The Faculty of Life Sciences is predominantly based on the Chester Campus, with sports-related and computer-related courses also delivered at Warrington. A number of specialist courses are also delivered at our partner associate college at Reaseheath in Cheshire, as well as some delivery outside the UK. The Faculty also supports several research centres.

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Recent Submissions

  • Exercise-induced muscle damage: what is it, what causes it and what are the nutritional solutions?

    Owens, Daniel J; Twist, Craig; Cobley, James; Howatson, Glyn; Close, Graeme; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Northumbria University (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-15)
    Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is characterised by symptoms that present both immediately and for up to 14 days after the initial exercise bout. The main consequence of EIMD for the athlete is the loss of skeletal muscle function and soreness. As such, numerous nutrients and functional foods have been examined for their potential to ameliorate the effects of EIMD and accelerate recovery, which is the purpose of many nutritional strategies for the athlete. However, the trade-off between recovery and adaptation is rarely considered. For example, many nutritional interventions described in this review target oxidative stress and inflammation, both thought to contribute to EIMD but are also crucial for the recovery and adaptation process. This calls into question whether long term administration of supplements and functional foods used to target EIMD is indeed best practice. This rapidly growing area of sports nutrition will benefit from careful consideration of the potential hormetic effect of long term use of nutritional aids that ameliorate muscle damage. This review provides a concise overview of what EIMD is, its causes and consequences and critically evaluates potential nutritional strategies to ameliorate EIMD. We present a pragmatic practical summary that can be adopted by practitioners and direct future research, with the purpose of pushing the field to better consider the fine balance between recovery and adaptation and the potential that nutritional interventions have in modulating this balance.
  • Chapter Ten: Handling and Restraint of Small Ruminants

    McLennan, Krista; Chapman, Stella; University of Chester; University Centre Hartpury (Wiley, 2018-01-01)
    Sheep (Ovis aries) were one of the first mammals to be domesticated by humans; however the exact timeline of events has been unclear. The use of mitochondrial DNA testing has recently made it possible to trace back the ancestry of many animals including cattle, horses, pigs and goats and evidence suggests that the number of wild progenitors for these species is limited; however, with the sheep this is not the case and it is thought that a large number of wild ancestral species and subspecies exist (Hiendleder et al. 2002). Archaeological findings have traced the sheep back to 11000 and 9000 BC in Mesopotamia, with the most common hypothesis being that Ovis aries descended from the Asiatic (Ovis orientalis) species of mouflon. Many studies have looked at the ancestry of sheep and there has been conflicting evidence with regards to the numbers of ancestors. It is now thought that three major groups of Eurasian wild sheep (mouflon, urial and argali) are the ancestors of the domestic sheep and it is these groups that are believed to have contributed to specific breeds (Hiendleder et al. 2002).
  • The Efficacy of Energy-Restricted Diets in Achieving Preoperative Weight Loss for bariatric Pateints: A Systematic Review

    Naseer, Fathimath; Shabbir, Asim; Livingstone, Barbara; Price, Ruth; Syn, Nicholas, L; Flannery, Orla; Ulster University; National University Hospital, Singapore; University of Chester (Springer Verlag, 2018-08-18)
    In bariatric practice, a preoperative weight loss of at least 5% is recommended. However, the hypocaloric diets prescribed vary and no consensus exists. This study examined the efficacy of preoperative diets in achieving 5% weight loss. From a systematic literature search, eight randomised controlled trials (n = 862) were identified. Half of the trials used a Bvery-low-calorie diet^ whilst the rest employed a Blow-calorie diet^. Only five diets achieved ≥ 5% weight loss over varying durations and energy intakes. By inference, compliance with a 700–1050 kcal (2929–4393 kJ) diet, consisting of moderate carbohydrate, high protein and low/moderate fat, for 3 weeks is likely to achieve 5% weight loss. A low-carbohydrate diet (< 20 g/day) may achieve this target within a shorter duration. Additional research is required to validate these conclusions.
  • The role of MAPK signalling pathways in leukemic cell death

