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As urbanization increases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), urban populations will be increasingly exposed to a range of environmental risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Inadequate living conditions in urban settings may influence mechanisms that regulate gene expression, leading to the development of non-communicable respiratory diseases. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess the relationship between respiratory health and epigenetic factors to urban environmental exposures observed in LMICs using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar searching a combination of the terms: epigenetics, chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), lung development, chronic obstructive airway disease, and asthma. A total of 2835 articles were obtained, and 48 articles were included in this review. We found that environmental factors during early development are related to epigenetic effects that may be associated with a higher risk of CRDs. Epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) and histone acetyltransferase gene families was likely involved in lung health of slum dwellers. Respiratory-related environmental exposures influence HDAC function and deoxyribonucleic acid methylation and are important risk factors in the development of CRD. Additional epigenetic research is needed to improve our understanding of associations between environmental exposures and non-communicable respiratory diseases.
Behavioral treatments reduce anxiety, yet many older adults may not have access to these efficacious treatments. To address this need, we developed and evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a video-delivered anxiety treatment for older Veterans. This treatment program, BREATHE (Breathing, Relaxation, and Education for Anxiety Treatment in the Home Environment), combines psychoeducation, diaphragmatic breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation training with engagement in activities.
A mixed methods concurrent study design was used to examine the clarity of the treatment videos. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 Veterans (M age = 69.5, SD = 7.3 years; 55% White, Non-Hispanic) and collected ratings of video clarity.
Quantitative ratings revealed that 100% of participants generally or definitely could follow breathing and relaxation video instructions. Qualitative findings, however, demonstrated more variability in the extent to which each video segment was clear. Participants identified both immediate benefits and motivation challenges associated with a video-delivered treatment. Participants suggested that some patients may need encouragement, whereas others need face-to-face therapy.
Quantitative ratings of video clarity and qualitative findings highlight the feasibility of a video-delivered treatment for older Veterans with anxiety. Our findings demonstrate the importance of ensuring patients can follow instructions provided in self-directed treatments and the role that an iterative testing process has in addressing these issues. Next steps include testing the treatment videos with older Veterans with anxiety disorders.
• an organizational approach known as Informed Systems, which builds learning conditions and knowledge creation experiences that result in a workplace which uses information effectively to learn, adapt and perform.
This chapter describers the Informed Systems approach to building organizational learning conditions and knowledge creation experiences through effective workplace communication systems and information practices. Informed Systems, which has its roots in relational Information Literacy (IL) (see Chapter 2), integrates constructivist learning, systems thinking and knowledge creation theories to advance ‘Informed Learning’, the experience of using information to learn, within constructed workplace ecosystems. Activated as action research and enacted through participatory co-design, this approach focuses on collective inquiry to further learning relationships and Informed Learning experiences (i.e. advances both information and learning experiences simultaneously). Associated professional practices facilitated by both technology- and human-enabled workplace communication systems guide the experience of using information to learn. Such experiences are amplified by dialogue and reflection, to foster knowledge creation for ‘learning in action’. Central to the Informed Systems approach is nimble thought leadership and collaborative information-focused activities, customizable to changing local situ - ations that foster Informed Learning capacity in the contemporary workplace.
In this chapter, workplace IL is understood to be the experience of using information to learn, in the tradition of the relational approach to IL. In The Seven Faces of Information Literacy and Informed Learning, Bruce (1997; 2008) presents insights into the experience of using information to learn through a relational approach. The early research results include four principles integral to the relational view and seven faces (facets or categories) representing qualitatively different ways of experiencing the use of information to learn. In depicting the phenomenon as a whole, these principles and categories represent an integration of experiential, contextual and transformational information experiences, which departed from the predominant behavioural research and skills-based education in vogue when she released her findings.
This study aimed to specify the neural mechanisms underlying the link between low household income and diminished executive control in the preschool period. Specifically, we examined whether individual differences in the neural processes associated with executive attention and inhibitory control accounted for income differences observed in performance on a neuropsychological battery of executive control tasks. The study utilized a sample of preschool-aged children (N = 118) whose families represented the full range of income, with 32% of families at/near poverty, 32% lower income, and 36% middle to upper income. Children completed a neuropsychological battery of executive control tasks and then completed two computerized executive control tasks while EEG data were collected. We predicted that differences in the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of executive attention and inhibitory control would account for income differences observed on the executive control battery. Income and ERP measures were related to performance on the executive control battery. However, income was unrelated to ERP measures. The findings suggest that income differences observed in executive control during the preschool period might relate to processes other than executive attention and inhibitory control.
