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Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:36:11 PDT

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Land Use and Water Quality in Bangladesh and Bhutan

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:45:41 PDT

The freshwater systems of Bhutan and Bangladesh offer marked contrasts in anthropogenic disturbance, surrounding land uses, watershed population density, and benthic macroinvertebrate ecology. However, they share a lack of published research on water quality monitoring, specifically in regard to biological monitoring with benthic macroinvertebrates. With their high diversity, high abundance, and spectrum of pollution tolerances, benthic macroinvertebrates are an inexpensive yet powerful tool for monitoring freshwater health. In November of 2015, the Stroud Water Research Center performed physical, chemical, microbiological, and macroinvertebrate sampling at 18 stream sites in western Bhutan, with sites representing a variety of surrounding land uses and disturbance levels. In August of 2016, the author and fellow Penn MES student Naimul Islam performed a second round of sampling at fourteen sites in Bhutan, and a first round of sampling at ten sites in Bangladesh, using both quantitative collection techniques as well as less technical citizen-science techniques. After extraction and identification to the taxonomic level of family, macroinvertebrate taxa were compared across land uses and in relation to collected physico-chemical and microbiological metrics. In Bhutan, significant changes in macroinvertebrate taxa were correlated with changes in upstream versus downstream condition, as well as with monsoon versus postmonsoon sampling times. In Bangladesh, the citizen-science collection technique of leaf packs selected overwhelmingly for Chironomidae and thus could not distinguish between upstream and downstream conditions, necessitating an in-field or lab modification of the technique for future use. Given each country's direct interests in maintaining clean, functioning freshwater systems, both Bangladesh and Bhutan – and much of South Asia – are ripe for the implementation of both citizen-science and technical biomonitoring techniques that connect communities and public officials to measures of water quality and stream condition.

Restoring Habitat in Densely-Populated Suburbs in the Northeast: A Demonstration Project

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:45:38 PDT

Researchers have documented the decrease in populations of native birds and other wildlife, as well as the fact that this decrease correlates with loss of natural habitat in the suburbs. Suburban sprawl has also led to increased stormwater runoff, which carries road and lawn chemicals into local streams and erodes stream banks. Suburban homeowners may be unaware of these problems or unsure of how they can remedy the situation. While model pollinator gardens and rain gardens exist, they are often in out-of-the way places such as nature centers, where the average person will not see them without special effort. Furthermore, the models often lack design appeal, appearing as a random collection of plants.

In order to provide an accessible model of appealing landscaping using native plants, a multi-year project to re-landscape the gardens was begun at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Berwyn, Pennsylvania, in 2015. Church members embraced the plan to beautify the property while improving the ecosystem function of the church's gardens and reducing stormwater runoff. The project thus had the dual purpose of improving the property's ecosystem function and appearance, and of providing an example for the congregation and the local community to emulate.

A key element of the project has been to get congregation members involved in the planning, funding, and actual installation of rain gardens, terraced beds, and pollinator gardens. Installation of the first rain garden provided an opportunity to also get the larger community involved: A local public garden (Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens) donated over 100 plants, and the project became the Eagle Scout project for a local Boy Scout, Connor Bryan. In the second year (2016), more plants were added and the gardens were expanded, successfully enlisting more active involvement from the congregation. The next step of the project is to create a brochure that could be shared with congregations, schools, and municipalities interested in pursuing a similar project.

Children's Susceptibility to Television Advertising: A Behavioral Test of Cognition and Attitude

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:48 PDT

Television's alleged effects on children have been the object of considerable debate since the early 1950's. The effects of television commercials, however, have been the focus of only a handful of studies. According to recent FCC figures, television commercials now comprise 20 percent--12 minutes or more per hour--of television broadcast content (Johnson, 1973). Earlier figures reported by Steiner (1963) placed commercials as the third largest content category on television, following movies and comedy-variety, but ahead of action dramas and eight other programming categories. Although content emphasis may have changed over the decade, e.g. an increase in action dramas, advertising is still a paramount content category occupying one-fifth of air time. At today's viewing levels, this means the average child is exposed to approximately 100 television commercials per day (Action for Children's Television, 1971).

