Liverpool John Moores University

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    16690 research outputs found

    Online classified adverts reflect the broader United Kingdom trade in turtles and tortoises rather than drive it

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    Online sales are increasingly a route by which exotic animals are sold in the global pet trade. There are numerous types of online platforms and transaction types, and dedicated classified advertisement sites are a popular means of buying and selling animals. Despite their large and increasing use, we have a relatively poor understanding of the number of, and taxonomic variation in, the animals sold online. This information may be key in efforts to optimise the welfare of the animals being sold, and the ethics and sustainability of the trade via that platform. To fill this knowledge gap, we monitored and analysed the advertisements of chelonians (turtles and tortoises) placed on one of the United Kingdom’s largest dedicated classified ads sites,, over the course of a year, from July 2020 until June 2021. We analysed temporal, taxonomic, and advertiser related trends in the volumes of advertisements placed and compared the prices and the sentiment of language within adverts for different species. We found that the species advertised, the prices requested, and infrequent use of the site by most advertisers is consistent with most adverts being for animals being resold by casual users. Further, we found that turtles were consistently advertised for lower prices and in multiples than tortoises, and that the language with which they were advertised was less positive. We conclude that on this website the online trade reflects the broader trade, rather than drives the sales of chelonians in the UK, and that any interventions aiming to improve welfare and sustainability would be better placed earlier in the supply chain

    Mind Force Retreat: Improving the Subjective Well-being of Military Veterans Through Alternative Mental Health Therapies

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    This study focuses on the subjective well-being (SWB) of a sample of military veterans before and after their engagement with a nonclinical, alternative mental health therapies residential retreat in the United Kingdom. The study findings have relevance for trauma-exposed individuals globally. Military veterans will actively avoid seeking traditional mental health treatments due to factors such as stigma and life-long labels, as well as a reluctance to engage in talk therapies. This is despite the widespread occurrence of diagnosed and undiagnosed chronic mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder following periods of service. Moving beyond trauma-informed practice and embracing a healing-centered approach involving holistic therapies delivered during a retreat-type format has a positive impact on the SWB of service users. Positive changes in SWB were recorded using the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale and the lived experiences of the participants. A shared military identity contributes immeasurably to a veteran-centered approach to holistic therapy, healing, and recovery

    Synthesis, crystal structure, and anticancer studies of organoruthenium(II) p-cymene N-phenyldithiocarbamate complex

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    Organoruthenium(II) p-cymene N-phenyldithiocarbamate complex, [Ru(phdtc)(η⁶-p-cym)]₂, was synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, spectroscopic techniques, and single crystal X-ray crystallography. The single crystal X-ray structure of the complex shows that the compound crystallizes in a monoclinic crystal system with a P21/c space group to form a centrosymmetric binuclear complex. The structure consists of two divalent ruthenium(II) ions, two N-phenyldithiocarbamato anions and two p-cymene molecules. Each N-phenyldithiocarbamato anion acts as a chelating ligand to one ruthenium(II) and a bridging ligand to second ruthenium(II) ion in a classic “three-legged piano-stool” arrangement with a pseudo-tetrahedral geometry. The geometry around the ruthenium(II) ions is completed through η6 coordination to the p-cymene carbon atoms. Anticancer studies showed that the compound is potently cytotoxic (complete kill between 10 and 50 μM) when tested up to 100 μM for up to 48 h against two cell lines, HeLa and MRC5-SV2, models of cervical and lung cancer, respectively, and in some instances outperformed the standard platinum-based anticancer drug cisplatin for cytotoxic potency, highlighting the anti-cancer prospect of the complex

    Efficient removal of pharmaceutical contaminants from water and wastewater using immobilized laccase on activated carbon derived from pomegranate peels