    Williams, John; Ireland, Elyse; Cordingley, Michelle (University of Chester, 2018-09-18)
    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways are important signalling pathways involved in mediating various cellular processes including both cell survival and cell death. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, the p38 pathway and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway are three well-studied conventional MAPK signalling pathways. Previous research has shown these MAPK signalling pathways play an important role in the development and progression of leukaemia and in the response of leukemic cells to therapy. Whilst it appears to be well established that the constitutive activation of ERK mediates leukemic cell survival, the roles of the JNK and p38 signalling pathways in leukemogenesis, in particular the role in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), are less well understood. This thesis investigates the role of the JNK, p38 and ERK signalling pathways in leukemic death. MAPK signalling pathways were targeted in the U937 monocytic cell line using small molecule MAPK inhibitors in combination with various cell stressors: UV light, chemotherapeutic agents (doxorubicin and vincristine) and heat treatment. The effects on cell death were examined using plate-based assays, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Preliminary investigations were also performed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy individuals to allow a comparison to non-leukemic cells. Results show inhibition of ERK signalling in U937 cells induced cell death and ERK signalling had little effect on UV-induced and heat treatment-induced cell death. JNK signalling and p38 signalling provided protection against UVinduced cell death in both U937 cells and in PBMCs from healthy individuals. JNK and p38 signalling mediated cell survival in response to heat treatment to a certain extent. JNK signalling was required for the induction of cell death induced by doxorubicin whereas p38 signalling provided a level of protection against doxorubicin-induced cell death. U937 cells were found to be more sensitive to vincristine treatment than PBMCs from healthy individuals and the activation of JNK and p38 signalling was essential for vincristine-induced cell death in U937 cells. Taken together, the results presented in this thesis demonstrate that the roles of the JNK, p38 and ERK signalling pathways in leukemic cell death are stimuli-specific. This highlights the importance of understanding the involvement of particular pathways in the response to specific chemotherapeutic agents, in order to provide effective leukaemia therapy. Therapeutic inhibition of MAPK signalling pathways to increase the sensitivity of leukemic cells to chemotherapy could be beneficial when MAPKs are involved in providing protection against chemotherapy-induced cell death. For chemotherapies which require MAPK activation for cell death, failure to activate MAPKs may provide a mechanism for chemoresistance. Therapeutic methods to enhance activation of the pathways provide a possible approach to increase the susceptibility of leukemic cells to death.
  • Manipulation of apoptosis in cancer cells

    Williams, John H. H.; Ireland, Elyse; Sahib, Muneera M (University of Chester, 2018-09-18)
    Conventional cancer therapies can have severe side effects, so new strategies to limit these needs to be investigated. Several anticancer agents induce the expression of tumour suppressor gene p21 in colorectal cancer cell line HT-29. Interestingly, the stress protein HSPA1A is also often elevated in tumour cells and has an anti - apoptotic activity. The main aim of this study was to examine whether a two - pronged approach, overexpressing p21 (using genetic approach and inhibition of HSPA1A using pifithrin - µ would be effective in inducing apoptosis in tumour cells. Chitosan or BSA based delivery systems were evaluated for cytotoxicity, with the intension of using it for plasmid DNA based cell transfections in this study. The interaction of HSPA1A protein in combination treatments involving UV radiation and hyperthermia at 42℃ were also evaluated to perceive the various roles of HSPA1A in arresting colorectal cancer cells. Colorectal cancer cell lines HT-29 and leukaemia cancer cell lines U937 were used in the study. All experiments were performed with cancer cell lines maintained in culture medium devoid of antibiotics. Cell cytotoxicity were evaluated using MTS and PI assays. The rate of apoptosis was determined using annexin V and PI staining by flow cytometry. Chitosan or BSA based microparticles or microgels were observed for size determination or morphology using scanning electron microscopy. Full length human p21 inserted plasmid DNA was a gift from Mien - Chie Hung, Addgene, USA. HT- 29 cells were subjected to p21 plasmid DNA transfection effects. Cells were treated with pifithrin - µ (15µM) prior to gene transfection to address its combined effect with p21 plasmid DNA transfection. HSPA1A and p21 protein expression studies were analysed using FITC labelled antibodies by flow cytometer. Combination studies with HSPA1A inhibitor pifithrin - µ and UV reflected enhanced cytotoxicity compared with either of the treatments independently. Hyperthermia at 42℃ induced apoptosis by MTS assay, which was confirmed by flow cytometric analysis in both the cell lines tested. Considering the cytotoxicity reflected by the chitosan or BSA delivery systems in drug free states, the p21 plasmid DNA transfection was carried out using lipofectamine 2000. Both overexpression of p21 and inhibition of HSPA1A protein with pifithrin - µ enhanced the rate of apoptosis with statistical significance of (p-<0.0001****) compared to the respected controls. The data in this thesis suggests the inhibition of HSPA1A in combination with increased p21 would be a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancers.
  • A universally calibrated microplate ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay for foods and applications to Manuka honey

