Recent Submissions

  • Optical control of nanoparticle catalysis influenced by photoswitch positioning in hybrid peptide capping ligands

    Lawrence, R.L.; Hughes, Zak E.; Cendan, V.J.; Liu, Y.; Lim, C.K.; Prasad, P.N.; Swihart, M.T.; Walsh, T.R.; Knecht, M.R. (2018)
    Here we present an in-depth analysis of structural factors that modulate peptide-capped nanoparticle catalytic activity via optically driven structural reconfiguration of the biointerface present at the particle surface. Six different sets of peptide-capped Au nanoparticles were prepared, in which an azobenzene photoswitch was incorporated into one of two well-studied peptide sequences with known affinity for Au, each at one of three different positions: The N- or C-terminus, or mid-sequence. Changes in the photoswitch isomerization state induce a reversible structural change in the surface-bound peptide, which modulates the catalytic activity of the material. This control of reactivity is attributed to changes in the amount of accessible metallic surface area available to drive the reaction. This research specifically focuses on the effect of the peptide sequence and photoswitch position in the biomolecule, from which potential target systems for on/off reactivity have been identified. Additionally, trends associated with photoswitch position for a peptide sequence (Pd4) have been identified. Integrating the azobenzene at the N-terminus or central region results in nanocatalysts with greater reactivity in the trans and cis conformations, respectively; however, positioning the photoswitch at the C-terminus gives rise to a unique system that is reactive in the trans conformation and partially deactivated in the cis conformation. These results provide a fundamental basis for new directions in nanoparticle catalyst development to control activity in real time, which could have significant implications in the design of catalysts for multistep reactions using a single catalyst. Additionally, such a fine level of interfacial structural control could prove to be important for applications beyond catalysis, including biosensing, photonics, and energy technologies that are highly dependent on particle surface structures.
  • Cellular sheddases are induced by Merkel cell polyomavirus small tumour antigen to mediate cell dissociation and invasiveness

    Nwogu, N.; Boyne, James R.; Dobson, S.J.; Poterlowicz, Krzysztof; Blair, G.E.; Macdonald, A.; Mankouri, J.; Whitehouse, A.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive skin cancer with a high propensity for recurrence and metastasis. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is recognised as the causative factor in the majority of MCC cases. The MCPyV small tumour antigen (ST) is considered to be the main viral transforming factor, however potential mechanisms linking ST expression to the highly metastatic nature of MCC are yet to be fully elucidated. Metastasis is a complex process, with several discrete steps required for the formation of secondary tumour sites. One essential trait that underpins the ability of cancer cells to metastasise is how they interact with adjoining tumour cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix. Here we demonstrate that MCPyV ST expression disrupts the integrity of cell-cell junctions, thereby enhancing cell dissociation and implicate the cellular sheddases, A disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) 10 and 17 proteins in this process. Inhibition of ADAM 10 and 17 activity reduced MCPyV ST-induced cell dissociation and motility, attributing their function as critical to the MCPyV-induced metastatic processes. Consistent with these data, we confirm that ADAM 10 and 17 are upregulated in MCPyV-positive primary MCC tumours. These novel findings implicate cellular sheddases as key host cell factors contributing to virus-mediated cellular transformation and metastasis. Notably, ADAM protein expression may be a novel biomarker of MCC prognosis and given the current interest in cellular sheddase inhibitors for cancer therapeutics, it highlights ADAM 10 and 17 activity as a novel opportunity for targeted interventions for disseminated MCC.
  • Crystallographic texture and mineral concentration quantification of developing and mature human incisal enamel

