• A method for measuring robusticity in long bones

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for the Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1999)
      The robusticity of a long bone is usually determined by dividing its width at its mid-point by its lenght. Finding this mid-point can be cumbersome. Using two-dimensional radiographic (or photographic) images; it is possible to find the mid-point of a bone quickly and easily using the transparent overlay tool described.
    • 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.
    • Androgens in a female primate: relationships with reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and secondary sexual color

      Setchell, Joanna M.; Smith, Tessa E.; Knapp, Leslie A.; Durham University; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (Elsevier, 2015-05-01)
      A comprehensive understanding of the role of androgens in reproduction, behavior andmorphology requires the examination of female, aswell as male, hormone profiles. However, we know far less about the biological significance of androgens in females than in males. We investigated the relationships between fecal androgen (immunoreactive testosterone) levels and reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and a secondary sexual trait (facial color) in semi-free-ranging femalemandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), using samples collected from19 reproductively mature females over 13 months. Fecal androgens varied with reproductive status, being highest during gestation. Fecal androgens began to increase at 3 months of gestation, and peaked at 5 months. This pattern is more similar to that found in a platyrrhine than in other cercopithecine species, suggesting that such patterns are not necessarily phylogenetically constrained. Fecal androgens did not vary systematically with rank, in contrast to the relationship we have reported for male mandrills, and in line with sex differences in how rank is acquired and maintained. Offspring sex was unrelated to fecal androgens, either prior to conception or during gestation, contrasting with studies of other primate species. Mean facial color was positively related to mean fecal androgens across females, reflecting the same relationship inmalemandrills. However, the relationship between color and androgens was negative within females. Future studies of the relationship between female androgens and social behavior, reproduction and secondary sexual traits will help to elucidate the factors underlying the similarities and differences found between the sexes and among studies.
    • Animal Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation

      Snijders, Lysanne; Blumstein, Daniel; Franks, Daniel Wayne; Stanley, Christina; University of Chester; Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin; Wageningen University & Research; University of California; University of York (Elsevier, 2017-06-22)
      Many animals preferentially associate with certain other individuals. This social structuring can influence how populations respond to changes to their environment, thus making network analysis a promising technique for understanding, predicting and potentially manipulating population dynamics. Various network statistics can correlate with individual fitness components and key population-level processes, yet the logical role and formal application of animal social network theory for conservation and management have not been well articulated. We outline how understanding of direct and indirect relationships between animals can be profitably applied by wildlife managers and conservationists. By doing so, we aim to stimulate the development and implementation of practical tools for wildlife conservation and management and to inspire novel behavioral research in this field.
    • ANNING, Mary (1799-1847)

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004)
      This dictionary entry discusses the life and work of British fossil hunter Mary Anning (1799-1847).
    • Application of immunological methods for the detection of species adulteration in dairy products

      Hurley, Ian P.; Ireland, H. Elyse; Coleman, Robert C.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester (Wiley, 2004)
      A number of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) have been developed for the detection of milk adulteration in dairy products. Target antigens have been caseins, lactoglobulins, immunoglobulins and other whey proteins. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have been used in a variety of formats including direct, indirect, competitive and sandwich ELISAs. ELISAs have been successfully applied to the detection of cows' milk adulteration of sheep, goat and buffalo milk. Goat milk adulteration of sheep milk has also been detected. A number of ELISAs have also been applied to cheese. It is recommended that ELISA should be used in combination with PCR to ensure compliance with current legislation.
    • Approaching the problem of defining 'health' and 'disease' from the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001-09)
      Concepts of 'health' and 'disease' are of fundamental importance to ethical considerations regarding medical provision. Yet the terms have no clearly agreed definitions. In fact, the difficulty of defining health has led to most attention being given to defining disease instead. Here, two schools of thought have arisen: the 'naturalist' which argues that disease is an objective entity in itself and the 'normativist' which gives emphasis to the subjective nature of disease experience differing between cultures and through history. Respectively, these two schools characterize quantitative (or functional) and qualitative (or evaluative) views of disease. Although both schools offer important insights, they are essentially at odds. This poster outlines an approach that seeks to find a basis for a meeting (if not a unification) of these schools by adopting ideas and approaches from evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine. From the perspective of reproductive fitness, the question of whether health and disease can be said to exist as biological entities is addressed and the idea that all that matters is reproductivity is considered. It is suggested that attitudes regarding certain biological entities, such as physical or physiological states, serve adaptive functions. The suggestion is then made that, although open to social and cultural influence, attitudes towards and qualitative definitions of health and disease also have biological bases. Thus, it may be argued that evaluative definitions of disease have functional (evolutionary) bases, thereby linking the naturalist and normativist schools of thought. Important in this linkage, however, is acceptance of ideas from evolutionary psychology. The only discipline that currently unites the study of health and disease with that of evolutionary biology (including evolutionary psychology) is Darwinian medicine. It is within this discipline that new theoretical and evidence-based understanding of 'health' and 'disease' is likely to prove fruitful – in particular, in giving 'health' appropriately weighted attention.
    • Archibald Geikie: His influence on and support for the roles of female geologists

