• Effect of aerobic exercise in different environmental temperatures on gut hormones, appetite and energy intake

      Horner, Matthew (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-01)
      Introduction: A strategy that combines both increasing energy expenditure and reducing energy intake (EI) to induce a negative energy balance is key for preventing and managing obesity. Exercise has been shown to reduce EI in a subsequent meal, an increase in temperature has also been shown to decrease appetite stimulation. Exercise in a hot environment may augment the appetite suppressing effect of exercise. However, there is currently little evidence available regarding the effect of environmental temperature during exercise on appetite. This study focused on the effect of exercise in different environmental temperatures on gut hormones and EI. Methods: A total of 8 healthy males completed four 5.5 hour conditions in a counterbalanced order. A preliminary visit consisting of a submaximal and maximal exercise test was conducted prior to experimental visits. For experimental visits, participants arrived in a fasted, euhydrated state at 08:30 and were fitted with a cannula, heart rate monitor, rectal and skin thermistors before completing one of four conditions: exercise in 10°C, 20°C or 30°C or resting control. Participants ran for 60 minutes on a treadmill at 70% of maximal oxygen uptake or rested for 60 minutes before resting for 4.5 hours. Blood samples were taken at 0 (fasted), 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 and 5 hr. Perceptions of hunger were assessed using visual analogue scales at 0, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5 and 5 h. Ad libitum meals were provided at 1.5 hr and 5 hr. Results: Although there was a significant reduction in relative energy intake in all exercise conditions (p < 0.001), this was not augmented or attenuated by any change in environmental temperature. This decrease was also not supported by any decrease in acylated ghrelin or increase in PYY. Furthermore, the only significant decrease in overall appetite was stimulated by the intake of food in meal 1 (p < 0.001). There was also no significant difference in total energy intake, lending to the notion that the decrease in relative energy intake can be partially, if not completely attributed to the increase in energy expenditure from exercise. Conclusion: These results suggest that exercise produces an energy deficit through a reduction in relative energy intake, regardless of environmental temperature. Further research into the effects of exercise in different environmental temperatures in an overweight and obese population is warranted.
    • Effect of environmental temperature on appetite, energy intake and appetite-regulating hormones during rest

      Horsfall, Rachel; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-04)
      There is evidence to suggest that the exercise-induced suppression in appetite is more pronounced when exercise is performed in the heat compared with colder environments. Whether such effects of environmental temperature are seen at rest remains unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of environmental temperature on energy intake (EI), appetite and appetite-regulating hormones during rest. Nine men (aged 21.4 ±1.3 years) rested for 5.5-hours in three conditions i) a thermoneutral environment (20˚C), ii) a hot environment (30˚C) and iii) a cold environment (10˚C). After baseline measures, each participant was supplied with a standardised breakfast meal containing 6 kcal·kg body mass-1. Further blood samples were collected at 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 5.5 h during the postprandial period, with an ad libitum pasta meal provided at 4-4.5 h to measure EI. Perceptions of appetite were assessed using 100-mm visual analogue scales every 30 min. Blood samples were analysed for gut hormone concentrations. Significant effects of condition for ad libitum EI (P = 0.002) were found; EI was higher in 10˚C and 20˚C compared with 30˚C. The findings of the present study support the limited evidence that environmental temperatures may modulate EI.
    • The effect of inhibiting ER stress on response to Paclitaxel in ovarian and colorectal cancer cells

      Hasan, Jurrat (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-10)
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the organelle responsible for carrying out the vital function of protein synthesis and secretion. Cellular disturbances cause the accumulation of unfolded proteins and induce a condition known as ER stress. This activates an evolutionary conserved multi-signalling pathway called the unfolded protein response (UPR) which tries to restore the cell homeostasis. However, prolonged ER stress causes the UPR to activate its apoptotic pathways to cause cell death. Studies have shown that ER stress and UPR induction influence the development of cancer through either its adaptive or apoptotic arms. In addition, it has been evidenced that UPR activation can sensitise cancer cells to certain chemotherapy drugs to cause either chemo-efficiency or chemo-resistance. The chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, has been shown to use ER stress induced apoptosis to cause cell death. However, it is not exactly clear what mechanism paclitaxel uses to induce ER stress-mediated apoptosis. This research investigated paclitaxel response in ovarian and colorectal cancer cell lines by inhibiting known pathways of ER stress. From the results obtained, it was found that paclitaxel causes cellular death, but whether it does via the specific induction of an ER stress pathway is still not evident and needs further investigation.
    • Effect of ramp rate and reliability of peak physiological responses during arm crank ergometry

