The high dropout rates (generally 30–40%) in higher education is causing serious problems. Computer science education is particularly affected, with the first two semesters of undergraduate education being the most critical period in most countries. The institutes may lose 60% of their students. The aim of our study is to analyse how effective the educational reform was: how many students could we prevent from dropping out since 2016.
A sample of academic performance of computer science students was analyzed between 2010 and 2017 using IRT model analysis. The study includes data from 3,673 university students.
According to our results, after the educational reform, most subjects became more achievable and students with lower abilities also tried to take the exams. Mathematics-related subjects became achievable at a lower level of difficulty, and lower ability students also tried to take the exams, and did not see the attempt as a potential failure.
Programming/professional subjects became more difficult, and they were differentiating students at a higher level than mathematic related subjects. Educational reform to support students' academic progress has made it possible to improve students' academic performance. We conclude that intervention programs are worthwhile to consider in order to retain students.
In our experiments we compared the serum lipoprotein lipid composition of Fischer 344 (F344) and Long-Evans (LE) inbred rats as well as of their hybrid FLF1 from both sexes after feeding them for 2, 4 and 8 weeks with different diets. The following diets were used: 1) standard diet marked as CRLT/N; 2) diet reach in butter marked as BR; 3) diet containing cholesterol, sodium cholate and methylthiouracil marked as CR; 4) diet marked as BRC, which is the Hartroft-Sós diet modified by our research group consisting of the diets BR and CR. The latter diet was the most effective, because within two weeks the level of serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride in the F344 female rats increased 8, 30, 4 and 8 times, respectively. The male rats of the Long-Evans strain showed moderately increased values while the FLF1 female hybrids derived from the hybridization of LE males and F344 females had values closer to those of the mother strain. Despite the fact that during this time the LDL/HDL ratio increased from 0.06 to 2.97 and the PON-1 activity decreased to one-third, a significant lipid deposition could not be shown in the wall of the abdominal aorta even two months later. Our experimental model is suitable for the chemoprevention of dyslipidaemia or rapid testing of molecules chosen for its treatment.
Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by a build-up of fatty plaques and cholesterol in the arteries. The lumen of the vessels is obliterated resulting in restricted blood supply to tissues. In ischemic conditions, the cytosolic Ca2+ level of skeletal muscle may increase, indicating the alteration of Ca2+ removal mechanisms. Ca2+ is transported from cytosol into the sarcoplasmic reticulum by Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA), with its 1a isoform expressed in adult, while its 1b isoform in neonatal and regenerating fast-twitch skeletal muscle. To investigate the role of these isoforms in ischemic skeletal muscle, biopsies from musculus biceps femoris of patients who underwent amputation due to atherosclerosis were examined. Samples were removed from the visibly healthy and hypoxia-affected tissue. Significantly increased SERCA1a expression was detected under the ischemic conditions (246 ± 69%; p < 0.05) compared with the healthy tissue. Furthermore, the ratio of SERCA1a-positive fibers was slightly increased (46 ± 4% in healthy tissue and 60 ± 5% in ischemic tissue; p > 0.05), whereas SERCA2a did not change. In addition, in primary cultures derived from hypoxia-affected tissue, the diameter and fusion index of myotubes were significantly increased (30 ± 1.6 µm vs. 41 ± 2.4 µm and 31 ± 4% vs. 45 ± 3%; p < 0.05). We propose that the increased SERCA1a expression indicates the existence and location of compensating mechanisms in ischemic muscle.
For understanding local and regional seed dispersal and plant establishment processes and for considering the ecotypes and other forms of specific variability, hard data of locally or regionally measured traits are necessary. We provided newly measured seed weight data of 193 taxa, out of which 24 taxa had not been represented in the SID, LEDA or BiolFlor databases. Our new measurements and formerly published data of locally collected seed weight records together covers over 70% of the Pannonian flora. However, there is still a considerable lack in seed weight data of taxonomically problematic genera, even though they are represented in the Pannonian flora with a relatively high number of species and/or subspecies (e.g. Sorbus, Rosa, Rubus, Crataegus and Hieracium). Our regional database contains very sporadic data on aquatic plants (including also numerous invasive species reported from Hungary and neighbouring countries) and some rare weeds distributed in the southwestern part of the country. These facts indicate the necessity of further seed collection and measurements.