14,250 results for Doctoral

  • Development of Functional Polymer-Graphene Nanocomposites

    Mohan, Velram (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This research focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of reduced graphene oxide (GO), systematically varying and identifying factors that are responsible for changing electrical conductivity and integrating the best reduced graphene oxide (rGO) results into a number of composite systems. Five different reducing agents (hydroiodic acid, hydrazine hydrate, hydrobromic acid, sodium borohydride and dextrose) were systematically investigated to identify the type of reducing agent and the process that provides reduced graphene oxide with superior chemical, physical and mechanical properties. Best results were obtained for a graphene oxide film reduced with hydroiodic acid, with the electrical conductivity of 103 S.cm-1 and better flexibility compared to those of films obtained by other reducing agents. Functionalising graphene oxide with electron donor and acceptors further improved the electrical conductivity. This functionalised graphene oxide (fGO) samples have been characterised to understand their physical and chemical properties. Mechanical exfoliation of rGO films using the ???scotch tape method??? has shown that as films become thinner, conductivity increases. It has been proposed that this is mainly due to the selective removal of less-pure rGO by the tape and this hypothesis has been supported by XPS and confocal microscopy results. Hybrid composites of polymer/polymer/graphene derivatives have been developed focusing on electrical conductivity and mechanical properties. Polypropylene, poly(methyl methacrylate) and polyoxymethylene were used as polymer matrices with polypyrrole and polyaniline as secondary conducting polymers. Graphene (G) and rGO were used as reinforcements. The maximum electrical conductivity of 0.85 S.cm-1 was achieved for a polyoxymethylene/polypyrrole/graphene blend with 2 wt.% and 4 wt.% of polypyrrole and graphene loading. Highly conductive rGO has also been used as a conductive coating on glass, flax and polypropylene yarns using binding materials (epoxy resin and thermoplastic starch solution) and a dip-coating process. Three different dip-coating processes have been developed to identify an efficient method of coating in terms of improving electrical conductivity. Glass fibre yarns (with epoxy binder and rGO) have been identified as having the highest electrical conductivity of 0.1 S.cm-1.

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  • Techniques for quantification and interpretation of gastric slow wave activity

