• Ida Slater: A Collection Researcher in a Male World at the Beginning of the 20th Century

      Sendino, Consuelo; Ducker, Erik; Burek, Cynthia V. (SAGE Publications, 2019-06-27)
      Ida Lilian Slater (1881-1969) was one of the first women to work as a geologist in a male world, and although her career was short, she made important contributions to the Early Palaeozoic of Wales and Scotland. Her main work was based on a collection of a group of fossil scypho-zoan polyps gathered not by her but by another significant woman, Elizabeth Anderson, widely known as Mrs. Robert Gray (1831-1924). The majority of this collection is kept at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, and the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. She worked in the former one for two years describing species and comparing specimens for her monograph on British conulariids. Although her work was based not only on this group, she will be remembered by her important contribution to the conulariids through collections. The NHM collection is considered the best in the world in terms of diversity and the second best in its number of specimens, while the Sedgwick Museum has a smaller collection that is still considered the second best in diversity and number of specimens in the United Kingdom. Her work has been cited for more than 100 years and continues to be cited to this day by researchers on this group of fossils.
    • Imaging atherosclerotic plaque inflammation with [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography

      Rudd, H. F.; Warburton, E. A.; Fryer, Tim D.; Jones, H. A.; Clark, J. C.; Antoun, N.; Johnström, Peter; Davenport, Anthony P.; Kirkpatrick, Peter J.; Arch, Barbara N.; et al. (American Heart Association, 2002-06-20)
      This study demonstrates that atherosclerotic plaque inflammation can be imaged with 18FDG-PET, and that symptomatic, unstable plaques accumulate more 18FDG than asymptomatic lesions.
    • Immunoassays: Their history, development and current place in food science and technology

      Bonwick, Graham A.; Smith, Christopher J.; University College Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004-10-20)
      This article discusses the types and variety of immunoassays, which are currently available. Immunoassays provide a powerful tool, which can be used in the analysis and quality control of food materials. For both the novice and the experienced worker the specialist terminology of a subject presents an initial barrier, which must be overcome before full understanding is achieved. In this paper an attempt is made to introduce the important terms with which the reader should be familiar and to try to set the various technologies in context. The various basic methods are described and the theoretical and practical basis of more sophisticated assays now being devised are introduced.
    • Impact of tank background on the welfare of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Daudin)

      Holmes, Andrew M.; Emmans, Christopher J.; Jones, Niall; Coleman, Robert C.; Smith, Tessa E.; Hosie, Charlotte A.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-09-14)
      The captive environment of a laboratory animal can profoundly influence its welfare and the scientific validity of research produced. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) is a common model organism, however current husbandry guidelines lack supporting quantitative evidence. The visual environment is a fundamental aspect of a captive animal’s housing and may affect a number of physiological and behavioural responses. This is particularly important for species such as X. laevis where cryptic camouflage is a fundamental defence mechanism. Here male (n = 16) and female (n = 20) X. laevis were housed in tanks with ecologically relevant (black) and non-relevant (white) background colours and physiological and behavioural responses observed. Higher levels of water-borne corticosterone were observed in tanks with a white background compared to a black background in females (p = 0.047). Increased atypical active behaviours (Swimming: p = 0.042; Walling: p = 0.042) and a greater degree of body mass loss (p < 0.001) were also observed in the white background condition. Together these responses are indicative of increased stress of X. laevis when housed in tanks with a non-ecologically relevant background compared to an ecologically relevant background and suggest refined tank background colour may improve welfare in this species.
    • The importance of long-term genetic monitoring of reintroduced populations: inbreeding in the natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita)

