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Inequality, Is the rich getting richer and the poor poorer in America and around the world?

Inequality, Is the rich getting richer and the poor poorer in America and around the world?.

Instructor/PNT GUIDE5 pages excluding 1. Cover Page ( TITLE OF PAPER: THE QUESTION /Date2. Table of Contents 3. SUMMARY (10 sentences) the findings about the research for midterm and final/paper/policy brief 4. What is the issue? And The Question: Frame a question to address the issue. Your paper must respond to only one question 5. Background Info It must be referenced Text Citation/APA style but within the PNT GUIDE6. Arguments For It must have referenced Text Citation/APA style but within the PNT GUIDE 7. Arguments Against It must have referenced Text Citation/APA style but within the PNT GUIDE 8. Contradictions 9. Policy Recommendation (s) referenced Text Citation/APA style but within the PNT GUIDE 10. Personal opinion 11. Minimum of 5 references and three of them must be from non-profit organization/Think-Tank/Academic Journal /In the Final Exam/Policy Brief you require ten references/You must conduct an interview (for final exam) with a Non-Profit or and submit it with Final Paper/Policy Brief
Inequality, Is the rich getting richer and the poor poorer in America and around the world?

Campbellsville University Scientific Management Paper.

Within each module, there is a list of key terms. Each student will select one of the key terms
and conduct a search of Campbellsville University’s online Library resources to find 1 recent
peer reviewed article (within the past 3 years) that closely relate to the concept. Your
submission must include the following information in the following format:
DEFINITION: a brief definition of the key term followed by the APA reference for the term; this
does not count in the word requirement. SUMMARY: Summarize the article in your own words- this should be in the 150-200-word
range. Be sure to note the article’s author, note their credentials and why we should put any
weight behind his/her opinions, research or findings regarding the key term. DISCUSSION: Using 300-350 words, write a brief discussion, in your own words of how the
article relates to the selected chapter Key Term. A discussion is not rehashing what was already
stated in the article, but the opportunity for you to add value by sharing your experiences,
thoughts and opinions. This is the mostimportant part of the assignment. REFERENCES: All references must be listed at the bottom of the submission–in APA format.
(continued) Be sure to use the headers in your submission to ensure that all aspects of the
assignment are completed as required.
Campbellsville University Scientific Management Paper

You must take photographs of the actual humans.After you have collected at least 18 examples, make a visual diary (tile images) of all you have found. You may include up to 3 “tiled” pictures.. I don’t know how to handle this Art & Design question and need guidance.

A number of the artworks we studied in this chapter seem to fall outside strict definitions of art. In the United States, we generally do not consider tattooing as art, nor body painting, or hair styling. Yet probably we have all seen examples of piercing, tattooing, hair cutting and styles of dressing that seem like artistic expressions. In some cases, the boundary between art and fashion is hard to determine. For this topic, you will have to take photos of people! Their “outfits”, hair, nails, tattoos, earrings, etc- IF it’s dynamic enough to be considered of aesthetic interest- you’ll know because it will catch your eye or seem out of he ordinary.
ART EXPERIENCE: photograph of a large selection of “body art” (NOT to be confused with just tattooing) in your daily life. Not from the internet. You must take photographs of the actual humans. The people can be your family, friends, or willing strangers.
After you have collected at least 18 examples, make a visual diary (tile images) of all you have found. You may include up to 3 “tiled” pictures.
Include this visual diary as a series of a few Instagram layout “tiled pictures”. Please describe the aesthetic decisions that you are identifying (the ways I’m which individuals choose to make “personal” art.
Each “tiled image” should have a several photos, that are all describing the same personal art form.
The “tiled image should be similar in layout to the last several discussion topics.
You must take photographs of the actual humans.After you have collected at least 18 examples, make a visual diary (tile images) of all you have found. You may include up to 3 “tiled” pictures.

CSU How Leaders Influence Employees Innovative Behaviour Discussion

CSU How Leaders Influence Employees Innovative Behaviour Discussion.

In this discussion, you will evaluate, differentiate, and interconnect the dynamics of power and influence of an organizational leader. In your response, consider the traits, values, ethics, and skills found in effective leaders.APPLICATION: As you generate your response, consider an organization or a leader you know or have read about. Provide specific examples to support your discussion.Instructions:Identify the leader or organization.Select a characteristic or value that you think is important to this leaders or organizations success.Discuss this characteristic or value in the context of the topic of power versus influence in organizational leadership.Your original post should be no more than three to four paragraphs written in clear, concise form. Support your writing with at least two scholarly sources that are in addition to required readings, and cite using APA style. When responding to other posts, discuss the findings and assess the effective use of the critical inquiry method. Do the findings resonate with your own experiences with and knowledge about leadership practices? Why or why not? Support your position.
CSU How Leaders Influence Employees Innovative Behaviour Discussion

