19 research outputs found

    Personal development planning in the first year

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    The approach to quality and standards in higher education (HE) in Scotland is enhancement led and learner centred. It was developed through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Universities Scotland, the National Union of Students in Scotland (NUS Scotland) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) Scotland. The Higher Education Academy has also joined that partnership. The Enhancement Themes are a key element of a five-part framework, which has been designed to provide an integrated approach to quality assurance and enhancement. The Enhancement Themes support learners and staff at all levels in further improving higher education in Scotland; they draw on developing innovative practice within the UK and internationally The five elements of the framework are: z a comprehensive programme of subject-level reviews undertaken by higher education institutions (HEIs) themselves; guidance is published by the SFC (www.sfc.ac.uk) z enhancement-led institutional review (ELIR), run by QAA Scotland (www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/ELIR) z improved forms of public information about quality; guidance is provided by the SFC (www.sfc.ac.uk) z a greater voice for students in institutional quality systems, supported by a national development service - student participation in quality scotland (sparqs) (www.sparqs.org.uk) z a national programme of Enhancement Themes aimed at developing and sharing good practice to enhance the student learning experience, facilitated by QAA Scotland (www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk). The topics for the Enhancement Themes are identified through consultation with the sector and implemented by steering committees whose members are drawn from the sector and the student body. The steering committees have the task of establishing a programme of development activities, which draw on national and international good practice. Publications emerging from each Theme are intended to provide important reference points for HEIs in the ongoing strategic enhancement of their teaching and learning provision. Full details of each Theme, its steering committee, the range of research and development activities as well as the outcomes are published on the Enhancement Themes website (www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk). To further support the implementation and embedding of a quality enhancement culture within the sector - including taking forward the outcomes of the Enhancement Themes - an overarching committee, the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC), chaired by Professor Kenneth Miller, Vice-Principal, University of Strathclyde, has the important dual role of supporting the overall approach of the Enhancement Themes, including the five-year rolling plan, as well as institutional enhancement strategies and management of quality. SHEEC, working with the individual topic-based Enhancement Themes' steering committees, will continue to provide a powerful vehicle for progressing the enhancement-led approach to quality and standards in Scottish higher education

    SĂ©lection gĂ©nĂ©tique sur la rĂ©ponse au stress et stress Ă  l’abattage: consĂ©quences sur la qualitĂ© de la chair chez la truite arc-en-ciel.

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    A range of flesh quality parameters were investigated in stressed and unstressed rainbow trout, selectively bred for divergent cortisol responses to a standardised stressor

    Selection for stress responsiveness and slaughter stress affect flesh quality in pan-size rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

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    The control of slaughter stress is of importance with regard to both fish welfare and flesh quality. Muscle characteristics and instrumentally measured quality parameters were determined in rainbow trout lines selected for high-responsiveness (HR) or low-responsiveness (LR) of plasma cortisol to an acute confinement stressor. Measurements were made in both unstressed and stressed fish (a 15 min period of confinement before slaughter) from both lines. Compared to LR fish, HR fish were smaller, had a slightly higher condition factor, lower fat-meter-values, and higher carcass yield. No difference between the lines was observed for muscle pH, both at slaughter and at 72h post-mortem (pm). Fillets from HR fish had a lower muscle dry matter content and had higher lightness (L*) value for raw fillet. Fillet redness (a*) was lower for fish from the HR line for both raw fillet at slaughter and 72h pm, and for cooked fillets. Fillet firmness was higher for fish from the HR line for raw fillet, but lower after cooking. Both white and red muscle fibers of HR fish were smaller than those in LR fish and HR fish had a thicker red muscle than LR fish. Imposition of an acute confinement stressor before slaughter induced a differential plasma cortisol response in the HR and LR fish. Pre-slaughter stress also lowered muscle initial pH, lowered red muscle mean diameter, and reduced raw fillet mechanical resistance, but increased cooked fillet firmness and had no effect on fillet color. Almost no interaction between selection line and pre-slaughter stress effects was observed showing that slaughter stress had similar consequences in both lines. Overall, the HR/LR trout model gave new insights in the comprehension of trout flesh quality and showed that the level of plasma cortisol response did not affect the impact of slaughter stress on fillet quality