      do Amaral, Ivan Branco (University of Bedfordshire, 2005-08)
      Introduction: Asynchronous arm crank ergometry (ACE) is a viable mode of exercise testing for specific groups (e.g. wheelchair-bound individuals, kayakers) and is employed within clinical settings for the purpose of rehabilitation. This study aimed to; (1) investigate peak physiological responses to three ACE tests varied with respect to ramp rate, (2) from these to identify an optimal test based upon the attainment of vo2 peak. and (3) to assess the extent of test-retest reliability for each selected parameter. This was achieved by way of requiring individuals to repeat their optimal test. Methods: Eighteen healthy men performed three exercise tests, differentiated in ramp rate, in a random order. These consisted of a standard 4 min warm-up after which time the workload increased by 6 (T1), 10 (T2) or 12 W.min-1 (T3). An imposed crank rate of 80 rev.min-1 was maintained throughout all tests. The optimal test (Topt) for each subject was defined as that which elicited the highest value of oxygen consumption ( V02 peak). In order to assess test-retest reliability Topt was repeated. Systematic bias for all parameters between T1, T2 and T3 was assessed using separate one-way ANOVA tests with repeated measures. Reliability of the parameters was assessed using a number of conventional statistical procedures. Results: Peak power output (PPO) was significantly higher (P<0.05) with the 12 W·min-1 ramp test. Peak lactate (Hlapeak), peak respiratory exchange ratio (RERpeak) and PPO were significantly lower (P<0.05) in T1. There was no systematic change between test-retest (P>0.05) and all measures were within 10% variation as determined by 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). Conclusions: T2 and T3 are both equally appropriate for eliciting peak physiological responses in ACE while T3 is most appropriate for peak functional capacity. Traditional reliability measures suggested an appropriate level of test-retest reproducibility.
    • The effect of water temperature and salinity on recovery from exercise induced muscle damage

      Campbell, Amy (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-11)
      Water immersion strategies are commonly employed to reduce symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD). However, little research has established whether recovery is stimulated via effects of hydrostatic pressure or water temperature (Leeder et al., 2012).This study investigated the effects of four immersion protocols of differing temperature and hydrostatic pressures (control (CON), cold water immersion (CWI), thermo-neutral water immersion (TWI) and thermo-neutral saline immersion (TSI) on recovery from EIMD. Twenty-five recreationally active males participated in the study. Participants completed 5 X 8 min of downhill running (-10%, 60% max treadmill velocity) separated by 2 min rest to induce EIMD. Within 30 min post exercise participants were randomly assigned to either: CWI (15 min, 10-15°C), TWI (15 min, ~35°C), TSI (15 min, ~35°C, 30% salinity) or a CON (15 min seated rest). Anthropometric measures, circumference of left (LL) and right leg (RL), cross sectional area (CSA) of rectus femoris via ultra sound scans of LL and RL, countermovement jumps (CMJ), assessment of maximal voluntary contractions (MVC), pain scales, recovery scales, creatine kinase (CK) and blood lactate were obtained across 6 time points (familiarisation up to 72 h post EIMD). Muscle damaging exercise resulted in a significant reduction of CMJ in CON from pre-trials to 24 h post (-10.0 ± 6.7%, p = 0.001), and a significant increase for RL (1.1 ± 0.7%, p = 0.02) and LL (1.1 ± 0.6%, p = 0.03) circumference from pre trials to 24 h post. CK increased significantly for CON and TSI groups between pre-trials and 24 h post (121.3 ± 28.5%, p = 0.001 ; 130.3 ± 95.0%, p < 0.001) respectively, however TSI group demonstrated a significant reduction between 24 h and 48 h post (p = 0.001). No significant interaction effect was present between groups across measures of LL and RL circumference, CK, MVIC, CMJ and pain scales (P > 0.05). Although the early indications from percentage change in performance may reflect a greater effect of a CWI protocol over TSI, the lack of statistical significance across variables provides little indication to whether recovery is stimulated primarily via temperature of the water or hydrostatic pressure. Further, investigations into the effect of a TSI protocol on recovery on a larger sample size, and the effects of TSI on training adaptation should be considered to evaluate the effectiveness of TSI as a recovery strategy.
    • The effectiveness of international commercial arbitration system and a critical analysis?