      Muir, Anna P; orcid: 0000-0002-6896-6915; Phillips, Susanna; Geary, Matt; email: m.geary@chester.ac.uk; Allmark, Matthew; Bennett, Sarah; Norman, Kim; Ball, Rachel J; Peters, Catherine; University of Chester; Cheshire Wildlife Trust; Eni UK Ltd (British Herpetological Society, 2020-07-31)
      Genetic monitoring is an important, but frequently lacking, component of management actions to support long-term persistence in reintroduced populations. Populations that remain small, due to demographic processes and genetic diversity, are more likely to experience a second extinction event. The natterjack toad (Epidelea calamita) is legally protected in Britain and was the subject of a reintroduction programme in the 1990s. However, subsequent genetic assessment has been mostly lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of two reintroduced populations of natterjack toads in order to inform conservation management. Adults were sampled and nine microsatellites amplified to assess neutral genetic variation within each site and for comparison with the source population. Inbreeding was observed at the reintroduction sites, as evidenced by high FIS values (0.43 and 0.72), low observed compared to expected heterozygosities, and significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Observed heterozygosity is currently lower in the reintroduction sites than it was in the source population at the time of the reintroductions (Red Rocks: 0.15±0.20; Talacre: 0.12±0.20; Ainsdale (source): 0.29). Evidence for a bottleneck was not found, although this is likely a result of sampling overlapping generations. No within-site population structuring was observed. Such low genetic diversity has not previously been recorded in any natterjack population. Genetic rescue, combined with pool creation, is the most viable option for safeguarding the species at these sites into the future. Our work highlights the importance of ongoing genetic monitoring, in collaboration with conservation organisations, to support conservation management.
    • The importance of quaternary geoconservation

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Quarternary Research Association, 2012)
    • The importance of research applicability

      McLennan, Krista M.; University of Chester (The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, 2019-06-30)
      Marino & Merskin’s (2019) review contains key information about the complexity of sheep and their intelligence level, but lacks practical application. The key to making any long-term changes to sheep welfare at an industry level is by generating research that is practically relevant to the sector. The practical application of research should be considered at the design stage and in consultation with producers. Additionally, thought needs to be given to how the practical application of the research will be transferred to those people directly involved in animal care (e.g. producers, stockpersons, etc.). Focusing on the practical relevance and application of research at all stages of the process will foster changes to long-held beliefs and attitudes.
    • Improving the practicality of using non-aversive handling methods to reduce background stress and anxiety in laboratory mice

      Gouveia, Kelly; Hurst, Jane; University of Liverpool; University of Chester
      Handling can stimulate stress and anxiety in laboratory animals that negatively impacts welfare and introduces a confounding factor in many areas of research. Picking up mice by the tail is a major source of handling stress that results in strong aversion to the handler, while mice familiarised with being picked up in a tunnel or cupped on the open hand show low stress and anxiety, and actively seek interaction with their handlers. Here we investigate the duration and frequency of handling required for effective familiarisation with these non-aversive handling methods, and test whether this is sufficient to prevent aversion and anxiety when animals then experience immobilisation and a mild procedure (subcutaneous injection). Very brief handling (2 s) was sufficient to familiarise mice with tunnel handling, even when experienced only during cage cleaning. Brief but more frequent handling was needed for familiarisation with cup handling, while pick up by tail induced strong aversion even when handling was brief and infrequent. Experience of repeated immobilisation and subcutaneous injection did not reverse the positive effects of tunnel handling. Our findings demonstrate that replacing tail with tunnel handling during routine cage cleaning and procedures provides a major refinement with little if any cost for familiarisation.
    • In vitro cyto-toxic assessment of heavy metals and their binary mixtures on mast cell-like, rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) cells

