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U.S. automobile industry.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Car is great invention of human development. After more than two centuries of development and innovation, automotive products remain irreplaceable in the transportation. Automobile industry is always one of the most important industries of each country and the world in general. The U.S. automobile industry was born in the beginning of 19th century, contributes a huge amount in GDP of American as well as one of the domination industries in American particularly and globe generally. This project provides an overall and comprehensive view about the U.S. automobile industry. Through application of appropriate strategic analysis tools, this topic focus on analyze four following parts: Firstly, the overall current macro-environment of this industry is provided, especially the key forces driving change in the U.S. automobile industry. Secondly, using the Michael Porter model to analyze the competitive environment or also called task or industry environment, the strengths and extent of competitive forces, which affect the attractiveness of the U.S. automobile industry. Next, map of the key strategic group in the U.S. automobile industry and analysis of the competitors in a main strategic group. Finally, based on the analysis of both environments, this report offers comments of the key opportunities and threats facing by the firm in the U.S. automobile industry and its attractiveness of the present incumbents and potential new entrants. I. INTRODUCTION The United States, with its total current resident is about 308 million, is the third most populous country in the world. It is the second largest country in Western Hemisphere, and the third or fourth largest in the world by total area. With an estimated 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) of US $14.4 trillion (a quarter of nominal global GDP and a fifth of global GDP at purchasing power parity), the U.S. economy continuingly occupies the most important position in global economy. Based on these advantages, the U.S. automobile market is one of the third largest markets, after China and Japan, both of manufacturing and consumption. The U.S. automobile industry has long historic development from the early decades of the 19th. There were over 1800 automobile manufacturers in the United States in the past. Although very few can survive and only a few new ones were started after that period, they are on the top automakers of the world. Moreover, it attracts most of the biggest foreign automakers to locate factories and invest, such as Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mitsubishi, etc. Recently, the automobile industry dramatically down caused the shortage resource and the current economic crisis. The U.S. automobile cannot avoid this trend. However, the general industry and Big Three U.S. automakers – General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford – recover gradually whereby the timely auto industry bailout and restructuring of the President Barack Obama’s government. II. THE CURRENT MACRO-ENVIRONMENT OF THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY There are many external forces that can affect an industry’s performance and hence to know well about the environment is the best way for improving the strength as well as reducing the weaknesses of companies in the field. This analysis of Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, Political and legal forces that affect the automobile manufacturing industry will be presented as follows. 1. Socio-cultural forces It cannot be deny that in today’s society, people are judged on the type of cars they drive. Anyone who drives a nice and expensive vehicle is thought to be wealthy and success. People will find them-selves more valuable and feel better when they drive a nice and new car and therefore, car manufacturers target their markets by these thoughts. For example, with Mercedes-Benz, the producer launched three types of cars, which represent the brand’s value: luxury, safety, innovation. They are A-Class, F400-Carving and C-Class which being able to appeal the significant diversity of Mercedes-Benz in conquering the customers. Another thought provoking issue of the socio cultural is the environmental concerns for the need of fuel-efficient vehicles. Many environmentalists are worried about the impact that the gas cars have on the environment. The lower amount of gas emission emits into the air, the better the environment becomes. Therefore this problem also is taken into consideration by specialists of automobile companies. 2. Technological forces The U.S. is the world’s largest producer and consumer of motor vehicles with production of 16 million units every year. To increase its scale, the U.S automotive industry continues to experience technological change by investing on research and develop projects every year. These plan aim at finding out clean and renewable energy resources so that car can be used in the most efficient way. In addition to this, improving the quality of engine, making new more functions, changing technical innovation and styles for cars are also the objects that car-manufacturers want to bring to customers. Getting success as today, automobile industry should consider Internet as an important and useful instrument that make the business easier and more convenient. Thanks to its functions, the business of automobile industry becomes more efficiency and lower cost by e-booking, payment, connecting suppliers and customers online. For example, Ford, GM, and Daimler Chrysler created a global online exchange for suppliers and the original equipment manufacturers. 