13,302 results for Masters

  • An Intracellular Probe of Hsc70:Substrate Interactions

    Moir, Rachel (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Hsc70 is a constitutively active member of the heat shock chaperone family. It has many roles in all cell types, including prevention of protein aggregation, uncoating of clathrin vesicles, and involvement in the maturation of newly synthesised protein. ABCA1, a member of the ABC family, has been shown to have mutations that disrupt membrane localisation. The rescue of correct maturation and membrane localisation by chemical chaperones suggest a role for protein misfolding and endogenous molecular chaperones such as Hsc70 in its rescue. The mutants utilised in this study have distorted folding in such a manner that the activity is lost due to the inability to mature through trafficking to the plasma membrane where the protein is functional. In this work a fluorescent Hsc70 probe was produced and a method developed for its introduction into mammalian cells to investigate an interaction with misfolded ABCA1. Co-localisation of the Hsc70 chaperone with mislocalised ABCA1 variants were investigated with confocal microscopy. Hsc70 C574S, required for covalent attachment of a single fluorescent label, is active at about 25% the level of native protein in a refolding assay. The transduction protocol results in some fluorescent Hsc70 being internalised into HEK293T mammalian cells. Efficiency of transduction was assessed by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Between 20% and 90% of cells were found to be transduced with fluorescent protein. Labelled Hsc70 appears in the cytoplasm, distributed in the same pattern as wildtype ABCA1, suggesting co-localisation. The coincidence of location increases with the N1800H variant. However membrane location does not seem to be rescued by transduction of additional Hsc70. The Y1767D variant seems to have a lesser interaction with Hsc70, although this could be an artefact of the labelled chaperone, where endogenous untracked Hsc70 could be interacting. Hsc70 has been successfully used as an intracellular probe, detectable in HEK293T cells and displaying co-localisation with the ABCA1 protein.

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  • An investigation into estimation and spatial sense as aspects of workplace numeracy: a case study of recycling and refuse operators within a situated learning model

    Kane, Philip John

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The abilities to estimate and to exercise spatial awareness are important elements of adult numeracy and are embedded in many workplace activities. However, contributions of these elements of numeracy in workplace activities are often overlooked. Although estimation is noticed, spatial awareness in particular seems to be rarely acknowledged (Marr & Hagston, 2007). This research study first investigates the use of these two elements by drawing on the perspective of numeracy as a situated social practice (Lerman, 2006; Street, Baker, & Tomlin, 2008) in a case study of the work of urban recycling and refuse collection operators. Ethnographic approaches such as observing the operators’ roles in their daily collection work and interviewing them are used to determine which strategies and numeracy practices the operators employ. What is seen is that a collection operator’s ability to estimate and use spatial awareness are important contributors to many of the critical decisions that are regularly made by him or her. A second part of the research is an investigation of how these operators have acquired the capabilities to make estimates and to be spatially aware. Although estimation and spatial awareness are established at an early age and then partly fostered in school mathematics themes such as number sense, measurement and geometry, the operators in the main did not recognise a great deal of mathematics in their everyday work. Instead their previous workplace training and experiences of driving and operating heavy equipment appeared to be the main sources of their senses of estimation and spatial awareness. This study demonstrates to trainers and educators they should not assume that these elements of numeracy are common knowledge or even common sense to their staff or students (Sorby, 2003). This study also suggests that estimation and spatial awareness practices which are concealed in workplaces and are probably overlooked, are challenging to assess by traditional measures. Hence trainers and educators need to continue to promote and model estimation practices, and even more deliberately, provide learning opportunities of those relevant components of spatial awareness for learners of any age.

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  • The medical, ethical and legal issues surrounding the management of persistent vegetative state patients

    Bloore, Samuel Geoffrey (2004)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    iv, 72 leaves ; 30 cm Includes bibliographical references. "1st July 2004"

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  • Infant and peer relationships in curriculum