    Bolanos de la Torre, Angelica AS; Henderson, Terence; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Owusu-Apenten, Richard K; Ulster University (Elsevier, 2014-11-07)
    The ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay was recently adapted to a microplate format. However, microplate-based FRAP (mFRAP) assays are affected by sample volume and composition. This work describes a calibration process for mFRAP assays which yields data free of volume effects. From the results, the molar absorptivity (ε) for the mFRAP assay was 141,698 M−1 cm−1 for gallic acid, 49,328 M−1 cm−1 for ascorbic acid, and 21,606 M−1 cm−1 for ammonium ferrous sulphate. The significance of ε (M−1 cm−1) is discussed in relation to mFRAP assay sensitivity, minimum detectable concentration, and the dimensionless FRAP-value. Gallic acid showed 6.6 mol of Fe2+ equivalents compared to 2.3 mol of Fe+2 equivalents for ascorbic acid. Application of the mFRAP assay to Manuka honey samples (rated 5+, 10+, 15+, and 18+ Unique Manuka Factor; UMF) showed that FRAP values (0.54–0.76 mmol Fe2+ per 100 g honey) were strongly correlated with UMF ratings (R2 = 0.977) and total phenols content (R2 = 0.982)whilst the UMF rating was correlated with the total phenols (R2 = 0.999). In conclusion, mFRAP assay results were successfully standardised to yield data corresponding to 1-cm spectrophotometer which is useful for quality assurance purposes. The antioxidant capacity of Manuka honey was found to be directly related to the UMF rating
  • Regulation of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase by Arabinoxylans with molecular characterization from Wheat Flour in Cultured Human Monocytes

    Zhengxiao, Zhang; Christopher, Smith; Jason, Ashworth; Weili, Li; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-01-08)
    The immunomodulatory activity of the arabinoxylans (AXs) extracts from cereal sources has been reported to impart health benefits in terms of immune enhancement. This study investigated the effect of enzymatic extraction on extraction yield and structure of AXs from wheat flour pentosan fraction. Under the optimised conditions, the extraction yield of AXs reached up to 81.25%. Furthermore, the study determined whether water-extracted AXs (WEAXs) and enzyme-extracted AXs (E-WEAXs) from wheat flour were able to differentially stimulate nitric oxide (NO) secretion through increased levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in human U937 monocytes. The results indicated that AXs concomitantly induced (P < 0.05) both NO and iNOS productions in U937 monocytes compared to untreated cells. Compared with WEAXs, E-WEAXs resulted in a higher proportion of low Mw (1–10 KDa) AXs (49.51% vs. 19.11% in WEAXs), a higher A/X ratio (0.83 vs. 0.48 in WEAXs) and a higher yield (12.83 ± 0.35% vs. 7.54 ± 0.47% in WEAXs). Moreover, E-WEAXs induced significantly (P < 0.05) greater NO and iNOS production per million viable cells (61.8 ± 2.7 μm and 42.41 ± 3.83 ng respectively) than WEAXs (51.6 ± 2.6 μm and 33.46 ± 1.48 ng, respectively). The findings suggest AXs may heighten innate immune activity in the absence of infection or disease through an iNOS-mediated stimulation of NO production. The immunomodulatory activity of the wheat-derived AXs was enhanced by enzyme treatment, with low Mw and high A/X ratio associated with elevated NO/iNOS levels in human monocytes compared to water extraction.
  • Improving the extractability of arabinoxylans and the molecular weight of wheat endosperm using extrusion processing

    Abdulmannan, Fadel; Jason, Ashworth; Andrew, Plunkett; Ayman M., Mahmoud; Yazan, Ranneh; University of Leeds; Manchester Metropolitan University; Beni-Suef University; Universiti Putra Malaysia; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018)
    Cereal derived arabinoxylans (AXs) are non-starch polysaccharides that have immunomodulatory activities. These activities are thought to be related to the low molecular weight fractions of AXs. Wheat and wheat by-products are rich in AXs, however, the water extractable fraction of AXs in wheat products is low. Water extraction of AXs can be improved by extrusion processing, which increases the extractability of the water soluble fraction. The aim of this study was to determine the extractability and molecular weight of the water soluble fraction of AXs from wheat endosperm after extrusion at screw speeds of 80 and 160 rpm. Extrusion processing significantly (P<0.05) increased the water extractability of AXs in a screw-speed dependent manner (13.07±0.12% at 80 rpm and 15.45±0.16% at 160 rpm compared to8.95±0.10% in the non-extruded control) due to a significant increase (P<0.05) in low molecular weight fractions of AXs in extruded samples.
  • Assessment of strength and power responses to resistance exercise in young and middle-aged trained males

    Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin; Fernandes, John (University of Chester, 2018-08-31)
    Little is known about the muscle function capabilities of trained middle-aged males and how they differ to younger counterparts. Accordingly, the overall aim of the research documented in this thesis was to compare the acute muscle function responses to resistance exercise in middle-aged and young resistance trained males. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the intra- and inter-day reliability of an ecologically valid device (FitroDyne rotary encoder) for measuring upper and lower-body muscle function during three popular multi-jointed resistance training exercises (bench press, squat, and bent-over-row), and confirmed that it was capable of detecting moderate changes in muscle function across a range of submaximal loads. In the second study (Chapter 4) the load-velocity and load-power relationships were investigated during the same exercises among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 y) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 y) resistance trained males, and it emerged that, despite their regular training, the middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and peak powers at all external loads as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Study three (Chapter 5) proceeded to compare the internal (heart rate (HR), OMNI-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and sRPE) and external (peak velocity and power and volume load) loads experienced during high volume squatting exercise, and the fatigue responses among nine young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine middle-aged (age 39.9 ± 6.2 years) resistance trained males. The findings highlighted that internal, but not certain markers of external (peak power and volume load), load responses can be monitored during exercise in a like manner between these age groups. Moreover, compared to young resistance trained males, middle-aged males can expect greater decrements in peak power after lower-limb resistance exercise. In the final study (Chapter 6), the time-course of recovery in nine trained young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine trained (39.9 ± 6.2 years) and nine untrained (44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males after high volume lower-body resistance (muscle damaging) exercise was investigated. Of practical importance, it emerged that compared to the young males, the trained middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile, the implication of which is the need for trained middle-aged males to adopt strategies to enhance their recovery. Furthermore, both middle-aged groups experienced similar symptoms of muscle-damage, albeit the untrained group demonstrated greater losses in peak power at low and high external loads. For the first time, the current research has determined that middle-aged males, despite regular resistance training, are subject to losses in peak velocity and power output across a range external loads, compared to young males. When undergoing lower-body resistance training to ameliorate these decrements, applied practitioners can use internal load markers and peak velocity, but not peak power or volume load, to monitor trained young and middle-aged males alike. Furthermore, the muscle damage response (24 to 72 h), and losses in peak power (0 to 72 h), after lower-body resistance exercise are greater in trained middle-aged than young males. Consequently, future research should seek to corroborate these observations in upper-body exercise and determine the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. nutritional intake) to enhance recovery in middle-aged males.
  • Chapter Twelve: Handling and Restraint of South American Camelids

    McLennan, Krista M; Chapman, Stella; University of Chester; University Centre Hartpury (Wiley, 2018-01-01)
    Members of the camelid family evolved to live in arid and mountainous areas. This chapter will focus on what are known as the New World species of camelid, whose habitat mainly covers the Andes regions of South America. Four camelids can be found in South America, namely: Guanacos (Lama guanicoe), vicunas (Lama vicugna), llamas (Lama guanicoe glama) and alpacas (Vicugna pacos). The two wild forms, the guanaco and the vicuna diverged from a common ancestor approximately two million years ago; an event unrelated to domestication. Due to hybridisation the exact process of domestication has been controversial; however, recent genetic analysis has suggested that the alpaca is the domesticated form of the vicuna and the llama is the domesticated form of the guanaco (Kadwell et al. 2001). Domestication is thought to have taken place some 6000 years ago (Wheeler, 1995) when a predominant herding economy based on llama and alpaca was established at Telarmachay (a region of the Peruvian Andes). Archaeological evidence suggests that both llamas and alpacas were part of a sacrificial rite in South American culture and were key to the expansion of the Inca Empire some 500 years ago (Bonacic, 2011). Physically (apart from size) there is little difference between the llama and alpaca, which is a result of deliberate hybridisation between the two species over the past 35 years. Whilst the alpaca and llama still play an important role in their countries of origin, they are also viewed worldwide as: pets, exotic animals, livestock, zoo animals and wild animals.
  • When transport policy becomes health policy: A documentary analysis of active travel policy in England

