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Tschakert P.,Pennsylvania State University | Tschakert P.,University of Western Australia | Tuana N.,Pennsylvania State University | Westskog H.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | And 2 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2016

There is growing recognition of the role of values and visioning for transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge and social transformation. Mapping and deliberating values and envisioning desirable futures are seen as important aspects of transformational learning. TCHANGE (Addressing the Climate Crisis through Value Transformation) aimed to examine how values and anticipating future pathways could be assessed in collaboration with transformational communities. Initially, researchers and practitioners from five countries had divergent views about methodological standards, reflecting distinct ontologies and asymmetrical power relations within the team. However, the emerging tension between scientific rigor, societal relevance, and experiential learning proved productive for flexibility in the problem framing and team building phase of the transdisciplinary co-design process. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.. Source


Parboosing R.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Naidoo A.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Gordon M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Taylor M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Vella V.,Africa co
Journal of Medical Virology | Year: 2011

In 2004, KwaZulu-Natal initiated one of the world's largest HIV/AIDS treatment programs. Studies in South Africa have shown that patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) develop rapidly and transmit drug resistant mutations. Since resistance testing is not widely available in Kwazulu-Natal, the Department of Health conducted the first HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) threshold survey in 2005, which did not identify any mutations associated with HIVDR. The objective of this study was to conduct a follow-up threshold survey to update the information on HIVDR. This study was conducted in 2009 in five antenatal care sites in Kwazulu-Natal using the HIVDR threshold survey method developed by WHO. Two hundred and thirteen newly-diagnosed HIV positive, drug-naïve primigravidae, less than 22 years of age were included in the survey. Of the 82 HIV positive specimens, 17 had insufficient volume for genotyping and, of the remaining 65, 47 were genotyped sequentially. Drug resistance was identified by sequencing the HIV-1 pol gene, using the ViroSeq® HIV-1 genotyping system v2.0. Of the 47 samples that were genotyped, only one presented with a K103N mutation, which equates to a prevalence of transmitted HIVDR of <5%. The low prevalence of transmitted HIVDR is in keeping with statistical models of the early stages of ART rollout. As ART coverage is increasing continuously, there is a need to ensure that vigilance of HIVDR continues so that the emergence and spread of HIVDR is minimized. This survey should be repeated in 2011, in accordance with WHO guidelines. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source


Zhang P.,Harbin Medical University | Xia J.,Africa co | Li R.,Heze University
Journal of Networks | Year: 2013

This paper focuses on how to retrieve personalized multimedia information based on user interest which can be mined from user profile. After analyzing the related works, a general structure of the personalized multimedia information retrieval system is given, which combines online module and offline module. Firstly, we collect a large-sale of photos from multimedia information sharing websites. Then, we record the information of the users who upload the multimedia information. For a given user, we save his history data which could describe the multimedia data. Secondly, the relationship between contents of multimedia data and semantic information is analyzed and then the user interest model is constructed by a modified LDA model which can integrate all the influencing factors in the task of multimedia information retrieval. Thirdly, the query distributions of all the topics can be estimated by the proposed modified LDA model. Thirdly, based on the above offline computing process, the online personalized multimedia information ranking algorithm is given which utilize the user interest model and the query word. Fourthly, multimedia information retrieval results are obtained using the proposed personalized multimedia information ranking algorithm. Finally, performance evaluation is conducted by a series of experiments to test the performance of the proposed algorithm compared with other methods on different datasets. © 2013 ACADEMY PUBLISHER. Source


Abolnik C.,Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute | Gerdes G.H.,Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute | Sinclair M.,Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory | Ganzevoort B.W.,Africa co | And 7 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2010

Influenza A strains emerging from wild birds are a constant threat to South Africa's valuable ostrich industry. In 2004 and again in 2006, low pathogenicity avian influenza H5N2 strains introduced from a wild bird reservoir mutated in ostriches to high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI), with serious economic consequences and export bans imposed by the European Union. Although no outbreaks of notifiable avian influenza have occurred in South Africa since 2006, the H9N2 virus caused a localized outbreak where ostriches displayed symptoms of green urine, depression, and mild morbidity. Most recently, an outbreak of H10N7 in farmed Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) caused increased mortalities, but this was exacerbated by a secondary Escherichia coli infection, because an intravenous pathogenicity index of 0.00 was recorded. Each of the eight gene segments of the five strains isolated from 2007 to 2009 from farmed ostriches in the Oudtshoorn region (H6N8, H9N2), Pekin ducks (H10N7, Joostenburgvlakte region), and wild Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegypticus; H1N8, Baberspan wetlands; H4N2, Oudtshoorn region) were sequenced, genetically analyzed, and compared to previous South African isolates and viruses in the public data banks. An H5N8 strain was also detected by reverse-transcription PCR in cloacal swabs from swift terns (Sterna bergii) in the Mosselbaai region during 2007, although a virus could not be isolated. Initial phylogenetic results indicate that H6N8 and H9N2 ostrich and H10N7 Pekin duck viruses originated in the wild bird population that is geographically dispersed throughout southern Africa, based on the reassortment of viral genes from birds sampled outside of the ostrich farming areas. No evidence of internal genes associated with Asian HPAI H5N1 strains were detected in the South African isolates. © 2010 American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source


Li G.-C.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Wang H.-J.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Wu A.-X.,University of Science and Technology Beijing | Yang P.,Africa co
Gongcheng Kexue Xuebao/Chinese Journal of Engineering | Year: 2016

Pumping agents can improve the fluidity of paste slurries. However, the effecting mechanism of pumping agents on the coagulability of paste slurries is not made clear. To solve this problem, a pumping agent was added for compression strength tests and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) observations. Compression strength test results indicate that the pumping agent can improve the coagulability of paste slurries, and the more the pumping agent amount, the better the coagulability of paste slurries. ESEM observation results show that large size floccules and pores decrease after adding the pumping agent, and the paste's microstructure is changed. The fractal dimensions of the paste's microstructure images were calculated based on the image processing technology and fractal theory, and the structure was quantitatively analyzed. The mechanism of improving the coagulability of paste slurries was discussed. It is found that the coagulability of paste slurries is affected by changing the size and number of flocculants, the porosity and the hydration reaction. © All right reserved. Source

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