Hexbyte Glen Cove Gender differences exist even among university students' wage expectations thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Gender differences exist even among university students’ wage expectations

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Gender wage gaps are a well-documented issue, and expectations related to this phenomenon seem to be present even among university students discussing future employment, according to a study published June 2, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ana Fernandes from the Berner Fachhochschule and the University of Fribourg and Martin Huber from the University of Fribourg, and Giannina Vaccaro from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

The is a well-established phenomenon in today’s , with elements both explainable (e.g. certain job paths being predominantly held by one gender) and as-yet unexplained. In this paper, the authors assessed the effect of gender on wage expectations in .

To gather their data, the authors surveyed a total of 865 students across two Swiss universities. The survey covered general demographic information; professional information, e.g. the type of job and workplace the student hoped to have after graduation and their expected wage (both directly after graduation and three years on); and , e.g. hopes for a future family and/or children, preferences between full- and part-time work in the presence of children, home location, etc. One version of the survey included a bar graph with information on monthly gross income in the private sector.

There was a gender wage gap even among expected wages for surveyed students: this gap was 9.7 percent directly following graduation, and 11.6 percent for wages three years afterward. When comparing expected wages from the students surveyed to averages of actual wages from comparable graduates, the authors found that both men and women were optimistic about their expected wages: on average, ‘ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 13 percent, whereas female students’ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 11.2 percent. Interestingly, for those students given the extra bar graph of gross income information, male students actually increased their average expected wages (incorrectly, based on the actual wages of similar graduates), while female students tended to decrease their average expected wages.

The authors note that including the personal and professional responses in their greatly reduced (by approximately 30 percent) the direct, unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations. Nevertheless, a non-negligible, statistically significant direct, unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations remains for most cases under several statistical models considered.

The authors add: “Males typically forecast higher future earnings than females. We find that a broad set of personal and professional controls—collected in an own survey of two Swiss institutions of higher education—largely accounts for those gender differences in expectations across most empirical specifications.”



More information:
Fernandes A, Huber M, Vaccaro G (2021) Gender differences in wage expectations. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0250892. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250892

Citation:
Gender differences exist even among university students’ wage expectations (2021, June 2)
retrieved 2 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-gender-differences-university-students-wage.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Dead zones formed repeatedly in North Pacific during warm climates, study finds thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Dead zones formed repeatedly in North Pacific during warm climates, study finds

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Sediment cores from the Bering Sea hold a record of past low-oxygen events in the form of layered or “laminated” sediments. Credit: IODP

An analysis of sediment cores from the Bering Sea has revealed a recurring relationship between warmer climates and abrupt episodes of low-oxygen “dead zones” in the subarctic North Pacific Ocean over the past 1.2 million years.

The new study, led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, was published June 2 in Science Advances. The findings provide crucial information for understanding the causes of low oxygen or “hypoxia” in the North Pacific and for predicting the occurrence of hypoxic conditions in the future.

“It is essential to understand whether is pushing the oceans toward a ‘tipping point’ for abrupt and severe hypoxia that would destroy ecosystems, food sources, and economies,” said first author Karla Knudson, who led the study as a graduate student in Earth sciences at UCSC.

The researchers based their findings on an analysis of deep sediment cores from a site in the Bering Sea. Over long periods of time, sediments are deposited and build up on the seafloor. The activity of organisms living in the seafloor sediments usually disrupts and mixes them as they accumulate, but if hypoxia has killed those organisms, an orderly pattern of layers is preserved. Thus, scientists can find a record of past hypoxic events in the form of these layered or “laminated” sediments in cores drilled from the seafloor.

Scientists have long known about a major episode of widespread hypoxia in the North Pacific at the end of the last ice age, when the melting of the ice sheets sent a massive influx of fresh water into the . The new study provides the first records of earlier low-oxygen events, and shows that the most recent occurrence was not representative of most of these events in terms of mechanisms or timing.

“It doesn’t take a huge perturbation like melting ice sheets for this to happen,” said corresponding author Ana Christina Ravelo, professor of ocean sciences at UC Santa Cruz. “These abrupt hypoxic events are actually common in the geologic record, and they are not typically associated with deglaciation. They almost always happen during the warm interglacial periods, like the one we’re in now.”

