AUT Scholarly Commons

    Investor Protection, Firm Fundamentals Information and Stock Price Synchronicity

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    This paper reports a cross-country study on the use of firm fundamentals information (FFI) in capital market pricing decisions with institutional arrangements for investor protection (IP) as a moderating variable. We use accounting accruals information (AAI) as a proxy for FFI and stock price synchronicity (SPS) as a measure of use of FFI and other information in capital market pricing decisions. Morck, Yeung and Yu (MYY) (2000) posit that when the information environment in a capital market is more developed, investors use FFI of firms in making investment decisions and this lowers SPS. Conversely, when the information environment in a capital market is less developed, investors rely more on market information in making investment decisions and this increases SPS. Using data from 1995 to 2010 for the 40 countries of MYY, we find that AAI is associated with SPS only when IP levels are high, which suggests that investors rely on FFI in making investment decisions when IP is stronger

    Assessing the Test–retest Repeatability of Insulin Resistance Measures: Homeostasis Model Assessment 2 and Oral Glucose Insulin Sensitivity

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    Background: Insulin resistance is commonly assessed using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) variants. HOMA is potentially insensitive to change because of its high coefficient of variation. The repeatability coefficient is an alternative means of assessing test repeatability. To be confident of clinical change, rather than biological variation, a subsequent test needs to differ from the former by more than the repeatability coefficient using the equation. Test 1 = Test 2 ± repeatability coefficient. The repeatability coefficients for measures of insulin resistance are unknown. Aim: To compare the repeatability coefficient of HOMA2 variants (Beta-cell function [%B], insulin sensitivity [%S], insulin resistance [IR]) to a dynamic measure of insulin resistance, and the oral glucose insulin sensitivity (OGIS) test. Setting: The raw data from a previously used data set were reanalysed. Methods: Glycaemic and insulinaemic tests were performed on 32 men and women both with (n = 10) and without type 2 diabetes (n = 22). From these data, eight fasting tests and three 50-g oral glucose tolerance tests were used to calculate HOMA2 and OGIS. The methods of Bland and Altman assessed repeatability. Results: Repeatability coefficients for all participants for the HOMA2 %B, %S and IR variants were 72.91, 189.75 and 0.9, which equates to 89%, 135% and 89% of their respective grand means. By contrast, OGIS had a repeatability coefficient of 87.13, which equates to 21% of the grand mean. Conclusion: Because of the high repeatability coefficient relative to the grand mean, use of HOMA2 measures for assessing insulin resistance in small population studies should be reconsidered

    Citizen Science Applied to Building Healthier Community Environments: Advancing the Field Through Shared Construct and Measurement Development

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    Background: Physical inactivity across the lifespan remains a public health issue for many developed countries. Inactivity has contributed considerably to the pervasiveness of lifestyle diseases. Government, national and local agencies and organizations have been unable to systematically, and in a coordinated way, translate behavioral research into practice that makes a difference at a population level. One approach for mobilizing multi-level efforts to improve the environment for physical activity is to engage in a process of citizen science. Citizen Science here is defined as a participatory research approach involving members of the public working closely with research investigators to initiate and advance scientific research projects. However, there are no common measures or protocols to guide citizen science research at the local community setting. Objectives: We describe overarching categories of constructs that can be considered when designing citizen science projects expected to yield multi-level interventions, and provide an example of the citizen science approach to promoting PA. We also recommend potential measures across different levels of impact. Discussion: Encouraging some consistency in measurement across studies will potentially accelerate the efficiency with which citizen science participatory research provides new insights into and solutions to the behaviorally-based public health issues that drive most of morbidity and mortality. The measures described in this paper abide by four fundamental principles specifically selected for inclusion in citizen science projects: feasibility, accuracy, propriety, and utility. The choice of measures will take into account the potential resources available for outcome and process evaluation. Our intent is to emphasize the importance for all citizen science participatory projects to follow an evidence-based approach and ensure that they incorporate an appropriate assessment protocol. Conclusions: We provided the rationale for and a list of contextual factors along with specific examples of measures to encourage consistency among studies that plan to use a citizen science participatory approach. The potential of this approach to promote health and wellbeing in communities is high and we hope that we have provided the tools needed to optimally promote synergistic gains in knowledge across a range of Citizen Science participatory projects