    Al-Mosawi, M.; Davis, G.R.; Bushby, A.; Montgomery, J.; Beaumont, Julia; Al-Jawad, M. (2018)
    For dental human enamel, what is the precise mineralization progression spatially and the precise timings of mineralization? This is an important question in the fundamental understanding of matrix-mediated biomineralization events, but in particular because we can use our understanding of this natural tissue growth in humans to develop biomimetic approaches to repair and replace lost enamel tissue. It is important to understand human tissues in particular since different species have quite distinct spatial and temporal progression of mineralization. In this study, five human central incisors at different stages of enamel maturation/mineralization were spatially mapped using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and X-ray microtomography techniques. From the earliest developmental stage, two crystallite-orientation populations coexist with angular separations between the crystallite populations averaging approximately 40o and varying as a function of position with the tooth crown. In general, population one had significantly lower texture magnitude and contributed a higher percentage to the overall crystalline structure, compared to population two which only contributed 20-30% but had significantly higher texture magnitude. This quantitative analysis allows us to understand the complex and co-operative structure-function relationship between two populations of crystallites within human enamel. There was an increase in the mineral concentration from the enamel-dentin junction peripherally and from the incisal tip cervically as a function of maturation time. Quantitative backscattered-electron analyses revealed that mineralization of prism cores precedes that of prism boundaries. These results provide new insights into the precise understanding of the natural growth of human enamel.
  • Riluzole–Triazole Hybrids as Novel Chemical Probes for Neuroprotection in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Sweeney, J.B.; Rattray, Marcus; Pugh, V.; Powell, L.A. (2018-06-14)
    Despite intense attention from biomedical and chemical researchers, there are few approved treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with only riluzole (Rilutek) and edaravone (Radicava) currently available to patients. Moreover, the mechanistic basis of the activity of these drugs is currently not well-defined, limiting the ability to design new medicines for ALS. This Letter describes the synthesis of triazole-containing riluzole analogues, and their testing in a novel neuroprotective assay. Seven compounds were identified as having neuroprotective activity, with two compounds having similar activity to riluzole.
  • What health-related activities could be delivered by pharmacy students in the Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) Academic?

    Medlinskiene, Kristina; Tappas, Theodora; Tomlinson, Justine (2018)
    Background: Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) Academic building opened in 2017 with the aim of improving outcomes of people living with long-term conditions. This multi-disciplinary facility houses: physiotherapy and optometry public clinics, health promotion areas, and digital diagnostics. Additionally, a medicines review hub with consultation rooms and teaching space was created for the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences (SPMS), University of Bradford. Pharmacy students have already successfully performed health-related activities with the public in international literature (Lawrence, 2018). This project explored SPMS academics’ perspectives on the potential use of the facility for the teaching and delivery of health-related activities by pharmacy students.
  • Exploring the use of digital technology in the M.Pharm. programme to prepare students for their first day of practice

    Tomlinson, Justine; Yaqoob, Mohammed U.; Shabbir, Subhaan; Medlinskiene, Kristina (2018)
    Background: Technological developments have facilitated the storage of patient records, enabled electronic prescribing, dispensing and the administration of medicines (Goundrey-Smith, 2014). These innovations are increasingly being used, requiring pharmacists to further develop digital capability. The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford, is keen to explore ways to better equip M.Pharm. graduates with the necessary skills to confidently practise in the modern digital environment. This project explored student and staff perspectives of current digital teaching tools in relation to preparedness for the first day of practice.
  • Exploring digital teaching tools, including the use of social media, to support teaching; perspectives of M.Pharm. students

    Tomlinson, Justine; Azad, Imran; Saleem, Mohammed Adil; Medlinskiene, Kristina (2018)
    Background: The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford, is keen to evaluate the potential benefits of digital tools to enhance the teaching and learning of all M.Pharm. students. Students are increasingly using digital technology for both educational and social purposes (Cheston et al., 2013). This project explored the views of pharmacy students about digital technology, including social media, for teaching in the M.Pharm. programme. Method: Convenience sampling was employed to recruit M.Pharm. students for focus groups. Each focus group, facilitated by student researchers with topic guide, was audio-recorded and analysed for themes. Ethics approval was obtained from the University. Results: Year 2 and 3 students from two focus groups (n1=8 (6 male), n2=10 (8 male)) identified three main digital teaching tools used in the current programme: Blackboard, response clickers, and iSTAN. Blackboard, a virtual learning environment, was seen as a hub for holding all required learning materials. However, its use depended on internet access and some felt they would benefit from offline use and improved compatibility with different devices. Audience response systems and a human patient stimulator were well received by students. However, participants strongly felt that they were underutilised. The main benefit of using social media for learning was instant feedback and the encouragement of informal discussions. Participants were not always comfortable posting within the current digital tools used in the programme (e.g. Blackboard) as they felt ‘monitored’. However, participants acknowledged that information obtained through social media might not be as reliable as information from digital tools moderated by academics. Interestingly, participants reported a lack of engagement with programme specific social media pages (e.g. Facebook page). They felt that the information provided was aimed at qualified pharmacists, rather than current students. Conclusion: Participants valued accessibility, flexibility and availability of instant feedback when using digital tools to support their learning. They felt positive about the digital tools used within the programme but emphasised the need of greater integration. References Cheston, C.C., Flickinger, T.E. & Chisom, M.S. (2013). Social media use in medical education: a systematic review. Academic Medicine, 88(6), 893-901
  • Alopecia areata is associated with increased expression of heart disease biomarker cardiac troponin I

