Swarthmore College
  • Swarthmore, PENNSYLVANIA, United States
Recent publications
All-male firms are common around the world, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, where local norms often favor gender segregation. The integration of women into these previously all-male firms is an important driver of growth in economic opportunity for women. However, the determinants of firm integration decisions are complex and engage a broad set of issues including leadership priorities and beliefs, physical workspace constraints, organizational structure, regulatory compliance, and labor costs. We systematically analyze the results of a survey of firm owners and hiring managers in Saudi Arabia on the barriers to integrating women into the workplace. We show that personal opinions and manager demographics are of core importance: the features that are best able to identify firms that employ women are the respondent’s perceptions of women’s personal qualities, the cultural appropriateness of professional tasks, and the respondent’s own demographic characteristics. Other tangible costs or operational constraints to female hiring are second-order in a statistical sense. Firms that employ women are much more likely to view female employees favorably, and this seems to be the result of experience with women in the workplace rather than a manager’s broad attitude toward employing women.
DNA can fold into G-quadruplexes (GQs), non-canonical secondary structures formed by π-π stacking of G-tetrads. GQs are important in many biological processes, which makes them promising therapeutic targets. We identified a 42-nucleotides long purine-only G-rich sequence from human genome, which contains eight G-stretches connected by A and AAAA loops. We divided this sequence into five unique segments, four guanine stretches each, named GA1-5. In order to investigate the role of adenines in GQ structure formation, we performed biophysical and X-ray crystallographic studies of GA1-5 and their complexes with a highly selective GQ ligand, N-methyl mesoporphyrin IX (NMM). Our data indicate that all variants form parallel GQs whose stability depends on the number of flexible AAAA loops. GA1-3 bind NMM with 1:1 stoichiometry. The Ka for GA1 and GA3 is modest, ∼0.3 μM ⁻,¹ and that for GA2 is significantly higher, ∼1.2 μM ⁻.¹ NMM stabilizes GA1-3 by 14.6, 13.1, and 7.0 ℃, respectively, at 2 equivalents. We determined X-ray crystal structures of GA1-NMM (1.98 Å resolution) and GA3-NMM (2.01 Å). The structures confirm the parallel topology of GQs with all adenines forming loops and display NMM binding at the 3’ G-tetrad. Both complexes dimerize through the 5’ interface. We observe two novel structural features 1) a ‘symmetry tetrad’ at the dimer interface, which is formed by two guanines from each GQ monomer and 2) NMM dimer in GA1-NMM. Our structural work confirms great flexibility of adenines as structural elements in GQ formation and contributes greatly to our understanding of the structural diversity of GQs and their modes of interaction with small molecule ligands.
Intersectionality refers to the simultaneous and interacting effects of multiple group categorization on individuals with minoritized status, often leading to being perceived in a manner inconsistent with the additive contributions of those categories. For Black women, a number of findings have contributed to the idea that Black women have a unique perceived absence of status, for example, and are perceived as distinct from being Black or a woman. We sought to quantify and visualize the combined effects of race and gender on judgments of persons using data-defined dimensions (the Semantic Differential; Osgood et al. in The measurement of meaning, University of Illinois Press, Champaign, 1957). Our data suggest that gender and race contribute to orthogonal dimensions of difference in the perception of persons. Whereas white males, white females, and Black males all seem to be perceived in accord with additive effects in these two dimensions, Black females seem to be perceived more neutrally, as if neither their gender nor their race is treated as predictive.
Curiosity and interest describe two types of information search. As such, the two constructs serve different but overlapping educational purposes. Research addressing the practical implications of each, together with case materials, suggests that curiosity may be a particular type of trigger for interest. Such a link would benefit efforts to promote curiosity because interest development has been shown to enhance continued information search, improve performance and the coordinated development of self-efficacy and self-regulation. We suggest that future studies should address how the relation between individuals' level of curiosity and interest development can be best supported.
