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2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
pp. e837
Joel Pinney ◽  
Fiona Carroll ◽  
Paul Newbury

Background Human senses have evolved to recognise sensory cues. Beyond our perception, they play an integral role in our emotional processing, learning, and interpretation. They are what help us to sculpt our everyday experiences and can be triggered by aesthetics to form the foundations of our interactions with each other and our surroundings. In terms of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), robots have the possibility to interact with both people and environments given their senses. They can offer the attributes of human characteristics, which in turn can make the interchange with technology a more appealing and admissible experience. However, for many reasons, people still do not seem to trust and accept robots. Trust is expressed as a person’s ability to accept the potential risks associated with participating alongside an entity such as a robot. Whilst trust is an important factor in building relationships with robots, the presence of uncertainties can add an additional dimension to the decision to trust a robot. In order to begin to understand how to build trust with robots and reverse the negative ideology, this paper examines the influences of aesthetic design techniques on the human ability to trust robots. Method This paper explores the potential that robots have unique opportunities to improve their facilities for empathy, emotion, and social awareness beyond their more cognitive functionalities. Through conducting an online questionnaire distributed globally, we explored participants ability and acceptance in trusting the Canbot U03 robot. Participants were presented with a range of visual questions which manipulated the robot’s facial screen and asked whether or not they would trust the robot. A selection of questions aimed at putting participants in situations where they were required to establish whether or not to trust a robot’s responses based solely on the visual appearance. We accomplished this by manipulating different design elements of the robots facial and chest screens, which influenced the human-robot interaction. Results We found that certain facial aesthetics seem to be more trustworthy than others, such as a cartoon face versus a human face, and that certain visual variables (i.e., blur) afforded uncertainty more than others. Consequentially, this paper reports that participant’s uncertainties of the visualisations greatly influenced their willingness to accept and trust the robot. The results of introducing certain anthropomorphic characteristics emphasised the participants embrace of the uncanny valley theory, where pushing the degree of human likeness introduced a thin line between participants accepting robots and not. By understanding what manipulation of design elements created the aesthetic effect that triggered the affective processes, this paper further enriches our knowledge of how we might design for certain emotions, feelings, and ultimately more socially acceptable and trusting robotic experiences.

Life ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 116
Jianan Sun ◽  
Mark Anthony V. Raymundo ◽  
Chia-En A. Chang

Understanding non-covalent biomolecular recognition, which includes drug–protein bound states and their binding/unbinding processes, is of fundamental importance in chemistry, biology, and medicine. Fully revealing the factors that govern the binding/unbinding processes can further assist in designing drugs with desired binding kinetics. HIV protease (HIVp) plays an integral role in the HIV life cycle, so it is a prime target for drug therapy. HIVp has flexible flaps, and the binding pocket can be accessible by a ligand via various pathways. Comparing ligand association and dissociation pathways can help elucidate the ligand–protein interactions such as key residues directly involved in the interaction or specific protein conformations that determine the binding of a ligand under certain pathway(s). Here, we investigated the ligand unbinding process for a slow binder, ritonavir, and a fast binder, xk263, by using unbiased all-atom accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) simulation with a re-seeding approach and an explicit solvent model. Using ritonavir-HIVp and xk263-HIVp ligand–protein systems as cases, we sampled multiple unbinding pathways for each ligand and observed that the two ligands preferred the same unbinding route. However, ritonavir required a greater HIVp motion to dissociate as compared with xk263, which can leave the binding pocket with little conformational change of HIVp. We also observed that ritonavir unbinding pathways involved residues which are associated with drug resistance and are distal from catalytic site. Analyzing HIVp conformations sampled during both ligand–protein binding and unbinding processes revealed significantly more overlapping HIVp conformations for ritonavir-HIVp rather than xk263-HIVp. However, many HIVp conformations are unique in xk263-HIVp unbinding processes. The findings are consistent with previous findings that xk263 prefers an induced-fit model for binding and unbinding, whereas ritonavir favors a conformation selection model. This study deepens our understanding of the dynamic process of ligand unbinding and provides insights into ligand–protein recognition mechanisms and drug discovery.