    The Influence of Number and Timing of Pregnancies on Breast Cancer Risk for Women With BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutations

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    International audienceBACKGROUND:Full-term pregnancy (FTP) is associated with a reduced breast cancer (BC) risk over time, but women are at increased BC risk in the immediate years following an FTP. No large prospective studies, however, have examined whether the number and timing of pregnancies are associated with BC risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.METHODS:Using weighted and time-varying Cox proportional hazards models, we investigated whether reproductive events are associated with BC risk for mutation carriers using a retrospective cohort (5707 BRCA1 and 3525 BRCA2 mutation carriers) and a prospective cohort (2276 BRCA1 and 1610 BRCA2 mutation carriers), separately for each cohort and the combined prospective and retrospective cohort.RESULTS:For BRCA1 mutation carriers, there was no overall association with parity compared with nulliparity (combined hazard ratio [HRc] = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.83 to 1.18). Relative to being uniparous, an increased number of FTPs was associated with decreased BC risk (HRc = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.69 to 0.91; HRc = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.59 to 0.82; HRc = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.40 to 0.63, for 2, 3, and ≄4 FTPs, respectively, P trend < .0001) and increasing duration of breastfeeding was associated with decreased BC risk (combined cohort P trend = .0003). Relative to being nulliparous, uniparous BRCA1 mutation carriers were at increased BC risk in the prospective analysis (prospective hazard ration [HRp] = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.09 to 2.62). For BRCA2 mutation carriers, being parous was associated with a 30% increase in BC risk (HRc = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.69), and there was no apparent decrease in risk associated with multiparity except for having at least 4 FTPs vs. 1 FTP (HRc = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.54 to 0.98).CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest differential associations with parity between BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers with higher risk for uniparous BRCA1 carriers and parous BRCA2 carriers

    Association of Forced Vital Capacity with the Developmental Gene <i>NCOR2</i>

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    Background Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) is an important predictor of all-cause mortality in the absence of chronic respiratory conditions. Epidemiological evidence highlights the role of early life factors on adult FVC, pointing to environmental exposures and genes affecting lung development as risk factors for low FVC later in life. Although highly heritable, a small number of genes have been found associated with FVC, and we aimed at identifying further genetic variants by focusing on lung development genes. Methods Per-allele effects of 24,728 SNPs in 403 genes involved in lung development were tested in 7,749 adults from three studies (NFBC1966, ECRHS, EGEA). The most significant SNP for the top 25 genes was followed-up in 46,103 adults (CHARGE and SpiroMeta consortia) and 5,062 chi

    Genome-wide association analysis identifies six new loci associated with forced vital capacity

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    Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR129-2–HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX and KCNJ2. Two loci previously associated with spirometric measures (GSTCD and PTCH1) were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed up in samples from African-American, Korean, Chinese and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and the pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease

    The ARID1B spectrum in 143 patients: from nonsyndromic intellectual disability to Coffin–Siris syndrome

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    Purpose: Pathogenic variants in ARID1B are one of the most frequent causes of intellectual disability (ID) as determined by large-scale exome sequencing studies. Most studies published thus far describe clinically diagnosed Coffin–Siris patients (ARID1B-CSS) and it is unclear whether these data are representative for patients identified through sequencing of unbiased ID cohorts (ARID1B-ID). We therefore sought to determine genotypic and phenotypic differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS. In parallel, we investigated the effect of different methods of phenotype reporting. Methods: Clinicians entered clinical data in an extensive web-based survey. Results: 79 ARID1B-CSS and 64 ARID1B-ID patients were included. CSS-associated dysmorphic features, such as thick eyebrows, long eyelashes, thick alae nasi, long and/or broad philtrum, small nails and small or absent fifth distal phalanx and hypertrichosis, were observed significantly more often (p < 0.001) in ARID1B-CSS patients. No other significant differences were identified. Conclusion: There are only minor differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS patients. ARID1B-related disorders seem to consist of a spectrum, and patients should be managed similarly. We demonstrated that data collection methods without an explicit option to report the absence of a feature (such as most Human Phenotype Ontology-based methods) tended to underestimate gene-related features

