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BCUR 14

Check out our YouTube Channel with presentations from the conference.

Abstracts for student presentations listed alphabetically by surname.

 

Abraham, Shyamali

University of Reading

50% chance of  rain: Current understanding, uses and perceptions of weather forecasts

Although weather forecasts are an integral part of daily life, effective communication of forecasts remains a challenge.  Using survey methodology, this research explores public uses, preferences and perceptions for daily forecasts using data from 284 members of the public.
An increase in the use of electronic devices to infer forecasts was found in comparison to previous analyses, which is consistent with accessibility revealed to be the most desirable aspect of a forecast. Analysis of current forecast perception revealed a lack of confidence and although including uncertainty information improved confidence, there is low trust in source providers – a salient aspect of successful forecasts. Lastly, the increase in correct interpretation of probabilistic forecasts is most likely the result of increased exposure and understanding over time.
These findings provide insight into how daily forecasts are perceived, which serves as a framework to subsequently explore effective communication and public warnings for adverse weather.

 

Accorroni, Alice

Università degli studi di Pisa – Pisa – Italy

Validation of a new animal model of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe loss of dopaminergic neurons  in the substantia nigra and by the presence of pathological aggregates of the presynaptic protein alfa-synuclein.
Development of animal models of the disease remains challenging but is crucial for the identification of therapeutic targets. Overexpression of alfa-synuclein in nigral dopaminergic neurons of rats using viral vectors represents a new disease modelling approach, mimicking PD more closely than previous neurotoxin models.
The aim of this study is to validate the efficacy of adeno-associated virus 6-(AAV6)-alfa-synuclein rat model in reproducing motor symptoms of PD. Rats received bilateral injections of a recombinant AAV6-vector containing alfa-synuclein or green fluorescent protein (controls) in the substantia nigra. In line with human disease, at 8 weeks after vector administration, alfa-synuclein-rats showed significant motor impairment when compared to controls in the ledged-beam transversal test, a validated paradigm to assess motor output (p<0,05).

 

Adams, Robert

University of Wales: Trinity Saint David  

Eliot, Arnold and Tennyson: Modernism and the Anxiety of Influence

In ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’, Eliot wrote that ‘what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens to all the works of art that preceded it.’ The task of the new writer is to wrest authority from his ancestors. In his criticism, Eliot implies that his poetry departs radically from the poetry of the nineteenth century to return to a stylistic ideal which he locates in the seventeenth century. Eliot therefore circumvented the Enlightenment, connecting his work directly to Renaissance tradition.
Critical opinion has been varied, with some critics, viewing Eliot’s work as a complete break with the nineteenth-century. Others, such as Carol Christ, have emphasised similarity, both critically and poetically, to his Enlightenment predecessors. The following discourse intends to analyse the poetry and criticism of T. S. Eliot, and demonstrate its connection to his Victorian predecessors; particularly the poetry of Tennyson, and the criticism of Matthew Arnold.

 

Adlerova, Barbora

University of Warwick (currently on Erasmus at University of Helsinki)

‘If you see me cooking you’ll see clearly I am not from here’: food and migration in the context of transnationalism

Food is a social and cultural capital, a symbolic medium through which we express our identity and group membership. Therefore, food culture and habits play a significant role in the processes of migration and acculturation, especially from the transnational perspective. This study, in which six high-skilled migrants from Europe were interviewed in depth, explores how migrants experience acculturation in their diets and how they negotiate the food culture of receiving country, the United Kingdom. The results reveal that in the light of transnational theory, food enables newcomers to stretch their culture over time and space and helps them to accommodate to the new environment. This means participants retain most of their habits while adapting and acquiring new ones. Besides, the study also raised a question for further research of migration, belonging and ‘European identity’, since majority of participants did not identify themselves with the concept of migrant.

 

Ahmet, Adele

University of Strathclyde

Can we improve eyewitness memory?

The weapon focus effect is a vigorously researched phenomenon in the study of eyewitness memory.  It refers to the impaired ability to recall details of a criminal event when a weapon is present. Research has found that engaging in global processing tasks before and after viewing a criminal event increases the ability to correctly identify suspect’s faces.  This study aimed to extend previous work to eyewitness memory more generally and investigate whether global processing  can also reverse the weapon focus effect. Participants completed either a global or local processing task, before or after viewing a mock criminal event and were asked to recall details from memory for the event. Results showed that global processing increased ability to recall only peripheral details in the presence of a weapon compared with local processing.  Results are discussed in terms of the practical applications to real eyewitnesses and the cognitive processing styles adopted before police interview.

 

Al-Ajeel, Reem

University of Leeds

How realistic is state/nation building in Iraq ; a study of causes of sectarian tensions

This dissertation hopes to dissect the core causes of sectarian violence in Iraq. The sects that this essay will be most concerned with will be the Shi’a and Sunni divisions within Islam. Although ideological differences have meant that divisions have been present, this dissertation will aim to highlight that peace can be reached between the two groups.

The dissertation will begin to highlight the theories behind ethnic conflict, then move towards political manipulation as a key theme of sectarian violence, which will be further investigated in the next chapters. The manipulation of the Baathist regime and Saadam’s rule as well as the manipulation of United States foreign policy, which has played a role in triggering a string of sectarian violence that continues to 2014 Iraq. To conclude this essay will highlight ways in which peace can be reached and maintained by the two sects in modern day Iraq.

 

Alcock, Jennifer

Nottingham Trent University

The relevance of neck/back angles in elite agility dogs when jumping over hurdle jumps

Dog agility is a rapidly progressing sport worldwide. Research and methods to improve technique and performance is becoming highly sought after. This study explores the effect that jump style has on the time taken for a hurdle jump to be fully completed, examining the apparent angle between the dog’s neck and back when at maximum height. Video data was collected of elite agility dogs in a training session and data was analysed downstream using Dartfish software (www.dartfish.co.uk).  Dogs of different breeds and sizes were studied to determine whether ‘highly trainable breeds’ naturally jump at a more effective angle (Helton, 2010).  Initial findings suggest that there is a difference between the jump kinematics of dogs identified as being “large”, “medium” or “small”.  This information could be used to inform future training regimes and competitive strategies and to improve long term health and welfare of canine participants (Cullen, et al., 2013).

 

Alexander, Christopher

University of Warwick

Axioms of Morality and Ethics in Negative Utilitarianism

Everyone has some intuition as to what is right and what is wrong. However, such intuitions can break down when moral questions become increasingly numerical. When faced with multiple decisions, how can we weigh one up against another? Attempts at resolving such problems include theories of Utilitarianism, the idea that a certain utility, usually happiness, is to be maximised. Negative Utilitarianism, is one version in which a certain disutility, usually suffering, is to be minimised.

Unfortunately, such theories aren’t without substantial problems and the purpose of this ongoing research will be to modify Negative Utilitarianism by proposing additional principles or Axioms that will resolve such problems.

By defining an appropriate utility and considering the distribution of this utility, the axioms will be used to gauge which moral decisions are to be considered optimal. Such axioms have immediate uses in Medical Ethics, Disaster Relief Prioritisation and the programming of Artificial Intelligence.

 

Alfardus, Huda

The University of Nottingham

Identifying the regulatory proteins mediating the uncoupling protein 2 overexpression in the cancer stem cells of lung adenocarcinoma.

Uncoupling Protein 2 (UCP2) overexpression in cancer stem cells (CSCs) plays a critical role in the maintenance of KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma. Unfortunately, UCP2 is widely expressed in healthy cells. Therefore, identifying the regulatory proteins that are directly bound to UCP2 promoter to mediate its overexpression is essential for designing novel targeted therapies. To isolate those proteins, CSCs samples are obtained from oncogenic KRAS-driven mouse models engineered to carry a gene contrast consisting of two restriction sites flanking the GFP gene expressed under UCP2 promoter control. GFP+ CSCs expressing SP-C and CD90 are lysed and a cross-linking agent followed by a restriction enzymes treatment is applied to obtain distinct length of DNA fragments. Subsequently, alkali to separate strands, blocking oligos to prevent re-annealing and GFP complementary probes conjugated to magnetic beads are added. Finally, the DNA is immobilised by magnetic field and the proteins are eluted, pipetted out, purified and sequenced.

 

Alghamdi, Ahmed

University of East London

Great expectations: Social Media, mobiles devices and higher education.

It is not doubt that we live in a digital era with such apparent continuous increase of the use of Social Media/Network amongst students supported by the ubiquity of the mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). Some of today’s higher education students are higher education’s teachers next decade. Based on recent published researches, case studies and surveys; this paper offers creative ideas that backs the hypotheses that social media can be used in higher education institutions like never before in delivering formal education.

 

Amirzhanova, Aliya

University of Warwick

Human Identification through Gait Recognition

Nowadays there are several image based human biometrics, such as iris recognition, fingerprints, face. However, all of them require close human contact. To solve this problem there is gait recognition technique, which can be done at a distance. This gait recognition is relatively new technique, and has a lot of advantages such as recognition of low resolution videos, recognition when individual information is confidential (Wang et al, 2010). Certainly, there are effects of covariates such as change in viewing angle, change in shoe, walking surface, carrying conditions, and elapsed time (Sarkar et al, 2005). So these effects make gait recognition problem more challenging for research. There are several approaches for studying gait recognition system such as model-based and model-free one. In this project work, I will focus on model-free approaches that use machine learning techniques, and focus on silhouettes of human bodies.

The main aim of this project work is to apply Machine Learning techniques to the gait recognition application system. The objective of this work is to use the gallery or training set to find and investigate some T, which is a transformation matrix (feature extractor – covariates, for example shoe type, carrying conditions etc).  Several algorithms were performed such as baseline, Principal component analysis and Multiple Discriminant Analysis in order to find optimal solution. Positive outcome of the project: system is able to perform for a given probe (testing data) exact matching from the gallery (training set) and optimal T is found that can reduce the effect of covariates.

 

Ananth, Abhishek

University of Warwick

Quantifying the effects of the dead-weight loss caused by the loanable funds in the US sugar industry

The US “Farm Bill” enacted in 1990 provides sugarcane and beet sugar producers price support through preferential loan agreements. In recent times, this “subsidy” has come under growing criticism on the grounds that it artificially inflates the price of sugar by up to thirty per cent. My research aims to explore this further and quantify this dead-weight loss caused to the economy. This, in my opinion will lead to better policy making by better identifying the costs of policy. The first major issue is the need to identify the supply and demand curves for the industry since the data merely provides the equilibrium quantity produced and quantity purchased. Following this, my next step would entail determining equilibrium price and quantity without the subsidy in place. I will then compare this with price and quantity when the subsidy is in effect to calculate the dead-weight loss to the economy.

 

Avery, Amanda

University of Nottingham

Group project work at undergraduate and Masters level: The MAGIC study.

Nutrition is a buoyant discipline at both Under- and Post-graduate level, and this places a high burden on staff in terms of delivery of high-quality research projects for students. To provide ‘real-life’ research opportunities for our students, the team developed the Managing Weight in Pregnancy study (NRES reference:12/EM/0267); an exploratory longitudinal cohort study to identify physiological, psychological and behavioural predictors of postpartum weight in pregnant women. So far the MAGIC study has recruited 193 pregnant women for follow ups in late pregnancy and up to 1 year postpartum, integrating twelve undergraduates, one masters level and one Ph.D. student into the research group. This provided students with experience of data collection within a clinical setting, data handling and analysis using a either a cross-sectional or a longitudinal dataset that will generate publications and act as the basis for external funding applications.

 

Azulay, Katie

Bournemouth University

Investigating the impact of motivational interviewing on exercise adherence amongst Exercise Referral Scheme patients with a BMI <35.

Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of premature death in the United Kingdom and despite the health benefits, many lead sedentary lifestyles. Regular exercise helps prevent and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as reducing NHS costs. Exercise Referral Schemes are in place for GPs to refer patients to a 12 week programme of physical activity with the aim to lose weight and increase fitness levels for health and mental reasons. Adherence on these schemes are restricted with patients with BMIs <35 due to the lack of support and mentoring after their initial assessments. The use of motivational interviews alongside this programme aims to helps identify and alter lifestyle behaviours and assist in the adherence to the programme. With continued support and weekly contact, this study aims to demonstration increased levels of adherence for the 12 weeks for 20 patients with BMIs <35.

 

Barjaktarevic, Branislav

University of Warwick

Serbia’s European Union accession and the ‘Kosovo Problem’: assessing the transformative effect of the EU on Serbia’s Kosovo-related national policy

The issue of EU membership and the question of Kosovo statehood have dominated Serbian politics since the end of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime in 2000. Although the EU does not demand Serbian recognition of Kosovo’s independence as a precondition for membership, it does, however, demand good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation. This article considers why between 2000 and 2010 Serbia has not shown signs of transformation or accommodation of its Kosovo-related policy.

The research was based on the principle of triangulation, hence a combination of current literature study, elite interviewing and a political discourse analysis.

The article concludes that it has been the manipulation of the ‘EU vs. Kosovo’ debate in domestic politics, bolstered by nationalist rhetoric, which outweighed Serbia’s desire to align its Kosovo-related policy with the EU integration aspirations. Additionally, a lack of consensus on Kosovo statehood among the EU member states allowed Serbia to exploit EU’s limited credibility and unclear demands.

 

Bartlett, Rachel

University of Reading

50% chance of rain – understanding rain intensity and its effect on decision making

An important factor in determining the value of a forecast is its usefulness in decision-making. Met Office forecasting systems can give detailed information about the likely intensity of rain but it is not certain how well this information is understood and if it affects decision-making. This study investigated public understanding of simple descriptions of rain intensity and compared this to expert understanding and whether rainfall intensity information affects decisions.  A survey of 284 members of the public was carried out and compared to results from a survey of 7 rainfall experts. This showed that numerical interpretations of the descriptors “light”, “moderate” and “heavy” varied significantly between the public and experts. Qualitative questions showed a large range of interpretations of these descriptors. Intensity information was shown to significantly affect decisions. It seems, however, that to include this information in forecasts, it is necessary to develop a consistent method of conveying it.

 

Beard, Kristen  

University of Tennessee

The Indispensability of Pain and Security

The school of Epicureanism promotes a philosophy based on hedonism, arguing that pleasure constitutes goodness. Thus the goal of life is to pursue pleasure. For the Epicureans, the highest pleasure is simply the total absence of pain, and nothing more. Mental pains are much more powerful than physical ones, so the best way to maximize pleasure is to abandon mental pains.

Traditional interpretation of Epicurean text says that the primary mental pain that burdens human pleasure is fear, especially the fear of death. Further, humans can eliminate their fear completely by adopting a more rational perspective.

I argue, however, against this traditional interpretation. I interpret the Epicureans to hold that fear cannot be eliminated completely: based on their texts, the fear of pain is a natural and necessary part of the human condition. I then show how they expect people to live pain-free despite this ineliminable fear.

 

 

Bell, Gary

London South Bank University

Exploring Process Models That Connect Business Strategy With Project Management

The aim of this dissertation is to highlight important components and characteristics of process models that link Business Strategy with Project Management.  The Management of Projects (i.e. ‘Choosing the right project’ and ‘Doing the project right’) concept has broadened the scope of the Project Management discipline.  Furthermore, Business Strategy and Project Management are inextricably linked. This is reflected in the emergence of several process models which reinforces this connectivity – and can initiate a project (i.e. ‘Choosing the right project’).  Moreover, the Descriptive/Interpretive approach to research guides this    work.  The fundamental features of identified Business Strategy and Project Management process models are explored through highlighting their respective strengths and limitations.  Additionally, the connectivity of these models with scientific philosophy – specifically the methodology component (i.e. nomothetic and ideographic) is examined.  This guides the development of the proposed process model which can be both top-down and bottom-down due its flexibility (or mouldability) nature.  The proposed Business Strategy and Project Management process model is outlined, and is partially verified through practice.  Finally, limitations of the offered process model are discussed which informs future research.

 

Bennett, Lucy

Nottingham Trent University

Compartive Longitudinal Study Looking at the Relationship Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors on Overall Faecal Egg Counts in a Group of Horses.

Parasitic burdens are a major threat to the health and welfare of infected equines. Parasitic worms are ubiquitous in UK equine (Equus caballus) populations. Faecal egg counts (FECs) are the most common method for quantifying worm burdens in equine. A comparative case study was undertaken to compare FECs of a population of 18 horses kept at a Nottinghamshire livery yard  against several intrinsic and extrinsic factors.  Fresh faeces were obtained from each equine and monthly FECs were conducted using a modified McMaster technique. Data suggests that horses grazed on managed (faecal removal) pasture have a lower egg count and younger horses (0-4 years) have a higher egg count than the older horses (5+ years). The information gathered from this study can be used to improve the long term management of these horses which will result in an improvement in their health and welfare.

 

Bilak, Joanna

Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter

“Glo cell” – a novel cell model for real time ATP measurement under conditions mimicking sepsis.

Background: Sepsis is a severe systemic inflammatory response to infection that often leads to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and death. A characteristic of sepsis is the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which damage mitochondria and prevent ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production that contributes to MODS. However, assessing ATP production is susceptible to difficulty. Therefore, a ‘Glo-cell’ biosensor was developed by lentiviral transfection of firefly-luciferase (an ATP-dependent enzyme) into human endothelial cells to allow real time measurement of ATP production under conditions of sepsis.

Aim: To test ‘Glo cells’ under conditions mimicking sepsis and  to determine the effect of intervention on ATP production.

Methodology: ‘Glo cells’ were exposed to bacterial cell wall components to mimic sepsis and effects of mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants were assessed by measuring luminescence.

Conclusions: The ‘Glo cell’ biosensor is capable of determining intracellular ATP levels in intact live cells.

 

Billingham, Emma

Nottingham Trent University

The Effect that Supplementary Silicon has on Broiler Chickens Latency to lie, following disturbance.

Silicon is an essential trace element needed for growth and formation of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, specifically for the organic matrix of the bone in chicks. In the past 50 years broiler chicken growth has increased by 200 percent. Due to this speed of growth, it has been suggested poultry are at risk from leg abnormalities including lameness, especially in broiler chickens, causing serious health and welfare problems.

The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of dietary calcium to phosphorus ratio, phytase enzyme addition and silicon addition on the leg health of the chicken strain, Cobb 500. Performance data was used in correlation with a behavioural study starting at day 30, to record the chicken’s latency to lie. It is hypothesised that the diets with supplementary silicon will have a beneficial effect on bird leg bone health and therefore increase their latency to lie, following disturbance.

 

Bismullah, Aisha

University of Central Lancashire

Water Purification by Photo-Catalytic Destruction of Pollutants

We have set out to develop a non-polluting, cheap and sustainable method for water treatment using a clay iron oxide composite, visible light and hydrogen peroxide as co-oxidant [1].

Industrial processes produce water soluble organic pollutants that need removal before the water can be actually discharged. Technologies are available to counteract the release of the aforementioned pollutants, such as adsorption and filtration [3].  However, from an economic viewpoint adsorption technologies usually require the use of activated carbons which are expensive to produce and regenerate.  This has led to an unrivalled interest in the use of re-useable, cheap inorganic adsorbents such as natural clay materials.

We have developed an efficient, cheap and sustainable method for water treatment. The time taken to remove the majority of the model pollutant, phenol has been reduced from several days to less than one hour. We have come to the conclusion that the penultimate degradation products; appear to need the quinone intermediates to aid their oxidation. Work continues to determine the range of compounds that can be degraded.

 

Bland, Thomas  J. Tong, B. Ward, N. G. Parker

Newcastle University

Distortion of Medical Ultrasound Images due to Sound Speed Variations: A Ray Approach

Medical ultrasound scanners provide spatial images of bodily soft tissue through time-of-flight measurements, converted into the spatial domain via an assumed constant sound speed.  In regions of different sound speed, notably organs and tumours, the image becomes a distortion of the true tissue profile due to misrepresentation of length and refraction. This distortion is particularly problematic for quantitative assessment of length, area and volume of tissue features. Using a geometric ray approach, we analyse the ultrasound image distortion for general shaped objects whose sound speed differs from the ambient value.  Small-scale sound speed variations can lead to significant errors in area and volume measurements.  Our findings are verified by ultrasound imaging of test objects.

 

Boakes, Elliot

University of Warwick

Political Broadcasts, Media and Propaganda in Britain: 1950-1997

Despite the importance of the government in our society, people are becoming less interested in politics globally. However, elections bring large swathes to politics with heated debates over party policies dominating the media. Whilst this phenomenon has been researched, there is little research as to precisely whom the parties have targeted. This investigation seeks to discover key target demographics by predominantly studying contemporary Political Broadcasts and manifestos that formed the preponderance of the information populations would have received, giving ideas of policy trends and indications of target demographics.
This study hopes to conclude that the tradition of class related vote targeting is no longer accurate in modern society and factors relating to geography, wealth and contemporary issues must also be equally considered. This project aims to add to research on British politics by addressing primary sources that have until now not been widely used as evidence for understanding target voters.

 

Magalhaes Bottino, Ana Vitoria

University of the West of England, Bristol / State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The effect of Euterpe oleracea Mart., a plant from the Amazon region, on endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in renovascular hypertensive rats

Studies have shown that a polyphenol-rich diet is associated with decreased risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açaí), a plant from the Amazon region, is rich in these substances, and its effects on systolic blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in rats were examined in this study. A silver clip was put on the left renal artery of rats to simulate renal stenosis and renovascular hypertension. The animals were treated with açaí or water for 40 days, as well as the control group (without silver clip). Systolic blood pressure was analyzed through tail pletysmography; endothelial dysfunction, through the vascular reactivity in isolated mesenteric arterial bed; and oxidative stress, through the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Results showed that açaí prevented hypertension, exerted vasodilatation and recovered levels of antioxidant enzymes, indicating an anti-hypertensive effect and capacity to prevent endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in this type of hypertension.

 

Bovell, Ruth

University of Roehampton

Who are the rioters?: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the media’s representation of the participants of the London riots.

After the death of a man from North London in August 2011 the city, as well as other parts of England, became home to rioting which lasted several days. The unfolding of these events were thoroughly covered by the newspaper media. This article uses Critical Discourse Analysis to analyse the newspaper discourse covering the 2011 London riots to discover how the participants are represented and how the ideologies of different newspapers are encoded in the terms of address they use. It demonstrates how the use of the noun “youths” could have the effect of primarily associating the riots with persons under the age of eighteen. I also argue that the rioters undo ‘othering’ and are represented as contrastive to society. The power newspaper discourse has to affect people’s thoughts and the current debates surrounding press media make this a very worthy area of study.

 

Boyd, Jacqueline

Nottingham Trent University

Experiential learning in animal courses; The challenge of combining academia and application in animal science  

Animal science remains an attractive area of study for many prospective students and effectively combines personal interests and aspirations with a robust scientific education.  However, the subject area needs to effectively combine academic integrity with the delivery of practical and applied skills relating to animal management.  The changing demographics of many animal science students mean that most come from an urban background with limited agricultural or field experience (Reiling et al., 2003).  Consequently, in order to improve retention (Millenbah and Millspaugh, 2003) and the ultimate career goals and success of graduates, it is important to provide educational opportunities to embed practical skills and develop the application of theoretical knowledge to real-life animal management situations (Marshall et al., 1998).  This paper will consider and reflect upon strategies to improve experiential animal science opportunities within the animal and equine science courses delivered at Nottingham Trent University.

 

Boyle, Bryan

Nottingham Trent University

Nature/Culture discourses in tourism and their relationship to Wildfire Hazard in the Peak District.

Whilst domestic tourism increases, potential wildfire incidents are becoming more serious in the UK. Therefore behaviour in the Peak District National Park (PDNP), a tourist and wildfire-prone site, becomes a hazard concern. Based on the understanding that wildfires are caused by the relationship between humans and nature, and framed by the sociological theory that (tourist) behaviour is shaped by actors’ pre-existing perceptions and discourses, this research aimed to explore the ways that the discourses tourists currently hold might be problematic, given that wildfires are caused by both human and natural factors. This was done by reviewing sociology of tourism literature and broader literature concerning national parks and wildfire. We conclude that the presently dominant nature-based-tourism discourses overplay either natural or cultural factors, and that such understandings may increase hazardous behaviour. Instead, a hybrid ontology that better reflects the relationship mentioned may be more appropriate for wildfire-hazard reduction in the PDNP.

Breyer, Felix

University of Dundee

The miRNA-17~92 cluster represses expression of nuclear hormone receptors in neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a paediatric cancer of the developing nervous system and is the most common solid malignancy among adolescence. Based upon its clinical heterogeneity, few recurrent genetic aberrations are known. Overexpression of MYCN is observed in approximately 30% of neuroblastoma patients. MYCN is a transcription factor transactivating several miRNAs including the miRNA-17~92 cluster, which is frequently dysregulated in cancers. Elucidating targets of miR-17~92 in neuroblastoma will lead to the identification of novel prognostic markers amenable for drug design. It has previously been demonstrated that miR-17~92 downregulate members of the nuclear hormone receptor family. To investigate the repressible potential of miR-17~92 on additional hormone receptors, we performed luciferase reporter assays for the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the Nur-related protein receptor 1 (NURR1). We found that miR-17~92 repress GR and NURR1, resulting in the depletion of SCG2, a downstream signalling target implicated in neuronal development. In summary, this study provides novel clinical targets for new treatment strategies.

 

Brignell, Bilyana

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Effects of emotion on memory formation in adults with Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)

People with Autism often have impaired Theory of mind (ToM) – the ability to understand others’ emotions and intentions. Previous research has discovered that a part of their brain, known as the amygdala, is less reactive to emotional stimuli. It is believed that the amygdala mediates enhanced attention to emotionally salient stimuli. However, it is not known whether the generally reduced amygdala reactivity observed in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) translates into impairment in emotional memory formation.

The aim of this study is to investigate whether individuals with ASD show enhanced memory for emotional stimuli and if they do not, whether this is driven by impaired amygdala-hippocampal connectivity at the time of encoding emotional material. This may help explain why people with ASD struggle to learn socio-emotional information even though they have frequent exposure to it.

 

Brown, Megan

University of Warwick

The Sinful and the Glamourous: Social Values and Equity Investment Behaviour During the Financial Crisis

Sin stocks are the equities of firms whose retail or production activities are involved in promoting what is typically viewed as sin-seeking behaviour, such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling enterprises. Attitudes towards sin may cause these equities to be treated differently to others. Using data for over 4,700 firms from 2000-2012, this article considers the role of social influences in motivating stock market participants’ behaviour. Supportive evidence is found in the form of lower institutional ownership and analyst coverage of sin stocks relative to the wider stock universe, controlling for financial variables. A fresh perspective is taken in contemplating the impact of the recent financial crisis. Post-crisis, the breach between investment in these equity classes has narrowed, implying increased importance of financial relative to social incentives to investors, while that separating analyst coverage of the two has broadened, arguably due to individuals’ greater susceptibility to norm-constraints in economic downturns.

 

Buddery, Frances

Newcastle University

Attitudes to and the Survival of Occitan in Saint-Affrique, France

During my year abroad I worked in a bilingual French and Occitan school in Saint-Affrique in southern France. The teaching of regional languages is being actively encouraged in some parts of France, including particularly this area, despite France’s history with the strict regulation of such languages.

To determine Occitan’s survival prospects and its cultural importance in Saint-Affrique, I asked 9-11-year-olds in bilingual classes to take an attitudinal survey, along with their parents.

 

 

Bunday, Harriet

Nottingham University

Taste Perception- The Effect of Hormonal Changes in Women on Taste Sensitivity

Prior research into the effect of hormone level changes in women on aroma sensitivity has shown a clear correlation. This project investigates the link between stages in the menstrual cycle and perception of taste. Eighty healthy individuals will be measured including twenty females currently taking hormonal contraceptives and forty that are not. The female participants are split into two groups, the first testing in follicular stage of menstrual cycle and then luteal, the opposite for the second. The participants will be given sets of samples and asked to state which they believe contains the stimulus. Participants will also be given ten samples containing different stimuli and asked to state what is in each. A positive correlation is expected between women in the luteal phase and a higher aroma detection threshold. It is also anticipated that all women will outperform the male control group, in a manner consistent with previous research.

 

 

Burns, Stephanie

University Of Strathclyde

Air quality surveying in Glasgow for NO2, PM and black carbon

Air quality in Glasgow has always been of interest and accurate air quality monitoring is needed to maintain standards. However some studies suggest that local authority monitoring do not give a good indication of air pollution in the area due to lack of funds and equipment. The west end of Glasgow is failing on NO2 levels and was declared an AQMA. We aimed to examine air quality in areas of Glasgow subject to traffic control intervention and examine the correlation between different metrics of traffic related air pollution.

Already failing levels, the Glasgow commonwealth games would have a big impact on this. An air quality survey was needed before the games. New techniques were used in order to look at air pollution in the west end of Glasgow.

Black carbon aethalometres, PM real-time monitors were used while placing 18 diffusion tubes in a 1KM radius. Done on a weekly basis for 4 weeks. Ongoing results have shown so far that correlations between them and a better understanding of air quality in the area when compared with local authority records of the same period.

 

Butler, Anna

University of Nottingham

The use of Mirror Therapy as a treatment for stroke patients: are we ready for a guideline?

Over 900,000 people in England live with the effects of having a stroke, with half of these being dependent on other people for help with their activities of daily living (National Audit Office, 2005). Mirror therapy is a relatively new treatment for stroke patients with problems with movement and sensation. It was first used by VS Ramachandran for the treatment of phantom limb pain for amputee patients. Since then, there has been a lot of research into its effects for stroke patients and many of these papers recommend further research into the standardisation of its parameters of use. This project aims to complete a systematic review to look at the parameters of use of Mirror Therapy, focusing particularly on what Mirror Therapy is, how often it should be performed and which particular method of mirror therapy is most effective.

