During an epidemic, decision-makers in public health need accurate predictions of the future case numbers, in order to control the spread of new cases and allow efficient resource planning for hospital needs and capacities. In particular, considering that infectious diseases are spread through human-human transmissions, the analysis of spatio-temporal mobility data can play a fundamental role to enable epidemic forecasting. This paper presents the design and implementation of a predictive approach, based on spatial analysis and regressive models, to discover spatio-temporal predictive epidemic patterns from mobility and infection data. The experimental evaluation, performed on mobility and COVID-19 data collected in the city of Chicago, is aimed to assess the effectiveness of the approach in a real-world scenario.
The formation of a stable G-quadruplex (GQ) can inhibit the increased telomerase activity that is common in most cancers. The global structure and the thermal stability of the GQs are usually evaluated by spectroscopic methods and thermal denaturation properties. However, most biochemical processes involving GQs might require local conformational changes at the guanine tetrad (G4) level. These local conformational changes of individual G4 layers during protein and drug interactions have not yet been explored in detail. In this study, we monitored the local conformations of individual G4 layers in GQs using 6-methylisoxanthopterine (6MI) chromophores, which are circular dichroism (CD)-active fluorescent base analogues of guanine, as local conformational probes. A synthetic, tetramolecular, parallel GQ with site-specifically positioned 6MI monomers or dimers was used as the experimental construct. Analytical ultracentrifugation studies and gel electrophoretic studies showed that properly positioned 6MI monomers and dimers could form stable GQs with CD-active fluorescent G4 layers. The local conformation of individual fluorescent G4 layers in the GQ structure was then tracked by monitoring the absorbance, fluorescence intensity, thermal melting, fluorescence quenching, and CD changes of the incorporated probes. Overall, these studies showed that site-specifically incorporated fluorescent base analogues could be used as probes to monitor the local conformational changes of individual G4 layers of a GQ structure. This method can be applied to explore the details of small molecule-GQ interaction at the level of the individual G4 layers, which may prove to be useful in designing drugs to treat GQ-related genetic disorders, cancer, and aging.
The ability to recognize emotion in speech is a critical skill for social communication. Motivated by previous work that has shown that vocal emotion recognition accuracy varies by musical ability, the current study addressed this relationship using a behavioral measure of musical ability (i.e., singing) that relies on the same effector system used for vocal prosody production. In the current study, participants completed a musical production task that involved singing four-note novel melodies. To measure pitch perception, we used a simple pitch discrimination task in which participants indicated whether a target pitch was higher or lower than a comparison pitch. We also used self-report measures to address language and musical background. We report that singing ability, but not self-reported musical experience nor pitch discrimination ability, was a unique predictor of vocal emotion recognition accuracy. These results support a relationship between processes involved in vocal production and vocal perception, and suggest that sensorimotor processing of the vocal system is recruited for processing vocal prosody.
Many important physiological processes such as cell migration, biofilm formation, and pathogenicity require an understanding of the mechanism of cell motility. In particular, bacteria such as Escherichia coli propel themselves by means of rotating a set of flagella powered by 40 nm engines that are known as the bacterial flagellar motor. This bacterial flagellar motor, one of the largest and most complex biological rotary motors, is embedded in the cell membrane and exert torque on cells up to about 1000 pN·nm to navigate toward favorable environments in response to chemical gradients. However, despite extensive studies of the structure and the genetics of the bacterial flagellar motor, we lack sufficient understanding of how their torque generating protein components such as a rotor and stators function. Here, we investigate the relationship between the motor speeds and the number of stators involved in torque generation. Our results indicate that a single proton can generate torque required for a discrete angular step in the rotation of the bacterial flagellar motor.
