Major Objective (major + objective)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Ground Water Recharge and Chemical Contaminants: Challenges in Communicating the Connections and Collisions of Two Disparate Worlds

Christian G. Daughton
Our knowledge base regarding the presence and significance of chemicals foreign to the subsurface environment is large and growing , the papers in this volume serving as testament. However, complex questions with few answers surround the unknowns regarding the potential for environmental or human health effects from trace levels of xenobiotics in ground water, especially ground water augmented with treated waste water. Public acceptance for direct or indirect ground water recharge using treated municipal waste water (especially sewage) spans the spectrum from unquestioned embrace to outright rejection. In this paper, I detour around the issues most commonly discussed regarding ground water recharge and instead focus on some of the less-recognized issues,those that emanate from the mysteries created at the many literal and virtual interfaces involved with the subsurface world. My major objective is to catalyze discussion that advances our understanding of the barriers to public acceptance of waste water reuse with its ultimate culmination in direct reuse for drinking. I pose what could be a key question as to whether much of the public's frustration or ambivalence in its decision-making process for accepting, or rejecting, water reuse (for various purposes including personal use) emanates from fundamental inaccuracies, misrepresentation, or oversimplification of what water is and how it functions in the environment,just exactly what the water cycle is. These questions suggest it might behoove us to revisit some very elementary aspects of our science and how we are conveying them to the public. [source]

Antiviral efficacy and resistance in patients on antiretroviral therapy in Kigali, Rwanda: the real-life situation in 2002

HIV MEDICINE, Issue 1 2006
A Fischer
Our study aimed to complete the published data on ARV therapy in Africa by describing the baseline situation in Rwanda before the launch of a large ARV programme (ESTHER). Prescription habits, frequency and reasons for treatment interruptions but also antiviral efficay, resistance to ARVs and genotypic variability of the viruses present in Rwanda were analysed. Among the 233 patients included in the study, it appeared that a vast majority (91%) were under triple therapy and that half of them had experienced at least one treatment interruption caused mainly by drug shortage or financial difficulties. Among 60 blood samples analysed, 26 were in virological failure with a viral load above 1000 RNA copies/ml and 11 presented major drug resistance mutations. Finally, virological failure could mainly be explained by the high frequency of treatment interruptions but also by the emergence of drug resistance mutations. Consequently the major objective for the ESTHER programme to improve the situation in Rwanda will be to reduce the drug shortage and facilitate the financial accessibility of the treatments. [source]

Japanese management, enterprise unions and company performance

John Benson
ABSTRACT The success of the Japanese company has often been attributed to a range of management practices and enterprise unionism. These claims, however, have been based on research that was conducted during periods of high economic growth where a major objective of the company was increasing market share. This article extends this research by assessing the impact of these factors on the financial performance of Japanese companies over the period 1991,2001, a period of economic decline and change. The findings of the research challenge the conventional view of the value of Japanese management practices and enterprise unions, and illustrate the need to consider these practices within a wider economic context. [source]

Explanation in Information Systems

Dirk S Hovorka
Abstract., Explanation of observed phenomena is a major objective of both those who conduct and those who apply research in information systems (IS). Whereas explanation based on the statistical relationship between independent and dependent variables is a common outcome of explanatory IS research, philosophers of science disagree about whether statistical relationships are the sole basis for the explanation of phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an expanded concept of explanation into the realm of IS research. We present a framework based on the four principle explanation types defined in modern philosophy: covering-law explanation, statistical-relevance explanation, contrast-class explanation and functional explanation. A well-established research stream, media richness, is used to illustrate how the different explanation types complement each other in increasing comprehension of the phenomenon. This framework underlies our argument that explanatory pluralism can be used to broaden research perspectives and increase scientific comprehension of IS phenomena above and beyond the methodological and ontological pluralism currently in use in IS research. [source]

Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders: current status & future relevance,

