• A comprehensive examination of adolescent gambling

      Chalmers, Heather.; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2004-05-28)
      The purposes of this study were: a) to examine the prevalence and consequences associated with adolescent gambling, b) to examine the factors which influence adolescent gambling,. c) to detennine what factors discriminate among four groups of gamblers (no-risk/non-gamblers, low-risk gamblers, at-risk gamblers, and high-risk/problematic gamblers), and d) to examine the relation of gambling to nine other risk behaviours (i.e., alcohol use, smoking, marijuana use, hard drug use, sexual activity, minor delinquency, major delinquency, direct aggression, and indirect aggression). Adolescents (N = 3,767) from 25 secondary schools completed a twohour survey that assessed involvement in risk be~aviours as well as potential predictors from a wide range of contexts (school, neighbourhood, family, peer, and intrapersonal). The majority of adolescents reported gambling, although the frequency of gambling participation was low. The strongest predictors/discriminators of gambling involvement were gender, unstructured activities, structured activities, and risk attitudes/perceptions. In addition, the examination of the co-occurrence of gambling with other risk behaviours revealed that for high-risk/problem gamblers, the top three most frequent co-occurring high-risk behaviours were direct aggression, minor delinquency and alcohol. This study was the first to examine the continuum of gambling involvement (i.e., non-gambling to high risk/problematic gambling) using a comprehensive set ofpotential predictors with a large sample of secondary school students. The findings of this study support past research and theories (e.g., Theory of Triadic Influence) which suggest the importance ofproximal variables in predicting risk behaviors. The next step, however, will be to examine the direct and indirect 1 effects of the ultimate (e.g., temperament), distal (e.g., parental relationship), and proximal variables (e.g., risk attitudes/perceptions) on gambling involvement in a longitudinal study.
    • The Elucidation of the involvement of endonuclease DNase y in reducing DNA transfection efficiency in mammalian cells

      Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2005-05-28)
      Gene therapy is predicated upon efficient gene transfer. While viral vectors are the method of choice for transformation efficiency, the immunogenicity and safety concerns remain problematic. Non-viral vectors, on the other hand, have shown high degrees of safety and are mostly non-immunogenic in nature. However, non-viral vectors usually suffer from low levels oftransformation efficiency and transgene expression. Thus, increasing transformation efficiency ofnon-viral vectors, in particular by calcium phosphate co-precipitation technique, is a way of generating a suitable vector for gene therapy and is the aim of this study. It is a long known fact that different cell lines have different transfection efficiencies regardless oftransfection methodology (Lin et a!., 1994). Using commonly available cell lines Madine-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK), HeLa and Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK-293), we have shown a decreasing trend ofDNase activity based on a plasmid digestion assay. From densitometry studies, as much as a 40% reduction in DNase activity was observed when comparing HEK-293 (least active) to MDBK (most active). Using various biochemical assays, it was determined that DNase y, in particular, was expressed more highly in MDBK cells than both HeLa and HEK-293. Upon cloning of the bovine DNase y gene, we utilized the sequence information to construct antisense expressing plasmids via both traditional antisense RNA (pASDGneoM) and siRNA (psiRNA-S4, psiRNA-S11 and psiRNA-S16). For the construction ofpASDGneoM, the 3' end of the DNase y was inserted in opposite orientation under a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter such that the expression ofRNA complementary to the DNase 2 ymRNA occurred. For siRNA plasmids, the sequence was screened to yield optimal short sequences for siRNA inhibition. The silencing ofbovine DNase y led to an increase in transfection efficiency based on traditional calcium phosphate co-precipitation technique; stable clones of siRNA-producing MDBK cell lines (psiRNA-S4 Bland psiRNA-S4 B4) both demol).strated 4-fold increases in transfection efficiency. Furthermore, serial transfection of antisense DNase y plasmid pASDGneoM and reporter pCMV-~ showed a maximum of 8-fold increase in transfection efficiency when the two separate transfections were carried out 4 hours apart (i.e. transfection ofpASDGneoM, separated by four hours, then transfection ofpCMV-~). Together, these results demonstrate the involvement ofDNase y in reducing transfection efficiency, at least by traditional calcium phosphate technique.
    • An after-school literacy program : investigating the experiences of students with literacy difficulties, their volunteer tutors, and the tutors' transition into the teaching profession