    Paskaranandavadivel, Niranchan (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Rhythmic bio-electrical events known as slow waves coordinate the muscular contractions of the stomach and are essential for physical propulsion and digestion of food. Dysrhythmic slow wave activity is associated with major gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders, such as gastroparesis, and convey a substantial socioeconomic health burden. Unlike the eld of electrocardiology, where cardiac bioelectrical signals are routinely used for diagnostic purposes, the bio-electrical activity in the GI tract is not well understood and is not widely used in clinical practice. In recent years, the advent of extracellular multi-electrode high-resolution (HR) mapping in the GI eld has signi cantly improved experimental and clinical understanding of serosal gastric slow wave activity in normal and dysrhythmic states. One of the current limitations of HR mapping is the inordinate amount of data, making manual analysis a tedious and time-consuming task. More importantly, the use of manual analysis is prone to observer bias and error and could misconstrue experimental observations. Another traditional technique, that has been used since the discovery of bio-electrical events in the GI tract in the 1920s, is the use of extracellular body surface electrogastrograms (EGG). EGG signals are inherently noisy, leading to misleading quantitative estimates of the signal and are currently unable to reliably discriminate against di erent gastric motility disorders. The thesis begins by providing a broad overview of the bio-electrical activity present in the stomach and the various cooperating mechanisms that in uence gastric motility. Then, the focus is on developing a standardised set of ltering techniques and methods for detecting and visualising slow wave events using HR mapping in an e cient and accurate manner. It was found that inclusion of the dominant frequency of the slow wave (3{5 cpm) and major harmonics up to 2 Hz are vital for morphological and time based analysis. Reliable quantitative methods were developed for estimating the velocity and amplitude of the gastric slow wave propagation. The velocity method (FDSM) and amplitude method (derivative based) were compared to currently used methods (FD for velocity and `maximum-minimum' for amplitude) with realistic synthetic propagation patterns and signals. The newly developed FDSM method resulted in half the error of the FD method (Speed error: 12% vs 6%, angle error: 7 vs 3 ), while the new amplitude estimation method resulted in a third of the error of the current method (mean error: 44 V vs 16 V). These methods allowed for an improved understanding of the gastric slow wave propagation in normal and dysrhythmic states by prescribing a de ned quanti cation for various types of propagation. One of the major ndings was that dysrhythmic slow wave propagations were associated with rapid, high amplitude circumferential wavefronts. The biophysical basis of the slow wave activity was explored with an investigation into normal and abnormal gastric slow wave propagation. In normal slow wave propagation, the activation-recovery interval of the slow wave interval was higher compared to dysrhythmic slow wave propagation (mean: 4.3 s vs 3.3 s), while the activation-activation interval was shorter in normal propagation compared to dysrhythmic slow wave propagation (mean: 16.4 s vs 32.1 s). Thus, with a reduced slow wave interval during dysrhythmic slow wave propagation, it was hypothesised that the potential for spike activity and muscular contraction was reduced, potentially causing gastric motility disorders. With the framework of processing and quantifying HR mapping rmly established, an automated classi cation and identi cation tool was developed, capable of detecting and localising the pacemaker, colliding wavefronts and conduction block sites. The automated classi cation and classi cation was on average 96% accurate compared to manual classi cation and identi cation. While the manual method took an expert in the eld 20{40 minutes to classify and identify the slow wave propagation patterns, the automated methods performed the task almost instantaneously. The inclusion of automated analysis, which can be implemented in real-time, permits HR mapping to be employed as a routine clinical utility in the GI eld. Automated methods for analysing cutaneous EGG signals were developed that can discard sections of the signals that are corrupted by noise, thereby allowing reliable quantitative estimates of frequency and amplitude. This work was motivated due to the fact that in current clinical practice, the frequency and amplitude of the EGG traces are frequently manually estimated in an expedited manner, which introduces observer bias and error. The rst step in the automated approach was to develop ltering techniques to suppress noise, after which, running estimates of frequency and amplitude of the EGG signal were calculated. Then the frequency and amplitude characteristics of the EGG signal were assessed as to whether the EGG signal was corrupted by noise to discard quantitative estimates. The manual versus automated frequency (mean: 3.3 cpm vs 3.4 cpm) and amplitude (mean: 0.143 mV vs 0.144 mV) estimates were in concordance with each other. The automation of estimating the frequency and amplitude of the EGG could validate the usefulness of EGG in routine clinical practice through large scale clinical trials performed in normal patients, and those with gastric motility disorders. The work presented in this thesis presents a path forward in the GI eld to utilise the bio-electrical slow wave signals in a quantitative manner for patient care to prescribe a diagnosis, prognosis and direct treatment strategies accordingly.

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  • Prison museums: learning punishment

    Rodgers, James (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Penal tourism is a way for the public to learn about punishment. Decommissioned prisons transformed into museums allow visitors to view for themselves the size of cells, forbidding architecture, and artefacts of incarceration. This study???s contribution to the scholarship of prison museums is a layered international account of visitors, staff, experiences, and narratives at three prison museums: Fremantle Prison (Western Australia), Robben Island Museum (South Africa), and Eastern State Penitentiary (United States of America). Data was collected at each of these sites through a pre- and post-exposure survey administered to visitors, interviews with prison museum employees, and observation of the presented exhibits and tours. The findings from this study include: visitor demographics, changes in attitude expressed among visitors, the prison museum experience and issues surrounding the accuracy and authenticity of these prison museum sites, present and absent narratives within tours and exhibits, and the contrasts between presenting penal heritage and current issues in corrections. Prison museums offer an excellent opportunity for visitors to be educated about incarceration, however issues of interpretation and directed narratives may result in visitors being presented with a shallow representation.

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  • Linking genome organization to nuclear function in astrocytes and muscle cells