    Bloyce, Daniel; White, Chris; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018)
    There has been a succession of policy documents related to active travel published by the British government since the implementation of a National Cycle Network (NCN) in 1995. However, as the latest National Travel Survey (NTS) reveals, the number of journeys made by bike in the UK has remained steadfastly around only 2% (Department for Transport [DfT], 2018a). By using documentary analysis of the available official policy documents and statements, the aim of this paper is to make sense of the policies that have been published concerning active travel (AT) in England. This is done from a figurational sociological perspective. Three key themes emerge from the analysis: (1) the rhetorical, advisory level of the vast majority of the policies; (2) the reliance on a wide network of local authorities to implement AT policy; and (3) the focus placed on individuals to change their behaviour. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that despite a large number of policy publications from a range of government departments claiming to promote AT, little has actually changed in this time period in terms of a national agenda. Despite the successive policies, it seems there is little appetite on behalf of recent governments to make widespread infrastructural changes, where instead the focus has largely been on persuading the individual to seek more active modes of travel, increasingly for their own, individual ‘health’ gains.
  • Release of coumarin encapsulated in chitosan-gelatin irradiated films

    Benbettaïeb, Nasreddine; Chambin, Odile; Assifaoui, Ali; Al-Assaf, Saphwan; Karbowiak, Thomas; Debeaufort, Frédéric; Phillips Hydrocolloids Research Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham LL11 2AW, UK (Elsevier, 2015-12-24)
    Chitosan and fish gelatin were used to formulate active biobased films containing an antioxidant (coumarin). After drying, the films were irradiated at 40 and 60 kGy using an electron beam accelerator. The effect of irradiation on the film properties as well as the coumarin release mechanism were investigated and compared with the control. Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) revealed free radical formation during irradiation in films containing coumarin. Antioxidant addition and/or irradiation treatment at a dose of 60 kGy resulted in a shift of amide A and amide B peaks. Furthermore a shift of amide II band was only observed for the control film at the same dose. Irradiation allowed improving the thermal stability of the control films. Both irradiation process and addition of coumarin increased the surface wettability (increase of the polar component of the surface tension). From the water barrier analysis, neither irradiation nor coumarin addition influenced the permeability at the lower RH gradient used (0e30% RH). Using the higher RH gradient (30e84%) induced a rise of the WVP of all films (containing or not coumarin) after irradiation treatment. At 60 kGy, the tensile strength of only the control films increased significantly. Considering coumarin release from the film in aqueous medium, the apparent diffusion coefficient of coumarin is two times reduced after irradiation. Irradiation also allowed to better protect the incorporated antioxidant. Indeed, the amount of coumarin in the non-irradiated film was significantly lowered compared to the initial quantity, which is probably due to chemical reactivity.
  • Antioxidant and genoprotective activity of selected cucurbitaceae seed extracts and LC–ESIMS/MS identification of phenolic components

    Yasir, Muhammad; Sultana, Bushra; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Owusu-Apenten, Richard; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; University of California; Ulster University (Elsevier, 2015-11-30)
    Cucurbitaceae are one of most widely used plant species for human food but lesser known members have not been examined for bioactive components. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and genoprotective activities from three cucurbitaceae seeds extracts and to identify phenolic components by LC–ESIMS/MS analysis. From the results, the yield of seeds extract was 20–41% (w/w) and samples had 16–40% total phenols as gallic acid equivalents (GAE). Compared with methanol solvent, using acidified methanol led to increased extraction yield by 1.4 to 10-fold, higher phenolic content (149.5 ± 1.2 to 396.4 ± 1.9 mg GAE/g), higher DPPH radical quenching and enhanced enoprotective activity using the pBR322 plasmid assay. LC–ESI-MS/MS analysis led to identification of 14–17 components, based on authentic standards and comparison with literature reports, as mainly phenolic acids and esters, flavonol glycosides. This may be the first mass spectrometric profiling of polyphenol components from cucurbitaceae seeds.
  • Total Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity and Antibacterial Activity of Manuka Honey Extract.

    Chau, Tsz Ching; Owusu-Apenten, Richard; Nigam, Poonam; Ulster University; University of Chester; (Science Domain International, 2017-10-28)
    Aims: To evaluate total phenols content (TPC), antioxidant capacity (TAC) and antibacterial activity of Manuka honey extract (MHE) and to compare such properties with those for unfractionated Manuka honey. Study Design: In vitro study. Place and Duration of Study: School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK. Between September 2016 and September 2017. Methodology: MHE was prepared by solvent extraction using ethyl acetate. TPC was determined by Folin-Ciocalteu assay. The iron (III) reducing antioxidant capacity (IRAC) method was used to determine TAC. Antibacterial activity was evaluated using disc diffusion assay and 96-well microtiter plate methods with absorbance measured at 600 nm. Results: The TPC for MHE was 30-fold higher than the value for Manuka honey (33420±1685 mg vs. 1018±78 mg GAE/kg) while TAC values were~ 100-times greater (83,198±7064 vs. 793±104 TEAC, respectively). Antibacterial activity assessed by disc diffusion for Manuka honey (18.5 mm on S. aureus and 20 mm on E. coli) was two times greater than for MHE (9mm for both S. aureus and E. coli). The 96-well microtiter plate assay confirmed the greater antibacterial activity for Manuka
  • ‘Regurgitation and reingestion’ (R/R) in great apes: A review of current knowledge

