44,601 research outputs found

    The development of the secondary vocational curriculum in a northern local authority in England

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    This paper reports on the findings from the evaluation of two projects directed at improving the vocational provision in a Northern Local Authority in England during 2006. The two projects are: Pathways to Success - partly funded by the European Social Fund and Rotherham Ready - with the evaluation funded by the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward. The evaluation of the two projects had different but overlapping intentions that reflect each project's contribution to the development of the vocational curriculum 14-16 in the local authority. Rotherham Ready has been characterised as a Learning-oriented evaluation whereas Pathways to Success has followed a more traditional evaluation model with more attention given to outputs and the achievements of pupils. However ultimately both investigate the change in culture within schools as they promote a more vocational curriculum for 14-16 year old students</p

    Intraplate deformation due to continental collisions: A numerical study of deformation in a thin viscous sheet

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    A model of crustal deformation from continental collision that involves the penetration of a rigid punch into a deformable sheet is investigated. A linear viscous flow law is used to compute the magnitude and rate of change of crustal thickness, the velocity of mass points, strain rates and their principal axes, modes of deformation, areal changes, and stress. In general, a free lateral boundary reduces the magnitude of changes in crustal thickening by allowing material to more readily escape the advancing punch. The shearing that occurs diagonally in front of the punch terminates in compression or extension depending on whether the lateral boundary is fixed or free. When the ratio of the diameter of the punch to that of the sheet exceeds one-third, the deformation is insenstive to the choice of lateral boundary conditions. When the punch is rigid with sharply defined edges, deformation is concentrated near the punch corners. With non-rigid punches, shearing results in deformation being concentrated near the center of the punch. Variations with respect to linearity and nonlinearity of flow are discussed

    Cell-free protein expression systems in microdroplets: stabilization of interdroplet bilayers

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    Cell-free protein expression with bacterial lysates has been demonstrated to produce soluble proteins in microdroplets. However, droplet assays with expressed membrane proteins require the presence of a lipid bilayer. A bilayer can be formed in between lipid-coated aqueous droplets by bringing these into contact by electrokinetic manipulation in a continuous oil phase, but it is not known whether such interdroplet bilayers are compatible with high concentrations of biomolecules. In this study we have characterized the lifetime and the structural integrity of interdroplet bilayers by measuring the bilayer current in the presence of three different commercial cell-free expression mixtures and their individual components. Samples of pure proteins and of a polymer were included for comparison. It is shown that complete expression mixtures reduce the bilayer lifetime to several minutes or less, and that this is mainly due to the lysate fraction itself. The fraction that contains the molecules for metabolic energy generation does not reduce the bilayer lifetime but does give rise to current steps that are indicative of lipid packing defects. Gel electrophoresis confirmed that proteins are only present at significant amounts in the lysate fractions and, when supplied separately, in the T7 enzyme mixture. Interestingly, it was also found that pure-protein and pure-polymer solutions perturb the interdroplet bilayer at higher concentrations; 10% (w/v) PEG 8000 and 3 mM lysozyme induce large bilayer currents without a reduction in bilayer lifetime, whereas 3 mM albumin causes rapid bilayer failure. It can therefore be concluded that the high protein content of the lysates and the presence of PEG polymer, a typical lysate supplement, compromise the structural integrity of interdroplet bilayers. However, we established that the addition of lipid vesicles to the cell-free expression mixture stabilizes the interdroplet bilayer, allowing the exposure of interdroplet bilayers to cell-free expression solutions. Given that cell-free expressed membrane proteins can insert in lipid bilayers, we envisage that microdroplet technology may be extended to the study of in situ expressed membrane receptors and ion channel

    TRADABLE PERMITS FOR CONTROLLING NITRATES IN GROUNDWATER AT THE FARM LEVEL: A CONCEPTUAL MODEL

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    Nitrate contamination of municipal and domestic well water supplies is becoming an increasing problem in many rural and urban areas, raising the cost of providing safe drinking water. The objective of this paper is to describe a marketable permit scheme that can effectively manage nitrate pollution of groundwater supplies for communities in rural areas without hindering agricultural production in watersheds. They key to implementing this scheme is being able to link nitrate leaching from nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops at a farm to nitrate levels measured at a drinking water well.agriculture, groundwater pollution, leaching, nitrates, pollution trading, Environmental Economics and Policy,