      Eze, Chukwuebuka T.; Michelangeli, Francesco; Otitoloju, Adebayo A.; University of Chester, University of Lagos, Nigeria, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria (Elsevier, 2019-02-11)
      We investigated the cytotoxicity and mechanisms of cell death induced by salts of Cadmium (Cd2+), Lead (Pb2+), Arsenic (AsO4 3−) and Chromium (Cr+6) on RBL-2H3 cells (a model mast cell line). In addition, cyto-toxic effect on cell viability was assessed to reveal their nature of interaction in binary mixture. The individual cytotoxic characteristics of these metals on RBL-2H3 cell viability showed a concentration- dependent reduction of cell viability. We observed that concentration-dependent cytotoxic potency on RBL-2H3 cells of these metals range in the following order Cd2+>Cr+6>As O4 3−>Pb2+ with LC50 values of 0.11 μM, 93.58 μM, 397.9 μM and 485.3 μM respectively. Additive effects were observed with Pb2+ + Cd2+, Pb2+ + AsO4 3−, Pb2+ + Cr+6 and AsO4 3− + Cr+6. The study revealed that Pb2+, Cd2+, AsO4 3− and Cr+6 could induce significant (P<0.01) cell death by apoptosis in RBL-2H3. Highly significant necrotic cell death was observed with Pb2+ and Cr+6 (P<0.01) than Cd2+ and AsO4 3− (P<0.05). Overall, it can be deduced that several cell death executing pathways may be concomitantly activated on exposure to heavy metals and the predominance of one over others might depend on the type of heavy metal, concentration and the metabolic state of the cell. Eventually, binary mixtures of some of these metals showed less cytotoxicity than would be expected from their individual actions and may depend on the co-exposure of the metal ions and their modes of action.
    • Increased circulating Dickkopf-1 in Paget's disease of bone

      Marshall, Michael J.; Evans, Sally F.; Sharp, Christopher A.; Powell, Diane E.; McCarthy, Helen S.; Davie, Michael W. J.; 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 (Elsevier, 2009-07)
      This article discusses Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), which is a secreted inhibitor of Wnt signaling which in adults regulates bone turnover. Dkk-1 over-production is implicated in osteolytic disease where it inhibits bone formation and stimulates bone breakdown. Recently it was reported that osteoblastic cells from Paget's disease of bone (PDB) over-expressed Dkk-1. This study aimed yo see if increased Dkk-1 was detected in serum from patients with PDB. The results showed that Dkk-1 and total serum alkaline phosphatase activity (tsAP) were significantly elevated in sera from PDB patients. Patients with polyostotic PDB had significantly higher levels of tsAP but not Dkk-1, than monostotic patients. TsAP but not Dkk-1, was significantly lower in sera from bisphosphonate treated versus untreated PDB patients. Dkk-1 and tsAP were not significantly correlated. Dkk-1 may be a useful biomarker of PDB and the authors speculate that Dkk-1 may play a central role in the etiology of PDB.
    • Individual, social, and environmental factors affecting salivary and fecal cortisol levels in captive pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor)

      Wormell, Dominic; Smith, Tessa E.; Price, Eluned E.; Ahsmann, J.; Glendewar, G.; Hunt, J.; Coleman, Robert, C.; University of Chester (Wiley, 2019-08-01)
      Pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor) are endangered New World primates, and in captivity appear to be very susceptible to stress. We measured cortisol in 214 saliva samples from 36 tamarins and in 227 fecal samples from 27 tamarins, and investigated the effects of age, sex, pregnancy, rearing history, social status, weight, group composition, and enclosure type using generalized linear mixed models. There was no effect of age on either fecal or salivary cortisol levels. Female pied tamarins in late pregnancy had higher fecal cortisol levels than those in early pregnancy, or nonpregnant females, but there was no effect of pregnancy on salivary cortisol. Females had higher salivary cortisol levels than males, but there was no effect of rearing history. However, for fecal cortisol, there was an interaction between sex and rearing history. Hand‐reared tamarins overall had higher fecal cortisol levels, but while male parent‐reared tamarins had higher levels than females who were parent‐ reared, the reverse was true for hand‐reared individuals. There was a trend towards lower fecal cortisol levels in subordinate individuals, but no effect of status on salivary cortisol. Fecal but not salivary cortisol levels declined with increasing weight. We found little effect of group composition on cortisol levels in either saliva or feces, suggesting that as long as tamarins are housed socially, the nature of the group is of less importance. However, animals in off‐show enclosures had higher salivary and fecal cortisol levels than individuals housed on‐show. We suggest that large on‐show enclosures with permanent access to off‐exhibit areas may compensate for the effects of visitor disturbance, and a larger number of tamarins of the same species housed close together may explain the higher cortisol levels found in tamarins living in off‐show accommodation, but further research is needed.
    • Influence of environmental factors on the growth and interactions between salt marsh plants: Effects of salinity, sediment and waterlogging

