Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: N. Webb

13 Settlement Prediction in Cape Flats Sands Using Shear Wave Velocity – Penetration Resistance Correlations

Authors: Nanine Fouche


The Cape Flats is a low-lying sand-covered expanse of approximately 460 square kilometres, situated to the southeast of the central business district of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. The aeolian sands masking this area are often loose and compressible in the upper 1m to 1.5m of the surface, and there is a general exceedance of the maximum allowable settlement in these sands. The settlement of shallow foundations on Cape Flats sands is commonly predicted using the results of in-situ tests such as the SPT or DPSH due to the difficulty of retrieving undisturbed samples for laboratory testing. Varying degrees of accuracy and reliability are associated with these methods. More recently, shear wave velocity (Vs) profiles obtained from seismic testing, such as continuous surface wave tests (CSW), are being used for settlement prediction. Such predictions have the advantage of considering non-linear stress-strain behaviour of soil and the degradation of stiffness with increasing strain. CSW tests are rarely executed in the Cape Flats, whereas SPT’s are commonly performed. For this reason, and to facilitate better settlement predictions in Cape Flats sand, equations representing shear wave velocity (Vs) as a function of SPT blow count (N60) and vertical effective stress (v’) were generated by statistical regression of site investigation data. To reveal the most appropriate method of overburden correction, analyses were performed with a separate overburden term (Pa/σ’v) as well as using stress corrected shear wave velocity and SPT blow counts (correcting Vs. and N60 to Vs1and (N1)60respectively). Shear wave velocity profiles and SPT blow count data from three sites masked by Cape Flats sands were utilised to generate 80 Vs-SPT N data pairs for analysis. Investigated terrains included sites in the suburbs of Athlone, Muizenburg, and Atlantis, all underlain by windblown deposits comprising fine and medium sand with varying fines contents. Elastic settlement analysis was also undertaken for the Cape Flats sands, using a non-linear stepwise method based on small-strain stiffness estimates, which was obtained from the best Vs-N60 model and compared to settlement estimates using the general elastic solution with stiffness profiles determined using Stroud’s (1989) and Webb’s (1969) SPT N60-E transformation models. Stroud’s method considers strain level indirectly whereasWebb’smethod does not take account of the variation in elastic modulus with strain. The expression of Vs. in terms of N60 and Pa/σv’ derived from the Atlantis data set revealed the best fit with R2 = 0.83 and a standard error of 83.5m/s. Less accurate Vs-SPT N relations associated with the combined data set is presumably the result of inversion routines used in the analysis of the CSW results showcasing significant variation in relative density and stiffness with depth. The regression analyses revealed that the inclusion of a separate overburden term in the regression of Vs and N60, produces improved fits, as opposed to the stress corrected equations in which the R2 of the regression is notably lower. It is the correction of Vs and N60 to Vs1 and (N1)60 with empirical constants ‘n’ and ‘m’ prior to regression, that introduces bias with respect to overburden pressure. When comparing settlement prediction methods, both Stroud’s method (considering strain level indirectly) and the small strain stiffness method predict higher stiffnesses for medium dense and dense profiles than Webb’s method, which takes no account of strain level in the determination of soil stiffness. Webb’s method appears to be suitable for loose sands only. The Versak software appears to underestimate differences in settlement between square and strip footings of similar width. In conclusion, settlement analysis using small-strain stiffness data from the proposed Vs-N60 model for Cape Flats sands provides a way to take account of the non-linear stress-strain behaviour of the sands when calculating settlement.