    Doynova, Malina (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Higher-order chromatin structures have been identified in the genome. These structures have been linked to nuclear processes, including transcription. However, how dynamic these chromatin structures change throughout mammalian development remains to be determined. I have mapped genome-wide chromatin interactions in mouse muscle progenitor cells (myoblasts) and in terminally differentiated muscle cells (myotubes) using HiC, in order to uncover chromatin reorganization patterns during muscle development. I observe extensive switches between A and B compartments during muscle development on a global scale. Additionally local changes in the interaction profiles of certain DNA regions are directly correlated with the transcriptional changes that accompany the muscle development. Interestingly, muscle specific genes show a tendency to interact with other muscle specific genes upon muscle cell differentiation. I also tested for the presence of physical interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (i.e. mito-nDNA interactions) in mammalian cells. Similar mito-nDNA connections have been linked to functional outcomes within fission and Baker???s yeast. Therefore, I evaluated chromosomal interactions captured by HiC and Circular Chromosome Conformation Capture (4C) for mito-nDNA interactions in order to determine if they are random. I show that the mito-nDNA interactions captured in mammalian cells are statistically significant and shared between biological and technical replicates. The most frequent interactions occur with repetitive DNA sequences, including centromeres in human cell lines and the 18S rDNA in mouse cortical astrocytes. My results demonstrate a degree of selective regulation in the identity of the interacting mitochondrial partners confirming that mito-nDNA interactions in mammalian cells are not random. The mechanism/s underlying the relationship between 3D organization and transcription remains to be further identified.

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  • Green Infrastructure and Urban Liveability: Measuring Accessibility and Equity

    Ma, Jing (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and equity levels of green infrastructure. Previous studies of green infrastructure, which have focused on stormwater management, habitat protection and ecological system conservation, do not provide a full understanding of the social functions in considering the quality of facilities and provision of green infrastructure elements. By analysing the quality and distribution of green infrastructure, this research tested green infrastructure accessibility and accessibility-based equity levels and suggested ways to improve green infrastructure access. To achieve the research goals, this research employed Network Analysis Tool from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to measure green infrastructure accessibility. A total number of 338 green infrastructure elements in central Auckland have been selected and used in this research. These 338 green infrastructure (GI) elements include Public Garden (area30,000 square metres), taking New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) as a reference. In terms of quality, 338 green infrastructure elements have been classified as ???no facility???, ???active facility???, ???passive facility???, and ???active and passive facility???. The research then evaluated the accessible levels of green infrastructure to residents within three specified walking distances (400 metres, which is 5 minutes??? walk, 800 metres, which is 10 minutes??? walk, and 1,200 metres, which is 15 minutes??? walk), based on Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards (ANGSt), considering the facility conditions. By using the data of the best accessibility level (400 metres), the equity levels were tested in combination with New Zealand 2013 Census data, including age groups, ethnic groups, and income groups. Through the analysis, the research found that 338 green infrastructure elements almost cover all of the study area within 15 minutes??? walking distance. This is due to the fact that Auckland has a large amount of green infrastructure. The best areas to get access to green infrastructure in five minutes??? walk are the Western and Middle areas, then the Southern area. The CBD and the Eastern area are the poorest areas for accessible green infrastructure. In regard to the facilities inside green infrastructure, almost half of Neighbourhood GI has no facilities. The Eastern, the Southern and the Western areas are also the places without efficient facilities, which need to be considered for further improvement. The results of equity analysis show that low-income groups live with low quality green infrastructure. However, some high-income Europeans also live with insufficient green infrastructure in the Western area. Based on these findings, this research made conclusions about the analysis and the recommendations to enhance the physical accessibility of green infrastructure; such as installing suitable amenities according to green infrastructure size, building more pedestrian crossings and green networks, and developing the maintenance work of green infrastructure.

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  • United States Promotion of GM Foods in Mexico: An Application of a Public Diplomacy Model

    Martinez Pantoja, Yadira (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The Mexican government???s policy of genetically modified (GM) foods has moved from a precautionary approach to the promotion and commercialization of agricultural biotechnology, possibly at the risk of narrowing Mexico???s biodiversity. The approval of the Law of Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms in 2005 allowed the cultivation of GM food crops. Subsequently, in accordance with the North America Free Trade Agreement, Mexico liberalized all agricultural product imports, including GM foods in 2008. In this thesis, I argue that the GM food policy change in Mexico can be explained by studying the US diplomatic and commercial efforts to promote GM foods. How US agencies, biotechnology companies, and NGOs have interacted with Mexican officials and other stakeholders, and how they have influenced this change of GM food policy, will be analyzed at length in this thesis. Through an adaptation of a public diplomacy model, and the conduct of documentary analysis and in-depth interviews, in this thesis I examine the state and non-state actors along with the public diplomacy activities involved in the Mexico???s GM food policy change. I describe how state actors such as the US Department of State and the Department of Agriculture have implemented programs that promote American agricultural products, including GM foods, and have applied diplomatic instruments, which in parallel with biotechnology corporations??? initiatives, appear to have been effective in influencing Mexican policy-makers. Non-state actors such as biotechnology companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also played important roles in changing Mexico???s GM food policy. My research found that biotechnology companies, as a result of their greater resources, have been more influential than NGOs, but NGO participation in public diplomacy activities has been relevant in raising GM food awareness among general audiences that in turn influenced policy-makers to exercise caution. Nevertheless, it is hypothesized that while the decision to liberalize GM food imports was a Mexican government decision, Mexican officials and legislators were influenced in that decision by US agencies and biotechnology corporations??? representations. How that influence was initiated, manifested, institutionalized, and received, analyzed by this author through the lens of a public diplomacy model, is the subject of this thesis.