Effect of Weight Loss in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

essay writing help Share this: Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn WhatsApp Introduction The increasing prevalence of obesity has been a major global public health threat. The National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization guidelines define individuals with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 as overweight and those with BMI ≥30 kg/m2 as obese. Worldwide, more than 1.9 billion 18 years and older population were overweight and among these, over 650 million were obese in 2016 (1). In the United State, the prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of adults in 2016 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2). Obesity is a well-known risk factor for mortality, morbidity, and disability, and has been linked to a rising number of metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension (3). It also has a direct impact on the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition identified as the gradual loss of kidney function over time. CKD refers to all 5 stages of kidney damage, from very mild damage in Stage 1 to complete kidney failure (ESRD) in Stage 5. The stages of kidney disease are based on the eGFR level, which is a blood test that measures the efficiency of kidneys filter waste from the blood. In addition, microalbuminuria and proteinuria are also markers of CKD and they are used to predict the progression of CKD. Currently, CKD affects 30 million people in the U.S. (15% of the adult population). Moreover, more than 660,000 Americans are being treated for kidney failure, or ESRD (4). The association between obesity and the rising rates of diabetes and hypertension is well-understood and the pathways that draw the connection between obesity and these two conditions are well-established. This is important since diabetes and hypertension are the leading causes of CKD. Moreover, a number of observational studies suggest that obesity is an independent risk factor for CKD patients with or without those comorbidities. Compared with patients with body mass indexes (BMIs) <25 kg/m2, patients with severe obesity have a 341% increased risk of developing ESRD (5). Weight loss is an effective tool in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, the consequence of intentional weight loss for patients with established renal damage, independently of diabetes and hypertension control, remains unknown. This review will provide a summary of the pathophysiology, review of literature, discussion of important findings, existing controversies about the effect of weight loss in patients with chronic kidney disease. Background Pathophysiology Numerous observational studies have shown that there is an association between obesity and both the development and the progression of CKD (6). Excessive body fat leads to a series of metabolic changes which negatively affect different body systems including the kidney. The exact mechanisms underlying how obesity may cause or aggravate CKD remain unclear. Current scientific evidence suggests that the pathophysiology associated with obesity-related kidney disease may be multifactorial. Several contributing factors of kidney damage have been proposed (6). The main contributing factors are metabolic effects, which may directly or indirectly affect renal structure and function These include inflammation, insulin resistance, and adipokine dysregulation. Some of the detrimental renal consequences of obesity may be mediated by downstream comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus or hypertension. However, adipose tissue may impact the kidney function directly. Specifically, the endocrine activity of the adipose tissue can affect renal function through the production of adiponectin, leptin, and resistin. Adipokine dysregulation induces the development of inflammation, oxidative stress, abnormal lipid metabolism, activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and increased production of insulin and insulin resistance (6). These negative consequences of metabolic changes led to specific disorders in the kidneys, including “ectopic lipid accumulation and increased deposition of renal sinus fat, the development of glomerular hypertension and increased glomerular permeability caused by hyperfiltration-related glomerular filtration barrier injury, and ultimately the development of glomerulomegaly, and focal or segmental glomerulosclerosis” described by Kovesdy et al. All these disorders underlie the higher risk of CKD reported in the observational studies (6). Another theory is that chronic kidney damage may be caused by renal lipotoxicity, which is the increased influx of lipids into the kidney. The hypothesis states that the adipose tissue has a limited expansion capability, and once this limit is reached, the adipose tissue cannot store any more lipids and will thus release them into the bloodstream. The intracellular accumulation of free fatty acids and triglycerides in renal glomerular and tubulointerstitial cells results in chronic kidney injuries (7). Current literature review After evaluating the current literature, 8 papers were found worthy of inclusion in the review. The treatment of obesity-related kidney disease requires early recognition of kidney injury and an all-around approach to prevent disease progression. Weight loss remains an essential part of therapy, which can be attained through non-surgical intervention such as dietary management, exercise interventions or medications. Weight loss surgery is also a wide-use method in this population and has been shown to have benefits on kidney functions. Non-surgical intervention on renal function in obese patients Non-surgical weight loss programs in overweight/obese patients with kidney disease have resulted in a reduction in proteinuria, although improvement in renal function has not been solidified. However, poor compliance to the diet and exercise treatment is a commonly recognized limiting factor that reduces the efficiency of the treatment. In a systematic, narrative meta-analysis, Bolignana et al. looked at diet as an intervention for weight loss, including 6 prospective studies, and 5 RCTs, involving a total of 604 patients. The duration of the intervention ranged from 4 weeks to 24 months. It found that two studies showed that weight loss through diet intervention produced a normalization of GFR in hyperfiltration or normofiltration. In other studies, GFR remained stable in patients successfully achieving weight loss but tended to worsen in controls in 6 studies. In two studies focusing on patients with CKD, some of which including Stage 5 CKD obese patients, the GFR was lower after lifestyle interventions or anti-obesity drugs (8). One recent meta-analysis study assessed the impact of weight loss attained through nonsurgical interventions in patients with preexisting CKD. It included 4 observational studies and 2 randomized controlled trials. In most studies, hypocaloric diets with no protein restriction were used as the dietary intervention. The length of follow-up ranged from 4 weeks to 1 year. For patients who received the nonsurgical interventions, weight loss did not lead to any change in GFR at the end of the study period. Weight loss achieved through nonsurgical interventions only reduced the proteinuria at the end of study period, despite significant heterogeneity appears in the studies (9). Diet alone may have a positive effect on renal function. In a 2-year randomized controlled trial, Tirosh et al. aimed to address the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and Mediterranean diets on renal function. 318 participants with serum creatinine <176 μmol/L (eGFR ≥30 mL/min/1.73 m2) were randomized to low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate diets. Significant improvements in eGFR were achieved in low-carbohydrate ( 5.3%), Mediterranean ( 5.2%), and low-fat diets ( 4.0%) with similar magnitude across diet groups. The increased eGFR was at least as prominent in participants with ( 6.7%) or without ( 4.5%) type 2 diabetes or those with lower baseline renal function of eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ( 7.1%) versus eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ( 3.7%). Even though the baseline characteristics of participants were relatively healthy, a significant improvement in eGFR could still be observed in addition to robust regression of microalbuminuria, thus underscoring the importance of weight loss on slowing the progression, and perhaps even regressing, CKD at early stages of the disease (10). Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Renal Function in Obese Patients Bariatric surgery has been shown as an effective treatment for obese people that help with achieving significant long-term weight loss. Commonly seen surgical interventions include laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, a sleeve gastrectomy, a Roux‐en‐Y gastric bypass, and intragastric balloon placement. Studies have demonstrated that impressive improvements in diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia complications (3). High-quality observational analyses using propensity score matching indicate bariatric surgery has a beneficial effect on kidney health. Li et al. performed a systematic review of 30 observational studies that examined bariatric surgery in obese subjects with impaired kidney function. The findings from this study indicated that the reduction in the incidence of albuminuria and proteinuria after bariatric surgery was statistically significant (RR: 0.42). The study also found a statistically significant increase in eGFR after bariatric surgery (SMD: 1.04) (3). Another systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2018 also found similar results. This analysis included 23 cohort studies, comprising 3015 participants. Bilha et al. concluded that compared with renal function before treatment, bariatric surgery significantly decreased serum creatinine level (mean difference (MD), − 0.08 mg dl−1) and proteinuria (MD, − 0.04 g 24 h−1) in the overall group. GFR significantly improved 6 months or more after surgery both in the hyperfiltration and CKD subgroups (11). One large, prospective cohort study was published in April 2019 by Lin et al. indicated that bariatric surgery was associated with eGFR preservation in obese patients, especially in those with moderate-to-high CKD risk. A total of 1620 obese patients were divided into surgery or non-surgery. During the 1-year follow-up period, the eGFR was measured in all patients. An eGFR decline ≥25% at 12 months was the primary endpoint of the study. This study found that at 12 months, the overall mean eGFRs increased by 4.4 mL/min·1.73 m2 and decreased by 6.4 mL/min·1.73 m2 in the surgery and non‐surgery groups, respectively. The Cox regression analysis showed that the BS group had a significantly lower risk of an eGFR decline ≥25% at 12 months. In addition, a BMI decline was significantly correlated with an eGFR change in the patients with moderate or high risks of CKD, but such correlation was not significant among the patients with a low risk of CKD (5). On the other hand, some results shown by studies on the relationship of CKD risk and improvement on eGFR are mixed. One study included 254 Japanese patients who underwent bariatric surgery were retrospectively analyzed to assess the prevalence of CKD and the effect of bariatric surgery on kidney function. The eGFR was calculated at baseline and 1 year after surgery. Researchers concluded that bariatric surgery resulted in the significant improvement in the eGFR of Japanese patients with morbid obesity, particularly those with pre-CKD (eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2), while the eGFR values of CKD patients (< 60 ml/min/1.73 m2) were not ameliorated by surgery (12). Mixed results were observed in another prospective cohort study. This study followed 68 obese patients for 1 year after bariatric surgery. Changes in eGFR were associated with reductions in Fat Mass (P = .010), Body surface Area (P = .049), and % percentage excess weight loss (P90 subgroup, eGFR decreased from 143±22 to 122±19 ml/min/1.73 m2. Conversely, in the eGFR<90 subgroup, eGFR had a trend of improvement from 69 to 79 ml/min/1.73 m2 (13). Current Controversies Despite that many observational studies demonstrated that bariatric surgery provides a positive impact on overweight or obese CKD patients, the risks associated with surgery for CKD patients are not well-understood. In a small prospective study, 9 patients with BMI >35 kg/m2 and CKD stages 3-4 underwent intragastric balloon (IGB) surgery were followed over 6 months period. This study concluded that the treatment resulted in no changes in eGFR; but it led to a high rate of complications, including acute kidney injury, in obese patients with established CKD (14). Another large retrospective cohort study performed by Cohen et al. compared the risk of bariatric surgery between patients with CKD and ESRD vs those without CKD. 323,034 patients without CKD, 1694 patients with CKD, and 925 patients with ESRD were included in the study. Patients with CKD and ESRD had a significantly increased risk of 30-day reoperation (CKD OR 2.25; ESRD OR 3.10) and readmission (CKD OR 1.98; ESRD OR 2.97) compared to patients without CKD; mortality risk was elevated in patients with ESRD (OR 11.59) but not in those with CKD (15). However, the existing evidence is essentially limited to retrospective or small prospective data, and the findings need to be tested prospectively in longer-term studies (15). In addition to surgery risk, there is limited evidence on the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery for CKD patients. The majority of observational studies conducted on CKD patients who underwent bariatric surgery have a follow-up period from 4 months to 24 months. Only one study conducted by Friedman et al. evaluated the CKD risk at 1 and 7 years after surgery in patients with different baseline CKD risks. Improvements were observed in CKD risk at 1 and 7 years after surgery in patients with moderate baseline CKD risk (63% and 53%, respectively), high baseline risk (78% and 56%, respectively), and very high baseline risk (59% and 23%, respectively) (16). While the findings from this study support the connection of bariatric surgery and CKD risk, there are no other long-term studies conducted on this subject matter. Whether the beneficial effect on kidney function after that period is still persistent remains unknown. Therefore, further prospective long-term studies are needed. Implications for Dietary Practice For patients with impaired kidney functions, the dietary requirement is based on the stage of kidney disease. The goal of nutrition intervention is to preserve kidney function and maintain adequate nutritional status. For CKD patients who are overweight or obesity, weight loss may offer additional benefits on renal functions besides cardiovascular benefits (9). Current researches on weight loss through diet intervention in CKD patients showed a reduction in proteinuria, a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in obese patients, and improvement in lipid panel and glycemic control after weight loss (8)(9). Although, there is inadequate evidence on improvement in renal function, CKD patients who are overweight or obese can still benefit from weight loss through nonsurgical intervention. Evidence demonstrated that weight loss through bariatric surgery could prevent further decline in renal function by reducing proteinuria, albuminuria and improving eGFR in obese patients with CKD (3)(5)(11)(12)(13). Bariatric surgery is also associated with improvements in blood pressure, glycemic control, and lipids in obese CKD patients (3). Despite increases in short‐term post‐operative complications, the benefits of bariatric surgery‐induced weight reductions on CKD cannot be underestimated. Bariatric surgery should be considered CKD patients with obesity if medications and lifestyle changes do not result in any improvement. It has shown the potential for preventing further decline of GFR and thus the progression to ESRD. Nevertheless, in order to make definitive, accurate recommendations to those patients, the potential risks and long-term benefits of bariatric surgery should be further evaluated in large, longer follow-up studies. Conclusion Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and it is associated with increased risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and also for chronic kidney disease. Obesity is now recognized as a strong risk factor for CKD, while the exact mechanism of obesity-related kidney disease remains unclear. Current evidence suggests that the pathophysiology underlying that is probably multifaceted and several factors may contribute to it such as hemodynamic, metabolic effect, and renal lipid accumulation. Conservative weight loss intervention such as diet and exercise changes have led to a reduction in proteinuria, while the evidence about improvement in renal function is not adequate. Bariatric surgical interventions have gained more attention for treating obesity and it has been shown to prevent further decline in renal function and ameliorate kidney health in CKD patients. Although many studies demonstrated that bariatric surgery provides a positive impact on overweight or obese CKD patients, the risks and long-term benefits associated with surgery for CKD patients are not well-understand, which prevents decisive conclusions for recommending specific interventions in the CKD population. Moreover, the majority of current studies depended on surrogate markers for kidney disease progression, such as GFR and proteinuria. Whether weight loss has positive impacts on other clinically important endpoints such as progressions to end-stage renal disease and mortality is unclear. Long-term and large-scale studies need to be done in obese patients with CKD to determine whether the benefits from weight loss are sustained from both nonsurgical and surgical interventions. The risks associated with the treatments should also be studied in large randomized controlled trials. In addition, future research is needed to further investigate the pathophysiology of obesity-related kidney disease. This can improve the current treatment guidelines for overweight/obese CKD patients and assist in early identification and better prevention of kidney disease in obese patients. References: Obesity and overweight. World Health Organization. Published February 16, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019. Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight

