Category / Research themes

Molecular basis for a healthier heart…new work published by BU

Research funded by the British Heart Foundation looking at tissue fibrosis (scarring), will soon be published in Experimental Gerontology, one the world’s leading journal on ageing. Fibrosis occurs naturally as part of our injury response process but also develops in ageing and chronic disease. Treatments are scant despite fibrosis leading to organ failure and increased risk of death.

The image shows valves (v) in the hearts of young and ‘late middle aged’ fruit flies that have been genetically engineered to express fluorescent collagen, an key ‘scar protein’. Although the fly heart is just two cells wide it represents a lot of the genetic machinery for a human heart. Amazingly, the function of human and fly hearts declines as they age – and they both accumulate collagen.

Our previous work linked heart function with SPARC – a protein associated with fibrosis in humans.  We’ve now demonstrated that the heart’s ‘health-span’ during ageing can be significantly lengthened if the expression SPARC is reduced. We also show that if SPARC levels increase – fibrosis is increased too. Hence, we’ve nailed a cause-and-effect relationship between SPARC and heart function which supports the idea of targeting SPARC clinically to control cardiac health and fibrosis.

Paul S. Hartley (Department of Life and Environmental Science).

SAIL Project Team Meeting

Last week, Prof Ann Hemingway,  Prof Adele Ladkin  and Dr Holly Crossen-White joined European research colleagues in Ostend, Belgium for a SAIL Project bi-annual team meeting. Over two days  all research partners from four different European countries had the opportunity to share their initial research data from pilot projects being developed within each country for older people. The BU team will be undertaking the feasibility study for the SAIL project and will be drawing together all the learning from the various interventions created by the other partners.

 

 

New CMMPH midwifery publication

Congratulations to Dr. Sue Way and Prof. Vanora Hundley in BU’s Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on their latest publication on the latent phase of labour.  Their paper ‘Defining the latent phase of labour: is it important?’ appeared in Evidence Based Midwifery and was written with midwifery colleagues across the UK, Germany and Canada [1].

 

Congratulations

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Hundley V, Way S, Cheyne H, Janssen P, Gross M, Spiby H (2017) Defining the latent phase of labour: is it important? Evidence Based Midwifery 15 (3): 89-94. 

 

New research shows that active gaming technology could help people with Multiple Sclerosis

A new study published by Bournemouth University has shown that using the Nintendo Wii™ could help people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) become more active.  Being more physically activity has a range of potential benefits, including better balance and posture, improved confidence and improved mood.

The study saw 30 participants trial the use of Wii Fit Plus™, Wii Sports™ and Wii Sports Resort™ games at home, following initial orientation and guidance from physiotherapists in a hospital setting.  People recorded how often they used the Wii™, as well as responding to a number of questionnaires exploring its effects.  Dr Sarah Thomas, lead researcher, explains the rationale behind the project:

“Physical activity is known to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of people with MS, but they often face greater barriers to participation.  I’d noticed from my own family that playing the Wii appealed across the generations and was interested to see whether its ease of use and accessibility would make a difference to people with MS,” says Dr Thomas.

“Conversations with the Dorset MS team showed that they’d been thinking along the same lines, as they’d noticed that the Wii was increasingly being used by their patients.  That’s what led us to develop a successful grant application to the MS Society.”

As part of the Mii-vitaliSe study, people with MS were allocated  at random to one of two groups – one which trialled the Wii intervention immediately alongside their usual care for 12 months, and one which started the Wii intervention after a 6 month delay.

“The people we worked with were relatively physically inactive at the beginning of the study,” explains Dr Thomas, “Through regular 1-2-1 sessions with a physiotherapist, they were able to develop individual goals, which they then worked towards achieving using the Wii™ in their own homes.”

“We found that people were using the Wii™ on average about twice a week, most often for balance exercises, yoga or aerobics,” continues Dr Thomas, “Our participants found it a fun and convenient way to increase their physical activity levels, with people reporting benefits such as reduced stress, increased confidence and better balance, among others.”

“In day-to-day life, people noticed improvements such as dropping fewer pegs when hanging out washing, finding it easier to get in and out of the shower and walking further.”

We hope to build on these promising initial findings by carrying out a large multi-centre trial to test whether this intervention is effective.”

The full study can be read here.

