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This study explored factors that influence academic achievement and hence, future career prospects. The relationships between the factors, academic trait boredom, approach to learning and academic achievement were examined using data collected from university students at a small English university and from their student records. The initial statistical analysis revealed significant effects of gender on learning approach and two of the three academic trait boredom subscales. Female students proved to be less prone to academic trait boredom than their male counterparts. A model was then developed that showed how a student’s choice of learning approach was influenced by academic trait boredom and impinged on academic achievement. This modelling also confirmed that students who are more prone to academic trait boredom are also more likely to adopt a surface approach to learning rather than a deep or strategic one. The results of this investigation have implications for students, lecturers, course designers and learning support staff both here in this one location as well as elsewhere across the higher education sector.
β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), a leucine metabolite, has long been supplemented as a Ca salt (Ca-HMB) to increase strength and performance gains with exercise and to reduce recovery time. Recently, the free acid form of HMB (HMB-FA) has become commercially available in capsule form (gelcap). The current study was conducted to compare the bioavailability of HMB using the two commercially available capsule forms of HMB-FA and Ca-HMB. We also compared the pharmacokinetics of each form when administered mixed in water. Ten human subjects (five male and five female) were studied in a randomised crossover design. There was no significant sex by treatment interaction for any of the pharmacokinetic parameters measured. HMB-FA administered in capsules was more efficient than Ca-HMB capsule at HMB delivery with a 37 % increase in plasma clearance rate (74·8 (sem 4·0) v. 54·5 (sem 3·2) ml/min, P<0·0001) and a 76 % increase in peak plasma HMB concentration (270·2 (sem 17·8) v. 153·9 (sem 17·9) μmol/l, P<0·006), which was reached in one-third the time (P<0·009). When HMB-FA and Ca-HMB were administered in water, the differences still favoured HMB-FA, albeit to a lesser degree. Plasma HMB with HMB-FA administered in water was greater during the early phase of absorption (up to 45 min postadministration, P<0·05); this resulted in increased AUC during the first 60 min after administration, when compared with Ca-HMB mixed in water (P<0·03). In conclusion, HMB-FA in capsule form improves clearance rate and availability of HMB compared with Ca-HMB in capsule form.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) cycles had far-reaching effects on Northern Hemisphere and tropical climate systems during the last glacial period, yet the climatic response to D–O cycles in western North America is controversial, especially prior to 55 ka. We document changes in precipitation along the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada during early Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages (MIS) 3 and 4 (55–67 ka) from a U-series dated speleothem record from McLean's Cave. The timing of our multi-proxy geochemical dataset is coeval with D–O interstadials (15–18) and stadials, including Heinrich Event 6. The McLean's Cave stalagmite indicates warmer and drier conditions during Greenland interstadials (GISs 15–18), signified by elevated δ18O, δ13C, reflectance, and trace element concentrations, and less radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr. Our record extends evidence of a strong linkage between high-latitude warming and reduced precipitation in western North America to early MIS 3 and MIS 4. This record shows that the linkage persists in diverse global climate states, and documents the nature of the climatic response in central California to Heinrich Event 6.
Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) cause substantial patient morbidity and mortality. Items in the environment harbor microorganisms that may contribute to HAIs. Reduction in surface bioburden may be an effective strategy to reduce HAIs. The inherent biocidal properties of copper surfaces offer a theoretical advantage to conventional cleaning, as the effect is continuous rather than episodic. We sought to determine whether placement of copper alloy-surfaced objects in an intensive care unit (ICU) reduced the risk of HAI.
Intention-to-treat randomized control trial between July 12, 2010, and June 14, 2011.
The ICUs of 3 hospitals.
Patients presenting for admission to the ICU.
Patients were randomly placed in available rooms with or without copper alloy surfaces, and the rates of incident HAI and/or colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in each type of room were compared.
The rate of HAI and/or MRSA or VRE colonization in ICU rooms with copper alloy surfaces was significantly lower than that in standard ICU rooms (0.071 vs 0.123; P = .020). For HAI only, the rate was reduced from 0.081 to 0.034 (P = .013).
