Now showing items 21-40 of 7312

    • Adaptive Impedance-Conditioned Phase-Locked Loop for the VSC Converter Connected to Weak Grid

      Hamood, Mostafa A.; email: mostafa.hamood@manchester.ac.uk; Marjanovic, Ognjen; email: Ognjen.Marjanovic@manchester.ac.uk; Carrasco, Joaquin; email: joaquin.carrascogomez@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-09-23)
      In this paper, an adaptive version of the impedance-conditioned phase-locked loop (IC-PLL), namely the adaptive IC-PLL (AIC-PLL), is proposed. The IC-PLL has recently been proposed to address the issue of synchronisation with a weak AC grid by supplementing the conventional synchronous reference frame phase-locked loop (SRF-PLL) with an additional virtual impedance term. The resulting IC-PLL aims to synchronise the converter to a remote and stronger point in the grid, hence increasing the upper bound on the achievable power transfer achieved by the VSC converter connected to the weak grid. However, the issue of the variable grid strength imposes another challenge in the operation of the IC-PLL. This is because the IC-PLL requires impedance estimation methods to estimate the value of the virtual impedance part. In AIC-PLL, the virtual impedance part is estimated by appending another dynamic loop in the exciting IC-PLL. In this method, an additional closed loop is involved so that the values of the virtual inductance and resistance are internally estimated and adapted. Hence, the VSC converter becomes effectively viable for the case of the grid strength variable, where the estimation of the grid impedance becomes unnecessary. The results show that the converter that relies on AIC-PLL has the ability to transfer power that is approximately equal to the theoretical maximum power while maintaining satisfactory dynamic performance.
    • 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.
    • Functional interrogation of autoimmune disease genetics using CRISPR/Cas9 technologies and massively parallel reporter assays.

      Ding, James; orcid: 0000-0001-7273-9646; email: james.ding@manchester.ac.uk; Frantzeskos, Antonios; orcid: 0000-0002-2073-7750; Orozco, Gisela; orcid: 0000-0002-3479-0448 (2021-09-10)
      Genetic studies, including genome-wide association studies, have identified many common variants that are associated with autoimmune diseases. Strikingly, in addition to being frequently observed in healthy individuals, a number of these variants are shared across diseases with diverse clinical presentations. This highlights the potential for improved autoimmune disease understanding which could be achieved by characterising the mechanism by which variants lead to increased risk of disease. Of particular interest is the potential for identifying novel drug targets or of repositioning drugs currently used in other diseases. The majority of autoimmune disease variants do not alter coding regions and it is often difficult to generate a plausible hypothetical mechanism by which variants affect disease-relevant genes and pathways. Given the interest in this area, considerable effort has been invested in developing and applying appropriate methodologies. Two of the most important technologies in this space include both low- and high-throughput genomic perturbation using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and massively parallel reporter assays. In this review, we introduce the field of autoimmune disease functional genomics and use numerous examples to demonstrate the recent and potential future impact of these technologies. [Abstract copyright: © 2021. The Author(s).]
    • In/Visible Peoples, In/Visible Lands: Overlapping Histories in Wang Chia-hsiang’s Historical Fantasy

      Payne, Christopher N.; email: christopher.payne@manchester.ac.uk (Brill, 2019-01-20)
      This essay considers two narrative texts by the nature essayist and fiction writer Wang Chia-hsiang (Wang Jiaxiang); namely, the short story ‘On Lamatasinsin and Dahu Ali’ (1995), and the short novel Mystery of the Little People (1996). Structured around ethnographic journeys into the Taiwanese mountainous hinterland, the texts concern the main protagonists, two earnest (Han) Taiwanese ethnographers, who narrate stories that traverse the island’s histories, lands, and written remnants. The paper argues that the two stories purposefully overlap multiple historical, colonial, and environmental encounters and temporal moments as a means to fictionalise the past as inherently heterarchical. The tales thus fabulise new literary spaces in which the Taiwanese relationship to yesteryear—the peoples, the lands—can be cognised alternatively.
    • Delivery preferences for psychological intervention in cardiac rehabilitation: a pilot discrete choice experiment.