      Gallagher, Tiffany L.; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2005-05-28)
      This research responds to a pervasive call for our educational institutions to provide students with literacy skills, and teachers with the instructional supports necessary to facilitate this skill acquisition. Questions were posed to gain information concerning the efficacy ofteaching literacy strategies to students with learning difficulties, the impact of this training on their volunteer tutors, and the influence of this experience on these tutors' ensuing instructional practice as teacher candidates in a preservice education program. Study #1 compared a nontreatment group of students with literacy difficulties who participated in the program and found that program participants were superior at reading letter patterns and at comprehending the elements of story grammar. Concurrently, the second study explored the experiences of 19 volunteer tutors and uncovered that they acquired instructional skills as they established a knowledge base in teaching reading and writing, and they affirmed personal goals to become future teachers. Study #3 tracked 6 volunteer tutors into their pre-service year and identified their constructions, and beliefs about literacy instruction. These teacher candidates discussed how they had intended to teach reading and writing strategies based on their position that effective teaching ofthese skills in the primary grades is integral to academic success. The teacher candidates emphasized the need to build rapport with students, and the need to exercise flexibility in lesson plan delivery while including activities to meet emotional and developmental requirements of students. The teacher candidates entered their pre-service education with an initial cognition set based on the limited teaching context of tutoring. This foundational ii perception represented their prior knowledge of literacy instruction, a perception that appeared untenable once they were immersed in a regular instructional setting. This disparity provoked some of the teacher candidates to denounce their teacher mentors for not consistently employing literacy strategies and individualized instruction. This critical perspective could have been a demonstration of cognitive dissonance. In the end, when the teacher candidates began to look toward the future and how they would manage the demands of an inclusive classroom, they recognized the differences in the contexts. With an appreciation for the need for balance between prior and present knowledge, the teacher candidates remained committed to implementing their tutoring strategies in future teaching positions. This document highlights the need for teacher candidates with instructional experience prior to teacher education, to engage in cognitive negotiations to assimilate newly acquired pedagogies into existing pedagogies.
    • Predicting performance on fluid intelligence from speed of processing, working memory, and controlled attention

      Anum, Adote.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      Fluid inteliigence has been defined as an innate ability to reason which is measured commonly by the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM). Individual differences in fluid intelligence are currently explained by the Cascade model (Fry & Hale, 1996) and the Controlled Attention hypothesis (Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999; Kane & Engle, 2002). The first theory is based on a complex relation among age, speed, and working memory which is described as a Cascade. The alternative to this theory, the Controlled Attention hypothesis, is based on the proposition that it is the executive attention component of working memory that explains performance on fluid intelligence tests. The first goal of this study was to examine whether the Cascade model is consistent within the visuo-spatial and verbal-numerical modalities. The second goal was to examine whether the executive attention component ofworking memory accounts for the relation between working memory and fluid intelligence. Two hundred and six undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 28 completed a battery of cognitive tests selected to measure processing speed, working memory, and controlled attention which were selected from two cognitive modalities, verbalnumerical and visuo-spatial. These were used to predict performance on two standard measures of fluid intelligence: the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and the Shipley Institute of Living Scales (SILS) subtests. Multiple regression and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were used to test the Cascade model and to determine the independent and joint effects of controlled attention and working memory on general fluid intelligence. Among the processing speed measures only spatial scan was related to the RPM. No other significant relations were observed between processing speed and fluid intelligence. As 1 a construct, working memory was related to the fluid intelligence tests. Consistent with the predictions for the RPM there was support for the Cascade model within the visuo-spatial modality but not within the verbal-numerical modality. There was no support for the Cascade model with respect to the SILS tests. SEM revealed that there was a direct path between controlled attention and RPM and between working memory and RPM. However, a significant path between set switching and RPM explained the relation between controlled attention and RPM. The prediction that controlled attention mediated the relation between working memory and RPM was therefore not supported. The findings support the view that the Cascade model may not adequately explain individual differences in fluid intelligence and this may be due to the differential relations observed between working memory and fluid intelligence across different modalities. The findings also show that working memory is not a domain-general construct and as a result its relation with fluid intelligence may be dependent on the nature of the working memory modality.
    • Opening truth to imagination : the pragmatism of John Dewey and Richard Rorty

      McClelland, Kenneth A.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      This study explores in a comparative way the works of two American pragmatist philosophers-John Dewey and Richard Rorty. I have provided a reading of their broader works in order to offer what I hope is a successful sympathetic comparison where very few exist. Dewey is often viewed as the central hero in the classical American pragmatic tradition, while Rorty, a contemporary pragmatist, is viewed as some sort of postmodern villain. I show that the different approaches by the two philosophers-Dewey's experiential focus versus Rorty's linguistic focus-exist along a common pragmatic continuum, and that much of the critical scholarship that pits the two pragmatists against each other has actually created an unwarranted dualism between experience and language. I accomplish this task by following the critical movement by each of the pragmatists through their respective reworking of traditional absolutist truth conceptions toward a more aesthetical, imaginative position. I also show how this shift or "turning" represents an important aspect of the American philosophical tradition-its aesthetic axis. I finally indicate a role for liberal education (focusing on higher nonvocational education) in accommodating this turning, a turning that in the end is necessitated by democracy's future trajectory
    • From the ground up : understanding how teachers and administrators make sense of tension

