118,045 research outputs found

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

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    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95鈥塊Da and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications

    Uso de las histonas circulantes y sus modificaciones post-traduccionales como biomarcadores en sepsis y shock s茅ptico

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    La sepsis es una afecci贸n potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del hu茅sped a una infecci贸n, produciendo respuestas fisiol贸gicas alteradas que da帽an los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunci贸n org谩nica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes s茅pticos progresan a shock s茅ptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metab贸licas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunol贸gico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresi贸n, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatolog铆a de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigaci贸n para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citot贸xicos en la sepsis, ya que act煤an como patrones moleculares asociados a da帽o, que inducen estr茅s oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activaci贸n de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamaci贸n mediante la expresi贸n de IL-18, IL-1尾 and IL-1伪. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activaci贸n del inflamasoma en las c茅lulas inmunes durante la sepsis, se desconoce si las histonas extracelulares son capaces de activar los inflamasomas endoteliales y sus consecuencias. En este trabajo destacamos el papel previamente desconocido de las histonas extracelulares, mediando la activaci贸n del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las c茅lulas endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunci贸n endotelial y la desregulaci贸n de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, tambi茅n demostramos c贸mo la acetilaci贸n de histonas disminuye la activaci贸n de la piroptosis. Adem谩s, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock s茅ptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresi贸n de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piropt贸ticas, la liberaci贸n de factores de adhesi贸n endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones cl铆nicas. De manera similar, hemos analizado las respuestas inmunorelacionadas que ocurren durante las primeras etapas de la sepsis con el objetivo de proporcionar nuevos datos comparando las cantidades de citoquinas, inmunomoduladores y otros mediadores endoteliales en pacientes cr铆ticamente enfermos no s茅pticos, s茅pticos y de shock s茅ptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudar谩 a caracterizar r谩pidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes s茅pticos y de shock s茅ptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilaci贸n del ADN en el control del sistema inmune s茅ptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilaci贸n del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock s茅ptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresi贸n, a trav茅s de la alteraci贸n de los patrones de metilaci贸n de los promotores de IL-10 y TREM-2.Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormal host response to an infection that produce altered physiological responses which damages own tissues of the patient and can result in organ dysfunction and in some cases death. Likewise, a subset of septic patients progresses to septic shock, characterized by substantial circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increase the risk of mortality. Sepsis is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system and it can lead to an altered immune response and immunosuppression. Moreover, the high complexity of the pathophysiology of sepsis requires of further investigation to characterize the immune responses in sepsis and septic shock. Likewise, circulating extracellular histones have gained relevance as cytotoxic mediators in sepsis pathophysiology, since they act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which induce oxidative stress and activate NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, inflammasome mediates pyroptosis activation, a programmed cell death mechanism that produces inflammation through the release of IL-18, IL-1尾 and IL-1伪. However, despite inflammasome activation may occur in immune cells during sepsis, it is unknown if this process also takes place in endothelial cells and particularly whether extracellular histones are capable of activating endothelial inflammasomes and their consequences. In this work we highlight a previously unknown role for extracellular histones, that mediates the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and pyroptosis in endothelial cells by contributing to endothelial dysfunction and the dysregulation of the immune response mediated by endothelium. Likewise, we demonstrated how histone acetylation decreases pyroptosis activation. Furthermore, we show how pyroptosis occurs in septic shock patients and how circulating histone levels correlate with the expression of pro-inflammatory and pyroptotic cytokines, the release of endothelial adhesion factors and septic shock severity. We propose histone-mediated pyroptosis as a new target to develop clinical interventions. Similarly, we have analyzed the immune-related responses occurring during the early stages of sepsis with the aim of providing new data by comparing the amounts of cytokines, immune modulators and other endothelial mediators in critically-ill non-septic patients, septic and septic shock patients. Our approach will help to rapidly characterize the altered immune responses in septic and septic shock patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Finally, we also analyzed the role of DNA methylation in the control of septic immune system. Our results demonstrated the central role of DNA methylation modulating the molecular response in septic shock patients and contributing to immunosuppression, through the alteration of DNA methylation patterns of IL-10 and TREM2 promoters

