• ‘Soldier-Diplomat: a reassessment of Sir Henry Wilson’s influence on British Strategy in the last 18 months of the Great War’

      Spencer, John (2018)
      Sir Henry Wilson remains one of the most controversial British Army generals of the Great War. A colourful character in life, he attracted admirers and detractors in equal measure; in death, his reputation was ruined by a biography based on his personal diaries. The Wilson of the historiography is, at best, a politician rather than a soldier, at worst an ambitious Francophile intriguer. This thesis looks beyond this accepted characterisation, reassessing his role in the formation of British and Allied strategy in the final months of the war. Wilson attained influence, and subsequently power, when Lloyd George consulted him after failing to persuade Britain’s leading generals to change their strategic focus. The thesis re-examines Wilson’s policy critique, which led to the creation of the Supreme War Council, and negated plans for a major Allied offensive on the Western Front in 1918. This thesis aims to shine new light on Wilson’s work on the Council, with an analysis of its policy recommendations. The research will also explore the manpower crisis, the key issue for the entente in this period, and Wilson’s contribution to the establishment of Allied unity of command. The diplomatic skills Wilson deployed to defuse serious strains between the entente powers will be examined, with particular reference to his time as Chief of the Imperial General Staff. His contribution to the debate on Britain’s post-war imperial grand strategy will also be evaluated. The thesis will refute the long-established onedimensional view of Wilson and suggest that he played a more influential role in British strategic development than has hitherto been acknowledged.
    • ‘Doing the Portfolio’ – Pre-registration training for biomedical scientists and developing the capable practitioner

      Smith, Sara (2018)
      Integration of work-placements into undergraduate degrees is now established on awards linked to professional registration in healthcare. Pre-registration training forms the basis for development of capability and entry onto a professional register. This enquiry explores how key stakeholders on a programme leading to registration as a Biomedical Scientist (BMS) position themselves in their role and the subsequent impact of this upon the development of the capable BMS. It draws upon current knowledge of work-based pedagogy and utilises a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals and groups to develop an interpretative portrayal and deeper understanding of the implementation of pre-registration training in one region of England. Data gathering and analysis was divided into two stages. The first employed analysis of professional documents to provide an insight into current discourses around BMS training. This provided initial developing categories and directed the creation of a questionnaire. Questionnaire responses confirmed the relevance of the developing categories and a summary of responses provided an ‘ice-breaker’ to guide stage two of data gathering. This stage employed focus groups and interviews to enable a greater understanding of how individuals make sense of their experiences. Initial, focused and theoretical coding allowed synthesis and conceptualisation of the data gathered and presented direction for the enquiry. The findings expose the challenges of integrating professional registration training into an academic programme of study. Three theoretical categories were identified: Role conflict, Expectations and Ownership. Conceptualising the interactions and intersections of these categories enabled the recognition of ‘Doing the portfolio’ as a way of describing and conceptualising the stakeholders positioning within the current programme. The registration portfolio has become an objective reductionist measure of learning, reflecting the positivist typology of practice in this profession. This provides a theoretical explanation as to how the programme is delivered and why there is a need to rethink conceptualisation of the role of the programme in supporting pre-registration training and the development of the capable BMS. To ensure that BMS students are supported to develop not only technical skills but also professional capability there is a need for a paradigm shift from a positivist episteme to one that embraces both the positivist and socio-cultural paradigms, viewing them as complementary and parallel. The novel research approach used in this enquiry has generated rich insights into how stakeholders interact with the pressures of internal and external influences and the impact this has upon behaviours and strategies adopted. The theoretical understanding proposed, which recognises the tensions emerging from a positivist typology of practice, has a range of implications for practice and for the development of practitioner capability through pre-registration training and beyond.
    • Through the Lens: Using Auto-Driven Photo-Elicitation to Capture the Development of Career Aspirations of Business Management and Fine Art Students

      Turley, Helene (2018)
      The uniqueness of this study is primarily in the application of a visual research methodology to generate knowledge and understanding in an area that is often associated with quantitative research. Careers and employment research typically focuses on statistical information which can provide general information but does not give an in-depth understanding of the area under study. Visual research can give an in-depth understanding; in addition to giving access to a different kind of knowledge, supported by Harper (2002) who proposes “that images can evoke deeper elements of human consciousness than words alone.” I explore the various ways in which students perceive and develop different career aspiration including what motivates and what might inhibit students’ development of their career aspirations. This understanding will enhance my professional practice and encourage the Careers and Employment department within the University to adapt their service and give students the relevant tools and information to prepare them for employment. A visual research methodology is utilised as this fits comfortably with my background in art and gives the in-depth knowledge I require for my research (see Clark-Ibáñez, 2004; Collier (1957); Collier and Collier, 1986; Cousin, 2009; Guillemin and Drew, 2010; Harper, 2002; Harris and Guillemin, 2012 and O’Brien, 2013 for further information on the benefits of using a visual research methodology). Auto-driven photo-elicitation (ADPE) is used with six fine art and six business management students. These students often have less career direction and tend to struggle to secure graduate level positions (Swani, 2016); in addition, the two subject areas were chosen because they are a contrast in terms of how their curriculum is delivered. Using visual research to inform careers and employment is unique and through sharing my research and research experience I want to initiate a shift in how careers and employment research is approached in the future. In addition to the uniqueness of using a visual research methodology in careers and employment my findings indicate there are five orientations business management and fine art students’ use when developing their career aspirations: a strong sense of direction, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, weak planning and dreams. This research discusses the five orientations and the factors that might contribute to a rich learning environment for career building. Subject and professional identity are discussed in relation to identity formation and career building. Four main sources of identity formation are identified: identity through being (transition from study to profession), identity through self-discovery, identity through belonging (concerning the informal and cultural aspects of community life), and identity through peripheral participation (activities that are akin to peripheral participation in a professional community). This research establishes there is a relationship between the development and building of identity and self-efficacy through belonging, professional experience and working alongside mentors when developing strategies to develop career aspirations.
    • Policy and Politics matter: The shaping of contemporary social work in times of neoliberalism.

