• Dating Death: Forensic taphonomy and the postmortem interval

      Schmerer, Wera Dr, Whitehead, Michael Dr, Sutton, Raul Dr; Rogers, Christopher (University of Wolverhampton, 2010-12)
      Determining the postmortem interval (PMI) remains one of the most important but challenging factors to establish in a suspicious death investigation. Unfortunately, as time passes current methods lose accuracy and only allow investigators to approximate how long ago death occurred. Bodies interred in clandestine graves prove particularly challenging due to an abundance of variables that need to be taken into consideration. Due to the problems associated with determining the PMI of buried remains this study will utilise macroscopic, microscopic, molecular, chemical and microbiological analyses to systematically document the decompositional changes to human hair and porcine cartilage and bone in a burial environment. The aim was to correlate decompositional changes with time and develop new methods for estimating the PMI of remains found in this context. Whole trotters (from which the cartilage was harvested) exhibited decompositional changes including darkening of the dermis, skin slippage, liquefaction of soft tissues and complete skeletonisation. The decompositional changes to cartilage included a loss of cartilage covering articular facets, changes in colour and texture, formation of orthorhombic crystals, a change in surface pH and colonisation by bacteria. The bacteria found on the cartilage surface were in close proximity to the crystals and when cultured on a B-41 medium were found to precipitate crystals of the same morphology and chemical composition to those found on the cartilage surface. Three species of bacteria (Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Acinetobacter iwoffii and Grimontia hollisae) were identified based on gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of their fatty acids and one species (Comamonas sp.) was identified by DNA analysis. Formation of crystals on goat and cow cartilage proved that this was not a porcine specific phenomenon. Human hair exhibited a gradual degradation over time but this was dependent on the characteristics of the burial environment. Decompositional changes included colonisation by fungi, erosions to the cortical surface and formation of tunnels and breaks to the hair shaft. Two fungal species (Aspergillus fumigatus and Penicillium sp.) were identified based on DNA analysis of fungal ribosomal (rDNA) internally transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The Penicillium sp. was linked with fungal tunnelling of hair. Bone exhibited little modification over time but changes were observed. These included a change in colour of the cortical surface, a change in colour and gradual loss of bone marrow and erosions, cracking and flaking of the cortical bone. Fungi were found to colonise both the bone marrow and bone surface. Whole piglets were buried to document the time period taken to reach skeletonisation. This data was used as a correction factor and combined with the bone results to give an overall time period for the decomposition changes observed. The results of this study suggest that the decompositional changes to cartilage could be used to determine the postmortem interval of buried remains. However, the degradation of hair and bone was too variable to be of use in this context.
    • Death on the Warwickshire Coalfield: an examination of the contribution of miners, coalowners and the State to the decline in mining fatalities in the British coal industry in the period of expansion 1840 to 1913

      Gildart, Keith; Anney, Thomas (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
      Abstract This thesis examines the development of health and safety in the British coalmining industry in the period of rapid expansion 1840 to 1913 through a case study of the Warwickshire coalfield. It will assess the contribution of the miner, the coalowners and the State to improvements to mine safety. Although historians have been attracted to this period of coalfield expansion, they have tended to concentrate upon the complex economics necessary for success or the fractious record of industrial relations, with health and safety marginalised to the periphery. They have also mainly taken their exemplars from the important coal exporting activities of the North-East and South Wales, together with the larger coalfields of Scotland, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. By studying the Warwickshire fatalities and comparing that experience with the neighbouring counties of the East Midlands and national data, this thesis will reveal how local factors influenced safety in the mines. The individual miner had little influence upon mine safety in the period 1840 through to the mid 1870's when the sub-contracting butty system removed owners from the responsibilities of production. The establishment of a permanent Warwickshire Miners’ Association from the 1880’s, characterised by moderate leadership who sought to work closely with employers, gained for the Warwickshire miner superior earnings and conditions of employment, even when compared to neighbouring coalfields in the prosperous Midland Division. This undermines the national caricature of coalowners as brutal capitalists with little regard for their workers or communities where they gained their wealth. The results showed conclusively that it was not the mode of management but the size of the enterprise that was the dominating factor. Fatalities increased in the large deep mines that became more common at the turn of the century and were more susceptible to deaths from falls of coal and men crushed by wagons on the surface. The role of the State was somewhat patchy. Mine Inspectors could recommend that horses employed in oncost haulage should work in shafts rather than chains and that low tension batteries should be used to bring down coal, but owners were free to ignore this advice, with fatal consequences to the workforce. They were more successful in promoting the professionalization of mine management and at the turn of the century legislation was the dominant factor in the adoption of patent explosives to replace the use of gunpowder in Warwickshire mines. This thesis builds upon recent studies by McIvor and Mills which have sought to address this neglect of health and safety in the British coal mining industry. By approaching this through the study of a small coalfield that has largely been ignored by mining historians, it reveals how local factors influenced the contribution of the miner, the coalowner and the State to the problem of accidents and fatalities in the coal industry.
    • Deep learning based semantic textual similarity for applications in translation technology