Why is Thermoregulation Important?

Why is Thermoregulation Important?. In all living organisms there is a complex series of chemical reactions occurring, the rate of which is dependent of temperature. In order for these chemical reactions to occur and thus sustain life all animals exhibit some way of regulating their body temperature. This process is known as thermoregulation. This regulation is achieved in various ways, either by behavioural or autonomic means. Homeothermic animals take advantage of both behavioural and autonomic means of regulating their body temperature in response to temperature fluctuations. Homeotherms have complex means of maintaining core body temperature within very narrow limits. For example, humans are able to regulate skin blood flow through the vasodilation and vasoconstriction of blood vessels redirecting blood so as to conserve heat in cold conditions or to increase heat loss in the cold. This process is further reviewed later on. Other autonomic processes utilized by homeotherms are shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. Poikiotherms do not have the means to regulate their body temperature in such a precise way. Their body temperature is more dependent on the environmental temperature and they regulate this primarily by behavioural means. Such animals include bees, fish, amphibians and reptiles. However current knowledge on how this behavioural thermoregulation operates is not very high. Heterotherms exhibit the characteristics of both homeotherms and poikilotherms. One such example are bats which when active utilize autonomic means to maintain their relatively high body temperature. At rest however the metabolic cost of maintaining this body temperature is too high thus they substantially reduce their metabolic rate, at such time they can be described as being poikiothermic. This review will focus in some detail on the various mechanisms by which different animals thermoregulate, some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with thermoregulation and how this complex system has evolved across different groups of animals. I will draw on knowledge from various pieces of literature to give a comprehensive overview of this important life process. Behavioural and autonomic means of thermoregulation As discussed earlier homeotherms are utilise autonomic means to regulate their internal body temperature. It has been postulated that there is a hierarchy of structures responsible for maintaining the internal body temperature of these animals. The preoptic area of the hypothalamus plays a key role in autonomic thermoregulatory process. Early thermal studies identified the preoptic area as the centre of the thermoregulatory response. This area is synaptically connected to the lower brain stem and thus enables precise regulation of body temperature. Early research suggested that an increase in temperature in this preoptic region would lead to the excitation of neurons, resulting in the heat loss organs bringing about a reduction in preoptic temperature. In the same way, a reduction in preoptic temperature would excite neurons and lead to the heat production organs bringing about an increase in preoptic temperature. More recent research however has demonstrated that there is a far greater number of warm-sensitive neuron than cold-sensitive. These warm-sensitive neurons, play a much bigger role in the thermoregulatory process. During pre-optic warming these warm sensitive neurons significantly increase their firing rates and because of the synaptic connection with the lower brain stem, effector neurons are able to bring about heat loss responses. The median forebrain bundle is an important pathway that may be utilized here carrying signals to effector areas. In this way autonomic responses such as skin blood flow and shivering are controlled. Figure 1 demonstrates that in addition to bringing about heat loss responses, the increased firing rate of warm sensitive neurons inhibits nearby cold sensitive receptors preventing heat production. During pre-optic cooling the firing rate of warm sensitive neurons decreases thus reducing synaptic inhibition of the cold sensitive neurons. In turn the cold sensitive neurons increase their firing rate and induce heat production responses and heat retention. The preoptic region is also involved in afferent signals, detecting peripheral temperature changes through receptors in the skin. This information is integrated with central temperature information and the appropriate thermal response is activated. Most preoptic neurons are actually temperature insensitive, but do serve a purpose in thermoregulation. It has been postulated that they are involved in the comparison of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from both warm sensitive and temperature insensitive neurons. It is this that forms the basis for set point temperatures, therefore playing a vital role in heat loss, heat retention and heat production responses. Figure 1 demonstrates the activity of a temperature insensitive neuron. If a neuron is inhibited by a warm sensitive neuron and excited by a temperature insensitive neuron it will act as a cold sensitive neuron. Once the preoptic temperature drops below a certain point i.e. the set point, it will increases it firing rate and bring about heat production and heat retention responses. If thermoregulation does not operate properly it may result in fever. This can be caused by the presence of endogenous substances like pyrogen. Pyrogen affects the activity of the pre-optic thermosensitive neurons. It can inhibit the firing rate of the warm sensitive neurons resulting in heat loss responses not occurring and elevated set point temperature. Also because of the synaptic inhibition between the warm-sensitive and cold-sensitive neurons, this decreased firing rate will result in an increased firing rate in the cold-sensitive neurons and bring about heat production responses further elevating the set point temperature. As a result fever occurs. Skin blood flow The preoptic area is able to coordinate correct efferent response in response to various internal and external thermal stimuli. One of these responses is the control of skin blood flow in humans. The vasodilation of blood vessels and the resultant increased blood flow to the skin is vital to heat dissipation during heat exposure. The increased skin blood flow significantly increases convective heat transfer from the body to the periphery. In conjunction with this increased skin blood flow, the evaporation of sweat from the skin