Summary, The Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD), published in 1992, was based on international expert recommendations and available empirical data. The major rationale was to offer a putative diagnostic and classification system whose reliability, validity and clinical usefulness for TMD diagnosis and classification could be scientifically evaluated and then revised using an evidence-based model for successive iterations. The present journal issue attests to the accomplishment of that major objective: the RDC/TMD has been translated into 18 languages and used very extensively in international research. One important component of that research has been to yield reliable and valid data resulting in an evidence-based revision of the RDC/TMD now available for continuing research and clinical application. The present article offers recommendations and speculations regarding how the RDC/TMD may continue to serve the function of guiding future research and, most importantly, serve as an evidence-based diagnostic and classification system to aid in the rational choice of clinical care for TMD sufferers around the world. [source]

New directions in evaluating social problem solving in childhood: Early precursors and links to adolescent social competence

Susan H. Landry
A major objective of this chapter is to present a novel, ecologically sensitive social problem-solving task for school-aged children that captures the complexity of social and cognitive demands placed on children in naturalistic situations. Competence on this task correlates with a range of skills including executive functions, verbal reasoning, and attention. Children able to successfully carry out this task in middle school were more competent in early adolescence in collaborating in joint problem-solving tasks with peers and solving conflicts with parents. [source]

Epidemiology underpinning research in the aetiology of orofacial clefts,

Peter Mossey
Structured Abstract Author,,, Mossey P Introduction,,, Epidemiological information gathered through birth defects surveillance is an important adjunct to carrying out clinical and aetiological research. Information on the incidence in the population, causative risk factors and providing baseline data prior to intervention are all important elements. Under the auspices of the World Health Organisation, it was agreed that a global registry and database on craniofacial anomalies should be created and this, the International Database on Craniofacial Anomalies (ICDFA) was designed to gather information on craniofacial abnormalities from existing birth defects registries and databases around the world to become a resource underpinning research. There are currently 62 registries covering 2 million births per year contributing to a database along with information on the size and type of studies used to collect the information, any variation in ascertainment and on the inclusion of syndromes and associated abnormalities. Generation of hypotheses,,, From the epidemiological data collected it is possible to carry out meta-analysis and to search for trends and consistencies in the data that enable hypothesis to be generated. Issues such as geographical distribution, ethnicity, gender, associated abnormalities and clefts in stillbirths can all be examined in a meta-analytical approach. Collection of information on risk factors such as maternal illnesses, medications, lifestyle factors, nutrition and perhaps occupational exposures enables investigation into environmental contribution to causality and genetic predisposition. A range of techniques are currently being used to identify new candidate genes and ultimately it will be necessary to test genetic and environmental hypothesis in the context of human population studies. Conclusions,,, It is only by consistency of association between different populations with different gene pools and maternal exposures, lifestyles, nutrition etc that conclusive evidence regarding causality will be found. It is therefore essential, and a major objective of the WHO that international multicentre collaborative studies are setup to gather the appropriate evidence and improve knowledge and the cause of birth defects in general and orofacial clefts in particular, with the ultimate humanitarian and scientific objective of the WHO being primary prevention. Clinical utility and implications,,, This IDCFA project fulfils three basic objectives namely to enable global surveillance of CFA; to create online access to those who wish to contribute to the IDCFA, and to develop an online directory of resources on craniofacial anomalies for the support of research and improving quality of care. The next sttif for IPDTOC are to expand the number of participating registries and to actively collect data on other craniofacial birth defects. [source]

Paternity and social rank in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from the Budongo Forest, Uganda

Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher
Abstract We analyzed patterns of paternity and male dominance rank in the Sonso community of wild East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Budongo Forest, Uganda. Our major objective was to determine whether and how social rank influenced paternity success. We successfully genotyped 52 individuals at up to nine microsatellite loci, using DNA extracted from fecal samples. Of 24 offspring analyzed, we identified sires for 21. Paternity success was significantly correlated with social rank, with alpha males siring a disproportionate number of offspring. However, both middle- and low-ranking males also fathered offspring, and the priority-of-access model provided a relatively poor prediction of which males would be successful and under what circumstances. The concentration of paternities among only seven males and the tendency for high-ranking males to sire offspring of multiparous females suggest that both individual variation in male quality and the resource value of particular females may be mediating factors. In comparison with other chimpanzee studies, our results support the hypothesis that larger male cohort size reduces the ability of the alpha male to monopolize females, though within our study, male number did not affect the success of the alpha. Successful sires were not necessarily those who achieved the highest mating success with the females whose offspring they sired, but were those who demonstrated higher investment by spending significantly more time in association with these females. Finally, we estimate extra-group paternity at 0,5%, supporting other evidence that the community serves as the primary reproductive unit in chimpanzees. Am J Phys Anthropol 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Attitudes Towards Personnel Selection Methods: A Partial Replication and Extension in a German Sample

Bernd Marcus
Cette recherche qui fait appel à un échantillon de 213 étudiants allemands porte sur les attitudes envers un ensemble de méthodes utilisées dans la sélection professionnelle. Son but premier était d'apporter un nouvel éclairage sur les différences culturelles qui marquent les réactions des candidats devant les techniques de sélection en reconstituant partiellement une étude de Steiner & Gilliland (1996) qui recueillirent des évaluations de l'acceptation du processus pour dix procédures différentes auprès d'étudiants français et américains. Des divergences significatives sont apparues au niveau des moyennes, mais aucune structure sous-jacente ne put rendre compte de ces différences. En général, les sujets des trois nations ont note les plus favorablement les méthodes répandues (l'entretien et le C.V.), ainsi que les procédures en rapport évident avec le travail (les tests d'échantillon de travail), puis les tests papier-crayon, tandis que les contacts personnels et la graphologie étaient négativement appréciés. Autre objectif important: éprouver la validité des courtes descriptions des instruments de sélection généralement utilisées dans les études comparatives portant sur ce thème. On a évalué deux fois les attitudes envers quatre types de tests imprimés, une premiére fois après la présentation de la description et une seconde fois à l'issue de la passation du test. La convergence prétest-posttest, de basse à moyenne, met en évidence de sérieux problémes en ce qui concerne ces descriptions des tests papier-crayon. On aborde aussi les leçons à en tirer quant aux jugements sur les pratiques de sélection du point de vue des candidats et pour les recherches à venir. This research examined attitudes towards a variety of personnel selection methods in a German student sample (N= 213). Its first objective was to shed further light on cultural differences in applicant reactions to selection techniques by partially replicating a study by Steiner and Gilliland (1996), who obtained ratings of process favorability for ten different procedures from two groups of French and American students. Results indicated a number of significant mean discrepancies but no systematic pattern appeared to underlie these differences. In general, subjects in all three nations rated widespread methods (e.g. interview, résumés) or obviously job-related procedures (work sample tests) most favorably, followed by paper-and-pencil tests, whereas personal contacts and graphology appeared in the negative range. A second major objective was to examine the validity of the brief descriptions of selection instruments often used in comparative studies on this topic. Attitudes towards four different types of written tests were assessed twice for this purpose, once after presenting descriptive information, and a second time after actual test administration. Low to moderate pretest,posttest convergence pointed to serious problems with these descriptions for paper-and-pencil tests. Implications for current evaluations of selection practices from the applicants' perspective and for future research are discussed. [source]

Funding Allocation and Staff Management.

A Portuguese Example
For many years the Portuguese Ministry of Education used a funding formula to allocate the State budget to public higher education institutions. Some of its major objectives were higher enrolments and allocation equity. As the expenditure on salaries was a major component of the budget, the formula was supposed to force convergence to established standard staff/student ratios. This article analyses the evolution of staff numbers in Portuguese public universities to assess how successful the funding formula has been in forcing convergence to standard staff numbers. [source]