    Hill, Sonya; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (Wiley, 2018-08-02)
    Research indicates that regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) is a relatively common behaviour in zoo-housed great apes, with most work to date carried out on Western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla and Chimpanzees Pan troglodytes. It is an abnormal behaviour because great apes are not anatomically adapted to regurgitate their food as part of their normal feeding processes, and because this behaviour is not seen in members of the species living freely in the wild, in conditions that would allow a full behavioural range. In this article, I give an overview of the published literature on R/R in great apes, which suggests that this behaviour is probably multifactorial and may be linked to inappropriate feeding environments (e.g. in terms of nutritional composition of the diet and/or presentation of food), and possibly also social and other factors as well. A similar behaviour to R/R, known as rumination disorder, can also occur in another great ape species, humans, in whom it is classified as a feeding and eating disorder, and there are potential consequences to people’s physical health as a result of oral acid. There have been no known studies to date to identify whether or not similar health consequences can occur in non-human great apes, but the regurgitant has been found to be significantly more acidic in gorillas than the food they ingested originally, meaning it is potentially injurious in non-human great apes. There is much that is not yet known about this behaviour and how to reduce or eliminate it when it does occur, as the research indicates that there are a range of factors involved, and these can vary by individual animal. More research into this behaviour is clearly needed to ensure that zoos and sanctuaries are providing the best possible care for these animals, and I make some suggestions for future research directions.
  • A universally calibrated microplate ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay for foods and applications to Manuka honey

    Bolanos de la Torre, Angelica AS; Henderson, Terence; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Owusu-Apenten, Richard K; ONIRIS, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire; Ulster University; University of Chester; (Elsevier, 2014-11-07)
    The ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay was recently adapted to a microplate format. However, microplate-based FRAP (mFRAP) assays are affected by sample volume and composition. This work describes a calibration process for mFRAP assays which yields data free of volume effects. From the results, the molar absorptivity (ε) for the mFRAP assay was 141,698 M−1 cm−1 for gallic acid, 49,328 M−1 cm−1 for ascorbic acid, and 21,606 M−1 cm−1 for ammonium ferrous sulphate. The significance of ε (M−1 cm−1) is discussed in relation to mFRAP assay sensitivity, minimum detectable concentration, and the dimensionless FRAP-value. Gallic acid showed 6.6 mol of Fe2+ equivalents compared to 2.3 mol of Fe+2 equivalents for ascorbic acid. Application of the mFRAP assay to Manuka honey samples (rated 5+, 10+, 15+, and 18+ Unique Manuka Factor; UMF) showed that FRAP values (0.54–0.76 mmol Fe2+ per 100 g honey) were strongly correlated with UMF ratings (R2 = 0.977) and total phenols content (R2 = 0.982)whilst the UMF rating was correlated with the total phenols (R2 = 0.999). In conclusion, mFRAP assay results were successfully standardised to yield data corresponding to 1-cm spectrophotometer which is useful for quality assurance purposes. The antioxidant capacity of Manuka honey was found to be directly related to the UMF rating.
  • Quantification of physical contact and its influence on simulated performance and recovery in rugby players.