      Mahdi, Muhammad Atiab (University of Bedfordshire, 2012)
      To resolve conflicts the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has derived several procedures. In last few decades the ADR process becomes more important that it becomes more prevalent in international and domestic commercial contracts. The basic reason for this is the high cost of litigation, thus the parties are considering alternative methods to resolve disputes with the process which is cheaper and quicker. By using ADR the working relationship between parties will not lead to a break down. Therefore this report is based on a detailed examination of arbitration in International Commercial scenario. The report is given to define the effectiveness of the International Commercial Arbitration, the international system covering states and corporate with advantages and disadvantages of the international arbitration. The commentary also discusses the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) alternative dispute resolution rules and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules. Furthermore, “ADR techniques fall into two discrete types. Those which seek to persuade the parties to settle and those that provide a decision. Where a decision is given then that decision may be binding on the parties, it may have an interim binding effect or may simply be a recommendation that the parties can accept or ignore”. 1 Arbitration is one of the techniques of ADR and it is very important in the international commercial sector. However to define arbitration there is no universal definition of arbitration. In different legal rules arbitration has been used differently. It has been defined in different ways by the different commentators but there are core principles that can be found in all definition. The arbitration is a private system of adjudication. The arbitration method has been used differently in different countries. Though there are distinctions between domestic and international arbitration but there are also similarities found in this method. We could find factors which could affect the international arbitration but not the domestic arbitration. The laws are likely to be different in international and domestic law e.g. international arbitration relies upon conventions for the enforcement of arbitral award. Moreover the similarities are that the parties to a dispute have option to go for mediation before choosing arbitration. Basically the arbitration agreement provides authority to the arbitral tribunal to hear and determine the dispute. It is choice of the parties to choose between the arbitration and mediation. The selection regarding arbitral tribunal could be found in arbitration agreement. The main purpose of arbitral process is to resolve disputes or differences between parties before the relationship gets end up. It is a judicial process but not as a mirror judicial proceedings by which the procedure is to meet the demands of the case. Thereafter the arbitral tribunal makes or delivers an award to settle dispute between the parties and the award is final and binding as to the matter which it decides. 2 The international institutions are very important regarding the proceedings of the arbitration and the treaties or conventions plays role for the enforcement and recognition of the arbitral award. to discuss the structure of the international commercial arbitration could lead to understand the effectiveness of the informal system as well as the critical view is a key factor to define whether the future of the system is secure and does it provide sufficient security to the parties around the world.
    • The effects of a 12 day intensified training period on the exercise- induced salivary hormone and mucosal immune responses

      Harrison, Michael (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-01)
      The present study investigated the exercise-induced salivary hormonal (cortisol and testosterone) and mucosal immunological (salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA)) responses to a 30 min high-intensity running bout (RPEtreadmill) before and after (~1 day and 6 days after) a 12 day intensified training period. Eight active males completed the study. Unstimulated saliva samples were collected pre-exercise, post-exercise and 30 min post-exercise and assessed for salivary cortisol, testosterone and SIgA. 10 km TT performance decreased by 3% from pre- to post-training (ES = 0.24). The exercise-induced salivary testosterone response significantly elevated by 36% pre-training and decreased by 42% post-training (ES = 0.43). Salivary cortisol and SIgA responses were unaffected by the exercise and training, although a small ES between pre- and post-training were observed (0.32-0.49). Four participants completed a post-recovery trial and salivary cortisol, testosterone, SIgA responses were unaffected by the exercise and training, although a small to large ES between pre-training, post-training and post-recovery were observed (0.4-1.24). Individual results are presented for four participants and two were identified as showing signs of overreaching. This study demonstrates that the RPEtreadmill bout induces robust elevations in salivary testosterone and can potentially highlight any alterations in this hormone following a 12 day intensified training period.
    • The effects of a university coach education programme on coaching efficacy

