375 research outputs found

    In-service Initial Teacher Education in the Learning and Skills Sector in England: Integrating Course and Workplace Learning

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    The aim of the paper is to advance understanding of in-service learning and skills sector trainee teachers’ learning and propose ways of improving their learning. A conceptual framework is developed by extending Billett’s (International Journal of Educational Research 47:232–240, 2008) conceptualisation of workplace learning, as a relationally interdependent process between the opportunities workplaces afford for activities and interactions and how individuals engage with these, to a third base of participation, the affordances of the initial teacher education course. Hager and Hodkinson’s (British Educational Research Journal 35:619–638, 2009) metaphor of ‘learning as becoming’ is used to conceptualise the ways trainees reconstruct learning in a continuous transactional process of boundary crossing between course and workplace. The findings of six longitudinal case studies of trainees’ development, and evidence from other studies, illustrate the complex interrelationships between LSS workplace affordances, course affordances and trainee characteristics and the ways in which trainees reconstruct learning in each setting. The experience of teaching and interacting with learners, interactions with colleagues, and access to workplace resources and training are important workplace affordances for learning. However, some trainees have limited access to these affordances. Teaching observations, course activities and experiences as a learner are significant course affordances. Trainees’ beliefs, prior experiences and dispositions vary and significantly influence their engagement with course and workplace affordances. It is proposed that better integration of course and workplace learning through guided participation in an intentional workplace curriculum and attention to the ways trainees choose to engage with this, together with the use of practical theorising has the potential to improve trainee learning

    Neutrophils in cancer: neutral no more

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    Neutrophils are indispensable antagonists of microbial infection and facilitators of wound healing. In the cancer setting, a newfound appreciation for neutrophils has come into view. The traditionally held belief that neutrophils are inert bystanders is being challenged by the recent literature. Emerging evidence indicates that tumours manipulate neutrophils, sometimes early in their differentiation process, to create diverse phenotypic and functional polarization states able to alter tumour behaviour. In this Review, we discuss the involvement of neutrophils in cancer initiation and progression, and their potential as clinical biomarkers and therapeutic targets

    Citizen science and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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    Traditional data sources are not sufficient for measuring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. New and non-traditional sources of data are required. Citizen science is an emerging example of a non-traditional data source that is already making a contribution. In this Perspective, we present a roadmap that outlines how citizen science can be integrated into the formal Sustainable Development Goals reporting mechanisms. Success will require leadership from the United Nations, innovation from National Statistical Offices and focus from the citizen-science community to identify the indicators for which citizen science can make a real contribution

    Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals a Complex Pattern of Genomic Imprinting in Mice

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    Parent-of-origin–dependent gene expression resulting from genomic imprinting plays an important role in modulating complex traits ranging from developmental processes to cognitive abilities and associated disorders. However, while gene-targeting techniques have allowed for the identification of imprinted loci, very little is known about the contribution of imprinting to quantitative variation in complex traits. Most studies, furthermore, assume a simple pattern of imprinting, resulting in either paternal or maternal gene expression; yet, more complex patterns of effects also exist. As a result, the distribution and number of different imprinting patterns across the genome remain largely unexplored. We address these unresolved issues using a genome-wide scan for imprinted quantitative trait loci (iQTL) affecting body weight and growth in mice using a novel three-generation design. We identified ten iQTL that display much more complex and diverse effect patterns than previously assumed, including four loci with effects similar to the callipyge mutation found in sheep. Three loci display a new phenotypic pattern that we refer to as bipolar dominance, where the two heterozygotes are different from each other while the two homozygotes are identical to each other. Our study furthermore detected a paternally expressed iQTL on Chromosome 7 in a region containing a known imprinting cluster with many paternally expressed genes. Surprisingly, the effects of the iQTL were mostly restricted to traits expressed after weaning. Our results imply that the quantitative effects of an imprinted allele at a locus depend both on its parent of origin and the allele it is paired with. Our findings also show that the imprinting pattern of a locus can be variable over ontogenetic time and, in contrast to current views, may often be stronger at later stages in life

    Immunocytochemical determination of the subcellular distribution of ascorbate in plants

