leads to the asymmetric line shape of the Fano resonance. The Fano resonance is very sensitive to the material changes and structural perturbations. This property can be applied to obtain new sensor designs. Here we demonstrate that the topological Fano resonance mode preserves its asymmetric, ultra-sharp line shape in the presence of the disorder, defects and cavities.The stability of the Fano resonance mode has useful optical device applications such as in low threshold lasers, and extremely precise interferometers.
    • Simulations of Neutrino and Gamma-Ray Production from Relativistic Black-Hole Microquasar Jets

      Papavasileiou, Theodora; orcid: 0000-0002-2044-1845; email: th.papavasileiou@uowm.gr; Kosmas, Odysseas; orcid: 0000-0002-7047-9438; email: odysseas.kosmas@manchester.ac.uk; Sinatkas, Ioannis; email: isinatkas@uowm.gr (MDPI, 2021-09-13)
      Recently, microquasar jets have aroused the interest of many researchers focusing on the astrophysical plasma outflows and various jet ejections. In this work, we concentrate on the investigation of electromagnetic radiation and particle emissions from the jets of stellar black hole binary systems characterized by the hadronic content in their jets. Such emissions are reliably described within the context of relativistic magneto-hydrodynamics. Our model calculations are based on the Fermi acceleration mechanism through which the primary particles (mainly protons and electrons) of the jet are accelerated. As a result, a small portion of thermal protons of the jet acquire relativistic energies, through shock-waves generated into the jet plasma. From the inelastic collisions of fast (non-thermal) protons with the thermal (cold) ones, secondary charged and neutral particles (pions, kaons, muons, η-particles, etc.) are created, as well as electromagnetic radiation from the radio wavelength band to X-rays and even very high energy gamma-rays. One of our main goals is, through the appropriate solution of the transport equation and taking into account the various mechanisms that cause energy losses to the particles, to study the secondary particle concentrations within hadronic astrophysical jets. After assessing the suitability and sensitivity of the derived (for this purpose) algorithms on the Galactic MQs SS 433 and Cyg X-1, as a concrete extragalactic binary system, we examine the LMC X-1 located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way Galaxy. It is worth mentioning that, for the companion O star (and its extended nebula structure) of the LMC X-1 system, new observations using spectroscopic data from VLT/UVES have been published a few years ago.
    • Single step synthesis of WO 3 nanoparticles by wire explosion process and its photocatalytic behaviour

      Ranjan, Prem; orcid: 0000-0001-7840-9904; email: prem.ranjan@manchester.ac.uk; Suematsu, H.; Sarathi, R. (IOP Publishing, 2021-05-11)
      Tungsten (W) wires are exploded in oxygen ambience to get tungsten oxide (WO3) nanoparticles (NPs). Energy stored in the capacitors (EC) is used to overcome the sublimation energy of wire. Energy ratio (K, ratio of EC and sublimation energy) and oxygen pressure (P) are two control parameters for the particle phase and morphology in the wire explosion process. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns confirmed the partial oxidation of W for low values of K. For K = 2, oxidation increases with increase in P. For K = 10, complete oxidation was achieved irrespective of P. Particles are spherical in shape as observed from scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) micrographs. Particle size follows a log-normal distribution with a least mean size of 24.1 nm. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) was used to measure the absorbance of NPs (complete WO3 with least mean size) for band gap measurement. The band gap was found to be 2.92 eV (visible region). NPs are used as photocatalyst to degrade aqueous solution of methylene blue (MB) under visible light irradiation. 500 mg l−1 of WO3 NPs were optimum to degrade 10 mg l−1 MB in 120 min.
    • Single step synthesis of WO 3 nanoparticles by wire explosion process and its photocatalytic behaviour