 

Calascione, Giovanni

Università di Camerino (currently researching at Aarhus University, DK)

Elaboration and critique of CLARITY technique

“Clarity” is the name of the new technique elaborated at Standford University in which an intact mouse brain is rendered optically transparent while its molecular structure kept intact.

This result is due, as stated by the article, the removal of lipids in the cell bilayer which are responsible for the opacity of the tissue.

The brain is first perfused with a special hydrogel fixative (to preserve structure), then electrophoresis and circulation of an SDS buffer solution are let through the tissue for several days at 37°C.

The intent of my research is to contrast the theory that tissue structure is preserved, after observing swelling of the sample during the electrophoresis procedure and analyzing the tissue after such stressful procedure.

The second contrasting theory is that the optical transparency is given by protein denaturation caused by SDS and not by lipid removal.

 

 

Cameron, Fiona

University of Strathclyde

Analysis of post-stroke speech

Dysarthria, a motor speech disorder, impairs control of the speech apparatus. While there is information available concerning the characteristic features of speech in dysarthria, there is a paucity of data pertaining specifically to the speech of the post-stroke dysarthria (PSD) population.  The current study aimed to determine a reliable auditory-perceptual rating scale, which was subsequently engaged toward identifying the most commonly occuring deviant speech dimensions observed in a sample of 18 individuals, via a three minute video conversational sample.

31 of a possible 46 deviant perceptual factors outlined by Duffy’s (2013) Motor Speech Disorder scale were identified in the samples.  Of these the ten most frequently occurring deviances (intelligibility, naturalness, consonant imprecision, monoloudness, monopitch, hypernasality, weak pressure consonants, inappropriate rate, irregular articulatory breakdowns and breathy voice), are reported.   Findings indicate that intelligibility and naturalness should be considered therapeutic priorities for the PSD population, though should be tailored for each individual.

 

 

Emanuele, Cammarata

The University of Nottingham

Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction: physiotherapist’s perspective of inpatient rehabilitation. A nationwide survey.

The Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the most commonly injured knee ligament in the United Kingdom, is a key structure in maintaining knee stability. When ruptured patients commonly undergo surgery followed by a period of rehabilitation. It is clear this 3.5cm band of connective tissue is of widespread importance to athletes, healthcare professionals and healthcare providers.

Recent evidence has shown growing acceptance of best practice for rehabilitation of ACL reconstruction. Previous work in Australia identified a non-uniform range of regimens currently implemented. Whether evidence is being implemented by UK physiotherapists is currently unknown.

This study aims to survey UK physiotherapists, for their experiences of in-patient ACL reconstruction rehabilitation protocol and analyse the findings for consensus. The Australia reliability-tested questionnaire was adapted for the UK linguistics and administered in an online format. Preliminary findings will be presented.

 

 

Campbell, Nicole

Trinity College Dublin

The absence of Programmed Cell Death 1 (PD1) alters NK cell function and phenotype in PD1-/- mice.

Programmed Cell Death 1 (PD1) is an inhibitory receptor of immune cells. Expression of PD1 in cancers is a marker of poorer prognosis; hence, drugs targeting PD1 are in clinical trials as promising cancer treatments. The role of PD1 has primarily been studied in T cells. In our study we examined its effects in NK cells, which alongside T cells are responsible for tumour defence. We investigated differences between NK cells from control and PD1-/- knockout mice using in vitro NK cell activation assays and an in vivo analysis of tumour cell killing.

Our results indicate that PD1-/- NK cells have higher background activity and an increased expression of activating receptors. They display a more mature phenotype than control NK cells and may be more efficient at killing tumour cells. As interest in NK cell immunotherapy is emerging, these results suggest a potential role for PD1 modulation in NK cells.

 

Cant, Callum

University of Warwick

Paul Muldoon: A poet of the in-between

Theoretical exploration and textual praxis of a break with normal spaces. He is a poet of the in-between. By tracing his poetry from his first collections in 1973 through to 1998, with particular focus on the 1980 collection Why Brownlee Left, I examine this general theme. In particular I pay attention to its political implications, both in the specifically Irish context and beyond. These political implications have been overlooked by the majority of previous literature on Muldoon. My research aims to rectify this by working out the complicated poetry of liminality, transition and exile immanent to the poems. This analysis also opens the way for further research on the hallucinatory experience, another common theme in Muldoon, as an experience of exile from the normal.

 

Cardoso Gomes Zampirolli, Maria Clara

University of the West of England / Rio de Janeiro State University

Preoperative physical activity and in-hospital outcomes after cardiac surgery

Most studies on physical activity and heart surgery involve rehabilitation after surgery. However, preoperative physical activity has been poorly evaluated. . In this study, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used in order to measure the level of physical activity undertaken by patients before surgery. This survey was administered to individuals admitted to the National Institute of Cardiology (Brazil), in coronary heart disease and valve disease wards, from August to December 2012. Patients were stratified according to the level of physical activity (low, moderate, or high). After surgery, in-hospital medical records were analysed, regarding mechanical ventilation and admission days.  Partial results of 84 individuals did not show an effect of physical activity on the short term outcomes assessed. Further work, targeted to increase the number of individuals and subgroup analysis (by surgery modality), may provide additional information on the contribution of preoperative physical activity in early postoperative outcomes.

 

Carliell, Victoria

The University of Nottingham

Analysis of feline retinal images using automated computer algorithms

Background: Fundus photography can prevent premature blindness in cats by detecting early signs of retinal disease, and generates a digital retinal image that can be automatically analysed by computer algorithms.  Automated analysis is widely used in human medicine, but research into automated analysis of animal images is lacking.  Aims: This study investigated the feasibility of using automated computer algorithms to analyse feline retinal images.

Methods:  A human analysis algorithm was trialled on 98 feline retinal photographs.  The algorithm analysed retinal vascular parameters.  Results:  A comparison between healthy cats and cats with conditions that could cause hypertension found that cats with renal failure were significantly different in six out of 17 parameters, and diabetic cats were significantly different in two.  Conclusions:  The algorithm was found to be successful overall in analysing feline images; however the image enhancement process needs to be improved and future trials using more comprehensive algorithms were recommended.

 

Cassidy, John

University of Glasgow

RAC1 Activation in Colorectal Tumour Initiation

Inactivating mutations of the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene are the rate-limiting step in colorectal tumourigenesis. APC loss leads to reduced degradation of β-catenin, up-regulation of WNT target genes, involved in cellular growth, and ultimately cancer initiation. Our lab has recently identified a role for RAC signalling downstream of WNT activation in murine models of acute intestinal hyperproliferation. The current study builds on previous research by investigating the role of Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors (GEFs) in Rac1 activation after APC loss. We have shown that TIAM1, VAV2 and VAV3 are up-regulated after APC loss. Here we confirm that these GEFs increase active Rac1 in intestinal crypts. Furthermore, we show that GEF deletion reduces the LGR5+ intestinal stem cell signal, crypt proliferation and colony forming ability. Together, these data suggest a role for Rac1 GEFs in hyper-proliferation of the stem cell niche and highlight a potential therapeutic avenue in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

 

Cathcart, Jennifer

Dundee University

Diabtxt: SMS (Text Messaging) as an Adjunct to Group Education Sessions for Patients with Diabetes

Diabetes is on the increase, new cost effective ways to manage diabetes is required if the NHS is to cope.  The use of information technology within healthcare is an under-utilised resource. Successful use of text messaging for health behaviour change has been demonstrated. [1][2][3] This project is a randomized control trial; set out to improve diabetic health through education to people with diabetes via text messages. The participants have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and are randomized into a control group: not receiving messages and an active group: receiving messages. The project is assessed by diabetic clinical parameters and a questionnaire to collect information on diabetic knowledge, readiness to change to healthier behaviour, lifestyle choices and satisfaction with the service. The project is currently underway and positive feedback received from participants compliment that extra-education is really valued, although questionnaire data as yet has shown no significant change.

 

Caulton, Josh

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

The role of networking within undergraduate research: A focus on The Student Researcher and the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

Undergraduate research engages students, broadens horizons and improves employability skills (Hunter 2007). A benefit that is seldom considered however is the opportunity it presents to build networking skills which are shown to build self-confidence and enhance career success (Janasz & Forret 2008). Both BCUR, and Trinity Saint David’s undergraduate Journal, The Student Researcher have presented opportunities for networking and hence develop those skills. Trinity Saint David has merged twice during the life of The Student Researcher. The journal has helped enable clear links between the merging institutions by encouraging the networking of undergraduates and editorial staff across disciplines and campuses.

This poster draws from my own networking experiences as an editor of The Student Researcher and a previous attendee of BCUR, and shows how necessary the benefits of undergraduate research including networking are (Times Higher Education 2013).

 

Ceurvorst, Alistair

University of Warwick

A feasibility study into the application of system identification tools to model human mortality

Mortality modelling has been approached from many different perspective; a previously untried method is using system identification (SI) tools and the SI toolbox within Matlab©. Mortality data from Finland for those aged 55-59 was used to create new models. Typical inputs to the models include common, widely available statistics such as GDP, alcohol consumption and levels of fruit and vegetable consumption.

The number of years that can be forecast from System Identification is currenty more limited than current methods, such as the Lee-Carter model. It would also be beneficial to compare the application of the model to mortality data from different countries. However, the models are of similar or greater levels of accuracy than current models so there does lie some merit in this method of forecasting.

 

Chacko, Rahul

University of Warwick

Energetics of Focal Conic Domains in Smectics

Smectics are a type of liquid crystal – found in soap – where the molecules arrange themselves into layers. They are typically identified by their characteristic focal conic domains: exquisite arrangements of geometrically precise shapes, confocal conic sections in perpendicular planes, that result from a constraint of equal spacing on the layers. It has recently been shown that this constraint allows one to study focal domains using the tools of special relativity, which describes the physics of objects travelling near the speed of light. In this report, we use this approach to capture the geometry of all single focal conic domains and derive explicit expressions for the free energy in terms of their focal sets.
 

Che Rozenan, Mohammad Bazli

University of Warwick

Understanding the X-Ray Emission of our Galaxy

The Galactic component of the cosmic X-ray background is concentrated near the galactic disk. The origin of this diffuse emission is still subject to much discussion. A key candidate for this is the superposition of millions of Cataclysmic Variables (CVs), a type of binary star system. There has been a lack of systematic studies on this topic, leading to data biased towards high accretion CVs. We used NASA’s Swift space telescope to observe 92 CVs in the X-ray and ultraviolet spectrum. The CVs were optically selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to be less biased towards samples with high accretion rates. We determined distances using a range of established techniques, and found that the X-ray luminosities of our chosen population to be smaller than previous studies of similar sample size. We conclude that the contribution of CVs is in line with known properties of the Galaxy’s X-ray emission.

 

Chen, Sarah

University of Warwick

Potential future applications of clinical magnetic resonance imaging for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disease predicted to increase 3-fold by 2050 (1), causes senile plaques containing aggregated β-amyloid protein (Aβ) (2), neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and irreversible regional atrophy before symptoms present, significantly reducing patients’ treatment options. Clinical symptoms overlap with other forms of dementia, so firm diagnosis requires post mortem analysis of senile plaques in brain tissue. Iron is associated with Aβ aggregation and increased free radical generation (3); and brain iron accumulation has been demonstrated post mortem (4). The field-dependence of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) transverse relaxation (R2) parameter is a more specific measure of stored brain iron (primarily ferritin) than R2 rates measured at single field strength (5).  Here, healthy male volunteers are scanned at 3T and 1.5T, and the field-dependence of R2 is used to compare age-related brain iron levels with a view to developing a future, non-invasive, early diagnostic tool for AD.

 

Chia, Yee Hui

University of Cambridge

Can Religious Truth Be Determined?

“Everything is truth; everything is a lie,” to quote Charles Nodier. Yet how do we determine which religious truths hold true – among competing traditions of proclaimed truths?
There are three areas of concern: of definition, methodology, and typology.
Firstly, how do we define religious truth? Does it exist in abstract ideas – as orthodoxy; or in concrete practice – as orthopraxis?
Secondly, how can we investigate religious truths? Can scientific and empirical methods prove, or disprove, philosophical truth claims? Can absolute truth exist, independent of subjective truth?
Thirdly, can we measure religious truths with a typology? Different religions have placed varying emphasis upon: scientific, historical, metaphysical, and existential truths, to list but four. Even so, how can we accommodate contradicting accounts even within the same religious tradition?
By deconstructing ideas on religion and truth, this presentation aims to encourage reflection upon the perennial question of justified true belief.

 

Childs, Katharine

Plymouth University

The effect of copper on tentacle regeneration in the Snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis).

Concerns have been raised over the impact of metal pollution on coral reefs, as elevated concentrations of metals have been shown to cause bleaching and coral damage. What is less well known is how metals may affect regenerative abilities in corals. The aim of this study was to determine whether copper affected the regenerative abilities of A.viridis, a commonly used model for coral. Individuals of A.viridis were subjected to copper exposure (50 µg l-1) and tentacle amputation, the re-growth of which was monitored over two weeks. Other biological parameters such as symbiont density and molecular stress were also measured before and after the experiment period. Results showed that copper-treated A.viridis exhibited significant molecular stress and bleaching. Individuals subjected to both tentacle amputation and copper exposure showed significantly reduced re-growth of tentacles (P < 0.05), thereby demonstrating that copper has an adverse effect on regeneration and healthy re-growth in anemones.

 

Choi, Hyung Wu

The University of Warwick

How do people think about US foreign policy in light of Ground Zero?

The devastating image of the collapsing twin tower is reflected on Ground Zero, and thus its impacts on the people have been well studied by many academics. However the impact of Ground Zero on people’s judgment of U.S. foreign policy seems to be neglected. In this paper, based on semi-structured interviews with politics students from both the UK and international, it attempts to explore the influence of Ground Zero on the participants’ perception of ‘War on Terror’. Memorials Like Ground Zero are emotional space; being expose to the memorials could therefore allow people to become irrational. However, the outcome suggests that while some participants’ political beliefs were affected by Ground Zero, such impacts were Limited to particular nationalities. Consequently, political symbols’ impacts depend on the people’s nationality.

 

Chotai, Medha

Nottingham Trent University

‘Of ghosts and spirits walking’: Otherworldly elements and Reformation theology in English literature, 1560-1640

Many of the plays written and produced in England during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries reflect the instability and changing religious landscape of a nation immersed in Reformation. This is seen through the otherworldly elements present in plays such as Hamlet’s ghost, the spirit of Ariel in The Tempest and the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A new historicist method will be employed, allowing for the literary and historical texts to be interrogated side by side, rather than prioritising the literary form.

By assessing the manner in which these elements are used by playwrights, it will demonstrate the degree to which literature challenged the emerging orthodoxy, during a time of intense theological division. The control through censorship will also be explored because they were methods used by church and state to ensure doctrinal conformity in published works, and could show the playwrights’ awareness of controversies surrounding otherworldly elements.

 

Clayphan, Joanna

University of Nottingham

The Impact of Conservation Tillage on Yield and the Subsequent Effect on Food Security

Conservation tillage (CT) is a farming method which uses natural resources and sustainable agriculture which conserve water and soil (Fowler and Rockstrom, 2001). Interactions between soil components are complex like soil moisture, which is dependent on soil organic matter, organisms and compaction (Holland, 2004). CT has been used globally to address soil degradation (Holland, 2004) and the impact this has on other factors including water retention and food security. For instance, 12% of the total European land area is vulnerable to water erosion by degradation, (Oldeman et al., 1991). CT has proved successful in many countries including Brazil (Cavalieri at al., 2009; Lahmar, 2010). Therefore, other countries have adopted CT to improve crop yields, and economic return. In Tanzania, CT application increased the net income of 24.5% and 11% for maize and rice, respectively (Findlay and Hutchinson, 1999). CT could help meet the demands of a rising global population.

 

Cobb, Samuel

University of Warwick

Referencing without contamination: Solid state reference electrodes for pH detection in Non-aqueous media

Detecting the pH of non-aqueous media has proved challenging due to the lack of conventional pH electrodes that work in solvents other than water, as chemistry spans a wide range of solvent systems including the recent advances into ionic liquids as ‘green’ solvents. Cyclic voltammetry can be used to assess the pH1. A solid state reference electrode to work alongside riboflavin, which has an E1/2 dependant on pH2 , was developed to overcome the problems associated with ferrocene, the traditional reference added to solutions for use in non-aqueous media. The sensor, based on PEDOT-conducting polymer coated in a plasma polymer film, was developed with a range of different ways of including a ferrocene-based reference. One method of avoiding the film leaching and sublimation issues with ferrocene that was developed grafted directly to this plasma film3 and allowed for a novel method of investigating film penetration using electrochemical activity.

 

Coddington, Kayleigh-May, Bassey Amanda, Gent Abigail

University of Lincoln

Understanding and predicting happiness: A factorial analysis of self-perceived happiness with three key factors examined using multiple regressions. 

Previous research has tried to define a finite number of factors that underpin subjective well-being and happiness with little universal success.  In this study 221 individuals were asked to rate their happiness over the previous week, before completing an inventory containing statements hypothesised to predict happiness. An exploratory factor analysis indicated three key factors relating to happiness scores (Positive Personal Perceptions, Social Life and Manageable Workload). Using multiple regression altogether 22.8% of the variance in happiness was captured by these factors. In particular, for these participants, the main predictor that corresponded to high levels of happiness was Social Life. Interestingly, and contrary to other literature, self-perceptions of financial security had a non-significant relationship with happiness. Results are discussed in terms of the sample demographic and compared to the current literature. The paper concludes by highlighting the potential implications for non-clinical based interventions.

 

Cooper Ashley

Sunderland University

The effects of serotonin on Neuromuscular Junctions in the annelid: Lumbricus Terrestris (common earth worm)

Serotonin or 5- hydroxytryptamine (5HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter and it is said to be one of the most ubiquitous neuroactive agents in the animal kingdom. It has been found in every phylum examined and holds a wide spectrum of properties ranging from neurotransmission to neuromodulation and hormonal effects in both vertebrates and invertebrates. The mechanisms of the seretonergic system have been a major focus of study for over 50 years, most studies conducted on invertebrates. There have been a wide range of studies on the effects of serotonin on neuromuscular junctions which have been carried out on a variety of invertebrates such as crustaceans, leeches and sea slugs, however very few have been conducted on annelids.

The aim of the research project is to determine the effects of serotonin on neuromuscular junctions in annelid muscle tissue. The preliminary conclusions to this research are not yet known.

 

 

Cottrell, Gavin

Manchester Metropolitan University

An interpretative phenomenological analysis of elite swimmers’ experience of stress

The topic of stress is well established within sport psychology. Interest in this area has been fuelled by research highlighting a need for a holistic understanding of the stress experience of athletes. With limited qualitative research in the area, the key aim of the present study was to enhance the understanding of stress in sport by attaining a deep insight into the “lived-world” of two elite swimmers. Semi-structured interviews with the swimmers were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. It was found that stress experienced by the swimmers typically occurs in transitional periods and is not restricted to their sporting lives; that relationships play a dual role in the stress and coping process; that it is important to feel a sense of control over sport-related situations in order to cope. This research encourages active-reciprocal engagement between coaches and athletes, in which the athlete’s experience both in and beyond the sporting domain is considered.

 

Coutts, Ron

Aberdeen University

The Unappreciated Plantaris

The Plantaris muscle is considered in most text books as being relatively unimportant with minimal functionality. A contradiction exists in that, how can a muscle, apparently ineffective be extirpated surgically to improve Achilles tendinopathies with recognisably good outcomes.

The project (carried out at St. Andrews University) was to complete dissections showing the fascial continuities of Plantaris and its connectivity into the thigh, and to describe the mode of action on tissue and osseus connections.

The dissections showed clear connections (photographic and video) via fascial links into the distal short head of Biceps Femoris. This leads the writer to believe that the extension mechanism of the knee and medial tilt of the calcaneus may stimulate the “fast twitch” Plantaris, giving proprioceptive feedback during movement.

The importance if this work is to show that therapeutically consideration needs to be taken relating to this muscle group to effect improvement in rehabilitation.

 

Crawford, Rosemary

University of Nottingham

Quantum reflection of ultra-cold atoms

Quantum reflection is an interesting phenomena where a matter wave is reflected away from an attractive potential, the exact opposite of what is expected to happen. A real world analogy of this is a ball rolling down a hill only to stop and turn around to roll back up the hill. Computer simulations are used to model these situations and the reflection coefficient, the amount of a wave reflected back, calculated using a series of matrices. Individual quantum systems can also be investigated, using these simulations, such as over the barrier resonance. Over the barrier resonance is when the wave approaches a potential well, if the width of the well is equal to any number of half-wavelengths then the entire wave is reflected back on itself and none transmitted over the well. Another interesting system is a Dirac-delta potential which is used to model a real surface.

 

Dalglish, Steven

University of Warwick

A Permutation Model for a Finite Anti-Foundation Axiom

Our work develops a method presented in recent research on finite set theory: permutation models. A permutation model is a “twisting” of some other model of set theory. Our research developed this method to produce an algorithm for constructing a permutation model, such that the resulting model exhibits specific non-well-founded properties. In particular, the produced model is a model of a finite version of Aczel’s anti-foundation axiom. This axiom limits the sort of non-well-founded sets that can exist, to the effect that we have some form of uniqueness conditions on sets defined through the use of graph decoration. The production of this algorithm therefore makes use of properties of finite, accessible, directed graphs. As a result, we have observed that there is an omega-model for finite set theory with anti-foundation (ZF-_fin+AFA_fin) and a permutation of V_omega that constructs this model.

 

Damali, Kayode

Manchester Metropolitan University

Effects of a Motivational Video on Self-efficacy and Muscular Endurance

Pregame speeches can increase an individual’s self-efficacy, which can then lead to an increase in muscular endurance performance. However, using these speeches on a video prior to exercise has not been examined. 45 males (20.9 ± 1.7 years), watched a motivational or non-motivational video before completing a self-efficacy scale and doing the plank exercise. An independent t-test revealed that participants who watched the motivational video significantly improved their muscular endurance performance more than participants who watched the non-motivational video (t = 1.771, df = 43, p < .042, one-tailed). However, the difference between the two conditions was not significant for the participants level of self-efficacy (t = .399, df = 43, p < .346, one-tailed) and strength of self-efficacy (t = .508, df = 43, p < .307, one-tailed). Watching motivational videos before exercise is an effective performance enhancement, however more research is needed to understand its impact on self-efficacy.

 

Dann, Christopher

Nottingham Trent University

Pit Talk: Preserving A Disappearing Language

Coal mining was once a principal industry of the East Midlands. The close knit bonds of miners within their communities lead to variations of language use. With the decline of the coal industry and the pit closure programme in the late 80s and early 90s, these miners went their separate ways, and their distinct language fell out of use.
The purpose of this project was to catalogue and codify ‘pit talk’ whilst it was still in living memory. Other coal mining regions in the UK have received such attention, yet the East Midlands has not. By interviewing former miners we were able to learn about language use and variation in the mines. Analysis of the results showed how distinctive mining talk is, and also how it can vary even within one region.

 

Davis, Emma

University of Warwick

The effect of seasonality on the prevalence of intestinal worms and the implications for optimal drug distribution

Soil-transmitted worm infections affect 2 billion people worldwide, with particular prevalence in communities with low sanitation levels. Infections can impair cognitive and physical development, perpetuating the cycle of poverty, and over 870 million children live in affected areas. As a result, ever-increasing volumes of preventative drugs are donated through charities – but are they being used optimally?
Ascaris Lumbricoides is the most common of these parasites and studies have shown that weather conditions can greatly affect egg maturation and survival; hence the timing of treatment could affect the bounce-back rate and prevalence. However, there has been little quantitative analysis of the importance of timing mass treatment programmes to achieve the maximum impact.  Through deterministic models and simulations, I show that seasonal variation can impact the optimal timing of interventions, but that the size of this effect depends crucially on local seasonal patterns – having implications for public health policy in low-income countries.

 

Diaz, Anita

Bournemouth University

Student Research Teams (SeRTs): inspiring and enabling student-led extracurricular research  partnerships with academics and professional practitioners

The core aspiration of all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is to create opportunities that energise and focus engagement and so empower their students to enjoy learning and to become their future professional selves. In particular there is a growing interest developing vehicles for extracurricular learning and for student-staff co-learning through research partnerships. These recognise that employers increasingly value students being able to demonstrate skills and personal attributes honed through these routes.
Here we present one vehicle, the Student Research Team (SeRT) that combines these two elements by inspiring students, staff and professional practitioners to collaborate in mutually beneficial, student-led extracurricular research partnerships. SeRTs also provides students with a web platform through which to evidence their work.  In this presentation we present results so far from our experience with SeRTs over the last year and discuss opportunities and challenges for up-take of such a model across other disciplines and HEIs.

 

Dingwall, Riki

University of Roehampton

Involvement of IL-1β in Neural Stem Cell Proliferation

The pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) plays a role in the modulation of neurogenesis[1] by altering cell fate determination[2]. To investigate this, neural stem cells (NSC) cultures from embryonic day 16 (ED16) C57BL6/J mice (wild type, WT) or IL-1β knockout (KO) mice were prepared. NSC proliferation was assessed by serial dilution assays (t=7 days) and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation assays (t=6h). All NSC cultures were examined by phase contrast microscopy. Our results showed that NSC from KO mice displayed a significant, two-fold increase in proliferation (P<0.001) compared to NSC from WT mice; BrdU incorporation assays showed similar results (P<0.001). These results suggest that the expression of endogenous IL-1β, which may be of relevance in various neurodegenerative diseases with an inflammatory component, has a negative effect upon the proliferation of NSC and this may be of therapeutic relevance in the emerging field of brain repair.

 

Doherty, Adam

Bournemouth University

“Is there a science behind saving penalties? A study looking into the psychological approach in a goalkeepers positioning and movement from 12 yards”.

A penalty situation creates both internal and external pressures upon an attacker in a controlled, closed environment. A penalty taker (PT) may apply numerous rituals and psychological cues in order to exert control over the goalkeeper (GK). General research has predominantly focussed on the PT in a penalty situation with the GK as an obstacle. There is little research into the GK’s use of distraction tactics in order to affect PT behaviour, such as goal line positioning and movements.
An experimental design will expose PT to a series of GK manipulated penalty kick situations.  Data will be recorded through penalty placement analysis and PT perceptual feedback. The results will be examined to explore the perceived and actual impact of GK manipulated penalty kicks on the PT’s performance.
Conclusions can then be drawn on whether GK positioning upon the goal line and distractions can manipulate a PT when placing a penalty kick, increasing the likelihood of GK success.

 

Dos Santos Amaral, Raul

University of West of England

Burden of Cervical Cancer: Exploring the Differences Between Brazil and United Kingdom

Cervical cancer is the fourth cause of cancer related mortality among women worldwide, but affects mainly developing countries whereas 87 % of cases occur. In Brazil, incidence of cervical cancer reach 18,4%, while in the United Kingdom stays around 8,4%. Both countries have preventive programs, but differently structured and set up on different social environments. Differences on the preventive programs may explain the disparity on rates.
This project aims to contrast the preventive programs and to establish differences of the burden on cervical cancer between Brazilian and British population. Thus, positives and negatives aspects of each may be analysed.
A secondary research based on medical was did with keywords “cervical cancer” and “prevention”.
The Brazilian preventive program show lower rates of coverage. Moreover, the UK health system focus on primary care goals contributes to prevention. In a context of a developing health system, the Brazilian program is not consistently established.

Other authors: Rayssa Abreu Borges, Felipe Farias Tavares, Ricardo Augusto Cavalcante

 

Douglas, Samuel

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David’s

The green green Gracchi of Rome: the Gracchan land reforms as visions of a more sustainable future.

The Gracchan land reforms played a huge part in the politics of the late republic, and their legacy continued in many ways throughout the civil wars that followed. They are usually viewed in the context of the political power struggles of the late republic, and while this is certainly one important aspect of their story and motivations, it is also possible to look at the Gracchi as reformers aiming for a more sustainable Rome. In this paper, I will propose a new way of looking at the Lex Agraria of 111 B.C. and surviving Gracchan rhetoric that takes into account its agricultural context, and the rise of large scale, slave driven, livestock farms in the late republic. I will argue that it is far more in keeping with the Gracchi brothers’  other public activity and the context in which they were acting to see them as motivated by a vision of long-term sustainability rather than political power.

 

Evans, Craig

The University of the West of England

Exploring the non-institutional application of conversation analysis as a facilitator of reflective learning

This poster investigates the possibilities and practicalities of how conversation analysis can be used as part of reflective practice in non-institutional domains. Individually, conversation analysis and reflective practice have been used to evaluate interaction in workplace settings, particularly in the public service sector such as health and education. Several studies have also explored how the two methods can be used in conjunction with each other (Clifton 2011; Housley & Fitzgerald 2000). According to my findings, these methods can also be highly useful for individuals, evaluating their own language use. The main purpose of this poster is to present research on how individuals can make use of the tools of conversation analysis to help them use language more efficiently. These are the findings of my practical study on individual reflection, where several participants have reflected on their recorded conversation using pointers derived from conversation analysis.

 

Fajutrao Valles, Samuelle

University of St Andrews

The Effects of the PLIN2 Polymorphism Ser251Pro on Plasma Lipid Profiles in 3164 Individuals

Background: Atherosclerosis is the major underlying cause in cardiovascular diseases. The present study investigates whether BMI modulates the effect of the missense polymorphism Ser251Pro (rs35568725) on plasma lipid profiles, showing to be atheroprotective or not.
Methods: Three cohorts (obese, lean and population-based) of in total 3164 individuals were genotyped for the rs35568725 SNP. Genotype-phenotype associations stratified on cohort and sex were executed utilising the PLINK software.
Results: Our results suggest an effect of rs35568725 on plasma lipid profiles in obese individuals and not lean. In the obese cohort, the SNP showed an association with increased plasma triglycerides levels (p<0.01) and a trend for decreased high density lipoprotein levels (p=0.078) compared to individuals carrying the major allele. Furthermore, we observed an effect of increased triglycerides (p<0.01) and decreased HDL (p<0.01) in men.
Conclusion: Our study suggests an effect of rs35568725 on plasma lipid profiles, modulated by obesity and male sex.