A briefing paper about the research can be found here.

CMMPH student wins prestigious Iolanthe Midwifery Trust award

Congratulations to Dominique Mylod, clinical doctoral student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health , Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

Dominique was awarded a Midwives Award from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust for her research into early labour, which explores whether using a birth ball at home in early labour improves birth outcomes. She is supervised by Professor Vanora Hundley, Dr Sue Way, and Dr Carol Clark.

The picture shows Dominique receiving her award from Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE, Patron of the Trust.

 

Perceptually-Motivated Rendering – Frame Rate Vs. Resolution

We would like to invite you to the first of a new series of research seminars of the Creative Technology Research Centre featuring external speakers.

 

Speaker: Dr Kurt Debattista

Dr Debattista is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick specialising in Visualisation Research. His research interests include Interacting rendering, High-fidelity graphics, Perceptually-based rendering, High Dynamic Range Imaging, Parallel Computing, and Serious Games.

https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/people/profile/?wmgid=518

 

Title: Perceptually-Motivated Rendering – Frame Rate Vs. Resolution

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

 

Date: Wednesday 18th October 2017

 

Room: Lawrence LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus

 

Abstract: High-fidelity graphics permit the visualisation of complex scenarios for applications such as simulation, engineering, archaeology, entertainment etc. Unfortunately, high-fidelity graphics can be computationally expensive and therefore scenarios cannot always be rendered to their highest fidelity. However, the human visual system (HVS) is not infallible and if well understood could be used to develop and implement rendering systems that best exploit its characteristics resulting in perceptually better graphics. Maximising performance for rendered content requires making compromises on quality parameters depending on the computational resources available. Yet, it is currently unclear which parameters best maximise perceived quality. In this talk this is illustrated by recent work attempting to harness the relationship between frame rate and resolution on perceived quality to obtain more cost-effective virtual experiences.

 

We hope to see you there.

Innovation in health and life sciences round 3- DEADLINE 6/12/17

InnovateUK have announced the opening of the Innovation in health and life sciences, round 3.  All projects must be led by a business and have the involvement of at least one SME on the project.  Research organisations may participate in applications as collaborators. All submissions must demonstrate plans for significant innovation in at least one of the priority areas:

  • increasing agricultural productivity
  • improving food quality and sustainability
  • advanced therapies (cell and gene therapies)
  • precision medicine
  • medicines discovery
  • preclinical technologies
  • advanced biosciences

Applications will also need to address at least one of the competition themes.  Applications for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are also welcome.  Total project costs should be between £50k and £2m and last from six months to three years.

For information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, please contact Rachel Clarke (clarker@bournemouth.ac.uk).  For discussing how to developing a research collaboration with industry, please contact Ehren Milner (emilner@bournemouth.ac.uk).

 

 

 

 

BU Sociology article in The Conversation

Congratulations to Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim Senior Lecturer in Sociology at BU who has just written an interesting piece on human rights issues faced by North Korean female defectors in China in The Conversation. You can access this article by clicking here!

 

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Centre for Qualitative Research ‘In Conversation” this Wed 1 pm Fenge & Jones

Not to be missed!

This Wednesday at 1 pm in RLH 201

Lee-Ann Fenge and Kip Jones converse about a focus group that became an innovative journal article, and now about to become a short ‘script in hand’ performance by YOU the audience!

“I’m her partner. Let me in!”

All BU staff and students welcome! 

See you there!

See all of the ‘In Conversation’ CQR Seminars listed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADRC attend the Fifth Annual Wessex Clinical Research Network Ageing Research Meeting

Jane Murphy from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC)  was invited to join the ‘Fifth Annual Wessex Clinical Research Network Ageing Research Meeting’ on 13th September 2017  at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.  There were a wide range of interesting and insightful presentations  by clinicians of mostly NIHR funded research in ageing including frailty, dementia and neurodegenerative disorders and stroke. The Specialty National Lead for Ageing, and Lead for Ageing and Dementia Theme NIHR CLAHRC Professor Helen Roberts chaired the morning session  followed by Dr Divya Tiwari,  Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex Ageing Specialty Lead who chaired the afternoon session.

Martine Cross, The Research Delivery Manager for  Ageing at the  Wessex CRN presented a key update on projects and plans.  Please note that Martine will be coming to BU and for academics with an interest in ageing research and considering applying to NIHR, it would present an ideal opportunity to meet Martine and know more about  the Wessex CRN and discuss your plans.

