Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 62262

A Study on the Determinants of Earnings Response Coefficient in an Emerging Market
The determinants of Earnings Response Coefficient (ERC), including firm size, earnings growth, and earnings persistence are studied in this research. These determinants are supposed to be moderator variables that affect ERC and Return Response Coefficient. The research sample contains 82 Iranian listed companies in Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) from 2001 to 2012. Gathered data have been processed by EVIEWS Software. Results show a significant positive relation between firm size and ERC, and also between earnings growth and ERC; however, there is no significant relation between earnings persistence and ERC. Also, the results show that ERC will be increased by firm size and earnings growth, but there is no relation between earnings persistence and ERC.
First-Generation College Students and Persistence: A Phenomenological Study of Students’ Experiences in Indonesian Higher Education
The tuition reform for public colleges that the Indonesian government initiated and has implemented since 2013 resulted in the growing number of college students from low-income families, many of whose parents did not attend college. This study sought to examine the experiences of persistence for Indonesian first-generation college students in public universities utilizing social capital as a framework. It is a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach primarily to capture the essence of how Indonesian first-generation college students interpret, process, and experience their persistence during college years. Fifteen Indonesian young college graduates were involved as well as questionnaire and interview were employed for data collection in this study. It revealed certain themes from the experiences that first-generation college students attributed to their persistence: (a) family encouragement, (b) support from friends, (c) guidance from faculty and staff, (d) fund of knowledge they bring with them, (e) financial aid availability, and (f) self-motivation. By examining first-generation college students’ voices, Indonesian public universities can better support, engage, and retain this group of students who were historically struggled to persist in college and complete their degree.
Vocational Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities: Employment Rates, Job Persistence and Wages
Research indicates gaps in education, employment rates and wages between people with disabilities and those without disabilities. One of the main tools available to reduce these gaps is vocational rehabilitation. In order to examine the effects of vocational rehabilitation, a follow-up study, based on comprehensive administrative data, was conducted. The study included 88,286 people with disabilities who participated in vocational rehabilitation of the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII), and completed the process between 1999 and 2012. Research variables included: employment rates, job persistence and wage levels. This research, the first of its kind in Israel, has several unique aspects: a)a long-range follow-up study on people who completed vocational rehabilitation; b) examination of a broad population spectrum, including also people that are not eligible to disability pensions ; c) a comparison among those with work-related injuries, those injured in hostile acts and those injured in other circumstances; and finally d) the identification of the characteristics of those who are entitled to vocational rehabilitation but who do not participate in any vocational rehabilitation plan. The most notable results include: 1. Vocational rehabilitation contributed to employment, job persistence and wage levels. Participation in vocational rehabilitation resulted in an employment rate of 65% within two years after completing the program, and 73% eventually. Participation in a vocational rehabilitation plan also contributed to job persistence and wage levels. 2. Vocational rehabilitation plans aimed at integration in universal frameworks increased the chances of being employed, persisting at the job and receiving a higher wage than did the vocational rehabilitation aimed at selective frameworks (such as sheltered workshops). 3. The type of disability affected the chances of integration in a vocational rehabilitation plan and in the labor market. People with a disability from birth had greater chances of integration in a vocational rehabilitation plan, while the type of disability and its severity affected the chances of the person with disabilities to find employment.
Socio-Demographic and Work Related Variables as Predictor of Persistence of Back Pain and Disability among Civil Servants Receiving Physiotherapy in Tertiary Health Institutions in Kano State, Nigeria
The development and persistence of low back pain may be influenced by several factors which include lifestyle factors, previous pain symptoms, psychological factors, workplace factors as well as socio-demographic variables. The focus of this study was to determine the socio-demographic and work related variables as a predictor of persistence of back pain and disability among civil servants receiving physiotherapy in tertiary health institutions in Kano, Nigeria. One hundred and twenty nine newly referred low back pain patients for physiotherapy participated in the study. This study was a cross sectional study involving patients that were newly diagnosed of back pain, referred and received physiotherapy. The convenience sampling technique was used to select the patients based on the inclusion criteria. The data obtained was analysed using simple percentage and multiple regression for stated hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The findings reveal that all the variables are not significant predictor of persistence of back pain and disability. The study recommended that determinants of low back pain recovery by clinician should include other clinical factors not only reduction in pain intensity.
Persistence of Ready Mix (Chlorpyriphos 50% + Cypermethrin 5%), Cypermethrin and Chlorpyriphos in Soil under Okra Fruits
Background and Significance: Residue levels of ready mix (chlorpyriphos 50% and cypermethrin 5%), cypermethrin and chlorpyriphos individually in sandy loam soil under okra fruits (Variety, Varsha Uphar) were determined; a field experiment was conducted at Research Farm of Department of Entomology of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, Haryana, India. Persistence behavior of cypermethrin and chlorpyriphos was studied following application of a pre-mix formulation of insecticides viz. Action-505EC, chlorpyriphos (Radar 20 EC) and cypermethrin (Cyperkill 10 EC) at the recommended dose and double the recommended dose along with control at fruiting stage. Pesticide application also leads to decline in soil acarine fauna which is instrumental in the breakdown of the litter because of which minerals are released into the soil. So, by this study, one can evaluate the safety of pesticides for the soil health. Methodology: Action-505EC (chlorpyriphos 50% and cypermethrin 5%) at 275 g a .i. ha⁻¹ (single dose) and 550 g a. i. ha⁻¹ (double dose), chlorpyriphos (Radar 20 EC) at 200 g a. i. ha⁻¹ (single dose) and 400 g a. i. ha⁻¹ (double dose) and cypermethrin (Cyperkill 10 EC) at 50 g a. i. ha⁻¹ (single dose) and 100 g a. i. ha⁻¹ (double dose) were applied at the fruiting stage on okra crop. Samples of soils from okra field were collected periodically at 0 (1h after spray), 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 days and at harvest after application as well of control soil sample. After air drying, adsorbing through Florisil and activated charcoal and eluting with hexane: acetone (9:1) then residues in soils were estimated by a gas chromatograph equipped with a capillary column and electron capture detector. Results: No persistence of cypermethrin in ready-mix in soil under okra fruits at single and double dose was observed. In case of chlorpyriphos in ready-mix, average initial deposits on 0 (1 h after treatment) day was 0.015 mg kg⁻¹ and 0.036 mg kg⁻¹ which persisted up to 5 days and up to 7 days for single and double dose, respectively. After that residues reached below a detectable level of 0.010 mg kg⁻¹. Experimental studies on cypermethrin individually revealed that average initial deposits on 0 (1 h after treatment) were 0.008 mg kg⁻¹ and 0.012 mg kg⁻¹ which persisted up to 3 days and 5 days for single and double dose, respectively after that residues reached to below detectable level. The initial deposits of chlorpyriphos individually in soil were found to be 0.055 mg kg⁻¹ and 0.113 mg kg⁻¹ which persisted up to 7 days and 10 days at a lower dose and higher dose, respectively after that residues reached to below determination level. Conclusion: In soil under okra crop, only individual cypermethrin in both the doses persisted whereas no persistence of cypermethrin in ready-mix was observed. Persistence of chlorpyriphos individually is more as compared to chlorpyriphos in ready-mix in both the doses. Overall, the persistence of chlorpyriphos in soil under okra crop is more than cypermethrin.
The Persistence of Abnormal Return on Assets: An Exploratory Analysis of the Differences between Industries and Differences between Firms by Country and Sector
This study offers an exploratory statistical analysis of the persistence of annual profits across a sample of firms from different European Union (EU) countries. To this end, a hierarchical Bayesian dynamic model has been used which enables the annual behaviour of those profits to be broken down into a permanent structural and a transitory component, while also distinguishing between general effects affecting the industry as a whole to which each firm belongs and specific effects affecting each firm in particular. This breakdown enables the relative importance of those fundamental components to be more accurately evaluated by country and sector. Furthermore, Bayesian approach allows for testing different hypotheses about the homogeneity of the behaviour of the above components with respect to the sector and the country where the firm develops its activity. The data analysed come from a sample of 23,293 firms in EU countries selected from the AMADEUS data-base. The period analysed ran from 1999 to 2007 and 21 sectors were analysed, chosen in such a way that there was a sufficiently large number of firms in each country sector combination for the industry effects to be estimated accurately enough for meaningful comparisons to be made by sector and country. The analysis has been conducted by sector and by country from a Bayesian perspective, thus making the study more flexible and realistic since the estimates obtained do not depend on asymptotic results. In general terms, the study finds that, although the industry effects are significant, more important are the firm specific effects. That importance varies depending on the sector or the country in which the firm carries out its activity. The influence of firm effects accounts for around 81% of total variation and display a significantly lower degree of persistence, with adjustment speeds oscillating around 34%. However, this pattern is not homogeneous but depends on the sector and country analysed. Industry effects depends also on sector and country analysed have a more marginal importance, being significantly more persistent, with adjustment speeds oscillating around 7-8% with this degree of persistence being very similar for most of sectors and countries analysed.
Markov Switching of Conditional Variance
Forecasting of volatility, i.e. returns fluctuations, has been a topic of interest to portfolio managers, option traders and market makers in order to get higher profits or less risky positions. Based on the fact that volatility is time varying in high frequency data and that periods of high volatility tend to cluster, the most common used models are GARCH type models. As standard GARCH models show high volatility persistence, i.e. integrated behaviour of the conditional variance, it is difficult the predict volatility using standard GARCH models. Due to practical limitations of these models different approaches have been proposed in the literature, based on Markov switching models. In such situations models in which the parameters are allowed to change over time are more appropriate because they allow some part of the model to depend on the state of the economy. The empirical analysis demonstrates that Markov switching GARCH model resolves the problem of excessive persistence and outperforms uni-regime GARCH models in forecasting volatility for selected emerging markets.
Textile Cottage Industry: A Facilitator for Capacity Building and Youth Empowerment
The large scale textile industry in Nigeria was at one time the second largest employer of labor after government. With recent developments and changing situations, there is a serious decline in this sector which consequently forced the local textile industries to close down and the workers retrenched. the category of people worst hit was the youths and the middle age. This paper examines the potentials of the textile cottage industry as a facilitator for capacity building and economic empowerment among the Nigerian youths. The paper focuses on economic viability, persistence, and above-all, its potentials for poverty reduction as well as self employment. The methodology used in the study is the survey method and the instrument used to collect the necessary information is field interview. The results obtained showed that the textile cottage industries are flourishing and the Nigerian youths are engaged in the practice. In addition, the paper suggests areas that require government's financial intervention which will facilitate the establishment and ensure the sustainability of the textile cottage industry. The paper concludes with some recommendations for the youths and for the government.
Persistence of DNA on Clothes Contaminated by Semen Stains after Washing
Sexual assault is usually a hidden crime where the only witnesses are the victim and the assailant. For a variety of reasons, even the victim may be unable to provide a detailed account of the assault or the identity of the perpetrator. Often the case history deteriorates into one person’s word against another. With such limited initial information, the physical and biological evidence collected from the victim, from the crime scene, and from the suspect will play a pivotal role in the objective and scientific reconstruction of the events in question. The aim of work is to examine whether DNA profiles could be recovered from repeated washed clothes after contaminated by semen stains. Fresh semen about 1ml. (
An Exploration of the Effects of Individual and Interpersonal Factors on Saudi Learners' Motivation to Learn English as a Foreign Language
This paper presents an experimental study designed to explore some of the learner’s individual and interpersonal factors (e.g. persistence, interest, regulation, satisfaction, appreciation, etc.) that Saudi learners experience when learning English as a Foreign Language and how learners’ perceptions of these factors influence various aspects of their motivation to learn English language. As part of the study, a 27-item structured survey was administered to a randomly selected sample of 105 Saudi learners from public schools and universities. Data collected through the survey were subjected to some basic statistical analyses, such as "mean" and "standard deviation". Based on the results from the analysis, a number of generalizations and conclusions are made in relation to how these inherent factors affect Saudi learners’ motivation to learn English as a foreign language. In addition, some recommendations are offered to Saudi academics on how to effectively make use of such factors, which may enable Saudi teachers and learners of English as a foreign language to achieve better learning outcomes in an area widely associated by Saudis with lack of success.
Volatility Switching between Two Regimes
Based on the fact that volatility is time varying in high frequency data and that periods of high volatility tend to cluster, the most successful and popular models in modelling time varying volatility are GARCH type models. When financial returns exhibit sudden jumps that are due to structural breaks, standard GARCH models show high volatility persistence, i.e. integrated behaviour of the conditional variance. In such situations models in which the parameters are allowed to change over time are more appropriate. This paper compares different GARCH models in terms of their ability to describe structural changes in returns caused by financial crisis at stock markets of six selected central and east European countries. The empirical analysis demonstrates that Markov regime switching GARCH model resolves the problem of excessive persistence and outperforms uni-regime GARCH models in forecasting volatility when sudden switching occurs in response to financial crisis.
Examining Attrition in English Education: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Preparation, Persistence, and Dispositions in Teacher Education
Over the past three years, the researchers have been tracking a rise in the number of teacher education candidates leaving the field before completing their university’s educator preparation program. At their institution, this rise is most pronounced in English Education. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to understand English Education teacher candidates' expectations in becoming prepared educators at each phase of their four phase teacher education program at one institution of higher education in the United States. Research questions include: To what extent do we find differences in teacher candidates' expectations of their teacher training program and student teaching experiences based upon undergraduate and graduate programs? Why do (or do not) teacher candidates persist in their teacher training program and student teaching experiences? How do dispositions develop through the course of the teacher training program? What supports do teacher candidates self-identify as needing at each phase of the teacher training program? Based upon participant interviews at each phase of the teacher education program, the researchers, all teacher educators, examine the extent to which English Education students feel prepared to student teach, focusing on preparation, persistence, and dispositions. The Colorado State University Center for Educator Preparation (CEP) provides students with information about teaching dispositions, or desired professional behaviors, throughout their education program. CEP focuses these dispositions around nine categories: Professional Behaviors, Initiative and Dependability, Tact and Judgment, Ethical Behavior and Integrity, Collegiality and Responsiveness, Effective Communicator, Desire to Improve Own Performance, Culturally Responsive, and Commitment to the Profession. Currently, in the first phase of a four phase study, initial results indicate participants expect their greatest joys will be working with and learning from students. They anticipate their greatest challenges will involve discipline and confidence. They predict they will persist in their program because they believe the country needs well-prepared teachers and they have a commitment to their professional growth. None of the participants thus far could imagine why they would leave the program. With regard to strongest and weakest dispositions, results are mixed. Some participants see Tact and Judgment as their strongest disposition; others see it as their weakest. All participants stated mentoring is a necessary support at every phase of the teacher preparation process. This study informs the way teacher educators train and evaluate teacher candidates, and has implications for the frequency and types of feedback students receive from mentors and supervisors. This research contributes to existing work on teacher retention, candidate persistence, and dispositional development.
Spatiotemporal Variability of Snow Cover and Snow Water Equivalent over Eurasia
Changes in the extent and amount of snow cover in Eurasia are of great interest because of their vital impacts on the global climate system and regional water resource management. This study investigated the spatial and temporal variability of the snow cover extent (SCE) and snow water equivalent (SWE) of continental Eurasia using the Northern Hemisphere Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid) Weekly SCE data for 1972–2006 and the Global Monthly EASE-Grid SWE data for 1979–2004. The results indicated that, in general, the spatial extent of snow cover significantly decreased during spring and summer, but varied little during autumn and winter over Eurasia in the study period. The date at which snow cover began to disappear in spring has significantly advanced, whereas the timing of snow cover onset in autumn did not vary significantly during 1972–2006. The snow cover persistence period declined significantly in the western Tibetan Plateau as well as the partial area of Central Asia and northwestern Russia but varied little in other parts of Eurasia. ‘Snow-free breaks’ (SFBs) with intermittent snow cover in the cold season were mainly observed in the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia, causing a low sensitivity of snow cover persistence period to the timings of snow cover onset and disappearance over the areas with shallow snow. The averaged SFBs were 1–14 weeks in the Tibetan Plateau during 1972–2006 and the maximum intermittence could reach 25 weeks in some extreme years. At a seasonal scale, the SWE usually peaked in February or March but fell gradually since April across Eurasia. Both annual mean and annual maximum SWE decreased significantly during 1979–2004 in most parts of Eurasia except for eastern Siberia as well as northwestern and northeastern China.
Modelling Impacts of Global Financial Crises on Stock Volatility of Nigeria Banks
This research aimed at determining most appropriate heteroskedastic model to predicting volatility of 10 major Nigerian banks: Access, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Guaranty Trust, Skye, Diamond, Fidelity, Sterling, Union, ETI and Zenith banks using daily closing stock prices of each of the banks from 2004 to 2014. The models employed include ARCH (1), GARCH (1, 1), EGARCH (1, 1) and TARCH (1, 1). The results show that all the banks returns are highly leptokurtic, significantly skewed and thus non-normal across the four periods except for Fidelity bank during financial crises; findings similar to those of other global markets. There is also strong evidence for the presence of heteroscedasticity, and that volatility persistence during crisis is higher than before the crisis across the 10 banks, with that of UBA taking the lead, about 11 times higher during the crisis. Findings further revealed that Asymmetric GARCH models became dominant especially during financial crises and post crises when the second reforms were introduced into the banking industry by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Generally, one could say that Nigerian banks returns are volatility persistent during and after the crises, and characterised by leverage effects of negative and positive shocks during these periods
Volatility and Stylized Facts
Measuring and controlling risk is one of the most attractive issues in finance. With the persistence of uncontrolled and erratic stocks movements, volatility is perceived as a barometer of daily fluctuations. An objective measure of this variable seems then needed to control risks and cover those that are considered the most important. Non-linear autoregressive modeling is our first evaluation approach. In particular, we test the presence of “persistence” of conditional variance and the presence of a degree of a leverage effect. In order to resolve for the problem of “asymmetry” in volatility, the retained specifications point to the importance of stocks reactions in response to news. Effects of shocks on volatility highlight also the need to study the “long term” behaviour of conditional variance of stocks returns and articulate the presence of long memory and dependence of time series in the long run. We note that the integrated fractional autoregressive model allows for representing time series that show long-term conditional variance thanks to fractional integration parameters. In order to stop at the dynamics that manage time series, a comparative study of the results of the different models will allow for better understanding volatility structure over the Tunisia stock market, with the aim of accurately predicting fluctuation risks.
Transnational Higher Education: Developing a Transnational Student Success Signature for Clinical Medical Students an Action Research Project
This paper describes an Action Research project which was undertaken to inform professional practice in order to develop a newly created Centre for Student Success in the specific context of transnational medical and nursing education in the Middle East. The objectives were to enhance the academic performance, persistence, integration and personal and professional development of a multinational study body, in particular in relation to preclinical medical students, and to establish a comfortable, friendly and student-driven environment within an Irish medical university recently established in Bahrain. Expatriating a new part of itself into a corner of the world and within a context which could be perceived as the antithesis of itself, in particular in terms of traditional cultural and organisational values, the university has had to innovate in the range of services, programmes and other offerings which engages and supports the academic success of medical and nursing students as they “encounter the world in the classroom” in the context of an Arab Islamic culture but within a European institution of transnational education, engaging with a global learning environment locally. The outcomes of the project resulted in the development of a specific student success ‘signature’ for this particular transnational higher education context.
Earnings Volatility and Earnings Predictability
Most previous research that investigates the importance of earnings volatility for a firm’s value has focused on the effects of earnings volatility on the cost of capital. Many study illustrate that earnings volatility can reduce the firm’s value by enhancing the cost of capital. However, a few recent studies directly examine the relation between earnings volatility and subsequent earnings levels. In our study, we further explore the role of volatility in forecasting. Our study makes two primary contributions to the literature. First, taking into account the level of current firm’s performance, we provide causal theory to the link between volatility and earnings predictability. Nevertheless, previous studies testing the linearity of this relationship have not mentioned any underlying theory. Secondly, our study contributes to the vast body of fundamental analysis research that identifies a set of variables that improve valuation, by showing that earnings volatility affects the estimation of future earnings. Projections of earnings are used by valuation research and practice to derive estimates of firm value. Since we want to examine the impact of volatility on earnings predictability, we sort the sample into three portfolios according to the level of their earnings volatility in ascending order. For each quintile, we present the predictability coefficient. In a second test, each of these portfolios is, then, sorted into three further quintiles based on their level of current earnings. These yield nine quintiles. So we can observe whether volatility strongly predicts decreases on earnings predictability only for highest quintile of earnings. In general, we find that earnings volatility has an inverse relationship with earnings predictability. Our results also show that the sensibility of earnings predictability to ex-ante volatility is more pronounced among profitability firms. The findings are most consistent with overinvestment and persistence explanations.
Persistent Toxicity of Imidacloprid to Aphis gossypii Glover and Amarasca biguttula biguttula Ishida on Okra
Investigations were carried out to evaluate the persistent toxicity of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and dimethoate to Aphis gossypii and Amrasca biguttula biguttula under laboratory condition during 2012. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized block design with three replications in the glass house of department of Entomology M. P. K. V. Rahuri. Okra plants were raised in glass house following all recommended agronomic practices. The 21 days old plants were used for assessing the effect of insecticides on aphids and jassids. The insecticides were diluted with distilled water to make desired concentrations and used for foliar application. The insecticides included in the study were imidacloprid 17.8 SL, imidacloprid 70 WG, thiamethoxam 25 WG and dimethoate 30 EC. Untreated check was maintained by spraying with distilled water. The mortality of aphids and jassids on treated leaf were recorded at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 21, and 25 days after spray till zero per cent mortality observed for each treatment. Treated leaves from the glasshouse were brought to laboratory and were put in tube with moist cotton swab at the bottom of leaf and sucking apparatus was fit to the tube. Ten jassids were sucked in each tube from the plants in the field. Evaluated insecticides differed in their persistence and index of persistence toxicity against both insects of different treatments. Recommended dose of imidacloprid (25 g a.i/ha) persisted for 21 days against both aphids and jassids. However dimethoate, a conventional insecticide persisted for 11 days.
Exploring the Motivations That Drive Paper Use in Clinical Practice Post-Electronic Health Record Adoption: A Nursing Perspective
Continued paper use in the clinical area post-Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption is regularly linked to hardware and software usability challenges. Although paper is used as a workaround to circumvent challenges, including limited availability of a computer, this perspective does not consider the important role paper, such as the nurses’ handover sheet, play in practice. The purpose of this study is to confirm the hypothesis that paper use post-EHR adoption continues as paper provides both a cognitive tool (that assists with workflow) and a compensation tool (to circumvent usability challenges). Distinguishing the different motivations for continued paper-use could assist future evaluations of electronic record systems. Methods: Qualitative data were collected from three clinical care environments (ICU, general ward and specialist day-care) who used an electronic record for at least 12 months. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 22 nurses. Data were transcribed, themes extracted using an inductive bottom-up coding approach and a thematic index constructed. Findings: All nurses interviewed continued to use paper post-EHR adoption. While two distinct motivations for paper use post-EHR adoption were confirmed by the data - paper as a cognitive tool and paper as a compensation tool - further finding was that there was an overlap between the two uses. That is, paper used as a compensation tool could also be adapted to function as a cognitive aid due to its nature (easy to access and annotate) or vice versa. Rather than present paper persistence as having two distinctive motivations, it is more useful to describe it as presenting on a continuum with compensation tool and cognitive tool at either pole. Paper as a cognitive tool referred to pages such as nurses’ handover sheet. These did not form part of the patient’s record, although information could be transcribed from one to the other. Findings suggest that although the patient record was digitised, handover sheets did not fall within this remit. These personal pages continued to be useful post-EHR adoption for capturing personal notes or patient information and so continued to be incorporated into the nurses’ work. Comparatively, the paper used as a compensation tool, such as pre-printed care plans which were stored in the patient's record, appears to have been instigated in reaction to usability challenges. In these instances, it is expected that paper use could reduce or cease when the underlying problem is addressed. There is a danger that as paper affords nurses a temporary information platform that is mobile, easy to access and annotate, its use could become embedded in clinical practice. Conclusion: Paper presents a utility to nursing, either as a cognitive or compensation tool or combination of both. By fully understanding its utility and nuances, organisations can avoid evaluating all incidences of paper use (post-EHR adoption) as arising from usability challenges. Instead, suitable remedies for paper-persistence can be targeted at the root cause.