results in cooling of blood in the dilated vessels. This process continues until the internal temperature returns to normal, at which point sweating stops and skin blood flow returns to normal. Skin blood flow in humans is controlled by vasoconstrictor and vasodilator nerves. The vasoconstrictor system is continually active, detecting even detecting subtle changes in ambient temperature. Through this activity maintenance of normal body temperature is achieved. Even small changes in skin blood flow can cause relatively large changes in heat dissipation. The vasodilator system on the other hand is only activated when an increase in internal temperature is detected. This may be during exercise or as a result of environmental heat exposure. Humans have many eccrine sweat glands distributed around the body which are responsible for thermal sweating. These sweat glands are innervated by sympathetic nerves which when stimulated results in secretion. The sweating response is only of benefit when it is coupled with evaporative heat loss. It is for this reason that environmental conditions like humidity and wind speed play an important role in this thermoregulatory process. Sweating and vasodilation are functionally linked however changes in one does not necessarily reflect changes in the other. An example of this is during exercise, as the threshold for cutaneous vasodilation is increased bit the threshold for the sweating response is not. During exercise blood cannot be redirected to the skin at the same level as blood flow to the muscle must be maintained. During cold exposure vasoconstriction of blood vessels and the redirection of blood flow to the core is essential for heat retention. When vasoconstriction occurs its results in a decrease in heat dissipation from the skin. Any alteration in this process can have serious implications, impairing the body’s ability to thermoregulate. As temperature decreases further shivering occurs. These muscular contractions help to maintain core body temperature. Humans are not the only animals to utilize evaporative heat loss process. Despite the fact that most mammals do not have sweat glands many of them are able to use this process in different ways. Birds lack sweat glands and some mammals like cats or dogs only have sweat glands on their feet. In such animals evaporative heat loss occurs by increased air movement over moist mucosal surfaces of the mouth and upper respiratory tract. This is brought about by rapid shallow breathing along with increased salivation. Another way of utilizing this process is seen in rats and kangaroos when they spread saliva on their fur. Tests in rats have shown that warming of the pre optic area of the hypothalamus results in increased saliva secretion. It also resulted in body extension which improves heat loss through the increase in effective body surface area. Many small mammals and those that hibernate exhibit another process in the thermoregulatory process. This process known as non-shivering thermogenesis occurs in response to the cold and it is regulated by the pre-optic area of the hypothalamus. It is a result of increased metabolic activity in the brown adipose tissue. The brown fat cells there are numerous fat droplets interspersed with many mitochondria. The brown adipose tissue has a rich supply and is also innervated by many sympathetic nerves. In cold conditions this non-shivering thermogenesis is activated by impulses passing down these sympathetic nerves or by the release of noradrenaline from the adrenal medulla. The free fatty acid store are burned up with the help of mitochondria and heat is produced. The rich blood supply to the area ensures blood is transported back to the core thus increasing core temperature. This process is seen in animals that hibernate, evident from the amount of brown fat found in such animals. Behavioural thermoregulation As indicated before the preoptic region plays a key role in autonomic thermoregulation, it does not however play such an important role in behavioural thermoregulation. Currently there is a lack of knowledge to indicate exactly which area of the hypothalamus is involved in behavioural thermoregulation. Behavioural responses to changes in environmental temperature occur before the internal body temperature elevates. It is from this that the assumption has been made that receptors in the skin play a key role in behavioural thermoregulation. Research has shown that the neurons responding to thermal stimulation of the skin are located in the spinal cord, with the signals from these reach areas in the cerebral cortex. However these signals, whether detected as hot or cold, cannot be a direct cause of activating the behavioural process. The reasoning behind this is that if a cold stimulus is applied to the skin of a resting animal, they perceive this as unpleasant and move away from it. However during exercise the same cold stimulus applied to the skin may be perceived as pleasant. It is because of this that the behavioural mechanisms of thermoregulation appear to be based around thermal comfort and discomfort. It has been postulated that the parastrial nucleus and the dorsomedial hypothalamic region are involved in eliciting behavioural responses. Further research however needs to be done to confirm this, possibly by examining the effect of lesions of the two areas on behavioural responses. Once the area directly responsible for eliciting behavioural responses further research can then be done into the relationship between behavioural and autonomic responses. One example of an animal that exhibits mainly behavioural thermoregulation is the lizard. Lizards are ectothermic mainly obtaining heat from external sources. Lizards are able to maintain a relatively high body temperature, unlike most other ectotherms they can do this very precisely. Much research has been carried out into the thermoregulatory process of reptiles. An early concept that was developed was that of the preferred body temperature (PBT), which is related to homeostasis. The idea being that the PBT is the optimum temperature at which the animal’s physiological processes take place. The PBT varies across species and in some lizards the PBT can change along with the seasons. There are a number of different ways in which the lizard obtains heat from the environment. The absorption of solar radiation or the conduction from hot air or surfaces are the main ways in which lizards gain heat. If internal temperature is too high they may reduce this by radiation from the surface, convection or conduction to