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    In this study, pomegranate peels (PPs) as an abundant fruit processing waste was used to produce cost-effective, eco-friendly, and high-quality activated carbon. The produced carbon (fossil free activated carbon) was used for immobilizing laccase to remove a range of emerging pollutants namely diclofenac, amoxicillin, carbamazepine, and ciprofloxacin from water and wastewater. The loaded activated carbon by laccase (LMPPs) and the unloaded one (MPPs) were characterized using advanced surface chemistry analysis techniques. MPPs was found to have a porous structure with a large surface area and an abundance of acidic functional groups. Laccase immobilization reduced surface area but added active degradation sites. The optimal immobilization parameters were determined as pH 4, 35 °C, and a laccase concentration of 2.5 mg/mL resulting in a 69.8% immobilization yield. The adsorption of the emerging pollutant onto MPPs is best characterized as a spontaneous endothermic process that adheres to the Langmuir isotherm and first-order kinetics. Using synergistic adsorption and enzymatic degradation, the target pollutants (50 mg/L) were eliminated in 2 h. In both water types, LMPPs outperformed MPPs. This study shows that pomegranate peels can effectively be harnessed as an enzyme carrier and adsorbent for the removal of emerging pollutants even from a complex sample matrix. The removal of contaminants from wastewater lasted five cycles, whereas it continued up to six cycles for water

    Increased prevalence of Parkinson's disease in alkaptonuria.

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    Amongst a cohort of 88 alkaptonuria (AKU) patients attending the United Kingdom National Alkaptonuria Centre (NAC), four unrelated patients had co-existing Parkinson's disease (PD). Two of the NAC patients developed PD before receiving nitisinone (NIT) while the other two developed overt PD during NIT therapy. NIT lowers redox-active homogentisic acid (HGA) and profoundly increases tyrosine (TYR). A further unpublished case of a Dutch patient with AKU and PD on deep brain stimulation is included in this report. A Pubmed search revealed a further five AKU patients with PD, all without NIT usage. The prevalence of PD in AKU in the NAC appears to be nearly 20-times higher than in the non-AKU population (p < 0.001) even when adjusted for age. We propose that life-long exposure to redox-active HGA may account for the higher prevalence of PD in AKU. Furthermore, the appearance of PD in AKU patients during NIT therapy may be due to unmasking dopamine deficiency in susceptible individuals, as a result of the tyrosinaemia during NIT therapy inhibiting the rate-limiting brain tyrosine hydroxylase

    Modelling Skeletal Muscle Ageing and Repair In Vitro

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    Healthy skeletal muscle can regenerate after ischaemic, mechanical, or toxin-induced injury, but ageing impairs that regeneration potential. This has been largely attributed to dysfunctional satellite cells and reduced myogenic capacity. Understanding which signalling pathways are associated with reduced myogenesis and impaired muscle regeneration can provide valuable information about the mechanisms driving muscle ageing and prompt the development of new therapies. To investigate this, we developed a high-throughput in vitro model to assess muscle regeneration in chemically injured C2C12 and human myotube-derived young and aged myoblast cultures. We observed a reduced regeneration capacity of aged cells, as indicated by an attenuated recovery towards preinjury myotube size and myogenic fusion index at the end of the regeneration period, in comparison with younger muscle cells that were fully recovered. RNA-sequencing data showed significant enrichment of KEGG signalling pathways, PI3K-Akt, and downregulation of GO processes associated with muscle development, differentiation, and contraction in aged but not in young muscle cells. Data presented here suggest that repair in response to in vitro injury is impaired in aged vs. young muscle cells. Our study establishes a framework that enables further understanding of the factors underlying impaired muscle regeneration in older age

    Spineless and overlooked: DNA metabarcoding of autonomous reef monitoring structures reveals intra‐ and interspecific genetic diversity in Mediterranean invertebrates