Do Interventions for Increasing Minorities' Access to Higher Education Work? The Case of Ethiopians in Israel
In many countries, much efforts and resources are devoted to empowering and integrating minorities within the mainstream population. Major ventures in this route are crafted in higher education institutions where different outreach programs and methods such as lenient entry requirements, monitory incentives, learning skills workshops, tutoring and mentoring, are utilized. Although there is some information regarding these programs, their effectiveness still needs to be thoroughly examined. The Ethiopian community In Israel is one of the minority groups that has been targeted by sponsoring foundations and higher education institutions with the aim to ease the access, persistence and success of its young people in higher education and later in the job market. The evaluation study we propose to present focuses on the implementation of a program designed for this purpose. This program offers relevant candidates for study at a prestigious university a variety of generous incentives that include tuitions, livening allowance, tutoring, mentoring, skills and empowerment workshops and cultural meetings. Ten students were selected for the program and they started their studies in different subject areas before three and half years. A longitudinal evaluation has been conducted since the implementation of the program. Data were collected from different sources: participating students, program coordinator, mentors, tutors, program documents and university records. Questionnaires and interviews were used for collecting data on the different components of the program and on participants' perception of their effectiveness. Participants indicate that the lenient entry requirements and the monitory incentives are critical for starting their studies. During the first year, skills and empowering workshops, torturing and mentoring were evaluated as very important for persistence and success in studies. Tutoring was perceived as very important also at the second year but less importance is attributed to mentoring. Mixed results regarding integration in the Israeli culture emerged. The results are discussed with reference to findings from different settings around the world.
Application of Discrete-Event Simulation in Health Technology Assessment: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment Using Real-World Evidence in Thailand
Background: Decision-analytic models for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been advanced to discrete-event simulation (DES), in which individual-level modelling of disease progression across continuous severity spectra and incorporation of key parameters such as treatment persistence into the model become feasible. This study aimed to apply the DES to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of treatment for AD in Thailand. Methods: A dataset of Thai patients with AD, representing unique demographic and clinical characteristics, was bootstrapped to generate a baseline cohort of patients. Each patient was cloned and assigned to donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, memantine or no treatment. Throughout the simulation period, the model randomly assigned each patient to discrete events including hospital visits, treatment discontinuation and death. Correlated changes in cognitive and behavioral status over time were developed using patient-level data. Treatment effects were obtained from the most recent network meta-analysis. Treatment persistence, mortality and predictive equations for functional status, costs (Thai baht (THB) in 2017) and quality-adjusted life year (QALY) were derived from country-specific real-world data. The time horizon was 10 years, with a discount rate of 3% per annum. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated based on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of 160,000 THB/QALY gained (4,994 US$/QALY gained) in Thailand. Results: Under a societal perspective, only was the prescription of donepezil to AD patients with all disease-severity levels found to be cost-effective. Compared to untreated patients, although the patients receiving donepezil incurred a discounted additional costs of 2,161 THB, they experienced a discounted gain in QALY of 0.021, resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of 138,524 THB/QALY (4,062 US$/QALY). Besides, providing early treatment with donepezil to mild AD patients further reduced the ICER to 61,652 THB/QALY (1,808 US$/QALY). However, the dominance of donepezil appeared to wane when delayed treatment was given to a subgroup of moderate and severe AD patients [ICER: 284,388 THB/QALY (8,340 US$/QALY)]. Introduction of a treatment stopping rule when the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score goes below 10 to a mild AD cohort did not deteriorate the cost-effectiveness of donepezil at the current treatment persistence level. On the other hand, none of the AD medications was cost-effective when being considered under a healthcare perspective. Conclusions: The DES greatly enhances real-world representativeness of decision-analytic models for AD. Under a societal perspective, treatment with donepezil improves patient’s quality of life and is considered cost-effective when used to treat AD patients with all disease-severity levels in Thailand. The optimal treatment benefits are observed when donepezil is prescribed since the early course of AD. With healthcare budget constraints in Thailand, the implementation of donepezil coverage may be most likely possible when being considered starting with mild AD patients, along with the stopping rule introduced.
Women's Religiosity as a Factor in the Persistence of Religious Traditions: Kazakhstan, the XX Century
The main question of the research is- how did the Kazakhs manage to keep their religious thinking in the period of active propaganda of Soviet atheism, for seventy years of struggle against religion with the involvement of the scientific worldview as the primary means of proving the absence of the divine nature and materiality of the world? Our hypothesis is that In case of Kazakhstan the conservative female religious consciousness seems to have been a factor that helped to preserve the “everyday” religiousness of Kazakhs, which was far from deep theological contents of Islam, but able to revive in a short time after the decennia of proclaimed atheism.
Evaluating and Supporting Student Engagement in Online Learning
Research on student engagement is founded on a desire to improve the quality of online instruction in both course design and delivery. A high level of student engagement is associated with a wide range of educational practices including purposeful student-faculty contact, peer to peer contact, active and collaborative learning, and positive factors such as student satisfaction, persistence, achievement, and learning. By encouraging student engagement, institutions of higher education can have a positive impact on student success that leads to retention and degree completion. The current research presents the results of an online student engagement survey which support faculty teaching practices to maximize the learning experience for online students. The ‘Indicators of Engaged Learning Online’ provide a framework that measures level of student engagement. Social constructivism and collaborative learning form the theoretical basis of the framework. Social constructivist pedagogy acknowledges the social nature of knowledge and its creation in the minds of individual learners. Some important themes that flow from social constructivism involve the importance of collaboration among instructors and students, active learning vs passive consumption of information, a learning environment that is learner and learning centered, which promotes multiple perspectives, and the use of social tools in the online environment to construct knowledge. The results of the survey indicated themes that emphasized the importance of: Interaction among peers and faculty (collaboration); Timely feedback on assignment/assessments; Faculty participation and visibility; Relevance and real-world application (in terms of assignments, activities, and assessments); and Motivation/interest (the need for faculty to motivate students especially those that may not have an interest in the coursework per se). The qualitative aspect of this student engagement study revealed what instructors did well that made students feel engaged in the course, but also what instructors did not do well, which could inform recommendations to faculty when expectations for teaching a course are reviewed. Furthermore, this research provides evidence for the connection between higher student engagement and persistence and retention in online programs, which supports our rationale for encouraging student engagement, especially in the online environment because attrition rates are higher than in the face-to-face environment.
A Ground Observation Based Climatology of Winter Fog: Study over the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India
Every year, fog formation over the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGPs) of Indian region during the winter months of December and January is believed to create numerous hazards, inconvenience, and economic loss to the inhabitants of this densely populated region of Indian subcontinent. The aim of the paper is to analyze the spatial and temporal variability of winter fog over IGPs. Long term ground observations of visibility and other meteorological parameters (1971-2010) have been analyzed to understand the formation of fog phenomena and its relevance during the peak winter months of January and December over IGP of India. In order to examine the temporal variability, time series and trend analysis were carried out by using the Mann-Kendall Statistical test. Trend analysis performed by using the Mann-Kendall test, accepts the alternate hypothesis with 95% confidence level indicating that there exists a trend. Kendall tau’s statistics showed that there exists a positive correlation between time series and fog frequency. Further, the Theil and Sen’s median slope estimate showed that the magnitude of trend is positive. Magnitude is higher during January compared to December for the entire IGP except in December when it is high over the western IGP. Decade wise time series analysis revealed that there has been continuous increase in fog days. The net overall increase of 99 % was observed over IGP in last four decades. Diurnal variability and average daily persistence were computed by using descriptive statistical techniques. Geo-statistical analysis of fog was carried out to understand the spatial variability of fog. Geo-statistical analysis of fog revealed that IGP is a high fog prone zone with fog occurrence frequency of more than 66% days during the study period. Diurnal variability indicates the peak occurrence of fog is between 06:00 and 10:00 local time and average daily fog persistence extends to 5 to 7 hours during the peak winter season. The results would offer a new perspective to take proactive measures in reducing the irreparable damage that could be caused due to changing trends of fog.
Gender and Parenthood in Web 2.0.: Research on Role Distance in a Bulgarian Weblog Dedicated to Motherhood
The persistence of gender arrangements in childcare has been well-documented and theorized, but we know little on how they have been represented in Web 2.0. by the social actors themselves. This paper relies on Goffman’s concept of role distance to explore the online self-representations of mothers as a group and thus the complicated relationship between gender and parenthood. The object of research is a popular Bulgarian weblog dedicated to motherhood, and its content has been analyzed through content analysis. The results demonstrate that the concept of role distance can be successfully used to illuminate the ways the gendered expectations and norms of parenting are being questioned online. The research contributes both to the understanding of the relevance of the concept of role distance in explaining gender relations and of its increasing importance in Web 2.0.
Teacher’s Self-Efficacy and Self-Perception of Teaching Professional Competences
We present two studies centered on the teacher’s perception of self-efficacy and professional competences. The first study aims to evaluate the levels of self-efficacy as attitude in 200 teachers of primary and secondary schools. Teacher self-efficacy is related to many educational outcomes: such as teachers’ persistence, enthusiasm, commitment and instructional behavior. High level of teacher self-efficacy beliefs enhance student motivation and pupil’s learning level. On this theoretical and empirical basis we are planning a second study oriented to assess teacher self-perception of competences that are linked to teacher self-efficacy. With the CDVR Questionnaire, 287 teachers graduated in Education Sciences in e-learning mode, showed an increase in their self-perception of didactic-evaluation and relational competences and an increased confidence also in their own professionalism.
Reasons of Change in Security Prices and Price Volatility: An Analysis of the European Carbon Futures Market
A micro structural pricing model is proposed in which price components account for learning by incorporating changing expectations of the trading intensity and the risk level of incoming trades. An analysis of European carbon futures transactions finds expected trading intensity to increase the information component and decrease the liquidity component of price changes, but at different rates. Among the results, the expected persistence in trading intensity explains the majority of the auto correlations in the level and the conditional volatility of price changes, helps predict hourly patterns in the bid–ask spread and differentiates between the impact of buy versus sell and continuing versus reversing trades.
Comparative Forensic Analysis of Lipsticks Using Thin Layer Chromatography and Gas Chromatography
Lipsticks constitute a significant source of transfer evidence, and can, therefore, provide corroborative or inclusionary evidence in criminal investigation. This study aimed to determine the uniqueness and persistence of different lipstick smears using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), and Gas Chromatography with a Flame Ionisation Detector (GC-FID). In this study, we analysed lipstick smears retrieved from tea cups exposed to the environment for up to four weeks. The n-alkane content of each sample was determined using GC-FID, while TLC was used to determine the number of bands, and retention factor of each band per smear. This study shows that TLC gives more consistent results over a 4-week period than GC-FID. It also proposes a maximum exposure time of two weeks for the analysis of lipsticks left in the open using GC-FID. Finally, we conclude that neither TLC nor GC-FID can distinguish lipstick evidence recovered from hypothetical crime scenes.
Separation of Some Pyrethroid Insecticides by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
Pyrethroids are synthetic pesticides that originated from the modification of natural pyrethrins to improve their biological activity and stability. They are a family of chiral pesticides with a large number of stereoisomers. Enantiomers of synthetic pyretroids present different insecticidal activity, toxicity against aquatic invertebrates and persistence in the environment so the development of rapid and sensitive chiral methods for the determination of different enantiomers is necessary. In this study, the separation of enantiomers of pyrethroid insecticides has been systematically studied using three commercially chiral high-performance liquid chromatography columns. Useful resolution was obtained for compounds with a variety of acid and alcohol moieties, and containing one to four chiral centres. The chromatographic behaviour of the diastereomers of some of these insecticides by using normal, polar and reversed mobile phase mode were also examined.
Lamivudine Continuation/Tenofovir Add-on Adversely Affects Treatment Response among Lamivudine Non-Responder HIV-HBV Co-Infected Patients from Eastern India
Presently, tenofovir disoproxil fumurate (TDF) is the most effective anti-viral agent for the treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in individuals co-infected with HIV and HBV as TDF has activity to suppress both wild-type and lamivudine (3TC)-resistant HBV. However, suboptimal response to TDF was reported in HIV-HBV co-infected individuals with prior 3TC therapy from different countries recently. The incidence of 3TC-resistant HBV strains is quite high in HIV-HBV co-infected patients experiencing long-term anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in eastern India. In spite of this risk, most of the patients with long-term 3TC treatment are continued with the same anti-viral agent in this country. Only a few have received TDF in addition to 3TC in the ART regimen since TDF has been available in India for the treatment of HIV-infected patients in 2012. In this preliminary study, we investigated the virologic and biochemical parameters among HIV-HBV co-infected patients who are non-responders to 3TC treatment during the continuation of 3TC or TDF add-on to 3TC in their ART regimen. Fifteen HIV-HBV co-infected patients who experienced long-term 3TC (mean duration months 36.87 ± 24.08 months) were identified with high HBV viremia ( > 20,000 IU/ml) or harbouring 3TC-resistant HBV. These patients receiving ART from School of Tropical Medicine Kolkata, the main ART centre in eastern India were followed-up semi-annually for next three visits. Different virologic parameters including quantification of plasma HBV load by real-time PCR, detection of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) by commercial ELISA and anti-viral resistant mutations by sequencing were studied. During three follow-up among study subjects, 86%, 47%, and 43% had 3TC-mono-therapy (mean treatment-duration 41.54±18.84, 49.67±11.67, 54.17±12.37 months respectively) whereas 14%, 53%, and 57% experienced TDF in addition to 3TC (mean treatment duration 4.5±2.12, 16.56±11.06, and 23±4.07 months respectively). Mean CD4 cell-count in patients receiving 3TC was tended to be lower during third follow-up as compared to the first and the second [520.67±380.30 (1st), 454.8±196.90 (2nd), and 397.5±189.24 (3rd) cells/mm3) and similar trend was seen in patients experiencing TDF in addition to 3TC [334.5±330.218 (1st), 476.5±194.25 (2nd), and 461.17±269.89 (3rd) cells/mm3]. Serum HBV load was increased during successive follow-up of patients with 3TC-mono-therapy. Initiation of TDF lowered serum HBV-load among 3TC-non-responders at the time of second visit ( < 2,000 IU/ml), interestingly during third follow-up, mean HBV viremia increased >1 log IU/ml (mean 3.56±2.84 log IU/ml). Persistence of 3TC-resistant double and triple mutations was also observed in both the treatment regimens. Mean serum alanine aminotransferase remained elevated in these patients during this follow-up study. Persistence of high HBV viraemia and 3TC-resistant mutation in HBV during the continuation of 3TC might lead to major public health threat in India. The inclusion of TDF in the ART regimen of 3TC non-responder HIV-HBV co-infected patients showed adverse treatment response in terms of virologic and biochemical parameters. Therefore, serious attention is necessary for proper management of long-term 3TC experienced HIV-HBV co-infected patients with high HBV viraemia or 3TC-resistant HBV mutants in India.
Primary-Color Emitting Photon Energy Storage Nanophosphors for Developing High Contrast Latent Fingerprints
Commercially available long afterglow /persistent phosphors are proprietary materials and hence the exact composition and phase responsible for their luminescent characteristics such as initial intensity and afterglow luminescence time are not known. Further to generate various emission colors, commercially available persistence phosphors are physically blended with fluorescent organic dyes such as rodhamine, kiton and methylene blue etc. Blending phosphors with organic dyes results into complete color coverage in visible spectra, however with time, such phosphors undergo thermal and photo-bleaching. This results in the loss of their true emission color. Hence, the current work is dedicated studies on inorganic based thermally and chemically stable primary color emitting nanophosphors namely SrAl2O4:Eu2+, Dy3+, (CaZn)TiO3:Pr3+, and Sr2MgSi2O7:Eu2+, Dy3+. SrAl2O4: Eu2+, Dy3+ phosphor exhibits a strong excitation in UV and visible region (280-470 nm) with a broad emission peak centered at 514 nm is the characteristic emission of parity allowed 4f65d1→4f7 transitions of Eu2+ (8S7/2→2D5/2). Sunlight excitable Sr2MgSi2O7:Eu2+,Dy3+ nanophosphors emits blue color (464 nm) with Commercial international de I’Eclairage (CIE) coordinates to be (0.15, 0.13) with a color purity of 74 % with afterglow time of > 5 hours for dark adapted human eyes. (CaZn)TiO3:Pr3+ phosphor system possess high color purity (98%) which emits intense, stable and narrow red emission at 612 nm due intra 4f transitions (1D2 → 3H4) with afterglow time of 0.5 hour. Unusual property of persistence luminescence of these nanophoshphors supersedes background effects without losing sensitive information these nanophosphors offer several advantages of visible light excitation, negligible substrate interference, high contrast bifurcation of ridge pattern, non-toxic nature revealing finger ridge details of the fingerprints. Both level 1 and level 2 features from a fingerprint can be studied which are useful for used classification, indexing, comparison and personal identification. facile methodology to extract high contrast fingerprints on non-porous and porous substrates using a chemically inert, visible light excitable, and nanosized phosphorescent label in the dark has been presented. The chemistry of non-covalent physisorption interaction between the long afterglow phosphor powder and sweat residue in fingerprints has been discussed in detail. Real-time fingerprint development on porous and non-porous substrates has also been performed. To conclude, apart from conventional dark vision applications, as prepared primary color emitting afterglow phosphors are potentional candidate for developing high contrast latent fingerprints.
Linguistic Identities of Post-Democratic South African Youth
Language has long been a site of struggle in South Africa with an educational language policy that favoured English and Afrikaans as high status languages and positioned other language users in deficit ways. Furthermore, a segregationist past led to individuals viewing each other as racial beings and racial categorisations still prevail in private and public life. It has been argued that it is important to explore how South African youth identities are being constructed, if past discourses still shape their identities or if they are negotiating new ways of being. The paper probes the role of language, discourse and embedded ideologies in the persistence or not of youth linguistic identities and discourses, the implications for their lived realities and for their construction of other language users and the possibilities of shifts occurring with an awareness of such discourses. It finds that past discourses continue to shape youth identities and are surging in the light of what is happening in the country today.
Behaviour of Non-local Correlations and Quantum Information Theoretic Measures in Frustrated Molecular Wheels
Genuine Quantumness present in Quantum Systems is the resource for implementing Quantum Information and Computation Protocols which can outperform the classical counterparts. These Quantumness measures encompass non-local ones known as quantum entanglement (QE) and quantum information theoretic (QIT) ones, e.g. Quantum Discord (QD). In this paper, some well-known measures of QE and QD in some wheel-like frustrated molecular magnetic systems have been studied. One of the systems has already been synthesized using coordination chemistry, and the other is hypothetical, where the dominant interaction is the spin-spin exchange interaction. Exact analytical methods and exact numerical diagonalization methods have been used. Some counter-intuitive non-trivial features, like non-monotonicity of quantum correlations with temperature, persistence of multipartite entanglement over bipartite ones etc. indicated by the behaviour of the correlations and the QIT measures have been found. The measures, being operational ones, can be used to realize the resource of Quantumness in experiments.
Poor Cognitive Flexibility as Suggested Basis for Learning Difficulties among Children with Moderate-INTO-Severe Asthma: Evidence from WCSTPerformance
The cognitive flexibility of 27 asthmatic children with learning difficulties was tested by using the Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST) and compared to the performances of 30 non-asthmatic children who have persistence learning difficulties also. The results revealed that the asthmatic group had poor performance through all the WCST psychometric parameters and especially the preservative errors one. The results were discussed in light of the postulation that poor executive functions and specifically poor cognitive flexibility are in the basis of the learning difficulties of asthmatic children with learning difficulties. Neurophysiologic framework was suggested for explaining the etiology of poor executive functions and cognitive flexibility among children with moderate into severe asthma.
Isolation and Characterization of Salt-Tolerance of Rhizobia under the Effects of Salinity
The bacteria of the soil, usually called rhizobium, have a considerable importance in agriculture because of their capacity to fix the atmospheric nitrogen in symbiosis with the plants of the family of legumes. The present work was to study the effect of the salinity on growth and nodulation of alfalfa-rhizobia symbiosis at different agricultural experimental sites in Ouargla. The experiment was conducted in 3 steps. The first one was the isolation and characterization of the Rhizobia; next, the evolution of the isolates tolerance to salinity at three levels of NaCl (6, 8,12 and 16 g/L); and the last step was the evolution of the tolerance on symbiotic characteristics. The results showed that the phenotypic characterizations behave practically as Rhizobia spp, and the effects of salinity affect the symbiotic process. The tolerance to high levels of salinity and the survival and persistence in severe and harsh desert conditions make these rhizobia highly valuable inoculums to improve productivity of the leguminous plants cultivated under extreme environments.
Vectorial Capacity and Age Determination of Anopheles Maculipinnis S. L. (Diptera: Culicidae), in Esfahan and Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari Provinces, Central Iran
The objective was to determine the population dynamics of Anopheles maculipinnis s.l. in relation to probable malaria transmission. The study was carried out in three villages in Isfahan and charmahal bakhteari provinces of Iran, from April to March 2014. Mosquitoes were collected by Total catch, Human and Animal bait collection. An. maculipinnis play as a dominant vector with exophagic and endophilic behavior. Ovary dissection revealed four dilatations indicate at least 9% of the population can reach to the dangerous age to potentially malaria transmission. Two peaks of blood feeding were observed, 9.00-10.00 P.M, and the 12.00-00.01 A.M. The gonotrophic cycle, survival rate, life expectancy of the species was 4, 0.82 and five days, respectively. Vectorial capacity was measured as 0.028. In conclusion, moderate climatic conditions support the persistence, density and longevity of An maculipinnis s.l. could result in more significant malaria transmission.
Epidemiological Model for Citrus Black Spot Dynamics along the Pre-Harvest Supply Chain
Citrus Black Spot (CBS) is a fungal disease that is responsible for huge economical loss and poses a threat to the citrus industry worldwide. We construct a mathematical model framework for citrus black spot between fruits to characterise the dynamics of the disease development, paying attention to the pathogen life cycle. We have made an observation from the model analysis that the initial inoculum from ascomata is very important for disease development and thereafter it is no longer important due to conidia which is responsible for secondary infection. Most importantly, the model indicated that ascospores and conidia are very important parameters in developing citrus black spot within a short distance. The basic reproductive number and its importance in relation to citrus black spot persistence are outlined. A numerical simulation of the model was done to explain the theoretical findings.
Trait of Sales Professionals
In car dealer business of Japan, a sale professional is a key factor of company’s success. We hypothesize that, if a corporation knows what is the sales professionals’ trait of its corporation’s business field, it will be easier for a corporation to secure and nurture sales persons effectively. The lean human resources management will ensure business success and good performance of corporations, especially small and medium ones. The goal of the paper is to determine the traits of sales professionals for small-and medium-size car dealers, using chi-square test and the variable rough set model. As a result, the results illustrate that experience of job change, learning ability and product knowledge are important, and an academic background, building a career with internal transfer, experience of the leader and self-development are not important to be a sale professional. Also, we illustrate sales professionals’ traits are persistence, humility, improvisation and passion at business.
Changing Faces of the Authoritarian Reflex and Islamist Actors in the Maghreb and Mashreq after Arab Uprisings
One of the main questions that have arisen after the Arab uprisings has centered on whether they will lead to democratic transition and what the roles of Islamist actors will be. It has become apparent today that one of the key outcomes has been the partial, if not total, overthrow of authoritarian regimes in some cases. So, this article aims to analyse three synchronous upshots brought about by the uprisings, referring to patterns of state formation in the Maghreb and Mashreq. One of the main outcomes has been the persistence of authoritarianism in various forms, and the fragility of the Arab republics coping with the protests as compared to the more resilient character of the monarchies. In addition, none of the uprisings has brought an Islamist organization to incontestable power, as some predicted. However, ‘old’ Islamist actors have since re-emerged as key players, namely the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere. Thus, to understand the synthesis of change and continuity in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, analysing the changing faces of authoritarianism in the region and the impact on Islamists in both the Maghreb and the Mashreq is imperative.