a cooler surface. Like other animals discussed before lizards are able to utilize evaporative cooling processes. In temperate climates lizards maintain a high PBT and obtain heat through absorption of solar radiation by basking in the sun, these are known as basking heliotherms. Different species of lizard exhibit different behaviour in relation to basking. The Lacerta vivipara emerges and begins to bask at a time when the activity temperature can be reached in the least time. This way they do not unnecessarily make themselves vulnerable to predators. Other lizards may emerge at a constant time independent of temperature. When basking lizards will adopt a specific posture in order to maximise body surface area and thus maximising their heat gain from the surroundings. They do this by sprawling on the ground with outstretched legs. During the day lizards will alternate between periods of activity and periods of basking. When they achieved their activity temperature they will stop basking and may begin actively foraging for food. During this time their internal body temperature is continually dropping and once it reaches a certain point they will have to bask again. This is a continual cycle throughout the day, observed in species known as shuttling heliotherms. Species which obtain most of their heat by conduction from hot rocks are known as thigmotherms, they are only able to in regions with intense solar radiation. Although the information on how lizards monitor their body temperature and how they use this to elicit the appropriate behavioural response is limited, the assumption is made that they must have thermal receptors in the skin. While maintaining a high body temperature the lizard will exhibit a lower metabolic rate than mammals, the reason being that they obtain most of their heat by thermal radiation. However lizards do generate some heat by metabolism but as they do not have fur, feathers or other insulatory means seen in hometherms this heat is lost very quickly. Research has shown that heart rate can effect thermoregulation in these animals. During cooling the animals heart rate decreases thus decreasing blood flow and conserving heat. As seen in other animals, these reptiles exhibit some control over peripheral blood flow through the sympathetic vasoconstriction or vasodilation of blood vessels. Evolution of homethermy Endotherms like birds and mammals are different from ectotherms in that they have substantially higher standard metabolic rate. When the ambient temperature is reduced endotherms may raise their metabolic rate to generate heat, as opposed to ectotherms such as the lizard which simply allow their body temperature to drop. The evolution of this process of homeothermy may have occurred in stages with the first being the development of behavioural thermoregulation. As seen in the lizard this can become very precise. Once this level of thermoregulation had been achieved enzymes may have become adapted to function optimally at the PBT. Along with a gradual increase in the importance of metabolic heat and development of fur, feathers and subcutaneous fat to retain the heat homeothermy eventually evolved. Consequences of homethermy The evolution of homethermy has many advantages, in that it gives such animals independence from changes in environmental temperature. There are however some downfalls to this process. In order to maintain their high body temperature they must also maintain a high metabolic rate. To do so homeothermic animals must eat a lot more than poikiotherms and they must do so continually. This can be a big problem for small mammals or birds which lose heat fairly quickly. These smaller animals must feed voraciously just to maintain their body temperature. Adaptions to cold Many animals have had to adapt to survive in climates where they are exposed to severe cold conditions. There is a number of ways in which they do this, either through migration, adapting itself to tolerate the cold or it can go into hibernation. Some poikiotherms such as faced with extreme cold have demonstrated adaptions to avoid freezing through the secretion of glycerol. Through this they are able to reduce the freezing point of the body fluids. Another adaption to surviving extreme cold conditions is known as supercooling. This phenomenon is the ability to tolerate temperatures lower than the typical freezing point. One experiment demonstrated that fish taken from deep water had a freezing point between -0.9 and -1.0 C, yet the temperature of the water from which they were taken was -1.73C. Thus they are demonstrating supercooling. It is through this process that deep water fish are able to survive such low temperatures. Another adaption to climatic stress is hibernation. During hibernation, body temperature decreases to approximately that of the surrounding environment. Heart rate and metabolic rate also drop to a minimal level. Animals that hibernate are homeothermic during the summer but under the cold conditions of winter they become poikilothermic. During hibernation the animal remains inactive with greatly reduced metabolic requirements. The animal sustains these small requirements through its energy stores. If surrounding conditions get too low the animal’s metabolic rate may increase to generate heat. Some species also exhibit another process in regulating their body temperature. This process is a cycle between phases of intense activity with phases of torpor. This is a daily cycle exhibited in small birds and mammals that have high metabolic rates. An animal that exhibits such behaviour is the insectivorous bat. Their particular aerial habits inhibit them from carrying large energy stores. Studies have shown that torpor is important in energy maintenance during the summer diurnal roosting of the N. geoffroy. While resting, the energetic cost of maintaining a constant, high (normothermic) body temperature (Tb) in small bats rises steeply when ambient temperature (Ta) decreases below about 30_C (Herreid and Schmidt-Nielsen 1966; Kulzer et al. 1970; Genoud 1993; Geiser and Brigham 2000). Hence, thermoregulation throughout the diurnal rest phase can be energetically expensive, even at relatively high roost Ta. Furthermore, during cool weather, insect activity and therefore foraging success and energy intake of insectivorous bats typically declines dramatically (Paige 1995; Hickey and Fenton 1996). Torpor is likely an important factor in allowing insectivorous bats to manage their energy expenditure nd survive in temperate climates Why is Thermoregulation Important?