Keywords: sands, settlement prediction, continuous surface wave test, small-strain stiffness, shear wave velocity, penetration resistance

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12 Multidrug Therapies For HIV: Hybrid On-Off, Hysteresis On-Off Control and Simple STI

Authors: Magno Enrique Mendoza Meza


This paper deals with the comparison of three control techniques: the hysteresis on-off control (HyOOC), the hybrid on-off control (HOOC) and the simple Structured Treatment Interruptions (sSTI). These techniques are applied to the mathematical model developed by Kirschner and Webb. To compare these techniques we use a cost functional that minimize the wild-type virus population and the mutant virus population, but the main objective is to minimize the systemic cost of treatment and maximize levels of healthy CD4+ T cells. HyOOC, HOOC, and sSTI are applied to the drug therapies using a reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors; simulations show that these controls maintain the uninfected cells in a small, bounded neighborhood of a pre-specified level. The controller HyOOC and HOOC are designed by appropriate choice of virtual equilibrium points.

Keywords: virus dynamics, on-off control, hysteresis, multi-drug therapies

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11 Modelling Medieval Vaults: Digital Simulation of the North Transept Vault of St Mary, Nantwich, England

Authors: N. Webb, A. Buchanan


Digital and virtual heritage is often associated with the recreation of lost artefacts and architecture; however, we can also investigate works that were not completed, using digital tools and techniques. Here we explore physical evidence of a fourteenth-century Gothic vault located in the north transept of St Mary’s church in Nantwich, Cheshire, using existing springer stones that are built into the walls as a starting point. Digital surveying tools are used to document the architecture, followed by an analysis process to hypothesise and simulate possible design solutions, had the vault been completed. A number of options, both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally, are discussed based on comparison with examples of other contemporary vaults, thus adding another specimen to the corpus of vault designs. Dissemination methods such as digital models and 3D prints are also explored as possible resources for demonstrating what the finished vault might have looked like for heritage interpretation and other purposes.

Keywords: digital simulation, heritage interpretation, medieval vaults, virtual heritage, 3d scanning

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10 A Curricular Approach to Organizational Mentoring Programs: The Integrated Mentoring Curriculum Model

Authors: Christopher Webb


This work presents a new model of mentoring in an organizational environment and has important implications for both practice and research, the model frames the organizational environment as organizational curriculum, which includes the elements that affect learning within the organization. This includes the organizational structure and culture, roles within the organization, and accessibility of knowledge. The program curriculum includes the elements of the mentoring program, including materials, training, and scheduled events for the program participants. The term dyadic curriculum is coined in this work. The dyadic curriculum describes the participation, behavior, and identities of the pairs participating in mentorships. This also includes the identity work of the participants and their views of each other. Much of this curriculum is unprescribed and is unique within each dyad. It describes how participants mediate the elements of organizational and program curricula. These three curricula interact and affect each other in predictable ways. A detailed example of a mentoring program framed in this model is provided.

Keywords: curriculum, mentoring, organizational learning and development, social learning

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9 A Cellular Automaton Model Examining the Effects of Oxygen, Hydrogen Ions, and Lactate on Early Tumour Growth

Authors: Maymona Al-Husari, Craig Murdoch, Steven Webb


Some tumors are known to exhibit an extracellular pH that is more acidic than the intracellular, creating a 'reversed pH gradient' across the cell membrane and this has been shown to affect their invasive and metastatic potential. Tumour hypoxia also plays an important role in tumour development and has been directly linked to both tumour morphology and aggressiveness. In this paper, we present a hybrid mathematical model of intracellular pH regulation that examines the effect of oxygen and pH on tumour growth and morphology. In particular, we investigate the impact of pH regulatory mechanisms on the cellular pH gradient and tumour morphology. Analysis of the model shows that: low activity of the Na+/H+ exchanger or a high rate of anaerobic glycolysis can give rise to a 'fingering' tumour morphology; and a high activity of the lactate/H+ symporter can result in a reversed transmembrane pH gradient across a large portion of the tumour mass. Also, the reversed pH gradient is spatially heterogenous within the tumour, with a normal pH gradient observed within an intermediate growth layer, that is the layer between the proliferative inner and outermost layer of the tumour.