The dynamic model Nitrogen Dynamics in Crop rotations in Ecological Agriculture (NDICEA) was used to assess the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) balance of long-term organic cropping trials and typical organic crop rotations on a range of soil types and rainfall zones in the UK. The measurements of soil N taken at each of the organic trial sites were also used to assess the performance of NDICEA. The modeled outputs compared well to recorded soil N levels, with relatively small error margins. NDICEA therefore seems to be a useful tool for UK organic farmers. The modeling of typical organic rotations has shown that positive N balances can be achieved, although negative N balances can occur under high rainfall conditions and on lighter soil types as a result of leaching. The analysis and modeling also showed that some organic cropping systems rely on imported sources of P and K to maintain an adequate balance and large deficits of both nutrients are apparent in stockless systems. Although the K deficits could be addressed through the buffering capacity of minerals, the amount available for crop uptake will depend on the type and amount of minerals present, current cropping and fertilization practices and the climatic environment. A P deficit represents a more fundamental problem for the maintenance of crop yields and the organic sector currently relies on mined sources of P which represents a fundamental conflict with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements organic principles.
Understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to measures of brain structure such as surface area and cortical thickness is important for a better understanding of the nature of brain-behavior relationships and changes due to development or disease. Continuous spatial maps of genetic influences on these structural features can contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of heritability, since it remains to be seen whether genetic contributions to brain structure respect the boundaries of any traditional parcellation approaches. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging scans collected on a large sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, we created maps of the heritability of areal expansion (a vertex-based area measure) and cortical thickness and examined the degree to which these maps were affected by adjustment for total surface area and mean cortical thickness. We also compared the approach of estimating regional heritability based on the average heritability of vertices within the region to the more traditional region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. The results suggested high heritability across the cortex for areal expansion and, to a slightly lesser degree, for cortical thickness. There was a great deal of genetic overlap between global and regional measures for surface area, so maps of region-specific genetic influences on surface area revealed more modest heritabilities. There was greater inter-regional variability in heritabilities when calculated using the traditional ROI-based approach compared to summarizing vertex-by-vertex heritabilities within regions. Discrepancies between the approaches were greatest in small regions and tended to be larger for surface area than for cortical thickness measures. Implications regarding brain phenotypes for future genetic association studies are discussed.
As boundaries between physical and online learning spaces become increasingly blurred in higher education (HE), how can students gain the full benefit of Web 2.0 social media and mobile technologies for learning? How can we, as information professionals and educators, best support the information literacy (IL) learning needs of students who are universally mobile and Google focused? This chapter presents informed learning as a pedagogical construct with potential to support learning across the HE curriculum, for Web 2.0 and beyond.
Informed learning (Bruce, 2008) responds flexibly to the dynamic information-learning environment of HE, embracing the opportunities of learning and teaching with new and emerging media. It supports a holistic learning approach whereby students consciously engage in a process of using information to learn specific content or practices. By promoting enquiry and problem solving, and the adoption of discipline- or context-specific knowledge and practices, it enables learners to develop the flexibility and confidence to use information in constantly evolving information environments. In this way, informed learning shifts the focus of IL education from mastering information skills to using information critically, ethically and creatively to learn within the wider context of students’ disciplinary learning.
After outlining the principles of informed learning and how they may enrich the HE curriculum, we explain the role of library and information professionals in promoting informed learning for Web 2.0 and beyond. Then, by way of illustration, we describe recent experience at an American university where librarians simultaneously learned about and applied informed learning principles in reshaping the IL programme.
Informed learning for the online-intensive HE information-learning environment
The contemporary HE information-learning environment is online intensive and dispersed. Learners and educators are culturally and socially diverse and often physically remote from their institution's home campus. They have access to an ever-widening range of Web 2.0 resources from myriad international and local sources, way beyond the controlled environs of their institution's learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard and Moodle. Since Web 2.0 media are in a constant flux of evolution and extinction, students need to develop the confidence and flexibility to take the changes in their stride. However, while contemporary learners (of all ages) are increasingly IT savvy, they tend to demonstrate quite limited critical and strategic approaches and tend to rely on familiar, popular tools such as Google (Head and Eisenberg, 2010; Hughes, 2009; Lorenzo and Dziuban, 2006).
Squids of the family Bathyteuthidae have generally been infrequently encountered in their deep-sea habitat. Remotely operated vehicles were used to observe seven individuals in situ in the Monterey Submarine Canyon, CA, USA. One of these was a female Bathyteuthis berryi holding a sheet with approximately 360 embedded embryos. Examination of this female after collection revealed the presence of a seminal receptacle on the buccal membrane. We present some potential costs and benefits of post-spawning egg care, a strategy that is now known for two families of deep-dwelling squids, but may turn out to be more common with the increasing exploration of the deep sea.
To detect an outbreak-related source of Legionella, control the outbreak, and prevent additional Legionella infections from occurring.
Design and Setting.
Epidemiologic investigation of an acute outbreak of hospital-associated Legionnaires disease among outpatients and visitors to a Wisconsin hospital.
Patients with laboratory-confirmed Legionnaires disease who resided in southeastern Wisconsin and had illness onsets during February and March 2010.