      Fenton, Nancy E.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      Strategies designed to improve educational systems have created tensions in school personnel as they struggle to respond to competing demands of ongoing change within their daily realities. The purpose of this case study was to investigate how teachers and administrators in one elementary school made sense ofthese tensions and to explore the factors that constrained or shaped their responses. A constructive interpretative case study using a grounded theory approach was used. Qualitative data were collected through document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation. In-depth information about teachers' and administrators' experiences and a contextual understanding oftension was generated from inductive analysis of the data. The study found that tension was a phenomenon situated in the context in which it arose. A contextual understanding of tension revealed the interactions between the institutional, personal, and emotional domains that continually shaped individual and group behavioural responses. This contextual understanding of tension provided the means to reinterpret resistance to change. It also helped to show how teachers and administrators reconstructed identities and made sense in context.. Of particular note was the crucial nature of the conditions under which teachers and adlninistrators shaped meaning and understood change. This study sheds light on the contextual intricacies of tension that may help leaders with the complex design and implementation of educational change..
    • Design, development and assessment of the Java Intelligent Tutoring System

      Sykes, Edward R.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      The "Java Intelligent Tutoring System" (JITS) research project focused on designing, constructing, and determining the effectiveness of an Intelligent Tutoring System for beginner Java programming students at the postsecondary level. The participants in this research were students in the School of Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences at Sheridan College. This research involved consistently gathering input from students and instructors using JITS as it developed. The cyclic process involving designing, developing, testing, and refinement was used for the construction of JITS to ensure that it adequately meets the needs of students and instructors. The second objective in this dissertation determined the effectiveness of learning within this environment. The main findings indicate that JITS is a richly interactive ITS that engages students on Java programming problems. JITS is equipped with a sophisticated personalized feedback mechanism that models and supports each student in his/her learning style. The assessment component involved 2 main quantitative experiments to determine the effectiveness of JITS in terms of student performance. In both experiments it was determined that a statistically significant difference was achieved between the control group and the experimental group (i.e., JITS group). The main effect for Test (i.e., pre- and postiest), F( l , 35) == 119.43,p < .001, was qualified by a Test by Group interaction, F( l , 35) == 4.98,p < .05, and a Test by Time interaction, F( l , 35) == 43.82, p < .001. Similar findings were found for the second experiment; Test by Group interaction revealed F( 1 , 92) == 5.36, p < .025. In both experiments the JITS groups outperformed the corresponding control groups at posttest.
    • Applications of dihydroarenediols to chemoenzymatic synthesis : approaches to total synthesis of morphine alkaloids

      Finn, Kevin J.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      The present studies describe, as a primary goal, our recent progess toward the synthesis of morphine alkaloids from aromatic precursors. Model substrates were synthesized which allowed investigation into Diels-Alder, radical cascade, and palladium-catalyzed bond-forming reactions as possible routes to the morphine alkaloid skeleton. As a secondary objective, three separate series of aromatic substrates were subjected to whole-cell oxidation with Escherichia coli JM 109 (pDTG601), a recombinant organism over-expressing the enzyme toluene dioxygenase. Included in this study were bromothioanisoles, dibromobenzenes, and cyclopropylbenzene derivatives. The products of oxidation were characterized by chemical conversion to known intermediates. The synthetic utility of one of these bacterial metabolites, derived from oxidation of o-dibromobenezene, was demonstrated by chemical conversion to (-)conduritol E.
    • What's the difference under the gown? : new professors' development as university teachers

      Simmons, Nicola.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      This study explores how new university teachers develop a teaching identity. Despite the significance ofteaching, which usually comprises 40% of a Canadian academic's workload, few new professors have any formal preparation for that aspect of their role. Discipline-specific education for postsecondary professors is a well-defined path; graduates applying for faculty positions will have the terminal degree to attest to their knowledge and skill conducting research in the discipline. While teaching is usually given the same workload balance as research, it is not clear how professors create themselves as teaching professionals. Drawing on Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory and Kegan's (1982, 1994) model ofdevelopmental constructivism through differentiation and integration, this study used a phenomenographic framework~(Marton, 1986, 1994; Trigwell & Prosser, 1996) to investigate the question of how new faculty members construe their identity as university teachers. Further, my own role development as researcher was used as an additional lens through which to view the study results. The study focused particularly on the challenges and supports to teaching role development and outlines recommendations the participants made for supporting other newcomers. In addition, the variations and similarities in the results suggest a developmental model to conceptions ofteaching roles, one in which teaching, research, and service roles are viewed as more integrated over time. Developing a teacher identity was seen as a progression on a hierarchical model similar to Maslow's (1968) hierarchy of needs.
    • Functional genomics of O-glucosyltransferases from Concord grape (Vitis labrusca)