Enzymatic Determination of Limonene in Red Clover Genotypes
Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is an important forage species in temperate regions of the world. The main limitation of this species worldwide is a lack of persistence related to the high mortality of plants due to a complex of biotic and abiotic factors, determining a life span of two or three seasons. Because of the importance of red clover in Chile, a red clover breeding program was started at INIA Carillanca Research Center in 1989, with the main objective of improving the survival of plants, forage yield, and persistence. The main selection criteria for selecting new varieties have been based on agronomical parameters and biotic factors. The main biotic factor associated with red clover mortality in Chile is Hylastinus obscurus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Both larval and adults feed on the roots, causing weakening and subsequent death of clover plants. Pesticides have not been successful for controlling infestations of this root borer. Therefore, alternative strategies for controlling this pest are a high priority for red clover producers. Currently, the role of semiochemical in the interaction between H. obscurus and red clover plants has been widely studied for our group. Specifically, from the red clover foliage has been identified limonene is eliciting repellency from the root borer. Limonene is generated in the plant from two independent biosynthetic pathways, the mevalonic acid, and deoxyxylulose pathway. Mevalonate pathway enzymes are localized in the cytosol, whereas the deoxyxylulose phosphate pathway enzymes are found in plastids. In summary, limonene can be determinated by enzymatic bioassay using GPP as substrate and by limonene synthase expression. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study genetic variation of limonene in material provided by INIA´s Red Clover breeding program. Protein extraction was carried out homogenizing 250 mg of leave tissue and suspended in 6 mL of extraction buffer (PEG 1500, PVP-30, 20 mM MgCl2 and antioxidants) and stirred on ice for 20 min. After centrifugation, aliquots of 2.5 mL were desalted on PD-10 columns, resulting in a final volume of 3.5 mL. Protein determination was performed according to Bradford with BSA as a standard. Monoterpene synthase assays were performed with 50 µL of protein extracts transferred into gas-tight 2 mL crimp seal vials after addition of 4 µL MgCl₂ and 41 µL assay buffer. The assay was started by adding 5 µL of a GPP solution. The mixture was incubated for 30 min at 40 °C. Biosynthesized limonene was quantified in a GC equipped with a chiral column and using synthetic R and S-limonene standards. The enzymatic the production of R and S-limonene from different Superqueli-Carillanca genotypes is shown in this work. Preliminary results showed significant differences in limonene content among the genotypes analyzed. These results constitute an important base for selecting genotypes with a high content of this repellent monoterpene towards H. obscurus.
The Development of Chinese Film Market as Factor of Change in Global Hollywood
The growth of Chinese film market and its dynamic incomparable to any other historical phenomenon has already made China the second world market and potential future leader in 2-3 years period. The growing power of Chines box-office and its future prospects is then the crucial and potentially disturbing factor for persistence of global Hollywood reality. The paper is based on market statistical data. The main findings of the analysis are defining of essential obstacles for the development of Chinese market and its foreign expansion. However, the new strategies employed by the industry (acquisitions of cinema chains abroad, blockbuster made with the involvement of figures from Hollywood star system, coproduction ties within Pacific basin) could be a successful remedy for current shortcomings. The main factor for development will be wider economical framework and maintenance of growth pace. The future state of Chinese film market will be one of the main factors shaping global film culture and film market in following decades of XXI century.
Application of Generalized Autoregressive Score Model to Stock Returns
The current study investigates the behaviour of time-varying parameters that are based on the score function of the predictive model density at time t. The mechanism to update the parameters over time is the scaled score of the likelihood function. The results revealed that there is high persistence of time-varying, as the location parameter is higher and the skewness parameter implied the departure of scale parameter from the normality with the unconditional parameter as 1.5. The results also revealed that there is a perseverance of the leptokurtic behaviour in stock returns which implies the returns are heavily tailed. Prior to model estimation, the White Neural Network test exposed that the stock price can be modelled by a GAS model. Finally, we proposed further researches specifically to model the existence of time-varying parameters with a more detailed model that encounters the heavy tail distribution of the series and computes the risk measure associated with the returns.
Long-Persistent Luminescent MAl2O4:Eu;Dy Phoshors Synthesized by Combustion
Phosphorescence, classically, excitation effects (radiation, electron beam, electric field, temperature, etc.) is the name given after the elimination of materials that glow in the visible region. This event continues to glow after the elimination of the effect of excitation is called phosphorescence. In this study were synthesized by the method of the combustion lanthanide doped alkaline earth aluminates. High temperature and long reaction time required and the sol-gel method of combustion according to the methods of solid state synthesis temperature lower than the short reaction time, a small particle size, convenience, and is superior in terms of being secured. Their microstructures and its effect on the photoluminescence properties were studied. Phosphorescence is derived in the dark when produced materials are held in sunlight or under ultraviolet light typically at 365-520 nm wavelength range. In this study, the optimal ratio of rare earth elements, in terms of brightness and glow duration was examined by SEM, XRD and photoluminescence analysis.
The Emotional Education in the Development of Intercultural Competences
The development of a critical, open and plural citizenship constitutes one of the main challenges of the school institution in the present multicultural societies. Didactics in Social Sciences has conducted important contributions to the development of active methodologies to promote the development of the intercultural competencies of the student body. Research in intercultural education has demonstrated the efficiency of the cooperative learning techniques to improve the intercultural relations in the classroom. Our study proposes to check the effect that, concerning the development of intercultural competencies of the student body, the emotional education can have in the context of the use of active methodologies such as the learning by projects and the cooperative learning. To that purpose, a programme of intervention based on activities focussed on controversial issues related to cultural diversity has been implemented in several secondary schools. Through a methodology which combines intercultural competence scales with interviews and also with the analysis of the school body’s productions, the persistence of stereotypes against immigration and the efficacy of the introduction of emotional education elements in the development of intercultural competencies have both been observed.
The Impact of Supply Chain Relationship Quality on Cooperative Strategy and Visibility
Due to intense competition within the industry, companies have increasingly recognized partnerships with other companies. In addition, with outsourcing and globalization of the supply chain, it leads to companies' increasing reliance on external resources. Consequently, supply chain network becomes complex, so that it reduces the visibility of the manufacturing process. Therefore, this study is going to focus on the impact of supply chain relationship quality (SCRQ) on cooperative strategy and visibility. Questionnaire survey is going to be conducted as research method, using the organic food industry as the research subject, and the sampling method is random sampling. Finally, the data analysis will use SPSS statistical software and AMOS software to analyze and verify the hypothesis. The expected results in this study is to evaluate the supply chain relationship quality between Taiwan's food manufacturing and their suppliers regarding whether it has a positive impact for the persistence, frequency and diversity of cooperative strategy, as well as the dimensions of supply chain relationship quality on visibility regarding whether it has a positive effect.
Inhibition of 3-Deoxy-D-Arabino-Heptulosonate 7-Phosphate Synthase from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Using High Throughput Virtual Screening and Molecular Dynamics Studies
Persistence of tuberculosis, emergence of multidrug-resistance and extensively drug-resistant forms of the disease, has increased the interest in developing new antitubercular drugs. Developing inhibitors for 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtbDAH7Ps), an enzyme involved in shikimate pathway, gives a selective target for antitubercular agents. MtbDAH7Ps was screened against ZINC database, and shortlisted compounds were subjected to induce fit docking. Prime/Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area calculation was used to validate the binding energy of ligand-protein complex. Molecular Dynamics analysis for of the lead compounds–MtbDAH7Ps complexes showed that the backbone of MtbDAH7Ps in their complexes were stable. These results suggest that the shortlisted lead compounds ZINC04097114, ZINC15163225, ZINC16857013, ZINC06275603, and ZINC05331260 could be developed into novel drug leads to inhibit DAH7Ps in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Implementing Bioremediation Technologies to Degrade Chemical Warfare Agents and Explosives from War Affected Regions in Sri Lanka
Chemical agents used during the Sri Lankan civil war continue to threaten human and environmental health as affected areas are re-settled. Bioremediation is a cost-effective and eco-friendly approach to degrading chemical agents, and has greater public acceptance than chemical degradation. Baseline data on contaminant distribution, environmental parameters, and indigenous microbes are required before bioremediation can commence. The culture and isolate of suitable microbes and enzymes should be followed by laboratory trials, before field application and long-term monitoring of contaminant concentration, soil parameters, microbial ecology, and public health to monitor environmental and public health. As local people are not aware of the persistence of warfare chemicals and do not understand the potential impacts on human health, community awareness programs are required. Active community participation, and collaboration with international and local agencies, would contribute to the success of bioremediation and the effective removal of chemical agents in war affected areas of Sri Lanka.
Understanding Post-Displacement Earnings Losses: The Role of Wealth Inequality
A large empirical evidence points to sizable lifetime earnings losses associated with the displacement of tenured workers. The causes of these losses are still not well-understood. Existing explanations are heavily based on human capital depreciation during non-employment spells. In this paper, a new avenue is explored. Evidence on the role of household liquidity constraints in accounting for the persistence of post-displacement earning losses is provided based on SIPP data. Then, a directed search and matching model with endogenous human capital and wealth accumulation is introduced. The model is computationally tractable thanks to its block-recursive structure and highlights a non-trivial, yet intuitive, interaction between wealth and human capital. Constrained workers tend to accept jobs with low firm-sponsored training because the latter are (endogenously) easier to find. This new channel provides a plausible explanation for why young (highly constrained) workers suffer persistent scars after displacement. Finally, the model is calibrated on US data to show that the interplay between wealth and human capital is crucial to replicate the observed lifecycle pattern of earning losses. JEL— E21, E24, J24, J63.
Changing Governance and the Role of People's Involvement in Municipal Solid Waste Management: Study of Two Municipal Corporations in Kerala
This paper discusses discontents of inhabitants in the landfills and its culmination into resistance against centralised waste disposal during the last three decades in Kerala. The study is based on a sample survey of 175 households located in the landfill sites and city limits of two Municipal Corporations viz. Thrissur and Cochin. The study found that waste is dumped in the periphery of the urban area where economically and socially vulnerable people are densely populated. Moreover, landfill sites are unscientifically managed to cause severe socio-economic and health issues to the local people, finally leading to their mobilisation and persistent struggle. The struggles often culminate in the closure of landfills or forced relocation or abandonment of the region by the community. The study concluded that persistent people’s struggles compel the local state to either find alternatives to centralised solid waste management system or use political power to subsume the local resistance. The persistence of the struggles determined the type waste governance adopted by the local governments.
The Impact of Open Defecation on Fecal-Oral Infections: A Case Study in Burat and Ngaremara Wards of Isiolo County, Kenya
The practice of open defecation can be devastating for human health as well as the environment, and this practice persistence could be due to ingrained habits that individuals continue to engage in despite having a better alternative. Safe disposal of human excreta is essential for public health protection. This study sought to find if open defecation relates to fecal-oral infections in Burat and Ngaremara Wards in Isiolo County. This was achieved through conducting a cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 385 households that were used in the study. Data collection was done by use of questionnaires and observation checklists. The result show that 66% of the respondents disposed-off fecal matter in a safe manner, whereas 34% disposed-off fecal matter in unsafe manner through open defecation. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and intestinal worms among children under-5 years of age were 142 and 21, respectively. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and typhoid among children over-5 years of age were 20 and 20, respectively.
Urban Resilience and Planning in the Perspective of Community
Urban community is constitute the entire city and its management ‘cell’, let ‘cells’ with growth and self-regeneration capacity and persistence, to allow the city with infinite vigor and vitality of the source; with toughness community mankind's adaptation to the basic unit of social risk, toughness of the city from the community to create a point of building is urban toughness of top-down construction mode of supplement, is of positive significance on the toughness of the urban construction. Based on the basic concept of resilience, this paper reviews the research on the four main areas of the study of urban resilience (i.e., the engineering toughness, ecological resilience, economic resilience, and social resilience, etc.). Studies and comments and summarizes the basic characteristic and main content of the four kind of toughness. Based on, from the city - community level and community level for building community resilience, including the level of urban community and create a Unicom, inclusiveness and openness of the community; community-level lifted from the four angles of the engineering community toughness, ecological toughness, resilience, social resilience, mainly including enhanced the toughness of the infrastructure, green infrastructure of toughness, resilience, social network and social relations, building with a sense of belonging, inclusive, multicultural community. Finally, summarize and prospect the resilience of the community.
Study of the Toxic Activity of the Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana on the Wistar Rat Rattus norvegicus
The use of a biopesticide based on a microorganism scale requires particular care including safety against the useful auxiliary fauna and mammals among other human beings. Due to its persistence in soil and its apparent human and animal safety, Beauveria bassiana is a cryptogram used for controlling pests organizations, particularly in the locust where its effectiveness has been proven. This fungus is also called for greater respect for biotic communities and the environment. Indeed, biopesticides have several environmental benefits: biodegradability, their activity and selectivity decrease unintended non-target species effects, decreased resistance to some of them. It is in this sense that we contribute by presenting our work on the safety of B. bassiana against mammals. For this we conducted a toxicological study of this fungus strain on Wistar rats Rattus norvegicus, first its effect on weight gain. In a second time were performed histological target organ is the liver. After 20 days of treatment, the results of the toxicological studies have shown that B. bassiana caused no change in the physiological state of rats or weight gain, behavior and diet. On cuts in liver histology revealed no disturbance on the organ.
Contribution of Soluble Microbial Products on Dissolved Organic Nitrogen in Wastewater Effluent from Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor
Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is known as one of the persistence nitrogenous pollutant being originated from secondary treated effluent of municipal sewage treatment plant. However, effect of key system operating condition on the fate and behavior of residual DON in the treated effluent is still not known. This study aims to investigate effect of organic loading rate (OLR) on the residual level of DON in the biofilm reactor effluent. Synthetic municipal wastewater was fed into moving bed biofilm reactors at OLR of 1.6x10-3 and 3.2x10-3 kg SCOD/m3-d. The results showed higher organic removal efficiency was found in the reactor operating at higher OLR. However, DON was observed at higher value in the effluent of the higher OLR reactor than that of the lower OLR reactor evidencing a clear influence of OLR on the residual DON level in the treated effluent of the biofilm reactors. It is possible that the lower DON being observed in the reactor at lower OLR is likely to be a result of providing the microbe with the additional period for utilizing the refractory DON molecules during operation at lower organic loading. All the experiments were repeated using raw wastewaters and similar trend was obtained.
Growing Acts of Terrorism in Local Conflicts: A Dire Need for International Attention
Highlighting the imperatives of local conflicts considering the dangerous dimensions of terrorism they are assuming in Africa has not attracted serious academic and political attention. The discourse about conflict in Africa was discussed within five identified conflict zones in the continent. The threats from these local conflicts are diverse and complex and the acts of terrorism in these local conflicts are driven by certain attitudes and behaviours linked to the African leadership. The paper examined and noted that the current conflict resolution model of the African Union (AU) was robust with requisite institutions to address the trends in local conflicts. However, it was observed that the AU peace and security framework lacked the requisite structural and technical capabilities to proactively address the drivers of local conflicts in Africa. It was found that the persistence of local conflicts in the African region may deny her the opportunities of achievement of the targets envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Consequently, the paper called on the international community to support Africa through provision of capacity. It urged the African leaders themselves to develop the political will to ensure that all issues concerning peace and security in the continent were guided by the provisions of the AU Constitutive Act. The need to strengthen the APRM in the light of the current trends in local conflicts was also highlighted.
Enhanced Degradation of Endosulfan in Soil Using Lycopersicon esculentum L. (Tomato) and Endosulfan Tolerant Bacterium Strains
Endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide is of environmental concern due to its apparent persistence and toxicity. It has been reported as contaminants in soil, air, and water and is bioaccumulated and magnified in ecosystems. The combined use of microorganisms and plants has great potential for remediating soil contaminated with organic compounds such as pesticides. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the bacterial inoculation influences plant growth promotion, endosulfan degradation in soil and endosulfan accumulation in different plant parts. Lycopersicon esculentum L. (Tomato) was grown in endosulfan spiked soil and inoculated with endosulfan tolerant bacterial strains. Endosulfan residues from different parts of plants and soil were extracted and estimated by using gas chromatograph equipped with 63Ni electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The inoculation of bacterial strains into the soil with plants showed a beneficial effect on endosulfan degradation and plant biomass production. Maximum endosulfan (90%) degradation was observed after 120 days of bacterial inoculation in the soil. Furthermore, there was significantly less endosulfan accumulation in roots and shoots of bacterial strains inoculated plants as compared to uninoculated plants. The results show the effectiveness of inoculated endosulfan tolerant bacterial strains to increase the remediation of endosulfan contaminated soil.
The Role of Organizational Identity in Disaster Response, Recovery and Prevention: A Case Study of an Italian Multi-Utility Company
Identity plays a critical role when an organization faces disasters. Individuals reflect on their working identities and identify themselves with the group and the organization, which facilitate collective sensemaking under crisis situations and enable coordinated actions to respond to and recover from disasters. In addition, an organization’s identity links it to its regional community, which fosters the mobilization of resources and contributes to rapid recovery. However, identity is also problematic for disaster prevention because of its persistence. An organization’s ego-defenses system prohibits the rethink of its identity and a rigid identity obstructs disaster prevention. This research aims to tackle the ‘problem’ of identity by study in-depth a case of an Italian multi–utility which experienced the 2012 Northern Italy earthquakes. Collecting data from 11 interviews with top managers and key players in the local community and archived materials, we find that the earthquakes triggered the rethink of the organization’s identity, which got reinforced afterward. This research highlighted the importance of identity in disaster response and recovery. More importantly, it explored the solution of overcoming the barrier of ego-defense that is to transform the organization into a learning organization which constantly rethinks its identity.
Empirical Investigation into Climate Change and Climate-Smart Agriculture for Food Security in Nigeria
The objective of this paper is to assess the agro-climatic condition of Ibadan in the rain forest ecological zone of Nigeria, using rainfall pattern and temperature between 1978-2018. Data on rainfall and temperature in Ibadan, Oyo State for a period of 40 years were obtained from Meteorological Section of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan and Oyo State Meteorology Centre. Time series analysis was employed to analyze the data. The trend revealed that rainfall is decreasing slowly and temperature is averagely increasing year after year. The model for rainfall and temperature are Yₜ = 1454.11-8*t and Yₜ = 31.5995 + 2.54 E-02*t respectively, where t is the time. On this basis, a forecast of 20 years (2019-2038) was generated, and the results showed a further downward trend on rainfall and upward trend in temperature, this indicates persistence rainfall shortage and very hot weather for agricultural practices in the southwest rain forest ecological zone. Suggestions on possible solutions to avert climate change crisis and also promote climate-smart agriculture for sustainable food and nutrition security were also discussed.
Development and Emerging Risks in the Derivative Market: A Comparison of Impact of Futures Trading on Spot Price Volatility and a Case of Developed, Emerging and Less Developed Economies
This study examines the impact of introduction of futures trading on the spot price volatility in the commodity market. The paper considers the United States of America, South Africa and Ethiopian economies. Three commodities i.e. coffee, maize and wheat from New York Merchantile Exchange, South African Futures Exchange and Ethiopian Commodity Exchange are analyzed. ARCH LM test is used to check for heteroskedasticity and GARCH and EGARCH are used to check for the behavior of volatility between the pre- and post-futures periods. For all the three economies, the results indicate presence of the ARCH effect in the log returns. For conditional and unconditional variances; spot price volatility for coffee has decreased after futures trading in all the economies and the EGARCH has also shown reduction in persistence of volatility in the post-futures period in the three economies; while that of maize has reduced for the Ethiopian economy while there has been an increase in both the US and South African economies. For wheat, the conditional variance has been found to rise in the post-futures period in all the three economies.
Refinement of Existing Benzthiazole lead Targeting Lysine Aminotransferase in Dormant Stage of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Lysine aminotransferase is a crucial enzyme for dormancy in M. tuberculosis. It is involved in persistence and antibiotic resistance. In present work, we attempted to develop benzthiazole derivatives as lysine aminotransferase inhibitors. In our attempts, we also unexpectedly arrived at an interesting compound 21 (E)-4-(5-(2-(benzo[d]thiazol-2-yl)-2-cyanovinyl)thiophen-2-yl)benzoic acid which even though has moderate activity against persistent phase of mycobacterium, it has significant potency against active phase. In the entire series compound 22 (E)-4-(5-(2-(benzo[d]thiazol-2-yl)-2-cyanovinyl)thiophen-2-yl)isophthalic acid emerged as potent molecule with LAT IC50 of 2.62 µM. It has a significant log reduction of 2.9 and 2.3 fold against nutrient starved and biofilm forming mycobacteria. It was found to be inactive in MABA assay and M.marinum induced zebra fish model. It is also devoid of cytotoxicity. Compound 22 was also found to possess bactericidal effect which is independent of concentration and time. It was found to be effective in combination with Rifampicin in 3D granuloma model. The results are very encouraging as the hit molecule shows activity against active as well as persistent forms of tuberculosis. The identified hit needs further more pharmacokinetic and dynamic screening for development as new drug candidate.
Toxic Activity of the Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana on the Wistar Rat Rattus norvegicus
The use of a biopesticide based on a microorganism scale requires particular care including safety against the useful auxiliary fauna and mammals among other human beings. Due to its persistence in soil and its apparent human and animal safety, Beauveria bassiana is a cryptogram used for controlling pests organizations, particularly in the locust where its effectiveness has been proven by several highly studies. This fungus is also called for greater respect for biotic communities and the environment. Indeed, biopesticides have several environmental benefits: biodegradability, their activity and selectivity decrease unintended non-target species effects, decreased resistance to some of them. It is in this sense that we contribute by presenting our work on the safety of B. bassiana against mammals. For this we conducted a toxicological study of this fungus strain on Wistar rats Rattus norvegicus, first its effect on weight gain. In a second time were performed histological target organ is the liver. After 20 days of treatment, the results of the toxicological studies have shown that B. bassiana caused no change in the physiological state of rats or weight gain, behavior and diet. On cuts in liver histology revealed no disturbance on the organ.
Epidemiological Profile of Hospital Acquired Infections Caused by Acinetobacter baumannii in Intensive Care Unit
The ability of Acinetobacter baumannii to develop multiple resistances towards to the majority of antibiotics explains the therapeutic difficulties encountered in severe infections. Furthermore, its persistence in the humid or dry environment promotes cross-contamination in intensive care units. The aim of our study was to describe the epidemiological and bacterial resistance profiles of hospital-acquired infections caused by Acinetobacter baumannii in the intensive care unit of our teaching hospital. During the study period (June 3, 2012 to December 31, 2013), 305 patients having duration of hospitalization equal or more than 48 hours were included in the study. Among these, 36 had developed, at least, one health-care associated infection caused by Acinetobacter baumannii. The rate of infected patients was equal to 11.8% (36/305). The rate of cumulative incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia was the highest (9.2%) followed by central venous catheter infection (1.3%). Analysis of the various antibiotic resistance profile shows that 93.8% of the strains were resistant to imipenem. The nosocomial infection control committee set up a special program not only to reduce the high rates of incidence of these infections but also to descrease the rate of imipenem resistance.
Advantages of Sexual Reproduction in Aspergillus nidulans
Aspergillus nidulans can reproduce by asexual or sexual means, producing green conidiospores or red-purple ascospores respectively. The latter one is produced in dark-purple globose ‘cleistothecia’ which are surrounded by Hülle cells. The species has a homothallic (self fertile) sexual breeding system. Given the extra metabolic costs associated with sexual compared to asexual reproduction it would be predicted that ascospore production would confer evolutionary benefits. However, due to the homothallic breeding system there is very rarely any increased genetic variation in ascospore offspring and traditionally conidia and ascospores are considered to be equally environmental resistant. We therefore examined in detail whether conidia and ascospores might exhibit as yet undetected differences in spore viability when subjected to certain environmental stressors. Spores from two strains of A. nidulans (comprising wild-type and KU mutants) were exposed to various levels of temperature (50-70°C for 30 min) and UV (350 nm for 10-60 min) stress. Results of experiments will be presented, including comparison of ‘D’ (decimal point reduction) values of conidia versus ascospores of A. nidulans. We detected that under certain exposure levels ascospores have significantly increased resistance compared to conidia. The increased environmental resistance of ascospores might be a key factor explaining the persistence of sexuality in this homothallic species, and reasons for differential survival are suggested.
Unusual High Origin and Superficial Course of Radial Artery: A Case Report with Embryological Explanation
During routine cadaveric dissection at gross anatomy lab of our institution, a radial artery was found with unusual origin and superficial course. Normally the radial artery takes its origin as one of the terminal branches of brachial artery at the level of the neck of radius. It usually lies along the lateral border of fore arm deep to the brachioradialis muscle. While dissecting a 72-year-old Caucasian female cadaver, it was found that the right sided radial artery originated from the upper part of brachial artery of arm, 2 cm below the lower border of teres major muscle, from the lateral aspect of brachial artery. Then the radial artery superficially crossed the brachial artery and median nerve from lateral to medial direction and rested superficially at the cubital fossa. Embryologically, it can be explained as a failure of disappearance, or abnormal persistence of some insignificant embryonic vessels may give rise to this kind of vascular anomalies. As radial artery is one of the most important upper limb arteries, its variation and related complications are clinically significant. This unusual origin and course of radial artery should be kept in mind by all healthcare providers including surgeons and radiologists during routine venipuncture, orthopedic and plastic surgeries of arm, coronary angiographic procedures in radial approach etc. to prevent unwanted complications.
