Research Online @ ECU

    Decreased platelet APP isoform ratios in autosomal dominant Alzheimer\u27s desease : Baseline data from a DIAN chort subset

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    Introduction This study examines platelet amyloid precursor protein (APP) isoform ratios of 120KDa to 110KDa (APPr) between mutation carriers (MC) carrying a mutation for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease (ADAD) and non-carriers (NC). Two previous studies reported no significant difference in APPr between ADAD MC and NC, which may have been due to the small sample size in both studies. The current study examines APPr in MC versus NC in a larger sample. In addition, it investigated whether APPr correlate with neuroimaging data, neuropsychological data and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in a cohort subset derived from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study. Methods APPr were quantified by western blotting. Fifteen MC (symptomatic and asymptomatic) were compared against twelve NC using univariate general linear model. All participants underwent neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing which were correlated with APPr using Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r). Results APPr were lower in MC compared to NC (p=0.003) while Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were not significantly different (p\u3e0.1). Furthermore, APPr inversely correlated with amyloid imaging in the Caudate Nucleus (r=−0.505; p Conclusion APPr are lower in ADAD MC compared to NC, and inversely correlated with brain amyloid load prior to significant differences in cognitive health. However, the use of APPr as a biomarker needs to be explored further

    Creating business value through e-marketplace trading

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    Electronic marketplaces (e-marketplaces) have been researched over many years from the study of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems to the current internet based trading platforms. Early e-marketplaces connected a buyer and supplier using proprietary systems that established a market hierarchy. The buyer was responsible for the system, established the terms of trade and the electronically enabled supplier could connect to the system. These systems were costly to build, which limited their use, and only organisations with an integrated system could use them. The web based e-marketplaces opened up the possibility of connecting many buyers and suppliers and enabling electronic transactions. The e-marketplace offers opportunities for establishing trade relationships with many organisations across the world. Business to business (B2B) e-commerce is a significant part of the Australian economy and there are opportunities to take advantage of e-marketplace trading. One of the advantages of electronic trading is the ability of the technology to deliver transaction benefits; these can have a significant impact on organisations regardless of organisational size. However, despite the potential of the e-marketplace to deliver organisational benefits there have been limited studies which consider the strategic implementation of e-marketplace trading. Organisational strategy and the implementation of strategic initiatives involve interactions between organisational structures and agents. The analytical dualism this represents complicates uncovering the fundamental causes of e-marketplace participation. Not only does the adoption of e-marketplace trading impact on the buyer and supplier organisations, it introduces the e-marketplace vendor organisation and the e-marketplace technology into the participation decision. The complexity of the interactions across organisational structures and between organisational agents and technology adoption can produce a diversity of outcomes. The philosophical underpinning of critical realism for the study is supported by the lack of understanding as to why, and in what circumstances, organisations successfully participate in e-marketplace trading. The critical realist philosophy provides the opportunity to understand the interrelationships between context, organisational structures and agents and identify the causal mechanisms involved in producing various outcomes. It allows for the development of middle level theory as existing theories are examined to explain the perceived phenomena. Large organisations operating in Western Australia are used as case studies to uncover the causal relationships between context, structures and agents that can produce successful, strategic implementation of e-marketplace participation. Existing literature in relation to e-marketplaces and IT adoption is used to develop the research questions and formulate the interview questions. The structured case methodology is used to analyse each case and relate the findings to possible explanatory theories. Context, mechanism and outcome patterns, identified in each case, are presented. Building on economic market, institutional and network theories the research identifies organising vision theory and community discourse as explanations for organisational legitimation that can circumscribe the use of e-marketplace trading. Six types of community group that influence organisational adoption of e-marketplace technology are identified. The research suggests that the influence of these groups within the organisation, the fit with organisational culture and strategic objectives can prevent or instigate change. Further, the decision making process supported by the group (or group member) is more influential in the strategic adoption of the e-marketplace than the ability of the technology to deliver efficiency or transaction processing gains. This implies that technology adoption studies should include contextual and environmental issues and practitioners should examine how much their decision making is influenced by organisational and environmental features. The thesis contributes to the discussion on organising vision theory, e-marketplace trading and business value creation. It demonstrates the application of the structured case study methodology to research that is underpinned by critical realism