      Marshall, Nicola J. (University of Bedfordshire, 2007)
      Efficacy is defined as the belief of an individual in their ability to produce given attainments (Bandura, 1997). Within sport it can be deemed as an athlete's ability to best judge and implement skills appropriate to the present situation (Moritz et al., 2000). This study examined the effect of participation in a university based coach education programme on coaches coaching efficacy scores. The programme consisted of 13 weeks of timetabled lectures for two hours per week and tutorial/practical sessions for one hour. Assessment required the completion ofr two comprehensive assignments to be submitted by week 14 of the academic calendar. As a course requirement, all students in Levels Two and Three must undertake a National Governing Body award of their choice during the course of the module. The coaching efficacy scale, which aimed to examine how confident they were in influencing the learning and performance of their athletes in the four dimensions (character building, game strategy, motivation and technique), was completed by the coaches three times: pre-education, post-education and as a follow up six weeks after their modular experience. A total of 47 students volunteered to take part in this phase of data collection (28 male, 19 female), at 3 different levels of study as part of undergraduate Sport and Exercise Science degree pathways. Data collection was followed up with a qualitative questionnaire, which was administered, via one-to-one interviews or via a narrative email response to the questions. An improved understanding as to where and why there was a change in efficacy as a result of the coach education course undertaken. The results showed a significant difference for the Developing group for the sub-scale of strategy and general coaching efficacy between the pre-education and retention conditions. A pre-education difference was found between the Developing and Advanced years of study for the sub-scale of technique, and a difference between the Introduction and Developing years of study for the sub-scale of strategy. A post-education difference was present for the sub-scale of Character between the Introduction and Developing years of study.
    • Effects of consuming compared with omitting breakfast on diet and physical activity in adolescent girls

      Plekhanova, Tatiana (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-10)
      Epidemiological data has demonstrated that regular breakfast consumption is associated with favourable daily dietary intakes and reduced obesity risk in children and adolescents. There is also some evidence that regular breakfast consumers have higher levels of physical activity when compared with breakfast skippers. Therefore, it is of concern that breakfast skipping is particularly common among adolescent girls. However, the observational data on breakfast, diet and physical activity remains inconclusive and fails to infer causality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to experimentally examine the effects of consuming compared with omitting breakfast on diet and physical activity in adolescent girls. A sample of 33 girls (24 used in final analyses) aged 12-15 completed three, 3-day trials: habitual breakfast, no breakfast and high-energy breakfast. The participants’ dietary intakes were assessed using 3-day food diaries (and digital photography) and physical activity was measured with accelerometry. There was no main effect of trial on energy intake after breakfast (P=0.49), fruit and vegetable (P=0.21) and snack consumption (P=0.33). There was a significant main effect of breakfast condition on total daily energy intake (P=0.001) and on energy consumed from fat (P=0.001) and carbohydrate (P=0.001) when expressed as percentages of total daily energy intake. Daily energy intake was significantly higher in HEB compared with NB (P=0.001) and CON (P=0.002). Less energy from fat was consumed in HEB compared with CON (P=0.001) and NB (P=0.001), and more energy from carbohydrate was consumed in HEB compared with CON (P=0.001) and NB (P=0.001). There was no main effect of breakfast on time spent in sedentary (P=0.41), light (P=0.44), moderate (P=0.34) and vigorous (P=0.67) physical activity. Overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls did not compensate by consuming more energy or being less active for the remainder of the day when omitting compared with consuming breakfast consisting of ~475 kcal for three days.
    • Effects of counseling on study habits : locus of control among senior secondary students in Nigeria

      Ikiriko, Patricia Orlunwo (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-09)
      Students are expected to be analytical organisers, able to critically pattern their study for academic excellence. However the attitudes of Nigerian students towards studying and learning fall strikingly short of these expectations. Many have difficulty forming sound study habits, and tend to have an external locus of control. The term locus of control (Rotter, 1954) refers to a person's basic belief system about the influences that affect outcomes in their lives. Those with an external locus believe that forces outside of themselves affect their ability to succeed, while the most successful people tend to have an internal locus of control. Statistics show that about 80 percent of Nigerian students fail annually and that the educational career of more than one million Nigerian students is in jeopardy (Alaneme, 2010; Olugbile, 2008; Otti, 2011). Studies have found that students with an external locus of control and poor study habits experience poor academic performance and that those who fail often believe that they will not succeed again. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether those who have experienced counselling altered their negative attitudes towards studying and indicated an improvement in their study habits. Participants were 20 academic underachievers, ten male and ten female, aged 15 to 21 years, recruited from three schools in Nigeria. A mixed-methods approach was used; qualitative methods took the form of semi-structured interviews while quantitative data was collected using four widely-used questionnaires. Thematic analysis and Related T-Test were used respectively for data analysis. The findings suggest that counselling played a significant role in students' attitudinal change.
    • The effects of erythropoietin in an in vitro model of cartilage degradation