The hypoxia occurs after intense growth of phytoplankton (marine algae) in the surface waters. When the phytoplankton die, they sink deeper into the ocean and decompose, which depletes the oxygen and releases carbon dioxide into the water below the surface. What triggers these events, however, remains unclear. Ocean warming, high sea levels, and the availability of iron (a limiting factor for growth of phytoplankton) all seem to play a role.

Crew members abroad the research vessel JOIDES Resolution drilled sediment cores from the seafloor in the Bering Sea during a 2009 IODP expedition on which UCSC ocean scientist Christina Ravelo was co-chief scientist. Credit: Carlos Alvarez Zarikian, IODP/TAMU

“Our study shows that high sea levels, which occur during warm interglacial climates, contributed to these hypoxic events,” Knudson said. “During high sea levels, dissolved iron from the flooded can be transferred to the open ocean and promote intense phytoplankton growth in the surface waters.”

Although high sea level is an important background condition, it is not enough to trigger a hypoxic event by itself. Changes in ocean circulation, including intensified upwelling to bring more nutrients into the surface waters and stronger currents that could transfer iron from the continental shelf to the open ocean, may play a critical role, Knudson said.

Currently, regional dead zones occur in coastal areas around the world due to the temperature effects of climate warming, as well as nutrient enrichment of coastal waters from agricultural fertilizers. But even the massive dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River pales in comparison to the widespread hypoxia that occurred all across the North Pacific Ocean at the end of the last ice age.

Because the new study is based on sediment cores from a single site, the researchers do not know the extent of the it records—whether they were confined to the Bering Sea or extended across the North Pacific rim as the most recent event did.

“We don’t know how extensive they were, but we do know they were very intense and lasted longer than the deglaciation event that has been so well studied,” said Ravelo, who was co-chief scientist of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 323, which recovered the Bering Sea cores in 2009.

Knudson said the cores record multiple events during each interglacial period throughout the Pleistocene, with abrupt transitions where laminated sediments appear and disappear in the core.

The new findings raise concerns about whether climate change and ocean warming will lead to a tipping point that would trigger widespread hypoxia in the North Pacific Ocean.

“The system is primed for this type of event happening,” Ravelo said. “We need to know how extensive they were, and we need to rethink how these events are triggered, because we now know that it doesn’t take a huge perturbation. This study sets the stage for a lot of follow-up work.”



More information:
“Causes and timing of recurring subarctic Pacific hypoxia” Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg2906

Citation:
Dead zones formed repeatedly in North Pacific during warm climates, study finds (2021, June 2)
retrieved 2 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-dead-zones-repeatedly-north-pacific.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permissio

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Why moms take risks to protect their infants thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Why moms take risks to protect their infants

Hexbyte Glen Cove

The elevated pup-retrieval test was used to assess the willingness of mice to care for infants in risky/dangerous situations. See the accompanying video for the results. Credit: RIKEN

It might seem like a given that mothers take extra risks to protect their children, but have you ever wondered why? A new study led by Kumi Kuroda at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan shows that in mice, this and other nurturing behaviors are driven in part by neurons in a small part of the forebrain that contains a protein called the calcitonin receptor. The study was published in Cell Reports.

Many simple behaviors, such as eating and drinking, are driven by parts of the hypothalamus. The new study focused on identifying the part that drives a much more complicated behavior: caring for infants. Kuroda says, “We were able to narrow down the necessary for parental and non- in to a subset of in the central MPOA region that contain the receptor.”

The team’s previous research pointed to the central MPOA (cMPOA) region of the hypothalamus as the hub of nurturing behavior. This part of the brain contains more than seven kinds of neurons, and the goal of the new study was to find a marker for the ones which are the most important for nurturing. The researchers visualized 20 candidate genes in the cMPOA of nurturing mice together with a marker for active neurons. Double labeling was highest for the calcitonin receptor gene, making it the most likely marker for nurturing-related neurons.

