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Sci, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In underwater optical wireless communications, scattering of the propagating light beam results in intensity and phase variations, which limit the transmission link range and the channel bandwidth, respectively. The scattering of photons propagating through the channel is a random process, which results in the channel-dependent scattering noise. In dirtier waters or over longer transmission link spans, more photons will experience scattering due to particles, air bubbles, etc., thus resulting in the increased scattering noise coefficient, which cannot be ignored, and therefore should be considered. View this paper.
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Article
Interactive, Hands-On Training for Hospital Workers Increases Level of Special Pathogen Preparedness
Sci 2021, 3(2), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020029 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1111
Abstract
The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effect of intensive, interactive training on hospital workers’ preparedness for special pathogen cases by utilizing the Frontline Facility Special Pathogens Training Course created by the Systemwide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health [...] Read more.
The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effect of intensive, interactive training on hospital workers’ preparedness for special pathogen cases by utilizing the Frontline Facility Special Pathogens Training Course created by the Systemwide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H). An 8 h course was offered in 2018 and 2019 to healthcare employees throughout the Department of Health and Human Services Region 2, mostly from NYC H+H. Evaluation included multiple-choice pre and post exams, a 26-question survey about level of preparedness before and after the training, and follow-up interviews focused on changes in facility protocols. As a result, 61% of survey respondents indicated that they had never previously attended a hospital-sponsored special pathogen training. After the training, there was a 53.3% report rate of feeling “very prepared,” compared to 14.6% before the training. Additionally, there was an 11% improvement in test scores. Furthermore, 77% of respondents reported that their facility had changed protocols relating to topics of the course after their training date. Survey participants reported general satisfaction with the course, as well as an increased level of preparedness for special pathogen cases. Together, the results of the exams, survey, and interviews suggest that this interactive, mixed-method training increases special pathogen preparedness across different healthcare sectors. With the ongoing threat of special pathogens, the need for continued training and maintaining a state of readiness is paramount in healthcare. Full article
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Article
Perception of Health Challenges, Self-Rated Health and Feeling of Empowerment in a Changing Climate and Environment with Permafrost Thawing
Sci 2021, 3(2), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020028 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Climate change is a global challenge which has direct and indirect health impacts on the lives of people and communities in the Arctic. The aim of our study was to evaluate the perception of permafrost thaw and health challenges and to determine which [...] Read more.
Climate change is a global challenge which has direct and indirect health impacts on the lives of people and communities in the Arctic. The aim of our study was to evaluate the perception of permafrost thaw and health challenges and to determine which perceived environmental and adaptation factors relate to self-rated health and, more specifically, to feeling of empowerment when facing the changes and impacts of climate change and permafrost thawing. Questionnaire data (n = 100) were collected from one community located in Greenland, Disko Bay. Data were analyzed by cross-tabulation and the significances were tested either by Pearson’s χ2 test, Fisher’s exact test or by the t-test, when applicable. Based on these analyses, logistic and linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the associations between demographic variables, challenges posed by permafrost thaw and self-rated health, and associations between feeling of empowerment and perceived environmental/adaptation factors. The results indicated that climate change was not assessed as being a direct risk for the health of local people or their feeling of empowerment. Nature seemed to play an important role for local people, and not being in the natural environment for recreational activities seemed to decrease feeling of empowerment (OR 0.42, p = 0.042, 95% CI 0.17–0.97). This paper provides new, multidisciplinary research information about the perception of health challenges, health, and feeling of empowerment among people living in an environment impacted by permafrost thaw and climate change. Full article
Article
Investigation of the Scattering Noise in Underwater Optical Wireless Communications
Sci 2021, 3(2), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020027 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
In underwater optical wireless communications (UOWC), scattering of the propagating light beam results in both intensity and phase variations, which limit the transmission link range and channel bandwidth, respectively. Scattering of photons while propagating through the channel is a random process, which results [...] Read more.