Patients cared for in ICU rooms with copper alloy surfaces had a significantly lower rate of incident HAI and/or colonization with MRSA or VRE than did patients treated in standard rooms. Additional studies are needed to determine the clinical effect of copper alloy surfaces in additional patient populations and settings.
This paper addresses the application of engineered nanocrystalline ultrahydrophilic titanium oxide films to artificial orthopaedic implants. Titanium (Ti) is the material of choice for orthopaedic applications and has been used for over fifty years because of its known bio-compatibility. Recently it was shown that biocompatibility of Ti metal is due to the presence of a thin native sub-stoichiometric titanium oxide layer  which enhances the adsorption of mediating proteins on the surface thus enhancing cell adhesion and growth [2,3,4]. Improving the quality of surface oxide, i.e. fabricating stoichiometric oxides as well as nanoengineering the surface topology that matches the dimensions of adhesive proteins, is crucial for the increase of protein adsorption  and, as a result, the biocompatibility of Ti implant materials. We have fabricated ultrahydrophilic nano-crystalline transparent films of anatase phase of titania (TiO2) by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) processes in an ultrahigh vacuum system. Source material was 99.9% pure rutile TiO2. Various ion beam conditions were used to produce these coatings with different grain sizes (4 to 70 nm) that affect the wettability, roughness, and the mechanical and optical properties of the coating . Our biological experiments have shown that biocompatibility of these ultrahydrophilic nanoengineered TiO2 coatings are superior to commonly used orthopaedic titanium and even hydroxyapatite.
We had ambitious goals for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s GameTech Program. We set out to use the lens of game design to expose nine- to thirteen-year-old youth to systems thinking, basic programming skills, the iterative design process, game-design concepts, and understanding the dynamics of real-world issues, something we call issue literacy. This was an incredible laundry list of pedagogical goals, each alone presenting its own complexities and together posing a rather daunting curriculum design challenge. The issues we encountered were numerous but can be boiled down to five core challenges: teaching the software tools to the point where they were not the locus of attention, instilling a deep understanding of games and systems thinking, the complexity of finding form-appropriate means of addressing issues in games, creating issue literacy, and the difficulties in assisting teachers and facilitators in teaching all the above.
This chapter is a travelogue of our work in this space, the challenges we faced along the way, and our encounters with other programs and projects pursuing similar goals. In the pages that follow we will explore the challenges in combining active learning through game design with differing forms of issue literacy and civic engagement. While the connections among game play, learning, and civic engagement have been explored and studied widely (Lenhart et al., 2008), using game design, not game play, as an entry point to learning about social and civic concerns is a much less explored pedagogical space. We will look at the difficulties presented by this curricular approach, our investigation of programs with similar pedagogical objectives, and how we refactored our approach in Activate!, a more recent online curriculum we developed for thirteen- to fifteen-year-olds. Framing our discussion is the question: Is learning to make games a natural next step in game-based learning programs, or is it a complete departure from programs based on play?
We have successfully developed a Seebeck coefficient Standard Reference Material (SRM™), Bi2Te3, that is essential for interlaboratory data comparison and for instrument calibration. Certification measurements were performed using a differential steady-state technique on 10 samples (15 measurements) randomly selected from a batch of 390 bars. The certified Seebeck coefficient values are provided from 10 to 390 K, and they are further supported by transient measurements. The availability of this SRM will validate measurement results, leading to a better understanding of the structure/property relationships and underlying physics of potential high-efficiency thermoelectric materials.
In 1979 Philip W. Kuchel published a paper  in the Mathematical Gazette on using curved mirrors as a means of demonstrating the transformation known as inversion in a circle. He called the mirrors ‘anamorphoscopes’ since he came to the idea as a special case of the conical mirror anamorphosis which was a popular optical toy from the seventeenth century onwards . In this paper we revisit his ideas with current technology and provide some extensions to Kuchel's derivation.
