149 research outputs found

    Learner Presence Matters: A Learner-Centered Exploration into the Community of Inquiry Framework

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    In the present study we explored the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, a theoretical structure identifying processes leading to effective online learning, within one particular learning context. Drawing from research supporting the significance of three presences—teaching, social, cognitive presence—we add to a line of research on a potential fourth presence, learner presence. We employed a mixed-method approach to investigate learner perceptions, thoughts, and actions in MBA online/blended courses. Stimulated recall interviews with individual learners regarding their course experience highlighted three qualities of the learners’ presence in their courses: intentions, metacognition, and peer monitoring. They also pointed to ways in which certain facets of the three CoI presences supported these qualities. The findings prompted questions for further CoI research investigating learner presence and suggested implications for learner-centered course design and online instruction.

    A Cross-Disciplinary Survey of Beliefs about Human Nature and Culture.

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    How far has the Darwinian revolution come? To what extent have evolutionary ideas penetrated into the social sciences and humanities? Are the “science wars” over? Or do whole blocs of disciplines face off over an unbridgeable epistemic gap? To answer questions like these, contributors to top journals in 22 disciplines were surveyed on their beliefs about human nature, culture, and science. More than 600 respondents completed the survey. Scoring patterns divided into two main sets of disciplines. Genetic influences were emphasized in the evolutionary social sciences, evolutionary humanities, psychology, empirical study of the arts, philosophy, economics, and political science. Environmental influences were emphasized in most of the humanities disciplines and in anthropology, sociology, education, and women’s or gender studies. Confidence in scientific explanation correlated positively with emphasizing genetic influences on behavior, and negatively with emphasizing environmental influences. Knowing the current actual landscape of belief should help scholars avoid sterile debates and ease the way toward fruitful collaborations with neighboring disciplines

    Diet quality and telomere length in older Australian men and women

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    PurposeTelomere length is a biomarker of cellular ageing, with longer telomeres associated with longevity and reduced risk of chronic disease in older age. Consumption of a healthy diet may contribute to longevity via its impact on cellular ageing, but studies on diet and telomere length to date have been limited and their findings equivocal. The aim of this study was to examine associations between three indices of diet quality and telomere length in older men and women.MethodsAdults aged 57–68 years participating in the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life (WELL) study in Victoria, Australia (n = 679), completed a postal survey including an 111-item food frequency questionnaire in 2012. Diet quality was assessed via three indices: the Dietary Guideline Index, the Recommended Food Score, and the Mediterranean Diet Score. Relative telomere length was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Associations between diet quality and telomere length were assessed using linear regression adjusted for covariates.ResultsAfter adjustment for age, sex, education, smoking, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), there were no significant associations between diet quality and relative telomere length.ConclusionsIn a sample of older adults residing in Victoria, Australia, men and women aged 57–68 years with better-quality diets did not have longer telomeres. Further investigation in longitudinal studies will determine whether diet can influence telomere length over time in an ageing population

    RELICS: Strong Lens Models for Five Galaxy Clusters From the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey

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    Strong gravitational lensing by galaxy clusters magnifies background galaxies, enhancing our ability to discover statistically significant samples of galaxies at z>6, in order to constrain the high-redshift galaxy luminosity functions. Here, we present the first five lens models out of the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS) Hubble Treasury Program, based on new HST WFC3/IR and ACS imaging of the clusters RXC J0142.9+4438, Abell 2537, Abell 2163, RXC J2211.7-0349, and ACT-CLJ0102-49151. The derived lensing magnification is essential for estimating the intrinsic properties of high-redshift galaxy candidates, and properly accounting for the survey volume. We report on new spectroscopic redshifts of multiply imaged lensed galaxies behind these clusters, which are used as constraints, and detail our strategy to reduce systematic uncertainties due to lack of spectroscopic information. In addition, we quantify the uncertainty on the lensing magnification due to statistical and systematic errors related to the lens modeling process, and find that in all but one cluster, the magnification is constrained to better than 20% in at least 80% of the field of view, including statistical and systematic uncertainties. The five clusters presented in this paper span the range of masses and redshifts of the clusters in the RELICS program. We find that they exhibit similar strong lensing efficiencies to the clusters targeted by the Hubble Frontier Fields within the WFC3/IR field of view. Outputs of the lens models are made available to the community through the Mikulski Archive for Space TelescopesComment: Accepted to Ap