    Redder, Bridgette Miriam (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The purpose of this thesis was to explore the relations between infants and their peers as they interacted intersubjectively with one another in an early childhood care and education environment and to investigate how the teacher was answerable through her engagement in these intersubjective events. Drawing upon a Bakhtinian methodological approach to research utterance was employed as my unit of analysis, providing a means to investigate the intersubjective interactions between infants and their peers in tandem with the teachers’ engagement in these interactions as answerable acts. This thesis builds on a previous pilot study which utilised dialogic methodology to investigate the nature of infant and teacher dialogue in an education and care context (White, Peter & Redder, 2015). The research that formed the basis for my subsequent analysis took place in a New Zealand education and care centre that catered for children less than two years of age. In the present study the same polyphonic video recording was used to capture infant and peer intersubjective interactions and the teacher’s engagement within these events. A mixed methods research approach was employed to qualitatively and quantitatively analyse the video data. The findings of this study suggest that infants are intersubjective agents in their relationships with peers and with teachers. Infants intentionally communicated with peers in lived relational experiences that were characterised by the fleeting, elongated or connected nature of their interactions. Mutual understanding, joint attention, attunement and the employment of synchronised language forms were features of infant ― peer intersubjective experiences. In addition, the findings revealed the capacity of infants and peers to relate with one another in social interactions that promote ‘dialogic spaces’ through which intersubjective relationships are sought. When teachers engaged in the infant ― peer intersubjective relations they either restrained by ‘shutting’ down or sustained by ‘opening up’ the intersubjective experience for the peers. The teacher’s body language was a feature of their engagement that contributed in a variety of ways to the infant ― peer intersubjective experience. Indeed how teachers engaged themselves in the interactions that were taking place between infants and their peers often determined the orientation of the teacher’s body positioning. The findings suggest when teachers restrained infant ― peer intersubjective dialogue, this form of engagement had the potential to alter how infants related to peers in subsequent interactions, highlighting the importance of sensitive, ‘in tune’ teacher engagement. Furthermore, the results highlight the pivotal role of the teacher as a ‘connecting’ feature within infant and peer intersubjective experiences, one who has the potential to ‘open up’ dialogic spaces for infants and their peer partners through engagement that is dialogic. These findings taken together may have implications for policymakers, educators and teacher education by ‘opening up’ dialogic spaces through which infants are seen as intersubjective agents and dialogic partners.

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  • On the edge : a history of adventure sports and adventure tourism in Queenstown

    Brown, Michael Neal Rowatt (1997)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xvi, 219 leaves :col. ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references.

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  • Towards Fused Terthiophene Monomers for Optoelectronic Applications

    Santoso, Bagus (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    In recent years, polythiophene derivatives have been on the front line of the conducting polymer industry. The most efficient polymer solar cell and the fastest polymer transistors are both polythiophene derivatives. The presence of the electron rich element sulfur has been suggested as an important pathway towards high performance organic semiconductor. Fused aromatic monomers are of particular interest as the extension of the π system allows for better π-π stacking. This results in a more crystalline structure and improves the charge transport of the resulting polymer. In this work, attempts were made towards an alkyl substituted fused terthiophene monomer. The backbone of the monomer was previously reported by Roncali et al. in 1994 and it has shown promising results. However, Roncali was unable to polymerise the monomer effectively and it continues to be undeveloped. Roncali did not report the details of his synthesis of the fused terthiophene and attempts made in this work to replicate the synthesis based on his brief description were unsuccessful. Alternative routes were explored towards the synthesis of Roncali’s fused terthiophene. The successful route found involved the Baylis-Hillman reaction of 2 thiophenecarboxyaldehye with methyl acrylate, followed by the oxidation of the Baylis-Hillman adduct and immediate Nazarov cyclisation of the resulting divinyl ketone. Ester hydrolysis of the resulting ketoester was able to synthesise thiaindanone in a large scale. The thiaindanone was then brominated and the resulting α-bromoketone was efficiently coupled with the ketoester precursor to synthesise an ester dimer. The ester dimer was hydrolysed to obtained a 1,4 diketone, which was cyclised using Lawesson’s reagent to form Roncali’s fused terthiophene. However, problems with solubility and stability found for this compound will need to be addressed prior to polymerisation. 

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  • Saudisation and Women’s Empowerment through Employment in the Health Care Sector

    Alghamdi, Fatemah (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The majority of studies concerning Saudisation policy as a solution to decrease the unemployment of nationals and reduce the reliance on expatriate. However, this study looks at Saudisation as a tool to empower Saudi women working in the health care sector. Saudi working women have been lacking opportunities of empowerment, due to challenges they face in their daily life that hinder the development and equality of those women. The thesis has been guided by the literature and qualitative evidence that suggests obstacles to women’s empowerment and development involve socially constructed norms, traditions, religion and culture that primarily favour men. The study, also, adopts feminist geography and gender perspective and focuses on the individual voices of women working in the health care sector. This research uses different empowerment frameworks of Kabeer, Rowland, Stromquist and Freire, which are relevant to women employment and empowerment. This research utilises feminist methodology in obtaining deep understanding of the reality and experience of women employed in the health care sector. Findings of this research reveal conditions that maintain disempowerment of women working in health care sector, as well as identifying the tools that might guarantee their empowerment. Findings also show those women necessities in the case of gender needs that revolve around their domestic and working responsibilities. This thesis provides some recommendations to government, policy makers, educational institutions and employers about how to contribute in empowering women and overcoming challenges that hinder their development and wellbeing. Ultimately, this study aimed to, first, contribute to the literature of women’s empowerment by exploring their employment in a Saudi context and second, to put the spotlight on Saudi women’s issues through development lens and enrich that field of study.