 

Felimban, Feras

University of Central Lancashire

Practice is the Success

It is impossible to achieve higher unless you practice. This study will investigate the case and determine which gender is better in playing games. That was examined using an experiment and a survey. The Temple Run game is used to test the research hypothesis on an iPod device with over thirty participants with different backgrounds. One of the suggested limitations was that some participants would have a previous experience in the game, which will lead us to incorrect results. However, it is proven that about 40% of the participants got higher points practicing the game for two rounds, which is supported by the survey results as over 75% of the participants agree that practice makes perfect. Also, the experiment findings showed that males are better players than females in this game. That was because females have different capabilities than males. To conclude, male participants achieved higher points in this game. Furthermore, it was proven that practice is the success.

 

Ferreras, Jorge

University of Nottingham

Improvement of the loading method of atoms in a Cold Atoms Quantum Physics lab.

Trapping and cooling atoms at very low temperatures is a new field of physics that allows to study the atoms in a controlled environment. In our lab, Rubidium atoms are cooled down to about 20-30µK inside a 3D Magneto-Optical Trap (3D MOT) in Ultra High Vacuum (UHV). Currently, this 3D MOT is loaded using dispensers, however, for cooling atoms at much lower temperatures, it is necessary to first trap these atoms in a pre-chamber to control the loading of the 3D MOT.
The aim of this project is to design and build this pre-chamber. It will consist on a rectangular UHV glass cell surrounded by magnetic fields and shined in two directions using laser beams. One last beam will be the responsible of pushing the cooled atoms into the 3D MOT.
By using this pre-chamber, the lifetime of trapped atoms will be longer, and the 3D MOT will be capable of running shorter experimental cycles.

 

Fiorenzo, Eva

University of Nottingham

A Comparison and Evaluation of Surgical Procedures Frequently Used in the Treatment of Adult Acquired Flatfoot

Flatfoot is a common condition characterised by deformity of the forefoot and hindfoot as well as flattening of the medial longitudinal arch. One of the largest causes of adult acquired flatfoot is dysfunction of the posterior tibial tendon (PTTD) which maintains the arch. Flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer (FDLTT) and medial displacement calcaneal osteotomy (MCDO) are surgical treatments frequently used in current practice for advanced PTTD, however there is little research on their long-term efficacy. This author aims to evaluate this using evidence from existing literature.
Results show that both procedures improve the aforementioned deformities, radiographic parameters, walking patterns and patient function and satisfaction scores. Despite this, evidence also shows that FDLTT is a weak procedure that causes minimal difference; even combined with MCDO. The frequent use of FDLTT remains questionable. Both procedures still require more long-term follow-up and perhaps a randomised control trial on patients may provide further insight

 

France, Jack

University of the West of England

Rousseau: The Unsung Hero of the Enlightenment – In the Spirit of the General Will

Contemporary continental philosophers attribute the re-invention of their core uniting principle – dialectics – to Hegel. Dialectics are characterised by a reconciliation of two purported opposites; producing a synthesis. Rousseau argues prophetically – if not cryptically – for a solution utilisable for dealing with issues arising from a logically static philosophy. To proceed; a dynamic process is required to investigate topics which, by their very nature, are characterised by discourse – particularly politics. He does this by formulating the concept of general will, which is comparable to Hegelian geist. This project aims to demonstrate that Rousseau is the true inventor of modern dialectics; and to trace his idea through Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Marx. Contemporary thinkers will be discussed. Rousseauian ideas will be presented as a means of reconciling the issues of latter thinkers with his claim that competitive education, and not nature, causes individuals to seek value in relation to others’ success.

 

Francis, Helena

University of Cambridge

The Role of Peptidylarginine Deiminase 4 in Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cell Proliferation and Differentiation

Peptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzymes catalyse a structural change in a range of cellular proteins through conversion of arginine amino acids to citrulline, and increased activity has previously been associated with several human disease models. The aim of this study was to determine the upregulation of PADI4 in multiple sclerosis (MS) is causative in the disease progression or merely an associated cellular change. Human PADI4 was thus overexpressed in a mouse oligodendrocyte precursor cell line, and the effects observed. Attention was drawn to changes in the ability of the cells to differentiate (as inhibited in MS) and in the expression levels of other key genes, as studied by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. While overexpression was seen not to have a significant effect on differentiation state, levels of other PADIs were affected by the transfection, suggesting that there is transcriptional interregulation within this family of enzymes that may be affected in MS.

 

Frangiskou, Josephine

Queen Mary University of London

Do ‘upper-middle-class-two-career-households’ reinforce patriarchal structures? – an analysis of Global Care chains

This dissertation will examine the underlying causes of Global Care Chains, which are defined as “A series of personal links between people across the globe based on the paid or unpaid work of caring” and begin mostly from a country of the Southern Globe and end in a country of the Northern Globe. It will question, whether women that are hired by western-dual-career households are hired as nannies, maids, carers and so on due to their gender in order to substitute for the women in western countries who pursue a professional career, hence reinforcing patriarchy in the domestic sphere or if the cause goes beyond that and stretches to race/ethnicity/class as well as gender.  The underlying theory of the whole project will be the theory of intersectionality, which will contribute towards the anticipated conclusion that the practice of Global Care Chains does not wholly rely on gender issues, but on class, ethnicity and race as well.

 

Frising, Ulrika

Lund University (research conducted at University of Cambridge)

Intestinal Organoids – a Powerful Model to Study Interactions of the Epithelial Barrier with its Environment

In the intestines complex interactions occur among the commensal microorganisms living in symbiosis with the host, the diet residues, the immune system and the epithelial cell barrier. In order to more easily study this interactions and enable imaging of the cells, the later impossible in living mice, we have used a recent mini-gut, organoid, culture protocol. The principle of the protocol is to purify the intestinal stem cell compartments, crypts, because they generate all the different cells in the epithelial cell barrier. We have also tested imaging techniques of the organoids. The preliminary results are promising, although some technical modifications are still needed. An example of future experiment involving organoids is to add a certain immune cell subset that is resident closely with the epithelial cell barrier. With advanced microscopy and imaging techniques we would be able to follow the crosstalk between the epithelial and immune cells in the organoids.

 

Gbadebo, Katinka

London South Bank University

Preparing young people for organisational life

Currently youth unemployment figures are extremely high due to the economic downturn. Once a young person gains employment, fitting into the organisational culture creates another challenge to overcome.
This research explores how organisations can aid the effective integration of young people into the work environment. What specific information or approach would help young people settle into their professional future and what form of support is currently available to them?
Given the constant bad press on young people, what is the organisational response to employing them?  Are they willing to take the risk?  How might perceptions change about employing young people if, using Generational Theory, they are recognised as a fresh talent pool?
This project examines the Organisational Socialisation challenges faced by young people and the employing organisation during the induction process. The study uses quantitative survey techniques and qualitative interviews to gain an insight into the views/experiences of the two parties concerned.

 

Gebrial, Dalia   

University of Warwick

Women and the State: Conceptualising a distinctly “Egyptian” Mode of Feminism

My project will reflect on the institutionalisation of third world feminism on transnational feminist solidarity, using Egypt as a case study; it will ask the question: to what extent can third-world state feminism be taken as a sufficient representative of third world women within the discourse of transnational feminist solidarity. My project will use historical and anthropological sources to assess the policy changes that have resulted from this process of institutionalisation. These sources will also be used to assess how third world “state-sanctioned” feminism interacts with wider transnational power structures and the effects of this on different groups of women. The dissertation will use literary sources in conjunction with this to consider the stories of women who are both included in and forgotten by the state feminist narrative. Novels to be read include the following by Nawal el Saadawi: The Fall of the Imam, Woman at Point Zero and Searching

 

Gilbert, Alice

University of Roehampton

Merce Cunningham: ‘Four events that have led to large discoveries’: an historical investigation.

In July 2009 the dance community lost one of their greatest choreographers; Merce Cunningham. Throughout his career he used a number of unique practices to create his pieces. He outlines these as ‘events’ in an essay entitled ‘Four events that have led to large discoveries’. Listing them chronologically:
‘(a) the decision “to separate the music and the dance”, (b) the decision “to use chance operations in the choreography”, (c) “the work we have done with video and film”, and (d)”the use of a dance computer, Life Forms.’ (Copeland, 1999: 44).
Arts philosopher Monroe Beardsley stated that in order to gain pleasure from a performance, the viewer must understand the relationships between the elements the work is composed of. Therefore, one must understand these elements in relation to his dance works to appreciate Cunningham’s work. This is a gap in current research that I feel is important to explore in order to understand how choreography may develop in the future.

 

Gildea, William and Ghalifa, Cherazed

The University of Warwick

Why do we care about other people?

Families, friendships, and society are the fabric of our lives. But they are built on the assumption that we actually care about other people. Indeed, our behaviour suggests that we do. But why? Given the advantages of immorality, why care? In a philosophical yet interdisciplinary exploration of our links to other people, we shall explore the basis of this compassion, asking whether it is rational, conscious, necessary or leads to moral actions. Is it an ingrained psychological trait, or a superficial survival technique? Are there limits to the care we have for others, and is it merely a product of socialisation? These questions have political implications; arguably the extent of our compassion forms the left-right divide. We aim to build on the work of philosophers including Hume and Rousseau, as well as contemporary ones to add to exciting debates in moral and political philosophy, as well as philosophy of mind.

 

Gill, Sabraj and Gemmell , Ailsa 

University of Aberdeen

PCOS induced infertility: Does Metformin combined with Clomiphene Citrate improve pregnancy related outcomes in Clomiphene resistant women?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by polycystic ovaries, anovulation and hyperandrogenism manifesting with infertility. Clomiphene Citrate is used to treat infertility, however many patients are unresponsive. Studies suggest a relationship between insulin resistance and Clomiphene Citrate. Insulin sensitizers are thought to improve this outcome. This study aims to assess if the addition of Metformin improves pregnancy outcomes in Clomiphene Citrate resistant PCOS.
Four studies were found of which two studies showed an improvement in ovulation and pregnancy rates in the intervention group compared to the control group. These studies used the highest dose of Metformin and Clomiphene Citrate. In two studies, reductions in testosterone concentrations and BMI were found.
Metformin and Clomiphene Citrate have been shown to improve ovulation and pregnancy rates in the treatment of infertile PCOS women who are Clomiphene resistant. However, the optimal treatment regime remains ambiguous and requires further investigation with larger samples sizes.

 

Gill, Elisabeth

University of Warwick

Designing a Novel Electrospun Nanofiber-based Scaffold for Malignant Melanoma (Skin Cancer) Research

Skin cancer is rising in prevalence worldwide, with malignant melanoma being the deadliest and swiftest form. Early detection is key in preventing the disease becoming fatal. To properly understand the disease, its relationship with UV radiation and the point when benign moles become malignant, development of an accurate in vitro has become an important research goal in the field of skin tissue engineering.

In this study, natural biomaterials chitosan and gelatin were blended with polycaprolactone in a co-solvent of acetic acid, formic acid, ethyl acetate and distilled water and electrospun at low voltages of 8-10kV into nanofiber matrices to create a biodegradable scaffold. The high surface area to volume ratio and excellent cell adhesion properties of nanofibers generated in electrospinning make it an attractive fabrication technique for tissue engineering. The resultant fibre matrices were characterised using Scanning Electron Microscopy, DTA-TGA analysis and FTIR spectroscopy and evaluated for cell study suitability.

 

Gill, Jacqueline

University of Warwick

Lipid analysis of migratory diatoms from mudflat sediment

Some diatoms (unicellular algae) have the ability to vary their internal lipid consistency, which is a property that has the potential to be utilised to produce bio-fuels. One possible stimulus for this change in lipid consistency in migratory diatoms is as a response to light exposure. Sediment samples containing diatoms were collected in glass cores from the Colne Estuary, Essex. These cores were kept in conditions allowing for varied light penetration under a 12 hour light/dark cycle. Gas Chromatography was used to analyse the differences in the lipid profiles of the samples. A difference in lipid consistency of the samples stored in complete darkness and those whose surface was left exposed to the 12 hour light cycle was observed. The sediment samples taken during light conditions were observed to have a more similar lipid profile to that of sediment taken directly from the top most layer of the salt marsh

González-Gualda, Estela

University of Barcelona

Neuromasts in zebrafish: compartments or territories?

The lateral line in zebrafish is a sensory system closely related to our auditory one. It comprises a set of organs, the neuromasts, involved in a large variety of sensory behaviors. Interestingly, they can regenerate.
Many organs in animals subdivide into regions during their development. These can be: territories, cells whose fate can change by the influence of morphogenes, or defined compartments, which can’t be modified. In neuromasts, the organization of tissues is thought to be compartmentalized, but this has not been verified.
This project aimed to establish their functional architecture. A better understanding of this could lead to the discovery of new methods for regeneration in the auditory system of deaf individuals. By using pharmacological treatments and techniques, neuromast ablation and confocal imaging, the results suggest that neuromasts are divided into territories. This could provide a framework for the development of new strategies in regenerative medicine.

 

Goss, Joan & Cookson, Lindey

University of Northumbria

Developing attributes and scholarship skills: sharing the research journey with  Early Years under-graduate students through co inquiry in a first year policy module

This paper presents process, growth, confidence and competence of students as co-inquirers to participate in undergraduate research.  The twenty first century places ever growing pressure on all universities to develop attributes that will allow graduates to make their way in an uncertain world.  Using the research-teaching nexus of Jenkins and Healey we developed a series of activities to involve Early Years undergraduate students as active ‘producers’ not mere passive ‘consumers’ accepting any knowledge provided (Jenkins and Healy, 2011; Baxter Magolda, 2008).

This presentation focusses on one of a series of on-going activities with under graduates to develop attributes as co-inquirers through scholarly activities that explicitly engaged equipped, informed and supported students.  The design of the activity led to co-authorship of a position paper about early childcare which contextualised the policy content of the module and utilised relevant contributions from the students into the formulation of ‘new knowledge’ (Barrie 2004).

 

 

Greenop, Christopher

Warwick University

Only White or Turkish Delight: An analysis of Turkey’s accession to the EU

Turkey’s ostracism lies as an anomaly during a time of large-scale EU expansion. Mainstream explanations include perceived differences in human rights, societal principles and secular tendencies. Low EU support for Turkish membership sheds light on EU society in many significant and revealing ways. The Muslim backbone of Turkish society is seemingly an anathema to many Europeans and it raises questions of ‘Europeanness’ and EU identity.

The substance of much analysis is presently one-sided and the subject of accession demands a new perspective. This piece analyses the compatibility of Turkey with the EU and finds that EU distaste for Turkey is largely religiously based and that the wavering secularism is not in fact in Turkey, but in the EU itself. This piece asserts that benefits of Turkish accession lie with the EU: for their security, identity and global influence. Therefore, a ‘no’ to Turkey has critical implications for the EU.

 

Gregory, Rachel & Ren, Jiahui

London School of Economics

The Impact of Social Networks: Moving On from Homelessness

Social networks amongst homeless communities have received little attention in previous literature, which focuses on economic influences. This paper considers the social dimensions of homelessness, examining how social networks change throughout reintegration. Semi-structured interviews with residents and staff at a hostel in London demonstrate that types and perceptions of social networks are extremely heterogeneous across time and between individuals. There is widespread reluctance to form social networks with other homeless people. Strong social networks, based around shared habits, are recognised as harmful. Such connections are lost or weakened, either voluntarily or as a consequence of reintegration. New networks developed later are regarded as more supportive. Although social networks were not the main determinant of reintegration, they are often perceived as a threat to this process. This suggests, understanding non-economic aspects gives greater holistic insight, although individual concerns and characteristics mean the impact of social networks is heterogeneous.

 

Grinstead, Janice

University of Sunderland

Building inquiry into learning from year one in HE

Students in Higher Education are expected to develop graduate research skills and independent inquiry to promote independence and autonomy in learning. The expectations of HE are not always made explicit in particular reading and critiquing of literature for a purpose.  Informal discussions with a number of students have had a recurring theme: indicating failure to read enough. Students when asked, in the final undergraduate stages of study indicated they wished that they had read more.  In an effort to remain ‘student-centered’ and ‘student focused’ the ‘hot seat’ (Ginnis, 2002) seminar activity was introduced to enhance learner inquiry, and a mentoring of shared learning through student engagement (Ramsden, 2001).  This engagement of students in learning that is socially constructed; mirrored by example and explicitly practiced in a potentiating learning environment (Claxton and Carr, 2004) engendered engagement with reading, discernment about what was read, and ownership of learning.  It is this explicit ownership of learning and the locus of student’s own control ‘hot seat’ strategy achieves.

 

Gristey, Jake

University of Reading

Use of the CASCADE agent-based model to examine the UK energy system with climate reanalysis data

UK electrical demand is met by various sources of generation, with an increasing integration of renewable energy in recent years. By modelling the UK electricity network from 2005-2012 for a two region scenario (Scotland and Northern Ireland, and England and Wales) using climatic reanalysis data, patterns in the UK energy mix have been examined in detail. It is found that there are strong seasonal, weekly and diurnal trends in UK electrical demand and supply. Over the entire period demand exceeded supply on two occasions in England and Wales in the model, which could have been supported by Scotland and Northern Ireland generation. Finally, past electrical demand could have been met by a large variation of different generation types including a 33% reduction in the use of natural gas in 2009.

 

Guney, Hakan

Bogazici University

Characterising the role of Cystatin A during VACV infection

The poxvirus vaccinia virus (VACV) was the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox and is currently being investigated as a vaccine vector for other diseases. Research is focussed on attenuating the virus whilst maintaining immunogenicity. To gain insight into the host response to vaccination, a microarray was performed using RNA extracted from ears of mice that had been intradermally vaccinated with VACV and stefinA1 (Stfa1) was found to be one of the most up-regulated genes. The human counterpart of Stfa1, Cystatin A (CSTA) was described to have anti-viral activity against herpes simplex virus, therefore a potential anti-viral role of CSTA against VACV was investigated by determining the effect of over-expression or knock-down of this protein on VACV replication/yield. Upregulation of Stfa1 following vaccination was confirmed by qPCR and furthermore, Stfa1 was up-regulated following infection in cell culture. Over-expression of CSTA slightly reduced VACV titres, however siRNA knock-down experiments were unsuccessful.

 

 

Hadjisophocleous, Blaithin

University of Nottingham

Attitudes of Undergraduate Physiotherapy Students Towards Mental Illness: A Survey Before and After Clinical Placement

Historically, mental illnesses (MI) have often been associated with negative attitudes and stigma towards the people affected by them. In 2001 the Office for National Statistics psychiatric morbidity report found that in the UK, 1 in 4 people would endure a mental health problem during the period of one year. There is extensive literature reporting society’s negative perceptions towards people living with MI but more worryingly, additional research indicates that similar attitudes are held within the nursing and medical professions.

This study aims to investigate and compare perceptions and attitudes of second year physiotherapy students towards mental illness, before and after their first clinical placement. This will be carried out by having participants fill in an online version of the “Attitudes Towards Psychiatry 29” questionnaire pre and post placement. Comparisons will then be made between attitudes of males and females, and the effect personal experience of MI and clinical placement may have on those attitudes.

 

Hadjittofi, Marilena

University College London (UCL)

The Effect of Social Exclusion on Evaluation of Pain in Facial Expressions

Pain is an aversive psychological and physiological state which, when reliably detected by others, can promote recovery, survival and access to healthcare. Facial expressions have been reported by medical staff to be the primary source of information they rely on to judge pain. This study is exploring whether feelings of social rejection can affect our sensitivity for the pain of others. Cyberball (virtual ball tossing game) was used as a means to induce social exclusion since experiments showed that Cyberball decreases the participant’s sense of belonging, control, self-esteem and meaningful existence.

The present study investigates whether ostracising participants would cause them to become less responsive to the pain of others thereby lowering their estimations of pain for facial expressions. Interestingly, preliminary results showed a division, with some participants showing a significant lowering in their pain estimates whereas others showed a significant increase in their pain estimates following social exclusion.

 

 

Hadley-Brown, Kate

University of Nottingham

Human osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in vitro is affected by a range of novel endocannabinoids

Bone remodelling is a continuous process which requires the coordination of osteoblast and osteoclast activity to maintain bone density. The endocannabinoid system has recently been identified as influencing bone growth. This study builds on previous research which showed that the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol increase osteoblast differentiation whilst inhibiting proliferation.

In the first study to investigate all known endocannabinoids on bone, we screened for 1, 4 and 7 days for the effect on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in vitro; proliferation was estimated by measuring DNA content, differentiation by measuring alkaline phosphatase production.

N-arachidonoyl dopamine showed significant reductions in DNA and ALP production at all timepoints and in a concentration dependent manner. Antagonists to known cannabinoid receptors did not attenuate this action so we suggest it is acting via a non-receptor mediated mechanism. Several other endocannabinoids increased the proliferation of confluent osteoblasts and this provides an interesting avenue for further research.

 

Haigh, Nicholas

The University of Reading

Country childhood in twentieth century rural England: perceptions and experiences

This project lies between the inter-section of two historiographical growth areas; the history of childhood and the analysis of the ‘rural idyll’. For much of the twentieth century, the belief that nature and the countryside were good for children was widespread and influential. Using first hand sources such as diaries and memoirs, located within the Museum of English Rural Life, this project aimed to bridge the gap between the expectation of country childhood and the reality.

While the evidence certainly portrays a haven for children, the evidence also paints a much rougher portrait than the rural idyll. This varies naturally across gender, age and class, but the boundary between child and young adult seems to be crossed at an earlier stage than the literature suggested. For boys this is perhaps most apparent, with many cherishing their manual work and interaction with fellow workers, as well as adopting adult mannerisms such as fighting and smoking.

 

Halstead, Stephen

Blackpool and the Fylde College (University Centre)

Electronic Mail and its Impact upon Project Environments. Discovering the Impact of Electronic Mail Within a Project and Business-as-usual Environment.

According to Morlan (2013) “Communication is a core competency that significantly impacts the outcome of a project.” Electronic mail has emerged as the predominant method of communication within organisations (Lim and Teo, 2007) however research undertaken by Capital One (2010) identified that email consumed more than 30% of an associate’s working day while Atos (2011) noted that corporate users receive over 200 emails a day.

While considering both the application of electronic mail alongside the nature of a project as a finite, cost constrained endeavour, the aim of this research is to explore the impact of utilising email within both a business-as-usual and project environment through a systematic review of literature and primary research methods comprising of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

 

Hardiman, Emma

University of Nottingham

Making Medieval Deer Vellum (Parchment)

My research into medieval manuscripts started with a multidisciplinary experiment in making authentic vellum (parchment). Medieval Manuscripts were expensive luxury items, to make velum the skin needed constant attention over a long time and the process did not guarantee a result. I began expecting to make a delicate permanent product, but this organic material constantly reacts to the surrounding environment. This makes velum a very powerful material when considering Medieval Humoural Theory, a medical theory which also became a universal framework that shaped how people interacted with the world. They believed that through their senses, both consciously and unconsciously, they could absorb elements of their surroundings, and so could objects like manuscripts. Through writing and illuminations on the vellum, the book became an intercessor to the divine. Through placement on a once living material, the image and word became living tangible manifestations of the divine. This is recorded at http://medievalarthistory.wordpress.com/

 

Harris, Andrew

The University of Lincoln

The Effects of Processing Orientation and Emotion Type on Face and Facial Emotion Recognition.

The debate on how we process emotions has resided around the global versus local argument.  Many have argued that emotions are processed holistically, integrating features to make categorical decisions about emotional states, while other research has claimed that emotional expressions are identifiable by individual diagnostic face features. Participants were primed to use local or global processing strategies via a Navon letter task.  Processing strategy had no effect on emotion recognition or face identification for viewing times of 150ms.  Processing speeds however, varied significantly as a function of the to-be-identified emotion, with happy faces being processed faster than any other emotion.  These finding suggests that any local-processing advantage for emotion recognition is limited to very poor viewing conditions.  Results showing emotion greatly influenced processing speeds is in line with often reported ‘happy superiority effect’, suggesting that our sensitivity and exposure to emotions is more critical to their identification than processing orientation.

 

Harris, Robert

University of Strathclyde

Distribution of Entangled Orbital Angular Momentum States in Optical Parametric Oscillators

Photons entangled in their orbital angular momentum (OAM) have excellent potential for use within quantum encryption. Although SPDC is an inherently inefficient process, producing entanglement effectively at the single photon level, the output can be enhanced by several orders of magnitude by using an optical parametric oscillator (OPO). This has potential application in novel technologies for quantum communication. By numerically integrating the equations for a doubly resonant OPO using a range of different pump beams it’s shown that the output can be expressed as a superposition of modes of different amplitudes and OAM. The number of modes in the superposition, the spiral bandwidth (SB), is related to the degree of entanglement. Increasing the OAM of the pump is shown to increase the SB in the same manner as described by SPDC alone. The SB is also shown to increase with the width of the pump and above particular pump intensities.

 

Harrison, Savannah

University of Nottingham

Open Surgical Repair versus Endovascular Aneurysm Repair for the elective repair of an infra-renal un-ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are responsible for approximately 2% of all deaths worldwide. Two main elective surgical procedures are currently in use in their management; Open Surgical Repair (OSR) and Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR).

Four large randomised control trials have been implemented to compare the use of EVAR against OSR for the elective repair of AAA; EVAR1, OVER, DREAM and ACE. Here, the results of these four studies were critically evaluated.

EVAR has offered a promise of reducing peri-operative morbidity and mortality typically associated with OSR.  EVAR confers a survival advantage for at least 3 years after surgery. Although, early trials suggested higher re-intervention rates with EVAR, this appears not to be the case when all re-interventions for OSR (including repeat laparotomies and limb amputations) are included. With mproved surveillance, prompt re-interventions for complications after EVAR, and refinements to the graft design outcomes may improve further.

 

Harrold, Vincent

London School of Economics and Political Science

Evaluating the effectiveness of ‘The Big Issue’ in combatting the social exclusion of homeless people in Central London.

This paper examines the issue of alleviating homelessness in Central London. It adds to existing research by focussing on social exclusion and how this problem can be mitigated amongst rough-sleepers. The paper focuses on the Big Issue Foundation, an organization which aims to re-integrate the homeless into mainstream society through the sale of ‘street newspapers’ by homeless vendors. It provides a definition of social exclusion that is operationalized along four axes – consumption, production, social and political engagement. Surveys were constructed in order to target measurements along these axes of exclusion and carried out amongst both Big Issue vendors and the general public. Results indicate that the greatest impact of The Big Issue lies in promoting social engagement in both groups. However, most vendors see The Big Issue as only a step towards more independent living and political disengagement remains entrenched in the group.

 

Hawkins, Cyndy

Nottingham Trent University

Spectators or Scholars ? An appraisal of inquiry based learning approaches explained through the lens of scholarly relationships.

Reinventing a higher education curriculum is a great challenge in the 21st century and requires a reconceptualization of the notion of the relationship between teaching and research. This study presents an alternative-learning paradigm; inquiry based learning, where learning moves from didactic teaching practices to scholarly activities shared by students and staff.  Staff and students will present a case study about the Commissioned Inquiry and how undergraduate researchers view the changing role of teaching and research through working with academics as research collaborators. Questionnaires and video interviews with students will reveal a tension between the benefits and challenges of undergraduate research projects.

 

Ho, Rachel

University of Warwick

Should Abortion be available on demand? – A general analysis on the right to abortion under the English law

Abortion is not available on demand for pregnant women under the current law. Despite the limited access to abortion provided under the Abortion Act 1967, it remains for the medical profession, instead of the pregnant woman herself to decide on the destiny of the foetus inside her womb.

The aim of the research paper is to examine the availability of abortion in English law. It would also investigate the controversy about the abortion debate and the different arguments raised by the pro-life and pro-choice supporters – with the ‘pro-life’ side advocating the outlawing of abortion based on the right to life of the unborn and the ‘pro-choice’ side favouring the right of autonomy of women to choose whether to have bear the unwanted pregnancy. Primary questions such as whether abortion is morally wrong per se and the lawfulness of abortion would be examined through different legal (for example: Human right and the abortion right established under the American case Roe v Wade) and moral (for example: Personhood and religious) perspectives in order to arouse the social awareness on this issue.

 

Hobson, Jessica & Williams, Tenita

University of Bedfordshire

Are entrepreneurial skills the answer for undergraduate dance students and their struggle within the current economic climate?

Over the last few years the dance employment and funding landscape has shifted.  When combining this with changes in the Higher Education sector, the pressures on students to translate their education into employment is inflated.  As students of Dance and Professional Practice, the complexities of perceiving a university dance education as an economic exchange rather than as a cultural/artistic experience is extensive.  The notion of entrepreneurship as a focus of units as part of the degree have been part of studies and are often highlighted within advertising and course information for dance programmes nationally.  However is this enough to get a job in dance, and should this be the focus of a dance degree?

This research project is in the first stage of investigating these questions and trying to find solutions.  Through the creation of JT Dance Company, research into the challenges facing undergraduates and recent graduates has been conducted.

 

Hook, Michelle

Blackpool and the Fylde College (University Centre)

Does a Project Manager require a level of technical attainment to effectively manage projects within a large, engineering organisation?