    Metodolog铆a de intervenci贸n para trabajar ODS. Educaci贸n a trav茅s de las artes

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    La Agenda 2030 presenta 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), con sus metas e indicadores universales que los pa铆ses miembros de la ONU emplean para enmarcar sus pol铆ticas. Entre las metas del ODS 4 鈥渆ducaci贸n de calidad鈥 encontramos: 鈥渁segurar que todos los alumnos adquieran los conocimientos te贸ricos y pr谩cticos necesarios para promover el desarrollo sostenible, entre otras cosas mediante la educaci贸n para el desarrollo sostenible y los estilos de vida sostenibles, los derechos humanos, la igualdad de g茅nero, la promoci贸n de una cultura de paz y no violencia, la ciudadan铆a mundial y la valoraci贸n de la diversidad cultural y la contribuci贸n de la cultura al desarrollo sostenible鈥. La educaci贸n, se considera el motor de la Agenda 2030 porque, adem谩s de representar el centro del ODS 4, desempe帽a tambi茅n un papel notable en la implementaci贸n de los dem谩s, mejorando su alcance y efectividad. As铆 pues, entre las disciplinas que sustentan este trabajo se escogi贸 la Educaci贸n para el Desarrollo Sostenible y la Ciudadan铆a Global como marco de acci贸n y punto de partida en la formaci贸n de los ciudadanos de un futuro viable, equitativo y habitable. Se continu贸 investigando las oportunidades del desarrollo de la Competencia Intercultural en las relaciones humanas, aquello que diferencia a unas personas de otras puede aportar al conjunto de la sociedad y c贸mo la educaci贸n permitir铆a su aprovechamiento. Con todo ello, se plante贸 el marco did谩ctico de interacci贸n en el cual se implement贸 la interculturalidad en el ejercicio educativo. Se estudi贸 as铆 el poder de las artes como medio de motivaci贸n e inspiraci贸n a la hora de transmitir de la manera m谩s eficaz posible los valores considerados m谩s arriba. El objetivo del presente estudio se centra en demostrar el potencial de las artes para fomentar las competencias comunicativas, sociales, interculturales, emocionales, de ciudadan铆a y sostenibilidad. Para ello, se ha realizado una investigaci贸n aplicada que deriva en una propuesta concreta de intervenci贸n con un programa educativo destinado a la ense帽anza de lenguas, tanto primera como extranjera, en distintos niveles de la educaci贸n formal en Mali y en Espa帽a, aplicando un m茅todo hol铆stico basado en el paradigma interpretativo. A trav茅s de la pintura, la literatura y el cine, se plantean una serie de actividades ideadas para crear un entorno educativo integrador, favorecer el empoderamiento del alumnado y promover el pensamiento cr铆tico, la empat铆a, la resiliencia, la comunicaci贸n, la cooperaci贸n y la educaci贸n intercultural, como competencias esenciales para la consecuci贸n de los 17 ODS, la construcci贸n de un mundo transcultural sostenible y el desarrollo de una ciudadan铆a global preparada para los retos del siglo XXI. En la metodolog铆a de este proceso educativo innovador, multidisciplinar, flexible y adaptable, se ha empleado un an谩lisis del proceso de investigaci贸n para monitorizarlo adecuadamente (DAFO). Cada una de las propuestas presenta una recogida de datos cualitativos (observaci贸n, r煤bricas) y cuantitativos (encuestas, entrevistas) y se ofrece un an谩lisis de contraste de los resultados finales. Con todo, se espera facilitar la exigente tarea que supone hacer consciente a la sociedad de base (desde la misma infancia; desde los niveles m谩s bajos de la misma y en todos los niveles de la educaci贸n formal) de en qu茅 consisten los ODS y su relevancia para hacer de todas las personas corresponsables directas en su consecuci贸n para garantizar un futuro sostenible para toda la ciudadan铆a global.The 2030 Agenda presents 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their universal targets and indicators that UN member countries use to frame their policies. Among the targets of SDG 4 鈥渜uality education,鈥 we find the one that seeks: 鈥渢o ensure that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among other things through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, world citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development鈥. Education is considered the engine of the 2030 Agenda because, in addition to representing the centre of SDG 4, it also plays a notable role in the implementation of the others, improving their scope and effectiveness. Among the disciplines that support this research, Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship sets the framework for action and represents a starting point in the formation of citizens for a viable, equitable and habitable future. Global citizenship implies human relations and those and intrinsically shaped by culture. Intercultural Education and, more specifically, the development of Intercultural Competence needed to be considered. What differentiates some people from others can contribute to society as a whole and education is the means to explore and understand. For the design of a didactic framework of interaction, the power of the arts was studied as a means of motivation and inspiration when transmitting the values considered above in the most effective way possible. The objective of this study focuses on proving the potential of the arts to promote communicative, social, intercultural, emotional, citizenship and sustainability skills. For this, the theoretical research derived in a concrete intervention proposal with an educational program in language teaching, both first and foreign languages, at different levels of formal education in Mali and Spain, applying a holistic method based on the interpretive paradigm. Through painting, literature and cinema, a series of activities were designed to create an inclusive educational environment, favour the empowerment of students and promote critical thinking, empathy, resilience, communication, cooperation and intercultural education, as essential skills for the achievement of the 17 SDGs, the construction of a sustainable transcultural world and the development of global citizenship prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. In the methodology of this innovative, multidisciplinary, flexible and adaptable educational process, an analysis of the research process has been used to adequately monitor it (SWOT). Each of the proposals presents a collection of qualitative data (observation, rubrics) and quantitative data (surveys, interviews) and contrast analysis of the final results is offered. All in all, it is expected to facilitate the demanding task of making basic society aware (from childhood itself, from its lowest levels and at all levels of formal education) of what the SDGs consist of and their relevance to make all people directly co-responsible in its achievement to guarantee a sustainable future for all global citizens

