379 research outputs found

    Organisational culture and best value in the police service of Northern Ireland

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    This Thesis is concerned with the development of a strategic model for assisting with the implementation of Best Value into policing in Northern Ireland. Best Value is a legislative requirement for public sector organisations that is primarily concerned with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of policing; thereby improving the overall quality of service provided to the community. This study approaches the issue of Best Value implementation from the perspective of organisational culture. It seeks to assess the impact of organisational culture on the implementation of Best Value and to provide senior managers within PSNI with a strategic model to assist with full and effective implementation. The thesis opens with an examination of the history of policing in Northern Ireland and relates the development of the organisational culture of the service to the influence of the lengthy period of conflict and violence known as 'The Troubles' that made up the external environment in which police officers delivered a service to the community. The background and rationale of Best Value are explored, and through a detailed review of literature, the main operating principles of Best Value are identified. It is through the use of the Best Value principles that the current organisational culture of the PSNI was examined through a research strategy that had a balanced approach of qualitative and quantitative methods. The analysis of the data gleaned from the research identified a significant level of negativity towards Best Value. This was such that if strategic measures were not developed to assist with implementation, this would have led to potential improvements in service delivery and benefits for the Northern Ireland community being lost. Having examined the organisational culture of PSNI with regard to Best Value the study concludes that there is a need for a strategy to be used that effectively manages the influences of the organisational culture. The proposed strategy addresses issues that will directly impact the organisational culture, and provides a series of practical Constructs that can be introduced by PSNI. The strategy provides an effective framework to enable effective Best Value implementation

    Regulation Mechanisms of Peptide Hormones in Neuroendocrine Cancers

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    In the work described in this thesis, analytical methods for the detection and quantification of peptide hormones featuring on-line analyte concentration, post-separation tagging and HPLC-fluorescence detection were presented. These methods were used to detect and quantify calcitonin (CT) and its prohormones glycyllysyllysine-extended CT (CTGKK), glycyllysine-extended CT (CTGK) and glycine-extended CT (CT-G) for the first time, in DMS53 small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cell culture medium and lysate. Additionally, novel glycosylated versions of each species were also identified, suggesting the presence of a parallel biosynthetic pathway in DMS53. Extracellular but not intracellular levels of CT were reduced as a result of treatment with biosynthesis inhibitors, and it was suggested CT precursor flux through the glycosylated pathway acts as a bypass mechanism to maintain intracellular CT levels. Moreover, the up-regulation of extracellular levels of CT-related species in response to increased medium volume provided evidence of a homeostatic feedback loop maintaining extracellular CT concentrations. To interrogate the mechanism of this feedback, DMS53 cultures were treated with a specific human calcitonin receptor (hCTR) agonist, SUNB8155, to determine if the hCTR is involved in the regulation of CT. It was observed that the relative levels of extracellular CT increased with SUNB8155 treatment, but that the relative levels of the intracellular CT-related species were unchanged. This suggested that hCTR is expressed in DMS53, and that activation of the receptor influences the expression and biosynthetic processing of CT-related species. To investigate this hypothesis, hCTR was identified in DMS53 cells using reverse transcription PCR and Western blot analyses. Specifically, transcriptional and translational evidence of the isoform hCTR2 was identified. Thus, for the first time,hCTR activation was implicated in the up-regulation of CT. This suggested that a positive autocrine feedback loop was operating in DMS53, and based on the hCTR2 isoform, may be mediated by signal transduction through the cAMP- and Ca2+- dependent signalling pathways. To assess which signalling enzymes are activated by hCTR, signal transduction pathways were investigated using small molecule enzymes inhibitors, and their effects on the levels of CT-related species observed. It was observed that treatment of DMS53 cultures with the protein kinase C inhibitor, GF109203X had an effect on the levels of CT-related species in the medium. Again, the relative levels of the intracellular CT-related species were not changed by treatment with this inhibitor. This implicated PKC as a component of the hCTR signal transduction pathway. It was concluded that DMS53 cultures have mechanisms to maintain the intracellular and extracellular concentrations of CT-related species. The concentration of extracellular CT is regulated by a positive feedback mechanism, mediated by hCTR activation, and subsequent signalling involving PKC and AC. Treatment with biosynthetic and signalling inhibitors had no significant effect on the intracellular levels of CT-related species, demonstrating that DMS53 cultures prioritise tight control of intracellular concentrations over extracellular concentrations. With the methodology to detect and quantify peptide hormones in cell culture medium and lysate in hand, the generality of CT glycosylation was explored. Preliminary experiments successfully characterised the presence of glycosylated CT and CT-G in the medullary thyroid carcinoma cell line, TT. To broaden the range of detected hormones, HPLC-fluorescence methodology was developed to detect and quantify oxytocin (OT) and its precursors, and this methodology was used to investigate the presence of OT in the DMS79 SCLC cell line