There has long been a debate of the technical skill requirement of a project manager to effectively manage their projects. It has been suggested that as the concept of project management has broadened over the last 50 years, this has also impacted the skills required of the project manager; while traditionally project managers were chosen for their technical expertise and ability, recent studies have shown that other skills such as leadership, communication and negotiation are considered more important.

The aim of this investigation is to explore the project management community’s perception of the level of technical attainment required to effectively manage a project within a large, engineering organisation through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, comparing this at different levels of seniority in the organisation, and also the project context, to suggest a recommended technical attainment level that can be sustained throughout the life cycle of the project.

 

Hughes, Rhys

University of Chester

Primary succession and sand dune rejuvenation at Newborough Warren, Anglesey

A growing trend that has been witnessed across many sand dune systems is stabilisation – this can have detrimental effects on biodiversity at high-status conservation sites, such as Newborough Warren. Although there is a consensus that this poses a problem, the way this is managed is a source of contention.

This research aims to investigate the factors driving primary succession, and to evaluate the on-going rejuvenation project occurring at Newborough. Several transects were completed, across natural and planted dune areas, where environmental data were collected. Interviews were conducted with staff at Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding the factors driving the project, the focus of the project and potential future avenues.

Preliminary analysis highlights that a mosaic of factors affects vegetation patterns, and human management strategies affect vegetation characteristics. Interviewees agreed the rejuvenation project is necessary – however there is debate regarding how to achieve this, and concerns regarding sustainability of the project.

 

Hunter, Jonathan

University of Nottingham

Electrochemical study of Cobaloxime species for use in water splitting under an ambient atmosphere.

The need to reduce the use of fossil fuels is becoming more important. From the increase in cost of living to environmental impact, the need for commercially viable methods for making alternative fuels becomes more and more sought after.

One such possibility is to use catalysts to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and use the hydrogen as a fuel.  However, a number of issues have hampered the development of this technology. One of the greatest is the lack of a catalyst which is capable of splitting water under an oxygen rich atmosphere.  However, a promising cobaloxime-based catalyst that splits water under ambient condition was recently discovered.

In my contribution, the results from a recent electrochemical analysis of cobaloxime complexes will be discussed.  The effects of atmospheric O2 on the electrochemical behaviour of the complexes will be discussed and this data will be correlated with catalytic performance.

 

Iddon, Fiona

University of Leeds

Titanite from the Fish Canyon Tuff: searching for clues to pre-eruptive magma chamber processes

Titanite, an accessory mineral in some igneous rocks, has been shown to preserve compositional zoning that can act as a record of changing magma chamber conditions in plutonic rocks. Extending this technique to pyroclastic rocks, which rarely preserve evidence of pre-eruptive processes, a coupled micro-textural and geochemical study was made of titanites from the Fish Canyon Tuff, Colorado. The tuff is believed to have cooled to a silicic crystal mush prior to rejuvenation by underplating hotter mafic magma. This rejuvenation is suggested to coincide with the crystallisation point of titanite.

Results show titanites to possess compositional zoning, with cores enriched in HREEs and rims enriched in LREEs, reflecting changes in melt composition with time. Dissolution horizons and ilmenite inclusions additionally indicate changing temperature and oxygen fugacity, linked to the more mafic magma. This work aims not only extend a geological technique but better understand eruption triggers for large pyroclastic eruptions.

 

Iqbal, Somya

Reading University

Social congruence feedback interacts with outcome valence to shape a behavioural basis in a novel three-alternative forced choice task.

There is evidence to suggest that social information influences the way people evaluate outcomes of their decisions. In our recent study (Varjacic et al, 2014), we used a task in which participants experienced positive and negative outcomes, whilst being informed about the congruence of their decisions with past study participants. Remarkably, we found that participants stayed more with the same card only when negative outcomes were experienced in the incongruent social context.

However, in the absence of a non-social control condition, we cannot attribute this behavioural effect solely to the participants’ sensitivity to the social manipulation.

The current study introduced such a control condition: instead of informing participants about the social congruence of their decisions, we showed them the probability of obtaining a favourable outcome. We replicated the stay effect in the social, but not in the probability condition, suggesting that the effect was driven by the available social information.

 

 

Jackson, Robert

Newcastle College

Does Mutations in the EGF-like repeats cause or worsen the phenotype of Pseudoachrondroplasia and/or Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia?

Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia (MED) are two chondrodysplasias that can lead to dwarfism and bone deformity. Research suggests that disease onset is due (not exclusively) to mutations within the Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein (COMP) gene. The COMP gene encodes a 524kDa pentameric glycoprotein localised in the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding chondrocytes. Mutations within this gene produce defective proteins that are retained within the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) which elicits the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) ultimately leading to chondrocyte apoptosis (cell death). Current research suggests that disease causing mutations cluster within the calmodulin-like (calcium binding) repeats and C-terminal globular domain of the COMP gene. Novel mutations identified within the Epidermal Growth Factor-like (egf) repeats of the COMP gene may individually cause or work in synchrony to worsen the phenotype of individuals with PSACH or MED. In this study the 3 novel mutations identified will be generated in a cell culture model and proliferation and apoptosis studies will be used.

 

Jain, Dhruv

University of Leeds

Climate change strategies of multinational enterprises

Reid and Toffel (2009) analysed how governments, citizens, and firms work collaboratively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This inclusive approach to climate change strategies cannot address intra-firm changes and approaches to climate change. Kolk and Pinkse (2008) describe how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can develop corporate climate change strategies and how adjustments to firm-specific advantages are required. We build on their work and investigate how MNEs react strategically to climate change by adjustments to their management style and operations, and how these changes affect financial performance. Using Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) data over the period 2010 to 2013 we assess the interplay between the corporations’ governance, risk management approach, carbon emission, and emission reduction targets. In order to identify performance implications from corporate climate change strategies, we combine the CDP data with financial performance proxies sourced from Thomson Reuters One.

 

Jenkins, Caitlin

University of Warwick

Behind the scenes of legally-enforced treatment of anorexia nervosa

The mental disorder anorexia nervosa involves self-induced weight loss and a distorted perception of body image. Under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), patients can be force-fed without their consent. If the criteria are not met, patients lacking mental capacity are treated in their best interests. Empirical research suggests involuntary patients recover more slowly than those who consent; however, qualitative interviews highlighting possible explanations could be distorted by their clinical setting. This research examines online blogs and forums, collecting patients’ private thoughts. Upon examination, no consensus emerged as to patients’ treatment preferences, therefore the individual’s view seems crucial to ascertaining appropriate treatment. Currently, the MHA prescribes no such practice. It is argued that assessing the patient’s capacity (using the current test in the Mental Capacity Act 2005) under the MHA would ascertain the patient’s attitude to treatment for therapeutic purposes, even if the patient is ultimately treated without consent.

 

Jenkins, Rhiannon, Hill, Jennifer & Woodland, Wendy

University of the West of England, Bristol

Peer Assisted Learning in STEM disciplines: understanding the benefits

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is an academic mentoring scheme that fosters cross-year support between students. The PAL learning environment encourages active and collaborative learning through which students explore issues together in order to develop their understanding. Whilst there is evidence of statistically significant differences in terms of end of year marks, degree classifications and attrition rates between those who attend PAL regularly and those who do not  (Bidgood 1994), there has been less attention directed to the development of graduate attributes (Barrie 2004) and the broader concept of self-authorship (Baxter Magolda & King 2004). Adopting a small-scale case study approach, this presentation i) examines the motivations of students taking part in PAL as leaders and participants, specifically targeting knowledge and understanding, intellectual skills and personal developmental skills, ii) highlights the positive results of engaging with PAL as leaders and participants, and iii) identifies the barriers to a more inclusive PAL.

 

 

Jones, Hadiya

Spelman College / Queen Mary University of London

“Awkward Black Girl, Social Media, and Alternative Images of Blackness”: An exploration of Black Women, and Agency within the Age of the Internet Social Media, and Alternative Images of.

Despite the hyper visibility of Black Women in American reality television, African-American women are often reduced to caricatures. New media challenges the dearth of images of Black women by providing more multi-dimensional and dynamic images. Due to its rapid development, established scholarly assessments have not addressed web media’s presentation of African-American women. My research investigates how African-American women are using the Internet to increase their visibility in the media and present more complex images of Blackness. I closely analyze the YouTube web show, Issa Rae’s “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. By coding all 30 episodes and their viewers’ comments, I explore how the show works to portray a more complete representation of African-American women. I argue that this show is an example of the web becoming a new social space for the voice of African-American women and that this voice works to present alternative images of Black womanhood.

 

 

Judge, Louis

University of Lincoln

An investigation of gender bias and social desirability in the measurement of Mental Toughness

Mental toughness (MT) is a collection of attributes that allow an individual to persevere in difficult circumstances without losing confidence or drop off in performance.  The most used method of measuring MT is through the use of the MTQ48 (Clough, Earle & Sewell, 2002). Previous research has consistently shown males to score higher than females on the MTQ48 (e.g. Nicholls et al., 2009). The current study aimed to assess for potential gender bias and social desirability in the conceptualisation and measurement of MT.  200 participants (males and females from sports and non-sporting backgrounds) completed the MTQ48, a social desirability scale and Bem’s Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) (Bem, 1974). The data were analysed to show differences in MT scores varying by both gender and gender role and the inter-play with socially desirable responding. In conclusion, implications for the area of MT research are discussed further.

 

Kauser, Nabila

University of Warwick

Can Business Objectives cater for Massive Global Development?

For nearly a decade, Village Phone Program by Grameen Telecom (partnering Grameen Bank, Noble Prize winner) has provided access to GSM technology to female borrowers, creating new income generating opportunities. This initiated approximately 5% higher earnings than average per capita income of Bangladesh (1999) and enriched their social status. This effectively produced larger consumer surplus and better living facilities in rural regions, substituting long travels to cities with access to phones for calling abroad leading to 2.46-9.8% of real savings for villagers. Bangladesh earning high remittance is one of the biggest elements that catalysed this success.

My internship at Grameen Bank took me to remote villages where I interviewed women from various adverse backgrounds. I extensively researched and analysed implementation of business strategies in countries like Brazil and Uganda, which catered both profit and economic development. However, what are the other potential industries and their sustainability in developing countries?

 

Kearney, Madeleine

University of Reading

The influence of building projects on power and popularity

Statesmen of all times have recognized the vast propagandistic potential that lies in large scale building projects. An outstanding example is Peisistratus, who created a perpetual image of popularity and consequently power, as a result of exceptional building projects throughout Attica.

My enquiry will concentrate particularly on building projects developed on the Athenian agora under Peisistratus; I endeavour to show how large-scale projects in a dominant location allowed him to sustain popularity and power. The particular focus of this presentation will be Building ‘F’, a suggested palace or dining house of Peisistratus and his sons. Rosivach believes Peisistratus would not have wanted the attention from such a large undertaking; so were buildings used to maintain power and popularity? My preliminary conclusion is that the inevitable concentration on these sites through such structures as Building ‘F’, suggests they were a method of maintaining power for the tyrants.

 

Keenan, Benjamin

University of Leeds

A study of the youngest explosive eruption of Mt. Ararat (Turkey/Armenia) and the implications for hazards and monitoring

This projects forms part of the volcanic hazard assessment of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant site (ANPP) and aims to reconstruct the conditions of the most recent eruption. This data will then also be used to evaluate potential hazards that future eruptions may pose.

The current ANPP is nestled between Aragats volcano to the north and Ararat volcano to the south. The origin of a recently discovered ash deposit will shed light on which of the volcanoes in the area poses the most risk.  This will be done by identifying mineral assemblages and studying the mineral and glass chemistry. Preliminary work shows that the deposit is more similar to Mt. Ararat volcano than any other possible vents in the vicinity. Previous numerical models of the eruption are not based on any actual volcanic deposits. If the deposit is from Mt. Ararat then we will be able to run these models more accurately.

 

Kelsey, David and; Paddison, Brendan

York St John University

Inspiring Student Research: A European Project

Commissioned by the European Union, five second year undergraduates worked with students from participating European universities to research and develop a training model designed to support the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Students undertook a preliminary quantitative project in their home countries to develop a portfolio of best practice which then informed the overall qualitative research project. The mixed method approach supported the practical application of core research skills and competences within an authentic learning environment.

Authentic learning has attracted attention amongst learning theorists as a pedagogical strategy to address longstanding debates around curriculum effectiveness, based upon the notion that learning is best achieved in circumstances resembling the real life application of knowledge. This presentation will explore how the project enabled the development and application of research skills within an authentic learning environment.

 

Kišonaitė, Miglė

Vilnius University

Identification of Thermolysin Digested Proteins using Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics is a powerful technology in molecular cell biology. Proteomics is increasingly contributing to our understanding of the role that proteins and peptides play, advancing our understanding of biology on a systems wide level for a broad range of applications. There are two MS-based methods: bottom-up and top-down. In bottom-up proteomics a mixture of proteins is enzymatically cleaved into peptides, while, top-down proteomics refers to the analysis of proteins, which are not digested before analysis.

In this project we used bottom-up proteomics to investigate thermo-sensitive proteins in E.coli system.  Under heat-shock conditions thermo-sensitive proteins expose their hydrophobic segments, which are thought to be responsible for aggregation processes in the cell. Identification of aggregation inducing peptides is important for understanding such pathologies as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

This project was supported by Amgen Scholars Program and hosted by Dr. M. Hayer-Hartl’s group in Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry.

 

Kneppers, Shirleen

Newcastle College

Utilising mobile technology to support regional citizen science initiatives

Citizen scientists have an increasingly important role to play in monitoring and recording flora and fauna across the UK. However, the collation of these records is problematic and usually involves either coordination by a single regional recorder or the use of a dedicated website. The use of mobile technology offers an opportunity to broaden the range of individuals actively engaged in wildlife recording, and therefore strengthen biodiversity data.

This project is a collaborative venture between undergraduate students at Newcastle College and the Environmental Records Information Centre North East to develop a mobile app which will support local conservation efforts through allowing members of the public to record and report sightings of mammals accurately through their mobile phone. A second app has been developed which will promote an enthusiasm for conservation in young children through allowing them to identify and record invertebrate sightings.

 

 

Kone, Aminata

University of Sussex

Human rights versus authoritarianism? The limits of US power in its arms trade relations with Egypt

The violent crackdown on protests in Egypt in 2011 prompted renewed questions about military aid and arms transfers to the country. The US, which promotes democracy and human rights in its foreign policy, has consistently been a significant supplier of military aid to Egypt. This project investigates the supposed tension between military aid, human rights and authoritarianism by using Egypt, in the context of the Arab Spring, as a case study. It first maps out the quantity and nature of equipment different Egyptian coercive agencies get from the US. It then analyses how the arms trade affects socio-political relations within Egypt, focusing mainly on the effects it has on Egypt’s transition to democracy. Through these questions, we examine the nature of the relations fostered by the arms trade between the US and Egypt, which allows us to conclude whether there is an inherent contradiction between liberal values and security interests.

 

 

Kordecki, Urszula           

University of Strathclyde            

An Evaluation of the use of Therapy Outcome Measures in a Speech and Language Therapy Service.

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are under pressure to demonstrate that their interventions improve patient health. Enderby & John’s Therapy Outcome Measures (TOMs) (2007) aim to evaluate patient health in terms of level of impairment, activity, participation and wellbeing. However, despite their potential, there is little evidence that TOMs demonstrate the effectiveness of an SLT service.

Data from an acute adult SLT service, including pre and post-treatment TOMs scores and patient case notes, were analysed to investigate the effectiveness of TOMs in measuring SLT intervention in an acute adult service.

Analysis of the entire caseload did not suggest effectiveness of SLT intervention, however effectiveness was demonstrated for patients who received a complete episode of care. Difficulties were identified with scoring patients with swallowing difficulties and in the completion of the wellbeing section of the TOMs. It was concluded that TOMs may not be applicable across all disorders in an acute setting.

 

Kristensen, Zoe               

University of Warwick

Gender Dysphoria and the Autistic Spectrum: A Study of coincidence

Method: A survey was published online and participants were recruited primarily through a process of snowballing utilising social media (N=446). Respondents to the survey were asked a number of questions about their gender identity in order to ascertain whether their gender differed from that  assigned at birth, in addition to whether they had received a formal diagnosis or peer diagnosis of autism, or whether they suspected that they might lie on the autistic spectrum.  Participants also completed an AQ-10 screen in order to account for undiagnosed cases.

Conclusions: Autistic Spectrum Conditions were found to be at least 7x more prevalent in the sample population than in the general population, with most ‘autistic traits’ being found in those defining as Genderqueer or as Male. In addition, there was found to be a statistically significant difference in the number of people defining as ‘Transsexual’ versus those defining as ‘Transgender’.

 

Kryczka, Adrianna

Medical University of Warsaw

Influence of oxygen level on Warburg effect and proliferation of colon cancer cell lines

The Warburg effect is characterized by lactate synthesis despite oxygen presence. It occurs in cancer cells and is associated with rapid cell proliferation. The aim is to compare effect of various oxygen levels on lactate synthesis and proliferation of primary and metastatic colon cancer cells.  Cells were cultured at 1, 10 and 21% oxygen concentration in hypoxic chamber. Trypan Blue was used to assess cell proliferation. Glucose and lactate levels were measured using Randox kits.  We have shown that metastatic cells proliferate more intensively at 1% than 10% oxygen. Lactate synthesis at 10% was higher than in 1% oxygen.  Conclusions is that oxygen deficiency does not limit tumor growth. Nutrients supply may be more important factor for cell proliferation. Lactate/glucose ratio indicates lactate synthesis not only from glucose, paradoxically, oxygen promotes lactate synthesis and enhances the Warburg effect in cancer cells.

 

Kwok, Irene

The University of Nottingham

The World Bank since the 1980s: Theory and Practice

The World Bank’s goal is to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of the people both in low and middle-income countries (World Bank 2013). However, since the 1980s, there has been increasing criticisms about how the World Bank’s governance is affecting its ability to implement what it preaches. Therefore, I aim to investigate the relationship between the practice of the World Bank, manifested through its policies, and its ‘theory’, in three key development areas, education, gender and poverty. I start by outlining the World Bank’s policy in each areas and explain how the World Bank justifies the policies they implement. I then assess how the policy or justification from each area are criticised. In particular, I focus on criticisms by Marxists and evaluation from Constructivists. I propose that the World Bank’s policies do not largely practice what it preaches in theory, especially with respect to education, gender and poverty.

 

 

Kwon, Hoe Seung

The University of Warwick

Are you paying too much for your bottle of Claret?: Investigation into comovement of wine prices

Recently, researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have found that fine wine price follows the same pattern as crude oil price. Whilst it is natural for different commodities to have similar patterns after macroeconomic shocks such as changes in interest rates and production, one can predict wine prices by just looking at oil price patterns if wine prices ‘comove’ with oil prices excessively. This seriously damages fine wine’s status as a tradable commodity and disputes recent developments in studies of commodity price patterns.

By applying  improved statistical techniques and recent economic factors, the study in fact shows that wine prices are independent of other commodity prices. Results showed that wine did not follow other commodity prices such as sugar, gold and oil when macroeconomic shocks were taken into account. This may be due to the fact that wine has very different economic and environmental characteristics to other commodities.

 

Latter, Rebecca

Newcastle University   

An investigation into the use of Catalan and Castilian by bilingual users of the social network Facebook

This preliminary study investigated the language of Facebook statuses of bilingual Catalan and Castilian speakers and possible motivations for these choices. Fundamental to the context are the relatively new nature of online social networks as communicative environments and the extensive revitalisation of the Catalan language in recent years. The speakers in this study had a bilingual education and were therefore expected to show comparable linguistic loyalty to each language. The first trend which emerged from the investigation sociolinguistic factors was that the language choice could be a tool for targeting a specific audience: for example, Catalan would be used when expressing Catalan regional identity. The second trend shows that speakers can favour one of the two languages on Facebook to compensate for an imbalance between them in other areas of their life. The study concludes by analysing the extent of each of these influences and the interaction between them.

 

Lawn, Isabelle

University of Nottingham

Characterising Anticipatory Behaviour in Four Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) at Twycross Zoo Before and After the Clock Change for Daylight Savings Time

This study investigated whether a group of four captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Twycross Zoo displayed anticipatory behaviours before normal husbandry events, and characterized the behavioural profile of this anticipatory response. The study also assessed the impact of a daylight saving time change on the elephant’s behaviour. Anticipatory behaviour could be characterized as a low level of movement together with an increase in stereotypies and feed searching behaviours. As an event approached, the elephants moved towards a location associated with keeper activity. Elephants showed a variable anticipatory response between different events, which is potentially indicative of the incentive value of the event. Prior to an unpredictable event (i.e. a long delay between the scheduled time and the occurrence of an event), there was an increase in stereotypies. After the time change, feed searching, stereotypies, positive interaction and aggression increased, while movement decreased. Although there was no obvious shift in behaviours to the new schedule, there were indications that feed searching was beginning to occur in association with the new event timings. These findings suggest that time changes and new routines need to be managed and shifted slowly to avoid frustration and stress in zoo elephants.

 

Le, Nguyen

University of Nottingham

Has China’s Soft Power Been A Success in Global Politics?

Bringing together 2 modern phenomena that have coincidentally developed since the beginning of the 1990s: the introduction of ‘soft power’ (SP) by Joseph Nye and the uprising of China, the research examines their increasingly close connection. They represent new influential changes on international politics, particularly the perception of power balance: As politicians started noticing the idea of ‘getting others want what you want through culture, values and ideologies’ (Nye 1990), China was quickly perceived as a superpower that could even rival against the US. China actively includes cultural diplomacy in its foreign policies that in return promote the nation’s designated image of ‘peaceful rise’, especially among Asia and Africa. This combination, however, reveals several drawbacks of SP, particularly in quantification, and uneasy co-existence of Western-Chinese perceptions around the concept. Through a discussion of China’s SP from different perspectives, this paper hopes to contribute a sensible way to measure such power.

 

Leung, Gah-Kai               

University of Warwick

‘Public Reason and the Case for Same-Sex Marriage’

Same-sex marriage has provoked much attention in the contemporary literature of applied ethics and normative legal and political theory, as well as in mainstream media. While many scholarly accounts centre on the alleged persuasiveness of the ‘definitional objection’ (Corvino 2014: 278), I will consider a different and overlooked dispute. This paper critiques Sandel’s (1989) argument that affirming gay rights (and by extension same-sex marriage rights) requires an abandonment of the state’s commitment to liberal neutrality. In so doing, I offer a justification for same-sex marriage laws that depends not on advocating any particular conception of the good, but rather appeals to a neutral ideal of ‘public reason’ (Rawls 1997) that systematically supports a set of common values that we can share and live by. I focus on the right to privacy as an example of the type of institution that protects same-sex couples’ marriage claims, while also being justified by public reason.

 

Leung, Gah-Kai               

University of Warwick

‘Theatricalising Territory: The Political Geography of Brian Friel’s Translations’

While political geography has long been preoccupied with the link between space and politics, few attempts have thus far been made to investigate the literary representations of political-geographical concerns. This paper traces what could be revealed through such an enquiry, by offering Brian Friel’s play Translations (1980) as a case study. The onstage depiction of the British attempt to (quite literally) remap an Irish Gaelic-speaking community provides a dramatic consideration of the connections between territory, power and politics. More importantly, I argue in this paper that Friel cannily exploits the parallel between dramaturgy and cartography, as both point up the uneasy relationship between three-dimensional space and its two-dimensional representation.

 

Li, Anne

University of Nottingham

Study of the role played by quorum sensing molecules in the regulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin-antitoxin systems

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) is known to cause chronic respiratory infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. Its persistence can be traced back to the difficulty in completely eradicating the whole bacterial population by antibiotics, unlike with alcohol or other disinfectants.  The 0.1% of cells that survive an antibiotics treatment seem to be in a state of growth arrest, or dormancy, and are known as persister cells. These cells are also commonly found in other chronic disease causative agents such as E.coli2. Therefore, research on the regulators of persistence gain interest as these show promises of being great targets for potential treatments. Previous studies propose that quorum sensing (QS) 3,4 and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are involved in the persistence of P. aeruginosa. The question on the association of these regulatory systems then arises: do quorum sensing systems control toxin-antitoxin systems? This study examines the impact of quorum sensing systems on toxin-antitoxin gene expression in P. aeruginosa by monitoring TA expression with the help of bioluminescence reporters on plasmids. Results show that TA gene expression is increased in terms of intensity and duration in the absence of functional QS systems.

 

Lin, Yichu

University of Plymouth

Protection of Legal Rights and Interests of Chinese Tourists in China

Although tourism industry is growing rapidly in China, some problems are becoming apparent. The obvious one is the tourists’ legal rights and interests cannot be protected well, which now is becoming a major concern. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate protection of legal rights and interests of Chinese tourists in Mainland China from a tourist’s perspective.

A questionnaire survey with 20 structured questions was carried out. More than 300 usable questionnaires were collected to understand Chinese tourists’ opinions towards protection of their legal rights and interests in China. The results indicated that Chinese tourists’ awareness of legal rights and interests was weak and they seldom used legal weapons to protect their legal rights and interests when damage happened. Based on the above findings, different measures should be taken by different stakeholders in the tourism industry to well protect legal rights and interests of Chinese tourists in China.

 

Lisle, Caitlin

Research conducted at University of Dundee (now at University of Leeds as a graduate student)

Can the use of torture on terrorist suspects ever meet the dual requirements of morality and the law?

The protection and support of human rights are frequently balanced against the perceived requirements of security and counter-terrorism, resulting in a situation where fundamental rights can be, and often are, overridden by societal concerns. In light of recent allegations of UK participation and complicity in torture, this presentation aims to provide a perspective on potential courses of counter-terrorist action available to the UK authorities in relation to the use of torture.

This presentation will explore the moral justifiability of torturing terrorist suspects, and use the conclusions drawn to inform the examination of legal perspectives on the current prohibition of torture. It will be shown that, despite arguments for alternatives to an absolute prohibition, at present the use of torture on terrorist suspects cannot be justified and, as long as there is doubt about the fundamental principles upon which to build counter-terrorist policies, individual rights should take precedence.

 

Liu, Sharon Jiawen

University College London

In vivo protein isoform turnover analysis using 15N metabolically-labeled mouse tissue

Protein turnover, the dynamic process of protein synthesis and degradation, is modulated by structural variations in proteins arising from alternative splicing or post-translational modifications (PTMs). The present study aimed to identify protein isoforms of 15N metabolically-labeled mouse lung and heart tissue, and to estimate protein turnover with the novel, in-house software Proturnyzer. We extracted and homogenized heart and lung tissue from 3 different mice that had been partially metabolically-labeled with 15N. Protein isoforms were separated using 2D-gel electrophoresis, subjected to in-gel enzymatic digest followed by mass spectrometry-based identification. We identified 17 and 19 distinct proteins with isoforms in the mouse heart and lung, respectively. PTMs were identified in some isoforms and differences in turnover among isoforms were determined from tryptic peptide 15N incorporation rates. Collectively, this platform offers a framework for future work using protein turnover data as a novel biomarker to analyze subtle differences between healthy and diseased tissues

 

Livesey, Jennifer

Blackpool and the Fylde College (University Centre)

To Manage or To Lead: Dealing With Change in Large Project Management Organisations

Success creates some degree of market dominance, which in turn, produces much growth. After a while, keeping the ever larger organisation under control becomes the primary challenge, hence why management was the main item on the twentieth century agenda. However, a globalised economy is creating both more hazards and more opportunities for organisations, forcing them to make dramatic improvements not only to compete and prosper, but also to merely survive.

In project-based organisations, the need to excel is much greater, as unlike business-as-usual activities, projects are unique, transient endeavours undertaken to achieve specific objectives. This research study aims to explore the importance of leading, rather than simply managing change in large project management organisations. A mixed methodology approach will be employed, integrating both quantitative and qualitative data via employee engagement questionnaires and change leader interviews within the closed setting of a leading aerospace company.

 

Lloyd, Ryan

University of Leeds

Evaluating Earthquake Hazard in Eastern Turkey

It is expected that in the 21st century more than 2.5 million people will be killed by earthquakes worldwide (Holzer & Savage, 2013). In Eastern Turkey the North and East Anatolian Faults pose a significant seismic hazard to the local population, but this hazard has not been fully characterised, especially in the region where these two faults meet. In this region, the complex interaction between the two faults is not adequately explained by existing models (e.g. Reilinger et al., 2006). Between earthquakes, the Earth’s crust slowly warps around active faults, building up the elastic energy that will be released in future seismic events. My research uses satellite radar techniques to measure this
slow ground movement (~1-2 cm/yr) across the North and East Anatolian Faults (e.g. Walters et al., 2011), enabling me to both characterise seismic hazard and investigate competing models of crustal deformation in this complex region.

 

Lowes, Harriet

The University of Sheffield

A jungle of responsibility, reading the ‘Dark Continent’ for children.

This project aims to coherently place children’s literature within an already widely explored discourse of imperialism using classic children’s books including; Carroll’s ‘Alices’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1865), Haggard’s ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ (1888) and Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (1964). While academic debate has previously focussed upon imperial themes including framing of ‘other’, religion, gender roles and justification for imperial expansion, there has been little focus upon the sense of responsibility that these themes create in order to justify and encourage the expansion of empire. Therefore, this project explores how children’s literature, both colonial and post-colonial, functions as a tool to narrate moral responsibility, with specific reference to African colonies. I aim to understand how this children’s literature narrates and informs the Western culture of responsibility toward the ‘distant other’ described within them and to explore the ways in which this literature creates, presents and reinforces this notion of responsibility.

