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Erie, PA, United States

Mercyhurst University, formerly Mercyhurst College, is a Catholic liberal arts college in Erie, Pennsylvania in the United States. Wikipedia.

Mauro S.A.,Mercyhurst College | Koudelka G.B.,State University of New York at Buffalo
Toxins | Year: 2011

In this review, we highlight recent work that has increased our understanding of the production and distribution of Shiga toxin in the environment. Specifically, we review studies that offer an expanded view of environmental reservoirs for Shiga toxin producing microbes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We then relate the abundance of Shiga toxin in the environment to work that demonstrates that the genetic mechanisms underlying the production of Shiga toxin genes are modified and embellished beyond the classical microbial gene regulatory paradigms in a manner that apparently -fine tunes{norm of matrix} the trigger to modulate the amount of toxin produced. Last, we highlight several recent studies examining microbe/protist interactions that postulate an answer to the outstanding question of why microbes might harbor and express Shiga toxin genes in the environment. © 2011 by the authors.

McBride D.L.,Mercyhurst College
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

It is commonly known that students have difficulty connecting the techniques they learn in math classes with necessary steps for solving physics problems. In this study, introductory-level physics students were given a set of pure math problems and a set of physics problems that required them to use the exact same mathematical processes. The students were then asked to pair the analogous problems and explain the pairings. Presented here are the results of that study, which support previous findings that students have difficulty determining how the two are connected and give some insight into what can be done to help scaffold that connection in the future. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Jones C.D.,Mercyhurst College
Journal of Chemical Education | Year: 2011

A term-paper assignment that encompasses the full scientific method has been developed and implemented in an undergraduate science writing and communication course with no laboratory component. Students are required to develop their own hypotheses, design experiments to test their hypotheses, and collect empirical data as independent scientists in their personal laboratories-their kitchens. Motivating students to use food preparation as a chemical experiment does more than just provide them with adequate data for their term papers. Students develop a new awareness for experimental variables, acquire experimental planning and development expertise, and gain an enhanced set of independent thinking skills. This inquiry-based assignment requires students to treat edible ingredients as a chemicals and kitchen equipment as scientific instrumentation. Students are required to provide correctly formatted scientific terms for all consumables and equipment, and they are encouraged to bring experimental results into the classroom to gather statistical taste-test data. Students submit their term papers as communication-type manuscripts, formatted using the communication-style template for The Journal of the American Chemical Society. The details and outcomes of this assignment are described along with sample excerpts from student papers over the past few years. Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Sorensen C.M.,Kansas State University | Mcbride D.L.,Mercyhurst College | Rebello N.S.,Kansas State University
American Journal of Physics | Year: 2011

The use of interactive engagement strategies to improve learning in introductory physics is not new, but have not been used as often for upper-division physics courses. We describe the development and implementation of a Studio Optics course for upper-division physics majors at Kansas State University. The course adapts a three-stage Karplus learning cycle and other elements to foster an environment that promotes learning through an integration of lecture, laboratories, and problem solving. Some of the instructional materials are described. We discuss the evaluation of the course using data collected from student interviews, a conceptual survey, an attitudinal survey, and the instructor's reflections. Overall, students responded positively to the new format and showed modest gains in learning. The instructor's experiences compared favorably with the traditional course that he had taught in the past. © 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers.

Moore M.,RAND Corporation | Dausey D.J.,RAND Corporation | Dausey D.J.,Mercyhurst College
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2011

Background: Soon after the 2009-H1N1 virus emerged as the first influenza pandemic in 41 years, countries had an early opportunity to test their preparedness plans, protocols and procedures, including their cooperation with other countries in responding to the global pandemic threat. The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance cooperation (MBDS) comprises six countries - Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam - that formally organized themselves in 2001 to cooperate in disease surveillance and control. The pandemic presented an opportunity to assess their responses in light of their individual and joint planning. We conducted two surveys of the MBDS leadership from each country, early during the pandemic and shortly after it ended. Results: On average, participants rated their country's pandemic response performance as good in both 2009 and 2010. Post-pandemic (2010), perceived performance quality was best for facility-based interventions (overall mean of 4.2 on a scale from 1 = poor to 5 = excellent), followed by surveillance and information sharing (4.1), risk communications (3.9) and disease prevention and control in communities (3.7). Performance was consistently rated as good or excellent for use of hotlines for case reporting (2010 mean of 4.4) and of selected facility-based interventions (each with a 2010 mean of 4.4): using hospital admission criteria, preparing or using isolation areas, using PPE for healthcare workers and using antiviral drugs for treatment. In at least half the countries, the post-pandemic ratings were lower than initial 2009 assessments for performance related to surveillance, facility-based interventions and risk communications. Conclusions: MBDS health leaders perceived their pandemic responses effective in areas previously considered problematic. Most felt that MBDS cooperation helped drive and thus added value to their efforts. Surveillance capacity within countries and surveillance information sharing across countries, longstanding MBDS focus areas, were cited as particular strengths. Several areas needing further improvement are already core strategies in the 2011-2016 MBDS Action Plan. Self-organized sub-regional cooperation in disease surveillance is increasingly recognized as an important new element in global disease prevention and control. Our findings suggest that more research is needed to understand the characteristics of networking that will result in the best shared outcomes. © 2011 Moore et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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