      Ranjan, Prem; orcid: 0000-0001-7840-9904; email: prem.ranjan@manchester.ac.uk; Suematsu, H.; Sarathi, R. (IOP Publishing, 2021-05-11)
      Tungsten (W) wires are exploded in oxygen ambience to get tungsten oxide (WO3) nanoparticles (NPs). Energy stored in the capacitors (EC) is used to overcome the sublimation energy of wire. Energy ratio (K, ratio of EC and sublimation energy) and oxygen pressure (P) are two control parameters for the particle phase and morphology in the wire explosion process. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns confirmed the partial oxidation of W for low values of K. For K = 2, oxidation increases with increase in P. For K = 10, complete oxidation was achieved irrespective of P. Particles are spherical in shape as observed from scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) micrographs. Particle size follows a log-normal distribution with a least mean size of 24.1 nm. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) was used to measure the absorbance of NPs (complete WO3 with least mean size) for band gap measurement. The band gap was found to be 2.92 eV (visible region). NPs are used as photocatalyst to degrade aqueous solution of methylene blue (MB) under visible light irradiation. 500 mg l−1 of WO3 NPs were optimum to degrade 10 mg l−1 MB in 120 min.
    • Single-cell analysis defines a pancreatic fibroblast lineage that supports anti-tumor immunity.

      Hutton, Colin; Heider, Felix; Blanco-Gomez, Adrian; Banyard, Antonia; Kononov, Alexander; Zhang, Xiaohong; Karim, Saadia; Paulus-Hock, Viola; Watt, Dale; Steele, Nina; et al. (2021-07-14)
      Fibroblasts display extensive transcriptional heterogeneity, yet functional annotation and characterization of their heterocellular relationships remains incomplete. Using mass cytometry, we chart the stromal composition of 18 murine tissues and 5 spontaneous tumor models, with an emphasis on mesenchymal phenotypes. This analysis reveals extensive stromal heterogeneity across tissues and tumors, and identifies coordinated relationships between mesenchymal and immune cell subsets in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Expression of CD105 demarks two stable and functionally distinct pancreatic fibroblast lineages, which are also identified in murine and human healthy tissues and tumors. Whereas CD105-positive pancreatic fibroblasts are permissive for tumor growth in vivo, CD105-negative fibroblasts are highly tumor suppressive. This restrictive effect is entirely dependent on functional adaptive immunity. Collectively, these results reveal two functionally distinct pancreatic fibroblast lineages and highlight the importance of mesenchymal and immune cell interactions in restricting tumor growth. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]
    • Single-ion magnetism in the extended solid-state: insights from X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy.

      Huzan, Myron S; orcid: 0000-0002-6238-3735; Fix, Manuel; Aramini, Matteo; Bencok, Peter; Mosselmans, J Frederick W; orcid: 0000-0001-6473-2743; Hayama, Shusaku; Breitner, Franziska A; Gee, Leland B; orcid: 0000-0002-5817-3997; Titus, Charles J; orcid: 0000-0001-6312-8552; Arrio, Marie-Anne; et al. (2020-10-07)
      Large single-ion magnetic anisotropy is observed in lithium nitride doped with iron. The iron sites are two-coordinate, putting iron doped lithium nitride amongst a growing number of two coordinate transition metal single-ion magnets (SIMs). Uniquely, the relaxation times to magnetisation reversal are over two orders of magnitude longer in iron doped lithium nitride than other 3d-metal SIMs, and comparable with high-performance lanthanide-based SIMs. To understand the origin of these enhanced magnetic properties a detailed characterisation of electronic structure is presented. Access to dopant electronic structure calls for atomic specific techniques, hence a combination of detailed single-crystal X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies are applied. Together K-edge, L<sub>2,3</sub>-edge and Kβ X-ray spectroscopies probe local geometry and electronic structure, identifying iron doped lithium nitride to be a prototype, solid-state SIM, clean of stoichiometric vacancies where Fe lattice sites are geometrically equivalent. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure and angular dependent single-crystal X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy measurements determine Fe<sup>I</sup> dopant ions to be linearly coordinated, occupying a <i>D</i> <sub>6h</sub> symmetry pocket. The dopant engages in strong 3dπ-bonding, resulting in an exceptionally short Fe-N bond length (1.873(7) Å) and rigorous linearity. It is proposed that this structure protects dopant sites from Renner-Teller vibronic coupling and pseudo Jahn-Teller distortions, enhancing magnetic properties with respect to molecular-based linear complexes. The Fe ligand field is quantified by L<sub>2,3</sub>-edge XAS from which the energy reduction of 3d <sub><i>z</i> <sup>2</sup></sub> due to strong 4s mixing is deduced. Quantification of magnetic anisotropy barriers in low concentration dopant sites is inhibited by many established methods, including far-infrared and neutron scattering. We deduce variable temperature L<sub>3</sub>-edge XAS can be applied to quantify the <i>J</i> = 7/2 magnetic anisotropy barrier, 34.80 meV (∼280 cm<sup>-1</sup>), that corresponds with Orbach relaxation <i>via</i> the first excited, <i>M</i> <sub>J</sub> = ±5/2 doublet. The results demonstrate that dopant sites within solid-state host lattices could offer a viable alternative to rare-earth bulk magnets and high-performance SIMs, where the host matrix can be tailored to impose high symmetry and control lattice induced relaxation effects.
    • Single-ion magnetism in the extended solid-state: insights from X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy.