Refrigeration, air conditioning, and other cooling requirements in buildings, industry, and transportation sectors account for about 10 quads of U.S. primary energy consumption. Therefore, advanced technologies for space cooling in buildings and vehicles – as well as for refrigeration in residential, commercial, and industrial applications – that are more energy efficient, avoid net direct greenhouse gas emissions, reduce lifecycle costs, and can impact large markets are needed. Although current technologies are reaching their efficiency limits, thermoelectric (TE) materials can be used for cooling applications and have potential for significant improvements. Compared to traditional bulk phase TE materials, literature results suggest that nanometer-scale materials allow additional opportunities to improve the efficiency of TE materials. Aerogels are one type of nano-material that offers opportunities to increase the efficiency of TE materials by controlling particle size, particle composition and by reducing the thermal conductivity. Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) is the most studied TE material and our objective was to produce bismuth telluride aerogels with controlled microstructures and thermal conductivities to increase the TE figure of merit. Aspen Aerogels developed a novel synthesis method to prepare Bi2Te3 aerogels using the principles of colloidal chemistry and sol-gel chemistry. The reaction conditions were investigated and optimized so that gels could be obtained at low reaction temperatures. The gels were aged and dried using supercritical CO2. The aerogels were characterized by BET, XRD, and SEM. The best aerogels were hot pressed and Seebeck coefficients were determined. The synthetic approach developed and the properties of the aerogels will be presented and compared with Bi2Te3 aerogels and materials prepared by other methods.
The leucine metabolite, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), is a nutritional supplement that increases lean muscle and strength with exercise and in disease states. HMB is presently available as the Ca salt (CaHMB). The present study was designed to examine whether HMB in free acid gel form will improve HMB availability to tissues. Two studies were conducted and in each study four males and four females were given three treatments in a randomised, cross-over design. Treatments were CaHMB (gelatin capsule, 1 g), equivalent HMB free acid gel swallowed (FASW) and free acid gel held sublingual for 15 s then swallowed (FASL). Plasma HMB was measured for 3 h following treatment in study 1 and 24 h with urine collection in study 2. In both the studies, the times to peak plasma HMB were 128 (sem 11), 38 (sem 4) and 38 (sem 1) min (P < 0·0001) for CaHMB, FASW and FASL, respectively. The peak concentrations were 131 (sem 6), 249 (sem 14) and 239 (sem 14) μmol/l (P < 0·0001) for CaHMB, FASW and FASL, respectively. The areas under the curve were almost double for FASW and FASL (P < 0·0001). Daily urinary HMB excretion was not significantly increased resulting in more HMB retained (P < 0·003) with FASW and FASL. Half-lives were 3·17 (sem 0·22), 2·50 (sem 0·13) and 2·51 (sem 0·14) h for CaHMB, FASW and FASL, respectively (P < 0·004). Free acid gel resulted in quicker and greater plasma concentrations (+185 %) and improved clearance (+25 %) of HMB from plasma. In conclusion, HMB free acid gel could improve HMB availability and efficacy to tissues in health and disease.
The lifting of the ban on the attendance of Catholics at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in 1895, although intended primarily for laymen, was soon extended and led to the establishment of St. Edmund's House, Cambridge, for the secular (diocesan) clergy and the opening of houses of study at Oxford for the Jesuits (1896) and Benedictines (1897). Many bishops, however, remained ambivalent in their attitude to these developments, fearing that secular universities were a danger to the faith and morals of Catholics, and insisted that laymen should be obliged to attend extra lectures or conferences in which ‘Philosophy, History, and Religion shall be treated with such amplitude and solidity as to furnish effectual protection against false and erroneous teaching’.
In 1910 W. Gordon Gorman identified 572 clergymen of the Church of England who had become Catholics in the previous sixty years. Of this number a large proportion had gone on to seek ordination, but the marital status of many precluded this possibility. In addition to the sacrifices that married convert clergymen had to make, those without extensive private means were also faced with the necessity of earning their living and supporting their wives and children. This article charts the fortunes of one of their number, the difficult path to Rome, and his subsequent attempts to be of service to his new Communion.