Researchers have found evidence of contextual bias in forensic science, but the discussion of contextual bias is currently qualitative. We formalise existing empirical research and show quantitatively how biases can be propagated throughout the legal system, all the way up to the final determination of guilt in a criminal trial. We provide a probabilistic framework for describing how information is updated in a forensic analysis setting by using the ratio form of Bayes' rule. We analyse results from empirical studies using this framework and employ simulations to demonstrate how bias can be compounded where experiments do not exist. We find that even minor biases in the earlier stages of forensic analysis can lead to large, compounded biases in the final determination of guilt in a criminal trial.
What are the connections between bodies, healing, and transcendence? I propose that by examining the intersections of the medical and the socio-cultural body with dance or the performative body, we can shine a critical light on this question. This paper brings Yoga and Indian dance together to explore how notions of health, spirituality, and morality came to be inscribed in particular kinds of bodies leading to selective ideas of bodily transcendence and spirituality in postcolonial India. I show through a diverse range of scholarships how the heterogeneous roots of Yoga have been homogenized in modern India as something Hindu and Brahminical (which is now integrated with rightwing Hindutva). Interestingly, the Indian classical dance revivalism shared the same logic as Yoga revivalism. As a result, the upper caste Hindu bodies distinguished themselves from their cultural others (Muslims and low caste Hindus) through concepts of purity, health, spirituality, and transcendence. I examine how some of these concepts of Yoga, dance, and embodiment from the east and west mingled in recent times and influenced narratives of ‘contemporary dance’ in India and the U.S. In these symbiotic, cross-cultural exchanges, concepts of somatics and neurobiology blended with modern Yoga and dance to render the elite, upper-caste/class bodies, and/or white bodies as universal, righteous, and transcultural.
This article describes the research design and findings from a use-inspired study of online text-based mathematics resources. We sought to understand whether and how existing mathematics interest, together with the learner characteristics of prior coursework in mathematics and proof scheme, influenced comprehension of mathematical argumentation and triggered interest in two types of mathematics text: (1) text featuring concrete, real-world applications (public domain) and (2) text with abstract and generalized modes of expression and content (abstract domain). Using an online assessment and person-centered analyses, we studied 64 (32 M, 32 F) undergraduate students who were and were not pursuing advanced mathematics coursework. Cluster analysis revealed two participant groups. Less mathematically immersed (LMI) participants improved comprehension of mathematical argumentation when working with public domain text, performing comparably to the more mathematically immersed (MMI) cluster in this domain; those in the MMI cluster performed comparably across text domains. In addition, LMI participants were more likely to identify public domain text as more interesting than abstract text, and they also were more likely than those in the MMI group to explain this by citing public rather than abstract domain reasons. Taken together, study findings suggest that interest in coordination with other learner characteristics scaffolds comprehension of mathematical argumentation. This study makes contributions to interest theory, understanding the role of interest in comprehension of mathematical argumentation, and ways in which practitioners might leverage student interest to promote comprehension.
Mesozooplankton abundance and community composition are influenced by hydrography and biological interactions. In subtropical systems influenced by seasonal monsoons, seasonal cycle of plankton communities could be disrupted and restructured by short but intense weather events. Our survey of a shallow subtropical embayment to the northern part of the South China Sea demonstrated temporal variations in zooplankton biomass and composition between monsoon periods: not only were the wet (summer monsoon) and dry (winter monsoon) periods distinctive from each other, but also the transition phase between the two. The meroplankton communities were distinct between the monsoon periods with fish, decapods and echinoderm peaked during the wet season and cirripedia bloomed in dry season. This pattern can be attributed to both changes in growth conditions and influx of individuals through monsoon-driven water currents. The community shift during the transitional phase, defined by the rapid changes in salinity and temperature, corresponded to the reported reproductive cycles of marine organisms, including commercially important fishes, crustaceans, and echinoderms. The interannual variability observed during the wet period reflected changes in rainfall between consecutive years, highlighting the importance of having a long time series with which to establish a baseline information to better manage nursery habitats like the one surveyed, particularly in light of increasing coastal development. Subtropical coastal zooplankton communities are highly dynamic with multiple pulses and interruptions driven by weather events.