Emotional Arousal as a Factor in Communication-Mediated Aggressive Behavior

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:45 PDT

Under conditions where a salient social problems gets coupled with an equally intense interest in an aspect of human social behavior, it is to be expected that a substantial amount of scholarly speculation and empirical research would be generated. Such would appear to be the case in recent years in connection with the considerable volume of work that has been and continues to be produced in the area of human aggression. The wide prevalence of violent and aggressive acts in the world at large and, particularly, in the United States, has provided a focus of attention and research on the part of scholars and scientists from a variety of fields. At the same time, and possibly for different reasons, there has been renewed interest in the question of man's basic and intrinsic aggressive nature, and in the stimulus conditions under which such behavior -- whether inherited or learned -- is apt to be more readily elicited.

The 700 Club as Religion and as Television: A Study of Reasons and Effects

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:42 PDT

There has been a great deal of public debate recently over the phenomenon known as the "Electronic Church." This label has come to be attached to a rather large group of religious television broadcasters who syndicate programming nationally and who pay for their use of this expensive medium through commercial-like appeals for funds from viewers.

These broadcasters have come to public attention and scientific scrutiny recently due to their prominence in programming schedules nationwide (a function of technological and Federal policy developments) and to their presumed involvment in "right of center" politics.

Conversation About Aids and the Media Environment in Thailand: Mass Media Roles in Context Building and Content Providing for Interpersonal Discourse

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:39 PDT

This research explores the relationship between AIDS messages in the mass media and interpersonal discourse on AIDS in Thailand. This research explores which aspects, with whom, in what context, and in what ways people discuss AIDS, specifically in relation to their exposure to AIDS messages publicized by the Thai mass media. This investigation seeks to provide an understanding of the relationship between AIDS messages in the mass media and people's interpersonal discussions.

In this research, two elements of mass media roles in stimulating AIDS talk constitute the central focus of research: context building and content providing. The term context building describes the process of influencing people's perception of the social appropriateness of some topic and the degree of public support for the expression of certain opinions on that subject. Content providing here is understood to mean the process of shaping the parameters of people's presentation of AIDS by initially providing shared meanings. This study considers media content building and content providing to jointly contribute to individual discourses on AIDS.

This research employs survey research methods based on qualitative focus group research and in-depth interviews. The target population is the potentially sexually active segment of the general population (aged between 15-29). Approximately 1800 subjects, married and unmarried males and females, were sampled in four districts of Kanchanaburi province in Thailand. Respondents were asked about the subjects and extent of their conversations about AIDS, the choice of discussion partners and their attendant levels of discomfort with this topic.

The findings of this research supported both the context and content providing roles of mass media for interpersonal discourses. The most interesting finding is that there is a strong association between conversation topics and media reception for particular AIDS issues which the media had emphasized. The implications of these findings were discussed in terms of agenda-setting and the evolution of frames.

Communities Through the Lens: Grassroots Video in Philadelphia as Alternative Communicative Practice

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:36 PDT

"SAME BOAT, SAME DESTINATION ... That's what a community is, if you believe that you're in the same predicament and you are going to the same place. It's one thing if you believe that you're in the , same predicament, but you're not going to the same place. I ain't gonna to deal with that, then it isn't your community; if you do, then it is. So Community Vision is articulating what the boat is and what the vision is, where you are going." (Louis Massiah, Founder of Scribe Video Center; interview, July 15th 1996)

Community/grassroots videos, community murals (Barnett 1984), community (or outlaw) short-wave radio (Urla 1995), community theater, neighborhood newspapers, and 4th World indigenous film and videomaking (Michaels 1994; Aufderheide 1995, Elder 1995) all represent communicative practices which offer alternatives to dominant mainstream mass media. In this dissertation, I examine how one of these alternative media -- community video -- takes shape in terms of its organizational processes, its textual creation and its dissemination and readership. This ethnography of community video, its producers, its texts and its audiences allows me to shed light, in turn, on the organizational and symbolic constructions of other media, especially in more heavily-studied fields such as cinema and documentary. Hence, this analysis intends to illuminate both the possibilities and the limits of conceiving and acting upon different visions of society through media.