Keywords: acidic pH, cellular automaton, ebola, tumour growth

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8 Bio-Remediation of Lead-Contaminated Water Using Adsorbent Derived from Papaya Peel

Authors: Sahar Abbaszadeh, Sharifah Rafidah Wan Alwi, Colin Webb, Nahid Ghasemi, Ida Idayu Muhamad


Toxic heavy metal discharges into environment due to rapid industrialization is a serious pollution problem that has drawn global attention towards their adverse impacts on both the structure of ecological systems as well as human health. Lead as toxic and bio-accumulating elements through the food chain, is regularly entering to water bodies from discharges of industries such as plating, mining activities, battery manufacture, paint manufacture, etc. The application of conventional methods to degrease and remove Pb(II) ion from wastewater is often restricted due to technical and economic constrains. Therefore, the use of various agro-wastes as low-cost bioadsorbent is found to be attractive since they are abundantly available and cheap. In this study, activated carbon of papaya peel (AC-PP) (as locally available agricultural waste) was employed to evaluate its Pb(II) uptake capacity from single-solute solutions in sets of batch mode experiments. To assess the surface characteristics of the adsorbents, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy disperse X-ray (EDX), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis were utilized. The removal amount of Pb(II) was determined by atomic adsorption spectrometry (AAS). The effects of pH, contact time, the initial concentration of Pb(II) and adsorbent dosage were investigated. The pH value = 5 was observed as optimum solution pH. The optimum initial concentration of Pb(II) in the solution for AC-PP was found to be 200 mg/l where the amount of Pb(II) removed was 36.42 mg/g. At the agitating time of 2 h, the adsorption processes using 100 mg dosage of AC-PP reached equilibrium. The experimental results exhibit high capability and metal affinity of modified papaya peel waste with removal efficiency of 93.22 %. The evaluation results show that the equilibrium adsorption of Pb(II) was best expressed by Freundlich isotherm model (R2 > 0.93). The experimental results confirmed that AC-PP potentially can be employed as an alternative adsorbent for Pb(II) uptake from industrial wastewater for the design of an environmentally friendly yet economical wastewater treatment process.

Keywords: activated carbon, bioadsorption, lead removal, papaya peel, wastewater treatment

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7 A 30 Year Audit of the Vascular Complications of Ports: Permanent Intravascular Access Devices

Authors: S. Kershaw, P. J. Barry, K. Webb


Background: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a chronic lung disease where patients have chronic lung infection punctuated by acute exacerbations that require intermittent intravenous (IV) antibiotics during their lives. With time, peripheral venous access can become difficult and limited. Accessing these veins can become arduous, traumatic, painful and unworkable. A permanent intravascular access device or Port is a small device that is inserted into the central venous system that allows the delivery of medicine eliminating the need for peripheral venous access. Ports represent a convenient and efficient method when venous access is required on a permanent basis however they are also associated with significant vascular complications. Superior Vena Cava Obstruction (SVCO) is a rare but significant vascular complication of ports in this setting. Objective: We aimed to look at a single CF centre’s experience of port-related SVCO over a thirty year period. Methods: Retrospective data was extracted using patient’s notes, electronic radiological reports and local databases over a period in excess of 30 years from 1982 to 2014. Results: 13 patients were identified with SVCO as a result of their port. 11 patients had CF (9 female, 2 male), one male patient had Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia and one female patient had severe Asthma. The mean port function was 1532 days (range 110 – 4049) and the mean age at SVCO was 24 years (range 11.1 to 36.5 years). The most common symptoms were facial oedema (n=8, 61.5%) and dilated veins (n=6, 46.2%). 7 patients had their Ports removed after SVCO. 6 patients underwent attempted stenting (46.2%) and 6 did not. 4 out of the 6 who underwent stenting required/had re-intervention. 3 of the 6 patients who underwent stenting had symptom resolution, however, 4 of the 6 patients who were not stented had symptom resolution also. Symptom resolution was not guaranteed with stenting and required re-intervention in two-thirds. Conclusion: This case series represents the experience of one of the longest established CF units in the UK and represents the largest cohort ever reported in the literature.