3. Economic forces In the past, the automobile manufacturing industry is regarded as one of the largest and vital industries within the U.S due to its great contributing to this economy in employment and productivity. Reports indicate that motor vehicle production represents over 5 % of the U.S. private sector GDP. However, because of the global crisis and the increase in oil price, 2008 and 2009 are the most difficult periods for automobile companies all over the world. In US, the number of cars sold is significantly reduced to be lower than 30% in 2008 and predicted 50% in 2009, making many automobile companies got into trouble, especially big ones like General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. 19.4 billion aid from the U.S. government with 9.5 billion from Canada government can not help General Motors avoid from breaking in 1/6/2009. The car consumption of Ford Corporation also decreased significantly, they had to close four plants in the U.S. and thousands of workers to leave work until now. The head of corporate manufacturing automotive components Continental (Germany) Karl-Thomas Neumann is predicted, the crisis in the automobile industry could take up to the next 5 years. This means that over 50 million people live based on the automobile industry will have to face unemployment in this period. 4. Ecological forces After the crisis, major technology trends that automobile production corporations want to aim at are comfortable, friendly environment with consumption of fuel savings cars. In present, Hybrid vehicles with fuel economy of fuel consumption at 35 km per liter gasoline are taken into consideration and eventually moving to the car model that does not use fuel as crude oil is development direction of the automobile industry in the near future. Besides, Pollution Prevention Project will be carried out regularly with the hope of finding innovative ways to keep our environment healthier and cleaner. 5. Political and legal forces Since the 1960’s, the U.S. government has issued regulations that affect the production and consumption of cars in this country. Accordingly, almost all of the provisions are about environmental related problems and the safety of the drivers as well as passengers. The first National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act that forced manufacturers to improve the safety for the passengers, the driver visibility, and the braking of the car were approved in 1966. After that, there was also growing concern for the environment, many Acts were introduced in order to set standards for automobile pollution and decrease in automobile emission such as The Vehicle Air Pollution and Control Act, Clean Air Act. Then, after the oil crisis in the 1970’s, The Energy Policy and Conservation Act stated that all automobiles must meet a certain mileage per gallon to ensure that the amount of energy could be saved as much as possible. III. THE COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT In today’s fierce competitive environment, the firms need to achieve competitive advantages for competing, existing and growing. Accordingly, the firms must recognize the environment that powerfully influences the firms. In American automobile industry, the automobile manufacturers have realized the environment’s influence to automotive industry. At the same time, they must look at the main sources of competitive forces and how high or low competitive force is. As stated by Wheelen and Hunger (2008, p. 83) about the six sources of competition in Porter’s Five Forces model. This framework is used to identify the opportunities and threats for entering in to a particular industry. It is featured as follow: Rivalry amongst existing firms in the industry The American automobile industry includes three major manufacturers, General Motors, Fords, and Daimler Chrysler. On the other hand, it has also two Japanese biggest competitors, Honda and Toyota. Now we will discuss about how strong each competitive force is and which they affect on the attractiveness of the American automotive industry. 1. The threat of new entrants-Barriers to entry New entrants can threaten the market share of existing competitors. One reason new entrants pose such a threat is that they bring additional production capacity, reducing the attractiveness. (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskinsson, 2008). The threat of new entrants is low in the American automobile industry because of some main reasons. First, the American automobile industry now is mature and it has attained economies of scale. Although Honda and Toyota have invested heavily in America to produce cars, now the crisis in the auto industry and the slow sluggish state of the global economy lead to small demand; therefore, new entrants are not interested to enter this sector. Besides, this heavy industry requires a significant amount of capital for producing automobiles as well as research and development new designs. It also demands modern technologies, management and marketing skills. Besides, establishing the intermediaries for distributing the products is not the simply problem in America. The firms must look for the dealership to sell their automobiles. These entry barriers are substantial that make it difficult for new automakers. Accordingly, it is not easy for any new entrants to enter the American automobile industry. 