Genetic and Sociocultural Influence on Language Development

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:33 PDT

The present study was designed to assess the relative contribution of genetic and environmental variance to the phenotypic expression of language skills. The classical twin method is used, comparing intrapair similarity for identical and like-sexed fraternal twins on measures of phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic development. In addition, the mother's interactions with her child are measured, both in terms of the verbal complexity of her speech and her speaking style. Comparisons will he made for all measures: one, between children reared by the . same mother but who differ in genetic relatedness (MZ vz. DZ pairs); and two, between children reared in different families whose mothers vary in I.Q., speaking styles, and speech complexity (between families).

The Relationship Between Daytime Serials and Their Viewers

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:30 PDT

This investigation concerns the relationship between the veteran, female, daytime serial viewer and the soap operas she views. More specifically, I will be interested in two general issues: Through the use of open-ended interviews with viewers, I will first be investigating "uses and gratifications," i.e., the purposes served by the soap opera .for the viewer. Second, I will examine how the soap opera is treated by viewers as real or fictional. These two main issues, "uses and gratifications" and the reality/fiction question, will not be considered as being entirely independent of each other. In other words, I will examine whether a viewer's treatment of soap operas as either real or fictional can be related to the purposes served by the serials for her. In connection with these issues, I will explore how the age and educational levels of the viewer relate to her soap opera viewing behavior.

Social Implications of Adult Literacy: A Study Among Migrant Wohen in Peru

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:27 PDT


Before, I was a 'little ignorant'. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't care what was happening around me ... But now, now I at least know something. Now I am a person who knows. I am another person!

Today we are witnessing an unprecedented drive for education throughout the world. Efforts to increa$e the incidence of literacy among adults form an important part of this drive, particularly in "underdeveloped" countries. But ·what happens to an adult in such settings, once he becomes literate, no one really knows. Prior research provides no evidence and few clues as to the personal and social implications of newly acquired adult literacy. This is the central problem toward which the present study is addressed.

Cinematic Competence and Directorial Persona in Film School: A Study of Socialization and Cultural Production

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:24 PDT

This thesis examines the role of professional socialization in cultural production, particularly in the popular arts. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a graduate program of narrative filmmaking, it asks "what is taught and what is learned in film school?" and answers those questions through an account of two critical domains in film school practice: aesthetic repertoires (including narrative and stylistic competence in cinema), and the social identity of the student director. It also considers the ideology of "talent" in the school community.

Aesthetic practice in the school extends from classical to "New" Hollywood, the former based on narrative clarity, continuous space and time, and goaloriented protagonists, the latter varying those conventions through the limited use of ambiguity as a narrative and stylistic element.

The ideal role of the director in the school and in student filmmaking is the auteur, the film artist who uses narrative and stylistic principles to express a "personal vision", and who writes, directs and edits her or his "own" films in an otherwise collective production process.

Beyond a set of tasks, the title "director" also connotes an identity--who you are as well as what you do. In coming to identify themselves as directors in the school, students cultivate "persona," or distinctive personal styles.

Through task set, vision and persona, and also through the attribution of talent as an intrapersonal trait, the film director as singular artist merges, despite the divided labor of film production and a populist aesthetic based on a large and heterogeneous commercial audience.

Communication, Social Organization and the Redefinition of Death A Case Study in the Institutionalization of an Idea

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:21 PDT

One of the problems of most interest to students of communication is the analysis and conceptualization of the social processes by which our common notions of what exists, what is important and what is legitimate are shaped. These notions are social and cultural meanings -- values, norms, practices -- the stuff of social and cultural reality, and they are sometimes most manifest and perceptible when they are changing.