Keywords: ports, Superior Vena Cava Obstruction, cystic fibrosis, access devices

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6 Assessing and Managing the Risk of Inland Acid Sulfate Soil Drainage via Column Leach Tests and 1D Modelling: A Case Study from South East Australia

Authors: Nicolaas Unland, John Webb


The acidification and mobilisation of metals during the oxidation of acid sulfate soils exposed during lake bed drying is an increasingly common phenomenon under climate scenarios with reduced rainfall. In order to assess the risk of generating high concentrations of acidity and dissolved metals, chromium suite analysis are fundamental, but sometimes limited in characterising the potential risks they pose. This study combines such fundamental test work, along with incubation tests and 1D modelling to investigate the risks associated with the drying of Third Reedy Lake in South East Australia. Core samples were collected from a variable depth of 0.5 m below the lake bed, at 19 locations across the lake’s footprint, using a boat platform. Samples were subjected to a chromium suite of analysis, including titratable actual acidity, chromium reducible sulfur and acid neutralising capacity. Concentrations of reduced sulfur up to 0.08 %S and net acidities up to 0.15 %S indicate that acid sulfate soils have formed on the lake bed during permanent inundation over the last century. A further sub-set of samples were prepared in 7 columns and subject to accelerated heating, drying and wetting over a period of 64 days in laboratory. Results from the incubation trial indicate that while pyrite oxidation proceeded, minimal change to soil pH or the acidity of leachate occurred, suggesting that the internal buffering capacity of lake bed sediments was sufficient to neutralise a large proportion of the acidity produced. A 1D mass balance model was developed to assess potential changes in lake water quality during drying based on the results of chromium suite and incubation tests. Results from the above test work and modelling suggest that acid sulfate soils pose a moderate to low risk to the Third Reedy Lake system. Further, the risks can be effectively managed during the initial stages of lake drying via flushing with available mildly alkaline water. The study finds that while test work such as chromium suite analysis are fundamental in characterizing acid sulfate soil environments, they can the overestimate risks associated with the soils. Subsequent incubation test work may more accurately characterise such soils and lead to better-informed management strategies.

Keywords: acid sulfate soil, incubation, management, model, risk

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5 Retrospective Demographic Analysis of Patients Lost to Follow-Up from Antiretroviral Therapy in Mulanje Mission Hospital, Malawi

Authors: Silas Webb, Joseph Hartland


Background: Long-term retention of patients on ART has become a major health challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In 2010 a systematic review of 39 papers found that 30% of patients were no longer taking their ARTs two years after starting treatment. In the same review, it was noted that there was a paucity of data as to why patients become lost to follow-up (LTFU) in SSA. This project was performed in Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi as part of Swindon Academy’s Global Health eSSC. The HIV prevalence for Malawi is 10.3%, one of the highest rates in the world, however prevalence soars to 18% in the Mulanje. Therefore it is essential that patients at risk of being LTFU are identified early and managed appropriately to help them continue to participate in the service. Methodology: All patients on adult antiretroviral formulations at MMH, who were classified as ‘defaulters’ (patients missing a scheduled follow up visit by more than two months) over the last 12 months were included in the study. Demographic varibales were collected from Mastercards for data analysis. A comparison group of patients currently not lost to follow up was created by using all of the patients who attended the HIV clinic between 18th-22nd July 2016 who had never defaulted from ART. Data was analysed using the chi squared (χ²) test, as data collected was categorical, with alpha levels set at 0.05. Results: Overall, 136 patients had defaulted from ART over the past 12 months at MMH. Of these, 43 patients had missing Mastercards, so 93 defaulter datasets were analysed. In the comparison group 93 datasets were also analysed and statistical analysis done using Chi-Squared testing. A higher proportion of men in the defaulting group was noted (χ²=0.034) and defaulters tended to be younger (χ²=0.052). 94.6% of patients who defaulted were taking Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz, the standard first line ART therapy in Malawi. The mean length of time on ART was 39.0 months (RR: -22.4-100.4) in the defaulters group and 47.3 months (RR: -19.71-114.23) in the control group, with a mean difference of 8.3 less months in the defaulters group (χ ²=0.056). Discussion: The findings in this study echo the literature, however this review expands on that and shows the demographic for the patient at most risk of defaulting and being LTFU would be: a young male who has missed more than 4 doses of ART and is within his first year of treatment. For the hospital, this data is important at it identifies significant areas for public health focus. For instance, fear of disclosure and stigma may be disproportionately affecting younger men, so interventions can be aimed specifically at them to improve their health outcomes. The mean length of time on medication was 8.3 months less in the defaulters group, with a p-value of 0.056, emphasising the need for more intensive follow-up in the early stages of treatment, when patients are at the highest risk of defaulting.