    RELICS: High-Resolution Constraints on the Inner Mass Distribution of the z=0.83 Merging Cluster RXJ0152.7-1357 from strong lensing

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    Strong gravitational lensing (SL) is a powerful means to map the distribution of dark matter. In this work, we perform a SL analysis of the prominent X-ray cluster RXJ0152.7-1357 (z=0.83, also known as CL 0152.7-1357) in \textit{Hubble Space Telescope} images, taken in the framework of the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS). On top of a previously known z=3.93z=3.93 galaxy multiply imaged by RXJ0152.7-1357, for which we identify an additional multiple image, guided by a light-traces-mass approach we identify seven new sets of multiply imaged background sources lensed by this cluster, spanning the redshift range [1.79-3.93]. A total of 25 multiple images are seen over a small area of ~0.4 arcmin2arcmin^2, allowing us to put relatively high-resolution constraints on the inner matter distribution. Although modestly massive, the high degree of substructure together with its very elongated shape make RXJ0152.7-1357 a very efficient lens for its size. This cluster also comprises the third-largest sample of z~6-7 candidates in the RELICS survey. Finally, we present a comparison of our resulting mass distribution and magnification estimates with those from a Lenstool model. These models are made publicly available through the MAST archive.Comment: 15 Pages, 7 Figures, 4 Tables Accepted for publication in Ap

    Lowering water table reduces carbon sink strength and carbon stocks in northern peatlands

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    Peatlands at high latitudes have accumulated \u3e400 Pg carbon (C) because saturated soil and cold temperatures suppress C decomposition. This substantial amount of C in Arctic and Boreal peatlands is potentially subject to increased decomposition if the water table (WT) decreases due to climate change, including permafrost thaw-related drying. Here, we optimize a version of the Organizing Carbon and Hydrology In Dynamic Ecosystems model (ORCHIDEE-PCH4) using site-specific observations to investigate changes in CO and CH fluxes as well as C stock responses to an experimentally manipulated decrease of WT at six northern peatlands. The unmanipulated control peatlands, with the WT (seasonal max up to 45 cm) below the surface, currently act as C sinks in most years (58 ± 34 g C m year ; including 6 ± 7 g C-CH m year emission). We found, however, that lowering the WT by 10 cm reduced the CO sink by 13 ± 15 g C m year and decreased CH emission by 4 ± 4 g CH m year , thus accumulating less C over 100 years (0.2 ± 0.2 kg C m ). Yet, the reduced emission of CH , which has a larger greenhouse warming potential, resulted in a net decrease in greenhouse gas balance by 310 ± 360 g CO m year . Peatlands with the initial WT close to the soil surface were more vulnerable to C loss: Non-permafrost peatlands lost \u3e2 kg C m over 100 years when WT is lowered by 50 cm, while permafrost peatlands temporally switched from C sinks to sources. These results highlight that reductions in C storage capacity in response to drying of northern peatlands are offset in part by reduced CH emissions, thus slightly reducing the positive carbon climate feedbacks of peatlands under a warmer and drier future climate scenario

    Subcellular discharge of a serine protease mediates release of invasive malaria parasites from host erythrocytes.

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    The most virulent form of malaria is caused by waves of replication of blood stages of the protozoan pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite divides within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole until rupture of the vacuole and host-cell membranes releases merozoites that invade fresh erythrocytes to repeat the cycle. Despite the importance of merozoite egress for disease progression, none of the molecular factors involved are known. We report that, just prior to egress, an essential serine protease called PfSUB1 is discharged from previously unrecognized parasite organelles (termed exonemes) into the parasitophorous vacuole space. There, PfSUB1 mediates the proteolytic maturation of at least two essential members of another enzyme family called SERA. Pharmacological blockade of PfSUB1 inhibits egress and ablates the invasive capacity of released merozoites. Our findings reveal the presence in the malarial parasitophorous vacuole of a regulated, PfSUB1-mediated proteolytic processing event required for release of viable parasites from the host erythrocyte