      Huzan, Myron S; orcid: 0000-0002-6238-3735; Fix, Manuel; Aramini, Matteo; Bencok, Peter; Mosselmans, J Frederick W; orcid: 0000-0001-6473-2743; Hayama, Shusaku; Breitner, Franziska A; Gee, Leland B; orcid: 0000-0002-5817-3997; Titus, Charles J; orcid: 0000-0001-6312-8552; Arrio, Marie-Anne; et al. (2020-10-07)
      Large single-ion magnetic anisotropy is observed in lithium nitride doped with iron. The iron sites are two-coordinate, putting iron doped lithium nitride amongst a growing number of two coordinate transition metal single-ion magnets (SIMs). Uniquely, the relaxation times to magnetisation reversal are over two orders of magnitude longer in iron doped lithium nitride than other 3d-metal SIMs, and comparable with high-performance lanthanide-based SIMs. To understand the origin of these enhanced magnetic properties a detailed characterisation of electronic structure is presented. Access to dopant electronic structure calls for atomic specific techniques, hence a combination of detailed single-crystal X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies are applied. Together K-edge, L -edge and Kβ X-ray spectroscopies probe local geometry and electronic structure, identifying iron doped lithium nitride to be a prototype, solid-state SIM, clean of stoichiometric vacancies where Fe lattice sites are geometrically equivalent. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure and angular dependent single-crystal X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy measurements determine Fe dopant ions to be linearly coordinated, occupying a symmetry pocket. The dopant engages in strong 3dπ-bonding, resulting in an exceptionally short Fe-N bond length (1.873(7) Å) and rigorous linearity. It is proposed that this structure protects dopant sites from Renner-Teller vibronic coupling and pseudo Jahn-Teller distortions, enhancing magnetic properties with respect to molecular-based linear complexes. The Fe ligand field is quantified by L -edge XAS from which the energy reduction of 3d due to strong 4s mixing is deduced. Quantification of magnetic anisotropy barriers in low concentration dopant sites is inhibited by many established methods, including far-infrared and neutron scattering. We deduce variable temperature L -edge XAS can be applied to quantify the = 7/2 magnetic anisotropy barrier, 34.80 meV (∼280 cm ), that corresponds with Orbach relaxation the first excited, = ±5/2 doublet. The results demonstrate that dopant sites within solid-state host lattices could offer a viable alternative to rare-earth bulk magnets and high-performance SIMs, where the host matrix can be tailored to impose high symmetry and control lattice induced relaxation effects. [Abstract copyright: This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.]
    • Single-use plastic and COVID-19 in the NHS: Barriers and opportunities.

      Hu, Xiaocheng; email: x.hu@exeter.ac.uk; Davies, Roz; email: rozdavies@nhs.net; Morrissey, Karyn; email: k.morrissey@exeter.ac.uk; Smith, Richard; email: rich.smith@exeter.ac.uk; Fleming, Lora E; email: l.e.fleming@exeter.ac.uk; Sharmina, Maria; email: maria.sharmina@manchester.ac.uk; St Clair, Rebecca; email: rebecca.stclair@manchester.ac.uk; Hopkinson, Peter; email: p.hopkinson@exeter.ac.uk (2021-08-04)
      Single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) has been essential to protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, intensified use of PPE could counteract the previous efforts made by the UK NHS Trusts to reduce their plastic footprint. In this study, we conducted an in-depth case study in the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate plastic-related issues in a typical NHS Trust before, during and after the pandemic. We first collected hospital routine data on both procurement and usage of single-use PPE (including face masks, aprons, and gowns) for the time period between April 2019 and August 2020. We then interviewed 12 hospital staff across a wide remit, from senior managers to consultants, nurses and catering staff, to gather qualitative evidence on the overall impact of COVID-19 on the Trust regarding plastic use. We found that although COVID-19 had increased the procurement and the use of single-use plastic substantially during the pandemic, it did not appear to have changed the focus of the hospital on implementing measures to reduce single-use plastic in the long term. We then discussed the barriers and opportunities to tackle plastic issues within the NHS in the post-COVID world, for example, a circular healthcare model. investment is needed in technologies and processes that can recycle and reuse a wider range of single-use plastics, and innovate sustainable alternatives to replace single-use consumables used in the NHS to construct a fully operational closed material loop healthcare system.
    • Site-to-site peptide transport on a molecular platform using a small-molecule robotic arm.

