• 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, 2004-06-01)
      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. (2015-08-18)
      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)
    • 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 (Springer, 2015-05-23)
      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.
    • A call to action for climate change research on Caribbean dry forests

      Nelson, Howard P.; Devenish-Nelson, Eleanor S.; Rusk, Bonnie L.; Geary, Matthew; Lawrence, Andrew J.; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester; Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, St. Georges, Grenada (Springer, 2018-04-20)
      Tropical dry forest (TDF) is globally one of the most threatened forest types. In the insular Caribbean, limited land area and high population pressure have resulted in the loss of over 60% of TDF, yet local people’s reliance on these systems for ecosystem services is high. Given the sensitivity of TDF to shifts in precipitation regimes and the vulnerability of the Caribbean to climate change, this study examined what is currently known about the impacts of climate change on TDF in the region. A systematic review (n = 89) revealed that only two studies addressed the ecological response of TDF to climate change. Compared to the rapidly increasing knowledge of the effects of climate change on other Caribbean systems and on TDF in the wider neotropics, this paucity is alarming given the value of these forests. We stress the need for long-term monitoring of climate change responses of these critical ecosystems, including phenological and hotspot analyses as priorities.
    • Camera Traps Confirm the Presence of the White-naped Mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus in Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, Western Ghana

      Stanley, Christina R.; Nolan, Ryan; Welsh, Adam; Dempsey, Andrea; Mono, Joseph Cudjoe; Osei, David; Hartley, Matt; Geary, Matthew; University of Chester; West African Primate Conservation Action; The Forestry Commission of Ghana; Zoo and Wildlife Solutions Ltd (IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, 2019)
      The white-naped mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus is severely threatened by logging, mining, and hunting. In the last decade, wild populations have been confirmed in just three forested areas in Ghana and a handful of sites in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Sightings of this species were recently reported in a fourth area in Ghana, the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, a forest patch in western Ghana, 60 km from the nearest recorded wild population, which is in the Ankasa Conservation Area. We deployed 14 camera traps across 21 different locations throughout the reserve, with the intention of confirming the presence of this species. Images of the white-naped mangabey were captured at four locations, consolidating recent evidence for a fourth sub-population of this species in Ghana and providing only the second-ever photograph of a wild member of this species in the country. We observed evidence of numerous illegal anthropogenic activities in the reserve, which threaten these mangabeys, and we make recommendations for the protection of the reserve, essential for the conservation of this highly endangered species.
    • A Cartesian co-ordinate system for representing the second to fifth metacarpals in the human hand

      Lewis, Stephen J.; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2004-08)
      Purpose The use of hand radiographs has both clinical and anthropometric applications. However, a method for converting standard bony points within the metacarpus to Cartesian co-ordinates does not exist. Methods A simple method for converting standard bony points of the second to fifth metacarpals to Cartesian co-ordinates is described for the first time. Results Using a small set of measurements and treating these with equations of known voracity, this method is accurate and allows the metacarpus to be interro¬gated via a much wider range of geometrical techniques than has so far been available. Conclusions This method allows naked-eye assessments to be supported or re¬placed by metrical evaluations. It is likely to have both clinical and anthropometric uses.
    • Catherine Raisin

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (The National Federation of Women's Institutes, 2011)
      This article discusses the life and career of the geologist and educational pioneer Catherine Raison (1855-1945)
    • Catherine Raisin, a role-model professional geologist

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Blackwell, 2003-05)
      This article discusses the life and career of British geologist Catherine Raisin (1855-1945), especially her time teaching at Bedford College (where she was Head of Geography, Head of Botany, and Head of Geology, and became the first woman appointed as Vice-Principal of a college in 1898).
    • CD164 identifies CD4+ T cells highly expressing genes associated with malignancy in Sezary syndrome: the Sezary signature genes, FCRL3, Tox, and miR-214.

      Benoit, Bernice M.; Jariwala, Neha; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Oetjen, Landon; Whelan, Timothy M.; Werth, Adrienne; Troxel, Andrea B.; Sicard, Helene; Zhu, Lisa; Miller, Christopher; et al. (SpringerLink, 2016-10-20)
      Sézary syndrome (SS), a leukemic variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), is associated with a significantly shorter life expectancy compared to skin-restricted mycosis fungoides. Early diagnosis of SS is, therefore, key to achieving enhanced therapeutic responses. However, the lack of a biomarker(s) highly specific for malignant CD4+ T cells in SS patients has been a serious obstacle in making an early diagnosis. We recently demonstrated the high expression of CD164 on CD4+ T cells from Sézary syndrome patients with a wide range of circulating tumor burdens. To further characterize CD164 as a potential biomarker for malignant CD4+ T cells, CD164+ and CD164−CD4+ T cells isolated from patients with high-circulating tumor burden, B2 stage, and medium/low tumor burden, B1–B0 stage, were assessed for the expression of genes reported to differentiate SS from normal controls, and associated with malignancy and poor prognosis. The expression of Sézary signature genes: T plastin, GATA-3, along with FCRL3, Tox, and miR-214, was significantly higher, whereas STAT-4 was lower, in CD164+ compared with CD164−CD4+ T cells. While Tox was highly expressed in both B2 and B1–B0 patients, the expression of Sézary signature genes, FCRL3, and miR-214 was associated predominantly with advanced B2 disease. High expression of CD164 mRNA and protein was also detected in skin from CTCL patients. CD164 was co-expressed with KIR3DL2 on circulating CD4+ T cells from high tumor burden SS patients, further providing strong support for CD164 as a disease relevant surface biomarker.
    • Changes in cervical keratinocyte gene expression associated with integration of human papillomavirus 16