Risk Propagation in Electricity Markets: Measuring the Asymmetric Transmission of Downside and Upside Risks in Energy Prices
An empirical study of market risk transmission between electricity prices in the Nord Pool interconnected market is done. Crucially, it is differentiated between risk propagation in the two tails of the price variation distribution. Thus, the downside risk from upside risk spillovers is distinguished. The results found document an asymmetric nature of risk and risk propagation in the two tails of the electricity price log variations. Risk spillovers following price increments in the market are transmitted to a larger extent than those after price reductions. Also, asymmetries related to both, the size of the transaction area and related to whether a given area behaves as a net-exporter or net-importer of electricity, are documented. For instance, on the one hand, the bigger the area of the transaction, the smaller the size of the volatility shocks that it receives. On the other hand, exporters of electricity, alongside countries with a significant dependence on renewable sources, tend to be net-transmitters of volatility to the rest of the system. Additionally, insights on the predictive power of positive and negative semivariances for future market volatility are provided. It is shown that depending on the forecasting horizon, downside and upside shocks to the market are featured by a distinctive persistence, and that upside volatility impacts more on net-importers of electricity, while the opposite holds for net-exporters.
Contribution of Women to Post-Colonial Education and Leadership
This paper explores the relationship between educational transformation and gender equity in higher education. It draws on various policies and experiences and investigates the paradox of increased female leadership in higher education and the persistence of gender discrimination in the sphere of work. The paper will also address specific aspects of culture and education in post-colonial South Africa. Traditional features of past education systems were not isolated, they became an essential component of the education system, post-democracy. This is currently contested through the call for decolonizing the education system. The debates and discussions seek to rectify the post-colonial education structure within which women suffered triple oppression. Using feminist critical policy analysis and post-colonial theory, the paper examines how transformation over the past two decades has impacted on gender equity and how educational reform is itself gendered. It considers the nature of gender restructuring and key developments in gender equity policy. The social inequality in education is highlighted throughout this discussion. Through an analysis of research and interviews, this paper argues that gender can no longer be privileged when identifying and responding to educational and workplace inequality. In conclusion, the paper discusses the important assumptions that support how social and educational change deliver equity and how social justice may inform equity policy and practice in a culturally diverse educational framework.
Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes toward the Use of Physical Restraints
Purpose: This study aims at measuring the extent of nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward the use of physical restraints in different hospital wards at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). Background: The habitual use of physical restraint is a widespread practice among nurses working in the clinical settings. Restraints inflict many deleterious consequences on patients physically and psychologically which in turn increases their morbidity and mortality risk and jeopardizes care quality. Nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward physical restraints are crucial determinants of the persistence of this practice. Literature review: the evidence of lack of knowledge among nurses regarding the use of physical restraints is overwhelming in various clinical settings, especially in two main areas which are the negative consequences and the available alternatives to physical restraints. Studies explored nurses’ attitudes toward physical restraints yielded inconsistent findings. Equally comparable, some studies found that nurses hold positive attitudes toward the use of physical restraints while some others reported just the opposite. Methods: Self-administered knowledge and attitudes scales to 106 nurses working in the SMC. Findings: nurses hold the moderate level of knowledge about restraints (M=58%) with weak negative attitudes (M = -20%) toward using it. Significant moderately-strong negative correlation (r= -0.57, r2= 0.32, p= 0.000) was uncovered between nurses knowledge and their attitudes which provided an empirical explanation of this phenomenon (use of physical restraints). Recommendations: Induction of awareness program that especially focuses on the negative consequences and encourages the use of alternatives is an evident need. This effort necessarily should be adjoined with policy and procedure adjustments.
The Study of Effective Microorganism's Biopreperation for Wastewater Treatment
Many industries, tourist camps and houses, discharge aqueous effluents containing relatively high levels of heavy metals, harmful organic compounds water. Untreated effluent from these manufacturing processes has an adverse impact on the environment. A specific problem associated with waste water in the environment is accumulation in the food chain and persistence in the environment. The screening of microorganisms resistant to pollution and able to detoxification them is essential for the development of clean-up technologies. The purpose of this study is to use advanced microbiological technology products for oxidizing organic and heavy metals pollutants as a biological treatment, to reduce water pollution, which arise as a result of waste water due to day-to-day operations of industries and houses of Ulaanbaatar city and tourist camps located around the lake Hovsgol, in Hovsgol province of Mongolia. By comparing the results from tests of effective microorganism’s bio-preparation treated sewage samples and not treated sewage samples shows that the treated sewage samples pollution decreased defending on treatment period and ratio. Treated water analyses show that: the suspended solids 352 mg/l, pH 5.85-7.95, ammonium nitrate 81.25-221.2 mg NH₄/l, nitrite 0.088-0.227 mg NO₂/l, nitrate 8.5-11.5 mg NO₃/l, and orthophosphate 1.06-15.46 mg PO₄/l. Also, heavy metals were decreased and microbiological test results defined parameters, respectively show the waste water pollution was reduced.
West Nile Virus Outbreaks in Canada under Expected Climate Conditions
Background: West Nile virus is increasingly an important public health issue in North America. In Canada, WVN was officially reported in Toronto and Montréal for the first time in 2001. During the last decade, several WNV events have been reported in several Canadian provinces. The main objective of the present study is to update the frequency of the climate conditions favorable to WNV outbreaks in Canada. Method: Statistical frequency analysis has been used to estimate the return period for climate conditions associated with WNV outbreaks for the 1961–2050 period. The best fit is selected through the Akaike Information Criterion, and the parameters are estimated using the maximum likelihood approach. Results: Results show that the climate conditions related to the 2002 event, for Montreal and Toronto, are becoming more frequent. For Saskatoon, the highest DD20 events recorded for the last few decades were observed in 2003 and 2007. The estimated return periods are 30 years and 70 years, respectively. Conclusion: The emergence of WNV was related to extremely high DD values in the summer. However, some exceptions may be related to several factors such as virus persistence, vector migration, and also improved diagnosis and reporting levels. It is clear that such climate conditions have become much more common in the last decade and will likely continue to do so over future decades.
Re-Inhabiting the Roof: Han Slawick Covered Roof Terrace, Amsterdam
If we observe many modern cities from above, we are typically confronted with a sea of asphalt-clad flat rooftops. In contrast to the modernist expectation of a populated flat roof, flat rooftops in modern multi-story buildings are rarely used. On the contrary, they typify a desolate and abandoned landscape encouraging mechanical system allocation. Flat roof technology continues to be seen as a state-of-fact in most multi-storey building designs and its greening its prevalent environmental justification. This paper aims to seek a change in the approach to flat roofing. It makes a case for the opportunity at hand for architectonically resolute, sheltered, livable spaces that make a better use of the environment at rooftop level. The researcher is looking for the triggers that allow for that change to happen in the design process of case study buildings. The paper begins by exploring Han Slawick covered roof terrace in Amsterdam as a simple and essential example of transforming the flat roof in a usable, inhabitable space. It investigates the design challenges and the logistic, financial and legislative hurdles faced by the architect, and the outcomes in terms of building performance and occupant use and satisfaction. The researcher uses a grounded research methodology with direct interview process to the architect in charge of the building and the building user. Energy simulation tools and calculation of running costs are also used as further means of validating change.
The Effect of Career Decision Self Efficacy on Coping with Career Indecision among Young Adults
For many young adults, career decision making is a difficult and complex process that may lead to indecision. Indecision is frequently associated with great psychological distress and low levels of well-being. One important resource for dealing with indecision is career decision self-efficacy (CDSE), which refers to people’s beliefs about their ability to successfully accomplish certain tasks involved in career choice. Drawing from Social Cognitive Theory, it has been hypothesized that CDSE correlates with (a) people’s likelihood to engage in or avoid career decision making tasks, (b) the amount of effort put into the decision making process, (c) the people’s persistence in decision making efforts when faced with difficulties, and (d) the eventual success in arriving at career decisions. Based on these assumptions, the present study examines the associations between the CDSE and 14 strategies for coping with career indecision among young adults. Using the structural equation modeling (SEM), the results showed that CDSE is positively associated with the use of productive coping strategies, such as information-seeking, problem-solving, positive thinking, and self-regulation. In addition, CDSE was negatively associated with nonproductive coping strategies, such as avoidance, isolation, ruminative thinking, and blaming others. Contrary to our expectations, CDSE was not significantly correlated with instrumental help-seeking, while it was negatively correlated with emotional help-seeking. The results of this study can be used to facilitate the development of interventions aiming to reinforce young adults’ career decision making self-efficacy, which may provide them with a basis for overcoming career indecision more effectively.
Removal of Lead (Pb) by the Microorganism Isolated from the Effluent of Lead Acid Battery Scrap
The demand for the lead (Pb) in the battery industry has been growing for last twenty years. On an average about 2.35 million tons of lead is used in the battery industry. According to the survey of supply and demand battery industry is using 75% of lead produced every year. Due to the increase in battery scrap, secondary lead production has been increasing in this decade. Europe and USA together account for 75% of the world’s secondary lead production. The effluent from used battery scrap consists of high concentrations of lead. Unauthorized disposal of spent batteries, which contain intolerable concentration of lead, into landfills or municipal water canals causes release of Pb into the environment. Lead is one of the toxic heavy metals that have large damaging effects on the human health. Due to its persistence and toxicity, the presence of Pb in drinking water is considered as a special concern. Accumulation of Pb in the human body for long period of time can result in the malfunctioning of some organs. Many technologies have been developed for the removal of lead using microorganisms. In this paper, effluent was taken from the spent battery scrap and was characterized by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer. Microorganisms play an important role in removal of lead from the contaminated sites. So, the bacteria were isolated from the effluent. Optimum conditions for the microbial growth and applied for the lead removal. These bacterial cells were immobilized and used for the removal of Pb from the known concentration of metal solution. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) studies were shown that the Pb was efficiently adsorbed by the immobilized bacteria. From the results of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), 83.40 percentage of Pb was removed in a batch culture.
Self-Care Behavior and Performance Level Associated with Algerian Chronically Ill Patients
Chronic illnesses affect many Algerians. It is possible to investigate the impact of illness representations and coping on quality of life and whether illness representations are indirectly associated with quality of life through their influence on coping. This study aims at investigating the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life with chronic illness. Illness perceptions are indirectly associated with the quality of life through their influence on coping mediation. A sample of 316 participants with chronic illness living in the region of Batna, Algeria, has been adopted in this study. A correlation statistical analysis is used to determine the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies, and quality of life. Multiple regression analysis was employed to highlight the predictive ability of the dimensions of illness perception and coping strategies on the dependent variables of quality of life, where mediation analysis is considered in the exploration of the indirect effect significance of the mediator. This study provides insights about the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life in the considered sample (r = 0.39, p &lt; 0.01). Therefore, it proves that there is an effect of illness identity perception, external and medical attributions related to emotional role, physical functioning, and mental health perceived, and these were fully mediated by the asking for assistance (c&rsquo;= 0.04, p &lt; 0.05), the guarding (c&rsquo;= 0.00, p &lt; 0.05), and the task persistence strategy (c&rsquo;= 0.05, p &lt; 0.05). The findings imply partial support for the common-sense model of illness representations in a chronic illness population. Directions for future research are highlighted, as well as implications for psychotherapeutic interventions which target unhelpful beliefs and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Structural Pillars in Contemporary Mexico: Legacies of the Past and Lessons for the Future
In places from Latin America to Africa, a big number of authoritarian regimes have given way to democratic forces and increasingly responsive and open societies. Many countries have embarked upon a process of democratisation for the first time while many others have moved to restore their democratic roots. Mexico is one of these countries, and although the Mexican state is not democratic neither dictatorial in the strict sense the Anglo-Saxon and European tradition has defined these concepts, it is possible to find elements that combine both concepts. History helps us understand and study the past, interpret the present and predict the future. In the case of the Mexican political system, history has had a very specific effect in each of the areas that comprise the making of what it is now the contemporary Mexican system. Each of the different historical periods has left a legacy that has marked the way the political system has evolved. The historical periods that Mexico has undergone since its emergence as an independent state, have permeated until modern days and some of these legacies are the ones which will help us understand and interpret many of the structures of the current Mexican political system. The most notorious characteristic of contemporary Latin America is its dependency, underdevelopment and economic disparity once this region if compared with Europe and North America. There is a widespread persistence of economic dependence and social problems despite the creation of independent countries. The role of the state is to supervise the development of relations among actors. The political phenomenon is full of a constant process of transitions and the particular case of the formation of the Mexican state evidences this.
Some Remains of Fossil Artiodactyla: Evolutionary Status, Taxonomy and Biogeographical Distribution in Late Miocene of Pakistan
New fossil remains of artiodactyl have been recovered from three Late Miocene localities, Lava, Dhok Bun Ameer Khatoon and Hasnoot. These localities belong to lower and middle Siwalik Hills of Pakistan, the Chinji and Dhok Pathan Formation respectively and are remarkably rich in fossils of artiodactyl. The fauna mainly comprises various families of order Artiodactyla; Cervidae, Equidea, Proboscidea, Giraffidea, Rhinocerotidae, Tragulidea, Suidae and Primates. In Chinji Formation Lava and Dhok Bun Ameer Khatoon are located in district Chakwal while in Upper Dhok Pathan Formation the best fossils exposure site is Hasnoot which is located in District Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan. Specimens described and discussed here include right and left maxilla, isolated upper premolars and molars which have been collected during extensive fieldwork. After morphological and comparative analysis the collection is attributed to Giraffokeryx, Giraffa, Listriodon, Dorcatherium, Selenoportax and Pachyportax. In this study evolutionary status, taxonomy and biogeographical distribution as well as the relationship of different Artiodactyls have been discussed comprehensively. The Palaeoenvironmental studies reveal the persistence of mosaics of diverse habitats ranging from tropical evergreen forest to subtropical ones, closed seasonal woodlands to wooded savannas during the deposition of these outcrops.
Perceptions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Physiotherapy Management for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Qualitative Exploration of Stakeholder Views
Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) is one of the most common and recurrent musculoskeletal problems that causes patients to access health care services frequently. The Bio-psychosocial Model emphasises that psychological, behavioural and social factors contribute to the development and persistence of CLBP. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychological pain management strategy that can be used by physiotherapists treating chronic low back pain. However, evidence of the effectiveness of CBT for CLBP varies between different studies. The proposed study was preceded by a mixed methods systematic review that found that CBT has a beneficial effect for CLBP patients when compared to waiting list or other treatments; however, there is variation in effectiveness across different settings. Little is known about how CBT is applied by physiotherapists in physiotherapy settings. The interest of this study is directed towards generating an explanation and understanding of why, when, and how some physiotherapists make decisions and choose to apply CBT for CLBP patients, whereas others do not. Also, how and for what type of CLBP patients does CBT work, and for whom might CBT not work? Therefore, the study will take a qualitative approach to explore CLBP patients’, physiotherapists’ and managers’ perceptions of CBT and how it is used in physiotherapy to enable a deeper understanding and richer explanation of CBT effectiveness and help to inform research and practice. The study will use grounded theory approach to generate an explanatory theory of the clinical application of CBT for CLBP in physiotherapy settings. Physiotherapists, patients and managers of physiotherapy services will be interviewed. Grounded theory techniques will be used to analyse the data. The presentation will describe findings from the interviews and the emerging theory. This research will help to further inform RCTs about the effectiveness of CBT for CLBP in physiotherapy.
Questioning the Sustainability in Development: The Resilience of Local Variety of Rice in the Changing Dayak Community of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
Over a quarter century, the idea of sustainable development has become a global discussion. In Indonesia, more than five decades since the development of the country took priority over any other matter, a discussion on the need of development is still an intriguing. Far from the enthusiasm of development programs run by the Indonesian government since 1967, the Dayak community in the interior of Kalimantan tropical forest was significantly abandoned from the changes. There were not many programs for the interior because the focus of development mostly was in Java island. Consequently, the Dayak live their life as shifting cultivator that has been practiced for centuries. Our ethnographic observation conducted in April-July 2016, found that today, they still maintain the knowledge and keeping the existence of local variety of rice. While in Java, these varieties have been replaced by more-productive-and-resistant-to-pest varieties, the Dayak still maintain more than 60s varieties. From the biodiversity’s perspective, it is a delightful news; while from the cultural perspective, the persistence of their custom regarding to the practice of traditional cultivation is fascinating as well. The local knowledge of agriculture is well conserved and practice daily. It is revealed that the resilience of those rice varieties is related to the local social structure since the distribution of each variety usually limited to the particular clans in the community. While experiencing the lack of programs for village development, the community has maintained the local leadership and its government structure at the village level. The paper will explore the effect of how a neglected area, which was disregarded by development program, sustains their culture and biodiversity. We would like to discuss the concept of sustainability whether it needed for the development programs, for the changes into a modern civilisation, or for the sake of the local to survive.
Immune Complex Components Act as Agents in Relapsing Fever Borrelia Mediated Rosette Formation
Borrelia duttonii and most other relapsing fever species are Gram-negative bacteria which cause a blood borne infection characterized by the binding of bacterium to erythrocytes. The bacteria associate with two or more erythrocytes to form clusters of cells into rosettes. Rosetting is a major virulence factor and the mechanism is believed to facilitate persistence of bacteria in the circulatory system and the avoidance of host immune cells through masking or steric hindrance effects. However, the molecular mechanisms of rosette formation are still poorly understood. This study aims at determining the molecules involved in the rosette formation phenomenon. Fractionated serum, using different affinity purification methods, was investigated as a rosetting agent and IgG and at least one other serum components were needed for rosettes to form. An IgG titration curve demonstrated that IgG alone is not enough to restore rosette formation level to the level whole serum gives. IgG hydrolysis by IdeS ( Immunoglobulin G-degrading enzyme of Streptococcus pyogenes) and deglycosylation using N-Glycanase proved that the whole IgG molecule regardless of saccharide moieties is critical for Borrelia induced rosetting. Complement components C3 and C4 were also important serum molecules necessary to maintain optimum rosetting rates. The deactivation of complement network and serum depletion with C3 and C4 significantly reduced the rosette formation rate. The dependency of IgG and complement components also implied involvement of the complement receptor (CR1). Rosette formation test with Knops null RBC and sCR1 confirmed that CR1 is also part of Borrelia induced rosette formation.
Passive Attenuation of Nitrogen Species at Northern Mine Sites
Elevated concentrations of inorganic nitrogen (N) compounds (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia) are a ubiquitous feature to mine-influenced drainages due to the leaching of blasting residues and use of cyanide in the milling of gold ores. For many mines, the management of N is a focus for environmental protection, therefore understanding the factors controlling the speciation and behavior of N is central to effective decision making. In this paper, the passive attenuation of ammonia and nitrite is described for three northern water bodies (two lakes and a tailings pond) influenced by mining activities. In two of the water bodies, inorganic N compounds originate from explosives residues in mine water and waste rock. The third water body is a decommissioned tailings impoundment, with N compounds largely originating from the breakdown of cyanide compounds used in the processing of gold ores. Empirical observations from water quality monitoring indicate nitrification (the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate) occurs in all three waterbodies, where enrichment of nitrate occurs commensurately with ammonia depletion. The N species conversions in these systems occurred more rapidly than chemical oxidation kinetics permit, indicating that microbial mediated conversion was occurring, despite the cool water temperatures. While nitrification of ammonia and nitrite to nitrate was the primary process, in all three waterbodies nitrite was consistently present at approximately 0.5 to 2.0 % of total N, even following ammonia depletion. The persistence of trace amounts of nitrite under these conditions suggests the co-occurrence denitrification processes in the water column and/or underlying substrates. The implications for N management in mine waters are discussed.
Response of Wheat and Lentil to Herbicides Applied in the Preceding Non-Puddled Transplanted Rainy Season Rice
A field study was done in 2013-14 and 2014-15 by following bio-assay technique to determine the carryover effect of herbicides applied in rainy season rice on growth and yield of two probable succeeding crops of rice viz., wheat and lentil. Rice seedlings were transplanted on strip-tilled non-puddled field, and five herbicides named pyrazosufuron-ethyl, butachlor, orthosulfamuron, butachlor + propanil and 2,4-D amine were applied in rice at their recommended rate and time as eight treatment combinations and compared with one untreated control. Residual effects of those rice herbicides on the succeeding wheat and lentil were examined by following micro-plot bioassay technique. The study revealed that germination of wheat and lentil seeds were not affected by the residue of herbicides applied in the preceding rainy season rice. Shoot length of wheat and lentil seedlings of herbicide treated plots were also non-significantly varied with untreated control plots. Herbicide treated plots of wheat had higher leaf chlorophyll contents over the control plots by 1.8-14.0% on an average while in case of lentil herbicide treated plots had negligible amount of reduction in leaf chlorophyll contents than control plots. Grain yields of wheat and lentil in herbicide treated plots were higher than control plots by 2.8-6.6% and 0.2-10.9%, respectively. Therefore, two-year bioassay study claimed that tested herbicides applied in rainy season rice under strip-tilled non-puddled field had no adverse residual effect on growth and yield of the succeeding wheat and lentil.
Effect of Phaseolus vulgaris Inoculation on P. vulgaris and Zea mays Growth and Yield Cultivated in Intercropping
The most frequent system of cereal production in Algeria is fallow-wheat. This is an extensive system that meets only the half needs some cereals and fodder demand. Resorption of fallow has become a strategic necessity to ensure food security in response to the instability of supply and the persistence of higher food prices on the world market. Despite several attempts to replace the fallow by crop cultures, choosing the best crop remains. Today, the agronomic and economic interests of legumes are demonstrated. However, their crop culture remains marginalized because of the weakness and instability of their performance. In the context of improving legumes and cereals crops as well as fallow resorption, we undertook to test, in the field, the effect of rhizobial inoculation of Phaseolus vulgaris in association with Zea Mays. We firstly studied the genetic diversity of rhizobial strains that nodulate P.vulgaris isolated from fifteen (15) different regions. ARDRA had shown 18 different genetic profiles. Symbiotic characterization highlighted a strain that highly significantly improved the fresh and dry weight of the host plant, in comparison to the negative control (un-inoculated) and the positive control (inoculated with the reference strain CIAT 899). In the field, the selected strain increased significantly the growth and yield of P.vulgaris and Zea Mays comparing to the non-inoculated control. However, the mix inoculation (selected strain+ Ciat 899) had not given the best parameters showing, thus, no synergy between the strains. These results indicate the replacing fallow by a crop legume in intercropping with cereals crops.
Factors Afecting the Academic Performance of In-Service Students in Science Educaction
This study sought to determine factors that affect academic performance of mature age students in Science Education at University of Zambia. It was guided by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The theory provided relationship between achievement motivation and academic performance. A descriptive research design was used. Both Qualitative and Quantitative research methods were used to collect data from 88 respondents. Simple random and purposive sampling procedures were used to collect from the respondents. Concerning factors that motivate mature-age students to choose Science Education Programs, the following were cited: need for self-actualization, acquisition of new knowledge, encouragement from friends and family members, good performance at high school and diploma level, love for the sciences, prestige and desire to be promoted at places of work. As regards factors that affected the academic performance of mature-age students, both negative and positive factors were identified. These included: demographic factors such as age and gender, psychological characteristics such as motivation and preparedness to learn, self-set goals, self esteem, ability, confidence and persistence, student prior academic performance at high school and college level, social factors, institutional factors and the outcomes of the learning process. In order to address the factors that negatively affect academic performance of mature-age students, the following measures were identified: encouraging group discussions, encouraging interactive learning process, providing a conducive learning environment, reviewing Science Education curriculum and providing adequate learning materials. Based on these factors, it is recommended that, the School of Education introduces a program in Science Education specifically for students training to be teachers of science. Additionally, introduce majors in Physics Education, Biology Education, Chemistry Education and Mathematics Education relevant to what is taught in high schools.