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  • ???Coconut water in a Coca Cola bottle??? : in search of an identity: a New Zealand-born Samoan Christian in a globalized world

    Pouono, Terry (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    ???Coconut water in a Coca Cola bottle??? symbolizes a human reality, that is, the search for identity of a New Zealand-born Samoan in the Congregational Christian Church Samoa (CCCS). The context of our investigation is the diaspora Samoan church in New Zealand. In the investigation of the concept of teu le v??, which simply means preserving harmony within the traditional, intra-cultural understandings of relational spaces; my contention is that traditional understandings of teu le v?? mask the concrete reality that certain spaces and relationships within the Congregational Christian Church Samoa (CCCS) are suppressed. As reflected in the title of the thesis ???Coconut water in a Coca Cola bottle,??? this thesis identifies one of the predicaments illustrated by the image, that is, the New Zealand-born generations being caught in between two socio-cultural worlds, namely, the Samoan and the Western world. By utilizing the research methodology ???teu le v?? intra-cultural hermeneutics,??? I will investigate the different responses of New Zealand-born generations to the socio-cultural dilemma of being suppressed between the v??, or spaces within the CCCS. This thesis also addresses how the integration of sacred relationships associated with the Samoan cultural beliefs have been integrated into a Samoan theology that has influenced church practices and belief systems. My teu le v?? intra-cultural hermeneutic investigates how the preserving and perpetuating of key elements associated with the Samoan church in New Zealand, contributes to social, economic injustice within teu le v?? relationships. This research also examines the impact of globalization in enforcing global concepts of culture on local cultures and contextual theologies, more specifically with respect to the CCCS. My contention is that identities associated with the local theologies are becoming increasingly ambiguous as a result of intensified intercultural interactions with the global world. This thesis is an initial exploration of the question, ???Should the coconut water, which symbolizes the Samoan Christian identity, be preserved???? This connects with another question: ???Should the CCCS in New Zealand adopt a new perspective in order to be an authentic Christian witness in the global world???? The task of seeking possible solutions to these questions leads into critical conversations for the Christian mission of the CCCS, as she strives to make the gospel message a living reality in an increasingly complex world.

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  • Improving Effectiveness of Robot-Assisted Ankle Rehabilitation via Biomechanical Assessment and Interaction Control

