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    ABSTRACT: Over the past twenty years the number of full-time fishermen in Northern Ireland has declined dramatically and the perception of risk within the industry may be one salient factor affecting this trend. This research investigated the influential effect of risk in the decision making process and was carried out in Portavogie harbour with forty active fishermen. An in-depth survey utilising projective techniques analysed through principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that fishermen simplify the decision making process. A two factor solution (75% of the variance) indicated that risks associated with personal injury or death are perceived as either acute or chronic. Further analysis of the dimensions of the risk revealed three important facets that are considered when making a judgement about the risk – personal knowledge, likely outcome and scientific data provided. Socio demographic variables found to affect risk perception included the age, experience, current role and boat ownership. Recommendations include improving risk communication recognising that different strategies are required for acute and chronic risk and that training within their core skills programmes and recognition that improved scientific communications will help alleviate the risk perceived.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Safety Science
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    ABSTRACT: Chitons (class Polyplacophora) are benthic grazing molluscs with an eight-part aragonitic shell armature. The radula, a serial tooth ribbon that extends internally more than half the length of the body, is mineralised on the active feeding teeth with iron magnetite apparently as an adaptation to constant grazing on rocky substrates. As the anterior feeding teeth are eroded they are shed and replaced with a new row. The efficient mineralisation and function of the radula could hypothetically be affected by changing oceans in two ways: changes in seawater chemistry (pH and pCO2) may impact the biomineralisation pathway, potentially leading to a weaker or altered density of the feeding teeth; rising temperatures could increase activity levels in these ectothermic animals, and higher feeding rates could increase wear on the feeding teeth beyond the animals' ability to synthesise, mineralise, and replace radular rows. We therefore examined the effects of pH and temperature on growth and integrity in the radula of the chiton Leptochiton asellus. Our experiment implemented three temperature (∼10, 15, 20 °C) and two pCO2 treatments (∼400 μatm, pH 8.0; ∼2000 μatm, pH 7.5) for six treatment groups. Animals (n = 50) were acclimated to the treatment conditions for a period of 4 weeks. This is sufficient time for growth of ca. 7-9 new tooth rows or 20% turnover of the mineralised portion. There was no significant difference in the number of new (non-mineralised) teeth or total tooth row count in any treatment. Examination of the radulae via SEM revealed no differences in microwear or breakage on the feeding cusps correlating to treatment groups. The shell valves also showed no signs of dissolution. As a lineage, chitons have survived repeated shifts in Earth's climate through geological time, and at least their radulae may be robust to future perturbations.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Marine Environmental Research
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    ABSTRACT: Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) catalyses one of the two steps in glycolysis which generate the reduced coenzyme NADH. This reaction precedes the two ATP generating steps. Thus, inhibition of GAPDH will lead to substantially reduced energy generation. Consequently, there has been considerable interest in developing GAPDH inhibitors as anti-cancer and anti-parasitic agents. Here, we describe the biochemical characterisation of GAPDH from the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica (FhGAPDH). The primary sequence of FhGAPDH is similar to that from other trematodes and the predicted structure shows high similarity to those from other animals including the mammalian hosts. FhGAPDH lacks a binding pocket which has been exploited in the design of novel antitrypanosomal compounds. The protein can be expressed in, and purified from Escherichia coli; the recombinant protein was active and showed no cooperativity towards glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate as a substrate. In the absence of ligands, FhGAPDH was a mixture of homodimers and tetramers, as judged by protein-protein crosslinking and analytical gel filtration. The addition of either NAD(+) or glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate shifted this equilibrium towards a compact dimer. Thermal scanning fluorimetry demonstrated that this form was considerably more stable than the unliganded one. These responses to ligand binding differ from those seen in mammalian enzymes. These differences could be exploited in the discovery of reagents which selectively disrupt the function of FhGAPDH.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins & Proteomics
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