Muscle Neurotrophins Family Response to Resistance Exercise
NT-4/5 and TrkB have been proposed to be involved in the coordinated adaptations of the neuromuscular system to elevated level of activity. Despite the persistence of this neurotrophin and its receptor expression in adult skeletal muscle, little attention has been paid to the functional significance of this complex in the mature neuromuscular system. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to study the effect of one session of resistance exercise on mRNA expression of NT4/5 and TrkB proteins in slow and fast muscles of Wistar Rats. Male Wistar rats (10 mo of age, preparation of Pasteur Institute) were housed under similar living conditions in cages (in groups of four) at room temperature under a controlled light/dark (12-h) cycle with ad libitum access to food and water. A number of sixteen rats were randomly divided to two groups (resistance exercise (T) and control (C); n=8 for each group). The resistance training protocol consisted of climbing a 1-meter–long ladder, with a weight attached to a tail sleeve. Twenty-four hours following the main training session, rats of T and C groups were anaesthetized and the right soleus and flexor hallucis longus (FHL) muscles were removed under sterile conditions via an incision on the dorsolateral aspect of the hind limb. For NT-4/5 and TrkB expression, quantitative real time RT-PCR was used. SPSS software and independent-samples t-test were used for data analysis. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Data indicate that resistance training significantly (P< 0.05) decreased mRNA expression of NT4/5 in soleus muscle. However, no significant alteration was detected in FHL muscle (P>0.05). Our results also indicate that no significant alterations were detected for TrkB mRNA expression in soleus and FHL muscles (P>0.05). Decrease in mRNA expression of NT4/5 in soleus muscle may be as result of post-translation regulation following resistance training. Also, non-alteration in TrkB mRNA expression was indicated in probable roll of P75 receptor.
Detection of Bcl2 Polymorphism in Patient with Hepatocellular carcinoma
Introduction: Despite advances in the knowledge of the molecular virology of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the mechanisms of hepatocellular injury in HCV infection are not completely understood. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) influences the susceptibility to apoptosis. This could lead to insufficient antiviral immune response and persistent viral infection. Aim of this study: was to examine whether BCL-2 gene polymorphism at codon 43 (+127G/A or Ala43Thr) has an impact on development of hepatocellular carcinoma caused by chronic hepatitis C Egyptian patients. Subjects and Methods: The study included three groups; group 1: composing of 30 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), group 2 composing of 30 patients with HCV, group 3 composing of 30 healthy subjects matching the same age and socioeconomic status were taken as a control group. Gene polymorphism of BCL2 (Ala43Thr) were evaluated by PCR-RFLP technique and measured for all patients and controls. Results: The summed 43Thr genotype was more frequent and statistically significant in HCC patients as compared to control group. This genotype of BCL2 gene may inhibit the programmed cell death which leads to disturbance in tissue and cells homeostasis and reduction in immune regulation. This result leads to viral replication and HCV persistence. Moreover, virus produces variety of mechanisms to block genes participated in apoptosis. This mechanism proves that HCV patients who have 43Thr genotype are more susceptible to HCC. Conclusion: The data suggest for the first time that the BCL2 polymorphism is associated with the susceptibility to HCC in Egyptian populations and might be used as molecular markers for evaluating HCC risk. This study clearly demonstrated that Chronic HCV exhibit a deregulation of apoptosis with the disease progression. This provides an insight into the pathogenesis of chronic HCV infection, and may contribute to the therapy.
Modeling of Timing in a Cyber Conflict to Inform Critical Infrastructure Defense
Systems assets within critical infrastructures were seemingly safe from the exploitation or attack by nefarious cyberspace actors. Now, critical infrastructure is a target and the resources to exploit the cyber physical systems exist. These resources are characterized in terms of patience, stealth, replication-ability and extraordinary robustness. System owners are obligated to maintain a high level of protection measures. The difficulty lies in knowing when to fortify a critical infrastructure against an impending attack. Models currently exist that demonstrate the value of knowing the attacker’s capabilities in the cyber realm and the strength of the target. The shortcomings of these models are that they are not designed to respond to the inherent fast timing of an attack, an impetus that can be derived based on open-source reporting, common knowledge of exploits of and the physical architecture of the infrastructure. A useful model will inform systems owners how to align infrastructure architecture in a manner that is responsive to the capability, willingness and timing of the attacker. This research group has used an existing theoretical model for estimating parameters, and through analysis, to develop a decision tool for would-be target owners. The continuation of the research develops further this model by estimating the variable parameters. Understanding these parameter estimations will uniquely position the decision maker to posture having revealed the vulnerabilities of an attacker’s, persistence and stealth. This research explores different approaches to improve on current attacker-defender models that focus on cyber threats. An existing foundational model takes the point of view of an attacker who must decide what cyber resource to use and when to use it to exploit a system vulnerability. It is valuable for estimating parameters for the model, and through analysis, develop a decision tool for would-be target owners.
Improvement of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Gem-Hydro Streamflow Forecasting System
A new experimental streamflow forecasting system was recently implemented at the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Canadian Centre for Meteorological and Environmental Prediction (CCMEP). It relies on CaLDAS (Canadian Land Data Assimilation System) for the assimilation of surface variables, and on a surface prediction system that feeds a routing component. The surface energy and water budgets are simulated with the SVS (Soil, Vegetation, and Snow) Land-Surface Scheme (LSS) at 2.5-km grid spacing over Canada. The routing component is based on the Watroute routing scheme at 1-km grid spacing for the Great Lakes and Nelson River watersheds. The system is run in two distinct phases: an analysis part and a forecast part. During the analysis part, CaLDAS outputs are used to force the routing system, which performs streamflow assimilation. In forecast mode, the surface component is forced with the Canadian GEM atmospheric forecasts and is initialized with a CaLDAS analysis. Streamflow performances of this new system are presented over 2019. Performances are compared to the current ECCC’s operational streamflow forecasting system, which is different from the new experimental system in many aspects. These new streamflow forecasts are also compared to persistence. Overall, the new streamflow forecasting system presents promising results, highlighting the need for an elaborated assimilation phase before performing the forecasts. However, the system is still experimental and is continuously being improved. Some major recent improvements are presented here and include, for example, the assimilation of snow cover data from remote sensing, a backward propagation of assimilated flow observations, a new numerical scheme for the routing component, and a new reservoir model.
Enhanced Disk-Based Databases towards Improved Hybrid in-Memory Systems
In-memory database systems are becoming popular due to the availability and affordability of sufficiently large RAM and processors in modern high-end servers with the capacity to manage large in-memory database transactions. While fast and reliable in-memory systems are still being developed to overcome cache misses, CPU/IO bottlenecks and distributed transaction costs, disk-based data stores still serve as the primary persistence. In addition, with the recent growth in multi-tenancy cloud applications and associated security concerns, many organisations consider the trade-offs and continue to require fast and reliable transaction processing of disk-based database systems as an available choice. For these organizations, the only way of increasing throughput is by improving the performance of disk-based concurrency control. This warrants a hybrid database system with the ability to selectively apply an enhanced disk-based data management within the context of in-memory systems that would help improve overall throughput. The general view is that in-memory systems substantially outperform disk-based systems. We question this assumption and examine how a modified variation of access invariance that we call enhanced memory access, (EMA) can be used to allow very high levels of concurrency in the pre-fetching of data in disk-based systems. We demonstrate how this prefetching in disk-based systems can yield close to in-memory performance, which paves the way for improved hybrid database systems. This paper proposes a novel EMA technique and presents a comparative study between disk-based EMA systems and in-memory systems running on hardware configurations of equivalent power in terms of the number of processors and their speeds. The results of the experiments conducted clearly substantiate that when used in conjunction with all concurrency control mechanisms, EMA can increase the throughput of disk-based systems to levels quite close to those achieved by in-memory system. The promising results of this work show that enhanced disk-based systems facilitate in improving hybrid data management within the broader context of in-memory systems.
Modelling Dengue Disease With Climate Variables Using Geospatial Data For Mekong River Delta Region of Vietnam
Mekong River Delta region of Vietnam is recognized as one of the most vulnerable to climate change due to flooding and seawater rise and therefore an increased burden of climate change-related diseases. Changes in temperature and precipitation are likely to alter the incidence and distribution of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever. In this region, the peak of the dengue epidemic period is around July to September during the rainy season. It is believed that climate is an important factor for dengue transmission. This study aims to enhance the capacity of dengue prediction by the relationship of dengue incidences with climate and environmental variables for Mekong River Delta of Vietnam during 2005-2015. Mathematical models for vector-host infectious disease, including larva, mosquito, and human being were used to calculate the impacts of climate to the dengue transmission with incorporating geospatial data for model input. Monthly dengue incidence data were collected at provincial level. Precipitation data were extracted from satellite observations of GSMaP (Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation), land surface temperature and land cover data were from MODIS. The value of seasonal reproduction number was estimated to evaluate the potential, severity and persistence of dengue infection, while the final infected number was derived to check the outbreak of dengue. The result shows that the dengue infection depends on the seasonal variation of climate variables with the peak during the rainy season and predicted dengue incidence follows well with this dynamic for the whole studied region. However, the highest outbreak of 2007 dengue was not captured by the model reflecting nonlinear dependences of transmission on climate. Other possible effects will be discussed to address the limitation of the model. This suggested the need of considering of both climate variables and another variability across temporal and spatial scales.
Functional Characterization of Rv1019, a Putative TetR Family Transcriptional Regulator of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis H37Rv
Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is one of the leading causes of death by an infectious disease. In spite of the availability of effective drugs and a vaccine, TB is a major health concern and was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). The success of intracellular pathogens like Mtb depends on its ability to overcome the challenging environment in the host. Gene regulation controlled by transcriptional regulators (TRs) plays a crucial role for the bacteria to adapt to the host environment. In vitro studies on gene regulatory mechanisms during dormancy and reactivation have provided insights into the adaptations employed by Mtb to survive in the host. Here we present our efforts to functionally characterize Rv1019, a putative TR of Mtb H37Rv which was found to be present at significantly varying levels during dormancy and reactivation in vitro. The expression of this protein in the dormancy-reactivation model was validated by qRT-PCR and western blot. By DNA- protein interaction studies and reporter assays we found that under normal laboratory conditions of growth this protein behaves as an auto-repressor and tetracycline was found to abrogate this repression by interfering with its ability to bind DNA. Further, by cDNA analysis, we found that this TR is co-transcribed with its downstream genes Rv1020 (mfd) and Rv1021 (mazG) which are involved in DNA damage response in Mtb. Constitutive expression of this regulator in the surrogate host M. smegmatis showed downregulation of the orthologues of downstream genes suggested that Rv1019 could negatively regulate these genes. Our finds also show that M. smegmatis expressing Rv1019 is sensitive to DNA damage suggests the role of this protein in regulating DNA damage response induced by oxidative stress. Because of its role in regulating DNA damage response which may help in the persistence of Mtb, Rv1019 could be used as a prospective target for therapeutic intervention to fight TB.
Media, Politics and Power in the Representation of the Refugee and Migration Crisis in Europe
This thesis answers the question whether the media representations and reporting in 2015-2016 - especially, after the image of the drowned three-year-old Syrian boy in the Mediterranean Sea which made global headlines in the beginning of September 2015 -, the European Commission regulatory sources material and related reporting, have the power to challenge the conceptualization of humanitarianism or even redefine it. The theoretical foundations of the thesis are based on humanitarianism and its core definitions, the power of media representations and the relative portrayal of migrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers, as well as the dominant migration discourse and EU migration governance. Using content analysis for the media portrayal of migrants (436 newspaper articles) and qualitative content analysis for the European Commission Communication documents from May 2015 until June 2016 that required various depths of interpretation, this thesis allowed us to revise the concept of humanitarianism, realizing that the current crisis may seem to be a turning point for Europe but is not enough to overcome the past hostile media discourses and suppress the historical perspective of security and control-oriented EU migration policies. In particular, the crisis helped to shift the intensity of hostility and the persistence in the state-centric, border-oriented securitization in Europe into a narration of victimization rather than threat where mercy and charity dynamics are dominated and into operational mechanisms, noting the emergency of immediate management of the massive migrations flows, respectively. Although, the understanding of a rights-based response to the ongoing migration crisis, is being followed discursively in both political and media stage, the nexus described, points out that the binary between ‘us’ and ‘them’ still exists, with only difference that the ‘invaders’ are now ‘pathetic’ but still ‘invaders’. In this context, the migration crisis challenges the concept of humanitarianism because rights dignify migrants as individuals only in a discursive or secondary level while the humanitarian work is mostly related with the geopolitical and economic interests of the ‘savior’ states.
Changes in the fecal Microbiome of Periparturient Dairy Cattle and Associations with the Onset of Salmonella Shedding
Non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic pathogen with critical importance in animal and public health. The persistence of Salmonella on farms affects animal productivity and health, and represents a risk for food safety. The intestinal microbiota plays a fundamental role in the colonization and invasion of this ubiquitous microorganism. To overcome the colonization resistance imparted by the gut microbiome, Salmonella uses invasion strategies and the host inflammatory response to survive, proliferate, and establish infections with diverse clinical manifestations. Cattle serve as reservoirs of Salmonella, and periparturient cows have high prevalence of Salmonella shedding; however, to author`s best knowledge, little is known about the association between the gut microbiome and the onset of Salmonella shedding during the periparturient period. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the association between changes in bacterial communities and the onset of Salmonella shedding in cattle approaching parturition. In a prospective cohort study, fecal samples from 98 dairy cows originating from four different farms were collected at four time points relative to calving (-3 wks, -1 wk, +1 wk, +3 wks). All 392 samples were cultured for Salmonella. Sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina platform was completed to evaluate the fecal microbiome in a selected sample subset. Analyses of microbial composition, diversity, and structure were performed according to time points, farm, and Salmonella onset status. Individual cow fecal microbiomes, predominated by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Spirochaetes, and Proteobacteria phyla, significantly changed before and after parturition. Microbial communities from different farms were distinguishable based on multivariate analysis. Although there were significant differences in some bacterial taxa between Salmonella positive and negative samples, our results did not identify differences in the fecal microbial diversity or structure for cows with and without the onset of Salmonella shedding. These data suggest that determinants other than the significant changes in the fecal microbiome influence the periparturient onset of Salmonella shedding in dairy cattle.
Evaluation of Occupational Exposure to Chromium for Welders of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is resistant to electrochemical corrosion by passivation. Welders are greatly exposed to welding fumes of toxic metals, which added to this steel. The content of chromium (Cr) is above 11.5%, Ni and Mo from 2 to 6.5%. The aim of the study was the evaluation of occupational exposure to Cr, chromosome analysis and valuation of individual susceptibility polymorphism of gene CCND1 c.870 G>A. The exposed group was consisted from 117 welders of stainless steels. The average age was 38.43 years and average exposure time 7.14 years. Smokers represented 40.17%. The control group consisted of 123 non-exposed workers with an average age of 39.74 years and time employment 16.67 years. Smokers accounted for 22.76%. Analysis of Cr in blood and urine was performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS Varian SpectraAA 30P) with electrothermal decomposition of the sample in the graphite furnace. For the evaluation of chromosomal aberrations (CA) cytogenetic analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes was used. Gene polymorphism was determined by PCR-RFLP reaction using appropriate primers and restriction enzymes. For statistic analysis the Mann-Whitney U-test was used. The mean Cr level in blood of exposed group was 0.095 µmol/l (0.019 min - max 0.504). No value exceeds the average normal value. The mean value Cr in urine was 7.9 µmol/mol creatinine (min 0.026 to max 19.26). The total number of CA was 1.86% in compared to 1.70% controls. (CTA-type 0.90% vs. 0.80% and CSA-type 0.96% vs. 0.90%). In the number of total CA statistical difference was observed between smokers and non-smokers of exposed group (S-1.57% vs. NS-2.04%, P< 0.05). In CCND1 gene polymorphisms was observed the increasing of the total CA with wild-type allele (WT) via heterozygous to the VAR genotype (1.44%
The Evaluation of Occupational Exposure of Chrome in Welders of Stainless Steels
Introduction: Stainless steel is resistant to electrochemical corrosion by passivation. Welders are greatly exposed to welding fumes of toxic metals, which added to this steel. The content of chromium (Cr) in steel was above 11.5%, Ni and Mo from 2 to 6.5%. The aim of the study was the evaluation of occupational exposure to Cr, chromosome analysis and valuation of individual susceptibility polymorphism of gene CCND1 c.870 G>A. Materials and Methods: The exposed group was consisted from 117 welders of stainless steels. The average age was 38.43 years and average exposure time 7.14 years. Smokers represented 40.17%. The control group consisted of 123 non-exposed workers with an average age of 39.74 years and time employment 16.67 years. Smokers accounted for 22.76%. Analysis of Cr in blood and urine was performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS Varian SpectraAA 30P) with electrothermal decomposition of the sample in the graphite furnace. For the evaluation of chromosomal aberrations (CA) was used cytogenetic analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes, gene polymorphism was determined by PCR-RFLP reaction using appropriate primers and restriction enzymes. For statistical analysis was used the Mann-Whitney U-test. Results: The mean Cr level in exposed group was 0.095 mmol/l (0.019 min-max 0.504). No value does exceed the average normal value. The average value Cr in urine was 7.9 mmol/mol creatinine (min 0.026 to max 19.26). The total number of CA was 1.86% in compared to 1.70% controls. (CTA-type 0.90% vs 0.80% and CSA-type 0.96% vs 0.90%). In the number of total CA was observed statistical difference between smokers and non-smokers of exposed group (S-1.57% vs. NS-2.04%, P< 0.05). In CCND1 gene polymorphisms was observed the increasing of the total CA with wild-type allele (WT) via heterozygous to the VAR genotype (1.44%
Adaptive Approach Towards Comprehensive Urban Development Simulation in Coastal Regions: Case Study of New Alamein City, Egypt
Climate change in coastal areas is a global issue that can be felt on local scale and will be around for decades and centuries to come to an end; it also has critical risks on the city’s economy, communities, and the natural environment. One of these changes that cause a huge risk on coastal cities is the sea level rise (SLR). SLR is a result of scarcity and reduction in global environmental system. The main cause of climate change and global warming is the countries with high development index (HDI) as Japan and Germany while the medium and low HDI countries as Egypt does not have enough awareness and advanced tactics to adapt with this changes that destroy urban areas and cause loss in land and economy. This is why Climate Resilience is one of the UN sustainable development goals 2030, which is calling for actions to strengthen climate change resilience through mitigation and adaptation. For many reasons, adaptation has received less attention than mitigation and it is only recently that adaptation has become a focal global point of attention. This adaption can be achieved through some actions such as upgrading the use and the design of the land, adjusting business and activities of people, and increasing community understanding of climate risks. To reach the adaption goals, and we have to apply a strategic pathway to Climate Resilience, which is the Urban Bioregionalism Paradigm. Resiliency has been framed as persistence, adaptation, and transformation. Climate Resilience decision support system includes a visualization platform where ecological, social, and economic information can be viewed alongside with specific geographies that's why Urban Bioregionalism is a socio-ecological system which is defined as a paradigm that has potential to help move social attitudes toward environmental understanding and deepen human-environment connections within ecological development. The research aim is to achieve an adaptive integrated urban development model throughout the analyses of tactics and strategies that can be used to adapt urban areas and coastal communities to the challenges of climate changes especially SLR and also simulation model using advanced technological software for a coastal city corridor to elaborates the suitable strategy to apply.
Locus of Control and Sense of Happiness: A Mediating Role of Self-Esteem
Background/Objectives and Goals: Recent interest in positive psychology is reflected in a plenty of studies conducted on its basic constructs (e.g. self-esteem and happiness) in interrelation with personality features, social rules, business and technology development. The purpose of this study is to investigate the mediating role of self-esteem, exploring the relationships between self-esteem and happiness, self-esteem and locus of control (LOC). It hypothesizes that self-esteem may be interpreted as a predictor of happiness and mediator in the locus of control establishment. A plenty of various empirical studies results have been analyzed in order to collect data for this theoretical study, and some of the analysed results can be considered as arguable or incoherent. However, the majority of results indicate a strong relationship between three considered concepts: self-esteem, happiness, the locus of control. Methods: In particular, this study addresses the following broad research questions: i) Is self-esteem just an index of global happiness? ii) May happiness be possible or realizable without a healthy self-confidence and self-acceptance? iii) To what extent does self-esteem influence on the level of happiness? iv) Is high self-esteem a sufficient condition for happiness? v) Is self-esteem is a strong predictor of internal locus of control maintenance? vi) Is high self-esteem related to internal LOC, while low self-esteem to external LOC? In order to find the answers for listed questions, 60 reliable sources have been analyzed, results of what are discussed more detailed below. Expected Results/Conclusion/Contribution:It is recognized that the relationship between self-esteem, happiness, locus of control is complex: internal LOC is contributing to happiness, but it is not directly related to it; self-esteem is a powerful and important psychological factor in mental health and well-being; the feelings of being worthy and empowered are associated with significant achievements and high self-esteem; strong and appropriate self-esteem (when the discrepancy between “ideal” and “real” self is balanced) is correlated with more internal LOC (when the individual tends to believe that personal achievements depend on possessed features, vigor, and persistence). Despite the special attention paid to happiness, the locus of control and self-esteem, independently, theoretical and empirical equivocations within each literature foreclose many obvious predictions about the nature of their empirical distinction. In terms of theoretical framework, no model has achieved consensus as an ultimate theoretical background for any of the mentioned constructs. To be able to clarify the relationship between self-esteem, happiness, and locus of control more interdisciplinary studies have to take place in order to get data on heterogeneous samples, provided from various countries, cultures, and social groups.
Health Seeking Manners of Road Traffic Accident Victims: A Qualitative Study
Road traffic accident is a global problem which is severe in the developing countries like Bangladesh. In consequence, in developing countries road trauma has now been recognized as an increasing public health hazards and economic burning issue. And after road traffic accidents the lack of management and economic costs related with health seeking behavior have a disproportionate impact on lower income groups, thus contributing to the persistence of poverty in conjunction with disability. This cross sectional study, carried out during July 2012 to June 2013, aimed to explore health seeking decision and culture of handling the road traffic accident related victims, as taken from experiences of the poor disabled people of slum dwellers of Dhaka city. The present study has been designed based on qualitative techniques such as in-depth interview and case studies. Additionally, a survey questionnaire was used to collect the demographic characteristics of the study population (n=150) and to select participants purposely for in-depth interview (n=50) and case study (n=30). Content analysis of qualitative data was done through theme coding and matrix analysis of case study was done to use relevant verbatim. Most of the time the health seeking decision totally depended on the surrounded people of the accidental place, their knowledge, awareness and remaining facility and capacity regarding proper management of the victims. However, most of the cases the victims did not get any early treatment and it took 2-12 hours to get even the first aid because of distance, shortage of money, lack of availability of getting the aid, lack of mass awareness etc. Under the reality of discriminated and unaffordable health service provision better treatment could not turn out due to economic inability of the poor victims. To avoid the severe trauma, treatment delay must be reduced by providing first aid within very short time and to do so, mass awareness campaign is necessary for handing the victims. Moreover, necessary measures should be taken to ensure cost free health service provision to treat the chronic disabled condition of the road traffic accident related poor victims.
Soft Skills: Expectations and Needs in Tourism
The recent political, economic, social technological and employment changes significantly affect the tourism organizations and consequently the changing nature of the employment experience of the tourism workforce. Such scene leads several researchers and labor analysts to reflect about what kinds of jobs, knowledge and competences are need to ensure the success to teach, to learning and to work on this sector. In recent years the competency-based approach in high education level has become of significant interest. On the one hand, this approach could leads to the forming of the key students’ competences which contribute their better preparation to the professional future and on the other hand could answer better to practical demands from tourism job market. The goals of this paper are (1) to understand the expectations of university tourism students in relation to the present and future tourism competences demands, (2) to identify the importance put on the soft skills, (3) to know the importance of high qualification to their future professional activity and (4) to explore the students perception about present and future tourist sector specificities. To this proposal, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to every students who participate on classes of Hospitality Management under degree and master from one public Portuguese university. All participants were invited, during December 2014 and September 2015, to answer the questionnaire at the moment and on presence of one researcher of this study. Fulfilled the questionnaire 202 students (72, 35,6% male and 130, 64.4% female), the mean age was 21,64 (SD=5,27), 91% (n=86) were undergraduate and 18 (9%) were master students. 80% (n=162) of our participants refers as a possibility to look for a job outside the country.42% (n=85) prefers to work in a medium-sized tourism units (with 50-249 employees). According to our participants the most valued skills in tourism are the domain of foreign languages (87.6%, n=177), the ability to work as a team (85%), the personal persistence (83%, n=168), the knowledge of the product/services provided (73.8%, n=149), and assertiveness (66.3%, n=134). 65% (n=131) refers the availability to look for a job in a home distance of 1000 kilometers and 59% (n=119) do not consider the possibility to work in another area than tourism. From the results of this study we are in the position of confirming the need for universities to maintain a better link with the professional tourism companies and to rethink some competences into their learning course model. Based on our results students, universities and companies could understand more deeply the motivations, expectations and competences need to build the future career who study and work on the tourism sector.