In underwater optical wireless communications (UOWC), scattering of the propagating light beam results in both intensity and phase variations, which limit the transmission link range and channel bandwidth, respectively. Scattering of photons while propagating through the channel is a random process, which results in the channel-dependent scattering noise. In this work, we introduce for the first time an analytical model for this noise and investigate its effect on the bit error rate performance of the UOWC system for three types of waters and a range of transmission link spans. We show that, for a short range of un-clear water or a longer range of clear water, the number of photons experiencing scattering is high, thus leading to the increased scattering noise. The results demonstrate that the FEC limit of 3×103 and considering the scattering noise, the maximum link spans are 51.5, 20, and 4.6 m for the clear, coastal, and harbor waters, respectively. Full article
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Article
SOX2OT Long Noncoding RNA Is Regulated by the UPR in Oestrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer
Sci 2021, 3(2), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020026 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Endoplasmic reticulum (ENR) stress perturbs cell homeostasis and induces the unfolded protein response (UPR). In breast cancer, this process is activated by oestrogen deprivation and is associated with tamoxifen resistance. We present evidence that the transcription factor SOX2 and the long noncoding RNA [...] Read more.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ENR) stress perturbs cell homeostasis and induces the unfolded protein response (UPR). In breast cancer, this process is activated by oestrogen deprivation and is associated with tamoxifen resistance. We present evidence that the transcription factor SOX2 and the long noncoding RNA SOX2 overlapping transcript (SOX2OT) are upregulated in oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer and in response to oestrogen deprivation. We examined the effect of the UPR on SOX2 and SOX2OT expression and the effect of SOX2OT on UPR pathways in breast cancer cell lines. The induction of the UPR by thapsigargin or glucose deprivation upregulates SOX2OT expression. This upregulation is also shown with the anti-oestrogen 4OH-tamoxifen and mTOR inhibitor everolimus in ER + breast cancer cells that are sensitive to oestrogen deprivation or everolimus treatment. SOX2OT overexpression decreased BiP and PERK expression. This effect of SOX2OT overexpression was confirmed on BiP and PERK pathway by q-PCR. Our results show that a long noncoding RNA regulates the UPR and evince a new function of SOX2OT as a participant of ENR stress reprogramming of breast cancer cells. Full article
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Article
Health Insurance Coverage before and after the Affordable Care Act in the USA
Sci 2021, 3(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020025 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 1517
Abstract
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the crossroads. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACA in order to make rational decisions about the ongoing healthcare reform, but existing research into its effect on health insurance status in the United [...] Read more.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the crossroads. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACA in order to make rational decisions about the ongoing healthcare reform, but existing research into its effect on health insurance status in the United States is insufficient and descriptive. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2009 to 2015, this study examines changes in health insurance status and its determinants before the ACA in 2009, during its partial implementation in 2010–2013, and after its full implementation in 2014 and 2015. The results of trend analysis indicate a significant increase in national health insurance rate from 82.2% in 2009 to 89.4% in 2015. Logistic regression analyses confirm the similar impact of age, gender, race, marital status, nativity, citizenship, education, and poverty on health insurance status before and after the ACA. Despite similar effects across years, controlling for other variables, youth aged 26 or below, the foreign-born, Asians, and other races had a greater probability of gaining health insurance after the ACA than before the ACA; however, the odds of obtaining health insurance for Hispanics and the impoverished rose slightly during the partial implementation of the ACA, but somewhat declined after the full implementation of the ACA starting in 2014. These findings should be taken into account by the U.S. Government in deciding the fate of the ACA. Full article
Article
COP and the Cloth: Quantitatively and Normatively Assessing Religious NGO Participation at the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Sci 2021, 3(2), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020024 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1899
Abstract
How much is religion quantitatively involved in global climate politics? After assessing the role of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from a normative perspective, this descriptive, transdisciplinary and unconventional study offers the first comprehensive quantitative [...] Read more.
How much is religion quantitatively involved in global climate politics? After assessing the role of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from a normative perspective, this descriptive, transdisciplinary and unconventional study offers the first comprehensive quantitative examination of religious nongovernmental organizations that formally participate in its annual meetings, the largest attempts to solve the climate crisis through global governance. This study finds that although their numbers are growing, only about 3 percent of registered nongovernmental organizations accredited to participate in the conference are overtly religious in nature—and that more than 80 percent of those faith-based groups are Christian. Additionally, this study finds that religious nongovernmental organizations that participate in the conference are mostly from the Global North. The results call for greater participation of religious institutions in the international climate negotiations in order for society to address the planetary emergency of climate change. Full article
Article
Urban Sprawl and Growth Prediction for Lagos Using GlobeLand30 Data and Cellular Automata Model
Sci 2021, 3(2), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020023 - 05 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Urban growth in various cities across the world, especially in developing countries, leads to land use change. Thus, predicting future urban growth in the most rapidly growing region of Nigeria becomes a significant endeavor. This study analyzes land use and land cover (LULC) [...] Read more.
Urban growth in various cities across the world, especially in developing countries, leads to land use change. Thus, predicting future urban growth in the most rapidly growing region of Nigeria becomes a significant endeavor. This study analyzes land use and land cover (LULC) change and predicts the future urban growth of the Lagos metropolitan region, using Cellular Automata (CA) model. To achieve this, the GlobeLand30 datasets from years 2000 and 2010 were used to obtain LULC maps, which were utilized for modeling and prediction. Change analysis and prediction for LULC scenario for 2030 were performed using LCM and CA Markov chain modeling. The results show a substantial growth of artificial surfaces, which will cause further reductions in cultivated land, grassland, shrubland, wetland, and waterbodies. There was no appreciable impact of change for bare land, as its initial extent of cover later disappeared completely. Additionally, artificial surfaces/urban growth in Lagos expanded to the neighboring towns and localities in Ogun State during the study period, and it is expected that such growth will be higher in 2030. Lastly, the study findings will be beneficial to urban planners and land use managers in making key decisions regarding urban growth and improved land use management in Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2020 Editors' Collection)
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Article
Relevancy of Nizatidine’s Release from Floating Tablets with Viscosity of Various Cellulose Ethers
Sci 2021, 3(2), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020022 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Nizatidine is a gastroprotective drug with a short biological half-life and narrow absorption window. This study aimed at developing floating tablets of nizatidine using various HPMC viscosity grades, namely K4M, E4M, K15 and K200M. Directly compressed tablets revealed an excellent uniformity in hardness, [...] Read more.
