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Early childhood intervention in Austria: An overview of 30 years of development and future challenges
Manfred Pretis
International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education , 2009,
Abstract: The situation of early childhood intervention in Austria is described from its beginning in the 1970s up to the present situation and future challenges. Children with disability or at risk of being disabled qualify for early childhood intervention as well as partly and to some extent also children in the context of socially disadvantaged families. Based on nine provincial laws, the structure of early childhood intervention in Austria is heterogeneous. A consensus regarding key terms, the age of the child (0 – 3 or 6), and home-based services exists. Future challenges focus on early identification of vulnerable target groups by increased communication with community based networks (social worker, mental health specialists) as the number of children with unspecific developmental delays or vulnerability will increase. The training programmes for early intervention professionals, as proposed for example in the project PRECIOUS (www.precious.at), must include the need for professionals to work with vulnerable families in general to a greater extent.
FAMILIES’ FIRST IN EARLYCHILDHOOD INTERVENTION.A THEORETICAL APPROACH TOWARDS PARENT’S INVOLVEMENT AND INCREASE OF EFFICIENCY OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION
Manfred PRETIS
Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation , 2012,
Abstract: Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for vulnerable children between the age of 0-3 and 6 can be seen as well established preventive service in Europe. Even though recent epidemiologic data indicate higher rates of vulnerability during childhood and adolescence, traditionally up to 6% of the children are eligible for the ECI treatment. Definitions describing the ECI include from stable or ad hoc trans-disciplinary teams helping the child, to specific professional profiles. There is a scientific consensus regarding the effects of the ECI upon the child’s development and the family dynamics. The ECI itself is responsible for more stable impact on the socio-emotional development of the child and the parent-child relationship. Specific focus in the research is given to the role of the parents as primary caregivers. Based on the importance of enhancing the interactions between the parents and the children, this paper discusses the strategies that help increase the efficiency of the ECI trough parental involvement. Special attention is dedicated to the mutual understanding, transparency and the use of common language such as the ICF.
Computational and Experimental Methods to Decipher the Epigenetic Code
Stefano de Pretis,Mattia Pelizzola
Frontiers in Genetics , 2014, DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00335
Abstract: A multi-layered set of epigenetic marks, including post-translational modifications of histones and methylation of DNA, is finely tuned to define the epigenetic state of chromatin in any given cell type under specific conditions. Recently, the knowledge about the combinations of epigenetic marks occurring in the genome of different cell types under various conditions is rapidly increasing. Computational methods were developed for the identification of these states, unraveling the combinatorial nature of epigenetic marks and their association to genomic functional elements and transcriptional states. Nevertheless, the precise rules defining the interplay between all these marks remain poorly characterized. In this perspective we review the current state of this research field, illustrating the power and the limitations of current approaches. Finally, we sketch future avenues of research illustrating how the adoption of specific experimental designs coupled with available experimental approaches could be critical for a significant progress in this area.
Education, Innovation and Growth in Quality-Ladder Models of North-North Trade  [PDF]
Manfred Stadler
Modern Economy (ME) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/me.2015.610107
Abstract: This paper extends and surveys some basic quality-ladder models of education, innovation and trade in order to explain the dynamics of technological change and aggregate growth in developed countries. We analyze how the stochastic processes of innovation and export adaptation are affected by asymmetric factor endowments, transport costs, and barriers to entry in foreign markets. We show that the country-specific innovation rates are permanently increasing in the effectiveness of education and the countries’ relative endowment with labor. Trade liberalization leads to a temporary increase in the innovation rates but to a permanent increase in the rates of export adaptation.
The Relevance of Web Mapping Infrastructures in a Web Portal for Desktop and Mobile Devices: A Case Study  [PDF]
Kai Behncke, Manfred Ehlers
Journal of Geographic Information System (JGIS) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2012.46056
Abstract: There exists a lack of detailed empirical studies to assess the relevance of WebMapping applications. Despite this fact, it is quite common to note that importance and influence of WebMapping applications have increased over the last years. This paper presents the result of an empirical study to analyze the importance of a Desktop-WebMapping application for a gastronomic web 2.0 portal for the city of Osnabrück. An exploratory focus is to evaluate how often geospatial information (in a broader information context) from this web portal is used and how important the WebMapping applications are for the users of the web portal. Furthermore, it is evaluated which WebMapping functions (e.g. routing, queries, printing) are of relevance to the users and what the order of importance is for the provided functions. To-date, just a few mobile WebMapping applications for handheld devices exist. Consequently, for OsnaGo we developed a mobile WebMapping component that can be used with mobile phones, PDAs and other handheld devices to access the web portal (http://www.osnago-mobil.de). Development and user based evaluation is presented in this paper.


Gauge Coupling Unification in Left-Right Symmetric Models
Manfred Lindner,Manfred Weiser
Physics , 1996, DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(96)00775-7
Abstract: We explore possibilities of gauge coupling unification in left--right symmetric models with non--minimal particle content. In addition to unification we require the absence of anomalies and sufficient proton lifetime. Numerous previously unknown solutions are presented where unification occurs within the latest experimental errors. Solutions exist where the scale of left--right symmetry breaking can be as low as ${\cal O}(TeV)$ or the scale $M_R$ as high as the Planck scale.