    Zhang, Mingming (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The human ankle joint plays a significant role in maintaining body balance during ambulation, but it is particularly susceptible to musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. A general rehabilitation program for ankle injuries requires intensive efforts from therapists and patients over prolonged sessions. Robot-assisted rehabilitation solutions, as therapeutic adjuncts to facilitate clinical practice, have been actively researched in the past few decades and provide an overdue transformation of rehabilitation from labour-intensive operations to technology-assisted operations. Various rehabilitation devices have therefore been developed for the treatment of ankle injuries to reduce the physical workload of therapists and supplement the resources required to facilitate a comprehensive rehabilitation regime so that adequate therapy can be delivered to patients. However, the effectiveness of existing ankle rehabilitation robots is limited by a variety of shortcomings including kinematic incompatibility (misaligned centre of rotation of the robot and the ankle joint), non-compliant actuation, less than three rotational degrees of freedom (DOFs), and the lack of real-time ankle assessment and adaptive interaction training schemes. This research aims to improve the effectiveness of robot-assisted therapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological ankle injuries. The fundamental technology is the development of an intrinsically-compliant ankle robot with real-time biomechanical assessment and interaction control. The current device is named the Ankle Assessment and Rehabilitation Robot (AARR). The AARR has a bio-inspired design, with the functions of both assessment and rehabilitation, devised after a systematic review of a variety of ankle rehabilitation devices. Mechanically, this novel robot is designed with flexibility in generating varying training ranges of motion (ROMs), and employs four intrinsically-compliant Festo fluidic muscles (FFMs) that mimic skeletal muscles to actuate three rotational DOFs. Functionally, the AARR incorporates sensor-based and model-based ankle assessment techniques to facilitate the robotic control for enhanced safety and rehabilitation efficacy. The ankle assessment protocol for this robot aims to extract biomechanical information of the ankle joint from sensors and computational models. Ankle biomechanical assessment via sensors is implemented by three magnetic rotary encoders for measuring ankle position and a six-axis load cell for measuring patient-robot interaction. Two computational models are developed for estimating ankle ligament kinematics and passive joint torque. They are distinguished by different definitions of their rotation axes, where the torque model moves about three perpendicular rotation axes (named the PRA-Model) while the rotation axes of the ligament kinematics model are not perpendicular (named the Non-PRA-Model). The proposed ankle assessment techniques are demonstrated to be valid and reliable in extracting ankle biomechanical information during the robotic training through comparisons with published data and experimental validation. The trajectory tracking of the AARR is implemented by controlling the individual FFM length in joint space, or a cascade controller with position feedback in task space (the outer loop), and force feedback in joint space (the inner loop). With position controllers in the low level, two adaptive interaction training schemes are proposed to enhance patient engagement and rehabilitation efficacy. One scheme is implemented through the predefined trajectory that is adaptive to the movement intention of the patient. The other scheme employs a high-level admittance controller whose performance is adaptively tuned according to real-time patient-robot interaction. Experiments were conducted on a sprained ankle to evaluate the proposed control strategies when implemented on the AARR, with all normalised root mean square deviation (NRMSD) values of the trajectory tracking at less than 5.4%. To conclude, the AARR has the potential for clinical applications of ankle assessment and rehabilitation, and both interaction training schemes are safe and effective for patients by considering the movement intention and real-time patient-robot interaction.

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  • Telecommunications Inc.: Korea's Challenge to Qualcomm

    Kim, Sung-Young (2009)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Building on the success of the 1990s, in the past decade the Korean state has attempted a transition from a strategy based on catching-up to one based on innovation in the domestic telecommunications industry, which I call ???Telecommunications Inc.???. Concomitant with this shift is a new set of challenges for the state in supporting companies that seek to reap first-mover advantages. How, if at all, has the Korean state supported the technological upgrading ambitions of domestic firms in the telecommunications industry in an era of greater economic openness? The core contention of this study is that the Korean state has coped with economic openness through adapting institutions. The existence of a ???quasi-pilot agency???, the extension of new linkages to a wider array of private sector participants, and the emergence of ???technology-centred forums??? represent the fine-tuning of organisational arrangements to cope with the pressures of global technology-based competition. The emergence of WTO rules appears to have helped recast rather than ruled out developmental strategy in the Korean telecommunications industry. The Korean state has coped with the rise of the global trade regime by adopting development strategies based on ???exploiting???, which entails increasing state activism in areas not explicitly prohibited and proactively embracing rules that encourages greater state activity. The Korean state has coped by ???modifying??? such rules to meet strategic industry objectives; either by using overt measures that take advantage of loopholes and ambiguities contained in the legal texts of the WTO and by using covert below-the-radar measures. I demonstrate my argument through an examination of the goals, underlying strategic motivations and the strategy involved in the Korean Government???s promotion of three technological standards related to telecommunications software, fourth generation mobile broadband, and mobile broadcasting.

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  • Freelance Translator Success and Psychological Skill: A Study of Translator Competence with Perspectives from Work Psychology