      Hall, Dawn.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      Grape (Vitis spp.) is a culturally and economically important crop plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years, primarily for the production of wine. Grape berries accumulate a myriad of phenylpropanoid secondary metabolites, many of which are glucosylated in plantae More than 90 O-glucosyltransferases have been cloned and biochemically characterized from plants, only two of which have been isolated from Vitis spp. The world-wide economic importance of grapes as a crop plant, the human health benefits associated with increased consumption of grape-derived metabolites, the biological relevance of glucosylation, and the lack of information about Vitis glucosyltransferases has inspired the identification, cloning and biochemical characterization of five novel "family 1" O-glucosyltransferases from Concord grape (Vitis labrusca cv. Concord). Protein purification and associated protein sequencIng led to the molecular cloning of UDP-glucose: resveratrollhydroxycinnamic acid O-glucosyltransferase (VLRSGT) from Vitis labrusca berry mesocarp tissue. In addition to being the first glucosyltransferase which accepts trans-resveratrol as a substrate to be characterized in vitro, the recombinant VLRSGT preferentially produces the glucose esters of hydroxycinnamic acids at pH 6.0, and the glucosides of trans-resveratrol and flavonols at 'pH 9.0; the first demonstration of pH-dependent bifunctional glucosylation for this class of enzymes. Gene expression and metabolite profiling support a role for this enzyme in the bifuncitonal glucosylation ofstilbenes and hydroxycinnamic acids in plantae A homology-based approach to cloning was used to identify three enzymes from the Vitis vinifera TIGR grape gene index which had high levels of protein sequence iii identity to previously characterized UDP-glucose: anthocyanin 5-0-glucosyltransferases. Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization demonstrated that these enzymes (rVLOGTl, rVLOGT2, rVLOGT3) glucosylate the 7-0-position of flavonols and the xenobiotic 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), but not anthocyanins. Variable gene expression throughout grape berry development and enzyme assays with native grape berry protein are consistent with a role for these enzymes in the glucosylation of flavonols; while the broad substrate specificity, the ability of these enzymes to glucosylate TCP and expression of these genes in tissues which are subject to pathogen attack (berry, flower, bud) is consistent with a role for these genes in the plant defense response. Additionally, the Vitis labrusca UDP-glucose: flavonoid 3-0-glucosyltransferase (VL3GT) was identified, cloned and characterized. VL3GT has 96 % protein sequence identity to the previously characterized Vitis vinifera flavonoid 3-0-glucosyltransferase (VV3GT); and glucosylates the 3-0-position of anthocyanidins and flavonols in vitro. Despite high levels of protein sequence identity, VL3GT has distinct biochemical characteristics (as compared to VV3GT), including a preference for B-ring methylated flavonoids and the inability to use UDP-galactose as a donor substrate. RT-PCR analysis of VL3GT gene expression and enzyme assays with native grape protein is consistent with an in planta role for this enzyme in the glucosylation of anthocyanidins,but not flavonols. These studies reveal the power of combining several biochemistry- and molecular biology-based tools to identify, clone, biochemically characterize and elucidate the in planta function of several biologically relevant O-glucosyltransferases from Vitis spp.
    • Development of a bacteriophage-based biopesticide for fire blight

