• Obesity and health: Understanding the issues in Pakistani women living in the UK

      Ludwig, Alison F.; Ellahi, Basma; Cox, Peter; University of Chester (British Sociological Association, 2008)
    • On 'Kantian Experimentation' in the health sciences

      Lewis, Stephen J. (2002-05)
      This presentation dicusses various approaches to the definition of health and disease.
    • On the question of questions

      Lewis, Stephen J.; University College Chester (Philo Sophos.com, 2004)
      This article discusses Russell's dictum that "in philosophy, what is important is not so much the answers that are given, but rather the questions that are asked" - posing questions and posing them properly.
    • One strategy doesn’t fit all: determinants of urban adaptation in mammals

      Santini, Luca; González‐Suárez, Manuela; Russo, Danilo; Gonzalez‐Voyer, Alejandro; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Ancillotto, Leonardo; Radboud University; University of Reading; University of Napoli; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-12-20)
      Urbanisation exposes wildlife to new challenging conditions and environmental pressures. Somemammalian species have adapted to these novel environments, but it remains unclear which char-acteristics allow them to persist. To address this question, we identified 190 mammals regularlyrecorded in urban settlements worldwide, and used phylogenetic path analysis to test hypothesesregarding which behavioural, ecological and life history traits favour adaptation to urban environ-ments for different mammalian groups. Our results show that all urban mammals produce largerlitters; whereas other traits such as body size, behavioural plasticity and diet diversity were impor-tant for some but not all taxonomic groups. This variation highlights the idiosyncrasies of theurban adaptation process and likely reflects the diversity of ecological niches and roles mammalscan play. Our study contributes towards a better understanding of mammal association tohumans, which will ultimately allow the design of wildlife-friendly urban environments and con-tribute to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
    • Orally administered beta-glucan attenuates the Th2 response in a model of airway hypersensitivity

      Burg, Ashley R.; Quigley, Laura; Jones, Adam V.; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Boelte, Kimberly; McVicar, Daniel W.; Orr, Selinda J.; National Cancer Institute-Frederick; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University Dental Hospital, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; University of Chester; Cardiff University School of Medicine (SpringerOpen, 2016-06-21)
      beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide that can be extracted from fungal cell walls. Wellmune WGP((R)), a preparation of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans, is a dietary supplement that has immunomodulating properties. Here we investigated the effect WGP had on a mouse model of asthma. OVA-induced asthma in mice is characterized by infiltration of eosinophils into the lung, production of Th2 cytokines and IgE. Daily oral administration of WGP (400 microg) significantly reduced the influx of eosinophils into the lungs of OVA-challenged mice compared to control mice. In addition, WGP inhibited pulmonary production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13), however serum IgE levels were unaffected by WGP treatment. These data indicate that WGP could potentially be useful as an oral supplement for some asthma patients, however, it would need to be combined with therapies that target other aspects of the disease such as IgE levels. As such, further studies that examine the potential of WGP in combination with other therapies should be explored.
    • The osteological use of diagnostic radiographs: Further material for osteoarchaeologists

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (1996)
      This article discusses the use of radiography in osteoarchaeology.
    • Osteoprotegerin is produced when prostaglandin synthesis is inhibited causing osteoclasts to detach from the surface of mouse parietal bone and attach to the endocranial membrane

      O’Brien, E. A.; Williams, John H. H.; Marshall, Michael J.; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry ; Chester College ; Charles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry (Elsevier, 2001-02-13)
      This article tests the hypothesis that osteoprotegerin (OPG) mediates the inhibition of osteoclast activity that occurs with indomethacin in the mouse calvaria.
    • An overview of extra-curricular education for sustainable development (ESD) interventions in UK universities

      Lipscombe, Bryan P.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Potter, Jacqueline; Ribchester, Chris; Degg, Martin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2008-07-11)
      This article explores the extent and type of extra-curricular education for sustainable development-related practice in UK universities and to record opinions about the utility of such work, through a postal questionnaire survey of all UK universities was undertaken in 2006.
    • Patterns in island endemic forest-dependent bird research: the Caribbean as a case-study