      Simpson, Graeme (2018)
      The commentary draws on a range of work to demonstrate the argument that policy and politics are of central importance in shaping social work in England. I outline the development of my practice wisdom and then examine the contested nature of social work knowledge. Drawing on my practice with people who were poor and marginalised, I came to believe that social work must have a commitment to equality and social justice and that to achieve this social work must engage with policy and politics. My outputs begin by examining the connection between my practice wisdom and the dialectical nature of social work’s enduring tensions, located in a work that underlines the importance of sociology. A further four outputs focus upon aspects of social policy, notably key elements in the rise of neo-liberalism in contemporary social work in a text that argues explicitly that social workers need to develop a politically engaged practice. My other outputs illustrate the impact of politics, neoliberalism and its attendant policies in the early 21st century, gathering evidence from three broad areas. First, the nature of globalisation is examined focusing upon the movement of social workers and ‘cross-national’ social work. Second, there is an explicit exploration of social work under neoliberalism, drawing on the case of Children’s services and learning disability. Third, I examine ‘policy practice’ and the concept of ‘choice’. I argue that social work has always had a concern with politics and policy but that in more recent years this has declined and has been overtaken by a focus upon individualism. My core theoretical themes are the dialectic and an examination of hegemonic structures which impact on social work. I explore the continuing importance of my work in relation to contemporary social work, showing that policies and politics matter more than ever. I conclude by arguing that, as social work is under political attack from the current Government, the ‘radical tradition’ needs to be kept alive.
    • Institutional and Social Factors Influencing Informal Sector Activity in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Nigerian Case Study

      Joshua Adike, Abinotam (2018)
      The extant entrepreneurship literature is replete with competing narratives about the concept of informal sector (IS). Also, IS’ potential as a source of income and the behavioural tendencies of operators in the sector remain highly contested but under-researched. In particular, not much is known about the incentives and the motivations for engaging in informal economic activity from the perspective of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) context where a significant proportion of all economic activities are informal. Thus, the lack of conceptual clarity and consensus about the underlying factors driving individuals into informal economic activity constitutes a major knowledge gap. To fill this gap, this study seeks to clarify the domain of IS from a SSA viewpoint, and through this paves the way for a more holistic understanding of the behavioural tendencies and motivations of IS operators in SSA. Specifically relying on the institutional, social exclusion, and personality trait theoretical frameworks, the study demonstrates how a combination of separate yet related phenomena of personality traits, institutional factors, and more importantly, situational factors that manifest as perceptions of social exclusion serve as the incentives and the motivations to engage in informal economic activity in SSA. To achieve its goal, qualitative primary data obtained through thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Nvivo. Firstly, the study found that institutional ambiguity, institutional delinquency, institutional passivity, and institutional incongruence are sources of voids in Nigeria's institutional framework that influence an individual to enter the IS. Secondly, social exclusion regarding lack of access to requirements such as finance and formal education to start and sustainably operate a business influences people to enter into the IS. Lastly, the findings indicate that personality traits’ influence regarding the decision to engage in informal economic activities is dependent on individual circumstances. These are valuable contributions to the stock of knowledge about the IS. Particularly, the identification and categorisation of four specific institutional voids and partitioning of the sources of exclusion; the finding that in adverse economic circumstances personality traits could influence potential opportunity-entrepreneurs to start-up in the IS; the finding about the role of trade associations; and the new understanding about the collaborative dimension of corruption in the context of IS practice, represent a significant contribution of this study. These contributions are valuable not just in terms of creating new windows of research opportunities, but also for evidence-based policy relating to the IS that is appropriately targeted at relevant groups. This is in addition to facilitating collaborations for business support, enlightenment, improved business practice, and inclusive growth.
    • Evaluation of Bacterial Polymers as Protective Agents for Sensitive Probiotic Bacteria