Keywords: anti-retroviral therapy, ART, HIV, lost to follow up, Malawi

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4 The Relationship between Wasting and Stunting in Young Children: A Systematic Review

Authors: Susan Thurstans, Natalie Sessions, Carmel Dolan, Kate Sadler, Bernardette Cichon, Shelia Isanaka, Dominique Roberfroid, Heather Stobagh, Patrick Webb, Tanya Khara


For many years, wasting and stunting have been viewed as separate conditions without clear evidence supporting this distinction. In 2014, the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) examined the relationship between wasting and stunting and published a report highlighting the evidence for linkages between the two forms of undernutrition. This systematic review aimed to update the evidence generated since this 2014 report to better understand the implications for improving child nutrition, health and survival. Following PRISMA guidelines, this review was conducted using search terms to describe the relationship between wasting and stunting. Studies related to children under five from low- and middle-income countries that assessed both ponderal growth/wasting and linear growth/stunting, as well as the association between the two, were included. Risk of bias was assessed in all included studies using SIGN checklists. 45 studies met the inclusion criteria- 39 peer reviewed studies, 1 manual chapter, 3 pre-print publications and 2 published reports. The review found that there is a strong association between the two conditions whereby episodes of wasting contribute to stunting and, to a lesser extent, stunting leads to wasting. Possible interconnected physiological processes and common risk factors drive an accumulation of vulnerabilities. Peak incidence of both wasting and stunting was found to be between birth and three months. A significant proportion of children experience concurrent wasting and stunting- Country level data suggests that up to 8% of children under 5 may be both wasted and stunted at the same time, global estimates translate to around 16 million children. Children with concurrent wasting and stunting have an elevated risk of mortality when compared to children with one deficit alone. These children should therefore be considered a high-risk group in the targeting of treatment. Wasting, stunting and concurrent wasting and stunting appear to be more prevalent in boys than girls and it appears that concurrent wasting and stunting peaks between 12- 30 months of age with younger children being the most affected. Seasonal patterns in prevalence of both wasting and stunting are seen in longitudinal and cross sectional data and in particular season of birth has been shown to have an impact on a child’s subsequent experience of wasting and stunting. Evidence suggests that the use of mid-upper-arm circumference combined with weight-for-age Z-score might effectively identify children most at risk of near-term mortality, including those concurrently wasted and stunted. Wasting and stunting frequently occur in the same child, either simultaneously or at different moments through their life course. Evidence suggests there is a process of accumulation of nutritional deficits and therefore risk over the life course of a child demonstrates the need for a more integrated approach to prevention and treatment strategies to interrupt this process. To achieve this, undernutrition policies, programmes, financing and research must become more unified.