2. Bargaining power of suppliers According to Hill and Jones (2008), the bargaining power of suppliers is the suppliers’ ability to raise input prices or the costs of the industry by providing poor quality inputs or poor services. In the automobile industry, the bargaining power of suppliers is low. The auto manufactures need several components from suppliers. Moreover, there are many suppliers in this sector. We can see that suppliers in the U.S automobile industry have little power. Therefore, the auto manufacturers have many options for bargaining prices and deliveries. If suppliers do not meet some main qualifications such as quality and delivery, the auto manufacturers can switch to other suppliers. Besides, the automakers can have many opportunities to force down input price as well as demand higher quality inputs. 3. Bargaining power of buyers Wheelen and Hunger (2008) mentioned that buyers could have an effect on an industry through their ability to force down price, bargain for high quality or more services. Thus, powerful buyers should be viewed as a threat of the industry. The bargaining power of the buyers in the American automobile industry is high. Nowadays, customers easily get information and have many options in choosing brands and models of cars between auto suppliers. Some of qualifications that they based on in choosing cars are quality, price, appearance, efficient, and so on. Because of the variety of lifestyle, customers purchase the cars in different ways. Besides, the switching costs are low in automobile industry. As a result, the buyers can play off the supplying company against each other to force down price. What’s more, a buyer has the potential to integrate backward by producing the product itself as a bargaining tool. Ford and General Motor have used the threat of manufacturing a component themselves instead of buying it from suppliers. 4. The threat of substitute products Hitt, Ireland and Hoskinsson (2008) pointed out that substitute products are goods or services from outside a given industry that perform similar or the same functions as a products that the industry produce. The threat of substitute products in U.S automobile industry is medium. Although people can travel by several public transportation means such as subways, trains, buses, the need of automobiles is inevitable in today’s modern life. Traveling by automobiles bring conveniences and dependences for people whenever and wherever they want to go. Moreover, in using subways, trains, buses, the switching costs are high in considering of time, money and convenience. The cost of fuel consumption, the maintenance costs, the annual insurance fee, and so on in using automobiles may be higher than traveling by public transportation means. Thus, we can see that the threat of substitute products is depend on personal preference and it can be seen mild in automobile industry. 5. Rivalry among existing firms in the industry Rivalry refers to the competitive struggle between companies in an industry to gain market share from each other (Hill and Jones, 2008). Rivalry among competitors is extremely intense in the American automobile industry. There are few competitors in this sector and they are roughly equal in size. We can consider that American automobile industry is a consolidated industry because a small number of large automobile companies dominate this industry. They are General Motors, Fords, and Daimler Chrysler. In today’s economic recession with slow market growth, each auto company watches each other carefully and fights to take market share from each other. They compete with each other by offering long-term warranties to customers. Besides, the rivalry among existing firms is high in this industry because of not much differentiation opportunities. General Motors, Fords, and Daimler Chrysler produce automobiles and sport utility vehicles. They evaluate about the price, quality, product design, and after-sales services and support of each other in competing to gain market share. Overall, the competition between American automakers can strengthen the attractiveness of automobile market as well as improve the product quality and after-sales services in automobile industry. 6. Relative power of other stakeholders The US government has low power over the automobile industry. General Motors, Fords have plants outside the United States, where U.S laws are not applicable. Forces driven by market demand are the only forces that significantly affect profit potential of auto industry. Accordingly, the relative power of other stakeholders’ ability to affect profit potential is low. After analyzing the Porter’s Five Forces model in the American automobile industry, we can see that the threat of new entrants is low through high entry barriers. The rivalry among existing firms is extremely intense because of few automakers in this sector. The overall impact from buyer’s bargaining power to the industry’s attractiveness is high because customers have many options. Suppliers have limited bargaining power in this industry. The threat of substitute products is moderate and the relative power of other stakeholders’ is low. IV. MAPPING OF THE KEY STRATEGIC GROUPS AND ANALYSIS OF THE COMPETITORS According to Anthony Henry (2007) and Gregory, Lumpkin

Microsoft Office Suite 2013 (PC), 2011 (Mac), or more recent software is required to complete each h

Microsoft Office Suite 2013 (PC), 2011 (Mac), or more recent software is required to complete each h.