Evaluation of the Physico-Chemical and Microbial Properties of the Compost Leachate (CL) to Assess Its Role in the Bioremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Background: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pose great environmental and human health concerns for their widespread occurrence, persistence, and carcinogenic properties. PAHs releases due to anthropogenic activities to the wider environment have led to higher concentrations of these contaminants than would be expected from natural processes alone. This may result in a wide range of environmental problems that can accumulate in agricultural ecosystems, which threatened to become a negative impact on sustainable agricultural development. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the physico-chemical, and microbial properties of the compost leachate (CL) to assess its role as nutrient and microbial source (biostimulation/bioaugmentation) for developing a cost-effective bioremediation technology for PAHs contaminated sites. Material and Methods: PAHs-degrading bacteria were isolated from CL that was collected from a composting site located in central Scotland, UK. Isolation was carried out by enrichment using phenanthrene (PHR), pyrene (PYR) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) as the sole source of carbon and energy. The isolates were characterized using a variety of phenotypic and molecular properties. Six different isolates were identified based on the difference in morphological and biochemical tests. The efficiency of these isolates in PAHs utilization was assessed. Further analysis was performed to define taxonomical status and phylogenic relation between the most potent PAHs-utilizing bacterial strains and other standard strains, using molecular approach by partial 16S rDNA gene sequence analysis. Results indicated that the 16S rDNA sequence analysis confirmed the results of biochemical identification, as both of biochemical and molecular identification of the isolates assigned them to Bacillus licheniformis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Alcaligenes faecalis, Serratia marcescens, Enterobacter cloacae and Providenicia which were identified as the prominent PAHs-utilizers isolated from CL. Conclusion: This study indicates that the CL samples contain a diverse population of PAHs-degrading bacteria and the use of CL may have a potential for bioremediation of PAHs contaminated sites.
The Role of Situational Attribution Training in Reducing Automatic In-Group Stereotyping in Females
The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of Situational Attribution Training on reducing automatic in-group stereotyping in females. The experiment was conducted with the control of age and level of prejudice. 90 female participants were randomly assigned to two conditions: experimental and control group (each group was also divided into younger- and older-aged condition). Participants from the experimental condition were subjected to more extensive training. In the first part of the experiment, the experimental group took part in the first session of Situational Attribution Training while the control group participated in the Grammatical Training Control. In the second part of the research both groups took part in the Situational Attribution Training (which was considered as the second training session for the experimental group and the first one for the control condition). The training procedure was based on the descriptions of ambiguous situations which could be explained using situational or dispositional attributions. The participant’s task was to choose the situational explanation from two alternatives, out of which the second one presented the explanation based on neutral or stereotypically associated with women traits. Moreover, the experimental group took part in the third training session after two- day time delay, in order to check the persistence of the training effect. The main hypothesis stated that among participants taking part in the more extensive training, the automatic in-group stereotyping would be less frequent after having finished training sessions. The effectiveness of the training was tested by measuring the response time and the correctness of answers: the longer response time for the examples where one of two possible answers was based on the stereotype trait and higher correctness of answers was considered to be a proof of the training effectiveness. As the participants’ level of prejudice was controlled (using the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory), it was also assumed that the training effect would be weaker for participants revealing a higher level of prejudice. The obtained results did not confirm the hypothesis based on the response time: participants from the experimental group responded faster in case of situations where one of the possible explanations was based on stereotype trait. However, an interesting observation was made during the analysis of the answers’ correctness: regardless the condition and age group affiliation, participants made more mistakes while choosing the situational explanations when the alternative was based on stereotypical trait associated with the dimension of warmth. What is more, the correctness of answers was higher in the third training session for the experimental group in case when the alternative of situational explanation was based on the stereotype trait associated with the dimension of competence. The obtained results partially confirm the effectiveness of the training.
Effectiveness Assessment of a Brazilian Larvicide on Aedes Control
The susceptibility status of an insect population to any larvicide depends on several factors such includes genetic constitution, environmental conditions and others. The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of three important viral diseases, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. The frequent outbreaks of those diseases in different parts of Brazil demonstrate the importance of testing the susceptibility of vectors in different environments. Since the control of this mosquito leads to the control of disease, alternatives for vector control that value the different Brazilian environmental conditions are needed for effective actions. The aim of this study was to evaluate a new commercial formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis israelenses (DengueTech: Brazilian innovative technology) in the Brazilian Legal Amazon considering the climate conditions. Semi-field tests were conducted in the Institute of Scientific and Technological Research of the State of Amapa in two different environments, one in a shaded area and the other exposed to sunlight. The mosquito larvae were exposed to larvicide concentration and a control; each group was tested in three containers of 40 liters each. To assess persistence 50 third instar larvae of Aedes aegypti laboratory lineages (Rockefeller) and 50 larvae of Aedes aegypti collected in the municipality of Macapa, Brazil’s Amapa state, were added weekly and after 24 hours the mortality was assessed. In total 16 tests were performed, where 12 were done with replacement of water (1/5 of the volume, three times per week). The effectiveness of the product was determined through mortality of ≥ 80%, as recommend by the World Health Organization. The results demonstrated that high-water temperatures (26-35 °C) on the containers influenced the residual time of the product, where the maximum effect achieved was 21 days in the shaded area; and no effectiveness of 60 days was found in any of the tests, as expected according to the larvicide company. The test with and without water replacement did not present significant differences in the mortality rate. Considering the different environments and climate, these results stimulate the need to test larvicide and its effectiveness in specific environmental settings in order to identify the parameters required for better results. Thus, we see the importance of semi-field researches considering the local climate conditions for a successful control of Aedes aegypti.
Detection, Isolation, and Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of Acute and Chronic Staphylococcus aureus Infection in an Endothelial Cell Culture Model
Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative intracellular pathogen, which by entering host cells may evade immunologic host response as well as antimicrobial treatment. In that way, S. aureus can cause persistent intracellular infections which are difficult to treat. Depending on the strain, S. aureus may persist at different intracellular locations like the phagolysosome. The first barrier invading pathogens from the blood stream that they have to cross are the endothelial cells lining the inner surface of blood and lymphatic vessels. Upon proceeding from an acute to a chronic infection, intracellular pathogens undergo certain biochemical and structural changes including a deceleration of metabolic processes to adopt for long-term intracellular survival and the development of a special phenotype designated as small colony variant. In this study, the endothelial cell line Ea.hy 926 was used as a model for acute and chronic S. aureus infection. To this end, Ea.hy 926 cells were cultured on QIAscout™ Microraft Arrays, a special graded cell culture substrate that contains around 12,000 microrafts of 200 µm edge length. After attachment to the substrate, the endothelial cells were infected with GFP-expressing S. aureus for 3 weeks. The acute infection and the development of persistent bacteria was followed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, scanning the whole Microraft Array for the presence and for detailed determination of the intracellular location of fluorescent intracellular bacteria every second day. After three weeks of infection representative microrafts containing infected cells, cells with protruded infections and cells that did never show any infection were isolated and fixed for Raman micro-spectroscopic investigation. For comparison, also microrafts with acute infection were isolated. The acquired Raman spectra are correlated with the fluorescence microscopic images to give hints about a) the molecular alterations in endothelial cells during acute and chronic infection compared to non-infected cells, and b) metabolic and structural changes within the pathogen when entering a mode of persistence within host cells. We thank Dr. Ruth Kläver from QIAGEN GmbH for her support regarding QIAscout technology. Financial support by the BMBF via the CSCC (FKZ 01EO1502) and from the DFG via the Jena Biophotonic and Imaging Laboratory (JBIL, FKZ PO 633/29-1, BA 1601/10-1) is highly acknowledged.
One Year Follow up of Head and Neck Paragangliomas: A Single Center Experience
Background: Head and neck paragangliomas are a rare group of tumors with a large spectrum of clinical manifestations. The approach to evaluate and treat these lesions has evolved over the last years. Surgery was the standard for the approach of these patients, but nowadays new techniques of imaging and radiation therapy changed that paradigm. Despite advances in treating, the growth potential and clinical outcome of individual cases remain largely unpredictable. Objectives: Characterization of our institutional experience with clinical management of these tumors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of patients followed in our institution between 01 January and 31 December 2017 with paragangliomas of the head and neck and cranial base. Data on tumor location, catecholamine levels, and specific imaging modalities employed in diagnostic workup, treatment modality, tumor control and recurrence, complications of treatment and hereditary status were collected and summarized. Results: A total of four female patients were followed between 01 January and 31 December 2017 in our institution. The mean age of our cohort was 53 (± 16.1) years. The primary locations were at the level of the tympanic jug (n=2, 50%) and carotid body (n=2, 50%), and only one of the tumors of the carotid body presented pulmonary metastasis at the time of diagnosis. None of the lesions were catecholamine-secreting. Two patients underwent genetic testing, with no mutations identified. The initial clinical presentation was variable highlighting the decrease of visual acuity and headache as symptoms present in all patients. In one of the cases, loss of all teeth of the lower jaw was the presenting symptomatology. Observation with serial imaging, surgical extirpation, radiation, and stereotactic radiosurgery were employed as treatment approaches according to anatomical location and resectability of lesions. As post-therapeutic sequels the persistence of tinnitus and disabling pain stands out, presenting one of the patients neuralgia of the glossopharyngeal. Currently, all patients are under regular surveillance with a median follow up of 10 months. Conclusion: Ultimately, clinical management of these tumors remains challenging owing to heterogeneity in clinical presentation, the existence of multiple treatment alternatives, and potential to cause serious detriment to critical functions and consequently interference with the quality of life of the patients.
Spatial Ecology of an Endangered Amphibian Litoria Raniformis within Modified Tasmanian Landscapes
Within Tasmania, the growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) has experienced a rapid contraction in distribution. This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss through landscape modification and improved land drainage. Reductions in seasonal water-sources have placed increasing importance on permanent water bodies for reproduction and foraging. Tasmanian agricultural and commercial forestry landscapes often feature small artificial ponds, utilized for watering livestock and fighting wildfires. Improved knowledge of how L. raniformis may be exploiting anthropogenic ponds is required for improved conservation management. We implemented telemetric tracking in order to evaluate the spatial ecology of L. raniformis (n = 20) within agricultural and managed forestry sites, with tracking conducted periodically over the breeding season (November/December, January/February, March/April). We investigated (1) potential differences in habitat utilization between agricultural and plantation sites, and (2) the post-breeding dispersal of individual frogs. Frogs were found to remain in close proximity to ponds throughout November/December, with individuals occupying vegetative depauperate water bodies beginning to disperse by January/February. Dispersing individuals traversed exposed plantation understory and agricultural pasture land in order to enter patches of native scrubland. By March/April all individuals captured at minimally vegetated ponds had retreated to adjacent scrub corridors. Animals found in ponds featuring dense riparian vegetation were not recorded to disperse. No difference in behavior was recorded between sexes. Rising temperatures coincided with increased movement by individuals towards native scrub refugia. The patterns of movement reported in this investigation emphasize the significant contribution of manmade water-bodies towards the conservation of L. raniformis within modified landscapes. The use of natural scrubland as cyclical retreats between breeding seasons also highlights the importance of the continued preservation of remnant vegetation corridors. Loss of artificial dams or buffering scrubland in heavily altered landscapes could see the breakdown of the greater L. raniformis meta-population further threatening their regional persistence.
Social Problems and Gender Wage Gap Faced by Working Women in Readymade Garment Sector of Pakistan
The issue of the wage discrimination on the basis of gender and social problem has been a significant research problem for several decades. Whereas lots of have explored reasons for the persistence of an inequality in the wages of male and female, none has successfully explained away the entire differentiation. The wage discrimination on the basis of gender and social problem of working women is a global issue. Although inequality in political and economic and social make-up of countries all over the world, the gender wage discrimination, and social constraint is present. The aim of the research is to examine the gender wage discrimination and social constraint from an international perspective and to determine whether any pattern exists among cultural dimensions of a country and the man and women remuneration gap in Readymade Garment Sector of Pakistan. Population growth rate is significant indicator used to explain the change in population and play a crucial point in the economic development of a country. In Pakistan, readymade garment sector consists of small, medium and large sized firms. With an estimated 30 percent of the workforce in textile- Garment is females’. Readymade garment industry is a labor intensive industry and relies on the skills of individual workers and provides highest value addition in the textile sector. In the Garment sector, female workers are concentrated in poorly paid, labor-intensive down-stream production (readymade garments, linen, towels, etc.), while male workers dominate capital- intensive (ginning, spinning and weaving) processes. Gender wage discrimination and social constraint are reality in Pakistan Labor Market. This research allows us not only to properly detect the size of gender wage discrimination and social constraint but to also fully understand its consequences in readymade garment sector of Pakistan. Furthermore, research will evaluated this measure for the three main clusters like Lahore, Karachi, and Faisalabad. These data contain complete details of male and female workers and supervisors in the readymade garment sector of Pakistan. These sources of information provide a unique opportunity to reanalyze the previous finding in the literature. The regression analysis focused on the standard 'Mincerian' earning equation and estimates it separately by gender, the research will also imply the cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede (2001) to profile a country’s cultural status and compare those cultural dimensions to the wage inequalities. Readymade garment of Pakistan is one of the important sectors since its products have huge demand at home and abroad. These researches will a major influence on the measures undertaken to design a public policy regarding wage discrimination and social constraint in readymade garment sector of Pakistan.
Human Creativity through Dooyeweerd's Philosophy: The Case of Creative Diagramming
Human creativity knows no bounds. More than a millennia ago humans have expressed their knowledge on cave walls and on clay artefacts. Using visuals such as diagrams and paintings have always provided us with a natural and intuitive medium for expressing such creativity. Making sense of human generated visualisation has been influenced by western scientific philosophies which are often reductionist in their nature. Theoretical frameworks such as those delivered by Peirce dominated our views of how to make sense of visualisation where a visual is seen as an emergent property of our thoughts. Others have reduced the richness of human-generated visuals to mere shapes drawn on a piece of paper or on a screen. This paper introduces an alternate framework where the centrality of human functioning is given explicit and richer consideration through the multi aspectual philosophical works of Herman Dooyeweerd. Dooyeweerd's framework of understanding reality was based on fifteen aspects of reality, each having a distinct core meaning. The totality of the aspects formed a ‘rainbow’ like spectrum of meaning. The thesis of this approach is that meaningful human functioning in most cases involves the diversity of all aspects working in synergy and harmony. Illustration of the foundations and applicability of this approach is underpinned in the case of humans use of diagramming for creative purposes, particularly within an educational context. Diagrams play an important role in education. Students and lecturers use diagrams as a powerful tool to aid their thinking. However, research into the role of diagrams used in education continues to reveal difficulties students encounter during both processes of interpretation and construction of diagrams. Their main problems shape up students difficulties with diagrams. The ever-increasing diversity of diagrams' types coupled with the fact that most real-world diagrams often contain a mix of these different types of diagrams such as boxes and lines, bar charts, surfaces, routes, shapes dotted around the drawing area, and so on with each type having its own distinct set of static and dynamic semantics. We argue that the persistence of these problems is grounded in our existing ways of understanding diagrams that are often reductionist in their underpinnings driven by a single perspective or formalism. In this paper, we demonstrate the limitations of these approaches in dealing with the three problems. Consequently, we propose, discuss, and demonstrate the potential of a nonreductionist framework for understanding diagrams based on Symbolic and Spatial Mappings (SySpM) underpinned by Dooyeweerd philosophy. The potential of the framework to account for the meaning of diagrams is demonstrated by applying it to a real-world case study physics diagram.
Analysis of Unconditional Conservatism and Earnings Quality before and after the IFRS Adoption
International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) has developed the principle based accounting standard. Based on this, IASB then eliminated the conservatism concept within accounting framework. Conservatism concept represents a prudent reaction to uncertainty to try to ensure that uncertainties and risk inherent in business situations are adequately considered. The conservatism concept has two ingredients: conditional conservatism or ex-post (news depending prudence) and unconditional conservatism or ex-ante (news-independent prudence). IFRS in substance disregards the unconditional conservatism because the unconditional conservatism can cause the understatement assets or overstated liabilities, and eventually the financial statement would be irrelevance since the information does not represent the real fact. Therefore, the IASB eliminate the conservatism concept. However, it does not decrease the practice of unconditional conservatism in the financial statement reporting. Therefore, we expected the earnings quality would be affected because of this situation, even though the IFRS implementation was expected to increase the earnings quality. The objective of this study was to provide empirical findings about the unconditional conservatism and the earnings quality before and after the IFRS adoption. The earnings per accrual measure were used as the proxy for the unconditional conservatism. If the earnings per accrual were negative (positive), it meant the company was classified as the conservative (not conservative). The earnings quality was defined as the ability of the earnings in reflecting the future earnings by considering the earnings persistence and stability. We used the earnings response coefficient (ERC) as the proxy for the earnings quality. ERC measured the extant of a security’s abnormal market return in response to the unexpected component of reporting earning of the firm issuing that security. The higher ERC indicated the higher earnings quality. The manufacturing companies listed in the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) were used as the sample companies, and the 2009-2010 period was used to represent the condition before the IFRS adoption, and 2011-2013 was used to represent the condition after the IFRS adoption. Data was analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test and regression analysis. We used the firm size as the control variable with the consideration the firm size would affect the earnings quality of the company. This study had proved that the unconditional conservatism had not changed, either before and after the IFRS adoption period. However, we found the different findings for the earnings quality. The earnings quality had decreased after the IFRS adoption period. This empirical results implied that the earnings quality before the IFRS adoption was higher. This study also had found that the unconditional conservatism positively influenced the earnings quality insignificantly. The findings implied that the implementation of the IFRS had not decreased the unconditional conservatism practice and has not altered the earnings quality of the manufacturing company. Further, we found that the unconditional conservatism did not affect the earnings quality. Eventhough the empirical result shows that the unconditional conservatism gave positive influence to the earnings quality, but the influence was not significant. Thus, we concluded that the implementation of the IFRS did not increase the earnings quality.
Stability of a Biofilm Reactor Able to Degrade a Mixture of the Organochlorine Herbicides Atrazine, Simazine, Diuron and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid to Changes in the Composition of the Supply Medium
Among the most important herbicides, the organochlorine compounds are of considerable interest due to their recalcitrance to the chemical, biological, and photolytic degradation, their persistence in the environment, their mobility, and their bioacummulation. The most widely used herbicides in North America are primarily 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), the triazines (atrazine and simazine), and to a lesser extent diuron. The contamination of soils and water bodies frequently occurs by mixtures of these xenobiotics. For this reason, in this work, the operational stability to changes in the composition of the medium supplied to an aerobic biofilm reactor was studied. The reactor was packed with fragments of volcanic rock that retained a complex microbial film, able to degrade a mixture of organochlorine herbicides atrazine, simazine, diuron and 2,4-D, and whose members have microbial genes encoding the main catabolic enzymes atzABCD, tfdACD and puhB. To acclimate the attached microbial community, the biofilm reactor was fed continuously with a mineral minimal medium containing the herbicides (in mg•L-1): diuron, 20.4; atrazine, 14.2, simazine, 11.4, and 2,4-D, 59.7, as carbon and nitrogen sources. Throughout the bioprocess, removal efficiencies of 92-100% for herbicides, 78-90% for COD, 92-96% for TOC and 61-83% for dehalogenation were reached. In the microbial community, the genes encoding catabolic enzymes of different herbicides tfdACD, puhB and, occasionally, the genes atzA and atzC were detected. After the acclimatization, the triazine herbicides were eliminated from the mixture formulation. Volumetric loading rates of the mixture 2,4-D and diuron were continuously supplied to the reactor (1.9-21.5 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). Along the bioprocess, the removal efficiencies obtained were 86-100% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-94% for for COD, 90-100% for COT, and dehalogenation values of 63-100%. It was also observed that the genes encoding the enzymes in the catabolism of both herbicides, tfdACD and puhB, were consistently detected; and, occasionally, the atzA and atzC. Subsequently, the triazine herbicide atrazine and simazine were restored to the medium supply. Different volumetric charges of this mixture were continuously fed to the reactor (2.9 to 12.6 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). During this new treatment process, removal efficiencies of 65-95% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-92% for COD, 66-89% for TOC and 73-94% of dehalogenation were observed. In this last case, the genes tfdACD, puhB and atzABC encoding for the enzymes involved in the catabolism of the distinct herbicides were consistently detected. The atzD gene, encoding the cyanuric hydrolase enzyme, could not be detected, though it was determined that there was partial degradation of cyanuric acid. In general, the community in the biofilm reactor showed some catabolic stability, adapting to changes in loading rates and composition of the mixture of herbicides, and preserving their ability to degrade the four herbicides tested; although, there was a significant delay in the response time to recover to degradation of the herbicides.
Poultry Manure and Its Derived Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Newly Reclaimed Sandy Soils under Arid and Semi-Arid Conditions
Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.
Professional Learning, Professional Development and Academic Identity of Sessional Teachers: Underpinning Theoretical Frameworks
This paper explores the theoretical frameworks underpinning professional learning, professional development, and academic identity. The focus is on sessional teachers (also called tutors or adjuncts) in architectural design studios, who may be practitioners, masters or doctoral students and academics hired ‘as needed’. Drawing from Schön’s work on reflective practice, learning and developmental theories of Vygotsky (social constructionism and zones of proximal development), informal and workplace learning, this research proposes that sessional teachers not only develop their teaching skills but also shape their identities through their 'everyday' work. Continuing academic staff develop their teaching through a combination of active teaching, self-reflection on teaching, as well as learning to teach from others via formalised programs and informally in the workplace. They are provided professional development and recognised for their teaching efforts through promotion, student citations, and awards for teaching excellence. The teaching experiences of sessional staff, by comparison, may be discontinuous and they generally have fewer opportunities and incentives for teaching development. In the absence of access to formalised programs, sessional teachers develop their teaching informally in workplace settings that may be supportive or unhelpful. Their learning as teachers is embedded in everyday practice applying problem-solving skills in ambiguous and uncertain settings. Depending on their level of expertise, they understand how to teach a subject such that students are stimulated to learn. Adult learning theories posit that adults have different motivations for learning and fall into a matrix of readiness, that an adult’s ability to make sense of their learning is shaped by their values, expectations, beliefs, feelings, attitudes, and judgements, and they are self-directed. The level of expertise of sessional teachers depends on their individual attributes and motivations, as well as on their work environment, the good practices they acquire and enhance through their practice, career training and development, the clarity of their role in the delivery of teaching, and other factors. The architectural design studio is ideal for study due to the historical persistence of the vocational learning or apprenticeship model (learning under the guidance of experts) and a pedagogical format using two key approaches: project-based problem solving and collaborative learning. Hence, investigating the theoretical frameworks underlying academic roles and informal professional learning in the workplace would deepen understanding of their professional development and how they shape their academic identities. This qualitative research is ongoing at a major university in Australia, but the growing trend towards hiring sessional staff to teach core courses in many disciplines is a global one. This research will contribute to including transient sessional teachers in the discourse on institutional quality, effectiveness, and student learning.
