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News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Tuesday, 15 Nov., 2016: Microbiologists have identified how MRSA may be more effectively treated by modern-day antibiotics, if old-fashioned penicillin is also used. The team from the National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Liverpool have shown that, although penicillin does not kill the bacteria, it does weaken their virulence, making it easier for our immune system and other antibiotics to eradicate the infection. The research findings, funded by the Health Research Board and the Medical Research Council, are published today (15 November 2016) in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. MRSA infection is caused by a type of Staphylococcal bacteria that has become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary infections. This results in significant morbidity and mortality with up to 20% of patients infected with MRSA dying from systemic infections. Professor James O'Gara of the National University of Ireland Galway comments: "Our findings explain the anti-virulence mechanism of penicillin-type antibiotics and support the re-introduction of these drugs as an adjunct therapeutic for MRSA infections. MRSA can be extremely virulent, which is part of the challenge in treating it. Our laboratory research shows that when exposed to penicillin, the bacteria switches off its toxin genes and instead concentrates on thickening its cell wall to resist the antibiotic. Our immune systems can then take advantage of this compromised state to destroy the bacteria." This new treatment strategy for MRSA infections has the potential to change the current clinical guidelines for treatment of patients with MRSA infections in both hospital and community settings. A recent randomised controlled trial in Australia involving 60 patients led by Menzies School of Health Research showed that the beta-lactam antibiotic flucloxacillin in combination with vancomycin significantly reduced the duration of MRSA sepsis from 3 days to 1.9 days. "The clinical findings in Australia are very important and now we have the key laboratory data that help explain why the combination of two antibiotics is better than one. The beauty of this approach is that penicillin type antibiotics are not only widely available and safe, but can potentially and more easily be included in clinical practice without the need for long and expensive clinical trials needed for new drugs," added Professor O'Gara. Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board commented: "This research demonstrates the potential payback having a vibrant health research programme. It clearly has the potential to change clinical practice and improve outcomes for patients." Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest current threats to human health. The recent report commissioned by the UK Government, concluding that AMR infections will cause more deaths than cancer by 2050 if not addressed urgently. Study co-lead Professor Aras Kadioglu at the Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool added that: "Although aggressive hospital infection control initiatives appear to be having a positive impact on hospital-acquired MRSA rates in some developed countries, the global burden still remains unacceptably high. Infections caused by community associated MRSA strains and strains that are currently methicillin sensitive are increasing at a worrying speed. Given the escalating antimicrobial resistance crisis, it is imperative to identify new therapeutic strategies and to re-evaluate how current antimicrobial drugs are used, as such our data are timely and highly important." Image caption: New research shows that the virulence of MRSA can be weakened using old-fashioned penicillin, allowing the immune system a better chance to eradicate the infection. The new research is published today by a team from the National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Liverpool in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Image courtesy NUI Galway. REPRO FREE. For further information contact Ruth Hynes, Press and Information Executive, NUI Galway on 091 495695 or ruth.hynes@nuigalway.ie The University was established in the heart of Galway City, on the west coast of Ireland, in 1845. Since then it has advanced knowledge teaching and learning, through research and innovation, and community engagement. Over 18,000 students study at NUI Galway, where 2,600 staff provide the very best in research-led education. NUI Galway's teaching and research is recognised through its consistent rise in international rankings. The University is placed in the Top 250 of both the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016/2017 and the QS World University Rankings 2016/17. With an extensive network of industry, community and academic collaborators around the world, NUI Galway researchers are tackling some of the most pressing issues of our times. Internationally renowned research centres based here include The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science, CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Moore Institute, Institute for Life Course and Society and The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy. NUI Galway has been listed as one of the most beautiful universities in Europe according to Business Insider. For more information visit http://www. or view all NUI Galway news here. *The University's official title is National University of Ireland Galway. Please note that the only official abbreviation is NUI Galway. The University of Liverpool is one of the UK's leading research institutions with an annual turnover of £465 million, including £89 million for research. Liverpool is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide and is a member of the Russell Group. Visit http://www. or follow us on twitter at:


Gurrin C.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics | Smeaton A.F.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics | Doherty A.R.,University of Oxford
Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval | Year: 2014

We have recently observed a convergence of technologies to foster the emergence of lifelogging as a mainstream activity. Computer storage has become significantly cheaper, and advancements in sensing technology allows for the efficient sensing of personal activities, locations and the environment. This is best seen in the growing popularity of the quantified self movement, in which life activities are tracked using wearable sensors in the hope of better understanding human performance in a variety of tasks. This review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of lifelogging, to cover its research history, current technologies, and applications. Thus far, most of the lifelogging research has focused predominantly on visual lifelogging in order to capture life details of life activities, hence we maintain this focus in this review. However, we also reflect on the challenges lifelogging poses to an information retrieval scientist. This review is a suitable reference for those seeking an information retrieval scientist's perspective on lifelogging and the quantified self. © 2014 C. Gurrin, A. F. Smeaton, and A. R. Doherty.


