43 research outputs found

    Power of Networks and Peer Pressure: An analysis of Slum Sanitation Program in Mumbai

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    With the advent of the “Clean India” campaign in India, a renewed focus on cleanliness has started, with a special focus on sanitation. There have been efforts in the past to provide sanitation related services. However, there were several challenges in provisioning. Provision of sanitation is a public health imperative given increased instances of antimicrobial resistance in India. This paper focuses on sanitation provisioning in the city of Mumbai, especially in the slums of Mumbai. The paper compares and contrasts different models of sanitation provision including supply-led provisioning of sanitation by the Indian government to demand-led provisioning of sanitation through a World Bank funded “Slum Sanitation Program” (SSP). The paper also outlines a comparative perspective on the implementation and usage of toilet blocks. The author presents the theory of social networks and positive peer pressure and argues that these will amplify the effect of other incentives. With the help of an illustration, this paper concludes that the sustainable sanitation policy should look at facilitating and creating the infrastructure as a network and not strictly at building toilet block

    Introducing Flexibility to Complex, Resilient Socio-Ecological Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Economics, Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Evolutionary Biology, and Supply Chain Management

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    In this paper, a framework incorporating flexibility as a characteristic is proposed for designing complex, resilient socio-ecological systems. In an interconnected complex system, flexibility allows prompt deployment of resources where they are needed and is crucial for both innovation and robustness. A comparative analysis of flexible manufacturing systems, economics, evolutionary biology, and supply chain management is conducted to identify the most important characteristics of flexibility. Evolutionary biology emphasises overlapping functions and multi-functionality, which allow a system with structurally different elements to perform the same function, enhancing resilience. In economics, marginal cost and marginal expected profit are factors that are considered to be important in incorporating flexibility while making changes to the system. In flexible manufacturing systems, the size of choice sets is important in creating flexibility, as initial actions preserve more options for future actions that will enhance resilience. Given the dynamic nature of flexibility, identifying the characteristics that can lead to flexibility will introduce a crucial dimension to designing resilient and sustainable socio-ecological systems with a long-term perspective in mind

    Density Models and Safety Analysis for Rural Unsignalised Restricted Crossing U-turn Intersections

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    AbstractThe first objective of this study was to provide designers with a model that would help them assess the suitability of implementing an unsignalized restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT) based on the traffic volume arriving to a given rural intersection. Specifically, this study identified the zones that were most susceptible to bottlenecks and provided regression models that calculate the traffic density as a function of the traffic volume. In addition, the second objective of this study was to look at how the number of traffic conflicts varied with the traffic volume. Two geometric design cases were studied: four-lane and six-lane arterials using 1000 foot long (305 m long) weaving sections. VISSIM traffic simulations were used to identify the critical zones, and calculate the traffic density for different traffic flows. Volumes and densities allowed the development of regression models. Two critical zones were identified: where vehicles coming from the minor road merge to enter the U-turn and where vehicles exiting the U-turn merge to the multilane arterial. Also, based on the classification given by this study to the traffic volumes, a sensitivity analysis determined which of them had the greatest impact on the level of service. For the number of traffic conflicts from simulation, the Surrogate Safety Analysis Model was applied to measure them. This study found that at certain traffic volumes, traffic conflicts rise sharply. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd

    Effects of Growth Regulators and Explant-Type on Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation in Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) cv. Manjarigota

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    Effects of growth regulators and type of explants on transformation and in vitro morphogenetic responses of brinjal cv. Manjarigota were studied. Both hypocotyl and cotyledonary explants showed marked influence on in vitro morphogenetic responses after Agrobacterium co-cultivation. Hypocotyl explants showed callus initiation and regeneration responses earlier than cotyledonary leaves. Hypocotyl explants were found to be better than cotyledonary leaf explants in regenerating shoots after Agrobacterium co-cultivation. There was delay and reduction in both callus and regeneration responses in Agrobacterium co-cultivated explants. Hypocotyl explants showed the highest regeneration response on MS medium containing 2 μM BAP and 0.05 μM NAA while cotyledonary leaves did not show regeneration response after Agrobacterium co-cultivation. However, they showed green buds on MS medium containing 10 μM BAP and 1 μM NAA, which could not differentiate into shoots. Overall, hypocotyl explants were found better in regenerating shoots after Agrobacterium co-cultivation

    Effect of Antibiotics and Gelling Agents in Transformation of Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) cv. Manjarigota

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    A study was conducted to find out the effect of antibiotics and gelling agents on Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using hypocotyl explants of brinjal cv. Manjarigota. Hypocotyl explants of brinjal were found to be sensitive even to the lowest level of kanamycin (25 mg/l) tested. Explants that showed increased callus initiation and regeneration response upon cocultivation with Agrobacterium and on kanamycin at 100 mg/l were selected as this indicated a highly effective selection pressure. Cefotaxime did not affect regeneration response and at 500 mg/l, it effectively inhibited Agrobacterium overgrowth completely on Agrobacterium cocultivated hypocotyl explants. There were marked differences in regeneration response in hypocotyl explants cultured on medium solidified with various gelling agents indicating the influence of gelling agent on the activity of kanamycin in culture medium, which indirectly affects selection and recovery of transformants. Antibiotics and gelling agents could therefore affect, directly or indirectly, transformation of brinjal cv. Manjarigota

    Synergistic Use of Hypocotyl Explants and High Bap Preconditioning for Enhanced Transformation Frequency in Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.)