Organizational emergence in networked collaboration

Ari-Pekka Hameri
Abstract Research on complex adaptive systems has generated several conceptual parables to explain systems with emergent behaviour. One prominent use for terms such as self-organization, evolutionary trajectories, co-evolution and punctuated equilibrium has been in understanding human organizations. In such systems, emergent behaviour is demonstrated in novel structures, processes and spin-offs that cannot be explained just by studying single components of the organization and the intelligence embedded in them. Instead of solely exploiting the qualitative explanatory power of the evolutionary concepts, this paper focuses also on quantitative methods to track emergent behaviour in a globally distributed, constantly fluctuating and highly networked project organization. The underlying case is that of CERN (CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Yugoslavia (status suspended after the UN embargo, June 1992), the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.) and its decade long accelerator project, which strongly relies on electronic communication and networking to achieve its major objectives due to be accomplished by the year 2006. By using time series and self-organizing maps to analyse the global interaction among project groups and individuals the paper provides new insight to the understanding of emergent behaviour in human organizations. The key result of the study concerns the rigid deep structure of each case organization that seems to remain intact for the duration of the whole project. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

International tourism and economic development in South Africa: a Granger causality test

Oludele A. Akinboade
Abstract One of the major objectives of macroeconomic policies in many developing countries is sustained economic growth, and South Africa has been striving to achieve and maintain this in various ways. One of these is through international tourism. Although international tourism contributes to the growth of many economies, it is in turn, impacted by growth in many developed countries. Real gross domestic product (GDP), international tourism earnings, real effective exchange rate and exports were analysed within a multivariate vector auto regressive model using annual data covering 1980,2005. The main focus of this study therefore was to demonstrate the direction of causality between international tourism earnings and long-run economic growth of South Africa, among other variables, using Granger causality analysis. The result obtained showed a unidirectional causality running from international tourism earnings to real GDP, both in the short run and in the long run. The error correction mechanism carried out also supported this causality. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Regional variability in secondary remodeling within long bone cortices of catarrhine primates: the influence of bone growth history

Shannon C. McFarlin
Abstract Secondary intracortical remodeling of bone varies considerably among and within vertebrate skeletons. Although prior research has shed important light on its biomechanical significance, factors accounting for this variability remain poorly understood. We examined regional patterning of secondary osteonal bone in an ontogenetic series of wild-collected primates, at the midshaft femur and humerus of Chlorocebus (Cercopithecus) aethiops (n = 32) and Hylobates lar (n = 28), and the midshaft femur of Pan troglodytes (n = 12). Our major objectives were: 1) to determine whether secondary osteonal bone exhibits significant regional patterning across inner, mid-cortical and outer circumferential cortical rings within cross-sections; and if so, 2) to consider the manner in which this regional patterning may reflect the influence of relative tissue age and other circumstances of bone growth. Using same field-of-view images of 100-µm-thick cross-sections acquired in brightfield and circularly polarized light microscopy, we quantified the percent area of secondary osteonal bone (%HAV) for whole cross-sections and across the three circumferential rings within cross-sections. We expected bone areas with inner and middle rings to exhibit higher %HAV than the outer cortical ring within cross-sections, the latter comprising tissues of more recent depositional history. Observations of primary bone microstructural development provided an additional context in which to evaluate regional patterning of intracortical remodeling. Results demonstrated significant regional variability in %HAV within all skeletal sites. As predicted,%HAV was usually lowest in the outer cortical ring within cross-sections. However, regional patterning across inner vs. mid-cortical rings showed a more variable pattern across taxa, age classes, and skeletal sites examined. Observations of primary bone microstructure revealed that the distribution of endosteally deposited bone had an important influence on the patterning of secondary osteonal bone across rings. Further, when present, endosteal compacted coarse cancellous bone always exhibited some evidence of intracortical remodeling, even in those skeletal sites exhibiting comparatively low %HAV overall. These results suggest that future studies should consider the local developmental origin of bone regions undergoing secondary remodeling later in life, for an improved understanding of the manner in which developmental and mechanical factors may interact to produce the taxonomic and intraskeletal patterning of secondary bone remodelling in adults. [source]