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  • The Political Economy of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index

    Higgs, Corin (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The structure of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index has changed many times over its 100 year history. As New Zealand’s most influential and consequential official statistic the CPI performs political and distributional functions that affects ‘who gets what and when’. Some observers suggest that change in the structure of the CPI is merely the consequence of technological improvement which in turn alters the conduct of policy-making and politics. This study turns that assumption on its head by demonstrating that it is politics that has altered the technology known as the CPI. Through the examination and evaluation of the changing political and economic context that the index operates within, this thesis work finds that the CPI was transformed by the very political forces it was designed to contain. This thesis argues that because the index functions as political decision-making tool that supports the setting of salaries and wages, benefit levels and interest rates, change in the form of the index is a result of struggle among interests affected by these highly political decisions. This thesis makes its case through analysis of primary sources and official documentation relating to the development of the index. The first case study tracks the origins of the first official index in 1914, devised in order to learn what it cost a ‘working’ family to meet its basic needs through its transformation into a tool that set wages and measured price change in the wider economy. This is reinforced by a study of change to the index since the 1970s, focusing on the use of the CPI in the conduct of monetary policy that resulted in a politically driven change to the measurement of household inflation. These case studies are further supported by examination of the secondary literature on price indexes, monetary policy and institutional change theory. This thesis adds to the body of knowledge on theories of institutional change by presenting evidence of the conflict that has caused political change to the technology of the CPI.

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  • Organised Functional Liquids for Photon Upconversion

    van den Kerkhof, Lia Catherine (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Photon upconversion is a process by which lower energy photons are converted to higher energy photons, which can be achieved by the interaction of two triplet excited states. This process holds potential for wavelength shifting solid films in photovoltaic cells. Not all wavelengths emitted by the sun have sufficient energy to be utilized by such devices. Typical solar cells have a band gap of around 1 µm, however there is a significant amount of energy output by the sun that falls below this threshold. Upconversion could lead to more efficient use of energy by converting these lower energy wavelengths to wavelengths that could be directly absorbed by the solar panel. Upconversion has thus far been harnessed in solution, where diffusion is the limiting factor for the efficiency of the process. However, for technological applications it would be better to create thin solid films. In these films, molecules would have to be brought within the distance on which upconversion occurs, as the process would no longer be defined by diffusion. One way to achieve this would be to create liquid crystalline derivatives of upconversion emitter molecules. This would provide ordering in the system, which would enhance electronic coupling and bring molecules within the scale on which upconversion occurs. The work of this thesis has focused on the synthesis of these organised functional liquids: liquid crystals of common upconversion emitter molecules. 9,10-diphenylanthracene (DPA) and 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene (BPEA) are popular emitter molecules, and derivatives of these molecules were synthesized. A variety of alkyl chains were attached with or without phenyl linkers. The alkyl chains would provide entropy to the system in order to induce the formation of liquid crystalline phases. The resulting phase behaviour of these derivatives was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarised optical microscopy (POM). Eight novel derivatives of DPA and BPEA were synthesized. New information was gained as to the requirements of inducing liquid crystallinity in these dye molecules. Direct addition of chains symmetrically to the central dye molecules did not result in the formation of liquid crystalline phases. Through extension of the central core by an extra phenyl ring a liquid crystalline behaviour was observed. A synthesized derivative of DPA exhibited extreme supercooling, which is one of a few derivatives of 9,10-diphenylanthracene to exhibit a liquid state at room temperature. A derivative of BPEA was synthesized that exhibited formation of a mesophase (liquid crystal phase). These two derivatives were investigated for potential use as a material for upconversion.