      Mitkov, Ruslan; Ranasinghe, Tharindu; Research Institute of Information and Language Processing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      Semantic Textual Similarity (STS) measures the equivalence of meanings between two textual segments. It is a fundamental task for many natural language processing applications. In this study, we focus on employing STS in the context of translation technology. We start by developing models to estimate STS. We propose a new unsupervised vector aggregation-based STS method which relies on contextual word embeddings. We also propose a novel Siamese neural network based on efficient recurrent neural network units. We empirically evaluate various unsupervised and supervised STS methods, including these newly proposed methods in three different English STS datasets, two non- English datasets and a bio-medical STS dataset to list the best supervised and unsupervised STS methods. We then embed these STS methods in translation technology applications. Firstly we experiment with Translation Memory (TM) systems. We propose a novel TM matching and retrieval method based on STS methods that outperform current TM systems. We then utilise the developed STS architectures in translation Quality Estimation (QE). We show that the proposed methods are simple but outperform complex QE architectures and improve the state-of-theart results. The implementations of these methods have been released as open source.
    • Defining the molecular, genetic and transcriptomic mechanisms underlying the variation in glycation gap between individuals

      Dunmore, Simon; Naseem, Fakhra (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-10)
      The discrepancy between HbA1c and fructosamine estimations in the assessment of glycaemia has frequently been observed and is referred to as the glycation gap (G-gap). This could be explained by the higher activity of the fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K) deglycating enzyme in the negative G-gap group (patients with lower than predicted HbA1c for their mean glycaemia) as compared to the positive G-gap group. This G-gap is linked with differences in complications in patients with diabetes and this potentially happens because of dissimilarities in deglycation. The difference in deglycation rate in turn leads to altered production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These AGEs are both receptor dependent and receptor independent. It was hypothesised that variations in the level of the deglycating enzyme fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K) might be as a result of known Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs): rs1056534, rs3848403 and rs1046896 in FN3K gene, SNP in ferroportin1/SLC40A1 gene (rs11568350 linked with FN3K activity), differentially expressed genes (DEGs), differentially expressed transcripts or alternatively spliced transcript variants. Previous studies reported accelerated telomere length shortening in patients with diabetes. In this study, 184 patients with diabetes were included as dichotomised groups with either a strongly negative or positive G-gap. This study was conducted to analyse the differences in genotype frequency of specific SNPs via real time qPCR,determine soluble receptors for AGE (sRAGE) concentration via ELISA, finding association of sRAGE concentration with SNPs genotype, and evaluate relative average telomere length ratio via real time qPCR. This study also aimed at the investigation of underlying mechanisms of G-gap via transcriptome study for the identification of the DEGs and differentially expressed transcripts and to consequently identify pathways, biological processes and diseases linked to situations in which DEGs were enriched. The relative length of the telomere was normalised to the expression of a single copy gene (S). Chi-squared test was used for estimating the expected genotype frequencies in diabetic patients with negative and positive G-gap. Genotype frequencies of FN3K SNPs (rs1056534, rs3848403 and rs1046896) and SLC40A1/ferroportin1 SNP (rs11568350) polymorphisms within the studied groups were non-significant. With respect to genotypes, the rs1046896 genotype (CT) and rs11568350 genotype (AC) were only found in heterozygous state in all the investigated cohorts. No association between sRAGE concentration and FN3K SNPs (rs3848403 and rs1056534) was observed as the sRAGE concentration was also found not to be different between the groups. Similarly, the relative average telomere length was not different in both groups. Plasma sRAGE levels were not different in the cohort studied even though the Wolverhampton Diabetes Research Group (WDRG) previously reported that AGE is higher in positive G-gap. The latter is a more likely consequence of lower FN3K activities. In this study, it was found that SNPs in the FN3K/ferroportin1 gene are not responsible for the discrepancy in average glycaemia. The transcriptomic study via RNA-Seq mapped a total of 64451 gene transcripts to the human transcriptome. The DEGs and differentially expressed transcripts were 103 and 342 respectively (p < 0.05, fold change > 1.5). Of 103 DEGs, 61 were downregulated in G-gap positive and 42 were upregulated in positive G-gap individuals while 14 genes produced alternatively spliced transcript variants. Four pathways (Viral carcinogenesis, Ribosome, Phagosome and Dorso-ventral axis) were identified in the bioinformatics analysis of samples in which DEGs were enriched. These DEGs were also found to be associated with raised blood pressure and glycated haemoglobin (conditions that coexist with diabetes). Future analysis based on these results will be necessary to elucidate the significant drivers of gene expression leading to the G-gap in these patients.
    • Design-production interface in the UK mechanical engineering industry

