• Early successional processes of basaltic lava ecosystems on Mt.Etna (Sicily) with additional comparative studies of Mauna Loa (Hawaii)

      Carpenter, Michael P. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-01)
      Primary succession on the basaltic lava flows of Mt.Etna was studied usmg chronosequence theory to investigate the first 500 years of ecosystem development. Separate experiments were conducted to look at how plant species, nutrient availability and lichen activity on the lava changed over time under different conditions based on the site location (age, aspect and altitude on the volcano). By comparing the results of these different areas of study, close links were observed between soil development and nutrient availability. Lichens were found to be an important stage in primary succession introducing biomass to form a developing soil as well as weathering the lava surface. The plant species present on the lava were found to change as plants first colonised the lava and were then replaced as further species appeared over time. Nutrient availability was investigated in living plant material by measurement of the enzyme nitrate reductase and also in the developing soil. Two large inputs of nitrogen were observed in the chronosequences. An early input believed to be lichen derived and another steadily increasing input associated with the soil. The biomass of the nitrogen fixing lichen Stereocaulofl vesuvianum on the lava flows was found to change over time with a rapid increase over the first 100 years of the chronosequence followed by a slower decline as competition and shading from vascular plants covered available habitat. S. vesuvianum was also found to be an efficient weathering agent on the lava altering the surface morphology. This weathering was observed qualitatively by detailed visual examination of the lava surface by scanning electron microscopy. Weathering was also measured quantitatively using an intelligent machine vision computer system, to collate the surface changes of many images simultaneously and compare surface change to a baseline chronosequence, allowing discrimination of fine differences in the extent of weathering. Two of the experiments conducted on Mt.Etna (nitrate reductase activity and lichen weathering) were repeated on a second volcano, Mauna Loa (Hawaii). This tested if the trends observed on Etna were typical of primary succession on lava and the impact of a different climate regime (tropical) compared to Etna (temperate). Nitrate reductase activity was found to be very low in the primary colonising species studied on Hawaii indicating that nitrogen is limited on the early lava flows. Lichen weathering by Stereocaulon vulcani on Hawaii was found to occur in a comparable manner to S. vesuvianum on Etna, and was similarly controlled by the lichen biomass and associated climatic conditions.
    • An ecological approach towards understanding father involvement and engagement within Luton's most disadvantaged areas

      Donald, Louise (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-08)
      Father involvement and engagement exists within a family, which exists within a societal context; it is therefore influenced and determined, to varying degrees, by a variety of ecological systems working in cohort, in a bio-psycho-social fashion. In light of this, while fathers can have a significantly beneficial role in the lives of their children, regarding healthy physical and psychological development, the evidence consistently indicates that father involvement and engagement is reduced comparative to socioeconomic deprivation. Despite this fact, very few studies have explored this association through the lens of marginalised fathers themselves, nor have they utilised the first hand perspectives of mothers and professionals towards better understanding how fathering is shaped and impacted within an economically deprived context. With higher levels of deprivation in Luton than the UK average, this study sought to explore this issue within Luton’s most disadvantaged areas. A mixed methods sequential design was employed. Drawing from the interviews of fifteen professionals, nine fathers and eleven mothers; the findings provide valuable insight into trajectories of father involvement and engagement relative to contextual circumstances, linked to internal and societal beliefs about fathering. The key emerging themes therefore support an ecological viewpoint of father involvement and engagement, demonstrating the fundamentally significant impact that family background, the father-mother relationship and professional inclusion can have on fathers. This is further supported by the associated patterns identified within the cross-sectional questionnaire, which show links between sociodemographic factors, beliefs about the father role, parent mental health and father involvement. For the fathers at the forefront of this study, there was a clear pattern related to disadvantage, putting them in greater need of support in a variety of areas. However, the findings also highlight that there is very little support in place, tailored to meet their needs. This study exemplifies that examining fathering from an ecological perspective enlightens our understanding of how and why we see reduced levels of involvement and engagement amongst disadvantaged fathers, providing a more complete picture of how factors associated with disadvantage can have a wider impact. In order to more forward and make positive, sustainable, changes to the lives of fathers, and families living in socially disadvantaged communities, researchers, family professionals and policy makers should recognise and work from an ecological perspective, integrated into practice and policy formation.
    • Ecological utopianism and Hollywood cinema

      Brereton, Pat (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2002-07-01)
    • Ecology and physiology of the aphid pathogenic fungus Erynia neoaphidis

