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Team Players and Team Managers: Special Educators Working with Paraeducators to Support Inclusive Classrooms  [PDF]
Betty Y. Ashbaker, Jill Morgan
Creative Education (CE) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.33051
Abstract: This paper summarizes recommendations from a selection of international research literature urging teachers to take the initiative in their own classrooms to invite paraeducators to participate fully as team players in collaborative work. In US classrooms paraeducators (teacher aides/teacher assistants) have long been making valuable contributions in providing education services to students with a variety of needs. The literature documents change in their roles. Legislation has influenced their required qualifications—although legislation still refers to them as paraprofessionals. While some researchers have cast doubt on whether paraeducators are truly effective in their assigned roles, others have warned that the education system is over-reliant on them. In response to this changing perspective, teacher educators must revise programs to better prepare teacher candidates to effectively team with paraeducators. Personnel developers and school administrators must provide inservice training for a generation of teachers who have received little if any training in this area.
A Murine Model of Variant Late Infantile Ceroid Lipofuscinosis Recapitulates Behavioral and Pathological Phenotypes of Human Disease
Jeremy P. Morgan, Helen Magee, Andrew Wong, Tarah Nelson, Bettina Koch, Jonathan D. Cooper, Jill M. Weimer
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078694
Abstract: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs; also known collectively as Batten Disease) are a family of autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders. Mutations in as many as 13 genes give rise to ~10 variants of NCL, all with overlapping clinical symptomatology including visual impairment, motor and cognitive dysfunction, seizures, and premature death. Mutations in CLN6 result in both a variant late infantile onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL) as well as an adult-onset form of the disease called Type A Kufs. CLN6 is a non-glycosylated membrane protein of unknown function localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In this study, we perform a detailed characterization of a naturally occurring Cln6 mutant (Cln6nclf) mouse line to validate its utility for translational research. We demonstrate that this Cln6nclf mutation leads to deficits in motor coordination, vision, memory, and learning. Pathologically, we demonstrate loss of neurons within specific subregions and lamina of the cortex that correlate to behavioral phenotypes. As in other NCL models, this model displays selective loss of GABAergic interneuron sub-populations in the cortex and the hippocampus with profound, early-onset glial activation. Finally, we demonstrate a novel deficit in memory and learning, including a dramatic reduction in dendritic spine density in the cerebral cortex, which suggests a reduction in synaptic strength following disruption in CLN6. Together, these findings highlight the behavioral and pathological similarities between the Cln6nclf mouse model and human NCL patients, validating this model as a reliable format for screening potential therapeutics.
Qualitative studies of obesity: A review of methodology  [PDF]
Ian Brown, Jill Gould
Health (Health) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/health.2013.58A3010

BACKGROUND: There is a developing interest in qualitative research to understand the perspectives and experiences of people living with obesity. However, obesity is a stigmatised condition associated with negative stereotypes. Social contexts emphasizing large body size as a problem, including research interviews, may amplify obesity stigma. This study reviews the methodology employed by qualitative studies in which study participants were obese and data collection involved face-to-face interviews. METHODS: Database searches identified qualitative studies meeting inclusion criteria from 1995 to 2012. Following screening and appraisal data were systematically extracted and analyzed from 31 studies. RESULTS: The studies included 1206 participants with a mean age of 44 years and mean BMI of37 kg/m2. Women (78.8%) outnumbered men (21.2%) by four to one. Socio-economic background was not consistently reported. The studies employed similar, typically pragmatic, qualitative methodologies, providing rich textual data on the experience of obesity derived from face-to-face interviews. The majority considered quality issues in data collection, analyses and generalizability of findings. However, the studies were weak as regards researcher reflexivity in relation to interviewer characteristics and obesity stigma. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of obesity stigma has not been attended to in the qualitative research. Clear information about study