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  • The wretched refuse of your teeming (virtual) shore: Second Life as homeland to the socially isolated

    Sherman, Kevin

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This mixed methods research explores the attachment that individuals harbour for the virtual world of Second Life by comparing participants with strong feelings of attachment to Second Life with those with weak feelings of attachment. In order to identify these two groups of participants, this research employed an online questionnaire that included actual world national attachment scales and their virtual world counterparts. Based on the results of this questionnaire, these two groups of participants were identified and located and their further participation requested. Once individuals agreed to further participate in this research, the two groups of participants – the primary group comprised of those with strong, multi-dimensional attachment for Second life and the comparison group comprised of those with weak attachment for Second Life – were then interviewed using qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Based upon thematic analysis of the results of the qualitative interviews, it was found that participants who possess strong, multi-dimensional attachment for Second Life tended to be those who can be classified as Socially Isolated or, in other words, unable, for the most part, to experience social interaction in the actual world. Participants who possess weak attachment for Second Life tended to be those who can be classified as Socially Supported or, in other words, possessing, for the most part, the capacity for actual world social interaction. The results of the thematic analysis indicates that across six of seven identified themes, the Socially Isolated participants possessed a much more positive perception of Second Life while the Socially Supported possessed a much more dismissive perception of Second Life, one characterized by ambivalence, derision and/or embarrassment. The research concludes by suggesting that Socially Supported participants are put ill at ease by a virtual world that attempts to replicate the actual world in which they already live while the Socially Isolated are not only untroubled by such a world but they exhibit deep appreciation and attachment for Second Life. In fact, Second Life seems to play a critical role in determining the very quality of their lives; it provides them with many things that the Socially Supported take for granted, including opportunities for socializing and friendship, workplace interaction, recreational activities, and even things as banal as walking down the street, sitting at a bar and dancing with a stranger.

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  • Content based authentication of Visual Cryptography

    Wang, Guangyu

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Visual Cryptography (VC) is perceived and studied as a perfect combination of secret sharing and digital image processing. The basic idea of VC is to split original secret image into several partitions which are also called shares. VC schemes include basic VC, grayscale VC, colour VC and multi-secret VC etc. Despite the security nature of VC in secret sharing, one of the common problems of current application of VC shares is that it lacks authentication. Previous related researches have proven the possibility of VC cheating through different methods. Attackers are able to complete both cheating and modification on VC process without being noticed by VC participants. Currently available authentication schemes for VC are derived from the view of utilizing additional shares and blind authentication. This research analyses effective authentication methods using 2D barcodes and embedding binary codes into VC shares for authentication purpose. A scheme of embedding 2D barcodes into VC shares to prevent cheating will be presented to enhance the use of VC in implementation. The embedding process includes four steps: resolution adaption, image matching and replacement, barcode selection and secret recovery. The aim of this research is to propose a method of embedding 2D barcode into VC shares, thereby strengthening the cheat prevention ability of VC shares by applying the security feature of 2D barcode into VC. As an international standard of reading guidance for the blind people, Braille has been widely used as an effective communication channel. In this thesis, we will also explain Braille encoding and explain how it is applied to handle the authentication problem in VC. Similar to the use of 2D barcode in VC, the utilization of Braille in VC is also attributed to the similarity of structure and construction between Braille cells and VC shares. Even though the research of visual cryptography is based on the combination of image processing and cryptography, knowledge of VC authentication related to digital image processing and cryptography has not been fully utilized in the past years. In this thesis, the analysis of both visual features and cryptographic features of VC will be presented and utilized to assist VC authentication. The visual features of VC in this thesis include moments, histogram, centroid, entropy and Tamura Texture. Compared to those existing methods, the contribution of this research is to propose an authentication scheme of integrate those features with Hash code and digital signature so as to be embedded into VC shares.

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  • No Longer/Not Yet: lacuna and dissemination in practice

    Meyle, Lucy

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This drawing project presently considers relationships between traditional elements of comics, and provisional, abstract painting. (Apparently) casual gestures are produced by labour-intensive means as ‘printed materials’, that are then dispersed. The concepts of lacuna and dissemination are key to this project for thinking through ideas of dispersion, production, and supplementation. The gaps between words/images and expectation/reality are used to disrupt normative ways of constructing meaning. The project infiltrates the public and the private: traveling into homes, getting lost, destroyed, pinned up, or thrown out. The categories of ‘original’ and ‘reproduction’ are purposefully blurred as a method to challenge the autonomy and value of images. As the work moves out into the world, how might it interact or disrupt an everyday experience in socio-political spaces?