Brazilian Brown Propolis as a Natural Source against Leishmania amazonensis
Leishmaniasis is a serious health problem around the world. The treatment of infected individuals with pentavalent antimonial drugs is the main therapeutic strategy. However, they present high toxicity and persistence side effects. Therefore, the discovery of new and safe natural-derived therapeutic agents against leishmaniasis is important. Propolis is a resin of viscous consistency produced by Apis mellifera bees from parts of plants. The main types of Brazilian propolis are green, red, yellow and brown. Thus, the aim of this work was to investigate the chemical composition and leishmanicidal properties of a brown propolis (BP). For this purpose, the hydroalcoholic crude extract of BP was obtained and was fractionated by liquid-liquid chromatography. The chemical profile of the extract and its fractions were obtained by HPLC-UV-DAD. The fractions were submitted to preparative HPLC chromatography for isolation of the major compounds of each fraction. They were analyzed by NMR for structural determination. The volatile compounds were obtained by hydrodistillation and identified by GC/MS. Promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis were cultivated in M199 medium and then 2×106 parasites.mL-1 were incubated in 96-well microtiter plates with the samples. The BP was dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and diluted into the medium, to give final concentrations of 1.56, 3.12, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 µg.mL⁻¹. The plates were incubated at 25ºC for 24 h, and the lysis percentage was determined by using a Neubauer chamber. The bioassays were performed in triplicate, using a medium with 0.5% DMSO as a negative control and amphotericin B as a positive control. The leishimnicidal effect against promastigote forms was also evaluated at the same concentrations. Cytotoxicity experiments also were performed in 96-well plates against normal (CHO-k1) and tumor cell lines (AGP01 and HeLa) using XTT colorimetric method. Phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and terpenoids were identified in brown propolis. The major compounds were identified as follows: p-coumaric acid (24.6%) for a methanolic fraction, Artepelin-C (29.2%) for ethyl acetate fraction and the compounds of hexane fraction are in the process of structural elucidation. The major volatile compounds identified were β-caryophyllene (10.9%), germacrene D (9.7%), nerolidol (10.8%) and spathulenol (8.5%). The propolis did not show cytotoxicity against normal cell lines (CHO) with IC₅₀ > 100 μg.mL⁻¹, whereas the IC₅₀ < 10 μg.mL⁻¹ showed a potential against the AGP01 cell line, propolis did not demonstrate cytotoxicity against HeLa cell lines IC₅₀ > 100 μg.mL⁻¹. In the determination of the leishmanicidal activity, the highest (50 μg.mL⁻¹) and lowest (1.56 μg.mL⁻¹) concentrations of the crude extract caused the lysis of 76% and 45% of promastigote forms of L. amazonensis, respectively. To the amastigote form, the highest (50 μg.mL⁻¹) and lowest (1.56 μg.mL⁻¹) concentrations caused the mortality of 89% and 75% of L. amazonensis, respectively. The IC₅₀ was 2.8 μg.mL⁻¹ to amastigote form and 3.9 μg.mL⁻¹ to promastigote form, showing a promising activity against Leishmania amazonensis.
Fathers and Daughters: Their Relationship and Its Impact on Body Image and Mental Health
Objective: Our society is suffering from an epidemic of body image dissatisfaction, and related disorders appear to be increasing globally for children. There is much to indicate that children's body image and eating attitudes are being affected negatively by socio-cultural factors such as parents, peers and media. Most studies and theories, however, have focused extensively on the daughter-mother relationship. Very few studies have investigated the role of attachment to the father as an important factor in the development of girls’ and women’s attitudes towards themselves and their bodies. Recently, data have shown that the father’s parenting style, as well as the quality of the relationship with him is crucial for the understanding of the development and persistence of body image disorders. This presentation is based on samples of participants with self-defined body image dissatisfaction, and the self-reported measures of their fathers’ parental behaviours, emotional warmth, support, or protection. Attachment theory does offer support in exploring these relationships and it is used in this presentation to assist in understanding the relationship between the father and his daughter in relation to body image and mental health. Clinical implications are also offered in respect to work with body image, eating disorders and relational therapy. Methods: As awareness of the increasing frequency of body image concerns in children grows, so too does the need for a simple, valid and reliable measure of body image. The Children's Body Image Scale (CBIS) designed in Australia, depicts seven male and females figures from which children are to choose their perceived body type and ideal body type. This was compared with a range of international body mass index (BMI) reference standards. These measures together with individual one-on-one interviews were completed by 158 children aged 7-12 years. Results: A high frequency of body image dissatisfaction was indicated in the children's responses. 55% of girls and 41% of boys said they would like to be thinner, and wished for an ideal BMI figure below the 10th percentile. This is an unhealthy and unattainable level of body fatness for the majority of children when considered in relation to the reported secular trend of their increasing average body size. Thin children were generally ranked as best and perceived as kind, happy, academically skilled, and socially successful. Fat children were perceived as unintelligent, lazy, greedy, unpopular, and unable to play physical games. Conclusions: Body image ideals and fat stereotypes are well entrenched among children. There is much to indicate that children's body image and eating attitudes are being affected negatively by sociocultural factors such as parents, peers and media. Teachers and health professionals could promote intervention programs for children involving knowledge and acceptance of genetic influences on body type; the dangerous effects of weight loss dieting; the importance of physical activity and eating healthy; and scepticism and critical analysis of mass media messages.
Preparing Young Adults with Disabilities for Lifelong Inclusivity through a College Level Mentor Program Using Technology: An Exploratory Study
In their pursuit of postsecondary transitions, individuals with disabilities tend to experience, academic, behavioral, and emotional challenges to a greater extent than their typically developing peers. These challenges result in lower rates of graduation, employment, independent living, and participation in college than their peers without disabilities. The lack of friendships and support systems has had a negative impact on those with a disability transitioning to postsecondary settings to include, employment, independent living, and university settings. Establishing friendships and support systems early on is an indicator of potential success and persistence in postsecondary education, employment, and independent living for typically developing college students. It is evident that a deficit in friendships and supports is a key deficit also for individuals with disabilities. To address the specific needs of this group, a mentor program was developed for a transition program held at the university for youth aged 18-21. Pre-service teachers enrolled in the special education program engaged with youth in the transition program in a variety of activities on campus. The mentorship program had two purposes: to assist young adults with disabilities who were transitioning to a workforce setting to help increase social skills, self-advocacy, supports and friendships, and confidence; and to give their peers without disabilities who were enrolled in a secondary special education course as a pre-service teacher the experience of interacting with and forming friendships with peers who had a disability for the purposes of career development. Additionally, according to researchers mobile technology has created a virtual world of equality and opportunity for a large segment of the population that was once marginalized due to physical and cognitive impairments. All of the participants had access to smart phones; therefore, technology was explored during this study to determine if it could be used as a compensatory tool to allow the young adults with disabilities to do things that otherwise would have been difficult because of their disabilities. Additionally, all participants were asked to incorporate technology such as smart phones to communicate beyond the activities, collaborate using virtual platform games which would support and promote social skills, soft-skills, socialization, and relationships. The findings of this study confirmed that a peer mentorship program that harnessed the power of technology supported outcomes specific to young adults with and without disabilities. Mobile technology and virtual game-based platforms, were identified as a significant contributor to personal, academic, and career growth for both groups. The technology encouraged friendships, provided an avenue for rich social interactions, and increased soft-skills. Results will be shared along with the development of the program and potential implications to the field.
Synthesis and Characterization of Fibrin/Polyethylene Glycol-Based Interpenetrating Polymer Networks for Dermal Tissue Engineering
In skin regenerative medicine, one of the critical issues is to produce a three-dimensional scaffold with optimized porosity for dermal fibroblast infiltration and neovascularization, which exhibits high mechanical properties and displays sufficient wound healing characteristics. In this study, we report on the synthesis and characterization of macroporous sequential interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) combining skin wound healing properties of fibrin with the excellent physical properties of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Fibrin fibers serve as a provisional biologically active network to promote cell adhesion and proliferation while PEG provides the mechanical stability to maintain the entire 3D construct. After having modified both PEG and Serum Albumin (used for promoting enzymatic degradability) by adding methacrylate residues (PEGDM and SAM, respectively), Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM sequential IPNs were synthesized as follows: Macroporous sponges were first produced from PEGDM-SAM hydrogels by a freeze-drying technique and then rehydrated by adding the fibrin precursors. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) were used to characterize their microstructure. Human dermal fibroblasts were cultivated during one week in the constructs and different cell culture parameters (viability, morphology, proliferation) were evaluated. Subcutaneous implantations of the scaffolds were conducted on five-week old male nude mice to investigate their biocompatibility in vivo. We successfully synthesized interconnected and macroporous Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM sequential IPNs. The viability of primary dermal fibroblasts was well maintained (above 90%) after 2 days of culture. Cells were able to adhere, spread and proliferate in the scaffolds suggesting the suitable porosity and intrinsic biologic properties of the constructs. The fibrin network adopted a spider web shape that covered partially the pores allowing easier cell infiltration into the macroporous structure. To further characterize the in vitro cell behavior, cell proliferation (EdU incorporation, MTS assay) is being studied. Preliminary histological analysis of animal studies indicated the persistence of hydrogels even after one-month post implantation and confirmed the absence of inflammation response, good biocompatibility and biointegration of our scaffolds within the surrounding tissues. These results suggest that our Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM IPNs could be considered as potential candidates for dermis regenerative medicine. Histological analysis will be completed to further assess scaffold remodeling including de novo extracellular matrix protein synthesis and early stage angiogenesis analysis. Compression measurements will be conducted to investigate the mechanical properties.
Rhizobium leguminosarum: Selecting Strain and Exploring Delivery Systems for White Clover
Leguminous crops can be self-sufficient for their nitrogen requirements when their roots are nodulated with an effective Rhizobium strain and for this reason seed or soil inoculation is practiced worldwide to ensure nodulation and nitrogen fixation in grain and forage legumes. The most widely used method of applying commercially available inoculants is using peat cultures which are coated onto seeds prior to sowing. In general, rhizobia survive well in peat, but some species die rapidly after inoculation onto seeds. The development of improved formulation methodology is essential to achieve extended persistence of rhizobia on seeds, and improved efficacy. Formulations could be solid or liquid. Most popular solid formulations or delivery systems are: wettable powders (WP), water dispersible granules (WG), and granules (DG). Liquid formulation generally are: suspension concentrates (SC) or emulsifiable concentrates (EC). In New Zealand, R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii strain TA1 has been used as a commercial inoculant for white clover over wide areas for many years. Seeds inoculation is carried out by mixing the seeds with inoculated peat, some adherents and lime, but rhizobial populations on stored seeds decline over several weeks due to a number of factors including desiccation and antibacterial compounds produced by the seeds. In order to develop a more stable and suitable delivery system to incorporate rhizobia in pastures, two strains of R. leguminosarum (TA1 and CC275e) and several formulations and processes were explored (peat granules, self-sticky peat for seed coating, emulsions and a powder containing spray dried microcapsules). Emulsions prepared with fresh broth of strain TA1 were very unstable under storage and after seed inoculation. Formulations where inoculated peat was used as the active ingredient were significantly more stable than those prepared with fresh broth. The strain CC275e was more tolerant to stress conditions generated during formulation and seed storage. Peat granules and peat inoculated seeds using strain CC275e maintained an acceptable loading of 108 CFU/g of granules or 105 CFU/g of seeds respectively, during six months of storage at room temperature. Strain CC275e inoculated on peat was also microencapsulated with a natural biopolymer by spray drying and after optimizing operational conditions, microparticles containing 107 CFU/g and a mean particle size between 10 and 30 micrometers were obtained. Survival of rhizobia during storage of the microcapsules is being assessed. The development of a stable product depends on selecting an active ingredient (microorganism), robust enough to tolerate some adverse conditions generated during formulation, storage, and commercialization and after its use in the field. However, the design and development of an adequate formulation, using compatible ingredients, optimization of the formulation process and selecting the appropriate delivery system, is possibly the best tool to overcome the poor survival of rhizobia and provide farmers with better quality inoculants to use.
Alkaloid Levels in Experimental Lines of Ryegrass in Southtern Chile
One of the most important factors in beef and dairy production in the world as well as also in Chile, is related to the correct choice of cultivars or mixtures of forage grasses and legumes to ensure high yields and quality of grassland. However, a great problem is the persistence of the grasses as a result of the action of different hypogeous as epigean pests. The complex insect pests associated with grassland include white grubs (Hylamorpha elegans, Phytoloema herrmanni), blackworm (Dalaca pallens) and Argentine stem weevil (Listronotus bonariensis). In Chile, the principal strategy utilized for controlling this pest is chemical control, through the use of synthetic insecticides, however, underground feeding habits of larval and flight activity of adults makes this uneconomic method. Furthermore, due to problems including environmental degradation, development of resistance and chemical residues, there is a worldwide interest in the use of alternative environmentally friendly pest control methods. In this sense, in recent years there has been an increasing interest in determining the role of endophyte fungi in controlling epigean and hypogeous pest. Endophytes from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), establish a biotrophic relationship with the host, defined as mutualistic symbiosis. The plant-fungi association produces a “cocktail of alkaloids” where peramine is the main toxic substance present in endophyte of ryegrass and responsible for damage reduction of L. bonariensis. In the last decade, few studies have been developed on the effectiveness of new ryegrass cultivars carriers of endophyte in controlling insect pests. Therefore, the aim of this research is to provide knowledge concerning to evaluate the alkaloid content, such as peramine and Lolitrem B, present in new experimental lines of ryegrass and feasible to be used in grasslands of southern Chile. For this, during 2016, ryegrass plants of six experimental lines and two commercial cultivars sown at the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Carrillanca (Vilcún, Chile) were collected and subjected to a process of chemical extraction to identify and quantify the presence of peramine and lolitrem B by the technique of liquid chromatography of high resolution (HPLC). The results indicated that the experimental lines EL-1 and EL-3 had high content of peramine (0.25 and 0.43 ppm, respectively) than with lolitrem B (0.061 and 0.19 ppm, respectively). Furthermore, the higher contents of lolitrem B were detected in the EL-4 and commercial cultivar Alto (positive control) with 0.08 and 0.17 ppm, respectively. Peramine and lolitrem B were not detected in the cultivar Jumbo (negative control). These results suggest that EL-3 would have potential as future cultivate because it has high content of peramine, alkaloid responsible for controlling insect pest. However, their current role on the complex insects attacking ryegrass grasslands should be evaluated. The information obtained in this research could be used to improve control strategies against hypogeous and epigean pests of grassland in southern Chile and also to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides.
Polarization as a Proxy of Misinformation Spreading
Information, rumors, and debates may shape and impact public opinion heavily. In the latest years, several concerns have been expressed about social influence on the Internet and the outcome that online debates might have on real-world processes. Indeed, on online social networks users tend to select information that is coherent to their system of beliefs and to form groups of like-minded people –i.e., echo chambers– where they reinforce and polarize their opinions. In this way, the potential benefits coming from the exposure to different points of view may be reduced dramatically, and individuals' views may become more and more extreme. Such a context fosters misinformation spreading, which has always represented a socio-political and economic risk. The persistence of unsubstantiated rumors –e.g., the hypothetical and hazardous link between vaccines and autism– suggests that social media do have the power to misinform, manipulate, or control public opinion. As an example, current approaches such as debunking efforts or algorithmic-driven solutions based on the reputation of the source seem to prove ineffective against collective superstition. Indeed, experimental evidence shows that confirmatory information gets accepted even when containing deliberately false claims while dissenting information is mainly ignored, influences users’ emotions negatively and may even increase group polarization. Moreover, confirmation bias has been shown to play a pivotal role in information cascades, posing serious warnings about the efficacy of current debunking efforts. Nevertheless, mitigation strategies have to be adopted. To generalize the problem and to better understand social dynamics behind information spreading, in this work we rely on a tight quantitative analysis to investigate the behavior of more than 300M users w.r.t. news consumption on Facebook over a time span of six years (2010-2015). Through a massive analysis on 920 news outlets pages, we are able to characterize the anatomy of news consumption on a global and international scale. We show that users tend to focus on a limited set of pages (selective exposure) eliciting a sharp and polarized community structure among news outlets. Moreover, we find similar patterns around the Brexit –the British referendum to leave the European Union– debate, where we observe the spontaneous emergence of two well segregated and polarized groups of users around news outlets. Our findings provide interesting insights into the determinants of polarization and the evolution of core narratives on online debating. Our main aim is to understand and map the information space on online social media by identifying non-trivial proxies for the early detection of massive informational cascades. Furthermore, by combining users traces, we are finally able to draft the main concepts and beliefs of the core narrative of an echo chamber and its related perceptions.
Balancing Biodiversity and Agriculture: A Broad-Scale Analysis of the Land Sparing/Land Sharing Trade-Off for South African Birds
Modern agriculture has revolutionised the planet’s capacity to support humans, yet has simultaneously had a greater negative impact on biodiversity than any other human activity. Balancing the demand for food with the conservation of biodiversity is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Biodiversity-friendly farming (‘land sharing’), or alternatively, separation of conservation and production activities (‘land sparing’), are proposed as two strategies for mediating the trade-off between agriculture and biodiversity. However, there is much debate regarding the efficacy of each strategy, as this trade-off has typically been addressed by short term studies at fine spatial scales. These studies ignore processes that are relevant to biodiversity at larger scales, such as meta-population dynamics and landscape connectivity. Therefore, to better understand species response to agricultural land-use and provide evidence to underpin the planning of better production landscapes, we need to determine the merits of each strategy at larger scales. In South Africa, a remarkable citizen science project - the South African Bird Atlas Project 2 (SABAP2) – collates an extensive dataset describing the occurrence of birds at a 5-min by 5-min grid cell resolution. We use these data, along with fine-resolution data on agricultural land-use, to determine which strategy optimises the agriculture-biodiversity trade-off in a southern African context, and at a spatial scale never considered before. To empirically test this trade-off, we model bird species population density, derived for each 5-min grid cell by Royle-Nicols single-species occupancy modelling, against both the amount and configuration of different types of agricultural production in the same 5-min grid cell. In using both production amount and configuration, we can show not only how species population densities react to changes in yield, but also describe the production landscape patterns most conducive to conservation. Furthermore, the extent of both the SABAP2 and land-cover datasets allows us to test this trade-off across multiple regions to determine if bird populations respond in a consistent way and whether results can be extrapolated to other landscapes. We tested the land sparing/sharing trade-off for 281 bird species across three different biomes in South Africa. Overall, a higher proportion of species are classified as losers, and would benefit from land sparing. However, this proportion of loser-sparers is not consistent and varies across biomes and the different types of agricultural production. This is most likely because of differences in the intensity of agricultural land-use and the interactions between the differing types of natural vegetation and agriculture. Interestingly, we observe a higher number of species that benefit from agriculture than anticipated, suggesting that agriculture is a legitimate resource for certain bird species. Our results support those seen at smaller scales and across vastly different agricultural systems, that land sparing benefits the most species. However, our analysis suggests that land sparing needs to be implemented at spatial scales much larger than previously considered. Species persistence in agricultural landscapes will require the conservation of large tracts of land, and is an important consideration in developing countries, which are undergoing rapid agricultural development.
Lentiviral-Based Novel Bicistronic Therapeutic Vaccine against Chronic Hepatitis B Induces Robust Immune Response
Introduction: Over 360 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), of whom 1 million die each year from HBV-associated liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Current treatment options for chronic hepatitis B depend on interferon-α (IFNα) or nucleos(t)ide analogs, which control virus replication but rarely eliminate the virus. Treatment with PEG-IFNα leads to a sustained antiviral response in only one third of patients. After withdrawal of the drugs, the rebound of viremia is observed in the majority of patients. Furthermore, the long-term treatment is subsequently associated with the appearance of drug resistant HBV strains that is often the cause of the therapy failure. Among the new therapeutic avenues being developed, therapeutic vaccine aimed at inducing immune responses similar to those found in resolvers is of growing interest. The high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B necessitates the design of better vaccination strategies capable of eliciting broad-spectrum of cell-mediated immunity(CMI) and humoral immune response that can control chronic hepatitis B. Induction of HBV-specific T cells and B cells by therapeutic vaccination may be an innovative strategy to overcome virus persistence. Lentiviral vectors developed and optimized by THERAVECTYS, due to their ability to transduce non-dividing cells, including dendritic cells, and induce CMI response, have demonstrated their effectiveness as vaccination tools. Method: To develop a HBV therapeutic vaccine that can induce a broad but specific immune response, we generated recombinant lentiviral vector carrying IRES(Internal Ribosome Entry Site)-containing bicistronic constructs which allow the coexpression of two vaccine products, namely HBV T- cell epitope vaccine and HBV virus like particle (VLP) vaccine. HBV T-cell epitope vaccine consists of immunodominant cluster of CD4 and CD8 epitopes with spacer in between them and epitopes are derived from HBV surface protein, HBV core, HBV X and polymerase. While HBV VLP vaccine is a HBV core protein based chimeric VLP with surface protein B-cell epitopes displayed. In order to evaluate the immunogenicity, mice were immunized with lentiviral constructs by intramuscular injection. The T cell and antibody immune responses of the two vaccine products were analyzed using IFN-γ ELISpot assay and ELISA respectively to quantify the adaptive response to HBV antigens. Results: Following a single administration in mice, lentiviral construct elicited robust antigen-specific IFN-γ responses to the encoded antigens. The HBV T- cell epitope vaccine demonstrated significantly higher T cell immunogenicity than HBV VLP vaccine. Importantly, we demonstrated by ELISA that antibodies are induced against both HBV surface protein and HBV core protein when mice injected with vaccine construct (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results highlight that THERAVECTYS lentiviral vectors may represent a powerful platform for immunization strategy against chronic hepatitis B. Our data suggests the likely importance of Lentiviral vector based novel bicistronic construct for further study, in combination with drugs or as standalone antigens, as a therapeutic lentiviral based HBV vaccines. THERAVECTYS bicistronic HBV vaccine will be further evaluated in animal efficacy studies.
Modern Hybrid of Older Black Female Stereotypes in Hollywood Film
Nearly a century ago, the groundbreaking 1915 film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ popularized the way Hollywood made movies with its avant-garde, feature-length style. The movie's subjugating and demeaning depictions of African American women (and men) reflected popular racist beliefs held during the time of slavery and the early Jim Crow era. Although much has changed concerning race relations in the past century, American sociologist Patricia Hill Collins theorizes that the disparaging images of African American women originating in the era of plantation slavery are adaptable and endure as controlling images today. In this context, a comparative analysis of the successful contemporary film, ‘Bringing Down the House’ starring Queen Latifah is relevant as this 2004 film was designed to purposely defy and ridicule classic stereotypes of African American women. However, the film is still tied to the controlling images from the past, although in a modern hybrid form. Scholars of race and film have noted that the pervasive filmic imagery of the African American woman as the loyal mammy stereotype faded from the screen in the post-civil rights era in favor of more sexualized characters (i.e., the Jezebel trope). Analyzing scenes and dialogue through the lens of sociological and critical race theory, the troubling persistence of African American controlling images in film stubbornly emerge in a movie like ‘Bringing Down the House.’ Thus, these controlling images, like racism itself, can adapt to new social and economic conditions. Although the classic controlling images appeared in the first feature length film focusing on race relations a century ago, ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ this black and white rendition of the mammy figure was later updated in 1939 with the classic hit, ‘Gone with the Wind’ in living color. These popular controlling images have loomed quite large in the minds of international audiences, as ‘Gone with the Wind’ is still shown in American theaters currently, and experts at the British Film Institute in 2004 rated ‘Gone with the Wind’ as the number one movie of all time in UK movie history based upon the total number of actual viewings. Critical analysis of character patterns demonstrate that images that appear superficially benign contribute to a broader and quite persistent pattern of marginalization within the aggregate. This approach allows experts and viewers alike to detect more subtle and sophisticated strands of racial discrimination that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ despite numerous changes in the Hollywood industry that appear to be more voluminous and diverse than three or four decades ago. In contrast to white characters, non-white or minority characters are likely to be subtly compromised or marginalized relative to white characters if and when seen within mainstream movies, rather than be subjected to obvious and offensive racist tropes. The hybrid form of both the older Jezebel and Mammy stereotypes exhibited by lead actress Queen Latifah in ‘Bringing Down the House’ represents a more suave and sophisticated merging of past imagery ideas deemed problematic in the past as well as the present.
