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Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Mirzaee M.,Landseer Ltd. | Bishop C.F.H.,Writtle College
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

The strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) is one of the most popular crops with increasing consumption. During the strawberry supply chain, temperature management plays the main role in preventing spoilage. However, one of the main problems in the strawberry supply chain is temperature fluctuation, which can cause condensation inside the packaging and increase the potential for fungal disease infection. Frequently the biggest problem happens when the cool chain is stopped in "the last mile" from retail outlet to the consumer's refrigerator. During this period of time temperature fluctuation and condensation occur respectively. This study presents an investigation to evaluate the temperature fluctuation and applicable ways to reduce this damage when the cool chain is cut. The work was based on two main areas of "packaging" and "arrangement" during handling. Comparison of different types of packaging included absorbing pads and different punnet designs with or without vents at the base. Also different types of arrangements of punnets during handling were assessed to find a way to reduce damage caused by temperature fluctuations. The results showed that better air movement can help to decrease the damage caused by condensation, to prevent fungal diseases during postharvest life. Suggestions from this work of changing the packaging and handling systems of strawberries could help to improve the postharvest life of strawberries. Source

Micklewright D.,University of Essex | Parry D.,University of Essex | Robinson T.,University of Essex | Deacon G.,Writtle College | And 3 more authors.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2015

Purpose: The objective of this study is to examine risk taking and risk perception associations with perceived exertion, pacing, and performance in athletes. Methods: Two experiments were conducted in which risk perception was assessed using the domain-specific risk taking (DOSPERT) scale in 20 novice cyclists (experiment 1) and 32 experienced ultramarathon runners (experiment 2). In experiment 1, participants predicted their pace and then performed a 5-km maximum effort cycling time trial on a calibrated Kingcycle mounted bicycle. Split times and perceived exertion were recorded every kilometer. In experiment 2, each participant predicted their split times before running a 100-km ultramarathon. Split times and perceived exertion were recorded at seven checkpoints. In both experiments, higher and lower risk perception groups were created using median split of DOSPERT scores. Results: In experiment 1, pace during the first kilometer was faster among lower risk perceivers compared with higher risk perceivers (t(18) = 2.0, P = 0.03) and faster among higher risk takers compared with lower risk takers (t(18) = 2.2, P = 0.02). Actual pace was slower than predicted pace during the first kilometer in both the higher risk perceivers (t(9) = j4.2, P = 0.001) and lower risk perceivers (t(9) = j1.8, P = 0.049). In experiment 2, pace during the first 36 km was faster among lower risk perceivers compared with higher risk perceivers (t(16) = 2.0, P = 0.03). Irrespective of risk perception group, actual pace was slower than predicted pace during the first 18 km (t(16) = 8.9, P G 0.001) and from 18 to 36 km (t(16) = 4.0, P G 0.001). In both experiments, there was no difference in performance between higher and lower risk perception groups. Conclusions: Initial pace is associated with an individual's perception of risk, with low perceptions of risk being associated with a faster starting pace. Large differences between predicted and actual pace suggest that the performance template lacks accuracy, perhaps indicating greater reliance on momentary pacing decisions rather than preplanned strategy. © 2014 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Source

Hobson P.R.,Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development | Ibisch P.L.,Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development | Parmee R.,Writtle College
Arboricultural Journal | Year: 2016

A small plot study of Chalara infestation was carried out in a recently established stand of natural secondary woodland on an abandoned field in Suffolk. The aim was to determine the pattern of disease spread in relation to the structure of young ash stands. Wind-dispersed colonisation by ash was typically patchy but clustered along the eastern edge of mature ancient semi-natural woodland. All the trees were small with an average diameter of 1.25 ± .614 cm and average height of 1.63 ± 1.54 metres. Symptoms of dieback were recorded in 51% of the 220 quadrats surveyed but was most prevalent in areas where tree density was highest. Of the 1,343 trees sampled 33% were infected and showing advanced stages of dieback in areas where the disease was most concentrated. The observed positive correlation between tree height and the prevalence of dieback may be due to chance effects emerging from larger patterns of wind-born dispersal in both host and pathogen. The results of the study point to indiscriminate modes of infection operating at local levels and determined by the presence of high numbers of host trees. High levels of infection in early stages of growth suggests ash has little chance to establish itself before it is culled by the disease. The findings also highlight the vulnerability of homogenous stands to wind-borne pathogens. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group and Arboricultural Association Source

Zhou W.,Oxford Brookes University | Georgakis P.,University of Wolverhampton | Heesom D.,University of Wolverhampton | Feng X.,Writtle College
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering | Year: 2012

Construction planning plays a fundamental role in construction project management that requires teamwork among planners from a diverse range of disciplines and in geographically dispersed working situations. Model-based four-dimensional (4D) computer-aided design (CAD) groupware, though considered a possible approach to supporting collaborative planning, is still short of effective collaborative mechanisms for teamwork because of methodological, technological, and social challenges. Targeting this problem, this paper proposes a model-based groupware solution to enable a group of multidisciplinary planners to perform real-time collaborative 4D planning across the Internet. In light of the interactive definition method, and its computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) design analysis, this paper discusses the realization of interactive collaborative mechanisms from software architecture, application mode, and data exchange protocol. These mechanisms have been integrated into a groupware solution, which was validated by a planning team in a geographically dispersed condition. Analysis of the validation results revealed that the proposed solution is feasible for real-time collaborative 4D planning to gain a robust construction plan through collaborative teamwork. The realization of this solution triggers further consideration about its enhancement for wider groupware applications. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers. Source

Tully L.J.,Royal Veterinary College | Murphy A.M.,Writtle College | Smith R.K.W.,Royal Veterinary College | Hulin-Curtis S.L.,University of Bristol | And 2 more authors.
Equine Veterinary Journal | Year: 2014

Reasons for performing the study: To explore whether genetic susceptibility is a potential risk factor for superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendinopathy in Thoroughbred (TB) racehorses. Objectives: To identify informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that capture genetic diversity across a range of candidate genes and to investigate, in a case-control study, their association with SDF tendinopathy in UK National Hunt TB racehorses in training. Study design: Case-control candidate gene association study. Methods: This study used in silico gene assembly and DNA sequencing to screen candidate genes for SNPs. Seven candidate genes were selected using a hypothesis-driven approach: tenascin-C(TNC), collagen, type 1, α 1 (COL1A1), collagen, type 5, α 1 (COL5A1), matrix metalloproteinase type 3 (MMP3), matrix metalloproteinase type 13 (MMP13), fibromodulin (FMOD) and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). The SNPs were validated in DNA isolated from 48 TB racehorses and used to genotype 270 racehorses with SDF tendinopathy and 270 yard-matched controls. Genotyping of cases and controls was performed using SNaPshot™. Results: Racehorses heterozygous for the TNCBIEC2-696469 polymorphism were less likely to have SDF tendinopathy than racehorses homozygous for the wild-type allele (odds ratio [OR] 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36-0.85, P = 0.01). This finding remained significant after adjustment for age and racing background (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.36-0.92, P = 0.03). Racehorses homozygous for the novel COL5A1COL5A1_01 variant allele were nearly 3 times more likely to have SDF tendinopathy than those homozygous for the wild-type allele (OR 2.82, 95% CI 1.25-6.35, P = 0.01); this association remained significant after adjustment for age and racing background (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.18-6.53, P = 0.03). Conclusions: Results suggest that sequence variants in TNC and COL5A1 genes are associated with SDF tendinopathy in TB racehorses. In future genetic markers may be used to identify horses at risk of SDF tendinopathy. © 2013 EVJ Ltd. Source

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