      Bonner, Tony Jo (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2002-12)
      Erynia neoaphidis Remaudiere and Hennebert (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) is an obligate pathogen of invertebrates, especially aphids, and has therefore been studied as a possible biological control agent for a number of years. However, a number of important physiological and ecological questions regarding optimal conditions for conidial production and transmission 0 f the fungus through an aphid population had to be answered. This thesis investigated some of these aspects. Solid and liquid media were used to culture the fungus, and E. neoaphidis was cultured on a fully defined medium for the first time. A sporulation monitor and digital image analysis was used to quantify conidial production from E. neoaphidis biomass produced in vivo and in vitro. This was a completely novel method and is useful for gathering data on large numbers of conidia, 50 that size distributions can be constructed and the physiological status of the conidia inferred from this. E. neoaphidis infected aphid cadavers produced more, smaller conidia when grown in vitro. Biomass harvested from exponential growth phase in fed batch culture produced significantly more conidia than biomass harvested from any other growth phase although further work on the nutritional requirements of E. neoaphidis in vitro is required. The duration of the conidial discharge was also greatest from biomass harvested at the exponential phase and therefore. biomass harvested from the exponential phase should be used if the fungus is to be applied as a control agent. E. neoaphidis biomass kept at low humidity during simulated winter conditions produced infective conidia after 24 weeks, indicating that mycosed cadavers may act as a reservoir to infect the next season's hosts. Pesticides adversely affected the growth and production of conidia by E. neoaphidis, with herbicides having the least deleterious effects, and therefore being most compatible in an integrated pest management program. Laboratory and field studies were used to assess the transmission of E. neoaphidis through aphid populations. Position of the inoculum on the host plant affected the primary transmission of the fungus through aphid populations in the laboratory and in the field, and secondary transmission of the fungus in the laboratory. It is therefore important to apply the fungus to where it will maximally spread. There was some evidence for effects of host and inoculum density on the transmission of the fungus, especially in the laboratory, indicating that, in practice, the fungus is unlikely to spread rapidly through low densities of aphids and therefore to achieve control of such populations, a high inoculum density may be required. There was also very Iittle transmission of the fungus via aphid vectors to susceptible aphid populations on different host, although as a general observation, vectoring of conidia by the wind may be very important. The smaller conidia produced by in vivo biomass may be vectored more easily by wind than the large conidia produced in vitro.
    • eCulture: examining and quantifying cultural differences in user acceptance between Chinese and British web site users

      Chang, Yu (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-05)
      The World Wide Web (WWW) has become an important medium for communicating between people all over the world. It is regarded as a global system and is associated with a wide user and social system diversity. The effects of differing user-groups and their associated cultures on user acceptance of web sites can be significant, and as a result understanding the behaviour of web users in various cultures is becoming a significant concern. The eCulture research project is based on previous classical theories and research in culture. It applies a factorial experimental design strategy (the Taguchi method) in crosscultural usability / acceptability, together with other approaches such as semiotic analysis and card sorting. Two types of analysis, both top-down and bottom-up have been implemented to investigate differences in web site usability and acceptability between users from Mainland China and the United Kingdom. Based on experiments on web sites investigating the relationship between cultural issues and usability lacceptability aspects between Chinese and British web users, several issues, such as cultural factors, cognitive abilities, social semiotic differences and other issues have emerged. One of the goals has been to develop 'cultural fingerprints' for both web sites and users in different cultures. By comparing cultural and site fingerprints, usability and acceptability of web sites can be diagrammatically matched to the target culture. Experiments investigating qualitative factors and quantitative data collection and analysis based on the Taguchi method has led to the successful development of two versions of 'cultural fingerprint' for both web sites and target cultures in the UK and China. It has been possible to relate these studies to a wider body of knowledge, and to suggest ways in which the work may be extended in the future.
    • The effect of breaking up sitting time on health markers and its implication for the workplace

      Maylor, Benjamin D. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-12)
      The primary aim of the work included in this thesis was to investigate the effects of breaking up sitting time on cardiometabolic risk markers and appetite. The three acute experimental chapters in this thesis sought to do this by examining postprandial concentrations of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, acylated ghrelin and total peptide YY. Additionally, subjective appetite, physical activity energy expenditure and energy intake were investigated. In study one, postprandial glycaemia was attenuated in young, healthy adult men when breaking up sitting every 20 min with 2 min moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) following a high glycaemic index breakfast, compared with an uninterrupted sitting condition. There was no attenuation in glucose observed if a low glycaemic index breakfast had been consumed, suggesting that in a metabolically healthy sample, breaking up sitting may only be beneficial when high glycaemic index meals are consumed. In study two, postprandial lipaemia was improved across an 8 h period when breaking up sitting every hour with a short, high-intensity PA bout compared with uninterrupted sitting. This strengthens the efficacy of short bouts of PA of a high-intensity as strategy to improve postprandial lipaemia. However, data from study one and three suggests that attenuating postprandial glucose or insulin may require more frequent breaks in sitting than hourly PA bouts. Studies two and three observed no changes in appetite regulating hormones. Despite this, there was a suppression in subjective appetite when participants engaged in hourly high-intensity PA bouts, suggesting that a minimum threshold of PA intensity is required to elicit these effects. However, despite moderate-intensity PA breaks in sitting not suppressing appetite, no compensatory responses were observed in appetite or energy intake, resulting in an acute relative energy deficit. These findings suggest that this type of activity regime could assist in weight management programmes. Study four sought to investigate the efficacy of a workplace cluster randomised controlled trial at reducing workplace sitting. The multicomponent intervention did not reduce workplace sitting time. However, time spent in prolonged sitting bouts (> 30 min) was reduced and stepping time increased. This was concomitant with reductions in waist circumference and an increase in fat-free mass, demonstrating that a low-cost, short-duration, multicomponent intervention can be effective in changing sedentary behaviour patterns in the workplace. Overall, this thesis adds to the current evidence examining the effects of breaking up sitting on postprandial cardiometabolic risk markers and appetite, in addition to demonstrating the efficacy of a short-term low-cost multicomponent intervention at reducing prolonged sitting in the workplace by using strategies similar to those examined in studies one and three. Chapter eight summarises the significance of the findings from all four experimental studies whilst synonymously highlighting future directions for research in this area of the field.
    • The effect of cryopreservation on the genome of fish reproductive cells