Structured reminiscence: an intervention to decrease depression and increase self-transcendence in older women

Cynthia Kellam Stinson MSN
Aims/objectives., The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of group reminiscing on depression and self-transcendence of older women residing in an assisted living facility in southeast Texas. There were two major objectives for this study. One objective was to determine if depression decreased in older women after structured reminiscence group sessions held twice weekly for a six-week period. A second objective was to determine if self-transcendence increased after structured reminiscence group sessions held twice weekly for a six-week period. Background., Reminiscence has been studied to determine its impact on a variety of conditions including but not limited to depression, self-esteem, fatigue, isolation, socialization, well-being, language acquisition and cognitive functioning. This review of research specifically focused on reminiscence, depression, self-transcendence and older people. Design/methods., Two groups were assessed at baseline, three and six weeks to answer the research questions. A sample of 24 women between the ages of 72 and 96 years were randomly assigned to either a reminiscence (experimental) group or the activity (control) group of the facility. Pearson's r was used to determine the magnitude of the relationship between subjects' responses on the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Self-Transcendence Scale. A mixed design analysis of variance (anova) was used to determine if there was a difference between the experimental and control groups on scores of the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Self-Transcendence Scale at baseline, three and six weeks. Conclusions., Data revealed a non-significant decrease in depression and increase in self-transcendence in the reminiscence group at the completion of six weeks, indicating a trend toward a positive result with reminiscence group sessions. The study also revealed an inverse relationship between depression and self-transcendence. These findings underscore the importance of screening older people for depression. Relevance to clinical practice., One of the primary modalities used for the treatment of depression in elderly women is medication. Antidepressant medications lead to harmful side effects without alleviating the underlying depression. For these reasons, there is a need to research alternative therapies for treatment of depression in the older female. Reminiscence offers a possible intervention for treatment of depression in older women. [source]

Genetics of personalities: no simple answers for complex traits

Identifying the genes that underlie phenotypic variation in natural populations, and assessing the consequences of polymorphisms at these loci for individual fitness are major objectives in evolutionary biology. Yet, with the exception of a few success stories, little progress has been made, and our understanding of the link between genotype and phenotype is still in its infancy. For example, although body length in humans is largely genetically determined, with heritability estimates greater than 0.8, massive genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have only been able to account for a very small proportion of this variation (Gudbjartsson et al. 2008). If it is so difficult to explain the genetics behind relatively ,simple' traits, can we envision that it will at all be possible to find genes underlying complex behavioural traits in wild non-model organisms? Some notable examples suggest that this can indeed be a worthwhile endeavour. Recently, the circadian rhythm gene Clock has been associated with timing of breeding in a wild blue tit population (Johnsen et al. 2007; Liedvogel et al. 2009) and the Pgi gene to variation in dispersal and flight endurance in Glanville fritillary butterflies (Niitepold et al. 2009). A promising candidate gene for influencing complex animal personality traits, also known as behavioural syndromes (Sih et al. 2004), is the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene. Within the last decade, polymorphisms in this gene have been associated with variation in novelty seeking and exploration behaviour in a range of species, from humans to great tits (Schinka et al. 2002; Fidler et al. 2007). In this issue, Korsten et al. (2010) attempt to replicate this previously observed association in wild-living birds, and test for the generality of the association between DRD4 and personality across a number of European great tit populations. [source]

Spermatid manchette: Plugging proteins to zero into the sperm tail

Abraham L. Kierszenbaum
Spermiogenesis pursues three major objectives: (1) The safeguard of the male genome within the confines of a compact nucleus. (2) The accumulation of enzymes in the acrosome of be released at fertilization. (3) The development of a sperm propelling tail consisting of an axoneme surrounded by a scaffold of keratin-containing outer dense fibers and a fibrous sheath. Recent experimental data indicate that three keratins-Sak57, 0df1 and 0df2-and other proteins (the 26S proteasome and the 0df1-binding protein Spag4) are temporarily stored in the manchette before being sorted to the developing sperm tail. These findings support a general model for the manchette as an ephemeral structure timely developed and strategically positioned to provide a transient storage to both structural and signaling proteins. Some of the proteins are later sorted to the developing tail; others may participate in the reciprocal nuclear-cytoplasmic signaling pathways as the gene activity of the male genome gradually becomes silent. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 59: 347,349, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Synthesis and NMR characterization of 6-Phenyl-6-deoxy-2,3-di- O -methylcellulose,