      Kassem, Salma; Lee, Alan T L; Leigh, David A; orcid: 0000-0002-1202-4507; Markevicius, Augustinas; Tetlow, Daniel J; orcid: 0000-0001-6323-3483; Toriumi, Naoyuki; orcid: 0000-0001-5963-4735 (2020-12-10)
      Peptides attached to a cysteine hydrazide 'transporter module' are transported selectively in either direction between two chemically similar sites on a molecular platform, enabled by the discovery of new operating methods for a molecular transporter that functions through ratcheting. Substrate repositioning is achieved using a small-molecule robotic arm controlled by a protonation-mediated rotary switch and attachment/release dynamic covalent chemistry. A polar solvent mixtures were found to favour to isomerization of the doubly-protonated switch, transporting cargo in one direction (arbitrarily defined as 'forward') in up to 85% yield, while polar solvent mixtures were unexpectedly found to favour to isomerization enabling transport in the reverse ('backward') direction in >98% yield. Transport of the substrates proceeded in a matter of hours (compared to 6 days even for simple cargoes with the original system) without the peptides at any time dissociating from the machine nor exchanging with others in the bulk. Under the new operating conditions, key intermediates of the switch are sufficiently stabilized within the macrocycle formed between switch, arm, substrate and platform that they can be identified and structurally characterized by H NMR. The size of the peptide cargo has no significant effect on the rate or efficiency of transport in either direction. The new operating conditions allow detailed physical organic chemistry of the ratcheted transport mechanism to be uncovered, improve efficiency, and enable the transport of more complex cargoes than was previously possible. [Abstract copyright: This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.]
    • Site-to-site peptide transport on a molecular platform using a small-molecule robotic arm.

      Kassem, Salma; Lee, Alan T L; Leigh, David A; orcid: 0000-0002-1202-4507; Markevicius, Augustinas; Tetlow, Daniel J; orcid: 0000-0001-6323-3483; Toriumi, Naoyuki; orcid: 0000-0001-5963-4735 (2020-12-10)
      Peptides attached to a cysteine hydrazide 'transporter module' are transported selectively in either direction between two chemically similar sites on a molecular platform, enabled by the discovery of new operating methods for a molecular transporter that functions through ratcheting. Substrate repositioning is achieved using a small-molecule robotic arm controlled by a protonation-mediated rotary switch and attachment/release dynamic covalent chemistry. A polar solvent mixtures were found to favour <i>Z</i> to <i>E</i> isomerization of the doubly-protonated switch, transporting cargo in one direction (arbitrarily defined as 'forward') in up to 85% yield, while polar solvent mixtures were unexpectedly found to favour <i>E</i> to <i>Z</i> isomerization enabling transport in the reverse ('backward') direction in >98% yield. Transport of the substrates proceeded in a matter of hours (compared to 6 days even for simple cargoes with the original system) without the peptides at any time dissociating from the machine nor exchanging with others in the bulk. Under the new operating conditions, key intermediates of the switch are sufficiently stabilized within the macrocycle formed between switch, arm, substrate and platform that they can be identified and structurally characterized by <sup>1</sup>H NMR. The size of the peptide cargo has no significant effect on the rate or efficiency of transport in either direction. The new operating conditions allow detailed physical organic chemistry of the ratcheted transport mechanism to be uncovered, improve efficiency, and enable the transport of more complex cargoes than was previously possible.
    • Size at birth and cognitive ability in late life: A systematic review

      Krishna, Murali; orcid: 0000-0002-5354-9027; Jones, Steven; Maden, Michelle; Du, Bharath; Mc, Ramya; Kumaran, Kalyanaraman; Karat, Samuel Christraprasad; Fall, Caroline H.D. (Wiley, 2019-06-13)
    • Sleep Disruption and Depression, Stress and Anxiety Levels in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) During the Lockdown Measures for COVID-19 in the UK