Furthering Emotional Intelligence through Video Games

The field of serious digital learning games that aim to develop players’ empathy along with their cognitive competencies has made tremendous strides in the past decade. Today, virtual simulations and video games for social change have much to offer the field of education. Even though the benefits of these offerings are still making themselves apparent, a growing number of teachers are trying to stay on the front-end. Many teachers are experimenting with new ways to connect with students through the very same technologies that occupy hours of young people’s leisure time. Teachers are increasingly interested in whether and how digital games and simulations might contribute to civic engagement and action. If video gaming and virtual simulations are so appealing to young people, how can we better harness these forms of entertainment to foster emotional intelligence and empathy so that students can exhibit a more caring and active response to relevant social issues? How can computerized simulation games help foster global empathy and interest in global civic learning/action? How might simulations help learners to empathize and identify with the lives of global Others? These are just a few questions that contribute to classroom learning in significant ways. Before considering the value of video games and virtual simulations in relation to empathy, it is important to recognize why empathy should be taught in schools. In our era of globalization, there is a growing need to educate for global citizenship, especially as people across the globe become more and more connected. A true global citizen values empathy and the ability to understand other people across borders and cultural divides. As a significant factor of being human, empathy is often defined as an emotional state that involves “feeling in oneself the feelings of others. Empathy is emerging as an especially significant disposition for global citizenship because it enables us to perceive the world through others’ perspectives, experience the emotions of others, and communicate and act in ways that consider others’ views and needs” (Bachen et al., 2012, p. 438). As adults, we come to see ourselves not only as citizens of our local community, country, or ethno-cultural group, but also as global citizens willing and able to empathize with other peoples and their situations elsewhere in the world. While students can certainly learn about the plight of disadvantaged peoples around the world, adding empathy to the learning experience helps them retain and relate to this knowledge in a more profound way: “emotion plays a variety of important roles in thinking and learning. First, when we are processing information, we store it more deeply and integrate with our prior knowledge better when that new information has an emotional charge for us, when we feel something is at stake or matters” (Gee, 2008, p. 35). In addition, just as empathy can be used to increase understanding of various global issues, the more students are asked to analyze and relate to global issues through the eyes of an Other, the deeper their empathic response becomes. As a result, empathy is a key component of social justice education. If a primary goal of social justice education is to cultivate a responsibility to take action, then we cannot truly teach social justice without empathy. Social justice education is based on a need to identify and change structural inequalities and disparities worldwide. An effective way to teach this is to provide students with opportunities to not only gain contextual knowledge but also have experiences that create empathic insights into the lives of people who are oppressed. Segal (2011) believes that “when there is a shared definition of the empathic insights into discrimination, injustice, or inequality, individuals are better able and more willing to take action that promotes social justice” (p. 268). Therefore, the capacity to experience empathy through a true contextual lens deepens our understanding of the society we live in and compels us to feel a social responsibility that can result in social justice. Segal (2011) states that “exposing children to others who are different from themselves gives them an opportunity to practice affect sharing or mirroring and self/other-awareness while at the same time enhancing their awareness and understanding of different social conditions” (p. 274). This awareness, in conjunction with empathy, can lead to a greater desire to take action for social change. Video games and virtual simulations are a simple and effective vehicle to connect students to the lives of people from various social groups. These tools are effective in promoting empathy within a social justice context because they feature compelling narratives that draw players into a given situation. The power of narrative thus serves as a fundamental aspect of educational gaming: Narrative-centered learning environments afford significant opportunities for students to participate in motivating story-based educational experiences. Virtual characters can engage users in a variety of task-oriented educational and entertainment roles. Fantasy contexts in educational games have been shown to provide motivational benefits to learning. Because of the power of story to draw audiences into compelling plots and rich settings through the promotion of suspension of disbelief and increased story involvement, narrative can contribute to learning in important ways. (McQuiggan et al, 2008, p. 1511) Besides hooking students into a story, narrative-based games invite players to adopt the point of view of a person who may be very different from the player’s own self, which then results in a number of judgments about the Other being altered, as the player exercises empathy: “By encouraging us to exercise our moral imagination, we develop our capacity to more fully put ourselves in another person’s situations and thus those ‘different’ to ourselves in circumstance, identity or practice can no longer be dehumanized or Other-ised as ‘disgusting’ or ‘subhuman'” (McRobie, 2014, n.p.). Narrative-based games and simulations forge connections between humans from different parts of the planet, and the player can learn to better identify with and understand the plight of someone whom he or she may never otherwise meet in real life. Furthermore, this role-playing facet of gaming, with all of its imaginative capacity, can result in better identification with the Other as empathy continues to develop in the player: “Empathy may be further developed when a player not only takes the perspective of another, but also begins to identify with the character represented” (Bachen et al., 2012, p. 440). Increased identification with the media character has further benefit, as Bachen et al. (2012) explain that this leads to “greater attention to and retention of messages associated with those characters” (p. 440). As a result, educators can exploit games and virtual simulations because they not only connect students to various peoples across the globe, but ultimately can result in deeper learning because students become immersed in their learning and take more away with them by the end of the experience. A key difference between traditional written narratives (stories, novels, etc.) and virtual simulations is the ability to simulate (and virtually live) a real-life experience that a student would otherwise only read about. Video games and virtual simulations open up the possibility to interact with a time and place that can be worlds away: “a virtual world provides an experience set within a technological environment that gives the user a strong sense of being there” (Warburton, 2009, p. 415). Because of their narrative feature, videos games and virtual simulations present players with a character that they adopt, while living out a set of experiences from the perspective of the character (Gee, 2008). They allow for exposure to authentic content and culture and allow for reproduction of contexts that cannot be reproduced easily in real life: “Most games for change simulate real physical casualties so that the player develops an awareness of a situation where war and genocide may be central to everyday life” (Huang and Tettagah, 2010, p. 138). This, in turn, allows students to experience complex and potentially dangerous situations without risk, virtually adopting the perils of the character’s life, while simultaneously “feel[ing] sympathy and/or empathy for the characters in the game” (Huang and Tettagah, 2010, p. 138). Raphael et al. (2010) propose that “[r]ole playing games permit players to explore institutional, geographical, and temporal settings that would otherwise be inaccessible, allowing players to learn from the consequences of choices made in the world of the game that would be impractical or dangerous to experience directly” (p. 200). Within this role-playing context, players exercise agency, as they are given the freedom to