Solution Structure of the LIM-Homeodomain Transcription Factor Complex Lhx3/Ldb1 and the Effects of a Pituitary Mutation on Key Lhx3 Interactions
Mugdha Bhati, Christopher Lee, Morgan S. Gadd, Cy M. Jeffries, Ann Kwan, Andrew E. Whitten, Jill Trewhella, Joel P. Mackay, Jacqueline M. Matthews
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040719
Abstract: Lhx3 is a LIM-homeodomain (LIM-HD) transcription factor that regulates neural cell subtype specification and pituitary development in vertebrates, and mutations in this protein cause combined pituitary hormone deficiency syndrome (CPHDS). The recently published structures of Lhx3 in complex with each of two key protein partners, Isl1 and Ldb1, provide an opportunity to understand the effect of mutations and posttranslational modifications on key protein-protein interactions. Here, we use small-angle X-ray scattering of an Ldb1-Lhx3 complex to confirm that in solution the protein is well represented by our previously determined NMR structure as an ensemble of conformers each comprising two well-defined halves (each made up of LIM domain from Lhx3 and the corresponding binding motif in Ldb1) with some flexibility between the two halves. NMR analysis of an Lhx3 mutant that causes CPHDS, Lhx3(Y114C), shows that the mutation does not alter the zinc-ligation properties of Lhx3, but appears to cause a structural rearrangement of the hydrophobic core of the LIM2 domain of Lhx3 that destabilises the domain and/or reduces the affinity of Lhx3 for both Ldb1 and Isl1. Thus the mutation would affect the formation of Lhx3-containing transcription factor complexes, particularly in the pituitary gland where these complexes are required for the production of multiple pituitary cell types and hormones.
MicroRNA-218 Is Deleted and Downregulated in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Morgan R. Davidson,Jill E. Larsen,Ian A. Yang,Nicholas K. Hayward,Belinda E. Clarke,Edwina E. Duhig,Linda H. Passmore,Rayleen V. Bowman,Kwun M. Fong
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012560
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small, non-coding RNA species functioning as negative regulators of multiple target genes including tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes. Many miRNA gene loci are located within cancer-associated genomic regions. To identify potential new amplified oncogenic and/or deleted tumour suppressing miRNAs in lung cancer, we inferred miRNA gene dosage from high dimensional arrayCGH data. From miRBase v9.0 (http://microrna.sanger.ac.uk), 474 human miRNA genes were physically mapped to regions of chromosomal loss or gain identified from a high-resolution genome-wide arrayCGH study of 132 primary non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) (a training set of 60 squamous cell carcinomas and 72 adenocarcinomas). MiRNAs were selected as candidates if their immediately flanking probes or host gene were deleted or amplified in at least 25% of primary tumours using both Analysis of Copy Errors algorithm and fold change (≥±1.2) analyses. Using these criteria, 97 miRNAs mapped to regions of aberrant copy number. Analysis of three independent published lung cancer arrayCGH datasets confirmed that 22 of these miRNA loci showed directionally concordant copy number variation. MiR-218, encoded on 4p15.31 and 5q35.1 within two host genes (SLIT2 and SLIT3), in a region of copy number loss, was selected as a priority candidate for follow-up as it is reported as underexpressed in lung cancer. We confirmed decreased expression of mature miR-218 and its host genes by qRT-PCR in 39 NSCLCs relative to normal lung tissue. This downregulation of miR-218 was found to be associated with a history of cigarette smoking, but not human papilloma virus. Thus, we show for the first time that putative lung cancer-associated miRNAs can be identified from genome-wide arrayCGH datasets using a bioinformatics mapping approach, and report that miR-218 is a strong candidate tumour suppressing miRNA potentially involved in lung cancer.
When Children Draw vs When Children Don’t: Exploring the Effects of Observational Drawing in Science  [PDF]
Jill E. Fox, Joohi Lee
Creative Education (CE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.47A1002

The purpose of this study was to investigate how kindergarten children’s observational drawings impact their information retention. This research was conducted in an urban school in a large metropolitan area in the southwestern United States. Forty-two kindergarten children participated in this study; approximately 97% of them qualified for free and/or reduced lunch. For this study, children’s retention of factual information was compared using a paired t-test of when they drew and when they didn’t. Children scored higher on all 7 items—descriptions of observation, location, action, color, size, shape, and sound—when they drew than when they didn’t. Findings were statistically significant for descriptions of observation (t = 3.08, p = .00) and location (t = 2.36, p = .02).