    Interactive e-Assessments

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    It is useful for teachers to reflect on the future formats that will be necessary for assessment tasks. There is currently much discussion concerning the need for immersive and authentic learning environments. Teachers will need to investigate assessments that mix real and virtual environments, testing declarative knowledge and also conditional and procedural capabilities. Teachers will need to contemplate using assessments that measure approaches to problem solving and student responses in terms of efficiency, ethical considerations and the involvement of others. This image of assessment is still sometime away, but will be within reach in the short term. Are academic staff ready to use this framework for assessment? e-Assessment tasks provide opportunities for academic staff to move beyond the type of question traditionally presented in a paper format. Interactivity is possible in e-assessments so that students are more engaged with the prescribed task and permit assessment to become a genuine learning and teaching tool, rather than just a summative evaluation. Java applets and browser plugins enable teachers to create assessment tasks that encourage active participation and the use of real world data or professional tools, to show the extent of student learning. The interactivity inherent in this type of assessment allows students to explore, or make errors, and often seek their own solutions to the assessment tasks. Many java applets are freely available on the web and teachers may use them as stand alone tools within the eassessment task. The science discipline areas such chemistry, biology, geology, physics, mathematics and statistics are well represented, with other discipline areas such as music, business, economics and commerce having some tools available

    Grandparental investment: A relic of the past or a resource for the future?

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    From changing diapers and minding the kids when school is out to providing support when they set fire to the carpet, grandparents can be invaluable to have around. What motivates grandparents to lend a hand? Several disciplines have offered answers. The most important accounts come from life-history theory and evolutionary psychology, sociology, and economics. These accounts exist side-by-side, but there is little theoretical integration among them. But regardless of whether grandparental investment is traced back to ancestral selection pressure or attributed to an individual grandparent’s values or norms, one important question is, What impact does it have in industrialized, low-fertility, low-mortality societies? We briefly review the initial evidence concerning the impact of grandparental investment in industrialized societies and conclude that in difficult circumstances, grandparents can provide the support that safeguards their grandchildren’s development. Additional cross-disciplinary research to examine the effects of intergenerational transfers in our evolutionarily unique environment of grandparenthood is needed

    Relations between Teachers’ Classroom Goals and Values: A Case Study of High School Teachers in Far North Queensland, Australia

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    To date, there is an empirical gap in the evidence of the relations between teachers’ classroom goals and values, two key variables linked to students’ achievement motivation. The purpose of this study was to investigate this relationship in an Australian teacher sample. We surveyed 102 high school teachers from seven schools in Cairns, Queensland using items of Wentzel’s Classroom Goals Scales and Schwartz’s Portrait Values Questionnaire. Results showed several positive associations between teachers’ classroom goals and values. Social goals were linked to a wide range of values, while academic goals were linked to specific value dimensions, e.g. mastery approach goals were positively correlated with openness to change and self-transcendence values, performance approach goals with self-enhancement values and conformity. Mastery approach goals and social goals were related to similar values, unlike performance approach goals. Schools could benefit from examining their hidden value curriculum in order to maximise teachers’ communication of academically relevant learning goals

    iPhone forensics methodology and tools

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    iPhone mobile devices are rapidly overtaking the new generation of mobile phones market, especially among the young generation. It is also gaining a lot of popularity among security specialists and fancy gadgets for collectors. The device is considered as a “special” mobile phone due to its ability to perform multi-operations if not multitasking. It can therefore be used as a entertainment media device, a camera, a GPS, Internet surfing via Wi-Fi technology, Internet Mobile Edge Services, personal organizer, and finally performing as a cell phone with all the usual services including sms, and so forth. However, the difference between the iPhone and the other conventional phones vendors is its ability to store and process huge volume of data which is supported by decent computing capabilities of the iPhone processor. As part of every technology, such a device can be used for legal and illegal activities. Therefore the potential risks from such “special” technology are not limited to the possibility of containing illegal materials, such as audios and visuals, including explicit materials, images, documents and the possibility of propagating malicious activities rapidly. Such modification can breach or tamper with the telecommunications network authorities and regulations. The goal of this paper is to focus on both the logical and the physical extraction of the iPhone generation one through the extraction of the iPhone flash drive NAND memory chip and also the logical extraction of data onto the second generation of iPhone using various techniques and methods at our disposal

    The effect of classical music on painting quality, attitude and behaviour for students with severe intellectual disabilities

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    The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a new Pictorial and Musical Visual Arts Program for students with severe intellectual disabilities. In particular, to learn whether the addition of classical music as background helped students improve the quality of their abstract paintings, attitudes and behaviour in class

    Aligning with the rapidly shifting technological goalposts : the review and update of the RIMPA technology survey