    Wang, E.H.C.; Santos, L.; Li, X.Y.; Tran, A.; Kim, S.S.Y.; Woo, K.; Shapiro, J.; McElwee, Kevin J. (2018-09)
    The development of androgenetic alopecia is associated with a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but the association of alopecia areata with cardiovascular diseases in humans is largely unexplored. We measured the plasma level of two common cardiovascular disease markers, cardiac troponin I and Creactive protein, in alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia-affected subjects. Also, we investigated the possible presence of pro-apoptotic factors in the plasma of hair loss subjects. The mean plasma cardiac troponin I level was highest in alopecia areata subjects, moderately higher in androgenetic alopecia subjects, and lowest in subjects without hair loss (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata subjects not receiving treatments had highest levels of cardiac troponin I (p < 0.05). Alopecia areata plasma samples with high cardiac troponin I levels also induced significantly higher rates of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in cell culture assays. The results suggest the potential for increased heart remodelling. Close monitoring of cardiovascular health in alopecia areata subjects, as well as subsets of androgenetic alopecia patients, may be appropriate.
  • Effect of calcium ions on peptide adsorption at the aqueous rutile titania (110) interface

    Sultan, A.M.; Hughes, Zak E.; Walsh, T.R. (2018)
    We investigate how the presence of Ca2+ ions at the aqueous TiO2 interface influences the binding modes two experimentally-identified titania-binding peptides, Ti-1 and Ti-2, using replica exchange with solute tempering molecular dynamics simulations. We compare our findings with available experimental data and contrast our results with those obtained under NaCl solution conditions. We find that for Ti-1, Ca2+ ions enhances the adsorption of the negatively-charged Asp8 residue in this sequence to the negatively-charged surface, via Asp{Ca2+{TiO2 bridging. This appears to generate a non-local impact on the adsorption of Lys12 in Ti-1, which then pins the peptide to the surface via direct surface contact. For Ti-2, fewer residues were predicted to adsorb directly to the surface in CaCl2, compared with predictions made for NaCl solution, possibly due to competition between the other peptide residues and Ca2+ ions to adsorb to the surface. This reduction in direct surface contact gives rise to a more extensive solvent-mediated contact Ti-2. In general, the presence of Ca2+ ions resulted in a loss of conformational diversity of the surface-adsorbed conformational ensembles of these peptides, compared to counterpart data predicted for NaCl solution. Our findings provide initial insights into how peptide{TiO2 interactions might be tuned at the molecular level via modification of the salt composition of the liquid medium.
  • Fishing, Diet, and Environment in the Iron Age of the Northern Isles

    Fitzpatrick, Alex (2017-06)
    It has been argued that no fishing occurred during the British Iron Age. However, sites in the Northern Isles have been producing large assemblages of small fish bones, complicating the picture. This project reconsiders this argument by investigating fish bone assemblages excavated from the site of Swandro on Rousay, Orkney. Multiple analytical methods were applied to the assemblages in order to determine the range of species present, the method of capture and treatment of the fish, and their influence on diet. Preliminary work consisted of identifying each individual bone to element and species. Due to the size of the average specimen, scanning electron microscopy was employed to examine samples for any indication of butchery, charring, or digestion. Light isotope analysis was also utilised to determine the effects of fish on the diets of the inhabitants of Iron Age Swandro. Results from these analytical approaches indicated the occurrence of low intensity fishing activity and consumption that had no significant effect on diet. However, intensification in fishing would begin to occur during the Later Iron Age, as evident by a shift in the composition of fish bone assemblages. This project can be considered a pilot study in the successful application of analytical methods to faunal assemblages in order to develop a more detailed interpretation of the environmental aspects of a site.
  • Fibroblast cell-based therapy prevents induction of alopecia areata in an experimental model