      Adebayo, Olajumoke O. (2018)
      Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer one or more health benefits on the host. Different processing conditions, the acidic condition of the stomach and exposure to hydrolytic enzymes affect the viability and efficacy of probiotic organisms. This study investigated the protective effects of two biopolymers poly-gamma-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) and bacterial cellulose (BC) on probiotics during freeze drying and during exposure to simulated intestinal juices and bile salts. The antibacterial property of Bifidobacterium strains was also investigated against four pathogenic bacteria. γ-PGA, a naturally occurring biopolymer was produced by two bacteria (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 15245 and B. licheniformis ATCC 9945a) in GS and E media, γ-PGA yields of about 14.11g/l were achieved in shake flasks and molecular weight of up to 1620 k Da was recorded, γ-PGA production was scaled up in a fermenter with B. subtilis using GS medium. BC, an edible biopolymer was produced by Gluconacetobacter xylinus ATCC 23770 in HS medium and a modified HS (MHS) medium. A yield of about 1.37g/l was recorded and BC production with MHS medium was used for probiotic application. B. longum NCIMB 8809 B. breve NCIMB 8807 and B. animalis NCIMB 702716 showed the best antimicrobial properties against the investigated pathogens. Survival of Bifidobacterium strains was improved when protected with powdered BC (PBC) although γ-PGA offered better protection than PBC. Viability of B. longum NCIMB 8809, B. breve NCIMB 8807 and B. animalis NCIMB 702716 in simulated gastric juice (SGJ) and simulated intestinal juice with bile salts was improved when protected with 5% γ-PGA and 5% γ-PGA+PBC with a reduction of <1 Log CFU/ml while a reduction of ≤2 Log CFU/ml was recorded in PBC protected cells. Protecting Bifidobacterium strains with γ-PGA, PBC or a novel γ-PGA + PBC combination is a promising method to deliver probiotic bacteria to the target site in order to confer their health benefits on the host.

      Harrad, Rachel (2018)
      People are motivated to self evaluate and undertake this in their interactions with others. Interactions with others are increasingly taking place online, including via social networking websites, which can contain several differences to face to face interaction. This thesis examined how specific self-evaluation factors (self-esteem, social comparison tendency and self-concept clarity) affect various behaviours on and psychological outcomes of engaging with social media sites, including Facebook. Self-esteem predicted positive mood during Facebook use, whilst one’s relationship with the site (i.e. how emotionally connected to the site one is – or ‘Facebook intensity’) predicted engagement with activities interpreted as indicative of a ‘fear-of-missing-out’ (e.g. finding out what friends were up to). High scorers in performance and appearance self-esteem reported a positive mood shift after profile editing whilst low scoring counterparts reported the reverse. Those who compared to others frequently experienced a negative mood shift after viewing the Facebook newsfeed possibly reflecting the cognitive effort associated with social comparison. Self-esteem predicted use of positive emotions in status updates whilst number of Facebook friends was negatively predicted by self-concept clarity and positively by social comparison tendency. Participants textually described both their actual and ideal self enabling consideration of the implications for self-presentation attempts in certain online environments. Low self-esteem individuals decreased their use of anxious language when idealising the self whilst those with low self-concept clarity increased their use of positive emotions. The discrepant word count between actual and ideal selves suggested that the actual self appeared more easily articulated, most 4 pronounced amongst those who infrequently compared themselves to others. When others rated these self descriptions it appeared high scorers in self-esteem and self-concept clarity and those who compared frequently to others were generally most positively received. It appears that whilst those with unclear self-concepts and low self-esteem can present a more positive and less anxious idealised self than actual self, the overall thesis findings appear to support the rich-get-richer hypothesis (Valkenburg, Schouten, & Peter, 2005) with high scorers on these self-evaluation factors garnering the most benefits from social media. Whilst those who compare frequently may be adversely impacted by viewing the Facebook newsfeed, idealisation of self attributes appears to benefit these individuals in terms of positivity of impressions formed by others. Findings suggest that social media engagement may hold advantages and disadvantages for users dependent on the type of activity engaged with and the individual differences variables of the user.
    • The Role of a Deglycating Enzyme ‘Fructosamine-3-Kinase’ in Diabetes and COPD.