      Shields, Gemma Elizabeth; orcid: 0000-0003-4869-7524; email: gemma.shields@manchester.ac.uk; Wright, Stuart; orcid: 0000-0002-4064-7998; Wells, Adrian; Doherty, Patrick; Capobianco, Lora; Davies, Linda Mary (2021-08-01)
      <h4>Background</h4>Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a programme of care offered to people who recently experienced a cardiac event. There is a growing focus on home-based formats of CR and a lack of evidence on preferences for psychological care in CR. This pilot study aimed to investigate preferences for delivery attributes of a psychological therapy intervention in CR patients with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.<h4>Methods</h4>A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted and recruited participants from a feasibility trial. Participants were asked to choose between two hypothetical interventions, described using five attributes; intervention type (home or centre-based), information provided, therapy manual format, cost to the National Health Service (NHS) and waiting time. A separate opt-out was included. A conditional logit using maximum likelihood estimation was used to analyse preferences. The NHS cost was used to estimate willingness to pay for aspects of the intervention delivery.<h4>Results</h4>35 responses were received (39% response rate). Results indicated that participants would prefer to receive any form of therapy compared with no therapy. Statistically significant results were limited, but included participants being keen to avoid not receiving information prior to therapy (β=-0.270; p=0.03) and preferring a lower cost to the NHS (β=-0.001; p=0.00). No significant results were identified for the type of psychological intervention, format of therapy/exercises and programme start time. Coefficients indicated preferences were stronger for home-based therapy compared with centre-based, but this was not significant.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of a DCE in this group, it identifies potential attributes and levels, and estimates the sample sizes needed for a full study. Preliminary evidence indicated that sampled participants tended to prefer home-based psychological therapy in CR and wanted to receive information before initiating therapy. Results are limited due to the pilot design and further research is needed.
    • The SCCS Scientific Advice on the Safety of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics

      Bernauer, Ulrike; Bodin, Laurent; Chaudhry, Qasim; Coenraads, Pieter Jan; Dusinska, Maria; Gaffet, Eric; Panteri, Eirini; Rogiers, Vera; Rousselle, Christophe; Stepnik, Maciej; et al.
      The Cosmetic Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 specifically covers the risk of nanomaterials used in cosmetic products. If there are concerns regarding the safety of a nanomaterial, the European Commission refers it to the SCCS for a scientific opinion. The Commission mandated the SCCS to identify the scientific basis for safety concerns that could be used as a basis for identifying and prioritising nanomaterials for safety assessment, and to revisit previous inconclusive SCCS opinions on nanomaterials to identify any concerns for potential risks to the consumer health. The SCCS Scientific Advice identified the key general aspects of nanomaterials that should raise a safety concern for a safety assessor/manager, so that the nanomaterial(s) in question could be subjected to safety assessment to establish safety to the consumer. The Advice also developed a list of the nanomaterials notified to the Commission for use in cosmetics in an order of priority for safety assessment, and revisited three previous inconclusive opinions on nanomaterials to highlight concerns over consumer safety that merited further safety assessment.
    • Worlds of evidence

      Canning, Patricia; Ho, Yufang; Bartl, Sara (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2021-09-15)
      Abstract The Hillsborough football stadium disaster (1989) in Sheffield, UK, led to the deaths of 96 football fans and resulted in the longest jury case in British legal history (2016). This article examines the witness statements of two Sheffield residents who claim to have attended the match. Using a mixed-methods approach that incorporates a cognitive linguistic framework (Text World Theory) with visualisation software (VUE) we consider both form and function of a number of linguistic features, such as meta-narrative, evaluative lexis, syntax, and modality to investigate how institutional voices permeate and potentially distort layperson narratives. Our analysis casts doubt on the veracity of the statements and raises questions about what can be considered evidential in a forensic investigation.
    • 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.
    • The current and potential role of community pharmacy in asset-based approaches to health and wellbeing: a qualitative study