      Riedel, Johann Christian Karl Henry (University of Wolverhampton, 1994)
      This thesis reports the results of a novel investigation of the management of product design in the UK mechanical engineering industry. The research examined the management of product design, specifically the relationship between design and production functions, in the mechanical engineering industry as a whole. It measured the design performance of firms as measured by the amount of design modifications carried out after drawing transfer to production and the number of standard components in a design. A novel and unique two-pronged research methodology was developed. This consisted of a national survey of the UK mechanical engineering industry and a set structured interviews. The survey was a random, and thus representative, postal questionnaire survey of 860 companies. A response rate of 13 % was obtained. Two sets of case studies were undertaken: on firm's use of CAD and on design management. The structured interviews, of pairs of closely matched firms, were linked to the survey by an analytical bridge - design performance, as measured by design modifications after drawing release to production. Theoretically the study identified three possible solution approaches to bridging the design - production gap: methodology, technology and organisation. It was concluded that methodology solutions (DFA, QFD, BS 5750) had little use and impact in industry. Second, management's approach to, and use of, methods for design freeze, generational design and standardisation was the key factor in producing better performance. Technology (CAD) as a solution to the design - production interface was limited, due to its low diffusion, use for 2D drawing and technological limitations. It was shown for the methodology and technology solutions that organisation was the key - the better performing companies not only used certain techniques and technologies but used them better. These companies had an integration culture and a pro-active management. The complacency of firms was jolted by catalysts - TQM, commercial flops and the recession. It is concluded that firms will only improve their design - production integration when forced to by a catalyst. Simultaneous engineering, another catalyst, addresses itself directly to product design, and is thus recommended as the way to improve the competitive position of Britain's mechanical engineering industry.
    • Designing a safe dendronised polymeric nanocarrier for hydrophobic drugs or gene delivery in cancer therapy

      Tang, James; Wali, Aisha Roshan Mohamed (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-11)
      The hardship of cancer is continuously increasing and is rapidly spreading globally. At present, almost one-third of newly discovered potential therapeutics have poor pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutical properties. Chemotherapeutic agents known to be the most effective treatment, lack tumour specificity and suffers from poor solubility. The lack of specificity results in severe side effects in off-target tissues, whereas poor soluble drugs exhibit short half-life in the bloodstream and high overall clearance rate. Amphiphilic block copolymers based on hydrophobic dendrons have shown to be a promising strategy to enhance the solubility of hydrophobic drugs, prolong circulation time, minimise non-specific uptake, and allow for specific tumour-targeting through the EPR effect. Herein, we have proposed the development of a new safe and more specific non-viral vector system based on peptide dendronised polymeric micelles to enhance the delivery of hydrophobic drugs into liver cancer cells. G3(PLLA and OGPLLL) arginine dendron of third generation bearing eight peripheral hydrophobic or cationic groups (PBF and BOC or guanidine groups) were synthesised in high yield, identified and tested for purity using NMR, MS and TLC. A series of three amphiphilic system characterised by different hydrophilic pullulan derivatives segments were then synthesised using Huisgen azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between pullulan (P), lactosylated pullulan (P(Lac)) and pullulan bearing disulphide linkage (PSS) with the G3 dendron to lead amphiphilic block copolymers P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA, respectively. Hydrophilic pullulan and lactobionic acid were selected for amphiphilic modification, aiming at specific asialoglycoprotein receptors recognition onto hepatocytes cells in the liver. Macromolecular structures of amphiphilic P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA were able to self-assemble spontaneously into spherical nanoarchitectures of sizes less than 90nm with low polydispersity in the aqueous media, which was confirmed by CAC, DLS and TEM. Furthermore, the polyaromatic anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) was selectively encapsulated in the hydrophobic core through multiple interactions with the dendron, including π-π interactions, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Such multiple interactions had the merits of enhanced drug loading capacity (>16%), excellent stability against dilution, and excellent sustained release property. Results showed that a high number of hydrophobic segments within a micellar core enhance higher loading efficiency of hydrophobic drugs, whereas, an increase of surface hydrophilicity or an increase in the length of the hydrophobic segment, both have an effect in reducing the micellar size and CAC value. The disulfide-containing PSS-PLLA micelles were able to co-encapsulate both hydrophobic drugs Dox and Curcumin (Cur) which could simultaneously be co-released in high rate from the carrier (>80wt% in 60hours) in response to the high redox potential environment. Most importantly, the release of Dox from the carrier at pH 5 enhanced the release of curcumin, whereas curcumin, in turn, would improve the efficiency of Dox anticancer activity by overcoming Dox MDR. Such a delivery system provides a promising approach for combination therapy in cancer. The cell viability assay presented that the blank micelles had excellent biocompatibility both in the normal and tumour cells. Moreover, loaded drugs nanoparticles could be effectively internalised into the hepatoma carcinoma cells, and Dox-Cur-PSS-PLLA dramatically inhibited cell proliferation. Also, cationic dendron conjugated pullulan (P-OGPLLL) could efficiently condense DNA with excellent hemocompatibility and high gene transfection in Hela and Hek293T cells. Thus, this work offers an effective strategy of designing a non-viral system and the P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA, PSS-PLLA and P-OGPLLL nanocarriers serve as a reliable drug/gene delivery nanoplatform to enable the improvement of the bioavailability, targetability, efficacy and overcome MDR of therapeutic agents.
    • Designing and Testing an Experimental Framework of Affective Intelligent Agents in Healthcare Training Simulations