      Alderawi, Amr Saleh (2017-10-31)
      Recent statistics show that approximately 415 million people worldwide have diabetes. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) measurements were introduced many years ago as the gold standard tool for detecting and monitoring treatment as well as making management decisions for diabetic patients. Glycated haemoglobins are formed by the non-enzymatic glycation of haemoglobin molecules. This non-enzymatic glycation process has been strongly related to pathogenesis of chronic complications associated to diabetes. It was suggested that this glycation process may be moderated by an enzymatic deglycation process thought to involve a deglycating enzyme known as Fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K), an enzyme that deglycates the glycated haemoglobin in erythrocytes and other glycated proteins in other tissues. FN3K acts through phosphorylation of fructosamines on the third carbon of their sugar moiety, making them unstable and consequently causing them to detach from the protein. The degree of deglycation is thought to depend on the activity of the FN3K enzyme. Moreover, variation in the activity of FN3K between individuals is hypothesised to lead to apparent differences in glycated haemoglobin levels: some individuals have high rates of deglycation so that they tend to have lower average glycaemia than actually the case, while others with low rates of deglycation appear to have higher than actual glycaemia (known as the glycation gap, G-gap). The G-gap has been reported to be associated with alteration of diabetic complications risk. The G-gap reflects the discrepancy between average glycaemia as determined from glycated haemoglobin (measured as HbA1c) and that from the determination of fructosamine. The positive G-gap is defined as a higher level of glycation of proteins than expected whereas a negative G-gap means a lower level of glycation than expected. To explore the role of FN3K in diabetes and other associated morbidities, we decided to divide our research into 3 studies. Each study was categorised according to the type and the source of samples involved. The first study explored the correlation between FN3K activity and protein level with G-gap data; it involved 148 diabetic patients who were recruited at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, selected as having a consistent positive G-gap > +0.5 and a consistent negative G-gap > -0.5 over a minimum of 2 estimations. Age, gender, race and BMI were collected from patients in this study. Blood samples were also 3 collected to measure FN3K activity, protein levels, and markers of CVD in relation to G-gap. The second study involved 23 AECOPD patients who were recruited from St George’s Hospital (London) and were treated with either metformin or a placebo. Serum samples were collected from these patients for a larger study: we assayed those 23 serum samples for FN3K protein levels to explore any possible correlation between FN3K with metformin therapy in COPD patients. The third study utilised 36 human peripheral lung samples from healthy individuals, asymptomatic smokers and stable COPD patients (GOLD 2) who were recruited at The Section of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy. Those samples were assessed for FN3K expression by means of immunohistochemistry to explore the difference in FN3K activity between those three categories. It was found that the intracellular activity and protein expression of the FN3K enzyme in diabetic patients negatively correlated with the values of G-gaps where FN3K activity was high in patients with negative G-gap. FN3K serum protein levels were shown to be enhanced with metformin administration in COPD diabetic patients, suggesting a protective role for FN3K enzyme against protein damaged caused by the non-enzymatic glycation of proteins. Therefore, patients with positive G-gap have lower FN3K activity than those with negative G-gap, and in turn they are more susceptible to diabetes related complications. Our data also indicate that metformin has a beneficial effect in reducing damage caused by carbonyl stress from cigarette smoking in COPD patients by the action of FN3K. Our research has demonstrated that FN3K contributes to the protein repair system which protects against damage caused by non-enzymatic glycation. The high activity for the FN3K enzyme was associated with low levels of AGEs and low carbonyl stress levels in observed among patients with diabetes and COPD. In contrast, COPD patients tend to have low FN3K-mediated protection against protein damage in comparison to the normal population. These patients tend to be at risk for developing more complications, particularly CVD complications, than normal, healthy individuals. Treatment with metformin enhances FN3K action in COPD diabetic patients, possibly as a protective enzyme against the damaged caused by the non-enzymatic glycation.

      NAHEEM, MOHAMMED AHMAD (2017-10-10)
      Written in response to a current gap in academic and industry based literature, this thesis was written on the topic of Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) and risk assessment, within the banking context. Despite the increased use of TBML, most academic descriptions of money laundering have used the cash based model of placement and integration of large cash deposits acquired from criminal activity, which are then merged into legitimate pre-existing funds. However, there are a significant number of examples to show that cash transferred into goods and then shipped to other countries can be easier to move and less conspicuous or traceable than simple cash based deposits. One of the main challenges for detecting shipping based laundering techniques is that they involve a number of agencies sharing data and information, in order to catch the criminals. Simple banking checks may not always elicit the required information without verification from either customs or law enforcement agencies. The research sought to identify the current challenges and issues facing risk assessment professionals in the banking sector and to identify gaps in the current systems being used. The data collected included interviews and survey information taken from professionals working on AML risk assessment in banking and financial institutions from across the globe. In addition to the description of different money laundering schemes, much of the current academic discussion on money laundering in banking has focused on the regulation requirements for financial institutions to stop money laundering activity, but there has been little empirical guidance on how regulation can be adapted and implemented at the individual banking level. This research accessed a number of legal cases available in the public domain, which were analysed to see how and where some of the larger banks have failed to implement current anti-money laundering controls and to consider how this could impact on the detection of TBML activity. This research uses an Agency theory model to look at the pressures banks are under to manage client’s accounts efficiently, versus the requirements of outside regulation to undertake extensive checks on business transactions and accounts. Finally, the researcher proposed a simple risk matrix approach that developed the current thinking of client behaviour and transaction monitoring risk analysis associated with cash based laundering, to develop a four-point risk model that added geography and third party behaviour, to account for shipping and trade based laundering activity.