      Alazawi, William; Pett, Mark; Arch, Barbara N.; Scott, Laurie; Freeman, Tom; Stanley, Margaret A.; Coleman, Nicholas; Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit, MRC/Hutchison Research Centre, Cambridge ; Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge ; Institute of Public Health, Cambridge ; Medical Research Council Human Genome Mapping Resource Centre, Cambridge ; Medical Research Council Human Genome Mapping Resource Centre, Cambridge ; Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge ; Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit, MRC/Hutchison Research Centre, Cambridge/Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge (American Association for Cancer Research, 2002-12-01)
      Episomal integration is a critical event in human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oncogenesis, although little information is currently available concerning the effect of integration on the host transcriptome. Expression microarrays were used to investigate the effect of integration of HPV16 on gene expression in cervical keratinocytes, using the unique cell line model W12. W12 was generated from a cervical low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion "naturally" infected with HPV16 and at low passage contains approximately 100 HPV16 episomes/cell. With passage in vitro, integration of viral episomes is associated with the development of phenotypic and genomic abnormalities resembling those seen in cervical neoplastic progression in vivo. The Affymetrix U95A oligonucleotide array that contains probes for 12,600 human transcripts was used and 85 genes from a range of host cell pathways that show changes in expression levels after integration of HPV16 were identified. A range of genes not previously described as being involved in cervical neoplastic progression were identified. Interestingly, integration is associated with up-regulation of numerous IFN-responsive genes, in comparison with a baseline of episomally infected cells. These genes include p48, a component of the primary regulator of the IFN response pathway, IFN-stimulated gene factor 3. The physical state of high-risk HPV may substantially influence the response to IFN in infected keratinocytes.
    • Chapter Ten: Handling and Restraint of Small Ruminants

      McLennan, Krista M.; Chapman, Stella; University of Chester; University Centre Hartpury (Wiley, 2017-11-03)
      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).
    • 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.
    • Characterising the salt-marsh resource using multi-spectral remote sensing: A case study of the Dee estuary in north-west England

      Huckle, Jonathan M.; Marrs, Robert H.; Potter, Jacqueline; University College Chester (2004)
    • Characterization of a weakly expressed KIR2DL1 variant reveals a novel upstream promoter that controls KIR expression

      Wright, Paul W.; Li, Honchuan; Huehn, Andrew; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Cooley, Sarah; Miller, Jeffrey S.; Anderson, Stephen K.; Basic Science Program, Leidos Biomedical Research Inc., Lab of Experimental Immunology, Frederick National Lab, Frederick, MD, USA. Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, USA. Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA. (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-07-03)
      Members of the human KIR (killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor) class I major histocompatibility complex receptor gene family contain multiple promoters that determine the variegated expression of KIR on natural killer cells. In order to identify novel genetic alterations associated with decreased KIR expression, a group of donors was characterized for KIR gene content, transcripts and protein expression. An individual with a single copy of the KIR2DL1 gene but a very low level of gene expression was identified. The low expression phenotype was associated with a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that created a binding site for the inhibitory ZEB1 (Zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1) transcription factor adjacent to a c-Myc binding site previously implicated in distal promoter activity. Individuals possessing this SNP had a substantial decrease in distal KIR2DL1 transcripts initiating from a novel intermediate promoter located 230 bp upstream of the proximal promoter start site. Surprisingly, there was no decrease in transcription from the KIR2DL1 proximal promoter. Reduced intermediate promoter activity revealed the existence of alternatively spliced KIR2DL1 transcripts containing premature termination codons that initiated from the proximal KIR2DL1 promoter. Altogether, these results indicate that distal transcripts are necessary for KIR2DL1 protein expression and are required for proper processing of sense transcripts from the bidirectional proximal promoter.
    • Clapping in chimpanzees: Evidence of exclusive hand preference in a spontaneous, bimanual gesture

      Fletcher, Alison W.; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006-10-16)
      This article presents data on a simple, spontaneous bimanual gesture –'clap'– that was investigated in a naturalistic group of 26 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).
    • Cleaner wrasse forage on ectoparasitic Digeneans (Phylum Platyhelminthes) that infect pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus)

      Cadwallader, Helen F.; Turner, J. R.; Oliver, Simon P.; Bangor University; University of Chester (Springer, 2014-12-03)
      This article discusses a study of ectoparasite specimens that were taken from the cloacas of dead pelagic thresher sharks caught in the central Visayas of the Philippines.