      Loizou, Michael (2016-08-18)
      The purpose of this study is to investigate how emotionally enabled virtual agents (VAs) in healthcare provision training simulations allow for a more effective level of understanding on how an emotionally enhanced scenario can affect different aspects of learning. This is achieved by developing virtual agents that respond to the user’s emotions and personality. The developed system also provides visual and auditory representations of the virtual agents’ state of mind. To enable the fulfilment of this purpose an experimental framework for incorporating emotional enhancements (concentrating on negative emotions such as stress, fear, and anxiety) into virtual agents in virtual training applications for healthcare provision is designed and implemented. The framework for incorporating emotional enhancements is designed based on previous research, on psychological theories (with input by experienced psychologists) and from input of experts in the area of healthcare provision. For testing the framework and answering the research question of this thesis the researcher conducted nine case studies. The participants were nursing students in the area of healthcare provision, and more specifically in the area of mental health, specialising in caring for patients with dementia. The results of the study showed that the framework and its implementation succeeded in providing a realistic learning experience, stimulated a better set of responses from the user, improved their level of understanding on how an emotionally enhanced scenario can affect the learning experience and helped them become more empathetic towards the person they cared for.
    • Designing for Dream Spaces: Exploring digitally enhanced space for children’s engagement with museum objects

      Niedderer, Kristina; Warpas, Katarzyna Bogusława (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
      ABSTRACT This thesis presents an investigation into the potential of digitally enhanced exhibition spaces to foster the engagement of children within family groups with museum objects on display, i.e. where physical contact is prohibited. The main focus is on the influence of digital enhancement on visitors’ engagement with artefacts and not on the digital elements themselves. This study has taken the mixed methods approach. It combines ethnographicallyinformed field studies with a design intervention within an overarching methodology of action research. In the review of literature, research from multiple fields including museum studies, interaction design and play research was brought together and examined from the perspective of exhibition design. This led to the development of the Social Dream Spaces Model. This model, which describes how visitors engage with museum objects, was used as the basis for a design intervention aimed at enhancing children’s engagement with exhibited artefacts. In-gallery participant observations were carried out in Bantock House Museum, Wolverhampton. Insights, based on data analysed from the perspective of the Social Dream Spaces Model, were used to develop a prototype of a digitally enhanced space, which was implemented into the existing exhibition. Data gathered in observations before and after the design intervention were compared in order to determine any changes in visitors’ responses to the exhibition. This study demonstrates the benefit of using the Social Dream Spaces Model for designing digitally enhanced exhibition spaces that promote children’s engagement with artefacts and social contact around them. The findings also confirm that designing subtle and nonintrusive digital enhancement can facilitate intergenerational interaction in exhibition spaces.
    • Designing in creativity: an investigation into the role of creativity in graphic design

      Arya, Rina; Meachem, Carol (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      Graphic design practice is currently entrenched within a process-driven, formulaic approach to design that is time constrained and closely aligned with the working practices of the business environment. This approach is not conducive to creativity. Although design institutions recognise the call from UK governments for increased creativity and innovation in support of economic, social, and cultural initiatives the current commodification of knowledge, developed in response to the needs of business and industry, has its limitations. There is today a tension in the academic community between the pursuit of creative practice as a valuable entity in itself and the preparation of graduates for employment. There is a growing concern within the industry at the educational marginalisation of creativity within the design process in an attempt to remain current with technological and professional skilling. The intellectual and theoretical underpinning of graphic design is weak with little scholarly debate in relation to creativity and critical thinking. The aim of this research therefore is to support future practice and educational initiatives by developing a new theoretical and contextual framework from which to engage with both industry and education. Utilising a mixed method approach together with the insider/outsider status of the researcher working as both a design practitioner and design educator the research addresses the following questions: what is the role of creativity in graphic design? Why is creativity important to graphic design education and industry practice? How can creativity be facilitated within graphic design education and industry practice? A small-scale qualitative online survey was conducted initially in the form of a targeted emailed questionnaire. It collected opinions, knowledge, and experiences from 9 universities within the UK Higher Education sector and a small number of industry practitioners. The aim was to gain insights from a cross-section of individuals most likely to have special knowledge about the research topic and provide a snapshot of how things are currently. The study built on these insights by considering creativity in different contexts and demonstrates through substantial critical investigation and analysis the theoretical and contextual knowledge underpinning discussions in relation to creativity. It explores the significance of creativity as a term and an activity in graphic design. It examines possible explanations for the marginalisation of creativity in graphic design by looking at the historical precedents for the split between the fine and applied arts and the impact that this has had on the way that design has been taught and practiced. The findings confirm that understanding the role of creativity within practice is fundamental to ensuring that graphic design remains relevant in twenty first century culture and society. However, what creativity is and the various forms it can take may be different to what is currently recognised by education and industry practice.
    • Designing play equipment to develop the social competence of children with cerebral palsy