      Kurusamy, Sathishkumar (2017-10-02)
      Ischaemic cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Therapeutic angiogenesis provides a valuable tool to treat these conditions by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels in the ischaemic tissue. The pro-angiogenic factor VEGF is the most potent inducer of angiogenesis, and exogenous delivery of VEGF has been a key element of therapeutic strategies. Unfortunately, VEGF-based pro-angiogenic procedures have produced only limited patient benefit. Failure to restore efficient VEGF activity remains a major problem. VEGF-mediated activation of the calcineurin/NFAT signalling pathway has been identified as a crucial regulator of angiogenesis. Our laboratory has recently shown a novel role for the plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4) protein as a negative regulator of VEGF-induced angiogenesis via interaction with calcineurin. The recent identification of aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) as a selective inhibitor of PMCA4 prompted us to hypothesise that inhibition of PMCA4 with ATA should enhance VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Here, we show that treatment of endothelial cells with nanomolar concentrations of ATA notably enhances calcineurin/NFAT signalling by disrupting the PMCA4/calcineurin interaction. ATA mediated inhibition of PMCA4 results in a significant increase in endothelial cell motility and in vitro and in vivo blood vessel formation. Low concentrations of ATA do not have any deleterious effects on the viability of endothelial cells or zebrafish embryonic development. However, high ATA concentrations impaired endothelial cell viability, and were associated with toxicity in zebrafish embryos. This study highlights the potential of targeting PMCA4 to improve VEGF-based pro-angiogenic therapeutic strategies. This goal will require the development of refined versions of ATA without associated toxicity, or the identification of novel PMCA4 inhibitors.
    • Corporate Governance in the Banking and Finance Sector.

      CHUNG Chun Pong, Thomas. (2017-08)
      The focus of this thesis is an examination of certain weaknesses in the corporate governance at UK and US banks which constituted an underlying cause of the crisis. It considers the regulatory responses to these identified weaknesses and assesses to what extent these have led to improvements in corporate governance at banks. This research is based on an examination of all the failures at UK and US banks during and after the crisis, and of its related responses. In addition to UK and US responses, several solutions to the weaknesses identified at UK and US banks are addressed through EU legislation. The conclusions are that board effectiveness was low due to a lack of knowledge and of challenging of senior management; there was a culture placing growth and profit over risk management; and remuneration was structured leading to unacceptable risk taking resulting in scandals. It is concluded that the mechanisms to limit the impact of a failure of a bank on its stakeholders were inadequate. A case study of the financial crisis in US during the 1990s is undertaken to consider whether the US regulatory response offers lessons to UK regulators and legislators. The finding is that analysis of regulation and corporate governance at banks is problematic. There were similarities between the two financial crises, the organisation and culture of the UK and US banks is so different that different regulatory responses follow.
    • A study of architecture for art, design and visual media in the West Midlands from the 20th century onwards based on the perceptions of individuals

      Cooper, Carol (2017-05-04)
      The study investigates how museum and gallery buildings can be designed to give functional longevity and appeal. It considers this in terms of their design and relation to their surroundings and use in the context of changing social, cultural, political and economic factors. Post World War II the typological design and layout of these buildings was challenged; partly as a result of the influence of modernism and also as new modes of art production challenged the spaces and display modes. Financial instability and class perception have always been problematic and increased public expectations add to issues that need addressing. The study investigates how these factors have impacted on these buildings and if this has influenced their design and use. It considers the regional context of the West Midlands and also draws comparisons to other areas in England to investigate ways of addressing contemporary issues to achieve longevity of use. The study considers the historical influence of the typological developments. Examples from the West Midlands and investigation of the area’s historical background are used to identify if regional idiosyncrasies exist and if these influence a building’s longevity. This establishes their contemporary context and objectively reviews the resulting implications of appearance and function in relation to the social, cultural and economic issues that may be dominant within this region. A qualitative interview methodology and analysis is used to examine the views of a multidisciplinary group of museum and gallery users, capturing a snapshot in time of their views on the appearance, understanding and use of these buildings. This information is analysed and discussed in conjunction with the findings of the relevant literature. The comparison of the information researched raises regional and national issues associated to design and use of these buildings. Four key themes related to the longevity of use emerged; architectural design, location, economic viability and inclusivity.
    • Investigating the Specificity of the Jump Conclusions Bias in Sub-Clinical Delusional Thinking

      Rhodes, Stephanie Kate (2017-03-21)
      Current theories in psychology now suggest that behaviours that were primarily associated with psychotic disorders, such as delusional experiences, can be observed in the healthy general population (van Os, Linscott, Myin-Germeys, Delespaul and Krabbendam, 2009). Delusions, a common symptom of schizophrenia, have been associated with a tendency to jump to conclusions. In simpler terms, it has been discussed that those that experience delusions will reach final decisions earlier than controls upon the basis of little evidence (Huq, Garety and Hemsley, 1988). The aim of the research was to investigate the factors that may moderate this susceptibility to jump to conclusions amongst the sub-clinical range of delusional thinking amongst the distinct construct measures of the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI: Peters, Day and Garety, 1996). Numerous studies were conducted to investigate: intelligence, probability calculation ability, experimental task design and task delivery upon the emergence of the jump to conclusions bias (Chapters II-VI). Moderator analyses identified that task design and task delivery were strong predictors of the quantity of information requested prior to finalising a decision; with restricted data gathering occurring with the use of face-to-face abstract tasks (Chapter III and VI B). When tasks included neutral and emotionally-unstimulating material, a data gathering bias was either not observed (Chapter II) or data gathering was enhanced amongst those with high belief conviction. Perceived life stress, perceived task stress and specific reasoning styles were investigated in an attempt to explain the situation-specific differences (Chapters VII and VIII). It was concluded in the General Discussion that delusional thinking appears to be associated with hasty decision making, under specific situational circumstances and can differ between the distinct constructs of the PDI measure (Peters et al. 1996). Sub-clinical delusional ideation is an overall summation of belief distress, preoccupation and conviction. The current research argues that the three psychological dimensions of delusional belief can influence decision making uniquely; specifically in relation to the emergence of a data gathering bias.

