90 research outputs found

    Learning as researchers and teachers: the development of a pedagogical culture for social science research methods

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    In light of calls to improve the capacity for social science research within UK higher education, this article explores the possibilities for an emerging pedagogy for research methods. A lack of pedagogical culture in this field has been identified by previous studies. In response, we examine pedagogical literature surrounding approaches for teaching and learning research methods that are evident in recent peer-reviewed literature. Deep reading of this literature (as opposed to systematic review) identifies different but generally complementary ways in which teachers of methods seek to elucidate aspects of the research process, provide hands-on experience and facilitate critical reflection. At a time when the advancement of research capacity is gaining prominence, both in the academy and in reference to the wider knowledge economy, this paper illustrates how teachers of methods are considering pedagogical questions and seeks to further stimulate debates in this area

    Together, apart? Situating social relations and housing provision in the everyday life of new-build mixed-tenure housing developments

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    Since 2000, mixed-tenure development has been advocated in planning policy guidance to local authorities in England, as a means of providing subsidised housing alongside market rate properties. This research explores residents’ experiences of three large, high-density, mixed-tenure housing developments in East London. A combination of in-depth interviews and survey responses provide insights into various aspects of daily life in these schemes, including interpersonal contacts and social relations between residents, attitudes towards tenure-based differences, and perceptions of the local neighbourhood. These insights are, in turn, situated within the context of an analysis of the provision process for mixed-tenure housing, based on interviews with key informants from housing associations, developers, architects and regeneration agencies. Policies for tenure-mixing ostensibly constitute a novel means of providing subsidised housing within a more social inclusive residential form. However, this research reveals a distinctly ordinary quality to everyday life in mixed-tenure schemes, within which the majority of interactions between residents were casual and infrequent, with relatively few close or sustained relationships, especially with between those from different social, economic or cultural backgrounds. On the other hand, these ‘mixed communities’ were by no means immune to tensions, divisions or prejudice. In both these respects, residents’ actions, attitudes and experiences did not correspond to ambitious propositions for tenure mixing to create an inherently more ‘inclusive’ social milieu with instrumental benefits for lower-income residents. This combination of banal and occasionally divisive social relations therefore appears to challenge the rationale for policy programmes to ‘engineer’ positive social relations through market-led interventions in housing provision. Rather, if this model of mixed-tenure housing provision does have a role in structuring the lives of residents’, it is arguably through design strategies that in fact function to keep inhabitants of different tenure groups apart

    Methods for recording video in the classroom: producing single and multi-camera videos for research into teaching and learning

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    This paper presents a practical toolkit for researchers seeking to use video to record teaching and learning in classroom settings. It outlines the key challenges associated with recording video in the classroom and explores some of the various technical options available to educational or social researchers working in schools, universities, training venues, or other similar settings. This includes a discussion of the choice of video and audio equipment and of various methods of recording and producing videos. Particular attention is paid here to ‘multi-camera’ recording, which combines different camera angles to simultaneously capture both teachers and learners. This paper also includes a brief discussion of how researchers may benefit from some of the current advances in digital video technologies. These technical discussions and reflections are based on a study into teaching and learning processes on short courses in research methods conducted by Melanie Nind, Rose Wiles, and Daniel Kilburn at the NCRM Hub. However, it is hoped that these insights may be of use for video-based social research in a wide range of educational contexts and beyond

    Disqus website-based commenting as an e-research method: engaging doctoral and early-career academic learners in educational research

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    This article presents an adaptation of established qualitative research methods for online focus groups by using the Disqus website-based commenting platform as a medium for discussion amongst doctoral and early-career academic learners. Facilities allowing internet users to comment on the content of web-pages are increasingly popular on news websites, social media, and elsewhere. This research deployed this technology as a means of hosting a group discussion in response to preliminary findings from a study into the teaching and learning of social research methods. This article explores the methodological and technical considerations associated with this method and presents an analysis of the data collection process. e-Research paradata generated by the website reveals how learners engaged with the discussion, whilst a thematic analysis of the comments themselves explores the nature of the qualitative data generated from responses. Website-based commenting appears to have potential as a means of facilitate learners’ engagement in educational e-research, especially when faced with constraints of distance, time, or access. However, methodological challenges may also arise when recruiting participants and sustaining discussion using this method

    Short Courses in Advanced Research Methods: Challenges and Opportunities for Teaching and Learning

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    The concern to ensure an appropriately prepared and skilled research workforce in the UK has led to considerable investment in training provision in advanced research skills. Recent research attention within the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods has also turned to the teaching and learning of advanced methods, with the intention of enhancing the pedagogical culture surrounding advanced research methods and short course provision. This paper draws on a year-long study comprising an adapted expert panel method (interviews with methods specialists with emergent themes followed up in focus group interviews with experienced and specialist methods teachers and in an online forum with doctoral and early career methods learners), combined with detailed observation and video recording of short course teaching/training events used to stimulate focus group dialogue. In this paper the dataset from the study is used to explore the (sometimes) distinctive pedagogical challenges faced by methods teachers and learners with the aim of stimulating further dialogue as well as providing practical guidance. The challenges are discussed, largely in the participants’ own terms, alongside various ways in which they are being addressed by those involved