      Lehman, Susan M.; Department of Biological Studies (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      Fire blight is an economically important disease of apples and pears that is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. Control of the disease depends on limiting primaly blosson1 infection in the spring, and rapidly removing infected tissue. The possibility of using phages to control E.amylovora populations has been suggested, but previous studies have. failed to show high treatment efficacies. This work describes the development of a phage-based biopesticide that controls E. amylovora populations under field conditions, and significantly reduces the incidence of fire blight. This work reports the first use ofPantoea agglomerans, a non-pathogenic relative ofE. amylovora, as a carrier for E. amylovora.phages. Its role is to support a replicating population of these phages on blossom surfaces during the period when the flowers are most susceptible to infection. Seven phages and one carrier isolate were selected for field trials from existing collections of 56 E. amylovora phages and 249 epiphytic orchard bacteria. Selection of the . /' phages and carrier was based on characteristics relevant to the production and field perfonnance of a biopesticide: host range, genetic diversity, growth under the conditions of large-scale production, and the ability to prevent E. amylovora from infecting pear blossoms. In planta assays showed that both the phages and the carrier make significant contributions to reducirig the development of fire blight symptoms in pear blossoms. Field-scale phage production and purification methods were developed based on the growth characteristics of the phages and bacteria in liquid culture, and on the survival of phages in various liquid media. Six of twelve phage-carrier biopesticide treatments caused statistically signiflcant reductions in disease incidence during orchard trials. Multiplex real-time PCR was used to simultaneously monitor the phage, carrier, and pathogen populations over the course of selected treatments. In all cases. the observed population dynamics of the biocontrol agents and the pathogen were consistent with the success or failure of each treatment to control disease incidence. In treatments exhibiting a significantly reduced incidel1ce of fire blight, the average blossom population ofE.amylovora had been reduced to pre-experiment epiphytic levels. In successful treatments the phages grew on the P. agglomerans carrier for 2 to 3 d after treatment application. The phages then grew preferentially on the pathogen, once it was introduced into this blossom ecosystem. The efficacy of the successful phage-based treatnlents was statistically similar to that of streptomycin, which is the most effective bactericide currently available for fire blight prevention. The in planta behaviour ofE. amylovora was compared to that ofErwinia pyrifoliae, a closely related species that causes fire blight-like synlptoms on pears in southeast Asia. Duplex real-time PCR was used to monitor the population dynamics of both species on single blossonls. E. amylovora exhibited a greater competitive fitness on Bartlett pear blossoms than E. pyrifoliae. The genome ofErwinia phage <l>Ea21-4 was sequenced and annotated. Most of the 8-4.7 kB genome is substantially different from previously described sequences, though some regions are notably similar to Salmonella phage Felix 01 . Putative functions were assigned to approximately 30% of the predicted open reading frames based on amino acid sequence comparisons and N-terminal sequencing of structural proteins.
    • Aspergillus flavus infections in Galleria mellonella : a pathogen-host model system for the study of emerging diseases

      Scully, Lisa R.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      To study emerging diseases, I employed a model pathogen-host system involving infections of insect larvae with the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus flavus, providing insight into three mechanisms ofpathogen evolution namely de novo mutation, genome decay, and virulence factoracquisition In Chapter 2 as a foundational experiment, A. flavus was serially propagated through insects to study the evolution of an opportunistic pathogen during repeated exposure to a single host. While A. flavus displayed de novo phenotypic alterations, namely decreased saprobic capacity, analysis of genotypic variation in Chapter 3 signified a host-imposed bottleneck on the pathogen population, emphasizing the host's role in shaping pathogen population structure. Described in Chapter 4, the serial passage scheme enabled the isolation of an A. flavus cysteine/methionine auxotroph with characteristics reminiscent of an obligate insect pathogen, suggesting that lost biosynthetic capacity may restrict host range based on nutrient availability and provide selection pressure for further evolution. As outlined in Chapter 6, cysteine/methionine auxotrophy had the pleiotrophic effect of increasing virulence factor production, affording the slow-growing auxotroph with a modified pathogenic strategy such that virulence was not reduced. Moreover in Chapter 7, transformation with a virulence factor from a facultative insect pathogen failed to increase virulence, demonstrating the necessity of an appropriate genetic background for virulence factor acquisition to instigate pathogen evolution.
    • The efficacy of anti-predator behaviour in the wood fog tadpole (Rana sylvatica) /

      Kerling, Candice L.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-06-04)
      Activity has been suggested as an important behaviour that is tightly linked with predator avoidance in tadpoles. In this thesis I examine predator-prey relationships using wood frog tadpoles {Rana sylvaticd) as prey and dragonfly larvae {AnaxJunius) and backswimmers {Notonecta undulatd) as predators. I explore the role of prey activity in predator attack rates, prey response to single and multiple predator introductions, and prey survivorship. The data suggest that Anax is the more successful predator, able to capture both active and inactive tadpoles. In contrast, Notonecta strike at inactive prey less frequently and are seldom successftil when they do. A mesocosm study revealed that the presence of any predator resulted in reduced activity level of tadpoles. Each predator species alone had similar effects on tadpole activity, as did the combined predator treatment. Tadpole survivorship, however, differed significantly among both predator treatments and prey populations. Tadpwles in the combined predator treatment had enhanced risk; survivorship was lower than that expected if the two predators had additive effects. Differences in survivorship among wood frog populations showed that tadpoles from a lake habitat had the lowest survivorship, those from a shallow pond habitat had an intermediate survivorship, and tadpoles from a marsh habitat had the highest survivorship. The frequency of interactions with predators in the native habitat may be driving the population differences observed. In conclusion, results from this study show that complex interactions exist between predators, prey, and the environment, with activity playing a key role in the survival of tadpoles.
    • Why are people liberal? : a motivated social cognition perspective