      Kopeika, Julia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2003-09)
      Cryopreservation has been extensively used in human reproductive medicine, aquaculture and conservation programs for endangered species. Many studies have been devoted to the mechanisms of cryodamage. However, in spite of growing successes of cryopreservation, post-thaw recovery of reproductive and embryonic cells often remains poor. It is known that cryopreservation causes extensive damage to membrane, results in decreased metabolism of cells, and disturbs the bioenergetical processes of cells by damage to mitochondria. Nonetheless, it has not yet been identified clearly if cryopreservation causes some disruption in the genetic integrity of reproductive cells and the safety of this approach still needs to be confirmed. The present study was undertaken on the spermatozoa of weather loach (Misgurnus tassilis) and blastomeres cells of zebrafish (Danio rerio). It was shown that survival was decreased for embryos derived from sperm after cryoprotectant treatment or cryopreservation. Some evidence has emerged that this decrease is more likely to reflect some genetic instability caused by cryopreservation of sperm. The present study showed for the first time that the DNA repair system of oocytes was activated after fertilisation with cryopreserved sperm. The effect of DNA repair system was also studied. It was found that incubation of fertilised eggs in caffeine could reverse the detrimental effects of cryopreservation of loach sperm on subsequent embryo development. On the other hand incubation of fertilised eggs with 3-aminobenzamide - inhibitor of the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)- brought further decrease in the survival of embryos derived from cryopreserved sperm. The effect of individual donors of sperm and eggs on overall embryo survival was also studied and these investigations revealed significant differences between different donors. Effect of cryopreservation on zebrafish blastomeres was studied at the DNA molecular level. Mitochondrial DNA was sequenced after cryopreservation and increased level of frequency of the mutation was observed. This finding showed that cryopreservation might potentially increase the instability of mtDNA genome. The significance of these changes on the subsequent function of the cells is to be elucidated. Meanwhile this study suggests that it is important to be cautious in making judgements on the safety of cryopreservation techniques in reproduction.
    • The effect of sociocultural and linguistic factors on the language use of parents in trilingual families in England and Germany

      Braun, Andreas (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2006-09)
      Trilingualism is a relatively new research field, which has often been studied within the framework established for bilingualism. Although there are overlaps, researchers have consistently pointed out that the dynamics in trilingualism pose greater variations than in bilingualism with an effect on language maintenance. However, the precise nature of this process is still unclear. The aim of this thesis is to examine and describe trilingual families' language practices, with a view to adding to the understanding of the sociocultural and linguistic factors that influence parents whether or not to use their native languages with their children. This study, based on a multi-step survey, was conducted in three phases. First an exploratory pilot study was carried out by interviewing five parents of trilingual families, which helped to develop the interview schedule. The second phase focused on semistructured interviews of parents in 35 trilingual families living in England, before moving to Germany to conduct the third phase by interviewing the parents of a further 35 families. The participants were encouraged to comment on their own language and cultural practices with their children at home and in the wider community. It was found that influences on parents' language choices with their children were multifactorial. Trilingual families in which each parent spoke one different native language other than the community language were highly motivated in England (77%) and Germany (82%) to pass on their native languages and the associated cultural values to their children. This was partly related to the effectiveness of the OPOl (One Parent One language) and the support from grandparents. In contrast, parents who spoke two or more native languages tended to use only one of them with their children partly because the OPOl was impractical or the beginning of school made it harder to use their additional native languages. Finally, multilingual schools in Germany were usually chosen for English only, even if it was not a native language for the parents. Thus, the research findings underscore the complexity of the relationship between linguistic and sociocultural factors that influence trilingual families' language practices.
    • Effect of store environment and website characteristics on impulse buying behaviour of university students