      Baig, Somara (University of Bedfordshire, 2003-06)
      Cartilage is an aneural and avascular tissue, which is composed of chondrocytes, embedded within an extracellular matrix. Cartilage degradation, joint inflammation and bone destruction are the prominent features of rheumatoid arthritis, which is a persistent autoimmune disorder. Cartilage matrix is made up of collagen to provide tensile strength with aggregated proteoglycans to facilitate hydration. The loss of cartilage proteoglycans is among one of the early events in cartilage degradation associated with arthritic joint pathology. The pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) and Interleukin-1 beta (IL-lβ) have been shown to increase the loss of proteoglycans from cartilage and to modulate the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO has been associated with cartilage degradation. TNF-α and IL-lβ have also been reported to inhibit erythropoiesis thereby leading to the development of anaemia. Human recombinant erythropoietin (rHuEPO) is administered to treat anaemia of chronic disease, which is a well-known complication of chronic rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the effect of EPO on cartilage metabolism in RA is yet unknown. The aim of current study was to investigate the effects of EPO on in vitro models of RA, which were developed with increasing order of complexity, with respect to the production of NO and release of proteoglycans. The production of NO was determined indirectly by measuring nitrite production, via Greiss reaction. The loss of cartilage proteoglycans was quantified by measuring the release of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), using GAGs assay. Each system was found to respond to IL-1β treatment. Thus, IL-1β was maintained as a positive control stimulus in these investigations. Swiss 3 T3 fibroblast monolayer was utilised to model the response of rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts in pannus tissue of RA joint. An in vitro model of cartilage resorption was established using porcine cartilage explants. This model was then modified by incorporating Swiss 3 T3 fibroblasts mono layers with explants. These studies reveal that that EPO (25JµU/ml) whether alone or in the presence of IL-1β is a pro-inflammatory stimulus of cartilage breakdown. There was no significant difference in the IL-l and EPO-mediated GAGs release and nitrite production by both explant and co-culture models, which suggests that EPO may be as potent stimulus as IL-l with regard to cartilage breakdown in these models of RA. The current investigation concludes that EPO can directly influence cartilage degradation and may potentiate joint inflammation in RA. Therefore, findings from this study suggest that clinical administration of EPO to treat anaemia and its illegal usage by athletes may lead to development of arthritis in later life.
    • Effects of interrupting prolonged sitting with high-intensity physical activity on postprandial metabolism

      Orton, Charlie J. (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-01)
      Aims The aim of this thesis was to explore the effects of interrupting prolonged sitting with high-intensity activity on cardiometabolic risk markers. Methods In study 1, participants completed 3, 8 hour trials: 1) uninterrupted sitting (SIT) 2) continuous moderate-intensity activity followed by sitting, and 3) sitting interrupted with hourly high-intensity activity (SIT-ACT). In study 2, participants completed 3, 6.5 hour trials: 1) SIT, 2) a continuous high-intensity interval exercise session followed by sitting (CON-HIE), and 3) sitting interrupted with high-intensity activity bouts (SIT-HIE). Postprandial incremental area under the curve (iAUC) was calculated for cardiometabolic risk markers and compared between conditions. Data are mean (95% confidence intervals). Results In study 1, glucose iAUC was not different between conditions (p= 0.606). Triglyceride (TG) iAUC was lower and high-density lipoprotein was higher in SIT-ACT than SIT (p=<0.05). In study 2, glucose iAUC was significantly lower in SIT-HIE than SIT (p=0.026), while TG iAUC was significantly lower in CON-HIE than SIT (p=0.014). Conclusion Study 1 observed beneficial TG and HDL responses to interrupting sitting with high-intensity activity. Study 2 observed suppressed glucose in response to interrupting sitting with high-intensity activity, but postprandial TG was reduced only in response to a high-intensity interval exercise session.
    • The effects of static water immersion and different body postures on the cardiovascular system in healthy participants