In this chapter, we argue that, driven by the threat of eroding enrollments and guided by perverse college ranking incentives, academic management executives capitalized on pandemic upheavals and uncertainty by adding market-driven academic programs, most commonly masters’ degrees, and pushing for other market-driven changes, such as microcredentialing as tactics to capture new sources of revenue. In doing so, they continued to weaken shared governance and the power of faculty. Additionally, they further distorted the values of the academy through a reemergence of vocationalism that looks similar to their for-profit college counterparts.KeywordsEroding enrollmentsCollege ranking incentivesAcademic management executivesMarket-driven academic programsShared governance
In this chapter, we show how an already severely weakened commitment to academic shared governance was further undermined during COVID-19 through the workings of “pandemic task forces” established on campuses around the country that often served as vehicles to carry management agendas under the guise of “faculty consultation.” We examine a disturbing set of illustrations of both the implicit and also explicit allocation of COVID response team authority to campus executives in student affairs and athletics, as opposed to faculty-supported leaders in academic affairs. We explore the various manifestations of these exercises in the manufacture of consent, including those that are entangled with local and state officials. We discuss the consequences for faculty power, control over curriculum, and the conditions of teaching and learning.KeywordsPandemic task forcesCOVID-19 restart planningCurriculum controlControl of teaching and learningDismantling of shared governance
In this chapter, we focus on academic labor cost and control strategies that U.S. college and university administrators took during COVID-19 that were presented as pandemic austerity measures, but had precipitating factors and deeper roots in “workforce reduction plans.” We argue that such austerity measures have been displaced and have exacerbated the crisis of administrative bloat. We argue that the familiar management tactic of manufacturing fear, uncertainty, and distrust (F.U.D.) to destabilize and undercut unions persists and has been repurposed during the COVID-19 crisis on college campuses across the United States. We particularly focus on the ways in which higher education executives deployed narratives of fiscal emergency to justify labor and program reductions, despite clear budget justifications, and in many cases, while otherwise increasing their wealth.KeywordsAcademic laborCost control strategiesHigher education administratorsWorkforce reduction in higher educationHigher education unions
In this final chapter, we summarize the main findings of the book and conclude that as a set of institutions that serve to reproduce class, gender, and racial structures in the interests of dominant groups, higher education is not in ruins. The accelerated reorganization of higher education has been a boon for the global elite, both before and during the pandemic, while students’ options for educational and social mobility have been eroded. We close with specific recommendations for on-going collective action against racialized disaster patriarchal capitalism and toward a different kind of pandemic opportunity, one where we organize for a broader social justice unionism that can build not only new colleges and universities for the people, but a new and fair economy for all.KeywordsPandemic reorganization of higher educationPandemic opportunitySocial justice unionismNew and fair economyCollective action
In this chapter, we argue that the ongoing transformation of American higher education by educational technology, finance, and management corporations to establish and expand online instruction is a key ingredient of the toxic soil in which so-called pandemic necessary responses took root. We look closely at one of the most widely promoted educational technology products during the COVID-19 pandemic, namely what is known as the “hyflex” or “blendflex” modality of instruction. One of the most profound transformations of teaching in the remote learning era, the hyflex modality has crept into the higher education pandemic restart plans of some state legislatures, and suggests a disturbing synergy between educational technology firms, enrollment management firms, online program management corporations, college and university presidents, and state legislators.KeywordsHyflex teachingTransformation of American higher educationBlendflex modalitiesEducational technology products in higher education
In this chapter, we introduce the book’s central thesis that global education corporations along with higher education administrators in the U.S. and other Western democracies seized on the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to further advance a neoliberal education agenda consistent with the principles and practices of “disaster capitalism” (Klein, The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism. Metropolitan Books, 2007). We review existing scholarship of neoliberalism and disaster capitalism in higher education, expanding the conceptual framing toward a feminist intersectional political economy perspective that informs our analysis throughout the book. In doing so, we argue that the current crisis in higher education operates squarely within a larger context of advanced global capitalism fueled by variable and historically situated racial structures and hetero-patriarchies that particularly sacrifice students without race, class or gender privilege.KeywordsCOVID-19 pandemicNeoliberal education agendaDisaster capitalism in higher educationGlobal capitalismFeminist intersectional political economy
In this chapter, we turn our gaze to campus reopening plans and COVID mitigation strategies enacted by colleges and universities in the early months of the pandemic. We found that higher education administrators’ pandemic responses were consistent with concerns for institutions’ bottom line, expressed largely in fears of losing enrollment, rather than the concern for the well-being of their students, their employees, and the community at large. We examine the dual response of colleges and universities ready to embrace public health solutions on the one hand, and stubborn refusals to heed science in favor of political conformity on the other, even when that repudiation is at odds with the best science, with the will of the faculty, and at the urging of student leaders.KeywordsCOVID mitigation strategies in higher educationPubic healthConcern for bottom linePolitical conformityRefusal of science
In this chapter, we focus more squarely on related predatory mechanisms of racialized disaster patriarchal capitalism in the pandemic higher education space. Promoting the narrative that students deserve “the college experience” as a way to justify maintaining, and in some cases, increasing revenue streams, global education executives, college and university leaders, and state legislators sacrificed the health, safety, and economic security of students and their families. In other instances, they used the pandemic as an opportunity to escalate attacks on the health and life of the liberal arts mission itself. We specifically shed light on student housing policies, decisions about college sports, CARES Act funding mechanisms, and attacks on the curriculum.KeywordsRacialized disaster patriarchal capitalismGlobal education executivesHealth and safety of studentsCARES Act fundingLiberal arts
