• A tabular method for performing Fourier analysis of complex biological shape

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for The Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1997)
      Whilst linear dimensions are easily measured and analysed numerically, curvilinear forms are difficult both to define and to compare and are frequently left unexplored. A method of describing curved or non-uniform shapes, which has become popular among a number of biological workers, is Fourier analysis — a numerical analytical technique with an established mathematical background. Of the three stages followed when using this technique to describe biological shape - the construction of a wave-like curve from the shape being studied, the numerical (Fourier) analysis and the use of the Fourier coefficients to perform statistical analyses - that of how the Fourier analysis is performed is largely unreported. This leaves many unclear about how to perform a technique which they may otherwise find useful. A tabular method, which allows the computational steps of Fourier analysis to be monitored throughout, is described. This procedure can be readily performed, using a computer spreadsheet or on paper. The original curve may also be reconstructed from the Fourier coefficients, allowing one to check the success and accuracy of the method and to determine the number of coefficients necessary to define the shape to the required precision.
    • A tale of two sites - how RIGS can complement SSSIs

      Burek, Cynthia V. (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2005)
      This article discusses the Dee Cliffs SSSI in Farndon and the Holt Castle quarry RIGS.
    • Technical note: Validation of an automatic recording system to assess behavioural activity level in sheep (Ovis aries).

      McLennan, Krista M.; Skillings, Elizabeth, A.; Rebelo, Carlos J. B.; Corke, Murray J.; Pires Moreira, Maria A.; Morton, A. Jennifer; Constantino-Casas, Fernando; University of Cambridge; Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Arido (Elsevier, 01/06/2015)
      The welfare of an individual can be assessed by monitoring behavioural changes, such as inactivity, that may indicate injury or disease. In this study we validated the Actiwatch Mini® activity monitor (AM) for automatic recording of behavioural activity levels of nine Texel ewes. The AM devices were attached to collars placed around the necks of the ewes. AM recordings were taken at 25 second intervals for 21 consecutive days and in addition, direct behavioural observations made on days 9 to 13. AM recordings were compared with direct behavioural observations to investigate whether different levels of behaviour activity could be distinguished by the AM. Six different behaviours were matched to the activity scores recorded by the AM which were low activity (lying ruminating, lying), medium activity (standing, standing ruminating, and grazing) and high activity behaviours (walking). There were differences in the activity scores for all three scores. However, higher levels of accuracy in distinguishing between activity levels were achieved when combining high and medium activity level behaviours. This method of capturing data provides a practical tool in studies assessing the impact of disease or injury. For example, assessing the effects of lameness on the activity level of sheep at pasture, without the presence of an observer influencing behaviour.
    • Thermal niche predicts recent changes in range size for bird species

      Scridel, D.; Bogliani, G.; Pedrini, P.; Iemma, A.; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Brambilla, M.; Museo delle Scienze, Trento; University of Pavia, University of Chester, Fondzione Lombardia per l'Ambiente (Inter-Research Science Center (IR), 30/08/2017)
      Species’ distributions are strongly affected by climate, and climate change is affecting species and populations. Thermal niches are widely used as proxies for estimating thermal sensitivity of species, and have been frequently related to community composition, population trends and latitudinal/elevational shifts in distribution. To our knowledge, no work has yet explored the relationship between thermal niche and change in range size (changes in the number of occupied spatial units over time) in birds. In this study, we related a 30 yr change in range size to species thermal index (STI: average temperature at occurrence sites) and to other factors (i.e. birds’ associated habitats, body mass, hunting status) potentially affecting bird populations/range size. We analysed trends of breeding bird range in Italy for a suite of poorly studied cold-adapted animals potentially sensitive to global warming, and for a related group of control species taxonomically similar and with comparable mass but mainly occurring at lower/warmer sites. We found a strong positive correlation between change in range size and STI, confirming that recent climatic warming has favoured species of warmer climates and adversely affected species occupying colder areas. A model including STI and birds’ associated habitats was not so strongly supported, with forest species performing better than alpine open habitat and agricultural ones. In line with previous works highlighting effects of recent climate change on community composition, species’ population trends and poleward/upward distributional shifts, we found STI to be the most important predictor of change in range size variation in breeding birds.
    • Time to take responsibility for collections

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (English Nature, 2003)
      This journal article discusses how geological collections can be preserved.
    • Total hip and knee replacement surgery results in changes in leukocyte and endothelial markers