Client Relationship and Mass Media Policy: A Comparative Case Study of Mass Market and Library Market Production And Distribution In Children's Book Publishing

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:15 PDT


Analysts of the mass media tend to agree that the organizational nature of mass communication has important consequences for the shaping of those messages which are distributed to large, dispersed audiences (see, for example, Wright, 1975, p. 8). Many scholars have commented, as well, upon the importance which mass produced, widely shared, message systems have for individuals and society. One especially persuasive perspective on the significance of mass communication has been articulated by Gerbner (1972) and is encapsulated in the following passage:

The Corporate Closet Managing Gay Identity on the Job

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:12 PDT

Though we tend to think of organizations in asexual terms, a certain model of heterosexuality pervades most white-collar workplaces. Heterosexual behavior and values are disguised by official ideologies that require professionals to be "asexual" at work, in accordance with prevailing beliefs about privacy, professionalism, etiquette, intimacy between co-workers, and the irrelevance of sexuality to work. The hegemony of this model ensures that heterosexuality is rendered invisible, while homosexuality is made to seem disruptive, conspicuous, and unprofessional.

Working within these environments, gay professionals adopt one of three strategies in their management of sexual identity. Some men "counterfeit" a heterosexual identity through the manipulation of outward appearances. Others "integrate" an identity by minimizing, normalizing, politicizing or dignifying their sexuality in the workplace. Still another group tries to "avoid" a sexual identity altogether by verbally or situationally dodging sexual displays. Some men use more than one of these strategies, which requires them to segregate their audiences, carefully monitoring the different approach used with each.

The choice of strategy is influenced by several factors. Men who counterfeit an identity usually do so to evade the stigma of being gay, but feel socially invisible, anxious, and dishonest. Avoidance strategies protect the gay professional from social situations that might expose or discredit him, but deny him social opportunities and relationships he might enjoy. Finally, men using integration strategies pay for their candor by exposing themselves to prejudice, intensified performance pressures, and the double-edged sword of tokenism. The men's choice of strategy was also influenced by their co-workers' attitudes towards homosexuality, by their perceived economic vulnerability, and by the availability of role models.

The study draws on interviews with 70 men in five U.S. cities. They range in age from 22 to 64 and represent a wide range of professional, white-collar organizations.

News As a Political Resource? A Case Study of the Media Strategies and Media Representation of the National Organization for Women, 1966-1980.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:09 PDT

This dissertation is a case study of the historical interaction between the New York Times and The National Organization for Women, 1966-1980. It investigates whether commercial news media can be used as a political resource by social movement groups. Using archival and content analysis methods, the study investigates the development of media strategies by NOW and then assesses whether these strategies "succeeded," through an analysis of NOW's representation in the Times, over a 15 year period. The study found that news was a resource In some ways. Through resource investments in media work, a general strategy of reflexive appropriation of news conventions (media pragmatism), and the creation and maintenance of relationships with some key women reporters, NOW was able to produce some routine access to news over time. Despite some marginalizing coverage In the early years, NOW's legitimacy as a source in the Times increased generally over 1966-1980. However this "success" had important limitations. NOW's news access and the legitimacy of its representation shifted depending on the kind of issue NOW was addressing and on the context in which the group was being judged. If NOW talked about more traditionally "public" issues (such as sex discrimination in employment), it was represented as a more legitimate source and its stories were more likely to be placed in the news sections. When the organization talked about "newer" issues or invoked more structural frames -- such as child care issues or structural "sexism" or patriarchy frames -- these stories would be placed in lifestyle or "women's page" sections and in the context of these tories, NOW's organizational legitimacy was likely to be questioned. I argue that these and other patterns in the NOW-Times relationship indicate a general "processing" of NOW's discourse by the Times through a pUblic-private filter which worked to contain NOW's public communication and which makes news a contradictory resource for feminists.