      Harrison, Dew; Niedderer, Kristina; Rozsahegyi, Tunde; Borzenkova, Ganna (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      This study investigated the design of play equipment for encouraging peer-to-peer social interactions amongst children with cerebral palsy aged from 4 to 6 years, as a means of developing their social competence. The focus was on developing a new conceptual model and criteria for designing this specialist play equipment and, thus, creating a level playing field for children with different manifestations of cerebral palsy. According to the statistics of the National Health Service, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 400 children is born with cerebral palsy in the UK (NHS, 2017). It is recognised that these children often have reduced social engagement, yet socialisation plays a fundamental role in development. In spite of this, there are few toys specifically developed for children with cerebral palsy and even fewer which support peer socialisation. Therefore, there is a need to develop relational play equipment for them. The research presented here is interdisciplinary and informed by a social perspective on disability. It combined theoretical investigation with design practice within an action-research approach. User-centred design was used for the design development and intervention. Observations of children with cerebral palsy and interviews with their parents and conductors were employed for collecting data about the children’s social interactions before and during the design intervention in order to determine the effectiveness of the proposed concept. Data collection was carried out at the National Institute of Conductive Education in Birmingham, England. A conceptual design model of play equipment for enhancing the social competence in children with cerebral palsy was developed. The model focused on designing semiotic content that could trigger cognitive, emotional, social and physical processes to encourage children to participate in relational play and facilitate peer-to-peer social interactions. Based on this model, design criteria were developed, integrating two interrelated sets of indicators. The first set pertained to the design position and comprised child-friendly design criteria. The second pertained to the social purpose, comprising indicators of social competence, such as social skills and self-confidence. Based on these criteria, a number of design ideas were developed, using ideation, intuitive hand sketching and brainstorming. A final idea of the thematic play environment, “Undersea Friends”, which corresponded best to the conceptual model of play equipment and met most of the design criteria and recommendations from parents and conductors, was chosen for the design intervention. “Undersea Friends” consists of the toys intended for practising particular social skills, where each toy in the play space is a creature-friend and a facilitator of children’s interactions. These toys are Octopush Olly for practising turn taking, Hexapush Hetty for practising cooperation and Larry Long Legs for sharing. Two prototype toys for this environment were developed and evaluated with children with cerebral palsy for the purposes of this study. This completed study highlights the difficulties which children with cerebral palsy may experience with peer interactions while playing. It provides a new understanding of the development of social competence through engaging children in relational play, facilitated by specialist play equipment, as well as the prototype toys of the play environment, “Undersea Friends”. This research contributes to understanding of how designers can approach the creation of such play equipment by providing design criteria, design recommendations and suggestions for further investigation.
    • Detergent effects on disinfectant susceptibility of Escherichia coli and listeria monocytogenes attached to stainless steel

      Gibson, Hazel; Walton, Julie (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-07)
      This study investigated the effect of detergent treatment on susceptibility of attached Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes to subsequent disinfectant treatment, in relation to food industry cleaning procedures. E. coli attached to stainless steel surfaces became significantly more susceptible to benzalkonium chloride (BAC) after treatment with sodium alkyl sulphate (SAS) by 0.51 Log10 cfu ml-1 and fatty alcohol ethoxylate (FAE) by 0.96 Log10 cfu ml-1. No change in susceptibility was observed with sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate (SLES) or polyethoxylated alcohol (PEA). L. monocytogenes became significantly less susceptible to BAC after treatment with anionic detergents SAS by 0.79 Log10 cfu ml-1, SDS by 0.33 Log10 cfu ml-1 and SLES by 0.22 Log10 cfu ml-1, yet no change in susceptibility was observed with FAE. Following treatment with all detergents both organisms became significantly more susceptible to sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) demonstrating that the effect of the disinfectant was independent of detergent type. Flow cytometry using the fluorochrome propidium iodide (PI) revealed significant increases in cell membrane permeability of both organisms by all detergents except sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) and the effect was much greater in E. coli. Increasing above the in-use concentration of SAS and FAE had no further effect on cell membrane permeability, or susceptibility to BAC. Hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) showed that E. coli became less hydrophobic following treatment with SAS, SDS, FAE and L. monocytogenes became less hydrophobic following treatment with SAS and SDS but no effect was seen with FAE. Investigations into carbon chain length of detergent revealed that SAS and the C18 standard increased susceptibility of E. coli to BAC which, with permeability results, suggests a link between increase in susceptibility to BAC and increase in membrane permeability. Efflux experiments with L. monocytogenes showed that efflux of ethidium bromide (EtBr) was greater from cells treated with SAS than with FAE suggesting that the anionic charge on the detergent molecule influences an efflux mechanism that reduces susceptibility to BAC. Overall the results demonstrate that detergent type can influence the sensitivity of persistent food borne microorganisms to BAC and NaDCC and the significance of the findings may impact on the choice of agents used in cleaning procedures in the food industry.
    • The determinants and impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Kenya and Tanzania: an OECD and non-OECD perspective 1996-2016