      Hughes, Stephen F.; Hendricks, Beverly D.; Edwards, David R.; Maclean, Kirsty M.; Bastawrous, Salah S.; Middleton, Jim F.; University of Chester; North Wales (Central) NHS Trust; Keele University (BioMed Central, 19/01/2010)
      BACKGROUND: It is estimated that over 8 million people in the United Kingdom suffer from osteoarthritis. These patients may require orthopaedic surgical intervention to help alleviate their clinical condition. Investigations presented here was to test the hypothesis that total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) orthopaedic surgery result in changes to leukocyte and endothelial markers thus increasing inflammatory reactions postoperatively. METHODS: During this 'pilot study', ten test subjects were all scheduled for THR or TKR elective surgery due to osteoarthritis. Leukocyte concentrations were measured using an automated full blood count analyser. Leukocyte CD11b (Mac-1) and CD62L cell surface expression, intracellular production of H(2)O(2 )and elastase were measured as markers of leukocyte function. Von Willebrand factor (vWF) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were measured as markers of endothelial activation. RESULTS: The results obtained during this study demonstrate that THR and TKR orthopaedic surgery result in similar changes of leukocyte and endothelial markers, suggestive of increased inflammatory reactions postoperatively. Specifically, THR and TKR surgery resulted in a leukocytosis, this being demonstrated by an increase in the total leukocyte concentration following surgery. Evidence of leukocyte activation was demonstrated by a decrease in CD62L expression and an increase in CD11b expression by neutrophils and monocytes respectively. An increase in the intracellular H(2)O(2 )production by neutrophils and monocytes and in the leukocyte elastase concentrations was also evident of leukocyte activation following orthopaedic surgery. With respect to endothelial activation, increases in vWF and sICAM-1 concentrations were demonstrated following surgery. CONCLUSION: In general it appeared that most of the leukocyte and endothelial markers measured during these studies peaked between days 1-3 postoperatively. It is proposed that by allowing orthopaedic surgeons access to alternative laboratory markers such as CD11b, H(2)O(2 )and elastase, CD62L, vWF and sICAM-1, an accurate assessment of the extent of inflammation due to surgery per se could be made. Ultimately, the leukocyte and endothelial markers assessed during this investigation may have a role in monitoring potential infectious complications that can occur during the postoperative period.
    • Transcobalamin polymorphism and serum holo-transcobalamin in relation to Alzheimer's disease

      McCaddon, Andrew; Bleenow, Kaj; Hudson, Peter R.; Hughes, Alan; Barber, Joan; Gray, Rob; Davies, Gareth K.; Williams, John H. H.; Duguid, Jennifer; Lloyd, Alwyn; et al. (S. Karger AG, 2004)
      Isoforms of the vitamin B<12< carrier protein transcobalamin (TC) might influence its cellular availability and contribute to the association between disrupted single-carbon metabolism and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We therefore investigated the relationships between the TC 776C>G (Pro259Arg) genetic polymorphism, total serum cobalamin and holo-TC levels, and disease onset in 70 patients with clinically diagnosed AD and 74 healthy elderly controls. TC 776C>G polymorphism was also determined for 94 histopathologically confirmed AD patients and 107 controls. Serum holo-TC levels were significantly higher in TC 776C homozygotes (p = 0.04). Kaplan-Meier survival functions differed between homozygous genotypes (Cox's F-Test F(42, 46) = 2.1; p = 0.008) and between 776C homozygotes and heterozygotes (Cox's F test F(46, 108) = 1.7; p = 0.02). Proportionately fewer TC 776C homozygotes appear to develop AD at any given age, but this will require confirmation in a longitudinal study.
    • Tspan18 is a novel regulator of the Ca2+ channel Orai1 and von Willebrand factor release in endothelial cells.

      Noy, Peter J.; Gavin, Rebecca L.; Colombo, Dario; Haining, Elizabeth J.; Reyat, Jasmeet S.; Payne, Holly; Thielmann, Ina; Lokman, Adam B.; Neag, Georgiana; Yang, Jing; et al. (20/12/2018)
      Ca entry via Orai1 store-operated Ca channels in the plasma membrane is critical to cell function, and Orai1 loss causes severe immunodeficiency and developmental defects. The tetraspanins are a superfamily of transmembrane proteins that interact with specific partner proteins and regulate their trafficking and clustering. The aim of this study was to functionally characterize tetraspanin Tspan18. We show that Tspan18 is expressed by endothelial cells at several-fold higher levels than most other cell types analyzed. Tspan18-knockdown primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells have 55-70% decreased Ca mobilization upon stimulation with the inflammatory mediators thrombin or histamine, similar to Orai1-knockdown. Tspan18 interacts with Orai1, and Orai1 cell surface localization is reduced by 70% in Tspan18-knockdown endothelial cells. Tspan18 over-expression in lymphocyte model cell lines induces 20-fold activation of Ca -responsive NFAT signaling, in an Orai1-dependent manner. Tspan18-knockout mice are viable. They lose on average 6-fold more blood in a tail-bleed assay. This is due to Tspan18 deficiency in non-hematopoietic cells, as assessed using chimeric mice. Tspan18-knockout mice have 60% reduced thrombus size in a deep vein thrombosis model, and 50% reduced platelet deposition in the microcirculation following myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Histamine- or thrombin-induced von Willebrand factor release from endothelial cells is reduced by 90% following Tspan18-knockdown, and histamine-induced increase of plasma von Willebrand factor is reduced by 45% in Tspan18-knockout mice. These findings identify Tspan18 as a novel regulator of endothelial cell Orai1/Ca signaling and von Willebrand factor release in response to inflammatory stimuli. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2018, Ferrata Storti Foundation.]
    • UKCES: Understanding Human Centred Management