    Atkinson, David (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis is an investigation of freelance translators from the perspective of both Translation Studies and Industrial/Organisational (I/O) Psychology. In it, we look at descriptive and inferential statistics from two samples???one of 43 participants based in New Zealand, and the second of 92 participants based in various countries. We also conducted ten interviews, in which participants explain their own experiences in detail. Purpose: The purpose is primarily to further understand the working lives of freelance translators, and secondly to understand how our theory of psychological skill relates to freelancers??? success in their work (both in objective and subjective terms). Psychological skill is made up of evaluations of participant self-efficacy, locus of control, and attributions of both negative and positive events, all of which demonstrate adaptive skill in dealing with professional challenges. We propose that psychological skill is an important link in the model of the relationship between job ability and motivation, job constraints, and subsequent job performance in translation. The whole project is nested within further work in the field of translator competence, combined with aspects of I/O Psychology. We also aim to provide a quantitative, descriptive snapshot of the translation industry both in New Zealand and overseas. Findings: We found that various key measures of professional success (e.g. income, job satisfaction, number of jobs per week) were positively correlated with key components of psychological skill. Furthermore, we were able to utilize ordinal regression models, containing a combination of work-related and psychological skill variables, to predict both translators??? income and job satisfaction. The descriptive statistics and interview data revealed much of interest about translators??? work profiles. Originality and value: This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first research project to approach the study the career profiles of freelance translators from a methodologically rigorous, quantitative perspective, combining numerical results with rich interview data. Its value is in terms of both description of translation as a career and as an industry, and in terms of possible training and education for both new and future translators. Using methodology from I/O Psychology also contributes an understanding of translator competence, complementing and building on existing competence models.

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  • Early Shool Age Outcomes after Exposure to Repeat Antenatal Glucocorticoids

    McKinlay, Christopher (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • The role of staphylococcal superantigen-like protein 7 (SSL7) in immune evasion

    Lorenz, Natalie (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a versatile, opportunistic Gram-positive bacterium associated with the majority of severe hospital or community acquired bacterial infections and a high mortality rate due to increasing antibiotic resistance. S. aureus generates numerous virulence factors that interfere with the host immune defence. Staphylococcal superantigen-like (SSL) proteins comprise a family of virulence factors suspected to target key components of the innate immune system and promote host colonisation and immune evasion. This thesis examined SSL7, a member of the SSL family previously shown to bind to IgA and complement C5, thereby preventing the recognition of IgA by Fc??RI and the cleavage of C5, as well as complement-mediated serum hemolytic and bactericidal activity. SSL7 was found to simultaneously confine two molecules of C5 and one molecule of IgA in a large pentameric complex. Steric hindrance of the complex thereby inhibited C5 cleavage and eliminated end-stage complement activation as well as the generation of the anaphylatoxin C5a. Additionally, SSL7 efficiently blocked the formation of C5b- 9 on the surface of Gram-positive bacteria. External SSL7 or SSL7 expressed by the Gram-positive, avirulent Lactococcus lactis enhanced survival of the bacteria in a human whole blood killing assay. Moreover, in an in vitro migration assay and in vivo murine model of peritoneal inflammation, SSL7 inhibited the chemotaxis of inflammatory cells in response to a pathogenic stimulus. Protection against blood killing and reduction of phagocytosis by SSL7 most likely occurs at the level of complement opsonisation, consistent with SSL7???s ability to inhibit the activation of C5, downstream of the main opsonins C3b and C4b. This potentially highlights an exciting new role for C5b or C5b-9 in opsonophagocytosis. With the results included in this study, we can begin to comprehend the specific and efficient interaction of SSL7 with the host immune response and are a step further in the understanding of the complex interactions S. aureus has with its human host. Characterising these interactions could aid in the search for potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies against multi-drug resistant S. aureus.

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  • Interfacial Interactions in Polyaniline Containing Hybrids

    Wheelwright, Walt (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis is concerned with the interfacial interactions of the components in polyaniline (PANI) containing hybrids. It has focused on the interaction of two groups of substrates with PANI: inorganic fillers and biopolymers. The first group includes model substrates, such as silica and alumina, and also zeolites and clays, where the silanol groups on their surfaces were considered as the target for modification. Stable interaction of PANI with an inorganic substrate was developed via a new facile one-pot and one-step silylation method with an aniline functionalised coupling agent, namely 3- phenylaminopropyltrimethoxysilane (PAPTMOS). The products of silylation were applied to prepare the PANI containing hybrids which were mostly electrically conductive due to the emeraldine salt form of PANI doped with methanesulfonic acid (MSA) being present. The evidence of the formation of the hybrid material and the nature of interactions between the individual components of the hybrid materials were revealed by different characterisation methods, such as FTIR, XPS, Solid state NMR, Elemental analysis (EA), Electrical conductivity measurements, and SEM. The second group of substrates were biopolymers. Zein (corn protein) has been shown to interact with PANI in both heterogeneous (suspension) and homogeneous (solution) conditions. Strong interactions, mostly by means of nitrogen containing and carbonyl groups, were detected in FTIR studies. Zein-PANI(MSA) composites were studied in the forms of powders and films. They were electrically conductive. The powders showed a good free electron scavenging capacity in the DPPH test. A plasticisation effect of PANI on zein matrix was found in films. FTIR spectroscopic studies of the modified zein with the lateral amide groups of Glutamine and Asparagine changing to ester groups confirmed their involvement in the interactions with PANI. Another important biopolymer, cellulose, was attempted in the silylation process with PAPTMOS followed by binding of PANI(MSA). The electrically conductive products in the case of cellulose fibres and cellulose powder were obtained. In comparison with untreated celluloses, PANI was strongly connected to the silylated cellulose surface and could not be removed with common solvents. Thus the current research promises a novel and facile pathway to create stable PANI containing hybrid materials based on commercially available inorganic and organic substrates.