      Hussain, Ammar (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-01)
      Consumer behaviour is determined by various factors, therefore it is considered as very complex and difficult to predict. This study is an attempt to explore and establish the relationships between various factors that result in impulse buying behaviour during online and offline buying. A preliminary qualitative study was carried out to understand the various situations in which impulse buying takes place. For the preliminary study data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis approach has been used for data analysis. The results of the study reveal that in the offline buying store environment, presence of others and crowding plays a vital role, while in online buying website quality, visual appeal and usability of the website increases the chances of impulse buying. In addition it has been found that situational factors such as mood, sales promotion, availability of time and availability of money also have an influence. Important literature was reviewed first and a conceptual framework consisting of the different hypotheses was proposed; then those hypotheses were empirically tested. Quantitative data was collected for the main study by using questionnaires and a self-administrative technique; a total of 312 respondents took part in this study, for which a pilot study was carried out to refine the final questionnaire. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to evaluate the model fit and for further refinement of the constructs. Data was analysed by using structured equation modelling and this approach was used for testing the hypothesized relationship between independent variables (store environment, website characteristics) and dependent variable (impulse buying behaviour). Results of the mediating test shows that situational factors fully mediate the relationship between store environment and impulse buying behaviour. While on the other hand situational factors partially mediate between website characteristics and impulse buying behaviour. The results further reveal that apparel products are impulsively purchased by females most of the time. Food and food items are purchased impulsively by most of the respondents (140) most of the time, whereas a very small number of respondents mentioned that they purchase books impulsively. Results also reveal that situational factors partially mediate between store environment, website characteristics and impulse buying behaviour.
    • The effect of the prompt on writing product and process: a mixed methods approach

      Chapman, Mark Derek (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016)
      The aim of this thesis is to investigate the effect of the writing prompt on test takers in terms of their test taking processes and the final written product in a second language writing assessment context. The study employs a mixed methods approach, with a quantitative and a qualitative strand. The quantitative study focuses on an analysis of the responses to six different writing prompts, with the responses being analyzed for significant differences in a range of key textual features, such as syntactic complexity, lexical sophistication, fluency and cohesion. The qualitative study incorporates stimulated recall interviews with test takers to learn about the aspects of the writing prompt that can have an effect on test taking processes, such as selecting a prompt, planning a response, and composing a response. The results of the quantitative study indicate that characteristics of the writing prompt (domain, response mode, focus, number of rhetorical cues) have an effect on numerous textual features of the response; for example, fluency, syntactic complexity, lexical sophistication, and cohesion. The qualitative results indicate that similar characteristics of the writing prompt can have an effect on how test takers select a prompt, and that the test time constraint interacts with the prompt characteristics to affect how test takers plan and compose their responses. The topic and the number of rhetorical cues are the prompt characteristics that have the greatest effect on test taking processes. The main conclusion drawn from the study findings are that several prompt characteristics should be controlled if prompts are to be considered equivalent. Without controlling certain prompt characteristics, both test taking processes and the written product will vary as a result of the prompt. The findings raise some serious questions regarding the inferences that may legitimately be drawn from writing scores. The findings provide clear guidance on prompt characteristics that should be controlled to help ensure that prompts present an equivalent challenge and opportunity to test takers to demonstrate their writing proficiency. This thesis makes an original contribution to the second language writing assessment literature in the detailed understanding of the relationships between specific prompt characteristics and textual features of the response.
    • The effectiveness of a multimedia exercise programme among postpartum women with lumbopelvic pain in Taiwan

      Tseng, Pei-Ching (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-12)
      Background: A substantial number of women are affected by Lumbo Pelvic Pain (LPP) follow-ing pregnancy and childbirth. Physical exercise is indicated as a beneficial method to relieve LPP, but individual studies appear to suggest mixed findings relating to its effectiveness and do not provide sufficient evidence on their own to warrant definite conclusions about effec-tiveness. Studies examining the effectiveness of different modes of exercise instruction for postpartum women for LPP are sparse. Aim: The aim of the study was to synthesise the evidence relating to the effectiveness of var-ious exercise programmes on LPP and to assess the effectiveness and acceptability (uptake, adherence and completion rate) of an exercise programme delivered using Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), the Internet or leaflet (usual care), on LPP among postnatal women in Taiwan. Methods: Phase 1: a systemic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published be-tween January 1990 and July 2014 was conducted by searching several databases, electronic libraries and grey literature. Phase 2: a primary study (pragmatic randomised controlled trial) design with two intervention groups and a control group with outcomes measured at dis-charge period (as baseline), six weeks and four months follow-ups. The outcomes of LPP, physical endurance, exercise uptake, adherence and completion rate across the three modes of delivery were assessed. Findings: Phase 1 of the systematic review established that four RCTs met the selection crite-ria, involving 251 postnatal women. The trials included physical exercise programmes with varying components, differing modes of delivery, follow up times and outcome measures. Intervention in one trial, involving physical therapy with specific stabilising exercises, proved to be effective in reducing LPP intensity. An improvement in gluteal pain on the right side was reported in one trial and a significant difference in pain frequency in another. Phase 2 PRCT study: Of 213 pregnant women with LPP recruited, 158 took part in the trial. The women reported significant reduction in LPP in the Internet-based group (pain in the past week, p< 0.005) at six weeks postpartum. Physical endurance of DRI outcome revealed a significant result in the DVD-based group at six weeks postpartum (standing bent over a sink (p<0.008)). Acceptability of exercise interms of completion rate, adherence and uptake was not significantly different between the three groups; even though the Internet-based group undertook exercise more frequently. Conclusion: The systematic review revealed that only a few RCTs evaluated the effectiveness of exercise on LPP, and there is variability in the components of the exercise programmes, modes of delivery, follow up times and outcome measures. The trial determined that the Internet-based postpartum exercise programme was effective in reducing pain and the DVD-based exercise programme in improving disability status, in women with LPP post-pregnancy. However, the Internet-based instruction increased adherence to exercise in postpartum women. The findings have implications for developing appropriate intervention programmes.
    • Effects of an e-learning programme on osteopaths’ back pain attitudes: a mixed methods feasibility study