      Choma, Becky L.; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2008-05-28)
      The present dissertation examined why people adopt or endorse certain political ideologies (i.e., liberal or conservative). According to a motivated social cognition perspective (Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003a; Kruglansl<i, 1996), individuals adopt political ideologies to fulfill dispositional and situationally induced needs or motivations. Previous research has found that political conservatism is related to a number of psychological needs (e.g., Jost, Glaser et aI., 2003a). However, there is minimal research examining why individuals adopt political liberalism. By focussing on the political right and not considering the political left, there might be other motivational underpinnings of political orientation that have been overlooked. In four studies, the present dissertation ail)1ed to fill this gap by investigating what chronic and situationally induced needs underlie political orientation, with a focus on political liberalism. Based on psychological the9ries of ideology, research examining political conservatism, and experimental research examining differences between liberals and conservatives, it was proposed that four social-cognitive needs (Need for Inclusiveness, Need for Understanding, Need for Change, and Avoidance of Decisional Commitment) would be associated with liberalism. Moreover, research suggests that the relations between the needs and liberalism might be moderated by political sophistication (e.g., Converse, 1964). University students (Study 1; n == 201) and community adults (Study 2; n == 197) completed questionnaires assessing political liberalism, political sophistication, and individual differences 're~ective of the four proposed needs. As predicted, correlation and hierarchical regression analyses in both Studies 1 and 2 indicated that political liberalism was related to Need for Inclusiveness, Need for Understanding, and Need for Change. 11 Avoidance of Decisional Commitment uniquely predicted political liberalism in Study 2; however, contrary to predictions, it was unrelated to political liberalism in Study 1. Furthermore, some of these relations were moderated by political sophistication, such that among individuals with a greater knowledge of politics, the relation between certain needs and liberalism was positive. To explore the role of situationally induced needs on political liberalism, each of the four proposed needs were manipulated in Study 3. Participants (n == 120) completed one of five scrambled-sentence tasks (one for each need condition and control condition), measures of explicit and implicit political liberalism, political sophistication, and state and trait measures indicative of the four proposed needs. The ~anipulation did not successfully prime participants with the needs. Therefore, a replication of the analyses from Studies 1 and 2 was conducted on the dispositional needs. Results showed that Need for Inclusiveness, Need for Understanding, and Need for Change were linked with greater explicit and implicit political liberalism. Study 4 examined the effect of manipulated Need for Inclusiveness on participants' endorsement ofpolitical liberalism, independent of conservatism. Participants (n == 43) were randomly assigned to a Need for Inclusiveness or control condition, and completed separate measures of political liberalism and conservatism, and political sophistication. Participants in the Need for Inclusiveness condition reported greater liberalism than those in a control condition; this effect was not moderated by political sophistication. Generally, the findings from this dissertation suggest that there might be other needs underlying political ideology, especially political liberalism. Thus, consistent with others' (Jost, Glaser et aI., 2003a), individuals might adopt political liberalism as a way of gratifying certain psychological needs. Implications and future research are discussed.
    • The osmoadaptive response of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae K1-V1116 during icewine fermentation

      Martin, Stephanie J.; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2008-05-28)
      The adapted metabolic response of commercial wine yeast under prolonged exposure to concentrated solutes present in Icewine juice is not fully understood. Presently, there is no information regarding the transcriptomic changes in gene expression associated with the adaptive stress response ofwine yeast during Icewine fermentation compared to table wine fermentation. To understand how and why wine yeast respond differently at the genomic level and ultimately at the metabolic level during Icewine fermentation, the focus ofthis project was to identify and compare these differences in the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae KI-Vll16 using cDNA microarray technology during the first five days of fermentation. Significant differences in yeast gene expression patterns between fermentation conditions were correlated to differences in nutrient utilization and metabolite production. Sugar consumption, nitrogen usage and metabolite levels were measured using enzyme assays and HPLC. Also, a small subset of differentially expressed genes was verified using Northern analysis. The high osmotic stress experienced by wine yeast throughout Icewine fermentation elicited changes in cell growth and metabolism correlating to several fermentation difficulties, including reduced biomass accumulation and fermentation rate. Genes associated with carbohydrate and nitrogen transport and metabolism were expressed at lower levels in Icewine juice fermenting cells compared to dilute juice fermenting cells. Osmotic stress, not nutrient availability during Icewine fermentation appears to impede sugar and nitrogen utilization. Previous studies have established that glycerol and acetic acid production are increased in yeast during Icewine fermentation. A gene encoding for a glycerollW symporter (STL1) was found to be highly expressed up to 25-fold in the i Icewine juice condition using microarray and Northern analysis. Active glycerol transport by yeast under hyperosmotic conditions to increase cytosolic glycerol concentration may contribute to reduced cell growth observed in the Icewine juice condition. Additionally, genes encoding for two acetyl CoA synthetase isoforms (ACSl and ACS2) were found to be highly expressed, 19- and II-fold respectively, in dilute juice fermenting cells relative to the Icewine juice condition. Therefore, decreased conversion of acetate to acetyl-CoA may contribute to increased acetic acid production during Icewine fermentation. These results further help to explain the response of wine yeast as they adapt to Icewine juice fermentation. ii
    • Partnership for arts integration : exploring the experiences of teachers and artists working with integrated arts programs