      KITCHING, PETER (2017-03-16)
      Current Automatic Palmprint Identification Systems (APIS) closely follow the matching philosophy of Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), in that they exclusively use a small subset of Level II palmar detail, when matching a latent to an exemplar palm print. However, due the increased size and the significantly more complex structure of the palm, it has long been recognised that there is much detail that remains underutilised. Forensic examiners routinely use this additional information when manually matching latents. The thesis develops novel automatic feature extraction and matching methods which exploit the underutilised Level I detail contained in the friction ridge flow. When applied to a data base of exemplars, the approach creates a ranked list of matches. It is shown that the matching success rate varied with latent size. For latents of diameter 38mm, 91:1% were ranked first and 95:6% of the matches were contained within the ranked top 10. The thesis presents improved orientation field extraction methods which are optimised for friction ridge flow and novel enhancement techniques, based upon the novel use of local circular statistics on palmar orientation fields. In combination, these techniques are shown to provide a more accurate orientation estimate than previous work. The novel feature extraction stages exploit the level sets of higher order local circular statistics, which naturally segment the palm into homogeneous regions representing Level I detail. These homogeneous regions, characterised by their spatial and circular features, are used to form a novel compact tree-like hierarchical representation of the Level I detail. Matching between the latent and an exemplar is performed between their respective tree-like hierarchical structures. The methods developed within the thesis are complementary to current APIS techniques.
    • Function and activation of human adipose tissue: The role of genes in the link between physical activity and brown adipose-like phenotype

      Ntinas, Petros (2017-03)
      Background: Excess white adipose tissue (WAT) in humans is considered as a harmful health index. However, increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) and brown-like adipose tissue activity are associated with increased resting energy expenditure (REE) that may help to control body weight. Exercise may enhance browning formation of WAT and reduce WAT that may lead to health improvements. Aims: a) to examine the effects of physical activity on the link between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) and fibronectin type III domaincontaining protein 5 (FNDC5) genes in muscle, circulating Irisin and uncoupling protein one (UCP1) of WAT in humans (study 1); b) to examine the relationship between UCP1 mRNA and protein expression as well as PGC-1α, peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor alpha (PPARα) and PPARγ genes with physical activity levels in WAT of healthy men (study 2); c) to examine the effects of different types of exercise and de-training on the UCP1 mRNA and protein expression (study 3), and d) on leptin mRNA in WAT of healthy men (study 4). Method: Study 1: A systematic review was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses. Studies 2-4: The total of 46 healthy men subjected to measurements for physical activity levels, diet, anthropometry, body composition, REE, peak oxygen consumption, 1-repetition maximum and provided subcutaneous fat biopsies to determine mRNA and protein expression of six genes in one cross-sectional study and one randomized controlled trial. Results: Study 1: No link was found between PGC- 1α and FNDC5, circulating Irisin and UCP1 of WAT in response to physical activity. Study 2: The mRNA of, UCP1, PGC-1α, PPARα and PPARγ genes of WAT were not associated with physical activity levels. The UCP1 protein expression however, was negatively associated with physical activity levels. Studies 3-4: Different types of chronic exercise and de-training do not affect UCP1 mRNA and protein expression 3 and leptin mRNA in WAT. However, effect size analyses demonstrated increased UCP1 mRNA and protein expression, PPARγ and leptin in response to chronic exercise. Conclusions: There is no evidence to support the link between PGC-1α and FNDC5 in human muscle or the link between FNDC5 and circulating Irisin and UCP1 in WAT in response to exercise. There are no effects of exercise and de-training on browning formation of WAT and no link between browning formation indices and REE, body weight as well as leptin mRNA in healthy men. Further research is required to elaborate the aforementioned phenomena.