      Draper-Rodi, Jerry (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-07)
      i. Background Guidelines recommend the biopsychosocial (BPS) model for managing non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) but the best method for teaching this model is unclear. Printed material and face-to-face learning have limited effects on practitioners’ attitudes to back pain. An alternative way is needed and e-learning is a promising option. E-learning is becoming an important part of teaching, but little guidance is available to the osteopathic profession. ii. Purpose This study had four aims. First to assess the feasibility of running a main trial to test the effectiveness of an e-learning programme on the BPS model for NSLBP on experienced practitioners’ attitudes to back pain; secondly, to assess the acceptability of the e-learning programme and the use of the internet as a mode of CPD; thirdly to provide an effect size estimate; and finally to explore the participants’ views on the e-learning programme and its possible impact on their reported behaviour. iii. Methods First a scoping review of the BPS factors and assessment methods for NSLBP was conducted. It informed the content of an e-learning programme that was designed and developed, and informed by a behaviour change model and an e-learning developmental model. An explanatory mixed methods feasibility study was conducted: first, a pilot Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) assessed experienced osteopaths’ attitudes before and after the intervention, using the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (PABS) and the Attitudes to Back Pain Scale for musculoskeletal practitioners (ABS-mp); then semi-structured interviews explored participants’ views on the e-learning programme and its possible impact on their reported practice behaviours. ii iv. Results 45 osteopaths, each with at least 15 years of experience consented to, and took part in, the study. The two trial arms were: a 6-week e-learning programme (intervention group) and a waiting-list group (control group). 9 participants were interviewed for the qualitative strand. The feasibility of conducting a main trial was good, the intervention was well accepted and the adherence to the intervention was good. An effect size estimate was calculated to inform sample size for a main trial. In the qualitative strand, participants’ views on the BPS model fell in with the themes of being Not structural enough, being Part of existing practice and being Transformative. v. Conclusion(s) This study provided new knowledge that had not been reported before in several areas:  how an e-learning programme for experienced manual practitioners should be developed,  a new intervention was reported (e-learning programme), including its design and acceptability,  osteopaths’ views on using the internet as a form of CPD,  information on the challenges faced in implementing a BPS approach.
    • The effects of caffeine on short-term, high-intensity exercise

      Doherty, Michael (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-12)
      This aim of this series of studies was to investigate the effects of oral caffeine ingestion (5 mg . kg-1) on whole-body, short-term, high-intensity exercise (ST; representing an exercise intensity of between 100% -150% V02 max), an area that has received scant attention in the past. It was found that, in common with other 'open-ended' tests, one ST assessment, the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD), appeared to lack both validity and reliability. Although traditional reliability markers of MAOD were favourable, the 95% limits of agreement were unacceptably large. In addition, the validity of MAOD was also found to be questionable because a study of elite runners revealed that a large proportion were unable to accomplish a plateau in the V02 -exercise intensity relationship. A follow-up study developed an original bespoke 'preloaded' ST cycling protocol that combined constant-rate exercise with an 'all-out' effort. This protocol appears to have several features that make it a more appropriate assessment to use in ergogenic studies than the MAOD. The work also considered the original, and as yet, undeveloped potential, for the assessment of rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during ST. It was shown for the first time that RPE (Borg scale; 6-20) could be used reliably during constant-rate ST. Three of the ten studies demonstrated that caffeine can be ergogenic during ST, with improvements averaging 11 % (95% GI, 7.4% -14.5%) above placebo treatment. In addition, the caffeine studies contributed to a meta-analysis of the effects of caffeine on test outcome that resulted in an effect size greater than zero, with 95% confidence intervals not crossing zero. The studies have examined potential physiological and metabolic mechanisms of action that may help explain caffeine's impact on ST. These suggest that there is some evidence that caffeine both stimulates anaerobic glycolysis and reduces electrolyte disturbance during ST. Finally this work has demonstrated for the first time that the perceptual response during constant-rate ST, as measured by RPE, is blunted following caffeine ingestion. It is concluded that caffeine is ergogenic during ST, and that while the exact mechanism(s) of action remains unknown, one consistent test outcome is a reduction in RPE during constant-rate ST.
    • The effects of contrast water therapy and hot water immersion on the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following a downhill run