      Devenish-Nelson, Eleanor S.; orcid: 0000-0002-9029-4772; email: ellie.devenish@ed.ac.uk; Weidemann, Douglas; Townsend, Jason; Nelson, Howard P. (Springer Netherlands, 2019-05-04)
      Abstract: Unequal patterns in research effort can result in inaccurate assessments of species extinction risk or ineffective management. A group of notable conservation concern are tropical island endemic birds, many of which are also forest-dependent, which increases their vulnerability to extinction. Yet, island bird species have received limited research attention compared to their continental congeners, despite this taxon being globally regarded as well-studied. We used the insular Caribbean, a globally important endemism hotspot with high rates of deforestation, to explore research bias of island and regional endemic forest-dependent birds. A review of the published literature (n = 992) found no significant increase in the number of studies over the search period. Research effort was significantly higher among species with threatened status, long generation time, wide habitat breadth and low to intermediate elevational distributions. Among family groups, the Psittacidae received the highest research effort, while the Cuculidae were the most underrepresented family (30-fold higher and six-fold less than expected, respectively). We found geographic biases in effort, with Jamaica having six-fold less and Puerto Rico eight times more research than expected for their level of endemism. These patterns likely reflect individual interests and limited capacity and funding, typical of Small Island Developing States. With over 50% of species in this review having declining population trends, we recommend prioritizing research that emphasises conservation- and management-relevant data across underrepresented families and islands, by fostering greater collaboration between researchers, practitioners and the existing local amateur ornithological community.
    • Patterns of behaviour, group structure and reproductive status predict levels of glucocorticoid metabolites in zoo-housed ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

      Smith, Tessa E.; McCusker, Cara; Stevens, Jeroen M. G.; Elwood, Robert W.; University of Chester; Queens University of Belfast; Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belguim (Karger Publishing, 2016-01-30)
      In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David’s scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs.
    • Pavement pleasures

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Deacon, Joanna; University College Chester (English Nature, 1998-06)
      This journal article discusses limestone pavements in north Wales.
    • A pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) gives birth at a cleaning station in the Philippines

      Oliver, Simon P.; Bicskos Kaszo, Attila E.; University of Chester; The Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project (Springer, 2014-12-23)
      This article discusses photographic evidence captured on April 4, 2013, as the first record of a thresher shark giving birth.
    • Pemphigus is associated with KIR3DL2 expression levels and provides evidence that KIR3DL2 may bind HLA-A3 and A11 in vivo.

      Augusto, Danillo G.; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Lobo-Alves, Sara C.; Bass, Sara; Martin, Maureen P.; Carrington, Mary; McVicar, Daniel W.; Petzl-Erler, Maria L.; Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Boston, MA, USA; Leidos Biomedical Research, Cancer and Inflammation Program, Laboratory for Experimental Immunology, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, USA; Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, USA. (Wiley, 2015-05-06)
      Although HLA-A3 and A11 have been reported to be ligands for KIR3DL2, evidence for any in vivo relevance of this interaction is still missing. To explore the functional importance of KIR3DL2 allelic variation, we analyzed the autoimmune disease pemphigus foliaceus, previously associated (lower risk) with activating KIR genes. KIR3DL2*001 was increased in patients (odds ratio (OR) = 2.04; p = 0.007). The risk was higher for the presence of both KIR3DL2*001 and HLA-A3 or A11 (OR = 3.76, p = 0.013), providing the first evidence that HLA-A3 and A11 may interact with KIR3DL2 in vivo. The nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism 1190T (rs3745902) was associated with protection (OR = 0.52, p = 0.018). This SNP results in a threonine-to-methionine substitution. Individuals who have methionine in this position exhibit a lower percentage of KIR3DL2-positive natural killer (NK) cells and also lower intensity of KIR3DL2 on expressing natural killer cells; additionally, we show that the expression of KIR3DL2 is independent of other killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors. Pemphigus foliaceus is a very unique complex disease strongly associated with immune-related genes. It is the only autoimmune disease known to be endemic, showing a strong correlation with environmental factors. Our data demonstrate that this relatively unknown autoimmune disease may facilitate understanding of the molecular mechanisms of KIR3DL2 ligand recognition.
    • Peptide mass fingerprinting of preserved collagen in archaeological fish bones for the identification of flatfish in European waters