    Using adiabatic coupling techniques in atom-chip waveguide structures

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    Adiabatic techniques are well known tools in multi-level electron systems to transfer population between different states with high fidelity. Recently it has been realised that these ideas can also be used in ultra-cold atom systems to achieve coherent manipulation of the atomic centre-of-mass states. Here we present an investigation into a realistic setup using three atomic waveguides created on top of an atom chip and show that such systems hold large potential for the observation of adiabatic phenomena in experiments.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in Physica Scripta for the CEWQO2009 proceeding

    Integration of domain and resource-based reasoning for real-time control in dynamic environments

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    A real-time software controller that successfully integrates domain-based and resource-based control reasoning to perform task execution in a dynamically changing environment is described. The design of the controller is based on the concept of partitioning the process to be controlled into a set of tasks, each of which achieves some process goal. It is assumed that, in general, there are multiple ways (tasks) to achieve a goal. The controller dynamically determines current goals and their current criticality, choosing and scheduling tasks to achieve those goals in the time available. It incorporates rule-based goal reasoning, a TMS-based criticality propagation mechanism, and a real-time scheduler. The controller has been used to build a knowledge-based situation assessment system that formed a major component of a real-time, distributed, cooperative problem solving system built under DARPA contract. It is also being employed in other applications now in progress

    Prevalence and clinical characteristics of left ventricular dysfunction among elderly patients in general practice setting: cross sectional survey

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    Objective: To assess the prevalence and clinical characteristics of left ventricular dysfunction among elderly patients in the general practice setting by echocardiographic assessment of ventricular function. Design: Cross sectional survey. Setting: Four centre general practice in Poole, Dorset. Subjects: 817 elderly patients aged 70-84 years. Main outcomes: Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular systolic function including measurement of ejection fraction by biplane summation method where possible, clinical symptoms, and signs of left ventricular dysfunction. Results: The overall prevalence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction was 7.5% (95% confidence interval 5.8% to 9.5%); mild dysfunction (5.0%) was considerably more prevalent than moderate (1.6%) or severe dysfunction (0.7%). Measurement of ejection fraction was possible in 82% of patients (n=667): in patients categorised as having mild, moderate, or severe dysfunction, the mean ejection fraction was 48% (SD 12.0), 38% (8.1), and 26% (7.9) respectively. At all ages the prevalence was much higher in men than in women (odds ratio 5.1, 95% confidence interval 2.6 to 10.1). No clinical symptom or sign was both sensitive and specific. In around half the patients with ventricular dysfunction (52%, 32/61) heart failure had not been previously diagnosed. Conclusions: Unrecognised left ventricular dysfunction is a common problem in elderly patients in the general practice setting. Appropriate treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors has the potential to reduce hospitalisation and mortality in these patients, but diagnosis should not be based on clinical history and examination alone. Screening is feasible in general practice, but it should not be implemented until the optimum method of identifying left ventricular dysfunction is clarified, and the cost effectiveness of screening has been shown

    Pathways to "opportunity and excellence": collaborative curriculum innovation in South Yorkshire

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    This paper reports on two aspects of a large-scale curriculum project currently taking place in four LEAs in South Yorkshire. The first of these is concerned with the positive and negative influences on effective curriculum innovation and is addressed from the perspective of the LEA project managers who are managing the delivery of the project in the region's schools. The second aspect considers what the pupils (Year 10, age 14-15) think about the new learning opportunities. The project is set in the context of regional regeneration. The paper concludes that the extremely positive responses from the sample of pupils in all three strands of the programme indicate that the greater emphasis on vocational work and work experience in schools is having a strong motivational effect on pupils who are responding with improved attendance, behaviour and achievement.</p
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