 

Luczak, Paul

University of Notre Dame

Academies and England’s Changing School System 

Academies, publicly funded schools operating autonomously of the local authority, have spread rapidly in England following the passing of the 2010 Academies Act. My research studies the history of these schools, the variances between the three central types of academies, and the public perception of the academies program. The majority of my data comes from collecting consultation reports from fifteen maintained schools transformed to sponsored academies prior to the start of the 2013-2014 school year. These consultation reports provide insights into the questions asked by parents regarding academies.

I found that a singular public definition of academy is arising, despite significant conversion and governance differences between the three types of academies: sponsored academies, converter academies, and free schools. I argue that public understanding of the academy policy is lacking, and that continued expansion of academy schools must be accompanied with awareness campaigns on behalf of the Department for Education.

 

Luff, Rachel

Bournemouth University

Investigate volunteer management techniques used to achieve expected volunteer experience

One in five organisations feel that over the next three years retention of volunteers will hold them back. Volunteer management is a crucial component in successful volunteer retention. Research will be conducted to understand the expectations of volunteers and examine how management can achieve this. Primary research will be collected through the use of deductive quantitative research via the means of a questionnaire. Access to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity volunteers amongst other distribution channels will form the sample. I will then underpin the data collected through applying the psychological contract theory together with current leadership and management theories. The core contribution of this research will be to provide a beneficial understanding to volunteer managers of what is needed to create a positive experience for volunteers, in order to enhance volunteer retention resulting in benefits the organisation can acquired.

 

Ma, Grace

University of British Columbia 

When Form and Tonality Misalign: A prominent analytical issue in several keyboard pieces by Bach as examples

The conception of form based on melodic and rhythmic motives and the conception of tonal structure based on harmonic processes are two of the most fundamental ways of understanding a piece of music. However, by articulating an organization of structural time-points, they also determine the large-scale, purely mathematical proportions of a composition. Analyst Roy Howat claims, in his study of Debussy’s music, that proportions are likewise essential in the experience and understanding of music. Unfortunately, his explanation does not address adequately the issue of harmonic and motivic misalignment in the context of earlier, more traditional ‘common-practice’ compositions. My paper discusses several cases of misalignment between the motivic and harmonic dimensions in Bach’s small-scale keyboard works, and by doing so, I hope to re-evaluate the conventional analytical assumption of tonal-formal alignment, as well as the notion of proportions as a chief means of understanding music especially that in a common-practice context.

 

Madkour, Amber

Bournemouth University

Exploring Femininity in Fitness: Crossfit as a site for Empowering Embodiment for Women.

Numerous Academics agree that Sport and Physical Activity can help facilitate experiences grounded in empowering embodiment for women. Specifically, research demonstrates that activities that focus on bodily performance such as martial arts or weight training offer greater opportunities for empowerment for women than more aesthetic activities such as aerobics or dance. Furthermore, activities that focus on power and performance provide resistance to the prevalent, oppressive gender ideology that restrains female empowerment. Crossfit is a relatively new but increasingly popular fitness phenomenon which emphasises ‘functional movements performed at high intensity’ and aims to reduce self-objectification. This form of exercise offers potential opportunities to facilitate empowerment for women as it resists the assumption
that females should conform to a dictated aesthetic. The aim of this research is to use an ethnographic approach to identify the capacity of Crossfit as a site for empowering embodiment for women.

 

Mahmoud, Jaffar

Zayed University

The cultural impact of rapid growth: A Cross-generational exploration of cultural values amongst citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone rapid socio-economic and technological development since its emergence as a federation in 1971. Furthermore, the UAE’s population has grown at an unprecedented rate, from 180,000 people in 1968, to 9.2 million people as of 2012 (The World Bank, 2012), of which 16% or less are citizens. Hofstede (2001) suggests that shifts in cultural values are often the result of such “human forces”. This study aims to explore if, and to what extent, the cultural values of the Emirati population have shifted in recent decades. Using Hofstede’s Value Survey Module (VSM 08), this study explores cultural values across two generations of Emirati citizens, university students and their parents.  Results are discussed in reference to transition and social concerns within the context of the contemporary UAE.

 

Manchipp, Sara Jessica

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

Does inattention cost lives? Examining the influence of cognitive distraction on ability to process organ donation messages.

Whilst 90% of the UK population agree that organ donation is a positive altruistic behaviour, only 36% of people are registered on the organ donation database (NHSBT, 2013). The attitude change literature suggests that people can be encouraged to alter their attitude and subsequent behaviour through the use of media messages. However, factors such as motivation and ability to process the message have been shown to play a large role in attitude change (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Previous research has shown that televised messages play a large role in communication of organ donation information (Quick et al., 2007). Therefore, the current study sought to examine whether cognitive distraction from a simple or complex message in an organ donation video would result in differences in subsequent attitudes to organ donation, and intention to be willing to register on the organ donation database.

 

Mann, Steven

University of the West of England

A Study into Automatically Triggered Ejection and Transmission of Flight Data from Unrecoverable Aircraft

The Flight Data recorder (FDR), often called a “black box” was invented in 1953 to record specific aircraft performance parameters and cockpit audio. Data obtained from FDRs help determine causes and to develop appropriate accident prevention measures. Extracting this data completely, quickly and accurately after an accident is often critical for technical investigations. In 2009 Air France flight 447 stalled at 38,000ft and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing everyone aboard; it took 2 years to recover the recorders and ascertain the cause of the accident. Why do FDRs still have to be recovered from the wreckage for accident investigation? This study focuses on modelling an avionics system which uses the parameters recorded by the existing recorder to either eject the memory containing flight data or transmit the data wirelessly at a predefined attitude before the impending accident.

 

Marsh, Grayling

University of Nottingham

Control of reproductive behaviour and fertility in dairy cows

In dairy cows, failure to detect the behavioural signal for mating (oestrus) is a major reproductive problem. This important reproductive behaviour is driven by the ovarian hormone oestradiol though the underlying control mechanisms are unclear. We have analysed the relationship between pedometer activity (used to quantify the increased behavioural activity associated with oestrus) and circulating oestradiol concentrations (measured non-invasively in milk samples) in 61 lactating cows over 113 reproductive cycles. Overall, there was a weak but significant correlation (R2 = 0.04; P<0.05) between peak oestradiol concentration and percentage increase in pedometer activity. In cows that conceived following insemination this relationship was much stronger (R2 = 0.27; P<0.01) but was absent in cows in which mating was unsuccessful. In fertile cows increases in oestradiol were clearly associated with increased reproductive activity and identification of such cows will allow selective breeding of cows with a higher reproductive success rate.

 

Marston, Ruth

Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Factors that influence public participation in recycling, a case study of Neath, Port Talbot

Waste disposal is a topic of rising concern at local, national and global levels. Notably across Wales reduction of household waste and recycling at a household level is still below the desired quota set by the Welsh Government. Only through householder’s participation may Welsh recycling rates be met, as participation is crucial for the success of achieving recycling targets. An understanding of behaviour and participation is needed to support the increase in recycling rates. Currently Neath, Port Talbot a Local Authority  in South Wales is not achieving mandatory targets set by Welsh Government; resulting in the Local Authority facing mandatory fines. This study uses questionnaires to investigate the behaviour of householders within Neath, Port Talbot to gain an understanding of the main barriers and motivators for partaking in recycling. This shall not only further the knowledge of recycling habits but also help the Local Authority achieves these mandatory targets.

 

Masih, Selina

University of Warwick

What are the influences that shape the life choices of young Punjabi women living in rural Jalandhar, India and Coventry, UK?

There are various different societal determinants that influence the life choices that young Punjabi women make. These can be major overpowering aspects, forcing them to make decisions in their lives out of their own will, questioning the control they have over shaping their own lives. Much research indicates Punjab, as the highest prominence of female oppression. The data collated to address the research question has been conducted through individual interviews and focus groups of both young Punjabi women in Coventry, and the Punjab, ranging from 16-20 year olds.  The research findings reinforced Waldrop (2012) research suggesting that, the new generation of Punjabi women within India have more control over their lives than previous generations. Also Cooper, et al (1999), research on Asian women within the UK, identifying families and communities as the aspect of highest influence in shaping young Punjabi women’s lives. Concluding family structures and traditions play a colossal role in the decisions young women make affecting their lives.

 

May, Benjamin

University of Nottingham           

Forming Self Assembled Liquid Layers on the Mica Surface

In order to investigate the possibility of forming self-assembled ionic liquid layers under standard lab conditions, thin layers of the ionic liquid OMIM NTf2 were deposited onto a mica surface by peeling the mica under a solution of the ionic liquid in acetone. XPS was used to analyse the surface layer and data processing techniques applied to determine if a mono-layer had been formed. Furthers rinsing experiments were carried out to determine if the layer was adhered to the surface. Evidence for self-assembly is presented.

An adhered mono-layer does indeed appear to have been formed indicating that we have a method for preparing an adhered self-assembled ionic liquid nano-structure coulombically bonded to a non-metallic surface. This may provide an excellent method for functionalizing the mica surface either directly (by adding functional groups to the alkyl chain of the cation) or indirectly (by ‘dissolving’ other molecules in the ionic liquid).

 

Mayer, Ben

University of Nottingham

Why has HIV/AIDS received more commitment from the global political leadership than other global health initiatives?

Global Health is at a critical stage as the United Nations’ ‘Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’ are due to expire in 2015. HIV/AIDS, as one of only two health issues amongst 15 MDGs, were allocated their own individual MDG and it is vital to investigate why it has received more commitment than other global health issues. Understanding what incentivizes commitment from the global political leadership is crucial as this allows us to make better predictions for the post-MDG context of global health.

The presentation compares research on this topic from a two-month internship in the Executive Office of UNAIDS and my Undergraduate Dissertation with the same title. It attempts to give an outline of what the future holds for HIV/AIDS and global health in general, and to illustrate the experiences I had working on this subject in two separate environments.

 

Mbogo, Ivan

University of Aberdeen               

The genetic basis of clubfoot.

Clubfoot (congenital talipes equinovarus – CTEV) is a human lower limb abnormality characterised by twisting of the foot inwards and upwards.  One in 500 babies are born in western Europe with clubfoot and the reasons for this are unknown.  Clubfoot has genetic and environmental components but few genes have been linked to idiopathic clubfoot in humans.  We investigated the genetic basis of the clubfoot-like phenotype in the spontaneous mouse mutant – the pma mouse – and showed an increase in the levels of expression of an enzyme, LIMK1, that modulates the actin cytoskeleton.  The only other published mouse model of clubfoot is the EPHA4 knockout mouse.  We showed that LIMK1 activity was upregulated in the EPHA4 mouse, leading to upregulated activity of actin stabilising pathways in axons innervating the leg – this appears to cause axonal collapse and muscular atrophy leading to clubfoot.

 

Mccance, Eleanor

University of Birmingham

Evaluating progesterone as a novel neuroprotective drug after ocular injury

Blunt ocular trauma causes commotio retinae. Poor outcomes ensue when the macula is affected, causing permanent visual loss due to selective photoreceptor death. This is seen in humans, and reproduced in our animal model as loss of the outer nuclear layer on histological and optical coherence tomography images.

Photoreceptor apoptosis may be prevented by manipulation of cell-death pathways. Progesterone has well-established neuroprotective effects in CNS injury models.

We assessed the neuroprotective efficacy of progesterone for photoreceptor damage in our experimental model. Progesterone was administered intraperitoneally immediately after trauma, with subsequent 2 week continuous infusion.

Progesterone induced significantly greater photoreceptor death (p=0.002), with a more pronounced negative effect at increasing distances from the impact site. ERG findings show initial enhancement, but overall deterioration (p=0.005) of photoreceptor function.

Progesterone caused a delayed heightened wave of photoreceptor apoptosis after ocular trauma. Whether this was a concentration, or dosage duration-dependent effect requires further investigation.

 

McKinstry, Helen

Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Quantitative MRI T2 analysis of breast tumours undergoing treatment: Can we predict the ultimate response?

Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) used for breast tumours initially considered inoperable, attempts to shrink them sufficiently for surgery. Around 25% of patients respond poorly so a clinical need is to have a measure capable of predicting tumour response to determine if continued NACT is appropriate. The exact T2 relaxation times of tissues provide pathological information and are therefore of interest.

A tool was developed to produce T2 maps from corresponding series of MR images, also allowing the analysis of regions of interest. Changes in tumour tissue due to NACT were reflected in significant changes in T2 values, with notable differences in the magnitude of change after only one treatment cycle, between response groups. Confirming possible use of T2 measurements as early predictors of ultimate response to NACT, this could prevent numerous women enduring ineffective treatment, offering the potentially lifesaving opportunity for alternative therapy in the time-critical area of cancer treatment.

 

McPherson, Neil

University of the West of Scotland

Supporting Research-Led Learning through the Production of Learning Objects

This paper evaluates a staff/student partnership change project at the University of the West of Scotland. The underpinning principle of the project was that students should be active participants, learning in ‘research mode’, engaged as ‘producers’ rather than ‘consumers’ of knowledge. To support this, and focusing on the development of a sustainable model for active research-led learning, the project team identified the production of learning objects as a potential assessment mechanism. It was agreed that a key output should be the production of editable and repurposable objects that could be used by future students. The Xerte technology was identified as appropriate for this task and a 3rd Year module on the Social Science Programme identified to pilot the approach. Undergraduate students acted as ‘learning ambassadors’, assisting their peers in using the Xerte technology. This paper reflects on the output of the project and the experience of those taking part.

 

 Mead, Danielle 

University of Sunderland

Pomegranate dye, a haematoxylin replacement?

Background: As the National Health Service currently is enforcing cuts throughout the country it is essential for all areas of service to reduce their running costs. Within the pathology discipline of cellular pathology, namely histology, the routine and most frequently performed stain is that of haematoxylin and eosin to allow for microscopical analysis. Successful replacement of haematoxylin with a cheaper alternative, such as that of pomegranate dye, could assist with further lowering service expenditures.

The only reported use of pomegranate dye to stain histologically was published by A.M. Gharravi et al in 2006 to stain the brain of Wistar rats. The result of this work was the successful differentiation between astrocytes and neurones. All other reported uses of pomegranate dye are exclusively for fabric dying.

Aims: The aim of this study is to develop work started by A.M. Gharravi et al by using extracted pomegranate dye to stain representative sections from a Wistar rat kidney. The stained sections will be compared to H&E and the optimum conditions for concentration, temperature and pH will be determined. The use of a mordant during staining will also be investigated. To evaluate the results each section will be scored microscopically using the 0-5 UK NEQAS scoring system and then non-parametric statistics will be applied to the results.

Method: In order to extract the dye, the rind from 20 pomegranates will be heated in boiling water and then distilled to yield the dye concentrate. This will then be diluted to produce numerous weight/volume solutions. Optimum staining conditions for concentration, pH and temperature will be deduced, along with the results of mordant use on staining.

 

Mears, Ellen

University of Leeds

Fossilised vertebrates of Hampstead Farm Quarry, UK: an examination of a terminal Triassic fauna.

The late Triassic was a time of environmental change such as mass volcanism, which led to a mass extinction that affected terrestrial and marine organisms. In the Bristol region, this environmental change created a fluctuating environment, which is expected to have had an impact on the local fauna. This study used material from Hampstead Farm Quarry near Bristol to identify the fauna that inhabited the area at the end of the Rhaetian. The faunal composition of Hampstead Farm Quarry was then analysed and was found to be skewed. It also differed significantly in composition and diversity to the Aust bone bed from the early Rhaetian. Changes to the fauna in the Bristol area therefore occurred during the Rhaetian, which may be a result of local environmental fluctuations and indicative of wider changes occurring at the end Triassic that led to the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction.

 

Mendoza Meinhardt, Arturo

Queen Mary, University of London

Using Tartaric Acid to Cross-Link Starch

Starch is a carbohydrate naturally present in most plants. Its modification through cross-linking (Forming covalent bridges between starch molecules) can improve many materials, and is used in various fields. Many cross-linking agents in common use are toxic and expensive.

Tartaric acid could be a nontoxic, low cost alternative to these. This study shows how tartaric acid can be used to cross-link thermoplastic starch. Moreover, it quantifies the variation of the resultant plastic’s tensile strength with its glycerine and tartaric acid content, as well as with the time for which the plastic was cured.

The greatest increase in the tensile strength of the thermoplastic starch was 5.7%. The tensile strengths of the plastics produced were determined by using adapted binder clips and a light hook, from which masses were suspended. The plastic films were subjected to progressively greater tension. Their tension at rupture was used in calculating the plastics’ strengths.

 

 

Miller, Colette

University of Central Lancashire

“I’m dizzy with all these tablets!” Medication adherence post stroke: An Integrative Review

Following a first stroke lifelong medication is required to avoid further stroke. However, many stroke survivors fail to take their medication correctly and the reasons for this are not well understood.

This study aimed to elucidate the barriers and facilitators of medication adherence (MA) in stroke survivors.  We performed an integrative review of the existing evidence.  Key search terms were used to perform online database searches and citation tracking.  Evidence, from 1980-2013, was synthesised utilising thematic analysis.

20 studies, of varying quality, were included in the review.  Four key themes emerged: medical, demographic and psychological factors and medication issues.  Tentative positive associations were found between increased adherence and older age, access to social support, and complexity of medication regime. However, there is very limited high quality research evidence available on this topic.  Our on-going qualitative study will further explore the issues affecting patients and carers in post-stroke MA.

 

Mills, Angel

Howard University

“Acting White”; A Transformation of Animosity to Admiration in Black Peer Group

Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data reveals that African Americans who are high-academic achievers are often labeled as “acting White” and incur costs to social status in interracial environments. Their high-achieving White counterparts do not experience these same costs to social status when achieving academic success. While some theorists argue that this belief is due to internal racism or hatred, others assert that the “acting White” label stems from social politics and perceived popularity. Theorists agree the effects of the “acting White” concept are harmful to individual students and the United States education system. African Americans who do achieve well academically often attribute their achievement to Black peer academic groups that support and encourage their success. This study utilized purposive sampling, the Collective Self-Esteem Scale assessment, and interview. All research subjects were students at Howard University.  The research acquired through this study indicates that students identified as “acting White” by their peers experience decreased self-esteem in primary and secondary school, purposeful isolation from the offending groups, and feelings of unworthiness. The purpose of this research is to provide a wider framework for those researching the “acting White” concept. This paper will show that while Black high-academic achievers may be displaced for “acting White” in primary and secondary school they begin to be admired by those same peers when they matriculate through college. In addition to this, this paper will discuss the negative impact the “acting White” concept has on Black students and the African American community as a whole.

 

Minni, Virginia

University of Warwick

Danger ahead! Demographic change and pension reform in Italy.

Over recent years, demographic and economic trends in Europe have generated a need to reform pension systems. This is particularly relevant in the case of Italy, which underwent a significant reform of its pay-as-you-go pension system aimed at containing pension expenditure and securing its long-term sustainability. The project first analyses the challenges related to the Italian pension system and then assesses the 2011 pension reform. The reform included the full implementation of the notional defined-contribution method for calculating pensions, the linking of retirement age to changes in life expectancy and the harmonization of the requirements for retirement between genders and professional categories.  To determine its financial impact, the projections of pension expenditure as a percentage of GDP are considered. The conclusions are that the reform significantly improves the long-term prospects of Italian government finances. It provides substantial savings and ensures the long run equilibrium of the pension system.

 

Moore, Amber

John Brown University (spring 2014 semester studying abroad at Oxford)

A Poet Between Religions: Buddhist and Christian Tensions in Jack Kerouac’s Poetry

The Beat Poets were heavily influenced by Eastern traditions, especially Buddhism. Jack Kerouac, however, also writes with a heavily Christian influence. An analysis of a selection of Kerouac’s haikus – from Desert Pops and Book of Haikus, along with his uncollected haikus which are featured in Kerouac’s Collected Poems — shows that he is dealing with serious religious tensions. Kerouac seems to be torn between the two religions. He is constantly at odds with Buddhist texts and traditions, but never denounces the religion. Much in the same way, he often seems to respect Christianity, but never claims to be a Christian. Kerouac invests himself in two religions, but is unable to fully commit to one or the other. This tension is clear in his haikus; through these small poems, Kerouac shows just how religiously unsatisfied and uncommitted he truly is, and communicates an unrest that exists in the Beat writers and his generation.

 

Mortimore, Laurie

Manchester Metropolitan University

To what extent does item order affect phonological similarity?

An experiment investigated the effects of different list types and item orders on the phonological similarity effect (PSE). Participants had to complete an immediate serial recall task involving a list of six words to show the effects on serial recall accuracy. There were three list types and each had two further different item orders. The pure lists were the control conditions and made up of just similar or dissimilar items. The isolated lists featured one dissimilar item in a list of similar items, and the alternating lists had opposing alternate patterns. All conditions were compared with each other. Independent one-way ANOVAs were used to analyse results. There was a significant effect of list type on recall accuracy. Item order differed significantly between the pure similar and isolated lists. Unexpectedly, dissimilar items were found to act as facilitators of recall. This questions previous research and the true nature of PSE.

 

Giacomo, Moretti

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

Study on a Dielectric Elastomer Power Take-Off for Wave Surge Energy Converters

Although ocean wave energy is one of the most promising renewable resources, up to date, wave energy conversion has known limited diffusion due to technical criticalities, i.e. the employment of traditional mechanical and hydraulic Power Take-Off systems that are heavy, shock and corrosion sensitive and expensive.

The present work investigates on new concepts of Wave Energy Converters based on dielectric rubberlike elastomeric materials, the employment of which may bring a simplification in the architecture of the systems and a better adaptability to the sea environment.

A model of Oscillating Wave Surge Converter, provided with Dielectric Elastomer power take-off, is presented. The study includes both a numerical analysis of the system and an experimental characterization of the elastomeric material employed for the generator. Calculations have produced encouraging preliminary results, showing that the device is capable of energy performances comparable with those of traditional generators.

 

Moreau, Alizée

University of Warwick

The Tribal Image

All images are imbued with relationships of uneven power, whether it be through the way they are set up, distributed or interpreted. This presentation will use postcolonial theory to examine the shifting relationship of power at play in the photographs taken by German anthropologist Hans-Eberhard Kauffmann (1899-1986) of tribal Naga people in India in the 1930s. It explores the dichotomy of Kauffmann’s use of both traditional, indexical techniques which classify and objectify the tribal subject and his more empathetic pictures which transcend the colonial anthropological norm and allow the Naga subjects to have a voice in the world of academia. By comparing Kauffmann’s photographs to a body of anthropological photographs, analysing their deviation from previous trends and linking them to subsequent orientations of visual anthropology, this presentation analyses and situates the Musée du Quai Branly’s unstudied Kauffmann photographs in relation to that field and, through them, questions the relationship between the anthropologist and his or her tribal subject.

 

Mukherjee, Utsa

Presidency University, Kolkata, India    

Child Soldiers: Innocent or Criminal?

The society has constructed an image of childhood which is used as a point of reference to understand children and childhood. Any behaviour or activity of children which do not conform to the ‘social construction’ of this singular model of childhood is labelled as deviant or unnatural. Our emotional logic convinces the society that there is something profoundly wrong and deviant when the accepted image of the ‘innocent’ child and that of an armed soldier comes together as a child soldier and the image of a child-soldier is thus incongruous with the accepted form of ‘childhood’. The paper attempts to understand the conventional image of childhood and to link it with the ‘new’ sociology of childhood; it would further attempt to answer – how to locate the concepts of innocence and criminal responsibility in the understanding of the child soldiers, especially in the Indian context?

 

Mulcahy, Sean

Monash University

Hahaha Faggot, Or What’s So Funny About Being Gay?

In July 2008, a group of Performance Studies and Communications students at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia attended a number of comedy shows to perform practical group phenomenological research into Agnes Heller’s theories of comic phenomena. Gay jokes were a regular comic device in these shows. Undertaking a phenomenological reduction of these jokes and applying queer theory, this paper examines the jokes’ structures and affects on the audience. The paper argues that there is something inherently comedic in the sexual act because of the failed reconciliation between its genetic need and the social taboos surrounding it. Homosexuality extends this by ignoring the genetic necessity for procreation and acting against the social construct of sex as sacred and thus, it is advanced, gayness is essentially and instinctually funny. The telling of gay jokes thus functions as an othering, distancing and disavowal of homosexual identities and reinforcement of (hetero-)sexual values.

 

Mylordou, Monica

University of Warwick

The Influence of Politics on the Perception of Property Rights in Cyprus after 1974

In 1974, Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus led to the occupation of 36.2% of sovereign territory and the displacement of 200.000 Greek Cypriots. In the 1990s, the European Court of Human Rights established Greek Cypriots’ right to the occupied property and right of return.

This research examined the displaced Greek Cypriots’ perception of their property rights, focusing on the option of vindication through the Turkey-established ‘Immovable Property Commission’ (IPC).

Research combined academic reading and interviews with experts and displaced persons. The general perception communicated the distinction between legal theory and political reality.

The perceived futility of fighting for vindication in a politically distraught system was the main reason displaced persons chose not to approach the IPC, alongside fears of financial exploitation, expense, and mistrust of the route to the ECtHR.

All interviewees conceded that Cyprus’s financial crisis fuelled applications to the IPC, despite dissatisfaction with the process and negative political ramifications.

 

Nadeem, Immad

University of Warwick.

Synthesis and Evaluation of Pt-Ru(Cu)/C Electrocatalysts for CO and MeOH Oxidation in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

However, I was an Erasmus undergraduate research student at the University of Barcelona for 13 weeks in my 3rd year. The research I have presented here was conducted at the University of Barcelona.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) operating under ambient conditions are gaining prominence due to their safe and profitable use as portable power. High surface area platinum has been earmarked to maintain high catalytic activity towards methanol oxidation. However its high cost and susceptibility to carbon monoxide self-poisoning are reasons for concern. This study creates Carbon Vulcan XC-72R supported Pt-Ru(Cu)/C electrocatalysts with a sacrificial copper core and platinum-ruthenium shell to alleviate the aforementioned concerns by reducing electrocatalyst platinum content and forming a Pt-Ru alloy which exhibits high tolerance to carbon monoxide. Electrocatalysts are synthesised by individually altering and monitoring their copper, platinum and ruthenium content – ceteris paribus – via techniques such as chronoamperometry, cyclic voltammetry and galvanic exchange reactions. Performance is investigated with respect to carbon monoxide and methanol oxidation in acidic media. The electrocatalyst composition appears to profoundly impact performance, presumably due to a change in the Pt-Ru shell composition.

 

Nagar, Ravi

University of Nottingham

Evaluating the role of a commercial slimming organisation within Type 2 diabetes management

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a major public health problem. This research investigated the impact of a commercial slimming organisation in T2D management.

Slimming World (SW) members with diabetes were invited to complete an on-line questionnaire. Quantitative and qualitative questions were used. Respondents were split by diabetes type and length of SW membership.

Of 628 respondents, 88% were female and 552 had T2D. For those with T2D attending SW > 3-months (368), mean weight and BMI fell by 11.7kg and 5.4 kg/m2 (p<0.000). Where data were provided, mean blood glucose and HbA1c fell by 4.8 mmol/l and 2.1% respectively (P<0.000). For respondents with T2D taking medication (87%, 479), 38% reported a reduction and of the 123 taking insulin, 61% reported a decrease since joining SW.

This study concludes that attending SW for >3months is a practical and effective option for improving weight management and glycaemic control in people with T2D.

 

Nash, Joe

University of Nottingham

Function Type-2 Fuzzy Logic

Fuzzy logic is a form of multi-valued logic based upon fuzzy sets, sets to which membership is not “crisp”, or boolean, but of a varying “degree of truth” in the interval [0,1]. These values are obtained through a membership function which represents the set. Fuzzy sets of this kind are known as Type-1 fuzzy sets, and see widespread use in industrial applications of fuzzy logic.

A  more powerful form, known as Type-2 fuzzy sets, allows the modelling of greater uncertainty through a 3D membership function. Whilst Type-2 fuzzy sets bring many benefits to existing Type-1 applications and open up potential new applications, they are rarely used, as they are difficult to understand and implement and systems making use of them are computationally intensive. This project seeks to determine whether functional programming techniques can be applied to fuzzy logic, and whether any of the limitations of Type-2 can be mitigated in doing so.

 

Neves, Rebecca

The University of Nottingham

The Effect of Immobilisation and Shift Towards Oxidative Metabolism on Perfusion Parameters of the Forearm

Limb immobilisation causes atrophic changes in the skeletal muscles.   Here, two questions are addressed.  Do changes in the arterial perfusion of immobilised limbs contribute to muscle atrophy and how does metabolic oxygen demand reflect on the arterial perfusion?

Eight male subjects had their non-dominant forearm in cast for four weeks.  Dichloroacetate (DCA) was administered orally on the fourth week at 50mg/kg body weight.  Throughout the study, Doppler ultrasound scans were taken of the brachial artery in both the immobilised and non-immobilised arms, together with an electrocardiogram (ECG).  Parameters recorded were; heart rate, mean blood velocity, pulsatility index and R-wave and T-wave diameters linked to the ECG.

It was found that the R-wave and T-wave diameters of the dominant arms were larger than the non-dominant (P<0.05).  Dichloroacetate was found to raise the heart rate by a statistically significant amount (P<0.05), indicating a central stimulatory effect of the drug.

 

Noakes-Robinson, Charlotte

University of Nottingham

Genius Reconsidered: A study of Leonardo da Vinci’s portraits of women To what extent can we observe the ‘genius’ of Leonardo da Vinci develop in his portraits of women?