    Twist, Craig; Norris, Jonathan (University of Chester, 2018-08-07)
    The aim of this thesis was to investigate the influence of physical collisions on internal (physiological and perceptual) and external (locomotive and accelerometer) load during simulated rugby league performance and fatigue responses in the days after. Chapter 4 examined the influence of physical contact type on internal and external load using a traditional soft tackle bag and custom-built tackle sled. Using a traditional tackle bag to simulate physical collisions resulted in likely faster sprint to contact speed (16.1 ± 1.5 c.f. 14.8 ± 1.1 km.h -1 ) but possibly lower overall high-speed running distance (27.7 ± 2.4 c.f. 28.4 ± 2.6 m.min-1 ). Also, the heavier tackle sled likely increased time at 91-100% HRpeak (12:58 ± 13:21 c.f. 6:44 ± 8:06 min:s) and resulted in greater lower limb fatigue reflected by the likely larger decrease in countermovement jump (CMJ) performance (5.9 ± 4.9 c.f. 2.6 ± 5.4%). Also of note was the variation in number of tackles detected using the automatic tackle detection feature compared to the actual number in the match simulation. During the Bag and Sled simulations ~53 and ~59 tackles were detected compared to 48 performed. The purpose of Chapter 5 was to investigate the influence of sprint to contact speed and contact type on automatic tackle detection using microtechnology. Repetitions were divided into three speed categories; walking, jogging and striding (1, 2.5 and 4 m.s -1 ) and four conditions: i) no contact standing upright (NCST), ii) no contact dropping to the ground in a prone position (NCGR), iii) contact with the tackle bag and remaining upright (CST), iv) contact with the tackle bag and going to ground (CGR). Similar tackle detection accuracy was observed between NCGR and CST conditions with one tackle observed in 41 and 43% of trials, respectively. While CGR resulted in the greatest frequency of correct tackle detection (62%), during 16% of trials two tackles were detected. During NCST, there were no tackles detected and 100% accuracy. The PlayerLoadTM results demonstrated that the metric can detect differences in movement speed, the inclusion of physical contact and changes in orientation during short periods of activity (8-10 s). In Chapter 6 the rugby league movement simulation protocol for interchange players (RLMSP-i) was modified to include a tackle shield collision to investigate the reliability of PlayerLoadTM metrics to quantify collision load. The coefficient of variation (%CV) for locomotive metrics ranged from 1.3 to 14.4%, with greatest variability observed for high-speed running distance (8.0 and 14.4% for Bouts 1 and 2, respectively). Accelerometer metrics CV% were 4.4 to 10.0%, while internal load markers were 4.8 to 13.7%. All variables presented a CV% less than the calculated moderate change during one or both bouts of the match simulation except from high-speed distance (m.min-1 ), %HRpeak and RPE (AU). The aim of Chapter 7 was to investigate the influence of contact type on external load metrics including PlayerLoadTM derivatives whilst controlling for total running distance. Participants were randomly assigned to one group to complete the match simulation with either a tackle shield (n = 10), tackle bag (n = 7) or no-contact (n = 10). Total PlayerLoadTM, PlayerLoadTM 2D (AU), PlayerLoadTM slow (AU) and PlayerLoadTM slow-ratio (%) were analysed from the accelerometer in addition to high- and low-speed running and sprint speed. Total PlayerLoadTM was likely lower for the Bag group compared to the Run group (498 c.f. 460 AU), with no clear differences between the other groups. 3 PlayerLoadTM slow for the Shield group (167 ± 26 AU) was very likely greater than both the Bag (133 ± 11 AU) and Run groups (128 ± 20 AU) but no clear difference was observed between the Bag and Run groups. No differences were observed in PlayerLoadTM 2D between any groups. High-speed running distance was likely lower in the Shield group (1056 ± 225 m) compared to the Bag group (1326 ± 245 m) and very likely lower compared to the Run group (1318 ± 175 m). Total PlayerLoadTM is not sensitive to contact type during simulated rugby league activity but does reflect greater high-speed running distance during a rugby league match simulation. However, PlayerLoadTM slow can detect the types of contact and might be preferred for quantifying match and training loads associated with physical contact. The purpose of the final empirical chapter (Chapter 8) was to determine the influence of contact type on in neuromuscular, perceptual and biochemical parameters associated with exercise-induced muscle damage. The participants were again assigned to one of three groups to complete the match simulation with a tackle shield (n = 6), tackle bag (n = 7) or no contact (n = 7). In addition to internal and external load measured during the match simulation, venous blood, muscle function and soreness measures were collected immediately (+0), +24 and +72 hours after the match simulation. Upper body neuromuscular performance and knee flexion torque likely decreased in the Shield group +0 and +72 hours after the simulation compared to the other groups while CMJ power likely decreased more in the Run group. All three groups demonstrated a very likely increase in IL-6 and IL-10 concentration immediately after the match simulation, but differences between the groups were unclear and values returned to baseline +24 hours after the simulation. In conclusion, current automatic tackle detection metric should be used with caution, particularly in training sessions where physical contact is replicated. Instead PlayerLoadTM and associated derivatives from the embedded accelerometer can provide a useful measure of contact-specific load during training and competitive matches. Physical contact type affected external load by modifying a participant’s running strategy during simulated match performance, thereby influencing site-specific fatigue during and after a simulated rugby league match. However, regardless of contact type, large increases in cytokine and leukocyte concentration are apparent with a return to basal values 24 hours after. Therefore it is not recommended to use such biomarkers in applied settings to quantify the magnitude of muscle damage specifically associated with physical contact.
  • Comparison of Iron (III) Reducing Antioxidant Capacity (iRAC) and ABTS Radical Quenching Assays for Estimating Antioxidant Activity of Pomegranate

