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  • Author: K. M. Barry x
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This is the first report of post-harvest wood staining in blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon R. Br). In Tasmanian sawmills, an orange-brown stain commonly occurs upon cutting fresh blackwood. An investigation of the causal mechanism of stain development was completed using fresh flitches and stockpiled logs. Some fungi and bacteria were isolated from stained and unstained blackwood, but no species was consistently present in stained wood alone. Wood pH did not vary between stained and unstained wood, but there was some evidence of alterations in phenol composition. Blackwood extracts were analysed by HPLC and a minor phenolic compound was detected that was consistently found in stained samples and rarely in unstained. UV spectra indicated that this compound may be a quinone, but mass spectrometry data was inconclusive. Experiments with blackwood extracts showed that addition of oxygen (by means of H2O2 treatment) increased absorbance in the “brown” wavelengths characteristic of stain. This supports the assumption that the stain is an oxidative chemical stain, as it develops quite rapidly from cut surfaces.

The challenges of providing exemplary undergraduate nursing education cannot be underestimated in an era when burnout and negative mood states predictably lead to alarming rates of academic as well as career attrition. While the multi-dimensional nature of this complex issue has been extensively elucidated, few rational strategies exist to reverse a disheartening trend recognizable early in the educational process that subsequently threatens to undermine the future viability of quality healthcare. This controlled prospective crossover study examined the impact of a 6-session Recreational Music-making (RMM) protocol on burnout and mood dimensions as well as Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) in first year associate level nursing students. A total of 75 first year associate degree nursing students from Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) participated in a 6-session RMM protocol focusing on group support and stress reduction utilizing a specific group drumming protocol. Burnout and mood dimensions were assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Profile of Mood States respectively. Statistically significant reductions of multiple burnout and mood dimensions as well as TMD scores were noted. Potential annual cost savings for the typical associate degree nursing program ($16,800) and acute care hospital ($322,000) were projected by an independent economic analysis firm. A cost-effective 6-session RMM protocol reduces burnout and mood dimensions as well as TMD in associate degree nursing students.