Recognising the importance of Leonardo da Vinci, this paper looks to consider to what extent we can observe the ‘genius’ of Leonardo develop through a chronological study of his portraits of women. Initially I would outline the defining writings on Leonardo; looking closely at the earliest reference by Vasari to the nineteenth-century Walter Pater, and modern scholars Clark and Kemp. From this, my paper will discuss the concept of ‘genius’ and then pose the question of whether ‘genius’ is a tangible quality in a work of art and whether it is traceable, specifically looking at Leonardo’s portraits of women. The portraits of Ginevra de’Benci, Lady with the Ermine, La Belle Ferronnière and the pinnacle of his artistic achievement, Mona Lisa, are the one consistent genre which spans Leonardo’s career. Through this exploration, this paper aims to demonstrate that Leonardo’s ‘genius’ was a quality which developed as a result of study and practice rather than an innate “in-born” quality.

 

Oguona, Lisa

Newcastle College

‘The Newcastle College 1914 Project: Community engagement through practice as research’

The approaching First World War Centenary has stimulated a large number of community research initiatives. Undergraduate students at Newcastle College have undertaken a project which uses the experiences of Rutherford College during the First World War as a platform to explore the use of practice as research.

Archival research and interviews with the local community are being utilised to trace the lives and deaths of staff, students and alumni of Rutherford College during the conflict. Relevant sources from the archives have inspired a group of Foundation Degree students to develop an original piece of physical theatre. This allows undergraduates from creative subjects to use their own practice as a research tool in exploring the emotional and social consequences of an academic community at war.

The physical theatre piece will be performed to the local community in August 2014, thus serving as an innovative avenue of dissemination for archival research.

 

Oladosu, Titilopemi

King’s College London

Sad dads: paternal postnatal depression (PPD) – true illness or myth of the modern man?

Postnatal depression affects 1 in 10 fathers worldwide. However, academic literature on the condition is sparse, while in the media the existence of PPD is hotly debated.

The literature review was conducted using Pubmed and ISI Web of Knowledge searches to access academic literature, grey literature was accessed through Google.

Several bio-psycho-social risk factors such as hormonal changes during the perinatal period, previous psychiatric illness, maternal depression, and income status contribute to the development of PPD. Paternal postnatal depression has severe negative impacts on family health, parent and child interactions, and future child health (particularly for male children).

Preventions, screening, and effective treatments are possible. In Britain however, diagnosis and clinician awareness can be improved through incorporation of the disease in the main diagnostic manuals DSMJIV and ICD-10. Also, there is a need for increased screening and better inclusion of fathers in antenatal care programmes.

Oladosu, Titilopemi

King’s College London

Pathways to care: exploring accessibility and delivery of mental healthcare in southwest Nigeria

This work explores accessibility and delivery of mental healthcare in the Southwest through health-workers’ perspectives.

Purposive convenience sampling was used to identify health-workers at Federal hospitals and the Ministry of Health. 26 semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic content analysis. Ethical approval was received from King’s College London and the National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria.

Problems identified include lack of education and conflicting cultural interpretations of illnesses as a cause of delay in recognition. Delay in accessing care was impeded by stigma, while delay in receiving appropriate care was compounded by the high costs of out-of-pocket payments. Increased community sensitization, dissemination of services to remote areas, and subsidisation of health cost were identified as potential solutions for the challenges faced.

More needs to be done to reduce the marginalisation of vulnerable groups (the uneducated, poor, and disabled) from access to mental healthcare.

 

Ong, Samantha Xin Ying

University of Warwick

Moral Civic Discourse and Corruption: Italy and China

A study of how moral-civic narratives can be used in the fight against corruption in China. It attempts to analyse and to elucidate the moral civic principles from religion and philosophy such as to design an overall programme to ensure the disinclination to corruption and hopefully, to instil a sense of incorruptibility in the citizen.

Quantitative data of the religious makeup of Italy and of Transparency International were used in conjunction with Fukuyama’s theory on trust and the understanding of corruption as the decline in the ability and willingness of citizens to act spontaneously to support other citizens/communal institutions. Without a strong sense of loyalty, the rule of law cannot be upheld from the grassroots in a manner favourable to the state.

It revealed that in China, a possible construction of civic-moral education is suitable to instil incorruptibility in its citizens.

Ooi, Qitai

University of Warwick

Entrepreneurship and Changing the Law: The Rights of Refugees in Malaysia.

Through academic studies and semi-structured interviews, this project examines the level of protection that refugees in Malaysia should receive if they were to become economicallybb self-sufficient, and whether the Malaysian government will be willing to provide such protection, given that it will generate high level of entrepreneurial activity within the country. The project has identified the willingness of the government in permitting such changes, and has identified factors that can generate economic activity among refugees. This study is concluded with the view that once it is proven that entrepreneurial activities were to take place, the Malaysian government would be willing to officially recognise the status of refugees. This project is completed with a submission of a proposal to the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs that encourages changes that the government could adopt in order to allow activities in favour of the refugees and the host communities to take place.

 

O’Shea Brown, Thomas

University of Nottingham

A study into the seroprevalence of Schmallenberg Virus among ruminants in the United Kingdom, November 2011―July 2013.

Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was first isolated in the South East of the United Kingdom during January 2012. Infection with SBV has been linked with malformed neonates and a transient non-specific febrile syndrome in adult cattle.  However, the reporting of malformed neonates leads to an inaccurate understanding of the true impact of the disease. For this reason serological testing has been used to detect SBV-specific antibodies throughout continental Europe. For the United Kingdom, there is a lack of data; for this study a virus neutralisation test was used to test 1129 samples for the presence of SBV-specific antibodies from 34 counties of the United Kingdom. Samples from the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands were also tested.

The overall seroprevalence for the United Kingdom was estimated to be 51.24%; this value was lower than reported for continental Europe. This value suggests that large numbers of animals remain at risk of infection.

 

 

Osipenko, Ekaterina

University of Warwick

Effect of socioeconomic status on mental health of adults in Russia.

The relationship between socioeconomic status and physical health has been discussed at great length by the academia in past years. Interest in the field is not surprising, as importance of general health of population to wellbeing of a country is hard to overstate. The relationship between economic wellbeing and psychological health has been less explored however. Overall results seem to indicate a positive correlation between socioeconomic status and mental health. A range of studies have shown that there are certain cultural differences present in this relationship, thus it is beneficial to consider each country in particular. I am focusing on Russia, using results from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey from years 2012-2011 in order to establish a relationship between depressive symptoms and socioeconomic status in adults in this country. The main objective is to determine which of the factors of socioeconomic status have the biggest detrimental effect on mental health and to look at how different gender groups are affected.

 

 Ostacchini, Luca

University of Warwick

Fair or Fowl?: Golding’s Transformation of Ovidian Bird Lore into Moral Exempla.

The importance of animal lore to Medieval and Renaissance culture is undeniable. Tales of birds and beasts were instrumental to moral teaching. Many studies have investigated the ways in which Ovidian animal lore became reconciled with Christian values in Renaissance art and literature, but little attention has been paid to the specific role of birds in this tradition.
This project seeks to explore, with specific reference to Arthur Golding’s 1567 translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the way in which classical bird lore was transformed into a source of moral exempla. Birds have been associated with levity, freedom and the celestial throughout the ages, but in Metamorphoses they become darker creatures entirely. Golding’s renaissance rendering sees birds used to discuss the chaotic consequences of unrestrained human emotion. This paper explores Golding’s transformation of Ovid’s bird tales, and, in doing so, suggests that the act of translation itself becomes another form of metamorphosis.

 

Palazzi, Franco

University of Pisa

Would Human Extinction Be Morally Wrong?

In a historical context characterized by nuclear weapons and climate change the possibility of human extinction is clearly worth of consideration. It seems quite obvious to laypeople that the eventuality of extinction is so terrifying that we must do whatever is in our power to avoid it. However, whereas serious philosophical objections have recently been raised against this belief, very few philosophers have tried to demonstrate the negativity of human extinction – and, unfortunately, their arguments are very likely to fail. In my paper I will analyze the weakness of both the already existent arguments against and in favor extinction, developing an original approach of intergenerational ethics which is able to defend the claim that, under some conditions now applying, we are morally required to try to perpetuate the life of mankind. In particular, I will argue that such requirement is based on the duties we owe to the previous generations.

 

Palmer, Joseph

University of Nottingham

Characterisation and optimisation of the chemical conditions required for struvite precipitation from anaerobic digestates

Struvite (MgNH4PO4•6H2O) precipitation is used to reduce/recoverammonium and phosphate from wastewater treatment plants. The chemical characteristics of three anaerobic digestates were examined to determine the potential for struvite precipitation. EDTA and MgCl2 were administered as treatments to explore their usefulness in altering the available phosphate concentrations. Treatments had a significant effect on available-P concentration (p<0.001) in all digestates. An 80mmol EDTA addition increased available P and Mg concentrations by 453-563% and 436-1040% respectively (p<0.05). Treatments had a significant effect on Mg, Na and Ca concentrations (p<0.001) although had no significant effect on K concentrations.  The increase in available-P and Mg is from the breakdown of Ca-P and Ca-Mg complexes, which could help enhance the potential struvite yield from digestates. Subsequent Mg addition reduced the available-P. Digestates could provide a renewable source of P, although further research should be aimed at developing methods for recovering struvite and biodegradable alternatives to EDTA.

 

Parfitt, Jenny

Staffordshire University

The Impact of Brand Manipulation on Visual Attention and Accurate Product Recognition.

What attracts an Individual’s attention to a branded product? Past studies have presented convincing arguments for both automatic (Bottom-up) and voluntary (Top-down) cognitive processes as determining factors (Theeuwes, 2010; Clement et al. 2013) of attention to branded products?. In order to clarify the contradiction of previous research, the current researcher investigated the impact that these processes had on an individual’s visualattention and accurate product recognition when presented with an image of both a genuine product and a manipulated version of it. A within-subjects design was used and 25 participants viewed 81 images, and were asked to select the genuine product in each displayed picture. The number of fixations and fixation duration times from each participant were recordedby eye-tracker technology, as well as participants reaction times for each selection. The results and discussion for the current research are still pending, as the experiment is still in operation.

 

Parikh, Poojan

Saint Louis University

The Role of Glutathione Synthesis in the Survival Group B Streptococcus Post Exposure to Immunologically Relevant Oxidative Stresses stresses

Glutathione is an antioxidant maintained at high levels in Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), a leading cause of neonatal meningitis. In GBS, glutathione is synthesized in a single step through a bifunctional enzyme encoded by the gene gshAB, making the synthesis of glutathione a viable drug target because humans synthesize glutathione using two steps. We hypothesized that if we eliminate glutathione synthesis by knocking out the gshAB gene, then the mutant GBS will show lower survival than its wild-type counterpart post exposure to oxidative stress, namely superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, nitric oxide and peroxynitrite. The results demonstrated how glutathione-deficient GBS showed much lower survival than wild-type GBS, especially under HOCl challenge, hinting at its potent oxidant characteristics. Our research shows the functional versatility of glutathione in GBS and in light of the growing resistance against current antimicrobial agents, the glutathione pathway in GBS could prove to be an effective drug target.

 

Patel, Dhvanil & Vijay, Rohan

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Detailed analysis of various contemporary films based on mosaics generated using the dominant colours of the entire film.

This paper analyses various Hollywood films in detail with respect to the genre, story-line, philosophy etc. using various aspects of colour psychology. Films by famous directors like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, etc. have been examined.

All the films were analysed based only on one single image. This single image was a pixelated montage or mosaic of the film. A python script was developed which extracted frames out of the film and then extracted the dominant colour from the frame. The colours were then arranged in the order of their timing to form a mosaic.

Detailed analysis revealed subtle yet critical aspects about the film regarding the themes, moods and the setting of the film. Other findings included the estimate on the amount of explicit scenes (violence and sex) and their timing. Most of the findings were in agreement with the critical reviews of the film and the director.

 

Patel, Jignisha

University of Nottingham

The effects of habitual high-heel use on the fatigability of the ankle musculature: A pilot study

Wearing high-heeled shoes causes an abnormal gait pattern. Systematic kinetic and kinematical adaptions occur along with, imbalances in muscle recruitment. These biomechanical effects can eventually put the wearer at risk of lateral ankle sprains. Previous research has allowed for a better understanding of the immediate muscular responses to high-heeled use, but little has been observed about the longer effects. This study aims to understand the changes which occur at the ankle musculature following a habituation period; 30minutes activity in high-heeled shoes. 10 healthy young females will be recruited to measure EMG activity of the Peroneus Longus, Tibialis Anterior and Lateral Gastrocnemius muscles during three walking conditions (barefoot, pre-habituation, and post-habituation). It is hypothesised that the results will indicate an increase in muscle activity, specifically Peroneus Longus, in high-heeled gait and later show signs of fatigue post-habituation. This research will allow for greater understanding about the consequences of habitual high-heeled wearing.

 

Pathak, Kaustubh

University of Leeds

Critical evaluation of the claim that rising unemployment has led to more deeper and extensive poverty in the UK since 1992.

This essay examines the concepts of unemployment and poverty in the UK for the past twenty years. The two main aims of the essay are to firstly, be critical of the statistics pertaining to unemployment and poverty and secondly, to evaluate the claim about rising unemployment leading to more deeper and extensive poverty. Unemployment and poverty statistics often do not provide accurate figures and the reasons behind why this occurs is explored in the essay. Accuracy, bias and validity of the statistics are closely examined and the extent to which they represent the true macroeconomic situation is gauged. Finally, the trends in unemployment and poverty are examined to find out if any correlation exists between rising unemployment and the scope of poverty. The unemployment and poverty statistics are found to contain numerous sources of inaccuracy and bias and no correlation is observed between rising unemployment and rising level of poverty.

 

Perez, Lara

Autonomous University of Madrid

Structure/function relationship in the Lac Repressor.

The Lac repressor (LacI) binds specifically to an operator site in DNA and hinders transcription of genes that follow this operator. LacI can also bind an inducer (IPTG) that is responsible for the allosteric regulation of LacI. Allosteric process can be studied by targeting positions that may be crucial for conformational changes in LacI. In this project we generated mutations in the IPTG-binding pocket and studied the in vivo properties of mutants. To characterize each mutant we studied the GFP fluorescence emission under different circumstances such as IPTG concentration or incubation time with IPTG. Several mutants in position 73, 75, 127 and 76 were studied.  Our results show different properties of mutants which may be useful to understand the role of the residues studied in allosteric transmission and their importance for function of LacI.

 

Perrone, Gaelen

The University of Western Australia

The Agency Complex and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: Implications for Strategic Litigation in the Post-Lisbon Era

In 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was incorporated into primary European Union (EU) law. The significance of this development, affixing individual human rights to the well-established doctrine of Community law supremacy, was heralded as the beginning of a new era for human rights protection in Europe. This study seeks to evaluate the case law to determine whether the prospect of an individually accessible human rights regime has profited from the Charter’s inclusion in the Treaty of Lisbon. Four illustrative judgements from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), selected for their treatment of issues relating to the Charter and to the jurisdiction of the CJEU, indicate that the Charter is unable in its present configuration to support individual rights claims which do not involve EU law. The case law further suggests that European citizenship does not provide an inherent guarantee of Charter applicability.

 

Phoenix, Jess

University of East Anglia

The role of science as an influence on stakeholder’s discourse concerning the bTB knowledge controversy

Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is a richly debated controversy due to the governmental implementation of two badger culls in South West England to control the disease. The science of bTB is conflicting and thus inherently and unavoidably selected by stakeholders to support their underlying opinions.

Purposive, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 17 stakeholders in the West Gloucestershire cull zone to investigate the sources of evidence behind their knowledge claims. The interview transcripts were discursively analysed according to the philosophical works of M. Foucault and the resultant sources of knowledge investigated using Foucault’s power-knowledge theory.

Stakeholder’s views are predominately formed by emotions, values and personal experience. Science provides legitimacy  and credibility to these pre-determined viewpoints (Foucault’s will to truth) and consequently confirms science as the ultimate societal truth.

This work contributes to DEFRA’s imperative research gap regarding the functioning of stakeholder’s understanding and use of science in the issue of bTB.

 

Pink, Ester

Newcastle University

The debate on Indian education: Anglicists, Orientalists and the ideology of Empire

This study analyses correspondence between Orientalist John Tytler and Anglicist Thomas Macaulay, from January 1835. By the 1820s-1830s the East India Company had started to take on political functions: the debate on Indian education provides insight into shifts in the ideology of imperialism. Debate focused on whether to use public funds to subsidize education in Arabic or Sanskrit, providing stipends for students, or to fund education in English, with no stipends. While for contemporary observers these two positions appeared irreconcilably juxtaposed, this analysis draws attention to the similarities between them. Both factions proposed an education reserved for the elite, in a language alien to most Indians, with strong emphasis on “usefulness”. This is evidence of an ideological shift: where in 1800 utilitarian notions wouldn’t have been applied, to argue against them in the 1830s was unthinkable. The essay also argues that Indian agency was more significant than these sources admit, as a new middle class had arisen that was willing to pay for a Western education.

 

Pink, Ester

Newcastle University

Pasties in Pachuca: the role of women in preserving Cornish identity in Mexico

Since the 1820s the village of Real Del Monte and neighbouring Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, have been home to significant Cornish community. This project set out to analyse how Cornish culture evolved, assimilated or was preserved, and how this identity was transmitted to the newer generations born in Mexico. Research focused particularly on the role of women in key areas of Cornish influence such as food history (the Cornish pasty, now known as “paste”, features heavily in local cuisine in a variety of flavours, and Real del Monte is home to the only Paste Museum in the world) and education history (the oldest schools in Pachuca were founded by/for the Cornish community, and many of the teachers were Cornish women). The study combined historical and anthropological methods, and was mainly based on interviews with descendants of Cornish families.

 

Povey, Karl

University of Central Lancashire              

The Phenomenology of Roman Forts in Northern Britain and How They Control Their Surrounding Landscapes

Phenomenology has been expressively used across a range of prehistoric monuments, medieval castles and Roman roads thereby allowing archaeologists to place themselves within the historical world. With the most successful of these studies offering reasons why monuments have been constructed in such a way and even show how they resemble significant areas of the landscape. Therefore, a phenomenological methodology lays the biases for a study on how Roman forts effect, influence and ultimately control their surrounding landscapes in Romano Britain. Preliminary results have revealed that forts are always the most discernable structure within the landscapes, forming tall powerful images to see and be seen by others, which is one of many trends that are examined throughout this research.

 

Powell, Steven

University of the West of England

Ultraviolet light and the behaviour of captive purple jewel beetles (Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni)

Insects are able to perceive light ranging from ultraviolet to red.  Studies have demonstrated insect optical receptors make use of UV light and behavioural responses varying from approaching or avoidance, increase or decrease in general activity or change of posture.   However, little is known about whether or not UV light is an important factor in the husbandry and welfare of captive insects.

This study compared the behaviour of two groups of captive purple jewel beetles (Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni) in similar tanks under a UV emitting light source but with a UV attenuating cover over one tank while all other environmental variables were the same.

UV levels were recorded in each tank.  Behaviour of the groups was recorded using a scan sampling technique and numbers of beetles active was recorded.

Preliminary results show individuals exposed to UV utilise the upper section of the enclosure more and displayed higher levels of basking.

 

Prior, Josh

University of Leeds

Sustainability on My Estate: Simultaneously Reducing the Financial Outgoings and the Carbon and Ecological Footprints of Disadvantaged Households while Maintaining if Not Improving the Quality and Standard of Living.

The sustainability challenges faced by disadvantaged social housing tenants in major UK cities are quite different to society in general. This stratum suffers from high vulnerability to fluctuations in commodity markets while having a diminished capacity to adapt to ongoing social, economic and environmental change.

My research has intimately investigated one housing estate in South West London to elucidate the spheres of life with highest vulnerability; then through projects and schemes builds adaptive capacity to facilitate meaningful gains in quality and standard of living.

The research has used a quantitative carbon-ecological hybrid footprint model, in-depth qualitative interviews and a wealth of academic knowledge; identifying that the affordability of energy and food represents the most vulnerable aspects of existence. To combat these challenges the author has championed measures justified spatially and temporally by both residents and academics such as a common warm room, community allotment, and gorilla household insulation and efficiency.

 

Pugh, Stuart

University of Central Lancashire

Morality in Reality: An investigation into Moral Intuition and Reasoning

Fifty Years of moral reasoning research has employed the classic hypothetical “Trolley problem”; where five people facing imminent death from an oncoming train, can be saved by re-directing the train to another line and killing one. The current research carried out two studies to examine the efficacy of this methodology.

Experiment One considered the hypothetical “Trolley problem” paradigm via online questionnaire, varying the levels of jeopardy (victim numbers). Subsequent analysis found significant differences which demonstrated effects of both victim numbers and ratio (Saved : Killed).

Experiment Two also varied jeopardy levels whilst immersing participants in a physical environment, requiring a physical action to enact decisions. Analysis supported Experiment One, finding significant differences between victim numbers and ratios. Additionally, when comparing the results of the two experiments it appears that endorsement of utilitarian decisions is significantly greater when using the more realistic (physical) methodology. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

 

Pyragius, Tadas

University of Nottingham

Doppler-Free Spectroscopy and Electromagnetically Induced Transparency in Hot Caesium Vapour

Applications of lasers in non-linear spectroscopy are looking to be a very promising candidate in realising quantum memories [1]. One such technique is Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT) [2]. It is a non-linear optical effect whereby the properties of the medium such as the refractive index and absorption can be altered via coherent manipulation of its atomic energy states using lasers. Such optical manipulation can slow down the light; trap it and release it on demand [3]. This creates the perfect conditions for quantum information storage which can even be operated at room temperature. [4]The aim of this project is to build an experimental apparatus to demonstrate

 

Mathias de Queiroz Ribeiro, Rebeca

University of Exeter / Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Elements of Metabolic Syndrome, Adipokines and Insulin Resistance in Children

Visceral adipose tissue is essential in the context of insulin resistance. It participates in the process through production of certain proteins, called adypokines. Therefore, the aim of this project was analysing the influence of the metabolic syndrome components (obesity, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia and glucose metabolism), leptin and adiponectin to the increase of insulin resistance since childhood. Children were divided in two groups according to the presence or abscense of insulin resistance, defined through the homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index ≥ 2.5. Then they were compared in regards of sex, waist circumference, arterial hypertension and acantose nigricans (skin condition which is an independent risk factor for insulin resistance). When comparing to HOMA-IR, there was significant correlation with leptin, gender (female), age, acantose nigricans,  triglycerides and leptin (p<0,05) but negative in regards of adiponectin. Therefore, it was evidenced the relevance of serum lipids, acantose nigricans and leptin in insulin resistance.

 

Rage, Elina

University of Warwick

‘Us, middle class kids, running around the bins, feeling like criminals’: student freegans and their discursive motivations of resistance

Every year British retailers depose of estimated 1.6 million tons of food. This case study of self-asserted ‘freegans’ engaging in ‘dumpster-diving’ – illegally scavenging refuse from binned shop surplus – in Coventry and Leamington Spa areas, based on qualitative research design, employs ethnography, including participant observation, in-depth interviews, and photo elicitation, constructing a detailed picture of (anti)consumption discourse and practices within the freeganing movement. The poststructural nature of freegan identity negotiation was observed in a multiplicity of motivations – personal, moral, activist, and social – manifested in a fusion of consumptive practices, political activities, and anti-capitalist ideologies. Significantly, freegans exercise power through ‘dumpster diving’, by redefining what is considered as food or waste, legitimising their activities through online communities. Furthermore, the research argues for freeganism heralding the rise of the citizen and the fall of the consumer, through active resistance to dominating capitalist structures and their appropriations of excess.

 

Ramakrishna, Navin

University of Oxford

Characterisation of Cdc20 Lysine-Less Mutant in the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint

The control of mitosis is dependent on the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of two proteins – Securin and Cyclin B – at a precise time. The Spindle Assembly Checkpoint, activated by improperly attached chromosomes, ensures this by inhibiting the recognition of these proteins by the ubiquitin ligase Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) and its co-activator Cdc20. The inhibition is achieved via the binding of Cdc20 to Mad2. The group previously proposed an additional mechanism in which Cdc20 autoubiquitylation helps maintain the checkpoint, using a non-degradable Cdc20 where all Lysines were mutated to Arginines (Lys-less). Unfortunately, one of the mutated Lysines falls in the Mad2 binding motif, which may affect the conclusion drawn.

By observing Cyclin B degradation rates in live-cell microscopy, we confirm that cells expressing the Cdc20 Lys-less mutant have a partially defective checkpoint, but we also show by co-immunoprecipitation that this is probably due to reduced inhibitory Mad2 interaction with the mutant.

 

Read, Joanna

University of Leeds

Investigating the effects of sea-level rise on Loggerhead turtle nesting beaches in Greece.

The sea-level around the globe is predicted to increase within the next century, but will rise at different rates according to different scenarios. Sea turtles, all seven species of which are endangered, are dependent on both marine and terrestrial environments while playing a crucial role in their maintenance. They could therefore be severely affected by sea-level rise1. A 3D profile of a section of the second most important nesting beach for Loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean was created using GIS2. Four different sea-level rise projections from the IPCC (2007) were run on this model of Kyparissia Bay, Greece, showing the direct effects on the nest locations in 20133. The indirect effects of sea-level rise will be measured by modelling the following factors which influence nesting success: moisture, temperature and pH. The implications of each scenario on the conservation policies of ARCHELON, who monitor and protect the beach, will be examined.

 

Rich, Charlotte

University of Warwick

The role of RAMPs in CRLR signalling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) change the activity of the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR). The CRLR is expressed throughout the human body and respond to the ligand calcitonin to effect changes in calcium homeostasis.

However, when in complex with RAMPs, CRLR no longer responds to calcitonin, but responds to other peptide hormones; CGRP, adrenomedullin and intermedin. These hormones play a role in cardiovascular and respiratory homeostasis and neurotransmission.

The CRLR is a G-protein coupled receptor and activation occurs through a coupled G protein. This experiment aimed to, firstly, establish that the ligands CGRP, adrenomedullin and intermedin activate the CRLR receptor when it is coupled to 2 different G-proteins; Gs and Gi1/2, which act as stimulatory and inhibitory proteins respectively. Secondly, the experiment aimed to establish what, if any, bias each ligand had towards each G protein and how this bias changes when the receptor is in complex with RAMP proteins.

 

Richards, Andrew

University of Nottingham

Programming an Autonomous Robot through Gesture Recognition

Sending people into hazardous environments such as disaster zones, search and rescue operations and even mine clearance can be extremely dangerous. This risk could be completely removed if we instead use an autonomous robot that can perform the same movements as a human. The project aims to develop software that will allow the control of an autonomous robot using a Microsoft Kinect sensor. The sensor will see and recognise movements performed by a user and then send them as an instruction to the robot, which will then re-enact the movements in real-time. The project consists of three parts; the ability to recognise movements with the Kinect sensor, to then communicate these to the robot and finally to have the robot mimic the movements safely and without causing damage to itself. The main challenge is getting the Kinect sensor and the autonomous robot to successfully communicate with each other.

 

Roberts, Rebecca

University of Chester

Factors Influencing Spatial and Navigational Abilities, with Reference to the Effect of Geographical Training

Although technology has arguably decreased the need for map reading skills, including spatial and navigational abilities, they are still important in everyday life. This research explores factors affecting spatial and navigational abilities. The most cited factors are gender and age; the general consensus being that males have greater spatial abilities than females (Coluccia & Louse, 2004), and that both spatial and navigational abilities deteriorate with age (Head & Isom, 2010). This research develops upon this by also exploring the influence of geographical training, with a hypothesis that studying geography enhances these abilities in men and women, as suggested by Wakabayashi (2013).

Questionnaires, including map-related tests, were employed to investigate respondents’ orientation, place recognition, route memory, and self-location abilities; which are vital spatial and navigational skills. Preliminary findings suggest that those with geographical training believe themselves to have a greater sense of direction and world map knowledge, compared to those without.

 

Rogers, Andrew

University of Warwick

Targeting the GLUT1 glucose transporter using glycosylated Ru(II) complexes

Finding a cure for cancer is an enormous challenge yet current anti-cancer agents such as cisplatin have significant side toxicity, which necessitates the development of alternative drugs.

The rapid proliferation of cancer cells is caused by their enhanced metabolism, for which they require an increased supply of glucose. Consequently, their increased abundance of membrane channels used to import glucose over that of non-cancerous cells provides a potential therapeutic target. The project proposed the synthesis of four ruthenium-based compounds, two of which labelled with a glucose derivative, with which to achieve better selectivity towards the cancer cells than with the unlabelled compounds.

The synthesis of the former two compounds proved straightforward but the latter two were much more elusive. Ultimately, only the two compounds that did not contain a glucose derivative were available for testing on human A2780 ovarian cancer cells, yet one of them demonstrated comparable chemotherapeutic activity to cisplatin.

 

Russell, Donna

University of the West of Scotland

Reflections on a Staff/Student Research Partnership Project

The poster will examine the staff/student research partnership through the lens of undergraduate students involved in a short collaborative research project undertaken to examine student awareness of employability development at the University of the West of Scotland.  It will detail and examine the perspectives and experiences of the 6 undergraduate research partners who took part in the project. From this position, the poster will examine the project as both a research-engaged learning activity and as a personal development activity, considering the process of the staff/student research partnership and the way in which this played out during the project. It will outline some of the key opportunities and benefits of taking part in this type of project as well as identifying the challenges and threats that emerged during the process.

 

Russell, Donna

University of the West of Scotland

Raising Student Awareness of Developing Employability: Mapping Employability Competencies and Graduate Attributes against the Assessment Framework

This presentation will examine and evaluate the potential of mapping employability competencies and graduate attributes against assessment processes and practices in order to enhance student awareness of developing employability.  Reviewing data on employability awareness collected from an initial survey of 185 first year students on the BA Social Sciences programme at the University of the West of Scotland, and follow-up focus groups, it will be argued that the explicit mapping of the linkages between programme and module outcomes, employability competencies and graduate attributes, and the assessment strategy, supports students in identifying the programme level assessment framework as designed to engage scholarly activity and development of subject knowledge in a way that is externally facing and workplace relevant. The presentation will also showcase an interactive assessment/employability tool, designed as an output of the research undertaken, which supports students in identifying and evaluating their developing employability across their programme of study.