      Erasmus, Brittany (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-04)
      Eccentric exercise typically induces muscle damage that can cause detrimental effects on an athlete’s performance. Therefore, it is vital to find a recovery strategy that will increase the rate of recovery, alleviate the signs and symptoms associated with exercise-induced muscle damage, and return the athlete to peak performance levels as quickly as possible. Water immersion, in the form of cold water immersion, hot water immersion and contrast water therapy are becoming increasingly popular interventions used to alleviate the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage and improve recovery after eccentric exercise. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of contrast water therapy and hot water immersion on the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage using indirect markers of muscle damage. These markers of muscle damage include; perceived muscle soreness, pressure pain threshold, squat jump, range of motion, flexibility, creatine kinase and limb circumference and are used in this study as a measure of the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. The purpose of Chapter 4 (Study 1) was to determine the reproducibility of these indirect markers of muscle damage. Overall, no systematic bias was found for any of the variables apart from creatine kinase. However, several performance and functional measurement tools; creatine kinase, flexibility, perceived soreness and pressure pain threshold exhibited low reproducibility, whilst creatine kinase, range of motion, perceived muscle soreness, limb circumference, and pressure pain threshold demonstrated good to excellent reliability however, squat jump demonstrated good xv reliability. With several of the indirect markers of muscle damage demonstrating poor to low reliability, discretion is advised when using these measures to detect systematic change, as the low reproducibility may obscure the true experimental results. The purpose of Chapter 5 (Study 2) was to determine the effects of contrast water therapy, and hot water immersion on the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. There is a plethora of studies aimed at determining the effects of cold water immersion and contrast water therapy on the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage (Bailey et al., 2007, Eston and Peter., 1999a, Halson et al., 2008., Ingram et al., 2009, Montgomery et al., 2008, Vaile et al., 2008b). However, limited studies have determined the effects of hot water immersion alone (Kuligowski et al., 1998). All participants in this study completed a muscle damaging protocol which consisted of a 40 minute downhill run. Subsequently, participants were either treated with hot water immersion, contrast water therapy, or no water immersion for 40 minutes at 0 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours post downhill run. Perceived muscle soreness, pressure pain threshold, squat jump, range of motion, flexibility, limb circumference and creatine kinase were measured on five separate occasions (pre-downhill run, immediately post downhill run, 24, 48 and 72 hours post downhill run). Results demonstrated that contrast water therapy had an improved effect on alleviating several signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. Briefly, peak decrements at 24 hours in creatine kinase, pressure pain threshold, flexibility, squat jump, and perceived muscle soreness were found in the hot water immersion group and contrast water immersion groups, where as peak decrements at 48 hours for pressure pain threshold, flexibility, and squat jump were found in the control group.
    • The effects of cytokines in a cartilage explant model system

      Stephan, Simon (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2001-01)
      Arthritis is a pathological condition whereby a persistent inflammatory response leads to breakdown of articular cartilage in synovial joints. Cartilage is a specialised avascular tissue containing chondrocytes embedded in an extracellular matrix. The cartilage matrix is composed of collagen to provide strength with aggregated proteoglycan to facilitate hydration. Cartilage has been reported to loose proteoglycans with concordant loss of integrity observed in arthritic disease pathology. Proteoglycans loss from cartilage has also been reported in in vitro models. Application of interleukin-1 (lL-1β) to cartilage in vitro has been demonstrated to increase loss of proteoglycans and modulate production of inflammatory mediators such as Nitric Oxide (NO) and Prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2). NO and PGE2 have also been associated with cartilage breakdown. Other cytokines such as colony stimulating factors (CSFs) may regulate cartilage function. The aim of this study was to select a cartilage explant system and compare the effects of interleukin-1 (lL-1) with those of colony stimulating factors (CSFs) by measuring the production of NO and PGE2 and release of proteoglycans. It was found that IL-1β increased PGE2 and NO production, but not loss of proteoglycans from rat cartilage explants. Granulocyte-CSF (G-CSF) and lL-3 increased production of NO and PGE2, respectively. When combined, IL-1β / Granulocyte-Macrophage (GM-CSF) increased production of PGE2 and G-CSF / IL-1β produced increased proteoglycan loss from explants. The model was then modified by integrating Swiss 3T3 Fibroblasts monolayers with explants. Fibroblasts were initially screened to determine their separate response to these cytokines. Fibroblasts did not release proteoglycans into the culture media, but produced elevated concentrations of NO and PGE2 in response to IL-lβ.·Fibroblast-cartilage co-cultures treated with IL-lβ produced increased NO, PGE2 and proteoglycan release. G-CSF, GM-CSF and IL-3 caused increased levels of PGE2 in co-cultures, however, IL-1β was required to generate significant proteoglycan loss from cartilage explants. Finally, extra-cellular signal related protein kinases I and 2 (ERK 1&2) and p38 intracellular signalling pathways were shown to be involved in IL-1β mediated production of NO fibroblasts and explants. These studies show that IL-1β has increased potential to mediate cartilage breakdown when interacting with other cytokines, such as G-CSF, and other cell types, such as Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. IL-1β has defined intracellular signalling pathways that may produce a range of responses in cartilage explants and fibroblasts. These studies may relate to production of inflammatory processes and loss of cartilage integrity and function in pathological conditions.
    • The effects of deductive, inductive and a combination of both types of grammar instruction in pre-sessional classes in higher education