    Jalili, R.B.; Kilani, R.T.; Li, Y.; Khosravi-maharlooie, M.; Nabai, L.; Wang, E.H.C.; McElwee, Kevin J.; Ghahary, A. (2018-06)
    Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune hair loss disease with infiltration of proinflammatory cells into hair follicles. Current therapeutic regimens are unsatisfactory mainly because of the potential for side effects and/or limited efficacy. Here we report that cultured, transduced fibroblasts, which express the immunomodulatory molecule indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), can be applied to prevent hair loss in an experimental AA model. A single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of IDO-expressing primary dermal fibroblasts was given to C3H/HeJ mice at the time of AA induction. While 60–70% of mice that received either control fibroblasts or vehicle injections developed extensive AA, none of the IDO-expressing fibroblast-treated mice showed new hair loss up to 20 weeks post injection. IDO cell therapy significantly reduced infiltration of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells into hair follicles and resulted in decreased expression of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17 in the skin. Skin draining lymph nodes of IDO fibroblast-treated mice were significantly smaller, with more CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ regulatory T cells and fewer Th17 cells than those of control fibroblast and vehicle-injected mice. These findings indicate that IP injected IDO-expressing dermal fibroblasts can control inflammation and thereby prevent AA hair loss.
  • 3D printed drug products: Non-destructive dose verification using a rapid point-and-shoot approach

    Trenfield, S.J.; Goyanes, A.; Telford, Richard; Wilsdon, D.; Rowland, M.; Gaisford, S.; Basit, A.W. (2018-10-05)
    Three-dimensional printing (3DP) has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, enabling personalised medicines to be produced on-demand. To facilitate integration into healthcare, non-destructive characterisation techniques are required to ensure final product quality. Here, the use of process analytical technologies (PAT), including near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) and Raman confocal microscopy, were evaluated on paracetamol-loaded 3D printed cylindrical tablets composed of an acrylic polymer (Eudragit L100-55). Using a portable NIR spectrometer, a calibration model was developed, which predicted successfully drug concentration across the range of 4–40% w/w. The model demonstrated excellent linearity (R2 = 0.996) and accuracy (RMSEP = 0.63%) and results were confirmed with conventional HPLC analysis. The model maintained high accuracy for tablets of a different geometry (torus shapes), a different formulation type (oral films) and when the polymer was changed from acrylic to cellulosic (hypromellose, HPMC). Raman confocal microscopy showed a homogenous drug distribution, with paracetamol predominantly present in the amorphous form as a solid dispersion. Overall, this article is the first to report the use of a rapid ‘point-and-shoot’ approach as a non-destructive quality control method, supporting the integration of 3DP for medicine production into clinical practice.
  • Ruthenium-containing linear helicates and mesocates with tuneable p53 selective cytotoxicity in colorectal cancer cells

    Allison, S.J.; Cooke, D.; Davidson, F.S.; Elliott, P.I.P.; Faulkner, R.A.; Griffiths, H.B.S.; Harper, O.J.; Hussain, O.; Owen-Lynch, P.J.; Phillips, R.M.; Rice, C.R.; Shepherd, S.L.; Wheelhouse, Richard T. (2018-07-26)
    The ligands L1 and L2 both form separable dinuclear double‐stranded helicate and mesocate complexes with RuII. In contrast to clinically approved platinates, the helicate isomer of [Ru2(L1)2]4+ was preferentially cytotoxic to isogenic cells (HCT116 p53−/−), which lack the critical tumour suppressor gene. The mesocate isomer shows the reverse selectivity, with the achiral isomer being preferentially cytotoxic towards HCT116 p53+/+. Other structurally similar RuII‐containing dinuclear complexes showed very little cytotoxic activity. This study demonstrates that alterations in ligand or isomer can have profound effects on cytotoxicity towards cancer cells of different p53 status and suggests that selectivity can be “tuned” to either genotype. In the search for compounds that can target difficult‐to‐treat tumours that lack the p53 tumour suppressor gene, [Ru2(L1)2]4+ is a promising compound for further development.
  • Sensitivity to velocity- and disparity based cues to motion-in-depth with and without spared stereopsis in binocular visual impairment