      Huckle, Jonathan M.; Potter, Jacqueline; Marrs, Robert H.; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University of Liverpool (British Ecological Society, 2009-07-21)
      Artificial environmental gradients were established in a series of pot experiments to investigate the effect of salinity, sediment type and waterlogging on the growth, and interactions between Spartina anglica and Puccinellia maritima. In each experiment, one environmental variable was manipulated and plants grown in pairwise combinations to examine the effect of the environmental factor on the intensity of intra- and interspecific interactions, quantified using the Relative Neighbour Effect (RNE) index. 2 Puccinellia was found to exert an asymmetric, one-way competitive dominance above ground over Spartina in experiments where gradients of sediment type and waterlogging were established. The intensity of the competition was highest in conditions with the least abiotic stress and lower or non-existent where stress was increased. 3 The intensity of the above-ground competition was greatest in loam and least in sand sediments. Reduction in competitive intensity in sand was accompanied by an increase in below-ground Spartina biomass and it is suggested that the production of rhizomes is a potential mechanism by which this species can expand vegetatively into areas without competition. 4 Interspecific competition on Spartina from Puccinellia also varied in intensity in the waterlogging experiment, being more intense in non-immersed treatments, where abiotic stress was reduced. 5 The competitive dominance of Puccinellia and the competition avoidance mechanism shown by Spartina in these experiments help to explain the successional interactions between the species along environmental gradients in natural salt marsh communities.
    • The inhibition of osteoprotegerin production in human osteoblast-like cells by dissociated glucocorticoid analoges

      Humphrey, E. L.; Smith, Heather L.; Williams, John H. H.; Marshall, Michael J.; University College Chester (Williams) (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2004-06)
    • Integrating role-play with case study and carbon footprint monitoring: A transformative approach to enhancing learners' behaviour for a more sustainable environment

      Oliver, Simon P.; University of Chester (Look Acedemic Publishers, 2016-05-01)
      Educators have long used role-play to encourage a significant shift in learner perspective, and the social and cognitive benefits of this active learning tool are well documented. Although the use of role-play has been encouraged as a transformative approach to challenge the worldview of individual learners in the context of environmental education, the efficacy of its application as a direct means to enhance learners’ behavior towards the environment has not been previously investigated. In this study role-play simulations were integrated with case study to expose learners to some of the socioscientific issues that typically arise from environmental debate. Learners were separated into groups representing the interests of parties that typically negotiate environmental affairs in real world scenarios (conservationists, scientists, politicians, NGOs, stakeholders), and tasked with preparing role-play simulations using a variety of flipped learning techniques. Learners’ carbon footprints were monitored pre and post intervention, and CO2 emission scores were used as a proxy for their behaviour towards the environment. Five role-play simulations were run overall. These were integrated with case studies associated with fisheries issues, and climate change. Anonymous participant surveys indicated that learners responded positively to the intervention, and participants’ CO2 emission scores improved significantly (T1,59 = 2.723, p = 0.009). In the context of environmental sciences, learners that engage in the integrated role-play and case study approach may benefit from flipped learning techniques to prepare their simulations, and gain confidence from self-actualising moments of achievement when they realise an improvement in their environmental behaviour.
    • Interaction of a dengue virus NS1-derived peptide with the inhibitory receptor KIR3DL1 on natural killer cells