      York, Peter; Bonwick, Graham A.; Birch, Catherine S.; University of Chester (UKCES, 04/03/2016)
      The Human Centred Management project was required to solve the problem of supply chain inefficiencies brought about by unproductive human behaviours. Specifically, the project sought to used Behavioural Economics to improve the decisions made by making people aware of their illogical ‘Biases’ and ‘Heuristics’. Use of Transactional Analysis to make people more aware of their impressions and their audience to reduce antagonism in communication. Combine these methods using Behavioural Management Theory to create one unified approach which will create a 21st century solution to behavioural inefficiencies. The project primarily targeted two supply chains, led by two larger or ‘Prime’ organisations that had SME’s feeding the production process. The two supply chains underwent a number of interventions in the form of one-to-one sessions, workshops, master classes and simulations, in order to understand and influence the behavioural inefficiencies they were suffering. An Action Research methodology was used to both provide a flexible approach and also generate qualitative data. Before each intervention, questionnaire data and in some cases a behavioural health check was carried out in order to gain baseline data. Once complete the same questionnaires were completed and interviews with key participants were carried out. The interventions were a success producing a large amount of positive change and behavioural insights for analysis. Such improvements included dramatically improving the supply chain communication leading to claims of improved supply chain effectiveness over all, development of closer ties between supply chains in a geographically separated area and improved logical decision making where managers are aware of their biases and take the time to reflect on all the options. The three areas of psychology introduced proved to combine extremely well, complimenting one another’s weaker areas in order to produce the unified approach envisaged. Behavioural Economics was found to be an excellent analytical tool capable of deconstructing the root causes of behaviours. Transactional Analysis provided a suite of easily implementable and practical techniques for improving communication. Behavioural Management Theory provided a flexible approach to implementing the changes required. From the experience of the project and analysis of the data a Behavioural Framework was generated in order to allow other supply chains to benefit from this effective 21st century solution to behavioural inefficiencies.
    • UKRIGS - What is it?

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Geologists' Association, 2004)
    • Understandings of sustainable development in a university community

      Lipscombe, Bryan P.; University of Chester (Georg-Eckert Institut fur internationale Schulbuchforschung, 2008)
      This article discusses a study at a UK university on the subject of education for sustainable development through interviews with staff and students.
    • The use and abuse of RIGS sites

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Chester College of Higher Education (Association of UK RIGS Groups (UKRIGS), 2000)
      The classification of geological sites for conservation management purposes can lead to, what some people might regard as abuse of sites. The difference between true abuse of geologically conserved sites and percieved abuse is explored in order to encourage a holistic approach to site management and conservation. Examples are taken from RIGS sites in north Wales.
    • Use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and flagellin gene typing in identifying clonal groups of campylobacter jejuni and campylobacter coli in farm and clinical environments

      Fitzgerald, Collette; Stanley, Karen; Andrew, Sarah M.; Jones, Keith; Lancaster University (American Society for Microbiology, 2001-04)
      Although campylobacters have been isolated from a wide range of animal hosts, the association between campylobacters isolated from humans and animals in the farm environment is unclear. Flagellin gene typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to investigate the genetic diversity among isolates from animals (cattle, sheep, and turkey) in farm environments and sporadic cases of campylobacteriosis in the same geographical area. Forty-eight combined fla types were seen among the 315 Campylobacter isolates studied. Six were found in isolates from all four hosts and represented 50% of the total number of isolates. Seventy-one different SmaI PFGE macrorestriction profiles (mrps) were observed, with 86% of isolates assigned to one of 29 different mrps. Fifty-seven isolates from diverse hosts, times, and sources had an identical SmaI mrp and combined fla type. Conversely, a number of genotypes were unique to a particular host. Molecular evidence is provided which suggests a link between campylobacters in the farm environment with those causing disease in the community.
    • The use of radiography in osteological measurement