Persistence of community college students receiving credit for prior learning

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:57:24 PDT

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between receiving credit for prior learning and persistence. Adult students, who now comprise about 50% of the undergraduate population, often bring to college prior learning which is equivalent to learning taught in the classroom. Almost all colleges and universities offer at least one method to validate and receive credit for prior learning.^ This study uses an ex post facto research design. The subjects are the 2,825 new students who matriculated in the Fall of 1982 at a community college located near Philadelphia. The students are divided into three groups--students who: (1) receive credit for prior learning at entry to the college, (2) receive credit for prior learning after attending the college for at least one year, and (3) do not seek credit for prior learning. Enrollment patterns are tracked over a four year period. Through factor analysis, a single persistence factor is derived from six measures of persistence.^ A regression analysis of this persistence factor on eight student characteristics yields three variables that are significant in predicting persistence--grade point average, age and receiving credit for prior learning after at least one year of college attendance. Students with higher grade point averages have a greater likelihood of persisting. Younger students are more likely to persist than are older students. Receiving credit at entry to college is not significant in predicting persistence. However, students who receive credit for prior learning after attending one year persist to a significantly greater degree than students who do not seek credit for prior learning.^ Since most prior learning programs are primarily designed for or focus on new students, the results suggest that methods should be developed and well advertised to encourage and facilitate entry into prior learning programs by attending students. Future research should review the effect that receiving credit for prior learning has on individual students. Focusing on changes in personal characteristics such as motivation, confidence, and self-esteem could provide a better understanding of why students who receive credit for prior learning after attending one year have higher levels of persistence. ^

Tissue-Specific Limitations of Siv-Specific CD8+ T Cells during Acute SIV-Infection in Rhesus Macaques

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:56:02 PDT

The importance of CD8+ T cells in the control of HIV/SIV infection has been extensively reported. However, the reason why CD8+ T cells do not sufficiently control or clear virus is unknown. Importantly, cytolytic properties of CD8+ T cells are highly correlated with control of HIV/SIV infection as demonstrated in elite controller subjects yet are poorly maintained in chronically infected subjects. In addition, reduced killing functions by lymph node CD8+ T cells as compared to blood CD8+ T cells have been described during chronic HIV infection suggesting a semi-immune privilege environment of lymph nodes. To date, the evolution of cytolytic SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in anatomical compartments associated with viral reservoir and replication has not been thoroughly evaluated. As such, we implemented the Rhesus macaque SIV infection model to characterize the evolution and tissue-distribution of cytolytic SIV-specific memory CD8+ T cells during acute infection. We found robust acute phase cytolytic potential to be short-lived, in part consequential of low levels of T-bet, in all evaluated tissues though most pronounce in secondary lymphoid tissues. In addition, we observed the lowest frequencies of effector memory differentiated SIV-specific CD8+ T cells within secondary lymphoid tissues as compared to the circulation, even during peak viremia. Moreover, secondary lymphoid tissues appear to provide an environment with reduced cytotoxic effector CD8+ T cell pressures that is favorable for viral reservoir formation and persistent viral replication in these tissues.^

Experience Based Quality Control in IMRT Treatment Planning of High Risk Post-Prostatectomy Prostate Cancer with RapidPlan

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:30:39 PDT

Purpose: To develop a knowledge based planning (KBP) model with RapidPlan (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, USA) for the treatment of high risk post-prostatectomy prostate cancer. The model was trained on a knowledge database of high quality treatment plans from the national clinical trial RTOG 0621, then tested as a QA tool.

Methods: An initial dosimetric analysis was carried out to identify high quality plans from clinical trial RTOG 0621. Treatment plans for patients enrolled in the trial were scored according to the system used by the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC) of the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) of the NCI to assess adherence to the trial protocol. Of the 80 plans enrolled in the trial 39 were chosen for the training sample. Another subset of 8 plans, orthogonal to the training sample, was chosen for the validation sample to ensure that the model accurately predicts dose volume histograms (DVHs) for all critical structures. The validation plans were then re-optimized with the model in order to test its effectiveness as a tool for planning QA. DVHs of the re-optimized plans were compared with those of the original clinical plans. Normal tissue complication probabilities and tumor control probabilities were calculated with the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) model before and after re-optimization to determine the effect on patient outcome.

Results: The RapidPlan prostate model was shown to accurately predict estimated DVH bands for all plans in the validation sample that matched the geometry of the training sample. Three treatment plans in the validation sample were geometric outliers with respect to the training sample leading to inaccuracies in the model predictions for the cone down phase of these treatment plans. All of the re-optimized plans showed increased dose sparring to the bladder and rectum respectively without lose of target coverage. The average reduction in NTCP was 0.34 ± 0.21 % for the bladder and 0.11 ± 0.25 % for the rectum with corresponding p-values of 0.116 and 0.668. The average TCP for the prostate bed decreased slightly from 97.05 % to 96.54 % with a p-value of 0.149. Due to limited statistics the changes reported in these numbers are not statistically significant as indicated by the p-values. Although the average values are inconclusive the model was effectively used to identify sub-optimal treatment plans which were improved through re-optimization with the model. For treatment plan 0621c0027 the NTCP decreased from 0.35 % to 0.06 % for the bladder and from 0.10 % to 0.06 % for the rectum while the TCP increased from 96.78 % to 96.87 %.