Keywords: Concurrent wasting and stunting, Review, Risk factors, Undernutrition

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3 Understanding New Zealand’s 19th Century Timber Churches: Techniques in Extracting and Applying Underlying Procedural Rules

Authors: Samuel McLennan, Tane Moleta, Andre Brown, Marc Aurel Schnabel


The development of Ecclesiastical buildings within New Zealand has produced some unique design characteristics that take influence from both international styles and local building methods. What this research looks at is how procedural modelling can be used to define such common characteristics and understand how they are shared and developed within different examples of a similar architectural style. This will be achieved through the creation of procedural digital reconstructions of the various timber Gothic Churches built during the 19th century in the city of Wellington, New Zealand. ‘Procedural modelling’ is a digital modelling technique that has been growing in popularity, particularly within the game and film industry, as well as other fields such as industrial design and architecture. Such a design method entails the creation of a parametric ‘ruleset’ that can be easily adjusted to produce many variations of geometry, rather than a single geometry as is typically found in traditional CAD software. Key precedents within this area of digital heritage includes work by Haegler, Müller, and Gool, Nicholas Webb and Andre Brown, and most notably Mark Burry. What these precedents all share is how the forms of the reconstructed architecture have been generated using computational rules and an understanding of the architects’ geometric reasoning. This is also true within this research as Gothic architecture makes use of only a select range of forms (such as the pointed arch) that can be accurately replicated using the same standard geometric techniques originally used by the architect. The methodology of this research involves firstly establishing a sample group of similar buildings, documenting the existing samples, researching any lost samples to find evidence such as architectural plans, photos, and written descriptions, and then culminating all the findings into a single 3D procedural asset within the software ‘Houdini’. The end result will be an adjustable digital model that contains all the architectural components of the sample group, such as the various naves, buttresses, and windows. These components can then be selected and arranged to create visualisations of the sample group. Because timber gothic churches in New Zealand share many details between designs, the created collection of architectural components can also be used to approximate similar designs not included in the sample group, such as designs found beyond the Wellington Region. This creates an initial library of architectural components that can be further expanded on to encapsulate as wide of a sample size as desired. Such a methodology greatly improves upon the efficiency and adjustability of digital modelling compared to current practices found in digital heritage reconstruction. It also gives greater accuracy to speculative design, as a lack of evidence for lost structures can be approximated using components from still existing or better-documented examples. This research will also bring attention to the cultural significance these types of buildings have within the local area, addressing the public’s general unawareness of architectural history that is identified in the Wellington based research ‘Moving Images in Digital Heritage’ by Serdar Aydin et al.

Keywords: digital forensics, digital heritage, gothic architecture, Houdini, procedural modelling

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2 Transcriptional Differences in B cell Subpopulations over the Course of Preclinical Autoimmunity Development

Authors: Aleksandra Bylinska, Samantha Slight-Webb, Kevin Thomas, Miles Smith, Susan Macwana, Nicolas Dominguez, Eliza Chakravarty, Joan T. Merrill, Judith A. James, Joel M. Guthridge


Background: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an interferon-related autoimmune disease characterized by B cell dysfunction. One of the main hallmarks is a loss of tolerance to self-antigens leading to increased levels of autoantibodies against nuclear components (ANAs). However, up to 20% of healthy ANA+ individuals will not develop clinical illness. SLE is more prevalent among women and minority populations (African, Asian American and Hispanics). Moreover, African Americans have a stronger interferon (IFN) signature and develop more severe symptoms. The exact mechanisms involved in ethnicity-dependent B cell dysregulation and the progression of autoimmune disease from ANA+ healthy individuals to clinical disease remains unclear. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from African (AA) and European American (EA) ANA- (n=12), ANA+ (n=12) and SLE (n=12) individuals were assessed by multimodal scRNA-Seq/CITE-Seq methods to examine differential gene signatures in specific B cell subsets. Library preparation was done with a 10X Genomics Chromium according to established protocols and sequenced on Illumina NextSeq. The data were further analyzed for distinct cluster identification and differential gene signatures in the Seurat package in R and pathways analysis was performed using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis (IPA). Results: Comparing all subjects, 14 distinct B cell clusters were identified using a community detection algorithm and visualized with Uniform Manifold Approximation Projection (UMAP). The proportion of each of those clusters varied by disease status and ethnicity. Transitional B cells trended higher in ANA+ healthy individuals, especially in AA. Ribonucleoprotein high population (HNRNPH1 elevated, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein, RNP-Hi) of proliferating Naïve B cells were more prevalent in SLE patients, specifically in EA. Interferon-induced protein high population (IFIT-Hi) of Naive B cells are increased in EA ANA- individuals. The proportion of memory B cells and plasma cells clusters tend to be expanded in SLE patients. As anticipated, we observed a higher signature of cytokine-related pathways, especially interferon, in SLE individuals. Pathway analysis among AA individuals revealed an NRF2-mediated Oxidative Stress response signature in the transitional B cell cluster, not seen in EA individuals. TNFR1/2 and Sirtuin Signaling pathway genes were higher in AA IFIT-Hi Naive B cells, whereas they were not detected in EA individuals. Interferon signaling was observed in B cells in both ethnicities. Oxidative phosphorylation was found in age-related B cells (ABCs) for both ethnicities, whereas Death Receptor Signaling was found only in EA patients in these cells. Interferon-related transcription factors were elevated in ABCs and IFIT-Hi Naive B cells in SLE subjects of both ethnicities. Conclusions: ANA+ healthy individuals have altered gene expression pathways in B cells that might drive apoptosis and subsequent clinical autoimmune pathogenesis. Increases in certain regulatory pathways may delay progression to SLE. Further, AA individuals have more elevated activation pathways that may make them more susceptible to SLE.