Viruses ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 135
Adam J. Kleinman ◽  
Ivona Pandrea ◽  
Cristian Apetrei

HIV infection requires lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) to control disease progression. Although ART has greatly extended the life expectancy of persons living with HIV (PWH), PWH nonetheless suffer from an increase in AIDS-related and non-AIDS related comorbidities resulting from HIV pathogenesis. Thus, an HIV cure is imperative to improve the quality of life of PWH. In this review, we discuss the origins of various SIV strains utilized in cure and comorbidity research as well as their respective animal species used. We briefly detail the life cycle of HIV and describe the pathogenesis of HIV/SIV and the integral role of chronic immune activation and inflammation on disease progression and comorbidities, with comparisons between pathogenic infections and nonpathogenic infections that occur in natural hosts of SIVs. We further discuss the various HIV cure strategies being explored with an emphasis on immunological therapies and “shock and kill”.

Wenqi Ti ◽  
Jianbo Wang ◽  
Yufeng Cheng

Despite great advances in research and treatment, lung cancer is still one of the most leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Evidence is mounting that dynamic communication network in the tumor microenvironment (TME) play an integral role in tumor initiation and development. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which promote tumor growth and metastasis, are the most important stroma component in the tumor microenvironment. Consequently, in-depth identification of relevant molecular mechanisms and biomarkers related to CAFs will increase understanding of tumor development process, which is of great significance for precise treatment of lung cancer. With the development of sequencing technologies such as microarray and next-generation sequencing, lncRNAs without protein-coding ability have been found to act as communicators between tumor cells and CAFs. LncRNAs participate in the activation of normal fibroblasts (NFs) to CAFs. Moreover, activated CAFs can influence the gene expression and secretion characteristics of cells through lncRNAs, enhancing the malignant biological process in tumor cells. In addition, lncRNA-loaded exosomes are considered to be another important form of crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs. In this review, we focus on the interaction between tumor cells and CAFs mediated by lncRNAs in the lung cancer microenvironment, and discuss the analysis of biological function and molecular mechanism. Furthermore, it contributes to paving a novel direction for the clinical treatment of lung cancer.

F1000Research ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
pp. 21
Megan Hastie

This paper investigates the effects of screen time on child development and cognition and the setting of ‘safe’ screen time limits for young children, specifically children aged 6-to-12 years. Guidelines on screen time vary across constituencies, and the debate around screen time is contentious with many questions yet to be answered. A review of literature was undertaken to compare current screen time recommendations against the evidence from Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics that quantify screen time effects on the children's brain development. Based on this comparison, conclusions are made that can guide education policies around ‘remote learning’ and ‘home schooling’ to align them with the available research on the effects of screen time on children and inform a re-evaluation of the role of parents and educators in the setting of ‘safe’ limits on screen time.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Rachel Gur-Arie ◽  
Sara Johnson ◽  
Megan Collins

AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the changing role of scientists, clinicians, ethicists, and educators in advocacy as they rapidly translate their findings to inform practice and policy. Critical efforts have been directed towards understanding child well-being, especially with pandemic-related educational disruptions. While school closures were part of early widespread public health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, they have not been without consequences for all children, and especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In a recent Isr J Health Policy Res perspective, Paltiel and colleagues demonstrate the integral role of academic activism to promote child well-being during the pandemic by highlighting work of the multidisciplinary academic group on children and coronavirus (MACC). In this commentary, we explore parallels to MACC’s work in an international context by describing the efforts of a multidisciplinary team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, to aggregate data, conduct analyses, and offer training tools intended to minimize health and educational inequities for children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As both MACC and our work collectively demonstrates, multidisciplinary partnerships and public-facing data-driven initiatives are crucial to advocating for children's equitable access to quality health and education. This will likely not be the last pandemic that children experience in their lifetime. As such, efforts should be made to apply the lessons learned during the current pandemic to strengthen multidisciplinary academic-public partnerships which will continue to play a critical role in the future.