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    In 2008 the Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA) organisation (then known as the Records Management Association of Australasia – RMAA) launched its Technology Survey. The survey attempted to capture a snapshot, predominantly but not exclusively in Australia and New Zealand, and gain empirical evidence about the use of technology adoption trends, RIM capabilities in host organisations and the role of RIM personnel in technology selection and adoption. The survey had a particular focus on Records Management (RM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems and processes, but also featured questions on the demographics of the participants, organisational policies and processes around these technologies and peripheral devices. In 2010 the survey was repeated. Consequently, the survey became more than a one-off cross-sectional snapshot and could lay claim to being a longitudinal study, however as a longitudinal study instrument the current survey is lacking validity and reliability. A consensus exists, however, that changes are required going forward if the survey is to continue. This consensus is based on issues that have emerged from analysis of the two iterations of the current instrument. The issues that need to be addressed are: • Low participation rate • The relatively high number of questions skipped • The overall length of the survey • Ensuring the survey has a clear and distinct aim • Ensuring what is captured is core to the survey’s aim • Ensuring what is captured is relevant to the RIM profession • The ambiguity of questions • Misunderstanding of questions • Scope – expansion of the instrument to encompass technology learning, knowledge and skills of RIM professions These issues were identified by Brogan and Roberts in their analyses of the 2008 and 2010 data (2009, 2011 and 2012). This study is an examination and revision of the current technology survey instrument, aimed at ensuring that issues of relevancy, currency, usability, design and clarity of terms and definitions are all addressed, resulting in a valid and reliable longitudinal study instrument. The research design employed involved: a) investigation of the peer reviewed literature on survey participation and instrument design; b) investigation of peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature on technology in the RIM space; c) Convening of a panel of experts (focus group) to provide feedback on the existing instrument; d) Re-design of the existing instrument taking into account outcomes from a-c; and e) Validation of the re-designed instrument via the Focus Group The Focus Group review involved six highly regarded and knowledgeable participants pro-active in the RIM profession who trialled the instrument in a subsequent Pilot Test. The Focus Group provided additional feedback on scope and usability from a user perspective. The final survey produced will enable RIMPA to be informed on the technology education and training needs of its members, as well as continuing to track technology adoption and RIM program trends in the workplace

    The systematic interest rate risk of the returns on Australian bank shares

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    This paper examines the relationship bank share returns have with interest rate changes. Specifically, what is the systematic interest rate risk of Australian bank share returns. The reasons why bank shares and interest rates possibly have a relationship with interest rates are numerous, interrelated and complicated. Shares and interest rates generally have a relationship because of the comparison made between interest bearing securities and dividend paying shares. However, the relationship is compounded with banks, because of their exposure to interest rate risk. This paper involves two separate analyses. The firp.t part involves attempting to measure a bank share\u27s interest rate sensitivity. This will be achieved using a two index market model, which will give a measure of a banks systematic interest rate risk. The second part attempts to discover the reasons for this relationships existence. This involves a survey of banking analysts. The two index market model was applied to the ANZ Banking Group (ANZ); National Australia Bank (NAB), and; Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC). In addition the Australian Bank Accumulation Index (Bank Index) was used to gain an indication of the general relationship between bank shares and interest rates. The results indicate that the relationship between interest rate changes and a shares return is strongest and inverse for NAB. At various times WBC and the Bank Index showed a significant relationship. However, this was unstable, and varied in both strength and direction over time. At no time was a relationship found for the ANZ. The survey gave reasons for these results. A general relationship was thought to exist mainly because of the comparison made by investors between interest bearing securities and dividend paying shares. The analysts did not believe the operating aspects of banks played a major role in determining this relationship. With rega1d to the differences bank to bank, NAB has a stronger relationship because it is not hampered to the same extent as ANZ and WBC are by poor asset quality. Therefore, interest rate changes are allowed to play a more important role in determining the return on NAB shares. Whereas, for ANZ and WBC, their shares return are affected by other factors which are considered more important than interest rate changes

    Identification requirements and policy in alternative remittance : a measure of legislative adherence

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    Money laundering is a persistent threat to the economic viability of every nation. However the intent behind this behaviour does not always converge with the criminality of the act. A study of 395 international university students in Australia demonstrated a prominent cultural and regional norm in South Asia to use untraceable ‘informal’ remittance systems. Under Australian legislation, the use of a non-compliant alternative or informal value transfer system (IVTS) is an act that predicates the laundering of money regardless of intent. Yet in line with a clear cultural proclivity and trust in money transfer businesses, it is evident that many ordinary people still use these systems everyday alongside criminals and terrorists.The data in this study highlights a trend of willingness in remittance staff to accept student identification as valid identification for an international money transfer. The international anti-money laundering regime is a broad-scope, top-down system, which recommends a standard format of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulation for all at-risk sectors of a national economy. However, the abuse of globally recognised monetary transfer systems is symptomatic of the flaws in this broad approach. Australia’s Financial Intelligence Unit AUSTRAC has recognised the need for less restrictive regulation of alternative remittance business. Despite this fact, the regulation of the Australian alternative remittance sector has failed to account for the environmental, cultural, and informal heritage impact factors in this process, which has reduced the efficacy of Australia’s AML/CTF programme. A second data set suggests that regulatory inadequacies extend beyond the border, to alternative and informal systems which regularly send untraceable money to and from Australia uninhibited. The findings of this research conclude that there are eight barriers which inhibit AML/CTF compliance in alternative remittance businesses. These barriers range from cultural, environmental, and trust based networks, to commercial and regulatory opportunism
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