 

Scuderi, Gloria

University of Leeds

Housing Cooperatives as degrowth catalysts: a Leeds study

My research attempts to evaluate whether UK housing cooperatives, mainly in Leeds, contribute to the ignition of an economic degrowth process.

The research objectives are:

-Investigating the housing cooperatives’ ethos’ relevance to the degrowth  agenda, by exploring discourses on equity, basic needs fulfilment, sense of community and participatory democracy, and assessing how/if they are acted upon by the cooperatives;

-Researching the relationship between the cooperatives and their local community, and whether a mutual capacity building process is in place.

To fulfil them, I analysed the policy documents of two Leeds cooperatives, conducted two focus groups with their residents and carried out participant observation at a national cooperatives for social change gathering. I am analysing the data through a Foucaldian discourse analysis framework, to unpack them with a reflexive stand.

Preliminary conclusions show that housing cooperatives are active in devising non-monetary, collaborative provision systems, but that scale issues influence their impacts.

 

Seeley, Aidan

The University of Aberdeen

Studying bone using electron microscopy: new insights with new methods?

Electron Microscopy is a method by which microscopical details of individual cells can be seen. While light microscopes can magnify such details by up to a thousand times, electron microscopes can magnify up to hundreds of thousands of times.

The project used two methods to study bone: a method to freeze bone under high pressure with use of liquid nitrogen and then study thin sections of it to look inside the bone cells and a method to study the holes within bone by filling these with resin and then etching the sample with acid in order to image the “casts” that are created.

The casts showed that a specific type of bone cell, called osteocytes, could come into contact with blood vessels within the bone. The high-pressure freezing method showed that the space between the bone cell and the wall of bone, is filled with fibres, called the pericellular matrix.

 

Sehmbi, Vineeta

 University of Leeds

Gender-based violence and political rhetoric in India.

The shocking revelations of the past two years have demonstrated the horrific realities of gender-based violence in India, calling into question the role of national and international political rhetoric. The Delhi gang rape case of 2012 was a turning point for the Indian government in passing new and successive legislation with the hope of deterring similar violence. It is necessary to further the discussion on this topic in order to fully understand the extent of gender-based violence in India, and to question the efficacy of recent legislative and institutional measures. This dissertation will argue that the extent of gender-based violence in India is the result of factors that are far more intrinsic and endemic than poor legislation and institutional practices. It is the postcolonial, religious, and cultural structures of the Indian patriarchy that contribute to an embedded structural violence, which both underpin and justify personal, direct, gender-based violence.

 

Sen, Ilina

University of Warwick

The Gifts of Diplomacy

My project consists of an examination of the embassy sent by Phra Narai of Siam to the court of Louis XIV of France in 1686, the star of which was a vast array of gifts, documented in a comprehensive inventory. By concentrating on the material culture of gifting much is revealed about the cultural and diplomatic encounter between two cultures, whilst also illuminating global trade networks and court trends of the seventeenth century. For example a Mughal empire plate given to Louis XIV details an extensive network of diplomatic, cultural and material exchange across the early modern world. Similarly, several of the 1,500 pieces of Chinese porcelain, designed specifically European audience, exhibit hybrid forms of craftsmanship and imagined concepts of the East. Ultimately, I use material culture as a way to observe many aspects of global connectedness that, in my opinion, characterised the early modern world.

 

Shahbenderian , Christine

University of Warwick

Similarities and differences between the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, 1952-1960, and the EOKA Uprising in Cyprus 1955-1959

In late July in 2011, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published an admission that it holds an archive of 1.2 million files. Some of the papers cover controversial episodes such as the human rights abuses in Kenya when the Mau Mau uprising took place in 1952-1960 and the EOKA insurgency carried out by the Greek-Cypriot freedom fighters against the British Colonial Rule in 1955. Taking into account the importance of the release of the files, I have undertaken to conduct a research for my dissertation on African History and to find comparisons and differences between the two uprisings from the perceptive stand of the fighters by looking at their memoirs. My research relies primarily on personal accounts for its description and analysis of the two movements, but draws well on other materials such as the files released recently and archival records in order to strengthen the narrative and the analysis.

 

Sharma, Arjun

University of Nottingham

Plant Pi – Development of a low cost fully automated Raspberry Pi control system, to regulate conditions for plant growth vessels.

The aim of this project was to create an environmental control system for plant growth vessels, such as control rooms and plant propagators using the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. The project focused on efficiency and autonomy throughout.

Conditions and requirements stem from existing commercial solutions, and the respective feedback. The technical challenge involved creating a bridge between the Hardware appliances (heaters, sensors, lights and fans) and the Software control system to autonomies the control. Furthermore, the inclusion of mobile control form an Android Application and website increase functionality and allow the user to be any distance from the physical location of the deployed system.

Therefore, while it is acknowledged such functionality would be beneficial to the users, the implementation of hardware and software with the Raspberry Pi has proved more than adequate for the task, although complex. This suggests the use of a Raspberry Pi for real world applications can be successful.

 

Shen, Di

University of Nottingham

Evaluating Laccase-Based Treatment to Remove Steroids from Water and Wastewater Matrices

The presence of steroids in the aquatic system is an increasingly sever problem that adversely affects aquatic organisms. They are not easily degraded in conventional wastewater treatment plant and currently many studies are focusing on their removal with a natural enzyme – laccases. The efficiency is usually examined via steroids degradation, quantified by chromatography technology. However, almost all the studies on laccase degradation failed to evaluate the impacts of steroids adsorption, which is caused by analysing filters used prior to chromatography. This study was designed to examine the influences of steroids adsorption caused by four common types of filters: regenerated cellulous (RC), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyethersulfone (PES) and glass microfiber filters (GMF), all with 0.2μm pore size. It was found that up to 88% of steroids could be adsorbed to the filter (PES type). RC filters gave the least adsorption (~3%) thus were recommended for related studies to avoid overestimation.

 

Sheppard, Kayleigh

Staffordshire University

Adipocere Formation and the Wrapping Of Bodies – A Useful Forensic Indicator?

Adipocere, a fatty acid based substance is produced as a late post-mortem change occurring due to putrefactive and hydrolytic enzymes. These convert free fatty acids to saturated fatty acids which comprise adipocere.

Laboratory experiments using porcine tissue were conducted to investigate the effects of different wrapping materials upon the rate of adipocere formation.

Gas-Chromatography Mass Spectrometry was employed to determine the chemical composition of adipocere formed over a 14 week decomposition period.

Results suggest that wrapping materials accelerate the rate of adipocere formation in non-aqueous environments, thus confirming that water content within body tissues is sufficient enough to induce adipocere formation.  Different fatty acid ratios form dependent upon the wrapping material.

Knowing the effects of different types of wrapping materials on the rate of adipocere formation and its composition may be a useful forensic taphonomic indicator and may offer valuable intelligence for the estimation of post-mortem intervals and perimortem events.

 

Sheppard, Kayleigh

Staffordshire University

Next Generation Crime Scene Recording and Forensic Data Use Within Crime Investigations.

A fundamental initial procedure in crime scene investigations is the recording and documentation of the crime scene environment; providing comprehensive documentation, both written and photographic of contextual information regarding a case. Current methods of documenting crime scenes rely upon manual techniques; contemporaneous notes, sketches and photographs, which on their own provide limited contextual information and are difficult to disseminate efficiently.

Modern digital technologies, such as the 360-degree camera and software [Spheron Vr Ltd] can provide more effective and efficient solutions for speeding-up crime scene recording and for subsequent dissemination of live-time information. The technology creates a photorealistic documentation of a scene, allowing virtual access across secure servers with real-time data transfer.

The research conducted is developing and improving upon the digital evidence collection and the photography of the crime scene to improve case management providing a more seamless coordination between police and forensic staff.

 

Shore, Eliot

University of Warwick

Characterisation of Pedestrian Loading on Footbridge Structures

As engineered structures become lighter and slenderer, structural dynamics has become increasingly important in design. This became evident in the year 2000 when the London Millennium Bridge was famously closed due to vibrations which became so bad that some people had to hold on to the hand rail.

This project involved filming a footbridge, 31.1 m in length, subject to reasonably heavy footfall for about an hour a day for 7 days. In total 1187 people used the bridge, of which 806 were included as pedestrians in the analysis.

From the data it was found that the mean walking speed was 1.37 m/s overall, mean step frequency was 1.93 Hz overall, and mean step length was 0.71 m overall. None of these varied significantly with direction of travel. The main output of the project was a spreadsheet of data suitable for further analysis.

 

Shorinmade, Omolara

University of Nottingham

The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility – Social Sustainability (Employee’s welfare) on the survival and success chances of an organisation.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always been a concept in business with a lot of controversies.  However, in the recent years, people and business executives in general are beginning to shift towards the idea that companies should be responsible for more than just increasing shareholders wealth.

One aspect of CSR focuses on relations between an organisation and its employees. It pays attention to the additional benefits offered to employees beyond agreed salary/wages.

There has been some indication that CSR is advantageous to organisations. Finding the right balance seems to be the issue; at what point do the costs start to outweigh the benefits?

Some studies have also suggested that there is a link between the social responsibilities of a company to its employees and its success chances although there is little empirical evidence of this. My work seeks to analyse the available information and contribute new findings.

 

Shorland, Sophie

University of Warwick

Trapped in the Mirror: Gender Tension in Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder

Lucy Hutchinson’s Biblical epic Order and Disorder, thought to be the first epic poem written in English by a woman, was only published in full in 2001 (first published in 1679, it was attributed to her brother for centuries). There has therefore been little scholarly criticism of this poem, despite its importance for the study of the history of women’s writing.

Living and writing in the seventeenth century, Lucy Hutchinson seems unable to equate entrenched conservative ideals of total feminine subservience with a knowledge of her own intellectual superiority, creating linguistic and dogmatic tensions within her poetic voice. She uses Biblical women to explore these tensions, but is ultimately unable to find an earthly explanation for the difference between women’s place in society and their intellectual capabilities. Order and Disorder radically proposes that female subservience is a punishment, which must be served on earth, followed by equality in heaven.

 

Sidhu, Karendeep

University of Roehampton

An enquiry into masculinity: boys wear pink too.

Evolutionary psychologists hypothesize that characteristics of facial attractiveness have evolved to signal their quality to potential mates, providing signals of good genes which would ostensibly increase health of offspring. One such trait is facial masculinity, which is measured by the amount facial markers are associated with higher testosterone levels.  Males with more masculine faces (according to testosterone markers) are thought to be perceived as more attractive to females. We will first test whether digitally manipulated male faces with greater testosterone markers are reliably ranked by participants as subjectively more ‘masculine’. Next, we will test whether perceived attractiveness is associated with masculinity. To establish this, two groups will partake in surveys: (i) assessing the attractiveness of photographs of testosterone-manipulated faces, and (ii) judging for masculinity within the same set of photographs. From this can be assessed whether masculinity preference is an evolved signal or if, in fact, the data warrants alternative explanation.

 

Silina, Linda

University of Aberdeen               

Spatio-temporal control of Rho GTPase signalling

Cancer metastasis is responsible for approximately 90% of all cancer-related deaths. To invade other tissues, cancer cells must detach from the primary tumour site, change shape and migrate. All these processes depend on the behaviour of the cellular scaffolding – the cytoskeleton. Rho GTPases are master regulators of the cytoskeleton, molecular switches that cycle between active and inactive states. This cycle must be tightly controlled by Rho GTPase activating proteins (Rho-GAPs) and Rho GTPase exchange factors (Rho-GEFs). However, the majority of RhoGEFs and GAPs are poorly characterised.

Here I describe results from mass spectrometry screening of these 150 regulatory proteins, determining their interactome, and live cell imaging, assessing specific localisation. By identifying interactors of these proteins we may specify downstream signalling components, and mechanisms of spatio-temporal control. I also describe further efforts to characterise a GAP of interest, using

immunoprecipiation to confirm interactions, combined with mutagenesis to detail the domains involved.

 

Sinclair, Rachael

University of Strathclyde

Evaluating the Viewpoints of Individuals Throughout the Design Lifecycle to Produce Universal Documents to Improve Understanding within a Major Shipbuilding Programme

Three dimensional computer aided design models and the physical parts of the ship are often deemed as the most important aspect of a project and tracking is closely followed within a company however, functional data and information management is equally if not more important for the overall process to become successful. Working in collaboration with BAE Systems on the current design for the naval frigate (T26), the current problem identified was that functional data develops within individual working groups but this development fails to be passed between silos. This lack of communication and knowledge exchange limits advances during the design stage and often results in work being repeated or dismissed. Evaluating the social integration of the workforce dynamic (through interviews and meetings) and comparing the common themes against literature, allowed a solution to be suggested for future progression which involved clearly formed diagrams which were understood universally throughout the company.

 

Skelhorn, Hannah

Nottingham Trent University

Thematic Analysis: Exploring the Research Experience

Research was conducted by Nottingham Trent University on substance misuse, young people and mental health for Nottinghamshire County Council. Thematic analysis was used when interpreting the qualitative data which broadened it to include a more insightful understanding of the relationship between young people and substances, as it discovers main themes throughout the data. Firstly the data was coded by finding reoccurring feelings or subjects and then themes were extracted from the codes such as ‘relationships with family and friends’ and ‘reliance on and positive attitude towards workers’. Four themes were identified which provided a detailed account of the data that showed what could be more effective when supplying young people with services.  The poster gives a descriptive and informative look at the methodology of thematic analysis and additionally displays the results found by using that method.

 

Slater, Chloe

University of Lincoln

Can Disgust and Moral Outrage Predict Attitudes towards Sex Offenders?

Research demonstrates attitudes towards sex offenders are more negative than towards other criminals. This is suggested to stem from beliefs that they are incurable and more likely to reoffend. This research assesses whether these negative attitudes can be predicted by explicit and implicit feelings of disgust and moral outrage. Implicit disgust will be measured using Implicit Association Tests (IATs) whilst other constructs are measured using questionnaires. IATs record reaction times allowing examination of the relative strengths of cognitive associations, i.e. faster reaction times indicate stronger associations. This will distinguish whether feelings of disgust towards sex offenders, often identified as a factor of resistance in attitude change, are implicit. Attempts to change attitudes towards sex offenders in current literature have been largely ineffective. Thus, this study will hopefully begin to explain this resistance as implicit attitudes are harder to alter. Changing attitudes is important for successful community reintegration to begin.

 

Smith, Chloe & Ray, Conna

Nottingham Trent University

Readers and Reading in Postcolonial Literature.

Postcolonialism focus on the experiences of individuals, nations and cultures affected by colonialism. This can include literature written in a previously colonised country or by someone with colonial heritage. The representation of reading in these texts can reveal much about how prejudices and colonial issues still affect authors and readers.

Using a wide range of literature from different countries and authors, examples have been selected that show varying attitudes both towards reading and towards the literature of the West. Covering areas including Egypt, Africa, India, South Africa, Ireland and the Caribbean, as well as the experiences of migrants in the UK, links and contrasts can be discovered between texts that may otherwise not have been compared.

Preliminary conclusions show literature having a power not only to educate and instruct, but also to protect its readers, as postcolonial literature reclaims one of the tools exploited and manipulated by colonialism.

 

Smither, Philip

University of Reading

Digitally Reconstructing The Past: A 3rd Century Roman Military Camp

The Roman marching camp on St. Leonard’s Hill, Scotland, is the largest in Britain. Constructed c.AD209-10 during the Severan campaign, at 165 acres it held c.35,000 soldiers as well as supplies, animals and camp followers. A combination of archaeological and ancient textual sources as well as software packages Google Sketchup and Cinema 4D were employed to build and interpretive digital reconstruction of the camp which was featured on a BBC documentary, Scotland: Rome’s Final Frontier.

This research firstly seeks to understand the organisation of the camp and its place in the wider historical context. It also aims to further the growing interest in and uses of archaeological digital reconstruction by modelling features that are difficult to visualise from drawn plans and to recreate through experimental archaeology. Through this multi-disciplinary approach, both academics and students of archaeology and ancient history can share their research in a new and exciting visual medium.

 

Soo, Leili

University of Aberdeen

The time-course of cued shifts of feature-selective visual attention reveals two separate mechanisms of stimulus suppression

Research on spatial attention has mainly detected enhancement of attended stimulus processing in the visual cortex. Feature-selective visual attention in shared spatial location is achieved through a combination of enhancement and suppression, with suppression supposedly being due to competitive stimulus interactions. To further investigate this claim, we used three different colours of superimposed fields of dots, one of which was never task relevant (neutral). If suppression of unattended stimuli is solely due to competitive stimulus interaction, neutral stimuli should be suppressed together with unattended stimuli. We measured the allocation of attention between the different dots through recording steady-state visual evoked potentials using EEG. We found that neutral stimuli are initially suppressed together with unattended stimuli, but that suppression of neutral stimuli fades out, while unattended stimuli remain suppressed. These findings suggest that suppression of unattended stimuli in feature selective attention is due to both competitive stimulus interaction and direct suppression.

 

Souter, Mary

University of the Highlands & Islands

Highland Madness: Pauper Lunatics in Inverness District Lunatic Asylum, 1864-1914.

The worthy Victorians who campaigned for an asylum for the northern regions of Scotland inferred that there was something different about Highland madness: it arose from differences they perceived between the Celtic race and other Scottish people. Inverness District Lunatic Asylum was one of the first public asylums to be built in Scotland after the Lunacy (Scotland) Act of1857. It opened in 1864 for patients from the Highlands and Islands, the majority being ‘pauper lunatics’.

The Act created a medical and administrative system designed to standardise the treatment of insane people in Scotland. This research aimed to examine possible differences in the Highland asylum by studying medical case notes and administrative and inspection reports. The conclusion reached was that though practices in the asylum were shaped significantly by broader social, political and medical contexts, the treatment of pauper lunatics was also influenced by perceptions of racial and cultural difference.

 

Spear, Jacob

Nottingham Trent University

Design & Construction of Custom Large Gradient Coils for MRI Scanners

An integral component of a magnetic resonance imaging scanner are the gradient coils. These enable the scanner to produce a detailed 3D MRI image by producing additional magnetic fields in the x, y and z directions with inherent gradients, enabling the 3D location of each point within the scanned object. The effectiveness of these coils is highly dependent on geometry. Initially this project investigated the geometries of existing gradient coils on a small scale, to gain an understanding of the gradients produced. The next stage comprised of retrofitting a set of gradient coils by redesigning and fabricating a head plate and reconnecting the power supply, temperature sensors and cooling systems. This made the gradient coils compatible with the Bruker-100.5MHz-superconducting-horizontal bore, small animal imaging system used at Nottingham Trent University. Finally, two radio frequency coils were constructed to maximise the scanning radius, eight and twenty leg Bird Cage coils.

 

Spencer, Tom

University of Manchester

A New Elite, A New Poetry: poetic development following the fall of Western Jin

Far from being a static medium, poetry in China has undergone extensive evolution over the course of its history. Perhaps the most substantial development in poetry occurred in the early medieval period, when China as a single entity dissolved into various feuding factions, encompassing the years AD 220-589. In this period there was a break from the established poetical canon, where traditional verse dissolved into a purely aesthetic art.

This paper argues that the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in 317 was the key turning point in this poetic development. Through a cross-comparison of poems composed in this period, this paper highlights unique socio-economic trends that began to shape poetry into a new aesthetic form. An emphasis will be placed on social-stratification to show how the changing nature of the literati elite allowed for new possibilities in the composition of poetry.

 

Standage, Matthew

University of Reading

50% chance of rain – communicating rainfall forecasts to the public

The public often uses weather forecasts to make decisions. Current forecasts commonly rely on deterministic predictions, which are visually represented by pictorial icons. In this study we developed and tested representations of probabilistic forecasts using verbal, numeric and graphic formats and combining the representation of probability with predictions of rain intensity. We then tested these formats in a survey of 284 members of the public around Reading. We found a broad understanding of probabilistic rainfall information, when presented both numerically and visually, despite an expressed preference for a deterministic verbal descriptor. Participants also made better decisions when given the more precise information. The survey sample also showed some differences across age group and education level (broadly speaking, younger adults and those with higher education attainment feel more comfortable with probabilistic information). Overall our data suggested that current practice in forecast presentation might be depriving the public of scientifically-based information they could use effectively.

 

Stanley, Katie

Nottingham Trent University

Measuring take-off and landing distance and take-off and landing angle in agility dogs in a training environment.

Dog agility is a sport which is growing in popularity, however there has been very little research conducted in this area. In particular, kinematics of the jumping dog has been rarely studied (Birch et. al, 2013). A good comparison tool to use with the jumping dog is the horse, as the jump style of the horse has been studied extensively (Zink, 1997).

It has been accepted that the jump of a dog occurs in five stages: approach, take-off, aerial phase, landing phase and departure (Pfau et. al, 2013). This project aimed to measure the take-off and landing distance and take-off and landing angle in agility dogs in a training environment, specifically looking at the three height classifications (The Kennel Club, 2013).Video data was analysed using Dartfish software. Preliminary finding suggest that the dogs in the ‘small’ height classifications showed a shorter take-off/landing distance and also a smaller take-off/landing angle in comparison to dog in the ‘medium’ and ‘large’ height classification.

 

Stefkova, Slavomira

University of Warwick

Automatic assignment of NMR spectral data from protein sequences using NeuroBayes

Automatising the laborious assignment of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectral data from protein sequences is of an enormous interest to scientists globally. Manual assignment requires knowledge of different types of NMR experiments. Heteronuclear single quantum correlation (HSQC) experiment belongs to the quickest and the cheapest experiments undertaken. It provides unique scatter plots – fingerprints of proteins – that can be correlated with well-known protein structures. One of the powerful tools used in correlation searches are artificial neural networks. By training NeuroBayes, a neural network implementation used in particle physics, on the existing database of HSQC plots from Biological Magnetic Resonance Bank, an automatic assignment of amino acids to the peaks in the HSQC plot is performed. 25% of amino acids within a protein are correctly assigned using solely the chemical shifts in the HSQC spectra. Training with additional data, such as secondary structure or nearest neighbour information, should significantly improve these results.

 

Stephenson, Chloe

University of Nottingham

One step forward, two steps back; the evolution of phytoremediation into commercial technologies

This review charts the evolution of phytoremediation from its earliest beginnings.  The rapid expansion of research in the early 1990s led to many crucial discoveries but failed to surmount the fundamental limitations that often impede commercial application of phytoremediation.  It is argued that phytoremediation was saved from being forgotten by its evolution under the new term phytotechnology, or “the application of science and engineering to examine problems and provide solutions using plants”.  This review explores the use of phytotechnology for ecological engineering using constructed wetlands and evapotranspiration caps as landfill covers.  Finally, the transfer of phytotechnology to developing countries, where it offers great potential to solve the growing problem of pollution, is examined.  In conclusion the development of phytotechnology illustrates the evolution of scientific thought from the traditional reductionist view to a wider holistic approach which takes account of the natural environment and our need to preserve it.

 

Stevens, Chloe

University of Sheffield

Trappability as a measure of personality in the European badger, Meles meles.

Consistent individual differences in an animal’s behavioural response to varying situations can be termed its ‘personality’. These differences can be heritable and must be shown to be repeatable to be considered a personality trait. Personality traits may be correlated with an individual’s life history and fitness; therefore they are of ecological and evolutionary significance. For example, bighorn sheep differ consistently in their trappability, or frequency of capture, with more trappable individuals often having greater weaning success. I aimed to examine trappability to measure personality in European badgers.

I estimated whether badgers showed consistent individual differences in trappability by calculating the repeatability of trapping records from a long-term study at Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire. Trappability in badgers was repeatable, demonstrating that badgers exhibit differences in personality. This indicates that using trapping to sample badger populations is likely to be biased towards more trappable individuals, an area of key importance for future work.

 

Stohrer, Fiona

University of Nottingham

Arm Dominance: The effect on median nerve neurodynamic testing.

Nerve testing in the upper limb is common in physiotherapy practice and is undertaken to determine nerve mobility (neurodynamics). This is done by completing an ordered set of movements on the upper limb that finishes with elbow extension. In a clinical setting, bilateral comparison is required. If there is a natural asymmetry, this may not be an appropriate measure. Previous research presents conflicting results in this area. The present study investigated the difference in range of motion elbow extension between the dominant and non-dominant arm during neurodynamic testing. Mean elbow extension range of motion was also identified in a healthy population.

Participants (n=30) were tested in lying with the passive movements applied three times to each arm. The test was stopped when symptoms associated with the test were reported. Elbow extension was measured with an electrogoniometer.

Results reported a significant difference in elbow extension between the dominant and non-dominant arm (p = 0.009). The difference in elbow extension range of motion between the dominant and non-dominant arm was -9.52° from full extension. The results suggest that arm dominance has an effect on elbow extension during neurodynamic testing of the median nerve in the upper limb.

 

Sukoljukov, Vitali

University of Aberdeen

Multiple Object Tracking: investigating the effect of hemisphere independence.

Previous research (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2005) claimed that when multiple moving objects are in both visual hemifields it doubles the possible number of tracked objects. However, they had arguable control and number of participants and no direct replications of this experiment were carried out; related studies didn’t have signs of such effect too. Investigating the hemifields effect could increase clarity in the multiple object tracking field.

The aim of our research is to investigate whether horizontal position of objects that involves both hemifields has such dramatic effect on number of successfully tracked objects and there will be a second condition – originally only one half of the screen contained objects (horizontal or vertical) and we aim to see if filling the entire screen with object will change the performance. If it does, then it might lead to a conclusion that increased number of tracked objects is related more to smaller inhibition in visual cortex, rather than to independent attentional resources of the hemispheres

 

Sullivan, Katie

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea

Are You Angry Because I Dislike You Or Do I Dislike You Because You Are Angry? Examining Prejudice and Emotion.

There is a strong body of literature that suggests people are poorer at interpreting nonverbal displays of emotion communicated by racial out-group members than by people of the same race (dialect theory; Elfenbein & Ambady, 2002).  This may be due to people’s attitudes toward the out-group, with research indicating that implicit prejudice may influence accuracy and intensity ratings of out-group displays of emotion (e.g., Hugenberg & Bodenhausen, 2004; Hutchings & Haddock, 2008).  However, none of these studies examined whether participant attitude influenced emotion intensity ratings or whether intensity of emotion may have influenced the participants’ subsequent attitude toward that racial out-group. This research seeks to address the issue by manipulating presentation of materials used in previous studies to examine whether there is a causal or correlational link between attitudes and emotion recognition.  This will allow greater understanding of mechanisms underpinning prejudicial attitudes.  Findings and conclusions will be reported.

 

Surgenor, Chelsey

Nottingham Trent University

Environmental factors influencing the presence and size composition of Great White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in Mossel Bay, South Africa

Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) depletion is of great concern because their increased absence results in the risk of ecosystem degradation. Although they are currently under protective global trade legislation, their vulnerability to overexploitation remains a concern. Therefore understanding the presence of Great White Sharks in small scale regions is essential for improving local, and ultimately global, successful protection.

Generalised linear models were used to statistically analyse the affects of water surface temperature, water visibility, cloud cover, season and sex on Great White Shark presence and size composition in Mossel Bay, South Africa, from November 2009 to November 2012.

Results demonstrated that water surface temperature, water visibility and cloud cover significantly influenced presence and that sex and season significantly influenced size. Additional and unexpected findings were that juvenile sharks were of a much higher ratio than other life-stages and that no adults were recorded throughout the study.

 

Tabner, Jack

University of Warwick

Miracle cure or comatosed patient? An analysis of European eHealth policy

Europe’s healthcare systems are operating unsustainably. Budgetary pressures on providers and Member States have coincided with an ageing and ever more demanding population. Against this backdrop, there have been few buzzwords that have emerged as readily as eHealth, touted as Europe’s solution to its sustainability woes and as a means to improving quality of and access to patient care.

This dissertation offers a comprehensive review of the eHealth literature and identifies best practice for effective development and take-up. It also offers an analysis of the EU policy narrative to date and subsequently suggests practical ways in which discussions in Brussels can facilitate best practice Europe-wide.

The dissertation posits that, although eHealth may seem like a luxury in such austere times, it is a luxury that we cannot afford to ignore. If people, healthcare practitioners and policy-makers allow it to be, eHealth can be the panacea for Europe’s ailing healthcare systems.

 

Thong, Kar Mun

University of Warwick

Kim: The Boy Who Will Be Sahib

In “Facing a Mirror”, Matthew Kaiser speaks of ‘liberal imperialism’ in colonial literature as a ‘I will save you from myself’ logic. He ends his article with the provocative statement: ‘liberal imperialism is more dangerous… than the genocidal logic of white supremacy… That, at least, we do not mistake for progress.’ This paper uses Kaiser’s idea as a litmus test for the novel “Kim” by Rudyard Kipling and his brand of ‘liberal imperialism’.

The primary method of analysis is to look at the colonial binaries present in the novel, particularly at their dissolutions. Tension between such pairs as Eastern and Western knowledge, being and becoming, and white and black are unravelled. This allows a liminal Kim to exist in a liminal India, a holistic representation of a false totality. In this world, imperial liberalism is staged as a performance where the native Other panders to a Western audience.

 

Thorpe, Nathan

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

‘How thow schalt thy paresche preche’: John Mirk and the use of pastoral literature in understanding medieval communities.

Contextually, the 14th and 15th century contain many events and developments critical to our understanding of England’s history. Within these historical trends, medieval historians are familiar with the influence of the Church over the spiritual, material, and intellectual culture in Western Europe.