    Chytridiomycosis and Amphibian Population Declines Continue to Spread Eastward in Panama

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    Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberanía National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found further east at Tortí (prevalence <7.5% with 95% confidence). Our results suggest that Panama's diverse and not fully described amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood. However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tortí and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently neede

    Basal body stability and ciliogenesis requires the conserved component Poc1

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    Centrioles are the foundation for centrosome and cilia formation. The biogenesis of centrioles is initiated by an assembly mechanism that first synthesizes the ninefold symmetrical cartwheel and subsequently leads to a stable cylindrical microtubule scaffold that is capable of withstanding microtubule-based forces generated by centrosomes and cilia. We report that the conserved WD40 repeat domain–containing cartwheel protein Poc1 is required for the structural maintenance of centrioles in Tetrahymena thermophila. Furthermore, human Poc1B is required for primary ciliogenesis, and in zebrafish, DrPoc1B knockdown causes ciliary defects and morphological phenotypes consistent with human ciliopathies. T. thermophila Poc1 exhibits a protein incorporation profile commonly associated with structural centriole components in which the majority of Poc1 is stably incorporated during new centriole assembly. A second dynamic population assembles throughout the cell cycle. Our experiments identify novel roles for Poc1 in centriole stability and ciliogenesis

    Circulating tumour DNA analysis to direct therapy in advanced breast cancer (plasmaMATCH): a multicentre, multicohort, phase 2a, platform trial.

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    BACKGROUND: Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) testing might provide a current assessment of the genomic profile of advanced cancer, without the need to repeat tumour biopsy. We aimed to assess the accuracy of ctDNA testing in advanced breast cancer and the ability of ctDNA testing to select patients for mutation-directed therapy. METHODS: We did an open-label, multicohort, phase 2a, platform trial of ctDNA testing in 18 UK hospitals. Participants were women (aged ≥18 years) with histologically confirmed advanced breast cancer and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-2. Patients had completed at least one previous line of treatment for advanced breast cancer or relapsed within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients were recruited into four parallel treatment cohorts matched to mutations identified in ctDNA: cohort A comprised patients with ESR1 mutations (treated with intramuscular extended-dose fulvestrant 500 mg); cohort B comprised patients with HER2 mutations (treated with oral neratinib 240 mg, and if oestrogen receptor-positive with intramuscular standard-dose fulvestrant); cohort C comprised patients with AKT1 mutations and oestrogen receptor-positive cancer (treated with oral capivasertib 400 mg plus intramuscular standard-dose fulvestrant); and cohort D comprised patients with AKT1 mutations and oestrogen receptor-negative cancer or PTEN mutation (treated with oral capivasertib 480 mg). Each cohort had a primary endpoint of confirmed objective response rate. For cohort A, 13 or more responses among 78 evaluable patients were required to infer activity and three or more among 16 were required for cohorts B, C, and D. Recruitment to all cohorts is complete and long-term follow-up is ongoing. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03182634; the European Clinical Trials database, EudraCT2015-003735-36; and the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN16945804. FINDINGS: Between Dec 21, 2016, and April 26, 2019, 1051 patients registered for the study, with ctDNA results available for 1034 patients. Agreement between ctDNA digital PCR and targeted sequencing was 96-99% (n=800, kappa 0·89-0·93). Sensitivity of digital PCR ctDNA testing for mutations identified in tissue sequencing was 93% (95% CI 83-98) overall and 98% (87-100) with contemporaneous biopsies. In all cohorts, combined median follow-up was 14·4 months (IQR 7·0-23·7). Cohorts B and C met or exceeded the target number of responses, with five (25% [95% CI 9-49]) of 20 patients in cohort B and four (22% [6-48]) of 18 patients in cohort C having a response. Cohorts A and D did not reach the target number of responses, with six (8% [95% CI 3-17]) of 74 in cohort A and two (11% [1-33]) of 19 patients in cohort D having a response. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were raised gamma-glutamyltransferase (13 [16%] of 80 patients; cohort A); diarrhoea (four [25%] of 20; cohort B); fatigue (four [22%] of 18; cohort C); and rash (five [26%] of 19; cohort D). 17 serious adverse reactions occurred in 11 patients, and there was one treatment-related death caused by grade 4 dyspnoea (in cohort C). INTERPRETATION: ctDNA testing offers accurate, rapid genotyping that enables the selection of mutation-directed therapies for patients with breast cancer, with sufficient clinical validity for adoption into routine clinical practice. Our results demonstrate clinically relevant activity of targeted therapies against rare HER2 and AKT1 mutations, confirming these mutations could be targetable for breast cancer treatment. FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, AstraZeneca, and Puma Biotechnology
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