634 research outputs found

    Tuwhera: How Being Open Is the Key to Scholarly Communication

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    Tuwhera (‘be open’) is AUT’s Open Access journal publishing platform. It officially launched in October 2016. The project to create Tuwhera was based on a feasibility study carried out by senior staff at AUT Library in 2014. That report explored the possibilities of developing an open access scholarly journal publishing service to meet the needs of academics within the university seeking new ways to make their journals more visible and accessible. A number of proprietorial and open sources hosting solutions were investigated with the Library selecting Open Journal Systems as the product on which to build the platform. The Library successfully bid for AUT Capex funding for the project and work began in February 2016. The project was led by the Library’s Scholarly Communications team, established as an outcome of an organisational review of its Digital Services unit and in recognition of an emerging and significant area for academic libraries. The project team connected with key stakeholders across the university, including ICT, the Research and Innovation Office and a wide range of academic staff. The name, Tuwhera, emerged early on in the project, giving the service not only a point of difference but an identity which acknowledges AUT’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. The name was chosen in consultation with Māori representatives within the University and when the platform was officially launched, the event was marked by appropriate tikanga. If Tuwhera’s initial aim was simple, then its vision has evolved to be much more expansive. The principles and values underpinning Tuwhera have inspired a great deal of interest within the University and have opened up numerous possibilities for scholarly communications at AUT. In realising those possibilities, Tuwhera is positioning itself as a key player in driving the Open Access movement and influencing the research culture in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Journey into the user experience: creating a library website that's not for librarians

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    Auckland University of Technology Library started work on a major redevelopment of its website in 2012. The problem was that the website content, as is the case for many library websites, had been written by librarians with almost no user input. The challenge was to redesign the website, rethinking our entire focus and placing the user at the centre of the process. This is the story of a journey of transformational change based on our user-centric approach. We believe we have achieved what we set out to do and created a website that’s built not for librarians but for users

    The BEST approaches to online mentoring

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    The beginning year of teaching is arguably a critical year for determining the longevity and success of a teachers career, and the one that would most benefit from induction and mentoring. This paper describes the design and development of a theoretically based, generic website template for online communities of practice for beginning teachers that provides independent and experienced mentoring support. It includes a rich range of resources that are automatically updated, and links to professional websites and other relevant sources of support. The paper illustrates and compares the ways in which the online resource can be used as a model to meet the professional needs of different cohorts of beginning and experienced practitioners, using different models of mentoring suited to various levels of funding and professional support

    The association of parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health with offspring overweight

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    In the UK, the number of comorbidities seen in children has increased along with the worsening obesity rate. These comorbidities worsen into adulthood. Genomewide association studies have highlighted single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the weight status of adults and offspring individually. To date, in the UK, parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health have not been investigated alongside one another as influencers of offspring weight status. A comprehensive obesity prevention scheme would commence prior to conception and involve parental intervention including all known risk factors. This current study aims to identify the proportion of overweight that can be explained by known parental risk factors, including genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health with offspring weight status in the UK. Methods: A crosssectional study was carried out on 123 parents. Parental and offspring anthropometric data and parental lifestyle and social determinants of health data were self-reported. Parental genetic data were collected by use of GeneFiX saliva collection vials and genotype were assessed for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene rs6265, melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene rs17782313, transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18) gene rs2867125, and serine/threonine-protein kinase (TNN13K) gene rs1514175. Associations were assessed between parental data and the weight status of offspring. Results: Maternal body mass index modestly predicted child weight status (p < 0.015; R2 = 0.15). More mothers of overweight children carried the MC4R rs17782313 risk allele (77.8%; p = 0.007) compared to mothers of normal-weight children. Additionally, fathers who were not Caucasian and parents who slept for < 7 h/night had a larger percentage of overweight children when compared to their counterparts (p = 0.039; p = 0.014, respectively). Conclusion: Associations exist between the weight status of offspring based solely on parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health data. Further research is required to appropriately address future interventions based on genetic and lifestyle risk groups on a pre-parent cohort

    Genetic gains in yield and yield related traits under drought stress and favorable environments in a maize population improved using marker assisted recurrent selection