    Differential Expression of Novel Metabolic and Immunological Biomarkers in Oysters Challenged With a Virulent Strain of OsHV-1

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    Early lifestages of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) are highly susceptible to infection by OsHV-1 μVar, but little information exists regarding metabolic or pathophysiological responses of larval hosts. Using a metabolomics approach, we identified a range of metabolic and immunological responses in oyster larvae exposed to OsHV-1 μVar; some of which have not previously been reported in molluscs. Multivariate analyses of entire metabolite profiles were able to separate infected from non-infected larvae. Correlation analysis revealed the presence of major perturbations in the underlying biochemical networks and secondary pathway analysis of functionally-related metabolites identified a number of prospective pathways differentially regulated in virus-exposed larvae. These results provide new insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of OsHV-1 infection in oyster larvae, which may be applied to develop disease mitigation strategies and/or as new phenotypic information for selective breeding programmes aiming to enhance viral resistance

    Identification and Activation of TLR4-mediated Signalling Pathways by Alginate-derived Guluronate Oligosaccharide in RAW264.7 Macrophages

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    Alginate, a natural acidic polysaccharide extracted from marine brown seaweeds, is composed of different blocks of β-(1, 4)-D-mannuronate (M) and its C-5 epimer α-(1, 4)-L-guluronate (G). Alginate-derived guluronate oligosaccharide (GOS) readily activates macrophages. However, to understand its role in immune responses, further studies are needed to characterize GOS transport and signalling. Our results show that GOS is recognized by and upregulates Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on RAW264.7 macrophages, followed by its endocytosis via TLR4. Increased expression of TLR4 and myeloid differentiation protein 2 (MD2) results in Akt phosphorylation and subsequent activation of both nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Moreover, GOS stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs); notably, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation depends on TLR4 initiation. All these events contribute to the production of inflammatory mediators, either together or separately. Our findings also reveal that GOS induces cytoskeleton remodelling in RAW264.7 cells and promotes macrophage proliferation in mice ascites, both of which improve innate immunity. Conclusively, our investigation demonstrates that GOS, which is dependent on TLR4, is taken up by macrophages and stimulates TLR4/Akt/NF-κB, TLR4/Akt/mTOR and MAPK signalling pathways and exerts impressive immuno-stimulatory activity

    Navigating the Storm of Deteriorating Patients: Seven Scaffolds for Simulation Design

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    Recent trends in simulation use have necessitated a more considered approach in the use of this teaching/learning tool. The aim of this research is to discover ways to improve simulation as a teaching/learning platform. Action research was used to answer the question, “How can I improve pedagogical practices with undergraduate nurses in simulation?” This study was implemented at a University in Auckland, New Zealand between November 2012 and March 2014. A purposive sample was sought from second and third-year nursing students (n = 161) enrolled in the three-year undergraduate bachelor of nursing program. Methods included focus groups, questionnaires, debriefing sessions, pre- and post-tests, and Lasater clinical judgment rubric analysis. Seven instructional scaffolds emerged which maximized student learning and retention. These scaffolds: 1) helped move students from known into unknown knowledge; 2) provided situated coaching; 3) modeled expected performance; 4) gave opportunity for improvement; 5) reduced confusion; 6) taught effective communication; and 7) promoted new learning through debriefing. These strategies resulted in a simulation experience which improved clinical reasoning in undergraduate nursing students