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  • Planning for Underwater Anthropogenic Noise in New Zealand's Coastal Marine Area

    Daly, Dwayne (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Human activities in the marine environment, such as shipping, mineral and petroleum exploration, dredging and construction are known to produce underwater noise. Underwater anthropogenic noise can cause behavioural changes, injury and mortality in marine mammals, fish and marine invertebrates and is likely to have long-term impacts on marine animal populations. To reduce environmental effects, spatial planning for underwater noise has been proposed but has only rarely occurred. In New Zealand, regional councils are responsible for planning for underwater noise in the Coastal Marine Area. However, regional coastal plans have been criticised for not considering underwater noise. Therefore, this research aimed to: (1) discern the current approaches of regional councils to underwater anthropogenic noise and to ascertain the reasons for those approaches, and (2) identify areas of both high marine biodiversity and high underwater noise to inform spatial planning for underwater noise. Results revealed that 14 of 17 regional coastal plans do not refer to underwater noise and that general noise provisions in these plans were intended to manage above-water noise, not underwater noise. Only Auckland Council has underwater noise provisions with rules and a permitted underwater noise limit. The main factors for the absence of provisions appear to be the age of regional coastal plans and a lack of awareness of underwater noise as an issue. Results also indicated that without underwater noise provisions councils can still manage the effects of underwater noise through unrelated, high-level provisions or through the Resource Management Act, however only a small number (38%) are doing so. Some councils expressed an interest in developing underwater noise provisions including permitted noise limits but a lack of expertise and resources in councils were considered obstacles to provision development. It is concluded that central government guidance and assistance from external agencies is needed to overcome these obstacles. However, a permitted noise limit of 180 dB re 1 μPa is proposed for inclusion in provisions. To inform spatial planning for underwater noise, regions with high regional biodiversity and with localised biodiversity 'hotspots' for seven marine taxa were identified. Eleven regions were also identified as either high or low underwater noise environments. Areas with both high underwater noise and high biodiversity for the taxa were then identified. Provisions, including rules, for these areas are suggested. It is argued that provisions and spatial zones based on these results could be included in regional coastal plans to manage underwater anthropogenic noise.

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  • Robustness of Transcranial Random Noise Stimulation Effects on Corticomotor Excitability

    Morris-Cole, Katie-Rose (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The use of indirect cortical stimulation techniques to affect human corticomotor plasticity is a burgeoning field, not least because of the non-invasive nature of such protocols. Relatively new as a form of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS). While initial studies involving its use have shown promise, there is some concern that the effects of tRNS may share the between- and within-participants variability seen with indirect stimulation procedures (Such as Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS) protocols of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)), and its sibling techniques (Most notably tDCS). A review study consisting of the use of both tRNS and a sham procedure over 46 healthy participants was conducted, in order to test this variability of outcome. A literature review was conducted to examine the history of tES protocols and the ideal parameters for assessing tRNS effect variation. TMS was used to assess changes in motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude both before and after the application of a standard facilitatory tRNS protocol. Baseline latency measurements with antero-posterior (AP) and latero-medial (LM) coil orientations and MEPs were recorded from the target muscle - the abductor pollis brevis - prior to the application of 10 min of 2 mA tRNS. Twenty MEPs were measured every 5 min for approximately 30 mins after the intervention to assess after-effects on corticospinal excitability. The experiment showed that tRNS at 2 mA was linked to a significant net facilitation of MEPs in the post-stimulation period, compared to sham stimulation. Furthermore, a two-step cluster analysis suggested alongside the presence of an intervention effect (ie. An effect caused by the experimental proceedings, instead of any effect from the tRNS protocol) as a result of both the tRNS and sham protocols, that tRNS had a facilitatory effect which mitigated inhibition or enhanced facilitation occuring as a result of that intervention effect. There was no significant correlation between the AP-LM latency difference of MEPs and the response to tRNS, or with any subject-specific variable beyond time of day. This study indicates that tRNS has a facilitatory effect in general upon corticomotor excitability, albeit rather too variable between subjects to allow tRNS to be considered a robust effector. Ideally, future studies should attempt to define what external or internal factors determine 'ideal' (i.e. significantly facilitatory participant responsiveness to tRNS.)

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  • Luxury for oneself or luxury for others? Exploring the underlying emotions behind inconspicuous luxury consumption