Microsoft Office Suite 2013 (PC), 2011 (Mac), or more recent software is required to complete each homework assignment.Note: Some On Your Own projects have been modified for students using Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac software. Students should select the appropriate version of the assignment based on the software they are using. Failure to do so may result in errors or difficulty when completing the project.Note: Use the data files you downloaded previously.Complete the weekly homework based on the following:Complete the On Your Own project (PC or Mac version) according to the project instructions and submit your assignment through the online course shell. Note: It is important to note that some On Your Own projects request a printed or self-submitted document. Students completing this course online or in a physical classroom must submit the assignment through the online course shell regardless of the instructions presented in each On Your Own exercise. Submit your assignment in the appropriate Microsoft Office application(s) using the filename “Last name_First initial_OYO#” in addition to the appropriate filename extension (e.g., .docx, .dotx, .htm, etc.). For example: If your name is Mary Smith, the file for the On Your Own project 12-1 should be saved as Smith_M_12-1.dotx. Include your name, course section, professor name, title of assignment, and version of assignment (PC or Mac).Provide general comments on the overall assignment experience in two to three (2-3) sentences. Submit the written portion in the text box located in the assignment submission link.
Microsoft Office Suite 2013 (PC), 2011 (Mac), or more recent software is required to complete each h

GCC Experience of Nurses Participating in Comprehensive Nursing Care Discussion

assignment writing services GCC Experience of Nurses Participating in Comprehensive Nursing Care Discussion.

Prepare a two to three page written assignment that includes the following:Introduction to the assignment (sections of the assignment: caring, professional identity, and professional organizations/associations)Explain your belief of caring in nursing (self, nursing, environment, and profession)Describe your professional identity including your beliefs, values, motives, and experiencesDiscuss one to two professional organizations/associations you plan to be involved in during your nursing careerConclusion (reflect on the criteria of the assignment; caring, professional identity, and professional organizations/associations)Use at least two credible resources to support your findings. For example, one of the resources could be the website for a professional organization or association, and another resource could be a textbook. These resources must be integrated into the body of your paper using at least two in-text citations. Be sure to use proper APA format and style.The document linked below contains the project rubric as well as helpful resources.Final Project Assignment
GCC Experience of Nurses Participating in Comprehensive Nursing Care Discussion

Re-entry collateral consequences on education and housing Essay

Table of Contents Introduction History and the process of reentry process System and Policy Solutions as to strengthen various services Conclusion Works Cited Introduction Reentry refers to the issues related to the transition of ex-offenders from incarceration to community. Reentry comprises of all the efforts aimed at ensuring that those released from prison are able to relate well with the general society. Collateral consequences of criminal charges or the “Four’Cs” are the indirect consequences of criminal convictions and “comprise a mixture federal, statutory and regulatory law as well as local policies and are part of arrest, prosecution or conviction but are not part of the sentence imposed” (National Crime Prevention Council 1). The essay looks at reentry collateral in details and the effects it has had on the community and individuals. The systems and policies being applied by organizations are analyzed. A discussion on how to improve the policies being implemented before they become laws is included in this article. History and the process of reentry process It can be correctly argued out that those who are involved in the reentry programs have one main goal of ensuring that the subjects integrate well with the society. It is significant that the returning person is able to fit well with the society as this will make it possible for him/her to avoid engaging in criminal activities. Some of the challenges the ex-prisoner is likely to face include housing, public safety, employment and families. Other challenges to reentry include problems with family relationships where if not already problematic, are often weakened by incarceration. Convicted felons have difficulty finding employment and this can be aggravated by prison experiences (Irwin 1). Recidivism is the process whereby there is a tendency to re-lapse into previous criminal behavior; the individual characteristics that influence recidivism includes “demographic characteristics, prison experience, employment history, education level, criminal record, and substance abuse dependence” (The Heritage Foundation 1). It has been noted that recidivists tend to have a history of crime record which is traceable to their early ages when they were still young (The Heritage Foundation 1). Ex-prisoners have a lower rate of literacy than individuals in the general population, ex-prisoners also face unmet health and mental needs and housing issues due to legislation that bar the ex-convicts (National Crime Prevention Council 1). Some of the housing issues that ex-offenders face include: finding affordable rental housing, maximizing the use of existing housing resources and identifying and eliminating the stigma of ex-offenders in order to receive housing from the society (The Heritage Foundation 1). Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More It has been noted that families offer very significant support for the individuals who are entering the society from the prisons: “former prisoners living with their families are less likely to drop out of reentry programs compared to their counterparts who do not live with their families” (The Heritage Foundation 1). Collateral consequences mean legal, social and economic barriers to an individual reentry into his/her society: Although many individuals released from jail leave with the hope of a fresh start, these barriers make it difficult for the individual to integrate into the community and hence the reason why many ex-prisoners go back to jail. (Irwin 1) Elsewhere collateral consequences have been described as: “Invisible punishments, unseen and often devastating, largely hidden and unspoken until it is too late” (National Crime Prevention Council 1). Collateral consequences are indirect consequences of criminal convictions and comprise “a mixture federal and statutory and regulatory law as well as local policies” (National Crime Prevention Council 1). The second chance act signed into law by president Bush is a response to a glowing crisis in the United States of America faced by ex-prisoners once they are out of jail. It has made significant improvement but a lot needs to be done by community groups, county governments, state governments, church welfare groups and nongovernmental organizations for it to fully succeed and its impact felt in the society. The act recognizes the need for comprehensive and integrated services. It is a benchmark for reentry programs and policies for the federal government to intervene in a growing crisis (The Heritage Foundation 1). The government has made significant funding since the act become law and significant impact has been felt where the program has been initiated and in most cases the results from such an initiation has been a great success. We will write a custom Essay on Re-entry collateral consequences on education and housing specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More It should be noted that, “the act did expand the federal government’s role in the reentry process by creating grants for states to implement prisoner reentry programs; the Act authorized $330 million for prisoner reentry programs during fiscal years 2009 and 2010” (National Crime Prevention Council 1). More laws have been passed in relations of the reentry: Congress also passed laws that temporarily or permanently disqualified persons convicted of felony and drug related oddness from receiving certain federal welfare benefits and disqualified those convicted of any drug related offences in the country from receiving federal educational grants. In addition, congress passed laws declaring individuals and their households ineligible for federal housing assistance if they have been convicted of specified criminal activity. Moreover congress did give local authorities vast discretion to local housing authorities to establish standards regarding criminal records (National Crime Prevention Council 1). System and Policy In this section a reports on an identified system and policy connected with that system that affects incarcerated, former incarcerated and family members is briefly discussed. Montgomery county has come up with policies, program and a system that offers ex-prisoners a second chance. The system and policy at the Montgomery has registered a significant success and therefore will be a good example to study. Re-entry efforts in Montgomery County in Ohio have been a good study for policy and law makers, it is a success story of an effective well managed program. The re-entry task force in the county assembled an extensive collaborative force of over 200 community leaders from different professions including ex offenders for their valuable insight into the issue and how the community would benefit from their insight (Montgomery County). The re-entry task force accomplished its work through a combination of several work groups including children, families, continuum of care, employment, housing, legal issues and advocacy, pre/post-release services and technical teams. Re-entry programs in Ohio were 246 in 2009 (Montgomery County). The Montgomery county has been providing a variety of specialized rehabilitative services, which include providing common pleas court system that focuses on encouraging ex-offenders to succeed as law abiding citizens without first going to prison, this program seeks to address whatever dysfunction has resulted in the offender committing the crime, other program include residential drug intervention services, education and employment opportunities, specialized supervision of felony, non support cases and community drug intervention and education. Specialized services include life support that focuses on providing necessary skills that affect positive behavioural changes such as male’s issues group, emergency assistance and alternatives to violence program (Montgomery County 1). Not sure if you can write a paper on Re-entry collateral consequences on education and housing by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Other specialized programs include case management where there is an individual and group contact between offenders and community control officers, others include secure transitional offender program and