Improving Juvenile Justice Settings by Decreasing Coercion: One Lab’s Perspectives from Behind the FenceImproving Juvenile Justice Settings by Decreasing Coercion: One Lab’s Perspectives from Behind the Fence

In this article, we outline an emerging role for applied behavior analysis in juvenile justice by summarizing recent publications from our lab and discussing our procedures through the lens of coercion proposed by Goltz (2020). In particular, we focus on individual and group interventions that target a range of behaviors emitted by adolescents in a residential treatment facility. In general, individual interventions involve teaching adolescents to (1) respond appropriately to staff, (2) tolerate nonpreferred environmental conditions, and (3) control problematic sexual arousal. Likewise, group interventions involve low-effort manipulations that decrease disruptive behavior and increase appropriate behavior in settings with numerous adolescents.
Thereafter, we describe behavioral interventions for staff working in juvenile justice. These staff-focused interventions aim to increase staff-initiated, positive interactions with students in order to change subsequent student behavior. In addition, we review our recent endeavors to assess and conceptualize other service providers’ behavioral products (i.e., prescription practices) in a juvenile facility. Lastly, we discuss future directions of behavior-analytic intervention with juvenile-justice involved adolescents.

The Underlying Molecular Mechanism of Fence Engineering to Break the Activity-stability Trade-off of Catalysts

Non-precious-metal (NPM) catalysts often face the formidable challenge of a trade-off between long-term stability and high activity, which has not yet been widely addressed. Here we propose distinct molecule-selective fence as a promising novel concept to solve this activity-stability trade-off. This unique fence has the characteristics of preventing poisonous species from invading catalysts, but allowing catalytic reaction-related species to diffuse freely.
We applied this concept to construct CoS2 layer with the function of molecular selectivity on the external surface of highly active Co doped MoS2, achieving a remarkable catalytic stability towards alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction, along with a further optimized activity. In situ spectroscopy technologies uncovered the underlying molecule mechanism of the CoS2 fence for breaking the activity-stability trade-off of the MoS2 catalyst. This work offers valuable guidance for rationally designing efficient and stable NPM catalysts.

New neighbours make bad fences: Form-based semantic shifts in word learning

The meanings of words sometimes shift towards those of similar-sounding words. For example, expunge is etymologically related to puncture but now connotes “wiping away,” and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, this shift “is probably influenced by phonetic association with sponge.” However, evidence for such form-based semantic shifts is anecdotal. We therefore conducted two experiments where participants learned novel words in sentence contexts (e.g., The boss embraiched the team’s proposal, so they had to start over) and applied the inferred meanings to ambiguous sentences by providing ratings on a 7-point scale (e.g., Carol embraiched Gerald. How pleased was Gerald?).
The inferred meanings of novel words that are spelt like existing words (e.g., embraich, like embrace) shifted towards the meanings of those existing words, relative to control novel words learned in identical contexts (e.g., fline; participants rated Gerald as more pleased to be embraiched than to be flined). These experiments provide the first evidence that newly learned words can indeed undergo form-based semantic shifts. We propose that shifts like these occur during word learning, when words activate rather than inhibit similar-sounding words, and we discuss why they seem to be more common in low-frequency words.

Photovoltaic performance and power conversion efficiency prediction of double fence porphyrins

  • To explore high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), two experimentally derived (single fence and double fence porphyrins) and two theoretically designed zinc porphyrin molecules with D-D-π-A-A configurations were studied. Density functional theory and time-dependent density functional theory were employed to simulate these two experimental dyes and dye@TiO2 systems to understand why the double fence porphyrin molecule exhibits better photovoltaic performance than the single fence porphyrin molecule.
  • For the short-circuit current (JSC), the various parameters that affected the experimental magnitude of JSC were analyzed from different aspects of absorption, charge transfer and chemical parameters as well as an electron injection process. The almost equal open-circuit voltages (VOC) in the experiment were predicted by theoretical VOC calculations. Our model predicted power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 1.993% and 10.866% for the single and double fence molecules, respectively, which are in accordance with the experimental values of 3.48% and 10.69%, respectively.
  • In addition, one designed two new molecules based on the double fence porphyrin molecule with a 2-methyl-2H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole (BTA) unit bearing one fluorine and two fluorine atoms as the guest acceptor, respectively. Compared to the original molecules, the engineered molecules significantly improved the photovoltaic parameters, JSC and VOC, thereby causing excellent PCEs. The most outstanding designed molecule reached a PCE of 12.155%, and is considered a candidate dye for high-efficiency DSSC.
  • This study provides insights into the photoelectric properties of single and double fence porphyrins. It also demonstrated that the strong electron-withdrawing ability of fluorine atoms would enhance the photovoltaic performance and provide a guideline for the further design of double fence porphyrins.


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The Dingo Barrier Fence: Presenting the case to decommission the world’s longest environmental barrier in the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Reconstruction 2021-2030

The longest environmental barrier in the world is Australia’s 5614 km Dingo Barrier Fence. The structure was completed in the 1950s, designed to facilitate the eradication of the country’s apex predator and cultural keystone species the dingo (Canis dingo) from sheep (Ovis aries) grazing areas to the south-east of the continent. The fence and its support systems now present an immense obstacle to ecological restoration in Australia’s arid zone, preventing traditional management practices, and are hazardous to all terrestrial wildlife in the immediate vicinity. The barrier presents a worst-case scenario for animal-generated seed dispersal patterns over the wider region and limits genetic transfer. Plummeting biodiversity inside the fence line and increasing pressures of climate change have left this region highly vulnerable to ecological collapse.
Concurrently, sheep numbers have contracted over 75% in the arid zone since 1991, due to market forces and climate change, while demand for ethically produced goods such as predator-friendly meat production and organic produce is increasing. Decommissioning the Dingo Barrier Fence, moving the stock protection zone south and diversifying land use would not impact significantly on the current livestock production. It offers a sound economic alternative for the region, with the potential for regeneration of 82 million hectares of land, a scale encouraged for inclusion in the global initiative the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Reconstruction (2021-2030). This would restore connectivity across the region, including vital access to the waters of the Murray Darling Basin. This would provide mitigation for the effects of climate change, new markets in organic and sustainable industries, and support ecological and cultural renewal.

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