Next, the researchers examined these neurons in detail. There were three major findings. First, the number of cMPOA neurons with the calcitonin receptor was higher in post-partum than in virgin females, males, or fathers. Second, incoming and outgoing connections to these neurons from other parts of the brain changed in females after they gave birth. Third, silencing these neurons completely disrupted nurturing behavior. Nurturing behaviors in mice include , hovering over pups in the nest, and picking pups up and bringing them back to the nest—termed pup retrieval. After the critical neurons were silenced, virgin females left pups scattered around the cage, even after mating and birthing their own pups. Other behaviors such as nursing and nest building were also affected, and the mothers acted overall as if they had little motivation for nurturing behavior. As a result, many pups could not survive without intervention.







A virgin female mouse and a mother mouse are tested on the elevated pup-retrieval maze. As in the example, only mother mice retrieved the pups in this situation (although virgin mice did so willingly in the home cage when it was not dangerous). When the calcitonin receptor was downregulated, mothers also hesitated to take the risk. Credit: RIKEN

After establishing that cMPOA neurons expressing the calcitonin receptor are necessary for nurturing, the researchers hypothesized that the receptor itself has a special function in generating the enhanced motivation for nurturing observed in mothers. To test this hypothesis, the team devised a new pup retrieval test. Instead of placing the pups around the edges of their home cage, they placed them on an elevated maze. Being out in the arms of the elevated maze is a little unpleasant and scary for mice. Virgin females that would retrieve pups in the cage refused to do it in the elevated maze. In contrast, mother mice always retrieved the pups, showing that their drive to nurture was greater. However, when calcitonin receptor levels were reduced by about half, even mother mice hesitated and took much longer to complete the retrievals.

“Parents, both human and animal, must choose to sacrifice one behavior for another in order to care for their children,” says Kuroda. “We found that upregulation of the calcitonin receptor is like a push in the brain that motivates mice to care for their pups, suppressing their self-interest and tendency to avoid risky and unpleasant situations.”

“The next step is to examine calcitonin receptor-expressing cMPOA neuron’s role in the nurturing behavior of non-human primates, which should be more similar to what happens in humans.”



More information:
Yoshihara et al. (2021) Calcitonin receptor signaling in the medial preoptic area enables risk-taking maternal care. Cell Reports DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109204

Citation:
Why moms take risks to protect their infants (2021, June 1)
retrieved 1 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-moms-infants.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Hexbyte Glen Cove The secret to stickiness of mussels underwater thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove The secret to stickiness of mussels underwater

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

Mussels survive by sticking to rocks in the fierce waves or tides underwater. Materials mimicking this underwater adhesion are widely used for skin or bone adhesion, for modifying the surface of a scaffold, or even in drug or cell delivery systems. However, these materials have not entirely imitated the capabilities of mussels.

A joint research team from POSTECH and Kangwon National University (KNU)—led by Professor Hyung Joon Cha and Ph.D. candidate Mincheol Shin of the Department of Chemical Engineering at POSTECH with Professor Young Mee Jeong and Dr. Yeonju Park of the Department of Chemistry at KNU—has analyzed Dopa and , which are the amino acids that make up the surface secreted by mussels, and verified that their roles are related to their location. The team has taken a step closer to revealing the secret of underwater adhesion by uncovering that these can contribute to surface adhesion and cohesion differently depending on their specific location.

The characteristic of mussel adhesive proteins that have been mimicked so far is that they contain a large number of a unique amino acid called Dopa. Dopa is a modified amino acid with one more attached to tyrosine, and research on underwater adhesion started with the fact that Dopa makes up a large component of the adhesive protein.

However, the research team questioned the fact that this excellent underwater adhesion of mussels is enabled by only one molecule and focused on observing the number and location of lysine, which is an amino acid as frequently occurring as Dopa.

As a result, the research team uncovered that Dopa and lysine are attached to each other with about half the probability. On the other hand, it was revealed that unlike what has been known so far, when Dopa and lysine are attached together, they do not always produce positive synergy. The researchers confirmed that in the case of the cation-π interaction, negative synergy is rather produced.

When Dopa and lysine are together, a difference in the density of water molecules occurs at the and the concentration of water molecules around Dopa is lowered. This lowered concentration enables a difference in the hydrogen bonding strength between the and the hydroxyl group of Dopa, thereby lowering the structural stability of the cation-π complex. Using Raman spectroscopy, the research team confirmed that the CH2 group located in the lysine chain situated close to Dopa and catechol of the adjacent Dopa form an intramolecular interaction, thereby lowering its stability.