    Maloney, R.T.; Kaestner, M.; Bruce, Alison; Bloj, Marina; Harris, J.M.; Wade, A.R. (2018)
    Purpose: Two binocular sources of information serve motion-in-depth (MID) perception: changes in disparity over time (CD), and interocular velocity differences (IOVD). While CD requires the computation of small spatial disparities, IOVD could be computed from a much lower-resolution signal. IOVD signals therefore might still be available under conditions of binocular vision impairment (BVI) with limited or no stereopsis, e.g. amblyopia. Methods: Sensitivity to CD and IOVD was measured in adults who had undergone therapy to correct optical misalignment or amblyopia in childhood (n=16), as well as normal vision controls with good stereoacuity (n=8). Observers discriminated the interval containing a smoothly-oscillating MID “test” stimulus from a “control” stimulus in a two-interval forced choice (2IFC) paradigm. Results: Of the BVI observers with no static stereoacuity (n=9), one displayed evidence for sensitivity to IOVD only, while there was otherwise no sensitivity for either CD or IOVD in the group. Generally, BVI observers with measurable stereoacuity (n=7) displayed a pattern resembling the control group: showing a similar sensitivity for both cues. A neutral-density (ND) filter placed in front of the fixing eye in a subset of BVI observers did not improve performance. Conclusions: In one BVI observer there was preserved sensitivity to IOVD but not CD, though overall only those BVI observers with at least gross stereopsis were able to detect disparity-based or velocity-based cues to MID. The results imply that these logically distinct information sources are somehow coupled, and in some cases BVI observers with no stereopsis may still retain sensitivity to IOVD.
  • The World Wide reference collection: Zooarchaeological Twitter and the case for an international zooarchaeology database

    Fitzpatrick, Alex (2018-03)
    Social media platforms such as Twitter have allowed for a substantial increase in collaboration between academics, allowing access to information and advice from one side of the world to the other. This is especially true among both archaeologists and zooarchaeologists, who often turn to Twitter with faunal bones that they have been unable to identify so that another pair of zooarchaeological eyes can help. In many cases, Twitter has allowed access to reference collections that would have otherwise been inaccessible due to distance and monetary reasons. Based on numerous experiences in using the zooarchaeology community on Twitter to successfully identify archaeofaunal bones, this paper proposes that the next logical step for continuing collaboration among zooarchaeologists to is to develop an international digital database of faunal bone references, crowdsourced from reference collections of zooarchaeologists and institutions around the world. This database could bring zooarchaeology into the Open Access movement that will arguably define the future of archaeology in the digital world.
  • Things worth telling: considering narrative storytelling in environmental archaeology

    Fitzpatrick, Alex; San Filippo, V. (2017-12)
    With the advent of the Internet, research has never been more accessible by others. As such, science communication has never been more important. In particular, environmental archaeology has often been at the mercy of successfully communicating a project’s importance to others. However, conventional archaeology papers may find difficulty in selling their research to the general public and to peers. In this paper, we propose that environmental archaeology projects may be able to benefit from adapting a narrative structure when publishing material. We argue that a narrative structure is not only more interesting and more accessible to non-specialists, but it may be more effective at illustrating the importance of a project to others. Because a narrative structure relies heavily on the development of empathy between the narrator and their audience in order to develop narrative drive, so too should an archaeology paper seek to engage with and motivate its readers. In order to explore this idea, we have identified key features of the structures for both a standard archaeology paper and a narrative story. An example environmental archaeology paper was written following the identified standard conventions to serve as our basis for this investigation, before being rewritten with a narrative structure. In examining these papers side by side, we will demonstrate the benefits of narrative in archaeology for public outreach, interdisciplinary communication, and research funding. By examining the conventions of the field from an outside perspective, we hope to provide tools with which environmental archaeology can strengthen its outreach. Narrative has proven itself as a vital communication tool, from which any willing archaeologist can benefit.
  • Distinct differences in peptide adsorption on palladium and gold: introducing a polarizable model for Pd(111)

    Hughes, Zak E.; Walsh, T.R. (2018)
    Materials-binding peptides offer promising routes to the production of tailored Pd nanomaterials in aqueous media, enabling the optimization of catalytic properties. However, the atomic-scale details needed to make these advances are relatively scarce and challenging to obtain. Molecular simulations can provide key insights into the structure of peptides adsorbed at the aqueous Pd interface, provided that the force-field can appropriately capture the relevant bio-interface interactions. Here, we introduce and apply a new polarizable force field, PdP-CHARMM, for the simulation of biomolecule–Pd binding under aqueous conditions. PdP-CHARMM was parametrized with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, using a process compatible with similar polarizable force-fields created for Ag and Au surfaces, ultimately enabling a direct comparison of peptide binding modes across these metal substrates. As part of our process for developing PdP-CHARMM, we provide an extensive study of the performance of ten different dispersion-inclusive DFT functionals in recovering biomolecule–Pd(111) binding. We use the functional with best all-round performance to create PdP-CHARMM.We then employ PdP-CHARMM and metadynamics simulations to estimate the adsorption free energy for a range of amino acids at the aqueous Pd(111) interface. Our findings suggest that only His and Met favor direct contact with the Pd substrate, which we attribute to a remarkably robust interfacial solvation layering. Replica-exchange with solute tempering molecular dynamics simulations of two experimentally-identified Pd-binding peptides also indicate surface contact to be chiefly mediated by His and Met residues at aqueous Pd(111). Adsorption of these two peptides was also predicted for the Au(111) interface, revealing distinct differences in both the solvation structure and modes of peptide adsorption at the Au and Pd interfaces. We propose that this sharp contrast in peptide binding is largely due to the differences in interfacial solvent structuring.
  • Comparing apples and oranges: why infant bone collagen may not reflect dietary intake in the same way as dentine collagen