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    Poor regeneration is one of the limiting factors in the development of transgenic crops since Agrobacterium as a plant pathogen can disturb the fragile in vitro conditions with wounding and infection regimes. We have tried to optimize the transformation system in two important varieties of brinjal after Agrobacterium infection to the explants. The effect of explant was studied and hypocotyls were found to be better than cotyledonary leaves. High BAP during the preconditioning period was found to further enhance the regeneration rate. Therefore, use of hypocotyls and high BAP during preconditioning can improve the regeneration of transformed cells and recovery of transformants in vegetables especially brinjal

    Exceptional molecular and coreceptor-requirement properties of molecular clones isolated from an Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 subtype C infection

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The pathogenic significance of coreceptor switch in the viral infection of HIV-1 is not completely understood. This situation is more complex in subtype C infection where coreceptor switch is either absent or extremely rare. To gain insights into the mechanisms that underlie coreceptor requirement of subtype C, we screened several primary viral isolates and identified a clinical sample that demonstrated a potential to grow on standard T-cell lines with no detectable CCR5 expression. The subject was diagnosed with HIV-1 associated dementia in the absence of opportunistic infections of the brain. To isolate molecular clones from this virus, we devised a novel strategy based on anchor primers that target a sequence in the reverse transcriptase, highly conserved among diverse subtypes of HIV-1.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Using this strategy, we isolated 8 full-length molecular clones from the donor. Two of the eight molecular clones, 03In94_D17 and 03In94_D24, (D17 and D24) generated replication-competent viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of the full-length viral sequences revealed that both clones were non-recombinant subtype C viruses. They contain intact open reading frames in all the viral proteins. Both the viral clones are endowed with several unique molecular and biological properties. The viral promoter of the clones is characterized by the presence of four NF-kB binding elements, a feature rarely seen in the subtype C HIV-1 LTR. Interestingly, we identified the coexistence of two different forms of Rev, a truncated form common to subtype C and a full-length form less common for this subtype, in both proviral and plasma virus compartments. An exceptional property of the viruses, atypical of subtype C, is their ability to use a wide range of coreceptors including CCR5, CXCR4, and several others tested. Sequence analysis of Env of D17 and D24 clones identified differences within the variable loops providing important clues for the expanded coreceptor use. The V1, V2 and V4 loops in both of the molecular clones are longer due to the insertion of several amino acid residues that generated potential N-linked glycosylation sites.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The exceptional biological and molecular properties of these clones make them invaluable tools to understand the unique pathogenic characteristics of subtype C.</p

    A Review of Data-Intensive Approaches for Sustainability: Methodology, Epistemology, Normativity, and Ontology

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    With the growth of data, data-intensive approaches for sustainability are becoming widespread and have been endorsed by various stakeholders. To understand their implications, in this paper data-intensive approaches for sustainability will be explored by conducting an extensive review. The current data-intensive approaches are defined as an amalgamation of traditional data-collection methods, like surveys and data from monitoring networks, with new data-collection methods that involve new information communication technology. Based on a comprehensive review of the current dataintensive approaches for sustainability, key challenges are identified: the lack of data availability, diverse indicators developed from a narrowly viewed base, diverse definitions and values, skewed global representation, and the lack of social and economic information collected, especially among the business indicators. To clarify the implications of these trends, four major research assumptions regarding dataintensive approaches are elaborated: the methodology, epistemology, normativity, and ontology. Caution is required when data-intensive approaches are masked as “objective”. Overcoming this issue requires interdisciplinary and community-based approaches that can offer ways to address the subjectivities of data-intensive approaches. The current challenges to interdisciplinarity and community-based approaches are also identified, and possible solutions are explored, so that researchers can employ them to make the best use of data-intensive approaches

    Bridging practices, institutions, and landscapes through a scale-based approach for research and practice: A case study of a business association in South India

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    There is a need for enterprises to incorporate information on the environment into decision making and to take action on ecological restoration. Within academia, a comprehensive understanding of the impacts on how business can serve sustainability transformation is still lacking as diverging holistic approaches and reductive approaches cloud academic thinking. The authors take a science-policy interface perspective to cover the role of cognitive proximity, matching and coordination of scientific knowledge from diverse stakeholders for effective policy making and implementation. We show through a literature review that temporal and spatial scales, soil and land degradation, institutions and ecosystem, and the role of human behavior and narrative are not adequately emphasized in sustainability research. A scale-based picture, focusing on landscapes, institutions and practices is proposed which can be used to align diverse fields by acting as “bridge” for improved science policy interface and decision making, facilitated through cognitive proximity, matching, and coordination. A case study on a business association from South India is used to demonstrate the scales based approach in practice. A scale-based approach can play a key role in connecting human behaviour, a social science thematic topic, with ecosystems, a natural science thematic topic