The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) is happy to announce the winners for this year's Excellence in Refereeing Awards. Each year, three individuals are recognized for their contributions in providing the journal with timely, constructive, and insightful refereeing service over the past publication year. As recognition of JPAM's appreciation, the winners are each presented with a certificate of commendation and a cash prize of $500 dollars. The three winners for the publication year of July 2021 through June 2022 are Erin Todd Bronchetti (Swarthmore College), Lindsey Rose Bullinger (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Barton Willage (University of Colorado ‐ Denver). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
There is a pseudo-embryology existing today, well nourished by popular science, religious ideologies, and the public media. Just as eugenics was a pseudoscience that influenced (and still influences) American popular culture and which was responsible for racist anti-immigration laws (such as the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924), pseudo-embryology is also influencing popular culture and legislation. This new pseudoscience promotes the belief that science supports current zygotic and fetal personhood movements and anti-abortion legislation. However, what often passes for science are actually ideological myths, often grounded in and supporting male superiority. Indeed, the first myth of pseudo-embryology is that fertilization is a masculine act that can be viewed as a classical hero narrative. The second myth is that fertilization is ensoulment, allowing it to displace the feminine act of birth as to when life begins. Here, DNA is seen to play the secular analogue of soul. The third myth is that the fetus in the womb is an independent autonomous entity and that birth merely moves the fetus from the womb to the outside world. This expresses the “seed-in-the-soil” myth that was also prevalent in ancient cultures. In this manner, masculine stories of fertilization are valorized while feminine narratives of birth are suppressed. So when public narratives discuss what “science” says about when human life begins, we are not really discussing science. Rather, we are allowing our discussions to fall back into tenacious ancient misogynist myths that have nothing to do with the conclusions of modern developmental biology.
Organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) are a chemically diverse class of commonly used insecticides. Epidemiological studies suggest that low dose chronic prenatal and infant exposures can lead to life-long neurological damage and behavioral disorders. While inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the shared mechanism of acute OP neurotoxicity, OP-induced developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) can occur independently and/or in the absence of significant AChE inhibition, implying that OPs affect alternative targets. Moreover, different OPs can cause different adverse outcomes, suggesting that different OPs act through different mechanisms. These findings emphasize the importance of comparative studies of OP toxicity. Freshwater planarians are an invertebrate system that uniquely allows for automated, rapid and inexpensive testing of adult and developing organisms in parallel to differentiate neurotoxicity from DNT. Effects found only in regenerating planarians would be indicative of DNT, whereas shared effects may represent neurotoxicity. We leverage this unique feature of planarians to investigate potential differential effects of OPs on the adult and developing brain by performing a comparative screen to test 7 OPs (acephate, chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, diazinon, malathion, parathion and profenofos) across 10 concentrations in quarter-log steps. Neurotoxicity was evaluated using a wide range of quantitative morphological and behavioral readouts. AChE activity was measured using an Ellman assay. The toxicological profiles of the 7 OPs differed across the OPs and between adult and regenerating planarians. Toxicological profiles were not correlated with levels of AChE inhibition. Twenty-two “mechanistic control compounds” known to target pathways suggested in the literature to be affected by OPs (cholinergic neurotransmission, serotonin neurotransmission, endocannabinoid system, cytoskeleton, adenyl cyclase and oxidative stress) and 2 negative controls were also screened. When compared with the mechanistic control compounds, the phenotypic profiles of the different OPs separated into distinct clusters. The phenotypic profiles of adult vs. regenerating planarians exposed to the OPs clustered differently, suggesting some developmental-specific mechanisms. These results further support findings in other systems that OPs cause different adverse outcomes in the (developing) brain and build the foundation for future comparative studies focused on delineating the mechanisms of OP neurotoxicity in planarians.
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881 members
Alexander T Baugh
  • Department of Biology
Frank H Durgin
  • Department of Psychology
Daniela Fera
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jeanne Marecek
  • Department of Psychology
Matthew S Leslie
  • Department of Biology
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