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    The ability to gather genetic information using DNA metabarcoding of bulk samples obtained directly from the environment is crucial to determine biodiversity baselines and understand population dynamics in the marine realm. While DNA metabarcoding is effective in evaluating biodiversity at community level, genetic patterns within species are often concealed in metabarcoding studies and overlooked for marine invertebrates. In the present study, we implement recently developed bioinformatics tools to investigate intraspecific genetic variability for invertebrate taxa in the Mediterranean Sea. Using metabarcoding samples from Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) deployed in three locations, we present haplotypes and diversity estimates for 145 unique species. While overall genetic diversity was low, we identified several species with high diversity records and potential cryptic lineages. Further, we emphasize the spatial scale of genetic variability, which was observed from locations to individual sampling units (ARMS). We carried out a population genetic analysis of several important yet understudied species, which highlights the current knowledge gap concerning intraspecific genetic patterns for the target taxa in the Mediterranean basin. Our approach considerably enhances biodiversity monitoring of charismatic and understudied Mediterranean species, which can be incorporated into ARMS surveys

    JWST UNCOVER: Extremely Red and Compact Object at z phot ≃ 7.6 Triply Imaged by A2744

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    Recent JWST/NIRCam imaging taken for the ultra-deep UNCOVER program reveals a very red dropout object at z phot ≃ 7.6, triply imaged by the galaxy cluster A2744 (z d = 0.308). All three images are very compact, i.e., unresolved, with a delensed size upper limit of r e ≲ 35 pc. The images have apparent magnitudes of m F444W ∼ 25−26 AB, and the magnification-corrected absolute UV magnitude of the source is M UV,1450 = −16.81 ± 0.09. From the sum of observed fluxes and from a spectral energy distribution (SED) analysis, we obtain estimates of the bolometric luminosities of the source of L bol ≳ 1043 erg s−1 and L bol ∼ 1044–1046 erg s−1, respectively. Based on its compact, point-like appearance, its position in color–color space, and the SED analysis, we tentatively conclude that this object is a UV-faint dust-obscured quasar-like object, i.e., an active galactic nucleus at high redshift. We also discuss other alternative origins for the object’s emission features, including a massive star cluster, Population III, supermassive, or dark stars, or a direct-collapse black hole. Although populations of red galaxies at similar photometric redshifts have been detected with JWST, this object is unique in that its high-redshift nature is corroborated geometrically by lensing, that it is unresolved despite being magnified—and thus intrinsically even more compact—and that it occupies notably distinct regions in both size–luminosity and color–color space. Planned UNCOVER JWST/NIRSpec observations, scheduled in Cycle 1, will enable a more detailed analysis of this object

    Further towards the right to ‘safe leisure’: a case study of the Council of Europe’s 2016 Saint-Denis Convention

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    In the context of the right to leisure – enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) – this article addresses how the Council of Europe’s (2016) Convention on an ‘Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events’ (‘Saint-Denis Convention’) provides a legal pathway towards what we conceptualize here as the right to ‘safe leisure’. This right to ‘safe leisure’, we locate within broader right to leisure discourses which this article reconsiders. We contend that the Convention has wider ramifications for the intersection between human rights and leisure and that the Convention’s potential resides in the fact that it enhances the existing and orthodox conceptualizations of leisure. Following an unpacking and operationalization of the right to leisure, this conceptual article then showcases how the 2016 Convention enshrines distinct duties and obligations which establish a clear right to ‘safe leisure’ within a significant realm of leisure life

    State making or state breaking?’ Crisis, COVID‐19 and the constitution in Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom

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    As the first cases of COVID‐19 emerged in Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom, they did so against a backdrop of heightened constitutional contestation. Capturing the period January 2020 to December 2021 which included three waves of the pandemic in each state and the delivery of vaccines, this article examines how state and sub‐state nationalists articulated their constitutional preferences and territorial claims in the pandemic period. We particularly explore whether the crisis changed state and sub‐state nationalists' territorial demands and how it was used to advance or bolster their territorial aspirations. We find that whilst the pandemic entailed an amplification of extant frames in favour of state dissolution and state integrity, the frames remained, broadly, similar between the pre‐pandemic and pandemic period, suggesting that sub‐state and state nationalist actors stick to a similar playbook, even at moments of profound crisis


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