    The Influence of Number and Timing of Pregnancies on Breast Cancer Risk for Women With BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutations

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    Background: Full-term pregnancy (FTP) is associated with a reduced breast cancer (BC) risk over time, but women are at increased BC risk in the immediate years following an FTP. No large prospective studies, however, have examined whether the number and timing of pregnancies are associated with BC risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Methods: Using weighted and time-varying Cox proportional hazards models, we investigated whether reproductive events are associated with BC risk for mutation carriers using a retrospective cohort (5707 BRCA1 and 3525 BRCA2 mutation carriers) and a prospective cohort (2276 BRCA1 and 1610 BRCA2 mutation carriers), separately for each cohort and the combined prospective and retrospective cohort. Results: For BRCA1 mutation carriers, there was no overall association with parity compared with nulliparity (combined hazard ratio [HRc] Π0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] Π0.83 to 1.18). Relative to being uniparous, an increased number of FTPs was associated with decreased BC risk (HRcΠ0.79, 95% CI Π0.69 to 0.91; HRcΠ0.70, 95% CI Π0.59 to 0.82; HRcΠ0.50, 95% CI Π0.40 to 0.63, for 2, 3, and 4 FTPs, respectively, Ptrend < .0001) and increasing duration of breastfeeding was associated with decreased BC risk (combined cohort Ptrend Π.0003). Relative to being nulliparous, uniparous BRCA1 mutation carriers were at increased BC risk in the prospective analysis (prospective hazard ration [HRp] Π1.69, 95% CI Π1.09 to 2.62). For BRCA2 mutation carriers, being parous was associated with a 30% increase in BC risk (HRc Π1.33, 95% CI Π1.05 to 1.69), and there was no apparent decrease in risk associated with multiparity except for having at least 4 FTPs vs. 1 FTP (HRcΠ0.72, 95% CI Π0.54 to 0.98). Conclusions: These findings suggest differential associations with parity between BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers with higher risk for uniparous BRCA1 carriers and parous BRCA2 carriers

    Heterozygous Variants in KMT2E Cause a Spectrum of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Epilepsy.

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    We delineate a KMT2E-related neurodevelopmental disorder on the basis of 38 individuals in 36 families. This study includes 31 distinct heterozygous variants in KMT2E (28 ascertained from Matchmaker Exchange and three previously reported), and four individuals with chromosome 7q22.2-22.23 microdeletions encompassing KMT2E (one previously reported). Almost all variants occurred de novo, and most were truncating. Most affected individuals with protein-truncating variants presented with mild intellectual disability. One-quarter of individuals met criteria for autism. Additional common features include macrocephaly, hypotonia, functional gastrointestinal abnormalities, and a subtle facial gestalt. Epilepsy was present in about one-fifth of individuals with truncating variants and was responsive to treatment with anti-epileptic medications in almost all. More than 70% of the individuals were male, and expressivity was variable by sex; epilepsy was more common in females and autism more common in males. The four individuals with microdeletions encompassing KMT2E generally presented similarly to those with truncating variants, but the degree of developmental delay was greater. The group of four individuals with missense variants in KMT2E presented with the most severe developmental delays. Epilepsy was present in all individuals with missense variants, often manifesting as treatment-resistant infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Microcephaly was also common in this group. Haploinsufficiency versus gain-of-function or dominant-negative effects specific to these missense variants in KMT2E might explain this divergence in phenotype, but requires independent validation. Disruptive variants in KMT2E are an under-recognized cause of neurodevelopmental abnormalities
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