      Giorgou Tzampazi, Stella (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-12)
      In recent years, debates continue about the efficiency of using different types of grammar instruction in language teaching contexts (Alzu‟ bi, 2015; Mahjoob, 2015; Brown, 2000; Ellis, 1997; Celce-Murcia, 1991; Krashen, 1982). Existing research is rather controversial and inconclusive and furthermore there is not any general agreement on how to approach grammar instruction: one basic dichotomy is connected with the processes of teaching grammar inductively (Krashen, 1985; Ke, 2008; Kuder, 2009; Scheffler, 2010; Gorat and Prijambodo, 2013; Alzu‟bi, 2015; Anani, 2017) versus deductively (Younie, 1974; Selinger, 1975; Pienemann, 1988; Anderson, 1990; Lee and VanPatten, 1995; Schmidt, 2001; Mountone, 2004; Nazari, 2012; Mallia, 2014; Sik, 2015; Amirghassemi, 2016). Some educators are in favour of the inductive grammar approach whereas others prefer the deductive approach (Ibid). University L2 pre-sessional students need to develop their understanding of EAP grammar which is essential for producing academic texts required for their studies and improve their score in ELAS writing exam. Having said that, which type of grammar instruction works better for university L2 students enrolled in pre-sessional classes: deductive, inductive, or combination of both? This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of using deductive and inductive teaching models in teaching grammar needed for academic writing in terms of L2 pre-sessional students‟ grammar academic achievement. The current study, also, investigates university L2 pre-sessional students‟ perceptions and attitudes towards teaching grammar deductively and inductively. A quasi-experimental design and an ethnographic approach were used to collect data through the use of interviews, observations, questionnaires and diaries. Data analysis was performed using t-tests in order to analyse the relationship between different types of grammar instruction based on pre-post-tests. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the performances of each group in favour of the deductive approach. The results, also, revealed that university L2 pre-sessional students who were taught deductively or through the combination of the two types of grammar instruction performed slightly better as compared to those who were taught inductively. The study also contributed to the fact that teaching grammar through the use of both cognitive and prescriptive grammar may be the best solution in teaching contexts in higher education in EAP contexts.
    • The effects of stress, background colour and steroid hormones on the lymphocytes of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss)

      Cook, Julie A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1994-12)
      This study investigated the effect that adapting Rainbow trout to black or white backgrounds has on their stress and immune responses. Experiments in vivo showed that stressed fish, adapted to black backgrounds, had higher plasma cortisol levels and a suppressed immune system compared to white-adapted fish. Thus, stress reduced antibody production, induced lymphocytopenia and inhibited the ability oflymphocytes to grow in vitro. These effects were always more pronounced in black-adapted trout. It is argued that white-adapted fish are less susceptible to the effects of stress because of the neuromodulatory influence of the neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). In fish reared from eggs on dark-or light-coloured backgrounds, differences between black and white groups were not so evident. In some cases, the effects seen in adapted fish became reversed when reared fish were used. It is suggested that homeostatic mechanisms counteract the modulatory actions of MCR in reared fish. In experiments using radiolabelled thymidine to monitor lymphocyte growth in vitro, MCH enhanced both T and B cell-like proliferation. The peptides also modulated the action of corticosteroids on lymphocyte growth and was found to reduce, but not prevent, the inhibitory influence of cortisol. Melanocyte stimulating hormone, an antagonist of MeR, had no effect on lymphocyte growth at concentrations normally found in fish plasma. The major reproductive steroids of trout were tested for their ability to influence lymphocyte growth in vitro. The results were variable, some steroids were predominantly stimulatory (e.g. oestradiol), some inhibitory (e.g. ketotestosterone), while others had mixed actions (e.g. 17a-hydroxy 20b-dihydroxyprogesterone). These observations are discussed in relation to the normal plasma levels of reproductive steroids found at different stages in the life cycle of trout and the possible effects these steroids have on fish immunity.
    • Effects of the new regulations of the audit profession on the audit firms’ strategies