    Makkar, Marian

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The field of luxury has been widely examined due to the financial advancement the industry has experienced over the last 10 years. Scholars have studied its antecedents by utilising attitude-behavioural models to discover consumers’ motivations to purchase luxury goods. However, research is scarce in understanding the different kinds of luxury brand signals and consumption involved, specifically the inconspicuous and conspicuous kind. This research focuses on inconspicuous luxury consumption with the aim of deepening insights around what related emotions are involved in this consumption preference, why do they experience them and how do they deal with them. Additionally, this study explores non-financial assets such as cultural capital and social capital and how these may emotionally drive inconspicuous consumers to purchase certain levels of luxury brand signals. Utilising an exploratory and qualitative approach, in-depth interviews with 10 luxury consumers in Dubai with inconspicuous preferences were undergone and thematic analysis was used for analysis and interpretation. Themes uncovered revealed that consumers go through a process of planning their luxury journey by pre-evaluating their choices of luxury conspicuousness. They exercise their active roles in the process and experience the choices they make and finally post-evaluate these choices. Emotions were revealed to have an important role in every part of this process, which dictates their behaviours, moving them on to the next stage of their journey. They experience these emotions because of the non-financial resources (social and/or cultural capital) they deem important to them. As they exercise their consumer choice, they experience positive, negative or mixed experiential emotions depending on whether it met their expectations. If it has, they are then able to enjoy their luxuries because it offers them symbolic schemas that complete their internal and external needs and extensions of themselves. After evaluating their experienced emotions throughout the journey, they begin the cycle once again by choosing inconspicuous luxury brands that positively elevates their emotions. It is interesting to note that inconspicuous luxury consumers demonstrate several characteristics based on their social and cultural capital, which have not been identified before in past literature. This research uncovers six groupings yielding a typology of inconspicuous luxury consumers: fashion influencers, trendsetters, fashion followers, fashion indifferent, cultural conservatives and habitual buyers. They not only desire inconspicuous luxury brands for its aesthetic beauty, functionality and quality but because it asserts their different roles in society. The usefulness of the typology is demonstrated through links to emotions and levels of social and/or cultural capital and its applications to consumption levels of inconspicuous luxury goods (i.e. highly inconspicuous versus lower inconspicuous levels). Findings offer theoretical implications in terms of luxury consumption and brand signalling and a deeper understanding into what can only be described as exploratory insights into the lives of inconspicuous luxury consumers. Further research in this line of work is needed to better uncover how emotions have a powerful role in luxury consumers’ decision-making process. Managerial implications for luxury retail management and communications of the brand are also explained to assist in the conception and development process of future luxury brands and designs to better segment and target different desired markets.

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  • He Marae Ora, He Marae Manawaroa: exploring the resilience in a Marae which has survived without gaming machine proceeds funding

    Thompson-Evans, Te Pora

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Quality funding that is clear of repercussion and ethical questioning is fundamental to marae development and whaanau wellbeing. With more and more communities becoming reliant on Gaming machine funding with little regard to the communities from which the funds were first generated. Gaming machines situated outside of casino are predominately located within low socio-economic, deprived and vulnerable neighbourhoods. Although the people within these neighbourhoods are least economically resourced, they are more than likely to be the greatest financial contributors to the gaming machine pool of funds. Problem gambling is a growing concern for such neighbourhoods and communities. Furthermore and quite often it is Maaori who make up a large portion of these communities and are again likely to suffer great harm from problem gambling, alongside their whaanau. To date studies have not yet considered in great depth the implications of receiving gambling funds from gaming machines. This eclectic kaupapa Maaori research study explored the resilience in marae who survived without the need for gambling funds from gaming machines. In-depth semi-structured interviewed were conducted with eight marae committee members of Te Iti o Hauaa marae in the Waikato region. The findings indicated that traditions of tikanga, tapu and mauri were the greatest factors that enabled and maintained a decision-making process by which gambling and the taking of gambling funds especially those from pokie machines has been disallowed on the marae for over one hundred years. The marae funding model in the form of four pou draws on whanaungatanga and relationship linkages the marae has established within the marae itself, the wider iwi and its kinship ties and also the relationship linkages to the community and government. Ethical issues relating to harms to whaanau also arose as a significant theme to not accepting gaming machine funding. Participants discussed their use of succession planning through building the capacity of their generations towards self-determinations has enabled the marae to sustain their operations and development with no funding sought outside their model. This study concludes that utilising such a model of funding based on tikanga values and ensuring succession planning to build social capital, community cohesion and participation may very well enable more marae to reduce and eliminate their reliance on gaming machine funding

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  • Effects of FUX on gemcitabine sensitivity in lung cancer cells