Wallace R.J.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
AI Communications | Year: 2016

Neighbourhood singleton arc consistency (NSAC) is a type of singleton arc consistency (SAC) in which the subproblem formed by variables adjacent to a variable with a singleton domain is made arc consistent. This paper describes two extensions to neighbourhood SAC. The first is a generalization from NSAC to k-NSAC, where k is the maximum length of the shortest path between the singleton variable and any variable in the subgraph. The second is an extension of k-NSAC to problems with n-ary constraints, which retains the basic definition of a k-neighbourhood subgraph. To establish such consistencies a suite of algorithms is considered based on various SAC algorithms including SAC-1, SACQ, SAC-SDS, and SAC-3. In analyzing these different algorithms it was found useful to distinguish between light-weight and heavy-weight SAC algorithms, based on the complexity of data structures and procedures needed to carry out the task of establishing (N)SAC. Under this classification, SAC-1 and SACQ are light-weight; the other two (and SAC-2) are heavy-weight. It was found that only light-weight algorithms can be readily and effectively transformed into efficient NSAC algorithms. In contrast, because of their specialized procedures, it was necessary to modify heavy-weight algorithms significantly, which also compromised performance. Extensive experimental analysis shows that with a spectrum of neighbourhood consistencies and attendant algorithms, one can finesse the fundamental tradeoff between efficiency and effectiveness across a greater range of problems than with SAC and NSAC algorithms alone. This work serves to enlarge the scope of SAC-based consistency maintenance as well as defining the various niches that light-weight and heavy-weight algorithms are best suited for. © 2016 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Matzeu G.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics | Florea L.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics | Diamond D.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical | Year: 2015

The state of the art and future challenges related to wearable chemical sensors are addressed within this review. Our attention is focused on the monitoring of biological fluids such as interstitial fluids, breath, sweat, saliva and tears, while aiming at the realization of miniaturized, non-invasive and low cost point of care systems. The development of such sensing devices is influenced by many factors and is usually addressed through the use of "smart materials" such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, poly ionic liquids, etc. These are seen as the pivotal steps towards the integration of chemical sensors within pervasive applications for personal health care. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Wilson N.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
Proceedings - International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, ICTAI | Year: 2016

Maintaining comfortable thermal conditions in an office environment is very important, as it can affect the quality of life of the occupants, their work productivity, and improve energy efficiency. One significant aspect of this task is how to balance the preferences of a number of occupants sharing the same space. We suggest three families of approaches to this problem, both for the case of optimising for a single time period, and for the problem of optimising over multiple different time periods. We analyse in detail the different approaches based on a number of natural properties, proving which of the properties the different families satisfy. © 2015 IEEE.


McCrae J.P.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
Communications in Computer and Information Science | Year: 2016

Lexicons form a crucial part of how we build natural language systems that allow humans to interact with machines and to build web applications that can use web standards such as OWL but express them in natural language, we developed a vocabulary called lemon (Lexicon Model for Ontologies). This tutorial details the model and enables participants to apply it in line with common patterns of usage. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.


Mileo A.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2015

A fast growing torrent of data is being created by companies, social networks, mobile phones, smart homes, public transport vehicles, healthcare devices, and other modern infrastructures. Being able to unlock the potential hidden in this torrent of data would open unprecedented opportunities to improve our daily lives that were not possible before. Advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), Semantic Web and Linked Data research and standardization have already established formats and technologies for representing, sharing and re-using (dynamic) knowledge on the Web. However, transforming data into actionable knowledge requires to cater for (i) automatic mechanisms to discover and integrate heterogeneous data streams on the fly and extract patterns for applications to use, (ii) concepts and algorithms for context and quality-aware integration of semantic data streams, and (iii) the ability to synthesize domain-driven commonsense knowledge (and answers derived from it) with expressive inference that can capture decision analytics in a scalable way. In the first part of this lecture we will characterize the main approaches to stream processing for the Web of Data, showing how data quality and context can guide semantic integration. In the second part of this lecture we will focus on rule-based Web Stream Reasoning and illustrate how scalability and uncertainty issues can be addressed in a rule-based approach. We will discuss new challenges and opportunities in Web Stream Reasoning, briefly considering economical and societal impact in real application scenarios in a smart city context, and we will conclude by providing a brief overview of ongoing research and standardization activities in this area. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


McCrae J.P.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2016

Linked data is one of the most important methods for improving the applicability of data, however most data is not in linked data formats and raising it to linked data is still a significant challenge. We present Yuzu, an application that makes it easy to host legacy data in JSON, XML or CSV as linked data, while providing a clean interface with advanced features. The ease-of-use of this framework is shown by its adoption for a number of existing datasets including WordNet.


Campinas S.,Insight Centre for Data Analytics
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2014

The amount of Linked Data has been growing increasingly. However, the efficient use of that knowledge is hindered by the lack of information about the data structure. This is reected by the difficulty of writing SPARQL queries. In order to improve the user experience, we propose an auto-completion library1 for SPARQL that suggests possible RDF terms. In this work, we investigate the feasibility of providing recommendations by only querying the SPARQL endpoint directly.


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