felony non support court which is a specialized court that was implemented in an effort to ensure payment of court-ordered child support obligations. Stop the violence me is a program designed to educate men on violence, power and control in relationships and empathy for the victim. To ensure that the efforts make some significant achievement, a number of local, non profit agencies are given financial support to assist the re-entry population (Montgomery County 1). Montgomery County has also provided services to ex offenders who are part of Montgomery County “call in sessions”; these sessions offer individuals a chance to turn their lives around and provide services to those who are willing to do so including case management, job training and educational services. A number of community based providers also offer services to ex offenders; the council also assists a few non profit agencies with financial support to assist the re-entry population such as Dayton urban league, action partnership, Salvation Army booth house, mercy manor and volunteers of America (Montgomery County). Solutions as to strengthen various services Re-entry services must be offered in a coordinated fashion, the re-entry system is usually a complex network made up of many interdependent systems. We simply cannot afford to have these various systems and services working in isolation. Hence, all agencies and organizations – both public and private – will need to be engaged in service coordination in order to respond to the many barriers encountered by the ex-offender upon their release into society. Only Complete service integration through a network of community partnerships will be vital in ensuring that these efforts are to be successful in the future and have positive impacts on both the community and ex offender (Montgomery County). Another factor that demonstrates the importance of public-private partnerships is the fact that the government cannot fund this initiative on its own as the government cannot participate everywhere. Many years of experience have shown that with governmental programs of all types, public money eventually dries up. This is true for both governmental funding used to initiate new services as well as governmental funding used to leverage funds from the private sector for the continuation of services. This results in services decreasing and later ceasing to exist. To counteract this occurrence, the community must exhibit a sincere investment in a particular service and bear a significant portion of the necessary funding. It is only through public-private partnerships that sustainability is even a possibility (Montgomery County 1). The Ohio prisons have realized that it may not be possible to always rehabilitate all convicts in the system and have consequently partnered with the Montgomery County to reduce recidivism and bring attention to the state of reentry in Ohio hence the need for increased cooperation (Montgomery County 1). There is a need to increase the number of transitional, supportive, and affordable ex-offender housing opportunities in Montgomery County for high-risk groups (i.e., individuals with sex offenses on their criminal record, mental health disorders, and/or substance dependency) as well as for families and children (Montgomery County 1). It would be wise if an assessment for the needs of each inmate is carried such that the same can be consistently followed upon being released from prison. When possible, applications and steps toward accessing student loans and other financing will take place prior to release so as to aid in education (Montgomery County 1). There should be negotiation with the local housing authority to recommend that families and children are given a preference on the waiting lists. There is also a need to develop supportive housing units that will supply needed services and appropriate transitional housing for up to one year (Irwin 1). Develop a program for ex-offenders to use “sweat equity” to rehabilitate homes which might otherwise be demolished, similar to the Habitat for Humanity model (Irwin 1). Develop a Housing Locator containing informational materials to be given to ex-offenders before they are released that includes available housing opportunities based upon eligibility criteria, this will lead to former prisoners having shelter and help reduce crime recurrence from such ex-convicts (Irwin 1). A needs assessment must be conducted with each inmate prior to release and it should be incorporated in the Reentry Plan and consistently followed up when the prisoner is released into the community (Irwin 1). It would be significant if courts are given more discretion in determining treatment options and authorizing early discharge from special probation for individuals who make exceptional progress (Irwin 1). Conclusion For there to be successful reentry program and effective policies and systems, there must be effective partnership between the community, ex-prisoners, government, non-profit groups and also inmates themselves to avoid ex-convicts going back to jail. Well implemented reentry programs have helped former prisoners to integrate back to the community and contribute to the growth of the community positively and also become role models for recidivists and prisoners. Works Cited Irwin, John. The Warehouse Prison: Disposal of the New Dangerous Class. NY: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print. Montgomery County. Reentry Report. Montgomery County, 2011. Web. National Crime prevention council. Prisoner Reentry Presentation. NCPC, 2007. Web. The Heritage Foundation. Secodn Chance Act. The Herotage Foundatio, 2011. Web. .