Dielectric Properties and the Phase Transition of Pure and Cerium Doped Calcium-Barium-Niobate  [PDF]
Alexander Niemer, Rainer Pankrath, Klaus Betzler, Manfred Burianek, Manfred Muehlberg
World Journal of Condensed Matter Physics (WJCMP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/wjcmp.2012.22014
Abstract: The complex dielectric constant of pure and cerium doped calcium-barium-niobate (CBN) was studied at frequencies 20 Hz ≤ f ≤ 1 MHz in the temperature range 300 K ≤ T ≤ 650 K and compared with the results for the well known ferroelectric relaxor strontium-barium-niobate (SBN). By the analysis of the systematically taken temperature and frequency dependent measurements of the dielectric constant the phase transition characteristic of the investigated materials was evaluated. From the results it must be assumed that CBN shows a slightly diffuse phase transition without relaxor behavior. Doping with cerium yields a definitely different phase transition characteristic with some indications for a relaxor type ferroelectric material, which are common from SBN.
Collective Defense of Aphis nerii and Uroleucon hypochoeridis (Homoptera, Aphididae) against Natural Enemies
Manfred Hartbauer
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010417
Abstract: The prevalent way aphids accomplish colony defense against natural enemies is a mutualistic relationship with ants or the occurrence of a specialised soldier caste typcial for eusocial aphids, or even both. Despite a group-living life style of those aphid species lacking these defense lines, communal defense against natural predators has not yet been observed there. Individuals of Aphis nerii (Oleander aphid) and Uroleucon hypochoeridis, an aphid species feeding on Hypochoeris radicata (hairy cat's ear), show a behavioral response to visual stimulation in the form of spinning or twitching, which is often accompanied by coordinated kicks executed with hind legs. Interestingly, this behaviour is highly synchronized among members of a colony and repetitive visual stimulation caused strong habituation. Observations of natural aphid colonies revealed that a collective twitching and kicking response (CTKR) was frequently evoked during oviposition attempts of the parasitoid wasp Aphidius colemani and during attacks of aphidophagous larvae. CTKR effectively interrupted oviposition attempts of this parasitoid wasp and even repelled this parasitoid from colonies after evoking consecutive CTKRs. In contrast, solitary feeding A. nerii individuals were not able to successfully repel this parasitoid wasp. In addition, CTKR was also evoked through gentle substrate vibrations. Laser vibrometry of the substrate revealed twitching-associated vibrations that form a train of sharp acceleration peaks in the course of a CTKR. This suggests that visual signals in combination with twitching-related substrate vibrations may play an important role in synchronising defense among members of a colony. In both aphid species collective defense in encounters with different natural enemies was executed in a stereotypical way and was similar to CTKR evoked through visual stimulation. This cooperative defense behavior provides an example of a surprising sociality that can be found in some aphid species that are not expected to be social at all.
Levels of Sulfur as an Essential Nutrient Element in the Soil-Crop-Food System in Austria
Manfred Sager
Agriculture , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/agriculture2010001
Abstract: Total sulfur data of various agricultural and food items from the lab of the author, have been compiled to develop an understanding of sulfur levels and ecological cycling in Austria. As sulfur level is not an included factor among the quality criteria of soil and fertilizer composition, the database is rather small. Problems in analytical determinations of total sulfur, in particular digestions, are outlined. As a protein component, sulfur is enriched in matrices of animal origin, in particular in egg white. There is substantial excretion from animals and man via urine. Organic fertilizers (manures, composts) might contribute significantly to the sulfur budget of soils, which is important for organic farming of crops with high sulfur needs. For soils, drainage is a main route of loss of soluble sulfate, thus pot experiments may yield unrealistic sulfur budgets.
Current State of Development of Electricity-Generating Technologies: A Literature Review
Manfred Lenzen
Energies , 2010, DOI: 10.3390/en3030462
Abstract: Electricity is perhaps the most versatile energy carrier in modern economies, and it is therefore fundamentally linked to human and economic development. Electricity growth has outpaced that of any other fuel, leading to ever-increasing shares in the overall mix. This trend is expected to continue throughout the following decades, as large—especially rural—segments of the world population in developing countries start to climb the “energy ladder” and become connected to power grids. Electricity therefore deserves particular attention with regard to its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, which is reflected in the ongoing development of low-carbon technologies for power generation. The focus of this updated review of electricity-generating technologies is twofold: (a) to provide more technical information than is usually found in global assessments on critical technical aspects, such as variability of wind power, and (b) to capture the most recent findings from the international literature. This report covers eight technologies. Seven of these are generating technologies: hydro-, nuclear, wind, photovoltaic, concentrating solar, geothermal and biomass power. The remaining technology is carbon capture and storage. This selection is fairly representative for technologies that are important in terms of their potential capacity to contribute to a low-carbon world economy.
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