    Beaumont, Julia; Craig-Atkins, E.; Buckberry, Jo; Haydock, H.; Horne, P.; Howcroft, R.; MacKenzie, K.; Montgomery, J. (2018)
    Objectives: Recent developments in incremental dentine analysis allowing increased temporal resolution for tissues formed during the first 1000 days of life have cast doubt on the veracity of weaning studies using bone collagen carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratio data from infants. Here we compare published bone data from the well-preserved Anglo-Saxon site of Raunds Furnells, England, with co-forming dentine from the same individuals, and investigate the relationship of these with juvenile stature. The highresolution isotope data recorded in dentine allow us to investigate the relationship of diet with juvenile stature during this critical period of life. Materials and methods: We compare incremental dentine collagen δ13C and δ15N data to published bone collagen data for 18 juveniles and 5 female adults from Anglo Saxon Raunds Furnells alongside new data for juvenile skeletal and dental age. An improvement in the method by sampling the first 0.5mm of the sub-cuspal or sub-incisal dentine allows the isotopic measurement of dentine formed in utero. Results and Discussion: δ13C profiles for both dentine and bone are similar and more robust than δ15N for estimating the age at which weaning foods are introduced. Our results suggest δ15N values from dentine can be used to evaluate the maternal/in utero diet and physiology during pregnancy, and that infant dentine profiles may reflect diet PLUS an element of physiological stress. In particular, bone collagen fails to record the same range of δ15N as coforming dentine, especially where growth is stunted, suggesting that infant bone collagen is unreliable for weaning studies.
  • The role of infant life histories in the construction of identities in death: An incremental isotope study of dietary and physiological status among children afforded differential burial

    Craig-Atkins, E.; Towers, Jacqueline R.; Beaumont, Julia (2018)
    Objectives Isotope ratio analyses of dentine collagen were used to characterize short-term changes in physiological status (both dietary status and biological stress) across the life course of children afforded special funerary treatment. Materials and Methods Temporal sequences of δ15N and δ13C isotope profiles for incrementally-forming dentine collagen were obtained from deciduous teeth of 86 children from four early-medieval English cemeteries. Thirty-one were interred in child-specific burial clusters, and the remainder alongside adults in other areas of the cemetery. Isotope profiles were categorized into four distinct patterns of dietary and health status between the final prenatal months and death. Results Isotope profiles from individuals from the burial clusters were significantly less likely to reflect weaning curves, suggesting distinctive breastfeeding and weaning experiences. This relationship was not simply a factor of differential age at death between cohorts. There was no association of burial location with stage of weaning at death, nor with isotopic evidence of physiological stress at the end of life. Discussion This study is the first to identify a relationship between the extent of breastfeeding and the provision of child-specific funerary rites. Limited breastfeeding may indicate the mother had died during or soon after birth, or that either mother or child was unable to feed due to illness. Children who were not breastfed will have experienced a significantly higher risk of malnutrition, undernutrition and infection. These sickly and perhaps motherless children received care to nourish them during early life, and were similarly provided with special treatment in death.
  • Polynuclear complexes as precursor templates for hierarchical microporous graphitic carbon: An unusual approach

    Kobielska, P.A.; Telford, Richard; Rowlandson, J.; Tian, M.; Shahin, Z.; Demessence, A.; Ting, V.P.; Nayak, Sanjit (2018-07)
    A highly porous carbon was synthesized using a coordination complex as an unusual precursor. During controlled pyrolysis, a trinuclear copper complex, [CuII3Cl4(H2L)2]·CH3OH, undergoes phase changes with melt and expulsion of different gases to produce a unique morphology of copper-doped carbon which, upon acid treatment, produces highly porous graphitic carbon with a surface area of 857 m2 g–1 and a gravimetric hydrogen uptake of 1.1 wt % at 0.5 bar pressure at 77 K.

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