46 research outputs found

    Lighting up learning: mathematics becoming less of a \u27killer subject\u27 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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    This paper reports the findings of an evaluative study of an initiative, in its sixth year of implementation, enhancing the learning and teaching of mathematics in 20 disadvantaged secondary schools in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, twenty years after democracy. Findings highlight the importance of initial and ongoing professional development for under-qualified teachers. Support and strategies that have enhanced the achievement in mathematics of learners in these still under-resourced schools, are described

    Early childhood project analysed within a model enhancing the self-efficacy of Indigenous people

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    This paper presents a model which weaves together an adaptation of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1989, 1993) and the tenets of human agency theory (Bandura, 2001; Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 1996; Bandura, Pastorelli, Barbaranelli, & Caprara, 1999; Carlson, 1997), which are central to decision-making, self-regulation and self-determination. This model provides a framework to explain how non-Indigenous lecturers were able to work in culturally appropriate ways with community members in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia, on a project which focussed on improving the literacy and numeracy skills of four-year-old children. The aim of this initiative was to enhance children’s capacity to engage with expectations on entry into formal schooling. There were multiple levels of engagement in the design and implementation of the project. For the positive outcomes to be sustainable it was imperative that the initiative be embraced by the community and that they see themselves, rather than the non-Indigenous stakeholders, as the key to its success. The project’s implementation is described in detail and outcomes are provided. These include the children demonstrating increased pre-reading and numeracy skills and, importantly, the engagement of the whole community in the project and the previously unqualified early childhood educators being motivated to complete a Certificate III in Children’s Services

    HREC members\u27 personal values influence decision making in contentious cases

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    This article identifies 14 contentious issues faced by Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs). The authors argue that HREC members will respond variably to these issues based on their own fundamental values and worldview. In particular, we propose that personal interpretations of current ethics regulations and HREC members’ attitudes to consequentialism, Kantianism, and utilitarianism in some cases affect their responses to contentious research issues. We seek to promote understanding of how personal and professional back­grounds of HREC reviewers influence their approaches to value-laden issues embedded in ethics applications. Taking the form of a literature review, our con­tribution highlights the need for further exploration of how HREC members make decisions, and what factors influence the outcomes of ethics applications

    Epigenetics in a spectrum of myeloid diseases and its exploitation for therapy

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    Mutations in genes encoding chromatin regulators are early events contributing to de-veloping asymptomatic clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential and its frequent progression to myeloid diseases with increasing severity. We focus on the subset of myeloid diseases encompassing myelodysplastic syndromes and their transformation to secondary acute myeloid leukemia. We introduce the major concepts of chromatin regulation that provide the basis of epigenetic regulation. In greater detail, we discuss those chromatin regulators that are frequently mutated in myelodysplastic syndromes. We discuss their role in the epigenetic regulation of normal hematopoiesis and the consequence of their mutation. Finally, we provide an update on the drugs interfering with chromatin regulation approved or in development for myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia

    Divergent leukaemia subclones as cellular models for testing vulnerabilities associated with gains in chromosomes 7, 8 or 18

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    Haematopoietic malignancies are frequently characterized by karyotypic abnormalities. The development of targeted drugs has been pioneered with compounds against gene products of fusion genes caused by chromosomal translocations. While polysomies are equally frequent as translocations, for many of them we are lacking therapeutic approaches aimed at synthetic lethality. Here, we report two new cell lines, named MBU-7 and MBU-8, that differ in complete trisomy of chromosome18, a partial trisomy of chromosome 7 and a tetrasomy of the p-arm of chromosome 8, but otherwise share the same mutational pattern and complex karyotype. Both cell lines are divergent clones of U-937 cells and have the morphology and immunoprofile of monocytic cells. The distinct karyotypic differences between MBU-7 and MBU-8 are associated with a difference in the specific response to nucleoside analogues. Taken together, we propose the MBU-7 and MBU-8 cell lines described here as suitable in vitro models for screening and testing vulnerabilities that are associated with the disease-relevant polysomies of chromosome 7, 8 and 18

    A Novel Neurotrophic Drug for Cognitive Enhancement and Alzheimer's Disease

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    Currently, the major drug discovery paradigm for neurodegenerative diseases is based upon high affinity ligands for single disease-specific targets. For Alzheimer's disease (AD), the focus is the amyloid beta peptide (AĂź) that mediates familial Alzheimer's disease pathology. However, given that age is the greatest risk factor for AD, we explored an alternative drug discovery scheme that is based upon efficacy in multiple cell culture models of age-associated pathologies rather than exclusively amyloid metabolism. Using this approach, we identified an exceptionally potent, orally active, neurotrophic molecule that facilitates memory in normal rodents, and prevents the loss of synaptic proteins and cognitive decline in a transgenic AD mouse model