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Geological Society of London, 2018)
      This chapter explores the interaction between Archibald Geikie and female geologists in their many different roles and within the social context of his life time (1835-1924). The roles adopted by female geologists altered around 1875 due to a change in the educational and legal background. Geikie’s attitude to female fieldwork and research publications changes through time too. His life is divided up into 5 different stages according to his influence. Case studies of both single and married women are explored looking at the influence and interaction they had with Archibald Geikie. They include Maria Ogilvie Gordon, Catherine Raisin, Annie Greenly, Gertrude Elles, Ethel Skeat and Ethel Wood. Was one female role more acceptable to him than others? Geikie seems to accept most of the roles they undertook and he supported them wherever he could.
    • Assessing Risk Factors for Reproductive Failure and Associated Welfare Impacts in Elephants in European Zoos

      Hartley, Matt; University of Chester (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2016-08-02)
      Reproductive failure in elephants is thought to be caused or influenced by a range of factors such as obesity, infectious disease, husbandry, facilities, stress, behaviour, maternal experience, herd size and social grouping. Due to the low reproductive activity of the small zoo elephant population, scientific study into the relative importance of these factors is limited. This study takes an epidemiological approach using risk analysis methodologies to collate information from expert opinion, data set analysis and a targeted questionnaire to identify and assess a range of physical, behavioural and husbandry based risk factors, which may affect reproductive success in elephants housed in European Zoos. Much of our knowledge on reproduction in zoo elephant populations originates from North America where there are significant differences in herd structure, management practices, climate and mean age. By combining multiple sources of evidence including a large survey of reproduction in the European elephant population and eliciting expert opinion from scientists, zoo managers, veterinarians and keepers working with European zoo elephants in a structured, transparent and scientifically recognised process it has been possible to identify the most important causes of reproductive failure and assess the influence of a range of potential confounding factors. Important causes of reproductive failure included lack of access to a compatible bull, herd stability and compatibility, allomothering or maternal experience, management practices at parturition and the impact of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus. This work is to be used in the development of evidence-based elephant management and welfare recommendations and highlights priority areas for further research.
    • Behavioural and physiological adaptations to low-temperature environments in the common frog, Rana temporaria

      Muir, Anna P.; Biek, Roman; Mable, Barbara K.; University of Chester; University of Glasgow (BioMed Central, 2014-05-23)
      Background: Extreme environments can impose strong ecological and evolutionary pressures at a local level. Ectotherms are particularly sensitive to low-temperature environments, which can result in a reduced activity period, slowed physiological processes and increased exposure to sub-zero temperatures. The aim of this study was to assess the behavioural and physiological responses that facilitate survival in low-temperature environments. In particular, we asked: 1) do high-altitude common frog (Rana temporaria) adults extend the time available for larval growth by breeding at lower temperatures than low-altitude individuals?; and 2) do tadpoles sampled from high-altitude sites differ physiologically from those from low-altitude sites, in terms of routine metabolic rate (RMR) and freeze tolerance? Breeding date was assessed as the first day of spawn observation and local temperature recorded for five, paired high- and low-altitude R. temporaria breeding sites in Scotland. Spawn was collected and tadpoles raised in a common laboratory environment, where RMR was measured as oxygen consumed using a closed respiratory tube system. Freeze tolerance was measured as survival following slow cooling to the point when all container water had frozen. Results: We found that breeding did not occur below 5°C at any site and there was no significant relationship between breeding temperature and altitude, leading to a delay in spawning of five days for every 100 m increase in altitude. The relationship between altitude and RMR varied by mountain but was lower for individuals sampled from high- than low-altitude sites within the three mountains with the highest high-altitude sites (≥900 m). In contrast, individuals sampled from low-altitudes survived freezing significantly better than those from high-altitudes, across all mountains. Conclusions: Our results suggest that adults at high-altitude do not show behavioural adaptations in terms of breeding at lower temperatures. However, tadpoles appear to have the potential to adapt physiologically to surviving at high-altitude via reduced RMR but without an increase in freeze tolerance. Therefore, survival at high-altitude may be facilitated by physiological mechanisms that permit faster growth rates, allowing completion of larval development within a shorter time period, alleviating the need for adaptations that extend the time available for larval growth.
    • BENETT, Etheldred Anna Maria (1776-1845)