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for the Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1999)
      Radiographs provide a means of obtaining permanent images of objects. These images may be readily and repeatedly copied, disseminated or used in a variety of ways without the need further to disturb the original material. Although measurements are frequently taken from such images for metrical analysis, it must be remembered that these images are only representations of the original object. To obtain accurate data, one must be aware of the sources of error inherent in the image-forming process so that radiographs can be used in the appropriate way. This paper outlines the factors involved in the production of radiographic images and applies this to the generation of accurate metrical data.
    • Use of sandwich IgG ELISA for the detection and quantification of adulteration of milk and soft cheese

      Hurley, Ian P.; Coleman, Robert C.; Ireland, H. Elyse; Williams, John H. H.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2006-07)
      The aim of the article was to develop an assay capable of detecting adulteration of soft goat, sheep and buffalo milk cheese with bovine milk from cheaper sources.
    • Uses of media-reported female body parameters - A contribution to the study of body image

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001)
      The portrayal of the female body in the media has been shown to influence body image and self esteem amongst young women. While visual comparisons with those portrayed by the media as beautiful are prone to subjective judgment, when numerical values for such parameters as height, weight, bust, waist and hip size are reported, more objective comparisons may be made and may prompt some to strive to attain certain numerical ideals. Whether the measurements given are true or accurate is secondary to the fact of their reportage and their availability for such use. Data pertaining to over 500 of 'Playboy' magazine's 'playmates' were obtained - being readily available via the Internet - from which it was possible to determine a number of anthropometric features. The use of such data in academic studies is not new although the scope of previous use seems to have been somewhat limited. The present study, therefore, sought to determine alternative ways of using such data to characterize the physiques portrayed. A simple comparison with UK dress sizes, available in high street stores, showed that the characteristic 'playmate' physique did not generally conform to standard proportions - bust size, for example, being greater than catered for by standard sizes. However, despite this dimensional excess, the mean Body Mass Index was below 20. This latter finding, representing a state of mild starvation, is a potential cause for concern should the typical heights and weights from which it is derived be used by more vulnerable individuals to influence their own physique.
    • Validation of a new hand-held electronic appetite rating system against the pen and paper method

      Almiron-Roig, Eva; Green, Hilary; Virgili, Robert; Aeschlimann, Jean-Marc; Mosera, Mireille; Erkner, Alfrun; University of Chester (Almirion-Roig) : Nestlé Research Centre (Elsevier, 2009-12)
      This study describes the validation of a new electronic appetite rating system, and a statistical variance model for visual analogue scale (VAS) research. Thirty volunteers rated hunger, fullness, desire to eat, prospective intake, thirst and liking on 100 mm paper VAS and on 70 mm electronic VAS presented on a Dell™ Pocket PC, after consuming breakfast, in a repeated trial. The electronic method was comparable in relative accuracy and reproducibility to the paper method, with weak differences between tests (within-subject SD ≤ 14 mm). The data obtained were used to generate a model for VAS data variability.
    • Validation of urinary cortisol as an indicator of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in the bearded emperor tamarin (Saguinus imperator subgrisescens)

      McCallister, Josephine M.; Smith, Tessa E.; Elwood, Robert W.; Queen's University of Belfast ; University College Chester/Queen's University of Belfast ; Queen's University of Belfast (Wiley, 2006-05)
      This article discusses a study which aimed to collect samples of cortisol levels from bearded emperor tamarins (Saguinus imperator subgrisescens) in noninvasive manner and validate an enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) for the measurement of cortisol in urine to quantify hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in the the bearded emperor tamarin.
    • Visualizing multivariate analysis - An intuitive approach to high dimensional statistical extractions

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for The Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1997)
      The numerical output of multivariate statistical analyses may extend to a greater number of dimensions than can be comprehended and so may appear abstract and divorced from the original data. A need arises, therefore, for the provision of a more intuitive understanding of the results of such techniques - perhaps of a graphical nature. A simple method is to plot, what have come to be known as, Andrews' curves. A tabular procedure, using a standard computer spreadsheet, is described whereby the coefficients produced by various multivariate statistical techniques can be substituted into a simple equation to produce a smooth, wave-like curve characterising the source data. Importantly, this technique also provides a means whereby groups of curves may be compared visually to identify clusters and curves of similar or dissimilar overall shape. Similarly, "outliers" may also be spotted.
    • Walking through the past

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Chester College of Higher Education (English Nature, 1997-07)
      This journal article discusses the Llangollen town walking trail which encourages people to examine the local geology.