      Townsley, Elizabeth; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Cosgrove, Cormac; Woda, Marcia; Co, Mary; Thomas, Stephen J.; Kalayanarooj, Siripen; Yoon, In-Kyu; Nisalak, Ananda; Srikiatkhachorn, Anon; et al. (2015-10-06)
      Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) interact with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I ligands and play a key role in the regulation and activation of NK cells. The functional importance of KIR-HLA interactions has been demonstrated for a number of chronic viral infections, but to date only a few studies have been performed in the context of acute self-limited viral infections. During our investigation of CD8(+) T cell responses to a conserved HLA-B57-restricted epitope derived from dengue virus (DENV) non-structural protein-1 (NS1), we observed substantial binding of the tetrameric complex to non-T/non-B lymphocytes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from a long-standing clinical cohort in Thailand. We confirmed binding of the NS1 tetramer to CD56(dim) NK cells, which are known to express KIRs. Using depletion studies and KIR-transfected cell lines, we demonstrated further that the NS1 tetramer bound the inhibitory receptor KIR3DL1. Phenotypical analysis of PBMC from HLA-B57(+) subjects with acute DENV infection revealed marked activation of NS1 tetramer-binding natural killer (NK) cells around the time of defervescence in subjects with severe dengue disease. Collectively, our findings indicate that subsets of NK cells are activated relatively late in the course of acute DENV illness and reveal a possible role for specific KIR-HLA interactions in the modulation of disease outcomes.
    • The interaction of KIR3DL1*001 with HLA class I molecules is dependent upon molecular microarchitecture within the Bw4 epitope

      Saunders, Philippa M.; Vivian, Julian P.; Baschuk, Nikola; Beddoe, Travis; Widjaja, Jacqueline M.; O’Connor, Geraldine M.; Hitchen, Corinne; Pymm, Phillip; Andrews, Daniel M.; Gras, Stephanie; et al. (2015-01-02)
      The killer cell Ig-like receptor 3DL1 (KIR3DL1) inhibits activation of NK cells upon interaction with HLA class I molecules such as HLA-B*57:01, which contains the Bw4 epitope spanning residues 77-83 (e.g., NLRIALR), and not with HLA allomorphs that possess the Bw6 motif (e.g., HLA-B*08:01), which differ at residues 77, 80, 81, 82, and 83. Although Bw4 residues Ile(80) and Arg(83) directly interact with KIR3DL1*001, their precise role in determining KIR3DL1-HLA-Bw4 specificity remains unclear. Recognition of HLA-B*57:01 by either KIR3DL1(+) NK cells or the NK cell line YTS transfected with KIR3DL1*001 was impaired by mutation of residues 80 and 83 of HLA-B*57:01 to the corresponding amino acids within the Bw6 motif. Conversely, the simultaneous introduction of three Bw4 residues at positions 80, 82, and 83 into HLA-B*08:01 conferred an interaction with KIR3DL1*001. Structural analysis of HLA-B*57:01, HLA-B*08:01, and mutants of each bearing substitutions at positions 80 and 83 revealed that Ile(80) and Arg(83) within the Bw4 motif constrain the conformation of Glu(76), primarily through a salt bridge between Arg(83) and Glu(76). This salt bridge was absent in HLA-Bw6 molecules as well as position 83 mutants of HLA-B*57:01. Mutation of the Bw4 residue Ile(80) also disrupted this salt bridge, providing further insight into the role that position 80 plays in mediating KIR3DL1 recognition. Thus, the strict conformation of HLA-Bw4 allotypes, held in place by the Glu(76)-Arg(83) interaction, facilitates KIR3DL1 binding, whereas Bw6 allotypes present a platform on the alpha1 helix that is less permissive for KIR3DL1 binding.
    • Interleukin-1 beta blocks glucocorticoid inhibition of osteoprotegerin production in osteoblastic cells

      Humphrey, E. L.; Smith, Heather L.; Williams, John H. H.; Marshall, Michael J.; University College Chester (Williams) (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2004-06)
    • Interleukin-17 Expression in the Barrett’s Metaplasia-Dysplasia-Adenocarcinoma Sequence