      Dierickx, Katrien; Presslee, Samantha; Hagan, Richard; Oueslati, Tarek; Harland, Jennifer; Hendy, Jessica; Orton, David; Alexander, Michelle; Harvey, Virginia L.; University of York; University of Lille (The Royal Society, 2022-07-27)
      Bones of Pleuronectiformes (flatfish) are often not identified to species due to the lack of diagnostic features on bones that allow adequate distinction between taxa. This hinders in-depth understanding of archaeological fish assemblages and particularly flatfish fisheries throughout history. This is especially true for the North Sea region, where several commercially significant species have been exploited for centuries, yet their archaeological remains continue to be understudied. In this research, 8 peptide biomarkers for 18 different species of Pleuronectiformes from European waters are described using MALDI-TOF MS and LC-MS/MS data obtained from modern reference specimens. Bone samples (n=202) from three archaeological sites in the UK and France dating to the medieval period (c. 7th–16th century CE) were analysed using ZooMS. Of the 201 that produced good quality spectra, 196 were identified as flatfish species, revealing a switch in targeted species through time and indicating that ZooMS offers a more reliable and informative approach for species identification than osteological methods alone. We recommend this approach for future studies of archaeological flatfish remains as the precise species uncovered from a site can tell much about the origin of the fish, where people fished and whether they traded between regions.
    • Peptide-Dependent Recognition of HLA-B*57:01 by KIR3DS1

      O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Vivian, Julian P.; Gostick, Emma; Pymm, Phillip; Lafont, Bernard A.; Price, David A.; Rossjohn, Jamie; Brooks, Andrew G.; McVicar, Daniel W.; Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland, USA. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Non-Human Primate Immunogenetics and Cellular Immunology Unit, Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom Human Immunology Section, Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. (American Society for Microbiology, 2015-04-21)
      Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) play an important role in the activation of natural killer (NK) cells, which in turn contribute to the effective immune control of many viral infections. In the context of HIV infection, the closely related KIR3DL1 and KIR3DS1 molecules, in particular, have been associated with disease outcome. Inhibitory signals via KIR3DL1 are disrupted by downregulation of HLA class I ligands on the infected cell surface and can also be impacted by changes in the presented peptide repertoire. In contrast, the activatory ligands for KIR3DS1 remain obscure. We used a structure-driven approach to define the characteristics of HLA class I-restricted peptides that interact with KIR3DL1 and KIR3DS1. In the case of HLAB*57:01, we used this knowledge to identify bona fide HIV-derived peptide epitopes with similar properties. Two such peptides facilitated productive interactions between HLA-B*57:01 and KIR3DS1. These data reveal the presence of KIR3DS1 ligands within the HIV-specific peptide repertoire presented by a protective HLA class I allotype, thereby enhancing our mechanistic understanding of the processes that enable NK cells to impact disease outcome.
    • Personality dimensions and their behavioral correlates in wild virunga mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)