      Astbury, Jayne; orcid: 0000-0001-5885-4306; email: jayne.astbury@manchester.ac.uk; Schafheutle, Ellen; Brown, Jane; Cutts, Christopher (Springer International Publishing, 2021-02-26)
      Abstract: Background Asset-based approaches seek to positively mobilise the strengths, capabilities, and resources of individuals and communities. To date, limited consideration has been given to the potential value of this approach in relation to community pharmacy practice, yet this is important and timely given community pharmacy’s expanding role and contribution to public health initiatives. Objectives This qualitative study aimed to explore the current and potential role of community pharmacy in asset-based approaches. Methods Fifteen semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with community pharmacists and project leads, and public health policy and strategic leads in the UK. Transcripts were analysed using simultaneous inductive open and deductive coding using an applied Theory of Change as an illustrative lens. Results The shift towards patient-facing roles in community pharmacy was felt to offer expanded relational opportunities to engage and collaborate with individuals, communities, and other stakeholders. However, only a small number of respondents described examples of systemic asset-based working within the pharmacy sector. The adoption of asset-based approaches was challenged or enabled by several factors including the availability of protected time/resources, workplace and organisational culture/values, strategic leadership, commissioning, and funding arrangements. Conclusions The study provides valuable insights into the potential for community pharmacy, a previously unconsidered sector, to further adopt and contribute to asset-based approaches and play a more central role in the improvement of public health and reduction of health inequalities.
    • Exceptional uranium(VI)-nitride triple bond covalency from 15 N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and quantum chemical analysis

      Du, Jingzhen; orcid: 0000-0003-4037-9281; Seed, John A.; orcid: 0000-0002-3751-0325; Berryman, Victoria E. J.; Kaltsoyannis, Nikolas; Adams, Ralph W.; orcid: 0000-0001-8009-5334; email: ralph.adams@manchester.ac.uk; Lee, Daniel; orcid: 0000-0002-1015-0980; email: daniel.lee@manchester.ac.uk; Liddle, Stephen T.; orcid: 0000-0001-9911-8778; email: steve.liddle@manchester.ac.uk (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-09-24)
      Abstract: Determining the nature and extent of covalency of early actinide chemical bonding is a fundamentally important challenge. Recently, X-ray absorption, electron paramagnetic, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies have probed actinide-ligand covalency, largely confirming the paradigm of early actinide bonding varying from ionic to polarised-covalent, with this range sitting on the continuum between ionic lanthanide and more covalent d transition metal analogues. Here, we report measurement of the covalency of a terminal uranium(VI)-nitride by 15N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and find an exceptional nitride chemical shift and chemical shift anisotropy. This redefines the 15N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy parameter space, and experimentally confirms a prior computational prediction that the uranium(VI)-nitride triple bond is not only highly covalent, but, more so than d transition metal analogues. These results enable construction of general, predictive metal-ligand 15N chemical shift-bond order correlations, and reframe our understanding of actinide chemical bonding to guide future studies.
    • Capturing convection essential for projections of climate change in African dust emission

      Garcia-Carreras, Luis; orcid: 0000-0002-9844-3170; email: luis.garcia-carreras@manchester.ac.uk; Marsham, John H.; orcid: 0000-0003-3219-8472; Stratton, Rachel A.; Tucker, Simon (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-09-24)
      Abstract: The summertime Sahara and Sahel are the world’s largest source of airborne mineral dust. Cold-pool outflows from moist convection (‘haboobs’) are a dominant source of summertime uplift but are essentially missing in global models, raising major questions on the reliability of climate projections of dust and dust impacts. Here we use convection-permitting simulations of pan-African climate change, which explicitly capture haboobs, to investigate whether this key limitation of global models affects projections. We show that explicit convection is key to capturing the observed summertime maximum of dust-generating winds, which is missed with parameterised convection. Despite this, future climate changes in dust-generating winds are more sensitive to the effects of explicit convection on the wider meteorology than they are to the haboobs themselves, with model differences in the change in dust-generating winds reaching 60% of current values. The results therefore show the importance of improving convection in climate models for dust projections.
    • Identifying the content and context of pain within paediatric rheumatology healthcare professional curricula in the UK: a summative content analysis.

