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    19605 research outputs found

    Looking for another assessment tool that activates the principles of AaL (Assessment as Learning)? Look no further than the RATPD!

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    Frequently discussed in the literature on assessment, are the ideas of assessment of learning (AoL), assessment for learning (AfL) and assessment as learning (AaL). This review paper draws the readers’ attention to the idea of assessment as learning (AaL), an assessment strategy entitled the Reflective Approach to Teaching Practicum Debriefing (RATPD) and answers the question, “To what extent is the Reflective Approach to Teaching Practicum Debriefing (RATPD) strategy an assessment as Learning (AaL) activity?” By discussing and connecting AaL and RATPD, the main conclusion was, enacting the RATPD is engaging in an actual AaL activity. Therefore, through this review paper, readers are provided with another assessment tool (RATPD) that when employed, activated and puts into action the principles of AaL

    Clinical characteristics and impact of inducible laryngeal obstruction in the UK national registry

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    BackgroundInducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO) describes inappropriate laryngeal closure during respiration, with airflow obstruction occurring at the glottic and/or supraglottic level, leading to breathlessness.ObjectiveThere is a paucity of data describing the demographics and impact of ILO. We aimed to report the clinical and demographic features of ILO in individuals entered prospectively in the UK national ILO registry.MethodsData were entered into a web-based registry from participants with endoscopically confirmed ILO, attending four established UK-wide specialist ILO centres between March 2017-November 2019. All patients provided written informed consent.ResultsData from 137 individuals were included; the majority (87%) had inspiratory ILO and required provocation during endoscopy to induce symptoms. There was a female predominance (80%) and a mean (SD) age 47(15) years. The most common comorbidities included asthma (68%) and reflux (57%). Health care utilisation was high: 88% had attended emergency healthcare with symptoms at least once in the previous 12 months and nearly half had been admitted to hospital. A fifth had required admission to critical care due to ILO symptoms. Patient morbidity was substantial with 64% reporting impaired functional capacity (≥3 MRC Dyspnoea Scale) and a third stated that symptoms impacted working capability.ConclusionWe describe the first multicentre prospective characterisation of individuals with endoscopically diagnosed ILO. Analysis of our multicentre data set identified ILO as associated with a high burden of morbidity and health care utilisation, comparable to severe asthma. These data will support development of healthcare resources in the future and guide research priorities

    Silent crisis of venous care in UK

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    A Gaussian-processes approach to fitting for time-variable spherical solar wind in pulsar timing data

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    Propagation effects are one of the main sources of noise in high-precision pulsar timing. For pulsars below an ecliptic latitude of 5°, the ionized plasma in the solar wind can introduce dispersive delays of order 100 µs around solar conjunction at an observing frequency of 300 MHz. A common approach to mitigate this assumes a spherical solar wind with a time-constant amplitude. However, this has been shown to be insufficient to describe the solar wind. We present a linear, Gaussian-process piecewise Bayesian approach to fit a spherical solar wind of time-variable amplitude, which has been implemented in the pulsar software RUN_ENTERPRISE. Through simulations, we find that the current EPTA+InPTA data combination is not sensitive to such variations; however, solar wind variations will become important in the near future with the addition of new InPTA data and data collected with the low-frequency LOFAR telescope. We also compare our results for different high-precision timing data sets (EPTA+InPTA, PPTA, and LOFAR) of 3 ms pulsars (J0030+0451, J1022+1001, J2145−0450), and find that the solar-wind amplitudes are generally consistent for any individual pulsar, but they can vary from pulsar to pulsar. Finally, we compare our results with those of an independent method on the same LOFAR data of the three millisecond pulsars. We find that differences between the results of the two methods can be mainly attributed to the modelling of dispersion variations in the interstellar medium, rather than the solar wind modelling