Adolescent Brain: Plasticity to Counter the Perfect Storm

This paper will focus on the presentation of Dr. Chiye Aoki titled “Adolescent Brain: Plasticity to Counter the Perfect Storm”, hosted by Dr. Katya Likhtik. Dr. Aoki received her doctorate from Rockefeller University where she demonstrated that neuronal plasticity changes cytoskeletal activity inside neurons (Presentation, Oct.22). After this, Dr. Aoki went on to Cornell, where she worked on researching the distribution on NMDA receptors in axons and synapses, as a function of activity or inactivity (Presentation, 2018). Today, inspired by the changes she saw when her children reached adolescence, she is studying anxiety, resilience, and feeding behaviors, within the context of anorexia nervosa at NYU (Presentation, 2018). Furthermore, Dr. Aoki is involved in a leading position in BP-Endure Hunter/NYU program (Presentation, 2018). Before delving into the literature and presentation given by Dr. Aoki, a brief exploration of the background of anorexia nervosa is warranted. Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness that is characterized by an irrational fear of gaining weight, although the inflicted individual is of normal weight or even underweight (APA, 2013). Anorexia nervosa is also defined by high levels of anxiety because of this fear of gaining weight, which is handled though self-imposed starvation (Kaye, 2004) and excessive exercise (Beumont, 1994). Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders (Arcelus, 2011). This illness also has a twenty-five percent relapse (Hudson, 2007). Furthermore, this illness is about nine times more prevalent in females than in males, according to Dr. Aoki’s presentation, and there are no accepted pharmacological treatments for this illness (Presentation, Oct.22). Finally, according to twin studies, there appears to be a strong genetic component to this illness, with as much as fifty to seventy percent of the condition being genetically heritable. (Bulik, 2007). To gauge the background of the information provided in her presentation, a close look was given to two papers that Dr. Aoki authored, “Enlargement of Axo-Somatic Contacts Formed by GAD-Immunoreactive Axon Terminals onto Layer V Pyramidal Neurons in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Adolescent Female Mice Is Associated with Suppression of Food Restriction-Evoked Hyperactivity and Resilience to Activity-Based Anorexia.” and “Synaptic changes in the hippocampus of adolescent female rodents associated with resilience to anxiety and suppression of food restriction-evoked hyperactivity in an animal model for anorexia nervosa.” In the first paper, Dr. Aoki and her team were able to discover that negative correlations exist between glutamic acid decarboxylase terminal contact lengths onto L5P and Activity Based Anorexia (ABA) in the context of wheel running behavior (Chen, 2015). More specifically, this study indicated that ABA induction among adolescent female mice had an impact on the prefrontal cortex circuitry and could potentially contribute to the prevention of weight loss caused by food restriction-evoked hyperactivity (Chen, 2015). In the second paper, Dr. Aoki and her research team focused on the role of a GABAergic mechanism in the hippocampus, and its role in regulating an individual’s anxiety, which is highly correlated to an individual’s propensity for ABA. More specifically, the research of this paper found that ionotropic GABAA receptors with the subunits alpha4 and delta, play a role in suppressing pyramidal neurons, via shutting inhibition (Aoki, 2017). This is important in the context of anorexia, given that hippocampal pyramidal neurons are known to become more excitable during ABA (Aoki, 2017). The hippocampus itself is not part of the brain’s feeding center, however, it is a valuable in the context of anorexia since this illness is also an anxiety disorder, and the hippocampus along with the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex play a role in the experience of anxiety. (Adhikari, 2010) In the presentation, Dr. Aoki started by focusing on the way the brain develops over a lifetime. While a lot of changes take place in infancy the brain reaches its adult volumetric size by the age of five. At this age, humans have most of the cellular mass that constitutes the human brain, however, many synaptic changes take place as well. In adolescence, there is a window in which synaptogenesis takes place at an immense rate, followed by a pruning that leads to a finalized adult brain. Nevertheless, the human brain continues to develop for over a decade, with the prefrontal cortex experiencing changes in myelination up to the age of twenty-six (Presentation, 2018). Dr. Aoki went on to say that it is suspected that the cause of the discrepancy in the prevalence of anorexia between the two genders would seem to indicate a hormonal component. She also informed us of a derivative of estradiol, THP (allopregnanolone), a female associated hormone, has the ability to modulate brain circuitry to great extents while estrogens generally inhibit food intake (Young, 1991). Then, prior to engaging in the molecular and biological aspects that she’s been exploring, Dr. Aoki made sure to let us know that anorexia is not a lack of appetite, but a suppression of hunger. She also said that exercise is a form of showing stress and that animal subjects would be appropriate to to carry such experiments because they seem to experience the foraging instinct associated with hunger, just as humans do. In other words, if mice are accustomed to a running wheel and then food deprived, their activity will overall increase. The individual