Nizatidine is a gastroprotective drug with a short biological half-life and narrow absorption window. This study aimed at developing floating tablets of nizatidine using various HPMC viscosity grades, namely K4M, E4M, K15 and K200M. Directly compressed tablets revealed an excellent uniformity in hardness, thickness and weight and nizatidine was evenly distributed within the matrix floating tablets. Buoyancy study revealed floating lag time as low as 18–38 s, and tablets remain buoyant for upto 24 h. However, the later depended upon viscosity grade of HPMC and that the higher the viscosity, the less was the total floating time. In vitro dissolution indicated viscosity dependent nizatidine release from the floating tablets. HPMC K4M and E4M based floating tablets released almost 100% drug in 12 h, whilst higher viscosity polymers such as K15 and K200M only released 81.88% and 75.81% drug, respectively. The drug release followed non-Fickian diffusion from tablets formulated with K4M, K15 and K200M, whilst super case II transport was observed with E4M based tablets. More interestingly, K4M and E4M polymers have similar viscosity yet exhibited different drug release mechanism. This was attributed to the difference in degree of substitution of methoxyl- and hydroxypropoxyl- groups on polymer backbone. Full article
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Case Report
Assessment of Static Steadiness and Dynamic Stability at Various Stages of Healing of a Grade 2 Medial Collateral Ligament Tear: A Case Report
Sci 2021, 3(2), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020021 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Injuries to ligaments of the knee are extremely common among athletes who participate in high-risk sports or any sport that requires frequent cutting motions, jumping, or contact. In order to determine the best way to heal these injuries, it is important to understand [...] Read more.
Injuries to ligaments of the knee are extremely common among athletes who participate in high-risk sports or any sport that requires frequent cutting motions, jumping, or contact. In order to determine the best way to heal these injuries, it is important to understand not just the pathology of the injury but also the biomechanical factors that are affected, including stability and steadiness. While many studies have been conducted to examine the stability of healthy knees, there is little to no existing literature on stability of knees afflicted by injury. In order to surpass this obstacle, static steadiness and dynamic stability data were collected using the Lockhart Monitor phone application and Xsens accelerometers, respectively, both before and after completion of a course of physical therapy in a subject with a grade 2 medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear. These results were then used to determine the degree to which the prescribed physical therapy protocol was effective in healing the MCL, which can be useful for adjusting the individual protocol for future conservative treatment and management of the injury. Full article
Article
What Affects Maternal Response to Measles Vaccinations? Examining the Health Beliefs Model (HBM)
Sci 2021, 3(2), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020020 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Background: Renewed measles outbreaks in recent years indicate that despite the routine availability of vaccines for a disease that is considered contagious, dangerous and deadly, many anti-vaccinationists do not vaccinate their children, which consequently endangers public health. This study aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Background: Renewed measles outbreaks in recent years indicate that despite the routine availability of vaccines for a disease that is considered contagious, dangerous and deadly, many anti-vaccinationists do not vaccinate their children, which consequently endangers public health. This study aimed to investigate the factors that influence mothers to vaccinate their children, and whether the Health Belief Model (HBM) could predict compliance or non-compliance. Methods: This was a quantitative correlational research, using a 40-item questionnaire administered to 181 mothers in Israel. Results: The findings indicated two main factors that affected mothers’ intention to vaccinate their children against measles: first, their perception of the vaccine’s advantages, and second, their perception of the severity of the disease. It was also found that the HBM variables significantly affected the intention to administer vaccines. Conclusion: Consequently, raising public awareness of the vaccine’s advantages and importance to preventing mass infection, as well as attempts by the health system and practitioners to understand the motivations of anti-vaccinationists (including health beliefs and cultural sensitivities) could significantly increase the percentage of vaccinated children, and eradicate the measles epidemic. Full article
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Article
The Interference of Arabic Prepositions in Emirati English
Sci 2021, 3(2), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020019 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1459
Abstract
The bond between England and the UAE date back to over 220 years ago. This article explored the interference of Arabic prepositions in the English used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and their occurrences in light of gender and level of education, [...] Read more.
The bond between England and the UAE date back to over 220 years ago. This article explored the interference of Arabic prepositions in the English used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and their occurrences in light of gender and level of education, two important social variables related to linguistic behavior. To do so, participants translated 20 sentences in Arabic into English as well as filled in 30 gaps in sentences in English with the missing prepositions. We also experimented how musical intelligence improved the Emiratis’ performance regarding prepositions. An experiment was carried out to verify if participants from the experimental group, who received training on prepositions through music, obtained better results compared to the control group, who received training through a more traditional way (by listening to the instructor and repeating). Full article
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