experiment according to their own goals. Players are permitted to do and act according to their own judgments. This experimentation can help the player better understand the potential consequences of certain actions or choices. In virtually living out the consequences, the player is more likely to empathize with the character in the situation, which hopefully will lead to increased understanding of inequities around the world and the need for action to address issues of social justice. To put my discussion of game-playing, empathy and social justice into an educational context, I would like to present three examples of virtual simulations and video games that can be used in classrooms to encourage empathy and action. The first is called Real Lives (, a simulation game designed for middle and high school students in which the player is born into a life from any country in the world. For instance, students can experience life as a peasant farmer in Bangladesh, a factory worker in Brazil, a policeman in Nigeria, or a computer operator in Poland. As players adopt the perspective of the given identity, they apply knowledge to solve real problems while comparing different value systems as they play the game. Students must make a variety of decisions that involve work opportunities, financial standing, health, marriage and family life, and participation in civil society. The game prompts players to engage in ethical reflection, always in the context of challenges or opportunities prevalent to the given country (based on real-world statistics for the country’s poverty rate, infant mortality rate, and so on) (Raphael et al, 2010, p. 216). The efficacy of this game in creating empathic insights is evidenced by Bachen et al.’s (2012) study, which did show that Real Lives had a considerable effect on players’ development of global empathy: “Comparing students who played the game with those who participated in an alternate computer-assisted learning activity, we found that playing the simulation game was associated with significantly higher levels of global empathy” (Bachen et al., 2012, p. 450). Games like Real Lives are well suited to developing personal responsibility or character. Raphael states games for social change “lend themselves to exploring individual ethics rather than the ethics of institutions or society although they still introduce students to the dynamics of large-scale structures that shape lives giving them little power to alter those structures but demanding ethical evaluation of them” (p. 219). As in Real Lives, games of responsibility can also force players to grapple with the question of how to live a good life in a society that may be imperfect and unjust (Raphael et al, 2010, p. 221). A second virtual simulation video game that evokes player empathy is Darfur is Dying ( This online game is based on the genocide in Sudan and is described by the game’s developers as “a narrative-based simulation where the user, from the perspective of the displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp. It offers a faint glimpse of what it’s like for the more than 2.5 million who have been internally displaced by the crisis in Sudan” ( I have used this game in my classroom teaching with grade seven students and have observed that many enjoy the experience because of the game-based challenges that students must be overcome as their characters risk their lives to protect their village while still seeking to maintain survival. Huang and Tettegah (2010) state that “the goals of the developers and instructional designers of Darfur is Dying include raising awareness so that the player/user shares fear, empathy, and other emotions associated with victims of war. Darfur is Dying was developed with goals to educate, provide support and inspire” (p. 142). Characters depict actual situations that occur in real life, summoning the player’s emotive capacity as s/he virtually becomes a displaced Darfurian who must take serious risks while completing seemingly mundane daily tasks, such as gathering food and water. I use this game in my classroom with the hope that students develop empathy for the character, based on the experiences portrayed in the game, and that this leads to cultural awareness and a deeper human connection to the peoples of Sudan. In other words, empathy becomes the main learning outcome as opposed to acquiring specific content. Finally, Against All Odds ( is a third internet-based video game simulation for social change that can be used to teach empathy within a social justice framework. The game was developed by the United Nations Refugee Agency and is designed to teach 12- to 15-year-old players about the plight of refugees. Players take on the role of a refugee, and play through stages, from depiction of persecution and flight from their native country to eventual integration into a foreign country as an asylum seeker. I find this game particularly pertinent today, especially in view of our current political climate and the displacement of Syrian refugees. Many students are hearing about these issues in the news and in discussions at home, but do not fully understand what it means to be a refugee, the struggles refugees face, and how individual citizens in Canada might be able to aid in this situation. Raphael et al. (2010) argue that virtual simulation games that promote empathy, such as Against All Odds, can encourage students to seek out more knowledge beyond the game and make efforts to act rather than merely observe: playing or developing games may increase students’ motivation to learn and drive them to consult sources outside the game, inspire critical reflection on history and politics and how they are represented, provide multiple viewpoints on contested events and ideas, allow players to draw on distributed knowledge and develop skills in leadership and collective action that can be used to tackle real-world political problems, or afford opportunities to explore ethical choices and develop empathetic understanding by projecting oneself through an avatar into places and times otherwise inaccessible. (p. 200) My ultimate goal in using video game simulations such as Against All Odds is to promote civic action. It is not enough for students to know about a problem, empathize with those affected, and then go on living their normal lives without further reflection. I hope that the empathy that is established by the game playing incites students to take action, even in a small way, so that they understand that global citizenship is an active task and that we are each individually responsible for the Other. Given that a fundamental part of social justice is developing a community of citizens who take action, it is important that students who play video game simulations such as Real Lives, Dying in Darfur, and Against All Odds are provided with an outlet to both show understanding of empathy and take action. The question that remains for me is what can students do with this experience? Based on their experiences playing one or more virtual simulation games, students can now create their own video game simulations presenting a day in the life of a refugee of their choosing. Using online software called Twine, students can create a narrative that allows players to choose various paths, much like a choose-your-own-adventure book. As students create their game, they demonstrate an understanding of the daily struggles faced by a particular refugee, thus exhibiting empathy for lives of people who may be very different from themselves. In order to make this task an activist one, my middle-school students will be asked to create their game for a younger student in our neighbouring elementary school. This allows students to do something with what they have learned, and as they share the game with a younger child, they take on the role of educator and active citizen. Social justice video games can provide real opportunity for reflection and learning in today’s classrooms. For teachers who wish to engage students in learning about real world issues, or who are seeking alternative resources to enhance student learning, pairing young people’s interest in games with a serious social justice topic has the potential to result in powerful educational experiences. The narrative component of virtual simulation games is a real hook that can entice students to learn about the lives of people around the world, and the interactive features require students to both become the character while exercising agency to solve authentic civic problems. The problem-solving aspect of these virtual games puts students in the shoes of the Other, allowing them to better understand hardships and hopefully strongly empathize with a life that may otherwise seem distant and irrelevant. While video game simulations are not a magic solution to increasing student engagement or developing empathy, they certainly can be a great tool that allows students to realize that they play an important role in making change around the world.