      Eldaly, Mohamed Khaled; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2012-11)
      The audit firms play an important role in the capital markets by verifying that auditors provide reliable information to the decision makers. However, trust in auditing firms has been questioned following Enron‘s failure and accounting scandals at WorldCom and other companies. As a result, Arthur Anderson failed and the number of big audit firms fell to four firms and no one knows who might be next. Defond and Francis (2005) believe that a critical trigger occurred when Deloitte & Touch issued a “clean” peer review report on Arthur Andersen in December 2001, just a few weeks before Andersen publicly announced that it had shredded documents related to Enron audit. The credibility and integrity of the profession‘s self-regulation program was immediately in doubt. To protect public interests and to restore confidence in the capital markets, the USA government issued the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002. Similarly, the Financial Reporting Council in the UK provided the Professional Oversight Board with similar mission. This thesis aims to explore the role of independent audit regulators in promoting confidence in the audit profession, and analyse the big four firms’ strategies that react toward these regulatory changes in the audit markets. The lack of studies in this area supports the use of grounded theory as a research methodology. 24 semi-structured interviews were conducted with the top management level of the audit regulators and big four firms’ partners. This study contributes to the literature as it provides a better understanding of the satisfaction of the big four audit firms toward the new independent regulators, and how these firms react toward the additional requirements of the independent inspectors.
    • The effects on ageing and low temperature pre-sowing treatments on the membrane status and germination performance of tomato seeds

      Francis, Adele (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1985-09)
      Loss of viability and decreases in germination rate appear to be due to two independent causes during artificial ageing in tomato (Lycopersicon esculenturn Mill) seeds. only the second category of physiological damage is reversible: a low temperature presowing treatment (LTPST) capable of greatly increasing gennination rate of unaged and aged seeds had no effect on gennination capacity. Leakage of ionic solutes from seeds did not increase following ageing, but there were increased losses of small organic molecules which LTPST did not reduce. Total protein levels were unaffected during ageing and LTPST, but changes occurred during germination. Controlled deterioration caused a progressive decline in total seed phospholipid (PL) content mainly due to losses of phosphotidylcholine (:EC):losses irreversible by LTPST. Following 72 h imbibition, there was a significant increase in total PL present in untreated and treated unaged seeds and significant changes in composition of the PL fraction. LTPST had no significant effect on PL composition of viable artificially aged and unaged seeds, indicating that viability losses accanpanying controlled deterioration are related to losses of PC, but decreases in gennination rate are not. Total PL fatty acid (FA} content increased significantly following LTPST and also following 24 h ageing. Losses of total FA's between 24 hand one week's ageing occurred and were more marked in pre-treated seeds. Antioxidants prevented the viability loss usually caused by one weeks ageing and sane but not all of the FA changes. Non-viable aged seeds were unable to activate the free radical scavenging enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) during imbibition unlike aged and nonlethally aged seeds. LTPST had no apparent effect on SOO levels. LTPST had the same promotory effect on germination rate of naturally aged seeds as it did on artificially aged ones. Similarly germination percentage was unaffected. Phospholipid changes occurring during a period of natural ageing of up to 17 years were similar to those during artificial ageing.
    • Embracing the consumer : an exploration of what current marketing theory can teach the youth justice system in England and Wales about how to engage with young people

      Thorne, Andrew (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-10)
      ABSTRACT The impact of business theories on the youth justice system that arrived through New Public Management (NPM) and became manifest in managerialism, is a relatively well researched phenomenon within the social sciences discipline. What is less well known are the origins of managerialism and its theoretical underpinnings within industrial production theory. It is the intention of this thesis to look at these origins within production theory from the perspective of the business discipline, and examine how they have been implemented within the youth justice system. This review and analysis will be supplemented by primary research from an online attitudinal survey that looked at how these changes were perceived by staff working within Youth Offending Teams (YOTs). What will be seen is that the respondents of the online survey bear out in their professional lives many of the conclusions of the academic research already completed. They dislike much of the practice associated with managerialism, and wish to work in a system that is focussed around building therapeutic relationship and based on increasing the engagement and participation of young people. The second part of the thesis takes this research one step on, and asks practically how practice can be updated. It will be argued that the theoretical underpinnings of managerialist practice are outdated in the private and public sector due to the rise of consumerism allied with the power of the internet and increased consumer choice. It will be suggested that once again the discipline of business should be studied and copied, and the lead from successful consumer facing businesses followed, where increasing consumer participation and engagement in products and services is seen as a key way of gaining competitive advantage. Value co-creation, the marketing model that theorises this approach, would provide a way of incorporating a consumer focus into the youth justice system. In addition it will be proposed that Taylorist production theory should also be updated to one that is consumer focussed – lean theory – a model that already has political traction in the public sector. Through the use of these models it will be argued that the youth justice system can move from a managerialised production-led system that ignores young people to something that embraces the consumer society that surrounds it and engages and uses the skills of young people within the system to engage in their rehabilitation.