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  • On Frascari's Notion of Construal

    Hedges, Susan (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • An experimental study of speech enhancement for speech intelligibility of elderly listeners by steady-state suppression

    Kobayashi, Kei (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Pelvic floor muscle function in elite nulliparous athletes.

    Kruger, Jennifer (2009)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Discovery and Investigation of Genes of Novel Relevance to Melanocyte and Melanoma Biology

    Feisst, Vaughan (2010-09-28)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • 'Walking the Line': Southern Sudanese Narratives and Responding to Trauma

    Marlowe, Jay (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This study reports an ethnographic engagement with a relatively small group of Southern Sudanese men and their communities living in Adelaide, South Australia. It develops a grounded substantive theory about how Southern Sudanese men both conceptualise and respond to trauma in forced migration and Australian resettlement contexts. Using a constructivist grounded theory design allowed the study to be informed by two sets of experiences. Data were gathered from seventy in-depth interviews with twentyfour Southern Sudanese male participants, all of whom speak English and are often leaders within the Adelaide Sudanese community. The study is also informed through the researcher???s broader engagement with this community in the form of attending celebrations, mourning ceremonies and special events. These interactions provide important understandings for deconstructing powerful discourses on trauma, resettlement and healing. A key argument behind the study is that through media-based representations, political commentary and a significant part of the academic literature, the dominant understanding of the Sudanese community is often generated through a trauma focused lens. The associated stories of the ???refugee experience??? and isolated accounts of violence in resettlement contexts can construct the community as traumatised and their actions as the outcomes of war trauma. Whilst there is little argument that refugees often experience very difficult and traumatic events, it does not necessarily follow that they are indelibly damaged people. Critical engagement with participants??? stories and the broader Sudanese community provides a justification for using a framework that not only documents the impact of trauma in people???s lives but also how they respond to such experiences. The word ???trauma??? is highly familiar to the study participants. It is something they identify as having helped them to gain entry into refugee camps, acquire refugee status and access services in Australia. In many respects, trauma represents a powerful currency that helps refugees lay their claims for recognition as just that - refugees. However, this recognition, while granting some benefits and resources, also limits opportunities to participate as peers in civil society due to ???othering??? dynamics. The extended engagement with these Sudanese men highlights that they have many tools and knowledges with which to respond to profound difficulties and locate appropriate social, spiritual and agential pathways to healing. It is argued, however, that the exclusionary experiences of poverty, unemployment and racism can limit their ability to access such resources. The frequently used participant expression of ???walking the line??? provides a metaphor for theorising how Sudanese participants negotiate a workable synthesis between their past and present in resettlement contexts where they must adapt to a new social reality. ???Walking the line??? highlights the complexity of navigating between two different social worlds and the associated challenges of transnational movement and social transformation. This study concludes that practitioners, researchers and policy makers also need to ???walk the line??? through rethinking familiar perspectives on refugees, resettlement and trauma. The value of trauma focused inquiry is not questioned, but its primacy must be engaged critically and reflectively. This means validating and dignifying the impact of trauma in people???s lives while considering their pathways to healing and agency. Such a focus requires considering both past and present realities, and thinking about the associated role of social work from interpersonal to broader systemic levels. This study reinforces how professionals working with resettling communities need to conceptualise practice beyond dichotomous perspectives and embrace complexity at the ???pointy??? end of ???the line???.