Modern Hybrid of Older Black Female Stereotypes in Hollywood Film
Nearly a century ago, the groundbreaking 1915 film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ popularized the way Hollywood made movies with its avant-garde, feature-length style. The movie's subjugating and demeaning depictions of African American women (and men) reflected popular racist beliefs held during the time of slavery and the early Jim Crow era. Although much has changed concerning race relations in the past century, American sociologist Patricia Hill Collins theorizes that the disparaging images of African American women originating in the era of plantation slavery are adaptable and endure as controlling images today. In this context, a comparative analysis of the successful contemporary film, ‘Bringing Down the House’ starring Queen Latifah is relevant as this 2004 film was designed to purposely defy and ridicule classic stereotypes of African American women. However, the film is still tied to the controlling images from the past, although in a modern hybrid form. Scholars of race and film have noted that the pervasive filmic imagery of the African American woman as the loyal mammy stereotype faded from the screen in the post-civil rights era in favor of more sexualized characters (i.e., the Jezebel trope). Analyzing scenes and dialogue through the lens of sociological and critical race theory, the troubling persistence of African American controlling images in film stubbornly emerge in a movie like ‘Bringing Down the House.’ Thus, these controlling images, like racism itself, can adapt to new social and economic conditions. Although the classic controlling images appeared in the first feature length film focusing on race relations a century ago, ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ this black and white rendition of the mammy figure was later updated in 1939 with the classic hit, ‘Gone with the Wind’ in living color. These popular controlling images have loomed quite large in the minds of international audiences, as ‘Gone with the Wind’ is still shown in American theaters currently, and experts at the British Film Institute in 2004 rated ‘Gone with the Wind’ as the number one movie of all time in UK movie history based upon the total number of actual viewings. Critical analysis of character patterns demonstrate that images that appear superficially benign contribute to a broader and quite persistent pattern of marginalization within the aggregate. This approach allows experts and viewers alike to detect more subtle and sophisticated strands of racial discrimination that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ despite numerous changes in the Hollywood industry that appear to be more voluminous and diverse than three or four decades ago. In contrast to white characters, non-white or minority characters are likely to be subtly compromised or marginalized relative to white characters if and when seen within mainstream movies, rather than be subjected to obvious and offensive racist tropes. The hybrid form of both the older Jezebel and Mammy stereotypes exhibited by lead actress Queen Latifah in ‘Bringing Down the House’ represents a more suave and sophisticated merging of past imagery ideas deemed problematic in the past as well as the present.
Modern Hybrid of Older Black Female Stereotypes in Hollywood Film
Nearly a century ago, the groundbreaking 1915 film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ popularized the way Hollywood made movies with its avant-garde, feature-length style. The movie's subjugating and demeaning depictions of African American women (and men) reflected popular racist beliefs held during the time of slavery and the early Jim Crow era. Although much has changed concerning race relations in the past century, American sociologist Patricia Hill Collins theorizes that the disparaging images of African American women originating in the era of plantation slavery are adaptable and endure as controlling images today. In this context, a comparative analysis of the successful contemporary film, ‘Bringing Down the House’ starring Queen Latifah is relevant as this 2004 film was designed to purposely defy and ridicule classic stereotypes of African American women. However, the film is still tied to the controlling images from the past, although in a modern hybrid form. Scholars of race and film have noted that the pervasive filmic imagery of the African American woman as the loyal mammy stereotype faded from the screen in the post-civil rights era in favor of more sexualized characters (i.e., the Jezebel trope). Analyzing scenes and dialogue through the lens of sociological and critical race theory, the troubling persistence of African American controlling images in film stubbornly emerge in a movie like ‘Bringing Down the House.’ Thus, these controlling images, like racism itself, can adapt to new social and economic conditions. Although the classic controlling images appeared in the first feature length film focusing on race relations a century ago, ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ this black and white rendition of the mammy figure was later updated in 1939 with the classic hit, ‘Gone with the Wind’ in living color. These popular controlling images have loomed quite large in the minds of international audiences, as ‘Gone with the Wind’ is still shown in American theaters currently, and experts at the British Film Institute in 2004 rated ‘Gone with the Wind’ as the number one movie of all time in UK movie history based upon the total number of actual viewings. Critical analysis of character patterns demonstrate that images that appear superficially benign contribute to a broader and quite persistent pattern of marginalization within the aggregate. This approach allows experts and viewers alike to detect more subtle and sophisticated strands of racial discrimination that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ despite numerous changes in the Hollywood industry that appear to be more voluminous and diverse than three or four decades ago. In contrast to white characters, non-white or minority characters are likely to be subtly compromised or marginalized relative to white characters if and when seen within mainstream movies, rather than be subjected to obvious and offensive racist tropes. The hybrid form of both the older Jezebel and Mammy stereotypes exhibited by lead actress Queen Latifah in ‘Bringing Down the House’ represents a more suave and sophisticated merging of past imagery ideas deemed problematic in the past as well as the present.
Modern Hybrid of Older Black Female Stereotypes in Hollywood Film
Nearly a century ago, the groundbreaking 1915 film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ popularized the way Hollywood made movies with its avant-garde, feature-length style. The movie's subjugating and demeaning depictions of African American women (and men) reflected popular racist beliefs held during the time of slavery and the early Jim Crow era. Although much has changed concerning race relations in the past century, American sociologist Patricia Hill Collins theorizes that the disparaging images of African American women originating in the era of plantation slavery are adaptable and endure as controlling images today. In this context, a comparative analysis of the successful contemporary film, ‘Bringing Down the House’ starring Queen Latifah is relevant as this 2004 film was designed to purposely defy and ridicule classic stereotypes of African American women. However, the film is still tied to the controlling images from the past, although in a modern hybrid form. Scholars of race and film have noted that the pervasive filmic imagery of the African American woman as the loyal mammy stereotype faded from the screen in the post-civil rights era in favor of more sexualized characters (i.e., the Jezebel trope). Analyzing scenes and dialogue through the lens of sociological and critical race theory, the troubling persistence of African American controlling images in film stubbornly emerge in a movie like ‘Bringing Down the House.’ Thus, these controlling images, like racism itself, can adapt to new social and economic conditions. Although the classic controlling images appeared in the first feature length film focusing on race relations a century ago, ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ this black and white rendition of the mammy figure was later updated in 1939 with the classic hit, ‘Gone with the Wind’ in living color. These popular controlling images have loomed quite large in the minds of international audiences, as ‘Gone with the Wind’ is still shown in American theaters currently, and experts at the British Film Institute in 2004 rated ‘Gone with the Wind’ as the number one movie of all time in UK movie history based upon the total number of actual viewings. Critical analysis of character patterns demonstrate that images that appear superficially benign contribute to a broader and quite persistent pattern of marginalization within the aggregate. This approach allows experts and viewers alike to detect more subtle and sophisticated strands of racial discrimination that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ despite numerous changes in the Hollywood industry that appear to be more voluminous and diverse than three or four decades ago. In contrast to white characters, non-white or minority characters are likely to be subtly compromised or marginalized relative to white characters if and when seen within mainstream movies, rather than be subjected to obvious and offensive racist tropes. The hybrid form of both the older Jezebel and Mammy stereotypes exhibited by lead actress Queen Latifah in ‘Bringing Down the House’ represents a more suave and sophisticated merging of past imagery ideas deemed problematic in the past as well as the present.
Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain
The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.
Effectiveness of an Intervention to Increase Physics Students' STEM Self-Efficacy: Results of a Quasi-Experimental Study
Increasing the number of US university students who attain degrees in STEM and enter the STEM workforce is a national priority. Demographic groups vary in their rates of participation in STEM, and the US produces just 10% of the world’s science and engineering degrees (2014 figures). To address these gaps, we have developed and tested a practical, 30-minute, single-session classroom-based intervention to improve students’ self-efficacy and academic performance in University STEM courses. Self-efficacy is a psychosocial construct that strongly correlates with academic success. Self-efficacy is a construct that is internal and relates to the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of student motivation and performance. A compelling body of research demonstrates that university students’ self-efficacy beliefs are strongly related to their selection of STEM as a major, aspirations for STEM-related careers, and persistence in science. The development of an intervention to increase students’ self-efficacy is motivated by research showing that short, social-psychological interventions in education can lead to large gains in student achievement. Our intervention addresses STEM self-efficacy via two strong, but previously separate, lines of research into attitudinal/affect variables that influence student success. The first is ‘attributional retraining,’ in which students learn to attribute their successes and failures to internal rather than external factors. The second is ‘mindset’ about fixed vs. growable intelligence, in which students learn that the brain remains plastic throughout life and that they can, with conscious effort and attention to thinking skills and strategies, become smarter. Extant interventions for both of these constructs have significantly increased academic performance in the classroom. We developed a 34-item questionnaire (Likert scale) to measure STEM Self-efficacy, Perceived Academic Control, and Growth Mindset in a University STEM context, and validated it with exploratory factor analysis, Rasch analysis, and multi-trait multi-method comparison to coded interviews. Four iterations of our 42-week research protocol were conducted across two academic years (2017-2018) at three different Universities in North Carolina, USA (UNC-G, NC A&T SU, and NCSU) with varied student demographics. We utilized a quasi-experimental prospective multiple-group time series research design with both experimental and control groups, and we are employing linear modeling to estimate the impact of the intervention on Self-Efficacy,wth-Mindset, Perceived Academic Control, and final course grades (performance measure). Preliminary results indicate statistically significant effects of treatment vs. control on Self-Efficacy, Growth-Mindset, Perceived Academic Control. Analyses are ongoing and final results pending. This intervention may have the potential to increase student success in the STEM classroom—and ownership of that success—to continue in a STEM career. Additionally, we have learned a great deal about the complex components and dynamics of self-efficacy, their link to performance, and the ways they can be impacted to improve students’ academic performance.
In vivo Evaluation of LAB Probiotic Potential with the Zebrafish Animal Model
Introduction: It is known that some Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) present an interesting probiotic effect. Probiotic bacteria stimulate host resistance to microbial pathogens and thereby aid in immune response, and modulate the host's immune responses to antigens with a potential to down-regulate hypersensitivity reactions. Therefore, probiotic therapy is valuable against intestinal infections and may be beneficial in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Several in vitro tests are available to evaluate the probiotic potential of a LAB strain. However, an in vivo model is required to understand the interaction between the host immune system and the bacteria. During the last few years, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has gained interest as a promising vertebrate model in this field. This organism has been extensively used to study the interaction between the host and the microbiota, as well as the host immune response under several microbial infections. In this work, we report on the use of the zebrafish model to investigate in vivo the colonizing ability and the immunomodulatory effect of probiotic LAB. Methods: Lactobacillus strains belonging to different LAB species were fluorescently tagged and used to colonize germ-free zebrafish larvae gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Some of the strains had a well-documented probiotic effect (L. acidophilus LA5); while others presented an exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing phenotype, thus allowing evaluating the influence of EPS in the colonization and immunomodulatory effect. Bacteria colonization was monitored for 72 h by direct observation in real time using fluorescent microscopy. CFU count per larva was also evaluated at different times. The immunomodulatory effect was assessed analysing the differential expression of several innate immune system genes (MyD88, NF-κB, Tlr4, Il1β and Il10) by qRT- PCR. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated using a chemical enterocolitis zebrafish model. The protective effect against a pathogen was also studied. To that end, a challenge test was developed using a fluorescently tagged pathogen (Vibrio anguillarum-GFP+). The progression of the infection was monitored up to 3 days using a fluorescent stereomicroscope. Mortality rates and CFU counts were also registered. Results and conclusions: Larvae exposed to EPS-producing bacteria showed a higher fluorescence and CFU count than those colonized with no-EPS phenotype LAB. In the same way, qRT-PCR results revealed an immunomodulatory effect on the host after the administration of the strains with probiotic activity. A downregulation of proinflammatory cytoquines as well as other cellular mediators of inflammation was observed. The anti-inflammatory effect was found to be particularly marked following exposure to LA% strain, as well as EPS producing strains. Furthermore, the challenge test revealed a protective effect of probiotic administration. As a matter of fact, larvae fed with probiotics showed a decrease in the mortality rate ranging from 20 to 35%. Discussion: In this work, we developed a promising model, based on the use of gnotobiotic zebrafish coupled with a bacterial fluorescent tagging in order to evaluate the probiotic potential of different LAB strains. We have successfully used this system to monitor in real time the colonization and persistence of exogenous LAB within the gut of zebrafish larvae, to evaluate their immunomodulatory effect and for in vivo competition assays. This approach could bring further insights into the complex microbial-host interactions at intestinal level.
The Vanishing Treasure: An Anthropological Study on Changing Social Relationships, Values, Belief System and Language Pattern of the Limbus in Kalimpong Sub-Division of the Darjeeling District in West Bengal, India
India is a melting pot of races, tribes, castes and communities. The population of India can be roughly branched into the huge majority of “Civilized” Indians of the Plains and the minority of Tribal population of the hill area and the forest who constituting almost 16 percent of total population of India. The Kirat community composed of four ethnic tribes: Limbu, Lepcha, Dhimal, and Rai. These Kirat people were found to be rich in indigenous knowledge, skill and practices especially for the use on medicinal plants and livelihood purposes. The “Mundhum" is the oral scripture or the “Bible of the Limbus” which serves as the canon of the codes of the Limbu socialization, their moral values and the very orientation of their lifestyle. From birth till death the Limbus are disciplined in the life with full of religious rituals, traditions and culture governed by community norms with a rich legacy of indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. The present study has been conducted using both secondary as well as primary data by applying social methodology consisting of the social survey, questionnaire, interviews and observations in the Kalimpong Block-I of Darjeeling District of west Bengal of India, which is a heterogeneous zone in terms of its ethnic composition and where the Limbus are pre-dominantly concentrated. Due to their close contact with other caste and communities Limbus are now adjusted with the changing situation by borrowing some cultural traits from the other communities and changes that have taken place in their cultural practices, religious beliefs, economic aspects, languages and in social roles and relationships which is bringing the change in their material culture. Limbu language is placed in the Tibeto- Burman Language category. But due to the political and cultural domination of educationally sound and numerically dominant Bengali race, the different communities in this area forced to come under the one umbrella of the Nepali or Gorkhali nation (nation-people). Their respective identities had to be submerged in order to constitute as a strong force to resist Nepali domination and ensure their common survival. As Nepali is a lingua-franca of the area knowing and speaking Nepali language helps them in procuring economic and occupational facilities. Ironically, present day younger generation does not feel comfortable speaking in their own Limbu tongue. The traditional knowledge about medicinal plants, healing, and health culture is found to be wear away due to the lack of interest of young generation. Not only poverty, along with exclusion due to policies they are in the phase of extinction, but their capabilities are ignored and not documented and preserved especially in the case of Limbus who having a great cultural heritage of an oral tradition. Attempts have been made to discuss the persistence and changes in socioeconomic pattern of life in relation to the social structure, material culture, cultural practices, social relationships, indigenous technology, ethos and their values and belief system.
The Science of Health Care Delivery: Improving Patient-Centered Care through an Innovative Education Model
Introduction: The current state of the health care system in the U.S. is characterized by an unprecedented number of people living with multiple chronic conditions, unsustainable rise in health care costs, inadequate access to care, and wide variation in health outcomes throughout the country. An estimated two-thirds of Americans are living with two or more chronic conditions, contributing to 75% of all health care spending. In 2013, the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery (SHCD) was charged with redesigning the health care system through education and research. Faculty in business, law, and public policy, and thought leaders in health care delivery, administration, public health and health IT created undergraduate, graduate, and executive academic programs to address this pressing need. Faculty and students work across disciplines, and with community partners and employers to improve care delivery and increase value for patients. Methods: Curricula apply content in health care administration and operations within the clinical context. Graduate modules are team-taught by faculty across academic units to model team-based practice. Seminars, team-based assignments, faculty mentoring, and applied projects are integral to student success. Cohort-driven models enhance networking and collaboration. This observational study evaluated two years of admissions data, and one year of graduate data to assess program outcomes and inform the current graduate-level curricula. Descriptive statistics includes means, percentages. Results: Fall 2013, the program received 51 applications. The mean GPA of the entering class of 37 students was 3.38. Ninety-seven percent of the fall 2013 cohort successfully completed the program (n=35). Sixty-six percent are currently employed in the health care industry (n=23). Of the remaining 12 graduates, two successfully matriculated to medical school; one works in the original field of study; four await results on the MCAT or DAT, and five were lost to follow up. Attrition of one student was attributed to non-academic reasons. Fall 2014, the program expanded to include both on-ground and online cohorts. Applications were evenly distributed between on-ground (n=70) and online (n=68). Thirty-eight students enrolled in the on-ground program. The mean GPA was 3.95. Ninety-five percent of students successfully completed the program (n=36). Thirty-six students enrolled in the online program. The mean GPA was 3.85. Graduate outcomes are pending. Discussion: Challenges include demographic variability between online and on-ground students; yet, both profiles are similar in that students intend to become change agents in the health care system. In the past two years, on-ground applications increased by 31%, persistence to graduation is > 95%, mean GPA is 3.67, graduates report admission to six U.S. medical schools, the Mayo Medical School integrates SHCD content within their curricula, and there is national interest in collaborating on industry and academic partnerships. This places SHCD at the forefront of developing innovative curricula in order to improve high-value, patient-centered care.
The Role of Cholesterol Oxidase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Down-Regulation of TLR2-Signaling Pathway in Human Macrophages during Infection Process
The goal of many research groups in the world is to find new components that are important for survival of mycobacteria in the host cells. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) possesses a number of enzymes degrading cholesterol that are considered to be an important factor for its survival and persistence in host macrophages. One of them - cholesterol oxidase (ChoD), although not being essential for cholesterol degradation, is discussed as a virulence compound, however its involvement in macrophages’ response to Mtb is still not sufficiently determined. The recognition of tubercle bacilli antigens by pathogen recognition receptors is crucial for the initiation of the host innate immune response. An important receptor that has been implicated in the recognition and/or uptake of Mtb is Toll-like receptor type 2 (TLR2). Engagement of TLR2 results in the activation and phosphorylation of intracellular signaling proteins including IRAK-1 and -4, TRAF-6, which in turn leads to the activation of target kinases and transcription factors responsible for bactericidal and pro-inflammatory response of macrophages. The aim of these studies was a detailed clarification of the role of Mtb cholesterol oxidase as a virulence factor affecting the TLR2 signaling pathway in human macrophages. As human macrophages the THP-1 differentiated cells were applied. The virulent wild-type Mtb strain (H37Rv), its mutant lacking a functional copy of gene encoding cholesterol oxidase (∆choD), as well as complimented strain (∆choD–choD) were used. We tested the impact of Mtb strains on the expression of TLR2-depended signaling proteins (mRNA level, cytosolic level and phosphorylation status). The cytokine and bactericidal response of THP-1 derived macrophages infected with Mtb strains in relation to TLR2 signaling pathway dependence was also determined. We found that during the 24-hours of infection process the wild-type and complemented Mtb significantly reduced the cytosolic level and phosphorylation status of IRAK-4 and TRAF-6 proteins in macrophages, that was not observed in the case of ΔchoD mutant. Decreasement of TLR2-dependent signaling proteins, induced by wild-type Mtb, was not dependent on the activity of proteasome. Blocking of TLR2 expression, before infection, effectively prevented the induced by wild-type strain reduction of cytosolic level and phosphorylation of IRAK-4. None of the strains affected the surface expression of TLR2. The mRNA level of IRAK-4 and TRAF-6 genes were significantly increased in macrophages 24 hours post-infection with either of tested strains. However, the impact of wild-type Mtb strain on both examined genes was significantly stronger than its ΔchoD mutant. We also found that wild-type strain stimulated macrophages to release high amount of immunosuppressive IL-10, accompanied by low amount of pro-inflammatory IL-8 and bactericidal nitric oxide in comparison to mutant lacking cholesterol oxidase. The influence of wild-type Mtb on this type of macrophages' response strongly dependent on fully active IRAK-1 and IRAK-4 signaling proteins. In conclusion, Mtb using cholesterol oxidase causes the over-activation of TLR2 signaling proteins leading to the reduction of their cytosolic level and activity resulting in the modulation of macrophages response to allow its intracellular survival. Supported by grant: 2014/15/B/NZ6/01565, National Science Center, Poland
Shifting Contexts and Shifting Identities: Campus Race-related Experiences, Racial Identity, and Achievement Motivation among Black College Students during the Transition to College
There has been recent renewed attention to Black students’ experiences at predominantly White U.S. universities (PWIs), e.g., the #BBUM (“Being Black at the University of Michigan”), “I too am Harvard” social media campaigns, and subsequent student protest activities nationwide. These campaigns illuminate how many minority students encounter challenges to their racial/ethnic identities as they enter PWI contexts. Students routinely report experiences such as being ignored or treated as a token in classes, receiving messages of low academic expectations by faculty and peers, being questioned about their academic qualifications or belonging, being excluded from academic and social activities, and being racially profiled and harassed in the broader campus community due to race. Researchers have linked such racial marginalization and stigma experiences to student motivation and achievement. One potential mechanism is through the impact of college experiences on students’ identities, given the relevance of the college context for students’ personal identity development, including personal beliefs systems around social identities salient in this context. However, little research examines the impact of the college context on Black students’ racial identities. This study examined change in Black college students’ (N=329) racial identity beliefs over the freshman year at three predominantly White U.S. universities. Using cluster analyses, we identified profile groups reflecting different patterns of stability and change in students’ racial centrality (importance of race to overall self-concept), private regard (personal group affect/group pride), and public regard (perceptions of societal views of Blacks) from beginning of year (Time 1) to end of year (Time 2). Multinomial logit regression analyses indicated that the racial identity change clusters were predicted by pre-college background (racial composition of high school and neighborhood), as well as college-based experiences (racial discrimination, interracial friendships, and perceived campus racial climate). In particular, experiencing campus racial discrimination related to high, stable centrality, and decreases in private regard and public regard. Perceiving racial climates norms of institutional support for intergroup interactions on campus related to maintaining low and decreasing in private and public regard. Multivariate Analyses of Variance results showed change cluster effects on achievement motivation outcomes at the end of students’ academic year. Having high, stable centrality and high private regard related to more positive outcomes overall (academic competence, positive academic affect, academic curiosity and persistence). Students decreasing in private regard and public regard were particularly vulnerable to negative motivation outcomes. Findings support scholarship indicating both stability in racial identity beliefs and the importance of critical context transitions in racial identity development and adjustment outcomes among emerging adults. Findings also are consistent with research suggesting promotive effects of a strong, positive racial identity on student motivation, as well as research linking awareness of racial stigma to decreased academic engagement.
Quality of Care for the Maternal Complications at Selected Primary and Secondary Health Facilities of Bangladesh: Lessons Learned from a Formative Research
After having astounding achievements in reducing maternal mortality and achieving the target for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, the Government of Bangladesh has set new target to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to 70 per 100,000 live births aligning with targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aversion of deaths from maternal complication by ensuring quality health care could be an important path to accelerate the rate of reduction of MMR. This formative research was aimed at exploring the provision of quality maternal health services at different level of health facilities. The study was conducted in 1 district hospital (DH) and 4 Upazila health complexes (UHC) of Kurigram district of Bangladesh, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. We conducted 14 key informant interviews with facility managers and 20 in-depth interviews with health care providers and support staff. Besides, we observed 387 normal deliveries from which we found 17 cases of post partum haemorrhage (PPH) and 2 cases of eclampsia during the data collection period extended from July-September 2016. The quantitative data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, and the qualitative component underwent thematic analysis with the broad themes of facility readiness for maternal complication management, and management of complications. Inadequacy in human resources has been identified as the most important bottleneck to provide quality care to manage maternal complications. The DH had a particular paucity of human resources in medical officer cadre where about 61% posts were unfilled. On the other hand, in the UHCs the positions mostly empty were obstetricians (75%, paediatricians (75%), staff nurses (65%), and anaesthetists (100%). The workload on the existing staff is increased because of the persistence of vacant posts. Unavailability of anesthetists and consultants does not permit the health care providers (HCP) of lower cadres to perform emergency operative procedures and forces them to refer the patients although referral system is not well organized in rural Bangladesh. Insufficient bed capacity, inadequate training, shortage of emergency medicines etc. are other hindrance factors for facility readiness. Among the 387 observed delivery case, 17 (4.4%) were identified as PPH cases, and only 2 cases were found as eclampsia/pre-eclampsia. The majority of the patients were treated with uterine message (16 out of 17, 94.1%) and injectable Oxytocin (14 out of 17, 82.4%). The providers of DH mentioned that they can manage the PPH because of having provision for diagnostic and blood transfusion services, although not as 24/7 services. Regarding management of eclampsia/pre-eclampsia, HCPs provided Diazepam, MgSO4, and other anti-hypertensives. The UHCs did not have MgSO4 at stock even, and one facility manager admitted that they treat eclampsia with Diazepam only. The nurses of the UHCs were found to be afraid to handle eclampsia cases. The upcoming interventions must ensure refresher training of service providers, continuous availability of essential medicine and equipment needed for complication management, availability of skilled health workforce, availability of functioning blood transfusion unit and pairing of consultants and anaesthetists to reach the newly set targets altogether.