    Viscous tubular-body theory for plane interfaces

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    Filaments are ubiquitous within the microscopic world, occurring in biological and industrial environments and displaying a varied dynamics. Their wide range of applications has spurred the development of a branch of asymptotics focused on the behaviour of filaments, called slender-body theory (SBT). Slender-body theories are computationally efficient and focus on the mechanics of an isolated fibre that is slender and not too curved. However, SBTs that work beyond these limits are needed to explore complex systems. Recently, we developed tubular-body theory (TBT), an approach like SBT that allows the hydrodynamic traction on any isolated fibre in a viscous fluid to be determined exactly. This paper extends TBT to model fibres near plane interfaces by performing a similar expansion on the single-layer boundary integrals (BIs) for bodies by a plane interface. This provides a well-behaved SBT inspired approach for fibres by interfaces with a similar versatility to the BIs but without the singular kernels. The derivation of the new theory, called tubular-body theory for interfaces (TBTi), also establishes a criterion for the convergence of the TBTi series representation. The TBTi equations are solved numerically using a approach similar to boundary element methods (BEMs), called TBTi-BEM, to investigate the properties of TBTi empirically. The TBTi-BEM is found to compare favourably with an existing BEM and the lubrication singularity on a sphere, suggesting TBTi is valid for all separations. Finally, we simulate the hydrodynamics of helices beneath a free interface and a plane wall to demonstrate the applicability of the technique

    ScribFormer: Transformer Makes CNN Work Better for Scribble-based Medical Image Segmentation

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    Most recent scribble-supervised segmentation methods commonly adopt a CNN framework with an encoder-decoder architecture. Despite its multiple benefits, this framework generally can only capture small-range feature dependency for the convolutional layer with the local receptive field, which makes it difficult to learn global shape information from the limited information provided by scribble annotations. To address this issue, this paper proposes a new CNN-Transformer hybrid solution for scribble-supervised medical image segmentation called ScribFormer. The proposed ScribFormer model has a triple-branch structure, i.e., the hybrid of a CNN branch, a Transformer branch, and an attention-guided class activation map (ACAM) branch. Specifically, the CNN branch collaborates with the Transformer branch to fuse the local features learned from CNN with the global representations obtained from Transformer, which can effectively overcome limitations of existing scribble-supervised segmentation methods. Furthermore, the ACAM branch assists in unifying the shallow convolution features and the deep convolution features to improve model’s performance further. Extensive experiments on two public datasets and one private dataset show that our ScribFormer has superior performance over the state-of-the-art scribble-supervised segmentation methods, and achieves even better results than the fully-supervised segmentation methods. The code is released at

    Climate Change Exposure and Bankruptcy Risk

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    This research documents that a firm's bankruptcy risk increases with its climate change exposure. This study further investigates the underlying mechanisms and finds that this effect is stronger for firms with lower operating cash flows or tighter financial constraints. Consistent with the agency theory of debt, the evidence suggests that improving the protection of creditor rights can mitigate the adverse impact of climate change. In addition, two distinct sets of quasi-natural experiments are exploited to establish causality and eliminate alternative explanations. Specifically, the positive effect of climate change exposure on bankruptcy risk is weaker after the 2015 Paris Agreement, which raised public awareness of climate issues, and stronger for firms headquartered in countries that are more severely affected by natural disasters. Cross-sectional analyses reveal that the main effect is more pronounced among loss firms, firms with higher levels of asset tangibility, cash flow volatility or profit volatility, and firms with worse solvency performance. Overall, the collective evidence indicates that climate change has real consequences for firm financial conditions

    Influence of Steric Effects on the Emission Behavior of Pyrene-Based Blue Luminogens

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    Pyrene-based derivatives have been widely deployed in organic luminescent materials because of their bright fluorescence, high charge carrier mobility, and facile modification. Nevertheless, the fluorescence output of conventional pyrenes is prone to quenching upon aggregation due to extensive intermolecular π-π stacking interactions. To address this issue, a set of new Y-shaped pyrene-containing luminogens are synthesized from a new bromopyrene chemical precursor, 2-hydroxyl-7-tert-butyl-1,3-bromopyrene, where the bromo and hydroxyl groups at the pyrene core can be readily modified to obtain the target products and provide great flexibility in tuning the photophysical performances. When the hydroxy group at the 2-position of pyrene was replaced by a benzyl group, the steric hindrance of the benzyl group not only efficiently inhibits the detrimental intermolecular π-π stacking interactions but also rigidifies the molecular conformation, resulting in a narrow-band blue emission. Moreover, the TPE-containing compounds 2c and 3c possessed characteristic aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties with fluorescence quantum yields of up to 66% and 38% in the solid state, respectively. Thus, this article has methodically investigated the factors influencing the optical behavior, such as intermolecular interactions, and the steric effects of the substituent group, thereby opening up the potential to develop narrow-band pyrene-based blue emitters for OLED device applications