      Cook, Mark; Zheng, Lucy; Odunga, Peter Shoko (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-03)
      This thesis investigates the determinants of FDI and FDI’s subsequent effect on the growth and export between and within Kenya and Tanzania, using panel data analysis (pooled and fixed effect models) comprising of 22 home countries for Kenya and 23 for Tanzania for the period 1996-2016. The investigation of both the determinants and impacts of FDI is considered on the basis of the heterogeneity of investing MNEs in terms of economic development levels by grouping the home countries into OECD and non-OECD countries between and within Kenya and Tanzania. The study employed quantitative methods and the findings of this thesis reveal for the determinants that imports, infrastructure development and institutional factors are important for both countries. However, mineral resources and cultural distance, financial crisis of 2008 are important for Kenyan full sample while human capital, labour force, agglomeration and exchange rates are important for Tanzanian full sample of FDI home countries. Exchange rates and infrastructure development determine FDI flows from OECD into both countries, whilst cultural distance and quality of institutions, agglomeration and financial crisis of 2008 are determinants of FDI from OECD countries into Kenya, imports and human capital and natural resources, agglomeration and financial crisis of 2008 determine FDI from OECD countries into Tanzania. Meanwhile, infrastructure attracts FDI from non-OECD countries into the two countries. However, non-OECD FDI in Kenya is determined by market size, exchange rates and quality of institutions as human capital, exchange rates, imports and inflation rates determine FDI flows from non-OECD countries into Tanzania. The findings obtained also show that the impact of FDI is positive and significantly correlates with economic growth in Kenya within all the three contexts of full sample, OECD and non-OECD home countries. However, it is only FDI from non-OECD countries that is positive and significantly correlates with economic growth in Tanzania. The results on economic impact further show that the magnitude of the effect of FDI is higher when the investments originate from non-OECD countries compared to OECD countries into both Kenya and Tanzania. The empirical findings further confirmed that while FDI from the full sample, OECD and non-OECD countries contribute positively and significantly to export performance in Kenya, only FDI from OECD countries make a positive and significant contribution to the export performance in Tanzania. There is a difference in the intensity of the impact of FDI on export performance in Kenya and Tanzania, with non-OECD countries having greater effect on export performance in both Kenya and Tanzania compared with OECD countries. The research contributes to the body of knowledge of FDI/IB literature by providing empirical evidence on the specific determinants of inward FDI and its impact on Kenya’s and Tanzania’s economic growth and export performance by considering the heterogeneity between investing MNEs. Another contribution is also, the comparison between two countries and examination of heterogeneity of inbound FDI as well as policies that can be used by governments of Kenya and Tanzania in managing FDI inflows.
    • The determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria

      Mark Cook; Lucy Zheng; Ari, Mayor N. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      Endowed with enormous natural resources but with a volatile economy, this study seeks to conduct an empirical analysis investigating the determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study dataset covers a period of 17 years from 2001 to 2017. The country-level dataset was analysed in three separate models, which include, the country as a whole, OECD group and non-OECD group using dynamic panel data analysis techniques proposed by Blundell and Bond (1998) known in methodology literature as sys-GMM (system Generalized-Method-of-Moment). The study’s empirical evidence provides statistical support that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria is determined by market-seeking (proxied by GDP per capita), resource-seeking (proxied by fuel export) and efficiency-seeking (proxied by labour force). As a whole, it is seen that OECD countries’ FDI is more attracted by market-seeking and efficiency-seeking determinants, while, non-OECD countries are more attracted by resource-seeking factors. The study also found that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on economic growth (proxied by GDP per capita). However, the study shows that OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s economic growth is higher compared to non-OECD countries oil and gas FDI. As regards export performance, the empirical results showed that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on export performance in Nigeria (proxied by oil and gas exports). Also, from the empirical results, it is observed that the impact of non-OECD countries’ oil and gas FDI is higher compared to OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s foreign export. The empirical results corroborate the complementarity hypothesis of FDI and trade nexus by providing empirical evidence using oil and gas FDI in Nigeria. The main theoretical contributions of this study stem from the empirical evidence on inward oil and gas FDI examining the heterogeneity of the investing MNEs and, showing how this heterogeneity of investing MNEs impact on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study also provides valid evidence for FDI promotion agencies in Nigeria on how best to harness the benefits of inward oil and gas FDI in a volatile economy for greater economic and export performance.
    • Determinants of Board processes: Trust in the Boardroom

      Ogunseyin, Michael Ayodele (2017)
      As a response to recent calls for further insights into the factors that trigger board processes, this research investigated the determinants of trust in the boardroom. Following a review of existing literature on boards, a model explicating the hypothesised relationships between trust and its determinants (cognitive conflict, communication efficacy, the perception of board members’ competence, affective conflict, and familiarity), and the moderating effects of board meeting frequency and board tenure, was developed. This model was tested using responses from 97 UK companies. There were two significant findings: the perception of board members’ competence was positively related to trust, whereas affective conflict was negatively related to trust. Previous research has suggested that trust is an important determinant of board effectiveness, and this study contributes to the further understanding of what conditions in the boardroom facilitate or hinder the presence of trust. Thus, this research presents further knowledge on board processes and how they relate to each other. In terms of implications for practice, the research showed why boards of directors should engage in activities such as training and development that increase directors’ perception of each others’ competencies and why emotional conflict in the boardroom should be managed.
    • Determinants of Emerging Market Foreign Direct Investments in the UK