    Lu, Wei

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Lung cancer has accounted for the most deaths from cancer (19.2% of all cancer deaths) in registered cancer cases in New Zealand. At present lung cancer treatment is inadequate, as patients treated with the front-line drugs, such as gemcitabine, rapidly develop drug resistance by decreasing cellular accumulation and/or avoiding apoptosis. Fucoxanthin (FUX), extracted from edible seaweed such as Undaria pinnatifida, has recently been reported to inhibit membrane drug efflux transporters (ABC transporters) and induce apoptosis in various cancer cell lines. Previous studies in AUT have defined FUX extracted from New Zealand Undaria pinnitifida with anti-cancer properties by using in vitro cell models. FUX has been reported to have few adverse effects in some animal models. We hypothesize that FUX may be a safe sensitizer to reverse gemcitabine resistance in lung cancer cells by increasing cellular accumulation of gemcitabine. The primary objective of this study was to assess the potential effects of FUX to reverse gemcitabine resistance in human lung cancer cell lines. The secondary objective of current study is to investigate the mechanisms of FUX actions if FUX may potentiate gemcitabine sensitivity. The third objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of FUX on modifying gemcitabine toxicity in two typical normal human cell lines. Several types of human cell lines were used in this study including a lung carcinoma cell line A549, and two typical normal human cell lines embryonic kidney cell HEK293 and adult dermal fibroblasts (HDFa). Anti-proliferative effects were determined by 48-hr and 72-hr MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assays. As a single agent, either gemcitabine or FUX showed concentration-dependant inhibition of lung cancer proliferation in 72-hr MTT assays, with IC50 values of 9nM and 13μM, respectively. FUX increases gemcitabine sensitivity in an NSCLC cell line, A549 cell in a time and concentration dependant manner. Indeed, the 72-hr IC50 value for gemcitabine was only 3.9nM in the presence of 8μM FUX, which was decreased by 59% when comparing with control (P< 0.05). More importantly, FUX has no apparent effects on gemcitabine toxicity in two typical cell lines representing normal human tissues. It would be expected that FUX may represent a unique sensitizer, which may turn a less effective anti-cancer drug into an exceptional one. To elucidate the mechanisms of action of FUX, it is necessary to carry out a mechanistic study to investigate if FUX changes the intracellular gemcitabine accumulation in A549 cells. To determine gemcitabine in A549 cellular homogenates, an HPLC method has been developed and validated. In this study, while gemcitabine cannot be separated sufficiently from the cellular interferences using a conventional C18 column, aphenyl-hexyl column was found to be efficient to achieve better separation for quantitation of gemcitabine. This is because that separation using the phenyl column is conducted via the π electron, which in this case utilizes the π-π interaction between the phenyl group π electron and the analyte's π electron. Validation data indicates that the method is sensitive and reliable, with acceptable accuracy (85-115% of true values) and precision (CV < 15%). The assay specificity was indicated by the absence of interfering chromatographic peaks in cellular homogenates, and the LOQ of the assay was 0.5 μM. Calibration curves for gemcitabine were linear with the mean correlation coefficients > 0.987. This method has the advantage of being relatively rapid and efficient, with the retention time of gemcitabine separated from the substances in cellular homogenates. Therefore, this HPLC method is suitable for gemcitabine measurement in A549 cellular homogenates studies. Cellular accumulation studies suggest uptake of gemcitabine may reach equilibrium after 4-hr in the presence or absence of FUX. FUX (10 μM) shows the potentials to increase the steady-state accumulation of gemcitabine in A549 cells. However, it does not affect the initial cellular uptake of gemcitabine in A549 cells. While this mechanistic research provides some clues to elucidate the effects of FUX on gemcitabine accumulation, more details about the exact mechanisms of its action, are warranted for further studies in the future. However, a major limitation of this HPLC method is a lack of detection of gemcitabine metabolites. The cytotoxic action of gemcitabine has been attributed to inhibition of DNA synthesis by dFdCDP and dFdCTP. The HPLC method described in this study may not be suitable to simultaneously measure these active metabolites. Thus it is worthwhile to determine the cellular pharmacokinetics of gemcitabine and its metabolites in A549 cells and other NSCLC cells simultaneously by using an LC-MS/MS system. In conclusion, fucoxanthin increases gemcitabine sensitivity to A549 cancer cell lines, and more importantly, it has no apparent effects on gemcitabine toxicity in two typical cell lines representing normal human tissues. It would be expected that FUX may represent a unique sensitizer, which may turn a less effective anti-cancer drug into an exceptional one.