The findings of this study make it possible to confirm how adhesive protein of mussels was designed, and it shows promise to be applicable for research on adhesive proteins of other organisms in the future.

“With this new discovery on the synergy between Dopa and lysine, which are known to always play a positive role in underwater adhesion, it will change the framework of the way adhesive materials are designed,” remarked Professor Hyung Joon Cha who led the research.

This research, which was recently published in Chemistry of Materials, was conducted as a part of the study titled “Understanding the underwater adhesion mechanism of adhesive organisms: controlling the balance between surface and cohesion,” which is a Mid-career Researcher Program of the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea.



More information:
Mincheol Shin et al, Two Faces of Amine–Catechol Pair Synergy in Underwater Cation−π Interactions, Chemistry of Materials (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c00079

Provided by
Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

Citation:
The secret to stickiness of mussels underwater (2021, June 1)
retrieved 1 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-secret-stickiness-mussels-underwater.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Mind the nanogap: Fast and sensitive oxygen gas sensors thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Mind the nanogap: Fast and sensitive oxygen gas sensors

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Tokyo Tech

Oxygen (O2) is an essential gas not only for us and most other lifeforms, but also for many industrial processes, biomedicine, and environmental monitoring applications. Given the importance of O2 and other gases, many researchers have focused on developing and improving gas-sensing technologies. At the frontier of this evolving field lie modern nanogap gas sensors—devices usually comprised of a sensing material and two conducting electrodes that are separated by a minuscule gap in the order of nanometers (nm), or thousand millionths of a meter. When molecules of specific gases get inside this gap, they electronically interact with the sensing layer and the electrodes, altering measurable electric properties such as the resistance between the electrodes. In turn, this allows one to indirectly measure the concentration of a given gas.

Although nanogap gas sensors bear many more attractive properties than the closely related microgap gas sensors, they have proven much more difficult to mass produce reliably for gap distances in the order of tens of nanometers. At the Laboratory for Materials and Structures of Tokyo Tech, a team of scientists led by Dr. Yutaka Majima is seeking ways to fabricate better nanogap sensors. In their latest study, which was published in Sensors & Actuators: B. Chemical, the team presents a new strategy to produce nanogap oxygen gas sensors using platinum/titanium (Pt/Ti) electrodes and a cerium oxide (CeO2) sensing layer.

Two sensor designs were tested by Prof. Majima and his team. In the bottom-contact design, the CeO2 sensing layer is first deposited onto a silicon substrate and the two Pt/Ti electrodes are laid on top of the CeO2 through (EBL). With EBL, one draws custom shapes on a resist film using a focused beam of electrons with extreme precision. This then allows for the selective etching or evaporation of Pt/Ti regions, thus giving shape to the nanogap electrodes. The other design (top-contact) was produced using EBL as well, but the CeO2 was applied on top of the Pt/Ti electrodes as a thin coating layer.

With this fabrication strategy, the team managed to reliably produce stable Pt nanogaps as small as 20 nm, which was unprecedented in the literature. Both sensor designs exhibited similar and highly promising performances, as Dr. Majima remarks: “For a gap separation of 35 nm, our nanogap O2 gas sensors exhibited a fast response time of 10 seconds at a relatively low operating temperature of 573 K (300 °C); this is approximately three orders of magnitude shorter than that of microgap sensors under the same measurement conditions.” Moreover, their procedure offers better scalability than those for previously developed nanogap gas sensors.

In addition to the sensor designs, this study provided important insights on the electron hopping mechanisms by which O2 molecules modulate the resistance between the Pt electrodes in the presence of CeO2 at the nanogap. Taken together, the results of this study are paving the way to better gas-sensing devices, as Dr. Majima concludes: “Our nanogap gas sensors could be promising candidates for the development of a general gas-sensing platform with a low operating temperature.” In due time, nanogap gas shall surely find their way into more fields of application, including wearable biomedical devices, industrial condition monitoring, and environmental sensing.



More information:
Trong Tue Phan et al, 20-nm-Nanogap oxygen gas sensor with solution-processed cerium oxide, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2021.130098

Citation:
Mind the nanogap: Fast and sensitive oxygen gas sensors (2021, June 1)
retrieved 1 June 2021

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