    Studies of novel photoanodic materials for solar water splitting

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    Anthropogenic climate change presents an unrivalled threat to environmental stability and the prosperity of future generations. Utilising abundant, renewable resources in energy generation and storage will be essential to halt climate change and its effects. Solar water splitting is an excellent tool in the renewable energy arsenal for countering climate change, as it utilises both sunlight and water, two of the most abundant resources available on earth. Furthermore, the direct formation of a chemical fuel, hydrogen, is thought to be more practical for storing in large quantities than electricity. Work in this thesis covers the investigation of a variety of materials, fabricated by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD), for their ability to carry out photoelectrochemical water splitting. In one project, thin films of Bi2Ti2O7 (BTO), specifically of the pyrochlore crystal structure, are fabricated by AACVD and analysed for their photoelectrochemical properties. The resulting thin films are found to be phase pure with a band gap of 2.88 eV, which is 0.32 eV smaller than TiO2. Efforts to dope the BTO thin films are further investigated through the addition of iron. Significant modification to the band gap is observed, leading to a confirmed pyrochlore thin film exhibiting a band gap of 2.5 eV, a reduction of 0.38 eV from undoped BTO. The resulting thin film had a photocurrent 5 times higher than that of undoped BTO. Finally, efforts to fabricate Fe2Ti2O7 are outlined. It is discovered that a stable phase of Fe2TiO5 is preferentially formed over the pyrochlore phase, even with dramatic modification to the deposition parameters and precursor stoichiometry. The high stability of this phase, coupled with the limiting features of the glass substrates, highlights the challenges with forming certain pyrochlore thin films. In a second project, the effect of depositing titanium nanoclusters onto the surface of bismuth vanadate is investigated. Nanoclusters are of huge interest because their properties lie between those of atoms and bulk materials. Additionally, nanoscale clusters can be fabricated with incredible precision, allowing one to select discrete diameter particles for deposition on surfaces. Ti nanoclusters over a range of sizes are deposited onto BiVO4 photoanodes. It is discovered that the deposition of ultralow loadings of Ti2000 clusters results in an 80 % enhancement in the photocurrent of the BiVO4 substrates. Further experimentation highlights that the photocurrent enhancement is linked to the size of the nanocluster and the density of the clusters on the surface. A mechanism is outlined, whereby the Ti nanoclusters partially reduce the surface of the BiVO4, leading to enhanced electron transport within the thin films due to the presence of oxygen vacancies. In a final project, polycrystalline InN, GaN and systematically controlled InxGa1-xN composite thin films are fabricated on FTO glass by a facile, low-cost and scalable aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition technique. Variation of the indium content in the composite films leads to a dramatic shift in the optical absorbance properties, which correlates with the band edges shifting between those of GaN to InN. Moreover, the photoelectrochemical properties are shown to vary with indium content, with the 50 % indium composite having an external quantum efficiency of around 8 %. Whilst the overall photocurrent is found to be low, the photocurrent stability is shown to be excellent, with little degradation seen over 1 hour. Subsequent attempts to modify the morphology by conducting vertical-AACVD are also outlined. Thin films fabricated using vertical-AACVD are found to grow via a different mechanism, leading to undesired split phase growth, where two different compositions form on the same substrate

    Wollstonecraft's Ghost: The Fate of the Female Philosopher in the Romantic Period

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    Mary Wollstonecraft’s ghost haunts women’s writing of the Romantic period. After her untimely death in 1797, and the publication of William Godwin’s candid biography in 1798, Wollstonecraft’s reputation was besmirched by the reactionary press in an attack on radical support for revolutionary ideals. Wollstonecraft’s campaign for women’s rights was conflated with a representation of her as sexually promiscuous, politically dangerous and religiously unorthodox. For women writing after Wollstonecraft’s death, an engagement with her political ideals risked identification with her lifestyle, deemed both improper and impious. My thesis explores how women writers negotiated Wollstonecraft’s scandalous reputation in order to discuss her influential feminist arguments and develop their own positions on these pressing issues in post-revolutionary Britain. In the early nineteenth century, Wollstonecraft’s life and work gets elided with the figure of the female philosopher, already popular in both pro- and counter-revolutionary writing of the 1790s. After Wollstonecraft’s death, fictional female philosophers echo elements of her biography whilst voicing an often caricatured version of her arguments. By rejecting these satirically overblown feminist positions, women writers could adopt a more moderate form of feminism, often closer to Wollstonecraft’s original polemic, to critique cultural restrictions on women, revealing how these warp female behaviour. My project modifies our understanding of the origins of modern feminism by focussing on Wollstonecraft’s reception across a range of socially and politically diverse texts, and the ways in which the process of reading itself is treated as potentially revolutionary