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1 Shifting Contexts and Shifting Identities: Campus Race-related Experiences, Racial Identity, and Achievement Motivation among Black College Students during the Transition to College

Authors: Tabbye Chavous, Felecia Webb, Bridget Richardson, Gloryvee Fonseca-Bolorin, Seanna Leath, Robert Sellers


There has been recent renewed attention to Black students’ experiences at predominantly White U.S. universities (PWIs), e.g., the #BBUM (“Being Black at the University of Michigan”), “I too am Harvard” social media campaigns, and subsequent student protest activities nationwide. These campaigns illuminate how many minority students encounter challenges to their racial/ethnic identities as they enter PWI contexts. Students routinely report experiences such as being ignored or treated as a token in classes, receiving messages of low academic expectations by faculty and peers, being questioned about their academic qualifications or belonging, being excluded from academic and social activities, and being racially profiled and harassed in the broader campus community due to race. Researchers have linked such racial marginalization and stigma experiences to student motivation and achievement. One potential mechanism is through the impact of college experiences on students’ identities, given the relevance of the college context for students’ personal identity development, including personal beliefs systems around social identities salient in this context. However, little research examines the impact of the college context on Black students’ racial identities. This study examined change in Black college students’ (N=329) racial identity beliefs over the freshman year at three predominantly White U.S. universities. Using cluster analyses, we identified profile groups reflecting different patterns of stability and change in students’ racial centrality (importance of race to overall self-concept), private regard (personal group affect/group pride), and public regard (perceptions of societal views of Blacks) from beginning of year (Time 1) to end of year (Time 2). Multinomial logit regression analyses indicated that the racial identity change clusters were predicted by pre-college background (racial composition of high school and neighborhood), as well as college-based experiences (racial discrimination, interracial friendships, and perceived campus racial climate). In particular, experiencing campus racial discrimination related to high, stable centrality, and decreases in private regard and public regard. Perceiving racial climates norms of institutional support for intergroup interactions on campus related to maintaining low and decreasing in private and public regard. Multivariate Analyses of Variance results showed change cluster effects on achievement motivation outcomes at the end of students’ academic year. Having high, stable centrality and high private regard related to more positive outcomes overall (academic competence, positive academic affect, academic curiosity and persistence). Students decreasing in private regard and public regard were particularly vulnerable to negative motivation outcomes. Findings support scholarship indicating both stability in racial identity beliefs and the importance of critical context transitions in racial identity development and adjustment outcomes among emerging adults. Findings also are consistent with research suggesting promotive effects of a strong, positive racial identity on student motivation, as well as research linking awareness of racial stigma to decreased academic engagement.

Keywords: diversity, motivation, learning, ethnic minority achievement, higher education

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