In this chapter, we take the long view of the history of higher education in the U.S. to better explain the magnitude of what happened in the COVID era, how it came to be possible and why. We review key moments in the trajectory of the re-engineering of the university as an arm of business and show that the metamorphosis began as early as the First Gilded Age, expanded throughout the twentieth century, and accelerated with the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s and into the Second Gilded Age. We outline key ways in which racialized disaster patriarchal capitalism has played out in higher education just prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, and end with a short preview of the books’ remaining chapters.KeywordsHistory of higher educationNeoliberalism disaster patriarchal capitalismHigher education prior to COVID-19
In this chapter, we examine the relationship between pandemic tuition increases and student debt, the latter not only an American experience but a growing global concern. In the midst of the fight against COVID, many administrators in the U.S. decided to increase tuition for students and their families, in many instances, several times over, in what we described as akin to other forms of price-gouging of vulnerable people and communities during disasters. Additionally, we argue that the link between tuition increases and student debt is not accidental but an outcome of decades of policy decisions that have led to a systemic failure of government, particularly in the United States, to support the institution of higher education, and education more broadly.KeywordsPandemic tuition increasesStudent debt increasesStudent debt policyStudent debt as global issue
At center stage in this chapter is the catastrophic rise of online program management corporations (OPMs), and how, under the cover of the pandemic, educational investors continued to search for more politically palatable vehicles to extract profit from the increasing numbers of students seeking social mobility. We explore the concept of the edu-political apparatus and the extent to which the rise of OPMs was made possible by the convergence of corporate and state interests. In this context, we show the ways in which edupreneurs pivoted their outsourcing of educational services from for-profit operations toward public-private partnerships, undergoing a pandemic rebranding. We discuss the particular impact of this shape-shifting on low-income students, women students, and students of color, and the consequences for student debt.KeywordsOnline progam management corporations (OPM)Educational investorsEdu-political apparatusEdupreneursPublic-private partnerships
In this chapter, we discuss the ways in which COVID-19 created a different kind of pandemic opportunity for faculty, students, and staff to resist the expansion of neoliberal policies and practices in higher education. We highlight student actions across the nation; labor actions by campus essential workers; the increasing unionization and mobilization of graduate students, faculty, and campus staff responding to risky management decisions in the COVID context on top of pre-pandemic attacks on workers’ dignity, autonomy, and wages. We argue these emergent waves of collective action can be understood as resistance to racialized disaster patriarchal capitalism, and part of the larger fight for the soul of higher education against the opportunism, austerity, sacrifice, and disposability politics that aim to put profit before people.KeywordsCOVID-19 resistanceStudent resistanceFaculty resistanceStaff resistanceNeoliberal policiesNeoliberal practices
In this chapter, we argue that the rise of the global education industry, with the goal of capturing the academic mission and markets of postsecondary education as a central target, is a core component of the pandemic disaster capitalism engine in higher education. We introduce our notion of a network of privatized interests we call global total education management privatization syndicates (global TEMPS), and identify major threads of its spiderweb of entanglements, including EdTech corporations, global educational consultancies, corporate class think tanks, and philanthro-capitalists across the political spectrum. We discuss troubling spiderwebs of privatization at play during the pandemic to grow the market for for-profit education in the non-profit space at the same time faculty, staff, and programs were eliminated.KeywordsGlobal education industryAcademic missionEdTech corporationsPrivatization in higher educationPandemic privatization
This book approaches the issue of the essence of numbers from a very broad perspective: historical, philosophical, and mathematical. The author is a practicing mathematician who has been working in philosophy since the 1990s, with a particular focus on phenomenology, while maintaining his activity in mathematics. As he explains in the preface to the English translation, the original French version began with a series of lectures introducing philosophy students at Nice to the philosophy of science and of mathematics via the philosophy of arithmetic. The initial aim was to develop in the students an understanding of the issues from the origins in classical Greek thought to the point where they would be ready to follow Husserl’s Philosophy of Arithmetic, which Patras considers ‘one of the deepest texts ever written on mathematical thought’. Each chapter is a manageable chunk of about ten pages, presumably covering what was given as a single lecture. Chapter 1 is an introduction, setting up the plan for the book. While our intuitive conception of numbers appears not to have changed much since classical Greece, the development within mathematics of the theory of numbers is quite extensive. The book aims to help resolve this tension by investigating the ‘essence’ of numbers, starting with classical Greece and following the development of the concept through to the modern era with its rigorous definitions. There is then a very brief overview: starting with the Greeks and the ‘problem of the One’ — is one a number? While civilizations before ancient Greece used numbers and calculation, the Greeks were the first to consider its definition. Number, and the study of the arithmetical properties of the continuum, have been a concern of mathematics throughout its history. Developments at the end of the nineteenth century, and especially Frege’s contributions bringing ‘arithmetic back to the pure laws of thought’, were central to the development of the concept of number, ‘a decisive issue for the whole theory of knowledge’. The algebraic nature of numbers and arithmetic led to the possibility of extending beyond the natural numbers.