      Lee, Rebecca Rachael; orcid: 0000-0002-4559-1647; email: rebecca.lee-4@manchester.ac.uk; McDonagh, Janet E; Connelly, Mark; Peters, Sarah; Cordingley, Lis (2021-08-21)
      <h4>Background</h4>The curriculum for professionals working in paediatric rheumatology should include pain but it is unclear to what extent this currently occurs. The aim of this study was to identify pain-related curriculum content and the context in which pain is presented in educational and training documentation for healthcare professionals in this clinical speciality.<h4>Methods</h4>Core curricula documents from UK based professional organisations were identified in partnership with healthcare professionals. Documents were analysed using a summative content analysis approach. Key pain terms were quantified and weighted frequencies were used to explore narrative pain themes. Latent content was interpreted qualitatively to explore the context within which pain terms were positioned.<h4>Results</h4>Nine curriculum documents were identified and analysed from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists specialising in paediatric rheumatology. Pain themes represented a mean percentage of 1.51% of text across all documents. Pain was rarely presented in the context of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory condition types despite being a common feature of each. Musculoskeletal pain was portrayed simply as a 'somatic' symptom, rather than as a complex phenomenon involving biological and psychosocial processes. Content around the assessment and management of pain was vague and inexplicit.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Current educational and training documentation in paediatric rheumatology do not include core pain topics. Curricula for these healthcare professionals would benefit from updates in contemporary pain theories and examples of in-context, evidence-based pain practices. This should be a priority starting point for optimising patient pain care in paediatric musculoskeletal healthcare.
    • Pore network and Darcy scale modelling of DNAPL remediation using ethanol flushing: Study of physical properties in DNAPL remediation.

      Aminnaji, Morteza; Yakşi, Korcan; Copty, Nadim K; Niasar, Vahid J; Babaei, Masoud; email: masoud.babaei@manchester.ac.uk (2021-09-04)
      Co-solvent flushing into contaminated soils is one of the most effective techniques for Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) remediation. In addition to the increase of DNAPL solubility, co-solvents (e.g. ethanol) can alter the viscosity and density of aqueous phase and diffusion coefficient of solute. Any changes in these parameters can change the flow behaviour and alter the upscaled DNAPL mass transfer coefficient which is a key parameter controlling soil and groundwater remediation at Darcy-scale. While numerous studies have investigated DNAPL remediation using co-solvents at the Darcy scale, pore-scale modelling of co-solvent enhanced DNAPL remediation has not been well investigated. In this work, a three-dimensional pore-network model was developed to simulate the 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB) remediation experiments using ethanol-water flushing solution. The model simulates the effect of changes in solubility, viscosity, density, and diffusion coefficient during co-solvent flushing of the DNAPL. The results of pore network modelling for ethanol-water flushing for the DCB remediation were also validated using the experimental data. In addition to pore-scale modelling, a continuum scale modelling (Darcy-scale) was used for the DCB remediation using ethanol-water flushing. The results of both pore network and continuum scale modelling demonstrated that the ethanol content and flushing velocity influence the interphase mass transfer and DNAPL dissolution process. The results indicated while the mass transfer coefficient decreased in the presence of ethanol, the process of NAPL remediation was improved due to the substantial increase of solubility in the presence of co-solvent. The large scale modelling showed that NAPL bank can be formed in the front of ethanol-water mixture flushing. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]
    • Rates of turnover among general practitioners: a retrospective study of all English general practices between 2007 and 2019.

      Parisi, Rosa; Lau, Yiu-Shing; Bower, Peter; Checkland, Kath; Rubery, Jill; Sutton, Matt; Giles, Sally J; Esmail, Aneez; Spooner, Sharon; orcid: 0000-0001-6965-3673; Kontopantelis, Evangelos; orcid: 0000-0001-6450-5815; email: e.kontopantelis@manchester.ac.uk (2021-08-22)
      <h4>Objective</h4>To quantify general practitioners' (GPs') turnover in England between 2007 and 2019, describe trends over time, regional differences and associations with social deprivation or other practice characteristics.<h4>Design</h4>A retrospective study of annual cross-sectional data.<h4>Setting</h4>All general practices in England (8085 in 2007, 6598 in 2019).<h4>Methods</h4>We calculated turnover rates, defined as the proportion of GPs leaving a practice. Rates and their median, 25th and 75th percentiles were calculated by year and region. The proportion of practices with persistent high turnover (>10%) over consecutive years were also calculated. A negative binomial regression model assessed the association between turnover and social deprivation or other practice characteristics.<h4>Results</h4>Turnover rates increased over time. The 75th percentile in 2009 was 11%, but increased to 14% in 2019. The highest turnover rate was observed in 2013-2014, corresponding to the 75th percentile of 18.2%. Over time, regions experienced increases in turnover rates, although it varied across English regions. The proportion of practices with high (10% to 40%) turnover within a year almost doubled from 14% in 2009 to 27% in 2019. A rise in the number of practices with persistent high turnover (>10%) for at least three consecutive years was also observed, from 2.7% (2.3%-3.1%) in 2007 to 6.3% (5.7%-6.9%) in 2017. The statistical analyses revealed that practice-area deprivation was moderately associated with turnover rate, with practices in the most deprived area having higher turnover rates compared with practices in the least deprived areas (incidence rate ratios 1.09; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.13).<h4>Conclusions</h4>GP turnover has increased in the last decade nationally, with regional variability. Greater attention to GP turnover is needed, in the most deprived areas in particular, where GPs often need to deal with more complex health needs. There is a large cost associated with GP turnover and practices with very high persistent turnover need to be further researched, and the causes behind this identified, to allow support strategies and policies to be developed.
    • Development and Validation of a Mobile Clinical Decision Support Tool for the Diagnosis of Drug Allergy in Adults: The Drug Allergy App.