Occupational Noise Levels in Two Fish Rearing Buildings at an Aquaculture Facility  [PDF]
Jill Voorhees, Michael E. Barnes
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine (ODEM) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/odem.2017.52006
Abstract: Occupational noise is commonly encountered during aquaculture. This study documented noise levels in two buildings at a production fish hatchery, a tank room with 32, 1.8-m diameter tanks, and a rearing pavilion with 32, 6.1-m diameter tanks. With water flowing to all of the tanks in the tank room, mean noise levels were 68.4 dB, and significantly increased to 73.0 dB during tank cleaning and 73.2 dB when intermittent automatic feeders were running. The highest tank room values of 77.1 dB were recorded directly next to individual tanks during cleaning. With water flowing to all of the tanks in the rearing pavilion, mean noise levels were 70.2 dB. A significant increase to 76.1 dB was observed when the pavilion tanks were being power washed, with the highest value of 83.2 dB recorded immediately adjacent to the power washer. Although none of the noise levels exceeded regulatory limits, the use of techniques to reduce occupational noise in aquaculture environments is recommended.
The Value of Beauty in Theory Pursuit: Kuhn, Duhem, and Decision Theory  [PDF]
Gregory J. Morgan
Open Journal of Philosophy (OJPP) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31003

Should judgments of beauty play a guiding role in theoretical science even if beauty is not a sign of truth? In this paper I argue that they should in certain cases. If we analyze the rationality of theoretical pursuit using decision theory, a theory’s beauty can influence the utilities of the various options confronting the researcher. After considering the views of Pierre Duhem and Thomas Kuhn on aesthetics in science, I suggest that because we value freedom of inquiry we rightly allow scientists some choice in how they value aesthetic properties of theories and thus some freedom to use beauty to guide their research program.

Student Experience and Ubiquitous Learning in Higher Education: Impact of Wireless and Cloud Applications  [PDF]
Vladlena Benson, Stephanie Morgan
Creative Education (CE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.48A001

Mobile learning apps for smartphones and tablet computer devices have entered Higher Education (HE) market. While universities are investing in new technologies, they also look into cost reduction strategies, including cloud computing. We draw upon a case study of a successful migration to mobile virtual environment and effective use of cloud computing at a UK university. Success factors and challenges of these emerging technologies in HE are discussed. The paper concludes with the consideration of student experience implications and research questions which need addressing in the area of ubiquitous learning.

Physico-Chemical Quality of Selected Drinking Water Sources in Mbarara Municipality, Uganda  [PDF]
Ben Lukubye, Morgan Andama
Journal of Water Resource and Protection (JWARP) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2017.97047
Abstract: The study assessed the physico-chemical quality of selected drinking water sources (springs, boreholes, shallow wells and rainfall) in Mbarara municipality with respect to World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water guidelines and other guidelines in light of the increased anthropogenic activities in the municipality. A total of 70 water samples were collected from purposively selected boreholes, springs, wells and rainwater in Nyamitanga, Kamukuzi and Kakoba divisions of Mbarara municipality with various human activities. The samples were analysed for physico-chemical parameters: Temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Total hardness using American Public Health Association (APHA) standard methods. The mean temperature and pH ranged between 18.07 °C - 23.45 °C and 5.74 - 7.54, respectively. The mean DO values were found to be between 4.84 and 12.86 mg/l; whereas mean BOD was within the range of 1.83 - 7.71 mg/l. The mean TDS and EC of the water samples ranged, between 33.40 - 569.20 mg/l and 29.30 - 1139.90 μS/cm respectively. Furthermore, the lowest and highest mean total hardness were 70.00 and 264.00 mg/l, respectively. The recorded mean water temperatures for each of the water sources were above the WHO threshold temperature (15 °C) which makes drinking water palatable. Boreholes in Nyamitanga and Shuhaddea Secondary Schools, spring in Kiswahili, well in Kisenyi and rainwater in Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) had mean pH below the WHO minimum guideline value (6.5) hence acidic. Borehole in Nyamitanga secondary school, spring in Kisenyi, shallow well in Nyamitanga and the rainwater in MUST had mean DO values below the WHO range (10 - 12 mg/l). Borehole in Shuhaddea Secondary School and the well in Kisenyi had average BOD values above the range of European Union guideline values (3 - 6 mg/l). TDS and EC of all the water sources were below the WHO maximum guideline limits of 1000 mg/l and 1500 μs/cm respectively. Total hardness was also below the WHO harmless limit of 1000 mg/l. However rainwater in MUST was moderately soft while the other drinking water sources exhibited moderate to full total hardness. The physicochemical parameters of some of the selected water sources in Mbarara municipality have been compromised mainly by the increased human activities especially croplands, latrines, landfills, transportation, animal and municipal wastes at the vicinity of the water sources. Mbarara municipal council should therefore ensure
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