      Wing, Natasha (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-10)
      Background: Water creates a hydrostatic pressure on the body when immersed (Bove, 2002). This redirects blood to the thoracic cavity leading to an increase in cardiac output (Q̇), stroke volume (SV) and a decrease in heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) ( Šrámek et al., 2000). The aim of this study was to use echocardiography to report the full effects of water immersion. Method: Sixteen participants were immersed to the neck in waters of 30°C in three postures (standing, sitting and laying) for 20 minutes. BP, HR and a full echocardiogram of the left ventricle was performed. This was recreated on land. Results: SV (14.2%), Q̇ (12.5%), and EDV (7.7%) increased and HR (5%), SBP (11.2%), WS (12.1%) and DBP (13.9%) decreased (all P<0.05) in water when compared to land. Sitting demonstrated the greatest effect on the variables. Conclusion: Water immersion displayed favourable adaptations to the myocardium, this is due to an increase in venous return stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and dilating arteries and reducing BP and HR. These adaptations encourage the heart to work more effectively at a lower rate, improving cardiovascular health.
    • The effects of word frequency, text case, and contextual predictability on binocular fixation during reading

      Khaled, Mohammed Abdul (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      Properties of text which affect binocular coordination during reading have received little attention compared to other areas of eye movement research. The evidence, to date, has been equivocal, with some suggesting that the visual system tolerates less binocular fixation disparity (BFD) under conditions which make reading difficult and others reporting no such effect. Two eye movement experiments were conducted to investigate this issue further. In Experiment 1, participants read sentences containing high and low frequency words. Half of sentences were presented in normal case and half in alternating case (e.g., aLtErNaTiNg cAsE), replicating Juhasz, Liversedge, White & Rayner (2006). Results showed that neither frequency nor case affected the magnitude of disparity. In Experiment 2, BFD was investigated in a more linguistically rich reading context by manipulating predictability (high vs. low) in addition to frequency and case. Results showed that BFD was significantly smaller for low frequency target words in contexts which made reading difficult. It is concluded that the linguistic and orthographic properties of the text do, in fact, influence binocular coordination. Implications of these results are discussed in relation to models of reading.
    • Electrochemical determination of silver sols for sensor developments

      Wang, Yuanyang; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2009-06)
      Characterisation of an electrochemical method for measuring silver sols (aqueous suspensions of nanometer-sized particles) is described. Such particles are receiving much attention by others as valuable components in the development of biosensing systems. The work was centred on the use of screen-printed three-electrode devices to measure the concentration of silver sols by a sequence of processes: (i) dissolution of the silver particles to form silver ions; (ii) accumulation of silver on the working electrode; and (iii) stripping of the accumulated silver. The silver sol concentration was related to the observed stripping peak (peak height or peak area). Carbon electrodes were used throughout and the influence of carbon type, electrode format/arrangement and dissolution potential were examined. A number of interesting observations were made and conclusions arrived at: (a) the arrangement of working, reference and counter electrodes was important and a preferred arrangement was indicated; (b) electrode material and/or format were important – but further work would be necessary to identify whether one or both factors were particularly important; (c) the choice of dissolution potential was crucial – and further work needs to be carried out to ensure that a sufficiently stable reference electrode can be arrived at; and (d) preliminary evidence is presented that indicates that silver contamination of the screen-printed silver electrodes was a limiting factor that needed to be corrected/mitigated in order to arrive at robust/reproducible measurement devices.
    • Emerging practices of action in systemic therapy: how and why family therapists use action methods in their work

      Chimera, Chip (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-03)
      This thesis sets out to explore the processes involved when family therapists decide to introduce an action method into a therapy session. Action methods are defined as therapist led physical activities which are introduced into the session for the purpose of enabling the healing of relationships. The literature is examined in relation to connections between family therapy approaches using action and psychodrama psychotherapy relation to work with families and couples. Literature which integrates the two approaches is identified. The core of the study is composed of five interviews with experienced and senior family therapists about how they use action with clients in sessions. It focuses on the beliefs, behaviours and actions which are present at the moment the therapists decide to use action. The interviews examine the therapists’ training and current practice culture, their guiding beliefs and principles about the use of action and the theories on which they have drawn in considering the implementation of action methods. Participants were asked to describe an episode of action by giving a verbal account as well as undertaking a sculpt of the episode using ‘small world’ figures. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using a unique approach blending psychodramatic role analysis (Williams 1989) with the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) (Cronen and Pearce 1985) a communication theory approach used by systemic psychotherapists. The findings indicate that systemic therapists do not have one overarching theoretical approach to using action in therapy, but draw on a range of different models which may be derived from different systemic approaches. The findings further indicate that theories of action which include neurobiological information processing and embodiment are introduced into systemic trainings as important in understanding how action methods impact on individuals and families. A format for therapists to evaluate their use of action methods is proposed for use in supervision or training. It follows the format that is used in the analysis, using psychodramatic role analysis and a CMM hierarchical structure which proposes opening space, spontaneity and playfulness as markers for the culture, identity and relationship levels of the analysis.
    • An energy-aware and QOS assured wireless multi-hop transmission protocol