      Elkhalifa, Shuayb; email: shuayb.elkhalifa@manchester.ac.uk; Bhana, Rehan; Blaga, Andreea; Joshi, Siddharth; Svejda, Martin; Kasilingam, Vidhya; Garcez, Tomaz; Calisti, Giorgio (2021-09-08)
      Penicillin allergy overdiagnosis has been associated with inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, increased antimicrobial resistance, worse clinical outcomes, and increased health care costs. To develop and validate a questionnaire-based algorithm built in a mobile application to support clinicians in collecting accurate history of previous reactions and diagnosing drug allergy appropriately. A survey was completed by 164 medical and nonmedical prescribers to understand barriers to best practice. Based on the survey recommendations, we created a 10-item questionnaire-based algorithm to allow classification of drug allergy history in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on drug allergy. The algorithm was incorporated into a mobile application and retrospectively validated using anonymized clinical databases at regional immunology and dermatology centers in Manchester, United Kingdom. A total of 55.2% of prescribers (95% confidence interval, 47% to 63.4%) thought it impossible to draw a firm conclusion based on history alone and 59.4% (95% CI, 51.4% to 67.5%) believed that regardless of the details of the penicillin allergy history, they would avoid all β-lactams. A drug allergy mobile application was developed and retrospectively validated, which revealed a low risk for misclassification of outcomes compared with reference standard drug allergy investigations in the allergy and dermatology clinics. Perceived lack of time and preparedness to collect an accurate drug allergy history appear to be important barriers to appropriate antimicrobial prescribing. The Drug Allergy App may represent a useful clinical decision support tool to diagnose drug allergy correctly and support appropriate antibiotic prescribing. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. All rights reserved.]
    • Geography and virtual reality

      Bos, Daniel; orcid: 0000-0002-8325-9899 (Wiley, 2021-08-16)
    • Magneto-hydrodynamics of multi-phase flows in heterogeneous systems with large property gradients

      Flint, T. F.; email: thomas.flint@manchester.ac.uk; Smith, M. C.; Shanthraj, P. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-09-23)
      Abstract: The complex interplay between thermal, hydrodynamic, and electromagnetic, forces governs the evolution of multi-phase systems in high technology applications, such as advanced manufacturing and fusion power plant operation. In this work, a new formulation of the time dependent magnetic induction equation is fully coupled to a set of conservation laws for multi-phase fluid flow, energy transport and chemical species transport that describes melting and solidification state transitions. A finite-volume discretisation of the resulting system of equations is performed, where a novel projection method is formulated to ensure that the magnetic field remains divergence free. The proposed framework is validated by accurately replicating a Hartmann flow profile. Further validation is performed through correctly predicting the experimentally observed trajectory of Argon bubbles rising in a liquid metal under varying applied magnetic fields. Finally, the applicability of the framework to technologically relevant processes is illustrated through the simulation of an electrical arc welding process between dissimilar metals. The proposed framework addresses an urgent need for numerical methods to understand the evolution of multi-phase systems with large electromagnetic property contrast.
    • Collaborative management of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam increases economic benefits and resilience