differences come in when some of the subjects continue to exercise even when food is presented, while others don’t exhibit this behavior (Presentation, 2018). For the actual experiments elaborated in the presentation, Dr. Aoki took Wild-Type mice, let them acclimate to the wheel for four days, and then subjected them to food restriction. As expected, some mice increased their level of activity, while others stayed consistent with their activity prior to food restriction. It is also important to note that the wheel is an enrichment element and is seen to be enjoyed even if placed in a non-captive environment. Mice that become hyperactive in induced starvation conditions, exhibit the odd behavior of continuing to exercise even during times when food is available. The behavior can be so chronic that they can die of exhaustion (Presentation, 2018). Food restriction hyperactivity also causes abnormal activity patterns. Under normal conditions, mice sleep during the day and are active during the night. As per Dr. Aoki’s presentation, food restricted mice exhibit activity as much during the day as during the night. These mice also peak just before feeding time, food-anticipatory activity, as well as after the feeding session, referred to as post-prandial. These experiments yielded a correlation positive between anxiety level and wheel running (Presentation, 2018). Dr. Aioki proceeded to tell the audience why she focused her research on the brain structures that she did. Brain structures that are thought to play a role in anorexia include prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and the hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex plays a role in decision-making, based on integration of sensory input and internal state. The amygdala encodes information about danger, safety, and adverse stimuli. Finally, the hippocampus has also been associated with playing a role in anxiety. The more excited the hippocampus, the more anxiety-like behavior (Presentation, 2018). Dr. Aioki discovered that the more GABA is present in the hippocampus, the more dampening of anxiety takes place. She also found that NR2A, an NMDAR subunit, appears to have a correlation with the amount of weight loss experienced by food restricted subjects. Specifically, the more synapses expressed NR2B, the more severe the weight loss. If NR2A was located in the membrane, the animal was more inflicted by severe weight loss, while if it was located in the cytoplasm, it seems to be protective against this event. The movement of NR2A from the cytoplasm happens with the aid of Drebrin, which stands for “Developmentally Regulated Brain Protein”. The more Drebrin animals express, the more NR2A is localized in their cell membranes (Presentation, 2018). As for the role of GABA in the hippocampus, α4βδ-GABAA receptors work with the inhibitory neurotransmitter and are present at excitatory synapses so they can repress over excitation. This makes the excitatory synaptic inputs less effective and reduces anxiety, but also impairs cognition. In behavior, this manifested as the ability to better suppress running impulse. The question here was whether the GABA receptor was different, or if the amount of GABA changed as well. After further analysis, it was discovered that there is a disparity between the frequency of GABA release between individuals, not the receptors themselves, contributing to the differences in behavior (Presentation, 2018). Finally, Dr. Aoki talked about using DREADD, designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs, to activate or suppress neurons at a given time. This allowed her to activate receptors in the prefrontal cortex just before feeding started, which resulted in suppression of physical activity during the meal time (Presentation, 2018). Current scientific literature suggests that similar conclusions as Dr. Aoki’s body of work. Puberty in mice is found increased expression of α4βδ-GABA receptors in the hippocampus. The expression of these receptors also negatively impacts spatial learning in a hippocampal-dependent task. These impairments were not seen in knock-out mice for α4βδ-GABA. Current literature also reaffirms that α4βδ GABARs are a sensitive target for steroids such as THP which ultimately results in increased anxiety, disproportionately in women (Smith, 2013). In summary, Dr. Aoki’s presentation demonstrated that animal models are helpful in identifying cell and molecular differences in adolescents. Furthermore, NR2B, Drebrin and GABA inhibition in the hippocampus affected anxiety levels. Finally, excitation of the prefrontal cortex helps with the exercising behavior. Works Cited Presentation, 2018. Aoki C., 2018 “Adolescent Brain: Plasticity to Counter the Perfect Storm” APA, 2013. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, Washington, DC. Kaye, W.H., et al., 2004. Comorbidity of anxiety disorders with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Am. J. Psychiatry 161, 2215–2221. Beumont, P.J., et al., 1994. Excessive physical activity in dieting disorder patients: proposals for a supervised exercise pro- gram. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 15, 21–36. Arcelus, J., et al., 2011. Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. A meta-analysis of 36 studies. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 68, 724–731. Hudson, J.I., et al., 2007. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol. Psychiatry 61, 348–358. Bulik, C.M., et al., 2007. The genetics of anorexia nervosa. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 27, 263–275. Chen, Y. W., Wable, G. S., Chowdhury, T. G.,

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