      Lin, Yu (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-05)
      The Ad-hoc network is set up with multiple wireless devices without any pre-existing infrastructure. It usually supports best-effort traffic and occasionally some kinds of Quality of Service (QoS). However, there are some applications with real-time traffic requirements where deadlines must be met. To meet deadlines, the communication network has to support the timely delivery of inter-task messages. Furthermore, energy efficiency is a critical issue for battery-powered mobile devices in ad-hoc networks. Thus, A QoS guaranteed and energy-aware transmission scheme is one hot of research topics in the research area. The MSc research work is based on the idea of Real-Time Wireless Multi-hop Protocol (RT-WMP). RT-WMP is a well known protocol originally used in the robots control area. It allows wireless real-time traffic in relatively small mobile ad-hoc networks using the low-cost commercial IEEE 802.11 technology. The proposed scheme is based on a token-passing approach and message exchange is priority based. The idea of energy-aware routing mechanism is based on the AODV protocol. This energy-saving mechanism is analysed and simulated in our study as an extension of the RT-WMP. From the simulation results and analysis, it has been shown that adding energy-aware mechanism to RT-WMP is meaningful to optimise the performance of traffic on the network.
    • Evaluating approaches to improve upon a Leap Motion-based hand-gesture recognition system

      Chase, Stephen Ricardo (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-09)
      The research proposed in this thesis aims to utilise feedback gained from user testing to evaluate and present viable approaches to improve the self-made Marionette Project while maintaining its core principles. These improvements should primarily allow for users to identify hand gestures efficiently while minimising the number of incorrect hand gestures performed. Analysing various studies throughout the period of the initial Marionette Projects conception and implementation. It was noted that research in human machine and human computer interaction focused on a few prevalent topics, the most common being sign language, and generic gesture recognition. The implementation of these predominate topics focused typically on one of two implementation types; vision or image-based approaches as seen in Cho et al.’s research which looked into implementing a low-cost vision-based gesture recognition system based on the FPGA approach (Cho et al. 2012) or the device-based approaches utilised in Khambaty et al.’s conference paper into “Cost Effective portable system for sign language gesture recognition”. While both studies look at implementing “low-cost” or “cost-effective” solutions they both tackle it from different standpoints. Khambaty et al.’s study looks at it from a monetary perspective presenting the developed system as a cheaper means of providing daily communication as opposed to the cost of hiring an interpreter (Khambaty et al. 2008), which while successful, still puts the product out of range of the general consumer. While Cho et al.’s study focuses on the reduction of computation costs by process the recognition of gestures through the use of the FPGA approach (Cho et al. 2012). This focus on one section of “cost” lowering in implementations has left room for research that provides both a monetary reduction allowing for the implementation to be consumer-friendly and a computational reduction allowing for faster and quicker recognition while still maintain accuracy. Additionally, with a larger focus being placed on visual based implementation, but solely in the realms of sign language and generic gesture recognition as a means for human to human communication it provides a gap in the field to test the plausibility of these implementation types for other uses, like machine control. As such, the initial Marionette Project aimed to find a cost-effective means of producing firstly, an effective but innovate hand gesture recognition system that could be utilised to control a range of robotics but in particular a mechatronic hand. The Leap Motion controller was implemented into the project, to test the viability of a low-cost consumer-grade product as a means to manipulate robotics. Utilising the Leap Motion controller also provided notable innovation as most published studies incorporating the Leap Motion Controller focused almost exclusively on the identification of various forms of sign language. In the thesis, three crucial feedback points garnered from the external testing process in the original Marionette Project, and are presented and utilised to shape the work implemented throughout this research in the form of minimum viable requirements listed below: 1) improving upon the accuracy of the hand gestures recognised by users through the use of real-time gesture confirmation system. 2) mitigating the amount of incorrect hand gestures performed when stopping the system. 