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    The objective of marker assisted recurrent selection (MARS) is to increase the frequency of favorable marker alleles in a population before inbred line extraction. This approach was used to improve drought tolerance and grain yield (GY) in a biparental cross of two elite drought tolerant lines. The testcrosses of randomly selected 50 S1 lines from each of the three selection cycles (C0, C1, C2) of the MARS population, parental testcrosses and the cross between the two parents (F1) were evaluated under drought stress (DS) and well watered (WW) well as under rainfed conditions to determine genetic gains in GY and other agronomic traits. Also, the S1 lines derived from each selection types were genotyped with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Testcrosses derived from C2 produced significantly higher grain field under DS than those derived from C0 with a relative genetic gain of 7% per cycle. Also, the testcrosses of S1 lines from C2 showed an average genetic gain of 1% per cycle under WW condition and 3% per cycle under rainfed condition. Molecular analysis revealed that the frequency of favorable marker alleles increased from 0.510 at C0 to 0.515 at C2, while the effective number of alleles (Ne) per locus decreased from C0 (1.93) to C2 (1.87). Our results underscore the effectiveness of MARS for improvement of GY under DS condition

    Cowpea in evolving livestock systems

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    Demand for livestock products has been increasing through much of the semi-arid tropics and will likely continue to increase along with the use of purchased feedstuffs. As smallholder livestock systems evolve and become more market oriented, the type of diets fed to livestock may change and the importance of feed marketing may increase. Mixed crop–livestock systems are key to meeting this increasing livestock product demand and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.) fodder (haulms) is an important component of these systems in semi-arid regions of the tropics where its high nutritional quality allows it to be used as a supplement to livestock diets based on cereal stovers and other low-quality forages. Improving the nutritional quality of cowpea fodder for use by livestock is important to improving the productivity and profitability of these mixed farming systems. Legume fodders will remain an important part of changing livestock diets and the development of cowpea varieties that better feed both people and their farm animals will give farmers new and better choices for improving levels and efficiency of livestock production. Cowpea breeding programs have worked toward producing dual-purpose varieties that emphasize the production of grain and fodder since the late 1980s and have produced several that have become well accepted when tested on-farm. Systematic screening of cowpea genetic resources is important for advancing development of dual-purpose varieties. Involvement of cultivar release agencies and seed production programs are also important to advance the use of improved dual-purpose crop varieties

    Gene action controlling normalized difference vegetation index in crosses of elite maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines

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    The quest for precise and rapid phenotyping of germplasm is increasing the interest of breeders and physiologists in the application of remote sensing techniques in maize breeding. Twenty-four drought-tolerant maize inbred lines were crossed using a modified North Carolina II mating scheme to generate 96 single-cross hybrids. The parents and the hybrids were evaluated under full irrigation and drought stress conditions in the dry seasons of 2010 and 2011 at Ikenne, southwest Nigeria. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was recorded at 3- and 8-leaf growth stages. Hybrids differed significantly for NDVI. Both general (GCA) and specific (SCA) combining ability effects were significant for NDVI measured at 8-leaf stage under both irrigation regimes, with GCA accounting for 53% of the total variation under full irrigation. Both additive and non-additive genetic effects played significant roles in the inheritance of NDVI. The females GCA effects for grain yield was positively correlated with females GCA effects for NDVI (r = 0.72, p < 0.0001) and the male GCA effects for grain yield was also correlated with males GCA effects for NDVI (r = 0.78, p < 0.0001) at 8-leaf stage under full irrigation. These results indicate that live green biomass accumulation in maize could be identified through early screening of a large number of genotypes using NDVI for developing productive hybrids

    The association of parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health with offspring overweight

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    In the UK, the number of comorbidities seen in children has increased along with the worsening obesity rate. These comorbidities worsen into adulthood. Genomewide association studies have highlighted single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the weight status of adults and offspring individually. To date, in the UK, parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health have not been investigated alongside one another as influencers of offspring weight status. A comprehensive obesity prevention scheme would commence prior to conception and involve parental intervention including all known risk factors. This current study aims to identify the proportion of overweight that can be explained by known parental risk factors, including genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health with offspring weight status in the UK. Methods: A crosssectional study was carried out on 123 parents. Parental and offspring anthropometric data and parental lifestyle and social determinants of health data were self-reported. Parental genetic data were collected by use of GeneFiX saliva collection vials and genotype were assessed for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene rs6265, melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene rs17782313, transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18) gene rs2867125, and serine/threonine-protein kinase (TNN13K) gene rs1514175. Associations were assessed between parental data and the weight status of offspring. Results: Maternal body mass index modestly predicted child weight status (p < 0.015; R2 = 0.15). More mothers of overweight children carried the MC4R rs17782313 risk allele (77.8%; p = 0.007) compared to mothers of normal-weight children. Additionally, fathers who were not Caucasian and parents who slept for < 7 h/night had a larger percentage of overweight children when compared to their counterparts (p = 0.039; p = 0.014, respectively). Conclusion: Associations exist between the weight status of offspring based solely on parental genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health data. Further research is required to appropriately address future interventions based on genetic and lifestyle risk groups on a pre-parent cohort
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