      Bayley, Amanda; Lidbury, Clare; Williams, James Benjamin (2017-02)
      This thesis explores both the creative process and the creative product behind a unique and complex collaboration between two composers, called Endings (2012): firstly Jeremy Peyton Jones and secondly Kaffe Matthews. It interrogates the behavioural aspects and negotiations between the two composers in the compositional and rehearsal processes, in the run-up to three performances. Using ethnomusicological methodologies towards data collection (rehearsal recordings, interviews, studio work) and analysis (discourse in compositional discussion, rehearsal), the thesis offers new understandings on collaboration, specifically the fluidity and complexity of the interaction between composers who work in two very different ways: Peyton Jones, who composes with scored, conventional notation, rehearsing with his ensemble Regular Music II; and Matthews, who works improvisationally with live electronics and electroacoustics, both with her surrounding sonic material and pre-existing samples. The thesis finds two core important conclusions, which contribute to our current knowledge and understanding of music and collaboration. Firstly, pre-existing models of collaboration segregate behaviours into ‘types’. Endings offers an example where such types cannot always be applied so exclusively. And secondly, collaboration in the rehearsal of Endings contradicts conventional rehearsal models which state talking should be kept to a minimum. The majority of the collaborative process between Peyton Jones and Matthews rests heavily on conversation.
    • Writing formations in Shakespearean films

      Geal, Robert (2017)
      This thesis addresses a methodological impasse within film studies which is of ongoing concern because of the way that it demonstrates the discipline’s conflicting approaches to ideology. This impasse arises because proponents of poststructuralism and cognitivism utilise methodologies which not only make internally consistent interpretations of films, but are also able to discount the theoretical criticisms of the rival paradigm. Attempts to debate and transcend these divisions have been unsuccessful. This thesis contributes to this gap in knowledge by arguing that both academic theories (such as poststructuralism and cognitivism) and filmmaking practice are influenced by the same historically contingent socio-cultural determinants. Academic claims about film’s effects can then be conceptualised as aggregates of thought which are analogous to the dramatic manipulations that filmmakers unconsciously work into their films, with both forms of cultural activity (academic theorising and filmmaking practice) influenced by the same diachronic socio-cultural contexts. The term that I use for these specific forms of filmmaking practice is writing formations. A filmic writing formation is a form of filmmaking practice influenced by the same cultural ideas which also inform academic hermeneutics. The thesis does not undertake a conventional extended literature review as a means to identify the gap in the literature. This is because contested theoretical discourses are part of the thesis’ subject matter. I analyse academic literature in the same way that I analyse film, conceptualising both 3 activities as being determined by the same specific historical and socio-cultural contexts. The thesis analyses Shakespearean films because they offer multiple diachronic texts which are foregrounded as interpretations, and in which different approaches to filmmaking can be clearly compared and contrasted across time. They clarify the complex and often unconscious relationships between academic theorising and filmic writing formations by facilitating an investigation of how the historic development of academic discourse relates to the historic development of filmmaking practice. The corpus of texts for analysis has been confined to Anglo-American realist film adaptations, and European and American debates about, and criticism of, realist film from the advent of poststructuralism in the late 1960s to the present day. The thesis is structured as an investigation into the current theoretical impasse and the unsatisfactory attempts to transcend it, the articulation of a new methodology relating to filmic writing formations, the elaboration of how different filmic writing formations operate within realist film adaptation, and a close case study of the unfolding historical processes whereby academic theory and filmmaking practice relate to the same socio-cultural determinants using four adaptations of Hamlet from different time periods. It concludes by explaining how filmmakers exploit and manipulate forms of filmic grammar which correspond to academic theories about those forms of filmic grammar, with both activities influenced by the same underlying diachronic culture. The thesis argues, then, that academic poststructuralism and cognitivism can be 4 conceptualised as explanations for different but contiguous aspects of filmmaking practice, rather than as mutually exclusive claims about film’s effects.
    • Exploring the language of adolescent emotion and its relationship with psychological wellbeing and therapeutic experience

      Tessa Apter, Nora. (2017)
      The study of emotional language use and production within UK adolescent therapeutic populations has received relatively little attention compared to other client-, process- and outcome factor research. In recent years, novel and distinct methods of delivering therapy that rely on the production and interpretation of language are increasing in popularity, compared to traditional therapeutic models that use non-verbal aspects of communication in the therapeutic process. In order to explore how aspects of emotional language production may inform clinicians about therapeutic interventions with a UK adolescent population, two studies were designed to analyse how adolescents use written emotional language to indicate their psychological wellbeing, identity and agency development through receipt of psychological intervention. A quantitative study was designed to measure therapeutic and non-therapeutic adolescents’ production of positive and negative emotional word frequency through free-response narratives. Positive and negative emotional word frequencies were assessed for relationships with measures of trait emotional intelligence (TEIQue-ASF; Petrides et al., 2006) and psychological wellbeing (18-item PWBS; Clarke et al., 2001). Multiple regression analyses determined that trait emotional intelligence significantly predicted psychological wellbeing, but positive and negative emotional word production and therapeutic experience did not. A qualitative study using Parker’s (2005) methods of narrative analysis of limited narratives focused on exploring how adolescents who have experienced therapy construct narratives. The analysis illustrated the construction of agency in developing adolescent identities and accounts of helpful and unhelpful events in therapeutic interventions, which became the primary narrative genres. Emotional contexts were highlighted in exploring the functions of emotional language in constructing stories of adolescent agency and identity in therapy. The results of both studies, their contributions to, and implications for clinical practice and counselling psychology are discussed in relation to novel or modern methods of delivering therapeutic interventions tailored to this developmental population, and in the wider socio-political context.
    • A Novel Mechanism For The Anti-Cancer Activity Of Aspirin And Its Analogues