    Continuous Transition in Outsourcing: A Case Study

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    Outsourcing is typically considered to occur in three phases: decision, transition and operation. As outsourcing is now well established the switching of vendors and transitioning from one system to another is common. However, most of the research to date on outsourcing has focused on the decision and operation phases, leaving a gap between theory and practice concerning the transition phase. Transition in outsourcing entails the changing of systems, business processes and/or vendors. If a suitable transition approach is not applied pressures for another transition can immediately build. This paper presents results from a case study carried out on the 'Novopay Project' in which the Ministry of Education in New Zealand changed their vendor from an onshore to a near-shore provider. This project resulted in a sequence of three transitions, with each following a different approach as a direct result of the experiences encountered in the previous transition. In this research we made use of the rich 'data dump' of evidence provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE). Our analysis describes how a client organization can become trapped in a continuous transition cycle if a suitable approach is not applied. Transition1 involved the client – MoE – moving from complete outsourcing to selective insourcing. After realizing that they did not have the capabilities to manage insourcing, Transition2 was initiated. In Transition2 the sourcing approach reverted back to complete outsourcing. When it was realized that the new vendor in Transition2 could not in fact deliver a new service model or support end-users in following new business processes, Transition3 was initiated. In Transition3, the client established an internal company to insource service operations to support end-users. Transition can be a sound business strategy initiated for a range of reasons. However, if a flawed sourcing approach is chosen it can result in 'continuous transition'

    The Analogy Between Heat and Mass Transfer in Low Temperature Crossflow Evaporation

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    This study experimentally determines the relationship between the heat and mass transfer, in a crossflow configuration in which a ducted airflow passes through a planar water jet. An initial exploration using the Chilton-Colburn analogy resulted in a coefficient of determination of 0.72. On this basis, a re-examination of the heat and mass transfer processes by Buckingham's-π theorem and a least square analysis led to the proposal of a new dimensionless number referred to as the Lewis Number of Evaporation. A modified version of the Chilton-Colburn analogy incorporating the Lewis Number of Evaporation was developed leading to a coefficient of determination of 0.96

    Analysis of Data Collected From Right and Left Limbs: Accounting for Dependence and Improving Statistical Efficiency in Musculoskeletal Research

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    Objectives Statistical techniques currently used in musculoskeletal research often inefficiently account for paired-limb measurements or the relationship between measurements taken from multiple regions within limbs. This study compared three commonly used analysis methods with a mixed-models approach that appropriately accounted for the association between limbs, regions, and trials and that utilised all information available from repeated trials. Method Four analysis were applied to an existing data set containing plantar pressure data, which was collected for seven masked regions on right and left feet, over three trials, across three participant groups. Methods 1–3 averaged data over trials and analysed right foot data (Method 1), data from a randomly selected foot (Method 2), and averaged right and left foot data (Method 3). Method 4 used all available data in a mixed-effects regression that accounted for repeated measures taken for each foot, foot region and trial. Confidence interval widths for the mean differences between groups for each foot region were used as a criterion for comparison of statistical efficiency. Results Mean differences in pressure between groups were similar across methods for each foot region, while the confidence interval widths were consistently smaller for Method 4. Method 4 also revealed significant between-group differences that were not detected by Methods 1–3. Conclusion A mixed effects linear model approach generates improved efficiency and power by producing more precise estimates compared to alternative approaches that discard information in the process of accounting for paired-limb measurements. This approach is recommended in generating more clinically sound and statistically efficient research outputs

    Submission on the Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

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    The Draft of the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill as it stands creates barriers to women making equal pay claims, with a substantial onus on individual women to conduct research and write claims containing information that current policy makers in government and industry seldom research and write themselves. The process outlined also places greater onus on women than the employers who have discriminated against them. The Draft Bill potentially worsens the situation for women in their struggle for equal and equitable pay and work. We recommend that at the very least substantial changes be made to the Bill, but that consideration be made to retain the Equal Pay Act 1972 instead. We are particularly concerned about the onus of ‘merit’ in a claim, the comparators, and that the process appears to place employers in a more powerful position of decision making than the women making claims
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