For expressions of interest to join the meeting, please email  Michelle O’Brien, ADRC  administrator (adrc@bournemouth.ac.uk) and  we will send further details.

 

 

Conference on the impact of complications and errors in surgery held at BU

Things can go wrong in surgery, and dealing with the consequences of complications and errors is part and parcel of a surgeon’s life. Last week a conference was held at BU’s Executive Business Centre which explored the impact that adverse events have on surgeons and examined how these effects can be ameliorated. Eminent presenters from across the UK shared insights from their surgical careers and personal experiences, presented the latest research in the area, and considered how better support and training could be provided for surgeons.

The conference was organised by the Bournemouth Adverse Events Research Team, a joint research venture between psychologists at BU and surgeons at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, who are currently researching the impact of complications and errors which inevitably arise during surgery on surgeons.  Professor Siné McDougall, one of the research team, said: “Today is about trying to think about what we can do to support surgeons. When things do go wrong, the focus is rightly on patients and their family. However, surgeons are also dealing with their own feelings, particularly if they have made a mistake which they deeply regret.”

It was clear that the conference had touched on a key issue for surgeons.  This was summed up by the keynote speaker, Professor Sir Miles Irving, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Manchester University, who said “The proceedings were excellent and clearly demonstrated that you have latched on to a problem which has the potential to become even more significant if not addressed.”  The Bournemouth Adverse Events Team is looking forward to continuing research in this area which will address this issue.

EU Info Day: ‘Health, demographic change and well-being’, Brussels 8/12/17

There will be an EU Societal Challenge 1 Health & Wellbeing Info day on 8 December 2017, in Brussels. As you can see form the outline below, there are opportunities for BU across all four faculties within this part of the Work Programme for 2018-2020, due to be released in October.

 

With the principle of better health for all at its core, Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenge 1 (Health, demographic change and well-being) focuses on personalised health and care, infectious diseases and improving global health, innovative and sustainable health systems, decoding the role of the environment (including climate change) for health and well-being, digital transformation and cybersecurity in health and care. Horizon 2020′ Societal Challenge 1 Work Programme 2018-2020 will be expected to offer calls for proposals with an overall budget of about €2 billion.

Draft programme and registrations are to follow at the end of September.

Related to the Health Open Info Day, the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation supports the following two events which will be organised on 7 December 2017, also in Brussels

Partnering Event – organised by the EU-funded project Health-NCP-Net 2.0 – the event aims at helping you find the right project partners for the upcoming 2018 health calls. Registration opens on 8/10/17.

Satellite event on Innovation Procurement in health care – Limited to 80 participants – First come, first served basis, with booking already open.

Booking links and further information are on the main Info Day page.

Please let Emily Cieciura, RKEO Research Facilitator: EU & International, know if you plan to attend.

ADRC presented latest results at two conferences in Germany

Jan Wiener, Ramona Grzeschik and Chris Hilton represented the Ageing & Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at the 40th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 27–31 August 2017 in Berlin and the 20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) 3-6 September 2017 in Potsdam.

The ECVP is an annual meeting that brings together researchers from Psychology, Neurosciences, Optics, Computational Sciences and more. Besides vision, other modalities are represented as well as their interaction (multisensory perception). The conference of the ESCoP is being held once every two years. The society’s mission is “the furtherance of scientific enquiry within the field of Cognitive Psychology and related subjects, particularly with respect to collaboration and exchange of information between researchers in different European countries”.

Ramona represented the ADRC at both conferences with her ESRC-funded project on Dementia-friendly environments. In particular, she presented a poster with the latest results of her wayfinding experiment where she investigated the route learning abilities and eye movements of young and old participants.

At the ESCoP conference, Jan gave a talk on “What can eye-tracking tell us about the cognitive mechanisms underlying successful navigation?” where he introduced a couple of experiments that investigated eye movements during route and place learning in Virtual Environments.

Chris presented his results at the ESCoP as well. His poster titled “An exploration into the effects of ageing on general control of attention during route learning in a complex environment.” escribed his experiment using a natural looking virtual environment called “Virtual Tübingen”. He investigated attentional engagement during a route learning task in young and old participants.