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  • The politics of teachers' work in the context of curriculum resources marketisation policy reforms in three secondary schools in Tanzania : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Massey University, Manawatu Campus, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Mislay, Moshi Amsi (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Before Tanzania enjoyed the fruits of postcolonial education policy reforms, the country was hit by the world economic crises in the 1970s. Consequently, Tanzania and other developing countries turned to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) that imposed, financed, and controlled her education and economic policy through the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) of the 1980s. Thus, Tanzania adopted education privatisation and marketisation policies during the 1990s. More specifically, in 1991, the Policy on Production and Distribution of School and College Books, which I will call Marketisation Policy, redefined school and college curriculum resources according to market principles. The purpose of this study was to critically analyse how marketisation policy reforms, reconstructed at societal, institutional, and local classroom levels, reshaped teachers’ subjectivities and practices between 1992 and 2012. Using an ethnographic case study of three secondary schools from northern Tanzania, the study examines teachers’ work histories, politics, and cultures using a combination of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2015) and the theory of pedagogic discourse (Bernstein, 1971, 1975, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2000). The study aimed to answer three research questions, namely: (1) What policy texts and discourses were constructed in the process of marketisation policy interpretation in secondary schools? (2) How do marketisation policy texts and discourses reshape secondary school teachers’ subject positions and pedagogical codes? and (3) How do the subject positions and pedagogical codes constructed by marketisation policy texts and discourses reshape teachers’ pedagogic practices and official knowledge construction? Marketisation policy implementation and professional documents, interview and focus group transcripts, and classroom observation notes were collected from the three schools. These were analysed to discern themes that characterised the nature, history, and politics of teachers’ work practices. Findings indicate that marketisation policy texts and discourses positioned secondary school teachers as passive and dependent consumers of marketised curriculum resources (MCR) produced by private publishers and the state. They were also positioned as lacking knowledge to plan, decide, and implement curricula, pedagogic, and evaluation practices. These subject positions constrained teacher creativity and critical thinking, and reproduced capitalist publishers and state power and ideologies through the policy texts and discourses. Curricular, pedagogical, and evaluatative cultural practices were dominated and influenced by capitalist publishers and the state through marketisation policy texts and the discourses of finance, MCR, educational materials’ approval, and advertising. The study documents how marketisation policy aims, objectives, outcomes, and pedagogic strategies reflected the aims and effects of both colonial and postcolonial education policy. Teachers and students constructed multiple power/knowledge and resistance to dominant discourses based on accessible MCR, private tuition, past educational training, collaboration with colleagues, and attending some training. However, although these discourses empowered them to construct and exercise power/knowledge to respond to marketisation policy discursive constraints, they also reconstructed curriculum domination because of students’ limited access to MCR and classroom curriculum discourses.

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  • A Systematic Assessment of Stress and Attention via short-term Canine Association: Differences Between Cognitive Functioning, Performance and Subjective Experience

    Finkbeiner, Kristin Marie (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Humans have coexisted with animals since the beginning, with their relationship evolving over time from one that was predatory-based (i.e. eat or be eaten), to fascination, to domestication, to integration into modern day society as pets or pests (Serpell, 1995). Many people recognize that animals deserve respect, explaining the rise in international wildlife funds, exotic animal research, humane society groups and vegetarian/vegan lifestyles of the most recent decade. Social media has been a noteworthy platform for animal content of all forms, most notably highlighting pictures and videos of animals deemed “cute”, in an attempt to spread positivity through mass communication. Economically, animal activities such as zoo trips and animal sponsors show a large financial expenditure worldwide, and it has been reported that the average American pet owner spends approximately $1,500 on their pets each year for basic veterinary care, food, toys and hygiene purposes, and this is expected to reach over $60.5 billion nationwide this year (Castillo, 2015). Pet owners would likely agree that their animal serves as an extension of the family, and provides means of entertainment, objects of nurture, companionship, and in many cases happiness. This perceived relationship has made its way into clinical psychology, spawning many animal-assisted therapy programs (AAT, see Odendaal, 2000) to provide companionship and assistance to individuals that require it. It would not be strange to see a cat making its way through corridors of a nursing or rest home to receive affection from the elderly, or a visually impaired individual accompanied by his or her seeing-eye dog as they travel by airplane, as these scenarios are increasingly becoming the norm.

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