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    Ascorbate is an important antioxidant in plants and fulfills many functions related to plant defense, redox signaling and modulation of gene expression. We have analyzed the subcellular distribution of reduced and oxidized ascorbate in leaf cells of Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum by high-resolution immuno electron microscopy. The accuracy and specificity of the applied method is supported by several observations. First, preadsorption of the ascorbate antisera with ascorbic acid or dehydroascorbic acid resulted in the reduction of the labeling to background levels. Second, the overall labeling density was reduced between 50 and 61% in the ascorbate-deficient Arabidopsis mutants vtc1-2 and vtc2-1, which correlated well with biochemical measurements. The highest ascorbate-specific labeling was detected in nuclei and the cytosol whereas the lowest levels were found in vacuoles. Intermediate labeling was observed in chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes. This method was used to determine the subcellular ascorbate distribution in leaf cells of plants exposed to high light intensity, a stress factor that is well known to cause an increase in cellular ascorbate concentration. High light intensities resulted in a strong increase in overall labeling density. Interestingly, the strongest compartment-specific increase was found in vacuoles (fourfold) and in plastids (twofold). Ascorbate-specific labeling was restricted to the matrix of mitochondria and to the stroma of chloroplasts in control plants but was also detected in the lumen of thylakoids after high light exposure. In summary, this study reveals an improved insight into the subcellular distribution of ascorbate in plants and the method can now be applied to determine compartment-specific changes in ascorbate in response to various stress situations

    Mechanical behaviour and rupture of normal and pathological human ascending aortic wall

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    The mechanical properties of aortic wall, both healthy and pathological, are needed in order to develop and improve diagnostic and interventional criteria, and for the development of mechanical models to assess arterial integrity. This study focuses on the mechanical behaviour and rupture conditions of the human ascending aorta and its relationship with age and pathologies. Fresh ascending aortic specimens harvested from 23 healthy donors, 12 patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) and 14 with aneurysm were tensile-tested in vitro under physiological conditions. Tensile strength, stretch at failure and elbow stress were measured. The obtained results showed that age causes a major reduction in the mechanical parameters of healthy ascending aortic tissue, and that no significant differences are found between the mechanical strength of aneurysmal or BAV aortic specimens and the corresponding age-matched control group. The physiological level of the stress in the circumferential direction was also computed to assess the physiological operation range of healthy and diseased ascending aortas. The mean physiological wall stress acting on pathologic aortas was found to be far from rupture, with factors of safety (defined as the ratio of tensile strength to the mean wall stress) larger than six. In contrast, the physiological operation of pathologic vessels lays in the stiff part of the response curve, losing part of its function of damping the pressure waves from the heart

    Stress Strengthens Memory of First Impressions of Others' Positive Personality Traits

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    Encounters with strangers bear potential for social conflict and stress, but also allow the formation of alliances. First impressions of other people play a critical role in the formation of alliances, since they provide a learned base to infer the other's future social attitude. Stress can facilitate emotional memories but it is unknown whether stress strengthens our memory for newly acquired impressions of other people's personality traits. To answer this question, we subjected 60 students (37 females, 23 males) to an impression-formation task, viewing portraits together with brief positive vs. negative behavior descriptions, followed by a 3-min cold pressor stress test or a non-stressful control procedure. The next day, novel and old portraits were paired with single trait adjectives, the old portraits with a trait adjective matching the previous day's behavior description. After a filler task, portraits were presented again and subjects were asked to recall the trait adjective. Cued recall was higher for old (previously implied) than the novel portraits' trait adjectives, indicating validity of the applied test procedures. Overall, recall rate of implied trait adjectives did not differ between the stress and the control group. However, while the control group showed a better memory performance for others' implied negative personality traits, the stress group showed enhanced recall for others' implied positive personality traits. This result indicates that post-learning stress affects consolidation of first impressions in a valence-specific manner. We propose that the stress-induced strengthening of memory of others' positive traits forms an important cue for the formation of alliances in stressful conditions

    The effect of an autologous cellular gel-matrix integrated implant system on wound healing

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>This manuscript reports the production and preclinical studies to examine the tolerance and efficacy of an autologous cellular gel-matrix integrated implant system (IIS) aimed to treat full-thickness skin lesions.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The best concentration of fibrinogen and thrombin was experimentally determined by employing 28 formula ratios of thrombin and fibrinogen and checking clot formation and apparent stability. IIS was formed by integrating skin cells by means of the <it>in situ </it>gelification of fibrin into a porous crosslinked scaffold composed of chitosan, gelatin and hyaluronic acid. The <it>in vitro </it>cell proliferation within the IIS was examined by the MTT assay and PCNA expression. An experimental rabbit model consisting of six circular lesions was utilized to test each of the components of the IIS. Then, the IIS was utilized in an animal model to cover a 35% body surface full thickness lesion.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The preclinical assays in rabbits demonstrated that the IIS was well tolerated and also that IIS-treated rabbit with lesions of 35% of their body surface, exhibited a better survival rate (p = 0,06).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>IIS should be further studied as a new wound dressing which shows promising properties, being the most remarkable its good biological tolerance and cell growth promotion properties.</p
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