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004)
      This dictionary entry the life and career of the British geologist Etheldred Benett (1776-1845), one of the first female geologists and and expert on the early history of Wiltshire geology.
    • A bio-assay for effectors of osteoclast differentiation in serum from patients with bone disease

      Dugard, Marit-Naomi; Sharp, Christopher A.; Evans, Sally F.; Williams, John H. H.; Davie, Michael W. J.; Marshall, Michael J.; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry ; University of Chester ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry (Elsevier, 2005-06)
      Osteoclast differentiation and activity, and hence bone loss, depend on two opposing cytokines. Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) produced by osteoblasts and T-cells stimulates, while osteoprotegerin inhibits. Both of these cytokines are found in serum. Our aim was to develop a functional assay for any factors present in human serum that can affect osteoclast differentiation and to assess whether any such factors vary in diseases in which bone loss occurs.
    • Biodiversity in the North West: The slime moulds of Cheshire

      Ing, Bruce; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2011)
      The county of Cheshire, in its broadest, historical sense, has a rich diversity of wildlife, linked to a varied geology and land use. This is an account of a group of strange but fascinating organisms, the slime moulds, which straddle the boundaries between fungi and protozoans. After a short introduction to the biology and ecology of slime moulds, the physical and ecological environment of wider Cheshire is described. The main body of the work is a detailed catalogue of all the species ever recorded in the district. The records date back into the 19th century but are mostly concentrated in the last 40 years, since the author came to Chester. There are more than 90 maps, on a 5 km grid square base, of the commoner species.
    • A bird's eye view of NK cell receptor interactions with their MHC class I ligands.

      Saunders, Philippa M.; Vivian, Julian P.; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Sullivan, Lucy C.; Pymm, Phillip; Rossjohn, Jamie; Brooks, Andrew G. (2015-09)
      The surveillance of target cells by natural killer (NK) cells utilizes an ensemble of inhibitory and activating receptors, many of which interact with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. NK cell recognition of MHC class I proteins is important developmentally for the acquisition of full NK cell effector capacity and during target cell recognition, where the engagement of inhibitory receptors and MHC class I molecules attenuates NK cell activation. Human NK cells have evolved two broad strategies for recognition of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules: (i) direct recognition of polymorphic classical HLA class I proteins by diverse receptor families such as the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs), and (ii) indirect recognition of conserved sets of HLA class I-derived peptides displayed on the non-classical HLA-E for recognition by CD94-NKG2 receptors. In this review, we assess the structural basis for the interaction between these NK receptors and their HLA class I ligands and, using the suite of published KIR and CD94-NKG2 ternary complexes, highlight the features that allow NK cells to orchestrate the recognition of a range of different HLA class I proteins.
    • Birth defects and anti–heat shock protein 70 antibodies in early pregnancy

      Child, David F.; Hudson, Peter R.; Hunter-Lavin, Claire; Mukhergee, Sagarika; China, Susnata; Williams, Clive P.; Williams, John H. H.; University of Chester (Hunter-Lavin & Williams) (Springer-Verlag, 2006-03)
    • Bone extracts can stimulate the secrtion of osteoprotegerin in the osteosarcoma cell lines MG-63 and SAOS-2

      Powell, Diane E.; Johnson, W. E. B.; Marshall, Michael J.; Williams, John H. H.; Davie, Michael W. J. (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2005)
    • Both habitat change and local lek structure influence patterns of spatial loss and recovery in a black grouse population

      Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H.; Marsden, Stuart J.; University of Chester ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; Manchester Metropolitan University (Springer, 2015)
      Land use change is a major driver of declines in wildlife populations. Where human economic or recreational interests and wildlife share landscapes this problem is exacerbated. Changes in UK black grouse Tetrao tetrix populations are thought to have been strongly influenced by upland land use change. In a long-studied population within Perthshire, lek persistence is positively correlated with lek size, and remaining leks clustered most strongly within the landscape when the population is lowest, suggesting that there may be a demographic and/or spatial context to the reaction of the population to habitat changes. Hierarchical cluster analysis of lek locations revealed that patterns of lek occupancy when the population was declining were different to those during the later recovery period. Response curves from lek-habitat models developed using MaxEnt for periods with a declining population, low population, and recovering population were consistent across years for most habitat measures. We found evidence linking lek persistence with habitat quality changes and more leks which appeared between 1994 and 2008 were in improving habitat than those which disappeared during the same period. Generalised additive models (GAMs) identified changes in woodland and starting lek size as being important indicators of lek survival between declining and low/recovery periods. There may also have been a role for local densities in explaining recovery since the population low point. Persistence of black grouse leks was influenced by habitat, but changes in this alone did not fully account for black grouse declines. Even when surrounded by good quality habitat, leks can be susceptible to extirpation due to isolation.