      Basheer, Mohammed; orcid: 0000-0001-9468-2249; Nechifor, Victor; orcid: 0000-0001-8034-4070; Calzadilla, Alvaro; orcid: 0000-0001-8424-8473; Siddig, Khalid; orcid: 0000-0003-1339-4507; Etichia, Mikiyas; Whittington, Dale; Hulme, David; Harou, Julien J.; email: julien.harou@manchester.ac.uk (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-09-23)
      Abstract: The landscape of water infrastructure in the Nile Basin is changing with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Although this dam could improve electricity supply in Ethiopia and its neighbors, there is a lack of consensus between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on the dam operation. We introduce a new modeling framework that simulates the Nile River System and Egypt’s macroeconomy, with dynamic feedbacks between the river system and the macroeconomy. Because the two systems “coevolve” throughout multi-year simulations, we term this a “coevolutionary” modeling framework. The framework is used to demonstrate that a coordinated operating strategy could allow the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to help meet water demands in Egypt during periods of water scarcity and increase hydropower generation and storage in Ethiopia during high flows. Here we show the hydrological and macroeconomic performance of this coordinated strategy compared to a strategy that resembles a recent draft proposal for the operation of the dam discussed in Washington DC.
    • Can we achieve better recruitment by providing better information? Meta-analysis of ‘studies within a trial’ (SWATs) of optimised participant information sheets

      Madurasinghe, Vichithranie W.; Bower, Peter; orcid: 0000-0001-9558-3349; email: peter.bower@manchester.ac.uk; Eldridge, Sandra; Collier, David; Graffy, Jonathan; Treweek, Shaun; Knapp, Peter; Parker, Adwoa; Rick, Jo; Salisbury, Chris; et al. (BioMed Central, 2021-09-23)
      Abstract: Background: The information given to people considering taking part in a trial needs to be easy to understand if those people are to become, and then remain, trial participants. However, there is a tension between providing comprehensive information and providing information that is comprehensible. User-testing is one method of developing better participant information, and there is evidence that user-tested information is better at informing participants about key issues relating to trials. However, it is not clear if user-testing also leads to changes in the rates of recruitment in trials, compared to standard trial information. As part of a programme of research, we embedded ‘studies within a trial’ (SWATs) across multiple ongoing trials to see if user-tested materials led to better rates of recruitment. Methods: Seven ‘host’ trials included a SWAT evaluation and randomised their participants to receive routine information sheets generated by the research teams, or information sheets optimised through user-testing. We collected data on trial recruitment and analysed the results across these trials using random effects meta-analysis, with the primary outcome defined as the proportion of participants randomised in a host trial following an invitation to take part. Results: Six SWATs (n=27,805) provided data on recruitment. Optimised participant information sheets likely result in little or no difference in recruitment rates (7.2% versus 6.8%, pooled odds ratio = 1.03, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.19, p-value = 0.63, I2 = 0%). Conclusions: Participant information sheets developed through user testing did not improve recruitment rates. The programme of work showed that co-ordinated testing of recruitment strategies using SWATs is feasible and can provide both definitive and timely evidence on the effectiveness of recruitment strategies. Trial registration: Healthlines Depression (ISRCTN14172341) Healthlines CVD (ISRCTN27508731) CASPER (ISRCTN02202951) ISDR (ISRCTN87561257) ECLS (NCT01925625) REFORM (ISRCTN68240461) HeLP Diabetes (ISRCTN02123133)
    • Understanding regional value chains through the interaction of public and private governance: Insights from Southern Africa’s apparel sector

      Pasquali, Giovanni; email: giovanni.pasquali@manchester.ac.uk; Godfrey, Shane; Nadvi, Khalid (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2020-09-23)
      Abstract: Regional value chains (RVCs) and South–South trade are increasingly considered key features of 21st-century globalisation. This article investigates how RVCs are shaped by the interaction of private and public governance. It evaluates how this interaction unfolded in Southern Africa’s apparel RVCs, exploring trade, investment and labour regimes across three levels of analysis: national, regional, and global. The paper draws on trade data, secondary literature, and interviews with suppliers and institutions in Eswatini and Lesotho (the largest exporters to the region), and lead firms in South Africa (the largest regional importer). The findings underline the critical role of public governance in shaping retailers’ and suppliers’ participation in RVCs through: (i) regional ‘trade regimes’ protecting regional exporters from global competitors, and recent shifts in global trade regimes; (ii) national and regional ‘investment regimes’ facilitating investment flows from South Africa to Lesotho and Eswatini, and the more recent shift of US-oriented suppliers towards regional markets; and (iii) ‘labour regimes’, including lower wages, less comprehensive labour legislation and weaker trade unions in Lesotho and Eswatini compared to South Africa. The article concludes by considering the policy implications of the interaction of private and public governance for existing and future RVCs in Sub-Saharan Africa.