      Eckardt, Winnie; Steklis, Dieter H.; Steklis, Netzin G.; Fletcher, Alison W.; Stoinski, Tara S.; Weiss, Alexander; University of Chester & The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International ; University of Arizona ; University of Arizona ; University of Chester ; Zoo Atlanta & The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International ; University of Edinburgh & Scottish Primate Research Group. (Americal Psychological Association, 2014-12-22)
      Studies of animal personality improve our understanding of individual variation in measures of life-history and fitness, such as health and reproductive success. Using a 54 trait personality questionnaire developed for studying great apes and other nonhuman primates, we obtained ratings on 116 wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) monitored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. There were eight raters who each had more than 1.5 years of working experience with the subjects. Principal component analyses identified four personality dimensions with high inter-rater reliabilities --- Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness --- that reflected personality features unique to gorillas and personality features shared with other hominoids. We next examined the associations of these dimensions with independently collected behavioral measures derived from long-term records. Predicted correlations were found between the personality dimensions and corresponding behaviors. For example, Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness were related to gorilla dominance strength, time spent playing, rates of approaches and rates of interventions in intra-group conflicts, respectively. These findings enrich the comparative-evolutionary study of personality and provide insights into how species differences in personality are related to ecology, social systems, and life history.
    • Personality in the cockroach Diploptera punctata: Evidence for stability across developmental stages despite age effects on boldness

      Stanley, Christina R.; Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia; Preziosi, Richard F.; University of Chester; University of Manchester; Liverpool John Moores University; Manchester Metropolitan University (PLOS, 2017-05-10)
      Despite a recent surge in the popularity of animal personality studies and their wide-ranging associations with various aspects of behavioural ecology, our understanding of the development of personality over ontogeny remains poorly understood. Stability over time is a central tenet of personality; ecological pressures experienced by an individual at different life stages may, however, vary considerably, which may have a significant effect on behavioural traits. Invertebrates often go through numerous discrete developmental stages and therefore provide a useful model for such research. Here we test for both differential consistency and age effects upon behavioural traits in the gregarious cockroach Diploptera punctata by testing the same behavioural traits in both juveniles and adults. In our sample, we find consistency in boldness, exploration and sociality within adults whilst only boldness was consistent in juveniles. Both boldness and exploration measures, representative of risk-taking behaviour, show significant consistency across discrete juvenile and adult stages. Age effects are, however, apparent in our data; juveniles are significantly bolder than adults, most likely due to differences in the ecological requirements of these life stages. Size also affects risk-taking behaviour since smaller adults are both bolder and more highly explorative. Whilst a behavioural syndrome linking boldness and exploration is evident in nymphs, this disappears by the adult stage, where links between other behavioural traits become apparent. Our results therefore indicate that differential consistency in personality can be maintained across life stages despite age effects on its magnitude, with links between some personality traits changing over ontogeny, demonstrating plasticity in behavioural syndromes.
    • Phylogenetic analyses of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) using collagen type I protein sequences

      Harvey, Virginia L.; Keating, Joseph N.; Buckley, Michael; University of Manchester; University of Bristol (The Royal Society, 2021-08-11)
      Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) are the largest and most diverse group of vertebrates, comprising over half of all living vertebrate species. Phylogenetic relationships between ray-finned fishes have historically pivoted on the study of morphology, which has notoriously failed to resolve higher order relationships, such as within the percomorphs. More recently, comprehensive genomic analyses have provided further resolution of actinopterygian phylogeny, including higher order relationships. Such analyses are rightfully regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for phylogenetics. However, DNA retrieval requires modern or well-preserved tissue and is less likely to be preserved in archaeological or fossil specimens. By contrast, some proteins, such as collagen, are phylogenetically informative and can survive into deep time. Here, we test the utility of collagen type I amino acid sequences for phylogenetic estimation of ray-finned fishes. We estimate topology using Bayesian approaches and compare the congruence of our estimated trees with published genomic phylogenies. Furthermore, we apply a Bayesian molecular clock approach and compare estimated divergence dates with previously published genomic clock analyses. Our collagen-derived trees exhibit 77% of node positions as congruent with recent genomic-derived trees, with the majority of discrepancies occurring in higher order node positions, almost exclusively within the Percomorpha. Our molecular clock trees present divergence times that are fairly comparable with genomic-based phylogenetic analyses. We estimate the mean node age of Actinopteri at ∼293 million years (Ma), the base of Teleostei at ∼211 Ma and the radiation of percomorphs beginning at ∼141 Ma (∼350 Ma, ∼250–283 Ma and ∼120–133 Ma in genomic trees, respectively). Finally, we show that the average rate of collagen (I) sequence evolution is 0.9 amino acid substitutions for every million years of divergence, with the α3 (I) sequence evolving the fastest, followed by the α2 (I) chain. This is the quickest rate known for any vertebrate group. We demonstrate that phylogenetic analyses using collagen type I amino acid sequences generate tangible signals for actinopterygians that are highly congruent with recent genomic-level studies. However, there is limited congruence within percomorphs, perhaps due to clade-specific functional constraints acting upon collagen sequences. Our results provide important insights for future phylogenetic analyses incorporating extinct actinopterygian species via collagen (I) sequencing.
    • Phylogenetic placement and life history trait imputation for Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi

      Peters, Catherine; Geary, Matthew; Nelson, Howard; Rusk, Bonnie; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Muir, Anna P.; University of Chester; University of Cambridge; Grenada Dove Conservation Programme (Cambridge University Press, 2022-08-05)
      Phylogenetic analyses can be used to resolve taxonomic uncertainties and reconstruct a species’ evolutionary history. This can be combined with ecological data to predict missing life history traits which are important for creation of conservation management strategies. We investigated the evolutionary and life history of the Critically Endangered Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi by estimating its phylogenetic placement and using this new phylogeny to test the accuracy of phylogenetic comparative methods for estimating both documented and unknown life history traits. We extracted DNA from two Grenada Dove samples and obtained sequences from three mitochondrial markers: Cytochrome oxidase I (COI), NADH dehydrogenase 2 (ND2) and Cytochrome b (Cyt b); and one nuclear marker: β-Fibrinogen intron 7 (β-FIB). We present the first genetic data obtained for the Grenada Dove. Our data identifies the Grey-Chested Dove Leptotila cassinii as the species which shares both a most recent common ancestor, with an estimated divergence of approximately 2.53 million years ago, and the smallest genetic distance (p=0.0303) with the Grenada dove. Life history trait values for the Grenada Dove predicted from our analyses using phylogenetic imputation are: clutch size=2 (±0.09) eggs, clutches per year=1.4 (±0.81), incubation time=14.2 (±0.75) days, hatching weight=3.8 (±1.05) grams and single imputation: fledging age (genus median) =15.5 days, longevity (genus median) =8.6 years. This study contributes novel information regarding evolutionary history and life history characteristics to inform long-term conservation actions for a Critically Endangered species.
    • Physiological stress in the Eurasian badger (Meles meles): Effects of host, disease and environment

      George, Shelia C.; Smith, Tessa E.; Mac Cana, Pól S. S.; Coleman, Robert C.; Montgomery, William I.; Queens University of Belfast, UK; University of Chester, UK (Elsevier, 2014-03-04)
      A method for monitoring hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) responses of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) to stressors was validated by measuring cortisol excretion in serum and faeces. Serum and faecal samples were collected under anaesthesia from live-captured, wild badgers and fresh faeces was collected from latrines at 15 social groups in County Down, Northern Ireland. Variation in levels of cortisol in wild badgers was investigated relative to disease status, season, age, sex, body mass, body condition and reproductive status and environmental factors that might influence stress. Faecal cortisol levels were significantly higher in animals testing culture-positive for Mycobacterium bovis. Prolonged elevation of cortisol can suppress immune function, which may have implications for disease transmission. There was a strong seasonal pattern in both serum cortisol, peaking in spring and faecal cortisol, peaking in summer. Cortisol levels were also higher in adults with poor body condition and low body mass. Faecal samples collected from latrines in grassland groups had significantly higher cortisol than those collected from woodland groups, possibly as a result of greater exposure to sources of environmental stress. This study is the first to investigate factors influencing physiological stress in badgers and indicates that serological and faecal excretion are valid indices of the HPA response to a range of stressors.