For more than 70 y researchers have looked to baboons (monkeys of the genus Papio ) as a source of hypotheses about the ecology and behavior of early hominins (early human ancestors and their close relatives). This approach has undergone a resurgence in the last decade as a result of rapidly increasing knowledge from experimental and field studies of baboons and from archeological and paleontological studies of hominins. The result is a rich array of analogies, scenarios, and other stimuli to thought about the ecology and behavior of early hominins. The main intent here is to illustrate baboon perspectives on early hominins, with emphasis on recent developments. This begins with a discussion of baboons and hominins as we know them currently and explains the reasons for drawing comparisons between them. These include occupation of diverse environments, combination of arboreal and terrestrial capabilities, relatively large body size, and sexual dimorphism. The remainder of the paper illustrates the main points with a small number of examples drawn from diverse areas of interest: diet (grasses and fish), danger (leopards and crocodiles), social organization (troops and multilevel societies), social relationships (male–male, male–female, female–female), communication (possible foundations of language), cognition (use of social information, comparison of self to others), and bipedalism (a speculative developmental hypothesis about the neurological basis). The conclusion is optimistic about the future of baboon perspectives on early hominins.
Background The current COVID-19 pandemic and the previous SARS/MERS outbreaks of 2003 and 2012 have resulted in a series of major global public health crises. We argue that in the interest of developing effective and safe vaccines and drugs and to better understand coronaviruses and associated disease mechenisms it is necessary to integrate the large and exponentially growing body of heterogeneous coronavirus data. Ontologies play an important role in standard-based knowledge and data representation, integration, sharing, and analysis. Accordingly, we initiated the development of the community-based Coronavirus Infectious Disease Ontology (CIDO) in early 2020. Results As an Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) library ontology, CIDO is open source and interoperable with other existing OBO ontologies. CIDO is aligned with the Basic Formal Ontology and Viral Infectious Disease Ontology. CIDO has imported terms from over 30 OBO ontologies. For example, CIDO imports all SARS-CoV-2 protein terms from the Protein Ontology, COVID-19-related phenotype terms from the Human Phenotype Ontology, and over 100 COVID-19 terms for vaccines (both authorized and in clinical trial) from the Vaccine Ontology. CIDO systematically represents variants of SARS-CoV-2 viruses and over 300 amino acid substitutions therein, along with over 300 diagnostic kits and methods. CIDO also describes hundreds of host-coronavirus protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and the drugs that target proteins in these PPIs. CIDO has been used to model COVID-19 related phenomena in areas such as epidemiology. The scope of CIDO was evaluated by visual analysis supported by a summarization network method. CIDO has been used in various applications such as term standardization, inference, natural language processing (NLP) and clinical data integration. We have applied the amino acid variant knowledge present in CIDO to analyze differences between SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants. CIDO's integrative host-coronavirus PPIs and drug-target knowledge has also been used to support drug repurposing for COVID-19 treatment. Conclusion CIDO represents entities and relations in the domain of coronavirus diseases with a special focus on COVID-19. It supports shared knowledge representation, data and metadata standardization and integration, and has been used in a range of applications.
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