      Godwin, Eun Sun (2016-07)
      Although Emerging Market (EM) Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) has become an increasingly significant phenomenon in recent years, research regarding EM OFDI to Developed Markets (DMs) remains at an ‘emerging’ stage. This thesis seeks to address this shortfall through the following research questions: 1) what are the determinants of EM OFDI to the UK, and 2) what are the influencing factors of subsequent investment decisions of EM firms within the UK? Considering the distinctiveness of EM OFDIs in their firm-specific characteristics, given circumstances and motivations, this thesis applies an adapted ‘Resource-based view (RBV)’ framework and institutional theory to build a theoretical framework. Within this the hypotheses/propositions regarding ‘strategic-asset seeking’, ‘market-seeking’ and ‘institution-seeking’ motivations of EM OFDI, which reflect both ‘pull factors’ (advantages in hosts) and ‘push factors’ (disadvantages at home), are developed. Panel analysis was conducted to address the first research question with Greenfield data only due to data availability. Additionally, a case study was conducted; firstly, for the purpose of triangulation; secondly, to supplement the panel analysis results with M&A data; and lastly, to address the second research question. Both panel and case study analysis results generally support the major theoretical assumptions of this thesis, although the ‘market seeking’ motivation variable in panel analysis has statistically insignificant coefficient and there is a lack of case study data to support the ‘institutional push factor’. This thesis contribute to the body of knowledge of FDI and IB area 1) by providing an adjusted theoretical framework for the analysis of EM OFDI to DM with a novel application of institutional theory and RBV; and 2) by qualifying and extending existing works on EM OFDI by including a wider range of EM source countries and DM hosts whilst extending the scope of study to the less-researched ‘post-investment stage’ of EM OFDI, with empirical analysis results as well as theoretical suggestions.
    • Determination of an interaction between the DNA repair proteins MLH1 and sMBD4 and aspirin regulation of DNA repair gene and protein expression in colorectal cancer

      Nicholl, Iain; Hooley, Paul; Dibra, Harpreet Kaur (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
      The base excision repair protein, MBD4 (also known as MED1) is known to be transcriptionally coupled to a mismatch repair protein MLH1. To date the significance of this coupling has not been elucidated and the significance of MBD4 within the mismatch repair system and apoptotic pathway is still being understood. Recently a novel alternatively spliced form of MBD4 has been identified and termed sMBD4. To date the significance of sMBD4 is unknown. MBD4 and sMBD4 share a common glycosylase domain and this is the domain through which MBD4 is reported to interact with MLH1. It was the aim of this study to determine if sMBD4 was also a binding partner of MLH1 to help elucidate a potential role of sMBD4 and to further characterise the binding domain between MLH1 and MBD4. Recombinant proteins were utilised in binding assays however, a specific protein – protein interaction could not be determined. Regular aspirin intake is associated with a reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancer. Aspirin has been shown to be cytotoxic to colorectal cancer cells in vitro. The molecular basis for this cytotoxicity is controversial, with a number of competing hypotheses in circulation. One suggestion is that the protective effect is related to the induction of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins in DNA MMR proficient cells. As MBD4 has previously been suggested to be coupled to MLH1 expression by a post‐translational mechanism the cytotoxicy of aspirin in relation to MBD4 expression was examined. This study reports that aspirin does not up‐regulate MBD4 gene transcription in vitro in the DNA mismatch repair proficient/p53 mutant colorectal cancer cell line SW480. However, MBD4 gene transcription was up‐regulated upon treatment with the aspirin precursor, salicylic acid. The suggested involvement of the DNA repair proteins in the mechanism of action of aspirin promoted the investigation into the expression of DNA damage signalling pathways genes upon aspirin exposure. This study utilised a commercially available PCR array to analyse the expression of 84 DNA damage signalling genes in the SW480 colorectal cancer cell line upon aspirin treatment. It is reported that treatment of the SW480 cell line with aspirin caused changes in mRNA expression of several key genes involved in DNA damage signalling including a significant down‐regulation in expression of the genes encoding ATR, BRCA1 and MAPK12 and increases in the expression of XRCC3 and GADD45α genes. Regulation of these genes could potentially have profound effects on colorectal cancer cells and may play a role in the observed chemo‐protective effect of aspirin in vivo.Further to this, protein expression was analysed to determine if correlation could be established with the changes in mRNA expression observed. Although a correlation was not seen between transcript and protein levels of ATR, BRCA1 and GADD45α, an increase in XRCC3 protein expression upon aspirin treatment in SW480 cells was observed by immunoblotting, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical analysis. This study indicates that alterations in gene expression seen in microarray studies need to be verified at the protein level. Furthermore, this study reports the novel discovery of XRCC3 gene and protein expression being susceptible to exposure to the non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drug, aspirin.
    • DEVELOPING A BENCHMARKING METHODOLOGY FOR THE NIGERIAN TRANSPORT SECTOR