      Abstract Colorectal cancer (CRC), which includes cancer of the large bowel and rectum is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women and there is a poorer survival rate in less developed regions of the world such as West Africa mainly due to the ‘out of reach’ costs of chemotherapy. Evidence suggests that aspirin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) has the potential to decrease incidence of, or mortality from a number of cancers including CRC through several mechanisms of action. However, this evidence is dampened by aspirin’s gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, which have been found to be mostly age-dependent. The search for potential aspirin-related compounds with the same or better cytotoxic effects against cancer cells accompanied by a safer toxicity profile has been ongoing over the years and led to us to synthesise a number of novel aspirin analogues. One of the mechanisms of action suggested for the anticancer property of aspirin is the COX-dependent pathway. In this thesis SW480 cell line, a CRC cell line that is COX-2 negative and mismatch repair (MMR) proficient was used to study the possible COX-independent mechanism of action for aspirin, its analogues and diflunisal at 0.5 mM. Diflunisal was included in this study because it is also a salicylate with reports of having cytotoxic effects. OE33 and FLO1 oesophageal cancer cells were also employed in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and synergy experiments to show effects were not just specific to SW480 cells alone. These aspirin analogues were synthesised, identified using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, and tested for purity using thin layer chromatography (TLC) and melting point. The findings of this study suggest that these compounds breakdown into salicylates and perturb epidermal growth factor (EGF) internalization with PN517 (fumaryldiaspirin) and PN590 (ortho-thioaspirin) also driving EGF co-localization with early-endosome antigen-1 (EEA1). The perturbation of the internalization of EGF by aspirin and PN517 was also observed by a time-lapse assay using live confocal imaging. These compounds also had specific effects on different tyrosine phosphorylation sites of the EGFR, with none but PN590 inhibiting 4 phosphorylation at Y1068, and all but PN502 (ortho-aspirin), PN548 (meta-aspirin) and PN549 (para-aspirin) inhibiting phosphorylation at Y1045 and Y1173. Given that the EGF internalization assay involved the cells being treated with compounds for 2 h, cells were also treated for this same time period and probed with pEGFR 1045, which resulted in the compounds having no significant effect on phosphorylation at that site which is responsible for the ubiquitination of the EGFR. Most of these compounds were apoptotic with some showing a combination of apoptosis and necrosis. Aspirin and its isomers drove apoptotic cell death in SW480 cells via the BCL2-BAX pathway while the thioaspirins appear to follow the p21 pathway by decreasing the expression of the protein. In addition, it was shown that PN502 (aspirin), PN517 and PN590 had synergistic effects when used in combination with oxaliplatin at ED50, ED75 and ED90 in SW480 CRC cells. The cytotoxicity of these compounds individually or in combination was determined using MTT assay followed by the use of the CompuSyn and CalcuSyn software to calculate combination index (CI), which indicated whether a drug combination was synergistic, antagonistic or additive. PN517 and PN524 were synergistic when used in combination with cisplatin in OE33 oesophageal cancer cells. Effect of these compounds on the EGFR indicates a delay or disruption of the signalling pathway involved in the proliferation of cancer cells, thus, translating into protection against tumour formation or progression while the synergistic effects of these compounds when used in combination with platinum compounds can provide patients with less toxic chemotherapeutic regimen especially in patients with CRC tumours that harbour mutant TP53 gene and normally resistant to oxaliplatin. It is therefore proposed that the perturbation of EGF internalization is a novel mechanism of action for aspirin and its analogues in cancer therapy. These positive findings shed light on the understanding of the possible mechanism of action for aspirins and gives hope for a more affordable, less toxic therapy for the prevention, treatment and management of cancer.
    • Sustainable Water Resource and Environmental Management

      OLUGBOYE, DAYO. (2017)
      Water supply service delivery has been recognised as a complex challenge facing communities in developing countries. Its particularly serious in sub-Saharan Africa where a significant proportion of the population still lack basic access to safe drinking water supply. Over the years, many externally supported community-managed water facilities have failed to deliver sustainably. This results not only in a loss of financial investment but also constitutes a real threat to people’s health and well-being. Therefore, this study aimed to explore options for innovative water service delivery approach that can support vibrant water supply provision as well as provide a guidance framework for sustainable water service delivery in Nigeria. Due to the socio-technical complexity of the research, the mixed method approach was found to be the most suitable research method after extensive considerations and reviews of other several available research methodologies. The study found that the hand-dug wells (HDW) have enormous potential in sustainable water service delivery to households within the proposed framework arrangement. This research successfully presented a unique model, based on the concept of HDW self-supply, using rope pump technology in conjunction with a community-based water resource management concept. The proposed approach led to the production of a set of Guidance Frameworks that will aid planning and implementation of a proposed solution. This was validated with key stakeholders and it applicability was rated highly relevant in the water sector. The approach did not only address the question of technical and financial sustainability but also make a case for environmental sustainability. Hence, ensuring that meeting present domestic water needs will not jeopardise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Further research was recommended to ensure wider applicability of the model.