    A quality of experience evaluation method for an UAV first person view system

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    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) communication systems are an increasingly widespread and emerging technology due to their flexibility, low cost and usability properties. Hence, the demand for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) cases that require large data transmission and low latency in cellular networks are increasingly. In this work, the assembly, integration and networking of a UAV quadrotor for First Person View (FPV) system connected by LTE is presented. Different configurations of the link between the UAV and the Ground Control Station (GCS) are proposed, such as connection by LTE cloud-based server, direct LTE connection and direct WiFi connection. With these configurations, experiments are carried out to characterise the network metrics that model this service according to the telemetry, control and video traffic. The main contribution is the definition of a closed mathematical expression provided to define the Quality of Experience (QoE) for FPV use cases considering the video quality in terms of Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion (VMAF), network latency and video resolution as inputs. This expression will be applied to lab experiments taking into account link performance, in which network changes based in packet loss and latency alterations will be introduced to measure the QoE of the UAV system.Campus de Excelencia Internacional Andaluc铆a Tech

    The applied psychology of addictive orientations : studies in a 12-step treatment context.

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    The clinical data for the studies was collected at The PROMIS Recovery Centre, a Minnesota Model treatmentc entre for addictions,w hich encouragesth e membership and use of the 12 step Anonymous Fellowships, and is abstinence based. The area of addiction is contextualised in a review chapter which focuses on research relating to the phenomenon of cross addiction. A study examining the concept of "addictive orientations" in male and female addicts is described, which develops a study conductedb y StephensonM, aggi, Lefever, & Morojele (1995). This presents study found a four factor solution which appeared to be subdivisions of the previously found Hedonism and Nurturance factors. Self orientated nurturance (both food dimensions, shopping and caffeine), Other orientated nurturance (both compulsive helping dimensions and work), Sensation seeking hedonism (Drugs, prescription drugs, nicotine and marginally alcohol), and Power related hedonism (Both relationship dimensions, sex and gambling. This concept of "addictive orientations" is further explored in a non-clinical population, where again a four factor solution was found, very similar to that in the clinical population. This was thought to indicate that in terms of addictive orientation a pattern already exists in this non-clinical population and that consideration should be given to why this is the case. These orientations are examined in terms of gender differences. It is suggested that the differences between genders reflect power-related role relationships between the sexes. In order to further elaborate the significance and meaning behind these orientations, the next two chapters look at the contribution of personality variables and how addictive orientations relate to psychiatric symptomatology. Personality variables were differentially, and to a considerable extent predictably involved with the four factors for both males and females.Conscientiousness as positively associated with "Other orientated Nurturance" and negatively associated with "Sensation seeking hedonism" (particularly for men). Neuroticism had a particularly strong association with the "Self orientated Nurturance" factor in the female population. More than twice the symptomatology variance was explained by the factor scores for females than it was for males. The most important factorial predictors for psychiatric symptomatology were the "Power related hedonism" factor for males, and "Self oriented nurturance" for females. The results are discussed from theoretical and treatment perspectives

    The company she keeps : The social and interpersonal construction of girls same sex friendships

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    This thesis begins a critical analysis of girls' 'private' interpersonal and social relations as they are enacted within two school settings. It is the study of these marginal subordinated worlds productivity of forms of femininity which provides the main narrative of this project. I seek to understand these processes of (best) friendship construction through a feminist multi-disciplinary frame, drawing upon cultural studies, psychoanalysis and accounts of gender politics. I argue that the investments girls bring to their homosocial alliances and boundary drawing narry a psychological compulsion which is complexly connected to their own experiences within the mother/daughter bond as well as reflecting positively an immense social debt to the permissions girls have to be nurturant and ; negatively their own reproduction of oppressive exclusionary practices. Best friendship in particular gives girls therefore, the experience of 'monogamy' continuous of maternal/daughter identification, reminiscent of their positioning inside monopolistic forms of heterosexuality. But these subcultures also represent a subversive discontinuity to the public dominance of boys/teachers/adults in schools and to the ideologies and practices of heterosociality and heterosexuality. By taking seriously their transmission of the values of friendship in their chosen form of notes and diaries for example, I was able to access the means whereby they were able to resist their surveillance and control by those in power over them. I conclude by arguing that it is through a recognition of the valency of these indivisiblly positive and negative aspects to girls cultures that Equal Opportunities practitioners must begin if they are serious about their ambitions. Methods have to be made which enable girls to transfer their 'private' solidarities into the 'public' realm, which unquestionably demands contesting with them the causes and consequences of their implication in the divisions which also contaminate their lives and weaken them
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