    The contamination of in situ archaeological remains: A pilot analysis of microplastics in sediment samples using μFTIR

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    Background: Microplastics (MPs) are found in all environments: aquatic, airborne, and terrestrial. While their presence is not disputed, their potential impacts are not yet known. Objective: To undertake a pilot analysis of MP contamination in archaeological sediment samples, taken in the late 1980s from two archaeological excavation sites in the historic city of York (UK) as well as contemporary sources close to the same sites, with respect to the presence (if any), levels, and characteristics of any particles identified. Methods: This study analysed pre-digested sediment samples as follows: n = 3 from Queens Hotel (QH) site and n = 3 Wellington Row (WR) contemporary core-source, and n = 3 QH and n = 3 WR archival-source samples, alongside procedural controls (n = 8), using μFTIR spectroscopy (size limitation of 5 μm) to detect and characterise any MPs present. Results: In total, 66 MP particles consisting of 16 MP polymer types were identified across both site and contemporary/archived samples. The highest levels of MP particles, 20,588 MP/kg was identified at the lowest sample depth (∼7.35 m) at archived WR, 5910 MP/kg in the mid depth layer (∼5.85 m) at the contemporary QH site. Of the MPs detected in sediment samples overall, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polybutylene sulfone (PSU), and polypropylene: polyethylene (PE:PP) copolymer polymer types were most abundant; mainly fragmented and irregular shape. Conclusions: This is believed to be the first evidence of MP contamination in archaeological sediment (or soil) samples with polymers and size ranges measured and while accounting for procedural blanks. These results support the phenomenon of transport of MPs within archaeological stratigraphy, and the characterisation of types, shapes and size ranges identified therein. Through contamination, MPs may compromise the scientific value of archaeological deposits, and environmental proxies suspended within significant sediment, and as such represent a new consideration in the dynamism of, as well as arguments for preserving, archaeological deposits in situ

    Bioassay complexities – exploring challenges in aquatic chemosensory research

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    Chemosensory science, the study of how organisms produce and assess olfactory information is central to our understanding of how organisms interact and gain information about their environment. Signalling cue identification in aquatic systems lags our knowledge in terrestrial insects due to analytical challenges in aqueous environments. Unambiguous, reliable, and fast behavioural assays to evaluate the biological activity and function of a chemosensory cue are critical to understand aquatic signalling systems and enable research into their ecology, evolution, and threats in a changing environment. Yet, a range of anthropomorphic assumptions made in this research field create additional challenges to interpret data generated. Here we evaluate common challenges including assumed readiness of individuals to respond, lack of information on the animals’ physiological and social status, their pre-experimental cue exposure, the innate or learned character of the responses, the animals’ acclimation and habituation status, and the impact of the animals upon their own environment. These factors lead to significant variability in animals’ responses in bioassays, both in the field and in laboratory setups. In the light of our limited knowledge of aquatic chemosensory cues’ chemical structure, active concentrations in samples, and undetermined response thresholds, we evaluate methods of mitigation to minimise differences between studies. We conclude that currently it is nearly impossible to compare results from chemosensory behavioural studies undertaken in different ecosystems, laboratories, and timepoints. There is an urgent need for standardisation of behavioural methods, recording of environmental conditions, individuals’ physiology, physical and social status, to avoid conflicting and contradicting results when comparing studies. Including these parameters in experimental design and data interpretation will provide a deeper understanding of chemosensory communication, reduce unconscious bias in studies and can help to explain the substantial individuality in animals’ responses to chemosensory cues and their acclimation to environmental stress


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