      Attenborough, Debra.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2008-05-28)
      This research acknowledges the difficulties experienced by teachers presenting integrated arts curricula. Instructional support is offered by arts organizations that provide arts partnerships with local schools boards. The study focuses on the experiences of 8 teachers from a Catholic school board in southern Ontario who participated in integrated arts programs offered by The Royal Conservatory of Music's Learning Through the Arts™ (LTTATM) program and a local art gallery's Art Based Integrated Learning (ABIL) program and examines their responses to the programs and their perception of personal and professional development through this association. Additionally, questions were posed to the . "aftisfs"from-tneSe]Jfograrrrs;-and"they liiscus·sed·how"participating in-collaboration with teachers in the development of in-school programs enabled them to experience personal and professional development as well. Seven themes emerged from the data. These themes included: teachers' feelings of a lack of preparedness to teach the arts; the value of the arts and arts partnerships in schools; the role of the artists in the education of teachers; professional development for both teachers and artists; the development of collegiality; perceptions of student engagement; and the benefits and obstacles of integrating the arts into the curriculum. This document highlights the benefits to both teachers and artists of arts partnerships between schools and outside arts organizations.
    • Behaviour and life history of a large carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) in the northern extent of its range

      Prager, Sean Michael.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2008-05-28)
      Large carpenter bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Xylocopa) have traditionally been thought of as exhibiting solitary or occasionally communal colony social organization. However, studies have demonstrated more complex fonns of social behaviour in this genus. In this document, I examine elements ofbehaviour and life history in a North American species at the northern extreme of its range. Xylocopa virginica was found to be socially polymorphic with both solitary and meta-social or semi-social nests in the same population. In social nests, there is no apparent benefit from additional females which do not perfonn significant work or guarding. I found that the timing of life-history events varies between years, yet foraging effort only differed in the coldest and wettest year of2004 the study. Finally, I that male X virginica exhibit female defence polygyny, with resident and satellite males. Resident males maintain their territories through greater aggression relative to satellites.
    • Show me, help me, let me : supporting teachers' changing conceptions of reading assessment and reading instruction

      Grierson, Arlene L.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      This qualitative inquiry used case study methodology to explore the change processes of 3 primary-grade teachers throughout their participation in 7 -month professional learning initiative focused on reading assessment and instruction. Participants took part in semimonthly inquiry-based professional learning community sessions, as well as concurrent individualized classroom-based literacy coaching. Each participant's experiences were first analyzed as a single case study, followed by cross-case analyses. While their patterns of professional growth differed, findings documented how all participants altered their understandings of the roles and relevancy of individual components of reading instruction (e.g., comprehension, decoding) and instructional approaches to scaffold students' growth (e.g., levelled text, strategy instruction), and experienced some form of conceptual change. Factors identified as affecting their change processes included; motivation, professional knowledge, professional beliefs (self-efficacy and theoretical orientation), resources (e.g., time, support), differentiated professional learning with associated goal-setting, and uncontrollable influences, with the affect of each factor compounded by interaction with the others. Comparison of participants' experiences to the Cognitive-Affective Model of Conceptual Change (CAMCC) and the Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth (IMTPG) demonstrated the applicability of using both conceptual models, with the IMTPG providing macrolevel insights over time and the CAMCC microlevel insights at each change intervaL Recommendations include the provision of differentiated teacher professional learning opportunities, as well as research documenting the effects of teacher mentorship programs and the professional growth of teacher educators. ii
    • An exploratory study for the discovery of non-invasive hepatocellular carcinoma biomarkers among high-risk hepatitis C virus infected patients