2022 ◽  
Vol 21 ◽  
pp. 313-337
Nuha Alshaar

Although modern scholars tend to be sceptical of the role of religion in the formation of ethical and political thought in the Būyid period (334/945–440/1048), this article argues that both philosophy and religion, as envisioned by al-Tawḥīdī and his contemporaries, played an integral role in its creation. The analysis shows that modern concepts such as ‘humanism’ and ‘political philosophy,’ as applied to these authors and their texts, are not felicitous to the social and intellectual contexts in which they were produced. Through analysing al-Tawḥīdī’s ethical and political thought, certain modern assumed dichotomies, including scientific enquiry versus religious teaching, theoretical ethics versus practical ethics, and the social versus the personal, are reconsidered. The article argues that a contextual approach to al-Tawḥīdī and his peers should consider the encyclopaedic system of knowledge that shaped their thought and the interdisciplinary nature of their work where religious, philosophical, and literary elements are intertwined. The article highlights al-Tawḥīdī’s political thought, his active role as an intellectual and his attempt to disseminate knowledge based on two main beliefs: the role of knowledge linked to action in social life and reform, and a solid sense of the religious and moral responsibility of the scholar to offer advice to the leaders of the community. The concepts that he uses, such as maḥabba (love) and ṣadāqa (friendship) with its four foundational components, namely the soul (nafs), intellect (ʿaql), nature (ṭabīʿa), and morals (khulq), addressed social and political challenges in Būyid society and produced alternative moral and intellectual responses to sectarianism, social disintegration and the decline in morality, which were characteristic of the Būyid era. Keywords: Ethical political thought, Būyid, Humanism, Political philosophy, ʿIlm (Knowledge), ʿAmal (action), Ṣadāqa (friendship), al-Tawḥīdī, Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ

C. K. Bruce Wan ◽  
Cees J. P. M. de Bont ◽  
Paul Hekkert ◽  
Kenny K. N. Chow

AbstractPersonal technology plays an integral role in shaping people’s quality of life which includes leisure and tourism experiences. A number of personal informatics tools can support people in performing their activities by collecting biometric and environmental data; however, little is known regarding the use of psychological data to enrich leisure and tourism experiences. To address this research gap, this study aims to propose a conceptual framework that fosters memorable and meaningful leisure experiences (MMEs) based on theories from serious leisure and positive psychology. In particular, this study probes into the MMEs of serious leisure practitioners who put their efforts and resources into pursuing intrinsically rewarding leisure activities. Excelling at these activities, which may draw upon participants’ character strengths, yields sustained fulfillment which fosters personal transformation. The idiosyncratic nature of MMEs demands a phenomenological inquiry that involves in-depth interviews concerning the character strengths used and their development trajectories. Using theory triangulation from both positive psychology and serious leisure allows researchers to gain a holistic view of participants’ well-being. Character strengths were found to be the integral factors that contribute to MMEs at different stages of leisure activities. The result identified three aspects of strengths used: strengths well spent, reflection and introspection, and anticipation of the future self, which informs the development of a strengths-based personal informatics framework for leisure and tourism.

2022 ◽  
pp. 17-34
Terrence Duncan ◽  
Emad Rahim ◽  
Darrell Norman Burrell ◽  
Brian Hurd

Human resource management plays an integral role in developing capital for the triple bottom line. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, human resources now shift their focus to advancing communication and connectivity versus focusing purely on technological advances. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues, communicating the effectiveness of human resource management and human capital development should be considered as an essential area of interest. As healthcare practitioners continue to provide treatment and care for those in need, human resource managers need to learn green practices to create a more sustainable environment that contributes socially and economically while adhering to the demands of the international stakeholders. As healthcare continues to be either one of the most significant expenditures or needs for numerous countries, consideration in this field provides potential holistic benefits for stakeholders.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (2) ◽  
pp. 17-20
A.U. Tijjani ◽  
A.J. Sufyan ◽  
S. Ibrahim ◽  
D. Shehu ◽  
M. Ya'u ◽  

Microorganisms play an integral role in detoxification and removal of toxic compounds from the environment. Aniline is the simplest aromatic amine, consisting of a phenyl group attached to an amino group that is used as herbicide to control weeds. Aniline is detrimental to both environment and health. In this research, six previously isolated bacteria (isolate A-F) were screened on Bushnell Hass media for their potential to grow and utilize aniline as a sole carbon source. Isolate A (Pseudomonas sp.) was found to tolerate and grow best with aniline sole source of carbon. Optimum conditions for aniline degradation by this isolate were found to be pH 6.0, temperature between 30 and 37 °C, inoculums size of 600 μL, aniline concentration of 200 mg/L and incubation time of 96 h. The capacity of this isolate to reduce toxic aniline to less toxic form is novel and makes the bacterium important instrument for bioremediation of this pollutant.

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