3) Allowing for the support of more dexterous robotics though more complexed gestures In the thesis four approaches main approaches are presented, the first of which looks into the first minimum viable required, while the second, third and fourth approaches are created and evaluated as a means to fulfill the second and third minimum requirement points. By utilising the Spiral methodology, the implementation of each approach primarily followed the pattern of: Planning, Risk Analysis, Engineering and finally an Evaluation phase. The planning phase looked at the original feedback provided by the user as well as any relevant iterations implemented prior, to detail aims and requirements for the current iteration/spiral. After which, additional research was then carried out into hardware, software components as well as, additional published research papers. After this stage, the implementation or engineering phase would then be carried out. This primarily would look to implement each identified requirement for the iteration. Once these requirements were implemented the evaluation step would then be performed. The evaluation process consisted of two parts; an internal evaluation and then an external evaluation. Internal evaluations focused on developer testing, and consisted of standard logic, user flow and selected edge case testing. If no issues were found in this testing process the second stage of evaluations, external evaluations would then take place. External evaluations saw the implemented work tested by volunteer users under given scenarios, to generate more user results and feedback. However, in the event that problems were found during the internal evaluation process depending on the severity of the problem an additional mini-iteration could be added to an existing iteration as seen in section 4.3.4 or in the case were larger problems are identified and the approach needs to be altered an entirely new iteration with the listed spiral approach steps would be carried out as seen with approaches, three and four in the thesis. From the approaches detailed in the thesis, the first approach provided a viable means to improve upon the accuracy of hand gestures recognised by users, though the incorporation of real-time textual confirmation appearing onscreen while the user interacts with the system. The incorporation of this implementation showed an average increase of 28% in gestures recognised and identified by the user. Additionally, the fourth approach detailed in the thesis provided a means to improve upon limiting the amount of incorrect gestures performed by the user showing an overall 20% decrease in the number of incorrect reported hand gestures. It was concluded that the first approach presented an ideal implementation for clear improvements for the recognition of performed hand gestures and showed a 28% average increase in hand gesture recognised and identified by users. Additionally, the fourth approach was seemingly well-received by testing participants as a means to limit the number of incorrect gestures being performed when users removed their hand from the Leap Motions field of vision lowering reports of incorrect gesturing cause by the system by 20%. However, while both approaches implemented within this research was viable for the completion of the first two feedback points provided by users from initial testing, the third point was not achieved. As such, it would be ideal to provide extra research to find a plausible and novel solution.
    • Evaluating the Quality of Service in VOIP and comparing various encoding techniques

      Vadivelu, Selvakumar (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-01)
      Technology in which the communication done using IP (Internet protocol) as an alternative for the traditional analog systems is “Voice over internet protocol”(VOIP). One of the emerging or the attractive communication systems in the present era is VoIP.. Several technologies within VoIP are emerging and there are more to come in the near future. Services offered by this technology need Internet connection and/or telephone connections. It offers services that allow making calls such as long distance calls, local calls, wireless calls and International calls. VoIP acts as a medium that changes the analog signal (Telephone signal) to digital signal. The converted signal travels through the Internet medium to the destination. In this dissertation, main encoding techniques are considered based on the level of the security they provide and their usage in the present market. Encoding techniques considered are G.711, G.723 & G.729. The usage of these techniques can be done in various networks however; one should know the Quality of service (QoS) that these techniques provide. With the QoS, one will know where these techniques fit, what level of security they provide, where they can be used and how efficient each technique is. In this dissertation, an implementation is done in OPNET to compare the characteristics of each encoding technique. Implementation is done by designing two scenarios with a network that connects different networks over a wide area and the second scenario with a small area network. VoIP service is configured in both the scenarios. Each scenario is then implemented with the encoding techniques considered. Finally the characteristics of the encoding techniques are evaluated and analysed using the graphical results obtained. There are several QoS parameters in place but Throughput, Load, MOS (mean opinion score), Jitter and PDV (Packet delay variation) parameters are measured in this implementation as the characteristics can be evaluated for encoding technique comparisons graphically. These comparisons would allow us to carefully design the encoding techniques for security enhancements in future.