      Kite, Chris; Atkinson, Lou; McGregor, Gordon; Clark, Cain C. T.; Brown, James E.; Kyrou, Ioannis; email: kyrouj@gmail.com; Randeva, Harpal S.; email: harpal.randeva@warwick.ac.uk (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-06-04)
      Background: Lockdown measures have been enforced globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the comorbidity burden in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), these lockdown measures may have a particularly negative impact on sleep health, quality of life (QoL), and depression/stress levels in this population. The aim of this study was to explore whether such potential problems were present in women with PCOS during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. Methods: UK women with PCOS were recruited through social media into a cross-sectional study during the COVID-19 lockdown. The study survey was delivered online, and included demographic and COVID-19 relevant questions, as well as validated questionnaires/scales, namely the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and PCOSQOL questionnaire. Results: Three hundred and thirty-three women with PCOS [median age: 30.0 (9.0) years] were recruited. Participants were dichotomized based on responses regarding the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their sleep [negative (N = 242) vs. no/positive (N = 91) impact]. No differences were noted between groups regarding age, time since PCOS diagnosis, body mass index, or number of comorbidities. Based on the ISI, 44.2% of participants reporting a negative impact on sleep exhibited at least moderately severe clinical insomnia. Compared to those who reported no/positive effect on sleep, the participants reporting a negative impact on sleep also reported poorer QoL, based on the total PCOSQOL score, with a greater impact of PCOS and poorer mood in the corresponding PCOSQOL domains. Based on the DASS-21, the latter also had statistically higher depression and stress levels compared to the former. Finally, for this cohort significant inverse correlations were noted between the ISI and PCOSQOL scores (total and domain scores), whilst the DASS-21 and ISI scores were positively correlated (all p-values <0.001). Conclusion: The majority of recruited UK women with PCOS reported that the COVID-19 lockdown had a negative impact on their sleep, which was also associated with impaired QoL and higher depression/stress levels. Whilst further research is required, women with PCOS should be considered a vulnerable population that may experience an adverse impact on sleep, QoL and mental health well-being due to lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Sleep Disruption and Depression, Stress and Anxiety Levels in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) During the Lockdown Measures for COVID-19 in the UK.

      Kite, Chris; Atkinson, Lou; McGregor, Gordon; Clark, Cain C T; Brown, James E; Kyrou, Ioannis; Randeva, Harpal S (2021-06-04)
      Lockdown measures have been enforced globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the comorbidity burden in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), these lockdown measures may have a particularly negative impact on sleep health, quality of life (QoL), and depression/stress levels in this population. The aim of this study was to explore whether such potential problems were present in women with PCOS during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. UK women with PCOS were recruited through social media into a cross-sectional study during the COVID-19 lockdown. The study survey was delivered online, and included demographic and COVID-19 relevant questions, as well as validated questionnaires/scales, namely the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and PCOSQOL questionnaire. Three hundred and thirty-three women with PCOS [median age: 30.0 (9.0) years] were recruited. Participants were dichotomized based on responses regarding the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their sleep [negative ( = 242) vs. no/positive ( = 91) impact]. No differences were noted between groups regarding age, time since PCOS diagnosis, body mass index, or number of comorbidities. Based on the ISI, 44.2% of participants reporting a negative impact on sleep exhibited at least moderately severe clinical insomnia. Compared to those who reported no/positive effect on sleep, the participants reporting a negative impact on sleep also reported poorer QoL, based on the total PCOSQOL score, with a greater impact of PCOS and poorer mood in the corresponding PCOSQOL domains. Based on the DASS-21, the latter also had statistically higher depression and stress levels compared to the former. Finally, for this cohort significant inverse correlations were noted between the ISI and PCOSQOL scores (total and domain scores), whilst the DASS-21 and ISI scores were positively correlated (all values <0.001). The majority of recruited UK women with PCOS reported that the COVID-19 lockdown had a negative impact on their sleep, which was also associated with impaired QoL and higher depression/stress levels. Whilst further research is required, women with PCOS should be considered a vulnerable population that may experience an adverse impact on sleep, QoL and mental health well-being due to lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Kite, Atkinson, McGregor, Clark, Brown, Kyrou and Randeva.]