Dr Navzer (Nozar) D. Sachinvala
Abstract Cellulose (1) was converted for the first time to 6-phenyl-6-deoxy-2,3-di- O -methylcellulose (6) in 33% overall yield. Intermediates in the five-step conversion of 1 to­6 were: 6- O -tritylcellulose (2), 6- O -trityl-2,3-di- O -methylcellulose (3), 2,3-di- O -methylcellulose (4); and 6-bromo-6-deoxy-2,3-di- O -methylcellulose (5). Elemental and quantitative carbon-13 analyses were concurrently used to verify and confirm the degrees of substitution in each new polymer. Gel permeation chromotography (GPC) data were generated to monitor the changes in molecular weight (DPw) as the synthesis progressed, and the compound average decrease in cellulose DPw was , 27%. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to characterize the decomposition of all polymers. The degradation temperatures (,°C) and percent char at 500,°C of cellulose derivatives 2 to 6 were 308.6 and 6.3%, 227.6,°C and 9.7%, 273.9,°C and 30.2%, 200.4,°C and 25.6%, and 207.2,°C and 27.0%, respectively. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of­6- O -tritylcellulose by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) occurred at 126.7,°C and the modulus (E,, Pa) dropped 8.9 fold in the transition from ,150,°C to,+,180,°C (6.6,×,109 to 7.4,×,108 Pa). Modulus at 20,°C was 3.26,×,109 Pa. Complete proton and carbon-13 chemical shift assignments of the repeating unit of the title polymer were made by a combination of the HMQC and COSY NMR methods. Ultimate non-destructive proof of carbon,carbon bond formation at C6 of the anhydroglucose moiety was established by generating correlations between resonances of CH26 (anhydroglucose) and C1,, H2,, and H6, of the attached aryl ring using the heteronuclear multiple-bond correlation (HMBC) method. In this study, we achieved three major objectives: (a) new methodologies for the chemical modification of cellulose were developed; (b) new cellulose derivatives were designed, prepared and characterized; (c) unequivocal structural proof for carbon,carbon bond formation with cellulose was derived non-destructively by use of one- and two-dimensional NMR methods. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Developmentalism in Korea: A Useful Tool for Explaining the Role of Social Security in the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality

Sang Kyun Kim
It is conventional wisdom that universalism is more effective than selectivism in addressing the problems of poverty and inequality. In providing income security for the elderly, retirement pensions calculated on the principle of social insurance represent universalism and social assistance benefits on the basis of means-test selectivism. Korea has both a contributory pension scheme and social assistance program for the elderly. The social assistance began in 1961. The contributory scheme, the National Pension, started belatedly in 1988 and its coverage expanded to the entire population in 1999. We can, therefore, expect that the social security system, especially the universal pension scheme based on social insurance, has some positive impacts on the reduction of poverty and inequality. This paper, however, raises doubt as to the conventional wisdom and thus reviews the developmental process of the Korean social security system for the aged. It was found that the dominant ideological controversy revolved, not around universalism versus selectivism, but around the option between developmentalism and other strategies. Our empirical analysis showed that the public pension had little impact on the reduction of poverty and inequality, particularly in comparison with advanced welfare states. This is not surprising at all, since poverty eradication and redistribution were not major objectives of the Korean social security system. The controversy between universalism and selectivism was relatively unfamiliar in the policy process of the Korean social security system. Even though the redistributive effect is getting larger as the National Pension system becomes mature, the developmentalist model has been proved to be a more useful tool for explaining the limited role of Korean social security. [source]