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  • Teenage girls' daily engagement with mass media: implications for identity construction and well-being

    Gooch, Andrea

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    A process of identity formation often defines teenage years where young people transition into adulthood. Multiple factors such as family environment and sociocultural context contribute to shaping teen girls’ identities, what they believe in and how they see themselves as fitting into the world around them. Mass media plays a big part in constructing social realities, often depicting narrow and limited depictions of masculinity, femininity and ideal girlhood. Young people, who may have less experience and critical awareness when it comes to media messages, may take on stereotypical or problematic images as representing reality. This research project explores from a social constructionist perspective, teenage girls daily engagement with the mass media and the implications of this for their identity construction, health, and well-being. Six face-to-face interviews were conducted with teen girls aged between 14 and 17 years old. These girls were asked to collect media images over one week and their responses to these images were discussed. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted and four dominant themes were identified within the talk: ‘It’s all about appearance’; ‘Attracting the boys’; “Inspirational content”; and ‘The pressure to be “trendy”. These themes are discussed demonstrating the difficult terrain teen girls face in navigating the vast and pervasive nature of mass media in constructing their personal identity. Further research is necessary into the nature of teen girls’ engagement with mass media with comparative data required from a teen boy population to expand and support initial insights gained from this project.

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  • Pursuing Self-determined Responses to Climate Change in the Cook Islands: Exploring the Interface between Government Organisational Directive and Local Community Engagement with Climate Change Adaptation

    Lusk, Anabel (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Small island communities are considered to be amongst the most ‘at-risk’ populations in the world to the impacts of climate change. Global, regional and national entities have framed the plight of Pacific communities through climate change discourses. This study contributes to an emerging line of inquiry that investigates how applying the concepts of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’ to frame communities might contribute to community empowerment, or marginalisation. Focused on the institutional setting of the ‘Strengthening the Resilience of our Islands and our Communities to Climate Change Programme’ (SRIC Programme), this thesis explores the engagement between government organisations of the Cook Islands and communities of Aitutaki to form adaptation responses to climate change. Qualitative methodologies coupled with Pasifika methodologies provide a culturally responsive approach to the research. This approach accommodated local narratives and indigenous knowledges throughout the study. The findings from semi-structured interviews suggest that Cook Islands government organisations increasingly frame Aitutaki communities through the concept of ‘resilience’. Interviews with community representatives suggest that Aitutaki communities use indigenous knowledges to make sense of changes in their local environment, without always understanding the science-based notions of climate change. Engagement approaches such as ‘knowledge sharing’, could offer a pathway to increasing community autonomy and confidence in climate change discussions, whilst also contributing to enhancing socio-ecological resilience. To maintain a ‘critical’ political ecology approach, governmentality theory was used to explain how power relations might be embedded in resilience discourse. Insight is offered into how the government-community relationship could enable ‘technologies of government’ as the SRIC Programme progresses. It is suggested that the social conditions of Aitutaki communities could pose sites of resistance to governmentality. Recently implemented, the SRIC Programme demonstrates potential for supporting self-determined responses to climate change and enhancing socio-ecological resilience in Aitutaki.

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  • Fostering new spaces: Celebrating and growing a diverse economy in Cape Town, South Africa

    Hosking, Emma Noëlle (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis explores and celebrates diverse understandings and experiences of the economy through the narratives of four people working in Cape Town, South Africa. The diversity and multiplicity of the economy has been made invisible by a capitalocentric economic discourse which casts alternative ways of being as uncredible and weak. Thus, from a post-development/community economy perspective, I seek to foster a space in which non-conventional economic and political practices are seen as relevant and valid sites for action, where hope for a better future can be enabled. Living in the segregated city of Cape Town, I began to question the polemic framing of the country‟s “two economies”, a framing which disregards the actions of ordinary people who are improving the well-being of their communities directly, in favour of neoliberal pro-growth strategies. Therefore, I interrogate the binaries used to describe the economy and scale of action so as reimagine other possible trajectories for transformation. In so doing, I trace some of the relational connections that the participants articulated and employed on a daily basis so as to foster a sense of place beyond dualistic notions of scale and politics. I also contend that if we are to appreciate the community economy as a significant and persistent site of struggle, there is a need to understand politics as happening beyond the horizon of direct mobilisation. Through these reframings I work to reinsert the experiences and perspectives of spatially and economically marginalised people and places into implications in broader issues. I approach this research from a post-structural, feminist stance, not only to deconstruct the supposed dominance of the capitalist economy, but also to contribute to a project of growing a diverse economic discourse and enabling people to occupy this terrain and reclaim their agency. Hence, using ethnographic and visual collaborative methodologies I aim to promote and value the agency and autonomy of ordinary people who are performing, dreaming, enacting, connecting and enabling a broad horizon of opportunities in hybrid, multi-scalar ways. Therefore, alongside its conceptual contribution of enabling other economic possibilities, I hope that this thesis adds to a conversation about the need for methodologies to be realised as part of a broader movement towards transformation and change.

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