      Bannister, Jim R.; Khan, Abdul L.; Eccleston, David W.; Deol-Poonia, Ranjeev K.; Hughes, Stephen F.; University of Chester; Aintree University Hospital (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012-12-30)
      Introduction. This pilot study evaluated the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 along the Barrett’s metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence by establishing the expression levels of IL-17 in columnar epithelium, intestinal metaplastic cells, and dysplastic/glandular neoplastic cells. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to examine the accumulation of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 in forty () formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded oesophageal archived specimens across a range of endoscopic diagnostic categories, and a highly significant difference was found, where , in IL-17 expression (Kruskall Wallis and Mann-Whitney ) between all the cell types examined. There was also a strong positive correlation (Spearman's rank correlation) between disease progression and IL-17 expression (, , ), IL-17 expression was absent or absent/weak in columnar epithelium, weak to moderate in columnar metaplastic cells, and moderate to strong in dysplastic/neoplastic cells, which demonstrated that the elevation of IL-17 expression occurs in the progression of the disease. Understanding the differential expression of IL-17 between benign and malignant tissue potentially has a significant diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value. Ultimately, this selective biomarker may be employed in routine clinical practice for the screening of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
    • Interpreting predictive maps of disease, highlighting the pitfalls of species distribution models in epidemiology

      Wardrop, Nicola A.; Geary, Matthew; Osborne, Patrick E.; Atkinson, Peter M.; University of Southampton ; University of Chester / University of Southampton ; University of Southampton ; University of Southampton (University of Naples, 2014-11-01)
      The application of spatial modelling to epidemiology has increased significantly over the past decade, delivering enhanced understanding of the environmental and climatic factors affecting disease distributions and providing spatially continuous representations of disease risk (predictive maps). These outputs provide significant information for disease control programmes, allowing spatial targeting and tailored interventions. However, several factors (e.g. sampling protocols or temporal disease spread) can influence predictive mapping outputs. This paper proposes a conceptual framework which defines several scenarios and their potential impact on resulting predictive outputs, using simulated data to provide an exemplar. It is vital that researchers recognise these scenarios and their influence on predictive models and their outputs, as a failure to do so may lead to inaccurate interpretation of predictive maps. As long as these considerations are kept in mind, predictive mapping will continue to contribute significantly to epidemiological research and disease control planning.
    • Interspecific and intraspecific interactions between salt marsh plants: Integrating the effects of environmental factors and density on plant performance

      Huckle, Jonathan M.; Marrs, Robert H.; Potter, Jacqueline; University of Liverpool ; University of Liverpool ; Chester College of Higher Education (Nordic Ecological Society, 2002-02)
      There has been much debate about the role of plant interactions in the structure and function of vegetation communities. Here the results of a pot experiment with controlled environments are described where three environmental variables (nutrients, sediment type and waterlogging) were manipulated factorially to identify their effects on the growth and intensity of interactions occurring between Spartina anglica and Puccinellia maritima. The two species were grown in split-plot planting treatments, representing intraspecific and interspecific addition series experiments, to determine individual and interactive effects of environmental factors and plant interactions on plant biomass. Above-ground growth of both species involved interactions between the environmental and planting treatments, while below-ground, environmental factors affected the biomass irrespective of planting treatments. It was suggested that this difference in growth response is evidence that in our experiment plant interactions between the two species occur primarily at the above-ground level. The intensity of plant interactions varied in a number of ways. First, interactions between Spartina and Puccinellia were distinctly asymmetrical, Puccinellia exerting a competitive effect on Spartina, with no reciprocal effect, and with a facilitative effect of Spartina on Puccinellia in low nutrient conditions. Second, the interactions varied in intensity in different environmental conditions. Interspecific competitive effects of Puccinellia on Spartina were more intense in conditions favourable to growth of Puccinellia and reduced or non-existent in environments with more abiotic stress. Third, intraspecific competition was found to be less intense for both species than interspecific interactions. Finally, the intensity of plant interactions involving both species was more intense above ground than below ground, with a disproportionate reduction in the intensity of interspecific competition below relative to above ground in treatments with less productive sediments and greater immersion. This is interpreted as reflecting a potential mechanism by which Spartina may be able to evade competitive neighbours.