Patients with Legionnaires disease were interviewed using a hypothesis-generating questionnaire. On-site investigation included sampling of water and other potential environmental sources for Legionella testing. Case-finding measures included extensive notification of individuals potentially exposed at the hospital and alerts to area healthcare and laboratory personnel.
Laboratory-confirmed Legionnaires disease was diagnosed in 8 patients, all of whom were present at the same hospital during the 10 days prior to their illness onsets. Six patients had known exposure to a water wall-type decorative fountain near the main hospital entrance. Although the decorative fountain underwent routine cleaning and maintenance, high counts of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 were isolated from cultures of a foam material found above the fountain trough.
This outbreak of Legionnaires disease was associated with exposure to a decorative fountain located in a hospital public area. Routine cleaning and maintenance of fountains does not eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination. Our findings highlight the need to evaluate the safety of water fountains installed in any area of a healthcare facility.
Accessibility, stigma and adverse effects of self-reliance can hinder the receipt of psychological treatments, especially in people living with chronic illness or disability. The aim of this study was to develop and pilot a flexible online psychological treatment using CBT and positive-psychology based techniques, for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who also lived with depression or both depression and anxiety. A multiple case study approach provided in-principle evidence of the acceptability of the Electronic Personal Administration of Cognitive Therapy: ePACT. Three adults living with SCI completed pre- and post-intervention interviews and multiple modules of ePACT. The interviews used the Structural Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID/-N/P) for diagnosis and the standardised survey instruments: Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale — short version (DASS-21), Personal Wellbeing Index 4th edition (PWI) and the Spinal Cord Lesion Emotional Wellbeing Questionnaire (SCL EWQ v1 Australia). The results indicated that the online program was acceptable, and they all showed some improvement in symptoms. All participants indicated that they would not have sought face-to-face therapy for reasons of access and stigma. They all had a strong sense of independence and felt this would have been questioned if they sought therapy.
This paper explores models of teaching and learning music composition in higher education. It analyses the pedagogical approaches apparent in the literature on teaching and learning composition in schools and universities, and introduces a teaching model as: learning from the masters; mastery of techniques; exploring ideas; and developing voice. It then presents a learning model developed from a qualitative study into students’ experiences of learning composition at university as: craft, process and art. The relationship between the students’ experiences and the pedagogical model is examined. Finally, the implications for composition curricula in higher education are presented.
Screening for alcohol use disorders identifies a wide range of needs, varying from hazardous and harmful drinking to alcohol dependence. Stepped care offers a potentially resource-efficient way of meeting these needs, but requires evaluation in a randomised controlled trial.
To evaluate the feasibility, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of opportunistic screening and a stepped care intervention in primary care.
A total of 1794 male primary care attendees at six practices in South Wales were screened using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Of these, 112 participants who scored 8 or more on the AUDIT and who consented to enter the study were randomised to receive either 5 minutes of minimal intervention delivered by a practice nurse (control group) or stepped care intervention consisting of three successive steps (intervention group): a single session of behaviour change counselling delivered by a practice nurse; four 50-minute sessions of motivational enhancement therapy delivered by a trained alcohol counsellor; and referral to a community alcohol treatment agency.
Both groups reduced alcohol consumption 6 months after randomisation with a greater, although not significant, improvement for the stepped care intervention. Motivation to change was greater following the stepped care intervention. The stepped care intervention resulted in greater cost savings compared with the minimal intervention.
Stepped care was feasible to implement in the primary care setting and resulted in greater cost savings compared with minimal intervention.
Outcrossing of non-Bt cotton (Gossypium hirsutum (L.)) in refuges by transgenic Bt cultivars could
reduce the efficacy of refuges for delaying resistance in seed-feeding
pests. Based on reports that outcrossing decreased as distance from Bt cotton
increased in small-scale studies, we hypothesized that increasing refuge
width or distance from Bt fields would reduce outcrossing. In a large-scale
study in Arizona, we quantified Bt seed in refuges of experimental and
commercial fields, comparing outcrossing between in-field (narrow) and
external (wide) refuges and among rows of refuges at various distances from
Bt fields. Some refuges, including those in tightly controlled experimental
plots, contained up to 8% adventitious Bt plants. Some, but not all, Bt
plants likely resulted from Bt seed in the non-Bt seed bags. We did not detect a
difference in outcrossing between in-field and external refuges. However,
statistical power was low because outcrossing was low (< 0.4% of seeds)
in both treatments. Higher outcrossing levels (≤ 4.6% of
seeds) were observed in the studies measuring outcrossing at various
distances from Bt fields, yet outcrossing did not decrease as the distance
from Bt fields increased. We hypothesize that Bt plants in refuges
cross-pollinated surrounding non-Bt plants, overshadowing the expected
association between distance from Bt fields and outcrossing.