Conclusions: The RapidPlan prostate model developed in this study is an effective tool for monitoring the quality of IMRT treatment plans for high-risk post prostatectomy prostate cancer.

Anti-inflammatory Effect of Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside (SDG) in Microglia

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:29:35 PDT

Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) is the main plant lignan in flaxseed and has been thoroughly researched in the past decades due to its unique health properties. SDG has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for an array of diseases including breast and prostate cancer, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and radiation pneumonopathy. With a number of studies recognizing the various health benefits of SDG, few have focused on its potential anti-inflammatory effect and, specifically, its interaction with the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway. Thus, the aim of this study is to elucidate the interaction between SDG and NF-κB in microglial cells in vitro.

Mixed rat cortical cells were cultured for 2 weeks and microglia were isolated according to a previously established protocol with slight modifications. Wells were divided between 7 groups based on pre-treatment with vehicle or SDG and treatment with water or TNF-α: Vehicle group (V) pre-treated with 2 µL PBS vehicle and treated with 10 µL H2O; SDG 50 (S50) pre-treated with 50µM and treated with 10 µL H2O; SDG 100 (S100) pre-treated with 100µM SDG and treated with H2O; Vehicle + TNF-α (V+T10) pre-treated with 2 µL PBS vehicle and treated with 10 ng/mL TNF-α; SDG 50 + TNF-α (S50+T10) pre-treated with 50µM SDG and treated with 10 ng/mL TNF-α; SDG 100 + TNF-α (S100+T10) pre-treated with 100µM SDG and treated with 10 ng/mL TNF-α; and SDG 100x2 + TNF-α (S100x2+T10) pre-treated with 100µM SDG and treated with both 100µM SDG and 10 ng/mL TNF-α. Pre-treatment occurred 4 hours prior to treatment. Groups were further divided based on harvest time at 2-, 6-, and 24-hours for different analyses. ELISA, nitrate-nitrite assay, and qPCR analyses probing for IL-1β and IL-6, nitrate and nitrite, and TNF-α and IL-1β, respectively, were performed to measure NF-κB activity.

The qPCR results show a significant increase in mRNA expression of IL-1β and TNF-α after treatment with 10 ng/mL TNF-α (p < .05). For both NF-κB targets, no significant difference was seen between TNF-α treatment groups with or without 50 µM SDG pre-treatment. ELISA results did not show any trends for IL-1β or IL-6. No increase in the concentrations of either NF-κB target was seen after treatment with TNF-α. Nitrate-nitrite assay results did not show significant differences between any groups (p > .05). TNF-α did not elicit an increase in NO metabolite concentration in the positive control group (Veh + T10).

The data obtained suggest that SDG does not have an inhibitory effect on the NF-κB pathway in microglia under these experimental conditions. After TNF-α-induced microglial activation, SDG did not significantly alter the expression of NF-κB targets. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that SDG has an anti-inflammatory effect in microglia mediated through the NF-κB pathway. Thus, therapeutic effects of SDG in microglia may be attributed to other mechanisms. Changes in protocol may prove helpful in finding an interaction but it is recommended that future investigation of SDG’s effect on microglia focus on other pathways.

Health and Development in Asia: Regional Priorities for a New Century

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:27:51 PDT

Asia is one of the world’s most rapidly developing regions. Even so, the majority of Asian countries continue to experience slow-moderate rates of economic growth, high inflation, rapid population growth, and comparatively high levels of ethnic tension and civil unrest. Poverty, ill-health, and broad-based maldevelopment also continue to be major features of Asian social development. In general, the absence of strong intra-regional cooperation on a broad range of social, political, economic, and health issues compounds Asia’s asynchronous development patterns.