This paper argues for nuances in this generalised description of pre-reformation England. Internal reforms within the church dating from the 12th century included as a priority the education of both the parochial clergy and the laity. The pastoral literature from this period, including John Mirk’s collection of writings, specifically ‘Instructions for Parish Priests’ greatly inform our understanding of a) what type?, b) What specifically?, and c) how were these transmitted within local medieval communities?

This paper seeks to augment the increasing re-appraisal of the medieval Church in the pre-reformation era, yet considers evidence transmitted within the ecclesiastical hierarchy; as opposed to the increased literature published for lay perusal.

 

Tian, Xiaoshuang

University of Strathclyde

The Effect of Weather and Hull-Cleaning on the Fuel Consumption

With the increased fuel price and greenhouse gas emission, all those involved in the marine time shipping community are concentrated on minimizing the daily cost of ships’ operation especially fuel consumption cost. Hence, environmental performance and energy efficiency are top issues for these people. In that case, fouling management and excellent operation according to environmental conditions may lead to a remarkable fuel saving.

In this research, data from eight bulk carriers in actual seas are analyzed. Researchers examined the ships’ in various sea conditions. Furthermore, main engine fuel consumption per nautical miles (T/NM) and main engine fuel consumption per hour (T/HR) were calculated to examine the change of fuel consumption. It aims to compare the fuel consumption before and after anti-fouling and indicates how these maintenances and weather conditions affect fuel consumption.

 

Tomaselli, Marta

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy)

CRISP/Cas9 system as a new tool for site specific mutagenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Targeted genome editing is a major challenge biotechnologists are facing, especially in plants.

A new strategy for genome editing has been introduced with the discovery of the CRISP/Cas9 prokaryotic system: an endonuclease (Cas 9) is directed towards a specific position in a genome by means of a guide RNA, which is complementary to the targeted sequence, and a trans-activating RNA.

The aim of the project is to exploit the CRISP/Cas9 system to achieve accurate plant genome editing. I have then assembled a vector containing the three CRISP components and I transformed Arabidopsis thaliana with it. This allowed to knockout the genes for which no T-DNA insertion is available in the coding sequence. The final step is to compare the efficiency of my three-component vector with the already published two-component constructs comprising Cas9 and a single chimeric RNA, instead of two distinct RNAs.

 

Tosi, Marco

University of Camerino (Italy)

From rocks to material surfaces (and beyond) – Black fungi as model microorganisms

Black fungi are microorganisms colonizing a wide variety of niches on the planet. They co-exist with algae, lichens and bacteria in the so called sub-aerial biofilm, inhabiting rocks at almost all latitudes.

The major concern of scientists is their ability to grow and dwell in urban context, where they are often responsible of degradation of ancient monuments, statues and material surfaces.

As a matter of fact, these ascomycetes are able to produce and secrete organic acids, that overtime degrade the material they grow on. Current research aims the better understanding of the interaction between the biofilm and the surface hosting it, in order to develop new materials or agents preventing the attachment of the fungus in the first place.

On the other hand, new studies have now revealed the capability of some black fungal strains of using volatile aromatic hydrocarbons as carbon source, which would help reduce the environmental and indoor pollution given by such compounds.

 

Trigg, Emma

Sheffield Hallam University

Space, Place and Interconnectedness: An Evaluation of the Importance of a Considered Visual Online Presence.

Literature has demonstrated that people now interact via social media more than they do face-to-face, forming an online community to communicate, develop and learn¹.

The current research combined quantitative and qualitative methods to assess students’ understanding and use of social media, and academic use of such tools within teaching. The current online presence of alumni and the well-established fashion house Burberry were also analysed, to assess how such a presence can be used effectively for self-promotion and accelerating graduate success.

Although all students had some form of online presence, a limited amount had used social media tools in a professional capacity. Academic use of such tools was found to be highly inconsistent. Therefore suggestions are made as to how social media could be implemented in teaching, enabling students to develop skills that are now becoming more commonly desired by employers across a range of fields.

 

Ahmed, Sarah, King, Jacob, Twohig, Callum (not presenting)

Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry

From Wikipedia to Tortora: Does the source really matter for conceptual understanding of medicine

Aim: The increasing tendency of medical students to rely on “open” (non peer-reviewed) internet sources for learning, has led to many studies. While some have concluded that information therein lacks credibility1, some have found that they are reliable, particularly to defined populations2. Others, comparing diverse internet sources, have reported on a variation in quality, in concordance with current textbooks3.

The proposed study, aims in contrast, to measure the value of these sources in formulating the conceptual understanding of fundamental medical principles.

Method: A statistically-reliable sample of second-year medical students will be invited to respond to questions drafted by lecturers (designed to test their conceptual understanding) under three controlled conditions: using web-sources requiring a subscription, open access websites, or solely textbooks. The results will then be analysed to detect any correlations between the marks obtained and the sources of information, with consideration to other variables such as prior knowledge.

 

Van Rhyn, Claire

University of Roehampton

Places and Spaces: The mobilisation of social-centred learning across multiple localities

With the boundaries of schools as the traditional locale for learning in society challenged by socio-technical change, conceptions of how place and space influence learning have gained new pertinence. This paper aims to identify factors which impact on learning as a physically and representationally located activity and investigates how the mobilisation of learners across multiple spaces might influence opportunities to learn. This investigation utilises the spatialisation theories of Lefebvre (1991), which explains space as a multiplicity made up of physical, cognitive and social space. This theory is extended to the understanding of place as a multiplicity. The research draws on examples of social-centred learning models to illustrate how social space is central to learning. As an enclosed space the traditional school classroom implicates a division between the location of learning and the social context the object of learning was derived from. It is argued that the lived experience of the learner plays out in social spaces which is, as such, the optimum locale for learning. It is proposed that learning can be conceived of as a fundamentally social act, which flourishes when embedded in the social context of the learner.

 

Vanderzwalmen, Myriam

University of Plymouth

Investigating the relative importance of parentage versus environmental factors on heterochrony in basommatophoran freshwater snails

The importance of genetics in inter-specific heterochrony is long known, however intra-specific heterochrony was believed to be driven by environmental variation. Recent studies on Radix balthica showed higher similarity in developmental timing across generations in genetically similar embryos then distantly related ones. This study compared the relative importance of parentage and egg-mass origin and the environment in generating heterochrony in Radix balthica. Six developmental events were recorded daily. The analysis showed that parentage influence in developmental timing to be more important than environmental conditions. When comparing the sequence of developmental events, a strong link was found between treatment showing sequence variation and nil mortality in that treatment. This was found between parents and between same parent egg-masses. This study shows that parentage influences timing of developmental events whereas the sequence of developmental events is influenced by treatment. These findings indicate that both genetics and environmental plasticity influences intra-specific heterochrony.

 

Varadi, Anna

University of Exeter

“Prying eyes annoy me” – The Relationship of the Cinema Spectator to Masculine Figures on Screen: Clark Gable vs James Dean

Film theorist Laura Mulvey connects psychoanalysis and Jaques Lacanʼs theory of identification [the “Mirror Stage] to the cinema spectator’s gaze. She limits her argument to a male gaze aimed at a woman, however, later critics note that her remarks apply to cinematic depictions of men. Still, the study of masculine imagery has been neglected by Film Studies. Using Mulveyʼs and Lacan’s theories as a framework, this paper discusses spectators’ relationship to two male stars: Clark Gable and James Dean.

Originally developed in response to a question about the star-audience relationship on an American Cinema module, the paper connects the gaze on these stars to (1) changing attitudes towards masculinity and (2) their symbolic placement on opposing sides of Lacan’s “Mirror”, i.e. the self pre-identification – Dean’s gender-ambiguous persona, open for interpretation – in contrast to an unapproachable ideal – Gable’s virility. The paper concludes that this division is visually represented in their movies.


Patel, Dhvanil and; Vijay, Rohan

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Calibrated colour scale (palette) based on various emotional states and its further application in interactive media

The main objective of this paper is to study the dynamics between colour and the emotional state of a person and its further implementation in the field of interaction media.

Research has already been done in the field of colour theory and its impact on human emotions, however, all studies have focussed on to identify specific colours which were linked to a particular emotion or a set of emotions.

But, emotions, in general cannot be classified into discrete classifications. They are gradual and quantified. So, it is necessary for the colour scale to be continuous gradient which could reflect the intensity of the emotion and its type.

Furthermore, the paper also discusses the various applications of such a calibrated colour scale in interaction media and how it can be effectively used to improve its usability.

 

Visuvalingam, Sharma  

University of Chester

Flood risk to social housing in Walton, North Liverpool

Hurricane Sandy in the USA highlighted the impact flooding can have on vulnerable residents living in social housing. In 2012 impacts on such communities were evident in St. Asaph, UK, when socially vulnerable groups were severely affected. Housing associations that provide social housing (e.g. Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH)) are increasingly concerned about the risk posed to their housing stock and vulnerable residents. This research explores flood risk to social housing stock and residents in Walton, Liverpool, an area recognised by the Environment Agency as being at high risk from flooding. It is envisaged that techniques developed by this research may act as a pilot and be transferrable to other housing associations. Geospatial analysis indicates that approximately 600 houses owned by LMU are at risk.  The high level of risk is compounded by the lack of preparedness by residents; only 23% indicate that they are at risk from flooding.

 

Wairagkar, Maitreyee

University of Reading

Motor Imagery based Brain Computer Interface (BCI) using Artificial Neural Network Classifiers

Brain Computer Interface (BCI) facilitates communication with external devices (Computer) directly by brain without involvement of any motor pathways. These systems are especially useful for assisting people with impaired motor abilities.

The project envisaged the development of a reliable motor imagery BCI capable of classifying right and left hand imaginary movements for the computer cursor control. The electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were recorded from the sensory-motor region of the brain using wireless recording device. Using the Event Related Desynchronisation (ERD), movement related features were extracted from EEG with spatial and spectral filtering. These features were classified into two classes using non-liner Artificial Neural Network (ANN) classifiers of the type Radial Basis Function.

An average accuracy of 60% was achieved for classifying imaginary hand movements of 16 different subjects1. Combining the non-linear ANN classifiers with the signal processing techniques proved to be an effective method for classifying motor imagery for BCI.

 

Wairagkar, Maitreyee

University of Reading

Seeing Through Walls: Developing Terahertz images data-handling and visualisation system

Terahertz (THz) radiation consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies between 100 GHz and 10 THz. The radiation penetrates up to 1 cm of optically opaque materials including wall plaster and is a non-contact, non-destructive technique used for analysing cultural heritage, specifically imaging mural paintings that have been plastered over. Terahertz images comprise huge amounts of data. Each pixel is scanned by separate time series signal making data manipulation slow. This project developed an efficient database system to manage the 3D datasets and integrate them with customised image visualisation software.

The project has significantly increased the speed and efficiency of reconstruction of THz images of historic wall paintings by creating a database system to organize and systematically store the data. The visualisation software developed during this project allowed retrieval of data from data-handling system and recreation of images in real time by creating blocks for manipulation in frequency and temporal domain.

 

Wakeham, Patrick

Plymouth University

The medicinal and pharmacological screening of wheatgrass juice (Triticum aestivum L.): an investigation into chlorophyll content and antimicrobial activity.

Wheatgrass Juice is currently under pharmaceutical screening and there is evidence to suggest the efficacy of this plant is due to high chlorophyll concentrations. In this study chlorophyll fresh weight was determined in mg/100g for organic field grown wheatgrass juice and samples grown hydroponically under glass. Broccoli and Kale samples were included for comparison. Fresh wheatgrass juice was then screened against bacteria: Escherichia coli NCTC 10418; Staphylococcus aureus NCTC 6571 and Streptococcus mutans NCIMB 702062, using the agar well diffusion method. Field grown samples contained most chlorophyll, not significantly different to Kale (p =0.834) and significantly higher than Broccoli (p<0.001). Hydroponic samples contained 73.4% less chlorophyll than field grown (p<0.001). There is growing evidence that dietary chlorophyll may prevent cancer by limiting the bio-availability of carcinogens. None of the extracts displayed antimicrobial activity against pathogens but previous studies have reported conflicting results, indicating further investigation is required in this field.

 

Waldron, Jethro

University of Warwick

Utopic’ discourse and the anti-colonial imagination in The Playboy of the Western World

In my recent research paper on J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World (1907), I analyse the play’s central motif – its protagonist’s boast of having killed his father – through the lens of Louis Marin’s theorization of ‘utopic’ discourse. The parricide, signifying a supersession of colonial authority, effects an extraordinary change in the nature of onstage space: the village community in which the play is set begins to imagine itself as a postcolony, set radically apart from the rest of contemporary, colonized Ireland. I argue that the play’s ‘utopic’ discourse functions as an agent of decolonization: anticipating and potentially instigating Ireland’s future, successful strike for independence. As such, my findings are framed in contradistinction to a pronounced trend in Synge criticism which envisages the play as an anti-nationalist endeavour, and also as a theoretically informed supplementation of more recent postcolonial scholarship, which upholds the play as an emphatically emancipatory document.

 

Walton, Holly

Nottingham Trent University

An exploration of place-identity, memory and well-being in older individuals using photo voice.

Aim: To explore the role of places in promoting a sense of identity continuity, whilst exploring their effect on memory and well-being in elderly individuals.

Design: Mixed methods study, with a photo-elicitation design.  Pre/post-interview questionnaires tested effectiveness of photo-elicitation as an intervention.

Method: Opportunity sample of 6 older individuals. Participants were given cameras and asked to take/use existing photos of important places, which were then used in a discussion.  Verbal/visual data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Emerging themes were: places as positive/negative experiences, fulfilling needs, facilitating identity continuity, contributing to identity discontinuity, and as reminders of past/people.

Conclusion: This research reinstates the importance of place-identity. Places impacted positively and negatively on experience and fulfilled needs. Places prompted memories of people and group past, and contributed to identity continuity and discontinuity. Post-psychometric tests of well-being/ post-interview reports of enjoyment support research suggested that photo reminiscence is beneficial for psychological well-being.

 

Wang, Danni

University of Plymouth

Using literary-induced tourism to enhance China outbound tourism to Britain

Rapid growth of Chinese outbound tourism has caught world attention. Literary-induced tourism is regarded as a kind of cultural travel with great value to enhance tourism industry and Britain has great literary resources. This project aims to introduce the literary-induced tourism in Britain as a new product to Chinese outbound tourism industry to promote its growth to Britain.

A questionnaire survey was implemented in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as they are the three major outbound-tourist-generating cities of China. More than 300 usable questionnaires were collected to explore interests and preferences of Chinese outbound tourists in relation to literary-induced tourism in Britain.

More specifically, the results indicated the potential tourist groups in China outbound market and also established their potential arrangement for literary-induced tourism to Britain. Based on the findings, it makes recommendations to relevant stakeholders in order to serve this special group of tourists to enjoy their journeys in Britain.

 

Waters, Bradley

University of Warwick 

Ptolemaic Propaganda on Egyptian Temples

After the dissolution of Alexander the Great’s Empire in 321 BC, the very year he died in Babylon, his former colleagues and generals carved out their Hellenistic kingdoms in the East. Egypt went to Ptolemy I Soter. The focus of this research will be on how the Ptolemaic dynasty acclimatised to this traditional land, and their leaders to the role of god-king Pharaoh. This will be achieved primarily by looking at the iconography of Egyptian temples; the divine battles depicted in elaborate ekphrasis and often accompanied by narratives in hieroglyphic text. Investigation of cult development and innovation during this period will also be a chief focus. No prior knowledge of Egyptian theology or philology will be expected, as all literary sources shall be tackled in translation.

 

Watkins, Rebecca

University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea

When is a test not a test? Exploring trait and state anxiety in university students’ academic performance on diagnostic and non-diagnostic tasks.

A large body of literature supports the notion that merely being told that a task is testing performance can put people into a state of anxiety (Alpert & Haber, 1960).  However, some people appear better able to cope with performance tests than others, possibly due to their low levels of anxiety traits (King et al., 1976).  The current study sought to build upon the work of Vitasari et al., (2010) by examining both psychological traits (through questionnaire measures) and physiological states (through electro dermal activity measures) of participants completing a Tower of Hanoi task when they had been told that it was either a) a game or b) a diagnostic test of academic ability.  It was expected that participants who scored high on trait anxiety and were informed that the task was diagnostic would perform worse and show higher electro dermal activity than other groups.  Results will be discussed in the presentation.

 

 

Watson-Fargie, Taylor

University of Aberdeen

Comparison of Predictive Scores of Symptomatic Intracerebral Haemorrhage after Stroke Thrombolysis in a Single Centre

Symptomatic Intracerebral Haemorrhage (SICH) following thrombolysis for ischaemic stroke is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated which predictive risk score (SEDAN, HAT or GRASPS) best predicts SICH at a single centre. Relevant data from patients treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (2003-2013) was extracted from the Safe Implementation of Treatment in Strokes database and score performance was compared using area under the receiver operator curve (AUC). Testing these scores against three different SICH definitions showed the HAT and SEDAN scores performed similarly (AUCs of 0.800-0.835 and 0.775-0.848 respectively), with GRASPS performing poorer (0.726-0.772). Significant univariate predictors of SICH were age, glucose, stroke severity, diabetes mellitus, hyperdense middle cerebral artery on CT scan, ASPECTS score and pre-stroke anti-platelet therapy. Further predictors of any ICH include previous stroke/TIA, non-smoking status, congestive cardiac failure and atrial fibrillation. HAT is the simplest score and has best predictive value for SICH in this population, however whether such scores should influence clinical practice is an area for further study.

 

Whalley, Brian

University of Sheffield

Using tablet technologies to enhance your research project by way of Personal Learning Environments

Tablet technologies are now used increasingly, not only for viewing ‘media’ and communicating with friends, but also for tasks such as taking notes, photography, video and audio production. The combination of ‘apps’ held on a convenient and portable computer is set to change education. Long battery life means that tablets can be taken into remote places for fieldwork where data can be obtained and processed and even reports written and shared. What applies to fieldwork is also applicable to laboratory work, in the library and when travelling.

We show examples of tablets and apps being used for a variety of purposes and being used to construct a Personal Learning Environment in which workflows for specific tasks can be performed and integrated. We give examples of using tablets and apps for fieldwork, laboratory work, general data collection, information handling as well as ways to integrate these to make project work easier.

 

White, Laura

University of Lincoln

Exploring the experiences of males transitioning from military to civilian life: A Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

This is a study exploring the experiences of individuals transitioning from military to civilian life, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The aim of this research project is to gain a detailed and in depth insight into the lives of military men, this allows researchers to acquire an enhanced understanding of the position faced by those going through the transition. The project will also examine the idea of a veteran culture, what it means to be a veteran and their position in society. There will be 8-10 males from either the RAF or Army, aged 21-35, participating in an extensive verbal interview, the interview questions consider four themes; social life, occupation, relationships and mental health/wellbeing. A target conclusion is to discover new areas of research that will, in the future, perhaps aid others in the understanding and improving the lives of those who need it.

 

 

Whitney, John

University of Bedfordshire

Environmental Experience Theatre: Explorations into the Field

Site specific theatre, Interactivity and Sensory Stimulation are all aspects of theatre practice that have been investigated and developed in the 21st century. The artistic desire to provide an active rather than passive experience is ever present in the works of Peader Kirk, Rotozaza and Seth Kriebel. Interactivity is key and is particularly found in Seth Kriebel’s performative games and Rotozaza’s AutoTeatro Technique (Unrehearsed Performance for small audiences using instructions provided through a set of headphones per audience member). Through witnessing work and personal interview, this project engages with how these practitioners create environmental experience through a workshop performance series. Audience members were observed and interviewed regarding their experience and perception of the work, and their role as audience. What are the specific responses and impacts as a result of these theatrical events? To what extent are their views of traditional vs non-traditional performance challenged?

 

Whittaker, Jennifer

University of Roehampton

‘Founding Communities: Finding Common Humanity

Common pre-conceptions have given rise to myths that dancers do not think: that indeed dance has little more value than a form of entertainment. However, many experiences imply the contrary. This research, grounded in philosophy, examines documented experiences of the effect of dance on cognition, with the hypothesis that dance can help individuals to realise their cognitive potential, in effect, “opening” the mind and facilitating clear thinking. How far this affects the role of dance in the development of the foundations of a community, and finding common humanity is explored in the light of philosophy, psychology and anthropology. Finally, we turn to contemporary England, discussing instances where dance has aided in the creation of true communities, and how far it has affected the life-outlook of the individuals involved.

 

Wilkinson, Sophie

University of Warwick 

Chitosan-hydroxyapatite biocomposites for tissue engineering

Three dimensional and highly interconnected porous hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds were fabricated from slurries of suitable viscosities by using a novel foam reticulation technique. The method involved the use of specified pore size [45 and 90 pores per inch (ppi)] of sacrificial polymeric template being coated with HA slurry, burnt off and then sintered to produce the final scaffold structures. SEM showed the development of micro and macroporous structure and interconnectivity – features well replicated from the sacrificial template. The thermal analysis showed weight losses due to evaporation and hydroxylation of anionic species resulting in consolidated constructs and XRD analysis confirmed the phase purity of HA scaffolds but at 1300 degrees HA partially converted to β-tricalcium phosphate.

 

Perry, Sean & Williams, Josh

The University of Warwick

Measuring and Modelling the Interaction between, Heart Rate and Respiration for Various Patterns and Frequencies of Respiration

Understanding of cardio-respiratory interaction allows us to characterise the state of human organism, classify diseases and develop treatment regimen. Although respiration is known to affect heart rate, the mechanism of interaction between these two systems is not fully understood and requires further investigation.

By conducting experiments on twenty healthy volunteers, their heart rate variation was recorded for pre-selected forms and frequencies of respiration. Effects of synchronisation, modulation and general interconnection between the heart rate and respiration are being considered. It is anticipated that effect of ‘true’ phase locking is observed when respiration has slightly higher rate than the heart thus confirming a direct intercoupling between neural centres in the brain controlling respiration and heart dynamics. Additionally, we challenge the fact that a simple sinus arrhythmia occurs, i.e. heart rate increase during inspiration and decrease during expiration. The interconnection is much more complex and depends nonlinearly on respiration pattern.

 

Williams, Sam

University of Nottingham

Resource Efficient Cloud Computing

Most cloud based web services are deployed with the user’s application running on an unspecialised General Purpose Operating System (GPOS). This GPOS contains many unused features which make the user’s system larger, slower to boot and often harder to manage. Building on Mirage (ACM ASPLOS’13), this research asks how the performance and security of cloud services change when the cumbersome GPOS is replaced with a small, highly specialised Operating System (OS). A prototype of such an OS was created and evaluated to answer these questions. This OS also explores the novel use of a concurrency orientated programming language to perform system tasks more efficiently. In addition to the implications of this research for cloud services, it lays some groundwork for further research into the use of concurrency orientated languages to write GPOSs that would potentially lead to the development of desktop and server GPOSs that better utilise multicore hardware.

 

Winter, Holly

University of Warwick

War Memorabilia and the Making of an East India Company Family

Recent historical scholarship of British Imperialism has considered the ways in which the experience of empire shaped the lives of the families of East India Company servants. This paper makes a contribution to this field by exploring the cultural significance of war memorabilia in the self-fashioning of East India Company families.

Informed by an in-depth study of one family, that of George Harris (1746-1829), and using personal correspondence, legal documents and material artefacts, my research demonstrates how the ‘prize’ Harris was rewarded with after his victory in the battle of Seringapatam  was crucial in the construction of class and family identity. The war memorabilia contained memories and was a particularly effective transmitter of status. By foregrounding the importance of war memorabilia in this way, this research adds a crucial dimension to the study of material culture in the context of British Imperialism.

 

Wood, Kimberley

University of Reading

Wildlife forensics: geo-locating lions using stable/radiogenic isotope and trace element analysis

The lion (Panthera leo) is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and populations continue to decline as illegal poaching for trophies/parts becomes more lucrative. The ability to establish where any imported lion products originate from would be extremely useful in securing prosecutions, and therefore ultimately valuable in conservation of the species. One method of identifying provenance is by analysis of isotopes; the ratio of which varies geographically and should be reflected in animal tissues, allowing analysis of the tissue to reveal the animal’s origin. This is particularly useful in hair samples, which can act as a timeline to track movements. Though oxygen and hydrogen have been proved ineffective in geo-locating felids, others (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and strontium) hold promise, and this study aims to pilot their effectiveness, by comparing two separate lion populations using isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

 

Worthington, James

Nottingham Trent University

A comparison of canine jump consistency and accuracy across canine height and competitive level categories

Dog agility is a rapidly growing sport, although there remains a paucity of information relating to the scientific knowledge of the accuracy and consistency of jumping. As with equine jumping disciplines, the dog must negotiate a series of obstacles (Cullen et al., 2013a) whilst being scored for accuracy and time (Cullen et al., 2013b).  However, in contrast to equine sports science little is known about jump style and the attributes required to achieve competitive success. This study aims to tackle a small part of that; the speed and accuracy of jumping in relation to the dog’s consistency over a hurdle. Video data was collected of dogs of different sizes and competitive grades competing under UK Kennel Club rules. Downstream video analysis was conducted using Dartfish software (Birch, Lesniak 2013). Initial findings indicate that there is a relationship between height of jump and consistency of the distance travelled.

 

Yehia, Ziyad

University of Nottingham

Cytocompatibility testing of novel resorbable glasses intended for use in medical devices

This project looked into the how bone cells (osteoblasts) react to being cultured upon 4 different compositions of phosphate glass. The effects of the molar percentages of Phosphorous (P) and Iron (Fe) were under investigation in particular.

The intention of the ongoing research is to find the optimum materials to use to support patients suffering from bone injuries.

Phosphate glasses dissolve in the body’s aqueous environment and also boast excellent mechanical properties in comparison to the currently in-use polymeric materials.

The four compositions of glass were cast in a furnace into glass rods, annealed and cut into 1.5mm diameter disks. Human osteoblast cells (MG63 germ line) were then cultured upon the glass and tests to examine the cell proliferation rate (Alamar blue assay) and the cell development rate (Alkaline-phosphatase assay) were performed upon the cells at time points of 1, 3, 7 , 14 and 21 days after seeding.

 

Zajac, Franciszek

University of Warwick

Large Temperature Jump experiment to evaluate the performance of adsorbents in shell and tube heat exchanger.

The performance of activated carbon was evaluated through a shell and tube heat exchanger using a new experimental method known as Large Temperature Jump (LTJ). The work considered heating instantaneously a more complex shape rather than a flat metal plate to measure the effect the shape of the heat exchanger has on the kinetics of ammonia gas during ad-/desorption. Adsorption could be an attractive technology in the near future because it can utilise wasted heat energy to power the heat pump/refrigeration cycles e.g. ACs in cars. If it could be made more efficient, it could offer a more sustainable way of keeping our food fresh or us warm/cool. In this project, it was found that the heat transfer coefficient was quite high and low characteristic times were computed from the kinetic exponential graphs demonstrating the benefits of compacting adsorbents and possibly the shape of heat exchanger.

 

 

Cardoso Gomes Zampirolli, Maria

University of the West of England / Rio de Janeiro State University

Preoperative physical activity and in-hospital outcomes after cardiac surgery

Most studies on physical activity and heart surgery involve rehabilitation after surgery. However, preoperative physical activity has been poorly evaluated. . In this study, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used in order to measure the level of physical activity undertaken by patients before surgery. This survey was administered to individuals admitted to the National Institute of Cardiology (Brazil), in coronary heart disease and valve disease wards, from August to December 2012. Patients were stratified according to the level of physical activity (low, moderate, or high). After surgery, in-hospital medical records were analysed, regarding mechanical ventilation and admission days.  Partial results of 84 individuals did not show an effect of physical activity on the short term outcomes assessed. Further work, targeted to increase the number of individuals and subgroup analysis (by surgery modality), may provide additional information on the contribution of preoperative physical activity in early postoperative outcomes.

 

Cardoso Gomes Zampirolli, Maria

University of the West of England / Rio de Janeiro State University

Prevention activities in a waiting room of Nephrology

Health promotion plays an important role in the adherence to treatment of chronic diseases. Following the concept of tertiary prevention, health activities have been undertaken in a waiting room of Nephrologic Out-patients, Pedro Ernesto University Hospital (Brazil). Illustrated posters prepared by medical students, explaining simple renal pathophysiologic concepts, manoeuvres of prevention and treatment of the disease, were presented to patients. Additionally, explanations about food labels and salt content formed part of the presentation. Then, low/no salt recipes were distributed to patients and chaperones in order to disseminate the information beyond the out-patients domain. After each presentation, patients were evaluated qualitatively using the Hedonic Utility Scale. Most of the patients expressed satisfaction with the activity and physicians noted an increase in the patients’ interest concerning their treatment. This activity was also performed in other clinics, with the same results. The waiting room is thus a useful environment to promote health education.

 

Zónai, Roland

University of Debrecen, Hungary

Chapters in marine biotechnology: discovering the role of signal perception on the infectious ability of marine bacteria

Vibrio Harveyi is a common bacteria to several marine organisms. Due to its communication process enabling the bacterial population to coordinate and synchronize specific behaviors, it is responsible for the infection of several varieties of seafood. Therefore, understanding the sensing system of these bacteria is vital in developing a means of prevention.

Our aim was to understand how different autoinducer molecules are perceived by the hybrid histidine kinase receptors in the quorum sensing signaling cascade, and how they contribute to various pathogenic behaviors such as biofilm formation and exoprotease activity (biofilm segmentation). Receptors lacking mutants were created by deletion of kinase genes in all possible combinations to better define the impact of differentiated inputs of AIs on the QS cascade. In conclusion, each AI has a different output on luminescence induction, suggesting differing levels of sensitivity of the receptors, and also different receptor copy numbers.

 

 

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