    Reproductive Peformance of Great Egrets (Ardea alba) at High Island, Texas

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    Despite habitat perturbations and seasonal fluctuations in reproduction, many studies report no significant inter-annual variation in Great Egret reproductive performance. I examined the reproductive performance of Great Egrets (Ardea alba) for two breeding seasons (2009 and 2010) immediately following Hurricane Ike at High Island, Texas. Breeding success, productivity, and mean brood size did not differ between years (U-test, P > 0.05). Fledging success at 21 days showed no significant difference between years, however fledging success at 28, 35, and 42 days decreased significantly between years (~15% reduction at 42 days; U-test, P = 0.027). The number of deaths per nest also differed significantly between 2009 and 2010 (0.36 and 0.95, respectively) (U-test, P = 0.013). Brood-size dependent mortality was also a significant between-year parameter (H test, P = 0.003). Successful nests in 2009 had a brood size range of 2 to 3, and of these nests, 6% and 50% experienced partial brood reduction, respectively; whereas 2010 brood size range for successful nests was 2 to 4, and 0%, 57%, and 100% of these nests, respectively, experienced partial brood reduction. Other parameters examined were water level, temperature, precipitation, prey availability, and human disturbance. I rejected my hypothesis that habitat conditions would be less conducive to high reproductive success in 2009 than 2010, due to the impacts of Hurricane Ike. My results suggest that Great Egrets have bimodal occurrences of nestling death that are expressed as a function of brood size, hatching spread, and nestling age. Reproductive performance studies should continue through at least fledging age (42 days post-hatching for Great Egrets) to better document the reproductive performance, especially by incorporating the apparent behavioral plasticity of nestlings

    IDENTIFICATION OF EROSIONAL HOTSPOTS AND SHORELINE POSITION UTILIZING AN ALONGSHORE SHORELINE MONITORING SYSTEM: GALVESTON ISLAND’S WEST END

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    A continuous synoptic alongshore method of beach surveying was developed to identify shoreline position, erosional hotspots, and to examine the morphological variation of the Gulf beaches of Galveston Island’s west end. Near-weekly (average 3 per month) surveys were conducted over 15 consecutive months for the approximately 30 km section of the west end of Galveston Island beginning April 2004 through September 2005. Erosional or accretional hotspots are operationally defined here as areas which can be statistically determined to have significantly greater migration than the mean migration for the entire beach, and are often, but not necessarily, ephemeral. The shoreline, by definition, is the wetline - the wet/dry interface on the beach, the furthest point of wave run-up - and was recorded by tracing the wetline immediately after the turn of the high tide utilizing an all Terrain Vehicle (ATV) equipped with a post-processed kinematic Global Positioning System (GPS). This system provides high-resolution topographical surveying with sub-decimeter accuracy in the both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The data were assembled in order to determine mean wetlines – monthly, quarterly, or annually; repeated localized statistically significant landward advance of the shoreline is indicative of potential erosional hotspots while an annual net landward migration of the wetline indicates a retreating shoreline - erosion. This work demonstrates that by using this economically feasible surveying method, highly accurate shoreline positions can be used to monitor the morphological changes of the shoreline and to identify erosional hotspots. Over the study period the area exhibited a mean annual erosion rate of 4.95m -1 with a range of 59.83m (-23.86m to 36.04m); the median offset was 4.73m; and mean elevation of the wetline was 1.15m (elevation lacks uniformity both spatially or temporally). This project shows that frequent synoptic surveys enable the identification of erosional hotspots and enables the establishing of an accurate, non-datum corrected shoreline position. Regular monitoring enables determination of erosional hotspots and shoreline migration due to storm events and annual cycles. Archiving and analysis of these short-term vacillations provides a long time-series of shoreline position and is of utility to coastal management and numerous stakeholders.Texas Institute of Oceanography, TAMUG Coastal Geology Laborator

    Images in cardiovascular medicine : multiphoton microscopy for three-dimensional imaging of lymphocyte recruitment into apolipoprotein-E-deficient mouse carotid artery

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    Two recent elegant studies have shown that in apolipoprotein-E– deficient mice, the lamina adventitia is a major site of arterial wall inflammation associated with lymphocyte infiltration into atherosclerotic arteries and with formation of adventitial lymphoid-like tissues.1,2 These results suggest that lymphocyte responses in the lamina adventitia may play a crucial role in atherosclerosis development.1,

    Fabrication and photoelectrochemical studies of BiTiO pyrochlore thin films by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition

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    Phase pure thin film BiTiO photoelectrodes were produced by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition at 600 °C for the first time. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the as-deposited BiTiO films were amorphous in nature; however, post-deposition annealing at 600°C for 12 h significantly increased the crystallinity to give phase pure BiTiO. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the as-deposited film had a cauliflower-like structure with features ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 μm in size. It was found that the post-annealing step sintered the features together reducing the pores in the structure and giving rise to larger features of 1.0-2.0 μm in size. Optical studies showed that the BiTiO film had a direct band gap of 2.74 eV. The photoelectrochemical properties of BiTiO were tested and it was found that the electrodes exhibited a photocurrent density of 1.8 μA cm at 0.23 V vs. Ag|AgCl. Results showed that BiTiO is an attractive material for photoelectrochemical water splitting
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