    Wan, Hau Ching; Sultana, Bushra; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Owusu-Apenten, Richard; University of Ulster; University of Agriculture Parkistan; University of Chester (MDPI, 2018-08-07)
    Pomegranate juice (PJ) has total antioxidant capacity which is reportedly higher compared to other common beverages. This short study aimed to assess the total antioxidant capacity of commercial PJ and pomegranate fruit using a newly described method for iron (III) reducing antioxidant capacity (iRAC) and to compare with the ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)) and Folin–Ciocalteu assays. Commercial PJ, freeze-dried pomegranate, and oven-dried pomegranate were analyzed. The calibration results for iRAC were comparable to ABTS and Folin–Ciocalteu methods in terms of linearity (R2 > 0.99), sensitivity and precision. The total antioxidant capacity for PJ expressed as trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) was 33.4 ± 0.5 mM with the iRAC method and 36.3 ± 2.1 mM using the ABTS method. For dried pomegranates, total antioxidant capacity on a dry weight basis (DB) was 89–110 mmol/100 g DB or 76.0 ± 4.3 mmol/100 g DB using iRAC and ABTS methods, respectively. Freeze-dried pomegranate had 15% higher total antioxidant capacity compared with oven-dried pomegranate. In conclusion, pomegranate has high total antioxidant capacity as evaluated by the iRAC and ABTS methods, though variations occur due to the type of cultivar, geographic origin, processing and other factors. The study is relevant for attempts to refine food composition data for pomegranate and other functional foods
  • Why pain is still a welfare issue for farm animals, and how facial expression may be the answer

    McLennan, Krista; University of Chester (MDPI, 2018-08-11)
    Pain is a sensory and emotional experience that significantly affects animal welfare and has negative impacts on the economics of farming. Pain is often associated with common production diseases such as lameness and mastitis, as well as introduced to the animal through routine husbandry practices such as castration and tail docking. Farm animals are prey species which tend not to overtly express pain or weakness, making recognizing and evaluating pain incredibly difficult. Current methods of pain assessment do not provide information on what the animal is experiencing at that moment in time, only that its experience is having a long term negative impact on its behavior and biological functioning. Measures that provide reliable information about the animals’ affective state in that moment are urgently required; facial expression as a pain assessment tool has this ability. Automation of the detection and analysis of facial expression is currently in development, providing further incentive to use these methods in animal welfare assessment.
  • Activating KIR Haplotype Influences Clinical Outcome Following HLA-Matched Sibling Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

    Heatley, S. L.; Mullighan, C. G.; Doherty, K.; O'Connor, Geraldine, M.; Hahn, U.; Szer, J.; Schwarer, A.; Bradstock, K.; Sullivan, L. C.; Bardy, P. G.; Brooks, A. G.; University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia; Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Adelaide, SA, Australia; St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA; 4 Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals, SA Pathology, Adelaide, SA, Australia; Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Vic, Australia; Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Vic, Australia; Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia (Wiley, 2018-06-25)
    Natural killer cells are thought to influence the outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), impacting on relapse, overall survival, graft versus host disease and the control of infection, in part through the complex interplay between the large and genetically diverse killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) family and their ligands. This study examined the relationship between KIR gene content and clinical outcomes including the control of opportunistic infections such as cytomegalovirus in the setting of human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling HSCT in an Australian cohort. The presence of the KIR B haplotype which contain more activating receptors in the donor, in particular centromeric B haplotype genes (Cen-B), was associated with improved overall survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) undergoing sibling HSCT and receiving myeloablative conditioning. Donor Cen-B haplotype was also associated with reduced acute graft versus host disease grades II-IV whereas donor telomeric-B haplotype was associated with decreased incidence of CMV reactivation. In contrast, we were not able to demonstrate a reduced rate of relapse when the donor had KIR Cen-B, however relapse with a donor Cen-A haplotype was a competing risk factor to poor overall survival. Here we show that the presence of donor activating KIR led to improved outcome for the patient, potentially through reduced relapse rates and decreased incidence of acute GvHD translating to improved overall survival.

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