      Abdalla, Moemen.; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is a major healthcare problem, representing the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Chronic infections with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or Hepatitis C virus (HCV) are the major risk factors for the development of HCC. The incidence of HBV -associated HCC is in decline as a result of an effective HBV vaccine; however, since an equally effective HCV vaccine has not yet been developed, there are 130 million HCV infected patients worldwide who are at a high-risk for developing HCC. Because reliable parameters and/or tools for the early detection of HCC among high-risk individuals are severely lacking, HCC patients are always diagnosed at a late stage where surgical solutions or effective treatment are not possible. Using urine as a non-invasive sample source, two different approaches (proteomic-based and genomic-based approaches) were pursued with the common goal of discovering potential biomarker candidates for the early detection of HCC among high-risk chronic HCV infected patients. Urine was collected from 106 HCV infected Egyptian patients, 32 of whom had already developed HCC and 74 patients who were diagnosed as HCC-free at the time of initial sample collection. In addition to these patients, urine samples were also collected from 12 healthy control individuals. Total urinary proteins, Trans-renal nucleic acid (Tr-NA) and microRNA (miRNA) were isolated from urine using novel methodologies and silicon carbide-loaded spin columns. In the first, "proteomic-based", approach, liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to identify potential candidates from pooled urine samples. This was followed by validating relative expression levels of proteins present in urine among all the patients using quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR). This approach revealed that significant over-expression of three proteins: DJ-1, Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 (CAF-1) and 11 Moemen Abdalla HCC Biomarkers Heat Shock Protein 60 (HSP60), were characteristic events among HCC-post HCV infected patients. As a single-based HCC biomarker, CAF-1 over-expression identified HCC among HCV infected patients with a specificity of 90%, sensitivity of 66% and with an overall diagnostic accuracy of 78%. Moreover, the CAF-lIHSP60 tandem identified HCC among HCV infected patients with a specificity of 92%, sensitivity of 61 % and with an overall diagnostic accuracy of 77%. In the second genomic-based approach, two different approaches were processed. The first approach was the miRNA-based approach. The expression levels of miRNAs isolated from urine were studied using the Illumina MicroRNA Expression Profiling Assay. This was followed by qRT-PCR-based validation of deregulated expression of identified miRNA candidates among all the patients. This approach shed the light on the deregulated expression of a number of miRNAs, which may have a role in either the development of HCC among HCV infected patients (i.e. miR-640, miR-765, miR-200a, miR-521 and miR-520) or may allow for a better understanding of the viral-host interaction (miR-152, miR-486, miR-219, miR452, miR-425, miR-154 and miR-31). Moreover, the deregulated expression of both miR-618 and miR-650 appeared to be a common event among HCC-post HCV infected patients. The results of the search for putative targets of these two miRNA suggested that miR-618 may be a potent oncogene, as it targets the tumor-suppressor gene Low density lipoprotein-related protein 12 (LPR12), while miR-650 may be a potent tumor-suppressor gene, as it is supposed to downregulate the TNF receptor-associated factor-4 (TRAF4) oncogene. The specificity of miR-618 and miR-650 deregulated expression patterns for the early detection of HCC among HCV infected patients was 68% and 58%, respectively, whereas the sensitivity was 64% and 72%, respectively. When the deregulated expression of both miRNAs was combined as a tandem biomarker, the specificity and the sensitivity were 75% and 58% respectively. 111 Moemen Abdalla HCC Biomarkers In the second, "Trans-renal nucleic acid-based", approach, the urinary apoptotic nucleic acid (uaNA) levels of 70ng/mL or more were found to be a good predictor of HCC among chronic HCV infected patients. The specificity and the sensitivity of this diagnostic approach were 76% and 86%, respectively, with an overall diagnostic value of 81 %. The uaNA levels positively correlated to HCC disease progression as monitored by epigenetic changes of a panel of eight tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) using methylation-sensitive PCR. Moreover, the pairing of high uaNA levels (:::: 70 ng/mL) and CAF-1 over-expreSSIOn produced a highly specific (l 00%) multiple-based HCC biomarker with an acceptable sensitivity of 64%, and with a diagnostic accuracy of 82%. In comparison to the previous pairing, the uaNA levels (:::: 70 ng/mL) in tandem with HSP60 over-expression was less specific (89%) but highly sensitive (72%), resulting in a diagnostic accuracy of 64%. The specificities of miR-650 deregulated expression in combination with either high uaNA content or HSP 60 over-expression were 82% and 79%, respectively, whereas, the sensitivities of these combinations were 64% and 58%, respectively. The potential biomarkers identified in this study compare favorably with the diagnostic accuracy of the a-fetoprotein levels test, which has a specificity of 75%, sensitivity of 68% and an overall diagnostic accuracy of 70%. Here we present an intriguing study which shows the significance of using urine as a noninvasive sample source for the identification of promising HCC biomarkers. We have also introduced new techniques for the isolation of different urinary macromolecules, especially miRNA, from urine. Furthermore, we strongly recommend the potential biomarkers indentified in this study as focal points of any future research on HCC diagnosis. A larger testing pool will determine if their use is practical for mass population screening. This explorative study identified potential targets that merit further investigation for the development of diagnostically accurate biomarkers isolated from 1-2 mL urine samples that were acquired in a non-invasive manner.