      ONATERE-UBRURHE, JOYCE OGHENERUONA (2016-07)
      The Nigerian transport system has been facing challenges due to the imbalance in the transport system. Goods and passenger movements in Nigeria are performed mainly by road, with the railway and inland waterways playing significant, but less important roles. The dominance of road transport in Nigeria has placed obstacles in the way of economic development and has reduced the quality of life for citizens as the large number of vehicles required to meet demand causes congestion and parking issues and, in the main, citizens suffer with high levels of local associated pollution and low levels of security and safety. Decision-makers need support to make the right decisions. Precise and relevant information are required to give a clear overall view of the issues at stake and to monitor the benefits of implementing efficient public transport systems. This research has identified the need to develop an organized, effective and efficient transport system in Nigeria. Key Performance indicators were identified and developed for the Nigerian transport sector, which were used for the survey. A transport users’ survey was carried out in four cities (Lagos, Warri, Ughelli and Benin) in Nigeria, with 474 participants in total comprising both male and female between the age ranges of 20-70, the results of the survey was analysed and Lagos RII values were the lowest among the four cities falling below 0.60. However there is a similar case of low RII values between the four Cities, which was Security during evening/night and Accessibility during evening/night. The UK survey results was also analysed and the RII values were above 0.80 indicating a very high performance of the UK transport system. Data on highway robbery incidents in Nigeria was also collected and analysed and it was found out that there will be a continuous increase in highway robbery incidents in Nigeria if adequate security measures are not put in place. A Strategic Benchmarking was done between Nigeria and United Kingdom because the United Kingdom is a developed country with a more organized transport system compared to Nigeria hence it was seen as a best practice. Also the spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was done between the United Kingdom and Nigeria survey results and there was a perfect positive correlation (rs =1) for Motor parks/Bus stops/Stations and very strong positive correlation (rs = 0.9) for Vehicles. In other words Nigeria can adopt the United Kingdom public transport strategy into its transport system because it will have a very positive impact on the development of the Nigerian transport sector. Therefore, having identified the challenges of the Nigerian transport sector and possible solutions, a Strategic Action Plan has been proposed for the Nigerian transport sector to: assist policy makers in making decisions, assist security personnel in taking proactive measures against transport insecurity, enhance the overall performance of the transport system.
    • Developing a Concept for Handling IT Security with Secured and Trusted Electronic Connections

      Dudley, Carl; Hockmann, Volker (University of Wolverhampton, 2014-06-17)
    • Developing a framework for BIM implementation in the Saudi Arabian construction industry

      Alhumayn, Saud Abdullah (2018-10-01)
      The construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is faced with challenges of incessant delays, cost overruns and poor quality. The premise of the research reported here is that effective adoption and implementation of Building Information modelling (BIM) can contribute to the achievement of the necessary improvement. Against this backdrop, the aim of the research was to produce a strategic framework to underpin such adoption and implementation. It entailed investigation of the awareness of BIM, the extent of its use in KSA and the barriers to its more effective adoption and implementation. A mixed research approach was adopted, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for collecting data. The questionnaire survey was used to obtain information on the awareness, barriers, drivers and status of BIM usage in the KSA construction industry, while the semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit the opinions of professionals and elucidate their own experiences in relation to the variables in this study. The data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and thematic content analysis. The study found that the awareness of BIM in the Saudi construction industry is low and faced with inherent barriers that impede its successful application. These barriers were found to be a lack of knowledge of BIM, initial and running costs of implementation, a lack of training of personnel, and a fear of changing from the traditional methods of construction. The study identified strategies that could be used to address these challenges. These include enlightenment on the benefits of BIM application; creating awareness of BIM through workshops, seminars and conferences; training of workers; and the introduction of government intervention to enforce the application of BIM. In addition, this study identified the relevant factors that would enable the application of BIM in the Saudi construction industry to be meeting client's expectations and the requirement to use BIM technology, and using BIM because of the benefits it offers such as cost savings, efficiency, quality and increase in productivity. Regardless of these BIM drivers, however, the most important aim is to bring the stakeholders to commit themselves and invest in the necessary technology, tools and resources in order to improve construction processes. A strategic framework was developed to serve as a roadmap for BIM implementation. The framework also encompassed the key parties in the process and the specific roles to be played by them. The study concludes that the implementation of BIM could improve project performance in Saudi Arabia in terms of time, cost and quality.
    • Developing a Framework for Successful Adoption and Effective Utilisation of ICT by SMEs in Developing Countries: a Case Study of Nigeria

      Latham, Ann; Moreton, Robert; Apulu, Idisemi (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-02)
      In recent years there has been an increase in the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in organisations, as the use of ICT causes some form of revolution in business practices. All over the world, ICT has greatly transformed the manner in which companies conduct business. However, there is considerable evidence to show that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), are yet to reap the full benefits offered by ICT as compared to their counterparts in the developed countries. Although the contribution of SMEs’ is of notable importance to many countries’ economy, yet those in developing countries lag far behind. For SMEs to survive and remain competitive in the current highly competitive business environment there is a need to adopt and use ICT effectively, in order to attain some level of competitive advantage. This research investigates factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT, with particular emphasis on SMEs in Nigeria. It is presumed that SMEs’ adoption of ICT in Nigeria will provide opportunities to accelerate the country’s socio-economic growth as it will offer Nigeria the chance to ‘leapfrog’ some stages of development. The methodology adopted in undertaking this study is the qualitative research approach although a survey was used at the initial stage, to provide an exploratory snapshot of the SMEs in context. This research has empirically identified key factors motivating ICT adoption in Nigerian SMEs, and benefits resulting from the use of ICT in their organisational performance. Factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT in Nigerian SMEs were also identified. Following this, strategies were proposed which led to the development of a framework that will assist to increase the adoption and effective use of ICT amongst SMEs in Nigeria and also, aid the further deployment of more sophisticated ICT solutions by these SMEs. The framework was validated via a survey and analysed with the aid of SPSS software. The findings obtained from the validation procedure indicated that the framework is valuable and suitable for use in practice since the research shows that the majority of respondents accepted the research findings and recommendations for success. This research offers recommendations that will assist the Nigerian government, stakeholders such as ISPs, as well as owners/managers of SMEs, in resolving the problems confronting SMEs in Nigeria.